J. J. McBride was born in Virginia in 1820 and came to Leon County
in 1847. He was to claim land of the new Texas frontier upon agents
advertisements of Stephen F. Austin, wanting Texas to be populated with high
Upon the long journey to Texas J. J. suffered from consumption. He was
in a poor state when he arrived in Leon County. His destination was in Navarro
Community located on the banks of the Trinity River, where he purchased land.
His farm was obtained from Christopher Columbus Goodman from New York, who had
already moved to our county. They both were land agents, and were also
J. J. was in full operation at his farm, raising cotton, corn, sweet
potatoes, and garden vegetables. He as a land agent was most important of
growth in population and land development for all of Leon County. Also he
helped to organize a church, a school, and was a leader of the Masons and the
establishment of the Leon County Masonic Lodge.
J. J. was a wealthy, influential businessman earning respect of the
people. Upon approach to be a Texas Representative, he was well considering the
offer, until the worries of the war between the states began to be heavy on the
minds of the southern people and upon the reality of the Confederacy in Leon
County. J. J. immediately enlisted in the Leon Hunters and was made
Lieutenant, he was one of the first to enlist in the Leon Hunters. Upon the
complete organized regiment, J. J. was asked to be Regimental quarter master.
He refused so he could be in full battle with his soldier boys and share their
fate on the battlefield. He being strong of southern cause, in every battle,
with his boys, was a head soldier of furious battles.
The Leon Hunters organized with 66 men marched off to Richmond
Virginia, and then J. J. shortly returned to Leon County to recruit more soldier
men and on his expedition he enlisted 40 more men. They left quickly to face
J. J. McBride and his company fought with furious struggle. They were
wounded, starved and with one set of clothes, socks, shoes to the threads,
fought in the Seven Pines, Gains Mill, Malvern Hill, Thoroughfare Gap, Freeman's
Ford, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Suffolk, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Siege
of Knoxville and the Wilderness Battles.
He was wounded at different times and received the most serious wound
of all the battles at the Wilderness battle. He was unable to walk so he urged
his boys to position him with a crutch, and fought until the end of battles.
This wound left J. J. a cripple the rest of his life.
After the war, J. J. returned to Navarro, Leon County. Unable to farm
or work at any hard laborious job, he went to Galveston where he worked as a
clerk in a commission house and soon he became owner of his own commission
business and was even greater than before. He respectfully made the statement
to the Commission Board, "My true honor and my goal of life is for the
reconstruction and contribution of glory for my beloved Leon County." J. J.
with committed patriotic love and honor conducted aid programs for the southern
reconstruction benevolent needs of the veterans, their families and memorialized
confederate shrines of historic heritage.
As a confederate hero, J. J. McBride fought the fight of his life for
Texas. The J. J. McBride Texas Brigade proudly stood for and fought with
General Robert E. Lee. At the Knoxville Siege, General Robert E. Lee summoned
McBride and his men to the front. This recognition was a historic event. "The
Texas Brigade, gallant soldiers, a legend of the South."
J. J. McBride became very ill on a business trip to Oakwood and died
while he was in Oakwood. He had said many times that he was born in Virginia
but his home was in Leon County. He was buried by the Knights Templar (a
Masonic Order). His grave is in Palestine, Texas.
This photo was submitted by
James Coston, April 10, 2014