In the spring of 1862 Thomas N. Waul (1813-1903) recruited men from Washington and the surrounding counties to form a legion for Confederate service. Composed of twelve infantry companies, six cavalry companies, and two artillery companies, the legion numbered some two thousand soldiers.
The organizational and training encampment of Waul's Texas Legion was located here along New Year's Creek. Waul was commissioned colonel of the legion on May 13, 1862, and the companies remained in camp here until August 18, when they departed for active duty.
Part of the legion served in Mississippi in 1862 and 1863. They participated in the defense of Vicksburg and surrendered there following the siege. Other units served in Arkansas and Louisiana. The legion was later reorganized and returned to Texas to serve at Galveston and along the Gulf Coast until the end of the war. Throughout the war, the legion performed notably in numerous battles, sieges and skirmishes.
After the Civil War Waul was elected a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1866 (Reconstruction Convention). He later practiced law in Galveston. He died on his farm in Hunt County in 1903.