U. S. Courthouse & Post
Office, 224 W. Austin St., Jefferson
Date of erection: 1890
Extracted from Texas Adjutant General's Department: An Inventory of .
"After the war, federal troops occupied the Southern states and disbanded their state militias. The Reconstruction Acts of 1867 ended any effort to organize militia in Texas for the next three years. Confederate veterans instituted organizations that appeared to serve other purposes, but in essence they acted like the militia. The election of a Republican governor in 1870, the ratification of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution, and the seating of the Texas congressional delegation in Washington without opposition ended military rule in Texas and made way for the reestablishment of the Texas militia. Budget cutbacks and consequent manpower reductions limited the United States Army's ability to protect the frontier, man coastal artillery forts, and police the old Confederate states. Consequently, the United States Congress allowed the Southern states to reorganize militia units in July 1870 to assume some of these responsibilities.
The new Republican governor, Edmund J. Davis, asked the Texas legislature for a militia that consisted of the State Guard of Texas and the Reserve Militia. All males between eighteen and forty-five who voluntarily enrolled and uniformed themselves made up the State Guard, while all males liable for military service but not enrolled in the State Guard became part of the Reserve Militia. Both the State Guard and the Reserve Militia organized into companies and regiments like those in the United States Army. As in the antebellum period, the state required the militia to hold an annual muster and enrollment at county courthouses, essentially a yearly census of all men between the ages of eighteen and fifty. Governor Davis instituted three racially integrated branches under the adjutant general: the State Police, the militia or State Guard, and the Reserve Militia. The State Police sought to protect citizens and property, establish law and order, and maintain peace throughout the state. The State Guard and the Reserve Militia defended against foreign invasion and augmented the state, county, or local police in the event of civil disorder. The combined state appropriations for the three branches in 1871 and 1872 was $385,444.66; the state received $30,000 in weapon transfers from the federal government. By 1872 the State Guard and Reserve Militia numbered 74,599, with 720 companies in 102 regiments; yet the state provided only fifteen companies with weapons. Commissioned officers in the State Guard and Reserve Militia totaled 2,203, for a ratio of about thirty-three enlisted men per officer. The state possessed about one rifle for every thirty men, and a total of four ten-pound Parrot artillery pieces. The Reserve Militia regiments normally formed within county boundaries. Harris County organized the Eleventh and Fifteenth regiments, composed of three and one companies respectively, while Galveston had the Eighth Regiment (seven companies) and San Antonio the Fifth Regiment (one company). Davis called on the State Guard during its first year to quell political controversies between the largely white Democrats and the integrated Republicans in four counties that objected to Republican rule. "
Extracted from Handbook of Texas Online: TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD