County named for Henry A. Wise, U.S. Senator from Virginia who supported Texas annexation, later Governor and C.S.A. general. Wise County was part of District One of 33 brigade districts of Texas established to recruit men for Confederate and state service in 1861. The headquarters at Decatur became a military post with an arsenal of supplies set up in the Old Howell and Allen Store. Although the county voted against secession, men joined a military company so early that neither state nor Confederacy had any plans to take over the troops. During the war four more companies were raised. These men served on the Texas frontier and in fighting to the east. With almost all the male population drawn into service, Decatur became a refugee camp where settlers stayed for protection from Indians. In 1862 a “Peace Party Plot” aimed at revolt against the Texas Confederate government was discovered. Fifty persons were brought to trial in the arsenal. Five were found guilty and hanged. In 1863 Decatur was headquarters for 1st District of state militia. This was the second line of defense for the frontier which backed up the line of old U.S. posts located 105 miles to the west. 70 miles west were the frontier regiment outposts from the Red River to the Rio Grande. These militiamen served to protect this part of the frontier yet were able to work their farms. Late in the war, deserters came through the county. In April 1865, men from Wise and Cooke counties captured nearly 100 on their way to New Mexico. Erected by the State of Texas 1963.