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Daniel's Nineth Texas Battery

The Old Folks
McGuire Letters
More Old Letters
David and Lucinda George
George History
Askins & Finches
John and Sarah Wilson
John and Sarah Wilson, Page 2
John & Sarah Wilson, Page 3
Wilson History
John Wilson, Honored
John Wilson's Civil War Records
The Barrle of Corinth
The Battle of Iuka
The Battle of Elkhorn Tavern ~ Pea Ridge
Daniel's Nineth Texas Battery
Lake Creek, Texas
Lake Creek Cotton Gin

The story below pertains to John W. Wilson's history.
John and Sarah were married April 3, 1866, not long after he returned form the Civil War where he served in the Confederate Army. They bought the home at Lake Creek, pictured on a previous page, from Cyrus C. Taylor about 1887. The house was built in 1859. When the Taylors lived there, Cyrus C. Taylor was the father of Benoni B. Taylor of the James M. Daniel's Lamar County Artillery Company of A.S.C., known as the Daniel's Texas Battery.  (This part of Lamar County was later changed to Delta County, and is still Delta County today.) The story below contains stories about Daniel's Texas Battery. During the Civil War a lot of military activity took place in and around Lake Creek. When I was a small boy my great grandmother, Sarah Wilson, would tell me (Earl) stories about the soldiers marching in Lake Creek in parades, as well as other stories. She died when I was six years old but I still remember her. 

The following article is a chapter from Skipper Steely's unpublished 850 page book called Forty Seven Years, the sequel to Six Months From Tennessee. Our thanks and appreciation to Skipper for allowing us to add this story to our site.


Excerpts from the book


By Skipper Steely

Copyright by Skipper Steely, Wright Press, Paris, TX, 1999.

All Rights Reserved.

No part of this material may be reproduced, copied or printed

without the expressed written consent of the author.

Skipper Steely

801 W. Sherman St.

Paris, TX 75460


Chapter 17

Protection of Arkansas And Louisiana

Daniel's Ninth Texas Battery

1862 - 1865

At home belts began to tighten. In May, 1862 Lamar County Chief Justice Francis Miles and the county commissioners authorized a tax levy of ten cents on the $100 to support some of the eventual 900 destitute families.(1) Young Burgher, who moved to Forest Hills in 1854, was in charge of taking care of that area of northwest Lamar County. James Mallory, near Atlas, was appointed there.(2) Others who helped in the various precincts were: E. Simmons, Washington Biard, William Yates, Francis Miles, Jasper Crain, John Maxwell, D. H. Davis, Simeon George, Thomas Lane and Minter Parker.

In October, Lamar County began to issue warrants for purchases; in other words, paper money. George W. Wright was appointed provost marshal by General Henry McCulloch in June, 1862. He was to round up more arms and provisions.(3) Also, he was to stop all wagons carrying wheat, flour or bacon in the direction of Red River, and require them to report to Northeast Texas District headquarters at Tyler with the goods.

Price fixing was instigated because the cost of salt and goods was skyrocketing. Provost Marshal - In - Chief Captain John C. Robertson issued the order that salt would not be higher priced than $10 per sack. George Wright was also ordered to apprehend anyone selling flour, bacon, wheat and salt in large amounts under the pretense of being government agents. In 1863 prices were set on many commodities, even whiskey. Despite this effort to hold steady the costs, scarcity of goods eventually caused prices to soar. Salt, however, was fairly easy to purchase for the Red River area families. The county commissioners sent regularly to Cherokee and Smith Counties, or to Grand Saline, for loads to aid the service families living in the county.

Clothing was so necessary in both the field and at home. In September, 1862 Milton Webb was ordered by the Lamar County Police Court to travel to the penitentiary at Huntsville to purchase thread to be made into jeans and underwear for the soldiers, " . . . if they are to be had." Sometimes, the women at home would card the cotton and wool into rolls for spinning into thread. This was a long, tiring process. Occasionally, bolts of calico, cotton and wool cards were purchased from Mexico. Sadly, in May of 1864 Webb finally returned the money, with charges for the trips, and notified the county that he was never able to secure the materials.(4)

The summer of 1862 saw many men on furlough from various units, but orders came to assemble and prepare for duty. The Jefferson Confederate News reported, "The detached men belonging to the dismounted regiments formerly commanded by Colonels Greer, Stone, Lock, Young, Sims, Whitfield, Camp, the late M. T. Johnson and Crump, who were sent home with the horses of their commands, are notified and required forthwith to assemble at Paris, Lamar County, Texas." These men probably brought the horses back to feed them properly.

At Paris, the men were to report to Major William E. Estes, who was assigned to the temporary command of the detached soldiers in lieu of Colonel J. J. Diamond of Cooke County. Those who wished discharge who were over 35 or younger than 18 were allowed to stay.

Advertisements for deserters were also published that Summer. Rewards were even offered. The enrolling officer in Hopkins County, Ben A. VanSickle of Sulphur Springs, published a list of 14 men who he said had left Hopkins County to avoid service. He notified them that those deserting would be dealt with accordingly.

Law and order at home was difficult to keep since so many of the leadership was away tending to the war effort. Many committees of vigilance were formed. One appeared in the Clarksville Standard on July 20, 1862, demanding of James M. Hays the return of a Negro named Wash. He was suspected of setting fire to Judge Simeon English's gin in Red River County.

The committee ran advertisements in the paper saying Wash actually belonged to a Mr. ---- McGuire. "We understand," the notice said, "that you have conveyed him away from the neighborhood; therefore, we demand of you to bring said negro before this community . . . "

The group of men threatened that if Hays did not return Wash, the committee would print the refusal in the paper. Not a strong threat, considering other events of the day, but the committee was very serious. Some highly influencial men signed the statement: W. B. Aikin, chairman; Allen Martin, secretary; Jacob Sivley, W. P. Duke, C. A. Deaver, John Terry, M. M. Swann, John Atkinson, Simeon English, George W. McCarley and W. C. Dowdy. Apparently Hays kept the slave.

Medicines were in short supply, money was inflating rapidly or just simply not enough was available. County money was eventually printed, and taxes raised again in May, 1863. Most of the raise went to help the families of soldiers. By now that just about included most of those in the upper Red River region. Very few were not directly touched by the war effort. Some physicians were still home, exempt from the war, and some men like F. B. Gunn were detailed from the army for special services. Gunn was sent home to make spinning wheels and reels.

Virginia Petty Stringer wrote years later that as a four year old she was aware of the hardships by the women at home during the war. "Women . . . who had been brought up surrounded by every luxury, went bravely to work . . . making clothes and shoes, all by hand." Her father worked in Mt. Pleasant making wagons in a government shop.(5) Property evaluations were not sacred in 1864, either. In Lamar County, for instance, they were raised by Assessor - Collector R. C. Walker.

Most newspapers were having a difficult time finding paper to print their weekly issues. Many suspended operations or printed just a few copies on wallpaper found around town. Trade began to go south, sometime all the way to Mexico, as wagon loads of goods and beef traveled there from the Red River area, hoping to sell them for solid cash. T. H. Hadden wrote of these trips, one in particular, in the Summer of 1862.

"The only names I remember in the train were Mr. [John W.] Broad and Wash [George W.] Guest. The reason I remember Mr. Guest is that he was a saloon keeper and father had a horror of that class of people, thinking them troublemakeers." Hadden pointed out, however, that Guest was " . . . one of the gentliest men, quiet and likeable." Guest was the 28 year old son of the late Dr. Martin Guest of Red River County.

This wagon train was to deliver cotton, then plans were to stay in Mexico or drift around south Texas, keeping out of sight until the war was settled. However, this changed later when it became clear the war was to go on for some time. Normally, in Lamar County cotton was taken to Pine Bluff [Hills] at the mouth of the Kiamichi River, and sent down the Red River by a light boat. But this group assembled southwest of Paris intent on delivering the goods to the south. The route took them through Ladonia, across the Trinity River and to a camp at Lancaster. Even though Hadden had a cousin in Dallas, Pert McDermott, he felt Dallas did not compare to Paris at that time. The 12 year old Hadden and the wagon train left Lancaster after a week, traveling on through Waco, Milford, Austin and arriving north of San Antonio, where the group stayed for some time.

Here Hadden had his first meal in a hotel! A.S. Kottwitz, a former merchant and Masonic grand master in Paris, invited young Hadden to eat at with him the Menger Hotel. The Alamo was next door, filled with war supplies and serving as a commissary. Hadden commented, "Confederate money seemed to be unknown and there was no war talk."

The stay near San Pedro Springs was most pleasant, but the train moved on to town after about three weeks. The cotton was sold in San Antonio, and the trip back began. Hadden was so anxious to get home that when the group stopped to camp 12 miles south of Paris that September, he walked the rest of the way to town! Excitement was in the air now, for news of the Battle of Gettysburg had just arrived. At least one more of these trips were made south to sell cotton.

But, so much for the home effort. The attention was still on the men so far away. The departure of the Ninth Texas Infantry in January, 1862 did not by any means totally deplete the Lamar County and Red River region of eligible fighting men. While awaiting orders, the Lamar Artillery, for one, kept at its instruction, led by Captain James Mitchell Daniel. Word coming back from east of the Mississippi and from northern Arkansas and Missouri fueled the Artillery's desire to join the war zone.

On January 18, 1862 orders had come from Richmond under the signature of General Ben McCulloch saying, "You will proceed to muster your men into the service on your return to Texas . . . " Apparently Captain Daniel had been to Richmond in late 1861, or perhaps he and his family had stayed there a year after a trip to his hometown in December of 1860. While there, apparently he gained Confederate permission to form a unit.

Captain Daniel was born in Falmouth, Virginia June 11, 1833. His mother died when he was seven, and he lived with his father at Stafford Court House [ Fredericksburg] a year before the elder Daniel remarried. At that time Captain Daniel went to live with his two youngest brothers, Peter Vivian and Fred, at his aunt's house three miles from town near the Potomac River. When he was 10, Daniel moved in with his father's bachelor brother, Travers, in Richmond, where he went to school for four years.(6)

Mitchell, as he was called by his family, left there in March, 1848 with " . . . a bundle and not a cent of money." To earn his living, Daniel bought corn and fodder for the Richmond and Danville Railroad contractors. Thus was the beginning of a fascinating life. Daniel earned $12 per month at first until his brother, John, a newspaper editor at age 23, secured him a place on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad in the engineer corps at $30 per month. He executed the duties of a rodman. For the next six years he was employed in engineering on that and other southern railroads, gaining a wealth of knowledge he would try to put to use later in Texas.

In his memoirs, Daniel says he earned " . . . small salaries ranging from $160 - $250 per month. In December of 1854, he went down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, unknowingly following the path his future wife's grandfather took in 1811. From there he took a steamer to Galveston, first setting foot on Texas soil December 31, 1854.

He rode part of the way north in a goods box, sled fashion, over the rough roads of east Texas. He was first employed on railroads in Arkansas, but a group of men in northeast Texas were interested in a rail from there to El Paso. When Daniel's engineering corps visited Paris in 1856 he managed to meet some of them. In January, 1857 Daniel was invited to a ball at the Cole Hotel in honor of the engineering corps. He met Emily Brown Wright, a rather short but appealing daughter of George W. Wright. A year later he married her and settled in Paris on ten acres of land purchased from Wright for $300. Here the couple constructed a four room, boxed house, which was never even whitewashed. Each morning, Em milked the eight cows given to them by her father. This was good practice for her upcoming large family!7

As previously discussed, work began on a dream - the Memphis to El Paso to the Pacific Railroad. Actually, the project was three years old when Daniel arrived, but no work had begun. In May, 1856, the company reorganized as the Memphis, El Paso and Pacific Railroad. Daniel became the assistant engineer and work began near Texarkana. Limited finances and the war brought the project to a standstill. It was time to go to war.8

In early 1862, Daniel called upon Quartermaster Agent Travis G. Wright, his former boss at the MEPPRR, for military supplies totaling $32,000.9 General Sterling Price notified the captain on March 29 to purchase four horses in addition to those furnished by Wright, and report to Little Rock, Arkansas. The Lamar Artillery was originally ordered to report to Fort Smith, Arkansas, but protection of the Arkansas River mouth was more appropriate now.

Immediately Wright encountered the hardships involved in collecting money due from the Confederate military. He was told that General Earl Van Dorn had already spent the money that was due the local quartermaster! However, the claimants were eventually paid for these Lamar Artillery supplies. Later, many claims would go unanswered and unpaid. With the money received Daniel equipped his artillery with: four six pounders, five twelve pounders, six caison wagons, one forge, one battery wagon, 84 sets of single artillery harnesses, 84 horses for guns, battery and wagons, six more horses for the pieces, two for the orderly sergeant and six extra mounts. These purchases were approved by C. M. Frost, an aide to General Price.


Travis Wright had one son by Mary Eliza Johnston - Sam J. He was elected second lieutenant in the Lamar Artillery. George Wright's son, Jim, transferred from James Burnett's Sharpshooters to the Artillery. However, it was Sam Wright who left the blow - by - blow accounts of the battery during the long three years of much inactive time in Arkansas and Louisiana. There were some important battles and conflicts, but unlike the Ninth Texas Infantry, Daniel's Ninth Texas Battery, as it was most commonly called, was usually on the fringe of the fighting.


Union General Samuel R. Curtis had established his headquarters at Batesville near the White River by May 3, and was in a position to threaten Little Rock. Previously, on March 7 - 8, he had defeated Price and Van Dorn both at Pea Ridge in northeast Arkansas, thus ending serious Confederate operations in Missouri.10 Rebel General and former Congressman T. C. Hindman - all 5' - 1" of him - was sent to organize forces in the Trans - Mississippi district with the intention to take the offensive against Curtis. By May 31, he was in charge of Confederate forces north of the Red River in Louisiana as far north as Missouri. Even though some 10,000 - 15,000 troops had moved east of the Mississippi River with Van Dorn in April, by early July Hindman had over 20,000 men. Worried about his supply line to St. Louis by land, Curtis then began a move to Helena where he could be supplied by water.

On June 28, at Camp Stonewall Jackson east of Pine Bluff, Daniel's Battery received bounty pay as a part of Company I, the Ninteenth Texas Cavalry, commanded by Nathaniel U. Burford. They had been officially mustered into service on April 2, 1862 by John C. McCoy. Eighty five enlisted men and four officers were paid $50 each. Captain Daniel was not there that day; therefore, Wright stood in as captain.11

The first disciplinary business that faced Captain Daniel had nothing to do with the conflict. While at Arkansas Post, better known in correspondence as Fort Hindman, Daniel penned a letter to Adjutant Robert Hearn, who presented it to General F. C. Henderson. Daniel reported that he had in custody Private W. M. Hampton of the Lamar Artillery Company, arrested for shooting another soldier, Private ---- Bass, while on leave in Paris. Bass, a part of Taylor's Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry, told Hampton he was going to kill him, promptly breaking a large bois d'arc stick over Hampton's head. Recovering, Hampton drew his pistol and shot Bass through the hip and breast. Bass fired twice at Hampton, missing both times. Daniel did not say why Bass was in Paris.

Defending Hampton, Daniel commented that Bass was known to be once a convict, jailed for horse stealing. "What disposition shall be made of Hampton," Daniel closed.

Henderson simply wrote back, "The private will be returned to duty and charges be dismissed," adding his disgust at being bothered by a matter that should have been handled by Captain Daniel's immediate superior.12

By July 4, 1862 the Daniel's Battery had moved with other troops to ten miles below Fort Hindman. General Hindman wanted to protect the lower portions of the White and Arkansas Rivers, both navigable waterways into the deep interior of northern Arkansas. To lose control of them meant for sure the loss of Little Rock.

For three days Daniel's Battery had been in the woods and canebreaks watching the White River. The Federal gunboats were slowly coming up the river to assist Curtis with his move southeast to Helena, shelling the woods as they advanced. Wright was in charge of four guns, and Captain Daniel was five miles below that point. Besides the guns, down below in the water was a torpedo of 225 pounds of powder, waiting to sink a gunboat. Wright felt he was now becoming a veteran, writing his mother: "When I first came into the army and got close to fighting, I got blue in the %gizzard' but now I take it as a matter of course." However, at this point Wright and the battery had not actually come that close to a battle.

Despite their efforts to sink the Union gunboats, the vessels moved on up the White River allowing Curtis to reach Helena. The boats eventually joined the Union troops at Helena, settling there for a few months, ironically in Hindman's home town!

By July 12, Daniel's Battery was in camp near Bayou Metoe [Metre, Meto, Metar]. Reflecting back on the affair, Wright disgustedly wrote, " . . . our army has been completely outgeneraled. We have retired from our fortifications on White River." Apparently the Confederate troops retreated hurriedly west, while at the same time most of the Union forces and gunboats were going the opposite way. "We evacuated the fort without firing a gun," Wright wrote, saying it was a bitter and humiliating day. He told of the almost comical sight of the disorganized retreat and the lack of leadership from the "powers that be." Rust had 8,000 men and Colonel Allison Nelson of Texas about 3,000, plus Daniel's Battery.13 Curtis made a fake movement 20 miles above the battery, moved his main army 18 miles to Clarendon and joined the gun boats there. Daniel's Battery was involved in one of the "feints" while Curtis moved away. Three miles below the fort at Arkapolo Bluffs, the artillery was shelled in the woods. Toward evening it was discovered that Curtis had outsmarted them, advancing a small group as a ploy to free the main body. Still uncertain of the enemy strength, plans were then made by the Confederates to retreat to Little Rock. Spread out now, the wisest move was to pull back. So, unorganized as they were, troops retreated nervously. Some even came very close to firing upon their own, Wright said.14 Though it was a serious matter to the southern troops, to the Union it was a minor affair. The gunboats had to eventually withdraw from the White River because the water was falling.

While camped northeast of Little Rock in Lonoke County, Sam Hamilton of Daniel's Battery was promoted to second lieutenant, Pitts Chisum was the quartermaster now and Josh Wilson the commissary sergeant. News traveled back to the Red River in Texas. It was there by August, as evidenced in a letter B. H. Perkinson sent to William H. Ford in Goochland County, Virginia. A plantation overseer near Travis Wright's Kiomitia Plantation, Perkinson mentioned a regiment of soldiers was camped at the Old Jonesboro site. "The Feds visited Fort Gibson but we have a force of about 12,000 near Fort Gibson and Fort Smith, which will prevent them from coming down upon us. The Feds have a considerable force on the White River," he wrote."

Naturally, work on the farm was a main topic. As a whole, wheat plantings throughout Texas were failures in the Summer of 1862. A very wet Spring had been followed by a very dry Summer which burned up the cotton. "In fact, the weather was so dry that many fine timber trees have died," Perkinson wrote. Perkinson was exempt from the military because of his value to produce food. The war was less than two years old and times were becoming tough, very tough.

The Winter in Arkansas found Daniel's Battery northeast of Little Rock in Prairie County, at what they called the Austin Camps. Wright visited frequently in the city, and wrote several letters back to his family. It was hard for him to believe that just 16 months earlier he had been in Philadelphia, on leave from his studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. While there he was happy and was excited that his stammering was improving.16 His speech impediment might explain why he was such a prolific writer all his life.

The Confederate forces were aware of a plan to capture Little Rock. Therefore, for protection the Rebel troops were still camped in rainy weather 28 miles northeast of the city. Hindman, however, took some 7,000 - mostly Arkansas troops - to Elk Horn to oppose the Federals there. Inevitably, sickness spread among the Austin Camp men. Zenas B. Tyler and William Walker of Daniel's Battery were down, as was Captain Daniel. He went to Hot Springs hoping a visit there would speed recovery of his strength. On October 10 it rained, sleeted and froze. The northern winds swept across the Grand Prairie, numbing the force. Upwards of 1,500 men died at camps.

A letter from a Private Isaac Ringer to his wife in Bastrop best describes the camp conditions. "We have a good deal of sickness . . ." There has been about three hundred left behind on the account of sickness [in just his regiment]. He called the deaths "congestive chills,"and went on to tell her of his meals, consisting of three quarters of a pound of beef bones, "as poor as any of your milk cows." There was little sugar and salt, but plenty of meal, he wrote.

Ringer, like all the other troops, wanted letters from home. "Well, Telithia, I have received nary letter from you . . . I dream of you or some of the children every night." He went on to tell her how to run the farm at home. He signed it, "Your affectionate husband 'til death, Isaac Sylvester Ringer."17

The next day Ringer caught the "brain" sickness. Two days later he died. Having had no education, his brother - in - law J. N. Hallmark asked J. M. Hodges to write a letter to Telithia simply saying, "It is with a sad heart I take this pen in hand to let you know I am well and very sorrow to say that Brother Isaac is dead. He deceased last night. He had the brain fever . . . " The day - to - day living in the army was more difficult than the war itself.

Down the Arkansas River, expectation of an attack on Arkansas Post was being thwarted by preparation and manning of the fortifications. Pessimistic Arkansans were making plans to evacuate to Texas. By November, Hindman was falling back below Fort Smith toward Little Rock. Tyler had died from his sickness, and Daniel's Battery was preparing to leave Austin Camps.18 Twenty regiments were at Austin, scattered about were another ten with 15 batteries for a total of some 20,000. The Federals had more. "Look out for someone to get hurt," Wright wrote home. It was still cold, General Henry E. McCollough, in command of John G. Walker's Division, was losing the confidence of his men, and General T. H. Holmes "was not much better," according to Wright. "I tell you, several screws are loose in the Trans - Miss. Dept. but you need not speak of it," he added.

Camp life just before the battle was dull, and mischief abounded. One event turned into tragedy when some fellows blindfolded a horse and tied a bundle of fodder to his tail. The poor animal tore down 50 tents, killed one man, wounded others and finally butted himself to death on a tree!. "I fear discipline . . . is going out," Wright expressed. Desertions, disobedience of orders and general disorder caused daily trouble. Meanwhile, Hindman was being pushed back deeper into Arkansas.

Some good things happened to Wright, however, for he was promoted to senior first lieutenant on November 3, filling Tyler's vacancy. Also, he wrote his mother that the excitement of the army life had diverted him from his speech handicap even more. He was content in the Fall of 1862. Soon, however, the war pace would intensify.

After failing on an expedition against Vicksburg, the Federal forces decided to hit the weak garrison at Arkansas Post. With General John A. McClernand in command, two corps of Federals advanced up White River in early January, took a cut off over to the Arkansas River and debarked 32,000 troops from 30 transports three miles below Arkansas Post. With 6 - 8 gunboats shelling the sharp - shooters out of their positions, it was not long before the fort surrendered on January 11. General Thomas J. Churchill had been ordered to hold the place at all costs - but put the blame for the surrender on a group of Texans who prematurely raised the white flag!19 McClernand killed 200 and took 4,791 prisoners.20 Wright says over 1,000 Texans refused to surrender and escaped by running through the woods.21 A part of the Second Brigade under Colonel Horace Randall, Daniel's Battery was not there, but close enough to hear the firing. Most of J. G. Walker's Division had moved to Pine Bluff, 50 miles south of Little Rock on the west bank of the Arkansas River. When word came of Churchill's predicament, the division set out to assist, but the move was too late. On January 12 news came to Walker of the surrender.

Supposing they were surrounded on all sides, the Rebels still situated near Arkansas Post retreated back toward Little Rock. "Thus, has gone our last stronghold on the water in this department. Perhaps it is as well for now we will retire to our natural defenses, the woods," Wright wrote home from Fort Douglas [near Pine Bluff ?] five days after the battle. Roads were lined with people, old homesteads abandoned hastily and entire plantation inhabitants were seeking refuge farther south.

After a weak effort to attack a portion of the Federals, Southern troops moved to near Pine Bluff, where Captain Daniel was located, sick at that moment. Having returned from Van Buren too late to help, Hindman was in Little Rock by January 14, trying to plan a move to regain DeVall's Bluff on the White River. The Union troops had returned to Helena after the raid on Arkansas Post.22

Sam Wright wrote from Pine Bluff on Feburuary 10, explaining the war effort to his father, "The Federals have two gunboats at the [Arkansas] Post, blockading the [Arkansas] river." He explained also the conscription of men by Hindman. "I was up there in Little Rock. I never saw such a scattering in my life. He made a haul on the hotels the first thing, and got all the gamblers, then took in the citizens houses. I made myself scarce for I was there without a passport. I managed to reach some of General Holmes' staff officers who knew me. I think it would be a good thing if the law was as strictly enforced in Texas," he wrote.23

Life was quiet enough for several weeks, allowing Wright to slip home for a visit. He returned in late April, 1863. Captain Daniel went on 60 day leave at this time. As a rule, Wright was in command while the captain was absent, both rarely gone at the same time. At home, Captain Daniel found Emily rather busy raising potatoes. She sent several loads to Honey Grove in exchange for corn. She and most wives were quickly becoming an important part of the business structure in the community. As Em worked, however, she became a rather large lady. In later years she once backed off the porch, falling to the ground. Her son Mitchell wrote, "A lade of your proportions needs to be more careful!" Though the captain was prone to have an eye for women, he never seemed to abandon his feelings for his hard working wife.

With the rest and the warmer weather, the southern troops were in better spirits now. On April 24 they were given orders to proceed to Shreveport, then on to Alexandria. Daniel's Battery was still in the Second Brigade of Walker's Division. Other northeast Texas men, such as Orange C. Connor, a lieutenant in Company D, were on this trip.24 There was much partying along the way. In ten days they arrived, but went on south down the Red River to Campti, pitching a position there on May 22, anticipating a fight with the Yankees near Alexandria. General Nathaniel P. Banks had plundered as far north as Alexandria, but retreated with the booty. The Rebels were in pursuit.25

By steamboat, some 10 batteries of artillery and the troops headed for Alexandria. After taking part in the Atchafalaya River [pronounced Sheffeliah] Campaign, chasing Banks, the battery returned north. With about one - third of the men sick from drinking the river water, they camped near Alexandria on June 9. Five batteries were stationed on the banks of Red River to turn back any Union gunboats. Daniel's Battery was seven miles below the town. Banks was still near the Atchafalaya plundering the region, but being harrassed by General Alfred Mouton.

On June 22 Captain Daniel rejoined the battery after his visit to Paris. Wright claimed they could hear the roar of cannon from Vicksburg and Port Hudson could be heard every day.26 Strange to say, but the social visits continued for the bored soldiers. Wright went to the Judge Boyers plantaton for a visit, the country being like one continuous plantation, almost all abandoned by now. Banks took much from the owners. Wright mentions that "Judge Colvert's lady was on the road, ten miles from home, [when the Federals] took her horses, and left her sitting in her carriage alone to get home. . . ." Banks freed Alexandria and stories ran abound about the treatment of whites by the Negroes. "One lady's servant, near here, came in one morning to take breakfast with her mistress, telling her she was equal now - and actually did do it, then ordered her mistresses' carriage and horses and bounced into the carriage and drove to town and back. They were all very lawless . . . and decent people could do nothing about it." A new world was beginning for both the Negroes and whites!27

The troops moved south to Vermillionville by early August. Chisum was home on a visit, since he had been sick. A couple of others - Captain Milton Webb and James W. Rodgers - also went home on sick furlough. Rodgers, a Bedford County, Virginia native who moved to Paris in 1856, would get good care from his recent bride, Jennie, daughter of E. P. Hatcher. Rodgers probably checked on the remains of his cabinet business while home. It was under managership by his partner, H. W. Overstreet. Since his firm also built coffins, business was good.

Wright was tired and in a foul mood, scolding in a letter to Travis, "But for goodness sake, don't always be looking on the dark side and be so disconsolate about the war. After the fall of Vicksburg [July 4, 1863], you and uncle George thought that the enemy would be in Paris in ten days. We are not licked yet. Take a more comprehensive view of the war and do not admit disaster till it comes . . . things are not as discouraging now as they were last spring."

Daniel's Battery moved as far south as Berwick's Bay, but after capturing a large amount of supplies and guns the army retreated hastily and prematurely, according to Sam Wright. "It shows the incapacity of our generals - Taylor, Mouton and Green." He did, however, express to his father that he thought the organization was better now.

Times must have been tense while at Berwick's Bay. Captain Daniel tore into a fight with Major Tom Ochiltree.28 Ochiltree was at that time a member of Maxey's staff as adjutant general. He was previously a lawyer and newspaperman in Marshall and Jefferson. "They took it teeth and toenail," reported Wright, "on the lower deck of a steamboat. It was about nip and tuck, I reckon, but I did not see it. Both whipped and retired to a more advantageous position. The Capt. was badly bruised and blacked, but so was Ochiltree, whom I learn has been since dismissed from service for drunkenness."29

In Paris, Quartermaster Agent James D. Wortham wrote Travis Wright on August 10, 1863, "Pitts Chisum arrived from Camp today. Fields, Craft Irwin, Carson Pride, Ed Newby, who returned from Kentucky, and numerous others. Things look gloomy indeed. I am fearful we are a used up people. I also learned that evacuation of Little Rock is contemplated."30 If that was not bad enough news for Wright at the Kiomitia farm, he got another letter that day from Ulysses Matthiessen in Paris. "The McGinnis Blacksmith and Wood Shop were consumed by fire last Saturday night. It was evidently carelessness." This was not dreadful in itself, but Matthiessen said in another paragraph that he would buy the crops Perkinson had available at 22 cents, a very low price.

Wortham was right in his military speculation. In July, General Frederick Steele was sent to Helena to plan a capture of Little Rock with some 12,000 men at hand. On August 10 he crossed the White River and was in Clarendon a week later. General John S. Marmaduke tried to stop him at Bayou Metoe, but General John W. Davidson crossed the Arkansas River and routed the Confederates at Brownsville.

One regiment guarding Little Rock was led by Major Sam Corley, the founder of the Presbyterian churches in Red River County and Paris. He had joined the Confederate cause as the chaplain in Archibald S. Dobbin's Cavalry Regiment. In early September, 1863 a strange turn of events thrust Corley into the leadership of the Dobbin Regiment. Upon the even of battle with the Federals, on September 6, a duel between Generals John S. Marmaduke and L. M. Walker left Walker mortally wounded.

As a result, Dobbin was placed in charge of Walker's Division while Marmaduke was under temporary arrest. The division consisted of George W. Carter's Texas Cavalry Brigade, Alfred Johnson's spy company, and W. B. Denson's Company, as well as Dobbin's old command. C. B. Etter and J. H. Pratt' Artilleries were also present. Since the 54 year old Major Corley outranked all others, he was now in command of the Dobbin Regiment.

In a fierce engagement three miles south of Little Rock at Bayou La Fourche, Corley was hit on September 10. He was carried nearby to the Vaughan home and died a day later, being buried in the peach orchard west of the house. Abandoned by his men out of necessity, he lived long enough to instruct Union Colonel J. M. Glover how to dispose of his belongings. Later his remains were removed to Helena, Arkansas. Colonel R. C. Newton, in charge of the division in the confusion that reigned after Marmaduke returned and arrested Dobbin on the day of the battle, reported that Corley was "as noble a specimen of the Christian soldier as any our cause can boast." Corley's god and the Confederate leadership in Richmond were probably both stunned by the outlandish events of early September, 1863! A preacher of compassion was dead, Fort Smith was lost and now protection of Little Rock was on the verge of collapse.

Outnumbered about 8,000 to 20,000, Price began evacuation of Little Rock, pulling back to Arkadelphia. At dusk on September 27 the Federals marched down Cherry Street in Little Rock. The squeeze was on. Pine Bluff was occupied by the Union in October, 1863. Marmaduke made an attack on October 25, but failed. It was only time before Steele moved south, for there were only 10,655 available southerners to stop him.

In the meantime, Daniel's Battery was in Alexandria that September. Monroe was occupied by a large Federal force. Wright wrote on September 1 that General Richard Taylor had a large but undisciplined army below Alexandria - "too much cavalry." "Tom Green is with Taylor. He seemed glad to see me when down there. He says he knows you and uncle George. He seems more of a politician than a general, so also seems Scurry," Wright added.31

General William [Bill] Reed Scurry was a former Republic of Texas Congressman, representing Red River County in the Ninth Congress in 1844 - 45. He originally came to Texas in 1840, living then at Nacogdoches County. Following the Mexican War in 1848, he moved to Clinton, where he practiced law. In 1854 he owned the State Gazette in Austin. He represented Victoria, DeWitt, Jackson and Calhoun Counties at the Secession Convention.

Scurry was commissioned lieutenant colonel in 1861, as part of the Fourth Texas mounted volunteers. In early 1862 he was part of Henry H. Sibley's Brigade that went west to conquer New Mexico. It was a trying trip, and at Valverde General E. R. S. Canby was defeated by the Confederates and they occupied Santa Fe. At Glorietta, New Mexico, Scurry led the southerners to another victory, but Sibley found it impossible to subsist the army, so he retreated. However, Scurry did so well in the campaign that he was promoted to brigadier general and in January, 1863 was with John Bankhead Magruder when he attacked the Union fleet at Galveston. Because of his leadership there, Scurry was moved to the Red River campaign.32

By the Summer of 1863 those back in Texas were instructed to hire out their Negroes at $25 per month as teamsters to help the army. Quartermaster Agent Wortham wrote Travis Wright September 5, saying, " . . . shall expect in accordance with our previous agreement that you let me have all the negroes that the Confederate States claim . . . " Travis Wright was spending all his time working the farm. This was a crushing blow. The farm was on the main road from Indian Territory into northeast Texas, and it always met with the demands of the travelers. Not much was left now to offer.

On September 6 Daniel's Battery received marching orders. Wright wrote to his father:

"I will write you a few lines, though under discouraging circumstances . . . We are in a gloom of despondency never before witnessed by me and which I hope is but temporary.

To make a long matter short, the people at home have long since been whipped, have given it up too soon, and the disaffection has spread to the army. Its effect is becoming disastrous to our cause and may be our ruin. For the first time since the fall of Memphis and New Orleans, I am despondent; not from our own weakness but because of the disaffection and demoralized condition of our army."

Also, for the first time, the company lost men to desertion. ---- Poston and Ben F. Preston of Lamar County left the night before the letter was written. In all, some 200 left the army at that point. "I dread disaffection in the army worse than I do the enemy," he concluded. He mentioned that the Federals planned to march on Shreveport. Wright was correct about this, but it would be Spring before the enemy made that move. At the same time that Banks attempted to capture Edmund Kirby Smith's headquarters at Shreveport, Steele would try to move south. General John M. Thayer would then start down from Fort Smith to meet Banks at Arkadelphia. A part of General Powell Clayton's men would march from Pine Bluff on Steele's left.33

Before the Spring campaign began, a Winter of moving about greeted the Confederates. On October 23 Taylor formed a battle line near Moundville, but the enemy fell back to Washington. Daniel and other batteries guarded the road. Taylor advanced upon the town, but the Federals retreated to Opelousas.

Daniel's Battery joined with McCulloch's Brigade in November, guarding near the mouth of the Red River. The Brigade camped near a town called Simmesport while the artillery set up on the banks of the river on the night of November 16. The next afternoon the gunboat Cherokeeappeared escorting a troop transport. The Cherokee steamed by and returned to the transport, apparently of the opinion the passageway was safe.

On the morning of November 18, the transport came by and tied to the east bank, awaiting fog to lift. Just as she was pulling away, the artillery opened fire, tearing her from stem to stern. One wheel house was ripped away, and the stove in the kitchen knocked over. The result was the boat drifted down the river on fire, accompanied by the gunboat Cherokee.

That evening five gunboats appeared, including the Cherokee. Not willing to waste rounds on gunboats, the Confederates took to their shelter holes and awaited the shelling. Three men remained calm and continued their card game. A round shot from a gunboat ricocheted and struck one with a dull, heavy sound, and bounded over him. He was stone dead instantly. The card game was over!34 Most of the Winter months were spent in similar action up and down the Red River.

In December, a gunboat came up to the shore to challenge the forces. Daniel's Battery let loose with grape and canister, tearing away her wheelhouse, compelling her to withdraw! Several other gunboats towed her away to the east side of the Mississippi River. The next morning Daniel's Battery and a regiment of Texas Infantry commanded by Colonel Wash Jones moved 20 miles down river to Morganzia [Morgansa] Landing to watch for transports.

Walker's Division moved toward Plaquemine, but received intelligence that the Federal gunboats at the mouth of Plaquemine Bayou numbered 13. It would be senseless for his small force to undertake a battle there, so he returned toward Morgan's Ferry on Bayou Atchafalaya. While on this march December 16, Daniel's Battery was sent to the Mississippi River with Colonel George M. Flournoy's Sixteenth Texas Infantry from Hempstead County. They were stationed a few miles above Plaquemine to interrupt transports. The steamer Van Pool appeared that day and when opposite the battery, Flournoy called on her to surrender. When the captain refused, Daniel's Battery fired, killing the pilot and wounding the boat's captain as well as others. Though considerably damaged, she did escape. Flournoy and Daniel's Battery rejoined Walker's Division, avoiding a shelling by three gunboats.35

On March 15, 1864 Perkinson wrote to Ford in Virginia, "I understand that the Feds have left the west side of the Arkansas River. They cannot get to Red River for we have sufficient force to keep them back." Perkinson was right, but he did point out the desertion problem was getting out of hand, even with Texans. "It seems to me there has been some very bad management in the Trans - Miss. Dept.," he continued, adding that the Confederate army was near the Red River the entire Winter and may stay there longer. He also told Ford that Maxey was now in command of the Indian Nation.

Two weeks after the letter, Steele was at Arkadelphia, but Thayer was delayed by rain. On April 9 they joined forces and Steele moved on. However, plans were foiled when Banks was defeated at Sabine Crossroads near Mansfield. Generals J. O. Shelby and Marmaduke clashed with Steele at Prairie de Ane in Hempstead County. Price fell back to Washington where he was reinforced by Maxey's Division from Indian Territory. He was accompanied by R. M. Gano's Texas Brigade and Colonel Tandy Walker's Indian Brigade. There were now about 8,000 Confederate troops available to clash with the Federals in southwestern Arkansas. When Steele heard of Banks' defeat, he withdrew over to Camden on April 15.

Finding himself short of food, Steele sent out forage groups within an 18 mile radius of Camden. Marmaduke had the wagon train under surveillance, and called for reinforcements on the morning of April 18. Price sent Maxey to Poison Springs to command the attack on the 198 wagons. Maxey had 1,335 men plus small pieces of artillery. The 1,170 Union troops advanced along on the old military road between Camden and Washington.


Here on a piece of high ground, they stopped. Maxey told Marmaduke that since he was there first, he should continue to give the orders. On the left, Maxey moved forward rapidly and turned the enemy's flank. Fifteen minutes later the enemy was routed and the train captured! Excited by the victory, Maxey sensed that with the new morale builder, it would perhaps be a good time to make a run to Forts Smith and Gibson. However, new orders returned him to Indian Territory. On April 29 he left the pursuit of Steele with Kirby Smith and Price. Thus, once again Maxey was denied a chance to take the offensive in a large campaign.36

On the southern front, Daniel's Battery had been marching for a month north from Alexandria. The Union forces were checked at the Battle of Mansfield [Sabine Crossroads] on April 8 and 9. Three miles from Mansfield the 8,800 Confederates under Taylor formed a line, consisting of Divisions led by Walker, Mouton and Green. Between Walker and Mouton were several batteries of artillery. Mouton moved on the Yankees at 2 p.m., taking a battery and many prisoners, but dying in the battle. Walker's men, sometimes called the Greyhound Division because of their ability to move quickly, then advanced. The Yankees panicked and fled.37 Green's Cavalry pursued until dark. "For ten miles the road was strewn with dead Yankees and horses," Josh Wilson explained to his wife in a letter from Mansfield.


Wilson said Daniel's Battery did not fire a gun during the first day. "We captured 5,000 prisoners, nineteen pieces of artillery and 200 splendid wagons," he continued.38 The next day, Wilson and others viewed the mess, "a great many of them [the dead] were stripped of their coats, pants and boots, while others had their pockets turned wrong side out. I do not blame our men to much for so doing as they needed clothing so badly," Wilson went on.

The Federals retreated 15 miles southeast to Pleasant Hill, about 22 miles from Mansfield. On the next second day, April 9, the battery did fire on the Yankees. "We took a position in the edge of an old field, and commenced firing," Wilson explained. The enemy was about 300 yards from Daniel's Battery. Jim Wright commanded the two howitzers and Wilson the two rifle guns. Problems occurred with the linchpins on the wheels when they were forced to retreat. Wilson's axle and spindle broke and the horses were cut loose. Wilson's horse was shot.

Grabbing his saddle, Wilson threw it on one of the horses cut from the gun. "I jumped on him and went to another piece," he said. Fire continued on the enemy as close as 150 yards. In time Wilson and Jim Wright abandoned a couple of guns, mostly because of wheel problems. "We were exposed to the fire . . . with bullets and shells whistling around our ears considerably. Sam Hamilton, Jim Wright and myself never dismounted during the fight. Our support retreated and left us completely unprotected, so we were extremely lucky to save the two pieces that we did."

When the division fell back Walker ordered Scurry's Third Brigade to help. Soon Scurry was surrounded, but Thomas Neville Waul's First and Horace Randall's Second Brigades came forward, pushing the enemy from his position. A coordinated attack by all Confederate units finally crumpled the Federal defense. Nightfall came and the booming of the artillery ceased. The soldiers rested upon their muskets, and the cannoniers leaned upon their guns. The Union forces fled.

Daniel's Battery lost Alex Smith, J. B. Dubose and Newt Ausborn. Sergeant J. M. Hogan and Gabe Allen were wounded, but both with just flesh wounds. Five were missing: James DeWolf, Frank Davidson, C. H. Johnson, N. L. Stepp and T. W. Morgan. General Walker was also wounded. "There was no flinching [during the battle], I can assure you," wrote Wilson. This was the most intensive fight for the battery. Wilson commented he had seen two battlefields and "it is an awful sight." The 12,000 - 16,000 Confederates actually did not entrench the some 20,000 Federals of the 13th and 19th Army Corps at Pleasant Hill. Banks voluntarily left his position that night, his losses totaling about 1,500 killed and wounded, with over 2,000 taken prisoner by Dick Taylor's command. The enemy fled from Pleasant Hill towards Natchitoches, plundering the entire way, and pursued by Green's Cavalry. Sadly, Green was killed at Blair's Landing on April 12 while in the act of placing his artillery, intent on destroying the enemy fleet.39

At Camp Ford in Tyler, Texas W. W. Heartsill of Marshall, and others, were told to expect "three or four thousand" more Yankee prisoners as a result of the Mansfield battle. On April 14 some 1,100 arrived, and four days later another 500 checked into the war prison there. Some historians contend that the Battle of Mansfield postponed the end of the Civil War by two - three months. Others do not view it as significantly. It was, however, a large boost for the Southerners west of the Mississippi.

To the north, Steele too was retreating. On April 28 he left Camden toward the Saline River. Kirby Smith decided to pursue him, finally overtaking his rear at Jenkins Ferry.40 Once again Scurry was there, having also participated at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. His brigade, as part of Walker's Division, was with Kirby Smith and Taylor's troops. His new aide was Jim Clark of Clarksville and former member of the Charles DeMorse's Twenty-ninth Texas Cavalry, who on April 30, 1864 saw his boss fall wounded at the Saline River. Scurry refused to be taken from the field. Two hours later, when his forces were victorious, he asked them to "take me to a house where I can be made comfortable and die easy." In May, 1864 he was buried in the State Cemetery in Austin.41 T. N. Waul was severely wounded and Horace Randall also died at Jenkins Ferry on April 30, not yet knowing that three weeks earlier he had been promoted to brigadier - general. Randall is buried in Marshall.

On May 2 Steele was able to limp back into Little Rock. Two thirds of Arkansas was retrieved by the Confederate forces, but still many criticized the Confederates for not capturing Steele's entire army. Two Arkansas governments existed now: Isaac Murphy was the Union provisional governor, and the Confederate government was now based at Washington with Governor Harris Flanagin in charge. Taylor claims his men fired the last shots in the Trans - Mississippi Department when he ran General A. J. Smith across the Atchafalaya on May 18, 1864. The campaign so successfully begun by Banks ended in disaster.42

Moves by Daniel's Battery during the chase of Steele are not clearly documented. One letter reveals Daniel left his battery under the command of Sam Wright on May 25, camped near Dooley's Ferry on the Red River in Southwestern Arkansas. He and Wilson went with a detachment toward Marshall to press into action more horses. Wright mentioned to his mother that subsistence was so hard to find that he would move the battery to near Clarksville. Pitts Chisum had just arrived with the baggage, which was previously left in Shreveport before the Battle of Mansfield.43 Five days later Daniel's Battery was camped at the Kickapoo Creek ten miles east of Clarksville on the DeKalb road. Several men were furloughed to Paris. Chisum stayed and was the brunt of Wright's humor when he wrote his mother in Paris, "You can tell his sweethearts around there that anything sent to him will be welcomed by yours truly also!" On July 27 marching orders were received to go to Shreveport.

Several men deserted the battery, but Wright tracked them down with a detachment of cavalry. The will to fight was faltering quickly. Wright himself wanted to resign to come work the plantation. However, he was afraid his father did not think he was capable. This attitude later diminished.

Several changes were made in commands. Magruder was in charge of Arkansas, Walker of Texas and Simon Bolivar Buckner of Louisiana. C. J. Polignac, a Frenchman involved in the war, was promoted to major - general, replacing the deceased Alfred Mouton. Taylor, once a brother - in - law of President Jeff Davis, went east of the Mississippi to eventually command what was left of Hood's Army of Tennessee. Under him was assigned the Ninth Texas Infantry. Wright wrote home that he expected no forward movement from Shreveport by Daniel's Battery until the Federal intentions were interpreted.

Wright spent his time in the Shreveport area meeting people and visiting with Peter Johnston, an uncle who lived 60 miles away. He once lived up on Pine Creek in northeastern Lamar County, and had what Wright thought was a poor farm in Louisiana. Life was a bit better now with food and goods available in more numbers at Shreveport.

Daniel's Battery moved on to 20 miles west of Camden by October 12, 1864. They had been farther east than that, trying to meet up with Polignac's Division, but when they reached Monticello were ordered to pull back " . . . over the most lonesome and desolate road I every saw, with no supplies in the country for over 100 miles."44

The cavalry devoured everything. They now planned to sit there, fortifying the city. Daniel had been sick again, being left in Camden while the troops went toward Monticello. However, by October 12 he was well and in command. Wilson, however, was sick in Shreveport. Jim Wright was having the chills. Hamilton was well enough to rejoin the battery. A surgeon had also been assigned to them. Even Wright had a slight fever bothering him. While Magruder and Steele plotted against each other, the army rotted in camp. Provisions were scarce and plans were non - existent.

In November Daniel's Battery was located near Magnolia. The army was still around Camden, the cavalry over near Washington. The troops were in expectation that Magruder would attack Little Rock. Locally, though, forage for goods was number one on the agenda. The battery moved toward Walnut Hills, 25 miles below Dooley's Ferry, to find more supplies. Horses were dying at a rate of 3 - 4 per day from starvation! However, Wright mentioned "Jim [Wright] is well again and has gotten as fat as his daddy." Hamilton was with them now and Wilson was well. The men felt in general they would not fight again, at least not that Winter.45

The battery did move to Collingsburg, Louisiana by late Demember. They were near the Raft of the Red River. Some of the men were home on furlough now, but Wright was having fun near the camp. "I have been to two parties down here, at which there were only four young ladies to 15 officers, but we had a good time and danced all night." All was not pleasant news, though. Wright mentioned a tragedy happened when " . . . the man who owned the Pecan Point place on Red River was hung by our own men by mistake. He was smuggling some goods through the line, and they thought he was a Yankee spy."46


Refugees continued to file by the Kiomitia Plantation daily and Travis Wright tried his best to accommodate them. Many of these would stay in Texas, joined after the war by relatives and friends. In 1860, for instance, Texas was the smallest Southern state in population. By 1880 she was the largest! However, her per capita wealth fell from ninth among all states to 36th in those 20 years.

Travis Wright's wife wrote to their son, "This plantation is so public, so near the river crossing and military road that so many people linger around. It is hard to get work done. All those in trouble want your Pa to help. He is almost eaten out of house and home. I wish you would try to influence your Pa to move away . . . " But, 1865 rolled around and still no end to the conflict.

In February, 1865 two regiments of the dismounted cavalry were attached to Walker's Division. They had been dismounted because corn and fodder were almost non - existent now. One of these regiments was Colonel Charles DeMorse's Twenty - ninth Texas Cavalry, with several Lamar County men attached to it. Company C was led at that time by W. T. Gunn with Lieutenants G. W. Pierce, R. D. Hancock and J. W. Hardison in his command. Company G was captained by W. J. T. Littlejohn with his lieutenants D. W. Mosley, Volney Bayless and I. E. Byrd. In Company D, DeMorse had as his captain W. H. Hooks and lieutenants Eli Gaffney, G. W. Mitchell and Rufus Mann.

The other dismounted was the Thirty - fourth Cavalry with several local men attached to it, including S. D. Ross of Company C and Lieutenants Martin V. DeWitt and D. L. Richey. Therefore, life in Walker's Division was enhanced a bit by the capability of talking with friends and relatives from the upper Red River Valley while whittling and card playing away days in camp below Shreveport.47

Sam Wright was anxious to move to another position by March. "I would like to get on General [Doug H.] Cooper's staff . . . if it could be managed." Cooper had once been an Indian agent in the Choctaw Nation, and was assigned to replace Maxey. It was not possible to move Wright. The division was on the way toward Texas that March. Wright expected the soldiers, however, to stop on the Sabine River until more enemy movements were detected.48 No more letters are available and apparently no more action was observed.

On May 1, 1865 Kirby Smith received dispatches from General Canby, demanding the surrender of the Trans - Mississippi Department. Kirby Smith decided that to carry on the war west of the Mississippi was no longer possible.49 He sent General Buckner, his chief of staff, to negotiate the terms.

Daniel's Battery surrendered at Natchitoches May 3, 1865. At that time Captain Daniel commanded the Fourth Texas Battalion in place of S. B. Buckner, and had been promoted to major. That title never stuck. He was from then on called simply, "Captain Daniel." After the surrender, the trip back home was not to be easy. Some of the soldiers quietly left camp that night, taking horses with them. This included Sam Wright and Jim Holman.

Daniel and five officers - some who were sick - were "loaned" an ambulance and horses and given a few supplies the next day. Texas was their destination. According to one soldier in Walker's Division, "many put their arms around each other's necks and cried like children; others gave a grasp of the hand and went away with hearts too full for utterance . . . some cursed deep and bitter oaths. The humiliation was unbearable.

The Daniel party sent a spy ahead to Jefferson, and found out if they went through there that two Missouri Federal companies would take their things of value. Knowing the country well by now, Daniel and the group circled around to an old road that ran four miles above the city, riding to an old saw mill where the shell of a trestle still remained. They laid planks over its frame and carefully pulled the ambulance over it.

However, in about 20 miles they ran into a barricade of women, who demanded the horses and goods, saying they were poor and that their husbands had not yet returned. Daniel cocked his pistol and he and his companions resisted arrest by the women. They just wanted to get home. After a few tense moments, the women let them pass. From there the men took a less frequented road to Dalby Springs, on to DeKalb, Clarksville and finally Paris.

By the time they arrived home on May 15, the Federal government already had a few men in town. Helpless to a great extent, the Southerners still were harassed by Northerners.

Lamar Cavalry


Daniel's Battery

Of The Ninth Texas Artillery Regiment

(Chart Incomplete)
Army Cmdr.
State Cmdr
Division Cmdr.
Battery Cmdr.

J. M. Daniel
Dallas Co.,
T. C. Hindman
Nath.U Buford*
J. M. Daniel
Arkapolo +Bluffs, Ar. White River
T. H. Holmes
T. C. Hindman
J. M. Daniel
Camp on Bayou Metoe
T. H. Holmes
T. C. Hindman
Allison Nelson
J. M. Daniel
Little Rock
Austin Camp
T. H. Holmes
T. C. Hindman
Henry E. McCulloch
J. M. Daniel
Camp Nelson
T. H. Holmes
T. C. Hindman
Henry E. McCulloch
J. M. Daniel
Camp Near
Little Rock
T. H. Holmes
Henry E. McCulloch
James G. Walker
J. M. Daniel
Ft. Douglas (after AR Post Fell)
T. H. Holmes (AR)
Horace Randall (2dBrig)
J. M. Daniel
Pine Bluff, AR
Edmund Kirby Smith
T. H. Holmes
Horace Randall (2dBrig)
Sam J. Wright
Pine Bluff, AR
Edmund Kirby Smith
T. H. Holmes
Thomas B. French (Btln.)
Sam J. Wright**
Near Ouachita, LA
Edmund Kirby Smith
Richard Taylor
J. M. Hawes
Sam J. Wright
Campti, LA
Edmund Kirby Smith
Richard Taylor
T. J. Churchill
Sam J. Wright
Campti, LA
Edmund Kirby Smith
Richard Taylor
Sam J. Wright
Alexandria, LA, aft Atchafalaya Campgn
Edmund Kirby Smith
Richard Taylor
J. G. Walker
Sam J. Wright
Alexandria, LA
Edmund Kirby Smith
Richard Taylor
J. G. Walker
J. M. Daniel
Vermillionville, LA
Edmund Kirby Smith
Richard Taylor
Alfred Mouton
J. M. Daniel
Alexandria, LA***
Edmund Kirby Smith
Richard Taylor
J. G. Walker
Sam J. Wright
Simmesport, LA
Edmund Kirby Smith
Richard Taylor
Henry E. McCulloch
J. M. Daniel
Pleasant Hill
Edmund Kirby Smith
Richard Taylor
J. G. Walker
J. M. Daniel
Battle of Mansfield, +LA
Edmund Kirby Smith
Richard Taylor
J. G. Walker
J. M. Daniel
Near Dooley's Ferry, AR
Edmund Kirby Smith
Sterling Price (AR)
J. G. Walker
Sam J. Wright
Camp Kickapoo, Red River Co. TX
Edmund Kirby Smith
Sterling Price
J. G. Walker
Sam J. Wright
Shreveport, LA
Edmund Kirby Smith
S. B. Buckner (LA)
J. G. Walker
J. M. Daniel
(Btln. Cmdr.)
Camp Bragg, AR Near Camden
Edmund Kirby Smith
J. B. Magruder
C. J. Polignac
J. M. Daniel
Camden, AR
Edmund Kirby Smith
J. B. Magruder
C. J. Polignac
J. M. Daniel
Near Magnolia , AR
Edmund Kirby Smith
J. B. Magruder
C. J. Polignac
J. M. Daniel
Walnut Hills, AR (near Minden, LA)
S. B. Buckner
(1st Corps)
C. J. Polignac
J. M. Daniel
S. B. Buckner
G. W. Squires
Sam J. Wright
S. B. Buckner
G. W. Squires
J. M. Daniel
Surrender at Natchitoches, LA
J. M. Daniel (Major)
Sam J. Wright

*The Battery is Company I, 19th Regt. Tex. Cav.

**Wright took over whenever Daniel went home or was sick

***The Battery lost its first members to desertion on September 6, 1863.

Chapter 17 Footnotes

1. Skipper Steely Collection, Civil War Articles File, A.W. Neville, undated "Backward Glances" column. Judge Miles replaced Ed Collins.

2. Bob Mallory, Some Mallory And Bells (Greenville, 1950), 43.

3. Paris News, May 22, 1936 and June 7, 1943, A.W. Neville, "Backward Glances."

4. Ibid., June 7, 1943 and August 19, 1931. Also, see June 12, 1936.

5. Ibid., August 11, 1931 and April 9, 1933. Also, see Steely Collection, Stringer File, memoirs of Mary Virginia Petty Stringer.

6. Steely Collection, Mary Vivian Daniel Papers, 145.

7. Lamar County Deed Book K - 452. Or, see Steely Collection, Daniel Home History File, 1860 - 1981, Abstract 12 - 217, borrowed from Bob McCarley, owner of Paris Lumber Company; and see Mary V. Daniel Papers , 789. For the 1860 trip to Richmond, see Steely Collection, George T. Wright Papers, Ione Lewis Copy, 121, a letter from Emily Daniel from Richmond.

8. Virginia H. Taylor, The Franco - Texan Land Company (Austin, 1969), 7 - 8. Also, Steely Collection, Daniel Papers, 122. Daniel's father was Dr. John Moncure Daniel, Jr., who married first on May 7, 1824 to Eliza Mitchell.

9. Steely Collection, Sam J. Wright Civil War Letters Notebook, Edgar Wright, unfinished manuscript, 5. Also, Sam J. Wright letter of March 29, 1862 in notebook.

10. Wesley Thurman Leeper, Rebels Valiant: Story Of The Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles(Little Rock, 1964), 159. Van Dorn and Price were on the way to join forces at Corinth, but did not arrive for the Battle of Shiloh. Speculating - if Van Dorn had defeated Curtis, the path would have been clear to St. Louis. Or, if he arrived at Shiloh the outcome there perhaps would have changed, which in turn would have made the complexion of the war much different. Van Dorn, a ladies man, was killed by Dr. ---- Peters at Spring Hill, Tennessee on May 7, 1863, the doctor saying Van Dorn had "violated the sanctity of his home."

11. Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Letters Book, June 6, 1862. Also, see Harold B. Simpson (ed), Texas In The War 1861 - 1865 (Hillsboro, 1965), 37. At one time or another, these men served as officers in Daniel's Battery: Zenas B. Tyler, Peter A. Lee, Samuel J. Wright, Richard C. Walker, Assistant Surgeon Lafayette Yates, Samuel M. Hamilton, T. C. F. Nixon, James Holman Wright, J. J. Wilson and Assistant Surgeon G. W. Bryan.

12. Paris News, February 3, 1931, Neville, "Backward Glances."

13. Simpson, Texans In The War, 14. Nelson died in Austin Camps October 7, 1862.

14. Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Letters, July 12, 1862.

15. Ibid., August 26, 1862. The regiment camping at Jonesboro was from west Texas.

16. Ibid., July 7, 1861.

17. Paris News, August 19 - 20, 1943, Neville, "Backward Glances." Ringer included in his last letter a ballad about his home - sweet - home. It is printed in full in the August 20, 1943 column.

18. Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Letters, November 3, 1862. Tyler was calm and bid all goodbye before he died. Wright was sitting with the body when he wrote this letter. "At the last he spoke of his friends and mother and father in the north. Though in a southern clime, his heart and affections were at home. It must be hard to die so far from home and kindred." Tyler also was Spiritualist, or rather a Universalist, wrote Wright. "He said he was going to heaven because he had lived as an honest man and had a clear conscience." Wright mentioned Tyler had lost a bride eight years earlier to death, "nearly wrecking his mind and made him somewhat of a misantrope [hated mankind]." Tyler came to Texas as an engineer, gaining work on the Memphis, El Paso and Pacific Railroad project. For a good description of the camp life, see J. P. Blessington, Walker's Texas Division (Austin, 1968), 40 - 50.

19. Clement A. Evans (ed), Confederate Military History: Louisiana And Arkansas X (no information), 158, 394 (Arkansas). Churchill claimed several flags were raised by the 24th Texas Cavalry Regiment, first brigade, and before he could resind the gesture it was too late. Churchill was the son - in - law of A. H. Sevier, marrying his daughter Anne.

20. Leeper, Rebels Valiant, 148. The prisoners were loaded on three boats, and sent to St. Louis in very crowded conditions and exposure to the weather. On January 27 they were shipped to Camp Chase, Ohio and later the enlisted men moved to Camp Douglas in Chicago and Camp Butler near Springfield, Illinois. During the month of February, 387 died at Camp Douglas and 103 at Camp Butler. In early Summer the officers from Camp Chase were released after a trip to City Point, Virginia. One of the dead in Chicago was 21 year old Thomas McAtee Jr., a nephew of Harriet Brown Wright McAtee, Claiborne Wright's second wife. See Steely Collection, McAtee Notes File, Lois McAtee Tollett letter, August 24, 1982.

21. Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Papers, January 15, 1863.

22. Margaret Ross, Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock, 1969), 382. Also, Evans, Arkansas And Louisiana, 132 (Arkansas), and Leeper, Rebels Valiant, 151. After the Battle of Prairie Grove on December 7, 1862 Hindman was ordered east of the Mississippi to assist at Chickamauga. The citizens of Little Rock did not like Hindman and requested his relief of command, which came on January 30, 1863. After the war Hindman went to Mexico briefly, but returned to Helena in 1867. However, he was assassinated on September 28, 1868.

23. Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Letters, February 2, 1963. The typescript of this letter dates it 1862, but the events place it in 1863.

24. Paris News, January 28, 1944, Neville, "Backward Glances." For more on Captain Daniel, see Steely Collection, Mary Daniel Papers, 790.

25. Ibid., May 22, 1863.

26. Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Letters, June 22, 1963. Wright does say they can hear the cannon, though they must have been about 100 miles from Vicksburg, and 40 - 50 miles from Port Hudson. Perhaps the battery had been closer to the Mississippi River in the previous weeks, and he was referring to that time period.

27. Ibid.

28. Simpson (ed), Texans In The War, 87. For more on J. W. Rodgers, see Paris News, May 12, 1943, Neville, "Backward Glances."

29. Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Letters, August 3, 1863.

30. Ibid., August 10, 1863.

31. Steely Collection, Corley File. The information on Samuel Corley came from records and notes of a grandson, Ben Marable of Paris.

32. Evans (ed), Louisiana And Arkansas, 256 (Arkansas). Also, see Walter P. Webb (ed), Handbook Of Texas II (Austin, 1952), 584.

33. ----, Harper's Pictorial History Of The Civil War, (New York, 1866), 592.

34. Paris News, February 2, 1944, Neville, "Backward Glances."

35. Ibid., February 3, 1944. Also, see Blessington, Walker's Division, 154.

36. Louise Horton, Samuel Bell Maxey (Austin, 1974), 38.

37. Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Papers, April 12, 1864. For a good account of the Mansfield battle, see Max S. Lale, East Texas Historical Quarterly XXV, Number 2 (Nacogdoches, Texas, 1987), "New Light On Battle Of Mansfield," 34.

38. Webb (ed), Handbook Of Texas II, 137. This account says 2,500 were taken prisoner, 22 cannon taken as well as thousands of arms and 150 supply wagons. Over 1,000 Confederates were lost on April 8.

39. Ibid. Also, see J. P. Blessington, Walker's Texas Division, 241; Henry M. Henderson, Texas In The Confederacy (San Antonio, 1955), 60 - 63. It says that Federals lost 3,969; W. W. Heartsill, Fourteen Hundred And 91 Days In The Confederate Army (Jackson, Tennessee, 1953), 200.

40. Evans (ed), Louisiana And Arkansas, 152. Taylor went south to pursue Banks again.

41. Ibid., 256 (Arkansas). Also, Webb (ed), Handbook Of Texas II, 584.

42. Ibid., 155 (Lousiana).[s]43 Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Letter, May 25, 1964.

43. Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Letter, May 25, 1864.

44. Ibid., October 12, 1864. For more on General Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac, see Dallas News, November 7, 1963, "Marshall Citizens Plan Marker For Capitol Site," or see in Steely Collection, Polignac File. The general later returned to live in France.

45. Ibid., November 16, 1864.

46. Ibid., December 23, 1864.

47. Paris News, February 28, 1944, Neville, "Backward Glances."

48. Steely Collection, Wright Civil War Letters, March 15, 1865.

49. Paris News, October 20, 1943, Neville, "Backward Glances." Kirby Smith later taught mathematics at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. A future Parisian, Thomas Eddie Brazelton, met the general there while serving in 1880 as manager of the American Union Telegraph Company. Kirby Smith visited the telegraph office often, and talked to the 21 year old Brazelton, a native of nearby Cowan. "His magnificent appearance and charming manner were most impressive to me," Brazelton wrote to Neville years later. After moving west with the railroad, Brazelton met Maxey in Paris. "I can say of him all that I have said of General Kirby Smith as to appearance and manner."

ęSkipper Steely, Wright Press, Paris, TX, 1999. All rights reserved.

No part of this may be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the author.

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