Texas


Friendship
Texas declared its secession from the United States on February 1, 1861. It joined the Confederate States of America on March 2, 1861. Over 70,000 Texans served in the Confederate Army and fought in every major battle throughout the war. Texas provided 45 regiments of cavalry, 23 regiments of infantry, 12 battalions of cavalry and 5 regiments of heavy artillery. Among the most famous units were the Terry's Texas Rangers, many of whom became peace keepers in the old west.

Private Francis Kelly Harris

by Erik Skov

My wife’s great grandfather, Private Francis Kelly Harris, 5th Texas Infantry, Company B commanded by Captain J. D. Roberdeau (John Bell Hood’s Regiment) was born in Croydon, Surrey, England in 1830 into an upper class family of landowners and professionals. His paternal grandfather was a druggist, his father a surgeon and his maternal grandfather Lieutenant Colonel Edward Kelly (1771-1828) fought at Waterloo and later served in India. His brother Edward was an attorney.
Francis received excellent schooling, learned 5 languages, became a Civil Engineer, and was established in business as a Land Surveyor. He married Mary Rendell in 1850 and his eldest daughter Mary Louisa was born in 1851. His Son Thomas was born in 1857, and his second daughter Sarah was born in February of 1861. His brother Edward dies in March of 1861. In the April 7th, 1861 English Census, his wife Mary lists herself as Widow and Head of Household. That was 5 days before Fort Sumter was fired upon.

Francis Kelly Harris LetterFrancis mustered into Company B of the 5th Texas Infantry in Columbus, Texas on the 11th of March 1862. He is listed as being 6ft 2inches tall, fair complexion, grey eyes and auburn hair, his avocation is listed as Civil Engineer and he is a Subject of the Kingdom of Great Britton. It is speculated that Francis came through a Mexican Port and then overland to Columbus due to the Union Blockade of the ports.

On May 4th, during the Peninsula Campaign, Francis was taken prisoner near West Point, King Williams County, Virginia. Other prisoners from that engagement were taken to Fort Delaware but Francis was taken to the Union Headquarters at Fortress Monroe where he was held until June 9th when he was delivered to Fort Delaware by Captain W. Lyons of the NY 6th Cavalry. Captain Lyons is the Adjutant and Personal Escort of Major General Edwin Sumner, Commander of the 2nd Corp of the Union Army.

On August 5th, Francis appears on a list of prisoners on the Steamer Catskill and he is exchanged at Aikens Landing. On August 7th, Francis is back with Company B. On August 22nd, Francis is wounded by a shell, his left femur is broken in several places and his ribs broken and his chest “caved in”. He is initially cared for locally but as he does poorly, he is transferred to Hospital 8 in Richmond, Virginia by order of “Surgical Officer” dated December 2nd, 1862. On January 27th, 1863, he appears on a register of Hospital 8 and is designated “Paymaster” for the Hospital. On February 10th, the doctors issue a Certificate of Disability stating that he is unable to serve due to shortening of the left leg due to compound fractures, organic decease of the heart, and contraction of the chest due to fractured ribs. On February 13, Francis is discharged from the Army of the CSA by order of Major General Arnold Eltzy Jones, Jr. Commander of the Department of Richmond.
On March 12, 1863, Francis wrote a letter to Curtis Gustavo Memminger, Secretary of the Treasury of the Confederate States of America seeking his help in obtaining other employment as Hospital 8 was slated to close. In his letter, he lists former US Senators Oldham and Wigfall, now Confederate Senators, as his references.
In 1864, Francis’ wife, or presumed widow, marries again and has several more children.

We are not aware of any records of Francis’ whereabouts or activities between 1863 and 1881 when he and a second wife, Maria live in Kirkcudbright, Scotland where Francis is first an umbrella maker and later a sheriff’s officer. I 1889, he is awarded his brothers substantial estate, 28 years after his
brother’s death. In 1890, Francis and Maria adopt my wife’s grandmother Minnie and her sister Louisa Donnelly after their parents and some of their siblings have perished in a house fire. In 1895, at the age of 65, Francis dies in Scotland. Presumably because of what he had experienced in Hospital 8, Francis’ will specified that his heart was to be pierced with a dagger before he was buried.

According to – as of yet – unconfirmed “Oral Family History”, Francis was a spy for the North in the South in the American Civil War and went, in later years, each month to “an American Office” in the UK where he was paid a pension “in gold coin”.

So – Hero or villain – some day we may know.

William Franklin Ellis

By Danella Dickson

William Franklin Ellis was born June 16, 1836 in Greene County, Illinois, the son of Thomas McKee and Mary (Witt) Ellis. When William was ten years old he came to Texas with his parents who settled in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas.
During the spring of 1861 the Lancaster Guards, a group of men from in and around Lancaster who had been serving as a loosely organized militia, began recruitment of additional members, and formal training as a prospective Cavalry Company. Beginning in July 1861 they participated in training exercises on the State Fair Grounds along with several other companies being raised in North Texas. In late August 1861 the Guards and nine other companies assembled at Camp Bartow, seven miles south of Dallas. On September 9, 1861 they were mustered in as Company F, 6th Texas Cavalry, CSA, under the command of Colonel Barton Warren Stone Junior. http://pages.prodigy.net/procyon/lancaster/compf.htm

Twenty-five year old William and his younger brother James Henry Ellis were among the men who enlisted September 9, 1861 in Company F, 6th Texas Cavalry, Stone’s Regiment. William supplied his horse and equipment, a 5 shooter & D.B. (double-barrel shotgun) valued at $180.00.

In late November of 1861 the 6th Texas Cavalry was ordered to Fort Smith, Arkansas. At some point a detachment of men under the command of Lt. Col. John S. Griffin, was sent into Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma) where they became involved in the Battle of Chustenahlah. The campaign was undertaken to subdue the Native American Union sympathizers in Indian Territory. Following the extended battle Confederate causalities were nine killed and forty wounded; William’s brother Henry was one of the wounded men.
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=BattleofChustenahlah

During the remainder of the war command of the 6th Texas Cavalry changed a number of times as the men took part in battles in Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia. By 1863 they had gone from 1,000 to 600 men with disease causing more losses than wounds or desertions. In January of 1863 William was listed on his muster roll as absent from duty due to illness. On the March-April muster roll he was “Absent: sick near Pulaski, Tennessee” with later reports placing him in a hospital in Mississippi. The last muster roll was for May-June 1864 and described him as “Sick in Mississippi”. If he was later able to return to active duty the records have been lost.

At some point in time William returned to Lancaster and about 1866 he married Unity Caroline Gray. They were the parents of two children, Mary Elizabeth who was born August 20, 1866 and Elmo E. who was born and died in 1868. Unity died March 27, 1868 and was buried in Edgewood Cemetery.

In 1880 William was living with his elderly parents and working as a farmer, apparently he never remarried. He died March 7, 1901 and was buried beside Unity in the Edgewood Cemetery. He was survived by his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Ellis Birkhead.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts

James Henry Ellis

By Danella Dickson

James Henry Ellis was born March 9, 1842 in Greene County, Illinois, the son of Thomas McKee and Mary (Witt) Ellis. When James was four years old he came to Texas with his parents who settled in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas.

During the spring of 1861, the Lancaster Guards, a group of men from in and around Lancaster who had been serving as a loosely organized militia, began recruitment of additional members, and formal training as a prospective Cavalry Company. Beginning in July 1861 they participated in training exercises on the State Fair Grounds along with several other companies being raised in north Texas. In late August 1861 the Lancaster Guards and nine other Texas military companies assembled seven miles south of Dallas, at Camp Bartow. On September 9, 1861 they were mustered in as Company F, 6th Texas Cavalry, CSA. http://pages.prodigy.net/procyon/lancaster/compf.htm

Nineteen year old “Henry” Ellis enlisted on September 9, 1861 in Company F, 6th Texas Cavalry, Ross’s Brigade for a twelve month obligation. He provided his own equipment identified as a horse, a Minnie rifle and a six shooter valued at $170.00.

In late November of 1861 the 6th Texas Cavalry was ordered to Fort Smith, Arkansas. At some point a detachment of men under the command of Lt. Col. John S. Griffin, was sent into Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma) where they became involved in the Battle of Chustenahlah. The campaign was undertaken to subdue the Native American Union sympathizers in Indian Territory. Following the battle it was estimated the Confederate loss was nine killed and forty wounded while the Indians causalities were believed to number two hundred and fifty.
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Chustenahlah

Henry, while serving with this detachment of men, was wounded in the leg December 26, 1861 and carried the bullet the remainder of his life. He was furloughed from February 1st until March 20, 1862. The muster roll for March and April list him as present but “sick in quarters”. He was available for duty on the following muster rolls.

On May 14, 1862 Colonel Lawrence Sullivan (Sul) Ross took command of the regiment and led them during the Battle of Corinth, October3- 5, 1862. Henry was wounded again in this battle, October 5, 1862, this time in the shoulder but was present for duty by January, 1863.

During the remainder of the war command of the 6th Texas Cavalry changed a number of times as the men took part in more than 85 skirmishes or battles in Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia. By 1863 they had gone from 1,000 to 600 men with disease causing more losses than wounds or desertions. The unit fought bravely and on many occasions victoriously in a delaying action toward Atlanta. They were said to have been one of the most dependable regiments in the Army, but lacked discipline and were extremely rough. This comment could have described any Texas unit of that time frame.
http://pages.prodigy.net/procyon/lancaster/compf.htm

James was with his regiment when they surrendered at Citronelle, Alabama on May 4, 1865 and were paroled at Jackson, Mississippi May 13, 1865. Along with his fellow soldiers he returned to Texas and resumed his life on the family farm near Lancaster.

James married Mary E. Rawlins on July 25, 1867 probably in Lancaster. They were the parents of nine children, two of whom died young.

In 1929 James Henry Ellis applied for a Confederate Pension from the state of Texas. In the pension file was a letter from State Representative Ray Holder who stated, “Mr. Ellis is coming to the end of his days and I am very anxious to have him receive his pension at the earliest possible date”. Also found in the file was a letter from Mr. Ellis’ sister, Lou White, “To Whom It May Concern: In regard to the war record of James Henry Ellis, I know of my own personal knowledge based on my clear recollections that he served in the Confederate Army. He is my brother and I have a clear recollection of the day when his company was organized in the spring of 1861, under the command of Captain R.S. Guy, and later reorganized under Captain R.A. Rollins. The company drilled in Lancaster during the spring and summer of 1861. In September 1861 the company went into Indian Territory where they fought the Indians. My brother was wounded there and still has the bullet in his leg. The company went from Indian Territory to Arkansas. The company went into Mississippi, Tennessee and other places where they were in active service. We had letters from him during the four years he was in the war. I remember clearly the day he returned home from the war. It was after the surrender, in late spring or early summer of 1865. I was a girl 17 years old when the war begun and remember very clearly many things of the war and of my brothers service. Mrs. Lou F. White”. The letter appears on the letterhead of White and Company Bakers, Lancaster, Texas. The application was filed April 2nd and approved April 9th, .

James Henry Ellis and his wife celebrated their sixty-second anniversary on July 25, 1929. He died November 25, 1929 at the age of 87 years, 7 months and 27 days old, the last survivor of the Lancaster Guards.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts

John Thomas Ellis

By Danella Dickson

John Thomas Ellis was born October 21, 1839 in Greene County, Illinois, the son of Thomas McKee and Mary (Witt) Ellis. When John was seven years old he came to Texas with his parents who settled in Lancaster, Dallas County.

The 6th Texas Cavalry had organized in September of 1861 in Dallas and trained at Camp Barton, just south of Dallas. The newly formed regiment had over 1,150 soldiers in 10 companies formed from North Texas counties. In November of 1861 the 6th Texas Cavalry was ordered to Fort Smith, Arkansas. The unit saw their first military action in December 1861 when they became involved in a skirmish in Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma). The next engagement took place March 6-8, 1862 at Pea Ridge, Arkansas. John “Tom” Ellis enlisted as a Private in Company F, 6th Texas Cavalry on March 25, 1862 at Clarksville, Johnson County, Arkansas so he could serve with his brothers James Henry & William Franklin Ellis. During 1862 the regiment was disabled by disease with forty one deaths reported in Arkansas and sixty two in Mississippi. John was one of those affected and was absent from duty most of 1862. He was a patient in the Texas General Hospital in Quitman, Mississippi from December 1862 until February 7, 1863. According to company muster rolls Tom remained healthy most of 1863 and was present for duty.

Tom was wounded at the Battle of Lovejoy Station, Georgia on November 16, 1864 when both legs were shattered above the knees by a rifle ball. The story of what followed was reported by A.C. Greene in his Civil War article for the Dallas Morning News, October 16, 1994, “Henry Ellis was told of his brother’s injury and with the aid of Tom Dixon, another Texan, went back and loaded Tom and another wounded soldier onto a train. Then Henry and Tom Dixon ran to a spring to supply the wounded with water, and while they were gone the train pulled out with the wounded men aboard. A freight train followed the first train and Henry and companion jumped it, only to be ordered off by the conductor. After they were ordered “for the last time” to get off the freight train, Henry said “I have a wounded brother in the train ahead with no one to attend to him. I am going to stay on this train and overtake him or die in the attempt”. He stayed on.

They came to a large camp where the main hospital had been moved near a medical college, and a civilian came alongside the train calling for “a man named Ellis”. He told Henry where to find his brother and while the surgeons were waiting for Tom to die, Henry cooled his wounded legs by carrying water from a spring and keeping a stream running on them day and night for 10 days. Seeing that Tom would not die and his brother would not allow his limbs to be amputated, the doctors began treating him. Henry was allowed to stay with him for 30 days but he had to help care for the other wounded men.

Several months later Tom was sent to Jackson, Mississippi, on crutches. From Canton, Mississippi he wrote for Henry to come and take him into the country where he could “get something to eat”. Henry made friends with an Uncle Jake Harmon who took the wounded Tom in, and there he stayed until the war ended.”

Tom spent the remainder of his life in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas where he was a successful farmer. He married his first wife, Fannie C. Stewart, on October 5, 1870 in Dallas County and they were the parents of three sons and one daughter. Fannie died July 27, 1884. John remarried July 21, 1888 to Sarah A. Sinclair who died March 19, 1915.

Tom lived to be 89 years old. H died March 14, 1929 at his home in Lancaster, Texas and is buried in the Edgewood Cemetery.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts.

Isaac Marlin

By Danella Dickson

Isaac Marlin was born about 1830 in Tennessee, the son of James and Nancy (Taylor) Marlin. The Marlin family and a group of relatives emigrated to Texas in the year 1834 and settled in what was then known as Robertson County, near the Great Falls of the river Brazos, where they resided on the extreme border of the frontier. The Marlin’s arrived in Texas to find Texans rebelling against what they perceived as Mexican oppression.

“The first shot of the Texas was fired at the Battle of Gonzales on October 2, 1835; this marked the beginning of the revolution. Over the next three months, the Texan colonists drove all Mexican army troops out of the province. In January 1836, Mexican president and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna led Mexican troops into Texas to put down the rebellion. General Jose Urrea marched half of the troops up the Texas coast in the Goliad campaign, while Santa Anna led the rest of the troops to San Antonio de Bexar. After a thirteen day siege, Santa Anna’s army defeated the small group of Texans at the Battle of the Alamo and continued east. Many Texans, including the government, fled their homes in the Runaway Scrape. Santa Anna and his troops searched for the Texan government and the Texan army led by Sam Houston. On April 21, 1836 the Texans defeated Santa Anna’s army at the Battle of San Jacinto; Santa Anna was captured the following day. The Mexican army retreated back to Mexico, ending the Texas Revolution.” (Timeline of the Texas Revolution – Wikipedia)

In 1839 Isaac Marlin survived an Indian attack that took the lives of his mother and sister and caused life threatening injuries to another sister. The brave nine year old Isaac walked several miles the night of the attack to summon help from his uncle John Marlin. After a series of battles a treaty was negotiated by John Marlin that led to the Indians moving further west and reducing the threat of attack.

In 1860 Isaac was listed on the Falls County, Texas census as 30 years old, and single, he never married The census listed him as a farmer with real estate valued at $544.00 and personal property worth$2,290.00.

Isaac Marlin enlisted August 25, 1861 as a private in Company B, 5th Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers Confederate States of America. He was mustered into service in September at San Antonio and at the time supplied his own horse and equipment valued at a total of $325.00. The 5th was under the command of Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley, who was organizing a brigade for a campaign in New Mexico and Arizona. Sibley’s ultimate goal was to capture the gold and silver mines of Colorado and California. Isaac’s regiment, Company B, was commanded by Captain Willis L. Lang. In October the brigade began its march up the Rio Grande toward Santa Fe, New Mexico. On February 20- 21, 1862 the brigade engaged federal forces at the battle of Val Verde. Captain Lang led Company B in what was perhaps the only charge of lancers in the Civil War. As might be expected, the company was cut to pieces. (Handbook of Texas)

Official military records verify Isaac’s death at Val Verde and the loss of his equipment and pistol in the battle. Historians believe the men killed in action were buried at the north end of the battlefield. A survivor reported the men were wrapped in their blankets and buried in an unmarked mass grave.
Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts