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.

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

Rufus Anderson Marlin

By Danella Dickson

Rufus Anderson Marlin was born January 9, 1824 in Rutherford County, Tennessee, the son of John and Mary C. (Menefee) Marlin. The Marlin family moved to Texas in 1834 and where they settled in the Robertson Colony. When they arrived in Texas they found the colonists were growing tired of Mexican oppression and a rebellion was brewing.

“The first shot of the Texas Revolution 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. May Texans, including the government, fled their homes in the Runaway Scrape. Santa Anna and his troops searched for the Texas 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 City, ending the Texas Revolution.” (Timeline of the Texas Revolution – Wikipedia)

The Marlin’s had settled near the Great Falls of the River Brazos where they lived on the extreme border of the frontier, living daily with the threat of attack by the Indians. For several years following the revolution John Marlin served in Captain Sterling C. Robertson’s Company, Rangers. Following several brutal Indian attacks John Marlin helped negotiate a treaty with the Indians which led to a period of near peace.

Rufus A. Marlin married Martha Louise Gentry about 1855. She was the daughter of Samuel and Emaline (Payne) Gentry. The 1860 census list Rufus, Martha and their two young daughters living in Falls County where Rufus was farming.

When Texas left the Union in 1861 young men responded to the call for volunteers, most serving with units formed from their home county. A Houston newspaper published a notice in the spring of 1862 submitted by Colonel Edwin Waller Jr. He specified that men responding should be good horsemen and come with a horse and guns. On April 14, 1862 Rufus enrolled in a company of Falls County men under the command of Captain Thomas P. Hightower. The company of men traveled 120 miles to Hempstead, Texas to become part of Waller’s Battalion Texas Cavalry. At the time of enrollment thirty-eight year old Rufus was made a Second Lieutenant. He provided his own horse valued at three hundred dollars and other equipment valued at thirty dollars.

Waller’s Battalion left Hempstead on July 1, 1862 moving eastward to Louisiana. Union forces had captured New Orleans in April 1862 and were advancing into western Louisiana towards Texas. During the following months Waller’s Battalion engaged the enemy in a series of skirmishes. A story that was reported in Texas newspapers told of the engagement at Bonnet Carre resulting in the Texans retreating into a Louisiana swamp and losing many of their horses. Waller’s Battalion spent the remainder of the war in southern and western Louisiana fighting to keep federal forces out of Texas.

After suffering with health problems for almost a year Rufus was granted a discharge for the reasons described in a letter found in his official military records. “Lt. R.A. Marlin of Co. B, Col. E. Waller’s Battalion having applied for a certificate on which to grant a discharge, I certify that I have carefully examined R.A. Marlin and I find that he is incapable of performing the duties of his office, his disability being caused by chronic diarrhea which disease he has been suffering with for near twelve months. I further certify that he has not been able to attend to the duties but very little of that time and in my opinion he will never be able to perform the duties of a soldier therefore I would respectfully recommend that his resignation be accepted.
G.W. Caine, Acting Surgeon Battalion
Camp near Washington, Louisiana, August 13, 1863”

Rufus A. Marlin returned to Falls County and attempted to recover his health, unfortunately he died at the age of forty-two on July 31, 1866 leaving his widow Martha with an infant son and two young daughters. Rufus’ burial place is unknown. Martha married Thomas Jefferson Pruitt on June 22, 1867. They were the parents of six children. Martha died at the age of seventy on May 30, 1909 and was buried in the Covington Cemetery, Falls County, Texas.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts