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.

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

Henry Clay Nash

By Danella Dickson

Henry Clay Nash was born November 23, 1835 in Pike County, Illinois, the son of Eleazer and Sarah Logan Nesbit Fouty. When Henry was about eight years old the family left Illinois and traveled to the Republic of Texas. They were accompanied by Sarah’s young sons from a previous marriage, Clinton & Montraville Fouty. Soon after arriving in Texas they moved to the newly created Navarro County where they were among the first settlers. The Nash family found Navarro County to have rich, prime farm land where a variety of crops could be raised. Their new home was located south of Corsicana near a settlement that Eleazer Nash named Pisgah. The little town was located on a road that ran from Corsicana to Houston.

The Nash family witnessed many changes following their arrival in the Republic of Texas, as Texas became a state December 29, 1845 and then seceded on February 1, 1861. In the state wide balloting concerning secession Navarro County residents voted in favor of leaving the Union 621 to 38. In July of 1861 twenty-six year old Henry Clay Nash enlisted at Waco Texas in Captain E.D. Ryan’s Texas Volunteers, later to become Company E, 4th Texas Infantry. Soon after Henry’s enlistment the regiment was shipped to Virginia to become part of the Texas Brigade, part of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

Army camp life was unhealthy for the young men in the 4th Texas Infantry. In October of 1861 it was reported that more than 400 of the regiment’s original 1,187 men were sick. Henry was listed on company muster rolls as “sick in hospital at Richmond since October 18, 1861”. Due to poor health Henry was discharged on November 19, 1861 and returned to Texas.

Home guard companies were active in Navarro County during the period of 1861 – 1865. Although there are no records it is possible Henry served in one of these units when sufficiently recovered. On January 25, 1864 Henry enlisted in Company G, 15th Texas Infantry under the command of his half- brother Captain Clinton Fouty. Henry was willing and anxious to serve but apparently lacked the physical stamina for the military way of life. Company muster rolls for January-February 1864 list Henry as “Absent: left at Harrisonburg (LA) on February 24, 1864”. The next record was an undated hospital register for C.S.A. Hospital, Shreveport, LA and noted that H.C. Nash was admitted March 23, 1864 suffering from a rundown condition. The final regimental return listing Henry C. Nash was dated March of 1865 and listed him on detached service in the Commissary Department, Tyler, Texas by order of General Smith.

Henry Clay Nash married Mary Thankful Ross on June 21, 1863. She was the daughter of Dr. Samuel Alexander and Thankful Jane (Anderson) Ross. Henry and Mary were the parents of eight children, three of whom died young. They raised their family in Navarro County. Henry died September 17, 1917 at the age of 81 years, 10 months and 19 days. His obituary was published in the Corsicana newspaper and listed his survivors as his wife and five sons, County Attorney H.C. Nash Jr., Sam, George, Clarence and Claude Nash. On February 15, 1928 Mary Thankful Ross Nash died while living with her son Sam, at Tyler, Texas. She was buried beside her husband in Richland Cemetery, Navarro County, Texas.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts

Clinton Fouty

By Danella Dickson

Clinton Fouty was born August 20, 1829 in Pike County, Illinois, the son of Henry and Sarah Logan (Nesbit) Fouty. Henry Fouty died in October of 1831 leaving Sarah with two infant sons, Clinton and Montraville, who was born about 1831. On January 8, 1832, at Griggsville, Pike County, Illinois, Sarah married Eleazer Nash who owned an adjacent farm. Eleazer proved to be a kind and loving father to the two boys.

The Nash-Fouty family left Pike County, Illinois in 1844 on their way to the Republic of Texas. They joined a wagon train made up in Sangamon County and traveled down to Tennessee where they increased their group by several families. There were approximately fifty-six wagons when they left Tennessee. The group chose to travel together for company and mutual protection. When they reached Texas some of the families branched off but the Nash-Fouty, Carroll and Ross family settled near Corsicana in the newly created Navarro County.

In 1849, gold fever led to Clinton and his step-father leaving Navarro County bound for California. The two men left home in March of 1849, after seven months of hardship they arrived in San Diego in October of the same year. Eleazer Nash left no record of his experiences in the gold fields. Whether it was the failure to find gold or homesickness, in 1851 he returned home to Texas. In the years that followed Clinton worked in mines in northern and southern California. At one point he invested most of his money in a venture involving rafting timber only to see his investment lost when a financial crash struck the entire state of California. Although he had enjoyed occasional success Clinton left California in July of 1859 and returned home via New York and New Orleans, arriving in Navarro County in October of that year. When the 1860 census was taken Clinton Fouty was listed as having real estate valued at more than $1,000., not the fortune he had hoped to find but no doubt he returned home with more than many of the 49er’s.

The state of Texas seceded from the United States on February 1, 1861 and joined the Confederate States of America on March 2, 1861. In the state-wide balloting concerning secession, Navarro County voted in favor of leaving the Union 621 to 38. Thirty-two year old Clinton Fouty enlisted October 23, 1861 at Velasco, Navarro County in Company E, 13th Texas Volunteers with a rank of First Lieutenant. The regiment, also known as Bates’ Regiment Texas Volunteers, served mostly in Texas guarding the coast between Galveston and Matagorda. This first enlistment was for twelve months, since many Southerners believed it would be a short war.

On April 12, 1862 Clinton re-enlisted, this time ”for the war” and was elected Captain of Company G, 15th Texas Infantry. The regiment was first sent to Arkansas where they were marched from one site to another, over poor roads, ill equipped and short of rations. The miserable conditions led to illness among the men and increased desertions. Finally the men were sent to winter quarters at Fort Towson in Indian Territory.

In January of 1863 Company G, 15th Texas Infantry became part of a brigade formed under Colonel Joseph W. Speight. In May the brigade was ordered to Louisiana to reinforce Confederate forces charged with the job of halting Union advances. Traveling first by steamer and later by foot the men arrived in Louisiana by May 30, 1863. Although involved in frequent skirmishes with the enemy, living conditions for the men improved. During the fall of 1863 the Texans took part in battles at Fordoche on September 29, Bayou Bourbeau on October 29th. At all times the Texans were active, constantly scouting the country side, their goal was to keep the Union forces out of Texas.

In early 1864 the Texans took part in the Battle of Mansfield on April 8 and the following day the Battle of Pleasant Hill. On April 26th the Texas learned of a gunboat aground on the Red River, at Montgomery’s Landing. Then men marched all night, a trip of about eighteen miles. The hoped for surprise advantage was soon lost to superior firepower from the gunboat and supporting water craft. The Texans suffered one killed, five wounded and two missing. One of the wounded men was Captain Clinton Fouty who suffered a gunshot wound in his right thigh. This ended his combat service and Captain Clinton Fouty spent the remainder of the war assigned to post duty in Houston, Texas.

When Confederate forces surrendered and the war ended Clinton Fouty returned home to his young bride. Clinton had married Clarissa Ann Meador July 26, 1864 in Navarro County, Texas. They were the parents of three sons: William C., David M. and Thomas M. Fouty. Clarissa died in 1879 at the age of forty-four. In 1882 Clinton married Elizabeth Southworth Paschall who died in 1888. His third and last wife was Molly (Mary E.) Houze, they were married August 26, 1891 in Freestone County, Texas.

Clinton Fouty died July 28, 1903 with the cause of death listed as acute tuberculosis. He was buried in the Hopewell Cemetery, Navarro County, Texas. As a faithful member of the Hopewell Baptist Church a tribute was recorded in the church minutes. Clinton was described as a just officer who was sympathetic to the men who had served under him and a kind and loving husband and father.

In June of 1922 Molly Houze Fouty applied for a Confederate Widow’s Pension from the State of Texas. Clinton’s friend and fellow soldier, J.M. Bryant, signed an affidavit stating he was a member of Company E, Spright’s Regiment and knew Captain Fouty both before and during the war. Clinton’s military service was summarized by a report from the War Department. The pension was granted and Molly Fouty drew it until her death December 22, 1928.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts

Montraville Fouty

By Danella Dickson

Montraville Fouty was born about 1831 in Pike County, Illinois, the son of Henry and Sarah Logan Nesbit Fouty. Henry Fouty died in October of 1831 leaving Sarah with two infant sons, Montraville and Clinton. The following year Sarah married Eleazer Nash who owned the adjacent farm. They were married January 8, 1832 at Griggsville, Pike County, Illinois, Eleazer proved to be a kind and loving father to the two boys.

The Nash-Fouty family left Pike County, Illinois in 1844. They joined a wagon train made up in Sangamon County and traveled down to Tennessee where they increased their group by several families. The wagon train was made up of approximately fifty-six wagons when they left Tennessee. The families chose to travel together for company and mutual protection. When they reached Texas some of the families branched off but the Nash-Fouty, Carroll and Ross family settled near Corsicana in the newly created Navarro County. Montraville Fouty met his future wife, Mary Ann Carroll, daughter of Abner and Ann Kuykendall Carroll during the wagon train trip from Tennessee.

On December 29, 1845 Texas became a state and part of the United States of America. This may have been reassuring to the Nash-Fouty family knowing they were once more American citizens.

Eleazer Nash may have been attracted to the Texas by ads run in the Illinois Weekly State Journal detailing the opportunities available to settlers. They promised 320 acres of land to be surveyed by the association, for $8.00, to any family who might settle there by the 1st day of January, 1846. The ad mentioned abundant crops expected with good grazing for livestock. Possibly Eleazer contacted Charles Fenton Mercer, the Chief Agent of the Mercer Texas Association, prior to leaving Illinois but regardless soon after arriving Eleazer filed for land and was on the way to finalization when another opportunity presented itself. Gold was discovered in 1849 in California. The discovery drew hopeful prospectors from all over the United State and beyond. Eleazer and his step-son Clinton made the trip overland leaving Navarro County, Texas in March of 1849 and arriving in San Diego in October of the same year. Prior to leaving Texas Eleazer Nash signed his land patent over to his step-son Montraville. While Eleazer was in California looking for gold things at home were taken care of by Montraville and Henry Clay Nash, the sixteen year old son of Sarah and Eleazer. After a few years Eleazer returned home and assumed his responsibilities as head of the family, he did not report any tremendous finds of gold.

About 1856 Montraville married Mary Ann Carroll. They were the parents of six children and made their home in Navarro County where Montraville raised stock.

In 1861, following the secession of Texas from the United States, a call went out to all able bodied men in Navarro County to defend their state and the Confederate States of America. Montraville enlisted in the 19th Brigade Texas Militia and was elected Captain. The Militia was raised for local defense and not expected to leave the state. More than 60 percent of the adult men in Navarro County served in some capacity during the War Between the States.
On May 8, 1862 Montraville enlisted in Company E, 13th Texas Volunteers, also known as Bates Texas Infantry Battalion. The regiment contained two companies of artillery, two companies of cavalry and six companies of infantry. The regiment served in Texas guarding the coast between Galveston and Matagorda. On July 7, 1864 Montraville Fouty was certified as disabled due to chronic hepatitis and assigned to detached service in the Quarter Master’s Department in Houston, Texas. By the spring of 1865 Montraville had recovered sufficiently to enable him to spend February through April hunting deserters in Ellis County. The war ended and Montraville returned home to Navarro County and his family. Texas once again became part of the United States of America.

Mary Ann Carroll Fouty died February 20, 1877 at Richland, Texas and is buried in the Old Love Cemetery. Montraville married Mrs. Mary Patterson on August 4, 1886 in Navarro County. Mary gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl in May of 1887 but she died soon after, tragically the twins also died within months. Following Mary’s death Montraville lived with his children, one of his grand-daughters remembered him as 6 feet and 4 inches tall and always well groomed. She said he was well liked by all.

Montraville Fouty died July 25, 1895 and is buried in the Wortham Cemetery, Wortham, Freestone County, Texas
Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts

Wade Hampton Witt

By Danella Dickson

Wade Hampton Witt was born July 4, 1822 in Pope County, Illinois, the son of John and Ellender (Penny) Witt. Wade H. married Lurany Greene, the daughter of John and Nancy (Mains) Greene, July 19, 1844 in Greene County, Illinois.

In 1842 John Witt and his twin sons Pleasant and Preston traveled to the Northern section of Texas to take part in a colonization effort known as the Peters Colony. Each settler who satisfied certain requirements received 640 acres for the head of a household or 320 acres per single man. The early settlers were challenged by weather, hostile Indians, isolation and difficulty getting title of their land. Apparently the problems were not overwhelming because the Witt’s were joined in 1845 by John’s other sons, Eli, Andrew Jackson and Wade Hampton Witt and their families.

“Wade Hampton Witt settled first about twelve miles north of Dallas on the Preston Road, building what was called Witt’s Mills, a horse powered affair, the first in the county. Later he moved and built Trinity Mills, still called by that name. He was the owner of much land in Dallas, Denton and Collin Counties in the days before the Civil War. He served in the State Legislature from Dallas in 1852-4 and was a county commissioner in the late 1870’s. He was reckoned at one time as the heaviest tax payer in the county. He was ruined financially by the war.” (Dallas Morning News, page 3, Monday, February 12, 1912)

When Texas seceded from the Union Captain Wade Hampton Witt raised a company of men and equipped them at his own expense. They became Company K, 18th (Darnell’s) Texas Cavalry and were organized March 1, 1862 at Dallas, Texas. Eli and Pleasant Witt supported Wade H. by enlisting in the regiment. The only muster roll on file shows Wade Hampton Witt was discharged July 17, 1862 at Fort McCulloch under the conscript act. (The conscript act passed by the Confederate Congress ordered all men between the age of eighteen and thirty-five to serve in the military. Wade Hampton Witt was forty years old when he was discharged.)

Following the surrender of Confederate forces in spring of1865 Texas was forced to deal with new challenges. Under Reconstruction laws elected county officials were replaced with appointees named by the interim government. Any Confederate leader or person whose wealth exceeded $20,000 was required to apply personally for a Presidential Pardon. Wade H. Witt filed an application dated September 14, 1865 in which he declared that he had taken the amnesty oath to the United States and that he no longer possessed property or effects amounting to the designated amount. His pardon was granted by President Andrew Johnson on December 8, 1865.

Wade Hampton and Lurany were the parents of at least five children. Lurany died in 1864 leaving her husband with several young children. Wade H. married Diza Glen Murphy on January 8, 1867 in Dallas County and they were the parents of five additional children.
Wade Hampton Witt moved his family to El Paso, Texas in March of 1880. In March of 1900 Mr. Witt filed an application for a Confederate pension citing his disabilities from age and near blindness. His property was modest and valued at only $1,070 but apparently it exceeded the amount allowed because the application was disapproved. Mr. Witt died February 10, 1912 and was buried in the Concordia Cemetery, El Paso, Texas.

Diza G. Witt filed an application for a Confederate widow’s pension April 14, 1925; it was approved July 2 of that year. Mrs. Witt stated in her application that her husband had been awarded the Cross of Honor by the Robert E. Lee Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy in El Paso. Mrs. Witt drew the pension until her death March 29, 1930. She was buried beside her husband in the Concordia Cemetery.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts