Written and submitted by
Mayme Ruth Bass Hause

 

 

 


                              

 

JESSE L. ADAMS AND CIVIL WAR DOCUMENTATION

 

     An introduction to this journal is to give specifics about our Jesse L. Adams and his units history in the Civil War, as he served first in the Hardeman’s Arizona Brigade, which soon combined with the 31st Tex Cav. of Hawpe’s command.

     At this time our Granny Rebecca Louisa “Lou” Myers and her family were residing in the small community in Anderson Co. Texas called Kickapoo, very near Palestine. Her family came to Texas before the birth of the third daughter Sarah Elizabeth, called Sallie, born in 1853 according to her death records. Our Rebecca was born in 1868 at Anderson Co., and before the 1870 census, the family had moved to Falls Co. Texas so enumerated on the 1870 census.

     So with this intro, the story begins, as the above will play into Jesse’s record.  To see this play out is really a fascinating scenario from the Civil War records held in the archives in Washington D.C., the N.A.R.A. The quotes will come directly from these records, even though we have a scare amount of information on specifically Jesse’s service, this will give us an idea of his unit’s war history. He may or may not have participated in these battles, but will assume he did, until anyone has further verification he did not.

     Jesse entered Nov. 24, 1862 at San Antonio, Texas, and enrolled by Capt. King. He also mustered in that same day, and was paid on Mch-Apr 1862 for the first time. A valuation for his horse was $130.00 dollars, equipment was $20.00. then attached to Company E, Hardeman's Battalion.

     “1862  31st Texas Cavalry Regiment established at Dallas, Dallas Co. TX on March 5-12 1862 and dismounted Nov. 6 1862 at Camp Kiamichi OK.

     **Also in this same regiment is Isaac Gipson “Gip” Adams Co. C, as well as someone named Jasper Newton Adams from Dallas Co. TX, which is believed kin to our Adams clan, in Co. A. Jesse was most likely a replacement soldier for the 31st TX CAV.

     Now from here on is the history of the Hardeman’s Battalion which merged with Hawpe’s Regiment shortly after entering. The first record from the N.A.R.A. Jan-Feb 1863 Camp Kiamichi Cherokee Nation [OK] dismounted Nov. 1862.

     **This camp was in area of Atoka, OK.  Later will give an account of the battle held here at Poison Springs and others.

     March & Apr 1863 - Boggy Creek OK, the same area.

     July – Aug 1863 – Camp Vermillion LA. -Capt Peek-nothing worthy of mention these last 2 months on Record of the Battalion.

     Jan – Feb. 1864 Trinity LA.

     March 1865 near Hempstead, TX on Record of Battalion.

     Since this information was found, there is more to the history and from the Record cards and records in the archives which states:

     Field & Staff of the Regiment:

     Hawpe, Tresevant E. Col. R Dec. 1, 1862

     Guess, Geo. W. – Lt. Col Sept. 1864 [dropped from roll]

     Malone, Frank J. - Maj. Col

     Peak, Wm. W. – Maj

     Hill, Alex C. – Capt.

     Stevenson, G.W. – S R Dec. 24, 1862

     Taylor, Isaac S. – S

     Fender, James F. – AS

     Bumpus, J.M. – AS

     Murphy, Wm L. – A.Q. M

     Caldwell, Jas. F. – A.C.S

     Philips, Josiah, Chap R Dec. 18, 1862

     Neely, James H. Chap

     Masters, Wm. K.

     NOTE: Peter Hardeman’s Regt also known in 1865 as 31 Regt. TX CAV. but earlier was 28th TX CAV “Company Record Card of Events of 31st Regt.

     March & Apr 1863

     On Sat. 25th day of April 1863 This company with Hawpes, Alexanders, Stevensons Regiment commanders- A.J. Steel took up the line of march for a point said to be 70 miles above Boggy Depot- Each regiment leaving behind at Camp Kamishki[sic] some companies and the sick to bring up the rear-On the 3 day march, we were arrested in our progress at Boggy River, water of which were much swollen by the rains and we worked early in the morning on the left bank of the stream-A short time after encamping on express side to be ordered by General Kirby Smith arrived with orders for us to countermarch to Cam Kamishki[sic] and it was understood that our destination was now changed to Alexandria, LA and we accordingly the next morning…got started on the march retraced our step toward Camp Kamishki[sic], and this day April 30 we recrossed the river and are now seven miles from Camp Kamishki[sic].  [at this point some of this was difficult to read].”

     The last Company Card of Events

     “March 1865 near Hempstead, Texas [have now found that it was called Camp Groce at the Liendo Plantation SE of Hempstead, TX]

     On March the 1 this Regt. In connection with the Brigade leave Grand [?] Casteau, LA for Hempstead, Texas and marched 13 miles that day-cdly all dy & some rain-After corraling March 2 remain in camps all dy, stil cldy & some rain- Mch 3 marched 16 miles recamped 26 miles from Pleasant Hill [LA]. Mch 4 marched 17 miles & camped 9 miles from Pleasant Hill. Weather clear cool-Mch 5 marched 18 miles passing Mansfield [LA]-Mch 6 17 miles &camp 6 miles from Logansport [LA]. Mch 7 marched 7 miles crossed the Sabine River Mch 8 lay in camps all dy – Mch 9 marched 15 miles – cold some sleet-Mch 10 marched 17 miles & camped ˝ mile from Caledonia TX –Mch 11 marched to Mt. Enterprise 16 miles-Mch 12 lay in camps all day - Mch 13 marched 15 miles & camp 2 miles from New Salem Mch 14 march 15 miles and camp 1 mile from Rusk Mch 14 march 15 miles and camp at Barrow’s[?] Ridge- Mch 17 march 13 miles and camp 1 mile from Palestine- Mch 18 marched [?] miles-camp 16 mile from[?]  Palestine Mch 19 remained in camps-Mch 20 marched 12 miles-cross Trinity and camp one mile from ---Ferry- Mch 21 march 10 miles- Mch 22 march 13 miles-Mch 23 march 15 miles pass Centerville 6 miles-Mch 24 marched 14 miles and camp 8 ˝ miles from Madisonville-Mch 25 pass through Madisonville-Mch 26 marched 13 miles camped 3 ˝ miles from Bedias-Mch 27 marched 9 miles pass through Anderson…Mc 30th…around 31st arrived in Hempstead.” [The rest is just too dark to read].

     ***The little community of Kickapoo is very close to Palestine and is on a route that was taken by these soldiers.

     Camp Kiamichi from the Internet-“Lying in a high spot close to where the Kiamichi [River] meets up with the Red River, Fort Towson was established in 1824 to ensure the safety of the early Choctaw and Chickasaw settlers. The small garrison had to deal with a lot of scuffles between Arkansas and Texas Anglos who wanted to settle the fertile valley. Because they were squatting on Indian land, the white men decided that instead of acquiescing to Union control, they’d just burn down the for which they did in 1829. The fort was rebuilt and called in the Civil War Boggy Depot and nearby Camp Kiamichi.

     **Note: Jesse’s older sister Mary married Thomas S. Doyal, who had fought in these skirmishes of the 1836, before the Adams families all came to Texas.

     From the Chronicles of Oklahoma Vo. 5, No. 4 December, 1927

     THE FORT TOWSON ROAD A HISTORIC TRAIL

In the year 1824 Ft. Towson was established about ten miles north of the mouth of Kiamichi River in Southeastern Indian Territory and the Southern part of the then Choctaw Nation, now Oklahoma. A military road was surveyed and laid out by Captain Bonneville of the Seventh U.S. Infantry between Fort Smith, Ark., and Fort Towson for transporting troops and stores. This military road passed almost through the heart of the Choctaw Nation and was a great help to the Indians in reaching markets at Skullyville and Fort Smith, Arkansas, and in exchanging their products for clothing and some of the white man’s luxuries. This road also was the means of assisting the Choctaws to become more civilized and enlightened after the first great difficulties in making new homes in a strange land had been overcome.

     **Note: Mary Lou Price Myers and sons moved to this area after they sold their land in Falls Co. TX in about 1903.

     Jesse may or may not have participated in these battles, but these are included for history of his regiment.

     Here relates more information that was from a website History.Site.com. It is an exchange of researchers of the Texas participation in the Civil War.

     “The 31st Texas Cavalry regiment [Also known as Hawpe’s Regiment Texas Cavalry or Mounted Volunteers] organized in Waco and Dallas from men pulled from Dallas and Waco, Fannin and Karnes Counties. The organization in Dallas on May 14, 1862, was of eight companies and was finalized at Fort Washita in the Indian Territories on August 9th, of that year. Hawpe started with four plus companies from Waco and by the time the regiment was organized in August had nine companies.

     …. It seems as if the rigors of camp life had put a lot of the men down with measles. Eighty-eight men were in the hospital while the brigade was camped at Camp Osage.

     During September, the brigade moved east and north above Fort Smith, Arkansas. Company I received some soldiers who had come of age. The Confederate Congress had changed recruiting laws and had all units released those men younger than 18 and older than 45, later increased to 52. In early September part of the 31st and 34th rode north to attack the main camp of the 2nd Indian Home Guard[Union Army]. They managed to kill between 60 and 120 men, and captured their cattle and horses. It was a very successful operation. The brigade continued its northward movement and the 22nd performed picket duty near Newtonia, Missouri. On September 27, 1862, Colonel Cooper sent the 31st and an Indian Battalion to recon Newtonia. The 22nd was order to Granby and 34th followed to relieve the 22nd. On the 30th the Union forces withdrew from Newtonia, and the 31st was put in charge of securing the town. All three fought dismounted that day and forced the retreat. They all fought well. By October 4th a larger Union force arrived and the southern forces retreated from Missouri for the last time, except for one raid by General Price. [Sterling- he is distance related to Mary Lou Price Myers family]

     Between the confusion of the retreat, another reorganization into a new Texas Brigade without Indians. October also saw three new brigades commanders, Colonel Thomas Coke Bass who was quickly replaced with Colonel William R. Bradfute, who soon fell ill.

     Around the first of November General Thomas C. Hindeman decided that all the Texas units would fight dismounted and the horses were returned to Texas. Colonel Hawpe resigned and returned to Texas. By mid-December 1862 he was haling supplies to the Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department. He also served as a trustee for the Dallas Male and Female College. On August 14, 1863, he was approached by a man he had put in jail when he was the elected sheriff of Dallas County. The man started an argument, drew a knife and killed Colonel Hawpe on the Dallas Court House Steps.

     On December 7, 1863, the brigade was in the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, which was near Fort Smith. General Hindeman thought to take back the northern part of Arkansas. During the battle the Texas Brigade repulsed the Union charges and answered each with counterattacks of their own. Lieutenant Colonel Guess of the 31st wrote home to his wife.

     “Our brigade was posted on the extreme left wing of the Army and was not called into the prominent action but a short time, but not a boy or man of them showed any disposition to flinch. The cannon balls and shells flew and burst around them and the Minnie balls whistled about their ears, but the stood calm and determined to die or win the victory.”

     Although they held their ground, a general lack of ammunition caused General Hindeman to withdraw. According to historian, Alwyn Barr “morale fell to a new low and numerous desertions followed a near mutiny in the 31st Texas, when Brig. Gen. Bradfute ordered a man punished by Bucking. [This punishment consisted of putting a pole through a man’s legs and arms, while he squatted. He was then tied to the pole in such a way that he would be hung upside down by his knees like a roasted pig. He was always let down before he passed out. Only to be put right back up. Bucking was considered to be severe punishment and only used in the most severe cases].

     In January 1863, the units were put under a new commander Colonel Joseph Warren Speight of Waco. The brigade then moved into winter camp in the Indian Territories. The winter was extremely cold, and the units did not have huts, tents or shelter. Many were without coats and men died every day.

     The Brigade was sent to Louisiana to assist in the protection of Shreveport and under the command of Major Richard Taylor. The brigade was about 1600 strong, but only the 15th and 31st were ready for combat. The 22nd and 34th had to stay in camp for discipline and drill after a review of General Kirby Smith. The soldiers did not like to be infantry after their start as Cavalry.

     What could have been a good battle occurred at Cabin Springs in July 1863. About 1500 Confederates lay in wait for a Union supply train. Because high water on two rivers the Confederates were driven off with a few cannon shots. Who was involved in this battle is not known, but it could have been the brigade. The next day on the 4th of July, Vicksburg fell and the course of history was changed. After that it was just a short while until the War ended.

     The next battle occurred for the brigade happened at Stirling’s Plantation near the Mississippi River. On September 29th they launched an attack on a Federal Headquarters. The 15th Texas Infantry, 11th Texas Battalion and the 31st Texas Cavalry [dismounted] overran the plantation and captured or killed everyone. They lost 121 Confederate casualties, while capturing 453 Union soldiers.

     Next there was a new reorganization and the command was given to Colonel Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac of France. He was a professional soldier and was given the low morale units of the 15th Texas Infantry and the 17th, 22nd, 31st and 34th Texas Cavalry Regiments all dismounted. The units drilled until January 1864.

     Their first action was at Vidialia where they conducted a raid and collected 400 cattle, horses and mules and a new respect for their commander. The Union started a push up the Red River toward Shreveport the Trans-Mississippi Headquarters of the Confederacy, which set the stage for the next battle.

     On March 8th brigade was ordered west to stop the Union advance. The Battle took place at a place near Mansfield Louisiana. On April 8th the Texas troops along with Louisiana Brigades charged into Union lines. The Union forces collapsed and began a general retreat. On the 9th there was a second charge, but the Union forces though not routed, continued to retreat. Total casualties for the Brigade were 213 men. The 31st lost 3.

     On April the 18th, 1864, the brigade probably had a detachment involved Commanded by Major Looscan, in the Battle of Poison Springs. Several discussions on the Texas Confederate Message board indicate this possibility while exploring the name entanglement of the 1st and 31st Texas Cavalries. Detail results are not known for the regiment.

Polignac was promoted to Major General over a division and Colonel Wilburn Hill King was made brigade commander and promoted to brigadier general even though he was wounded. Colonel Robert Stone of the 22nd was the acting commander. On May 14, the brigade was following the retreating Union forces. Ata a place called Bayou de Glaise the Texans fought a force of 18,000 Union soldiers supported by gun-boats and ironclads and the brigade lost 208 men and officers killed or wounded. There were 18 officers down including Colonel Stone who died reporting to his division commander.

The brigade next probably fought at Cabin Creek and Major Michael Looscan was the probable commander of the 31st. This time low water in the rivers aided the Confederates and they returned to Texas in November 1864 with ample supplies and cattle, which was spread out over Fannin county to the poor and needy. David Howd at the Texas Message Board felt the 31st returned to Fannin Co. at this time, but it may have been the large number of deserters that made it seem that way.

The brigade slowly reduced in size and Polignac Division had only 1, 132 privates in October 1864.

General Kirby Smith first sent the division into Arkansas for the winter quarters, but then decided that because of morale he moved them to the warmer weather of Louisiana.

     In January 1865 the brigade was reorganized again and Colonel James E. Harrison of the 15th became brigade commander and was promoted. The Texans were ordered back to Texas with exception of the 34th which stayed in Louisiana.

     In March the brigade reached Hempstead, and was reorganized again into a new brigade known as the 2nd, and made part of a new division. In April the War ended with the surrender at Appomattox and Lincoln’s death. Though the 31st soldiers swore allegiance to the southern cause after this, on May 24th Harrison was given the order to march the regiment home and discharge his men.”

     Barr, Alwyn “Polignac’s Texas Brigade”- Texas A&M University Press, College Station Texas.

     Cottell, Steve, “Civil War in the Indian Territory” Pelican Publ. Co. Gretna, Louisiana.

     Harper, Cecil “Hawpe, Trezevant C.” Handbook of Texas Online

     Kilgore, Deborah K. “Taylor, Robert H.” Handbook of Texas Online

     Another Internet entry:

     Lt. Col. Peter C. Hardeman and the 1st Texas Cav. Regt left Fort Warren in Fannin County, Texas and arrived in Doaksville in September 1863…The !st Texas Cavalry joined Gano’s Texas Brigade and by March 1864 the brigade was at Washington, Arkansas. Gano’s Texas Brigade participated in the Camden Expedition and the battle of Poison Springs with Maj. Michael Looscan in command of a battalion of Hardeman’s 1st Tx. Cav. Regt. When Gano’s Brigade arrived at Washington Arkansas, Maj. Looscan’s battalion was consolidated with Col. Frederick J. Malone’s 31st Texas Cavalry regiment and was engaged at poison Springs.

     S.O. #81 was issued of February 21, 1863 to raise the Arizona Brigade and Lt. Col Peter C. Hardeman’s 1st Texas Cavalry Regiment was raised in Columbus, Texas and were marched by companies to Fort Warren in Fannin County during the summer of 1863. The 1st Texas Cavalry Regiment never reached full strength until regiment returned from I.T. to north Texas in November 1864.

     According to the Confederate Research Center at Hill College….On May 30, 1863, Col. P.C. Hardeman was in command of 500 men [five companies] of the 1st Texas Cav. Regt-Arizona Brigade [this is the first unit Jesse Adams was in]left Columbus Texas enroute to Fannin County. Col. Hardeman arrived at Bonham with 350 effectives due to desertions.  Col. Gano’s Texas Brigade was formed in late-August at Doaksville and arrived south of Fort Smith [Camp Hardeman] in September 1863 where Capt. Damron’s Spy company, the 31st Texas Cav. Regt and Col John Jumper’s Indian regiment joined the brigade.”

     Recently on this History.Site.com was a small book advertised “The Last Prison”. This was at Camp Groce, Liendro Plantation, Hempstead, Waller Co. Texas. Many have never even heard of it, even the surrounding towns and counties. After the Battle of the Sabine, where Dick Dowling defended the Sabine River Pass, many of the Navy personnel were taken there for interment. It was a dreadful place, as was Andersonville of the Union Army that housed the soldiers of the Confederacy. It is a chilling book describing the events that took place there, and eventually the US Navy personnel were transferred to Camp Ford at Tyler, Smith Co. Tx. It was up that road that was described above that passed Palestine, and Kickapoo was named as a spot on the trail, and it occurred to me that would have been when our Myers family was living there. How close to this road, I thought? Eventually, a lot, but not all, of the Navy personnel were returned to Camp Groce in a few months. Also, on this trail, our Jesse’s Regiment passed by on this same trail in March of 1865 on the way to being paroled. [The term used in the documents for discharged]. It took the 31st Texas Cavalry about a month to travel from near Lake Charles, Louisiana to Camp Groce, Hempstead, Texas. Hopefully this has given you a little insight to our Jesse Adams’ and his service in the CSA.

     1862 Jan-Feb. Camp Kiamichi – Choctaw Nation OK

     1863 Mch-Apr Boggy Creek OK

     1863 July – Aug Camp Vermillion La

     1864 Jan-Feb. Trinity, LA.

     1865 March – near Hempstead TX most likely this is where he was paroled.

     Below is a picture found on the website of History.Site.com

     Just a few tidbits about the price of things at this time.

     100# of flour $250.00;1 doz. eggs 5.00; 1 plug of tobacco 40.00;1 gal. milk 20.00;1 # of candles 8.00; 1# sugar 10.00; 1 gal. of molasses $45.00; 20# of hard bread $90.00, 2# cheese $30.00.

     From the book by the local historian, Donald D. Hoffman’s book SOUTH OF THE GUADALUPE , he tells of the teamsters in the very early times during the Republic of Texas, and on into the  1860’s. On the 1860 US census of Gonzales Co., Jesse is noted as being a teamster with his personal assets of $500. Brother Isaac Gipson Adams was also a teamster with the personal assets of $800.00. Perhaps the two brothers were a team.

     Here I quote a piece of information from the above named book about teamsters. Also, the information takes in the road between San Antonio and east toward Houston which is the route Sam Houston would have taken in his chase for Santa Ana. Basically it is old Highway 90 with a crossroad just east of a small community named Leesville, where there was a watering hole for travelers of all kinds to water their horses, mules and livestock as well as refresh their own water supply was the old Smuggler’s Road that led from Indianola on the Gulf of Mexico, up through Victoria to Cuero, then crossing the above San Antonio Road-to the east, then to New Braunfels and perhaps on up to Fredericksburg to the newly arrived German Immigrants.

     “THE CART WAR"

     Within a few years of its founding, the new road through Helena, which ran from Indianola to San Antonio, was clogged with cargo for the military post of the Texas Frontier and freight for San Antonio merchants. This was now the main connection between San Antonio and the nearest shipping point on the Texas coast. It was also the route taken by Robert E. Lee, when reported for duty in Texas and was assigned to serve at several military forts [Fort Sam Houston, Mason, Brownsville and Bracketville] before the Civil War.

     Freight along the road was being hauled in all sorts of wagons. There were the big wagons, being pulled by as many as 16 mules in the team, owned and operated by freight haulers who came to be known as “teamster”. Alongside them ran stagecoaches, private buggies, men on horseback leading pack mules laden with supplies, and small wagons driven by farmers hauling produce to market. Then there were the Mexican haulers, who had large wooden carts, with tall wooden wheels, pulled by slow-moving oxen. Those huge carts, due to their size, often carried larger amounts of freight than did their Anglo competitors.

     As the freight rolled away from the coast bound for San Antonio, it was not long before competition between Anglo and Mexican haulers caused a freight rates to drop. The Mexicans began to emerge as the survivors in this rate war and began to develop virtual monopoly on the bustling trade route that lined San Antonio to Indianola and the coast. The teamsters were being put out of business by these cut-rate haulers. Soon the Mexican haulers were singled out as the scapegoats and blamed for all the problems of the Anglo teamsters, both real and perceived. Resentment festered – and revenge was sought.

     Passions reached a fever pitch when a group of unemployed teamsters attempted to break the monopoly with attacks on the cart trains. Many of the Mexican haulers were pulled off their carts, beaten, and hanged on the spot. Threats and intimidation gave way to shootings and hangings, as these activities became known as the Cart War.”

     Becky and I braved the tall dead grasses on a February day, and traveled to the 15 Mile Water Hole [one near Leesville is known]. Below are pictures of the water hole 15 miles from Gonzales eastward toward San Antonio. It is almost certain that Jesse and brother Isaac Gip would have stopped there to water their mules. Your mind wanders back to the time of the Adames in Gonzales County, and a spot they would frequent. 



 


San Antonio to the east route – showing Sam Houston’s route and Santa Ana’s

 

 


A sketch of Indianola before destruction by hurricanes in the late 1880’s

 


Indianola, Calhoun Co. TX as it is today.

 

     These are all events that could have transpired in our great grandfather Jesse L.’s life. Hope you will give some time to your own thoughts about this journal. It has been great fun researching it.

Mayme Ruth Bass Hause