Barbee Tarpley was born 29 January 1842 in Tennessee. He migrated to Texas with his parents, Saxon and Mary Angeline Tarpley. They first settled in the area of Danville, Montgomery County, just after the 1860 census, and Saxon joined the San Jacinto Masonic Lodge #106.
In May of 1861 Barbee joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen under Capt. S. D. Wooldridge at Danville, Montgomery County. He was counted present on the muster rolls of September 13, 1861 and February 14, 1862. He then entered regular CSA service in 1862 in Co. B of the Second Texas Lancers Regiment Texas Cavalry, also under Capt. Wooldridge, and was elected corporal.
Barbee was mustered into Confederate service at Camp Carter at Hempstead on April 28, 1862. There he gave his age as eighteen, the value of his horse as $100.00, and the value of his equipment as $20.00. He claimed mileage from home to place of rendezvous as fifty miles.
Barbee rode his horse to Arkansas with the other men, and there, at El Dorado on July 29, 1862, he was dismounted with the others and was forced to serve as an infantryman. His name is on the muster roll of August 31st as Present, On Guard. After several weeks at Camp Holmes near Pine Bluff, he marched with his regiment to Ft. Hindman at Arkansas Post.
There he and the other soldiers spent the fall building cabins for the winter. He was counted present on the muster roll of October, 1862.
On January 11th, 1863, a Federal force of 40,000 attacked the fort. Barbee escaped from the battle, as did a number of other Texans, and managed to escape capture by the Union troops.
He may have walked all the way back to Texas, while the men who were captured were shipped by river boats to prisons in the North.
On the muster roll following the exchange of prisoners in April, 1863,
Barbee is noted to be Absent without leave, escaped at battle January 11, 1863.
On the next muster rolls, he is again noted to be absent without leave, including the rolls of August, October, and December 1863,
on which it is written: Escaped at Battle of Arkansas Post, not since rejoined.
However, by February 1864, there is a note on his record that he was now
Absent in the Trans-Mississippi Department.
A similar notation is on the muster roll of April 1864
: Absent, escaped at Surrender of Arkansas Post, now in Trans-Mississippi Department.
We know that Barbee served with the Seventeenth Consolidated Regiment as a corporal,
and that this regiment was composed of men who, for some reason,
were not in the Battle of Arkansas Post or were not captured.
After the war, on 11 April 1867, Barbee married Lizzie Jane Hawkins. She was the daughter of Thomas B. and Mary Hawkins. They settled in Madison County and were living with his parents in 1870.
Barbee became a Cumberland Presbyterian minister later in life and spent twenty years in the ministry. One of his descendants wrote in the Madison County Texas History: Barbee was called to become a Presbyterian minister but hesitated because of his lack of preparation. Hence, he delayed entering his work until middle life. He was ordained by the San Jacinto Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1889. His ministerial life of twenty years was spent in Madison County, according to his descendants. However, he performed marriages in the Dickey Community of Leon County and may have pastored a church there as well. He and Lizzie had at least seven children.
He died 8 April 1904 and Lizzie Jane died 9 February 1917. They are buried in Allphin Cemetery in Madison County.
Thanks so much to Sharon Howell for permission to display her Find-a-Grave photo from Allphin Cemetery
For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at frankmjohnson.net or by contacting Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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