O. P. CHAMBERS, Co. B, 24th Texas Cavalry


© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

Oliver Perry Chambers was born in May 17, 1844 in Texas. He was enumerated with his father Thomas and his brothers and sisters in the 1850 census of Montgomery County. His parents had moved to Texas from Tennessee in about 1834. He was also enumerated with his father in the 1860 census of Montgomery County.

According to Chambers descendant Frankie Page, the first wife of Thomas Chambers, Sr., and mother of the oldest ten children, was Isabella Barnhill, who died in Danville between 1846 and 1850. In December 1850, Thomas, Sr., married Nancy Horton Thompson.

In 1862, at the age of seventeen or eighteen, O. P. enlisted in The Second Texas Lancers (Co. B 24th Regiment Texas Cavalry) along with three brothers: Daniel, John H., and Thomas, and a cousin or uncle, J. F. Chambers.

He was captured at Arkansas Post and was imprisoned at Camp Butler, Illinois.

Upon being exchanged at Petersburg, Virginia, in the spring of 1863, O. P. was put into the hospital at Richmond.

After being released from the hospital in Richmond, he was assigned to the Army of Tennessee. In June, he was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in Dalton, Georgia, with rubella (measles.)


O. P. continued to be entered into the rolls as Absent, sick in hospital through August, 1863. He was likely suffering from one of the diseases that struck many of the men of the Confederate forces, particularly chronic diarrhea.


He was marked present for service in September and October, but was back in the hospital in November and December.

April, 1864, is the last surviving muster roll for any of the men of the 24th Regiment, until the roll which listed the few who survived until the final surrender.

Oliver served through the last year of the war and was present when his two remaining brothers died at Chickamauga.

He was one of the eight men in Company B who were alive to surrender at the end of the war in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Oliver returned to Texas and married Eliza Vickers on 20 December 1865. He became a member of San Jacinto Masonic Lodge 106 in Danville.

In 1870, he was living in Danville with wife Sally and one son, Thomas. By 1880, still in Montgomery County with wife now recorded as Elizabeth, and five children. His occupations were recorded as Preacher and Farmer.

This wife apparently died, and on 16 October 1890 he married Mrs. Sarah Jane Gilmore, nee Grimes, in Montgomery County. Sarah Jane Grimes, born 1861, was first married to William Gilmore in San Jacinto County in 1877. They were residing in Liberty County in 1880.

Oliver P. and Sarah J. Chambers moved to Liberty County the same year they were married, 1890.

By 1899, according to the Texas Forestry Museum database, he was operating a sawmill at Cleveland, under the business name of O. P. Chambers. The county tax rolls in that year show that he rendered for taxation two horses and mules, fifteen cattle, twenty-five hogs, one wagon, and a steam engine and boiler worth $350.

Typical Sawmill Scene, Photo from the Texas Forestry Database web pages

In 1900, the couple was living in Cleveland, and his occupations were given as Farmer, Preacher. The oldest child in the household was twenty, and the youngest was four.

In November 1906, Oliver applied for and was granted a Texas pension based on his Confederate service. The application was submitted in November 1906 and approved in March, 1907. At the time, he stated that he had resided in Liberty County for sixteen years, that he had health problems, and that he had no property except for two horses and eight head of cattle.

In 1912, O. P. Chambers was a resident of Runge, Karnes County, Texas, when he filed a deposition in support of the pension application of Jefferson P. Childers.

By March, 1914, Oliver had moved to Nixon in Gonzales County. He was living there when he filed a deposition in behalf of Mattie Lewis, the widow of John M. Lewis. Calling himself Rev. Perry Chambers, He stated that he had known John Lewis from his childhood in Montgomery County and knew that he had served until the close of the war in 1865. Oliver stated his age as seventy.

Oliver and his wife and the children remaining at home moved back to Liberty County to the vicinity of Cleveland, before 1920. They are enumerated there in the 1920 census, with O. P. enumerated as a minister, age 77. His wife was enumerated as "S. J." and there were two daughters in the family.

Oliver died September 6, 1922, and was buried in the Cleveland City Cemetery.

From the Find a Grave website

Oliver's wife then moved back to Huntsville, where she applied for and received a widow's pension.

The above was compiled from county and census records, and also from the Compiled Service Records in the National Archives, accessed on microfilm at the Confederate Research Center at Hillsboro. Information on the parents of O. P. was sent by Chambers descendant Frankie Page. Information on the sawmill in Liberty County from the website www.treetexas.com. Birth and death dates are from Find a Grave, with information contributed by Betty Huntington. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Chambers&GScid=354671&GRid=7231673&

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 fjohnson@wt.net.

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© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014
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