Walter W. Nichols, Co. B, 24th Texas Cavalry

/Barrett Family Branches


© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

Walter W. Nichols was born November 22, 1834, in Alabama. He settled in Montgomery County, Texas, in the 1850s and appears on the tax list with one horse and one poll. He was married to Sarah Giles (or Gales) Chessher by Rev. Milton Estill, father of Milton Estill on 10 December 1857 at the home of the bride’s mother. Sarah, born on April 7, 1839, in Texas, was the daughter of J. B. Chessher and Louisa A. Gaines, early settlers of Montgomery County. Virginia native John B. Chessher received a third class headright certificate of 320 acres, which he located in Walker County.

In 1860, Walter and Sarah were enumerated in Montgomery County with one son, age one. Mrs. “L. Chescher,” now a widow, was residing in the home.

Walter’s relation to George J. Nichols is not known at this time, but in 1857 Walter sold George a Danville lot from a sheriff's sale. Both of the men enlisted in Second Texas Lancers at Danville on the same day, March 29, 1862. They were enrolled by John E. George. Walter gave his age as twenty-seven.

Walter reported to Camp Carter at Hempstead on April 28, and was mustered by Col. Wilkes. There he received cavalry training. In May, he apparently started riding to Arkansas with the other men of the Second Lancers, which was to become the 24th Texas Cavalry. But on June 21, he was discharged. At this time, the men were in East Texas near the small village of Vernon, and a measles epidemic had devastated the troops. Some of the men in Company B died at this time.

There is no note on the muster roll to explain the discharge, but it is likely Walter had measles and was too ill to continue.

He may be the W. W. Nichols who joined Company C, Griffin’s Bttn. Texas Infantry (21st). This regiment was formed in the summer of 1862 and served in the Trans-Mississippi Department on the Texas Coast. W. W. Nichols served at the Battle of Sabine Pass in 1864.

Walter is not enumerated in the 1870 census of Montgomery County, but he has been located in Independence, Washington County, Texas in 1880 with his wife, Sarah, and two children. He was a farmer. He and Sarah moved from Washington County to Williamson County sometime during the 1880s. Walter died August 28, 1890, and is buried in the Georgetown IOOF Cemetery. In 1900, Sarah was living with her only living child, Cora L., and son-in-law, Alonzono Johnson, in Georgetown. Sarah died on January 27, 1903, and is buried next to Walter in the IOOF Cemetery.


Photos used with the permission of John Christensen, who contributed them to

The above was compiled from county and census records, and from Walter Nichols’ Compiled Service Record, which was accessed on microfilm at the Confederate Research Center at Hillsboro.

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 or by contacting Frank at

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© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014
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