PETER TABOR SANDEL © Karen McCann Hett All Rights Reserved 2003-2014
This photo was provided by Rayford and Lou Ann SandelPeter Tabor Sandel was born September 15, 1842 in Pike County, Mississippi, and was the son of Peter W. and Winifred Tabor Sandel.
Winifred was the daughter of Isaac Tabor and was the sister of Minerva Tabor, who was married to Peter B. Irvine and later to Augustus Richards.
Father Peter W. Sandel was a Methodist minister and moved his family from Mississippi to Walker County, Texas, prior to 1860.
On October10, 1861, at age nineteen, Peter T. enrolled at Montgomery in Captain R. F. Oliver's Company I, Ninth Texas Infantry (Nichols') along with several other men from Montgomery County. Nichols' was a six-month regiment engaged in building fortifications at Galveston in preparation for a possible Union invasion. On the muster roll of February, 1862, it was noted that he was absent on sick furlough. He was mustered out April 24, 1862. On his muster-out roll it was noted that he was absent on furlough, having reenlisted.
Peter T. was still nineteen when he enlisted in Co. B. 24th Reg’t Texas Cavalry at Galveston. He was signed up at Galveston by Lt. Steele, who had been a lieutenant in Nichols' and was the enlistment officer there for the 24th Cavalry. Peter gave the value of his horse as $200, his equipment as $50, and the distance to rendezvous as thirty miles. The Company B captain was Dr. S. D. Wooldridge of Danville. His brother, John Oliver Sandel, also enlisted in Company B.
Oh April 28, Peter was mustered in at Camp Carter at Hempstead. He trained with the other cavalrymen and rode his horse with them to Arkansas. There they were dismounted and forced to serve the remainder of the war as infantry.
They were stationed at Arkansas Post in the fall of 1862 and were engaged in building cabins for the winter. Peter was counted present on the muster rolls.
In January, 1863, the men were attacked by the Union forces in the Battle of Arkansas Post. All the Confederates were captured there on January 11 and were sent to Union prisons by steamer on the Mississippi River. Peter T. was sent to one of the harshest prisons in the North, Gratiot Street prison in St. Louis, Missouri. Few of our men left the prison alive.
When Peter arrived in St. Louis, he was admitted to City General Hospital and treated for a gunshot wound. He was placed on Ward 5 on January 22, 1863.
Gratiot Street Prison, St. Louis
Peter’s name appears on a report showing that he was received as a prisoner at Gratiot on February 27, 1863, upon his dismissal from the hospital. He is also on a Roll of Prisoners of War captured at Arkansas Post and on a Report of Gratiot Prison dated April 1, 1863.
Gratiot Street Prison was one of the worst of the Federal prisons, and most of the Texas men imprisoned there died. His great-granddaughter recalls that while he was in prison during the war, when they got cold, he and the other prisoners would get up and walk around in the cell in circles in order to stay warm. They called it ginning.
Peter was paroled from Gratiot Street Prison and was exchanged at City Point, Virginia, in April of 1863.
Since the Confederate officers had lost their records on the battlefield at Arkansas Post, this was the first opportunity to update the rolls. Peter was counted present for the months from June 1862, to the parole in April 1863.
Upon joining his company, he was hospitalized and was listed on the muster rolls as being “Absent, sick in hospital” through August, 1863.
In October, he was paid for the use of his horse for one month, for the use of his gun for six months, and for the miles he traveled to rendezvous in April, 1862.
Peter was marked present on all the muster rolls in 1864, was transferred to Company I, Granbury’s, and was marked present for the muster roll of April, 1865. He was paroled at Greensboro, N. C. on April 26th at the end of the war and returned home to Walker County.
On 17 December 1868 Peter T. married Priscilla A. Samuels, the daughter of Baptist clergyman Allen Samuels and his wife, Nancy Wells, of Walker County. They were married in Walker County by Rev. J. G. Johnson, Minister of the Gospel. The couple had four sons.
After the death of Priscilla in 1888, he married Mollie E. Gibson on December 29, 1889. They had no children.
Forty years after his marriage to Priscilla, in May of 1908, Peter T. applied for a Texas Confederate Pension. He was a resident of Willis, Montgomery County and stated that he had moved there from Walker County on December 11, 1907. His witnesses were John M. Lewis, Robert L. Wood, and O. P. Chambers. O. P. testified that he had known Peter since they were boys in Walker County.
Peter gave his age as sixty-five and the condition of his health as “generally broke down.” He stated that he was nearly blind, and that his only possessions were a pony and buggy.
Peter T. died on 2 April 1932 at the home of his son, S. P. Sandel. An undertaker’s certificate is in his files at the Texas State Archives.
He is buried in Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery in Walker County on FM 1374, originally known as East Sandy. The inscription on his stone states: Peter T. Sandell, Co. B 24th Texas Cav. CSA.
Photo of marker was taken 5-22-03 by L. R. (Rayford) Sandel, who cleaned the stone and had Peter's birthdate and deathdate inscribed on the stone. Photo and family information submitted by Lou Ann Sandel.
The foregoing biography was compiled from the family records of Iantha Smith (deceased), from records of Lou Ann and Rayford Sandel, from census and county records, from the Compiled Service Records accessed on microfilm at the Confederate Research Center at Hillsboro, Texas, and from the pension files in the Texas State Archives. Thanks to Lou Ann and Rayford Sandel for the family photo and for the copies of the muster roll.
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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Karen McCann Hett
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© Karen McCann Hett All Rights Reserved 2003-2014
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