SAMUEL TERRY-Danville Mounted Riflemen & Co. B, 24th Texas Cavalry



SAMUEL TERRY

© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

Samuel Terry was born in about 1831 in Alabama, the son of Joseph W. Terry. He was enumerated with his father and family in 1850 in Union Parish, Louisiana, and migrated to Montgomery County, Texas, in the 1850s. He married Sarah Ann (Sallie) Norsworthy in Walker County on July 12, 1859. She was born in 1843 in Union Parish, Louisiana the daughter of W. B. Norsworthy. The couple is enumerated with the Norsworthy family in 1860 in Montgomery County.

Sarah Ann was the sister of James H. Norsworthy.

Sam Terry joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen militia company as a private and is listed on the muster roll of February 14, 1862. On March 29 at Danville, he enlisted under Captain Wooldridge in Second Texas Lancers, which later became Company B, 24th Texas Cavalry. Sam gave the value of his horse as $135.00 and the value of his equipment as $20.00.

He trained at Camp Hebert and then rode to Arkansas with his regiment. Once there, the Texas cavalrymen were dismounted.

Sam was one of the eight men whom Captain Wooldridge detailed to take the horses back to Montgomery County, and his muster roll of August 28th notes that he was absent on detail. One man was to be in charge of ten horses, by order of General Hindman, and they were to be grazed, since the Confederacy would not pay for fodder.

Samuel then returned to Arkansas, where his regiment was now stationed at Ft. Hindman at Arkansas Post.

After the January Battle of Arkansas Post, and following the imprisonment of the soldiers of the 24th and finally the exchange of prisoners, it is noted on the Company B muster roll that Samuel Terry was “Absent Without Leave, Escaped at the Battle of Arkansas Post.” This battle was fought on January 11, 1863, and the Union forces over ran the fort (see the story of the battle on the history page, Co. B 24th Texas Cavalry.)

Samuel managed to make his way back home to Montgomery County. Some weeks later, he reported for duty on March 28 and was assigned to the 17th Consolidated Dismounted Cavalry, which served in the Trans-Mississippi Department.

However, this news did not reach the men in the field for a number of months, and the company commander continued to report him as Absent Without Leave.

The regiment to which Samuel was assigned, the Seventeenth Consolidated Dismounted Cavalry, was made up of men who for some reason, became separated from their units and were unable to cross the Mississippi River again to rejoin them. It was organized by Col. James R. Taylor of the 17th Texas Cavalry, and was placed in Brig. Gen. Camille A. J. M. de Polignac's brigade.

Two rare expense vouchers are in Terry's files. Copies of expense vouchers are not normally part of the records that survived. These are very pale, and the microfilm copy is poor.


Samuel Terry's Expense Voucher, 17th Consolidated Dismounted Cavalry
Paid through August, 1863

One voucher was for funds required for the service of the Quartermaster's Department In the Field in the amount of $40.00. The other was for Commutation for Transportation Camp Texas La. to Montgomery County Texas and back to this point being 400 miles, also in the amount of $40.00. Camp Texas, Louisiana, was located near Alexandria.

Finally, in February of 1864 it was noted that he was “now in the Trans-Mississippi Department.” He was reported to be in the 17th Consolidated through March 1865, the date of the last existing muster roll for the regiment. All the Confederates were paroled in May 1865, at the end of the war.

After studying these records, we can conclude that Samuel Terry must have been a very resourceful, capable, and trustworthy individual. He was one of eight entrusted to take the horses from Arkansas back home to Montgomery County in August 1862, and he dutifully returned to his regiment in the field, unlike some other soldiers. In January the following year, he was wiley enough to somehow escape from the battlefield at Arkansas Post, likely when he realized the Confederates had been defeated. He managed to walk home to Texas, but after a short rest he complied with Confederate law and rejoined the CSA, then went with his company to Louisiana. A few months later, he was again entrusted to accompany a number of horses and mules back to Texas, and he once more returned to his regiment in the field.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to find Sam or Sallie in 1870, either in Texas or Louisiana. Their death dates are unknown, but it is assumed they both died before 1870.

Most of the above information was compiled from county and census records, and from the Compiled Service Records. Nancy Hargesheimer furnished information on the Norsworthy family.

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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counter June 23, 2007