John H. Chambers was the son of Thomas Chambers and Isabella Barnhill. He was born in about 1838, and his mother died soon after the family moved to Texas. John was living with his father Thomas at the time of the 1850 census of Montgomery County. In 1860 he was living with S. Tarpley and was twenty-two. His brothers, all of whom were with him in the Civil War, were Daniel L. Chambers, O. P. Chambers, and Thomas Chambers, Jr.
John H. Chambers joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen, Texas State Troops, in Danville, Montgomery County, in May of 1861, and appears on the muster rolls for February 14, 1862.
John enlisted in the Second Texas Lancers on March 29, 1862; he was enrolled by John E. George at Danville. He gave his age as twenty-three, the value of his horse as $25.00, and his equipment as $20.00. He had to travel fifty miles to place of rendezvous, Camp Carter at Hempstead.
In April of that year, he rode with Captain S. D. Wooldridge to Hempstead, where he became a sergeant in Company B of the Second Texas Lancers. The Second Lancers was later to become the 24th Regiment, Texas Cavalry.
On April 28, 1862, John was mustered in at Camp Carter. There he received Cavalry training. He was elected Fifth Sergeant of his company. On the August muster roll, taken after the men arrived in Arkansas, it was noted that John was absent on detail. He had been detailed as one of the eight men who took the horses back to Montgomery County after the troops were dismounted. There were to be ten horses in the care of each man, and they were to be grazed along the way; the Confederate government would not pay for fodder.
John caught up with the other men, and by October he was counted present on the roll taken at Ft. Hindman, Arkansas Post. The men spent the fall building cabins for the winter.
The Federals attacked the fort on January 11, 1863. John was captured along with the others and was imprisoned at Camp Butler, Illinois. He survived the imprisonment and was paroled with the other men in Virginia in April, 1863.
After the parole, the 24th Cavalry was sent to the Army of Tennessee and participated in all the campaigns of that army. He was promoted to Fourth Sergeant, but apparently was demoted again during one of the reorganizations of the 24th Cavalry. In October, he was paid for his service through August, 1863.
Sadly, John was one of the three men of Company B who was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga on September 20,1863. One of the others was his brother Daniel. Perhaps they were fighting side-by-side in a dangerous situation.
1908 UDC Memorial at Chickamauga
Their brother, Oliver, was the only one of the three to survive the Civil War.
The above was compiled from census and county records, and from the Compiled Service Records, which are housed in the National Archives and which were 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 frankmjohnson.net or by contacting Frank at [email protected]
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