Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

Gideon Gooch, Photograph, 1872; digital image, University of North Texas Libraries,
The Portal to Texas History, crediting Palestine Public Library, Palestine, Texas.

Gideon Johnson John Gooch was born April 3, 1844, in Rumsey, McLean County, Kentucky, the son of John Graham Gooch, a lawyer, and his wife Elizabeth Cravens of Mississippi.

His parents migrated from Kentucky to Texas in about 1854 and were settled in Anderson County by 1860, at which time there were five children in the family. John G. Gooch was a man of considerable wealth.

On April 15, 1862, when G. J. was barely eighteen, he was enlisted in the Second Texas Lancers by Col. Francis Collette Wilkes. This occurred at the county seat of Palestine. We have no knowledge as to why Col. Wilkes was in Palestine that day, but he probably was not recruiting for the regiment. He may have been paying a visit to Gideon's father, John Graham Gooch.

G. J. Gooch was enlisted at Palestine by Colonel Wilkes
according to this extract from the muster rolls

There are other documents in his Compiled Service Records indicating that he enlisted in Marshall, Texas, on the same date: April 15, 1862. It is possible G. J. was attending college in Marshall, a center of education in pre-war Texas and a hotbed of anti-Union sentiment.

G. J. Gooch seems to have been the only original member of Company B who hailed from a county other than Montgomery, Walker, or Grimes.

John's name was not on the muster rolls for April, August, and October, 1862, with the other men of Company B.

It is possible that he rode alone to join the regiment in Arkansas, which was a common occurrence for that day.

In fact, the first record we have is when his name was entered on the roll of Confederate soldiers captured at the Battle of Arkansas Post and received at Camp Butler, Illinois, on January 31, 1863. Thus it is for sure that he was stationed at Fort Hindman at Arkansas Post and fought in the battle there on January 11, 1863. At that time, he was a member of Company B, 24th Regiment Texas Cavalry, serving under Captain Samuel D. Wooldridge.

His name appears on the Parole of Honor of prisoners exchanged, and surely he rode the train with the other Confederate soldiers from Illinois to Petersburg, Virginia, where they were exchanged and were assigned to the Army of Tennessee.

G. J. received a suit of clothing while he was in Petersburg in May of 1863, as evidenced by a clothing receipt dated May 30th. The notation on his muster roll places him as a member of Company D, probably an error. A June, 1863, muster roll indicates that the last time he was paid was in June of 1862, a full year prior. His August muster roll states that there was still pay due him for the hire of his horse for one month and for mileage at 10 cents per mile for 150 miles from his home to the place of rendezvous, which was Camp Carter near Hempstead.

When the men were assigned to General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee, the 17th, 18th, 24th, and 25th cavalries were combined into a single regiment because of the depletion of man power. This was due to the huge number of men who had died in captivity and who had transferred, deserted, or otherwise left their units. The combined regiment was assigned to Major General Patrick Cleburne's Division.

Several campaigns took place in Tennessee and Georgia, including the infamous Battles of Chickamauga and Franklin. John apparently was present for all of them, as he was counted present on the muster rolls.

On April 6, 1864, he was appointed Commissary Sergeant, and this was the last muster roll that is in existence for the entire regiment until their surrender in 1865. What became of the remainder of the rolls is not known.

On May 4, 1864, the campaign for Atlanta began as part of a coordinated Federal offensive. John was assigned to Granbury's. Hiram Bronson Granbury had been promoted to brigadier general. From that point on, the brigade has been known as "Granbury's Texas Brigade."

Battle of Atlanta

After the fall of Atlanta, the war dragged on for another year. The Texas soldiers moved through Georgia in October 1864. They spent the winter in Columbia, Tennessee.

Along with the few soldiers of the 24th Regiment who remained at the end of the war, John was placed in Granbury's Consolidated Brigade, Company I. On April 26th, 1865, General Joseph Johnston surrendered to Sherman at the Bennett House in Greensboro, N. C. The Confederate soldiers were ordered to turn in their arms. They broke into groups of three or four and started making their way home.

We know that John made it back to Anderson County. He became a lawyer, following in his father's footsteps.

According to his descendants, he married Sue Rebecca Kimborough on October 31, 1867. She was born October 28, 1846, and died September 26, 1869. Their infant son was born and died in 1869. John was enumerated on the 1870 census in Palestine in the household of Mollie McClure.

On September 20 of that year, he married Frances (Fannie) Brooks in Palestine. She was the daughter of Nathaniel Brooks and Laura Anderson. She was born September 2, 1852 in Charleston, Va. The couple had six children. G. J. Gooch was listed among the Voters of Anderson County, Texas, in 1871, indicating that he had sworn allegiance to the United States and rejected his Confederate loyalty. This was a necessary step in order for soldiers to have voting rights restored.

He served as Worshipful Master of the local Masonic Lodge in 1871. Gideon J. Gooch then served as mayor of Palestine from 1872 to 1873.

In the census of 1880, G. J. Gooch was enumerated with his wife, Fannie, and two daughters. He was a lawyer.

G. J. Gooch was a member of the first board of directors of the Dallas and Greenville Railway Company, which was chartered on February 15, 1886 to build a railroad and telegraph line from Greenville to Dallas. (Handbook of Texas Online) By July, when the Gainsville, Henrietta and Western Railway was chartered, he was a board member and said to be of Houston.

In 1887, G. J. Gooch was on a list of members of the Masonic Lodges of Anderson County who were delinquent in dues. He is mentioned in the August 1, 1894 edition of the Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 6, col. 4, as having attended an Ex-Confederates Reunion at the fair grounds, meeting with other members of Granbury's Brigade.

In early 1900, Gideon J. Gooch became a member of the Texas State Historical Association, indicating his interest in the history of his adopted state. In the census enumeration that year, he was living in Palestine with his wife, Fannie, and four of their daughters, ages six through twenty-two.

John died on the 31st of January, 1906, in Palestine, Anderson County. Fannie died on the 12th of October, 1912. They were buried in Palestine City Cemetery.

Family information on Gideon Johnson Gooch was compiled from Ancestry Trees submitted by various descendants. Other records used were: Compiled Service Records housed in the National Archives; census records, and various internet sources.

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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© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014
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