JOHN E. GEORGE, Danville Mounted Riflemen


© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

John Edmund George was born in 1821 in South Carolina and came to the state of Texas after 1849 from Mississippi. The birth date on his cemetery marker seems to be July 22, 1821.

Prior to 1850, he was married to Martha Sandel in Pike County, Mississippi. There is evidence that Martha may have been his second wife. She was the daughter of Henry and Emily M. Sandel, who had immigrated from South Carolina to Pike County. In 1850, John E. and Martha George were living in Pike County. At that time, John was a school teacher.

In 1852, the couple moved to the vicinity of Danville, Montgomery County, Texas.

John first appears on the county tax lists in 1853. His taxable possessions included two horses and $400 that he had loaned “at interest.” Martha’s parents moved from Mississippi to Walker County at about the same time.

According to descendants of Sarah Ann George, the wife of James Henry Hall, John E. George was the uncle of Sarah Ann. However, this has not been confirmed by documentation, and nothing has been learned about the George ancestors.

By 1854, John had purchased sixty acres in the Samuel Lindley league and four acres in the Joseph Lindley League. The four acres probably were lots in the town of Danville. The tax list shows that he also owned two Negroes valued at a thousand dollars. By this time, he was in the general mercantile business with Edmund Wooldridge, brother of Captain of the Rifleman, Samuel D. Wooldridge. Their store was called “Wooldridge and George” and was located in Danville. In the estate settlement of Michael Weisinger, debts to the Wooldridge and George store are listed for the year of 1854. The purchases included such items as sugar, coffee, coffee pot, tin cups, a Second Reader, slate and pencils, flour, starch, a side saddle, and turpentine.

In 1855, John was taxed on two town lots in Danville. By this time, Ed Wooldridge had moved on to Caldwell County, so we presume that John was in business by himself.

John E. George was elected Justice of the Peace in Precinct 5, Montgomery County, in 1856 through 1866 and was a notary public in 1859 and 1866, until disqualified by the Reconstruction government. He was a Master Mason, and was an officer of San Jacinto Masonic Lodge 106 at Danville in 1857, shortly after its formation. He served as Worshipful Master in 1874 after the lodge had moved to Willis.

John was appointed postmaster of Danville on March 14, 1855 and served to November 23, 1858. He was appointed again on June 1, 1860; and he became Danville’s C. S. A. postmaster on July 12, 1861. He was nominally succeeded by his sixteen-year-old daughter Fannie beginning March 27, 1866. We assume he was ineligible due to the fact that he had served as the postmaster during the Confederacy.

On 4 May 1861, John joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen, a local militia unit formed under Capt. S. D. Wooldridge. He later acted as the official who swore in those Riflemen who joined the Confederate States Army. This was done in his capacity as Justice of the Peace for the Danville Precinct. He also was on the muster rolls as a militia member for September 13, 1861 and for February 14, 1862. He did not join Company B, 24th Regiment Cavalry with most of the other men from the Riflemen, since he was some years over age.

Martha's brother, E. E. Sandel, was also a member of the Riflemen. John is said to have been an uncle of Sarah George, the wife of James Henry Hall, another member of the Riflemen. However, nothing has been learned about the ancestors of John E. George and his niece.

In January, 1863, a petition of a number of Danville citizens was sent to Col. Robinson of the Seventeenth Brigade, Texas State Troops, asking that John E. George be detailed as an apothecary and druggist, as there is no one but him engaged in that business in this portion of the county, we have a large and extensive population dependant upon him entirely for drugs and medicine.”

We assume that John was so detailed. However, a year later, John submitted a petition to Governor Pendleton Murrah stating that he had been ordered to report for duty in Captain Evans company D, 4th Regiment Texas State Troops, but that he should be exempted from “military service to the Confederate States by reason of his being a practical apothecary in good standing, carrying on an apothecary store established before the passage of the acts of conscription. That he has been engaged in that business in the town of Danville for the past nine years and has now on hand a large and complete stock of drugs and medicines which he is now engaged in dispensing. That there is no other stock or assortment of drugs and medicines in the county of Montgomery...”

The outcome of this petition is not known, but we assume he did not have to leave Montgomery County for active duty.

John is on a list of voters in Montgomery County who took the amnesty oath in 1865. The document states: John E. George, P. M. (postmaster) at Danville, Montgomery County, takes the amnesty oath as a preliminary Step for an application to the President for pardon.

His Amnesty Oath document was signed before Montgomery County Chief Justice H. R. Bell on September 16.

Due to the fact that John had served the Confederacy as a postmaster, which was considered an official capacity, he applied for a special pardon on September 29, 1865. He stated that he remained at home and...acted as Post Master as aforesaid...But committed no further act of hostility to the Government of the United States.

A message from Governor J. W. Throckmorton was sent to the U. S. Attorney General on May 9, 1867, recommending that John be pardoned. The Department of Justice filed his application on July 12, 1866, and his pardon was granted on May 1, 1867.

In 1872, after the effective demise of Danville, he became postmaster of Willis.

John died on September 24, 1875, and is buried in Willis City Cemetery. His marker has recently been repaired by Sandel descendant, Rayford Sandel, and bears a Masonic emblem.

Updated 2012

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 [email protected]

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© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014
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