Charles Mills Lawrence was born in Texas in August, 1835, the son of George W. Lawrence of Virginia and his wife, Sarah Whitley (daughter of Mills Whitley and Elizabeth Little). George W. Lawrence received a First Class Headright Certificate for one league of land, and located 177 acres of land in Walker County.
He also received bounty land for participating in the Battle of San Jacinto.
Charles was enumerated with his family in Walker County in 1850. By 1860, his father had died and his mother was head of household. Charles was age twenty-five and was listed as a laborer. Charles had served as administrator of his father's estate upon his father's death.
Charles's name appears on a list of men who voted for militia officers in Moon Precinct in Walker County on December 21, 1861, in the First Regiment, Seventeenth Brigade.
However, he joined Second Texas Lancers in Montgomery County on March 29, 1862, along with his brother, William B. Lawrence. In addition to his brother, three of his first cousins once removed were in the same company. They were James Lindley, John Lindley, and Elijah Lindley.
Upon enrollment, he gave his age as twenty-six, the value of his horse as $190.00, and his equipment as $35.00. He had to travel fifty miles to the place of rendezvous.
He mustered in at Hempstead and trained at Camp Carter as a cavalryman. He then joined his regiment when it assembled at Crockett, and with the others marched to Arkansas. He was dismounted with the rest of the Texans upon reaching Arkansas and was forced to serve the remainder of the war on foot. At this time, his regiment was accepted into the Confederate States Army and was designated as the 24th Regiment Texas Cavalry (Dismounted.)
By August 31, when the men were stationed at Camp White Sulphur Springs near Pine Bluff, Charles was absent sick. It is likely he was left behind in a private home, since there is no mention of him being in a hospital. But he apparently recovered and was sent with his regiment to Ft. Hindman at Arkansas Post. He was counted present in September and October of 1862. At Ft. Hindman, the men were engaged in building cabins for the winter and in constructing the fort.
He then fought in the Battle of Arkansas Post on January 11, 1863 and was captured by Union forces.
Capture of Arkansas Post by Union Forces
He was sent to prison at Camp Butler, Illinois. His name appears on a roll of Prisoners of War captured at Arkansas Post; his age was twenty-seven, eyes blue, and hair brown. His residence was given as Walker County, Texas.
While Charles was in prison at Camp Butler, he took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and was released from prison. After the other men were paroled and exchanged at City Point, Virginia, in April, his captain marked his muster roll Absent without leave having taken Oath of Allegiance to U. S.
Again on the muster roll of June, 1863, is a notation: Deserted Took the Oath of Allegiance at Camp Butler, Illinois.
This is the last time Charles’s name appears on the muster roll of Company B. However, he somehow made his way back to Texas, where he enlisted with a detachment of the 24th Regiment serving in the Trans-Mississippi, stationed in Texas.
He was on a muster roll in January at which time he was in charge of the company horses. In February of 1865, he was noted to be herding beef for Captain Newton A. C. S. at Hempstead, by order of Col. Gillespie.
Charles returned home after the war. He married Susannah A. Smith in Montgomery County on 12 September 1865. She was born in Florida in April, 1845.
After their marriage, they moved to the vicinity of Lockhart in Caldwell County and were enumerated there on the census of 1870. Charles, a farmer, was age 34 (born 1836) and Susanna was age 25 (born 1845). They had two children, George W. and Elizabeth, ages four and two.
A few years later, they moved to Wilson County, southeast of San Antonio. By 1880, the couple was living in Precinct 3, Gonzales County, and Charles was farming. Charles and Susanna had seven children.
In 1900, they were living in Walker County in Precinct 4. Charles, age 64, was a farmer. One daughter, Katie, was living at home.
Charles died in 1905 and Susan in 1907. These death dates were originally provided by descendant Lewis Tadlock.
Charles and Susannah were buried in East Sandy Cemetery near New Waverly, Walker County. The inscription for Charles reads, Charlie M. Lawrence, 1844-1905. (The birth date inscription is apparently an error.) The inscription for Susannah reads, Susan S. Lawrence 1844-1907.
The biographical information was compiled from census and county records and from the Compiled Service Records housed at the National Archives and accessed at the Confederate Research Center at Hillsboro, Texas. Records are now online on Fold3.com.
Cemetery inscriptions were found on findagrave.com, the grave memorial contributed by Ron and Myrna Cooper. Descendant Lewis Tadlock contributed family information.
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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