John Smith was twenty-one years old when he enlisted in Second Texas Lancers at Danville, Texas, in March 1862. He joined the company raised by Capt. S. D. Wooldridge, and it became Company B, 24th Regiment, Texas Cavalry.
John was born in about 1840, but details of his family are not known. He was not enumerated in the 1860 census of Montgomery, Grimes, or Walker County, and he did not render taxes In Montgomery County.
John stated that his residence was fifty miles from the place of rendezvous, which was Camp Carter at Hempstead. All the men from the Danville vicinity were recorded as living fifty miles from the place of rendezvous, so we therefore conclude that he had recently moved to Danville. The value of John's horse was 75.00, and his equipment was worth $20.00.
John mustered in at Camp Carter on April 28, 1862. He rode with the other men through Louisiana to Arkansas, where he was dismounted with the rest of his regiment.
He was one of the eight men whom Captain Wooldridge detailed to take the men's horses back to Montgomery County. Each man was to be in charge of ten horses, by order of General Hindman, and the horses were to be grazed. The Confederate government would not pay for fodder.
The next muster roll, dated September and October 1862, notes that John was absent on sick furlough. The men were stationed at Arkansas Post by this time. Where John was during his sick furlough is not stated, but he could have stayed behind in Texas when the other men retuned to Arkansas, or he could have been sent to the hospital. By October, several epidemics, including measles and diarrhea, had ravaged the troops. Arkansas Post was a very unhealthy place because of the swampy conditions and polluted water. It was recorded that there were funerals from sunrise to sundown.
Johnís final appearance on a muster roll was on the one taken after the 24th Regiment prisoners were released and paroled in April of 1863. Since all paperwork was lost during the Battle of Arkansas Post, notations were made in April to show what had happened between the October muster roll of 1862 and the release of the prisoners in the spring of 1863.
Johnís final muster states simply, Died December 13, 1862. No place of death is given, and it is possible he had rejoined his regiment at Arkansas Post and that he died there, as did several of the other men in Company B.
Read Ranger Eric Leonardís answers to questions about the burial places of soldiers who died of illness at Arkansas Post.
The above information is compiled from Johnís files in the Compiled Service Records, housed at the National Archives and accessed on microfilm at the Confederate Research Center at Hillsboro, Texas. Also available now on footnote.com
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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