Talvis Alexander Wilson enlisted in the Second Texas Lancers at Danville, Montgomery County, in March, 1862. He was enrolled by John E. George. It was fifty miles from his home to place of rendezvous. He gave no value for his horse and equipment.
Alex does not appear on the 1860 census of either Walker or Montgomery County, and probably came to Texas from Alabama with his wife, to join his relatives, in late 1860.
Descendant Kay Russell McBrayer gives his birthdate as 17 October, 1831.
Wilson researcher Lee Murrah has located Alexander on the 1850 census of Macon County, Alabama, in the household of Mary Wilson. He was listed as the oldest child, age twenty, and was born in Alabama.
T. A. was mustered in at Camp Carter at Hempstead and trained with the other men. He was elected Third Corporal and was listed thus on the August 1862 muster roll. On the muster roll there is a notation: Name appears in column of names present as T. A. Wilson.
His name is on some muster rolls as T. E. Wilson.
He rode to Arkansas with the other men and was dismounted with the rest of the regiment at El Dorado. He was first stationed at Camp Holmes, learning to fight as infantry; he was then stationed at Ft. Hindman at Arkansas Post, where he was engaged in building cabins for the winter and in digging rifle pits in case of attack by Union troops.
Thirty-thousand Union Forces came up the White River in iron clads on the 10th of January, 1863, and waged battle against six thousand Confederates.
Alexander fought in what is called the Battle of Arkansas Post, where he was captured by Union forces on January 11, 1863, and sent to Gratiot Street Prison at St. Louis, Missouri. Gratiot Street Prison was one of the harshest of the Union prisons. Few who were admitted to Gratiot lived to be paroled.
Alexander was admitted to Hickory Street U. S. A General Hospital at St. Louis on January 26, 1863. He was apparently admitted to the hospital as soon as he was taken off the river steamer, before being sent to the prison. His complaint was acute diarrhea. Amazingly, he recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital and returned to duty on February 12. Returning to duty meant being sent to the prison.
He is on a Report of Gratiot Street Prison showing that he was captured at Arkansas Post and was received at the prison on February 12th.
Gratiot Street Prison
Alexander was one of the few prisoners to make it out of Gratiot Street Prison alive. A prison report of April 30, 1863, shows that he was discharged on April 12th. He is on a Roll of Prisoners forwarded from St. Louis, Missouri, towards Allenís Point, Virginia, for exchange in April, 1863, by order of Lt. Col. F.A. Dick, Provost Marshall General, Department of the Missouri, under instructions from the Commissary General of Prisoners.
As soon as Alexander arrived in Virginia for exchange on April 12, he was admitted to the C. S. A. General Hospital at Farmville, Virginia. He was suffering from chronic bronchitis. On April 18, he was sent to General Hospital at Petersburg, Virginia, with eripsylis. This was an infection that didnít heal and could be deadly.
Alexander was issued new clothing while he was in the C.S.A. General Hospital, and a clothing receipt is in his files for April 21, 1863. He was still on a Farmville hospital roll on May 20,1863.
A note on his Company B muster roll shows that he was furloughed on April 14th. This is the approximate date that he was first admitted to the hospital in Virginia. His subsequent rolls show him as 1st Corporal of Company B, absent on furlough. This includes his muster rolls of June, August, November, 1863; and February and April of 1864.
Apparently, Alexander went home to Texas when he was released from the hospital, probably in June of 1863. All men of the Twenty-fourth Regiment who came home to Texas during the war for whatever reason were to report to Capt. Poole of the detached 24th at Hempstead and were to receive assignments in the Trans-Mississippi.
Alexander was assigned to Company F of the combined 24th and 25th detached consolidated regiment and in April of 1865 was stationed at Camp Lubbock. Remarks show that he joined Company F by transfer from the 24th Texas Cavalry, now permanently. He was now a private.
On a Regimental Return of a detachment of the organization named above, attached to and on duty with the 25th Regiment Texas Cavalry, Alexander is noted to be absent without leave. This is the last roll in Alexanderís files, and the war was soon over and the men permanently paroled.
He is not enumerated in the 1870 census of Montgomery County.
However, his name appears in the 1880 census of San Jacinto County, age forty-eight, born in South Carolina. He was in District 3 on page 370A. His wife, Elizabeth, was thirty-eight years old and was born in South Carolina. Their oldest child was born in about 1861 in Texas.
A descendant, Kay Russell McBrayer, indicates that Alex's wife was Charitie Elizabeth Kelly, born January 29, 1842. Her birthplace is unknown. According to Charitie's Confederate Widow's Pension Application, the couple was married in October, 1857, in South Carolina. Kay may be contacted at [email protected]
Alex and Charitie Wilson had seven sons. They are pictured below.
SEVEN SONS OF ALEX AND CHARITIE WILSON Photo contributed by Kay Russell McBrayer Kay's grandfather, Tavus DeWitt Wilson, is at the upper left.
Alex died 29 December 1908, and Charitie died 4 April 1919. They are buried in Union Springs Cemetery, Polk County, Texas.
T. ALEXANDER WILSON, UNION SPRINGS CEMETERY, POLK COUNTY, TEXAS
CHARITIE ELIZABETH WILSON, UNION SPRINGS CEMETERY, POLK COUNTY, TEXAS
WILSON FAMILY PLOT, UNION SPRINGS CEMETERY, POLK COUNTY, TEXAS
Evidence indicates that Alex was a brother or a cousin of fellow-cavalryman James E. Wilson, and that he was a brother of William Pinkney Wilson of Walker and later San Jacinto County. He was also somehow related to Joshua Wilson, who moved from Macon County, Alabama, to Walker County with his wife and children in 1866. A descendant of Joshua is Lou Ann Sandel.
The above was compiled from various sources including: T. A. Wilsonís Compiled Service Records, housed at the National Archives and accessed on microfilm at the Confederate Research Center at Hillsboro, Texas; the San Jacinto 1880 census, and the Wilson webpages and research of Lee Murrah and of Lou Ann Sandel. Descendant Kay Russell McBrayer contributed further data and the cemetery photos; the photos were taken by L. R. (Rayford) Sandel.
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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