Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Against the Grain: Union Supporters in Civil War Texas (Part 1)

My great-grandfather Thomas Jefferson Martin and his father-in-law Stephen Clement Attebury (my great-great-grandfather) were both Texans, and both supporters of the Union. They were both Union soldiers, although Stephen served during the Mexican war, well prior to the Civil War. Since Texas was a Confederate state, they were members of a distinct minority. I think their stories are worth telling. First, the story of Stephen C. Attebury:

Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, published:

Chicago; The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892.

STEPHEN C. ATTEBERY, an early settler of Dallas county, is a native of Hart county, Kentucky, and a son of Thomas Attebery, a native of South Carolina.The latter, moved to Kentucky in an early day, and in April, 1834, he removed to Greene county, Illinois, thence to Macoupin county, same State, where he lived most of his life, dying, however, in Macon county, in September, 1875, at the age of seventy-two years. Our subject's mother, nee Elizabeth Clement, was born and reared in North Carolina, and also died in Macoupin county, Illinois, in 1838 aged fifty years. Mr. and Mrs. Attebery had eleven children, two of whom die dyoung, and nine became grown, married and had families.

Stephen C., our subject, was born in Hart county, Kentucky, March 24, 1820, and was reared to the age of fourteen years in Grayson county, that state. He accompanied his parents to Illinois in 1834, where he remained until June, 1846, and then entered the United States army, as a member of Company C, Captain Frye's First Illinois Regiment, under Colonel John J. Hardin. His company met at Alton, Illinois, where it entered the First Illinois, moved to New Orleans, where it took ship and landed at Port Lavaca, and moved overland to San Antonio. After five weeks stop there, it went to Presidio, on the Rio Grande, and there entered the Mexican territory. After a march of 140 miles, in three days, it passed MonteClover, Santa Rosa and Paris, reaching Saltillo, and was in the engagement at that place February 22, 1847. Mr. Attebery's regiment remained at Saltillo until ordered to Comargo, on the Rio Grande, and there, July 19, 1847[sic], he was discharged. The men had their choice, either to return home by way of the Gulf of Mexico, transportation free, or to accept an amount equivalent to mileage and ship passage, and make their way home as they pleased.

Mr. Attebery chose the latter and with three comrades, Alanson Doddy, Richard Bandy and James Brock, they obtained an outfit, crossed the Rio Grande at Comargo, traveled 200 miles through a wild county to San Patricio, twenty-seven miles above Corpus Christi, on to Nueces, then to Goliad, where they crossed the San Antonio river, thence to Chesholn's ferry, on the Guadaloupe, thence to LaGrange, on the Colorado, thence to Washington, on the Brazos, and next along the old Comanche trail to the northeast until they reached settlements in the vicinity of where Lancaster now stands. They reached the settlement July 12, 1847, and Mr. Attebery spent the first night with Samuel Keller. He had acquaintances in the village, and, in fact was engaged to be married to a young lady, a daughter of one of the settlers, to carry out which engagement was the object of this visit.

He then took a headright of 320 acres of land in the southern part of the county, near where Hutchings now stands, and also 320 acres seven miles northwest of the present village of Lancaster. He settled on the former tract, and resided there from January, 1848, until some time in 1850, when, his father-in-law having died, he moved to a part of his farm, about three miles west of Lancaster, where he has since resided. Mr. Attebery has owned considerable land in this county, having at one time as much as 1,500 acres, but which he has since divided with his children. He has been engaged in farming and stock-raising all his life, and although past his seventieth year he still gives his attention to his business.

He was married ten days after his arrival in this county, July 22, 1847, to IsabellaRawlins, a daughter of William Rawlins, originally from Greene county, Illinois, where his daughter was born. Mr. and Mrs. Attebery had eleven children, viz.: Sarah Ann, who died in infancy; William Thomas, also deceased in infancy; William, who died when young; Annie, John J., Stephen J. and Lucy, who died young; Benjamin K., deceased; Mary E., deceased; Mattie J., and Millie, who died in infancy. Only four of these children are now living: Annie, the wife of Mr. Martin, of Hood county, Texas; John J., a resident of this county; Stephen H., of Lancaster, Dallas county; and Mattie, wife of Alexander Mills, of Lancaster. The wife and mother died February 11, 1877, and Mr. Attebery was afterward married to Mrs. Susan Wallace, widow of A. Wallace, of Dallas county.

Mrs. Attebery was born and reared in Washington county, Missouri, and was married first in Franklin county, that State, and came with her husband to Texas in 1874, settling in Dallas county. Mr. and Mrs. Attebery have one child, Joseph. Mrs. Attebery's mother was a daughter of Thomas P. Stovall, a native of Kentucky. He subsequently moved to Missouri, where he married Judith Bass, a daughter of Thomas Bass, of Washington county, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Attebery are members of the Christian Church.

Mr. Attebery refused to enter the Confederate army during the late war, and is proud of the fact. Having fought under the old flag he loved it too well to raise his hand against it, and says he is uneducated and has never traveled, but knows enough and has seen enough to convince him that he lives under the best government that ever existed.

Submitted by: L. Pingel

No comments:

Post a Comment