Cushing Memorial Library, Texas A & M University

Inventory of the J. M. Smith Letters:

14 Jan 1862; 9 Sept 1864



Descriptive Summary and Abstract

Creator Smith, J. M.
Title Inventory of the J. M. Smith Letters
Dates: 14 Jan 1862; 9 Sept 1864
Abstract Colonel J. M. Smith was a Confederate Army soldier, most likely from Texas, who served during the Civil War, at least between 1862 and 1864, in the 8th Texas Cavalry Regiment, Company G, popularly known as Terry's Texas Rangers. Smith's regiment was with the Army of Tennessee attached to Nathaniel Bedford Forest's command as raiders for a period during the war, and were in Tennessee fighting for most of the war, though they also fought at Shiloh and Corinth, Miss., and in Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky. Smith's two handwritten letters owned by the repository are addressed to his sister "Lue" from Camp Terry (near Bowling Green, Ky.) and from Near Lauderdale Factory, Ala. In the first letter, dated 14 Jan 1862, Smith mentions the death of one Confederate Col. Terry and another unnamed Lt. Col., who, according to Smith, was the brother of the Governor of Texas. Smith probably refers to Benjamin Franklin Terry, who, with Thomas Saltus Lubbock, brother of Texas Governor Lubbock, recruited the Eighth Texas Cavalry, generally called Terry's Texas Rangers. Colonel Terry was killed at the Battle of Rowlett's Station in Kentucky, also known as the Battle of Woodsonville, on 17 Dec.1861, and Lubbock, then sick in a Bowling Green hospital, was advanced to command of the regiment, but he also died Jan. 1862. In the first letter Smith also gives a brief description of the fighting taking place in Kentucky and Tennessee and how, on the following day, his regiment will leave for Bowling Green, Ky. and make their way towards Green River, Ky. He also mentions Mr. Bunting (Robert Franklin Bunting (1828-1891)), a chaplain for the Regiment, at the close of the letter. In the second letter, dated 9 Sept. 1864, only a few days after the fall of Atlanta to the Union Army under General Sherman, Smith discusses his regiment's campaign to burn the railroads, mostly in Tennessee, so that the Yankee troops will not be able to haul supply. U. S. Army General William Tecumseh Sherman is mentioned; so is the upcoming U. S. Presidential election between General George McClellan and then President Abraham Lincoln.
Identification Ragan MSS 00136
Extent .25 linear feet.
Language English.
Repository Cushing Memorial Library College Station, TX 77843-5000

Biographical Note

Colonel J. M. Smith was a Confederate Army soldier, most likely from Texas, who served during the Civil War, at least between 1862 and 1864, in the 8th Texas Cavalry Regiment, Company G, popularly known as Terry's Texas Rangers. Smith's regiment was with the Army of Tennessee attached to Nathaniel Bedford Forest's command as raiders for a period during the war, and were in Tennessee fighting for most of the war, though they also fought at Shiloh and Corinth, Miss., and in Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky. Smith's letters owned by the repository are addressed to his sister "Lue" from Camp Terry (near Bowling Green, Ky.) and from Near Lauderdale Factory, Ala.

  • Bibliography
  • "BUNTING, ROBERT FRANKLIN. "The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Fri Jul 18 8:35:11 US/Central 2003 ]
  • "EIGHTH TEXAS CAVALRY."The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Fri Jul 18 8:35:44 US/Central 2003 ].


Scope and Content Note

The J. M. Smith Letters (14 Jan. 1862; 9 Sept. 1864) consist of two handwritten letters written by Confederate Army Col. J. M. Smith to his sister "Lue" during the Civil War, dated 14 January 1862 and 9 September 1864.

In the first letter, dated 14 Jan 1862, Smith mentions the death of one Confederate Col. Terry and another unnamed Lt. Col., who, according to Smith, was the brother of the Governor of Texas. Smith probably refers to Benjamin Franklin Terry, who, with Thomas Saltus Lubbock, brother of Texas Governor Lubbock, traveled to Virginia from Galveston, Tex. in June 1861. In Virginia, with the blessing of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Lubbock, Terry, and some fifteen other Texans organized themselves into an independent band of guerrilla rangers to scout for the Confederate Army. Later, Lubbock was authorized to raise a regiment of cavalry to serve in the Confederate States Army. Terry and Lubbock then returned to Texas to recruit the Eighth Texas Cavalry, generally called Terry's Texas Rangers. Colonel Terry was killed at the Battle of Rowlett's Station in Kentucky, also known as the Battle of Woodsonville, on 17 Dec.1861, and Lubbock, then sick in a Bowling Green hospital, was advanced to command of the regiment, but he also died Jan. 1862.

In the first letter Smith also gives a brief description of the fighting taking place in Kentucky and Tennessee and how, on the following day, his regiment will leave for Bowling Green, Ky. and make their way towards Green River, Ky. He also mentions Mr. Bunting (Robert Franklin Bunting (1828-1891)), a chaplain for the Regiment, at the close of the letter.

In the second letter, dated 9 Sept. 1864, only a few days after the fall of Atlanta to the Union Army under General Sherman, Smith discusses his regiment's campaign to burn the railroads, mostly in Tennessee, so that the Yankee troops will not be able to haul supply. U. S. Army General William Tecumseh Sherman is mentioned; so is the upcoming U. S. Presidential election between General George McClellan and then President Abraham Lincoln.

Typed transcriptions of the letters are also present, but it is unclear as to exactly when, or by whom, they were made.


 

Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into 2 series:
Series 1. Letters, 14 Jan 1862 and 9 Sept. 1864.
Series 2. Transcription of letters, undated.

Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged chronologically.

Restrictions

Access

No restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


Online Catalog Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog of Cushing Memorial Library. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog under these index terms.
Names
Bunting, R. F. (Robert Franklin), 1828-1891.
Forrest, Nathan Bedford, 1821-1877.
Lubbock, Thomas Saltus.
McClellan, G. B. (George Brinton), 1826-1885.
Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891.
Terry, Benjamin Franklin, 1821-1861.
Organizations
Confederate States of America. Army of Tennessee.
Confederate States of America. Army. Texas Cavalry Regiment, 8th.
Subjects
Presidents--Election--History.
Rowlett's Station, Battle of, Ky., 1861.
United States-- History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Places
Bowling Green (Ky.)--History.
Woodsonville (Ky.)--History.

Administrative Information

Provenance

Source unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Valerie D. Coleman in February 2003


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1. Letters, 14 Jan 1862 and 9 Sept. 1864.

box-folder
1/1 Letters, 14 Jan 1862 and 9 Sept. 1864.



 

Series 2. Transcription of letters, undated

box-folder
1/2 Transcription of letters, undated.