Texas Governor Pendleton Murrah:
An Inventory of Records at the Texas State Archives, 1863-1865
Pendleton Murrah served as governor of Texas from November 5, 1863 to June 17, 1865. Murrah was probably born in Alabama in 1826 or South Carolina in 1827, either illegitimate or orphaned early. He attended the University of Alabama and graduated from Brown University in 1848. Murrah moved to Marshall, Texas and began practicing law there around 1850. In 1857, he was elected to the state legislature after losing a race in 1855. He announced as a candidate for the Confederate Congress in 1861 but withdrew due to ill health. He served briefly as a quartermaster officer in the Fourteenth Texas Infantry in early 1862 but was forced by poor health to resign his commission. He defeated T.J. Chambers in the gubernatorial election of 1863. During his administration, military and financial difficulties pushed the state and the Confederacy into contests over conscription, frontier defense, and the impressment of cotton, cattle, and slaves. In addition, Murrah was dying of tuberculosis. In May 1865, Governor Murrah fled to Mexico, where he died at Monterrey on August 4, 1865. In Murrah's absence (May to June 1865), Lieutenant Governor Fletcher S. Stockdale was acting governor.
Fletcher S. Stockdale
Fletcher Stockdale was born in Kentucky in 1827 and moved to Indianola, Texas in 1846. In 1856 he was a promoter of the Powderhorn, Victoria, and Gonzales Railroad. He served in the state senate from 1857 to 1861, and was on the committee which drafted the Ordinance of Secession in 1861. Stockdale was lieutenant governor from 1863 to 1866. After the Civil War, Stockdale practiced law and promoted land in Cuero. He was active in a number of Democratic National Conventions, and in the Constitutional Convention of 1875. He died in Cuero in 1902.
Types of records are correspondence, including letters, petitions, reports, orders, and letterpress books, dating from January 1863 to May 1865. Materials are the records of Pendleton Murrah's term as governor of Texas. There do not appear to be any documents from Stockdale's tenure as acting governor among these records. The majority of the correspondence relates to Confederate military affairs, including letters relative to coastal and frontier defense, requests and recommendations for civil and military appointments, letters in reference to military conscription, communications between Generals J.B. Magruder and E. Kirby Smith, and Governor Murrah relative to troop transferals and the status of state troops, requests and petitions for exemptions and discharges from military service, requests for supplies, and letters relative to the sale and shipment of cotton. Two letterpress books contain copies of some of the outgoing letters from November 1863 to May 1865.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
These letterpress volumes are extremely fragile and may not be photocopied.
(Identify the item), Records, Texas Governor Pendleton Murrah. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Most of these records have no accession information.
Tonia J. Wood, November 1995
Detailed Description of the Records