Texas State Library and Archives Commission

John Salmon Ford:

An Inventory of the John Salmon Ford Papers at the Texas State Archives, 1858-1866, 1870-1876, 1883-1896, undated, bulk 1861-1865



Overview

Creator: Ford, John Salmon.
Title: John Salmon Ford papers
Dates: 1858-1866, 1870-1876, 1883-1896, undated
Dates: bulk 1861-1865
Abstract: John Salmon (Rip) Ford (1815-1997) was a soldier and political figure in the Texas Republic and the state. The bulk of the John Salmon Ford papers consists of military correspondence between Ford and fellow Confederate Army officers in the field, and Ford's published memoirs. A small selection of personal correspondence from his post-army career and military records such as general and special orders and troop and barracks records primarily from the Civil War period (1860-1865) make up the remainder of the collection. Almost all of the papers are Photostat copies or transcriptions of information originally dated 1858-1866, 1870-1876, 1883-1896, undated, bulk 1861-1865. The collection highlights the prosecution of early to mid-nineteenth century warfare due to its many and detailed descriptions of battle—from those of the Texas War of Independence to the American Civil War—and by the military records within the collection.
Quantity: 4.45 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written predominately in English with scattered Spanish throughout.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: This EAD finding aid was created in cooperation with Texas Archival Resources Online.

Biographical Sketch

John Salmon (Rip) Ford was born on May 26, 1815, in Greenville District, South Carolina, and arrived in Texas in 1836. Over the course of his military career he fought in the Texas Revolution from 1836 to 1838, served as an adjutant in the Mexican War from 1846 to 1848 and as a captain in the Texas Rangers from 1850 to 1851, and was a colonel of the 2nd Texas Cavalry from 1862 to 1865 during the Civil War. It was during the Mexican War that he attained the nickname of "Rip," from his writing the shortened form of "Rest in Peace" at the top of official death notices. He was elected as a representative to the Ninth Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1844 and as a Texas state senator in 1852 and again from 1876 to 1879. He was a member of the Secession Convention in 1861 and the Constitutional Convention of 1875. Ford also edited newspapers in Austin and Brownsville, was a superintendent of what would become the Texas School for the Deaf, and was a charter member of the Texas State Historical Association. He died on November 3, 1897, in San Antonio.

(Sources include: Connor, Seymour V. "John Salmon (Rip) Ford," The Handbook of Texas Online; and "John Salmon 'Rip' Ford," Civil War Trust website; both accessed October 24, 2016.)


Scope and Contents of the Papers

John Salmon (Rip) Ford (1815-1997) was a soldier and political figure in the Texas Republic and the state. The bulk of the John Salmon Ford papers consists of military correspondence between Ford and fellow Confederate Army officers in the field, and Ford's published memoirs. A small selection of personal correspondence from his post-army career and military records such as general and special orders and troop and barracks records primarily from the Civil War period (1860-1865) make up the remainder of the collection. Almost all of the papers are Photostat copies or transcriptions of information originally dated 1858-1866, 1870-1876, 1883-1896, undated, bulk 1861-1865.

The correspondence consists of letters to officers of other regiments in the field discussing troop movements, supply chains, and other military matters. Personal post-Civil War correspondence details family matters and wartime reminiscences. Correspondents include Santos Benavides, Captain John J. Dix, and Governor Pendleton Murrah. Ford's seven-volume memoirs cover his family history and his career from 1851 to 1883 and include descriptions of the battle of the Alamo, several Indian wars in which Ford fought as a Texas Ranger, Ford's Civil War service, and his political and editorial activities thereafter. General and special orders date from April 1863 to January 1865 and cover topics from basic troop discipline to military policy and marching orders. Troop and barracks records date from 1861 to 1865 and consist of officer election certifications; court martial proceedings; weapons, supply and property invoices and receipts for Ringgold Barracks; troop passport lists and furlough letters; a list of general staff in the battalion of George H. Giddings; Ringgold Barracks guard reports; reports from army scouts and spies; printed military orders from headquarters in Houston, Shreveport, Galveston and Brownsville; and some special orders and photocopied mail route maps.

The collection contains four complete sets of Ford's memoirs and also duplicate sets of bound correspondence and general and special orders.


Organization of the Papers

These papers are maintained as received from the donors, organized into three series by record type:
Correspondence, 1858-1866, 1870-1876, 1883-1896, undated, bulk 1863-1865, 2.23 cubic ft.
Military records, 1860-1865, 1869, undated, 1.11 cubic ft.
Memoirs, about 1892, 1.11 cubic ft.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Under the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended in 1998, unpublished works are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years. The term of copyright for published material varies. Researchers are responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Personal Names:
Benavides, Santos, 1823-1891.
Dix, John J., 1826-1910.
Murrah, Pendleton, 1824-1865.
Subjects (Families):
Ford family.
Subjects:
Military history--Texas.
Soldiers--Confederate States of America--Correspondence.
Soldiers--Texas--Correspondence.
Places:
Texas--History--19th Century.
Texas--History--Civil War, 1860-1865.
Texas--History--Revolution, 1835-1836.
Texas--History--Republic, 1836-1846.
Confederate States of America--Army--Military life--History--Sources.
Confederate States of America--Army--Texas Cavalry Regiment, 2nd.
Brownsville (Tex.)
Galveston (Tex.)
Houston (Tex.)
San Antonio (Tex.)
Shreveport (La.)
Matamoros (Tamaulipas, Mexico)
Document Types:
Correspondence--Military history--Texas--1838, 1844, 1858-1866, 1870-1876.
Invoices--Texas--Military history--Texas--1861-1865.
Logs (records)--Military history--Texas--1861-1865.
Memoirs--Military history--Texas--about 1883.
Military maps--Military history--Texas--1864-1865.
Military records--Military history--Texas--1838, 1844, 1858-1866, 1869-1876.
Orders (military records)--Military history--Texas--1860-1865, 1869.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Captain John J. Dix papers, 1860-1928, 1.41 cubic ft.
Texas Governor Pendleton Murrah records, 1863-1865, 1.65 cubic ft.
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin
John Salmon "Rip" Ford papers, circa 1836-1896, 1.5 linear ft.
Haley Memorial Library and History Center
The John S. Ford papers in the Texas Confederate Museum Collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), John Salmon Ford papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 1964/196

These papers were donated to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by Sam Lanham on June 2, 1965, and by other earlier unknown donors.

Processing Information

Bulk of the collection initially processed by State Archives staff, late 1930s

DACS-compliant finding aid and XML markup completed by student volunteer, Chloe Edwards, August 2011

Revisions to description by Rebecca Romanchuk, January 2012, October 2016

Appraisal Information

These papers were appraised as archival by State Archives staff in the late 1930s.

Location of Originals

Fractional original material remains with the collection; the location of the remainder is unknown.


Detailed Description of the Papers

Correspondence, 1858-1866, 1870-1876, 1883-1896, undated, bulk 1863-1865,
2.23 cubic ft.

Correspondence of John Salmon Ford consists primarily of transcribed and bound or Photostat copies of Civil War-era military correspondence detailing troop movements, supply chains and other military matters while Ford was serving as a colonel in the 2nd Texas Cavalry in the Rio Grande District. One file with information concerning Ford's service as a Texas Ranger and one file of post-Civil War personal correspondence concerning family matters and wartime reminiscences are also included. The correspondence dates 1858-1866, 1870-1876, 1883-1896, undated, bulk 1863-1865.
Arrangement
These records are arranged in their original order as received from the donors.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Correspondence, John Salmon Ford papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Box
2-23/845 Letter book, February-April 1864, August-December 1864
[2 copies]
Box
2-23/846 Letter book, September-November 1864
[2 copies]
Box
2-22/963 Correspondence, 1861-1865, 1870, 1872, 1890, undated
Box
2-22/964 Correspondence, 1858-1861, 1863-1866, 1875-1876, 1892, undated
Box
2-22/965 Correspondence, 1861-1866, 1878, 1887, undated
Box
2-22/966 Correspondence, 1861-1865, undated
Box
2-22/967 Correspondence, 1861-1865, undated
Box
2-23/1051 Correspondence, 1883, 1890, 1896-1897



Military records, 1860-1865, 1869, undated,
1.11 cubic ft.

Military records of John Salmon Ford, dating 1860-1865, 1869, undated, reflect his Civil War service as colonel of the 2nd Texas Cavalry in the Rio Grande District, to which he was elected in 1861, and his other military duties. Transcribed, bound volumes of general and special orders issued by Ford and his subordinates consist mostly of Photostat copies with some originals included. Troop records include Photostat copies of certifications of officer elections in companies under Ford's command, court martial proceedings, troop furlough passes and passport lists for troops crossing the Mexican border, records of the general staff of Colonel George H. Giddings' battalion, and an acceptance of an officer's resignation. Barracks and supply records are Photostat copies of guard reports and supply, weapons and property invoices and receipts from Ringgold Barracks. Scout reports and maps are Photostat copies of written reports from army scouts and spies in Matamoros, Mexico, and hand-drawn reconnaissance maps of mail routes and Union encampments. Ford served as commandant of conscripts from 1862 to 1865 and helped protect Confederate-Mexican trade along the border. He had previously initiated a trade agreement between the Confederacy and Mexico.
Arrangement
The records are arranged into four groups by record type, listed in chronological order from the earliest start date: general and special orders, troop records, barracks and supply records, and scout reports and maps.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the group), Military records, John Salmon Ford papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
General and special orders,1860-1865, 1869
Box
2-23/845 General and special orders, Volume I, 1863-1865
General and special orders, Volume II, 1863-1865
Box
2-22/964 General and special orders, Volume I, 1863-1865
General and special orders, Volume II, 1863-1865
Box
2-22/965 Orders--General, 1861, 1864-1865
Printed notices, 1860, 1863-1865, 1869
Box
2-22/967 Special orders, 1863
Troop records,1861, 1863-1865
Box
2-22/963 Appointments, 1864-1865
Court martial of Lt. Ransome, 1864-1865
Box
2-22/964 Furloughs, 1861, 1864
General staff, 1864
Box
2-22/967 Wall - Wolf, 1863
Barracks and supply records, 1861, 1863-1865, undated
Box
2-22/965 Invoices--Ringgold Barracks, 1864
Box
2-22/966 Reports--cotton and commissary, 1861, 1863-1865, undated
Receipts--envelopes, 1861, 1864-1865, undated
Reports--guard at Ringgold Barracks, 1864, undated
Scout reports and maps, 1864-1865, undated
Box
2-22/967 Scout and Secret Service, 1864-1865, undated
Box
2-22/965 Maps--mail routes, undated



Memoirs, about 1892,
1.11 cubic ft.

John Salmon Ford's unpublished memoirs, transcribed and bound in seven volumes, date about 1892 and cover a period from 1700 to 1892; the State Archives holds four complete sets. The undated folder "Expeditionary Force" appears to be an excerpt or digest of an episode from the memoirs.
Arrangement
The volumes are arranged in their original order as received from the donors.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Memoirs, John Salmon Ford papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Restrictions on Access
None.
Box
2-23/846 Volume I, 1700-1836
Volume II, 1837-1846
Volume III, 1847-1851
Volume IV, 1851-1860
Box
2-23/847 Volume V, 1860-1864
Volume VI, 1864-1865
Volume VII, 1865-1883
Box
2-23/848 Volume I, 1700-1836
Volume II, 1837-1846
Volume III, 1847-1851
Volume IV, 1851-1860
Volume V, 1860-1864
Box
2-23/849 Volume VI, 1864-1865
Volume VII, 1865-1883
Volume I, 1700-1836
Volume II, 1837-1846
Volume III, 1847-1851
Box
2-23/850 Volume IV, 1851-1860
Volume V, 1860-1864
Volume VI, 1864-1865
Volume VII, 1865-1883
Volume I, 1700-1836
Box
2-23/851 Volume II, 1837-1846
Volume III, 1847-1851
Volume IV, 1851-1860
Volume V, 1860-1864
Volume VI, 1864-1865
Box
2-23/852 Volume VII, 1865-1892
Box
2-22/964 Expeditionary Force, undated