A Guide to the Samuel Thompson Foster Papers, 1862-1922
Samuel Thompson Foster (1829-1919) grew up in Union District County, South Carolina. He was initiated into the Masons and confirmed in the Baptist Church before immigrating to Hallettsville, Texas, with his family in 1847. He married Mary Ham in 1855 and then moved to Oakville, Texas where he practiced law, worked as a county clerk, and served as Live Oak County chief justice until the Civil War.
Foster joined the Confederate Army as a first lieutenant for Company H, Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry Regiment (dismounted). Foster and his unit transferred to Arkansas Post and fought until the surrender of the garrison. After being held as a prisoner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio for several months, he was exchanged in 1863 and promoted to captain and company commander. Foster served at the battles of Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and in the Atlanta campaign. When the war concluded, Foster was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, and returned to Oakville.
In the years following the war, Foster served one term as an elected representative to the state government and engaged in the general merchandising business. He was appointed commissioner for the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, serving from the 1850s to his death. He organized Masonic lodges, actively participated in the Baptist Church and was a commander of Santos Benavides Post 637 of the United Confederate Veterans.
Abernethy, Francis E. “Dobie, J. Frank.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed June 14, 2010. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fdo02.
Miller, Aragorn Storm. “Foster, Samuel Thompson.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed June 2, 2010. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffo65.
The Samuel Thompson Foster Papers, 1862-1922, contain a personal diary (May 1864-June 1865) documenting Foster’s activities as Captain of Company H of the Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry (Dismounted) in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina, as well as his return to Texas. Correspondence to his wife chronicles his earlier military activity, and a journal describes his service in Arkansas, his captivity as a prisoner of the war at Chase, Ohio, and his participation in the battle of Missionary Ridge. The collection also includes muster rolls, photographs of Foster and his family, a brief autobiography, and newspaper clippings, including an obituary.
This collection is open for research use.
Samuel Thompson Foster Papers, 1862-1922, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers