A Guide to the Oscar and Samuel Edgerley Papers, 1861-1873, 1894, 1935, 1940
Born in New York, Samuel Augustus "Sam" Edgerley (b. 1837) and Oscar Morgan Edgerley (1841-1894) were the sons of British immigrants and teetotalers Thomas and Mary (Read) Edgerley. Sam and his wife Amelia "Meal" had a daughter, Augusta "Gussie," before he moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, to work as a sheepherder for John Wesley Scott. In 1860, Oscar traveled with Meal and Gussie to join Sam and began shepherding for wool merchant William Headen. In 1862, the brothers enlisted in the Confederate Army’s 36th Texas Cavalry Regiment, also known as the 32nd Texas Cavalry, under Colonel Peter C. Woods. During the Red River Campaign in April 1864, Oscar was wounded at the Battle of Monett’s Ferry in Louisiana. A few months later, the Union Army captured Sam, who took an oath that he would no longer fight and returned to New York with Meal, Gussie, and their infant son William. Following the war, Sam’s family moved to Galveston, where Oscar reported for the Galveston Weekly News under the pen names Mac, MacGinness, and B. F. Stake. In 1869, Oscar married Margaret Day Sterett, with whom he had three children: Florence Easton Delany, wife of Edgar A. Overstreet; Georgine Wright, wife of George W. Maxwell; and Morgan Sterett, who died in infancy.
Comprising diaries, correspondence, newspaper clippings, legal documents, a photograph, and a family record, the Oscar and Samuel Edgerley Papers, 1861-1873, 1894, 1935, 1940, document the Edgerley brothers’ experiences fighting for the Confederate Army in Texas and Louisiana during the Civil War as well as the activities of the Edgerley family in Texas. The brothers’ diaries, 1861-1865, describe Oscar’s work and social activities while working as a sheepherder for William Headen in Corpus Christi, Texas, as well as the men’s travels and duties for the Confederate Army in the Trans-Mississippi theater of the Civil War. Written by Oscar under his pseudonyms, newspaper clippings, 1869-1873, undated, discuss mercantile issues in Galveston and St. Louis, Missouri, as well as moving to and living in Brooklyn, Texas. Correspondence, 1894, 1940, consists of letters from Oscar in St. Louis to his wife Maggie and daughter Georgine and missives to Florence Overstreet from Walter Prescott Webb and J. Frank Dobie concerning her father Oscar’s papers. Photocopies of correspondence and legal records, 1935, document Oscar’s military record and his widow’s application for a Confederate pension. The collection also includes the 1865 Confederate discharge for Oscar M. Edgerley and a photograph of Oscar while living in Galveston, Texas. Additionally, a family record identifies genealogical and biographical information about Oscar as well as his immediate family members and his children’s families.
This collection is open for research use.
Oscar and Samuel Edgerley Papers, 1861-1873, 1894, 1935, 1940, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Laurel Rozema, May 2011.
Subsequent revisions were made by Erin Donohue, September 2013.
Detailed Description of the Papers