A Guide to the Samuel Bell Maxey Papers, 1862-1864
Born in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, Samuel Bell Maxey (1825-1895) received an appointment to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point at the age of 17. After graduation Maxey joined the 7th Infantry in Monterrey, Mexico, during the Mexican War where he participated in the battles of Contreras, Churubusco, and Molina del Rey. After the war he resigned from the army and returned to Kentucky to study law under his father. Maxey married Marilda Cass Denton, though an increasingly unprofitable practice forced the families to move to Texas in 1857, where they settled in Paris. Shortly after arriving in Texas, Maxey was appointed district attorney for Lamar County, a position he held until joining the Confederate Army in 1861. Maxey organized the 9th Texas Infantry Regiment that joined a Confederate Army in Memphis and fought at Shiloh, though Maxey saw little action and typically commanded support functions, such as guarding roads and bridges. In 1863, Maxey was given command of the Indian Territory, though he saw no major engagements.
After the war, Maxey struggled to gain the presidential pardon necessary for high-ranking ex-Confederate offices until his former West Point classmate, Ulysses S. Grant, recommended Maxey for one. He was thus able to reopen his law practice and run for political office. In 1875, Maxey was elected to the U. S. Senate, where he argued for free silver, internal improvements for Texas, and was instrumental in improving the postal system in Texas. After being replaced by the Texas Legislature for not taking interest in national or party affairs in 1887, Maxey returned to Paris and his law practice until his death in 1895.
Horton, Louise. "Maxey, Samuel Bell."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed July 12, 2011.
Composed of an order book, telegrams, and a letter book, the Samuel Bell Maxey Papers, 1862-1864, document his life and work during the Civil War. The order book contains commands issued by him as general of the Indian Territory. Additionally, the letters and telegrams are addressed to other officers and concern the war effort.
This collection is open for research use.
Samuel Bell Maxey Papers, 1862-1864, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The 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