Friday, September 7, 2012

Ochiltree's 18th Texas Infantry Regiment

Colonel William Beck Ochiltree

On May 13, 1862, the 18th Texas Infantry Regiment was formed in Jefferson, Marion County, Texas.  It would be referred to throughout the war as "Ochiltree's Regiment".   It was given this moniker because of it's Colonel, William Beck Ochiltree. 

William Beck Ochiltree was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1818.  His was born to a family of settlers who would travel to Florida, Alabama and ultimately end up in Nacodoches Texas in 1839.  Ochiltree had practiced law in Alabama and resumed his law practice in Texas.  Prior to the war, he also was a member of the Texas State Legislature.  He was a delegate in the Secession Convention in 1861.  He was elected to the Provincial Congress of the Confederate States of America, but resigned in 1862 to return to Texas to raise a regiment of troops.  Ochiltree was forced to resign his post in 1863 due to health complications.  He returned home to Jefferson where he lived until his death in 1867.

Four members of my family served in various companies in this regiment, 2 from Company D, and one each from Companies E and I.  I find it very interesting where people who are related to me serve alongside one another with no known relations to themselves.    John Franklin Beasley and Edward Franklin Stovall were distant cousins, but they probably weren't aware of it.   The middle name Franklin is not a family name, just a coincidence here.  The Cocke (pronounced Coke) brothers had no relation with Beasley or Stovall, however all three families had migrated from the Virginia/North Carolina area to Texas prior to the Civil War.  They wouldn't have a common family member until 1862 when my 2nd Great Grandmother, Phebe Lucy Daniel was born. 

John King Cocke was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on May 30, 1830.  He entered the Confederate States Army as a Captain on April 12, 1862.  He and his brother served in Company D.

Captain Cocke's 1st Muster Roll

On the 14th of July, 1862 Captain Cocke made a requisition for his camp to be resupplied.  From the looks of things, nearly every item on this list appears to meet some crucial need.



On April 9, 1864, a battle raged near Pleasant Hill, Louisiana.  Nearly evenly numbered armies set out to engage each other.   Approximately 12,000 Union troops under the command of General Nathan P. Banks would face approximately 12,100 Confederate troops under the command of General Richard Taylor.  This would be one of the few encounters of the Civil War in which evenly numbered armies would face each other.  Oftentimes the Confederates were outnumbered, however through entrenchment and familiarity of the landscape, they would prove to be an equally formidable force, albeit with lesser numbers. 


Battle of Pleasant Hill by C. E. H. Bonwell
as illustrated in Frank Leslie's Weekly, May 14, 1864.

Following the Confederate's rout of Union forces at the Battle of Mansfield the day before, battle seeped into the area of Pleasant Hill, LA.  General Taylor hoped to cut the Union forces in half and separate General Banks from his gunboat armada on the Red River about sixteen miles to the east.  Taylor's men were attached to General Walker's Texas Brigade.  A first hand account from Ludwell H. Johnson's Red River Campaign: Politics and Cotton in the Civil War, John Hopkins Press, 1958, describes the action:

“Walker’s Texans were advancing across the open ground against the left of Gen. Shaws brigade, their muskets at right shoulder shift. The Federals, hidden in a skirt of woods and protected by light rail breastworks, could hear the gray officers calling out commands. ‘Dress up on the right! Steady on the center! Steady! Steady, boys! Keep cool! Keep cool! When the Texans neared the enemy line, they opened fire”  “A fresh battlefield was always a frightful and sickening place, but the one at Pleasant Hill seems to have impressed the soldiers as one of particular horror. ‘The air was filled,” said one, “with groans and shrieks, and delirious yells.’ As the night turned cold there came calls from the wounded for fire, and repeated wails such as‘Oh, I’m freezing,’ and of course the ever present cry, ‘For God’s sake bring us some water.’ Men in agony called to their comrades for help. ‘Send someone to get me,’ they would say. ‘Where is the 24th Iowa?’ ‘4th Texas, come here.’ ‘My God, I am dying…..’”
 
Battle Flag carried into action by the 18th Texas Infantry during the Battle of Pleasant Hill

Captain John King Cocke died in the Battle of Pleasant Hill on April 9, 1864.  He was 34 years old.  The location of his burial is unknown at the time of this blog entry. 

Roster showing Captain Cocke was killed in action

Robert Payne Cocke was the younger brother of John King Cocke.  He was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on September 4, 1835.  Robert enlisted as a Sergeant in Company D, TX 18th Infantry on April 12, 1862. 

Sergeant Cocke's 1st Muster Roll

Robert remained attached to Company D throughout the war.  He died in Nolan, Texas on March 14, 1918.  His place of burial remains unknown at the time of this blog entry.  His funeral notice contained several typographical errors including the spelling of his name and his age at the time of his death.   His son-in-law, Marcellus Harpe, pencilled in the correct age on all the notices.




Since my relation to both Robert and John is the same, I'm only providing one relationship chart.

My relation to John:

John King Cocke (1830 - 1864)
is your 2nd cousin 6x removed
John Cocke (1794 - 1836)
Father of John King
William Cocke (1757 - 1812)
Father of John
William Cocke (1715 - 1797)
Father of William
Sarah Cocke (1730 - 1785)
Daughter of William
Nancy Ann Daniel (1776 - 1843)
Daughter of Sarah
Benjamin Lucious Moss (1792 - 1847)
Son of Nancy Ann
James C. Moss (1824 - 1891)
Son of Benjamin Lucious
William Allen Moss (1859 - 1931)
Son of James C.
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
Daughter of William Allen
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
Daughter of Valeria Lee
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
Daughter of Phebe Teresa
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce



Edward Franklin Stovall was born in Hinds County, Mississippi on August 10, 1829.  By 1860 he had moved to Rusk County, Texas as shown by census records.   He enlisted as a 3rd Corporal in Company I, TX 18th Infantry Regiment on May 10, 1862.  He was 32 years old.

Edward F. Stovall's 1st Muster Roll

Edward spent the duration of the war in Company I.  He survived an additional 42 years and died in Cave Springs, Harrison County, Texas on September 15, 1907.  His burial location remains unknown at the time of this blog entry.

Here's my relation to Edward:
Edward Franklin Stovall (1829 - 1907)
is your 2nd cousin 5x removed
Charles Green Stovall (1805 - 1880)
Father of Edward Franklin
Drury Stovall (1770 - 1858)
Father of Charles Green
Josiah Stovall Sr. (1749 - 1798)
Father of Drury
Rebecca Stovall (1772 - 1852)
Daughter of Josiah
Phoebe Blackwell (1812 - 1860)
Daughter of Rebecca
Martha Anne Currin (1834 - 1917)
Daughter of Phoebe
Phebe Lucy Daniel (1862 - 1946)
Daughter of Martha Anne
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
Daughter of Phebe Lucy
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
Daughter of Valeria Lee
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
Daughter of Phebe Teresa
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce


John Franklin Beasley was born in Granville County, North Carolina in 1826.  He is listed as living in Hopkins County, Texas in the 1860 census.  He enlisted as a Private in Company E, TX 18th Infantry Regiment on April 23, 1862.  He was 34 years old. 
John's 1st Muster Roll
Beasley apparently deserted on July 15, 1863.  
Last file in John's service file indication desertion

John Franklin Beasley died in Rusk County, Texas in 1866.  The location of his burial remains unknown at the time of this blog entry. 

Here's my relation to John:
John Franklin Beasley (1826 - 1866)
is your 2nd cousin 6x removed
Robert Benjamin Beasley (1795 - 1870)
Father of John Franklin
Sarah Sally Pomfret (1763 - 1848)
Mother of Robert Benjamin
John Pomfret (1720 - 1814)
Father of Sarah Sally
Frances Hunt Pomfret (1747 - 1826)
Daughter of John
Pomfret Blackwell (1769 - 1828)
Son of Frances Hunt
Phoebe Blackwell (1812 - 1860)
Daughter of Pomfret
Martha Anne Currin (1834 - 1917)
Daughter of Phoebe
Phebe Lucy Daniel (1862 - 1946)
Daughter of Martha Anne
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
Daughter of Phebe Lucy
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
Daughter of Valeria Lee
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
Daughter of Phebe Teresa
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce

4 comments:

  1. Can I ask where you found the picture of the flag? My ancestor William Ragsdale Buford served in Co. E 18th Texas.

    Thanks, Colton Milburn

    ctmilburn@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe I found that picture on the Texas State Archives page.

      Delete
  2. Highly interesting to read your vivid description of the aftermath of the Battle of Pleasant Hill. My Great Great Grandfather, John Francis Poole, serving with the 162NY, was captured during the battle and became a POW, at Camp Ford, Tyler Texas.

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  3. John Franklin Beasley is one of my ancestors. UNC Chapel Hill has a copy of the Henry W. Jones papers on microfilm. Henry W. Jones was a magistrate in Granville County, NC. His daughter was Alice Jones, wife of John Franklin Beasley. The microfilm at UNC contains copies of numerous letters written between Alice, her sisters, and their father. Based on the letters, John essentially abandoned his family. The Freemasons and Goodfellows checked in on Alice and advised her to write to her father. Alice soon after returned to North Carolina to live with her father. She is noted in the will of Henry Jones. It's a fascinating and sad story that depicts a difficult life during the Civil War.

    ReplyDelete