CAMP RUSK

HOME OF THE TEXAS

NINTH INFANTRY REGIMENT



Texas Historical Marker Inscription:



SITE OF OLD CAMP RUSK

(SOUTHERN BOUNDARY, 1861)



A training camp of Texas 9th Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America. Named for Gen. Thomas Rusk, early Texas leader. Activated, 1861, when Texas State Senator Sam Bell Maxey resigned office, raised militia known as Lamar Rifles of Light Infantry. Other local militia combined with Maxey's to form 9th Regiment. Regiment left here, Dec. 1861; fought many battles including famous ones at Shiloh, Corinth, Mobile, Chickamauga, Atlanta, New Hope Church, Missionary Ridge, Murfreesboro and Perryville. (Erected 1967)

NOTE: Marker was stolen several years ago and has never been replaced.

Background information:

Nov. 3, 1861 --, after which I will repair with all dispatch to Col. S. B. Maxey's rendezvous, in the Southwest corner of Lamar County (now northwest portion of Delta County). When I have finished the muster of his regiment I shall move directly to join my own regiment,

Wm. C. Young

Col. Comdg., Regt. Tex. Vol.

Cav. C.S. Army

From the WAR OF THE REBELLION OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES, Series 1 Vol. IV, page 145.

It was near Giles Academy, on Tread Mill Lake, at the beginning of the war between the States, that U.S. Senator General Sam Bell Maxey organized his regiment, the 9th Texas Infantry, which was encamped and drilled here by James Patteson, Sr., who served through the war on General Maxey's staff. It is well remembered that Dan Upthegrove, a Greenville, Texas, attorney, was a member of his regiment and drilled at this time and place. His son, Daniel, Jr., is at this time (1935) president of the Cotton Belt Railroad system. Bernard M. Patteson served as Commissary through the war. While this regiment was encamped and being drilled at this place, before going into service, an average of twelve large beef cattle a day was not an adequate supply of meat for the soldiers. Three mills were kept running continually to grind meal for the bread needed. It was at this time that salt became an item, with the slow process of making of that time. The commissary department of this regiment, when faced with the proposition of a salt shortage and of supplying it, set out with a crew of Negros for Jordan's Lake (this lake was a few miles to the southeast of what is now Klondike), with the intention of developing a salt work there, by letting down a shaft and dipping out the salt water that rises and either boiling this brine, or letting it stand in the sun until the water evaporated, leaving the salt in the bottom of the vessel. This slow way was the only way known at that time, and many families during the war between the states, took up the earth from the smokehouse, where salt meat hung, poured water over this earth and when it had settled and become clear again, boiled it down for the salt. At Jordan's Lake, when the Negroes had dug the shaft down about eighteen feet they came upon five human skeletons, so the thought of getting salt there was at once abandoned. Perhaps the Commissary knew of, or had heard of the good salt licks at Grand Saline and all the salt that was needed was soon obtained. Dr. R. B. Bennet, for many years in the earlier times was a very prominent physician of Cooper. However, at the time of this account, he was just a lad, when he hauled the salt on a tarpole wagon with six yoke of oxen from Grand Saline across the Delta to Tread Mill Lake on North Sulphur, for General Maxey's Regiment. -- from Loose Leaves, A History of Delta County by Ikie Gray Patteson - 1935, pages 157, 1587, 159.

Tread Mill Lake was named for Greenville Smith, who built the first saw mill and furniture factory near its shores. It being a tread mill that was run by oxen. It was on Greenville Smith's place that Camp Rusk was established in mid 1861. It was the same Greenville Smith that two years later, contracted with Amanda Stone of Carroll Parish, Louisiana, to act as overseer and furnish refuge for some 90 slaves and her own family. -- See Brokenburn edited by John Q. Anderson. Elysian Fields was the name given to the haven, by the daughter, who wrote this wonderful journal of their flight from their home to the then southwest part of Lamar county (now northwest part of Delta County) and the site of Camp Rusk, where the Ninth Texas Infantry was organized and mustered into the service of the Confederate States of the America.

Hon. Sam Bell Maxey, Texas State Senator, resigned his office in early 1861 in favor of his father and at once raised the company of Texas Militia that was know[n] as the Lamar Rifles of Light Infantry and Riflemen, organized at Paris, Texas, 25th May 1861. The following were the members of this company: Capt. S. B. Maxey, 1st Lt. James Patteson, 2nd lt. E. O. Williams, 2nd Lt. J. L. Lane, Serg. W. H. H. Long, 2nd Serg. D. F. Latimer, 3rd Serg. F. C. Henderson, 4 Serg. J. W. Jones, 5th Serg. J. K. P. Smith (son of Greenville Smith), Corp. Jas. H. Wright, 2nd Corp L. E. Goodrich, 3rd Corp. L. L. Record; 4th Corp. Jeff Chisum, Chap. J. K. Street, privates A. P. Ryan, A. A. Walker, P. M. Speairs, Norman McLeod, T. M. Clack, W. H. Womack, R. B. Bonner, A. B. Long, J. W. Clark, Wm. Phillips, Sebastian Dider, John Appling, W. H. Miliwee, S. S. Linkey, G. W. Hendricks, Ed. Birmingham, L. R. Williams, F. L. Click, F. W. Minor, A. S. Patteson, Joe Lane, Frank Lane, James Hicks, Wm. H. Lewis, F. W. Silman, N. K. Massey, Paulding Floyd, J. J. Martin, C. W. Moore, Newton Dillard, W. C. Hunter, John B. Watson, J. L. Burton, Fob Mullins, Jas. Mullins, F. W. Jackson, Andrew Richey, Clement C. Johnson, James Bennett, J. L. Richey, George Long, I. T. Gaines, George W. Pierce, Wm. M. Williams, R. M. Baker, W. J. Wood, A. F. Fisher, Wm. Kennedy, D. E. Wetsill, Carroll Smith, J. S. Crook, J. B. Dudley, R. C. Furguson, J. R. Horton, James Witt. Sam Bell Maxey was soon promoted to Colonel and instructed to group and organize the local militia companies of the North Texas area into the Ninth Texas Regiment and to start it training at Camp Rusk (Greenville Smith's place in Northwest Delta County, between Ben Franklin and Giles Academy).

In December 1861, it marched by land and reached Memphis to join the army at Corinth. At this time it became a regiment in General Albert Sidney Johnston's army of the west. Colonel Maxey was soon promoted to Brigadier-General and given other commands away from the Ninth Texas.

The Ninth Texas served throughout the war in the army of the west under Generals Wm. H. Young and Mathew D. Ector. Their important battles were Shiloh, Corinth, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Perryville, Missionary Ridge, New Hope Church, Atlanta, Mobile, and many others. After the war the UNITED CONFEDERATE VETERANS CAMP NO. 234 was organized and took as its name Ector Camp No. 234 (Mathew D. Ector) their beloved late commander. This Camp was at Cooper, Delta County, Texas and was active until its last survivors past away. The roll of this camp is in the files of the Delta County Historical Survey Committee.

General William Hugh Young had a brilliant war record with the fighting Ninth Texas Infantry. The fighting Ninth of Texas wound up the war under General Matt. Ector in the defense of Mobile. Thus the Ninth Texas Infantry gave two Generals to the Confederacy and in the last served under a third Texas General.

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