Philip Henry Spoonemore

Feb 1846 - 24 Jan 1920

Corporal, Company H

5th Texas Partisan Rangers

By Aaron Williams

840 FM 3427

Greenville, TX 75401-6778

Philip Henry Spoonemore was born in February 1846 in Fannin County, Texas. He was the first son of Sabert Jess Spoonemore and Cynthia Louise Green. He was raised in Hunt County. By his teenage years the dispute between North and South had heightened and war was imminent.

Philip Henry Spoonemore answered the call of his state and new country by enlisting in the 22nd Texas Cavalry Company I on January 24, 1862 in Greenville, Texas just days before his 17th birthday. He was enlisted by Capt. Hamilton for a period of twelve months. He was mustered at Fort Washita, Indian Territory on January 31, 1862. He spent the spring in the Chickasaw Nation, drilling to be a Cavalry soldier.

On September 30, 1862 the 22nd Texas Cavalry fought in the Battle of Newtonia, Missouri. They were severely outnumbered and their position was heavily bombarded by the Union artillery. During the battle the 22nd Texas Cavalry, with Col. Tandy Walker's 1st Chickasaw Regiment charged the Union force and dislodged them from the town of Newtonia, Missouri.

On December 7, 1862 the Confederate force lead by General Thomas Hindman engaged the Union force of General James Blunt at the Battle of Prairie Grove Arkansas. The Texas Cavalry troops held the Union force on the banks of the Illinois River, giving General Hindman precious time to fortify his artillery and ready his infantry for the pending Union attack. General Blunt mounted several savage attacks against the Confederate line. At 2:30 p.m. the main Union assault was launched. Heavy fighting continued through the afternoon. Darkness of night came and the fighting ended. The Confederate Army, nearly out of ammunition, retreated during the night to Van Buren, Arkansas.

Philip Henry Spoonemore's enlistment was about to end. He re-enlisted in the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers Cavalry Regiment, also called Martin's Regiment, so named for it's commander Col. Leonidas Martin. The 5th Texas Partisan Rangers were formed with a consolidation of the 9th and 10th Texas Cavalry Battalion at Fort Washita, Indian Territory.

On April 24, 1863 the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers were engaged near Webber Falls in the Indian Territory to repel an expected raid by Union Col. William Phillips.

In May 1863 the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers engaged in a skirmish near Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. They unsuccessfully attacked a Union supply train five miles from Fort Gibson. Many Confederate Indians were killed in the raid.

On July 17, 1863 the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers fought in the Battle of Honey Springs, in the Creek Nation, near the present day town of Muskogee, Oklahoma. The 5th Texas Partisan Rangers formed the Confederate center on the battlefield. During the battle their line was broken by a Union charge that occurred during a breakdown in communications in the Confederate command. Much of the gunpowder used by the Confederate force at Honey Springs was made in Mexico and of inferior quality. The damp, wet weather at Honey Springs caused the gunpowder to turn to paste which contributed to a Confederate defeat at the Battle of Honey Springs.

The Confederate Army was forced to retreat and scatter to find suitable grazing land for the cavalry mounts. Col. Martin and his troops were noted for their coolness during the retreat and Col. Martin's good management of the men.

On October 9, 1863 the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers were ordered to Bonham, Texas for service under General Henry McCulloch. They were ordered to round up deserters and bring order to the Northeast Texas area. Confederate General Sam Bell Maxey latter wrote that the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers were one of his best regiments and that Col. Martin was a good officer, too good in fact to be chasing deserters through the brush of Northeast Texas. Confederate General Henry McCulloch agreed and wrote that Col. Martin's men had done remarkable service considering the service they were ordered to do.

On November 10, 1863 the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers were placed in General Douglas H. Cooper's Brigade with Col. John Jumper's Seminole Battalion and Col. DeMorse's 29th Texas Cavalry.

On December 22, 1863 the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers were on furlough for Christmas. They were recalled and ordered to concentrate at McKinney and Pilot Grove to march to Gainesville, Texas to meet a threat of invasion by Kansas Jayhawkers and a small group of Union Cavalry troops. Although the Jayhawkers had entered Gainesville, they departed before the arrival of Col. Martin's men.

On March 21,1864 General Richard Gano took command of the brigade consisting of the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers. General Gano requested Col. Martin to report to him as to the state of arms possessed by the men of the regiment. On March 30, 1864 Col. Martin replied that 1/3 of his men were armed with shotguns, another 1/3 was armed with everything from squirrel rifles to mammoth Belgium rifles and the other 1/3 was completely unarmed.

In Richmond, Confederate President Jefferson Davis realized that the original enlistment for the Confederate States Army was nearing an end. He made a plea for all troops to re-enlist for the term of the war. Col. Leonidas Martin, commander of the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers made the following proclamation on behalf of his men in June 1864.

Whereas the 5th Cavalry, Texas Partisan Rangers, having re-enlisted for the war, in obedience to a call from our congress, the following resolutions expressive of their sentiments and feelings are adopted:

First. That we, the officers and men of Martin's Regiment, do most heartily and willingly tender our unanimous services and cordial support to our country in vigorously prosecuting the present war so long as the footprints of the vandal pollutes the soil of our beloved South, pledging ourselves never to sheathe the sword nor lay down the musket until sucess shall crown our efforts and an honorable peace be proclaimed throughout our land.

Second. That we esteem it a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity afforded us to thus make known to our friends at home that we still are determined to protect the sanctity of their homes, honor, lives, and property from the ruthless hirelings of the north, or sacrifice our lives upon the altar of our country; to our comrades in arms that we are resolved to stand by them as friend to friend in battling for the great and glorious cause for which they are so nobly contending.

Third. That we tender to our commanding officers our heary and cordial support in their efforts to drive the dastardly foe from our soil and in promoting the good and prosperity of our country. L. M. Martin Chairman/Geo. White Secretary.

General Sam Bell Maxey, commander of the Indian Territory added the following comments:

They breathe the right spirit. They show that desertion is not part of thr creed of these men. They pledge themselves, should occasion offer, to emulate the glorious heroes who from Virginia to New Mexico who have immortalized the Texas soldier. While Texans are upholding the honor and renown of their glorious state in this mighty struggle now going on - never before equaled in the world's history - what can be thought of the cowardly skulks who are now deserting their comrades and country, and of the equally low-down scuffs who uphold them in it? Let every soldier in the Indian Territory determine to be a man, and fight the thing out. Let desertion be a "stink ball" in the nostrils of every soldier.

S. B. Maxey Major General, Commanding.

On the morning of July 27, 1864 the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers fought in the Battle of Massard's Prairie, 10 miles from Fort Smith, Arkansas. There they attacked Union General Thayer's outpost near the fort. The 5th Texas Partisan Rangers engaged the 6th Kansas Cavalry. The Kansas Cavalry troops were surprised by the attack. As a result it's horses were stampeded causing the Union Cavalry to fight dis-mounted. After a fighting retreat of a mile, the 6th Kansas Cavalry commander, Major David Mefford was unable to break the Confederate line and the 6th Kansas Cavalry surrendered.

On September 19, 1864 the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers participated in one of the most daring raids of the war, the Battle of Cabin Creek in the Indian Territory. In the early morning hours the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers, under General Richard Gano, waited in the timber on the Fort Scott road headed for Fort Gibson. At 2 a.m. the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers with the Confederate Indians under General Stand Watie attacked the Union wagon train. The wagon train was quickly surrounded by the Confederate force. General Gano used his artillery against the Union detachment guarding the supply train. Fearing reenforcements that might arrive the next day, General Gano's Texas Cavalry, with General Stand Watie's Confederate Indians drove in the Union right. The Union troops fled and left the million dollar supply train to the hungry, poorly clothed Confederate troops. General Gano said of his troops that they had marched 400 miles in 14 days and destroyed 1.5 million dollars in Union property that consisted of 225 wagons and $500,000.00 in U.S. currency. The Confederate Government in Richmond praised General Stand Watie and General Gano along with their troops for their noble raid.

On December 29, 1864 the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers were ordered to Bonham, Texas for temporary duty for General Henry McCulloch.

On February 26,1865 the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers were ordered to march for Marshall, Texas. When they arrived they were dis-mounted and told to prepare for a Union invasion force of 5,000 men that would strike the Texas coast from New Orleans. It was an invasion that would never come, as the war was almost at it's end. The following day the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers were consolidated into Gould's Brigade, also known as the 23rd Texas Cavalry due to the reduced numbers caused by death, disease, and desertion.

During Philip Henry Spoonemore's term of service with the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers, he was promoted to Cpl. of Company H. On May 26, 1865 General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered his forces.

After the war Philip Henry Spoonemore was always listed as a farmer in the Census records. He married and had six children. There is some mystery about Philip Henry Spoonemore's wife's name. Another researcher on this family is very reliable and I have found only minor discrepancies, usually that originate from different documents that provide different answers to the same questions. They list his wife's name as Mary Jane Williams born in Texas. The only difference I found was on a Census. Mary Jane's mother was living with them at the time and her name was Rebecca Little. She was listed as a widow. Mary's parents were both born in Ohio according to the Census. Rebecca Little was born in 1820. It maybe that Rebecca Little was widowed twice and that is why the earlier researcher showed Mary Jane Williams instead of the last name of Little. That may have been her mothers name at the time but not her first married name. I feel like Mary Jane Williams is correct.

Children of Philip and Mary Jane Spoonemore were:

1. John Spoonemore, born October 1869 in Texas

2. Louise Rebecca Spoonemore, born March 24,1871 in Commerce, Texas and died

March 7, 1952 in Lockhart, Texas

3. William Spoonemore, born May 1875

4. Martin Liberty Spoonemore, born 1876 in Lomax, Howard County, Texas and died 1958

5. Sarah Spoonemore, born May 1877

6. Effie Spoonemore, born December 1884.

On January 24, 1920 Philip Henry Spoonemore died at the home of his daughter and son-in-law in Beaumont, Texas. His body was returned by train and buried in the Celeste/Hogeye cemetery in Hunt County, Texas next to his father and mother.


National Archives, Compiled Service Records #1768.

Texas State Archives, Confederate Pension Application #17951.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park Museum and Interpretation Center.

Official Records of the War Of The Rebellion of the Union and Confederate Armies.

General Stand Watie's Confederate Indians by Frank Cunningham

Civil War in the Western Choctaw Nation 1861-1865, the Atoka Historical Society.

Spoonemore Family History by Rick Gibson.

©Ron Brothers and Aaron K. Williams, All Rights Reserved, 1999.

June 16, 1999

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