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
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.
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
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
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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