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Re: Major Robert M. White, 6th TX Cav Rgt


I found this in "Living and Fighting with the Texas 6th Cavalry" by Newton A. Keen, page 47.

We then moved across to the Tennessee river where we got into a fight with some Yankee gun boats and transports. We killed and wounded about three hundred men and they had to sail by us in some forty yards. We were so low and the cannon shots from the boats went clean over us. My! how we played havock with those troops on the transport. They made it pretty hot for us with small arms and pistols. Major White of the sixth Texas cavalry was killed. He was standing about two feet to my right when he was shot through the body. We brought him back off the battle field some two miles and he died that night. He was a man beloved by all the soldiers. He was the only man touched on this scout which lasted us about three weeks.

Also, I found this.

Major Robert M. White

Whenever there was fighting, Robert M. White was likely to be there. White was in Bell County by at least 1850, and was recorded in the Indian troubles in 1853. That was when a posse was sent to track down a party of Indians that had slipped through the military line of frontier posts, and had stolen horses from David Williams, Riley Irwin and Melville Wilkenson or Wilkerson. The horses were recovered and returned to their owners.

By 1855, joining a frontier ranger company was a status symbol in Bell County. It was also necessary for survival, as the Indians could create quite a problem for Bell County residents in the 1850's. White is listed as an active participant in the frontier units.

White apparently came to the Belton area in the early 1850's. He was born in Tennessee about 1829. The Bell County census of 1860 lists White, his wife Sarah, age nineteen, and their infant daughter, Christina. White's occupation is listed as a grocer.

By 1859 Robert M. White is listed as first lieutenant in the "Bell County Rovers," formed by John Henry Brown, as the successor company to the "Independent Blues." By 1860 he was lieutenant in command of "Bob White's Ranging Company." This company was organized of twenty-five men, under the authority of Governor Sam Houston, "for protection of the frontier." In a July 1860 roster it lists Robert M. White as the first lieutenant.

White was a prominent States Right Democrat, advocating secession. When Texas left the Union he raised the first company to leave Bell County for the War Between the States, and was elected its Captain. He was one of at least seven to raise a military company from Bell County to serve the Confederate cause.

As company commander White was laying all his experience in many Indian Wars on the line. He had served as commander of many ranging companies organized on the spot to retrieve people and property stolen by small bands of Indians. He also had the reputation of being a good Indian scout.

White's unit left amidst pomp and ceremony. It was July 1, 1861. As his unit was leaving Belton for the war, Miss Victoria Bradford, a popular Southern belle, presented White and his men a Confederate flag.

White's company camped first at old Bosqueville, near Waco, and then moved on to Camp Stone, near Lancaster, Texas. While at Camp Stone, the Bell County Commissioners Court passed a special tax and appointed a special commissary officer, John W. Scott, to buy food, clothing, and other supplies for White's company while in training. After leaving Camp Stone, White's unit saw service in Arkansas, the Choctaw Nation, Southwest Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. This company probably saw more fighting, and on a more severe basis, than any other Bell County unit.

White would prove to be a popular and brave Confederate officer. White was promoted to major in Sul Ross' regiment in 1862. The company was reorganized under Captain William B. Whittington, who was commander until the end of the war. The company left Bell County as cavalry, but the unit was dismounted in 1862, and the horses returned to Bell County.

Major Robert M. White was killed in action on April 26, 1863 on the Tennessee River. His body was returned to Bell County for burial. He is buried in the South Belton Cemetery. Buried in the same plot are Kittie White (1859-1860), apparently the infant daughter listed in the 1860 census, and R. M. White (1861-1883), apparently a son born the same year White left Bell County for the war. His wife is buried near him under the name of Sarah Riggs. After his death she married W. S. Riggs, another CSA veteran.

-- Arnold Huskins

I had two family members in Company B, 6th Texas Cavalry also, Charles Williamson and Solomon S. Fletcher.

I hope this helps you in some way,

Gary D. Bray

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Major Robert M. White, 6th TX Cav Rgt
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