Matthew Fielding Locke (1824-1911) was born near Murfreesboro, TN. His family moved to Louisiana when 12 years old and then to Texas by the time he was about 25 years old where he started a plantation in Upshur County, SE of Pittsburg, Texas. In 1860, Locke was a delegate to the Secession Convention and served his close friend, Gov. Sam Houston, the official notice to leave office when Texas left the Union. The experience was a painfull for both Gov. Houston and Locke. Gov. Sam Houston merely said,"Gentlemen, I hope you have a nice day." and left the governor's office. Sam Houston was a family friend and held M.F. Locke in his arms when Locke was an infant in Tennessee. During the Mexican War, Matthew Locke was Col. Jeff Davis' bodyguard.
In 1861 Locke was elected State senator but declined the office due to his military obligations. Col.M.F.Locke conveyed property SE of Pittsburg,Texas to his son, Lafayette, and raised the 10th Texas Cavalry in Upshur and the surrounding counties. The town of Lafayette, Texas was established on the M.F. Locke land patent. The 10th Texas Cavalry consisted of 900 recruits and underwent four months of training at Camp Tally near Coffeeville, Texas. My great, great, great grandfather, Samuel Wyatt, had a State of Texas land grant just north of Pittsburg Texas (now in Camp County) and was close friends with Matthew Locke and his family.
In December 1861, the 10th Texas Cavalry moved out of Camp Tally with marching orders to join Gen. Ben McCulloch in Missouri. My great, great grandfather Elijah D. Wyatt went with the regiment as a sutler of harness and leather goods.Unfortunately the 10th Texas Cavalry never obtained suitable cavalry mounts. A measles and typhoid fever epidemic took the lives of about 200 men of the 10th Texas Dismounted Cavalry during the march to Little Rock and after they arrived at Camp Henry E. McCulloch. My great, great grandfather was one who died of measles and is one of 428 Confederates who are buried in unmarked graves in the Confederate Cemetery, at Camp Nelson east of Cabot, Arkansas. In 1862, Gen. Allison Nelson also died of camp (typhoid) fever. After Gen. Nelson's death, Camp McCulloch was changed to Camp Nelson in his honor.
The 10th Texas Dismouted Cavalry was consolidated with the 17th Texas Cavalry at Camp Nelson and was sent east of the Mississippi River where the regiments were placed in Brig.Gen.Matthew Ector's Brigade after the battle of Murfreesboro,Tennessee, which ironically, was Col.Locke's place of birth.
Col. Locke returned to Arkansas after the surrender and founded the town of Alma, north of Fort Smith. Years later, Col. Locke and his family moved to El Paso Texas due to Col.Locke's poor health and that is where he died in 1911.