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Re: Camp Rusk
In Response To: Camp Rusk ()
John Henry King Recalls the Years 1859-1863, Includes Civil War Experiences
They were making up Companies & Regts.. All Spring, Summer & fall to go into the C. S. A. Read W. E. Beeson raised a Co. in Oct. 1861 for Col. Sam Bell Maxcy’s Regt. I join the Co. We were raised as Inft. for coast defense of Tex. Sworn in for 12 mos. [??] in Lamar Co. on the N. Sulpher where Ben Franklin now is; called Camp Rusk for Genl. T. J. Rusk decd.. Done doubtless to humiliate Sam Houston who was opposed to the war, to secession, & refused to take the oath, as Gov. to the Confederacy. He was summarily bounced & Lieut. Gov. Clark was sworn in. You know the balance. It is history.
Camp fever & measles broke out in our corps at Camp Rusk, & early in Dec. ’61 we moved our camp to Camp Benjamin in honor of Judah P. Benjamin who was a La. Jew, an ex U.S. Senator & who was given a place on Jeff Davis’ Cabinet. Camp Benjamin was on Bois[dore??] 4 miles N. E. of Bonham
9th Texas Infantry Locations during the War Between the States, 1861-1865 By The Late Gary Wisler
Nov. 20, 1861 - Camp Rusk (Lamar Co, TEX)

Dec. 1, 1861 - Camp Rusk (Lamar Co. then, Delta Co. now)

Dec. ? to Dec. 31, 1861 - Camp Benjamin (Fannin Co., TEX)
J.K. Street Civil War Letters - 9th Texas Infantry, Paris, Lamar County, TX
Rusk, Camp, (Lamar [now Delta] County) 2nd Military Sub-District (Eastern Texas)
Dan Hembree of Route 2, Honey Grove who has spent many hours of work researching archives and available material on Camp Benjamin and the regiment which trained there for a short period said that the regiment went into camp at Camp Rusk in Lamar County (now in Delta County) on October 30th, 1861 and was mustered into the Provisional Confederate Army on November 16, 1861.
In December, 1861 Col. Maxey wrote, "The command has been much afflicted with Measles and Pneumonia, since December 1, 1861, but is now improving in health rapidly. The command left Camp Rusk, Lamar County December 11, 1861, on account of the impurity of the water, and other local causes, arriving at Camp Benjamin, Fannin County, on December 13, 1861, the distance being twenty six miles."
The health of the regiment must have deteriorated very badly, for Charles deMorse of the Clarksville Northern Standard [news]paper, wrote that the regiment had gone into camp on Onstot's Lake Fannin County, with some 50 or 60 sick.
Shortly after the organization, measles and pneumonia broke out in the regiment. Due to the sickness and the poor quality of the water at Camp Rusk, Lamar County, Colonel Maxey had to move the 9th Texas to Camp Benjamin, in Fannin County, about 26 miles distant.
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.

…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)…

…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…

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.

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).
Samuel Bell Maxey:
An Inventory of Papers at the Texas State Archives, 1847-1948

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives

There are additional holdings indexed under Samuel Bell Maxey in the Manuscripts Card File in the Archives search room.

Samuel Bell Maxey Photograph Collection, 1870-1960 (bulk 1870-1920), approx. 1200 images.

Will H. Lightfoot Family Papers, 1832-1881, 3 inches.

Eugene Bray Collection, 10 inches.

Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin

Samuel Bell Maxey Papers, 1862-1864, 2 inches.

Gilcrease Museum Library, Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Gilcrease Museum Library is open for research by appointment.

S. B. Maxey Papers, 1861-1882 (bulk 1861-1865), 220 items.


Horton, Louise. Samuel Bell Maxey: A Biography. Austin : University of Texas Press, 1974.

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