Various members of the Baylor family have figured into Texas history over the years. John Robert Baylor was a nephew of Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor, a judge and a preacher and also co-founder of Baylor University. John Robert was born in 1822 in Paris, Kentucky to John Walker Bledsoe and Sophie Marie Wiedner Baylor. John R. Baylor grew up in a military family, as his father was an Army doctor. John Robert was the brother of George Wythe Baylor, a Texas Ranger and Henry Weidner Baylor, also a surgeon and a Texas Ranger. Henry Weidner Baylor was the namesake of Baylor County in North Texas.
Category Archives: civil war
Fort Davis was one of the group of Texas frontier forts. Also located on the short-lived Overland Trail, it provided protection for the travelers and settlers as well as the U. S. Mail in this contested area. It was situated roughly equidistant between Fort Clark to the southeast and Fort Bliss to the northwest in what is now known as the Davis Mountains. We would think of it today as being the northern point of a triangle with the points of the southern base being Marfa to the west and Alpine to the east.
Benjamin McCulloch was one of twelve children. He was born November 11, 1811 in Rutherford County, Tennessee to Alexander and Frances Fisher Lenoir McCulloch. His father was a graduate of Yale College and served in the United States Army in Indian campaigns and also the War of 1812. The family migrated west from the eastern coastal states. Ben is thought to have first pursued some other businesses and moved around a lot until he came to Texas in 1835 with another brother and Davy Crockett, a neighbor, in Tennessee. Ben planned to meet up with Crockett and then head from Nacogdoches to San Antonio but was held up as he recuperated from a case of the measles, not arriving in San Antonio until after the Battle of the Alamo. He joined Sam Houston and the Texas Army in time for the Runaway Scrape, Houston’s retreat from Santa Anna.
William Clarke Quantrill was known as a leader of a pro Confederate band of guerrillas during the Civil War. He was born in Ohio in 1837. By the age of sixteen, he had become employed as a school teacher in Ohio. He was from a large family the father of which was reportedly abusive, but who died when Quantrill was still a young adult. Quantrill left home when he was still under twenty and moved to Illinois where he was working in a rail yard. He was involved in an altercation in which a man was killed, with Quantrill claiming self defense, but Quantrill was not charged with the killing due to a lack of evidence. During the rest of the 1850s, Quantrill drifted between jobs and locations winding up in the state of Kansas by the end of the decade. One of his jobs was to capture runaway slaves for bounties, which he was likely doing at the outset of the Civil War. He formed a pro Confederate band of raiders having learned guerrilla tactics in other outfits. His band included Frank and Jesse James, brothers Jim, Bob and Cole Younger, Archie Clement, William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson and other individuals.
Benajah Harvey Carroll was born in Mississippi to Benajah and Mary Eliza Mallard Carroll in 1843. The family was of Irish descent with B. H.’s great grandfather having been born in Ireland. The Carrolls moved first to Arkansas before settling in Burleson County, Texas near Caldwell in the late 1850s. He was known in his family as a reader and his brother Dr. J. M. Carroll recalled that on the trip to Texas, Benajah would ride a mule while reading a book. He often would get ahead of the wagons and come to a place to stop for the night. When his family arrived, Carroll would have built a large fire and would be sitting beside it, reading.