Bourland in North Texas and Indian Territory During the Civil War: Fort Cobb, Fort Arbuckle & the Wichita Mountains

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                                                              Fort at the head of Elm Fork of the Trinity River

                                                      Head of Elm community; renamed Saint Jo in 1873, incorporated 1886

                                                    "Lot 6 plus SW 40 feet of Lot 7, Block 23; Saint Jo original townsite"

119 Mill Street   ....Owner of this property.

                                                          Saint Jo, Montague County, Texas

                                                                                          33.694 degrees Latitude

                                                                                         -97.523 degrees Longitude from Greenwich, England



         We invite archaeologist to study this building.   Was it the "fort at the head of Elm"  that (1) Mrs. Potter  referenced in the following 1913 article?   and/or (2) where the Montague County women and children resided in about Aug 1864?   

          1) September 1866 Indian Raid

2) Women of Montague County.....of ca. August 1864





                      September 1866 Indian Raid

 Fort at Head of Elm


         Retype of Mrs. W.R. Potter’s [nee Fannie (Bellows)] History of Montague Count--Era 1--Immigration, Era 2--Organization. Era 3--Progress  (1913), pp27f, "Exiting Chase and Fight with Indians"


          About this time, there were numerous small depredations by the Indians and the settlers were in constant dread of their coming. On a certain morning in September 1866, another band of Indians came into Montague County. They passed the fort at the head of Elm and exchanged shots with the men stationed there.

          They went east about four miles and killed a man named Jim Harris. The Indians then passed on in the direction of Gainesville, killing Andy Powers, a citizen of Montague County. Near there, this band was joined by another band of Indians.

          They passed up the ridge between Clear Creek and Elm Creek, back into Montague County, with about five hundred stolen horses. Charlie Grant, with a posse of forty men, followed them into Clay County and on to the Big Wichita River. The night before a band of men had started from Red River Station in pursuit of this same party of Indians. They had crossed the Big Wichita River and had a battle with the Indians, there being about twenty-five white men against more than a hundred Indians. The white men, when they struck the Indian trail, the day before, knowing that Charles Grant and his men were coming behind, stuck a stick in the ground, in a place where they would be sure to find it, and tied a note on it bearing these words: "Come on, or boys; they have passed this way." The determined men pressed on, but were soon confronted by different orders. They found this message tacked to a tree on the banks of the Big Wichita River: "Turn back, boys; they have given us a warm reception."

          After their battle with the Indians, the whites, finding themselves to be far outnumbered by the enemy, decided to retreat. When the last party of white men came to the place where the orders were tacked on the tree, they followed the advice and returned to their homes.


this 1913 book online; go to page 27


Characters in the 1913 article, from my 200-page Name Index:

GRANT, Charles Grant (1850 TX-1935) m-Susan

HARRIS, James E. Harris, b-1839 TX; m-Rebecca; 1860 PPin cen p338 (Palo Pinto Co, TST)

POWERS, Andrew Powers, b-1844 MO; 1860 PPin cen p339 (Cooke Co, TST)



Women of Montague County, Texas

ca. August 1864 listing found in The Bourland Papers

Please help identify these women

Mrs. Sallie Wainscott [5 ch] wife of John Wainscott, Mains [Militia]

Nancy J. Willingham 3 children [wife of] J.J. Willingham, Mains’ [Militia]

Nancy J. Anderson 9 [ch]

C. Davis 5 [ch] wife [of] Charley Davis

M. Jane Davis 2 [ch] wife [of] Jeff Davis

Nancy Newberry 2 [ch]

Frances [Cordell] Newby 3 [ch] [wife of J.H.W. Newby, Guinn’s Militia]

Sarah Strothers 0 [ch]

Susannah Ballew 8 [ch]

Elizabeth Musick 3 [ch] [wife of Wm. G. Musick, Guinn’s Militia]

Louisa Cassebury 1 [ch] [probably Lousia Castlebury]

Mary Armstrong —— [wife of] Lt. [J.G.] Armstrong, Mains’ [Militia]

Editor’s note: This listing, with no date nor place noted, was found in The Bourland Papers These may be the wives of the men in Captains S.F. Mains’ and Guinn’s militias, most from from the the Montague County area. These women were probably forted up and ask Bourland to have his men check on them periodically. These Wainscotts and Willinghams of Polk County, Missouri connect to your editor’s Griffith-Moore-Boone families.    Below from my 200-page Name Index:

ANDERSON, Nancy J. Anderson, 9 ch, of 1863 Montague Co TX  not identified

ARMSTRONG, Mary Armstrong, wife of Lt. J.G. Armstrong of Montague Co TX

BALLOW,  Susannah Ballow, 8 ch, of 1863 Montague Co TX  maybe m. Thomas Cleveland Ballou, Thomas C. Ballow, whose wife Mary Maxwell had died leaving at least 6 ch.    

CASSEBURY, Louisa Cassebury, 1 ch, of 1863 Montague or Clay Co TX  not identified

DAVIS, M. Jane Davis, 2 ch, Ms "Jeff Davis", of 1863 Montague Co TX, maiden name ? "Rice"

MUSICK, Elizabeth Musick, b-1842 TN; m-Wm. Granville Musick,  1860 Montague cen p72; Eliz's (with 3 ch -- 1 ch, 2 step-ch) 

NEWBERRY, Nancy (Baxter) Newberry, 2 ch in 1863; wife of Ross Bird Newberry (1835 TN-1916) m-Nancy  Baxter (Erath Co, TST)

NEWBY, Frances (Cordell) Newby (1834 KY-1874); m-John Henry Wm. Newby, ... Frances Newby had 3 ch in 1863.   

STROTHERS, Sarah Strothers, of 1863 Montague Co TX  not identified

WAINSCOTT, Sarah "Sallie" (McDonald) Wainscott, b-1815 MO; m-John Wainscott, 5 ch, of 1863 Montague Co TX

WILLINGHAM, Nancy J. (McDonald) Willingham, b-1839 MO, m-John J. Willingham, 3 ch, of 1863 Montague Co TX

Husbands of the above identified women

ARMSTRONG, Jesse Greene (1819 IL-1901 IT) m-1860 Cooke Co to M.F. Davis; Mex War pension (Lt, Co F, Bourland's Regt)

BALLOW, BALLOU,  m2-Susannah who had eight children with her forted up with only women and children ca. August 1864 probably in Montague Co TX. 

 DAVIS, Jefferson Davis, b-1835 TN; m-Margaret Jane  Rice, dau of Armintha and Wm. Rice.   1870 Collin cen p319, teamster; Stevens' 22d Cavalry, Co E; Brush Battn; Frontier Cavalry (Bugler, Clay Co, TST)

NEWBERRY, Ross Bird Newberry (1835 TN-1916) m-Nancy  Baxter (Erath Co, TST)

NEWBY, John Henry Wm. Newby (1833 Clinton Co MO-1907 Young Co TX); m-1857 Parker Co TX to Frances Cordell [1834 MD-1874), dau of John J. Cordell [b-1788 MD]..  1860 Montague cen p74.

Editor's note: John Henry Wm. Newby (1833 Clinton MO-1907 Young Co TX) m1-Nancy Culwell, 3 ch; m2-Frances N. Cordell, 7 ch;  m3-Lucinda C. Ford, 7 ch;  m4-Hannah Frances Alcorn (Montag Co, TST), 8 ch.  1860 Montague cen p74.

WAINSCOTT, John Wainscott 1808-1874 Denver, Montague Co TX), of Mains' Militia in 1863 Montague Co TST)

WILLINGHAM, John J. Willingham, b-1834 MO; m-N.J. McDonald (Clay Co, TST)


Owner of this property is  Michael D. Cannon.  The roof was replaced in c1890s.  This building was probably a Civil War era fort in the "Head of Elm" community near the head of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.     <>

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Patricia Adkins-Rochette        04/08/2014     

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Bourland in North Texas and Indian Territory During the Civil War: Fort Cobb, Fort Arbuckle & the Wichita Mountains

CAPPS CORNER, TX  also has Civil War era buildings

CAPPS CORNER, TEXAS. Capps Corner is at the intersection of Farm roads 1956 and 677, fifteen miles northeast of Montague in extreme northeastern Montague County. The settlement was established about 1925 and named for E. G. (Cap) Adams. It was still listed as a community in 1990.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: John Clements, Flying the Colors: Texas, a Comprehensive Look at Texas Today, County by County (Dallas: Clements Research, 1984).

Brian Hart, "CAPPS CORNER, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 21, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.