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

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Solomon George Hodges

(1851 TN-1932 Motley Co TX)

enlisted Jan 1865 and served until the surrender on Jun 2, 1865

in Bourland's Regiment

then served until 1872 in a Minute Men unit protecting settlers

per Motley Co TX CSA pension application No. 51091 rejected


To: Hon. Geo. H. Sheppard, State Comptroller, Austin, Texas

From: Solomon George Hodges of Matador Texas, Aug 8, 1931

Dear Sir: Will write you in regard to my service on the frontier of Texas. I served with James Bourland, who came from the East with his Company, and was stationed at Gainesville in Cook[e] County.  Don't know what authority he had. He forced me and boys that was old enough, from 15 years and up.   Me and father [Joseph Hodge]  had to join him.

When the war was over, we had to protect ourselves and our neighbors. The company went east or some place I do not know, so the few citizens organized a minute company.  There was no militia company that I know of until the war was over. They all left there. After the war we had a hard time from 1865 and 1872, when in that year 1872 is the last [Indian] fight we had; so if a man is not entitled to a pension that went through the cold and sleet and heat, and hardships, half starved and almost naked. I have lived on the frontier of Texas and blazed the way for civilization all the way across the State, until at this time my wife and I are almost played out, and we are in destitute circumstances, and we feel that this State, for we have given the best of our lives, should at least help me now in the last few days. We now live in a very cheap house worth not more than $200.00, but have no means of support, and as not able to work.

Now, Mr. Sheppard, just think what a hard time we had just protecting ourselves and neighbour. My brother [William Hodges] was killed in battle in the fall of 1863 in Clay County, we had to bury him and three other boys in the same grave, he now sleeps in Clay County, but the grave is lost and no living man knows where it is today. I drove a yoke of oxen to a wagon hauled dead men in, go back the next day after a battle and pick up the dead men to bury. I will name a few that was killed by Indians where I fought: Mr. [A.H.S.] Fortenbury, Sol Foster, and Reeves, Geo. McCommoc and Bill McCommocks horse was killed under him, while we were in battle. They lived in Denton County, in Denton town. Now Mr. Hon. Geo. Sheppard I hope you will consider my letter and what I have said as the truth so help me God.

Yours truly, with best regards, ... (signed) S.G. Hodges


Affidavit of Witnesses .... 1931

From: W.R. Carmack, Motley County Judge, Matador, Texas, July 8, 1931

None of the comrades of this old gentleman are now to be found in this part of the country, and he has lost track of them all; but he has lived in Matador, Texas for the last 31 years, and his life has been such that everybody who knows him, and heard him tell of his hardships and battles with wild Indians believe that he is as much entitled to a pension as any man in Texas. His brother [William P. Hodges] was killed in a battle right by his side by Indians in Clay County, and his grave is lost.

Mrs. Hodges, his wife, is sick now, and they are in destitute circumstances, but he has never been known to ask for help other than a pension. He was refused a pension in 1929 because he could not remember his company or battalion, but nobody doubts his having served faithfully during the Civil War, and for several years on the frontier of Texas fighting Indians after the war was over. His many friends here and elsewhere believe it would be a crime to refuse him this aid, a pension, during his remaining days. He and his good wife have raised a large family, many of them now dead, and the others scattered over a wide territory, trying to make a living for their own families.

While I know that this application is not complete in every respect, I also know that this many should have help from the State in his last few days, that he helped settle and civilize in his younger days. We truly hope that you will see to grant the pension.




Hodge, Solomon George Hodges (Jan 1851 TN-1932 Motley Co TX) m-1876 AR to Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Farmer, 10 ch; 1860 Montague Co TX cen p76;  1870 Denton Co TX cen p210; 1900 Young Co TX cen p229; 1910, 1920, and 1930 Motley Co TX cen. In Bourland's Regt, per Motley Co TX CSA pension application No. 51091, rejected.  He stated that he enlisted "between January 1st and 15th, 1865 in Bourland's Regt and was discharged soon after the surrender (Jun 2, 1865)," that corresponds with the facts: some, but not all companies recorded at least partial regimental Jan 1865 return reports and zero after that.  Solomon said that he was in the same unit with J.N. Gist (of Companies F and G.).     sent by Danella R. Dickson of Lubbock TX.


   Editor's note:  Yes, Julian N. Gist (of Denton Co TX) was in both Companies F and G of Bourland's Regt.  The Adjutant General's office scrambled the records of Companies G, H., and I .... so confusing that the U.S. War Dept. tried in 1911 and yours truly is still trying to unscramble these G, H., and I records.  The good news is that the men of Co F were mostly from the Montague Co TX area where your Solomon Hodges lived.  There were several kids who patrolled or drove cattle on the North and West Frontier with no recognition, documentation nor payment, plus these kids furnished their own horse and equipage.  I am not surprised.  Only the established surnames (i.e. older residents) were remembered when the 1st Sgt. was recording the regimental monthly report for men who were patrolling many miles away (maybe 100 miles away ... on a horse).  And I must quickly add that many times the 1st Sgt. did not have writing materials. 

                In my book I have a rather long article describing the death of William Hodge in the Clay Co TX.  Yes, this is the brother of your Solomon and I'm sure that the death inspired him to do everything he could to memorialize his brother.   Also mentioned in my book is Solomon's father and brother, Joseph and Elijah Hodges, respectively.

              Minute Men company.  An important part of this CSA pension application #51091 is his description of the Minute Men Company and their activities until 1872.





from  vIIpA-269 in my book

William P. Hodges, b-1846 TN; 1860 Montague Co TX cen p76; killed by Indians


Red River Station

Montague County

Aug 5, 1863


From: Northern Standard, Sep 17, 1863, p1c1-3.

Mr. Editor:

Having just returned from a scout in the vicinity of the Wichita Mountains, and other parts of the frontier, I imagine the events of the excursion will be somewhat interesting to your readers. On the 18th of July, Lt. James R. Giddens in command of 26 men left this place on an Indian hunt. We traveled about 10 miles, and reached the old post [Bourland's Headquarters] formerly occupied by Capt. James Bourland's Company of Rangers; finding good water, and grass, we encamped for the night. At an early hour of the 19th we were again on the march, and after a travel of three hours we crossed "Little Wichita." ... found good grass and water on Long Creek, a tributary of the Little Wichita. On the 20th, we started for the Big Wichita — crossed at Valentine's Crossing — went up the River about a mile — nooned at an old vacated rancho formerly occupied by a Mr. ? Nechard [? Samuel Wychard] who was killed sometime since by the Indians. — We pursued our course up the Wichita [River]. About sun down we found ourselves at [J.] Campbell Gooch's that had been evacuated. On the 21st at the rising of the sun, we were again on the march—traveled a northwest course about 10 miles, struck Red River at [Mabel] Gilbert's Rancho [Wichita Co TX]. Here again was desolation and destruction — here were marks of the outrages of these merciless red devils who have ever since my first recollection infested the frontier of Texas. Mr. Gilbert left his home at or near the same time that Gooch was compelled to abandon his place. Gilbert's was also a well finished home.

You may imagine that we began to feel "woolfish" for our situation was by no means viable. Our arms consisted of two rifles and a Colts navy, and in consequence of so much rain, and the inferiority of the [gun] powder and caps that we have to use we could place but little confidence in our shooting irons. But believing it a desperate case at best, we continued to travel homeward, resolved that if we were attacked by Indians, to sell out as dear as possible.

On Saturday last, they attacked five cow hunters about 12 miles from Camp Brunson [Clay Co TX], killing three and wounding one. The wounded man and his father escaped. The names of those killed were John McGehee, William Hodge and Levi Hill. The Indians got their horses and saddles. The two men that escaped made their way into Camp Brunson, and informed Capt. Joseph Ward of what had transpired. He sent men to bury the dead, and follow the murderers.

At last accounts, they [Ward’s Company] were on the trail, but I do not know how far behind. As soon as the intelligence came to Red River Station, Capt. [J.T. Rowland started out two scouts. We have not heard from them since they left, but feel confident that they will use every exertion to catch them.

We have in anticipation an expedition to the North Canadian River, and the Arkansas river. Our Lt-Col has just returned from Fort Arbuckle, where he had been for the purpose of procuring aid from the Indian troops that are stationed there. While there he made an arrangement for the Tonkaways to come, and live in Texas again. Five of them are here now, and the remainder of them will be in to night. This tribe is now almost extinct. The bringing of the Tonks among us, is not approved of by many. If I am correctly informed, it is the intention of the Colonel [Bourland], to divide them out, and put a few at each station, on the frontier. In my mind it will cause trouble, however time will prove. C.A.W.


1872 Minute Men.    The only Hodges who served in the 1872 Minute Men that I know of was William H. Hodge.  He served in Wise County from March 19-September 2, 1872 under lieutenants R.T. Rieger and George W. Stevens. Possibly a relative?   There was no minute company for Denton County, but as you know Wise is right next door. That would be the most logical choice, unless Solomon moved to a completely different part of the frontier in the seven years after the war.  per Daren Ivey of Manhattan KS.


Glossary of above documents

Cammack, Wm. Giddens Cammack; ...  1860 Madison Co TX cen p441, son Thomas N. Cammack 22 AL, served in Bates' 13th TX Infantry, Co I, Pvt.  ..... 1900 Motley Co TX cen p267; Cammack, Thomas N., 62 AL TN AL, Izorra V., 45 TX SC NC .... son was Wm. R. Cammack

Gooch, John Campbell (1827 Hemp Co AR-Sep 1864 Wash Co TX) m-Helen; 1860 Young cen p402; Lt, Mex War

Fortenberry, Ambrose H. Sevier Fortenberry (1830 Lawrence Co AR-Oct 29, 1868 Denton Co TX, killed by Indians)   .... m,1-Missy Cravens; m-Mrs. Jane Odell Howard 

Foster, Sol      killed by Indians ?Jul 18, 1863

Giddens, James Richard Giddens (1829 IL-1865 Battle of Dove Creek, Irion Co TX) m-Susan; 1860 Johnson Co TX cen p457; led 25 men in 1863 to Wichita Mountains; McCord's 46th TX Cav, Co D, CSA (Lt, Montag Co, TST), A-268, A-299, A-300, A-304

Gilbert, Mable Gilbert, male (1797 NC, later Dickson Co TN-1870 Wichita Co TX) m,1-Charity Cherry Morris, 11 ch; m,2-1855 to Rachel (Gibbs) Albright Freeman, 8 ch (1838, Lt. J.P. Simpson's Mtd Gunmen) 19, 21, 22, 37, A-268

Gist, Julian Nathan Gist. Gist, b-1823 LA; m-Ruth; 1860 Denton Co TX cen p450 (Co F, G, Bourland's Regt), A-13, A-30, A-284, A-285

Hill, Levi   ... did not find in archival records

Hodges, Elijah M. Hodges, b-1847 TN; 1860 Montag cen p76; Fitzhugh's 16th Cav, Co I; Gould's 23d TX Cav, Co E (Montag Co, TST), A-324

Hodges, Joseph Hodges, b-1817 TN; m-Sarah; 1860 Montag cen p76 (Montag Co, TST), A-324

Hodges, Solomon George Hodges (Jan 1851 TN-1932 Motley Co TX) m-1876 AR to Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Farmer, 10 ch; 1860 Montague Co TX cen p76 (Co F, Bourland's Regt)

Hodges, Wm. P. Hodge, b-1846 TN; 1860 Montag cen p76; killed 1863 by Indians, A-269

McGhee, John W. McGhee, b-1837 AR; 1860 Cooke cen p252; killed 1863 by Indians, A-269

Reeves, George.  Killed by Indians Jul 18, 1863

Rowland, John T. Rowland (Capt, Montag Co, TST), 153, 156, 160, 173, 187, 188, 196, 198, 200, 201, 203, 204, 205, 206, 208, 247, 260, 275, 276, 307, 321, A-1, A-7, A-179, A-264, A-269, A-282, A-296, A-298, A-299, A-300, A-304, A-342, A-xiii, A-xxi

Ward, Joseph Ward, b-1818; McCord's 46th Frontier Cav, Co C, Capt (Capt, Parker & Montag Co's, TST), 153, 161, 176, 177, 189, 198, 224, 244, 254, 255, 307, A-204, A-215, A-236, A-237, A-238, A-239, A-251, A-253, A-264, A-269, A-276, A-296, A-298, A-305, A-306, A-320, A-325, A-331, A-409, A-xiii, A-xiv, A-xxi



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Patricia Adkins-Rochette        03/20/2013     

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