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

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Prisoners in Bonham

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Ronnie Atnip of Bonham Tx sent this Apr 2, 2012 e-mail, with map,  to your editor.

Union Buttons, Bayonets, and Cemeteries

"Twenty years ago or so a clerk at Crown Loan [pawn shop] told me that sometime in the past, his boss N.H. Davis, had bought several Union bayonets from a man who had found them west of the Willow Wild Cemetery.  I was told that they were used as head markers for Civil War Soldiers. I thought little of it because I could not understand why they were not buried in the cemetery. I later found out that Willow Wild Cemetery did not exist during the Civil War and that the hill site was used as CSA General Henry McCulloch's camp at the time. Maybe they had a need for a cemetery and used the area behind the camp.  I saw the post about Pvt James Franklin McFarland guarding prisoners here [Bonham] towards the end of the war.

"Within a month Friend No. 1 told me that when he started building houses on an area that had not been developed.  He was approached by Friend No. 2 to metal detect the site.  Friend No 2 found several Union Buttons and a few other things then reported to Friend No. 1.    "I have since been told by Gary Bray** about the Austin State Gazette, June 1, 1864 article.   Gary said that in a chat room online John Hill had told him the same story about the bayonets. ... "    ...   ".. I finally got to talk to John Hill.  He could add nothing new about the bayonets.  He said, 'I believe that Tom Scott told me about them. I think that he said that they were civil war soldier head markers and that they came from just west of the Willow Wild Cemetery. Tom is dead so we can't ask him again.'"     Ronnie Atnip of Bonham TX.


 State Troops only, no Confederate troops.   March 13, 1864 ... "... I have no infantry but the State troops, and there are some places in the district at which one company should be stationed as a post guard. ..."   H.E. McCulloch to J.E. Slaughter (Mar 13, 1864) per ORsIv53[S#111]p971.

Capt. W.G. Moseleys 7th Light Artillery guarded prisoners in the Bonham area. Pvt. James Franklin McFarland served in Capt. Owen G. Joness Co. C of Moseleys command and "Did guard duty at Federal prison in Bonham when 16 years old in the Confederate army [sic, Texas State Troops].  No description has been added." per McFarland family records in

Records show that Capt. Moseleys Company including Tonkawa scouts were active from about August 1863 until after April 1865 and that during the December 1863 Kiowa raid into Montague and Cooke Counties, Moseleys Artillery was part of TST Major J.R. Diamonds force in pursuit of the Kiowas.

"Milligan Family.  William and Kizzie (House) Milligan, pioneer settlers of Collin County, came to Texas in 1856 from Missouri and settled east of McKinney in what has since been known as the Milligan Community. William was crippled, but during the Civil War, he hauled supplies for the Confederacy to a Prisoner of War camp close to where Bonham is now located. As Quantrill's Raider's had swept through the community, taking away all good horses, William had to use a mule to carry his supplies."    ... Story sent by Mrs. Clifton Dowell, a granddaughter of Collin McKinney, for Collin County: Pioneering in North Texas by Capt. Roy Hall & Helen Gibbard Hall, Quanah TX, Nortex (1975) p224.

Men from L.M. Martin's 5th Partisan Rangers Cavalry served as in North Texas in several capacities including as guards for Gen. McCulloch.    It is assumed that some of Martin's men guarded these prisoners.


Records burned.   CSA Brig-Gen. H.E. McCulloch, accompanied by H.G. Askew, burned the Northern Sub-District of Texas records in the open fireplace in the Bonham courthouse in late May, 1865.  per H.G. Askews article in Confederate Veteran, v23n10p458 (Oct. 1915).

The Bourland Papers contain 43 letters that do not, but should, appear in the Official Record: thirty-four (34) letters written by Brig-Gen, H.E. McCulloch to Col. James Bourland and nine (9) letters that Bourland wrote to McCulloch.



Correction:  The 1000 prisoners mentioned in this article were sent to Camp Ford near Tyler TX, not to Bonham TX.

 "Special Correspondence of Gazette"

by Claude de Mogyns, Jr. on May 16, 1864, Austin State Gazette, June 1, 1864, p2c3.

Twelve hundred and fifty three prisoners arrived here from Camden, Ark. yesterday 380 more are expected tomorrow. They were taken at the fight at Marks Mill. These, together with those already here, will make 4500 free boarders, who are rather unwelcome visitors to the planters hereabouts, but certainly much more welcome as prisoners than as conquerors. These planters, though willing to divide to the last with our own brave defenders, dislike to stint themselves to feed these despoilers of our country. Some of the prisoners were left at Shreveport about 1,000 have been sent to Bonham [sic, Camp Ford, near Tyler TX].

[Union Gen. Frederick] Steele lost upwards of 5,000 men in Arkansas. He went from Little Rock with about 15,000 men to overrun South Arkansas and invade Texas. He got back to Little Rock with from 3 to 5,000 armed men and a rabble of 2 or 3,000 unarmed ones, (who in their hasty fight had thrown away their arms to increase their speed,) without wagons, artillery, or provisions. The railroad from Little Rock to White River was torn up by [CSA Lt-Col. Thomas H.] McCray, who organized a Brigade from men who had gone the Yankees to keep out of the army and deserters from various brigades. The Yankees required them to take the oath, which they consented to, but when they were ordered into the ranks of their army, it was more than they bargained for, so they left, bushwhacking their Yankee friends ever since. He [McCray] has about 1,500 with him now, who are redeeming themselves right well. Many are returning, who have been shirking duty under various pretences.

Such are the fruits of the victory in Arkansas. I saw an officer who came to guard the prisoners some of whom stood guard over him when he was taken prisoner of Arkansas Post. He says that our soldiers are confident, and enthusiastic, and that the Yankees were "better whipped in Arkansas, than they were in Louisiana." Steele is at Duvall's Bluff on White River, trying to get to the Mississippi River with the demoralized remnant of his army, harassed by our cavalry, who daily send to Camden squads of from 20 to 50 prisoners. Little Rock and Pine Bluff Not having taken down at the time the number of wagons, pieces of artillery, arms, etc., which have taken by our troops I fear to trust my memory, but they were all his army had, except the few they carried them back to Little Rock.

I understand from a gentleman just from Bonham that the crops of wheat in that region are not very good. The corn is late, and only tolerably good.   ..... per Claude de Mogyns, Jr., Austin State Gazette, Jun 1, 1864, p2c3.



Physical evidence that these prisoners were at Camp McCulloch has been found. Union buttons were found at Camp McCulloch and Union bayonets were found near the Willow Wild Cemetery.   These bayonets were found in a regular pattern, i.e. at the head of  gravesite.  

Camp McCulloch: 33 degrees, 34' 23.36" North and 96 degrees, 11' 29.44" West; .....   Union bayonets found at: 33 degrees 34' 49.51" North and 96 degrees 11' 54.57" West at the crossroads of US Hwy 82 and Tx Hwy 56.



From your editor's  200-page Name Index:

Jones, Owen G. Jones, b-1834; pension #15988; Cook's 1st Heavy Artillery, Adjt (Capt, Co C, Moseley's 7th Light Artillery, TST)

McFarland, James Franklin McFarland (1845 TN-1917 Ladonia,   Fannin Co TX) m-Mary Jane Harper (Co C, Moseley's 7th Light Artillery, TST)            ... on, your editor saw a note:  "Did guard duty at Federal prison in Bonham when 16 years old in the Confederate army [sic, Texas State Troops].

Moseley, Wm. Green Moseley (1823 NC-1885 Brazoria Co TX) m-Emily Thompson; Bates' 13th Inf, Co D, Capt (Capt, 7th Light Battery, TST)



**Gary D. Bray.  2012 Commander of the whole State of Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans Organization..



On this aerial photo are three targets with their respective GPS readings below.

1) building site where Union buttons were found

33 degrees, 34' 23.36" N

96 degrees, 11' 29.44" W

2) Willow Wild Cemetery

33 degrees, 34' 49.32" N

96 degrees, 11' 47.26" W

3) bayonet site

33 degrees, 34' 49.51" N

96 degrees, 11' 54.57" W


































































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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