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

by Patricia Adkins-Rochette

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Frazier McLish’s Militia in the Chickasaw Nation


Please help locate McLish's  militia listing.



From: Neil Johnson's The Chickasaw Rancher, University Press of Colorado (2001), pp23-24.


... Some Chickasaws, mostly full-bloods, disapproved with the treaty made with the Confederacy and took their families north for the duration of the war. The majority of these neutrals lived in LeRoy, Coffey County, Kansas. There they were joined by refugees from the Creek, Cherokee and Seminole Nations to wait out the war. The Cherokees did not participate in the Confederate treaties. Thousands of other Indians fled south to escape the war, many of whom ended up in the Chickasaw Nation living off the generosity of the remaining Chickasaw families. (per Hale and Gibson, The Chickasaw [1991], pp77-78.)


The Chickasaw battalion was kept busy acquiring and issuing rations for the Indians and for the Confederate Army.  As early as Dec 1862, beef was selling in Fort Arbuckle for six cents a pound. * Michael Campbell sold a large number of cattle to ** Benjamin F. Savage, who had the beef contract.  Payment for these cattle was made in Confederate dollars, which Michael delivered to [wife] Adelaide [Johnson Campbell] when he visited his family from time to time.


With the fall of Fort Arbuckle to the Confederates, *** Montford Johnson lost his mail route. According to one source, Montford then served a time with **** Frazier McLish’s militia and for three or four months rode express between the headquarters of the Chickasaw Battalion and the Texas troops stationed at the mouth of Mud Creek where it joined Red River [now Love Co OK].  With Michael [Campbell] now spending most of his time at Fort Arbuckle or on the march, Montford, upon his release [from the militia] took over the management of Michael’s stock and property.    (per O’Beirne's, Leaders and Leading Men of Indian Territories, vIp284, published in 1891)


By the start of the war, Montford had accumulated for himself fifteen head of cows and calves, a few yearlings, a pair of year old steers, and a yoke of oxen that Captain L.D. Hothliche had given him.  He had six mares and colts, several saddle ponies, and about three hundred head of hogs.   One old Negro man helped him with the farming. Montford was anxious to get more heavily involved in the stock business, so he and his bro-in-law, Michael Campbell, had agreed to become partners with Charley Eastman.  Sadly the war destroyed these plans along with many others.  More than five years would pass before Montford would try again to become the cowman he aspired to be.


During that time, Montford helped Adelaide settle on the Hothliche place.   Montford came to know Michael’s younger sister quite well.  Now that he was looking after Michael’s affairs, he saw more and more of her [Mary Elizabeth Campbell] and their friendship gradually ripened into love. Mary’s father had not been too keen on Montford’s courtship of his daughter, but by this time Sergeant Charles Campbell had long since departed the area with the rest of the Union Army to Kansas.  Montford and Mary Campbell were married with the blessing of her mother. As soon as he could, Montford, with the help of his farmhands and slaves, set out to build a new house for his family. On the junction of Henry House Creek and Caddo Creek, about seven miles north of now Lone Grove, Carter County, Oklahoma, he built a simple ***** two-room log house on the North side of Caddo Creek.  A few miles west on Hickory Creek and Caddo Creek junction were a few more settlers. Some of Montford’s neighbors in the area included Frazier McLish, Ed Colbert, and the ****** Humphrey family.  The house itself was fourteen by sixteen feet. The two rooms being separated by a hallway in the middle of the house. The roof was made of clapboards held in place by ridgepoles.  ...



*    Michael Campbell, a Major in the Chickasaw battalion at Fort Arbuckle, who drowned in the rising Washita River after visiting Henry Colbert who warned him to take a different route to visit his wife, Adelaide Johnson Campbell. 


**   Benjamin F. Savage and Samuel Bolling Savage, of Whitesboro, Grayson Co TX, had a contract with the Confederate War Dept. to furnish beef to Fort Arbuckle in the Chickasha Nation I.T.; they were paid in Confederate money." per feature "Benjamin Savage," SOUVENIR OF TEXAS.   ...Mary Savage, m-1867 Grayson Co TX to Charles Granville Graham (served 46 months in Stevens's 22d Cav-1st Indian TX Regt, CSA). Mary was dau of S.B. Savage.  From your editor's Graham family history.


.***   Montford Johnson's mother was Rebecca Courtney.  One Mrs. Courtney lived 1/2 mile from Fort Arbuckle in 1871.


****   George Frazier McLish, (1824 TN-1871 Paris, Lamar Co TX), Chickasaw; m-Sally McIntosh, dau of Susannah Coe and Gen. Wm. McIntosh, a Creek leader.    ..per Don Martini's WHO WAS WHO AMONG THE SOUTHERN INDIANS, A GENEALOGICAL NOTEBOOK, 1698-1907.


*****  Montford Johnson (1843-1896) built a 2-room house in twp 3S ran 1W sec 19 near juncture of Henry House Creek and Caddo Creek. 


******   Humphrey family.   Richard L. Humphrey, (b-1800 TN, d-aft 1860), white, settled 1826 among the Chickasaws at Buzzard Roost Creek, Mississippi;  m-1829 to Sarah McLish, dau of John and widow of James Colbert Jr.;  Chickasaw tribe attorney in 1851; 1860 a lawyer in Tishomingo, now Johnston OK;    Their 5 female ch: (1) Mary m-Alex Rennie; (2) Lou m-Henry Colbert; (3)  Elizabeth m,1-Littleton H. Love, m,2-Colbert Carter; (4) Sophia, m,1-Nathan B. Love, m,2-George Nesbit; (5) Sally L., m-a Campbell.   .. per Don Martini's WHO WAS WHO AMONG THE SOUTHERN INDIANS, A GENEALOGICAL NOTEBOOK, 1698-1907.



from O'Beirne's Leaders and Leading Men of Indian Territory (pub 1891), p257.

William Robison.   His father had sent him to school to be a blacksmith out of I.T.  He now is returning back home to I.T.  Young Robison found that he could make a living with the anvil (blacksmith trade), but he choose to be a clerk for George Frazier McLish, a Chickasaw who had a store at the mouth of the little river [Caddo Creek].  At about this this time he married miss Adeline McLish, oldest dau. of Judge James McLish of Tishomingo, the first judge of the Chickasaw Nation Constitution.

When the war broke out Mr. Robison joined the Confederacy service under Colonel John Jumper's Seminole Battalion. After the war he opened a mercantile store at the mouth of Caddo Creek.



p284 of O'Beirne's book

(Click to enlarge, click again to further enlarge)

Please help locate McLish's  militia listing.


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Patricia Adkins-Rochette        08/17/2008               

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