(Transcription from personal files of Frank B. Chilton at the Texas State Archives)


Reply of H. T. Sapp and Capt. F. B. Chilton to Capt. J. T. Hunter.



Houston, Texas. Feb. 12, 1905.

Capt. J. T. Hunter, Surviving Captain
Co. H. 4th. Texas Regt. Hoods Texas Brigade
Army of Northern Virginia.

Oakwood, Texas.

Dear Captain and Comrade,

We the undersigned, in response to communication received from you under date of Jan. 9th. 1905 requesting that we inspect and correct, so far as in our power, the roll of Co. H. 4th. Texas, now in hands of the Adjutant General of Texas, through our departed comrade Thos. Seargent, beg to report as follows: Appreciating the trust, we have carefully examined the roll and suggest following corrections which when endorsed or approved by you and placed on file with said original roll in office of Adjt. Gen. of Texas at Austin will be about all we few survivors can do to perpetuate the memory of one of the most gallant companies that helped form that constellation of brave souls that early in 1861 backed a principle with their blood and lives and although the cause they so loved went down in defeat yet it was a glorious victory for both flag and principle, since there was hardly a man left to wave the flag all were so willing to die to protect. We can hardly express our gratitude that it has been possible through the foresight and devotion of our departed comrade Thomas Seargent to preserve to history so complete a roll of our original company and the remarkable correctness of the fate of most of our comrades in arms that constituted said company. We all, both living and dead, are indebted to comrade Thos. Seargent for this record so ably kept, which forty years after the struggle in which we were engaged leaves to posterity and coming generations a correct history of our noble company.

We submit the following addenda to the original roll now on file at Austin.

Company H was organized at Red Top, Grimes County, Texas, May 7th. 1861, and was made up of members from Montgomery, Grimes, and Walker Counties, electing its officers from each county as follows: --
Capt. P. P. Porter from Montgomery Co.
1st. Lieut. James T. Hunter from Walker Co.
2nd. Lieut. Thos. M. Owens from Grimes Co.
3rd. Lieut. Benton Randolph from Walker Co.

Leaving Red Top our company in connection with other companies that had orders for Va. concentrated at Harrisburg, Texas, where they were regularly mustered into the Confederate service -- ``for the war'' -- and from whence they took up the march, Sept. 1861, for the seat of war in Virginia. Reaching Richmond Va. they were (at Camp Texas, just beyond the rockets on the York River Railway) formed with other Texas companies into the 4th. Texas Regiment with John B. Hood as Colonel. John Marshall, Lieut. Col., and Bradfute Warrick as Major, and brigaded with the First and Fifth Texas Regiments into a Brigade known as Hoods Texas Brigade.

Said Brigade retained its original name and formation during entire war, consisting of 1st., 4th., & 5th. Texas Regiments with addition of 18th. Georgia and 3rd. Arkansas at different intervals, also Hamptons Legion.

Capt. P. P. Porter was killed while commanding Co. H. at Gaines Mill Va. June 27th. 1862.

1st. Lieut. J. T. Hunter, after death of Capt. Porter, at that time on Staff of Gen. Hood, returned to Co. H. and remained as its Capt. up to surrender at Appomattox, only missing being in command of company day of surrender because he was on duty as one of the Field Officers.

2nd. Lieut. Tom M. Owen, while Commissary of the Regiment was killed at Gaines Mill, June 27th. 1862.

3rd. Lieut. Benton Randolph was wounded and permanently disabled same battle and was afterwards appointed Judge Advocate and so served until end of the war.

After the bloody experience of Gaines Mill, C. E. Jones was elected First Lieut. vice J. T. Hunter promoted to Capt.

M. C. Holmes was elected 2nd. Lieut. vice Tom. M. Owens killed, and Ben Reynolds was elected 3rd. Lieut. vice Benton Randolph disabled.

Lieut. C. E. Jones was killed at Manassas. Lieut. M. C. Holmes lost his leg at same battle. Lieut. Ben Reynolds was killed at Gettysburg. R. J. Tedford and J. Syd Spivey were elected Lieutenants vice C. E. Jones killed and M. C. Holmes disabled.

Lieut. R. J. Tedford was wounded and disabled at Chickamauga in 1863.

Capt. J. T. Hunter being on Staff duty Lieut. J. Syd Spivey was in command of Co. H. at Appomattox when war ended.

Taking the roll of comrade Seargent we beg to offer as corrections thereto: --

Where Battles are mentioned it should be ``Gaines Mill'' instead of Gaines Farm -- the former having been adopted in History. C. E. Jones was killed at Manassas instead of Gaines Mill. Z. Landrum was killed at Gaines Mill not Gettysburg. E. W. Cartwright died from Rail Road accident at Holly Springs Miss while en route to Va. with company. F. B. Chilton discharged in 1862 was promoted and served in many official capacities until disabled by wounds. He was Capt. and State ordinance officer with Gen. J. B. Robertson (our old Brigade Commander) when war ended.

Howard Finley was appointed Quarter Master Seargent to Maj. Moses George Brigade Quarter Master in 1862, and so remained until end of war.

A. Hahn did not die in prison in 1863 but survived the war and was heard from in Georgia by Capt. Hunter as late as 1902.

G. W. Kipps was killed while in command of company at Wilderness.

W. C. Kerr did not die in prison at Fort Delaware in 1864 but survived the war and died in Grimes County.

F. G. King was a good soldier and could never have deserted. His brother Sam was killed at Manassas and after that F. G. was not the same man. He remained a good soldier and it is believed that he was either captured or killed by the wayside.

We have no remembrance that J. W. Lawrence ever deserted.

John Long could not have deserted but is supposed to have either been captured or killed by the wayside.

J. W. Lemon was known to be a deserter from Co. H. at Petersburg but afterwards wrote Capt. Hunter that he had not deserted the cause but only the Infantry and had joined a Virginia Cavalry Company.

It is not possible that such a soldier as Ed Savage ever deserted, he was most certainly killed or captured on the return from Maryland.

D. J. Tucker was appointed courier to Gen. Longstreet.

J. Thomas (whose proper name was J. T. Nixon) was appointed wagon master by Gen. Hood, went to Tenn. with Gen. Hood, and served as wagon master to end of war.

F. H. Wade was a deserter from Co. H. and joined an Artillery Company in Braggs army. He was arrested as a deserter by Capt. Hunter at Chickamauga but escaped.

We do not know that L. C. Clepper ever put in a substitute. The only substitutes we can now verify were the two put in by Sam Y. Smith of Huntsville.

Ed Keeble was transferred to Co. D. 5th. Texas and not Co. I.

The name of Robt. Stratton does not appear on the roll. He was one of our original members and we believe survived the war.

The name of Richard Fox who was killed at Sharpsburg in 1864 does not appear on the roll. He was a gallant soldier and his name is an omission.

Where names of J. Stenssey and M. Stenssey (Uncle & Nephew) are mentioned on roll, it should be :-- J. Stenssey lost a leg and M. Stenssey an arm. Both survived the war and we believe died in Montgomery County.

H. T. Sapp was the first man wounded in Co. H. (In the head at West Point, Elthams Landing, May 7th 1862.) He was discharged on account of wounds in 1862 but rejoined the company in 1863. He was a paroled prisoner at surrender.

L. C. Cartwright was the last man wounded in Co. H. during the war, losing his arm in 1865.

Co. H. surrendered at Appomattox with eleven men -- rank and file -- names taken from Mrs. Winklers History of Hoods Texas Brigade as follows.

Com. and Non Com. Officers. Privates.
Capt. J. T. Hunter T. C. Dillard
1st. Lieut. J. S. Spivey T. A. Wynne
4th. Sgt. W. C. May A. J. McCowan
1st. Corpl. R. S. Stewart R. M. May
4th. Corpl. J. H. Hall H. Keyser
. W. A. Watson

Now dear Captain we have complied with your request and filled the trust confided to us to the best of our belief, knowledge and ability and if there is a motive on earth that would impel us to purest efforts it would be in connection with our love and duty to our dear comrades -- the dead and living heroes that constituted Co. H. 4th. Texas of Hoods Brigade. Nearly forty four years have elapsed since those stirring events of 1861 and while no man or set of men are infallible yet we believe we have after due effort succeeded in being very nearly correct in all details -- at least just to all without knowing neglect of any. The few of us that are yet living are fast whitening for the grave and soon there will be nothing left of the Confederate soldier except the record of his deeds as it appears in history, and it should behoove us all to leave the page as clean and clear as possible for all coming ages. Conscious of a life well spent where self has ever been subordinate to principle and duty you should be surrounded with every environment calculated to sweetly round off a noble manhood, and that your declining years may be the happiest and most peaceful of all is the prayer of your two faithful comrades here -- and well wishers for all hereafter.

H. T. Sapp 1st Sgt.
F. B. Chilton, Private.
Co. H. 4th. Texas, Hoods Brigade, Army of Northern Va.

Source: Texas State Archives and Library
Transcribed by: David Golimowski