Bell Maxey by
|United States Senator
and Confederate General
Born: Tompkinsville, Kentucky on March 30, 1825.
Died: Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in August of 1895.
Mathew Brady Portrait of Samuel Bell Maxey as a U.S. Senator
|He attended West Point
and was a roommate Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson.
He graduated as
a brevet second lieutenant on July 1, 1846, and fought in the Mexican War, participating
in battles of Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, and Molino del Rey.
valor and promoted to First Lt. Maxey was chosen to command part of a postwar
police guard in Mexico City.
of the Battle of Churabusco
Courtesy Wikipedia Commons
|In 1849 Maxey resigned
from the army and began practicing law in Albany, Kentucky, with his father.
Maxey and his father moved their families to Texas,
where they arrived in October 1857 and purchased five acres south of Paris
in Lamar County.
Maxey served as district attorney for Lamar County. At
the outbreak of the Civil War he sought permission to form a regiment. He was
also running for the Texas Senate that year. After winning his senate seat, he
sent his father to Austin to serve for
Maxey's newly-formed Ninth Texas Infantry regiment left Texas
on New Year’s Day, 1862. He joined the forces of Albert
Sidney Johnson and was made Brigadier General in March of that year.
forces fought in the Vicksburg campaign and at Jackson, Mississippi.
the waning days of 1863 he was made commander of the Indian Territory. In February
of 1865 he was placed in charge of a division of cavalry. By that time the war
was winding down and desertion was rampant. In May of that year, a discouraged
General Maxey requested to be relieved of his command.
Maxey, he had been promoted to Major General prior to his resignation.
In January of 1874, Maxey was elected a U.S. Senator and served for two terms.
During his tenure he served on the post office committee and established a mail
route from Fort Worth to Yuma,
|Maxey harbored no
animosity toward the U.S. Government and is remembered for his moderate views.
He looked to the future and not to the past. He became friends with former enemies
Ulysses Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman – two of the South’s most hated Union
According to Nolan Maxie, a direct
descendant of SBM, living in Conroe,
Texas, there had been no fewer than 33 members of the Maxey family that fought
for the North.
In the summer of 1895, Maxey, suffering from a gastro-intestinal
disease, died at Eureka Springs, Arkansas where he had sought treatment.
was buried in Paris, Texas. The Maxey
House in Paris, built in 1869, was placed on the National Register in 1971.
It is one of North Texas’
oldest and most authentic historic structures.
from a Descendant:
“A friend if mine recently visited Paris,
Texas. Discovering US Army Camp Maxey and the Maxey
Home, a State Historical Site, he returned home and asked me if Sam was a
relative of mine.
Yes, I am proud to say Sam Bell Maxey is in my family
tree. He and I come together from the second and third generation of Maxeys in
this new country. His line comes from Radford Maxey and I descend from Walter
Maxey back in Goochland County, Virginia. The entire Maxey line in this country
descend from Edward and Susanna Maxey who arrived here from England and took a
land grant in the early 1700's in Goochland County on the James River.
I wish I had known Samuel Bell . There weren’t a lot like him.”
© Nolan Maxie
September 1, 2010 Column