Milam County, Texas

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Clark Griffin Cobb

Clark Griffin Cobb
Photo owned by Jack Cobb

Written by Lynna Kay Shuffield, Oran M. Roberts Chapter 440, United Daughters of the Confederacy®

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Private Clark Grffin Cobb was a member of Company A, 1st Texas Cavalry, Confederate States Army. The 1st Texas Cavalry was better known as the 1st Calvary, Texas Mounted Rifles and often referred to by the officers as the 1st Texas Mounted Rifles.

Over 1,000 men were recruited into this unit for a 12 month enlistment from counties in Central Texas, near San Antonio and Austin. The regiment was mustered into service in mid April 1861 as the first calvary regiment from Texas to enter the Confederate service.

During the year these men served, they were mainly engaged in Indian operations in the area of the Red River in North Texas. It was the first Confederate unit organized in Texas and the longest to serve, participating in Indian skirmishes on the frontier as well as in full battles against the Union. The men served until the regiment was disbanded at Fort Mason in late April 1862 upon expiration of their enlistment. Fort Mason was located at Post Oak Hill near Comanche Creek and Centennial Creek in the northern part of what was then Gillespie County (now Mason County), Texa.

The unit was commanded by Colonel Henry E. McCulloch, a former Texas Ranger, who was swift and effective at motivating his fellow Texans to arms. He and later regimental commanders, Augustus Buchel and William Yager, were acknowledged for their emphasis on precise discipline and gentlemanly conduct. Their training methods taught soldiers the valuable lessons of cavalry and infantry maneuvers as well as saber fighting and the proper care of horses and equipment. Many commanders maintained lax rules of propriety and organization, but the 1st Texas Mounted Rifles remained a cohesive and loyal unit, disbanding only under the proper orders. Even as the Confederacy fell around them, the troops remained steadfastly loyal to their fellows.

On Tuesday, 16 April 1861, Pvt. Cobb was enlisted into the unit at Webberville, Travis County, Texas, by Captain James H. Fry for a 12-month period. Capt. Fry was from Burleson County, Texas.

Webberville is located on Farm Road 969, about 15-miles east of Austin in eastern Travis County. The post office, which was established in 1846, was named Webber's Prairie in honor of John F. Webber, who received a land grant in the area in 1832, but it was sometimes referred to as Smithwick's, for Noah Smithwick, who served as the first postmaster. In 1853, the town’s name was changed to Webberville.

On Monday, 22 April 1861, Pvt. Cobb, age 19, is shown on the unit roll at San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas as a member of Captain James H. Fry’s Company, 1st Regiment Texas Volunteers. The records showed he had traveled 80-miles to rendezvous with the unit at San Antonio and the value of his horse was $80.00 and his equipment was valued at $20.00.

Col. McCulloch was appointed the commanding officer of the 1st Regiment Texas Volunteers on Friday, 4 March 1861. At the time of his appointment, McCulloch was a Colonel in the Provisional Army of Texas that had been organized in February 1861, by the Texas Committee of Public Safety, for the purpose of capturing arms and munitions at Federal forts within the state.

McCulloch, with approximately two companies of men, captured Camp Colorado (located near what is now Ebony, Mills County, Texas), Fort Chadbourne (located on Oak Creek near about 11-miles northeast of Bronte, Coke County, Texas), Camp Cooper (located on Clear Fork of the Brazos River about 7-miles north of the site of present Fort Griffin State Historical Park, Throckmorton County, Texas), and Fort Belknap (located about 3-miles south of Newcastle, Young County, Texas), providing approximately $1.5 million worth of military stores for the state.

On Sunday, 21 April 1861, after receiving word of the action at Fort Sumter in South Carolina and the Secession of the South, McCulloch moves with five companies of the six still in San Antonio to intercept any remaining federal troops not yet evacuated from state at the Indianola disembarking location. Notified en-route that all federals near Indianola had been captured by Colonel Earl Van Dorn, commander of the Department of Texas. McCulloch was ordered, by Van Dorn to capture a force of 300 federal troops northwest of San Antonio. McCulloch, with the six companies of the 1st Texas, and a detachment of cavalry and artillery from the 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles, moved with a total force of approximately 1,300 to intercept the federals.

On Thursday, 9 May 1861, the 8th Infantry, U.S. Army, near San Lucas Springs (located about 22-miles west of San Antonio), surrendered to the overwhelming forces of Col. McCulloch. The 8th Infantry was the last federal troops in Texas.

In July 1861, in the vicinity of Antelope Hills, north of the Red River in the area that would later become Oklahoma, Col. McCulloch, guided by Charles Goodnight, met with Chief Red Bear and Chief Eagle, both Comanches as well as Lone Wolf, Santana, and Satank, of the Kiowa Tribe. No terms reached. Upon return to Texas, Major Edward Burleson, Jr. took command of the line of defense from Fort Phantom Hill to Red River. Oddly enough, Fort Phantom Hill was never officially named and military records usually refer to it as the "Post on the Clear Fork of the Brazos." It was located on Clear Fork of the Brazos in the area of present Jones County, Texas.

Camp Jackson (built on southwest bank of the junction of the Big Wachita and Red Rivers) serve as Burleson’s headquarters. Lt. Col Thomas C. Frost controls defensive line from Fort Chadbourne south. Fort McKavett (located about 20-miles southwest of Menard, Menard County, Texas), an abandoned federal fort, was added to the defensive line. Camp Colorado was designated as a supply sub-depot to serve the four northern posts. Limited supplies require need for donations of beef and flour from citizens and troop were warned against wasting ammunition.

“ far as Indian operations are concerned, follow them no odds where they go, and if you can come up with them, whip them.” Colonel Henry McCulloch, Commander, 1st Texas Mounted Rifles

In mid April 1862, at Fort Mason, the companies of the 1st Texas Mounted Rifles assembled and were discharged. Most of men reenlist in the 8th Texas Calvary Battalion, which later became part of the 1st Texas Cavalry Regiment (also known as the 1st Texas Mounted Rifles), which was organized by merging of the 3rd and 8th Cavalry Battalions in May 1863.

Further Reading

McGowen, Stanley S., Horse Sweat and Powder Smoke: The First Texas Cavalry in the Civil War. (College Station, TX: Texas A&M Univ. Press, 1999) [ISBN 0-89096-903-5]


Clark Griffin Cobb was born on Sunday, 4 July 1841, in Alabama, the son of Samuel Parnell Cobb and Melissa Margaret Griffin. [Note: Clark’s first name is sometimes found spelled as “Clarke”]

Clark came to Texas prior to the Civil War and after the war, he brought his parents and siblings from Alabama to Texas.

Samuel (b. Sunday, 7 April 1811, South Carolina - d. Wednesday, 12 Feb 1890, Brazos County, Texas) and his wife, Melissa (b. Friday, 3 Nov 1809, South Carolina - d. Thursday, 18 Nov 1880, Brazos County, Texas) were married on Saturday, 16 Feb 1833 in Anderson County, South Carolina. They are both buried in the Bryan City Cemetery located in Bryan, Brazos County, Texas.

On Thursday, 4 July 1867, Clark married Mary Cornelia Smith in Burleson County, Texas. They had seven children: Mary Elizabeth Cobb (married H. Baxter Griffin); Samuel “Sam” Clark Cobb (married Marybell Williams Mercer); Margaret Eulalie “Eula” Cobb (never married); Ada Alice Cobb (married Dr. Eugene LeBaron); Arthur Cobb (married Pauline McLane); Berter Cobb (died at age 5); and, Francis “Fannie” Cobb (married Dr. Horace Monroe).

Clark died on Saturday, 25 Aug 1900 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery located in Cameron, Milam County, Texas.

Regretfully, there are no known copies of any newspaper published in 1900 in Cameron, Milam County, Texas. In addition, there is no mention of his death in any of the 1900 issues of the Rockdale Messenger newspaper published in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas nor was there an obituary printed in the Houston Post published in Houston, Harris County, Texas. However, the following obituary was found:

Galveston Daily News, Sunday, 26 August 1900, p. 4, c. 7
published in - Galveston, Galveston County, Texas
Cameron, Tex., Aug 25 - Mr. C. G. Cobb died at his home in this city early this morning. He had been in bad health for some time and his death was no great surprise. The deceased came to Milam county after the [Civil] war and had resided here since. He was a soldier in the confederate army, having enlisted in the service from Louisiana, his native state. He was a member of the Baptist church, and stood well as a citizen and businessman. He owned some very valuable lands in the county and was one of the most successful and progressive citizens. Mr. Cobb was honest in all his dealings with his fellow man, his word being as good as his bond. He leaves a wife and five children. [no names given]

Clark’s wife, Mary (b. Thursday, 20 December 1849, Harris County, Texas) died on Tuesday, 3 January 1909 in El Paso, El Paso County, Texas. She was the daughter of Wager Speed Smith and Charlotte Mary Claiborne Payne.

There are no know copies of any newspaper published in 1909 in Cameron, Milam County, Texas. However, the following obituary was found:

Houston Chronicle, Tuesday, 5 January 1909, p. 11, c. 6
published in - Houston, Harris County, Texas
Cameron, Texas, Jan. 5 - Mr. Arthur Cobb received a message Monday from El Paso, announcing the death of his mother, Mrs. M. C. Cobb. Her body was brought to Cameron last night and the funeral was held today. Mrs. Cobb was a resident of Cameron forty years and last year removed to El Paso, where her daughters teach in the schools there. The family has been for years prominent in Milam county, and figured in its development. Rev. C. T. Talley, pastor of the Methodist Church, conducted the services at the residence of Dr. and Mrs. D. Monroe.

Clark did not receive a Texas Confederate Pension nor did Mary receive a Texas Confederate Widow’s Pension.

Family tradition holds that Clark was a member of Waul's Texas Legion, but a search of the “Civil War Soldier’s & Sailor’s Database” operated by the National Parks Dept. on-line at: only located records for an individual with the name Clark Cobb in the entire Confederate Army is the individual who was a member of the Company A, 1st Texas Cavalry, Confederate States Army. A check of every name in the personnel roster of 4,388 men who were members of the Waul’s Texas Legion also did not locate Clark as a member.

Clark’s obituary published in the Galveston Daily News, indicated he joined the Confederate Army in Louisiana. A search of the “Civil War Soldier’s & Sailor’s Database” (mentioned above) did not find any military service records for him in Louisiana.

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Thanks to the following for their kind assistance: Mable Lawhon, Tom Lawhon, Jack Cobb & Dan Scott

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Created on 16 Apr 2004 and last revised on 14 Mar 2007