Monday, June 16, 2014

Mystery Monday: So That's How it Happened!

photo source : A Journal of the American Civil War, vol. five, no. 1.

Raleigh Camp taught at the Georgia Military Institute.  He served as a Captain in the 7th Texas Infantry, CSA.  Later Camp become a Major in the 40th Georgia Infantry, CSA.  These three basic facts had been part of the story for my 3Great Uncle, Raleigh Spinks Camp, but I had questions as I tried to connect these events.  Hence, my mystery.  And the answer came through a variety of resources.

Raleigh Camp was a graduate of the Georgia Military Institute.  Following his graduation he taught math at the Institute and was a charter member of the school's chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.(1)

On 15 Dec 1859, Raleigh married Miss Laura Clifford Jones of Liberty County, Georgia.  Soon the young couple moved to Gilmer, Texas where Raleigh set up his law practice.  According to the 1860 census Raleigh and Laura has two bachelor lawyers and a young physician boarding with them in Gilmer, Texas.  Why Raleigh decided to practice law in Texas is still a bit of a mystery although there were several Camp relatives living in that area of Texas in the 1860s and earlier.

From reading the Camp Family Papers of Emory University, Raleigh Camp initially hoped for peace as the slavery issue began to divide the North and the South.(2)  By 2 Oct 1861, Raleigh was supporting the Confederate cause, joining the 7th Regiment of the Texas Infantry, and being elected Captain of Company B.(3)  The 7th Texas became part of the Army of Tennessee and saw action at the fall of Fort Donalson in Tennessee.  Raleigh, however, had been furloughed due to illness and was apparently with family in Georgia at the time the rest of the 7th Texas was captured by Union forces.  Among those captured was his younger brother Josiah Gresham Camp about whom I had written in a a previous post.  This meant that in February of 1862 Capt. Raleigh Camp had been separated from his regiment.

Letter to Gov. Joe Brown from Raleigh S Camp
source: (4)

It look reading a letter Raleigh Camp had written to Governor Joe Brown of Georgia to understand his move to the 40th Georgia Infantry.(4)  In the letter dated 18 Feb 1862, Raleigh made two important points.  First, he spoke of being unable to return to the remnants of his troops now in Kentucky due to medical reasons.  Then Raleigh offered to be an instructor in military tactics at one of the training camps for the additional companies being raised in Georgia to fight for the Confederacy.

Things moved quickly following this letter.  Within a month, by 19 March 1862, Raleigh has been transferred from the 7th Texas to the 40th Georgia Infantry.  Two days later, he was elected Major in the regiment.(5)

Raleigh Camp remained with the 40th Georgia, serving as its Acting Inspector General as well as in other staff positions.(6)  Along with thousands of other Confederate soldiers, Raleigh was captured at the Battle of Vicksburg and later paroled.  Later, Raleigh would write of his experiences in the Battle of Vicksburg in his personal memoir What I Know, I Know, and I Dare Express It.(7)

From reading family letters to examining military records on and additional records on to books accessed online as well as held in my hand, a lot of resources played a part in connecting the Georgia - Texas - Georgia dots.  Sometimes, we find an answer in one wonderful resource.  Other times, as with Raleigh Spinks Camp, it takes a variety of resources across time to get to that A-Ha moment.  

Now, if I could just learn why Raleigh and his wife Laura headed to Texas rather than settling somewhere in Georgia ...

(1) Nash, Howard.  Sixth General Catalogue of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (1904); accessed through Google Books.
(2) "Camp Family Papers, 1858-1877"; Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) of Emory University in Decatur, Georgia. 
(3) "R S Camp", Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served from Organizations in the State of Texas, accessed 
(4) "R S Camp to Joseph E Brown, 18 Feb 1862",  Georgia Civil War Correspondence, 1847-1865,
(5) "R S Camp", Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served from Organizations in the State of Georgia, accessed 
(6) Henderson, Lillian.  Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, v.4. Hapeville, GA : Longrine & Porter, 1959-1864. 
(7) "Major Raleigh S Camp's History of the 40th Georgia Infantry in the Vicksburg Campaign", A Journal of the American Civil War, vol. five, no. 1.

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