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Henry Gerald Hall

Submitted by Jane McAshan

Henry Gerard Hall, b. 7 June 1833, South Carolina; d. 10 October 1873, Shreveport, Louisiana
Immigrated to the Republic of Texas, Shelby County with his parents around 25 December 1841. He graduated from Princeton University in 1851 & was a lawyer. He was a member of Sam Houston Lodge #32 (Hall, H. G., E.A., 1856; F.C., March 14, 1857; M.M., 1859). After the war he moved his family to Shreveport, Louisiana.

Henry Gerard Hall was the oldest son of Nancy Cannon and William Hall.

William Hall was born in January 1800 in South Carolina and died in January 1854 in Shelby County, Texas. He married Nancy Cannon around 1830 in South Carolina. William Hall and family left Abbeville District, South Carolina, on November 6, 1941, (H.G. Hall diary, 11-6-1871) and arrived in Shelby County, Texas, on December 25, 1841 (Shelby County Land Grants).

William Hall served in the Mexican War, enlisting at Shelbyville on May 21, 1846, for 6 months. Co. I, Pvt.
(Shelby County, Part of Her Early History, Bennie E. Nix, 1964)

William Hall - found on Tax Lists of Shelby County, Texas from 1842-1853.
1842 - page 5-7
1843 - page 6-15
1844 - page 7-6
1845 - page
1846 - page 9-9 446 acres original grantee, J. C. Williams, 5 horse, 10 negroes, 34 cattle
1847 - page 10-3 446 acres original grantee, J. C. Williams, 5 horse, 11 negroes, 30 cattle
1848 - page 11-14 446 acres original grantee, J. C. Williams, 5 horse, 10 negroes, 34 cattle
250 acres, original grantee John Beauchamp
William Hall, Senr.
1849 - page 12-12 446 acres original grantee, J. C. Williams, 4 horse, 10 negroes, 34 cattle
1850 - page 13-9 446 acres original grantee, J. C. Williams
1851 - page 14-9 446 acres original grantee, J. C. Williams
1852 -
1853 - page 16-9 446 acres original grantee, J. C. Williams
250 acres original grantee, John Beauchamp
1854 -
1855 -
1856 - page 19-7 Hall, Henry G., 640 acres
" " adm. William Hall, 244 acres J. C. Williams
266 acres John Beauchamp
366 acres James English

Nancy & William had 11 children:
Rebecca (1831-1895) married Elisah English
Henry Gerard (1833-1873) married Eugenia S. Cooke
Amanda (1835-1903) married Matthew Campbell Moore
Nancy Catherine (1837-1922) married Robert William Fields
William Virgil (1839-1922) married Martha J. Downing
Sarah Melissa (1841-1901) married David Silas Daugherty
Mary Jane (1844-1912) married Edwin Macky Sturgess
Oscar F. (1847-1864) - enlisted at age 15 with Capt. Levi M. Truit Co, 1st Reg. Tex. Lancers, Col. Horace Randal, commanding, died Aug, 1864 in Alabama.
Frances Cornelia (1847-1881) married George Washington McCracken
Eliza Torry (1849-1927) married Elijah Price
Eva Ballard (1851-1904) married William Bailey Peyton

William's siblings also came to Shelby County:
Joseph Hall (1807-app 1880) married Harriet Peaster - Land Certificate, Shelby County, #126, 640 ac - date of emigration Jany 1838 - moved to Mississippi by Jan 1846
James N. Hall (? - 1844) married Jane H. Peaster - lived about 6 miles from Shelbyville, killed by Regulators. In 1846, Jane Hall paid tax as admx of J. N. Hall on 487 acres, original grantee, William Hall. She also paid tax in her own right on 50 acres, original grantee, James N. Hall.
Hannah W. Hall (1813-app 1860) married Nathan Northcutt
Amos Hall (1819-1963) married 3 times - all in Illinois. Land Certificate, Shelby County, #179, 320 ac - date of emigration Jany 1838 (single when he arrived in Tx. Jan. 1838.) Moved to Illinois after 1844.
Samuel N. Hall (1822-1844) killed by Regulators
Isaac Hall (1822-1844) date of emigration Jany 1838 (married when he arrived in Tx. 1838.)
George Lucien Hall (1826-1888) married 1) Henrietta, m2) Mandy. Lucien Hall served in the Mexican War, enlisting at Shelbyville on May 21, 1846, for 6 months. Member Sam Houston Lodge #32, Shelbyville, (E. A. April 17, 1857; F.C. December 12, 1857; M.M. Sept 1858). By 1860 he was living in Illinois. He is buried in Shelby County, Texas (Find A Grave Memorial# 22608062)
Jane Hall (1828- after 1872) married 1) George W. Scott, m 2) Nathan W. Northcutt.

Military Record
Joined for duty and enrolled April 2, 1862 at Buena Vista, Shelby County, Texas by A. M. Truit for a period of three (3) years or WAR. Valuation of Horse $130.00. Equipment $30.00. Private: Capt. A. M. Truit's Company, Randal's Regt. Texas Cavalry. This Company subsequently became Company A, 28th Regiment Texas Cavalry. The 28th Regiment Texas Cavalry (also known as the 1st Regiment Texas Lancers, as Randal's Regiment Texas Lancers and Randal's Regiment Texas Cavalry) was organized about May 17, 1862, with ten companies, A to K. Companies L and M were added in June 1862, but were soon afterward transferred to other commands). Appointed MAJOR May 17, 1862. Reference: Confed. Arch., Chap. 1, File No. 92, Page 43. He mustered in with a horse valued at $130.00 and equipment valued at $30.00. He began service as a private, but by May 19, 1862, he had been promoted to the rank of Major, and by 1864, he had advanced to the rank of Lt. Colonel and Commanding Officer of the Regiment.
Name appears on Regimental Return, H. G. Hall, LT. COL. 28 Regiment Texas Cavalry (dismounted) for the month of April 1865; as Present, stationed near Hempstead.

His description of the battle of Jenkins Ferry, near Camden Ark. is in a letter to his Mother { Nancy Cannon}, after the battle. It was written from his camp near Camden, Ark. May, 8th, 1864. Parts of the letter are given below. There are some skips in the letter due to deterioration of the original that was unreadable. When you see these........ you know parts were lost.
Dear Mother:
I am anxious to send you word of my safety as soon as possible because I know you will naturally feel uneasy after hearing of a battle in which we are engaged on the 30th of April, last.I am safe and sound indeed and in good health. Since the battle of the 30th we have rested two days near the battleground;On the third of May paid funeral honors to General Randel who died of his wounds the day before,and then we marched toward Camden which we passed through on the 6th.The same day we went into camp here to rest ,wash and refresh.
I have little to write you except an account of Steeles` expedition into Arkansas and of the Battle of Jenkins Ferry on the Saline River which ended the Campaign.I will state first that I have been expecting Oscar for several days and it may be that he has been misled in regard to the place where we are to be formed.{Oscar, who was expected, was Henry Gerard`s younger brother who ran away at age 17 to join up with his brother`s Regiment.The young man finally reached his destination but died shortly afterward from his journey on foot and from starvation and exposure.}
In my last letter to you I mentiond we were ordered to march first one way then the other and I finally put it down wrong, for we marched in the direction first indicated; But I supposed George and Bob Brogan would correct that.It is pretty well ascertained that General Steele set out with 15,000 men and a large train of wagons and artillery and everything necessary for a grand expedition. He intended to penetrate from Little Rock To Shreveport ,and there from a junction with Banks who was moving toward the same point from the mouth of the red river or New Orleans. Gen. Price retired before Steele with some unimportant skirmishes until they reached Prairie D`Ann where a series of actions were fought,terminating in a heavy engagement about April 18th in which price`s forces captured over 200 wagons ,several hundred prisoners and inflicted considerable loss on the enemy in killed and wounded.This caused Steele to fall back toward Camden in a S.E. direction. After Our army had driven back the enemy from Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, Walker`s Division was moved over near Minden so as to be able to support Price against Steele or Taylor against Banning. On April 24th , Our Division marched toward Camden after falling back from Minden for there were calls for us in both directions. As we learned that Steele`s with his army occupied that town which had been .........and is strong by the natural enqualities of the ground ,by having the O......We learned also that Steels army was short of provisions and that a train sent to Pine Bluff for supplies had been captured with 1100 prisoners,by..... It was understood that our Cavalry was still between Steele and the point if compelled to retreat.On the twenty sixth we passed Gen. Smith`s march from Camden. The next morning we passed Gen. Prices Head of the highway to see and be seen by the soldiers.He said he was glad to see us ,as we were two divisions of Missouri and Arkansas troops already with him.I told him who I was and proposed to halt ,as our brigade found out who he was.He agreed and the men expressed much pleasure at seeing him.....took him down to his tent for consultation.On the march we soon left Camden the night before and was now retreating toward the Arkansas River on ahead of us.We camped that night the 27th in 2 miles of the river at the place that the enemy had been stationed where there were two creeks with one long bulge, confident that we could overtake Steel ,beleiving that the cavalry would attack him in frount while we would attack from the rear On arriving at the river we found they had destroyed a large amount of cooking utensiles scattered over the town,partially cut up 100 wagons and sunk 7 cannons and the gear for them. A temporary pontoon had been built during the night for the bootmen to pass over,but the wagons and horses had to be passed in a flat. We had to get over then push on in pursuit.The enemy had taken the next 20-25 miles and almost every rod of ground was strewn with broken things or was burned so as to be usless to us. Saturday morning the 30th we rose about 2 o`clock and marched out from Princeton. There was considerablerain . Our provisions were now out with only 2 days rations from Camden where we left all our supplies.The men generally carried a blanket apiece and I carried a coverlet and blanket . The hard rain ceased after an hour but there was a light rain nearly all day until sunset. It was dark and cloudy. Thirteen miles out we saw the marks on trees of cannon balls fired in. When we approached the brow of the hill at the foot of which lay.....the loud roar of firing by which we knew Price`s forces { which camped 6 to 8 miles ahead of us}were fighting them. Instead of following the main road down toward the Saline our Division marched square to the right in order to flank the enemy. The ground was all new to General Walker as well as his men but General Smith had been there some hours before and I suppose had procured a guide to conduct our division to the place where it was to engage in the fight.Every step we took was a march to the sound of the most terrific thunder of battle. Just before entering the swamp we halted for the men to throw off their blankets and load their guns. Several of the guns were wet and stopped up and they were not allowed time to put them in order.I rode beside Gen. Randel a great part of the way that morning and as soon as we got fully in hearing of the firing his countenance changed,A dark shade came over his face and particularly around his eyes. I cannot tell how how I looked but I felt cheerful and resolute and the blood burned in my cheeks and my ears. When we entered the swamp we encountered wire ,water ponds,sloughs and lagoons through which the men waded from ankle deep to knee deep.After going a mile or more through such a way we suddenly faced about and marched back because the way ahead was found impracticable.After marching back about a half mile we were met with orders from Gen.Smith to pursue the original course at all hazards.So we faced about an again moved forward.The sound of firing was before us on the left.Gradually we turned until it was straight before us and then we turned still futher until it was on our right as we advanced.When we got within about 400 yards of the enemy orders were given to form forward into line of battle amidst a roar of water splashing under mens feet so that none could hear the orders except those nearest to the officers who repeated them but the rest saw and imitated the movement.The line had then to wheel to the right in marching because our front was not directly toward our place in line of battle. We halted a little to let those who had fallen behind catch up. We recieved orders to start the battle. I was so exhausted that it was with pain and difficulty I could speak,but still with all my might and with jestures of arms and hands I ordered and exhorted them to charge.But they were exhausted to the last degree by loss of sleep ,lack of food,the heavy mornings march through the rain and worst of all by wading and struggling through wire and water just as they were approching the battleground.They discouraged by the bad condition of their guns,their inability to see the enemywell and effectivally assault them in their position.They were also dismayed by the rapidity with which their comrads fell around them. I saw several down before we entered the field,and Aruse Walling was shot before he got nearer than 50 or 60 yards of the field.Isaac Hayes who carried a letter to you from me was killed in the edge of the field.So there was some hesitation and wavering;the men crowded around a few dead trees in the field in such numbers that all except the one nearest each tree were more exposed to the enemies cross fire then they would have been in open lines.I turned to look for an officer of the Bigade Staff and see one ,I stepped back to the fencelineand asked him what was the order.He said ,to advance. I returned to the line and urged them to advance,but it could not be done.There was some confusion on the left of the Brigade caused ,I suppose by the fall of Gen. Randel,severely wounded in the abdomen. Some said there was an order to fall back. All did fall back, one after another and some retreated futher then safty required.They were too tired to run fast but they got out of the way.It was very hard to halt and rally them.It was sometime, before I was aware that the fall of Randal had devolved the command of the Brigade to Col. Baxter and the Regiment to me.The men were heedless in their confusion.I had the color bearer bring foward the flag and plant it while I stood before it and got a few men to form a line beside him.We moved to the right and while a good many men were still scattered off in the woods Gen. Price marched by at the head of Churchill`s Division.I asked him to assist me with his word in rallying the men back in line.They did not many heed even him ,but the retreat was at last stopped.
The enemy kept firing at us, though we could not see them, and a few of them advanced across the field we had just left.Two of our men were wounded at this last stand.We had difficulty here to keep our men from firing without seeing clearly what they shot at,for we feared they might kill some of our own men who were scattered some in every direction.Churchill`s Division formed a line to occupy the ground we had just left,they threw foward their skirmishers and advanced,but as they approched, the enemy quit their positions and fled across the Saline River leaving many of their dead and wounded on the field.Before night they sent a flag of truce to Churchill requesting permission to attend to their dead and wounded.A party of nurses and surgeons remained or were sent over for this purpose.From the loss of our Regiment I at first supposed our loss in killed was greater then the enemy`s.But out of 84 killed in Walker`s Division our Brigade lost nearly half ,39;and of these our Regiment lost nearly half,16.Four of our wounded have since died, making our dead 20 and leaving our wounded at 40.In Walkes Division it was 84 killed ,360 wounded and three missing.{ one of these three was John Arnason,wounded and taken off by the enemy}.The loss in our Division was about 1/3 of all, for there were two other Divisions.I know not the enemy`s loss .Some were buried on the field the next day.210 have since been fished out of the creek from whose bank they fought. 310 wounded were carried into hospitals and left under treatment of our and their surgeons and nurses. About 800 wounded federals have been found in houses beyond the Saline River. Having a pontoon over the river in their rear they could readily remove their slightly wounded and the dead who were of importance. Their prisoners and surgeons in our hands say that Gen. Rice ,who commanded in the field was mortally wounded and since died. I hear of two Brig. Gens. wounded or killed; and today I heard that Gen. Steele was shot in the foot.

{there was more to the letter but the rest was so old and decayed that this is the most readable part. It does give us a glimpse into what they were going through in that war. Not much different then, as now, as far as the hardships and suffering.}

Shelby notes from the H.G. Hall diaries:
Thursday March 17, 1870 (written 25th night)
I went down in the morning - met Mr. Jones & collected 150$ from him for H. Ware - also 50$ for Fidler - deposited in bank 160 - 20 - home for lunch - started for Shelby about 12. Fell in company with Willie Hall who lives 17 miles out. I lounged at Cherry’s & passed the time agreeably. In Kechi next morning I met the Nacogdoches mail rider. Stopped at Nic Moore’s. Rested a little at Brooklyn. On to Center where I arrived at night. Court & progress - Byrd on trial for murder of Vochenier. I stopped at Fawcett Smith’s & soon spoke to him about business in hand. Heard part of Bagley's speech. Retired.

Friday March 18, 1870
I saw many old acquaintances & attended to numerous business matters. The trial lasted all day & the jury were discharged late at night without finding a verdict. I got a promise from Fawcett to settle at 1/3 & expenses. It was dreary about the town at night, no light, no fire. A little cool. I slept badly last night with Martin Casey & tonight we put the bed on the level floor & did better. I was up writing till late.

March 20, 1870 - left late in the morning for Shelbyville accompanied by Ramey for a quarter of a mile. A young man overtook me and was company to Shelbyville. Old scenes, roads, views & objects seen today for the first time since the war. Called at Dr. Ragland's a little - met Dr. Lister with several gentlemen in town - went with Dr. Lister home to dinner - came back to Dr. Rather's and inquired for transportation for mother & Eva & baggage. Rode out to mother's in the evening. Found all well. She will probably go with me.

Monday, March 21st, 1870
I went by George McWilliams to Miss Arennisia's - saw B. B. Lee & family who are going soon to California. I saw 2 deer about 300 yards from mother’s door this morning as I started. Went to Shelbyville a new way across Beechum Creek. Arrived and made arrangements for mother & Eva to go in a hack with Mrs. Smith, wife of the proprietor of the Crescent City Circus. I staid all night with Cousin Will Crawford who is securing new goods & a piano. I sent word to mother's that I would not be home tonight.

Tuesday March 22nd 1870
I went by George Mac’s, to see about getting conveyance to the place of meeting the hack. Got Lee’s buggy & George’s horse. Then home. Went driving with Price - visited old scenes in the woods. No game. Returned after asking full circuit. Saw Mhoon _ George there. Took a little still hunt at duck.

Wednesday March 23rd 1870
We met Lee at the old Cravans Plant about 6-1/2 & arrived at the junction of the Logansport road 2 hours before the hack with Mrs. Smith overtook Uncle George & Frank. Called at Golden’s where Weiss Art waylaid me. At Flat Fork had much trouble & delay by the overflow of wide deep water. Too much to describe. Other obstacles, crossed the river (risen 11 ft. since the 18th), reached White’s & got lodging by hard pleading. Tired & ill from wet muddy feet.





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