William Billy Mitchell (1840-1909)
I currently know virtually nothing of this man’s life except for the fact that he lived in Texas for a time prior to the Civil War, served with the Confederacy during the Civil War, survived the war, married, had children, and that he is buried in Stephens County, Oklahoma.
What I do know a bit about is the regiment in which William served as a Private during the Civil War, the CSA, 35th Texas Cavalry (Brown’s) Regiment (Company D). The 35th Texas Cavalry (Brown’s) Regiment was organized in the fall of 1863. The company of which William was a part was comprised primarily of men from Navarro and Colorado counties in Texas. The Texas Handbook Online summarizes, in part, the history of the 35th with these words:
“… first duty was to challenge the Federal encampment at Fort Esperanza, located in Matagorda Bay. This fort, which had been recaptured by the Union earlier that year, was a direct threat to Indianola, one of Texas’s largest seaports. Although an action was made, on December 29, 1863, the defenses of the fort proved too strong. Through desertion and casualties, Brown found his Thirty-fifth reduced to only twenty-nine officers and 409 men after the affair at Indianola [far less than half their original strength]. On February 22, 1864, it fell into the position of sentinel of the coast. Although Brown’s Thirty-fifth officially surrendered with the other Trans-Mississippi units at Galveston on June 2, 1865, many of its units had unofficially disbanded in mid-May.”
The 35th’s field officers were Colonel Reuben R. Brown, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel W. Perkins, and Major Lee C. Roundtree. The 35th’s commander, Col. Brown, had barely survived Texas’ fight for Independence in decades past. An interesting biographical sketch of him can be seen on the Handbook of Texas Online.
William is buried, along with other family members (including a son, John Paton Mitchell [b. 1860; d. 1939]), in the Mountain Grove Cemetery in Stephens County, OK. His grave is marked with VA headstone with a Southern Cross etched near the top of the stone.
If you can tell me more about this veteran, William Billy Mitchell, I’d like to hear from you.