The Robertson Genealogy Exchange

Colonel Harlee's Notes on 122431 Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson

[122431] Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson, son of [12243] Sterling Clack and Frances (King) Robertson, was born 23 Aug 1820 in Giles Co., Tenn. He married, 29 Jul 1846, in Robertson Co., Texas, [1221124] Eliza Hamer Robertson..., daughter of [122112] James Randolph and Susan (Oldham) Robertson, who was born 15 Dee 1824 in Davidson Co., Tenn., and died 25 Mar 1852 in Austin, Texas. After her death he married, 8 Nov 1852 in Austin, Texas, Mary Elizabeth Dickey..., daughter of Samuel and Sophia Ann (Parker) Dickey, who was born 22 Sep 1834 in Paris, Henry Co., Tenn., and died 11 Dec 1882 at Salado, Bell Co., Texas. He died there previously, 8 Oct 1879.

The dates and places of births, marriages, and deaths are recorded in their family Bible which passed to his daughter, Mrs. Mary Sterling (Robertson) Harrison, who gave it to her brother, Maclin Robertson, at whose death it passed to his son, Maclin Robertson, who resides, 1935, at the home of his grandparents at Salado, Texas.

A precise copy of the family records in the Bible follows.

(From photostat of original records)


(First page. All in handwriting of Gen. Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson).

Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson was born on the 23rd of August 1820 in Giles Co, Tennessee.

Eliza Hamer Robertson was born on the 13th Dec. 1824 in Davidson County, Tennessee.

1st child a boy, was born on the 7th of August 1847 on Saturday at 2 O'clock P. M. in Robertson Co, Texas.

2nd Sterling C. Robertson, named for his grandfather, was born on Friday 20th of April 1849 in the City of Austin, Texas.

3rd Eliza Medora Susan, named for her mother, aunt, and grandmother, was born on 29th Dec. 1851 in Austin, Texas, 10 O'clock A. M.

(Second page. In the handwriting of Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Dickey) Robertson).

Mary Elizabeth Dickey was born 22nd Sep. 1834 in Paris, Henry Co, Tennessee.

Randolph Robertson, named for James Randolph Robertson of Robertson Co, Texas, was born in the City of Austin, Travis Co, Texas, 14th Dee. 1853.

Luella Robertson was born on the Salado in Bell Co, Texas, 9th Nov. 1855.

Huling Parker Robertson, named for his mother's uncle, Dr. H. H. Parker of Mississippi, was born on the Salado in Bell Co, Texas, 26th of April 1857.

Marion Robertson, named for his mother, Mary, born on 5th Feb. 1859 on the Salado, Bell Co.

Maclin Robertson, named for the maiden name of his paternal great grandmother, was born 26th of July 1860 on the Salado, Bell County.

Mary Sterling Robertson, named for mother and father, born on the 15th of June 1862 at Salado, Bell County, Texas.

Sophia Parker Robertson, named for her grandmother, was born on the 20th Nov. 1864.

Walter Lee Robertson, named in part for Gen. R. E. Lee, was born on 30th June 1866 at 10 O'clock A. M.

Eliza Sophia Robertson was born November 15th 1868.

Imogene Robertson was born Jan. 31st 1871.

Lela Robertson was born 23rd of April 1873.

All born at Salado, Texas, from Haling to Lela inclusive.

(The next line is in handwriting of Gen. E. Sterling C. Robertson).

Celeta Teresa Robertson 27th of Oct. 1874.

(In handwriting of Gen. E. Sterling C. Robertson).

1st child of E. S. C. & Eliza H. Robertson died on 26th Aug. 1847 in Robertson Co. Texas.

Mrs. Eliza Hamer Robertson departed this life on the 25th of March 1852 at 1/2 past 12 O'clock P. M. in Austin, Texas.

(The remainder of deaths are recorded in other handwriting).

Eliza M. S. Robertson departed this life August the 10th 1858.

Sophia P. Robertson died 19th December 1868.

E. S. C. Robertson died at Salado, Texas, Oct. 8th 1879.

Mrs. Sophia A. Lynch died at Salado, Texas, Oct. 31st 1881.

Mrs. Mary E. Robertson died at Salado, Texas, Dec. 11th 1882.

Walter Lee Robertson died at Salado, Texas, March 4, 1907. 1:30 P. M.

Randolph Robertson died Feb. 17, 1908, in Salado.

Sterling Clack Robertson died Jan. 2nd 1915 in San Antonio, Texas.

Maclin Robertson died April 25, 1923, at Salado, Texas.

Huling Parker Robertson died June 11th 1931 in Temple, Texas.

Marion Robertson died August 28, 1931, in Tucson, Arizona.

(In handwriting of Gen. E. Sterling C. Robertson).

E. S. C. & Eliza H. Robertson were married on 29th of July 1846 in Robertson Co. Texas.

(In handwriting of Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Dickey) Robertson:)

E. S. C. Robertson and Mary Elizabeth Dickey were married Nov. 8th 1852 in Austin, Travis Co, Texas.

(The next records are in various other handwriting:)

Luella Robertson and Z. T. Fulmore were married April 4th 1877 in Salado, Bell co, Texas, by Dr. Smoot (Presbyterian Minister of Austin, Texas. WCH).

Sterling C. Robertson and Lorena Westbrook were married Dec. 22nd 1879 at Mastersville, McLennan Co, Texas, by Rev. Jno. H. Harrison.

Manie S. Robertson and R. H. Harrison were married at Salado, Bell Co, Texas, on Nov. 14th 1882, Dr. Carroll officiating.

Marion Robertson and Lola Taylor 10/1/84 at Mason, Mason Co, Tex., by Catholic Priest.

Huling P. Robertson and Mamie G. Cooke 2/5/85 at Gainesville, Ala, by Rev. Wild.

Maclin Robertson and Alice Woods 6/10/86, Belton, Texas, by Rev. Nelms.

Walter L. Robertson and Mary Lou Harrison 7/10/86 at Belton, Texas, by Rev. Nelms.

Imogene Robertson and J. A. Gamel 10/1/88. By Catholic Priest, San Angelo, Texas.

Birdie Robertson and Cone Johnson May 8th 89. Rev. Shelton. Salado, Texas.

Lela Robertson and Eugene Floyd Ikard married Oct. 16th 1895 at Tyler, Texas, Dr. Dubose officiating.

Celeta Robertson and James W. Durst were married Nov. 25, 1903, in Tyler, Texas, at the Methodist Church; Dr. Packard officiating.


(Certified copy, Vol. 1, p. 46, Marriage Records of Robertson Co., Texas)

The State of Texas / County of Robertson / To any Judge, Justice of the. Peace, or Regular Ordained Minister of the Gospel, Greeting: You are hereby authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony between E. Sterling Robertson & Eliza H. Robertson. / Given under my hand and seal this 28th day of July, A. D. 1846. Thomas Williams, Clk. Co. Ct. R. C.

Executed the within license on 29 day of July, 1846, by solemnizing the Rites of Matrimony between Sterling C. Robertson & Eliza H. Robertson. H. Reed, Probate Judge, R.C.

(Copy from Clerk of Court, Travis Co., Texas)

E. Sterling C. Robertson to Mary E. Dickey / No. 243. The State of Texas, County of Travis. / To any ordained minister of the Gospel Judge of the District Court Chief Justice of the County or a Justice of the Peace: / You or either of you are hereby authorized to celebrate the rites of matrimony between E. Sterling C. Robertson and Mary E. Dickey according to the laws and usages of this State, and make due return of this your authority to the office of the Clerk of the County Court for the County aforesaid within sixty days after the date hereof, with your endorsement thereon how you have executed this license. / In testimony whereof I Ashford B. McGill as Clerk of the County Court aforesaid have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of my office at office in the City of Austin in said County on the eight day of November A.D. 1852 / A. B. MCGILL Clerk C.C.T.C. (Seal). / Executed on the eighth day of November 1852 by B. J. Smith M.G. (Minister of the Gospel. WCH)


(From Texans Who Wore the Gray (pp. 361-4) Sid. S. Johnson. Privately printed and now out of print. Copy furnished by Archivist, Texas Library and Historical Commission, Austin, Texas).

[122431] General Robertson was born in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 20, 1820. (He was born in Giles County, Tenn., not in Nashville, Tenn. WCH). His father, [12243] Sterling C. Robertson, was major of the Tennessee troops in the war of 1812-15, was Empresario of Robertson's colony, a member of the Senate of the first Congress of the Republic of Texas, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence (which was written by his nephew, George Campbell Childress), also a signer of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, and commanded a company in the battle of San Jacinto.

At the age of 12 years [122431] Gen. Robertson came to Texas and entered school at San Antonio for the purpose of studying the Spanish language. In 1834 he was appointed Clerk of the land office of Robertson's colony, where he remained until the office was closed by the revolution of 1835. From this time until the Spring of 1836 he was on the frontier aiding in defense of the settlements against the Indians. At the age of 15 he was a member of his father's ranging company, but at the end of four months he again went to the frontier in pursuit of the Indians.

In May, 1837, he returned to Tennessee to attend school, coming to Texas again at the end of two years. May 13 of the same year he was appointed Clerk of the Post Office Department of the Republic, and one month later was made chief clerk. From Oct. 13, 1839, until January, 1840, he was acting Postmaster General. In the Spring of that year he was elected first lieutenant of a company of volunteers against the Mexicans and in 1841, he was elected Assistant Secretary of the Senate. In the Spring of 1842, when Vasquez took San Antonio he joined a company of volunteers and when the city was taken by Gen Woll he commanded a company on an expedition to the Rio Grande.

In the campaign against Mexico in 1842, he was elected captain in the Southwestern Army of the Republic of Texas. He was commissioned colonel of the Second Regiment, First Brigade of the Militia of the Republic of Texas, Aug. 5, 1844, by the President Sam Houston.

In the Fall of 1845, he was admitted to practice law in the courts of the republic, R. E. Baylor, Judge. In 1848, he was appointed translator of Spanish deeds in the general land office. He was elected chief justice of Bell County in 1858. He was commissioned Brigadier General of the 27th Brigade, Texas State Troops, April 14, 1860, by Gov. Sam Houston, and was appointed aide-de-camp to General Henry E. McCulloch in 1862, and served to the close of the war.

[122431] Gen. Robertson was a delegate to the Secession Convention of 1860, and the quill pen with which he signed the secession ordinance is still preserved by his family. He was also a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1875. He was a Royal Arch Mason, taking high degrees in masonry. As early as Feb., 1844, he was appointed Grand Master of the 3rd Veil of the Grand Chapter of the Republic of Texas. He died at Salado, Texas, Oct. 8, 1879.

By preference, [122431] Gen. Robertson was a planter and merchant. His friends have testified that "he was a man of fine physique, of great determination, keen foresight, genial and courteous and generous to a fault" He was a member of the M. E. church South, and was an able, enthusiastic and generous advocate of the cause of education in Texas, founding and contributing largely to the support of the old Salado College, now known as the Thomas Arnold High School. Sometime in the fifties [122431] Col. Robertson "donated and conveyed a tract of land, (the present town site of Salado) to a joint stock company, for the purpose of founding an institution of learning. This land was surveyed into lots by him and with the proceeds of the sale of these lots, the joint stock company of Salado College erected the first college building, upon an eminence commanding a full view of the embryo village. Ten years later additional buildings were erected and this school has had a continuous existence up to the present day, and is now affiliated with the University of Texas. With every lot sold for this College fund a special provision was made that if at any time said lot should be used for saloon purposes, the deed to same should be rendered null and void and the property revert to his estate. It was his idea to make Salado a great school town, and to put temptation forever from the young men who sojourned there.

[122431] Col. Robertson was a man who always saw the bright side of life, his time, means, ability, nay his very life, was given to his beloved Texas. He died as he had lived, universally loved and respected.

In writing from Little Rock, Ark., in 1863, Gen. McCulloch, in a letter introducing [122431] Col. Robertson, has this to say of him: "He has been of great service to me in every respect, while engaged in gathering up and fitting out of our Texas forces, performing much hard labour in collecting supplies from distant portions of the country, while his labours have been arduous, his responsibilities have been great, being compelled to carry with his large sums of money for the purchase of supplies, and when his public funds have been insufficient to meet the demands of the country he has not hesitated to advance his own and to pledge his individual means for the payment of debts he was compelled to contract in purchasing articles that were indispensable to the army. He has been a faithful, industrious, efficient officer, as well as an agreeable, social companion, and I recommend him to my friends and all good men as a man of mind and soul, worthy and capable to fill high positions in society or office. God grant that he may live long for the good of our country and fellow men. Henry E. McCulloch, Brig. Gen. C.S.P.A. (Confederate States Provisional Army)."

Gen. H. P. Bee, Brigadier General, in a letter to Gen. Earl Van Dorn, in 1862, introducing [122431] Col. Robertson, wrote: "[122431] Gen'l Robertson is a gentleman of wealth and high standing amongst us. As an officer of the state service he has sent all his soldiers into the Confederate service and although willing to serve in the humblest capacity, can be more useful in positions requiring honor, courage and capacity, as possessing all these."

Letter from Governor Lubbock

Executive Department, Austin, Texas, June 19, 1862. Gen. G. T. Beauregard, or any other General of the Confederate Army:

The bearer of this letter, [122431] Gen. Sterling C. Robertson, an old Texan and friend of mine, I most respectfully recommend to your consideration. He is brave and patriotic, anxious to serve the country, has large interests in the State of Texas, and a worthy citizen. If an opportunity is given him he will strike some good blows in behalf of his country. Very respectfully, F. R. Lubbock.

Letters such as above indicates the esteem in which he was held by those who knew him, and show somewhat of his service in the Confederate Army.

In 1852, [122431] Col. Robertson was married to Miss Mary Elizabeth Dickey, at Austin, Texas, who was descended from the distinguished Parker family, they having been foremost in civil and military life as well as in the literary life of this country and England.

At his death, [122431] Col. Robertson had twelve [living TR] children, namely: [1224312] Sterling C. Robertson, Waco, Texas; [1224314] Randolph, Salado, Texas; [1224315] Luella, (Mrs. Z. T. Fulmore), Austin, Texas; [1224316] Huling Parker, Temple, Texas; [1224317] Marion, San Pedro, Mexico; [1224318] Maclin, Salado, Texas; [1224319] Mary Sterling, (Mrs. R. H. Harrison), Waco, Texas; [122431B] Walter Lee, deceased March 4, 1907; [122431C] Birdie, (Mrs. Cone Johnson), Tyler, Texas; Imogene, (Mrs. Arch Gamel), Saltillo, Mexico; [122431E] Lela, (Mrs. Lela Robertson), Waco, Texas; [122431F] Celeta Teresa, (Mrs. James W. Durst), Mexico City, Missouri.

(The locations stated were where his children resided at a time about twenty years after his death. WCH).


The foregoing sketch is from an undated publication. The context of the sketch indicates that it was written not long after 1907.

A similar sketch is in A Memorial and Biographical History of McLennan, Falls, Bell and Coryelle Counties, Texas, published 1893 by The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago.

Another similar sketch is in Vol. V of "A History of Texas and TexansBy Frank W. Johnson a leader in the Texas RevolutionEdited and brought to date by Eugene C. Barker, Ph. D., Professor of American History, University of Texas," published 1914 by The American Historical Society, Chicago and New York.


[122431] Gen. E. Sterling C. Robertson's daughter, [122431C] Eliza Sophia, called "Birdie," (Mrs. Cone Johnson) collected much information of her relatives. Some details gleaned from her papers are here presented to supplement information otherwise mentioned.

[122431] Gen. E. Sterling C. Robertson kept a diary and a "scrap book" during the greater part of his life. These passed to his son, [122431B] Huling P. Robertson. This writer has not had access to them but has had access to copies and notes made from them by [122431C] Mrs. Johnson.

[122431] E. Sterling C. Robertson in 1832, before he was twelve years old, came with his father from his boyhood home in Tennessee to Texas.

Thev travelled horseback through the unsettled wilderness infested with hostile Indians through Arkansas to the headquarters of Robertson's colony at Sarahville de Viesca, at the Falls of the Brazos before the Brazos changed its course leaving the site several miles from the river.

It was then a part of the State of Coahuila and Texas, Mexico, in the district called the Municipality of Viesca, and later Milam. The site of the now abandoned settlement is in present Falls Co., near Marlin.

Here a fort was erected for protection against hostile Indians. The settlers were beset by the Waco Indians located about 30 miles away and by the more dreaded Comanches.

[122431] Young Robertson was placed in school at St. Mary's College, at San Antonio, then a small Mexican town where there were only two North American white men, both of whom had Mexican wives. One of them was "Deaf" Smith, later a hero of the Texas Revolution.

After two years there, where no English was spoken, [122431] young Robertson learned the Spanish language and returned in 1835 to Sarahville de Viesca and worked as translator in the land office of the colony where all land records had to be written in Spanish.

He then served in his father's company of rangers. Before he was fourteen years old he participated in campaigns and engagements against the Indians. He was in the battle at Old Port Sullivan.

During the war between Texas and Mexico when Gen. Santa Anna invaded Texas with a Mexican army in 1836, Washington, Texas, was the capital of Texas, which had seceded from the State of Coahuila and Texas. Every available grown man was then required to oppose the Mexican invasion. [122431] Young Robertson, although he was under sixteen years old, was intrusted with the government archives and instructed to carry them to safety across the Sabine River to the "United States of the North." This he did, accompanied only by his faithful young negro, "Wash," and then hastened to return to the army.


(Controller's Military Service Records, No. 5999 - Texas State: Library).

Three forks Little River Nashville Colony.
Republic of Texas
November 25th 1836.
This is to certify that Elijah Sterling C Robertson of the Municipality of Milam entered the Texian service as a ranger in my company on the 25th of July last and has served as a private in said company up to this date has faithfully discharged his duty and is hereby honorably discharged.

Calvin Boales, Capt. Col. Burleson's Ranger Company.

REPUBLIC of TEXAS Be it remembered that on this seventeenth day of March anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and thirty seven ([122431] Elijah Sterling C. Robertson) personally appeared before me, the subscriber, a Judge of the County of Milam and made an oath on the holy Evangelists of Almighty God, in due forth, that he has not received any pay, drawn rations, or forage, or clothing in kind, or received money in lieu thereof, for or during any part of the time therein charged; and that he did not, during the term so charged, or any part thereof, keep or employ as waiter or servant a soldier from the line of the army, that his place of residence is Milam County, in the Republic of Texas and that he is not indebted or accountable to the Republic of Texas on account of bounties, premiums, pay, contingencies, arms, accoutrements, ammunition, stores, clothing, camp equipage, medicine, instruments, or any other account whatever. Elijah S. C. Robertson.

Sworn to and subscribed before me in Milam County this seventeenth day of March anno Domini 1837. M Farley, Judge of the County of Milam.

Auditors Office Houston Decr 22, 1837.

This day came [122431] S. C. Robertson and says the annexed instrument is just true and original and the only one that claimant has offered for liquidation that he owes the government nothing on his own account or on as count of any other person to the best of his knowledge & belief.

Sworn to before J. W. Moony, Auditor.

(Endorsed:) 5999 $100. E S C Robinson filed Decr 21 1837 Examined same day admitted to audit for ;100.00 Military 25 July 1836. Isd Decr 21 1837. No. Draft 7208 J. Approved 23 Dec 1837 Francis R. Lubbock Controller.


According to sketch in Texans Who Wore the Gray, "In May 1837 he returned to Tennessee to attend school, coming to Texas again at the end of two years." [122431C] Mrs. Johnson's notes state that he attended school at that time in Maury Co., Tenn. The school was probably at Columbia.

He must have made a trip to Texas in December 1837. The records show that he was present there when he collected, 23 Dee 1837, his claim for service as a Texas ranger. The roundtrip was quite a strenuous and hazardous one for a youth of 17 years. Much of the route was through wilderness infested by hostile Indians and without roads.


On his return to Texas in 1839 he served in the post office department of the republic and acted as its Postmaster General. Austin had become the capital of Texas that year.

The next year he was commissioned as First Lieutenant, Beat No. 1, Second Regiment, First Brigade, Militia of the Republic of Texas, and served against the Mexicans and Indians.

His commission, dated 22 Dee 1840, signed by David G. Burnett, President, and B. T. Archer, Secretary of War, is. among. the papers of his son, [1224316] Huling P. Robertson. (Mrs. Johnson's notes).


An interesting letter of 28 Feb 1841 from [122431] E. S. C. Robertson to his father [12243 Sterling Clack Robertson] is hereinbefore presented in full.... It was written from the home of [122112] James Randolph Robertson..., whose daughter he later married, where he had arrived four days previously and found that his father had "gone up the country after Indians."

In the letter he stated that he had been "beaten for the Sheriffality by a plurality of 93 votes by Capt. Lynch." Evidently he had run for sheriff before he was 21 years old. Capt. Lynch was probably the Capt. Julius C. Lynch who married Sophia Ann (Parker) Dickey, the widowed mother of Mary Elizabeth Dickey who became [122431] E. S. C. Robertson's second wife.

He also announced his determination "to see the U. S. this year," and to go to school there with one of his friends and study law. He probably changed his plans. He became Assistant Secretary of the Texas Senate in Austin that year.

He probably "read law" under an attorney without going to a law school, and thus prepared himself for admission to the bar as was usual in those times.


He became a royal arch mason, 21 Feb 1842, in Austin, Texas. His certificate as such, signed by Chas. Daniel, High Priest, G. Knight Tustor, King, and Charles Mason, Scribe, and also his appointment, 2 Feb 1844, as Grand Master of 3rd Veil of the Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of the Republic of Texas, signed by H. W. Raglin, Grand Secretary, are among the papers of his son, [1224316] Huling P. Robertson. (Mrs. Johnson's notes).

Among [122431C] Mrs. Johnson's papers is passport he furnished the mother of his second wife in her travels. She resided in his home.

Salado, Bell Co. Texas Jany. 25, 1867.
To any Master Mason, Royal Arch, or Knight Templar.

Brother, Companion, or Sir Knight:

The bearer of this, Mrs. Sophia A. Lynch, my mother-in-law, leaves home to visit a very aged mother in Brandon, Miss. who she has not seen for many years. She goes well provided for her journey, but should misfortune render your assistance necessary, remember that in serving her, you will confer a favor on me, that all true Brothers, Companions, and Sir Knights know best how to appreciate.

I am, Brother, Companion or Sir Knight Yours fraternally

E. Sterling C. Robertson.
W.M. (Worshipful Master) Salado Lodge U.D. (under dispensation).
P.H.P. (Past High Priest) of Belton Chapter R A.M. (Royal Arch Masons).


The capture of Gen. Santa Anna and his army in 1836 climaxed the Texas Revolution but hostilities with Mexico did not cease. When, in 1842, Mexican forces invaded Texas, [122431] Robertson became captain of a company formed in Washington Co. He marched with it to the Rio Grande River in what is known as the Somervell expedition.


Before [122431] Robertson was 24 years old he became Colonel, Second Regiment, First Brigade, Militia of the Republic of Texas. His commission, dated 5 Aug 1844, Washington, Texas, which was then for a time the seat of government of the republic, and signed by Sam Houston, President, and G. W. Hill, Secretary of War and Marines; is among the papers preserved by his son, [1224316] Huling P. Robertson. (Mrs. Johnson's notes).


From copy made by [122431C] Mrs. Johnson from certificate in papers of [1224316] Huling P. Robertson:

Republic of Texas Milam County District Court Fall Term 1845.
Whereas Elijah S. C. Robertson has made application for a license to practice Law in the Courts of the Republic of Texas, and being examined touching his legal qualifications, and being found well versed in the same, he is therefore by order of the Court having taken the Oath of Allegiance to support the Constitution and Laws of the Republic of Texas, and to faithfully and uprightly demean himself as an Attorney and Counsellor at. Law. Licensed to plead and practice law in the various courts of Law & Equity in said Republic.

R. E. B. Baylor, Judge, etc.
Attest William I. Hill, Clk. Dist. Court
Milam County.


After his first marriage, 29 Jul 1846, to Eliza Hamer Robertson, at the home of her parents, [122112] James Randolph and Susan (Oldham) Robertson, in Robertson Co., Texas, he appears to have resided at various times in Robertson Co., where his first child was born, 7 Aug 1847, and in Milam Co., where he was admitted to the bar. He probably practiced law at Nashville, then the county seat of Milam Co., only a few miles from the home of his wife's parents.

In 1848, he became translator in the Land Office at Austin and appears to have removed there and resided there until he finally settled in 1853 in Salado.

Printed invitations addressed to Mrs. E. S. C. Robertson and preserved by [122431C] Mrs. Johnson show that functions of polite society flourished in early times in Austin and reveal the names of the gentlemen who managed them.


The pleasure of your company is solicited at a Party, at the Capitol, on to-morrow evening, 23rd inst.

Managers: T. C. Collins F. Dietrich T. P. Cartmell J. G. Swisher John Raymond T. Woodward J. M. Swisher T. Wooldredge A. H. Chalmers W. H. Cushney A. B. McGill S. G Haynie.
Austin, Sept. 22d, 1848.


The pleasure of your company is respectfully solicited at a Supper and Ball, to be given at the Capitol on Thursday Evening next, complimentary to the Officers of the United States Army, in this City.

Managers: Doct. John S. Ford Capt. S. Crosby Capt. J. J. Grambles Hon. W. D. Miller Wm. H. Cusney, Esq. Doct. S. G. Haynie Doct. J. W. Robertson Capt. J. G. Swisher F. Dietrich, Esq. Capt. D. C. Cady Gen. Thomas Green Capt. F. M. Harris James H. Matthews, Esq. Col. A. N. Hopkins.
Austin, November 28th, 1848.

(Printed circular among papers of Mrs. Johnson).

To the Electors of the State of Texas.
Fellow Citizens: I am a candidate before you for the office of Comptroller of Public Accounts. In making this announcement, it may not be amiss in me to present a few facts for your consideration, before you cast your votes.

In 1825, my father, [12243] Sterling C. Robertson, identified himself with the destinies of this country. In 1832, eighteen years since, I joined him in Texas. How far I may have performed the duties incumbent upon me as a Texian, is for you fellow-citizens, who have known me longest, to determine. If you should be pleased to elect me, my best exertions shall be devoted to the discharge of my duties.

Your Obedient Servant, E. Sterling C. Robertson.
Austin, 1st June, 1850.


Hon. John H. Reagan came from Tennessee to Texas in 1839. He was active in Indian warfare, a notable lawyer and statesman. He was in U. S. House of Representatives before and after the Confederate War, served in the cabinet of President Jefferson Davis as Postmaster General and later in U. S. Senate from Texas.

Among the papers of [122431C] Mrs. Johnson is a letter written by him, copy of which follows.

(Endorsed address:) Col. E. Sterling C. Robertson Austin Texas 5 (cents postage).
Dallas, May 29th 1850.
E. S. C. Robertson Dear Sir:

Agreeably to my promise I drop you a line from this place. I did not go to Anderson court as I expected to do when I saw you, and conse. quently am unable to give you any intelligence as to your prospects there. I saw Mr. Winkler at Corsicana as I returned from Austin, who told me he should very cheerfully give you his support and his influence. If he will exert it will be considerable in Navarro County. I caused your name to be announced in the Dallas Herald as you requested; and have men. tioned your name and claims to a considerable number of the citizens of Henderson, Kaufman, Navarro, and Dallas Counties, but the great body of the citizens of these counties as you are apprized are late emigrants, and unacquainted either with yourself or Mr. Shaw, and consequently take no interest so far in the election of Comptroller. I think you may get the vote of Henderson, Kauffan, and Navarro counties, but I fear your prospects in Dallas I have conversed with several here, and amongst them with Busford Latimer, (of the Herald) McCoy, Bryan &c. Busford will go for you, but is a candidate for District Attorney, and between his attentions to the courts, which will not close until July, and his attention to his election he will spend but little time at home between this and the election, and will consequently be able to do you but little good in this county. The others whose names I have given are as yet taking but little interest in the election, but will go for Shaw, especially McCoy and Bryan. Latimer seems not to be fully decided but is favourably inclined to Shaw. The people of Northern and Eastern Texas have more acquaintance with the name of Shaw than with yours, and this fact alone gives him the advantage of you in the race as things now stand.

If you would make your race certain in this county you should write a circular, not too long, but tell them something of what you have done for Texas, and visit this portion of the State in person.

It is in my opinion absolutely necessary you should visit the northern and eastern counties, and the more of them you visit the better.

I have seen Shaw's circular a few copies of which reached here today. It is very short, announcing his name, and stating the fact that his official duties will not allow him to visit the different portions of the state, that he would not neglect the duties of his office to secure his re-election.

I have, not yet complied with my promise to prepare an article for the Herald, but will do so in due time.

Tomorrow I leave this place for Grayson county (torn) from that I go to Colbin, Kaufman, and Van Zant. I shall make your name known in these counties, and do what I can with my friends for your election. In the meantime I should be pleased to hear from you often. Advise of anything in which I may be able to serve you.

Your friend & obedt Servt John H. Reagan.


Not long after his marriage, 28 Nov 1852, at Austin, Travis Co., Texas, to Mary Elizabeth Dickey, daughter of Sophia Ann (Parker) (Dickey) Lynch by her first husband, Samuel Dickey, an exchange of negroes was made as shown by the next mentioned records.

From original document in Mrs. Johnson's papers:

The State of Texas County of Travis.
Know all men by these presents that I, E. Sterling C. Robertson, of the state and county aforesaid, for and in consideration of a certain Negro woman named "Elizabeth," about eighteen years of age, of black color, the receipt of whom is hereby acknowledged, do by these presents sell, convey, transfer, and deliver possession of to Mrs. Sophia A. Lynch a certain Negro woman named "Mary Ann," about twenty-four years of age, of black color; and I, the said E. S. C. Robertson, will warrant said Negro a slave for life, and sound in body and mind, to have and to hold the said slave, Mary Ann, unto the said Mrs. Sophia A. Lynch, her heirs, executors administrators, do bind myself, my heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns to protect and defend said property against all claims whatsoever.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and scrowl for a seal, this the 30th day of March A. D. 1853.

E. Sterling C. Robertson (Seal).

In presence of: David I. Miller H. Wittke.

Mrs. Lynch later resided and died in the home of her son-in-law and daughter at Salado, Texas. Their daughter, [122431D] Mrs. Imogene (Robertson) Gamel, has the document showing conveyance by Mrs. Lynch and her husband of a negro in exchange.

The State of Texas County of Travis.
Know all men by these presents that we, Sophia A. and Julius C. Lynch, of the State and County aforesaid, have bargained, sold, alienated and set over unto E. Sterling C. Robertson, of the State and County aforesaid, for and in consideration of a certain negro woman called "Mary Ann," about twenty-four years of age, and of a black color, all our right, title, interest, claim and demand in and to a certain negro woman called "Elizabeth," about eighteen years of age, and of a black color, and of a medium size; and we the said Sophia A. and Julius C. Lynch will warrant said negro woman Elizabeth to be sound in body and mind, a slave for life, and free from all incumbrances whatever, to have and to hold, unto the said E. Sterling C. Robertson, his heirs and assigns forever.

In testimony whereof we have hereto set our hands and scrowls for seals, this the thirtieth day of March A. D. 1853. Interlined "To have and to hold" before signing.

Sophia A. Lynch (Seal) Julius C. Lynch (Seal).
In presence of: Francis T. Duffan
Justus Davidson.

The State of Texas County of Travis Personally came before the undersigned Notary in said County Sophia A. Lynch and Julius C. Lynch both to me well known who acknowledged to me that they had executed the above instrument for all the purposes and considerations therein ex. pressed and contained. Witness my hand and seal of office at Austin this 30 day March 1853. Francis T. Duffan Notary Public Travis Co.

The State of Texas County of Travis Personally came before the undersigned Notary in said County, Julius C. Lynch to me known who after he had executed the within instrument in my presence acknowledged to me had done so for all the purposes and considerations therein expressed d contained. And at the same time came Sophia A. Lynch wife of the above named Julius C. and after I had examined her separate pri. vately and apart from her said husband touching no execution of the within instrument she, the said Sophia, did execute the same in my presence and did acknowledge to me she had done so for ail the purposes and consid. erations therein expressed as her free and voluntary act and deed and without any compulsion on the part of Her said husband and stated :hat she did not wish to retract it. Witness my hand and seal of office at Austin this 8th day of April A. D. 1853. Francis T. Duffan, Notary Public, Travis Co.


After the death, 25 Mar 1852, of his first wife in Austin and his marriage there to Mary Elizabeth Dickey, 8 Nov 1852, he removed about 1853 and finally settled in Bell Co., and founded the town of Salado, established Salado College and helped to develop it into a center of education and culture.

He first built, in 1853, a home of log houses. His later home is thus described in a newspaper clipping.

"The Robertson mansion, a proud old pioneer pile, stands upon its eminence just west of Salado.... A stately frame structure, fronting a stone building, with some 24 rooms, it took four years for its construction. It was built from 1856 to 1860.... The lumber in which a knot hole can not be found was hauled from Houston by ox-wagon, it requiring about three weeks for the trip."

He was elected, 1858, Chief Justice of County Court, Bell Co.


On 14 Apr 1860, [122431] E. S. C. Robertson was appointed Brigadier General of the State Militia of Texas. His commission was signed by Sam Houston, Governor.

After the outbreak of the Confederate War he organized and commanded the 27th Brigade, Texas Militia.

The companies of his brigade and dates of their enlistments as shown by Confederate Muster Rolls in the Texas State Library were as follows:

Capt. S. Dl. J. Benson's Company, Milam Co., 1861.
Capt. H. Al. Burrows' Company, Williamson Co, August, 1861.
Capt. E. R. Collard's Company, Bell Co, June, 1861.
Capt. R. 5-. Cross' Company, Lampasas Co, September, 1861.
Capt. Milton W. Damron's Company, Beat No. 2, Bell Co, June, 1861.
Capt. W. B. Davis' Company for Milan Co, June, 1861.
Capt. Samuel Easley's Company, Williamson Co, June, 1861.
Capt. Elisha Embree's Company, Beat No. 4, Bell Co, June, 1861.
Capt. Alfred Evans' Company, Beat No. 1, Bell Co, June, 1861.
Capt. G. W. Gardner's Company, Williamson Co, June, 1861.
Capt. Archie Hart's Company, Georgetown, Williamson Co., 1861.
Capt. R. C. Hart's Company, Williamson Co, 1861.
Capt. F. A. Hill's Company, Milam Co., Guards, May r, 1861.
Capt. Leroy Lee's Company, Lampasas Co, August, 1861.
Capt. R. McCulloch's Company, Milam Co, 1861.
Capt. James W. Moore's Company, Beat No. 4, Bell Co, 1861.
Capt. A. J. Ridge's Company of Infantry, Burnet Co, October 5, 1861. Capt.
W. A. Sewell's Company of Mounted Volunteers, Milam Co, 1861.
Capt. John F. Smith's Company, Beat No. 2, Bell Co, 1861.
Capt. A. W. Sneed's Company, Milan Corm 1861.
Capt. N. S. Tisdale's Company, Williamson Co, 1861.
Capt. J. L. Whittenburg's Company, Williamson Co, Infantry, 1861.
Capt. James Wilkerson's Company, Bell Co, 1861.

The forces of the Confederate States were reorganized in 1862 under Confederate States laws, and those required for service in the Confederate States Army. were organized into regiments and mustered into the Confederate States service.

No officer above the grade of colonel were so mustered into the Confederate service.

[122431] General Robertson then served as a captain on the staff of General Henry E. McCulloch who had been his associate, companion, and friend in the service of Texas in operations against Indians and Mexicans since before Texas became a state of the Union.


The records of the Confederate States captured in Richmond are now in the Adjutant General's Office, War Department, Washington, D. C., together with other records since collected. From letter from Adjutant General, War Department:

"The records show that [122431] E. Sterling C. Robertson was announced as a Captain of Volunteer Aide de Camp on the Staff of Brigadier General Henry E. McCulloch June 12, 1862, having previously served as Brigadier General of Texas State Troops. The date of the termination of his service has not been found of record. It appears to have been subsequent to August 4, 1863, for a letter of that date indicates that he still held the rank first mentioned above. A letter dated March 9, 1865, at Salado, Bell County, Texas, relative to affairs in that and adjacent counties is signed by him, but nothing in the letter indicates whether or not he was still in the service."


After the enactment of Confederate States laws reorganizing the forces of the Confederacy, Gen. McCulloch issued the following order. His adjutant General, Major John Henry Brown, was later the author of History of Texas and other historical writings.

Headquarters, Tyler, Texas June 12, 1862. Gen'l. Order No. 5.
I. By virtue of a Commission as Brigadier General, in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, the undersigned assumes command of all the troops within the State east of the Brazos River and north of the old San Antonio road.

II. The commanders of Regiments, Battalions and companies, within these limits will report by a=press to the Headquarters as early as possible, giving arm of service, strength of command, character, quantity and condition, arms ammunition, camp and garrison equipage, Hospital & Medical stores and. transportation.

III. I announce as a portion of my staff Maj. John Henry Brown Asst. Adjt. Gen, Captain Ben E. Benton Aide de Camp, and Capt. A. W, Terrell, [122431] E. S. C. Robertson, C. L. Robards and W. A. Pitts volunteer Aide de Camps, who will be reported and obeyed as such.

IV. All twelve month volunteers, who have not reorganized under the furlough & county law or the conscript act will reorganize as early as practicable and all officers not reelected, will be relieved from duty, and their names reported to these Headquarters.

V. All enlisted men under 18 and over 35 years of age will be discharged from the service, and no person who is to be discharged under this order will take part in the reorganization.

VI. All Regiments, Battalions and Companies north & east of this place (Tyler) including those of Col. Edward Clark, Col. W. B. Ochiltree, Col. Richard Waterhouse and Col. Horace Randal will take up the line of march with as little delay as possible for Little Rock, Ark., proceeding by the most practicable route from Marshall & Jefferson, and will report to the commander of the Army West of the Mississippi River.

VII. All official communications from these Headquarters must be indorsed Official Business, and directed to Maj. John Henry Brown, Assistant Adjutant General, C. S. P. A.

H. E. McCulloch, Brig. Gen'I. C. S. P. A.
Jno. Henry Brown Asst. Adjt. Gen'l.

Copy made by [122431C] Mrs. Johnson from original in the papers of her brother, [1224316] Huling P. Robertson:

Headquarters, Tyler, Texas June 12th 1862.
To whom it may concern
Know yet, that I Henry E. McCulloch, Brigadier General in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States do hereby appoint E. Sterling C. Robertson Volunteer Aid de Camp, with the rank of captain on my staff, in which capacity he will be obeyed and respected.

H. E. McCulloch, Brigadier General C. S. P. A.
To Captain E. Sterling C. Robertson, Bell Co, Texas.

Letters which he never delivered to the addressees, as the originals are among the papers of his son, [1224316] Huling P. Robertson, show that, before he joined the staff of Gen. McCulloch, [122431] Gen. Robertson contemplated offering his services to Generals Beauregard and Van Dorn when his Texas brigade was broken up and reorganized into smaller units for transfer to the service of the Confederate States. Extracts from those letters are quoted in the sketch of [122431]Gen. E. Sterling C. Robertson in Texans Who Wore the Gray hereinbefore included as is also Gen. McCulloch's estimate of his services in a letter of 2 Jan 1863 among his papers which passed to his son.

Robertson's use of copies of those letters is next shown.


Letter in Confederate Records Section, Old Records Division, Adjutant General's Office, War Department, Washington, D. C.:

(Endorsed) Salado, Tex, Aug. 4th 1863
E. S. C. Robertson Enclosed copy of letters of recommendation from Generals Bee & McCulloch, Gov. F. R. Lubbock, J. Y. Dashiel, Adj. Gen'1 (of Texas WCH) Rec'd A. I. O. (Adjutant and Inspectors Office WCH) Aug 1863.

(The letter)

Salado, Bell Co., Texas Aug. 4, 1863.
Maj. Gen'l J. B. Magruder
Piedmont Springs, Brazos Co.
Gen'l: Enclosed please find copies of several letters, that were furnished me by my friends last year at a time; that I thought of crossing the Miss. River. But when Genl McCulloch was comsd a Brig. Genl. I preferred to be with him and a Texas army in the position of vol aid de camp than a more important and responsible beyond the river, even if such had been within my reach.

On my late visit to you as bearer of dispatches from Maj. Genl Taylor I had intended to present you with the original letters, copies of which I now send you, but owing to the feeble health in which I found you & press of business I declined doing so.

I would now most respectfully call your attention to these letters & if upon examination of all the ground you should conclude that my serv. ices would be worth more to our country in a more important position in the desperate struggle in which we are likely soon to he involved on Texas soil, than that of vol aid de camp my best exertions will be used to be faithful to the trust and ever feel grateful for the confidence reposed.

I have the honor to be very respectfully your obt servt.

E. Sterling C. Robertson.

P. S.: I brought with me last spring a letter from Genl McCulloch to you in regard to myself, which I handed to Col Terrill to be presented to you by Genl Scurry, which may have been overlooked or forgotten by the Genl in the press of business at that time.

Respectfully E. Sterling C. Robertson.


Letter preserved by its writer's daughter, [122431D] Mrs. Imogene (Robertson) Gamel:

Salado, Bell Co, Texas, Sept. 29th, 1863. My Dear Husband:
It has seemed along, long time to me since your departure. Although this is but the eleventh day that has passed since you left home, time wears on, oh! so wearily when you are absent, and the hours fly so speedily when you are at home. Will the time never come when we will have peace again in our once happy country, so that I can have you near me all the time.

Nothing has transpired here worthy of note since you left.

The report is in circulation where that Gen. Magruder has taken command at Sabine Pass in person-that the Federals are landing there in large force-and that Gen. McCulloch was ordered to take command at Houston. If such be the case I can hope to see you soon.

Capt. Benton passed on Sunday, but does not give the report credence. I would have written to you by him but he had not time to wait. He took dinner with us....

We have a report that there are 15 Indians between here and the Lampasses Springs; that four horses were killed last Thursday at Douglass' Ranch by them with Mississippi rifles and arrows. If they come in such large bodies we may look for them to attack houses and massacre women and children to their heart's content. I feel that there is but little pro. tection against them, though we hear that Dr. Ogle with a party of 20 or 25 men were to start in pursuit.

They have taken several more deserters, killed one, and wounded two or three.

The school is still increasing, and our children are studying hard. It is hard for them as they never knew what hard studying was before. Ran. dolph was in the first geography when you were here, but Mr. Smith has put him in the second. The only change in their studies.

The children send love and kisses to you. Mother sends love to you. You can imagine all I would say: I hope you will excuse this. I am feeling so badly I can scarcely write at all. I will write again this week and will try to write more, and better. All are well and everything moving on as usual. Take care of yourself, for my sake, and the children.

Ever your devoted



The following letter shows that notwithstanding distressing conditions the Confederate soldier maintained his faith, hope, and courage. The letter has been preserved by [122431E] Mrs. Lela Robertson, daughter of its recipient.

Camp Bartholomew, near Arks. Post, Sept. 15, 1864.
Col. E. S. C. Robertson.


Your letter with a copy of Gen'l McCulloch's letter came to hand a few ,days ago. I was on the march from Monroe and had no time to an. ewer you. I feel grateful to you Col. for the favor and hope the application received a favorable reply.

My family are much in need of everything and unless they are supplied or permitted to use such means as I am possessed of for their support I will be compelled to come home to provide for their wants and if necessity requires it I will stay when I do come.

My, wife and children shall not be subjected much longer to the distressing and humiliating condition that they have been in since I have been in the army. My bonds have been my only dependencies for the support of my family since Confederate money was repudiated by the people but it appears that I am to be denied even that.

The last letter I received from home expressed the prospect as gloomy for obtaining meat and bread to subsist on. My God, Col., has it come to pass in patriotic Texas that a man's wife and children have to starve when theres plenty for all? I would rather see my country fall and perish in the wreck than suffer the tortures of mind that I am suffering in knowing that my family have been compelled to live on bread and water with no better prospect before them for the future.

Col., when I was at home I couldnt buy anything because I had no gold. Since I left home my people have lived without meat for the same reason.

Will you go and see my wife, find out what she needs and supply her?

We are concentrating a large force to give the enemy a fight. Price is on White River with 12,000 cavalry and holds Donald's Bluff, thereby cutting off communications with Memphis.

Col. Parsons' Brig. Texas?). C(avalry?)., are here. Grimes' Division also here. There is also three Arks. Brigades of infantry at Monticello. Watkins' and Poligman's Divisions also on the march to Monticello from Monroe, La. Cooper is at or near Fort 'Smith so you will perceive Col, that we have a pretty good force to make a fight.

The Yankees are in strong forces and the prospect is good for an early fight.

The news from the other side is bad, Atlanta is in possession of the Yanks. McClellan and Pendleton are the nominees of the Democratic Convention. If that ticket is elected and we can hold what we now have possession of, I believe we will have peace, but if Lincoln is elected we will have a gloomy future before us.

I hope that God may direct our affairs to a speedy and successful end.

Col, see that my family are supplied with something to eat and if I live to see the present campaign over I will try to get a leave of absence to come home and will endeavor to make arrangements for the future.

I am respectfully your friend, Robt. B. Halley.


Letter in Confederate Records Section, Old Records Division, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C.


(Endorsed) Salado, Bell Co, Tex. March 9th 1865 E. Sterling Robertson Relative to Conditions of affairs in Bell and adjacent Cos. File. Recd at Dist Hd Qrs Mch 16/65.

Salado, Bell Co, Texas Mar 9/65.
To His Excellency P. Murrah Governor of Texas, Brig Genl J. B. Robertson Comdg reserve corps, Major Gerd Walker Comdg Dist of Texas

New Mexico &c, Lt Gent E. Kirby Smith Comdg trans Miss. Dept.
The undersigned at the suggestion of Brig Gerd H. E. McCulloch and at the request of many of the leading citizens of the county would represent to those in charge of the welfare of the country, the condition of our people, and respectfully ask such relief, as either of you or all may con. ceive will best secure the persons and property of the inhabitants.

1st. Before the war, this county never voted quite eight hundred votes, that out of this number they have sent eight full companies to the Confederate service and one company of 95 men belonging to the reserve corps recently ordered to Houston.

2nd. That the main thoroughfare from Eastern, South Eastern, and Northern to Southern & South Western Texas passes centrally through our county. That the Western half of our county is rough and mountainous, extending into the Indian country, is sparsely populated, and has-been a covert and hiding place for deserters, dodgers, skulkers, Jay hawkers and evil doers generally since the commencement of the war.
That the true men of our county have ever used their best exertions to discountenance disloyalty and bring offenders of every description to justice.

That when the reserve corps was organized under orders from the Comdg Gerd they went to work with energy and zeal to ferret out and send to the front all men who properly belonged there, and to apprehend and rid the country of evil doers, securing the active cooperation of the citizens. Many of these men had to be hunted for days with dogs in the cedar brakes &,brush, resulting almost invariably in their capture or death.

All such men however, have some friends left behind, ready and willing to take vengeance privately on the helpless and weak who may have used their influence to sustain the cause of the country. That threats have been dropped from time to time of vengeance on the people, but no importance or attention was attached to them, as the presence of the reserve corps kept all quiet. But since their removal from the county many outrages have been committed. We have nothing left but old men, cripples & boys, and not many of them, generally without arms and ammunition, if they were organized and able to defend themselves, which cannot be done by reason of the scattered condition of their respective dwellings and the absolute importance of carrying on the farming operations of the country to sustain the families of the gallant men that we have had in the front for the last four years.

As before remarked our reserve corps by reason of their energy & zeal in the cause of the country, with the active cooperation of the people were a terror to all classes of evil doers, and thereby have incurred a cor responding amount of hatred from them, and by their absence from the county have left their own families, and the families, of all other true men subject to their malice and vengeance.

A few days since, some of a party of men sent to this county on a detail with horses to be fed on Government corn, commanded by Capt. Shannon Regt Standwattie's Brigade, Maxey's Division, entered the town of Belton, the county seat of this county, and purchased a quantity of goods from the merchants and traders of the town, throwing down on the counter Confederate money in payment for the same at par. Some others or perhaps the same entered some store houses at Salado in this county and purchased goods agreeing to pay for the same in corn. Our citizens submitted to these forced purchases as they were bound to do and made little or no complaint, though illy able to bear the losses; and all things considered, this is a small matter, and would not be mentioned at all, but for its connection with other matters of a more serious character.

Only a few nights since, a Mr. West of this county was awaked in his bed in big own house, by a party of armed men, with six shooters presented at him, and the key of his trunk demanded. After examining his trunk and finding no papers of an exceptionable character to them, or any money, they inquired for his money. He told them that he had none, save 75 dollars in Confederate money. After some talk of hanging, they told him that (Here the handwriting changes from that of Robertson to that of his wife, written apparently at his dictation. WCH) they believed him to have been misrepresented, and that he was a pretty good Southern than, and that Southerners they were sworn to support. The same night and in the same neighborhood, the house of a Mr. Hart was entered by a party of armed men, and after hanging him a while, and otherwise maltreating hint, they got from him about eight hundred dollars in money (Specie) and left him alive.

Quite a number of soldiers who have been in on furlough have left in the last few days, not for their commands, as I am informed and verily believe, but for the Trans Rio Grande as several of their families followed in a few days after them, some saying they were going to San Antonio, Colorado & others are preparing to follow soon from preparations they are making, by selling and offering to sell at a fraction of its value. I have been informed and am induced to believe that there is much truth in it, that a large portion of Ford's command on the Rio Grande will leave him this spring, some for Mexico and perhaps California and others return to their old homes to rob and murder. Trains of families are passing daily through our county from Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas going west, and when interrogated say they are going to Colorado and San An. tonio but their appearance and outfit indicate a longer journey, very few men accompanying these trains. My conclusions are that the men will follow on in the spring in the character of deserters, and will endeavor to make up their losses out of our unprotected people as they pass through.

In the adjoining county of Williamson notices were put up calling a meeting of the citizens of the county on the 25th ult. to take into consideration the condition of the county, and such expressions as the following were dropped by the parties getting up the meeting, viz. "We have no Governor and things must have a beginning somewhere and they had as well begin in Williamson as any where else." Some talk about the "Lone Star &c." On the day appointed a large number of persons met from other counties, generally the true men of the country, all waited until late in the evening, for some of the parties at the bottom of the meeting to move off and explain its objects, but no one offered to "bell the cat:" A true Southern called the attention of the people and asked permission to say only fifty words, which being granted, he advised all to stand firmly by the Confederacy, discountenance disloyalty, dissentions &c.

I do not know what policy will be adopted for the protection of our country by those in charge of the welfare of the people, but feel an abiding faith and confidence, that our rulers and leaders will do the best they can under the circumstances, and from the lights before them, to uphold our country but feel it my duty to submit the above statements of facts, which are not likely to be presented at Hd Quarters from any other quarter in time to prevent much mischief perhaps. And permit me to add further, that unless something is done to intimidate the evil disposed and give confidence to the desponding and helpless families of the absent soldiers from our county and the adjoining one of Williamson, we will lose the services of many a good man at the front. They will go to relief of their families, and when they are forced to desert to go there, they will quit the country. A feeling of insecurity amounting almost to a panic pervades the country.

Now if I might be permitted to make a suggestion I would say, and confidently believe that if the reserve corps of this county was put on duty in this county with orders to scout to the two adjoining counties of Williamson and McLennan they will do vastly more good than they can do in the field, by keeping down desertions in the army and insuring protection against the lawless squads of men passing through our country, that it will give strength and courage to the true men at the front, and many other ways that will readily suggest themselves to you. I am confident that unless something is done, and that soon, we will lose a large number of our population (some of course worthless) and demoralize many that will be left.

I am personally known to Gov. Murrah and Genl Robertson and to Major West and Col. Regan of Gen Smith's staff, who know how much importance to attach to my statements either as to facts or recommendations.

(Here the handwriting changes to that of [122431] E. Sterling C. Robertson. WCH).

I am very respectfully,
E. Sterling C. Robertson.

P. S.: Since writing the above I learn on reliable authority that in the adjoining county of Williamson a party of armed men, blacked as negroes, a few nights since entered several houses, viz. Mr. Eubank's, Mr. Talbot's and a lady whose name I have forgotten, her husband is in the army, searched for and took all the money, jewelry, arms, and ammunition they could find, using some violence to Eubanks & others Very respectfully Robertson.

(Here the handwriting changes evidently to that of C. Kendrick. WCH).

Having examined the preceding statements, and believing to be strictly true, and that more might be said, I heartily concur in the desire that the Reserves of this Co. may be returned, to protect our families, etc. arrest deserters do do whatever else may be for the good of the country. Respectfully C. Kendrick. (Rev. Carroll Kendrick was a minister at Salado. WCH).


[122431] E. Sterling C. Robertson served in the Confederate army at the front as a volunteer without pay and contributed his means freely to support the Confederacy.

Most of his available funds were invested in Confederate States bonds, worthless after the war.

He owned over forty negroes, confiscated, leaving him after the war with only his lands remaining from his former extensive possessions and the burden of taxation on these lands without the means of utilizing them.

However, he set to work to rebuild his fortunes and prospered, leaving a considerable estate at his death.

With the others who had aided or abetted the Confederacy, which included most of the white people in the South, he was disfranchised and rendered incapable of civil functions until he was "pardoned."

His daughter, [122431D] Mrs. Imogene (Robertson) Gamel, has his "pardon," dated 18 Nov 1865. It bears the signature of Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, and William H. Seward, Secretary of State....

He represented Bell Co. in the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1875 and was active in getting provisions for the security of homesteads included in the constitution.


He died at his home in Salado, Texas, 8 Oct 1879, and was buried with masonic honors in the Robertson Family Cemetery there.

A monument there bears the inscription:

COL. E. STERLING C. ROBERTSON BORN Aug. 23, 1820 DIED Oct. 8, 1879 A kind husband and father a Patriot, Statesman and Soldier he lives embalmed in the memory of kindred and friends.

Other inscriptions on this monument and on the tombstones of others buried there are in Cemetery Records chapter, pages 142 and 143.


(Copy by courtesy of Mr. A. G. Vick, of Bell Co. Abstract Co.)

In the name of God Amen, I Elijah S. C. Robertson of Bell County and State of Texas, being of sound mind and disposing memory and knowing the uncertainty of life and being about to depart to the Army for the defense of my Country in the unholy war being waged against it and wishing to dispose of the property with which it pleased God to bless me do make ordain and publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following that is to Say

Item 1st. I bequeath my soul to God who gave it and my body to be decently interred in Texas.

Item 2d. I desire ,that my Executors hereinafter named shall pay all my just debts so soon as they shall have the means to do so.

Item 3d. My son Sterling C. inherited from his Grandfather's estate two negro slaves. He also inherited from his mother Eliza H. my first wife, the negro slave Mary who now has five children which negro Mary and the children she then had, I in fact paid for and had the title made to my then wife Eliza H. Now I will and desire that my said son Sterling C. shall have the said negro woman Mary and all the children which she has or may have.

Item 4th. I hereby will and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary E., the following named negro slaves, Clara and her five children and any other children which she may have and Rose and her two children and also all the increase from said negroes.

Item 5th. I desire that my family be kept together, raised and supported and that all my children receive a good literary and moral education and particularly that all my sons receive a good moral, literary and scientific education and I especially desire that my Executors see that this part of my will is complied with and to that end I leave in the hands of my Executors all my personal property, negroes, stock, rights, credits &c which I presume will be ample to raise, support and educate my children but if that shall be found not to be sufficient, then my executors may sell such portion of my lands as may be necessary for that object.

Item 6th. What property I have made since my marriage with my present wife Mary E. and in which she has an interest is so involved and mixed up with that which I had previously acquired that it is impossible to separate it, and it is not large for most of the property which I have bought during our marriage was paid for with means which I had previously made and in lieu of all interest or community which my said wife may have in my estate in addition to the nine negro slaves which I have already bequeathed to her, I hereby will and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary E., twelve hundred and eighty acres of land to be run off in such form as she may desire so as to include my dwelling house, out houses, fields, pastures and all other improvements thereunto belonging, all the household and kitchen furniture, farming tools &c, my stock of work horses and mules and all the portion. of my stock of cattle which is marked and branded to her. but from the proceeds of this property together with the proceeds other negroes and personal property rights and credits, I expect and desire my wife and other executors to raise, support and educate my children.

Item 7th. I desire that my lands shall not be divided until my children shall be grown or in any event until my eldest son shall become of lawful age so that they may the better be made equal and I desire that then my whole estate except the leagues herein specifically bequeathed may be divided amoung all my children share and share alike.

Item 8th. In addition to the legacys given to my wife I hereby give and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary E., one negro man named Elijah who is husband of the negro woman Clara previously given to her.

Item 9th. Should my wife at any time marry again I desire then that guardians be appointed for my children who shall take charge of their persons and estate and particularly superintend their education as before directed. And I particularly request after the scholastic education of my sons is completed that each of them shall study and learn some profession, trade or occupation to be selected by himself so that by his personal exertion he may be able to provide for himself being satisfied that by such training they will make better and more useful men and be better able to take care of and improve what I am able to give them.

Item 10th. I hereby nominate and appoint my beloved wife Mary E., Executrix and my friends Thomas H. Jones. of Travis County and Wilson Y. McFarland of Bell County, Executors of this my last will and I desire that the Court of Probate shall have or take no cognizance or Jurisdiction of this my will or of my estate except to have this my last will and testament duly proved, recorded and established and a true inventory of my estate returned and recorded leaving the whole management and administration of my estate to the fidelity and discretion of my Executors in whom I have the utmost confidence and no security is required of them.

Item 11th. Should my wife die leaving our children minors, I desire that in that case her mother Sophia A. Lynch, shall take charge of my children, home, place, negroes, stock, and other property thereon situated and appurtenant thereto and superintend the raising and support of my children in the same manner that my wife is authorized to do.

Item 12th. In consideration of the kindness shown by Mrs. Sophie A. Lynch to myself and family, I direct that my Executors from time to time pay to her such sums of money as may be necessary for her decent support should she at any time stand in need of it, my object being to secure out of my estate a good support during her life and I charge my estate in the hands of my children with the same.

In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix my seal at Belton this 25th day of April A.D. 1862 in the presence of the undersigned witnesses who sign the same in my presence and in persence of each other.

E. Sterling C. Robertson (Seal).

Attest: Geo. White D. T. Chamberlin John T. Furry.
Filed Oct 24th 1879, W. W. Upshur, Clerk, C.C.B.C. (Clerk of the Court Bell Co. WCH) By R. H. Turner, Depty.

Notes by Mr. A. G. Vick, Bell County Abstract Co.

The will of [122431] Col. E. S. C. Robertson was filed for probate 29 Oct. 1879 and recorded in Book A, p. 95, Record of Wills, Bell Co., Texas.

Book D, p. 375, of the probate record shows that an order was entered 22 Nov. 1879, probating said will and appointing R. P. Bingham, J. Q. Allen and J. Z. Miller appraisers.

Book D, p. 400, shows that the court allowed Mary E. Robertson wife of [122431] E. S. C. Robertson $4,000.00 as an allowance for the annual support of herself and children.

Book F, p. 12, show 18 Jan. 1883, [1224316] Huling P. Robertson...appointed administrator of the estate of [122431] E. S. C. Robertson, deceased and J. Z. Miller, J. Q. Allen, and R. P. Bingham were appointed appraisers in each case.

From Abstract of Title to Certain Land in Texas [1224316] Huling P. Robertson to [122431] E. S. C. Robertson heirs.

Decree of Partition filed for record Jan. 5, 1914, Recorded in Vol 47, pages 121-2 (At Belton, Bell Co., Texas. WCH).

Estate of E. S. C. Robertson, deceased.

On this, the 23rd day of November, 1883, came on to be heard the application of Huling P. Robertson, administrator of said estate, for partition and distribution of said estate; and it appearing to the Court from said application that five of the persons entitled to shares of said estate are minors, to-wit: Walter L. Robertson, Birdie Robertson, Imogene Robertson, Lela Robertson and Celeta Robertson, and that the said Ruling P. Robertson, the legal guardian of their persons and estates is also interested in the estate of said E. S. C. Robertson, Decd. H. E. Bradford Sr., was on a previous day of this term appointed by the court, Guardian Ad Litem to represent said minors in the partition of said estate. And it appearing to the Court that all of the distributees named in said application have been duly cited as required by law, to-wit: Sterling C. Robertson, Randolph Robertson, Luella Fulmore, and her husband, Z. T. Fulmore, Mary Sterling Harrison and her husband Richard H. Harrison, Marion Robertson, Maclin Robertson and said minors; and said minors by their said Guardian Ad Litem, having filed their answer consenting to the partition of said estate, and it further appearing to the Court from the evidence adduced that the said Sterling C. Robertson who resides in Bell County, Texas, Luella Fulmore, who resides in Travis County, Texas, Mary Sterling Harrison, who resides in McLennan County, Texas, Marion Robertson, Maclin Robertson, Walter L. Robertson, Birdie Robertson, Imogene Robertson, Lela Robertson, Celeta T. Robertson, and Huling P. Robertson, who reside in Bell County, Texas, and it is so adjudged that they are the only children of E. S. C. Robertson Decd. and all are entitled to share of said estate; and it further appearing that the said Randolph Robertson has received from said estate the sum of $1096.80, the said Machn Robertson has received the sum of $189.26 and the said Marion Robertson the sum of $3.80 as advancements, and the remaining distributees have received nothing; It further appearing that by the last will and testament of the said E. S. C. Robertson Decd., it is directed that his family be kept together until his youngest child should become of age, and that his children be all raised and educated out of his estate, and it further appearing that after reserving the funds and personal property in hand the productive real estate all lands in Bell County to be held by the administrator for the support and education of said minors, said estate still owns the following described lands, which, are subject to partition among said distributees at this time, to-wit: (Here follows lands not needed in this abstract).

It is therefore ordered and decreed by the Court that all of the lands above described be partitioned and distributed equally among said twelve distributees, share and share alike; said distributees each being entitled to one equal share or 1/12 part of said lands, and the administrator of said estate is hereby directed to take notes of said Randolph Robertson, Maclin Robertson, and Marion Robertson for the amount found to be due from them to the estate as aforesaid, and said notes shall draw lawful interest and shall be a charge upon their respective shares of said estate until paid by them.

It is further ordered that R. P. Bingham, W. T. Davidson and W. S. Rather Sr., be and they are hereby appointed Commissioners to make partition of said lands among said distributees, and said Commissioners are directed to make partition thereof in accordance with this decree and in accordance with law, giving to each of said distributees one equal one twelfth part in severalty according to value of all of said lands and report their action to the next term of this Court.


There are many records of the estate of [122431] E. S. C. Robertson in the office of Clerk of the Court, Bell Co., Texas. Among them is an inventory of his estate "Subscribed and sworn to" by "Mary E. Robertson, executrix of the estate of [122431] E. S. C. Robertson, dec'd," 22 Nov 1879, before her son, [1224314] "Randolph Robertson, N. P. B. Co." (Notary Public, Bell Co.) with appraisement sworn to by three appraisers.

The inventory totals $394,340.00 including "real property $379,340.00, mixed property $15,000.00" and personal property, not appraised, listed as "Cows Horses Carriages Buggies Tools Implements Jewelry Hogs Merchandise Net capital." The item "Net Capital" is stated as $5,827.00, but is not included in total.

The inventory lists tracts of lands aggregating 56,211 acres, and shows County Original grantee No. acres Value of each tract. The lands were located in the counties of Bell, Bosque, Burleson, Comanche, Coryell, Falls, Haskell, Hill. Milam, Robertson, and Williamson.

He inherited all the vast landed estate of his father, [12243] Sterling C. Robertson, the empresario. Much of the lands were disposed of, however, before the death of the son on account of the burden of taxes.


[122431] Gen. Robertson's second wife, Mary Elizabeth Dickey, inherited property from her grandfather, Stephen Parker..., as shown by the following copy of original document in the papers preserved by Mrs. Johnson.

State of Mississippi Rankin County Know all men by these presents that I do certify that the legal heirs of Stephen Parker..., deceased, being all of age (words faded) made a bill of sale to me (words faded) name of Mariah about fourteen years of age, which negro I now give to Sophia A. have, to hold, and to use as long as she lives and after her decease the said negro girl shall be the property of her daughter Mary Dickey..., and if the said Sophia A. Dickey and Mary Dickey her daughter shall die leaving no increase then the said negro girl shall return to the lawful heirs of Stephen Parker deceased (words faded) this first day of (words faded) 1845. Jno. G. Parker....

Mary Elizabeth Dickey was educated at Brandon (Miss.) College.

Her parents migrated from Paris, Tenn., where she was born, 22 Sep 1834, to Mississippi. They lived in Lexington, Holmes Co., Miss., in 1836. Her father died soon after that date. Her mother had married Capt. Julius C. Lynch in 1850 and then lived in Brandon, Miss. From Brandon they went to Austin, Texas, where Mary Elizabeth married [122431] E. Sterling C. Robertson, 8 Nov 1852.

Among the papers of [122431C] Mrs. Johnson are printed invitations addressed to Miss Mary E. Dickey to an "Anniversary Ball to be given at Brandon Hotel on Thursday evening 4th July neat," dated "Brandon, June 20th 1850," also to an "Anniversary Ball to be given at Brandon Hotel," 4 Jul 1851, also to a "Ball to be given at Mississippi Springs" 28 May 1851.

[1224319] Mrs. Mary Sterling (Robertson) Harrison, daughter of [122431] Gen. E. Sterling C: and Mary Elizabeth (Dickey) Robertson, wrote, 4 Jun 1922, from Waco, Texas, to her sister, [122431C] Mrs. Johnson:

"Our mother was a very charming beautiful popular woman, highly educated, spoke French and played on guitar and sang beautifully.

"She had wondrous eyes of brown and golden brown hair, fair complexion...."

The sons and daughters had extraordinary devotion for their parents and also for their grandmother, "Grandmother Lynch," who resided with their parents from shortly after their marriage until her death in 1881, shortly before her daughter's death 11 Dec 1882.
The daughters, "the six Robertson sisters," noted for their beauty and accomplishments, like their mother, received the culture characteristic of the "Old South."

Source: William Curry Harlee, Kinfolks: A Genealogical and Biographical Record, 3 vols. (New Orleans: Searcy & Pfaff, 1935-37), 3: 2866-2895.

Last updated: Saturday, November 29, 2003

All original material Copyright ©2003 Tom Robertson. All rights reserved including those of electronic transmission and reproduction of the material in any format.

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