General Sam Bell Maxey: His Defense of
North Texas and the Indian Territory
L. W. HORTON*
O N FEBRUARY 16, 1864, GENERAL MAXEY, NEWLY APPOINTED
Confederate commander of the Indian Territory, faced the
problem of convincing his Indian allies that the Confederacy would
meet its treaty agreement with them and would soon be able to
provide them with money and arms. The meeting of the Grand
Council of the Six Confederate Indian Nations-which had convened
to discuss the possibilities of peace with the "wild Indians" residing
farther west-was developing into a debate about the wartime status
of the Indians. Maxey presented a lengthy and impressive speech
explaining that the Confederacy intended to meet its treaty com-
mitments, but had as yet been unable to comply. A timely message
from Jefferson Davis, apologizing to the Indians for the failure
of the Confederate government to provide the annuity promised them,
gave emphasis to Maxey's speech. The sincerity of the new commander
plus his enthusiasm in inspecting the Indian troops persuaded the
Indians that they should remain in the Confederacy. Thus Maxey
achieved one of his first successes as commander of the Territory.
Kentucky-born Sam Bell Maxey' graduated from West Point in
1846 at the age of 21, and subsequently fought in most of the im-
*Mrs. L. W. Horton is the author of a forthcoming biography of Sam Bell Maxey.
'Fred Hood, "Twilight of the Confederacy in Indian Territory," The Chronicles of
Oklahoma, XLI (Winter, 1963-1964), 433; Maxey to S. S. Anderson, February 7, 1864;
Maxey to Marilda Maxey, February 25, 1864, Maxey Papers (Thomas Gilcrease Insti-
tute of American History and Art), hereafter cited as Maxey Papers (Gilcrease); Maxey
to E. K. Smith, February 26, 1864, in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (130 vols.; Washington, 188o-1g9o),
Series I, XXXIV, Part 2, pp. 995-996; Jefferson Davis to Israel Folsom, February 22, 1864,
ibid., Part 3, pp. 824-825. References to the Oficial Records are hereafter cited as O.R.A.
"Official biographies and government records give Maxey's name as "Samuel Bell." The
Dictionary of American Biography (20o vols.; New York, 1933), XII, 435-436; The Bio-
graphical Directory of the American Congress, x774-196x (Washington, 1961), 1277;
Certificate of Appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, June 3o,
1842, Records of the Office of Adjutant General, Record Group No. 94, National Archives.
Maxey's family and friends called him "Sam Bell," and Maxey himself signed his will that
way. See Rice Maxey to Marilda Maxey, October 26, 1864; Will of Sam Bell Maxey, Jan-
uary 5, 1862, Lightfoot Family Papers (Archives, Texas State Library, Austin).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/. Accessed July 28, 2015.