The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932 Page: 125
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James Butler Bonham: A Consistent Rebel 125
James and Sophie Smith Bonham. He was born at his father's
country home near Red Bank (now Saluda Courthouse), South
Carolina, February 20, 1807. His name was derived from those
of his father and an uncle of his mother's, Captain James Butler,
slain by the Tories in 1782. The eighth and youngest child,
born in 1813, was Milledge Luke Bonham, who commanded a
regiment in the Mexican War, a brigade in the Civil War, and
was governor of South Carolina, 1862-1864.3
Red Bank was in what was then known as "Edgefield District,"
from which Edgefield county and parts of several other counties
have since been taken. James Bonham, the great-great-grandson
of Nicholas, had come to South Carolina after the Revolution,
and after several years spent in the tidewater region had settled
in the valley of the Saluda River, where he pursued the life of a
planter. When he married Sophie Smith he was a widower with
two children. At that time and in that region there were none
but "old field" schools, and to one of these James Butler Bon-
ham went for his earliest schooling. It is said that he used to
carry his little brother Milledge on his back, and on cold morn-
ings put the little fellow's bare feet into his pockets. When James
was about eight years old, his father died, leaving to the com-
petent care of their mother three daughters and four sons-one
boy having died in infancy. Her two stepchildren were already
of age. Malachi Mark Bonham, her third son and fourth child,
was the ancestor of the Texas branch of the family. From both
her husband and her father Mrs. Bonham had received com-
fortable estates, which she managed with the aid of overseers.
Her children were reared in the plain comfort of a Carolina plan-
About the year 1824, James Butler Bonham entered South
Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina), at
Columbia. The next year a cadet company was formed amongst
the students, to parade in honor of Lafayette, when that well-
beloved hero visited the city. Doubtless Bonham was a member
of this corps. He was certainly a member of the Clariosophic
Bonham Family Bible, now in possession of Mrs. Patience Bonham
Shand, of Columbia, S. C.; Dictionary of American Biography, II (New
York, 1929), 436; Brooks, U. R., Butler and His Cavalry (Columbia,
1902), 26-30; Butler, A. P., "Memoir of the Butler Family," in Chap-
man, J. A., History of Edgefield (Newberry, 1897), 5 et seq.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932, periodical, 1932; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101092/m1/129/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.