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SHROPSHIRE, JOHN SAMUEL

SHROPSHIRE, JOHN SAMUEL (1833–1862). John Samuel Shropshire, lawyer and Confederate officer, was born on April 23, 1833, in Bourbon County, Kentucky, to John Elliot Shropshire and Rebecca (Hutchinson) Shropshire. John Samuel Shropshire moved to Texas in 1854 and settled in Columbus, Colorado County, where he began to practice law. He married Caroline Tait on July 21, 1859, and the couple had one son. In 1860 Shropshire owned sixty-one slaves, operated a 750-acre plantation, and had more than $50,000 in personal estate. Though a slave owner, he was counted among Columbus's leading cooperationists—those who opposed severing ties with the Union—on the eve of the Civil War. In September 1860 Shropshire gave speeches in favor of Constitutional Union Party candidates John Bell and Edwin Everett at the newly-formed Bell and Everett Club. Shropshire campaigned as a delegate to the convention to be held in Austin to decide the question of secession but failed to win election. When the Colorado County Citizen joined in endorsing secession in 1861, Shropshire acquiesced and began organizing Shropshire's Cavalry, one of several local militia units. At the beginning of the Civil War, he enlisted as a major in the Fifth Texas Cavalry regiment. This unit was assigned to the Sibley campaign, which was intended to seize Arizona and New Mexico for the Confederacy. On March 28 1862, during the battle of Glorietta, in New Mexico, Shropshire was killed, reportedly shot in the head by a Union private named George W. Pierce. Shropshire had a slave named Bob who fought with him since the beginning of the war and continued in Company A until war's end.

Being exceptionally tall, Shropshire did not fit into the caskets available at the time, and so he was wrapped in blankets and buried on the battlefield. In June 1987 a man building a house discovered the body, after which it was excavated, removed from the site, and identified. On August 5, 1990, Shropshire was reburied with military honors at his birthplace in Kentucky, alongside his parents, at the request of the International Society of Shropshires. A chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy named in Major Shropshire's honor operated in Columbus, Texas, in 2011.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Memorial and Genealogical Record of Southwest Texas (Chicago: Goodspeed, 1894; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). SHROPSHIRE-L Archives (http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/SHROPSHIRE/200111/1005621802), accessed April 5, 2011. Bill Stein, "Consider the Lily: The Ungilded History of Colorado County, Texas," Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal: A Journal of Colorado County History 9 (January 1999).

Aragorn Storm Miller

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Aragorn Storm Miller, "SHROPSHIRE, JOHN SAMUEL," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsh71), accessed July 13, 2014. Uploaded on April 8, 2011. Modified on May 31, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.