Robert Eagleton Bell, Confederate infantry officer, was born on November 2, 1832, in Sumner County, Tennessee. As the Civil War progressed into its second year, Bell enlisted as a private in Col. Henry M. Elmore's Regiment Texas Infantry on March 22, 1862. This unit was mustered into service in the Confederate Army on March 31, 1862, as Company A of the Twentieth Texas Infantry. By the summer of 1862 the Twentieth Infantry completed its organization, and on May 14, 1862, Bell was elected to the rank of major. The Twentieth was assigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department and served in Texas, performing guard duty along the coast from Galveston to the Sabine River. From November 1863 to April 1864 Bell commanded the garrison at Fort Jackson at Pelican Split on Galveston Bay. In April 1864 he was relieved of his command of Fort Jackson and assigned to Fort Sherman in present-day Titus County. Despite his rank, Bell often was in command of an entire regiment while at Fort Sherman. Bell, along with the Twentieth Infantry, surrendered to Union forces on June 2, 1865.
After the Civil War, Bell settled in Weatherford, Parker County. On April 11, 1867, he married Margaret Isabel Leach. They had eight children. He died on May 6, 1901, and was buried in the City Greenwood Cemetery in Weatherford.
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Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas, National Archives and Record Service, Washington. Joseph H. Crute, Jr. Units of the Confederate Army (Midlothian, Virginia: Derwent Books, 1987). Family of Rev. James McGready (http://www.cumberland.org/hfcpc/McGreFAM.htm), accessed January 21, 2011. Parker County, Texas: Civil War Soldiers buried in Parker County (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txparker/military/ACWsoldiers.html), accessed January 21, 2011. The War for Southern Independence: Texas (http://www.researchonline.net/txcw/unit106.htm), accessed January 21, 2011.
Regimental and Staff Officers
Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Matthew K. Hamilton,
“Bell, Robert Eagleton,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 25, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
March 17, 2011
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: