William M. Bush, landowner, farmer, and Confederate officer, was born in Boonesboro, Clark County, Kentucky, on June 20, 1827. He was the son of Jeremiah and Nancy H. (Gentry) Bush. Bush was raised as a Baptist and educated in Clark County until 1846, when he enlisted at Winchester, Kentucky, for service in the Mexican War. As a private and corporal, he participated in the battles of Veracruz and Cerro Gordo. In 1847 Bush returned to Kentucky. On September 8, 1848, he married Nancy G. Elkin, also of Clark County. This couple had four children.
In 1855 Bush moved to Hunt County, Texas, and established himself as a landowner, farmer, and stock raiser. In 1862 he enlisted for service with the Confederacy and was elected lieutenant of Company G of the Thirty-fourth Texas Cavalry Regiment, also known as the Second Partisan Rangers, which was organizing at Fort Washita in northern Texas near the town of Preston. Bush saw action with this unit in Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana. He was later promoted to captain and major. In May 1863 Bush was promoted to lieutenant colonel and put in command of the regiment when Col. Almarine Alexander resigned due to poor health. Bush commanded the regiment at the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, in 1864 and remained in command of the Thirty-fourth Cavalry until its surrender on June 2, 1865. After the war, Bush returned to Texas, where he became one of Hunt County's largest landholders and continued farming and stock raising. He died in December 1900 in Hunt County.
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Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas (Chicago: Battey, 1889; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Field Officers Serving in Texas Confederate Regiments (http://history-sites.com/~kjones/txoffs.html), accessed March 8, 2011. 34th Texas Cavalry, AKA 2nd Partisan Rangers, History (http://gen.1starnet.com/civilwar/34cvbat.htm), accessed June 1, 2006.
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.
Aragorn Storm Miller,
“Bush, William M.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
March 23, 2011
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: