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STONE, ABSALOM BENJAMIN, JR.

STONE, ABSALOM BENJAMIN, JR. (1832–?). Absalom Benjamin Stone, Jr., planter and Confederate officer, son of Absalom Benjamin Stone, Sr., and Elizabeth (Walton) Stone, was born into a planter family in Alabama in 1832. His father moved the family to Harrison County, Texas, and by 1850 was among the wealthiest planters of the county. In the 1860 census he was valued at $47,055, and Absalom, Jr., the second-born son, was merely listed as a "Gentleman" under profession.

Following the outbreak of the Civil War, in May 1861 Absalom B. Stone, Jr., joined a unit known as the "Texas Hunters," which, on June 18, was attached to the South Kansas-Texas Regiment (later the Third Texas Cavalry) that had been formed in Dallas five days prior. With an official position within the Confederacy, Stone was promoted to first lieutenant and placed in charge of Company A.

His unit was very active in the initial stages of the Civil War. Marching north to assist in a Confederate capture of Missouri, Stone's unit passed through Indian Territory. The regiment was joined by Native American allies, such as members of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and other nations. North of Springfield, in August 1861 the Confederates met the Union Army at the battle of Wilson's Creek. Although the Confederates won the engagement, and Stone was not one of the twenty-seven dead suffered by the 800 strong South Kansas-Texas Cavalry, he was among the wounded. In his convalescence, Stone was promoted to captain.

As his unit remained on the move, Stone was not allowed much time to recuperate. On December 23, 1861, his company was placed under the leadership of Col. Richard B. Hubbard in Young's Regiment of Texas Infantry. Following reorganization and dismounting of the South Kansas-Texas Cavalry unit, Stone was elected captain of Company A of the Third Texas Cavalry in Corinth, Mississippi. Their duty was to organize a safe retreat for the Confederates who had been defeated at the battle of Shiloh. The Third Texas, despite being outnumbered, was able to repulse a Federal attempt to attack the retreating trains on May 29, 1862. Although Stone was given a field promotion to major in June 1862 for his gallantry and service, it was initially rejected. Seven months later, on January 12, 1863, his promotion was made official.

The Third Texas Cavalry officially became part of the brigade commanded by Col. Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross in December 1863 and fought with Ross's Brigade east of the Mississippi River for the remainder of the war. The unit surrendered at Citronelle, Alabama in early May 1865. Stone was sent to Jackson, Mississippi, where he was processed and given his parole on May 15, 1865.

Stone returned to Chappell Hill, Texas, on May 19, 1865, and by the following year had settled a homestead in Hempstead. His assets that year totaled $157.98, and by the census of 1870 that figure had increased to $635. In 1867 Stone married a woman named Mary who was twenty-two years his junior. The couple had three sons—Warren (b. 1868), Jimmie (b. 1874), and Ben (b. 1882)—and three daughters—Mary (b. 1872) and twins Della and Stella (b. 1878). Possibly due to complications with the last child, Mary died in 1882. After a mourning period of two years, Absalom married Mollie, who was twenty-one years his junior. Two children were born from this union—a daughter Elya (b. 1885) and his last child, Robert (b. 1890). Absalom Stone lived into the early 1900s, but his records do not provide a clear date for his death.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Samuel Barron, The Lone Star Defenders: A Chronicle of the Third Texas Cavalry, Ross' Brigade (New York: Neale, 1908; rpt., Waco: Morrison, 1964). Randolph B. Campbell, A Southern Community in Crisis: Harrison County, Texas, 1850–1880 (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1983). Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Texas (New York: Facts on File, 1995).

Andy Galloway

Citation

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

Andy Galloway, "STONE, ABSALOM BENJAMIN, JR.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fstea), accessed July 13, 2014. Uploaded on April 29, 2011. Modified on May 3, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.