Private Joshua Samuel Burks
Company H, 14th Texas Cavalry
Johnsons Regiment, Mounted Volunteers
First Regiment Johnsons Brigade
This is about my great-great grandfather, Joshua Samuel Burks.
When we moved to Dallas 6 1/2 years ago, I had no idea how far back my Texas roots went. A little over 40 years ago, when I was a young boy, I remember visiting "Mama Nale" in Dallas. She was the oldest living person I had ever met at that age, but I knew she was very special because she was my grandmothers mother. It gives me great pleasure now, to reflect back and consider that I was once held and loved by a woman whose father served in the Civil War.
Edna Earl Burks Nale died on July 3, 1962 and is buried in the Pecan Grove Cemetery in McKinney, TX. I remember the funeral in Dallas and the long drive to McKinney. Almost forty years later I returned to that site as I began to research my ancestors.
Later I went to Denton, TX to the Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery. In the Old Dalton section I found Mama Nales mother, Martha Lovejoy Burks. Marthas parents, John Lemuel and Phoebe Aaron Lovejoy were buried next to her, my great-great-great grandparents. But where was her husband, Joshua Burks?
On May 13, 1835, Marthas parents John Lemuel Lovejoy, his wife, Phoebe Aaron Lovejoy and their sons crossed the Red River at Mills Creek to cast their fortunes in Texas. They eventually had eight children. The youngest daughter Martha Ann was born on May 19, 1846 (her headstone reads 1845). Joshua Burks was born on October 25, 1835. Martha and Joshua were married on February 16, 1860 in Denton, TX.
In 1860, Martha Ann Lovejoy was 13 or 14 years old and Joshua Burks was 24 years old. Their first child, Sallie, was born in 1862.
According to military records, Joshua Burks enlisted on December 23, 1861 and served until the end of the War. He served as a private in Company H, 14th Texas Cavalry in Johnsons Regiment, Mounted Volunteers, First Regiment Johnsons Brigade. Records indicate he was "absent sick" from about January to June 1863. There is a receipt for clothing at a hospital in Rome, Georgia dated June 16, 1863.
Family records indicate that he was engaged in the Battle of Murfreesboro in late 1862. Military records show the 14th Texas was engaged in numerous battles including Corinth, MS in 1862, Chickamauga and Chattanooga in 1863, the Atlanta Campaign in 1864 including Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek and the Atlanta seige. In late 1864 they were involved in the Battle of Nashville. In 1865 they were involved in the Mobile campaign and eventually surrendered in Cintronelle, AL on May 4, 1865.
After the War he returned home to Denton County. Maggie was born in 1866, Edna Earl or Mama Nale, their fifth child, was born in 1873 and the last of their seven children was born in 1877. Tragically, Martha died in 1878 at 32 years of age. They had been married 18 years.
We located Joshua Burks pension application and it indicated that he was living in Smithville, TX in 1903. He died in March of 1918 at age 82.
Last year, Cindy and I visited Smithville, TX, Southeast of Austin in Bastrop County. After studying records at the local funeral home, we made our way to the Oak Hill Cemetery nearby. We found Joshua Burks buried next to three of his daughters.
Mama Nale wrote of her father: "He indeed gave his very best efforts to the Confederacy, and of which all descendants are grateful and proud."
Thank you for allowing me to share his story.