Saturday, May 30, 2009

John Redus - One of the Orignal Texas Trail Drivers

From the book, Trail Drivers of Texas, pages 811-813, courtesy of the University of Texas Press.


Memories of Mrs. Sallie McLamore Redus

John Redus was born in Athens, Alabama, December 25, 1833, and moved to Mississippi when a boy. He lived there until he was about twenty-two years old, when his health failed and he got in with a party coming to Texas. His father furnished him with a buggy and negro driver, and on the way he was so sick he had to be helped in and out of the buggy.

When they reached Austin, there was a big crowd from San Antonio to hear General Sam Houston speak, and he met up with some people from his home town, Aberdeen, Mississippi. My father and some others from Mississippi had bought land and settled on Hondo Creek, ten milers west of Castroville, then the county seat of Medina county. I don't know how he ever found us, but he did, and came right out and joined us.

This being a stock country, he soon got in with the stock men, and his health improved so rapidly that he decided to stay and go into the stock business. His father sent money with which to buy land and cattle, and he purchased land from the Adams brothers, who had a big ranch on the Hondo, thirteen miles south of us.

John Redus was soon joined in his undertaking by his brothers, William and George Redus, and they started business on a small scale. I was the first girl Mr. Redus got acquainted with in Medina county and naturally we had to be sweethearts, and on December 11, 1859, my twentieth birthday, we were married, and the next day we went to our new home as happy as any couple could be, although I knew I did not have a neighbor nearer than four miles.

The Indians came in every light moon and stole horses, killed a man occasionally, and were very troublesome, but all went well with us. We were prosperous until the Civil War came on, and all the white men joined the army, and the negroes and I had to go back to my father's place near the German settlements.

When the war was over the men came home and we went back to our ranch and began anew. The men had to be out on the range for weeks at a time to round up the stock, which had had but little attention during the period of the war, only our nephew, Tallie Burnett, and the negro boys would go once a week to put out salt and look around. But all hands had to hustle. The Indians were bad for a long time, and we always had to keep guns handy, although luckily we never had to use them. Notwithstanding these troublous times, we prospered.

Mr. Redus would buy more cattle every year and locate more land, and finally he bought the Adams brothers' land when they went west to get larger holdings. About this time the drives to Kansas started. Mr. Redus was one of the first to engage in trail driving and one of the last to stop. He was successful for awhile, but got to speculating, buying remnants of herds wintered in Kansas, and when the great panic of 1873 came on, and so many banks failed, he had to sell for less than he gave, and we went broke.

I made one trip with Mr. Redus to Kansas, taking along my baby boy, Robert. I have always regretted that I did not go every year, for I could have gone if I had known it. At that time the railroad came only as far as Luling, and we had to go there by stage from San Antonio.

In looking back it seems a long time, and many changes are noticeable, but really I believe we had better times and were happier then than now. Everybody was your friend, and were glad to entertain you.

In reading the first volume of the old Trail Drivers' book I find many familiar names, people I knew personally, and many who did business with my husband, but most of them have passed on, and some, like us, had lost everything they had accumulated. Mr. Redus died July 25, 1895, of the same disease he had left Mississippi to escape lung trouble.

I am now eighty-two years old, am in good health, keep house and do all my work. I have written this by request of my friend, Mr. W. B. Hardeman.

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During the Civil War John was a private in the 33rd Texas Calvary (Texas Partisan Rangers), Company A (Captain Duff's Company)

John Redus Civil War Timeline

May 4, 1862 Company Muster-in Roll Enlisted in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, terms of enlistment 3 yrs or war.

May-Jun 1862 Company Muster Roll - Present

Jul-Aug 1862 Company Muster Roll - last paid Jun 30 1862, value of horse $150, equipment $50

Sep-Oct 1862 Company Muster Roll - last paid Aug 31, 1862, value of horse $150, equipment $50

Nov-Dec 1862 Company Muster Roll - last paid Oct 31, 1862, value of horse $150, equipment $50

Mar-Apr 1863 Company Muster Roll - last paid Dec 31, 1862, value of horse $150, equipment $50, sick furlough based on surgeon certificate.

April 1864 Regimental Return - Absent, sick at home, surgeons certificate

May 1864 Regimental Return - Absent, sick at home, surgeons certificate

Jun 1864 Regimental Return - Absent, sick at home, surgeons certificate

There are several other miscellaneous documents in this compiled record including a letter to a Mr. George M. Redus in Laredo dated 2 July 1953 from the Adjutant General regarding John's service.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Another Redus Hell Raiser - Bluett Sanders Redus

Some of my Redus kin are quite frankly, interesting! Elsewhere on this blog I have the story of Roscoe Redus (see

Now I have another story about a Redus cousin, Bluett Sanders Redus, who was born 3 May 1842 in Mississippi. Bluett was the son of Wesley Reed Redus and Elizabeth Craig Astin.

Blewitt served in the Civil War in the 14th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry, Company C

14th Infantry Regiment [also called Beauregard Rifles] was organized at Jackson, Mississippi, in October, 1861. The men were from the counties of Clarke, Oktibbeha, Lauderdale, Winston, Lowndes, Monroe, and Tishomingo. Sent to Kentucky then Tennessee, it was captured at Fort Donelson in February, 1862. After being exchanged, it was attached to Tilghman's and Gregg's Brigade, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana. The regiment saw action at Coffeeville and in various conflicts around Vicksburg . A detachment was captured when that city fell in July, 1863. Later it was attached to J. Adams' and Lowrey's Brigade, Army of Tennessee. The 14th was active in the Atlanta Campaign, Hood's Tennessee operations, and the fight at Bentonville. It was organized with 1,034 officers and men, had 650 effectives in February, 1862, and had 24 officers and 287 men fit for duty in April, 1863. The unit surrendered with no officers and 40 men. Its commanders were Colonels George W. Abert, William E. Baldwin, and Washington L. Doss, and Lieutenant Colonels Robert J. Lawrence and M.E. Norris.

He enlisted on 30 May 1861 in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi and served the entire war until he was paroled on 13 May 1865 in Sumter County, Alabama.

Here is his Civil War Timeline taken for his consolidated military file at the National Archives. He was listed on various muster rolls as Blewitt S. Redus, Bluit S. Redus, B.S. Readus, B.L. Redus

Served as a private in the 14th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, Company C and age 19 on muster-in roll. Roll indicated that he had traveled 100 miles and was enlisted by A. J. Maxwell for 12 months.

May 30, 1861 Enlisted Corinth, MS

May 30-Jun 30, 1861 Company Muster Roll

July 1-Dec 31, 1861 Company Muster Roll - Present

Feb 16, 1862 Roll of Prisoner of War - Captured at Donelson

Sep 2, 1862 Roll of Prisoner of War - Sent from Camp Douglas, IL to Vicksburg, MS to be exchanged.

Sept 23, 1862 Company Muster Roll - Present and paid

Oct 31-Nov 30, 1862 Company Muster Roll - Absent, sent to genral hospital in Jackson, dated Oct 31, 1862

Nov-Dec 1862 Company Muster Roll - Absent, sent to general hospital in Jackson, Dec 15, 1862

Jan-Feb 1863 Company Muster Roll - Present

Jan 1-Jul 1, 1863 Pay Voucher 6 months at $11 per month for $66.00 total, received on 10 Nov 1863 in Columbus, MS

May-Jun 1863 Company Muster Roll - Present

Jul-Aug 1863 Company Muster Roll - Absent, Wounded at Jackson, sent to general hospital July 11, 1863

Jul 1-Oct 31, 1863 Pay Voucher No. 221 for $44.00

Sep-Oct 1863 Company Muster Roll - Absent, on sick furlough for 20 days from 29 Oct 1863.

Nov-Dec 1863 Company Muster Roll - Absent, on sick furlough for 20 days from 20 oct 1863. By order of General Johnston.

Mar-Apr 1864 Company Muster Roll - Absent, detailed by Medical Board of examiners Demopolis, Ala April 4, 1864 to report at Westpoint, Miss.

April 1, 1864 Bounty Roll - Present

April 2, 1864 Medical Examiner Booard he was found unfit for field duty due to a gunshot wound in the left wrist/hand. recommedned that he be detailed to the Commissary Dept.

Jul-Aug 1864 Company Muster Roll - Absent, detailed in Q.M. Dept by order of Secy War.

May 13, 1865 Roll of Prisoner of War - Gainesville, Ala (unit surrender on May 4, 1865), Residence listed as Cedar Bluff, Mississippi

In 1869 he married Martha Glasscock (b. 1851 and d. 1881) in Perry County, Alabama. This couple has four children:

1. Romeo Reed Redus b. 12 Jul 1873, Grayson County, Texas
2. Juliett Melvina Redus b. 1874 Texas
3. Elgenna Eagon Redus b. 9 Jan 1876 Grayson County, Texas
4. Charles H. Redus b. Dec 1879 Denver County, Colorado

After his wife's death is where we pick up his claim to fame from The Western Gazette newspaper:

MURDER -- Donald McDonald Stabbed Unto Death by Blewett Redus --

Sunday morning about eight o'clock Ouray was shocked by the announcement that Don McDonald had been stabbed by Blewett Redus. All over an argument as to whether McDonald was to join Blewett in a drink--at the latter's insistence. McDonald, feeling breakfast time was too early, refused. He was there upon put upon by Blewett who used his knife with effectiveness. Blewett Redus now rests in jail pending advisor and help from his lawyer, McDonald's in the morgue.

The moral here is, when in doubt, drink.

While one source listed this event as occurring in 1896, I know that Donald McDonald's estate was probated in Ouray County in 1883 and I have verified that Bluett did hard time in the Colorado state pen.

From the Colorado State Penitentiary Index 1871 - 1973
Redus, Buett -- Inmate number 1219

That inmate number was issued between 13 Jun 1871 to 3 Oct 1891. My best guess is this deed was done around 1883 and not in 1896.

A mountain view of the Colorado State Pen in 1905.

Bluett (there are several different spellings of his first name through the years) died 10 Aug 1915 in Sinton, San Patricio County, Texas and is buried there.

So here is a six gun salute to Cousin Bluett Sanders Redus, a true Texas hell raiser. Way to go Bluett.

The Life and Times of Roscoe Redus

One of my favorite first cousins (4 times removed), was Corporal Roscoe Redus.

Roscoe was born 13 July 1876, on his father's ranch in Medina County, Texas. His father was Civil War 1st Lieutenant William Redus (1835-1885) and Calpurnia Lignon Greenwood (1848-1930).

On the 1880 US Federal Population Schedule Census, we see Roscoe living at home with his parents in Medina County. By the time the 1900 census rolls around Roscoe was living by himself in Medina County and his occupation was listed as a stockman.

On 24 April 1901, Roscoe married Ruby Terrell, probably in Medina County. They has one child by this marriage, Carmen Redus, b. 10 October 1903 in Medina County. Carmen married Cecil M. Harvey Sr on 11 August 1921. Cecil was a high official with Southwest Bell just prior to his death in 1979.

Roscoe's first wife Ruby died in 1906.

Roscoe was a Texas Ranger and a veteran of the Spanish American War. My cousin George M. Redus' father said, "He was a very good looking man and women really fell for him."

Roscoe married his second wife Matilda Soettle (b. 3 march 1877) around 1917. Matilda had a lot of property around Medina Lake north of Devine, Medina County, Texas. There is an area around the lake called Roscoe Redus Cove. Matilda died 15 April 1958 in Bandera County and is buried at the St. Stanislaus Catholic Church cemetery, also in Bandera County.

Roscoe served as a Corporal in Company D, 1st Texas Volunteers, during the Spanish American War. But it was his service in the Texas Rangers that is the focus of this profile. Roscoe enlisted in the Regular Rangers Force, Company B, by Captain Tom Ross. His enlistment application indicated that Roscoe was single. But his service in the Rangers was far from uneventful. In fact, I recently uncovered this bit of Roscoe trivia recently at

In 1910, one of Captain Thomas Ross' sergeants in Ranger Company B enacted a drunken scene that was later to become a staple of Western movies. Sergeant Roscoe Redus rode his horse into an Ysleta saloon, pistol-whipped the proprietor, and shot up the premises. The El Paso Morning Times was not amused, noting that the community did not appreciate the Ranger's attempt to convert the Alamo Saloon into "a livery stable and a morgue."

Another account of Roscoe's escapade was chronicled in the book, The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution By Charles H. Harris, III, Louis R. Sadler. On page 30 they wrote:

"Unfortunately, Captain Ross's success was completely overshadowed by the regrettable Redus affair. Roscoe Redus was sergeant of captain Ross's company. He decided to have a few drinks with the boys but worked up a real head of steam. He got roaring drunk and rode has horse through a saloon, assaulting the proprietor and shooting up the place. Captain Ross was of course furious and immediately discharged Redus on January 12 (1910). As an El Paso newspaper put it. "Redus downfall followed an attempt on the ranger's part to make a livery stable and a morgue out of the Alamo Saloon recently"

Roscoe died on 23 Jun 1954 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. He was buried in the Devine Evergreen cemetery in Medina County on 26 Jun 1954.

I know that Carmen Redus and Cecil Harvey Sr had two sons -- Cecil Jr and Roscoe Robert Harvey. If they or any of their descendants are still around, I would like to hear from them and maybe learn a bit more about Roscoe and his life and times. They can contact me at the address in the masthead.

So here is a six gun salute to Cousin Roscoe Redus, a true Texas hell raiser. Way to go Roscoe.