CAPTAIN James Estill Cox

CAPTAIN James Estill Cox



Stories about CAPTAIN James Estill Cox


<div>Isaac VanBibber and Sarah Davis Isaac VanBibber, Jr. and Elizabeth Hays Frances VanBibber and Cyrenus James Estill Cox and Mary T. Harris


Captain Cox was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Cyrenius Cox, a pioneer family of Missouri. He was born at Louter Lick, now Minneola, Montgomery county, Missouri, October 13, 1826.</div>

<div>He was the second of a family of five children all of whom are now dead. In 1839 he went to St. Louis, and ten years later got the gold fever, and trekked his way to California, over the old Santa Fe trail. He returned home in 1854, and remained one year when he returned to California. He remained in the Golden Gate state until the opening of the civil war when he cast his lot with the Confederacy.</div>
<div> Enlisting in the state troops first under Colonel Guid Thompson, Captain Cox soon after the opening of the war enlisted with Colonel Kirby Smith's regiment, being assigned to Company K. Colonel Smith's regiment formed a part of Shelby's brigade under the division leadership of General Marmaduke. Henry Bert was his captain.

Captain Cox served on detached services at the battles of Springfield, Carthage and Prairie Grove, which were won by the Confederates, with General Sterling Price in command.

Captain Cox's experience in the civil war was extremely varied, while he did not engage in any of the great principal battles of the war. At the battle of Pea Ridge, which was won by the Confederates, Captain Cox was a participant. Shortly after this he was in Arkansas. He was sent from Shreveport, La., to Little Rock with some Negro slaves, in the guise of a trader. When he reached Little Rock he became frightened for fear that the federals would take the Negroes away, so he braved conditions, and forced the federal general in command to give him a pass, and an escort of federal troops to Clearcy, fifty miles away, where he could not be bothered.

In 1862 he was a witness, while stationed with his troops in Marmaduke's division, to a duel with pistols between General Marmaduke and General Walker, which originated over trouble between the Missouri and Arkansas troops, and was a result of Walker demanding full command, basing his claims on the fact that his commission dated a few hours longer than that of Marmaduke.

The duel took place six miles from Little Rock. Walker was so sure of killing Marmaduke, according to Captain Cox's version of it, that he didn't even take his surgeon along. Marmaduke, so he informed the witnesses, did not aim to kill General Walker, but rather to shoot him in the leg. He aimed a little high, however, and shot Walker in the groin. He lingered for some time, and finally forgave Marmaduke, before his death, which occurred in Little Rock.


Shortly after this episode Captain Cox sold a large number of cattle for Kirby Smith's command, and the traders inquired as to his preference to United States and Confederate money. He loyally said Confederate money and got an entire wagon load of it. While returning to his regiment, he heard that the war was over and therefore that the Confederate money was of no value.

Following the battle of Pea Ridge the troops with which Captain Cox was serving were reorganized and the enlistments made in the Confederate States of America. It was at this battle that Captain Cox, who was given an ovation by his comrades, which almost made a hero of him. He was in charge of the commissary department of the division, and before the battle, and in order not to give the food to the federals, he took 500 head of cattle and made a detour of 150 miles, around. During this time the battle had been fought by the Confederates on empty stomachs, and when Captain Cox brought the cattle, men fell on his neck as though he were a deliverer. The men were without meat or food for nearly two whole days, and still won the battle. When he returned it was snowing, and near midnight.

It was while on detached service in Texas that Captain Cox received his commission as captain. When he rejoined his regiment he was assigned to complete command of all of the commissary department in Kirby Smith's division.
Captain Cox came to St. Joseph in 1865, and a few months later married Miss Mary Harris, a daughter of one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in Missouri. His mother was a granddaughter of Daniel Boone, the famous scout and Indian hunter.

Captain Cox was the promoter of the old Union line street car company, together with the late Henry Krug and Adolph Steinacher. He acted as superintendent himself for seven years when he sold his interest in the company. He then joined with Joseph Corby and built the present Frederick avenue line, serving as superintendent until the lines were merged into one, and purchased by the present owners of the street railway company.

Last September Captain Cox and his wife made a trip to Louter Lick, three miles from Danville, Mo. It was Captain Cox's first visit back to his birthplace in fifty-three years. The old homestead is still standing. It was built in 1819.
After an illness dating from April 12, Captain James E. Cox, 82 years old, died at 4:33 o'clock yesterday afternoon, at the family residence, 1702 Faraon street. Captain Cox's widow, two of his children and several grand children were present at the time of his death, which was from gangrene.

Surviving Captain Cox, aside from his widow are four children, Mrs. Pierre B. Davis of Rochester, N.Y.; Mrs. William A. Dolman of St. Joseph; James E. Cox Jr., St. Joseph, and W.E. Cox of Chicago. Several grandchildren also survive him. They are Marion Estel Cox, Miss Margaret Cox, and Niel Cox of Louisville, Ky.; Miss Adabooth Dolman and Mahlon T. Dalmon of St. Joseph.
Source: The Saint Joseph Gazette, Saint Joseph, Missouri, June 3, 1908, Wednesday.

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