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Confederate (CSV)


James Monroe Polk

(1838 - 1920)

Home State: Texas

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 4th Texas Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

Raised in Missouri and Arkansas, he came to Texas in 1859. He enlisted in Navarro County, TX as a Private in Company I, 4th Texas Infantry on 17 July 1861, was on recruiting duty in Texas in early 1862, and was wounded in the arm at Gaines' Mill, VA on 27 June 1862.

On the Campaign

He rejoined his Company at Frederick, MD on about 11 September and was in action with his Company at Fox's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September and at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was wounded again, by a gunshot to his right temple at Chickamauga, GA on 20 September 1863 and the bullet was removed from the back of his head in Richmond, VA. He was on furlough and in hospitals to the end of the year.

He was recommended for promotion by General Hood, personally, on 7 December 1863, noted by President Davis, and authorized by the Secretary of War to raise a cavalry company on the 17th. He was ordered to the Trans-Mississippi Department on 31 December 1863, probably with a Captain's commission. He was briefly in Arkansas then went to Missouri looking for recruits.

He was captured within Federal lines at St. Louis, MO on 29 June 1864 - listed as a Private in Company I, 4th Texas - and was held in the US prison on Gratiot Street into October. He was transferred to the US Army prison at Alton, IL by November 1864 and was there to the end of the war.

After the War

In 1869-70 he was a traveling salesman in Texas for a wholesale grocer. He spent 10 years in Brazil from July 1888 to June 1898, farming cotton and coffee, and trading. He was a resident of the Confederate Home in Austin by January 1908.

References & notes

Service information from Davis,1 as J.M. Polk, and his Compiled Service Records,2 via fold3. Personal details from family genealogists and his own The North and South American Review (1914), online from GoogleBooks. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Mary Iglehart (1842-1938) in Galveston in February 1874 and they had a son, William Wilson Polk (b. 1879).


10/07/1838; Springfield, MO


08/15/1920; Austin, TX; burial in Texas State Cemetery, Austin, TX


1   Davis, Rev. Nicholas A., The Campaign from Texas to Maryland, Houston: Telegraph Book and Job Establishment, 1863, pp. 163 - 164  [AotW citation 1908]

2   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 26923]