Campbell Longley (30 Sep 1816-15 Sep 1907)

Texas Patriot, Soldier, Christian & Mason,

Son of Joseph Longley & Priscilla Patterson




by R. R. Ezzell, Lometa, Texas, Sept. 23, 1907

Campbell Longley was born September 30, 1816, near Sevierville, East Tennessee, on Little Pigeon River, and died September 15, 1907, at the age of 91 years, less 15 days. The subject of this sketch was distinctively a pioneer, as a Christian, a Mason and a citizen of the Texas Republic. In his 14th year he became a member of the Church Christ, in his 22nd year he was made a Mason and in 1836 he became a citizen of the Texas Republic, and a soldier in General Sam Houston's army.

On September 16, in the presence of a large assembly of relatives and friends, after an impressive funeral service, Grandpa Longley was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery at Lometa by the Masons.


When the subject of this sketch was about 12 years of age his father moved to Jackson's Purchase, McMinn Co., Tenn. [1828] About a year later his father died, leaving his mother and 8 children.

Campbell was the eldest of the children. They remained there on their farm until the Spring of 1836 when, in answer to General Houston's call for volunteers to reinforce his Texas army, he enlisted under Capt. Augustis Parker of Georgia with a company of about 100 men besides officers.

Georgia and Tennessee furnished them with arms and ammunition, and they equipped themselves with horses and wagons. On arriving at Nashville Tennessee they were met by Joe Clay who secured lodging for them in the barracks. While there Mr. Clay gave them and about 1,000 others a grand barbecue. On their departure he accompanied them to the steamer, and paid their fare, about $250.00, to Nacotosh, La. When only a short distance from shore young Longley said to Capt. Parker: "Joe Clay is the best friend we've met since we started. He has a heart as a pumpkin." The Capt. replied, "Joe Clay is a partner with Sterling C. Robinson, and owns forty leagues of land in Robinson's Colony, and he knows if Texas goes down he goes down with her, but if Texas goes up he is immensely rich." As the great battle of San Jacinto was pending when they started, that was their intended destination.

But, on arriving at San Augustine Ben Smith informed them that the battle would be fought before they could possibly get there, and he directed them to go to Colette, DeWitt County. They crossed the Trinity river at Nat. Robin's ferry; thence to the old town of Washington; thence to Tuskasota on the Colorado River, thence to Victoria and across the Guadalupe, thence to Colette. Next they marched to Goliad, where, with a large assembly of volunteers and citizens, they participated in gathering up and burying the remains of the immortal braves -- Col. Fannin and his men, with impressive ceremony, all under the directions of General Rusk. 

On their return to Collette, they were ordered to Dimmitt's Point via Victoria, where they were detained a few days by sickness of several of the company. At Dimmit's Point Mr. Longley cast his first vote, and that was for Gen. Sam Houston for President of the Texas Republic. On Sept. 13, 1836, they were honorably discharged, while A. Sidney Johnson was in command. On being discharged the company presented their horses and wagons to the Texas Republic.
When discharged Mr. Longley had only one suit of clothes, and they were like his shoes, all ragged and worn, tattered and torn. In order to buy some clothes he was forced to sell his discharge at a great sacrifice. If he could have kept the discharge and located the land to which it entitled him he might have realized some compensation for the many and very trying privation, and hardships he endured, among which was a shipwreck as they were home-bound; this she [sic] being lost, but he and his fellow soldiers were rescued by another ship and taken to Matagorda, all nearly starved to death. From Matagorda Mr. Longley went to Austin County, where he married Miss Sarah Ann Henry, in 1838, and settled on a farm. To this union ten children were born, nine of whom lived to be grown, but only four are now living, including these four with grandchildren and great, and great-great- grand-children, there are now living 183.

Living and dead, Mr. Longley's children and their descendants are about as follows:

Mary Catherine, married to C. M. Tyler. Number of children, 13; grand-children, 69; great 25; great-great-grand 16.
Martha Jane, married to Wm. Carnes. Number of children 4, grand-children, 9.
Frances C. married L.J. Lawrence. Number of children, 2; grand-children, 9; great 2.
Alex. C. 1st, killed in C.S. army.
Geo. W. married to Mrs. Mattie Baker. Number of children 5; grand 4.
Wm. P.
Elizabeth, married to M. N. Walton. Number of children, 4?, grand 12.
James S. married to Elvira Draper. Number of children, 7, grand, 1.
Alex C. 2nd, married to Mattie E. Reisinger. Number of children 1.

Campbell Longley and Sarah Longley. Number of living children: 4; grand, 24; great-grand 121; great-great-grand 27. Total 183.

Mr. Longley was in the expedition against the notorious Mexican marauders, Woll and Vasquez, in the spring and fall of 1842; also against the Indians that burnt Linnville, besides many others too numerous to mention in this brief sketch, from 1836 until they ceased their depredations.

In Austin County he served for six consecutive years as Justice of the Peace. In Washington County he served as County Commissioner from 1857 until the Civil war. He also served as school Trustee for many years, in all of which positions he discharged his official duties conscientiously and to the best of his ability.

During the Civil war he served as special detail in caring for the war widows and children. He tanned leather, made and mended their shoes, and taught some of them to read, spin, warp, weave, etc. and made brooms and other needed implements.

In the fall of 1830 he confessed his faith in the Christ and was buried with him in Baptism by Elder Isaac Mulkey. In 1842 he assisted in setting in order the first Church of Christ west of the Brazos river in Austin county. Prominent in this Congregation were one Collins families and two Bush families, lately from Kentucky; also one J. W. Cox, formerly a Baptist preacher, who preached for this congregation for two or three years. The next Lord's Day another congregation was set in order at Independence, Washington county, by S. B. Giles, who came from Tennessee. Soon afterward, some members of these two congregations found Bro. James Stephens and wife and daughter, lately from Kentucky. These disciples were in Austin's Colony on Clear Creek in Fayette county. Dr. Payne, a very wealthy man of this community, married Miss Stephens and soon afterward became a member of the church.

Dr. Payne was a very liberal Christian and, mainly through his instrumentality, a church house was soon erected, and in about a year this congregation numbered 120. During his declining years this aged disciple often remarked that it after led him great pleasure to know that he was instrumental in establishing these three congregations, which were among the first churches established in the great state of Texas, to stand identified with the Restoration movement of the 19th century, inaugurated by Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone, and others, who in those days numbered only a few thousand and were snearingly called Heretics, Schis-matics, new light, Campbellites, etc.; and that he was glad he lived to see the day, when, by the help of God and the ______ ________ for the restoration of New Testament Christianity, they have forged their way until they number about one million and a half, and stand 3rd in the order of numerical strength among Protestants. Nearly one-third of his Christian career of over three-quarters of a century, he served as an elder in the church. CampbellLongley was an intimate, personal friend of Gen. Sam Houston, Gen. Ed Burleson, and Judge R. M. Williamson and many others of the great and noble heroes and pioneers of Texas.

April 14, 1890, the death angel came and took his bosom companion to the Christian's eternal home for which she was so well prepared. From the death of his wife until his own death he made his home with his youngest child, A. C. Longley near Lometa Texas.

Campbell Longley was a brave soldier, a good citizen, a true friend, a fond husband and affectionate father, a bright Mason, and a faithful Christian. He entered the straight and narrow way at the age of 14, and endeavored during his long journey to walk faithfully _________ until he finally died in the triumphs of a living faith and the bright hope of an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, into that celestial lodge where the weary are for ever at rest.


 Campbell's beloved wife Sarah Ann Henry Longley died 14 Apr 1890 in Bell Co., TX, and was buried at Key's [Wilkerson?] Valley Ceme. It was too close to the Lampasas River when the lake Stillhouse Reservoir was formed, so graves were moved to the Cedar Knob Ceme. in Bell Co. SW of Belton off FM 2484, on Cedar Knob Rd. (not Cedar Knob Church Rd.) and WNW of Salado. Her grave was designated Plot 270 of those removed to make way for the water. Her tombstone is inscribed,

DIED APR 4 1890."

On its base is a weathered caption, hard to read, "Our Mother. In God's morning and with thee, ________ in a state of Paradise," read by her great-great-grandson Sgt. Jeffrey Edmondson in Aug 2009.

Campbell is buried in the Longley Plot, IOOF Ceme., Lometa, Lampasas Co., TX (on right)


Memoir Written by Campbell Longley in a Yearbook

Joseph and Priscilla Longley's oldest child, Campbell Longley, came in 1836 to aid in the war for independence from Mexico. He was 18 years old. Campbell wrote the following narrative of his life when he was 83 years old:

CAMPBELL LONGLEY was born in Sevier County, Tenn. Sept. 30, 1817. Joined Christian Church Sept. 1830. The Ministers of Gospel most prominent was Barton Stone (the one I joined under), John T. Johnson, Walter Scot, Jacob Creath, John Smith, the Mulkeys.

In the spring of 1836 I joined a company of volunteers, partly from Georgia. The battery in Tennessee, under Austin Parker or P a k e. We bought 2 wagons, 4 horses, armed ourselves as best we could, went to Nashville. Citizens gave us bacon, coffee, flour, and such to last us til we got to Houston's Army in Texas. Joseph Clay of Nashville paid $25.00 to the steamboat co. to land in Nachitoches on the Sabine River at Gaines Crossing. We searched from Sabine to Victoria then to Colett. Enlisted in Army of the Republic, served June 12, 1836* until Sept. 13, 1836. Got into Sam Houston's Camp in time to see them bring Santa Anna in prisoner and heard Houston's speech to his men at San Jacinto Battlefield. Marching hard to get into battle, got into last of it. I voted for Sam Houston for President of the Republic of Texas. Was discharged Sept. 13, 1836. With league and labor of land, lived large part of my life between guns and saddle until annexation was completed under James K. Polk. I am now in my 84th year, Dec. 29, 1900.
Campbell Longley

*Note: The Battle of San Jacinto was on April 21, 1836, so Campbell was initially a volunteer soldier and reenlisted after Independence when the Texian Army still fought marauding Mexican forces and Indians. 

The apparent contradiction between Campbell's memoir and his obituary regarding his arrival in Texas in April 1836 and his arrival at San Jacinto Battleground was a mystery to me, solved by Loura Tyler Soto, granddaughter of Campbell's eldest child, Mary Catherine Longley and her husband Charles Tyler, wrote in her delightful book The Tylers Long Long Trek with a collection of family stories and photos:

  [the volunteers from Georgia] " . . . upon arriving at San Augustine, TX, Ben Smith informed the soldiers that the battle would probably be over before they could march there. He directed them to Colette, and from there to Goliad. Four of the volunteers were given a wagon, two horses, and food. They were dispatched post-haste to San Jacinto. There they were to report to Sam Houston. The main body of volunteers were marching toward Goliad. The four were to fight at San Jacinto if needed. Campbell Longley was one of the four chosen.

"When the men in the wagon were near enough to San Jacinto to hear the firing of the guns at the ongoing battle, they whipped their horses into a run. By the time they arrived, the fighting was ended. "The Texicans" had won the battle. They were overjoyed. Campbell learned that Sam Houston had been wounded. Later he saw him sitting on a blanket and leaning against the trunk of a big tree. Notwithstanding the injury he had sustained, he looked very happy. On the following day, Campbell Longley was present when the captured Mexican (general) President Santa Ana was brought before General Sam Houston.

"The four volunteers were asked to stay on at San Jacinto to help drive the remaining Mexican army out of Texas. When they were released from duty, the four volunteers directed their horses on the road to Goliad. They carried a letter from General Houston for the 1,100 volunteers who would very soon arrive at Goliad. . .

"When Campbell Longley and his companions arrived at Goliad, the other volunteer marchers had also arrived. They all participated with the military as they buried the remains of Col. Fannin and his men. Burying all those to be immortals was an overwhelmingly sad event. The burial was followed by a very impressive ceremony directed by General Rusk."

At the Alamo in Bexar on 6 Mar 1836, on Santa Ana's order 186 Texian heroes were killed. At Goliad on 27 Mar 1836, 407 Texian prisoners marched out of the fort "La Bahia" were massacred on order of Santa Ana. At San Jacinto on 21 Apr 1836, with the rallying cry, "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" 2000 Mexican soldiers were killed, with minimal loss of life by the Texians. Not until victory at San Jacinto could anyone be sent to Goliad to bury the dead. In San Antonio, the Mexicans had burned their victims; stacked several feet high with layers of logs between them, the fire burned for four days.

Not Mentioned in his Memoir or Obituary, Campbell married a second time, to a young widow, Mary Catherine Dockery Craighead.

In 1935, as Texas prepared to celebrate its centennial of independence from Mexico, Mary Catherine Longley was one of three surviving widows of old Texan soldiers. They were brought to Dallas, site of the Centennial Exposition, and a day was set aside in their honor while the governer, military, and entire state paid tribute to them. She eventually lived to be the last surviving widow of the Texas Revolution and drew a modest pension of $12 per month for her late husband's service.

Application of Campbell Longley for a Texas Veteran Land Grant

Shipwrecked on Matagorda Island when he attempted to return to Tennessee, when rescued he and fellow travelers were starving and had only the clothes they were wearing. He sold his discharge for enough money to buy clothing. Not having the funds to return to Tennessee, he decided to stay in Texas. A year later, he married Sarah Ann Henry, July 26, 1838, an orphan brought from Cincinnati, Ohio, by Judge and Mrs. Goodnow. Her mother was a Fletcher. The following month Campbell applied for a land grant as a married man:

COUNTY OF WASHINGTON This is to Certify that Campbell Longley has appeared before us the Board of Land Commissioners for the County Aforesaid, and proved to our satisfaction that he arrived in this Republic subsequent to the Declaration of Independence and as early as June 1836 -- that he came as a Volunteer and Served in the Army of Texas and was Honorably discharged, and has since married -- and entitled to One League and one Labor of Land to be Surveyed After the first day of August 1836 -- Given under our hands at Washington this 2 day of August 1838.
Attest Stephen R. Roberts --?--
Prosper Hope
Clk. J. M. Smith -- ? --

Among his papers in the General Land Office files in Austin is the following certificate:

 Head Quarters Sept. 12th 1836. This is to certify that Mc Campbell Longly a private in my company was mustered into service on the 12th of June and his three months term of service having expired is hereby discharged.
Approved [Signed] G. A. Parker, Capt.
[Signed] Thos. J. Green [Signed] Jas H. Melroy
Brig. Genl. Texas Army Col. 1st Reg. 2nd Brg. T.A.
[Signed] J. Snively
Acting Secy. of War

Campbell had first received a 320 acre-grant, then this League and Labor (1280 acres), which he laid down in Bexar County [then the largest county in Texas], and kept for some years. He applied for Pension in 1874, stating that he was born September 30, 1816, Sevier County, Tennessee. In 1881 he received another League and Labor (1280 acres), which he immediately sold for $230!

Campbell sent for his widowed mother Priscilla Patterson Longley, his brothers, and sisters. Priscilla came when her youngest two, son Posey and daughter Martha Jane, born 1829 and 1830, were small. We do not know the year they arrived, for Priscilla left no paper trail in Texas. It is unclear when she and her children went from Tennessee to Texas, or whether they all traveled together. Hiwasee Baptist Church records in Polk Co., TN, show Caleb and was dismissed by letter in 1846. She has not been found on a census (the first federal census in Texas was 1850, and mostly men heads-of-household appeared in the 1846 Texas census made from reconstructed tax lists). Priscilla has not been found on deed or tax records, although as a widowed head of family she would have been entitled to a Land Grant. Martha Jane married Hatch Alford in 1848 in Washington County. We have not found Martha, Priscilla, nor Hatch in the 1850 U.S. Census index for Texas and assume they were together and missed.

Campbell was initiated into Masonry 9 August 1851 at Chappell Hill, Washington Co., TX, by the Hubert Lodge No. 67. He took his 1st degree on that date, and on 14 December 1852 received the 3rd degree. He demitted on 12 Mar 1853 and it appears that he remained an unaffiliated Mason until he is shown as a charter member of the J. D. Giddings Lodge No. 280, at Evergreen, Washington Co., TX. At his death in San Saba County he had a Masonic burial.

On 28 July 1876, Campbell applied for a Republic of Texas military pension:

 To the Hon. E. Walker County Judge of said county, your petitioner CAMPBELL LONGLEY a resident citizen of said county and state Respectfully represents that he was a soldier in the Army of the Republic of Texas in the year 1836, and was in the war that separated Texas from Mexico, that he served as Pvt. in the Company commanded by Capt. Augustus Parker. Petitioner represents that he is too old to labor for a support, that he has several in his family to provide for, and has no one to assist him, to make a support for himself and family. That his health is not good . . . and that he was in said condition on the 1st of July 1876. Wherefore petitioner prays your Hon. to grant him a judgment under the act to provide annual pension for the surviving soldiers of the Texas Revolution. Approved 28 July 1876.
Pension granted in the County Court Sept. Term 1878

Campbell Longley should be remembered as a patriot, a soldier, the pioneer who brought our family to Texas, helped to establish a new nation, was a devout Christian leader who organized and served as an Elder in Churches of Christ wherever he lived, was a Mason, and devoted to his family.

Perhaps his greatest disappointment was the wayward life of his beloved son, William Preston "Wild Bill" Longley.

After the heartbreak of his outlaw son's execution in 1878 in Giddings, Fayette Co., TX, Campbell and his family moved to Bell Co. in central Texas. There his beloved wife Sarah died in and was buried in Wilkerson Valley Cemetery. The cemetery was too close to the Lampasas River when Stillhouse Reservoir was formed, so graves were moved to the Cedar Knob Cemetery. Her grave was designated No. 270 of those removed to make way for the lake water. Her tombstone gives her dates of birth and death as August 10, 1821 - April 14, 1890.

Later Campbell made his home with his youngest son, Alexander Campbell Longley, 2nd (Cam), at Lometa in Lampasas Co., TX. He wrote in his Bible:

"Bought 1854 - Transcribed 1855.
"Grandfather William Longley died 1839 age 93 years.
"Joseph Longley the father of Campbell Longley died December 1830 age 35 years.
"Mother Priscilla Longley died August 1852.
"Brother George W. Longley died Sept. 1844."

There are ten graves in the LONGLEY plot in IOOF Cemetery, Lometa, TX:

 Mary L. Hooker, b. July 31, 1882, d. May 25, 1983

Rose Cram Longley, b. March 17, 1888, d. Aug. 4, 1965

Claudia Longley, b. June 22, 1884, d. Feb. 1, 1966

Ralph Preston - son of Leon & Lorene Longley, b. July 7, 1930, d. Aug. 3 (no year)

A. C. (Cam) Longley, b. Oct. 22, 1867, d. April 4, 1943

Mary E. wife of A. C. Longley, b. April 10, 1870. d. Feb. 4, 1920

Campbell Longley, b. Sept. 30, 1816, d. Sept. 1907

Father J. S. Longley, b. 21 Jan 1859, d. 15 Apr 1938 & Mother E. A. Longley, b. 1862, d. 1928

Sarah Risinger 1851-1939 & John Risinger 1847-1925 [parents? of Mary E. "Molly" Longley]




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