Optional page text here. Byron Crandall Rhome

Byron Crandall Rhome

Byron Crandall Rhome, the son of Peter G. and Nancy Almira Crandall Rhome, was born November 22, 1837 in Richmond County, Georgia. After his mother's death in 1840, Byron, along with his father and siblings, moved to Jacksonville, Cherokee County, Texas in the early 1850s. Peter G. Rhome was financially successful in the area and became a large land owner and operated a mercantile enterprise in Jacksonville. When the Civil War began, Peter was a representative from Cherokee County to the Secession Convention.

Several books and articles disagree with the information originally provided to me about my great grandfather, including the section on Byron Crandall Rhome in "Elder John Crandall of RI and His Descendants" which appears to have been originally written by A. P. Crandall. In a letter to Lizzie Rhome (Elizabeth Clarinda Rhome) from A. P. Crandall, December 31, 1888, he makes reference to the genealogy he has written on the Crandall family. Apparently his work was incorporated into the "Elder John Crandall...." book.

I believe the following to be the true facts of Byron Rhome's service in the Confederate Army. Byron was not a member of the Hood's Brigade and he was apparently never a Colonel as some family members have related to me. This last appears to have been an honorary title he picked up sometime after the Civil War. His brother Romulus J. Rhome served in Hood's Brigade for approximately one year before becoming ill and returning to Texas. Byron enlisted in the 18th Texas Infantry, Company K from Jacksonville, Cherokee Co, Texas in July of 1862. He served in General Walker's Division in the Trans Mississippi Department spending the war years in Louisiana and Arkansas.

Byron participated in the battles of Opelousas, Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, and the battle of Jenkin's Ferry in Arkansas. He began his service in the 18th Texas Infantry as a First Sergeant. He was later elected 2nd Lieutenant and then promoted to 1st Lieutenant. Years later, he wrote that he had been promoted to Captain, however, I have not been able to find proof of this promotion. Apparently he was wounded at the battle of Opelousas but he continued in active service until the 18th disbanded at Hempstead, Texas in May of 1865.

The 18th Texas Infantry was organized during the summer and fall of 1862. Company K was composed of men from Jacksonville, Cherokee Co, Texas. The 18th Texas Infantry spent the entire war within the Trans-Mississippi Department. According to articles that I have read, during late 1862 a detachment of the unit was temporarily mounted and sent south of the Rio Grande to bring back a large herd of cattle that had been purchased for the Confederacy. The detachment brought these cattle back across the Rio Grande to central Texas. There is no information found to date that would indicate that B. C. Rhome was part of this detachment. However, he apparently was a good horseman so he might have been a participant.

The 18th Texas Infantry participated in operations on the eastern boundary of Louisiana and by March 31, 1864, they had moved back north along the Texas-Louisiana border. Beginning in April of 1864 until mid 1864, the 18th participated in engagements in the mid to southern part of Arkansas. These engagements were - Steele's Expedition from Little Rock to Camden, Mark's Mills and Jenkin's Ferry, Saline River Arkansas. During mid 1864, the 18th Texas was returned to Louisiana. Here it served at Shreveport. In early 1865, the unit was moved to Hempstead, Texas where it was disbanded in May, 1865. According to what I have read, the regiments which served under General Walker, which included the 18th, were nicknamed the "Greyhound" Division because, having beaten Banks in Louisiana in April,1864, they raced northward to help beat Steele in Arkansas in May,1864.

The following information is contained in the book "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants". Info on Romulus John Rhome, Byron Crandall Rhome's brother from the above mentioned book - "Romulus enlisted in the 1st Texas Infantry in the spring of 1861 as a 2nd Lieutenant serving in General Hood's brigade of General Lee's Army. He participated in the first battle of Manassas; failing health caused his withdrawal from the Army...Romulus and his wife Missouri Robertson Rhome moved to Brazil, South America in 1865 where she died at Santarem, a province of Para on February 22, 1884." Romulus died July 9, 1892 in Santarem, Brazil. My father, Byron Cogdell Rhome said that his grandfather, Byron Crandall Rhome, told him that Rom Rhome was killed in the Civil War. He wasn't. After the Civil War, he, his family and apparently some of his former slaves moved to Santeram, Brazil. Except for visits back to the United States, he lived in there until his death.

Byron Crandall Rhome and Ella Elizabeth Loftin, daughter of Jeremiah W. Loftin deceased of Smith County and Lucy Otis Loftin who died in 1849 in Alabama, were married in Cherokee County, August 31, 1864. (It is said they married after only having known one another for three weeks - this cannot be verified) They lived in Etna, Smith County near Tyler. She died in 1879 probably of Typhoid. They had six children between 1864 and 1876. Only three lived to adulthood.

Sometime after 1876, Byron moved to Wise County. He convinced the Ft.Worth-Denver Railroad to come through the little town which eventually became Rhome, Texas. His ranch in Wise County was called Hereford Park. He was one of the first ranchers to be able to keep his Hereford bull alive for longer than a few weeks in the tick infested Texas ranch lands. He became well known across the state and the country for his prize Hereford bulls. His prize bull, Harkaway, was the first Hereford to win the Grand Champion Blue Ribbon at the Texas State Fair in 1880. B.C. helped found the Fort Worth Live Stock show and cattle yards. He won numerous awards for his Herefords and was also a judge at stock shows across Texas and the country. Byron was prominent in the Democratic Party and was asked on several occasions to run for Governor. He always declined saying he just didn't have the time for that sort of thing.

B. C. Rhome, Sr, was an interesting man, loyal to his family members and willing to take chances. Many of his relatives lived with him at various times during the latter part of their lives. One of the many interesting stories about Byron concerns his Uncle, John Rhome. John, along with several other members of his extended family, were living with him at the ranch in Wise County. When John died in 1881, he was buried on the ranch. Years later, when Byron moved to Ft. Worth, he had his uncle dug up and moved to a cemetery in Ft. Worth, saying he wasn't going to leave any of his family behind.

Another story that was written by a former ranch hand concerns Byron's desire to make Rhome, Texas the county seat of Wise County. After working to get the Ft. Worth-Denver railroad through the area, Byron decided that Rhome needed a post office. He tried in vain to get the post office in Decatur to move. Finally, one night after a few drinks, he and his ranch hands rode to Decatur with a large wagon, loaded the building up on the wagon and moved it back to Rhome. Of course, within a few days, the people of Decatur had found out who took the post office and moved it back.

He and several members of his family are buried in Oakwood Cemetery, an old historical cemetery in Fort Worth, Section 28, Lot 6, S5, with a number of other prominent Fort Worth and Texas founders. The cemetery is located on Grand and Gould and close to University Drive and the Jacksboro Highway (199). I believe that it is near the old cattle yards and livestock area in Fort Worth. His former home is located in a historical area of Fort Worth.

Source: Joann Rhome Herring

Texans in the Civil War
The General Store

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