Los Angeles, CA
newspaper account of
Pvt. James F. Rush
ODD WAR RECORD
SOLDIER IN TWO ARMIES
James F Rush Has Had Thrilling
When the marriage of James F. Rush of the Soldiers Home to Sophia Lilly of Sawtelle was solemnized December 29 at the Lilly residence few, if any, of the immediatte friends knew that behind the bridegroom's modest demeaner was hidden a life story of unusual events similar to a page from a book of adventure.
Rush has the distiction of having served in both the Union and Confederate armies
Born in Mississippi of parents who at the time of the secession of that state, were of decidedly Union proclivities, it was not singular that young Rush should evade inducements to enter the Confederate army. There came a day, however, when he was drafted, and with other conscripts was sent to the front, where he was forced to face as foes those whom he would regard as friends.
When drafted into the Coinfederate army he was assigned to Company A seventh Mississippi infantry, and his chief service was in the army of East Tennessee, (Should read: Armt of Tennessee, JR) commanded variously by Bragg and Hood, to Chalmers Brigade of Wither's division.
In the autumn of 1865 (Should be autumn 1864, JR) he was taken prisoners by the Yankees and with other prisoners was taken to historic Camp Chase, Ohio, where he was released in the spring of 1865, and for the first time found an opportunity to manifest his loyalty to the Union by enlisting in the United States army, where he served in cocompany B, fifth United States artillery, from April 1865 until mustered out by General Order October, 1866.
After this he removed to the western states, where he procurred a position. In those anti-railroad days , with the Southern overland mail route of Barlow & Saunderson, whose stage lines extended from Missouri to Santa Fe. In this employment he continued a nuber of years.
These were the days when behind each rock or shrub, or, if on the plains, behind each clump of grass one might look for a lurking red man, whose hand was ever against the intrusive white.
Many thrilling tales of sudden attack and narrow escapes marked his experience in this period of his life, and to Providence alone, he says, is due the fact that his scalp did not decorate the wigwam of some Indian.
"Once", he said, " it was along in the fall of 67, as a cowpuncher, I was out alone when seven Indians rode down upon me., and owing to the fact that my horse had gone lame from the bite of a rattlesnake and was therefore useless I feared my last hour had come. For and hour or more I managed to keep them off, and was beginning to despair when Capt. Greenleaf of the United States Survey rode into view and the redskins fled".
"While driving home on the mail route I arrived at Great Bend to find out that Dick Kitchen, who had preceded me, was the sole survivor of twenty nine men who been killed by the savages the day before".
Mr. Rush has been employed as a gardener at the Soldiers Home for a number of years, and now, at 65 years of age, marries for the first time.
Mrs. Rush was a widow. She has three daughters.
NOTES: According to Census records James Rush was previously married in Franklin County Mississippi on the 28th of June 1860 to Ms. Pernicia Foster. Still going by census records, this marriage ended in divorce. James F. Rush later was employed on the legendary "JA Ranch" in Armstrong County, Texas. This ranch is still very active today and has it's own website, complete with historic photographs. CLICK HERE to view this "JA Ranch" website.
Whether or not the newpaper was misinformed or James Rush told a fib about his never being married before 1865 is unknown but James' claim to have been forced into the Confederate army seems shaky at best. His Confederate service record states he enlisted at Bay St. Louis on December 1, 1861 by Captain D. H. Parker of company E, 7th Mississippi Infantry. This enlistment predates any Confederate draft by severall months so if he was forced into enlisting it must have been pressure from home or neighbors or at least in his own social circle.
Thanks to Jeff Giambrone for discovering this article and for sharing it with us.
Thanks to MItchell Sanders for providing the census information and information on James Rush's Confederate & Union service records.