He served with Company H, 1st Missouri Cavalry, Confederate, as a private. He
enlisted for duty on December 27, 1861 at Green County, Missouri, for a period
of 12 months. His enrollment papers were signed by Colonel Alonzo W. Slayback.
The 1st Missouri Cavalry was enlisted on December 30, 1861, with the majority of men being transferred from the Missouri State Guard. This company was one of a number of Confederate forces engaged at “The Battle of Pea Ridge” (also known as The Battle of Elkhorn Tavern) against the Union forces. This Battle was fought on March 7 and 8, 1862 in the northwest corner of Arkansas near Bentonville.
For a week after the battle, the Confederates retreated, passing through Huntsville, then turning toward Van Buren, Arkansas. Hundreds of cold, hungry, and discouraged soldiers deserted or staggered back with blood dripping from their wounds. Finally on March 16, they reached Van Buren, weak, broken down and exhausted. Here they remained for the rest of the month, reorganizing, reinforcing and recuperating. Casualties at Pea Ridge were reported as between 800 and 1,000 dead or wounded, plus 200-300 missing.
According to Confederate Service Record Documents, Houston died near Van Buren, Arkansas in April 1862. An official grave does not exist for him. It is believed he was buried in a common or mass grave near this location. The official cause of death is unknown.
This grave marker is placed next to his son Rufus, who was three years old at the time of his father’s death.
By Dallas John Riedesel
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