|Nathaniel J. Caraway served as a major in the 11th Texas Infantry until his death on May 10, 1864.
He was born in 1835 in Mississippi, the son of Vestal and Eliza Young Caraway. On December 20, 1855, he married Mary Ann Speights in Hemphill, Texas. Four children were born of the marriage: Vestal H. (born 1857), L.E.R. (born 1859), Clara (born 1862) and Nathaniel J., Jr. (born November 28, 1864, a little more than six months after the death of his father)
Captain N.J. Caraway' s Company was mustered into the 11th Texas Infantry by Col. O.M. Roberts on Febreuary 17, 1862 in Hemphill, Texas. He was elected major on April 9, 1862.
As part of Randal's Brigade, Walker's Division, Major Caraway and his regiment were heavily engaged in numerous actions in Arkansas and Louisiana, including the battles of Bayou Bourbeau, Mansfield, and Pleasant Hill.
On April 30,1864, Major Caraway was mortally wounded during the futile confederate charges at the Battle of Jenkin's Ferry in Arkansas. Captured on the field by union troops, he was taken to a hospital in or near Little Rock. He died on May 10, 1864. His slave was allowed by federal authorities to take his horse, saber, and scabbard back to his widow, Mary Ann, in Hemphill.
The saber and scabbard have been passed down to the firstborn son in the direct line of descent, beginning with William Vestal Caraway.
Major Caraway was originally in Company F of his regiment. The sargeant of the company was Caraway's brother-in-law, Green William Speights. Sargeant Speights survived the war and is buried in Hemphill, Texas.
Mary Ann Speights Caraway eventually moved to Logansport, Louisiana. She died in 1910 and is buried in Logansport near her youngest child, Nathaniel J. Caraway, Jr. Nathaniel J. Caraway, Jr. founded N.J. Caraway general store in Logansport, which has been in continuous operation ever since.
Major Caraway's middle name is believed to be Jackson.
Caraway's younger brother was William Rutillous Caraway, who served in the 27th Texas Cavalry until its surrender in May, 1865. After the war, he returned home to Shelbyville, Texas and eventually moved to Logansport, Louisiana, where he died in 1920.
Texans in the Civil War