John William Lynch, born January 21, 1848 in Wayne County Kentucky, moved to Texas in 1853. He enlisted in Hunt County Texas on July 25, 1863 at the age of 15 in Colonel Alexander W. Tessel’s 34th Texas Calvary.
Private Lynch was assigned to B. Company, commanded by Captain George W. Cooper. He joined his company at Wow Texas, which was on detached duty from the regiment to run down deserters in that regiment. This duty began on August 9, 1863 and ended in early January 1864. The company was very successful in this operation, catching many deserters.
Company B rejoined the regiment at Camp Dixie near Whorton, Texas on January 10, 1864. At the time General Richard Taylor called on the “Texas Horses” to help counter the invasion of Texas by Union forces, under the command of General Nathaniel P. Banks. The regiment marched into Louisiana and was in position along the Sabine River by April 3, 1864.
The regiment had not received any formal military training because of the many detached duties and lack of equipment. Most of the men assigned to the 34th Regiment had already had a lot of training fighting Comanches. Most, as research indicates, were good marksmen and woodmen.
Private Lynch was a participant in the following battles: Monsfield Ore (Sabine Crossroads) April 8, 1864; Pleasant Hill, April 9, 1864; Blair’s Londiry, April 11, 1864; Bayou Boew, May 2, 1864; Le Compte, May 7, 1864; Yellow Bayou, May 18, 1864; Mayns Ferry, August 25 and September 17, 1864; and Atchofaloyn, October 17, 1864.
The regiment parted at the Wonte near Alexandria, Louisiana, moving to Brand Ecore in February 1865. During this period, Colonel Terrel was reprimanded by General Taylor for allowing his troops to plunder the country side.
Robert E. Lee surrendered in Virginia on April 9, 1865. The regiment received work on April 19, 1864. A few days later, they signed payrolls and departed for Texas. On May 14, 1865, at Wild Cot Bluff, the 34th disbanded and went home. John Lynch returned to his home a combat veteran at the age of 17 and to a very worried mother.
The Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana Confederate forces fought the Union forces to a stand still in the Campaign. General Bond’s army was in retreat to New Orleans when the war ended. One thousand men were killed, captured or wounded in the campaign. Although these battles have been greatly neglected by historians, the soldiers were just as dead and the fighting just as furious as in the famous battles east of the Mississippi.
Note: The National Archives have the 34th Texas Calvary listed as the 37th. They were also known as “Wild Horsemen of the Plains.”
John William Lynch married Sarah Ann, born March 21, 1856. He died December 6, 1925 and she died June 25, 1926. Their son, Ira Veston (born November 4, 1887, Hunt County Texas; died February 16, 1967) married Betty Imogene Adams (born May 6, 1896 at Chalk Hill, Texas to A. A. Adams and Melinda Elizabeth Leach) on May 19, 1913. Betty died September 2, 1974.
Lonnie Lynch, son of Ira and Betty, was born on November 17, 1932 in Hale Center, Texas. He married Barbara Hull, born March 25, 1935 in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee. Barbara was the daughter of Arthur Franklin Hull (born 24, 1910 in Sweetwater, Tennessee to William M. and Betty S. Hull) and Christine Lawson, born February 1918 in Rome, Floyd County, Georgia to William Lawson. Arthur died in Rossville, Walker County, Georgia on February 19, 1953 and Christine died on April 3, 1992 in Rossville.
My mother is Daiona Lynch, born July 25, 1957 to Lonnie and Barbara Hull Lynch. She married my father, William Keith Owens, born in 1950 to Earl Edward Owens and Mable Crocker, on June 6, 1976.
Earl was born December 14, 1917 in Chattanooga and Mable was born July 16, 1911 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Earl’s parents were Charles Owens, born 1893 in Chattanooga and Berdie Jones, born 1890 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Mable’s parents were John Crocker, born 1885 in Chattanooga, and Frances Smith, born 1887 in Kentucky.
I am Ryan Keith Owens born on July 20, 1977 in Chattanooga. (Submitted by Ryan Keith Owens, Trenton, Georgia.)