Archibald (Archer) Thomas Cohea
Private, Company F, 4th Texas Infantry
Private Archibald, or “Archer” as some of his records indicate, was born in Robertson County, TN in 1828. He moved with his brother Adley to Yalobusha County, MS about 1840, married Nancy Caraway, and had seven children. Leaving his brother behind, he would later move to Gonzales, Texas with the Caraway family.
On March 14, 1862, at the age of 42, Archer left his wife and children, ranging in age from 10 months to 13 years, and enlisted in Halletsvile, TX with Co F, “the Mustang Grays”, of the 4th Texas. His records show that he enlisted along with thirteen others by an officer home on leave to recruit replacements for the regiment.
By May 6, 1864, he would have been a veteran in his company. He had participated in the battles of Eltham’s Landing, Seven Pines, Gaines Mill, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Lookout Mountain, which seasoned him well.
According to the records, Pvt Cohea was wounded on the first day of battle at the Wilderness, thus placing him in Widow Tapp’s field with his unit, 4th Texas. This is about one veteran who enlisted for what he believed, leaving all, and, ultimately, giving all for it.
His wife’s pension application was approved and states the he was wounded at the Wilderness Battle and died two days later. The pension application includes a sworn statement by J B Polley, member of the4th Texas and witness to the wounding as well as a well-known author writing on Hood’s Texas Brigade. “He (Archibald) was wounded at the Wilderness in the arm so close to the shoulder that it could not be amputated, was carried to the field hospital, placed in a tent wit R W Murray of the same company, and died two days later. I was his nurse and saw him dead. He died in the night without a struggle”.
When asked if he personally knew Cohea, Murray said “I did, we fought side by side, and he died by my side in the same tent…I can’t say how many battles he was in or how many times he was wounded, but can safely say he joined as above stated and made a good and faithful soldier”.
Private Archibald Cohea, we hope, was one of the four “unknown” listed on the Roster of Dead held by the UDC and removed from Pulliam’s Farm along with his other brigade members. So therefore we believe he was reinterred under the Confederate Monument in the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery beside his other “unknown” comrades.