TOUCHSTONE, ALEXANDER LaFAYETTE (1848 ~ 1921). Confederate veteran Alexander L. Touchstone was born in Arkansas in 1848.
Touchstone enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1863, joining his father and future father-in-law in the same regiment. He was assigned to Colonel John C. Wright's Cavalry Regiment, under the leadership of Brigadier-General James F. Fagan.
Wright's Cavalry Regiment was organized in Little Rock, Arkansas in the summer of 1863. On April 17, 1864, Fagan received word of a large wagon train of Union supplies heading to Camdon Arkansas, and was asked to send troops to disrupt the supply lines. Wright's unit was selected, along with two other brigades. On April 18, 1864, more than 5,000 Confederate soldiers surprised the comparable Union force from all sides. Many of the Union forces fled north and eventually made their way back to Camdon. The Union soldiers lost 200 corn-laden wagons, along with a thousand or more mules. The Confederates took 100 wounded prisoners, four pieces of artillery, and hundreds of rifles. Union casualties totaled 300 while the Confederate brigades lost 115. The engagement was later know as the battle of Poison Springs.
Four days later, Confederate forces learned another wagon train leaving Camdon for Pine Bluff, in an attempt to re-supply the Union troops. Fagan ordered 4,000 cavalry to destroy the supply line. On April 25, 1864, there was an engagement at Mark's Mill. The entire Federal force, except for fleeing cavalry, surrendered. More then 1,000 men where captured and another 500 lay dead or wounded. The Confederate force also collected the entire train of 300 wagons. In a report written by Confederate Brigadier-General Joseph O. Shelby (about the two battles) he stated "I will say that Colonel John C. Wrights [Arkansas Brigade] and his officers and men fought well and gallantly."
Wright's Regiment of the Arkansas Cavalry disbanded just prior to the Arkansas surrender in June of 1865.
It is unclear when Touchstone moved to Texas. The first record of him in Texas is when he married Isabelle Elizabeth J. Gizzard, in Coryell County, Texas on October 30, 1873. They later farmed in Bell County, Texas. Touchstone o moved tAustin where his wife died on March 16, 1913. She was buried in Oakwood Cemetery on March 17, 1913.
After the death of his wife, Touchstone lived with his eldest daughter in Taylor, Texas. He moved back to Austin on September 1, 1919 when he was admitted into the Confederate Men's Home.
Touchstone remained there until his death on July 1, 1921 and was buried at the Texas State Cemetery the following day.
The Touchstones had five children. James Henry Touchstone was born on September 1, 1874 and later married an Ada Kathryn Smith and died on October 6, 1963. He was buried two days later at the Capitol Memorial Gardens in Austin. John Morgan Touchstone was born on August 26, 1876, and married an Annie Estell Smith. He died in 1945 and was buried in Phillips Cemetery in Dripping Springs, Texas. Martha Bell Touchstone was born in October of 1885 and married a Frank Hauer. She died on September 15, 1953 and was buried in Wichita Falls, in Wichita County, Texas. Harry L. Touchstone was born in March of 1896 and married a woman named Teresa, whose maiden name is not known. He died on November 3, 1918 and was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas. The Touchstones had one more daughter by the name of Swan Touchstone, who was born in 1878 and she died before 1900.
Information taken from: National Parks Service at http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/; "Confederate Military History" edited by Robert S. Bridgers, records obtained by the Confederated Home Roster, and by records obtained from the Touchstone family.