MAGEE, FELIX WINCHESTER (1845~1924) Felix Winchester Magee, Jr., Confederate veteran, was born April 9, 1845, in Grimes County, Texas, to Felix Winchester and M. C. Magee, both of whom were from Mississippi. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Felix, who was only 16 years old, enlisted in Company D, 12th Regiment, Texas Infantry, on January 17, 1862.
The 12th Regiment, which was also known as the 8th Infantry and Young's Regiment, was organized and mustered into Confederate service in Waco and was assigned to Colonels Overton C. Young's and Thomas Neville Waul's Brigades in the Trans-Mississippi Department. However, before he had an opportunity to participate in any of the regiments' engagements, Felix was discharged from the service on July 17, 1862. Even though he had enlisted for a year, it is believed that, at 17 years old, he was too young to serve in the Army and was discharged upon the realization of his age.
The next year, on his 18th birthday, April 9, 1863, Felix reenlisted. This time he joined his father's unit, Captain George W. Durant's Company, which later became known as Company B, Madison's Regiment, Texas Cavalry; the 3rd Regiment, Arizona Brigade; Phillips' Regiment; and the 3rd Texas Cavalry Regiment, Arizona Brigade. The Arizona Brigades, numbers one through four, were originally formed to recapture the Confederate Territory of Arizona, which had been lost by General John Robert Baylor in 1862, but, instead, were used to defend East Texas' rich cotton lands from the encroachment of Union General Nathaniel P. Banks' Red River Campaign.
Felix, and the men of the 3rd Regiment, under the command of Colonel Joseph Phillips, participated in numerous battles, including those at Donaldsonville, June 28, 1863; Cox's plantation, July 12 - 13, 1863; Stirling's Plantation, September 29, 1863; Bayou Bourbeau, November 3, 1863; and those in the Red River Campaign, which included Wilson's Farm, April 7, 1864; Sabine Crossroads, or Mansfield, April 8, 1863; and Pleasant Hill, April 9, 1863.
Since only a few pages of Felix's Compiled Military Service Records are available, it is difficult to discern in which battles he participated. However, after successfully preventing General Banks from invading Texas, the men of the Arizona Brigades returned to Texas, where they were ultimately surrendered by General E. Kirby Smith. Felix, who had worked his way through the ranks to a sergeant, was paroled on July 11, 1865, in Millican, Brazos County, Texas.
After returning from the War, Felix married Miss Amanda E. Smith on February 14, 1869. Amanda, who was born March 29, 1848, in Butler County, Alabama, had come to Texas in 1855, most likely with her parents. Shortly after their marriage, according to the 1870 Census, they had one child, Sarah, who was born in 1869. However, she was not listed among their five other children in the 1880 Census. The 1880 Census also listed Felix and Amanda as living in Brazos County, Texas, where he was working as a farmer and she was keeping house. By this time, they had five children: Emma, who was born in 1870; William E., who was born in 1872; Mary A., who was born in 1874; Byron, who was born in 1876; and Ida M., who was 14 months old.
By 1884, it appears that Felix and Amanda had returned to Grimes County, as he was appointed Postmaster of the Darby community on April 23, 1884. However, this may not be Felix, Jr. Since he and his father shared the same name, it could quite possibly have been Felix, Sr. The 1900 Census, listed a Benjamin Franklin Polk and his children as living with Felix and Amanda. Polk, who was listed as a widower, had been married to Felix's daughter, Emma. They were married in Grimes County on November 5, 1890.
In 1905, at age 60, Felix successfully applied for a Confederate Pension from the State of Texas. Claiming that he was no longer able to work, he eventually, by 1920, moved in with his grandson, Ruble E. Polk, and his family. This information was taken from the 1920 Census, which also stated that he was a widower. This, however, appears to be incorrect, as Amanda was still living after Felix passed away in 1924.
Eventually, due to his advanced age, Felix went to Austin to live in the Texas Confederate Home. Amanda, who was also eligible to live in the Home, stayed in Singleton. After moving into the Home on September 24, 1923, Felix remained there until his death, on May 23, 1924. He was buried soon after in the Texas State Cemetery.
As stated earlier, Amanda continued to live in Grimes County, where she successfully applied to receive Felix's Confederate pension from the State of Texas. Unfortunately, her death date and burial location are currently unknown.
Information taken from: National Park Service website, http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss; 12th Texas Confederate Infantry Regiment website, http://www.bauer.uh.edu/parks/tex/irg0120.html; Compiled Military Service Record; Heroes and Renegades: A History of the Arizona Brigade, C. S. A., by Robert P. Perkins at http://members.tripod.com/~azrebel/page14.html; 1850, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 United States Census; Grimes County Genealogical website, http://www.rootsweb.com/~txgrimes/; F. W. Magee Confederate Pension Application, #11290, Confederate Home Roster; Amanda Magee Widow's Application for a Pension #39973; F. W. Magee, Sr. Confederate Pension Application #1701; and information provided by Mr. Temple Pouncey.