And now you know: The last Rebel soldier in Orange

Published 8:42 am Saturday, November 4, 2017

By Mike Louviere

On Monday. November 8, 1937, Reverend J.C. Camp died in Orange.

Camp was the last veteran of the Confederate army living in Orange County. At age 94, he was also the oldest citizen of Orange County.

He was born in 1843, in the vicinity of Macon, in northern Georgia. In 1862 he enlisted in the 26th Alabama Regiment under the command of Colonel O’Neal. He served with the 26th Alabama for the remainder of the war. For a short time, he had been a member of a military band. On three occasions, he had been wounded, including being shot in both legs at the Battle of Malvern Hill.

Camp had several interesting stories about his war service, including one about “rescuing” General Robert E. Lee. Lee had dropped the reins of his horse when the horse became frightened. Camp grabbed the reins and calmed the horse.

He was proud of his honorable discharge from the Confederate army and stayed active in various veterans organizations throughout his lifetime.

At the age of 19, he had been married in Oglethorpe, Georgia. Later, they moved to northern Alabama where he became a Methodist minister in the North Alabama Conference. He was elected to the Alabama State Legislature and served two terms.

Deciding to move west, the Camp family moved to Texas and settled in Cass County, near Daingerfield. He had several business ventures including saw milling, merchandising, and farming.

He served as a part time pastor and often preached at Sunday services. In the early 1920s, they moved to Orange and opened a store in the Cove area.

In Orange, he joined the Walter P. Lane Camp of the United Confederate Veterans.

He said he “watched his comrades depart until the ranks were reduced to himself.”

Two years before he died he attended the funeral of one of his comrades, Judge George H. Hubbard. “Well, I have watched my comrades as they disappeared through the years not knowing which one would be next, now the story is plain, I must be the next one,” he remarked.

Camp was survived by two daughters, Mrs. Theta Hargis and Mrs. Nola Reese, both living in Orange. He also was survived by a daughter living in Corsicana and a son living in Daingerfield, a brother and sister, 28 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren.

A funeral service was held in Orange, the old veteran was buried in Daingerfield. With his death an era ended in Orange, the last Confederate soldier was gone.


“And now you know…”