Robert H. Cumby
Robert H. Cumby was born on August
24, 1824, in Charlotte County, Virginia. He was probably the son of Morgan and
Levicy (Tanner) Cumby of that county. In 1836 his family moved to Lafayette
County, Mississippi, where young Cumby grew to manhood and married. Moving to
Rusk County, Texas, in 1849, Cumby built up a large plantation, owning thirty
slaves in 1860. He was elected to represent Rusk County in the Eighth Texas
Legislature, in which he served from 1859 to 1861.
On May 7, 1861, Cumby organized an infantry company at Henderson, Texas, and was elected its captain. When orders came to join the army, the orders called for a cavalry unit, so the would-be footsloggers found horses and turned troopers. The company rode to Dallas, and there became Company B of the 3rd Texas Cavalry. The 3rd served under General Ben McCulloch in Arkansas and Missouri in 1861 and early 1862. With his Rusk County company Cumby fought at the Battles of Wilson's Creek and Pea Ridge, particularly distinguishing himself at the former (his regimental commander reported his "great gallantry"'). During the Pea Ridge campaign Cumby's company led the army's advance on Bentonville and made a near-suicidal charge to break up a Union ambush, but in the battle itself they were not seriously engaged. After Pea Ridge the 3rd, along with the rest of McCulloch's division, was transferred to northern Mississippi. Upon the reorganization of the 3rd on May 20, 1862, Cumby was elected colonel. However, on June 12, 1862, he resigned his commission and returned home to Texas. Disabled with chronic diarrhea, Cumby "was in bad health, and unable to assume the command." In 1864 Governor Pendleton Murrah of Texas appointed Colonel Cumby brigadier general of the 4th Brigade of Texas State Troops. He commanded these reserve forces till the end of the war.
After the war General Cumby removed to Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County, Texas, where he ran a grocery store until his retirement. Cumby died in Sulphur Springs on November 19, 1881, and is buried in the City Cemetery. The town of Cumby, Texas, is named after him.
Cumby's rank of general in the Texas state army qualifies him to be considered a Confederate general.
Reference: More Generals in Gray. Bruce S. Allardice. A companion volume to Generals in Gray. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.