JAMES BUCKNER (1821-1906). James Buckner (Buck) Barry, Texas Ranger, was born in
North Carolina on December 16, 1821, the son of Bryant Buckner and Mary (Murill)
Barry. He immigrated to Texas in 1841 and received a headright grant of 640
acres of land near Corsicana.
There he occupied himself, in his own words, with a "little farming and with a
great deal of hunting." Barry soon joined the Texas Rangers,
qv first as a member of an independent company at San Antonio
and then, from September 15 through December 15, 1845, as a member of Capt.
Thomas J. Smith's Robertson County Rangers. Barry then saw service with
Coffee Hays's qv company. He subsequently went
to work surveying headrights in the Robertson district. In 1846 he was elected
second sergeant of Capt.
Company K of Colonel Hays's First Regiment, Texas Mounted Riflemen, for service
in the Mexican War.qv He was wounded at the
storming of Monterrey on September 21, 1846, and mustered out of service on
October 2, 1846, of that year.
Barry returned to North Carolina, where, on February 24, 1847, he married
Sarah Anapolis Matticks. The couple eventually had six children. The family
returned to Texas and settled on Bazette Bluff on the Trinity River. For the
next ten years Barry was deeply involved in Indian fighting and was especially
outspoken as an advocate of the removal of the Comanches and Caddos from their
reservations on the upper Brazos River. In 1849 he was elected sheriff of
Navarro County and moved to Corsicana. In 1852 he was elected county treasurer
and in 1854 was reelected sheriff. In December 1855 he moved his family to
Bosque County, where he settled on the East Bosque River east of Meridian. He
owned about twenty slaves.
Barry served as a private in Lt. Dixon Walker's Mounted Volunteers in the
spring of 1860. In October he raised a company at Meridian that accompanied
Lawrence Sullivan Ross qv into Indian
Territory on the expedition responsible for the recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker.
qv During the same period he was the sergeant
of Allison Nelson's qv company of minutemen.
On January 10, 1861, Governor Sam Houston qv
issued Barry a commission as first lieutenant with authority to raise a company
at Fort Belknap for frontier defense. After secessionqv
Barry reenrolled his company into Confederate service in Col. Henry E.
's qv regiment and assisted in the removal of
federal garrisons from Texas frontier forts. Barry, from his headquarters at
Camp Cooper, continued to range the frontier from the Red River to the Rio
Grande throughout the Civil War,qv during
which he rose to lieutenant colonel. He also participated in the battle of Dove
Barry was an active member of the Grange. qv
He was elected in 1883 to the Twelfth Legislature, where he was presented "the
finest gun that could be bought" in appreciation of his service in protection of
the frontier. He worked in the interest of stock raisers and unsuccessfully
sought legislation to outlaw fence-cutting.qv
In 1898 he ran for state treasurer on the People's party qv
ticket but was defeated. He then retired to his ranch near Walnut Springs.
After the death of his first wife in 1862, Barry married Mrs. Martha Anne
Peveler Searcy at Fort Belknap, on July 14, 1865. They had three daughters and
one son. Barry became blind near the end of his life and died on December 16,
BIBLIOGRAPHY: James Buckner Barry Papers, Barker Texas History Center,
University of Texas at Austin. James Buckner Barry, Buck Barry, Texas Ranger
and Frontiersman, ed. James K. Greer (1932; new ed., Waco: Friends of the
Moody Texas Ranger Library, 1978; rpt., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press,
1984). Frances Terry Ingmire, comp., Texas Ranger Service Records, 1847-1900
(St. Louis, 1982).
Thomas W. Cutrer
"BARRY, JAMES BUCKNER." The Handbook of Texas Online.
Marker Title: James Buckner "Buck" Barry, C.S.A.
City: Walnut Springs
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: Walnut Springs Park, south side of town on SH 144, Walnut
Marker Text: (1821-1906) Came to Texas from North Carolina in 1845. Fought
in Mexican War and Indian campaigns. In the Civil War, commanded Confederate
cavalry regiment in Texas outposts from Red River to Fort McKavett. Camps were a
day's horseback ride apart. Patrols protected outer settlements and prevented
Indian attacks and threatened Federal invasion from Indian territory. Elected to
Texas Legislature 1883. Died on ranch near here. Left personal records of his
years in frontier defenses. (1964)
Biography as Sheriff of Navarro County, Texas
A Photo of Buck Barry can be found in the book
"Buck Barry, Texas Ranger and Frontiersman" by James K. Greer.
I have seen another photo in a back issue of the Elm Fork Echos (publication
of The Peters Colony Historical Society). ...elw
Buck Barry is buried in the Barry Family Cemetery just
outside of Walnut Springs. The cemetery is fenced and appears to be very
well maintained. It is, however, on private property and is posted.