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FERRELL, STEPHEN C. (1831–1868). Stephen C. Ferrell (Ferrill) was born in Alabama around 1831, the son of Hiram P. and Mornen Ferrell. Prior to the war he farmed in Bastrop County. He enlisted in the Confederate service on September 7, 1861, at Houston and was elected as the original captain of Company D, the "Bastrop Rangers," of the Eighth Texas Cavalry. This company was recruited largely from Bastrop, with contingents from Hays, Travis, and Burleson counties. Ferrell filled the muster roll for "Terry's Texas Rangers" within a week. He ran against John A. Wharton for regimental colonel after the deaths of Benjamin Franklin Terry and Thomas Saltus Lubbock but was decisively defeated. He received a furlough shortly after Shiloh, due to ill health, but returned to the regiment before the Kentucky campaign. Ferrell was promoted to the rank of major on October 9, 1862, after Marcus L. Evans was killed at Perryville, and to lieutenant colonel on November 18, 1862. From December 1862 to March 1863, Ferrell was in Texas and away from the unit, but in April 1863 he led a force that captured about $100,000 in greenbacks from a railcar. On May 29, 1863, G. L. MacMurphy recorded in his diary that Ferrell had been "arrested a few days ago for drunkenness & is to be Court Martialed at Tullahoma." In June 1863, according to the regiment's chaplain, Robert Franklin Bunting, he was compelled to resign on account of ill health. Ferrell was suffering from an ulceration of the rectum as the result of years of diarrhea. He died in Fayette County, Texas, on November 4, 1868.


Thomas W. Cutrer, Our Trust is in the God of Battles: The Civil War Letters of Robert Franklin Bunting, Chaplain, Terry's Texas Rangers, C.S.A. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2006). Flake’s Bulletin, November 14, 1868. Leonidas B. Giles, Terry's Texas Rangers (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1911). Marcus J. Wright, comp., and Harold B. Simpson, ed., Texas in the War, 1861–1865 (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1965).

Tom Cutrer


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Tom Cutrer, "FERRELL, STEPHEN C," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 27, 2015. Uploaded on April 15, 2011. Modified on July 20, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.