Aragorn Storm Miller

FORMWALT, JOHN ALEXANDER (1820–1914). John Alexander Formwalt, farmer and Confederate officer, was born in Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, on April 22, 1820. He was the son of Jacob Formwalt and Rebecca (Troup) Formwalt. In December 1845 Formwalt married Courtney Lane McEwen in Ponotoc, Mississippi, and the couple produced five sons and two daughters. Formwalt traveled to California in 1849. He returned to the South and briefly lived in Mississippi before moving to the area of Anderson and Freestone counties in Texas in 1851. Eventually, he settled along Strouds Creek in Hood County.

After the outbreak of the Civil War, Formwalt volunteered for service in the Confederate Army. On October 16, 1861, he enlisted at Galveston as a private in Company C of the Tenth Texas Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to captain and assigned as commander of Company I of the Tenth Texas Infantry on January 16, 1862, at Millican in Brazos County. On January 11, 1863, at the battle of Arkansas Post, the Tenth Texas Infantry was captured, and Formwalt became a prisoner of war. He was moved to Camp Chase, Ohio, on January 30, 1863, and Fort Delaware, Delaware, on April 12, before being exchanged at City Point, Virginia, on April 29. He was described as six feet, two inches tall, with hazel eyes and dark hair. After the regiment was reorganized in Tullahome, Tennessee, Formwalt returned to service. During the battles of Atlanta and Franklin, in July and November 1864 respectively, he took command of the regiment in place of wounded superiors. He was slightly wounded at Franklin on November 30. On January 17, 1865, he was sent to a hospital after suffering from diarrhea and was sent to Uniontown. On April 9, 1865, Formwalt was promoted to major and placed in command of a consolidated Texas unit consisting of the Tenth Texas Infantry and remnants of the Sixth and Fifteenth Texas Infantry regiments. He surrendered this unit near Greensboro, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865.

After receiving parole, Formwalt returned to Hood County, where he lived in Granbury and worked in the mercantile business and as a farmer. Around this time, his wife died. On December 25, 1882, Formwalt married Annie Lacy Powers in Palestine, Texas. In the late 1890s he served as town magistrate for Granbury, and by 1900 he served as justice of the peace for precinct one in Hood County. He applied for a pension in Granbury on February 2, 1909, which was approved on August 31, 1909. As of 1910 he was retired and living in Granbury on his own income. Formwalt died in Granbury, Texas, on January 11, 1914, and was buried next to his second wife at Granbury Cemetery.


Tommye Hiler, contributor, "Confederate Veterans Roster: Hood County, Texas," Hood County Texas Genealogical Society (, accessed March 10, 2011. Terry Humble, "Major John Alexander Formwalt & the Tenth Texas Infantry," Hood County Texas Genealogical Society (, accessed March 10, 2011. Dallas Morning News, May 7, 1900; April 27, 1910; April 24, 1913.

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Aragorn Storm Miller, "FORMWALT, JOHN ALEXANDER," accessed May 24, 2019,

Uploaded on April 1, 2011. Modified on April 6, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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