Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MAXEY, Samuel Bell, soldier, born in Tompkinsville, Monroe County, Kentucky, 30 March, 1825. His family was of Huguenot descent, and came to Kentucky from Virginia, and his father, Rice Maxey, was clerk of the circuit court and county court of Clinton county. Samuel was graduated at the United States military academy in 1846, and assigned to the 7th infantry. During the Mexican war he served at the siege of Vera Cruz and the battle of Cerro Gordo, was brevetted 1st lieutenant for gallant conduct at Contreras and Churubusco, and was also at Molino del Rey and the capture of the city of Mexico. He was made commander of a picked company in the city guard by General Winfield Scott. After the war he was stationed at Jefferson barracks, but resigned on 17 September, 1849, and in 1850 began the practice of law at Albany, Clinton County, Kentucky He married in 1853, and in 1857 removed to Paris, Texas, where he practised until 1861. He had been brought up a Whig, but voted for John C. Breckinridge, and afterward for the secession of the state. He was elected to the state senate, but never took his seat. He raised the 9th Texas infantry, and joined General Albert Sidney Johnston in March, 1862, at Decatur, Alabama, whence he was sent to Chattanooga to collect and reorganize troops. In the mean time he had been made a brigadier-general. Maxey now served under Bragg, and assailed the rear of Buell's army on its retreat, driving it from Bridgeport, Battle Creek, and Stevenson, and making valuable captures. He was in the first siege of Port Hudson, when the National troops were repulsed, and was under General Joseph E. Johnston in the defence of Jackson, Mississippi In 1863 he was assigned to the command of Indian territory. He organized this military district, and put 8,000 or more men under arms. In 1864, with these troops, he assisted General Sterling Price at Prairie Danne, and at Poison Springs, 18 April, 1864, he fought General Frederick Steele, and captured his entire train of 227 wagons, thus compelling him to retreat. For these services he was made a major-general. He also acted as Indian agent during this period, and directed important military movements. After the war General Maxey resumed the practice of law at his home, and was appointed a judge, but declined. In 1874 he was elected to the United States senate, took his scat, 5 March, 1875, and was re-elected on 25 January, 1881. He has served on the committee on territories, military affairs, and on labor and education, and as chairman of that on post-offices, he has endeavored to protect the frontier and secure its peace and safety, to grant liberal appropriations for rivers and harbors and other internal improvements, to procure greater postal facilities, and to increase our foreign trade by generous subsidies to steamship-lines. His bills first asserted the right of way through the Indian territory, which was afterward obtained for the railroads through that region. General Maxey has favored revenue reform, and regards a protective tariff as unconstitutional and oppressive.
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