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Robert Thomas Fleming

1836 Birth, St Clair Co., IL

1859 Marriage, Grayson Co., TX
Mary Marie Gilliam

1862 Military
34th Texas Cavalry, CSA

1870 Federal Census,
P4 Grayson Co., TX

R. T. Fleming 37
Margaret Fleming 31
Wm. A.Fleming 10
John T. Fleming 9
Lucinda Fleming 4
Walter H.Fleming 1

1880 Federal Census,
P4 Grayson Co., TX

R.T. Fleming 44
Mary M. Fleming 41
William A. Fleming 20
John T. Fleming 18
Mary L. Fleming 14
Walter H. Fleming 11
Martha E. Fleming 5
W.T. Chaffin 16 (nephew)
L.T. Collins 8M (nephew)

1883 Death, Grayson Co., TX
Burial Virgina Point Cemetery

Robert Thomas Fleming

Last updated 16 Feb 2009

RT Fleming
Photo courtesy of Aulena Scearce Gibson

Mary Gilliam
Photo courtesy of Joanne Harrison Heatley


Robert Thomas Fleming was born 1836 in St. Clair, IL and died 1883 in Grayson Co., TX. Robert was the youngest son of Robert Fleming, Sr., and Mary Gourley.

According to a family history written by Zora Fleming Youree, granddaughter of R. T. Fleming (transcribed to disk by Aulena Scearce Gibson, who is the source for much of the Fleming family history): "Robert Thomas and his brother William came to Fannin Co. (now Grayson Co. TX) about 1853 from St. Clair Co., IL when R. T. was 17. Louisa and her husband Riley Chaffin and Dupuy family were also traveling with them. Brothers George and Fielder came to TX later. Fielder died early and was buried south of the house. Fielder had a son Ike [Isaac Newton Fleming] living in Aurora, MO."

R. T. married Mary Marie Gilliam on 10 Feb 1859 in Grayson Co., TX. Mary, born in 1840 in MO, was the daughter of John E. Gilliam and Nancy C. Wallace, formerly of Scott Co., MO.

The Flemings were members of the Virginia Methodist Church, which was founded in 1837 by early settlers and is the oldest Methodist church in continuous service in North Texas.

History of Virginia Point

From Virginia Point Church web site

Virginia Point Church
The Virginia Point Methodist Church wasestablished
1837. It was rebuilt approximately 1860 after
a fire destroyed the original structure.

Virginia Point Church
The church pulpit and pews were made of pinewood.
The pulpit and a few of the pews are still in use today.

According to the church history, small group of pioneer families came from Virginia to Fort Warren, TX in 1834. Fort Warren was on the Red River just south of present Fannin County on the Fannin-Grayson county line. The settlers moved 12 miles northwest to what is now Dennison. They bought land from the few cattlemen who inhabited the area. The settlement eventually became known as Virginia Point because the surrounding landscape reminded the settlers of Virginia. They built a church/school across Sandy Creek, directly west of the existing church. The structure and the seats were made from hand-hewn logs and the floor was of the earth.

The church records show that John B. Denton delivered the first sermon in 1837. Denton was a pioneer circuit preacher, lawyer, and Texas leader. Denton was killed in an Indian battle in 1841, while serving as chaplain in Brig. Gen. Edward H. Tarrant's Fourth Brigade, TX Militia. Denton County and the city of Denton were named in his honor (

In 1844, soldiers passing through the area asked to spend the night in the building because one of them was very ill. The man died and was buried near the church. This is believed to be the first burial in the Virginia Point Methodist Church Cemetery. When it was learned that the man died from small pox, the settlers burned the structure from fear of an epidemic.

Virginia Point Church
The Virginia Point Methodist Church Cemetery islocated
adjacent to the church. The first burial is believed to be
that of a soldier who spent the night in the sanctuary
and died of small pox.

Church services were then held in member's homes until the Illinois School was built. This log structure was located about three miles west of the original church building.

In 1860, a location was selected for the construction of a new church building. Andy B. Youree and his wife Athalia sold two acres of land to the church trustees for the sum of $1. The building committee consisted of E. H. Holland, H. A. Henry, B. F. Williams, John Gilliam, J. D. Pritchett, Andy B. Youree and Rev. S. J. Spotts. Rev. Spotts was one of the first pastors of the new church.

The church was built of lumber from a sawmill in Jefferson, Texas. R. T. Fleming and Riley Chaffin hauled the lumber by ox-teams. The oak logs used in the foundation were from the largest oak trees available in the Red River bottom.

Peter Turner, a local carpenter, supervised the construction and was assisted by members of the church. Mr. Turner also built a pulpit and straight back pews of pinewood. The pulpit and a few of the pews are still in use.

The church building is still used today. Minor changes have been made through the years for human comport and structural up-keep. An annex building was added next to the church in 1963. In 1965, the church was honored with a Texas Historical Marker for being the oldest church in Fannin County. Most recently, Marie Youree donated stained glass windows in remembrance of her husband, Bill Youree, who died in 1994. He was the great grandson of William Newton Youree and Anna E. Pritchett.

Civil War

On 1 Mar 1862 in Bonham, TX, Robert Fleming and Riley Chaffin enlisted as privates in the Company E, 34th Cavalry of Texas (also known as 2nd Regiment Texas Partisan Rangers and Alexander's Regiment Texas Cavalry). According to Confederate muster records obtained by Aulena Scearce Gibson, Robert was enlisted by Captain J. R. Russell for three years.

Texas Confederate Flag
Texas flag, Confederacy 1861-1865

Battle of Yellow Bayou

Yellow Bayou Memorial Park

R. T. Fleming was wounded in the Battle of Yellow Bayou, near New Orleans, LA, on May 18, 1864. In a narrative about the R. T. Fleming family history, Zora Fleming Youree wrote:

"Our Grandfather Fleming was wounded in a battle in the Civil War near Mansfield LA, having on a heavy homespun shirt being so strong the musket ball and shirt went into the lung." According to Zora, the weight of the fabric kept the musket ball from penetrating his lung, allowing him to pull out the bullet along with the fabric.

The Battle of Yellow Bayou, also known as Norwood's Plantation, was a strategic victory for the Union when the Confederate army failed to prevent the Federals from crossing Atchafalaya River at Simmesport, LA. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Prisoner of War

Civl War records obtained by Aulena Scearce Gibson

According to a Roll of Prisoners dated 21 May 1864, R. T. Fleming was captured by Union forces near Yellow Bayou, LA on May 18, 1864. The Union forces were under the command of Brig. General Jos. A. Mower. He remained a prisoner of war until 22 Jul 1864 when he was exchanged at Red River Landing.

RT Fleming War Record

Sarah Dupuy Outhouse

Sara Dupuy Outhouse
Photo courtesy of Weldon Fleming

After his release in 1864, R. T. Fleming returned home to his family at Virginia Point, TX in ill health due to his musket wound, which had not fully healed. Zora Fleming Youree wrote: "The doctors told him if he's go to a warm climate during winter maybe he'd get over it so Papa [William Archie Fleming] equipped a wagon with bed and camping equipment and went to San Marcos, Texas being a month on the road and stayed 3 months to no avail. His half sister Aunt Sarah [Dupuy] Outhouse lived there."

Sarah Elizabeth Dupuy, born 1 Apr 1845 in St. Clair Co., IL, was the daughter of William Dupuy, Mary Fleming's second husband and R. T.'s stepfather. Sarah Dupuy married Jefferson Davis Outhouse about 1860.

Robert stayed with Sarah Outhouse for three months but never fully recovered and returned home to Virginia Point. He died of complications of his war injury in 1883 at age 47. R. T. is buried in the Virginia Point Cemetery, adjacent to the Virginia Point Methodist Church in Grayson Co., TX. After Robert's death, on 17 Oct 1886 Mary married George W. Pierce. Mary died Mary died 14 Jul 1907 and is buried in the Virginia Point Cemetery.


Descendants of Robert Thomas Fleming

ROBERT THOMAS FLEMING was born 1836 in St Clair Co., IL, and died 1883 in Grayson Co., TX. He married MARY MARIE GILLIAM 10 Feb 1859 in Grayson Co., TX, daughter of JOHN GILLIAM and NANCY WALLACE. Mary was born 1840 in MO, and died 14 Jul 1907 in Grayson Co., TX.


  1. WILLIAM ARCHIE FLEMING, b. 07 Mar 1860, Grayson Co., TX; d. 06 Apr 1928, Grayson Co., TX.
  2. JOHN THOMAS FLEMING, b. 1862, Grayson Co., TX; m. M. FLEMING.
  3. MARY LUCINDA FLEMING, b. 30 May 1866, Grayson Co., TX; d. 11 Jun 1896; m. JEFFERSON DAVIS DIXON; b. 1862.
  4. WALTER HENRY FLEMING, b. 27 Oct 1867, Grayson Co., TX; d. 01 Aug 1945, Dallas Co., TX.
  5. LIZZIE FLEMING, b. 1869, Grayson Co., TX; d. 1888, Grayson Co., TX.
  6. MARTHA ELIZABETH FLEMING, b. 1875, Grayson Co., TX.