West Point, New York, United States
Samuel Maxey graduated fifty-eighth in a class of fifty-nine from the United States Military Academy in 1846.
Samuel Maxey attended common schools and graduated fifty-eighth in a class of fifty-nine from the United States Military Academy in 1846.
Samuel Bell Maxey fought at Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo and was breveted first lieutenant during the Mexican War before resigning his commission to go to Kentucky in 1849.
He studied law in Paris, Texas, and was admitted to the bar in Kentucky in 1850, beginning his law practice in Albany, Kentucky. From 1852 to 1856, he was a clerk of county and circuit courts and master of chancery for Clinton County. In 1857, he moved to Paris, Texas, and joined the Democratic party.
He was a district attorney for Lamar County in 1858-1859, and in 1861, he declined a seat in the Texas Senate in order to join the Confederate Army. When the Civil War began, Maxey raised the 9th Regiment of Texas Infantry, of which he was a colonel. He was promoted to brigadier general on March 7, 1862.
In 1863, he fought at Port Hudson, Mississippi, with General Joseph E. Johnston and at Chattanooga. On December 11, 1863, he was given command of the Indian Territory. Maxey reorganized and trained the Indian troops into an efficient fighting force during the Red River campaign of 1864.
General Kirby Smith subsequently recommended Maxey for promotion to major general, but the position was never granted. There is no record of his surrender. After the war, Maxey returned to his law practice in Paris.
He declined judicial appointment to the Eighth District of Texas in 1873. He was also active in postwar Democratic party politics. From 1875 until he lost a bid for reelection in 1887, Maxey served as a Democrat in the United States Senate where he often supported farms for western Indians.
Maxey supported Native Americans when he served in the United States Senate and was an outspoken advocate of Indian rights.
Maxey married Marilda Cassa Denton on July 19, 1853.