By 1859, John Smith McCall and family had left Jackson County, Arkansas and relocated to Wise County, Texas. The family spent about a decade in Texas before returning to Arkansas and settling near the Kings River. Because of this decade in Texas, the family avoided direct involvement in the violence of the Civil War. Even so, both John McCall and his son George enlisted in the Texas State Troops at Decatur, Texas. The unit was tasked with maintaining order in unsettled times and as a defensive force if necessary.