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Full text of "Early settlers of Alabama"



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CORNELL 

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BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME 
OF THE SAGE ENDOWMENT 
FUND GIVEN IN 1 89 1 BY 

HENRY WILLIAMS SAGE 




James Edmonds Saunders. 
Born in Virginia 1806, Died 1896. 



EARLY SETTLERS OE ALABAMA. 



COL. JAMES EDMONDS SAUNDERS, 

LAWRENCE COUNTY, ALA. 



WITH 



NOTES AND GENEALOGIES, 



BY HIS GEAMDDAUGHTER, 



ELIZABETH SAUNDERS BLAIR STUBBS, 

NEW ORLEANS, LA. 



PART I. 



NEW ORLEANS: 

L. Graham & Son, Ltd., Printers, 207-211 Baronne St. 

1899. 



DEDICATION. 

«5* «5^ «£* 

TO TWO IN HEAVEN. 

«3^ «^* t£* 

In winter nights agone, two aged people sat beside December's waning fires- 
alone in the old home— while, without, the empty nests in the ancestral oake were 
swayed by shrill blasts. 

Their fledglings, too, had long since flown * * * 

While they sat thus communing, there was wont to enter a most quiet guestr— a 
gentle Palmer— who sang to them only songs of Home, and Friends, and fond 

Memories. At the enchantment of his presence they would smile and weep 

often smiling through their tears. 

Then the elder of the aged listeners— inspired by his Heavenly Guest — said gently 

to the other: "Take courage, dear Heart! I will here inscribe the old songs of 

Home, and Friends, and Fond Memories, ere they be lost and forgot! " 

And her answer, breathed like a prayer— while the dark -bright eyes shone far 

into the future, — " Aye, my love — It is well— 7 am comforted." Ever, then, he 

wrote, and sang a Melody of Life— and she was cheered through all the long days 

even to the great and solemn Night. 



INTRODUCTION. 

, {£* 1^6 <^*" i£* (^* 

Colonel Saunders began in the April numbers of the "Moulton Advertiser," 1880 (his 
county paper), a series of "letters" relating to the "Early Settlers of Lawrence 
County" (Ala.) and the Tennessee Valley. 

These articles, increasing, year after year, in scope and valuable material, soon 
overran their limit, exacting tributary data from neighboring counties, the State, ad- 
joining States, and only to pause in that dear "Mother of States" (which was his own) 
to note where the restless wave had tossed some immigrant ancestor of the sturdy lines 
of which he wrote. 

The stirring recital evokes, across the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, to Tennessee , 
Alabama, and Mississippi, the warrior-emigrant. His wandering line of white wagon- 
tops gleams in the sunrise of the Nineteenth Century. Old Virginia lies behind him. The 
Indian vanishes with the smoke-wreath of his rifle's breath. He builds his wilderness- 
castle, a log cabin, and so the life of a great State begins, and Alabama looms out of 
territorial chaos. 

Most lovingly does Colonel Saunders relate the story of her people, from the hum- 
blest mechanic at his forge, to the noble Governor in his chair of State. Her whilom 
ministers, merchants, lawyers, planters, statesmen, come, at his gentle summons near, 
and take on the semblance of the vivid life they lived. Youth and lovers, the jest, 
the chase — threads of gold in the noble tapestry — each play their part. 

Next falls the shadow of the Texas war across the pages. And again, all too soon 
alas, bursts the tempest of the civil war upon the fair young manhood of our State ! 

Himself a veteran of veterans, he follows them all through the sad struggle to 
the heart-breaking surrender at Appomattox, and buries many of his young heroes 
— with the past — asleep in their glory ! As told by him, the career of the Alabama reg- 
iments is an epitome of the war. And so, the letters, like old familiar folk-song, flowed 
on ; while two old people lived over their lives in their pages. And, while the public 
clamored for publication in book form, containing, as they did, such valuable historic 
and genealogical matter, even then, suddenly they were ended, not finished. He wrote no 
more. The "Letters," begun in 1880, ceased in 1889. Much valuable data yet remained 
unwritten, lying neglected, where it had been so carefully collected. He was now 
eighty-four years of age, and the romantic early inspiration of his life — she who had 
been his child-wife at the age of fifteen — passed, chanting, into realms of Bliss ; while 
he, benumbed with the vision of the radiance of the door through which she had passed, 
dreamed henceforth only of joining her who, for sixty-five years, had held the chrism 
of love at his family altar. His Mary was " in Heaven." 



JAMES EDH0ND5 SAUNDERS. 



To live parallel with a century is rarely allotted the span of any one human exist- 
ence; but, to have appeared in the dawn, and lingered (with every faculty alert) late 
into the evening of the present era, in which men have grappled with such Titanic forces as 
our Civil War, and the intricacies of the age's magic progress, denotes a rare and virile 
ichor coursing the veins — a gift, perhaps, of some heroic ancestor — distinguishing the 
honored octogenarian, bravely battling with the storms of fate and militant even with 
time — to whom he is the noble hostage from all the ages. 

Such, alas, are fast waning with the century they have so illumined. The spent 
eagle — still gazing at the sun — dreams, yet, of loftier heights upon which to die — and 
the lonely altitude of grand old age lifts it quite into the vanishing point of heaven. 

James Edmonds Saunders was born in Brunswick county, Virginia, 7th of May, 
1806. His ancestor, Edward Saunders, " Ohirurgeon," was already seated in Northum- 
berland county, Virginia, in 1658 ; and, in 1669, as one of the justices for the county, 
was administering both medicine and law, pari passu, and in drastic doses, no doubt. 
His commission from the Royal Governor Lord Berkeley as " one of the "king's justices for 
Northumberland county" is yet preserved in the old Records at Heathsville. His 
descendants lived, later, in the adjoining county of Lancaster on the Wicomico river, in 
Wicomico parish (which was included in both counties), and record of these is preserved 
at Lancaster C. H. 

His great-grandson, Thomas Saunders (born 1739), removed to Brunswick county, 
after the Revolution, in which, he, and four brothers, served with great credit in the 
American army, in Virginia and North Carolina. 

Rev. Turner Saunders, of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi (born 1782), was 
second son of Thomas, and father of the subject of this sketch. He removed in 1808 to 
Franklin, Williamson county, Tenn., and with him came his brother-in-law, Maj. David 
Dunn, of Brunswick county, and other Virginia families, who soon formed a refined and 
energetic community. Descendants of some of these are, to the present day, busy mak- 
ing noble history for the South. 

Old Harpeth Academy was near by, and here the famous Dr. Gideon Blackburn, 
Presbyterian minister and educator, armoured restless young energies for the stupendous 
battles of the new world — an hitherto unexplored realm. 

And here, in the old Tennessee forest, roamed, with his boyish classmates, the 
young midshipman, Matthew Fontaine Maury, also a son of Virginia; the potent " God- 
within " enthusiasm, impelling him to speak, even thus early, of his one life dream, whis- 
pered him by old ocean, night and day, when his hammock swung on the sea-god's 
tremulous breast. Did no prophetic vision warn these lads, in their morning existence, 
of that hot current of life-blood which was to stain their fair land, and, unlike the warm 
" Gulf Stream," make desolate the hearths by which it flowed — each playing his heroic 
part — and one lifted to the very climax of fame while the world applauded ? 

Alabama, dusky maiden — lovely Pocahontas among her sister States — stepping out 
from the dawn, now beckoned evermore the weary emigrant to her " Happy Valley," 
where the silver Tennessee trailed its sparkling waters past wooded islands, and laughing 
shoals, ever crowned by the great forest monarchs ! To Lawrence county, and near to 
the great river, came the Rev. Turner Saunders in 1821, building a commodious home 
between Town creek and Courtland. Other planters came — an easy-going, courteous 
class. Content was theirs. The morning and evening songs of their slaves, nature's 
merriest children (for when is the negro not a child?) echoed thousands of happy hearts. 



8 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

The University of Georgia (then Franklin College) was the Southern Salamanca, 
and light-hearted students caracoled gaily to and from its learned shrine. (There were 
no railways.) The Rev. Moses Waddell was its president in 1819, another famous Pres- 
byterian educator. The influence of Princeton College was potent at this time in the 
South, throwing its searchlight of knowledge far and near. To this College came young 
Saunders, in 1822, the spell of old Harpeth Academy still upon him, and so slight, so 
boyish, his comrades dubbed him "Slim. Jimmy." 

The University published in Latin, in 1858, a catalogue from the beginning (1785), 
in which year its curatores were: Joannus Houston, Jacobus Habersham, Gulielmus 
Pew, Josephus Clay, Aoramus Baldwin, Nathan Brownson, Joannus Habersham, Abiel 
Holmes, Gulielmus Houston, Jenkin Davis, Hugo Lawson, Gulielmus Glascock and Ben- 
jaminus Taliaferro. 

Its first president was Josiah Meigs, LL. D., 1801; the second, Joannus Brown, 
D.- D., 1811 ; the third, Robertus Finley, D. D., 1810, and fourth, Moses Waddell, D. D., 
1819. 

Its alumni, beginning in 1804, include a long list of names famous in the South. 

It was of the class of 1825 that the venerable president wrote so proudly, to the 
Rev. Turner Saunders. Their names are here given (retaining the quaint Latin nomen- 
clature of the old catalogue) : Edmondus Atkinson, A. M. ; Joannus Campbell ; Gulielmus 
Dougherty, A.M., curator; Joannus Hillyer, A. M. ; Hugo A. Haralson, A.M., Res. 
pub. Foed. E. Gong. ; Kinchen L. Haralson, A. M. ; Jacobus W. Harris, A. M. ; Guliel- 
mus L. Harris, A. M. ; Georgius Graves, A. M. ; Joannus J. Hunt, A M. ; Gulielmus L. 
Mitchell, A. M.. Tutor. Curator; Henricus H. Means, A. M. ; Gulielmus C. Micou, A. M. ; 
Adrianns N. Mayor, A. M. ; Henricus J. Pope; Benjaminus C. Pope; Joannus Saukey, A. 
M. ; Reuben G. Reynolds, A. M., et Univ. Penn., M. D. ; Fernandus Sims; Albertus C. 
Torrence, A. M. ; Fdmundus R. Ware, A. M., et Univ. Penn., M. D. ; Georgius J. S. 
Walker, A. M. ; Jacobus B. Walker, A. M., et Univ. Penn., M. D. ; Gulielmus E. Walker, 
A. M. ; Gulielmus N. Walker, Edwardus H. Wingfield, A. M. ; Middleton Witt. This 
was the class of James E. Saunders. 

Athens, 6th November, 1823. 

Rev. and Dear Sir — On the 9th of April last your son, James Saunders, was 
entered as a student in the Sophomore Class of the University of Georgia. On the 1st 
August, his examination on the studies of the Sophomore year having been cheerfully 
sustained, he was cordially admitted by the Faculty to enter the Junior Class. 

Since August he has been assiduously employed in pursuing the study of Belles 
Lettres and Criticism under my own direction, and Geometry and Mathematics under 
Professor Church. 

It gives me great pleasure to say, with unaffected sincerity, that, although his class 
is a large one, thirty-five in number, his rank in scholarship is equal to that of any 
member in it. I have never hioivn a class in my life which included so much intellectual 
talent as the present Junior Glass in this institution, to which he is attached. But, as from 
your character and standing in society, I presume you would rather see your son a good 
than a great man, I feel a superior gratification in assuring you that his general deport- 
ment and behavior, since he has been here, has merited and met with the unqualified 
approbation of the members of the Faculty, as well as of the discreet citizens of this 
village who know him. By persisting in that course of application to study and modest 
conformity to the laws of College which he has hitherto pursued, until August, 1825, he 
can not fail to graduate with much credit to himself and to this institution, as well as 
with the fairest prospects of gratifying his friends, and proving highly useful to his 
country. This is no exaggeration. I believe that flattery is not often considered as 
belonging to the list of my infirmities. In a word, I estimate James as a youth at present 
of much promise. 

I have spent thirty- nine, years mostly in directing the minds of youth. I have 
experienced much pleasure and occasional pain in the management of minds of every 



James Edmonds Saunders. 9 

kind. How long I shall continue in the arduous employment is, at present, very 
uncertain. 

I should be very glad to see you here, but if that pleasure be denied, a letter 
occasionally would greatly gratify 

Your sincere friend, M. Waddel. 

Rev. Turner Saunders. 

Other college mates were Alfred Vernon Scott, Judge Wyley W. Mason, Eugene A. 
Nisbet, M. C. , Iverson L. Harris, Thos. J. Merriwether, James Scott, James S. Sims, 
M. D., Claiborne A. Watkins, M. D., Judge Augustus B. Longstreet, Judge Joseph 
Lumpkin, Governor George W. Crawford, Thos. A.Matthews, M. D., Hines Holt, M. C., 
Wm. H. Crawford, U. S. Senator, James Reinbert, Abraham Walker, Judge John A. 
Campbell, of New Orleans, Daniel Chandler, of Mobile, Judge Robert Dougherty, of 
Alabama, Dr. Paul P. Eve, of Nashville, Tenn., Wm. E. Jones, M. C, Richard and 
James Meriwether, M. C, Wm. H. Reynolds, and other illustrious names, constella- 
tions no mists may yet obscure. 

Many of these formed life-long friendships with young Saunders. Rone now sur- 
vive ; only a few faded letters yet remain to attest the lost fragrance of their early 
association. Alabama has embalmed the names of some of these in " amber immortali- 
zation " and now " silent they rest in solemn salvatory !" 

The years, like strong athletes, now ran rapid race, and into the old college curric- 
ulum, and into the heart of the dreaming youth, glided a study not put into the catalogue 
by those " most potent grave and reverend seigniors." It was the tender passion, whose 
light eclipses all other schools or courts of learning, for — 

" When all is done, all tried, all counted here * * * 
This Love just puts his hand out in a dream 
And straight out stretches all things!" 

A Georgia maiden's dark eyes " held him from his rest!" The Rev. Doctor wrote 
to the Rev. father anxious letters, pleading for delay ; but love conquers all ! 

Athens, Ga., March 31, 1824. 

Reverend and Dear Sir — Your son is about to leave us, and depart to yourself 
and his home. Never did I part with a pupil with more regret. We have conversed on 
the subject with the familiarity of confidential friends ; and, I presume, he has disclosed 
to me the weightiest of all the reasons which urge him to the measure. Notwithstanding 
all his arguments, I am decidedly of the opinion that his highest earthly advantage 
would result from returning hither, and remaining until August, 1825. In that event, 
his classical and scientific education would be equal to that of any man of his age in the 
Southern or Western States, and the highest honors of the University of Georgia would 
await him. His mind would then be sufficiently mature, as well as cultivated, to enter 
on the study of a profession with the greatest advantage. His age would also be exactly 
suited to that purpose. Could he be persuaded to adopt that course, and rescind the 
resolution to which at present he appears so partial, I feel a confidence that he would, 
undoubtedly, be among the most brilliant and useful men, whose minds I have ever had 
the honor and pleasure of conducting. In all these assertions I am sincere. You can 
advise him as you think proper, as he is your son. 

I am sure I wish him well ; and I am confident he will, sooner or later, be convinced 
of the soundness of the advice I have freely and repeatedly given him on the subject. 

I should be very much gratified to receive a letter from you, when you find 
it agreeable and convenient to write ; and I am very sincerely, 

Your friend, in the best bonds, 

M. Waddel. 

P. S. — I inclose an extra certificate for the satisfaction of yourself and his friends. 

Rev. Turner Saunders. 



10 Early Settlees of Alabama. 

July 14, 1824, when eighteen years of age, he married Mary Frances Watkins 
(aged fifteen), eldest daughter of his neighbor, Maj. Robert H. Watkins, who had 
recently removed from Petersburg, Broad River, Georgia (and before that from Prince 
Edward county, Virginia). Major Watkins bought much land from the government 
through its office at Huntsville, Ala., and patents, on parchment, of many original tracts, 
signed by. Presidents Monroe and Jackson, are preserved in the family. 

The wedded pilgrimage of sixty-five years began auspiciously. The dedication of 
each to the other was most perfect. Love made expiation forever upon the High Altar 
of Life in that happy home. An Angel of Content sat at its fireside, and pointed to the 
precious promises whenever sorrow came to them, " with uplifted cross on high I ' ' Piety 
was an heritage, and the family of each were of the Methodist belief. 

Their neighbors (also of Virginia descent) had drifted through Tennessee, the 
Carolinas and Georgia to this " Happy Valley," where soon their children intermarried, 
and the common interest became welded. Young Alabama welcomed them in those 
" summers of long ago," and when they were tired of the " noise of living" folded them 
to her heart, sighing " Here rest, my children ! "—and so fulfilled her promise to their 
youth— and here they sleep. And on the gravestones above them are the old familiar 
names — Sherrod, Swoope, Gilchrist, Jones, Sylces, Saunders, Oath, Bynum, Clay, Ashford, 
Sale, Goode, Dunn, Shackelford, McMahon, Fitzgerald, Burruss, Harris, Foster, Owen, 
Scruggs, McGregor, Watkins, and many others of those early settlers — long since at 
rest. 

Again a student — the young husband was installed, in 1825, in the law office of 
" Fphraim H. Foster and Francis B. Fogg," Nashville, Tenn., working ardently at his 
chosen profession, ever urged onward and upward by the child-wife. Commenting upon 
this he said recently, with quaint humor, " We studied together, and certainly she 
acquired great proficiency in winning clients, if not cases." 

The first years of practice* began in Moulton (the county seat of Lawrence*). His 
earliest clients, he said, were, by chance, composed mainly of widows, rich and poor, 
and among the former was Mrs. Leetch, the honored aunt of the future President, James 
K. Polk, who when visiting her in 1827, formed a friendship for young Saunders, who, 
in 1844, as elector, threw his powerful influence throughout the State into the presiden- 
tial contest in his behalf. 

In 1828 he formed a law-partnership (in Courtland, Ala.) with Judge John J. 
Ormond, afterward of the Supreme Bench of Alabama. At this period, their legal 
allies — often their friendly antagonists — were those great northern lights of Alabama, 
Judges Ligon, Hopkins, Cooper and David Hubbard, M. C, and others, of each of whom 
he so feelingly writes, and of all of whom the "inverted torch" of death now but proclaims 
they once lived and shone. 

The old historic road, cut by Gen. Andrew Jackson as a highway through Lawrence 
county for his troops, runs parallel with the Memphis & Charleston Railroad for many 
miles. Here, three miles west of Courtland, is " Rocky Hill," the family home, to which 
Colonel Saunders came in 1832. He built just before the war a commodious residence for 
his large family of children, all of whom but three, he survived (the death of one of these, 

*State of Alabama — ss. 

To All Whom It May Concern: 

Know ye that we, John White and John M. Taylor, Judges of the Circuit Courts of the State of 
Alabama, having been satisfactorily informed of the probity, honesty and good demeanor of James 
E. Saunders, and having examined him touching his qualifications to practise as an attorney and 
counsellor at law, do by virtue of the authority in us vested hereby license and permit the said James 
JE. Saunders to practise as an attorney and counsellor at law in the several counties and Circuit Courts 
of the said State of Alabama. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and affixed our 
seals this 14th day of February, 1826. 

[seal] John White. 

tsealI J - M - Taylor. 




Col- James Edmonds Saunders 

When a young man. 
Born in Virginia 1806, died 1896. 



James Edmonds Saunders. 11 

Mrs. Hayes, following his own within six weeks), leaving the old home, once a temple 
of Joy, deserted and desolate on its rocky eminence. Truly — 

They build too low, 

Who build beneath the skies! 

Since Indian lads and maidens played on its gentle slopes, the old home had had but 
two owners, and as data is preserved, it may be of interest to note that it was first bought 
at the government land sales in Huntsville, Ala., in 1817, by Mr. Norment, of Virginia, 
who the next year built a comfortable log house on the top of the hill where now 
stands the stately mansion. The large rocks on that hill, he said, were then " so thickly 
strewn, his horse could scarce pick his way among them," hence the miles of rock- 
fences on the place. Its great old oaks of to-day were then slender saplings. 

With Mr. Norment came a colony of friends and relatives from Virginia, and all 
settled near him — among them the Butler, Sale, Burruss, Fitzgerald and Booth families, 
and all from Botetourt county it was said. Of these", Rev. Freeman Fitzgerald and 
wife Elizabeth, became the second purchasers of "Rocky Hill." His daughter was 
married to Dr. Thomas Watkins, of Georgia (and Austin, Texas). His brother, Mr. 
William Fitzgerald, and " Aunt Letty," his wife (adored by her neighbors, young and 
old), lived nearly opposite Capt. Charles Swoope's place, at the present Barclay home, 
Wheeler, Ala. Mr. William Booth was brother-in-law to the Fitzgeralds. All removed 
many years ago to Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana, save a few of the old people, 
whose dust remained in Alabama. 

In the neighborhood was a little Methodist chapel, Bbenezer, where the Rev. Turner 
Saunders, and his step son-in-law, Bishop Robert Paine, sometimes preached, and there 
Colonel Saunders was class leader for many years. A roll of its early members contains 
some names now of prominence in the South. 

Near there was LaOrange College, founded 1830, by the Southern Methodist Church, 
the second of its establishment (Augusta College, Kentucky, being the first). Its site 
was on the low mountain overlooking the beautiful Tennessee Valley, which was dotted 
over with the residences of cotton planters. Bishop Robert Paine (born 1799, died. 
1882) was its first president. He had married Sarah Miliwater, daughter of the Rev.. 
Turner Saunders' second wife, Mrs. Miliwater. Mr. Saunders was president of the- 
Board of Trustees from the beginning. * 

Rev. Edward Wardsworth was its second president (1847). Among its earliest 
faculty were Edward D. Sims, of Virginia (afterward of the University of Alabama) ; 
Wm. W. Hudson'(afterward of the University of Alabama) ; Dr. Harrington (died in New 
Orleans); Collins D. Elliott (president of Nashville Female Academy, 1844-1861); 
William H. Ellison, son-in-law of Bishop Capers, and afterward president of Female 
College, Macon, Ga., 1836; Dr. Thomas Barbour (son of Hon. Philip S. Barbour, M. C, 
of Virginia), afterward prof essor in Medical College of St. Louis; Henry Masson, of 
Paris, France, and Henry Tutwiler, of Virginia, and afterward of University of Ala- 
bama. Carlos G. Smith, born in Virginia, came to La Grange in 1842, and was presi- 
dent of University of Alabama, 1874. 

Prof. J. W. Hardee was third president of La Grange, and Rev. Richard H.. 
Rivers, the fourth. He was instrumental in having the college removed, in 1860, to it. 
elegant buildings in Florence, Ala., for a further field of usefulness. 

"La Grange College, during its thirty years' existence, exercised great influence 
throughout several States, and many of its alumni achieved distinction; among those 
were Rev. R. H. Rivers (class 1835) ; Rev. William R. Nicholson, now bishop in 
Reformed Episcopal Church; Rev. Joseph E. Douglass; Dr. C. W. Bell, distinguished 
minister in Cumberland Presbyterian Church ; Rev. B. B. Ross, beloved professor in 
Agricultural and Mechanical College, Alabama, over whose chair of chemistry his son, 
B. B. Ross, now so ably presides ; and also the beloved Prof. John T. Dunklin of the 
same Institution. Among the lawyers and statesmen, Edward A. O'Neal, the impetuous 



12 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

brigadier general of the Confederacy, able lawyer, and Governor of Alabama ; David P. 
Lewis, lawyer, and also Governor of Alabama; Col. Henry Chambers, of Mississippi, 
member of Congress and statesman of distinction; Jeremiah Clemens (rival of Yancey), 
poet and novelist, politician and lawyer, writer and speaker and United States Senator; 
Judge Wm. B. Wood ; Wm. M. Byrd, justice of Supreme Court, Alabama; Hon. Henry 
C. Jones, the eloquent advocate, and others." The above was copied from the article, 
by Colonel Saunders, on La Grange College (with one also on the University of Ala- 
bama), published by the United States Bureau of Education in a volume, the " Eistdry 
cf Education in Alabama," edited by Willis G. Clark", of Mobile. "Unfortunately," 
continued Colonel Saunders, " no regular catalogue has been preserved which might 
recall to memory many other distinguished pupils of La Grange." 

He was its trustee all through its noble career, and his father its virtual founder. 
Hence, no sketch of him would be complete without linking their combined influences 
for education in Alabama. 

He was trustee also in that great institution, the University of Alabama, when, in 
1837, the Rev. Alva Woods was succeeded as president by the charming Dr. Basil 
Manly, and when Dr. Barnard (afterward president of Columbia College, New York) was 
made professor of mathematics. He continued the life-long friend of the latter of whom 
he wrote most tenderly in his article on the university. __ 

The Methodist church in Courtland, of which he was long a member, was also 
an object of especial care. There was always reserved a " Prophet's Chamber" at 
"Rocky Hill " for its pastor, and all the ministry of every denomination, and night and 
morning the children were gathered around the family Bible for prayer. It is the 
■unconscious reward of such parents that these remembered prayers, like the sacred oil 
and spikenard, make yet a holy fragrance long years after the humble vessel is broken 
at the Master's feet. 

Mr. Saunders was now in the Legislature, and the Democratic-Republican party (at 
that time so called) held irresistible sway in the South, and the little burg of Courtland 
was thrilled to its centre when the following invitation was issued to the popular idol. 

Courtland, 31st August, 1839.. 

Dear Sir — A meeting of the Democratic Republicans in Courtland, Ala., having 
tendered through us, a committee, the compliment of a public dinner to the Hon. James 
K. Polk, and he having accepted the invitation, Tuesday, the 17th September, has been 
appointed for the occasion. The grounds on which we have at this time extended this 
invitation are fully explained in the correspondence with him, which will appear in the 
public papers as soon as this will reach you, and to which we invite your attention. 

The public meeting by which we were nominated made it our duty to transmit 
to you a special invitation to this public dinner, believing that it would be in accord- 
ance with your feelings to participate in the celebration of the late victory achieved for 
Democratic-Republican principles in your State. We have long felt in this section of 
country a strong desire to see you amongst us, and to tender to you assurances of our 
high esteem as a patriot and a statesman. Preserving as this communication does the 
most grateful remembrance of your services in the field, and coinciding with you in 
those great political measures which have distinguished your administration, we know 
of no event which would give more pleasure than your attendance at our public dinner. 
With assurances of the highest consideration as individuals, 

Very respectfully, 

Robt. H. Watkins. 
Tr. Saunders. 
James E. Saunders. 
Jack Shackelford. 
F. W. Bynum. 
To Gen. Andrew Jackson. 



James Edmonds Saunders. 13 

It might be well to enter here, as a political curio for future Alabama statesmen v 
the toasts offered at that famous banquet : 

. "1. The President of the United States. 

"2. Ex-President Andrew Jackson. He had more confidence iu the people and the- 
people more in him than any man now living. 

" 3. ' General George Washington' ' The honest patriot of every political creed 
delights to dwell upon his memory.' 

"4. The memory of Thomas Jefferson. Let political aspirants who seek to cover- 
themselves with his mantle learn to revere his principles. 

" 5. The State of Tennessee. Too wise to be long deceived, too pure to be corrupted 
and too patriotic to abandon her long cherished (Democratic) Republican principles ! 

"6. Our distinguished guest, the Hon. James K. Polk. The boldness and ability 
and fidelity with which he has vindicated his principles in the late contest in Tennessee 
as well as on every occasion command the confidence of the Republican party. 

"7. Our worthy guest and chief magistrate of the State of Alabama, A. P. Bagley, 
elevated to office by his Democratic fellow-citizens, his administration has been charac- 
terized by a liberal and enlightened policy which has fully met the expectations of his. 
friends and commanded the respect of his opponents. 

"8. The (Democratic) Republican members of Congress from the State of Tennessee. 
The able and efficient contributors to the late glorious triumph which we have this day 
met to celebrate. 

"9. R. M. Burton and Wm. G. Childress, of Tennessee. They have fought against 
fearful odds and though compelled by numbers to yield the field, they have given such 
a demonstration as to insure us in future an easy victory. 

" 10. Wm. R. King mid C. C. Clay, our dignified Senators in Congress. Faithful 
sentinels on the ramparts of the Constitution. 

"11. The (Democratic) Republican members of Congress from Alabama. The people 
look to them to fulfil the object of their trust. 

"12. The Ron. Wm. Smith, a veteran Republican of the Jefferson stamp. Able- 
defender of the doctrine of States Rights and strict construction of the Constitution. 

"13. The ladies who have favored us with their company; their presence has 
imparted additional interest to the festivities of the day." 

Thus every era shifts its panorama, and the statesmen and heroes of to-day are 
only the honored shades of to-morrow! Soon after (1845) a committee, composed of 
Wm. McMahon, Sr., Dr. Jack Shakelford (of Mexican war fame), Thos. Ashford, Sr., 
Tandy W. Walker, James E. Saunders, Wiley Galloway, Michael Mays, A. S. Bentley, 
Jonathan Gray and Robert Fenner, were drafting resolutions " as a public testimonial 
to the memory of Gen. Andrew Jackson, of our gratitude for his public services, and 
arrangements be made for the delivery of a funeral discourse upon his life and services, 
with such ceremony as may be suitable on so solemn an occasion, and that the Rev. 
Robert Paine be invited to deliver the same, in Courtland," etc. 

The winter of 1840 found Col. Saunders still hard at work in the Legislature at 
Tuscaloosa. Judge John A. Campbell, then living in Mobile, while writing him in 
behalf of his friend, C- C. Haygood, takes occasion to add: "I am rather inclined to 
think that our affairs (political) are beyond legislation, and I do not hope that any will 
be applied that will be operative of permanent good. I however feel confident that your 
efforts will be directed to the accomplishment of the good that is possible, and for the 
prevention of evil that is probable. With this confidence, and to express the satisfac- 
tion I feel in seeing you in public life, I write you this hasty letter." 

He writes him later, and again asking his influence for Mr. Boykin as president of 
Mobile Bank, adding: "He is an Alabama-educated man, and that, too, is in'these days, 
when State boundaries are nearly obliterated — a consideration. I feel assured that Mr. 
Boykin will have no opponent comparable with him in capacity or worth, and I there- 
fore have thought I might ask your good offices in his behalf. Your friend, John A. 



14 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Campbell." Everyone knows the subsequent brilliant career of John A. Campbell, 
which it is superfluous here to attempt to record. 

It was the year of the State bank excitement (1839), when Gov. A. P. Bagley wrote 
him : "lam anxious to avail the State of the benefit of your services as commissioner 
to examine the Branch of the Bank of the State of Alabama at Decatur, and herewith 
enclose your appointment," etc. The crisis was passed to the satisfaction of all, and 
the banks put once more on a firm basis, Col. Saunders himself taking stock. 

The year 1840 found Colonel Saunders the acknowledged party leader in the Lower 
House of the G-eneral Assembly of Alabama. As chairman of its judiciary committee, 
his strength in debate, and graceful bearing, gave him great distinction throughout the 
State. This was in the tempestuous times known as the " coon-skin and hard-cider cam- 
paign," with William H. Harrison (" Tippecanoe, and Tyler too") on one side and the 
" Little Magician," Martin Van Buren, on the other — a long paroxysm of party frenzy 
on both sides. He was elector for Van Buren. 

Tuscumbia, February 23, 1841. 
James E. Saunders, Esq.: 

Sir — As members of the Democratic party we feel great solicitude upon the subject 
of the selection of a suitable candidate for this district to be placed upon the Con- 
gressional ticket to be voted for at the next August election. 

It is needless, we feel assured, sir, for us to make to you professions of confidence 
in your ability to sustain the principles of the Democratic party, and to discharge in a 
satisfactory manner the duties of a Representative in Congress, and we shall therefore 
come directly to the object of this communication, which is to ask you to inform us 
whether or not you will, if nominated by the District Convention, as a candidate for this 
Congressional district, accept the nomination. 

Permit us to add the request (and to urge your compliance) that you will attend the 
Circuit Court of Limestone on Monday next, and reply to General Lewis, who will 
address the people on that day at Athens. 

Most respectfully, your obedient servants, 

P . ' Walker . Wm . Winston . 

John T. Abernathy. C. Cooper. 

N. B. C. T. Barton. (1. W. Carroll. 

Mr. J. E. Saunders: 

Dear Sir — I have just returned from a tour through Limestone county, and find 
that it is the general wish of the Democratic party that you should suffer your name to 
be run. I assure you that, according to my opinion, you are the strongest man we have, 
and I hope you will suffer your name to be run. If we are' beaten next August, we, as 
a party, are done. Most respectfully, 

John S. Abernathy. 

These honors he gratefully declined. His profession, and health restricted his 
services within State bounds, and he was never afterward induced to change his 
decision, though repeatedly urged for public posts of great honor. 

Athens, Ala., November 7, 1843. 
James E. Saunders, Esq.: 

Dear Sir — The time is approaching (and in fact it has already arrived) when it 
becomes necessary to make arrangements for the approaching campaign of '44. One 
of the important steps with our party is the selecting of electors on our ticket. In 
casting about over the district I can conceive of no man more suitable than yourself for 
that office, and I therefore have thought proper to address you on that subject. I am 
not alone in believing you the most fit man for that important station. My wish is to 
know if you will accept the appointment if tendered to you by the State convention, 
which is to assemble at Tuscaloosa next winter. If it should be in accordance with your 



James Edmonds Saunders. 15 

inclination I should be happy for the cause's sake. There will be some hard battles to 
be fought next summer. I wish a man whom I have confidence in to manoeuvre our 
forces against the artful machinations of the Federal hosts. 

You will please answer this as soon as your convenience will permit. 
Your friend and humble servant, 

Thos. H. Wilson. 

And again he became Elector for his party and for James K. Polk, his friend. 

His arduous practice and public speaking had so impaired his health that in 1843 
he decided to make Mobile, Ala., his winter home. Two years later he was appointed 
collector of customs of that port by Mr. Polk. He became director in the Bank of 
Mobile, and now formed a cotton commission house with his brother-in-law, Gen. Benj. 
M. Bradford, of Mississippi, which firm, when his eldest son, Robert, came of age was 
later known as "James E. Saunders & Son," and which transacted large business 
with his friends and patrons in Alabama and Mississippi, and elsewhere. 

In 1852 he served his State again as elector for Pierce and King. 

The South, lashed to fury, was now rallying its brightest talents, its last resources. 
About this time the following tribute was sent to one, afterward too weak or too indif- 
ferent, as President of the United States, to avert the storm of insult and desolation 
that fell upon his native South : 

COUETLAND, LAWRENCE COUNTY, August 22, 1855. 

Sir — Your Democratic fellow-citizens of Courtland and its vicinity have witnessed 
your public career with much interest, especially during the last gubernatorial canvass 
in your State, when, under unpropitious circumstances, you nobly defended and main- 
tained the great principles of the Democratic-Republican party, the preservation of which 
we conceive to be partial to the liberty of the citizen and the perpetuation of the Union. 
You achieved a triumph in this struggle which reflects distinguished honor on your char- 
acter as a man, and abilities as a statesman. During this contest you have had our 
warmest sympathies ; and as a committee appointed by a meeting of our fellow-citizens 
held this morning, we invite you to partake of a public dinner, at such time as may suit 
your personal convenience, as a testimonial of our high appreciation of your public services. 

We are, with high regard, your obedient servants, 
0. H. Bynum, Wm. Graham, Drury Mayes, 

Jack Shackelford, M. I. Gilchrist, S. W. Shackelford, 

Thomas Ashford, Edward Shackelford, Joseph M. Tweedy, 

P. P. Gilchrist, James Holmes, John H, Harris, 

David Briedenthal, T. T. Tweedy, James E. Saunders, 



His Excellency Andrew Johnson, Governor of Tennessee. 



Committee. 



In 1860 he served, once more, as elector, and for Stephen A. Douglass, in the vain 
hope of averting the swift-descending horrors of civil war ; President of the convention 
which met at Montgomery, June 4, 1860, he threw his strong influence into the cause of 
peace. But in vain, for, in the destiny of nations, the hour had come! 

Then rudely was the South awakened. Bravely her sons rushed to battle. And 
since he could not serve his country in peace, he would defend her in war — white-haired 
and enfeebled as he was. Prom her sister States came the call to Alabama ! 

The grand warrior, Wallenstein, has said, " the narrow path of duty is securest." 
It is the martial key-note to the life of all great soldiers, whatever the struggle — safety 
is found nowhere else. 

The defences of Mobile were rapidly pushed, and fairest hands labored making 
sandbags for the fortifications at Port Morgan. With other determined citizens, he 
freely spent his means and energies in hurrying its progress. 



16 



Eaely Settlers op Alabama. 



Then came the War Governor's call for troops for one year. It sent Alabamians 
cheering to the front, and to the gulf coast. Close upon this followed an appeal for 
volunteers " to the citizens of North Alabama," from their representatives in Legisla- 
ture assembled, as follows: 



TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH ALABAMA. 

In pursuance of a requisition made by Gen. A. S. Johnston, under the authority of 
the War Department, upon Alabama for twelve months' troops, the Governor issued his 
late proclamation, calling upon our section of the State for volunteers, for that term. 
We have seen the letter of General Johnston, and believe that we are correctly advised 
of onr true situation — of the forces of the enemy, as well as our means of resistance. 
We would not needlessly alarm or excite our people, but we would earnestly impress 
upon them the necessity of the most prompt and energetic action, by which we are con- 
fident success can be obtained; while, without such action, success is doubtful. The 
enemy is concentrating in heavy force upon Columbus, Ky., and if we are over- 
whelmed with numbers at that point, Memphis will next be invested — the contest will 
have to be carried on in East Tennessee, and your own valley may suffer the unspeak- 
able horrors of invasion from a ruthless and unrelenting foe. Prudence and safety 
require us to meet the enemy on the threshold — to defend the outposts rather than the 
citadel — the door-sill rather than the hearthstone. The valley of the Tennessee has 
already sent forth her volunteers to defend the soil of Virginia, and to protect our gulf 
coast from invasion ; it is necessary that they should rally now for the protection of their 
own families and firesides. This can best be done by defending Columbus and Mem- 
phis. Your volunteers are required at the earliest possible moment; no time is to be lost ! 
Every arrangement is made to facilitate the transportation of troops to the points where 
their services will be required, and to supply them with subsistence and equipments. 
All they want to be prepared to start, are arms ! — shotguns or rifles, their bullet 
moulds, shot pouches and powder flasks ! Every gun which is furnished will be 
returned, or paid for; and no man who has one should hesitate in furnishing it to those 
who are to use it for his defence. The honor as well as the safety of the State is 
involved in promptly responding to the requisition, and thus avoiding the necessity of 
meeting the exigency by a draft upon the militia, which must otherwise be resorted to. 
As your representatives, we have deemed it advisable, in view of the momentous 
interests which are involved, to address you, and most earnestly to solicit your speedy 
action. 

Editors are requested not to publish, but to use every other means, to circulate. 



R. M. Patton (afterward 

J. A. WlTHERSPOON, GOV.) 

Wm. M. Jackson, 
O. 0. Nelson, 
A. A. Hughes, 
R. Jemison, Jr., 
Wm. H. Jemison, 

F. W. Sykes (afterward U. 
S. C. Posey, S. Senator) 
Wm. M. Griffin, 
A. Snodgrass, 

G. W. Malone, 
John D. Miller, 
A. R. Brindley, 
J. B. Talley, 
L. W. Lynch, 

Montgomery, Ala., December 1, 1861 



J. C. Orr, 
T. M. Hardwick, 
Francis W. Rice, 
Jonathan Latham, 

T. T. COTNAM, 

Thomas J. McLelland, 

J. P. COMAN, 

James Shelton, 
S. D. Cabaniss, 
T. L. Hammond, 
Cannaday Butler, 
W. W. Little, 
T. A. Walker, 
S. M. Carruth, 
S. D. McClellan, 



W. B. Martin, 
R. Ellis, 
E. Aldridge, 
W. N. Crump, 

A. J. Coleman, 
James Middleton, 
J. W. Logan, 

M. L. Davis, 
J. A. Hill, 
Wm. Gravlee, 
L. W. Lawler, 
Geo. S. Waden, 
Chas. Carter, 

B. W. Groce, 
R. 0. Pickett. 



James Edmund Saunders. 17 

Colonel Saunders had already returned to his beloved Tennessee Valley, earnestly 
studying its resources for resistance, when he received the following, (and afterwards 
others of its kind), so that, in all, five hundred negro men were carried to the fortifications 
of Forts. Hindman and Henry. Each of the six valley counties, Franklin, Lawrence, Lime- 
stone, Lauderdale, Madison and Morgan, furnishing its quota, gotten up by military 
committees : 

Fkom Montgomery, February 22, 1862. 

To James JE. Saunders, Courtland: 

The Valley of the Tennessee must furnish for its defence two hundred negro fel- 
lows with the least possible delay. You are authorized as my especial aide-de-camp to 
call upon the people in my name and to apportion the slaves to be furnished by each 
county. You will report to Gen. L. P. Walker,* and the negroes will be under his orders. 

John Gill Shorter, Governor of Alabama. , 

The military committee were: Wm. Cooper, DV Deshler and ¥m. Dickson, of 
Franklin county, E. M. Swoope, G. Garth and F. Sykes, of Lawrence county; Dr. 
Dancey, Wm. Burleson and Mr. Garth, of Morgan county; S. Willis Harris and others, 
of Madison county; S. W. Donell, and others, of Limestone; James Ervine, G. W. 
Foster, and others, of Lauderdale. 

See "Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston," by his distinguished son, Col. Wm. 
Preston Johnston, for the vigorous efforts of Colonel Saunders in assisting in constructing 
the defences of the forts. 

In meanwhile his eldest son, Major Robert T. Saunders, was serving on General 
Cocke's staff in Virginia. 

His second son, Dr. Dudley Dunn Saunders, was at that time surgeon at the hos- 
pital post established at Chattanooga, Tenn. 

And to this point had rallied many Confederate chiefs, as to the gateway of the 
South. Colonel Saunders was now on Gen. John Adams' staff, and the invasion of north 
Alabama by the enemy through Chattanooga being imminent, the Chiefs cast about for 
an invincible leader, and Colonel Saunders was deputized to hasten to General Beaure- 
gard, at Tupelo, and implore an able officer, as the different and differing officers at Chat- 
tanooga were at variance as to who should be chief among them. 

The late Major Rambaut, of Memphis, Tenn., at the time of his death (February, 
1886) was preparing a series of articles on the " Campaigns of Gen. Bedford N. For- 
rest." It was at the urgent request of the " Confederate Historical Society," because 
there was no other man who had the information necessary. He was the only survivor 
save Dr. J. B. Cowan, who, as staff officer, was with Forrest during all of his cam- 
paigns. 

His first article was upon " Forrest at Shiloh." From the second, " Forrest at Mur- 
freesboro," we make this extract: "Upon the retreat of General Beauregard's army 
from Corinth, Forrest continued in his rear and flank with the usual skirmishing and 
fighting. He arrived at Tupelo latter part of May, and camped just across the lagoon, 
from what was, then, the noted David Crockett Railway. 

He was at that place (June) when Col. James E. Saunders, father of our towns- 
man, Dr. D. D. Saunders (he being at that time on the staff of Gen. John Adams), 
visited Tupelo with the request that General Beauregard would assign a competent 
officer to the defence of Chattanooga, and asking for the assignment of Oewral Forrest. 

At first the request was declined, as General Beauregard appreciated the services of 
Forrest and did not want to give him up, but upon considering the importance 
of the request, and of a good officer being in command at the point named, he ordered 
General Forrest to take command of the same, and recommending to the War Depart- 
ment his promotion to Brigadier General. 

*First Secretary of War. 



18 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

Forrest left the next day (with Colonel Saunders), taking with him an escort* of ten 
picked men detailed from his own regiment (all he was allowed). Arriving at Chattanooga 
June 19, 1863, he at once reported to General Ledbetter, of Kirby Smith's department, 
and assumed command, under orders, of the brigade composed of the Eighth Texas, 
Col. J. A. Wheaton; First Louisiana, Col. J. W. Scott; Second Georgia, Col. J. R. 
Lawton; Helm's Kentucky Regiment, Lieut. Col. T. Woodward; and a battalion of Ten- 
nesseeans under Maj. Baxter Smith — the whole about 2000 men. 

Colonel Scott at once raised the question as to date of commissions, claiming that he 
(Scott) ranked Forrest. The entire command were strangers to Forrest, and he to them, 
except by reputation, and they were in rather a dissatisfied condition, more especially 
Colonel Woodward's command, which had shortly before suffered defeat in a surprise 
in the Sequatchie Valley. Many little things of minor importance tended to add to 
their dissatisfaction. 

Forrest at once set to work to equip the command by placing them, as rapidly as 
possible, in fighting condition — satisfied the quicker he gave battle to the enemy, the 
sooner the trouble would be overcotoe. 

A few days later the question of seniority was settled by Colonel Scott being 
relieved, and the First Georgia battalion, Colonel Morrison, assigned instead. 

This was hardly settled when another trouble arose by the expiration of the period 
of enlistment of the majority of the companies of Helm's Regiment, and all of them left 
except two companies (Colonel Helm was a brother-in-law of President Lincoln). 

Forrest, learning there was a Federal force at Murfreesboro, determined at once to 
move and attack them (moving in the direction of Sparta). His forces now numbered 
something over 1300 men. He arrived at McMinnville on the evening of July 12. It was 
at this point he first made known his intention to attack the troops at Murfreesboro. 
Continuing his march to Woodbury, he arrived there about midnight. The streets were 
thronged with ladies, who stated that the evening before, the Federals had arrested and 
carried off to Murfreesboro nearly every man, old and young. Many wives and sisters had 
followed them, seeking to obtain their release. They crowded around Forrest telling of 
the arrest of fathers, husbands, brothers, torn away from them without notice, and 
pleaded with these stalwart, gallant men to befriend them. Did this inspire those true 
boys as they rode out of Woodbury? * * * Forrest had told them they should 
have their loved ones again before night had passed. 

" He pushed on with his command, and arrived in the vicinity of Murfreesboro 
about 5 o'clock the next morning, 13th of July, sending forward a force to capture the 
pickets, which was done by Captains Anderson and James (the latter's home being in 
Murfreesboro). Scouts reported the situation of the Federal encampment, and that they 
were unaware of the impending danger. The Eighth Texas, under Colonel Wharton, 
was ordered forward, to charge them in platoons. The Second Georgians were sent 
through the main streets' to capture the provost guard, and Federal officers and men ; 
and to secure supplies and arms. Major Baxter Smith with his battalion, and the two 
companies of Kentuckiaus, were ordered out on the turnpike leading to Nashville and 
Lebanon, to cut off retreat and guard against approach from that direction, and Colonel 
Morrison assigned to the enemy's rear. Wharton now charged into the very heart of 
the Federal encampment. They were for awhile surprised in their tents, and rushed out 
in confusion, hotly pursued by the Texans. Their infantry rallied and made a stand. 
By mistaking orders, or by an accident, only some 200 men had followed Wharton in 
his charge, the remainder of his regiment going with the Second Georgians into the 
public square (which contained the court house). The Texans were brought to a halt ; 
under a heavy fire of musketry from behind wagons, and under cover, and owing to the 

* These ten heroes were chosen by Forrest himself for their bravery and devotion. It is remem- 
bered that six out of the ten were Maj. J. P. Strange, of Memphis; G. V. Rambaut, Wm. H. Forrest, 
Jos. Sheridan, Matt. Tuxton and Fred. Koerper, the dauntless; Capt. W. E, McGuire, the fearles 
scout, afterward joined them. 



James Edmund Saunders. 19 

enemy's numbers were unable to carry the position and were forced to fall back on the 
McMinnville road, with a number of prisoners captured, including a cavalry force which 
had been detached from the infanti'y, and captured before they could get to their horses. 

Major Baxter Smith with his battalion assisted in this capture. The remainder of the 
Eighth Texans and the Second Georgians had charged into the square and surrounded 
the court house, which was occupied by a company of Michigan infantry. 

The firing had brought a large number of citizens, -mostly en deshabille, into our lines 
notwithstanding the danger. The Federals were now firing from behind fences and 
houses, as well as from the court house, and the fire was very severe. They were twice 
repulsed. During the engagement' we were .being contiually cheered by the men and 
women of the town. 

The Texans and Georgians were now led by Forrest himself , and pressed forward not- 
withstanding the fire from the court house. Morrison brought up his men in the rear, 
and on the east side ; and the doors were battered down and the court house captured. It 
was here that Fred. Koeper, of Memphis (and one of the ten men of Forrest's escort) 
was killed. He was of daring bravery, genial and cheerful, and beloved by the old 
regiment. The citizen prisoners, in the court house and jail (including those from 
Woodbury), were promptly released, and Federal officers, and men, captured from many 
places of shelter sought in their flight. 

Among them was Brigadier General Crittenden, who was captured by Colonel 
Saunders at a boarding-house on the square. As Colonel Saunders and his detachment 
were riding across the square, the firing being opened upon them from the court house, 
a ball passed through his right lung, and entirely through his body. He was carried to 
the residence of a citizen (Colonel Ledbetter), where he was left, supposed to be mor- 
tally wounded. Be it remembered, Colonel Saunders was the same who made the appli- 
cation to General Beauregard for Forrest's assignment, and was serving on Forrest's 
staff at the time. This gallant officer must have been 58 years of age, and was serving 
with distinction on Forrest's staff, I had the pleasure of meeting him only a few 
months ago (1898) while visiting his son, Dr. D. D. Saunders, and his daughter, Mrs. 
L. B. McFarland of this city, and had several pleasant hours of conversation with him, 
which was greatly enjoyed by both, discussing olden times. He was still well pre- 
served, hearty and robust, though now 90 years old. He' deserves to " live always and 
never grow old." Major Rambaut then continued the narration of this brilliant victory 
to the end. He died (February, 1896) ere he finished his " Sketch of Forrest's Cam- 
paigns," and his old friend died the folio wing summer. ColonelJordan, in his "Life of 
General Forrest," says: " While the battle of Murfreesboro was progressing General 
Forrest sent Colonel Saunders with a small detachment to capture Brigadier General 
Crittenden, supposed to be hidden in the Inn on the public square, his headquarters. 
In returning from their ineffectual search a general fire from the enemy was opened 
upon them from the windows of the court house, and that brave and zealous gentleman 
received a ball which passed entirely through his right lung and body. He neverthe- 
less sat erect in his saddle and rode several squares to the house of a citizen, into which 
he was taken, as all supposed, mortally wounded." * * * 

The result of this campaign was an immense amount of army material and 1765 
prisoners. In addition to these prisoners 102 straggling fugitive Federals came into 
Murfreesboro after General Forrest had left, and seeking out Colonel Saunders, who 
had been left in their midst, as they supposed mortally wounded, besought him to parole 
them, which he did in due form, desperately wounded as he was. Colonel Saunders 
not only got well, but got well without a fever, and after his recovery enjoyed a nearer 
approach to robust health than ever before. Since then he has been engaged in writing 
on horticulture, and in carrying on his planting interests that were so rudely inter- 
rupted by those eventful years when he and other patriotic souls " rode with Forrest!" 

In after years, when the eagle-eyed, lion-hearted hero, Forrest, wasting with 
disease, was equipping his dauntless will to meet the last grim Foe, to make, alas ! 
the great " surrender," yet again he came, weary pilgrim of life, to " Rocky Hill," his 



20 ( Early Settlers of Alabama. 

old friend's hospitable doors, where the clang and clash of his saber and spurs had 
often made such martial music. But now he fain would rest — and he wanted the ever- 
loyal and approving eyes of his old comrade to fall upon him, soothingly as of old — 
he in whom the " wild fever, called living" was nearly spent ! 

Meek — and sublimed to a strange gentleness, the worn victor of a hundred fields 
here did seem to " importune death awhile " that he might once more commune, soul to 
soul, with his friends, while the evening shadows closed around him. Purified of earthly 
dross, he knelt at the old family altar, again in heart a child, while his white-hair host 
and comrade, breathed over him the " nunc dimittis " of life's solemn close. And thus 
they bade each other the last farewell— and he was gone ! Two weeks later the great 
General drifted out into the Unknown, and his aged host and hostess yet lived on, to 
bless their day and generation for many years. 

Of the men wounded and made prisoners in the battle of Murf reesboro with Colonel 
Saunders, he has preserved an official list; also the killed, and those who died. It 
may be of value to the families of these men, and hence is published here for preserva- 
tion. 

Wounded. 

Davis Morris, Atlanta, Second Georgia Regiment ; David McCann, Company K, 
Texas Rangers; Griffin B. Kennedy, Company C, Texas Rangers; S. Carter, Company 
K, Eighth Texas Cavalry, paroled by General Nelson ; John Penner, Company K, Eighth 
Texas Cavalry ; Lt. James A. Collins, Company K, Eighth Texas ; Nicholas Munks, Com- 
pany B, Eighth Texas; William H. Morgan, Company A, First Georgia Cavalry; Dr. 
Brock, First Georgia ; John Palmer, Texas Rangers ; J. F. M. Smith, Company A, First 
Georgia; John N. Perkins; Dr. Zuber, Company A, First Georgia; Robert Paine, Com- 
pany F, Second Georgia Cavalry, Robert Adams, Company F, Second Georgia Cavalry. 

Killed. 

E. A. Ross, Company A, Texas Rangers (Milam county) ; Scott Green, Texas 
Rangers, Hamilton county; Wm. D. Morse, Chapel Hill, Washington county, Texas; 
Wm. Dallas, Cave Spring, Georgia; Dr. Williams, killed 13th of July; Henry J. Mor- 
ris, of Georgia ; William Hale, Georgia. 

Died of Wounds. 

Wooten Williams, Georgia Cavalry, 14th of July, 1863; F. M. Faris, Second 
Georgia, died 15th of July, 1863 ; Samuel Mimms, Texas Rangers ; Oscar Mumford, R. 
D. Buckner Parker, First Georgia, Vann's Valley; A. J. Duron, Georgia; Thomas Hig- 
don, Georgia; Jas. Hicks, Second Georgia, Randolph county; Captain Searight, Dr. H. 
Witcher, First Georgia, Cedar Town; R. Scarborough, Company C, Texas Rangers; T. 
B. Ivie, First or Second Georgia Regiment, Russell county; Captain Crabb, died at Dr. 
Avent's, and removed ; A. A. Thurman, Georgia Cavalry, Carable's company, 15th July ; 
Fred. Koeper, of Memphis, died 14th July, 1862 (one of Forrest's ten picked men). 
Graves without names, seven in number. 

Among Colonel Saunders' war correspondence a few notes, telegrams and letters 
relating to the invasion of the Tennessee Valley have been selected at random, with some 
others in the order of their dates (1861-1865), as throwing light on the rapidly- 
transpiring events of that time, and giving some additional data to the history of the 
Civil War. 

They begin with a letter from Col. Edward W. Munford, of Gen. Albert Sidney 
Johnston's staff, relative to the general's requisition for Alabama volunteers, foil © wed 
by a complication with Major J. W. Robertson, of the Military Academy, Marietta, Ga., 
as to the calling out of his " battalion of cadets," followed by letters from various 
officers at different posts, but always looking to the defence of his beloved valley. After 



James Edmund Saundees. 21 

being shot entirely through the right lung at the battle of Murfreesboro, July 13, 1863, 
Colonel Saunders was incapacitated for continued active duty in the field, but used 
ardently all other means of assisting the cause, while also directing movements as 
well as he could ; his advice always having great weight with the various commanding 
officers, who trusted to his experience and his superior knowledge of every foot of 
ground over which they fought, as the within communications will fully attest : 

Headquarters, Western Department, \ 
Bowling Green, Ky., December 2, 1861. J 
Hon. James 13. Saunders: 

Sir — Enclosed yon will please find a letter to General Weakly. It contains 
the orders of General Johnston in reference to the mustering in and sending forward 
the volunteers from North Alabama. It was written by my hand, and I think covers 
every point you made in conversation with me as to transporting the volunteers and 
slaves from Florence. 

It is sent to you because I am not certain that Florence is Weakly's postoffice. You 
know, and will have the letter put into Ms hands at once. Compliments to your family. 

Your friend, etc., 

Ed. W. Munpord. 

Marietta, Ga., December 4, 1861. 
Hon. Jas. E. Saunders: 

Dear Sir — Your favor of the 2d inst. at hand. 

From your letter to the Governor, I infer that General Johnson does not consider 
the emergency sufficiently great to cause him to use Ms influence in having the proposed 
battalion accepted for three months. If so, I do not consider it necessary that I should 
risk breaking up the academy in order that I may serve in the field for three months. 

I also infer from your letter that General Johnson would not object to having me 
and my men at Fort Dixon, but would rather prefer it, as we could be of service in 
drilling the men stationed there. I can not consent to go to Fort Dixon as an instructor 
of tactics. The service to be rendered does not, in my judgment, warrant the sacrifices 
that would have to be made in order that the service might be rendered. 

My impression (when I consented to try and raise the battalion) was that Alabama 
was in danger from an invasion by the way of the river, and that men were wanted to 
protect laborers to be used in erecting a fortification on the river and to defend the work 
until it could be garrisoned. Under this impression I proposed to give my services for 
three months, and make any sacrifice necessary to protect the State. Your interview 
with General Johnson has convinced me that invasion by way of the river is at least not 
probable. 

I am not seeking service in the field, and was not actuated in proposing to serve three 
months by any desire for military distinction, but simply thought that a necessity for 
my services in the field had arisen and I would cheerfully do all in my power. I am 
now convinced from your interview with General Johnson that the necessity does not 
exist, and shall, therefore, turn to my other duties, and remain prepared to give my 
time, energy or life to the cause when either may be of more use to the country in the 
field than in my present position. , Very respectfully, 

J. W. Robertson. 

Headquarters Western Department, \ 
Bowling Green, Ky., December 22, 1861. J 
Col. Jas. E. Saunders: 

Dear Sir — I reply to your letter at my earliest opportunity after returning, and 
hope to make the matter of the "Battalion " of Cadets clear. 

General Johnston says he has never, since coming to this command, had the slightest 



22 Eakly Settlers op Alabama. 

doubt, nor has he any now, that to resist the threatened invasion we will need every man 
we can get ; that he would be most happy to accept the services of Robertson's battalion, 
if it was put in such shape that he could do so. He has called on the Governor of Ala- 
bama for volunteers for twelve months. The Governor has issued his proclamation 
accordingly. The troops are being raised under the authority of that State, and when 
sent to the rendezvous fixed upon by the orders of the Governor they will immediately 
be mustered into the Confederate service, and put upon duty. He says, further, that he 
has no authority whatever to accept troops otherwise than as raised and sent to rendezvous 
by the States respectively embraced in his command. It is obvious, therefore, that 
these, or any other battalions or regiments coming from Alabama, must come through 
State authority to him, and he fears if even the Governor were to accept volunteers for 
three months (even a battalion) it would put an end to volunteering under the twelve 
months' call. Such a distinction he thinks the Governor would be reluctant to make. 
In Mississippi, the sixty-day men are raised by special act of the Legislature, and it is only 
another mode of getting up the militia men. 

He says that it was only in consequence of the value he attached to Robertson's 
accomplishments as a trained and educated officer that he suggested the benefits which 
would result to the service from his training the volunteers fresh from home in tactics, 
and he supposed that no more grateful occupation for himself and the young cadets 
could well be imagined than that of devoting their leisure to perfecting in the military art 
the very men by whose sides they might be called to fight in resisting an invasion of their 
common homes — certainly by the suggestion he never dreamed of giving offence, nor did 
he misinterpret Robertson's position as one who was ambitiously seeking active service in 
the field. He only viewed it as a patriotic offer of his services, and appreciated it fully. 
He is anxious to have the services of this battalion, and never dreamed of there being no 
intention of invading by the Tennessee river. Indeed, he thinks the emergency most press- 
ing both by that line and on this, and wants every man whom he can lawfully receive. Under 
the act of the Confederate Congress, the President alone can receive volunteers for special 
service. General Johnston has no such discretionary power. I have given the points. 
You can digest them and make a more happy answer to his letter than I feel I have done 
to yours. 

"We do not know when we will be involved in the hardest sort of fighting on this 
line. If the enemy would come here, his overwhelmingly superior forces would only 
show him how superior our comparatively few men with their convictions and feelings 
are to his. But they will try to turn this position and .get to Nashville by another route, 
and we may be taken at a disadvantage of necessity. 0, that we had troops — troops — 
troops. But they will dearly win their laurels if they win them from this army at all. 

I can not, of course, give you very much information. We are getting men, but too 
slowly by long odds. We need them now, and they need drilling and disciplining to 
make them really serviceable. However, all that human skill, energy and pluck can do 
under the circumstances will be done. Stir up your Alabama volunteers ; make frag- 
mentary companies, consolidate, and tell Judge Picket, for God's and his country's sake, 
never to say again to any mortal man when the military authorities have called for 
troops, that he " thinks they are notneeded." You will hear of this and its consequences 
if you see Judge Lewis. 

Good-by. Your friend,' 

Ed. W. Munford. 

Corinth, Miss., March 24, 1862. 
■Col, J. jE. Saunders: 

Dear Sir — I wrote you from Fort Pillow. Now we are here. After a trip to 
Bethel, Tenn., and a detached service of guarding the railroad. I was ordered to guard 
a point of railroad this side of Bethel, where I spent several days in a perilous place. 
I, however, got on finely, having one little spat, and killing one scoundrel of the vandal 
tribe. Nobody hurt on my side. I am suffering a good deal from cold, both in person 



James Edmund Saundees. 23 

and in men. I have eighty-seven men in my company. Dr. B. B. Poellnitz is sick 
from cold; Capt. J. M. Rembert is standing it finely. Should you find time to visit us 
call and see the Twenty-first Alabama. I would not be surprised, at any time, to receive 
marching orders to go up your way, as rumor has it that the enemy is making toward 
Decatur. I have no idea that they will leave their gunboats and the river so that we can 
get a fight. I wish they would give us a fight here, and let us prove our strength and 
determination. These are hard times ; hard on men's constitution, morals and every- 
thing. I heard from home a week ago ; all were well. Give my kindest regards to the 
family, and believe me ready to die or he free. 

Should we get nearer you we will expect you to visit us. How far are you from 
Decatur, or Florence? Yours, 

S. S. Taylor, 
Commanding Company E, Twenty-first Begiment, Alabama Volunteers. 

$ote. — When the following was written, Colonel Saunders was in command of the advance' of 
the brigade sent by General Beauregard to the relief of the Valley of the Tennessee, under Gen. John 
Adams. 

Brigade Headquarters, 
Camp Toute, on Clear Creek, 
Six Miles prom Corinth, April 30, 1862. 

Colonel Saunders, on Crippled Deer Greek, Aide-de-Camp: 

Colonel — After much difficulty, I arrived here this morning with Tennessee regi- 
ment, at 7 o'clock. The roads are almost impassable. It is now raining. I fear 
it will be impracticable to move more than three companies forward to-day ; they can 
not leave before evening. 

McLellaud's Tennessee battalion has been assigned to my command. As yet, I 
don't know where it is. The two Louisiana companies I hope will be with me to-day or 
to-morrow. I must be with you to-morrow, and will move forward as rapidly as possi- 
ble. Please direct Captain Houston, as commanding officer Texas Rangers, to move his 
entire command to Bear Creek. If practicable, his depot will be at Bear Creek bridge, 
or Russellville. 

My assistant adjutant general has not yet found me. 

I fear it will be impracticable to purchase forage. Sent forward, yesterday, men, 
who were not successful ; will dispatch them again to-day. I have plenty of funds to 
pay all. Yours, etc. John Adams, 

Colonel Commanding Brigade. 

Brigade Headquarters, May 1, 1862. 
Colonel Saunders, Aide-de-Camp: 

Colonel — I have just received the enclosed communication from General Beall, com- 
manding, from which you will perceive I have lost Biffleand Gordon's Battalion, and, I 
fear, also McLelland's Battery, and the two Louisiana companies. I shall be at Bear 
Creek (" Nixon's Bridge") to-night, with Texas Rangers, and, I hope, the remainder 
of Kentucky Cavalry. Please have camp selected, as also independent camp for my 
headquarters. 

Yours truly, 



John Adams, Com. Brig. 

Headquarters Cavalry' Brigade, 
Tuscumbia, Ala., May 3, 1862. 



} 



Col. J. E. Saunders: 

Sir — I will arrive at Lamb's Perry on to-morrow evening at 2 o'clock, and desire 
you to make all necessary arrangements for the crossing of the river with my command 
as expeditiously as possible. I may select Bainbridge, Lamb's Perry, or a point still 



24 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

higher up the river as a place for crossing. You will, by return courier, give me the 
information you may have, as to the facilities for crossing at Lamb's Perry, the number 
and description of boats that will be in readiness. And you will also inform me con- 
cerning forage. Respectfully, 

John Adams, Com. Brig. 

Courtland, February 26, 1863. 
Colonel Saunders, Decatur, Ala.: 

Sir — A courier from Captain May reports the enemy from three to five hundred 
strongat Abernathy's. The rains will prevent them from crossing Town Creek for a day 
or two yet, unless they fix the railroad bridge. I sent a scout in the direction of the head of 
that creek, via the bridge, early this morning, also toward Bainbridge. Be so kind as to 
hurry up reinforcements as fast as possible. I should like much to start to-night to 
head the creek and bag the party at Abernathy. I could do it easily with two hundred 
men, and will start as soon as help arrives. " Lookiug the facts in the face," I think 
that my attempt to hold this place with the small number of men I have at present would 
be folly. I shall stay, however, and check their advance by such means as are in my 
power. If reinforcements come I wish Ferrell's Battery to return. The picket duties 
are heavy on my little band. I will keep you informed of all that occurs. Captain 
Powell started over the river this morning after the men on the other side, who, I regret 
to hear, having no arms have scattered much. I am doing my utmost to get all the com- 
mand to the river — Lamb's Ferry. 

I am, Colonel, most respectfully your obedient servant, 

G. L. Baxter. 

P. S. — I have just received iuformation from Abernathy, per Mr. W. Sherrod, who 
says that Abernathy was taken away a prisoner and treated very badly. I have just started 
a force to cut down the Town Creek railroad bridge, and scout until relieved. The van- 
dals are acting in perfect accordance with their Hessian character, stealing everything 
portable and destroying what they can not carry away. 

Decatur, 27th February, 1863. 
Captain Ferrill, Commanding Battery of Artillery: 

Sir — A dispatch has just been received from General Bragg ordering your battery to 
return. Have everything ready for a movement, eveii to the harness on your horses. 
Reinforcement will reach here in the morning. 

James B. Saunders. 

Decatur, 27th February, 1863. 
Gen. Braxton Bragg: 

Your dispatch has been received ; sent to Captain Ferrell, and the boats ready to con- 
vey the reinforcement. 

"We heard from Captain Baxter at Courtland last evening; the enemy, some 50O 
strong, were at Leighton — how many lower down was not known. The rains will pre- 
vent their crossing Town Creek for several days. The railroad bridge over it was broken 
in yesterday. Captain Baxter was advised to stay and check the advance of the enemy, 
and that troops would be sent. The vandals are acting in perfect accordance with their 
character. 

James E. Saunders. 

La Grange, Ala., May 30, 1863. 
Col. James B. Saunders: 

Dear Sir — Enclosed you will find the original pass which was given to my little 

* Note.— Colonel Saunders was stationed on duty at Decatur at this time. 



James Edmund Saunders. 25 

brother by the Federal commander during their recent raid in our county, and which, at 
your request, I send to you. With kind regards to yourself and wife, 

I am very respectfully yours, 

Mrs. Mollie H. Hunt. 

Attention, Angels, of Tenth Missouri, and Seventh Kansas Cavalry ! This scion of 
Southern chivalry being rather adolescent for military duty is herewith permitted to 
return to his home and friends, and must not be molested by the destroying Angels of 
this -command. 

Done west of Tuscumbia, one mile, April 29, 1863. 

Florence M. Comyn, 
Colonel Tenth Missouri Cavalry, Commanding Cavalry Brigade. 

Headquarters Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, 1 
Eight Miles West op Florence, 7 p.m., > 

May 4, 1863. J 
Capt. J. J. Scanlan, Esq., Tuscumbia: 

Dear Sir — I will cross .the river at Garner's Ferry at as early an hour as possible, 
and move directly for Fulton, Miss. Being unacquainted with the country, I would be 
very glad if you, or Mr. Warren, would secure a guide and have him to meet me early 
in the morning, at the ferry ; we move at 4 a. m. If you have an opportunity notify 
General Forrest that we are over there, and that all is quiet on this side of the river.. 
Colonel Forrest has crossed at Decatur, and is following on ; I will leave a small force 
and artillery on this side of the river, also our baggage. Please tender Colonel Saunders, 
my thanks for his kind suggestions and valuable information. 
Very respectfully your obedient servant, 

G. G. Dibrell, 
Colonel Eighth Tennessee Cavalry. 

Brigade Headquarters, Moulton, Ala., May 12, 1863. 

Colonel — I will be here until the morning of the 16th inst., and will then move 
with my command to Mississippi. Would be glad you would come up here, as I am 
anxious to see you before I go. Come if you possibly can. 

Very respectfully your friend , 

N. B. Forrest, Brig. Gen. 
Col. James E. Sauuders. 

Moulton, Ala., 12th, 1863.. 
Colonel — Since writing you this morning I have received dispatches ordering me 
back to Tennessee. Can you meet me in Decatur, Ala., to-night or early to-morrow 
morning, as I wish to see you. 

Respectfully your friend, 

N. B. Forrest, Brig. Gen. 
Col. J. E. Saunders. 

SOUTHWESTERN TELEGRAPH COMPANY. 
By Telegraph from Huntsville, Ala., March 13, 1863. 

To Jas. E. Saunders: 

I find it necessary for me to see General Bragg. I may return on first train. I am 
trying to get General Bragg to allow me to remain in valley with my brigade. I 
may return to Athens. Meet me there with my staff Friday or Saturday. 

N. B. Forrest, Brig. Gen. 



26 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

Huntsville, Ala., May 16, 1863. 
Col. James H. Saunders: 

Sir — There are difficulties, in reference to the distribution of the horses and mules, 
captured near Rome, Georgia, with Colonel Straight's command, which will require much 
patience and judgment to remove. 

In the rapid and long continued pursuit, which preceded this capture, the Federals 
first mounted (as I am informed) several hundred of their infantry who had marched 
on foot as far as Mt. Hope, Alabama, and afterward in the flight, whenever their horses 
were jaded they seized the horses of the citizens; and again, after the capture, when our 
cavalry were ordered to return to their rendezvous at Danville, many of their horses be- 
ing completely exhausted, they had from necessity to leave them in the drove and be re- 
mounted on others which were fresher. 

When the embarrassments connected with the separation of the interests of the Con- 
federate government and the citizens in this property were reported to General Bragg, 
he instructed me to use my own discretion as to the mode of settlement. 

I therefore commit the duty of adjudicating this matter to you. You may call in 
citizens of high standing to assist you. Quartermasters in possession of the property 
shall manage and transfer it as you may direct. In deciding on the distribution, guide 
yourself (as far as practicable) by the following rules : 

1. Where horses of citizens happen to have been taken by our cavalry, give citizens 
•certificates of the value of the horses thus taken and pay them in stock on valuation or 
at public vendue. 

2. Where citizens can identify their horses or mules, now in the drove, deliver the 
property. 

3. Place in the hands of the citizens, robbed of their work animals, a sufficient num- 
ber of mules and horses to enable them to cultivate their crops (not to exceed two hun- 
dred) requiring for them receipts for the delivery of horses and mules on the first day 
of October at the town of Moulton, North Alabama. 

4. From the residue of the drove select such as may be fit for immediate service and 
send them to my headquarters ; and send the others to pasture — somewhere, in Giles 
county, Tennessee. 

When you shall have performed this duty, send a report of the disposition of the 
property, to my headquarters. 

N. B. Forrest, 
Brigadier General, Commanding First Division. 
To Col. James E. Saunders, Courtland, Alaoama. 

SOUTHWESTERN TELEGRAPH COMPANY. 

By Telegraph from Tuscumbia, May 28, 1863. 

Athens, May 29, 1863. 
To Col. J. E. Saunders: 

Enemy in Florence and firing it. Skirmishing at Big Bear Creek. 

C. B. Ferrell. 

Headquarters First Cavalry Division, \ 
Spring Hill, Tenn., May 30, 1863. J 
Col. James E. Saunders: 

Dear Sir — I am in receipt of your favors of the 20th and 23d inst., and have for 
warded, for General Bragg's consideration and approval, the draft of letter to General 
Dodge, which has not yet been heard from. 1 have been relieved of the command of 
the troops in Alabama, and if General Bragg approves it he will command through 
Colonel Roddy. 



James Edmund Saunders. 27 

I am glad to hear that Captain Forrest* continues to improve, and for your kind- 
ness manifested for him please accept my thanks. I presume that the dispatch of 
General Dodge to Colonel Straight is genuine — at any rate their calculations were all 
" knocked into pie." 

Would be glad to hear from you in relation to the horses. From Courtland or 
Decatur you can write me, forwarding your letter by mail via Huntsville. From Athens 
use courier or persons passing to Pulaski, care of Major Falconet, Commandant of the 
Post, who can forward immediately to me here. The men left in charge of horses can 
act as couriers for you if necessary. Very respectfully, 

Your friend, 

N. B. Forrest, 
Brigadier General Commanding. 

A. Q. M. Office, ) 
Decatur, Ala., June 9, 1863. j 

Colonel — The train will come from Tuscumbia on the afternoon of the 16th and 
come down again on the morning of the 20th, as you request, unless the train is endan- 
gered by the appearance of the enemy. I am, sir, 

Very respectfully your obedient servant, 

E. W. Kennedy, 
Captain A. Q. M., C. V. 
To Col. Jas. E. Saunders, Courtland, Ala. 

Headquarters Cavalry Corps, Col. Richard Jones' House, \ 
Lawrence County, October_15, 1863, 5:10 p. m. J 

Colonel — We have just received a dispatch from General Roddy, per hands of an 
officer of his command, which informs us that he is at Athens, Ala. His command is 
safe ; had a slight skirmish with a small force of the enemy, and offered him battle, which 
he declined. We are happy in the information, and knowing 'twould be pleasant intelli- 
gence to you, forward it. Very respectfully, colonel, 

Your obedient servant, 

Wm. E. Wailes, 
To Colonel Saunders, at Home A. A. A. General. 



Dalton, Ga., October 31, 1863 



.} 



Headquarters Forrest Cavalry, 

James E. Saunders, Esq.: 

Sir — As> you have no doubt learned, I have been transferred to the Mississippi 
river. General Bragg seemed indisposed to favor me with any facilities in my new 
field of operations, and I go West nearly destitute of horses, without which you know I 
can do nothing. It is therefore important that I collect up all the horses belonging to 
the government. Enclosed I send you the receipts given for 'horses and mules last 
May. If you have any other receipts or know of any other horses or mules belonging 
to the government I request that you will make the same known to either of my 
brothers, Colonel Forrest or Captain Forrest. Let me also i-equest you to give them all 
the aid you can in this matter, and knowing your great zeal in the cause I believe this 
request will not be made- in vain. Without these horses I can do nothing, and I trust 
the people will see how important they are to a defence of their homes and aid you in 
this matter. For the present my field of operations will be in West Tennessee, and am' 



* His brother, Capt. William Forrest, who was wounded, and convalescing at Colonel Saunders 
home. 



28 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

service I may be able to render in this region will be in defence of your own unfortu* 
nate section, so often desolated by the invaders. Hoping you will attend to this mat-' 
ter, and thanking you for past kindness, I remain your friend and obedient servant, 

N. B. Forrest, Brig. Gen. 

Headquarters Cavalry Corps, "I 
Near Warrenton, Ala., October 26, 1863. J 

Colonel — 1 am in receipt of your letter of 22d, and thank you for the suggestions 
therein contained. I will endeavor to have the matter arranged accordingly. 

Before leaving I directed each division commander to appoint a Board to assess the 
damages done, and in addition thereto left a board of my own staff officers to see that 
all damages were satisfactorily assessed. So soon as my staff join me and report, if I find 
there is any dissatisfaction, I will have another board appointed to read judge the matter. 
I am determined that satisfaction shall be given and full justice done to all parties. 

The manner you proposed was understood by the Boards, and I do not doubt they 
have adopted the means you suggest. 

I am, Colonel, very respectfully your obedient servant, 

Jos. Wheeler, Maj. Gen. 
Col. Jas. E. Sannders, near Courtland, Ala. 



Headquarters Forrest Cavalry Command, 1 
Dalton, November 1, 1863. J 



Colonel — The general requests me to say that in his new field of operations he 
would like very much if it become necessary for you to leave home that you would 
join him. It is too laborious for you to remain with us all the time, but it would 
afford us great pleasure to even have your good company occasionally. 

I had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Saunders a few days ago. Himself and family 
were in fine health. My best respects to your wife and the young ladies, and if I 
should go through by land to Oakalona, and not by railroad, it is my intention to call 
and see you and family ; but I can never tell what disposition the general will make of 
me until the eleventh hour. He is decidedly amiable this morning, and as astonishing as 
it may appear, I have escaped up to the present time (ten o'clock) without one of his 
peculiar blessings. Yours, with the highest regards, 

J. P. Strange, Staff Officer to Gen. Forrest. 
Col. James E. Saunders. 

Tuscumbia, Ala., November 23, 1863. 

Colonel Saunders — I send the boy, Tom, for my horses. I am able to sit up, and 
can walk across the house on my crutches. I think of paying you a visit some time this 
week if I get able to ride in a buggy. I expect to go to Oakalona as soon as I find that 
I am able to get there. Captain Steele's company all mutinied, and refused to go to 
Oakalona with the regiment; but both officers and men have repented, and gone to 
join the regiment. Colonel, if you have any news, please write me and excuse my 
short note. 

Respectfully yours, 

Jesse E. Forrest.* 

Como, Panola County, Miss. , January 18, 1864. 
Col. James E. Saunders,: 

Dear Sir — I arrived here after several days' hard riding. I found General 
Forrest here with some 4000 effective men. He has just returned from General 

*Col. Jesse E. Forrest, a brother of the general. 



James Edmund Saunders. 29 

Polk's headquarters ; he has been put in command of North Mississippi and West 
Tennessee, General Lee having been transferred to South Mississippi. 

This place is just forty-five miles from Memphis. We are getting plenty of forage 
and provisions ; the general is very busily engaged in organizing his command. He 
has been given General Chalmers' command, with two additional Tennessee regiments. 
The general says he will have to station a brigade at Tupelo, and I think very likely 
that I will be put in command of that brigade. The general is very anxious to have 
you join him. General Forrest brought out about 3500 new troops and has succeeded 
in arming them all. My best respects to Major Watkins. 

Very respectfully, 

Jesse E. Forrest. 

P, S. — The general has effected an exchange of prisoners with General Hulbert 
and I will be exchanged for immediately. 

J. E. F. 

Assistant Quartermaster's Office, \ 
Courtland, Ala., December 23, 1863. J 

Colonel — I would be glad if your time will permit, if you will call upon our State 
Commissioners as you pass through Montgomery and present two subjects for their con- 
sideration, which must be considered by them or the agents for government will be 
unable to supply the wants of our army. 

First — The price of wool, woolen goods, leather, shoes, etc., must be advanced at 
least 100 per cent. Those articles sell readily at Mobile for from 300 to 500 per cent, 
above their rates of the 1st November. 

Secondly — A discriminatiou must be made with this portion of Alabama and the 
Southern part of the State in prices. This entire district having been camped upon by 
our own army and that of the enemy continuously Eor more than twelve months, the 
means of subsistence is barely sufficient for its own inhabitants, and yet our army — 
General Roddy and others — are still camping upon them. 

My next request, Colonel, is that you will call upon General Hardee and get him, if 
possible, to order General Wheeler to send a quartermaster and commissary to this 
place to receipt to the " tax in kind," collector for this district, for forage and subsist- 
ence consumed by his command during the time they camped in this valley — if not done 
the producers will be compelled to pay their taxes from the little left them, which will 
produce suffering in this valley amongst some of our best citizens, and by these officers 
being sent here it will save an outlay of a large amount of money to our government. 

Ask Governor Watts to recommend a Military Court. 

I am, Colonel, wishing you a pleasant trip, 

Very respectfully, etc., your obedient servant, 

S. H. Richardson, 
Captain and A. Q. M. 
To Colonel J. U. Saunders, Rocky Hill. 

Tuscumbia, February 11, 1864. 

Colonel Saunders — Yours of the 9th is before me, and in reply I would state that 
I have just arrived from Tennessee, having gone as far as Jack's Greek, in which vicinity 
there was quite a large force of Yankees, and about twenty thousand in La Grange, 
Grand Junction and Bolivar, and it is believed by the citizens they are making prepara- 
tions for a large raid into Mississippi. I learn from reliable source that General Forrest 
has fallen back to the vicinity of Jackson, Miss., and communication with him would be 
impossible. It is reported the Yankees are in pursuit of me ; the last heard from they 
were in Iuka. Have sent scouts out which have not yet returned. 

Very respectfully, 

W. A. Johnson, Col. Commanding, etc. 



30 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Gadsden, February 22, 1864. 

Col. J. E. Saunders — We are all off to-day for Tunnel Hill, in obedience to orders 
received Saturday. Nothing has been suggested to me from headquarters as to our 
future destination, but I have no idea that any forward move is anticipated at present, 
inasmuch as there is a constant stream of furloughed soldiers constantly leaving our 
army. Hundreds are passing daily, and I have not seen a single one returning. 

I think it likely we may have some active service, as our position will likely be in 
front — if opportunity offers I will certainly give my men a showing at the invaders. 

A late paper shows General Withers to be in command of the district of North 
Alabama, from latitude 32, by order of Lieutenant General Polk, and I hope sufficient 
protection will be thrown around our section of the State. The fear, however, is that 
they will consider us in the enemy's lines, and establish lines south of the mountains, 
but we will hope for the best. 

If the citizens will do their best for me or my command I believe a very effective 
force can be gotten together from recruiting ; and Captain Williams, whom I have left 
in command of the picket lines from Brown's Perry to Decatur and Whitesburg, will 
be the best man for . them to report to. He is a gentleman and a soldier, has my 
fullest confidence, and deserves to command a regiment. 

I believe the leader who will take us safely through our difficulties has not yet 
risen to the surface. Our substance is being shamefully wasted now. We will here- 
after suffer on account of the waste. These are matters of opinion, and of course private. 

Colonel Foster says for me to receive all companies offering, and trust him to 
effect the legal organization. Yours truly, 

P. D. Roddey. 

Headquarters, Cavalry Brigade,") 
September 23, 1864. J 

Dear Colonel — Finding great difficulty in procuring supplies in this vicinity, I 
would feel much indebted if you will send by the bearers the provisions which you 
were kind enough to offer me this morning. Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Thos. Harrison 
Colonel Saunders, near Courtland. 

Tuscumbia, Ala., November 1, 1864. 

Dear Colonel — I send you by the bearer the piece of tracing paper you had asked 
for — he is instructed to await the promised sketch.* Please make the notes which are 
to accompany it, as ample as your time and patience will permit. 

With my kindest regards to your family, I remain yours very truly, 

G. T. Beauregard. 
Col. Jas. JE. Saunders, RocJcy Hill, near Courtland, Ala. 

January 4, 1865. 

Mr. J. E. Sanders — I was detailed as a safe guard and sent to your residents to 
protect your home and family I found your familey to be Ladeies. Our soldiers behaved 
un gentlemanly on your premises, but it was not the fait of our officers. I was treated 
very kindly by your familey I would have like very much to have seen your before I 
went away, but scircumstances are so that I cant see you. I live in Indiana, Grant 
county, and am a private soldier in the 101 Indiana. 

Jacob Carll. 
101st Indiana Regiment. 

*Relating to the route of the army. 



James Edmund Saunders. 31 

The limits of this sketch can follow no further the sad and glorius fortunes of the 
State. The lovely valley, for which he struggled in vain, overrun by cruel invasion ; the 
forced marching of Hood's army; the generals and their gallant staffs rendezvousing 
at the old home; their reverses at Franklin, Tenn. ; their retreat and, alas! hopeless 
abandonment of the valley to the enemy, and, at last, the end. And then the reign of 
martial law, and the Freedman's Bureau! 

Those dark days of the Reconstruction -period rapidly followed the horrors of civil 
war, and the reign of the carpet-bagger began, goading the people to despera- 
tion! For their protection, the younger and more reckless men of the community now 
formed a secret society, which masqueraded at night in grotesque and gruesome character, 
called the Ku-Klux Klan. Always silent and mysterious, mounted on horses they 
swept noiselessly by in the darkness with gleaming death's-heads skeletons and chains. 
It struck terror into the heart of the evil-doer, while the peaceful citizen knew a faithful 
patrol had guarded his premises while he slept. 

Fearful that high prices" would enable the South to recoup too rapidly, an iniquitous 
cotton tax was now imposed upon this prostrate industry, whose gin-houses had been 
burned, and fields laid waste. Colonel Saunders wrote to the Hon. Reverdy Johnson in 
consultation, and his reply is interesting, as it shows the sympathy of the better class 
of men who were then in power : 

Washington, D. C, December 28, 1867. 

Dear Sir — You need not apologize for addressing me your letter of the 25th, just 
received. The suggestions you give me in relation to the cotton tax I will try to turn to 
advantage. The tax itself is, I think, objectionable, as well on grounds of expediency 
as want of authority in Congress to impose it. I should hope, therefore, that the amount 
which has been received from it in the present distressing condition of the South would 
be returned. If it would be impossible to find out the individual persons from whom it 
was received, it might be distributed among the States in the proportion of the quantity 
of cotton raised by each when the tax was levied ; and the States be required to appro- 
priate it to the support of their impoverished people. Or if this can not be done, justice 
and policy, it seems to me, alike require that the government should loan it to the States 
for some long period, its payment to be secured in some way within their power. I fear 
that Congress will not agree to repeal the tax as to the present year's crop, although I 
have little or no doubt that it will be repealed as to all future crops. The condition of 
the South gives to every American who has the happiness and reputation of his country 
at heart the most intense solicitude that it may soon be rendered better, and that their 
people may be enabled to recover their former prosperity and be restored to all the rights 
which the Constitution is intended to secure and guarantee, must be the wish of every 
man who values at their real worth the free institutions which our fathers bequeathed to 
us. I remain with regard, 

Your obedient servant, 
James E. Saunders, Esq. Reverdy Johnson. 

Bewildered with his emancipation, the ex-slave, always the child of nature, exercised 
his master's utmost patience. Colonel Saunders proceeded to establish a patriarchal 
protectorate over his own. He gave them a church on the place and organized also a 
plantation monthly court, where the gray beards among them assembled to try the dere- 
licts. The findings of this august body were often ludicrous in the extreme, greatly tax- 
ing the gravity of its kind presiding officer ; but, for a long time, it fulfilled its object — 
that of preserving law and order on the plantation, and preventing resort to the Freed- 
man's Bureau, then in force throughout the South ; a kind of Orphan's court, in which the 
nation's ward might appeal from his former owner directly to the indulgence of Uncle 
Sam's officials, often a trying position to the planter, when these men proved to be of the 
former rabid Abolition type. 

Turning from the tyranny of King Cotton, as the years went on, he hoped to intro- 



32 Early Settlees op Alabama. 

duce, among the diversified industries of his neighborhood the growing of grapes, and 
for this purpose he induced Samuel Miller, a noted horticulturist of Missouri, to come 
to Eocky Hill and plant ten acres of the best adaptable varieties. In this he 
had also the assistance of a well-educated Austriin, or Sclavonian, by the name of 
Pujo, who was familiar with the processes of European culture of the vine. In that 
rocky soil there was no want of success in growing fine specimens of the best varieties, 
but too distant markets, large commissions, and express rates, permitted no profits. He 
was simply ahead of the times. 

(Since then, grape growing and marketing has flourished under more favorable con- 
ditions in several colonies in Alabama. ) 

He wrote a bulletin on this subject, which was published by the Agricultural Depart- 
ment of Alabama (Judge Edward Betts, Commissioner). His library, his correspond- 
ence, his perplexing agricultural difficulties, rounded the employment of a beautiful old 
age, the serenity and grandeur of which is the inspiration of that virtue which is " its 
own exceeding great reward." At this period of his life, looking at him one might 
repeat — 

" There was a morning when I longed for fame, 
There was a noontime when I passed it by; 
There is an evening when I think not shame 
Its being and its substance to deny." 

With him life's turmoil had now sublimed to an ecstatic calm. The Golden Wed- 
ding came in the year 1874, and still was he the lover, in whom a half -hundred years had 
no power to break the spell of her young eyes. Her imposing presence, versatile talents 
and fine social qualities always charmed him and others. A keen wound to them was 
her accidental laming, on 2d of January, 1873, by a fall from her horse while riding 
with him to visit the venerable Mrs. Benj. Sherrod, then ill at the home of her daughter, 
Mrs. Sam Shakelford. She was ever after restrained to a wheel-chair, but, happy 
Christian soul ! always cheerful and making cheer for others. They were now alone. 
The few children left to them were married or absent. Their contemporaries, those 
vivid-living "early settlers" had struck their tents on the Heavenly shore ; and — 

" Those that he loved so long, and sees no more, 
Loved, and still loves — not dead, but gone before, 
He gathers round him." 

Two old people, dreaming of the past ! And thus, for fifteen years longer, they awaited 
in holy communings the calm angel, who would announce, " The Master has come, 
and calleth for thee ! ' ' and to her He came first, as in an apocalyptic vision — literally 
before the dawn; for, when asked if she wanted more light in the room, which to her 
mortal vision was already darkening, she smiled, rapt in the splendor of the vision, " I 
shall see the Bright Light in the morning!" and so passed, softly chanting, "Jesus, 
lover of my soul," her hand in that of the aged husband, who, because of his desola- 
tion, would yet hold her from Heaven itself awhile. This perfect union, in which the 
morning had been "a song," the noon "a psalm," the evening "a prayer," had 
so conquered Time, that death was only a coronation for the Eternal Life beyond ! 

The benediction of their father's presence in their homes was yet spared his devoted 
children for a few years. But summer always found him, once more, at " BocTcy Rill" 
among his lost saints, and ever awaiting the' summons, which came to him at last, so 
gently, in a beloved daughter's arms, he fell asleep like a smiling child closing its eyes 
on a weary world. Life was now his debtor, and Love makes his grave " its oratory." 



Recollections of North Alabama. 33 



RECOLLECTIONS OF 

THE EARLY SETTLERS OF NORTH ALABAMA. 



" And when he passed out of the wood, and saw the peaceful sun going 
down upon a wide purple prospect, he came to an old man sitting on a fallen 
tree. So he said to the old man, ' What do you do here? ' And the old man 
said with a calm smile, ' I am always remembering. Come and remember 
with me ! ' 

" So the traveler sat down by the side of that old man, face to face with 
the serene sunset; and all his friends came softly back and stood around him. 
The beautiful child, the handsome boy, the young man in love, the father, 
the mother, and children; every one of them was there, and he had lost 
nothing." — Dickens'' Child's Story. 

I have intended for several years to write my Recollections of old times ; and have, 
at length, forced myself to commence the task, before it shall be too late. I have had 
good opportunity of knowing the matters of which I shall treat. I came with my 
father's family, to Lawrence county, when I was a youth of fifteen years, and have lived 
here sixty years (1880). 

I have resided, for years, in each of three main divisions of the county. After mar- 
. riage, my first home was in Moulton, the county seat. I then moved to the Courtland 
Valley, and have spent many summers at the Chalybeate Springs, on the mountain 
{where I had a home). I knew the early settlers well, and of them I design to write; 
those who were here fifty or sixty years ago, or more. Of later ones I shall not speak, 
except they be descendants of early settlers, or incidentally connected with their history. 
Even confined within these limits, I foresee that my subject will become so broad, I shall 
have to use a simple and concise style, to bring it within proper bounds. I have taken much 
pains, where my own recollections were faint, to consult with the few friends of my 
youth, who still survive, to avoid mistakes. In speaking of the ancestors of the living, 
they must not expect me to picture the men as saints, and the women as angels; but such 
as they lived, and died on the earth. 

In writing these sketches, although my most profound emotions are excited, I have not 
been actuated by mere sentiment ; but the higher motive of being useful to the fathers 
and mothers, who have sons and daughters growing up. It has always been a mooted 
question what state of life, in respect to fortune, is best for a family. Now, as I pass 
the old families of the county in review before you, commencing with Moulton — passing 
through the Southeast section, thence to Courtland, thence around the " Valley " and 
back over the " Mountain" — and thence close with the Southwest section, I invoke the 
special attention of the young and old, to the application of the facts, to the solution of 
the question propounded. I have no desire to forestall opinion, but I predict that many 
parents who are compelled to make an effort to support and educate their children will 
be more content with their condition than they were. 

After I shall have finished the work embraced, in the above plan, I shall write ex- 
clusively for the benefit of the boys who will read or spell through my articles, several 
chapters, on " Hunting and Fishing." 

The Cherokee Indians. 

were the earliest settlers of our county of whom we have any knowledge. They occu- 
pied, once, from Cane Creek, below Tuscumbia (where their domain joined that of the 
Chickasaws), up the Tennessee river, to its head-waters; and their scattered towns 



34 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

spread far into the Northern parts of Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. The Cherokees 
were the "Mountaineers" of aboriginal America, and extended over the most pictur- 
esque and salubrious region east of the Mississippi. — (Bancroft's History of the United. 
States.) This powerful and extensive tribe came from the Eastward ; and first had 
settlements on the Appomattox river, and were allied to the Powhatans. The Virginians- 
drove them thence, and they retreated to the head-waters of the Holston river. Here, 
after having made temporary settlements, the Northern Indians compelled them to retire- 
to the Little Tennessee river, where they established themselves permanently. About 
the same time a large branch of the Cherokees came from South Carolina (near Charles- 
ton), and formed towns on the main Tennessee, extending as far as the Muscle 
Shoals. They found all that region unoccupied, except upon the Cumberland, where 
was a band of roving Shawnees. — (Pickett's History of Alabama.) 

Of the Cherokees in North Alabama, the earliest authentic account we have dates 
back to the invasion of the Spanish under De Soto, in 1540, just 340 years ago. In his- 
wonderful march he crossed the branches of the winding and historic Coosa river ; 
remained some time at Chiaho, where stands Rome, in Georgia; then marched down the- 
right bank of the Coosa to Costa (the site of Gadsden, in Alabama), where lived the 
Cherokees. Never before had our soil been trodden by European feet. Never before 
had the* natives beheld white faces, long beards, strange apparel, glittering armor, and,, 
stranger than all, the singular animals bestrode by these dashing cavaliers (Pickett). 
The country of the Cherokees was described by the early historians as the most beauti- 
ful and romantic in the world ; as abounding in delicious springs, fertile valleys, lovely 
rivers and lofty mountains ; the woods full of game and the rivers of fish. But none- 
of these early writers had ever seen the country about the Muscle Schoals, which was 
last settled and [most highly valued by these Indians. The buffaloes roamed over the- 
plains in countless numbers. As late as 1826, at the licks in this county, their paths, knee 
deep, radiated in every direction. In 1780, the small colony which made a crop of corn 
that year at Nashville, Tenn., had to leave three men to prevent the buffaloes from 
destroying the crop, whilst the rest returned to East Tennessee for their families. — 
(Guild's " Old Times in Tennessee.)" Deer, wild turkeys and the smaller game con- 
tinued abundant, even after the whites took possession of the country. As many as 
sixty deer were counted in a single herd. The Tennessee river and its affluents swarmed 
with fish, for there never was anywhere a better inland feeding ground for them than 
the Muscle Shoals. Its shallow waters stretch for fifteen miles along the channel, and 
spread out two or three miles wide, and produce a thick growth of aquatic plants (called 
moss), which come to the surface and sport the tips of their leaves on the swift, spark- 
ling current. These plants, roots and leaves are freely eaten by fish, and wild fowls 
also. Of these last, swans, wild geese and ducks (which annually visited their feeding 
ground in old times) the number was fabulous. Added to this, the bottom of the river 
was strewn with mussels and periwinkles, which were not only highly relished by the 
fish and fowl, but by the Indians, who had in them a sure provision against starvation 
in times of scarcity. I could well imagine that the last prayer of the Cherokee to the 
Great Spirit, when he was leaving this scene of beauty and abundance, would be that he 
might, when he opened his eyes in the next world, be permitted to see such another 
hunters' paradise as this. 

The males of the Cherokees, in ancient times, were larger and more robust than any - 
other of our natives ; whilst their women were tall, erect and of a delicate frame with 
perfect symmetry (Bartram). And on account of the pure air which they breathed, the 
exercise of the chase, the abundance of natural productions which their country afforded 
and the delicious water which was always near, they lived to an age much more advanced 
than the other tribes (Adair). I saw a good deal of them from 1815 to 1834, when they 
were removed to the West, and also had a personal knowledge of other Southern tribes, 
and I think this pre-eminence was maintained to modern times. 

Sir Alexander Cumming, in 1730, sent an envoy who was guided by Indian traders 
to Neguasse, on the Little Tennessee, which was the seat of empire of all the Cherokee 



Recollections of North Alabama. 35 

towns. A general assembly of the chiefs took place. They offered a chaplet, four scalps 
of their enemies and five eagle tails as the records of the treaty ; it was proposed to them 
to send deputies to England. Seven chiefs were sent and a treaty was concluded, in which 
they promised that ' ' love should flow Wee a river and peace should endure like the mountains,' ' 
and it was kept faithfully for a generation (Bancroft). Again in 1761 this peace was 
confirmed, when Timberlafce, a lieutenant in the Royal service, descended to the Holston 
in canoes and visited their towns. He returned to Charleston with three of their chiefs 
and sailed for England (Timberlake). 

This peace, however, did not last for many years. The extension of the white set- 
tlements to East Tennessee and', shortly afterward, to Middle Tennessee roused the ani- 
mosity of the Cherokees, and the Revolutionary War coming on, the emissaries of Great 
Britain turned their arms against the colonies they had planted, and a conflict ensued 
which continued nearly twenty years. 

It was at this gloomy period that Gen. James Robertson, with eight others, settled 
at Nashville. In the fall they returned to East Tennessee for their families. It was 
arranged that General Robertson should proceed, first, with a number of young men to 
raise the necessary buildings, and that Col. John Donelson should follow with another 
party of emigrants, including the women and children. To avoid the toil and peril of 
the route through the wilderness, Colonel Donelson conceived the idea of reaching the 
new settlement by water, down the Tennessee and up the Cumberland rivers. No man, 
white or red, had ever attempted the voyage, which was really more dangerous than, 
the overland route, while there were equally as many Indians to be encountered. At 
the suck one of the boats hung upon a rock, and a hot skirmish with the Cherokees on 
the mountain side took place before they could extricate her. Among those who 
shared the dangers of this voyage was Rachel Donelson, the daughter of the leader, a 
black-eyed, black-haired brunette, as gay, as bold, and as handsome a lass as ever 
danced on the deck of a flatboat, or took the helm while her father took a shot at the 
Indians. — (Guild.) This lass became the wife of Gen. Andrew Jackson. I guess "he 
loved her for the dangers she had passed." What a pity there was no issue from this 
marriage ! For what a game breed it would have been ! This was one hundred years 
ago. This party of Colonel Donelson boldly shot the Muscle Shoals without a pilot. 
They were the first whites who ever set their eyes on the soil of Lawrence county of 
whom we have any account. After a voyage of four months they reached their new 
home, and there was a happy meeting of husbands and wives, parents and children. 

To give the reader some idea of the manner in which early settlers were harassed 
by the Indians, it has been stated that for fifteen years they killed within seven miles 
of Nashville one person in about every ten days. Then, women and children were 
slaughtered indiscriminately, and this ruthless warfare extended to all the settlements 
in Middle Tennessee. — (Guild.) The Hon. Felix Grundy, who passed amidst these 
these perils, once alluded to them, in the United States Senate, when he spoke with 
touching eloquence: " I was too young to participate in these dangers and difficulties, 
but I can remember when death was in almost every bush, and every thicket concealed 
an ambuscade. If I am asked to trace my memory back, and name the first indelible 
impression it received, it would be the sight of my eldest brother, bleeding and dying 
under the wounds inflicted by the tomahawk and scalping knife, Another, and another 
went in the same way. I have seen a widowed mother plundered of her whole property 
in one night; from affluence and ease reduced to poverty in a moment, and compelled 
to labor with her own hands to support and educate her last and favorite son — him who 
now addresses you. Sir, the ancient sufferings of the West were very great. I know it. 
I need turn to no document to tell me what they were. They are written upon my 
memory — a part of them on my heart. Those of us who are here are but the remnant, 
the wreck of large families lost in the settlement of the West. ' ' 

At length the patience of the settlers was completely exhausted. Moreover, they 
had become gradually stronger, and they determined to strike a blow which would reach 
the heart of the enemy, and to pursue them to their stronghold, Nickajack, from which 



36 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

point the Cherokees, with their allies, were accustomed to make their incursions. This 
was their great military station, where the warriors from the Little Tennessee above, 
and the Muscle Shoals below, concentrated when they meditated mischief. And here, 
in riotous drunkenness, they consumed the fruits of their victories. The whites had 
never crossed the Tennessee, and they felt secure. Suddenly General James Robertson 
had collected a force of 600 men, with much secrecy, and burst upon them like a thunder- 
bolt: They had reached the north bank of the river after dark, constructed small rafts for 
their guns and ammunition, and pushing them before them — sometimes wading and 
sometimes swimming — they reached the southern bank early in the morning, surrounded 
their enemies, and gained an overwhelming victory. Prom the numbers of the Cherokees 
killed, I judge there was not much quarter asked or given. The power of the tribe was 
completely broken. The Cherokees for the first time sued for peace, and never afterward 
molested the whites. 

Even when Teeumseh harangued every tribe, with his fiery eloquence, from the lakes 
of the North to the Gulf of Mexico, the Cherokees remembered Nickajack ! and the les- 
' son written there, by the Tennesseans, in blood, and remained friendly. It was through 
their country that General Jackson marched his army to subdue the Creeks, in the 
autumn of 1813. Gen. John Coffee found a ford for his mounted men across the Muscle 
Shoals. They entered the river near the mouth of Blue Water creek, waded about three 
miles and emerged from it just below Green's Bluff; and ascending the steep and lofty 
bank they found themselves, in what is now, Lawrence county, but then the choice 
hunting grounds of the Cherokees. As they beheld the level but elevated valley, which 
stretched out before them, apparently, a broad prairie interspersed, thinly, with trees, it 
was a sad day for the poor Indian! for many a soldier's heart glowed with admiration 
and covetousness. 'There stood the leader, of gigantic stature and fine proportions, with 
his calm face (which I well recollect) and by his side Major Alexander McCulloch, who 
was his favorite aide, and had fought in many a bloody conflict, by the side of the noble 
Coffee. It was a strange coincident, that McCulloch, after the cession, purchased the very 
tract of land on which their eyes were then resting, and made it his home for many 
years. In its proper place, I shall give sketches of him, and his distinguished sons, 
Generals Ben and Henry E. McCulloch. Of the emigrants who afterward came from 
Middle Tennessee to this county, a large proportion had belonged to Coffee's command. 
During this war many of the Cherokees were our allies, and served against the Creeks. 
Indeed, it was owing to the fact that some friendly Indians were besieged in a small fort 
near Talladega, that General Jackson precipitated his march in advance of his supplies, 
for Old Hickery never forsook his friends, no matter what the color of their skins. 

Very shortly after this war closed, I think in 1817, the Cherokees ceded land enough 
to form three counties, of which Lawrence was the middle one. The Indians who lived 
here, moved eastward, and settled with the body of the tribe. Amongst them was a 
chief named Melton — for whom " Melton's Bluff" was called — who settled about three 
miles above Guntersville. 

When the whites first came to this county the cabins of the Indians were still stand- 
ing. Near every house was a pile of muscle and periwinkle-shells. There were monu- 
ments of occupation, which seemed to have existed for a long time, in mounds and forti- 
fications. On " Watkins' Island " at the head of the Muscle Shoals — there are a half 
dozen of them — and on the upper end several acres are covered with shells, as if the 
natives had occupied it for many ages. On the mainland, also, you can find them. One 
above the mouth of Town creek is very large. Near Oakville are several, one of which 
is very broad but flat on the top and about eight feet high. The people have a cemetery 
on top of it now. The settlements of the natives were most numerous on Town creek, 
hence the name. On Big Nance was quite a town at Courtland ; and the creek is said to 
have been named from a very large Indian squaw who lived there. 

There has been much conjecture of late years, in regard to the origin of the mounds, 
speculative visitors contending that they were made by a very ancient race they call 
the ' ' Mound Builders. ' ' I agree with our historian , Pickett. He considers this a mistaken 



Recollections op North Alabama. 37 

opinion, and adduces many facts to show it. He quotes extracts from Garcellasa, and 
other Spanish writers, who accompanied De Soto on his march, showing that the large 
mounds were sites for the houses of the chiefs — that they saw houses so located daily — 
and that the smaller ones were places of sepulture. Nearly 200 years after this, and 
subsequent to the settlement of Mobile by the French, the Natchez Indians were 
expelled on account of a massacre of the whites, from the spot now occupied by the city 
of that name, and settled on the Lower Washita. This was in 1730, and in only two 
years from that time they had mounds and fortifications, scattered over 400 acres of 
land, which are still to be seen. Moreover, as late as the administration of Mr. Jeffer- 
son, Lewis and Clark were sent overland to Oregon, to explore the country, and they 
found the Sioux, and other Western tribes, erecting earthen embankments for defence 
around their towns ; so that the construction of these works can be easily accounted for, 
within the historic period. 

Wonderful progress in civilization has been made by the Cherokees since the ces- 
sion of their lands in this valley. This is due to Christian Missions. On the western 
side of the nation the Methodist Church expended much moral force in this direction . 
Amongst the missionaries, Rev. William McMahon, D. D., originated this mission and 
superintended it for many years. He had the sagacity to educate young natives to assist 
in the work. He has gone from earth, but has left a monument of his usefulness in the 
regeneration of a nation. When he was transferred to the West his mantle fell on the 
Rev. John B. McFerrin, D. D., who in the councils of the church was the especial friend 
of the Cherokee, and always encouraged their native preachers. Amongst these were 
Turtlefields and Mcintosh. Turtlefields before his conversion was a warrior and fought 
under General Jackson in the Creek war. He was a hero, and was wounded in single 
combaf with a Creek warrior. He was over six feet high, and possessed great physical 
force. Mcintosh spoke English well, was an interpreter and excelled in that work, and 
became auseful minister. Dr. McFerrin is still robust (1880) and has the promise of many 
years to come — and yet he has seen with his own eyes savages transformed into peace- 
able, law-abiding Christian citizens, with all the intstitutions of civilized life, with 
learned judges, eloquent lawyers, scientific physicians and able ministers. The reason 
I have singled out Drs. McFerrin and McMahon is that they were identified with our 
county. In the proper place, I shall give sketches of them, but thought it best to speak of 
them in this connection before I bid farewell to the Cherokees. 

The Territory of Alabama was created by a division of Mississippi Territory in 1817, 
with St. Stephens as its capital city. The first and second Territorial Legislature met 
there — the first on the 18th of January, 1818, and the second in November of the same 
year. This year, Cahaba was made the seat of government, but as there was no town 
there, and no public buildings, Huntsville was designated as the temporary capital. In 
Huntsville, on the 5th of July, 1819, a convention assembled to prepare a State Consti- 
tution, in which twenty-two counties were represented, viz. : Autauga, Baldwin, Blount, 
Cahaba, Clarke, Conecuh, Cataco, Dallas, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, 
Madison, Marengo, Mobile, Montgomery, Monroe, St. Clair, Shelby, Tuscaloosa and 
Washington. The first General Assembly of the new State met in Huntsville, October 
25, 1819, aud there, on the 9th of November, Governor Bibb was inaugurated. In 1820, 
the government offices and archives were removed to Cahaba. In 1826, Tuscaloosa be- 
came the capital, in the administration of Gov. John Murphy, who had been chosen the 
year previous. In 1846, the capital was removed to Montgomery, where the General 
Assembly of 1847 was held. So Alabama, in fifty years, had as capitals St. Stephens, 
Huntsville, Cahaba, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery. 

Lawrence County, Its Organization, Topography and Soil. 

Lawrence county was laid off, and organized as early as the 4th of February, 1818. 
This was shortly after the termination of the war with Great Britain, when military 
fervor had not much abated, and the Legislature conferred on it the name of Lawrence. 
He was a naval captain, who during a bloody engagement at sea, exclaimed as he sank 



38 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

upon the deck, mortally wounded, "Boys! never give up the ship." This would be a 
good motto for the sons of Lawrence, in war and peace, throughout all time. From the 
start, Moulton and Courtland were rivals for the seat of justice. Both were settled as 
soon as the Indians were removed, and had a wonderful growth. Col. Isaac N. Owen 
informed me that when he came in 1821, Moulton was nearly as large as it is now, but 
not so well built. The law providing for a permanent seat of justice was passed 4th of 
December, 1819. On the same day, Moulton obtained an act of incorporation. Court- 
land heard of it, and on the 19th she was incorporated too ; and so both these villages 
were made cities by law within fifteen days. In February, 1820, the election was held 
to fix the county seat, and the choice fell on Moulton. Arrangements were made at 
once for the erection of the public buildings. Maj. John Gaugett got the contract, and 
they were completed within two years. 

Its Topography. 

To enable the reader to understand the many local allusions I shall have to make in 
the course of these articles it will be necessary to speak of the physical features of this 
county. On the north, it is bounded by the Tennessee river, in that part of its course 
which includes all the Elk-River Shoals and nearly all of the Muscle Shoals. The south- 
ern boundary rests on the northern rim (which is the highest part) of a chain of moun- 
tains, which runs across the State, from east to west. Our people have been in the habit 
of calling these the "Warrior Mountains ; but the State geologist, in his report of 1879, 
calls them the Sand Mountains, because they are so called farther east ; and we consider 
it best to adopt this designation. In this rim, which is several miles wide, the streams 
which, respectively, run south to the Gulf of Mexico, and north to the Tennessee river, 
take their rise ; sometimes interlocking and forming narrow valleys or coves, of romantic 
beauty, in the bosom of towering mountains. These were settled as early as the two 
great valleys, by men who had been accustomed in the States from which they emi- 
grated to ice-cold springs, and rugged scenery. They are, generally, lonely and seques- 
tered ; but in hotly contested elections, a good many people visit them. 

The remainder of the county north of this broad margin of the Sand Mountains, con- 
sists of two large and fertile valleys, running east and west across the county, and 
divided by the Little Mountain. This is an outlying mountain, not connected with any 
other, some six or eight miles wide. It is not so rich as the large valleys, but has in 
many places a free soil, and is inhabited, sparsely, by a people who depend On cultivat- 
ing the best spots, along with the natural pasturage, for a subsistence. Like the Sand 
Mountain, the north is the bluff side of this chain. Toward the south it gradually sub- 
sides for many miles until it meets the Moulton valley ; and there one can not tell where 
the mountain ends, and the valley begins. 

The inhabitants of our county are so familiar with it, that they seem not to be aware 
that the county affords some of the finest scenery east of the Rocky Mountains. Mr. 
Jefferson said there were men living within a half dozen miles of it who had never seen 
the Natural Bridge in Virginia. So it is here. The Tennessee river, in many parts of 
its course, presents scenes of uncommon beauty. Here is a river, tumbling with a dull 
roar, which can be heard for miles, over ledge after ledge of rocks, extending from bank 
to bank. Here are large islands, and sometimes an archipelago of small ones, with the 
branches of the trees trailing in the current. Here are rugged shores, deep shady nooks, 
cool springs, lofty precipices and ancient legends — all furnishing material for the pen- 
cil of the painter and the pen of the poet. Again, on the bluff side of the Little Moun- 
tain, all along, are scenes of great interest. Perhaps the best prospect may be had from 
the promontory west of Courtland, which runs, in a narrow ridge, boldly out into the 
valley, and terminates in a point called the " Pinnacle." It was occupied last summer 
(1879) by a detachment of the United States Coast Survey, which is making a geodesic 
survey across the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. They have occupied 
the Monte Sana above Huntsville, and a point four miles southwest of Moulton on Sand 



Recollections of North Alabama. 39 

Mountain, as signal stations, for the purpose of triaus^ulation and astronomic observa- 
tions. From the Pinnacle the Tennessee valley can be seen to great advantage, with its 
broad fields, narrow skirts of timber and planters' houses dotting the scene all over. 
Here, where the valley wears its richest dress, the lover of the beautiful can feast his 
eyes by traversing a large extent of country. If he should prefer wilder scenery, he can 
fall back to some point on the loftier range of the Sand Mountains. Here he can not 
only behold a cultivated valley, with its fields and woods and homes, but can lift his 
eyes above the Little Mountain and see a prospect of quaint beauty, and only bounded 
by the power of vision ; and when he tires of so much vastness and sublimity, he can 
-descend into one of those deep, dark, green little valleys— can throw himself on the 
grass, beside a cool fountain, rippling from under a lofty precipice, where grow the 
ferns, the mosses and pendant plants, which " drop delicious coolness," and paint a 
pastoral scene of such beauty that it will go right to the heart of a man who is jaded 
with the heat and dust, cares and perplexities of a city. 

The Soil 

of the county when first settled, by the whites, was warm, mellow and productive. Its 
foundation is the St. Louis or coral limestone, which was once the bed of a sea, and the 
rock is full of fossil shells, which indicate the fact clearly. This rock passes under 
the Little Mountain and forms the floor of both the Tennessee and Moulton valleys 
(Geo. Report 1879). The first-mentioned valley was easily reduced to cultivation, for tim- 
ber was thinly scattered over the surface, and was low and gnarled, owing to the annual 
fires kindled by the Indians to consume the tall grass. The production in early times, 
I think, would average 1200 to 1400 pounds of cotton and forty bushels of corn per 
acre; but the land has been- worked so long, without rest or manure, that the average 
product now is not half what it was in old times. As long as the crops continued heavy 
no one cared to inquire into the nature of the soil ; but since its exhaustion, and the 
planters have been put on short rations, there is much anxiety to know what ingredi- 
ents have been lost in this long course of culture. At my request Professor Stubbs, of 
the Agricultural College at Auburn, Ala., has analyzed two samples of the soil, one 
called the new, which has never been cultivated, and another called the old, which was 
taken from a field which has been worked fifty-seven years. Below we present the 
- analysis, which is the first we have ever seen, of North Alabama soil. This great Ten- 
nessee Valley, extending from Flint river, above Huntsville, to Bear creek, below 
Tuscumbia, is founded on the same geological stratum, the coral limestone, and the gen- 
eral mineral character of the soil is the same, although there may be a difference in the 
relative amount of humus, or vegetable mould, in localities. 

ANALYSIS. 

No. 1, Old. No. 2, New. 

Insoluble matter 91.78 88.89 

Soluble silica 0205 .077 

Ferric oxide (iron) 3.15 3.605 

Alumina 1.90 1.995 

Lime : 248 .354 

Magnesia 187 .193 

Phosphoric acid 045 .236 

Sulphuric acid 0808 .0464 

Potash 0745 .144 

Soda (not determined) .128 

Soluble organic matter 1.51 3.37 

Chlorine (not determined) , 

INSOLUBLE MATTEK. 

Organic matter 3.29 7.03 

Sand : 87.49 81.86 

Total humus 4.80 10.55 



40 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

MECHANICAL ANALYSIS OP SOIL. 

Clay 5.24 

Fine silt 10.36- 

Fine sand 20.20 

Coarse sand .1 64.20 

Total 100.00 

The foundation of the Moulton Valley is the same as that of the Tennessee 
Valley. But there is this difference in the soil, that there is a large proportion of fine 
creek land in the Moulton Valley. Town and Big-Nance creeks and Flint river rise in 
this valley, and their head branches spreading wide furrows to the richest alluvion. 
The drawback to its maximum production has always been a lack of natural drainage. 
Individual efforts have done something to cause the surface water to pass off, but not 
enough. Experience shows that land should be relieved of water for three feet below 
the surface. Then the frosts of winter would enter and disintegrate the soil, and the 
genial rays of spring sunshine would penetrate and warm it. I judge there is an obstruc- 
tion at the lip of each of the three shallow basins in which these streams rise, which 
prevents the flow of the water, and this may be owing to the fact that the dip of the 
rock is toward the south. A preliminary survey might be made to ascertain the fall 
and the point of obstruction. Professor Smith says " the level of the Mt. Hope Valley 
is not much above that of the Tennessee Valley, from which it is separated by the 
Little Mountain. — (Geo. Report, 1879.) But he merely judged from the indications of 
baromster, for no instrumental survey was made. If the fall is scant there is the 
more necessity for a good engineer to ascertain it and lay out work. If the Moulton 
Valley were thoroughly drained it would be much more productive, as arable land, 
furnish fine meadows, and the inhabitants would be much more healthy. 

Remarks of Professor Stubbs on the Analysis of North Alabama Soil. 

"You see that your soil is very sandy, and has such an amount of ferric oxide 
(iron) as to merit the appellation of ' ferruginous sandy.' Let not the assertion that 
your soil is not a true clay carry dismay to your hearts. God has provided better for 
you than to undermine the level valley of the Tennessee with a substratum of heavy 
clay. Instead of that, he has given you a porous sandstone, through which the copious 
rains of the winter and spring may easily filter and leave the soil wholesome and sweet 
for the growing crops. Had you a clay soil, with your natural imperfect system of 
drainage, every heavy rain would convert your level fields into lagoons and your rich 
bottoms into lakes, and the country would become so sickly that it would be uninhab- 
itable. Clays, it is true, absorb water and ammonia, and so does a sandy ferruginous, 
and in holding ammonia, it even excels it. The porosity of the sand permits a free pass- 
age to the water, while the iron present abstracts and retains any solid it contains. 
Again, the iron present not only absorbs and condenses ammonia in its pores, but also 
a large amount of carbonic acid gas, which the porosity of your soil enables at once to 
go to work as a disintegrator of rock particles and a solvent of plant food. Hence 
we easily see why our sand rock, with its iron compounds, has given us such valuable 
soils. 

" In comparing the old soil, which we are now working, with the new, the great 
difference is, that we have lost, by fifty-seven years' cultivation, one-half the humus 
(or vegetable matter), one-half the potash, and, wonderful to tell, four-fifths of the 
phosphoric acid (bone) ! Every planter who has studied the subject of soils, is ready 
to exclaim, ' How did this thing occur, when cotton, our principal crop,' abstracts less 
from the soil than any other valuable crop?' It must have happened by waste, the 
seed having been carried away to oil mills, or fed to stock, and no return made to the 
lands, and the leaves, empty bolls and soft parts of the stalks, which are rich in phos- 
phoric acid, being consumed by hungry cattle. It can be accounted for in no other 
way. Now what shall we do to repair the injury? The answer is obvious. First, never 



Recollections op North Alabama. 41 

let a hoof go on the fields which have produced your cotton crops ; secondly, suffer not 
a bushel of cotton seed to be carried away or wasted ; thirdly, in some way add the 
vegetable matter which has been lost, either by resting in weeds, or clover, or by add- 
ing manure of some kind ; and fourthly, mix with your manure a purer article of super- 
phosphate. My own experience is, that even on clover land, which is rich in humus, 
super-phosphate adds very materially to the product of cotton. I have tested this by 
the steelyards. 

The Minerals 

of a valuable kind were sought for very assiduously in early times. Gold! One Sun- 
day morning when I lived in Courtland, there came a friend to my house whose mind was 
evidently much preoccupied. After a few minutes, he asked me to walk out with him, 
and when we had gotten to the bottom of the yard, he looked carefully all around, and 
then pulled from his pocket a hard roll with particles of something in it resembling gold,, 
and said, 'What's that?' I answered that it looked like gold, but I did not believe it 
was, but if he would come in next day, I would have it tried in the crucible. He said he- 
could not wait. I saw he was suffering, and we repaired to the silversmith. Murdock 
soon had the roll in the crucible, and it went off into smoke, and so did the gentleman's 
hopes. We went immediately to church, my friend being in a fit frame of mind to sing, 

' How vain are all things here below, 
How false, and yet how fair.' 

' 'This was farcical ; but about a half century ago a case occurred which affected my 
feelings sensibly. A shy old man was seen about the bluffs on the Tennessee river 
digging a hole here and another there, and sleeping in the eaves. This went on for a 
year or two. He avoided communication with anybody. No one knew whether he was 
seeking for gold or silver, or a hidden treasure. At length he brought to my house his 
mining tools, and requested me to take care of them. I asked him where he was going. 
He replied (and his answer was broken by a hacking cough) that he was not very well, 
and that he was going into some other State, to visit his kin. The poor old man never 
reclaimed his tools — was never heard of afterward. 

"Silver ! There was much muffled talk about silver mines in our county, in old times. 
My old friend Wyatt Cheatham was fully persuaded that there was silver in what we 
then called the Warrior mountains, and while he was cutting his air-line road from 
Moulton to Tuscaloosa, he was constantly searching for it. It was said his confidence 
was founded on information derived from an Indian chief, who had lived within the 
bounds of our county. Of course the silver mine was never found, because there was 
none there. 

" Lead ! Here too was a great search, and it was an early tradition that all the lead 
used by the Indians was taken from the home mines, which were kept carefully con- 
cealed from the whites. But I never heard that a lead mine was ever discovered 
but once, and that happened in this wise: There was a blacksmith in Courtland, New- 
ton Smith, who was a stormer to work, a skilful hand to kill fish with a gig, and to blow 
a trumpet. He was fishing one night at the head of 'the Muscle Shoals, between Wat- 
Ttins Island and Periwinkle Bar; the very region where Rumor said the mine should be. 
Well ! He threw his gig at a large fish with great force, it missed the fish, but struck 
a vein of pure lead, and ploughed a track in it several feet long, which fairly blazed in 
the torchlight. There was no mistake about it — it was a plain case ; and having sworn 
his companion to secrecy, he returned to camp for the night, and reveled in dreams 
of untold wealth; in which a fine mansion, a beautiful wife and a broad plantation 
flitted before his imagination. He, next morning, returned, but never could find the 
spot any more. I have heard him say that he would swear to the truth of the state- 
ment on a stack of Bibles three feet high ; and that was when he was duly sober, too. 
Of course, it was never found. 

Coal ! All the coal which has ever been found in North Alabama has been near the 
tops of the mountains. In other countries they go down into the earth for it, here we 



42 Early Settleks op Alabama. 

go up. Unluckily, the chain which skirts the southern boundary of our county shows 
but one seam of coal, and that too thin to be worked. The outcrop was purchased at an 
early day by Mr. Hamlin Eppes, who lived near Courtland. 

Salt ! There have been borings for salt and coal. On the Tennessee, near the Elk 
River Shoals, Mr. Daniel Gilchrist had one made 430 feet deep, in connection with the 
same Newton Smith who found the lead mine, without finding coal or salt. Also, Mr. 
Paul J. Watkins made a boring at the Tar Springs, without finding anything valuable. 

Oil ! Some years ago two borings were made, one of them 300 feet deep, by a com- 
pany from Columbus, Miss., in search of oil; but after expending a large sum of 
money they abandoned the enterprise. These borings were on the waters of the Big 
Nance, near Mr. Joe Terry. 

Our very competent State Geologist, Dr. Eugene Smith, has made several reports, 
from which we learn that the only coal to be found in our county is too thin to be 
worked ; that iron is the only metal to be found that is useful ; that there is no gold, 
silver or lead, ours not being metal-bearing rocks ; and that it is foolish to hunt for the 
precious metals in our county, and that it is probable that petroleum (oil) in small 
quantities might be obtained. 

There is a spring in the southeastern part of the county from which comes a mere 
rill of water with oil floating on top of it, which accumulates and sinks to the bottom in 
the form of a thick petroleum. It is called the Tar Spring. It is thought to be very 
useful as an application to rheumatic limbs. There is also an exhausted oil spring on 
the east side of Town creek, opposite Mr. Hartwell King's old place and belonging to 
his estate. Here, on the side of a mountain, is a great quantity of hardened petroleum, 
-commonly called asphaltum. 

It is said that the walls of Babylon were cemented with this substance. 

The Chalybeate Springs of Lawrence deserve notice. There is one six or seven 
miles northeast of Moulton, which, when the valleys were unhealthful from the decay 
of timber, was a place of great summer resort. Six or eight families had houses there, 
.and a framed hotel was built near the site of a Methodist church, which yet stands 
there. About a mile west of this spring was another, of the same properties, which 
was settled by David Hubbard, Esq. At McGee's old mill, eight miles from Courtland, 
on the Tuscaloosa road, is another of great excellence aDd delicious coolness. There a 
number of families used to spend their summers. In the course of my narrative I shall 
have to refer to these springs. There is also another small but very good spring two 
miles south of Mountain Spring Campground, on the old Tuscaloosa road. 

Saline Springs. At White«burg', four miles south of Courtland, is a brackish 
spring of alkaline properties. And near Smith's old mill is another that seems in its 
•constituents to be precisely similar to it. Both springs were noted "licks" for wild 
game when the country was first settled by the whites. 

The State of Society 

in a country depends on material as well as moral causes, and these must be con- 
sidered together in forming a correct estimate of the character of a people. Most 
new countries are settled by poor men who go ahead of schools and churches, that 
they by years of privation and suffering achieve an independent fortune for their 
•children. But this was not the case, with our county. It is true that as soon as the 
Indian title was extinguished, emigrants settled sparsely in various parts of it, and it 
was fortunate it was so, for without the supplies they raised it would not have been pos- 
sible to have sustained such a rush of people as came afterward. The inducements 
were great : a rich soil easily reduced to cultivation, and the price of cotton very high; 
'The country was filled up in a short space of time by settlers, generally of high respect- 
ability and a good education ; and a large proportion of whom were members of the 
church. Very few were wealthy. I know the general impression is to the contrary ; 
but the large estates which have been in our county have been made here. A majority 
of the early settlers were in good circumstances, and hence the aggregate of wealth in our 



Recollections op North Alabama. 43 

■county was great. They came mostly from Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and 
Virginia ; and in many cases in small colonies. The immigrants brought with them all 
the means and appliances of civilized life — their ministers, their physicians, their mer- 
chants, their lawyers, and mechanics — and every department of business flourished. 

The ministers were in great force ; much more so than at the present time, and the 
people were church goers. The denominations "provoked each other to good work." 
■The Presbyteries, Associations, Conferences, and Campmeetings, were thronged. I have 
known more people attend the burial of a person, not known to one-tenth of the congre- 
gation, than are now to be seen on any important occasion in our towns. Were they 
■better then than they are now? I doubt it vary much. The truth is their motives are 
various, and would not bear a close scrutiny. The older people, maybe, had a curiosity 
to see their new neighbors ; the young men may have gone to see the girls (of whom 
they had heard but had never seen) ; and the girls, I can not conceive what could have 
impelled them but pure piety ! Now, the motives might not have held good ' ' in forum 
conscientioi," yet thereby, large assemblies were convened, and I have heard the preach- 
ers say that when this is accomplished, the main difficulty in the spread of the Gospel 
was removed. It is very certain, that wonderful revivals occurred during the first 
decade, and after the country was settled. When we come to speak, individually of the 
ministers you can judge better of their merits. 

The physicians came in numbers, and of the first grade for that day. Moulton had 
an accomplished one, who took his medical diploma at Edinburgh, once the most renowned 
school of physics among English-speaking nations. These had mostly graduated at 
Philadelphia. A fair proportion of them were men of experience, and had brought 
reputation for skill with them. It was well their numbers were large, for thousands of 
acres of timber were killed by belting, and the trees were left to rot where they stood, and 
fall, limb by limb, to the ground, tainting the atmosphere with deadly miasma. The 
consequence was, malarial epidemics which carried off great numbers of the people. 
The doctors stood to their posts like heroes, and plied heroic remedies in heroic measure. 
These remedies were of a drastic nature, such as gamboge, scammony and tartar emetic, 
backed by the calomel, and the lancet. If this thorough practice did not cure 
the patient it was taken for granted that the case was incurable. The planters, watch- 
ing the doctors and seeing that they proceeded upon the same principle as of scouring out 
a rusty gun-barrel, improved on their practice by using a mixture of tartar emetic and 
salts, which, combined, were supposed to produce a kind of explosion in the system, 
which either brought the fever to a speedy conclusion — or else the patient. Strange! 
the people continued to die in great numbers. There were physicians, here and there, 
who shook their heads, but said little, because the "vox populi" were in favor of the 
heroics. But at length a deadly sickness occurred, in the spring of 1830, about Court- 
land, and in spite of calomel and the lancet, with their little satellites, we lost many of our 
most valuable citizens: Col. Ben. Jones, Dr. Nimmo Morris, Mr. R. M. Shegog, Mr. 
Anderson, Mr. Carlton, and others ; whilst many of our most esteemed young men were 
■dangerously ill, amongst them John H. Harris, and his brother Richard N. , who made 
their wills, and expected to die. It seemed evident that a change of treatment was 
required, but the leaders of the two parties in medicine were at enmity, and did not even 
speak to each other. At this critical juncture, my old friend and law partner, John J. 
■Ormond, procured a consultation between them ; one of them, however, exacting a stip- 
ulation that the other was never to speak to him after the epidemic came to an end. 
The consultation terminated in an agreement to try a mild course of treatment — and after 
that there were no more deaths. A revolution occurred then in the practice, but it is not 
yet entire, for there are old men and women now living who have never hauled down the 
flag, but will die by calomel. 

The merchants came in as fast as their wares were wanted, and as soon as the people 
commenced making and selling their cotton crop an active demand sprung up. Within 
seven years of its first settlement, Courtland sold three hundred and twenty thousand 
dollars' worth of merchandise per annum. The other town, Moulton, had a large trade 



44 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

also. Fortunes were then made, in this line, in a few years. Merchants are the bene- 
factors of mankind, but more especially of the ladies. The fancy side of the stores- 
enlarged from year to year, until the finest fabrics sold in Philadelphia were found on 
their shelves. Goods were sold at high prices, but the quality was, uniformly, sound 
and good. In old times I never knew merchants to sell to laborers shoes made of split 
leather and paper sole's, or any article of that class. 

The lawyers who first came to the county were, generally, young, although there 
were a few of experience and who brought reputations with them. The profession flourished 
because there was great prosperity in the county. Hundreds of suits were brought to- 
every term of the court. 

This was a favorable time for lawyers of genius and learning to rise rapidly from the- 
ranks of their profession, for the construction of the statutes had been pronounced in 
but few cases by the court of last resort ; and so there was a broad field for the exercise 
of the highest order of ability. But now, when most points of difficulty have been adju- 
dicated, nine-tenths of the questions are settled by counsel in chambers by referring ta 
reports, for lawyers very properly bow to the principle " stare decisis." 

Owing to the above cause, and perhaps to the chastened taste of an old country,, 
oratory is not cultivated so much as it was in early times, when lawyers indulged in a 
more florid and impassioned style -, now they seem to study a precise and concise and 
clear diction in their argument. 

Our mechanics in early times had a monopoly of all the work in the county. From, 
the hat to the shoe, every article of dress was made at home. Capital had not learned 
then to manufacture every article of comfort or necessity by machinery and asso- 
ciated labor. Hence our mechanics were better clothed, better fed, their families better 
taught, and they were enabled to occupy a better position in the social scale, than they 
can now, in their crippled condition 

Indeed the people would naturally be improved by being thrown together, from 
various States. Each had something to add to the common stock of information. Like the 
Athenians "they came to gather, to hear, and to tell some new thing. Moreover, each 
one had to establish his position in society anew. He had to do his first work over again. 
When they met socially, each one was anxious to please, and it made society charming. 
It is this novelty whieh gives life and animation to the people of a new country. From' 
all the causes, the people of our county were the best agricultural population ever seen 
in a new county, and distinguished for intelligence, courtesy and hospitality. 

When they met, the old men, after having their glasses of grog (which hospitality 
usually tendered in those times) had two unfailing topics of conversation; one was the 
plans of farming, and the other, the laws which prevailed, respectively, in the States 
from which they came. The old women (while they sipped their wine sangaree or rum 
toddy) one after another would rehearse what they possessed, where they came from. 
There was one in particular who excelled in this game o' brag — for she had in "old Vir- 
ginia" a fine garden edged with box, a large house, in which there was not only a 
spacious parlor, but the blue room, the pinlc room, the green room, and the yellow room. 
When she came down with this trump the rest commonly "threw up the sponge." 

And the young people of that day, what did they talk about? When a circle of 
young people, of both sexes, is formed, a mysterious electric current is generated, and 
excites all sorts of prattle ; but then, they had, in their new literature, topics of unusual 
interest. The Waverly novels, by the Great Unknown, were appearing number by num- 
ber, in boards with uncut leaves, and everybody read them with delight. They are still 
standard works — with the best qualified to judge. Then we had Campbell's poetry, fill- 
ing the hearts of the maidens with melodies, and the boys with patriotism. Tom Moore 
had, year by year, during the first quarter of this century, distributed his poetical effu- 
sions like a constellation. His " Irish Melodies " had a wonderful influence in refining- 
the young, and his " Sacred Melodies " first enjoyed by ministers, " as bread eaten in 
secret," were boldly seized by Dr. Summers, and incorporated in the Methodist hymn 
book. Other sects have followed their example, and so the author has been canonized,. 



Recollections of North Alabama. 45 

«nd many a good old soul, who is going straight to heaven, with no library but her 
Bible and hymn book, thanks God that he raised up such a pious singer in Israel as 
Brother Moore. I could cite other poetical authors that had a great influence on char- 
acter, but I am not writing a critique on poetry, and will desist. 

Candor compels me now to mention some features of society in old times which 
are not so complimentary. People were not so temperate then as now. Public meetings 
were concluded by scenes of drunkenness and uproar which were revolting. The courts 
were disturbed by the noise in the streets. Jurors were seen in the box too stupid to 
perform their duties. I had not been at court for many years until the spring of last 
year, and the change for the better was remarkable. I felt all the time as if I was 
attending church. The sheriff was cool and sober, the jurors had an expression of calm 
intelligence, the lawyers in condition for the highest intellectual efforts, and the 

•Judge . You may think it unnecessary for me to say that he was right ; but before 

you travel far with me in this history you will change your opinion. Lamentable to tell ! 
•old men, and sometimes members of the church, were brought to judgment for intoxica- 
tion. Then the question was, whether the liquor "overtucW them, or whether they 
"overtuck" the liquor? in plain English, whether it was accidental or intentional? 

In old times we had, also, a confederacy of horse thieves, which gave the people 
much trouble. The league was well organized, as you will perceive by the following 
story: A Mr. McDaniel, who lived near Oakville, had a fine horse, which was stolen. 
He pursued the thief, and found him and his horse in West Tennessee. He brought 
them back to Moulton, and put the man on trial before two magistrates. The prisoner 
was a very decent looking man, of middle age, who was dressed neatly. McDaniel 
could prove that the prisoner sold the horse, but he had been so altered by the new cut 
of his mane and tail, that there was difficulty in proving his identity. There were about 
twenty witnesses, and about equally divided in opinion on this point. At length, 
McDaniel stepped forward and informed the court that he had taugh£ his horse some 
tricks, amongst them to put his forefeet, when bid, on a stump, Jand was willing to abide 
by this test. The court agreed to witness the ordeal, and the whole company passed out 
of the court house, in some excitement and confusion, during which the prisoner was 
separated from the sheriff, mounted one of the horses hitched to the rack outside the 
court yard, and rode rapidly down the Tuscaloosa road. There were, at least, a hun- 
dred mounted men in town that day. The ''hue and cry" was raised, and instant pur- 
suit made. Such a sweepstake 1 never witnessed before. The cavalcade in starting was 
scattered all the way from the square to Spring Hill. We pedestrians waited in much 
impatience to hear the result, and after awhile the pursuers, one by one, began to drop 
in. When the full report was made, it appeared that the prisoner was superbly mounted 
on a filly which could beat any horse in the field, and had easily escaped. The question 
was then asked, to whom she belonged? But it turned out that no person had lost a 
horse that day ; that the filly had been placed by one of his gang for the purpose of 
enabling the prisoner to escape, and there being no strangers in town but him, that day, 
that we had members of his gang in our own county. This disclosure opened the eyes 
•of our people; every good man, after this, became a detective, and they were watched 
so closely, that we had but little trouble afterward. 

I must concede, also, that the vice of gambling was much more common than it is 
now. For many years the professional gamblers fleeced the green young men of the 
county of their money, and they could not be punished, on account of the difficulty of 
proving that money was bet in the game. David Hubbard, Esq., who had been solicitor 
for many years, and knew exactly where the shoe pinched, procured the passage of an 
act, when he became a member of the Legislature, dispensing with the proof that money 
was actually bet, when a game of cards was played in a public place. This has been 
effectual in subduing the evils, except in private rooms. 

Bennett, the Magician. 

There was, however, in early times, a man called Dr. Bennett, who had a wonderful 
xun with a simple game with three thimbles, placed on his knee, and a small paper ball. 



?)■ 



46 Eaely Settlers of Alabama. 

He was dexterous in handling the ball, and would bet that no person could tell under 
which thimble the ball was left. The boys lost a good deal of their change, and even 
grown-up men had their curiosity excited about that tiny ball. General B. used to tell 
an amusing story about it. One night he and Mr. H., a rising lawyer, went to Bennett' s- 
room, not to bet on the game, but just to see how it was done. Bennett very politely 
agreed to perform his trick for them, as they were men of high standing. He would 
manoeuvre the ball and they would guess where it was ; very often successfully. At 
length, he proposed to bet Mr. H. that he could not tell where the ball was. Mr. H.,. 
who had acquired confidence, from guessing correctly, put up $25, and lost it. Bennett 
having tasted blood, continued to handle his thimbles, , until General B. saw exactly- 
where the ball was. He was a land dealer, and never had any money, but plenty of land - r 
a quarter section was staked, and lost. The two gentlemen rose. Bennett, while 
politely lighting them down the steps, said: "Call in daytime, gentlemen, you will 
have better light." "Thank you," said the General, "we are perfectly satisfied " 
There was a perfect epidemic in the country in regard to the thimbles. The profits of 
Bennett were so great that he is said to have purchased a large part of the town of" 
Tuscumbia, when an untoward event put an end to his harvest. At Columbia, Tenn., 
he won from a gawk of nineteen years of age, his horse. It belonged to the boy's- 
father and he hesitated to deliver him to Bennett, who jerked the bridle from the boy's 
hand, and carried the horse to a livery stable. He was thrown into jail on a charge of 
robbery. He thought light of it at first, but in a few days he was convinced that the 
people were bent on having him hung. He sent for the great advocate, Mr. Grundy, 
and was acquitted. He invited the advocate to his room, and inquired the amount of 
his fee. Mr. G. pulled a slip of paper from his vest pocket, and answered, " $752.10."' 
" Yes, sir," said Bennett, counting out the money and paying it over. " And now, Mr. 
G., do tell me how you arrived at the fraction in the fee?" " O ! that is very simple. 
I had a notion of charging you $1000, but I had falling due in the Nashville Bank a 
note for the amount specified." " Yes, sir," answered Bennett, " you have relieved my 
mind." 

This sleight of hand knight went to the Texan war with the invincible Davy Crockett, 
and fell bravely fighting the Mexican foe. 

There is another feature in the state of society which has improved much of late. 
People, both male and female, do not shun labor, as they did in old. times. Idlers were 
numerous then, but very few are to be seen now. Formerly, our schools, male and 
female, were filled with Northern teachers, .although there was a large number of our 
young people of both sexes who were poor and needed such positions for a living. The 
people of New England were much wiser, in that generation, than we. Many of her 
most accomplished daughters, who were not compelled by necessity, but by a noble 
desire of independence, came to the South. I remember many years since, that the 
Hon. Freeman Smith, a senator in Congress and the chairman of the Whig National 
Executive Committee, came to Town Creek for his wife; and carried home a beautiful 
New England girl, who for the " glorious privilege of being independent" and enabling 
her parents the better to educate her brothers, made her home as a teacher, with the 
Rev. Wm. Leigh. All honor to such women ! We are beginning to have them among 
us, and our schools are now filled with Southern teachers. 

Style of Dress, and Type of Love in Early Times. 

The young men in full dress wore blue cloth coats with metal buttons and swallow 
tails, and vests sometimes embroidered on the edges. The pants were tight about the 
hips and knees and loose below — of cloth in the winter and linen drill in the summer, 
with all the flap all in one piece. The boots sometimes had brass heels which were highly 
polished when the wearer was going into company. The hats were stovepipe. The 
face was clean shaved except that the more mature beaux sometimes wore short side- 
whiskers, not of the Englishcut, which hang down like the ears of a hound. The refined 
taste of your grandmothers would have revolted at the sight of a young man's face= 



Recollections op North Alabama. 47 

covered with beard ; nor is there any excuse in this age for it when we have finely tem- 
pered razors. At all events the lips should be kept free from beard for the two great 
purposes for which lips were made. 

As to the fashions for ladies I was afraid to venture, but called a committee of 
Ancients, whose report I " have adopted." The dresses had waists of natural length 
(they had been very short a, few years before). They were pointed before and some- 
times behind. The skirts were gored and tight, eight yards being sufficient for a dress ; 
it was trimmed with festoons of satin or else a fly was worn over the dress, which was 
gracefully rounded from the waist, and the margin of the fly (sometimes called a 
tunic) had lace or edging on it. Sleeves were mutton legs, tight at the wrist and very 
full at the shoulders, supported there by some stiff substance. Dress material in winter 
was silk or Canton crepe, and in summer, gauze, muslin or ginghams. The hair was 
rolled on a cushion upon the top of the head. Shoes were Prunellas. Bonnets were 
Leghorn flats looped up on one side and a long white ostrich feather waving over it. 
Very large tortoise shell combs were worn — carved and costly. 

I have said before that the early settlers brought with them all the means of civili- 
zation. But their houses they could not bring. For many years, these (even in the 
richest families) consisted of two log cabins divided by a hall, and low attics above, in 
one of which the girls performed the mysteries of the toilet. They could stand straight, 
only when in the middle of the room, and in spite of these drawbacks, when the girls 
would descend in full dress, they would look as lovely as Venus stepping from a rosy 
cloud. 

So you see, when the country was first settled that we had the charm of novelty in 
everything ; new land, a new literature and new girls. Hence the attacks of love (like the 
fevers) were inflammatory. They are apt to be so, when the parties have never seen 
each other until grown up. It is unfavorable to the grand passion, for boys and girls to 
grow up together, especially in the same school. Attachments thus contracted may be 
very sincere, and if the parties marry, they may pull very steadily under the marriage 
yoke, but the feeling entertained for each other will be a sort of a Pelagian love, the 
beginning of which it would be impossible to specify. But in old times, when a young 
man saw, for the first time, the girl just budding into angelhood, the shock was abso- 
lutely electric. No past recollection of her as a school girl, with imperfect features, 
chewing slate pencils and gum, with disheveled hair and disordered dress, eclipsed the 
bright image imprinted on his imagination. 

In those days a large number of enterprising young men came to the country, while 
many of the girls were left behind to be educated, hence the former greatly preponder- 
ated in numbers. It was no uncommon thing for a young lady to marshal in her train 
a half dozen gallants at the same tune. Girls ! you would have been sorry for your 
grandmothers could you have witnessed the heavy work in this line which they had to 
perform ; so many beaux to be entertained at once, and their favors to be distributed so 
impartially, that no offence should be given to any one. This was a great wear on the 
vital energies, and you would have been truly sorry for t em ! The burden was too 
heavy, and they generally, from sixteen years of age, had to succumb, and to select some 
one of their persecutors as partner, and take their revenge by persecuting him the rest 
of his life ! 

I have now finished my numbers of a general nature, which, as you proceed, you 
will find to have been necessary for the complete understanding of the personal histories 
of which I shall exclusively treat hereafter. 

We now come to treat of the early settlers in person. Prom the great lapse of time 
the task is much more difficult than I supposed. Whole families have removed and no 
traces of them can be found. Some have become extinct, and all that can be said of 
them is "that they were and are not." I have taken much pains to be correct in the 
facts which I will lay before the public, but if I should fall into a mistake, a note from 
any person who knows better will secure a correction in the next number. Wherever I 
have reliable information 1 will trace the old families as far back as I can, but (as I have 



48 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

before said) I shall be careful in commending the living. There is much risk in writing 
a man's epitaph before he dies. 

In reviewing my notes I find one thing curious, and that is that my notices of men in 
private life will not be commensurate with their merit. You can not say much of a man 
who is discreet and has uniformly acted with propriety. These proper men are hard ito 
delineate. About as much as you can say of such men is, that in youth they were good 
boys — in middle age, good husbands — and in old age good Christians. Artists say that 
it is difficult to paint a smooth face where there are no lights and shades, but where there 
are prominent or eccentric features it is an easy matter. And so it is with a writer. 
There are many things remembered of a man of bold features, of generous virtues, and 
perhaps glaring faults ; and therefore no lack of material. And when we finished such 
a character and laid it to rest, we can exclaim with Prince Hal, on the occasion of Fal- 
staff s death, " I could' have better spared a better man." 

You will perhaps read many things as we proceed which may excite a smile, but I 
will not hold myself responsible for that. The smile will grow out of the facts graph- 
ically described, not from any levity on my part. I expect, also, that some of you, as 
we travel along, will get mad. I certainly will be careful to avoid giving offence, but if 
•a man who has become rich " chews bad tobacco " because I truly tell of his father hav- 
ing been a mechanic, I can not help it. It will not make me mad, but sorry, that in his 
rise he should have left his common sense behind him. 

The Moulton Merchants 

were, in old times, John Gallagher, Moore & Norwood, Bernard M. Patterson, James 
Deary, Mitchell & Pryor, David Hunter, Ambrose Hunter, James M. Minis, James 
Elliott, the Owens, Edmund P. Anderson and Hubbard & Talraadge. 

John Gallagher was a young Irishman. I never knew anything of his parentage. 
From his manner I judge that he had good rearing, and from his language that he had 
been well educated. He spoke English like an American, and with scarcely a percepti- 
ble brogue. He was not successful as a merchant, and was elected clerk of the county 
court in 1822, at the first election held by the people. Daniel "Wright had been the first 
clerk, but under an appointment by the commissioner's court. Mr. Gallagher was a 
small man, with dark fine hair and dark-blue eyes, and always had his face clean shaved. 
His manners were very popular. They were easy and graceful, sufficiently dignified to 
maintain his own self-respect, and deferential without being at all sycophantic. They 
would have been a good model for auy young man studying to improve himself in this 
respect. They seem to have pleased alike the accomplished lawyer and the sovereign of 
one gallows and a battered hat. 

An event occurred which added greatly to his reputation, and that was the trial of 
the Witch. On Flint river there lived a poor, friendless woman, who had the misfor- 
tune of being suspected of witchcraft. At first it was spoken of in whispers, then 
more boldly, until it culminated in a warrant issued for her arrest by David Knott, Esq., 
living near Oakville. A day was fixed for the trial, and it needed no public proclama- 
tion to make it widely known. When it arrived many of the young men of Moulton 
went out to witness the trial. A good many witnesses were examined without a definite 
result, until a young woman (who was pale and seemed to be in bad health) was intro- 
duced, who swore that she was washing on the creek one day, got very tired, and sat 
down at the root of a beech tree to rest herself, and that the old woman, who was 
accused, came down the tree in the form of a squirrel with his tail curled over his back, 
barking at her and put a spell on her, and that she had been sick ever since, and had 
puked up a good many hair balls. The squire, who seemed before to have been in a 
brown study, seemed relieved of his perplexities, straightened up and announced that 
as the proof was now positive, he should send the prisoner to jail, and commenced 
writing the mittimus. An expression of dumb amazement settled on the face of every 
sensible man in the crowd, except Gallagher's. He was calm and self-possessed. He 
rose and very modestly asked permission of the court to make a single remark. The 



Recollections of North Alabama. 49 

squire replied: "You can make as many remarks as you please." "Then, sir,' said 
Gallagher, " allow me to remind you that it would be useless to send the woman to jail, 
for if she is really a witch, she can escape through the key-hole ; and if she should be 
innocent, it would be a great pity for her to be sent to prison." The old squire was 
in a great quandary, muttered to himself: "That's so; that's so!" and added, "but 
what shall we do with her?" Gallagher answered " that the case might rest just where 
it was until the grand jury met, and then it could be laid before them." This course 
was adopted, but the matter was never more moved. 

The people feltthat "A Daniel had come to judgment." The case was certainly 
managed very cleverly by the young clerk. He said just enough, and no more — he was 
particular not to attack the squire's belief in witchcraft, for this would have been like 
running against a stone wall — but he avoided a hopeless issue, made a flank movement 
on the old squire, and captured him completely. Now you must not conclude from the 
premises that Squire Knott was a very ignorant man. So far from it, he had been 
elected justice because he had more than average intelligence. He had a good planta- ' 
tion, negroes to work it, the dress and manner of a gentleman. I knew him and his 
wife well, for they were several times at our house, after we moved to Moulton. Don't 
be surprised that he should believe in witches. Did not New England, led by her ablest 
divines, rise almost en masse, run wild on this subject, and for several years, hang . 
witches to the trees by dozens ! Was there not a time in Old England, when her highest 
court had jurisdiction of witchcraft, and judgements pronounced by the Lord Chancellor 
himself? To come nearer home, do you not see now, gentlemen of learning (sane in every 
other respect) believing in ghosts as firmly as any black " Mammy " living on a dirt 
floor? Moreover, are there not men in our day who are esteemed great scientists, was 
can, with their powerful microscopes, discover many wonderful things in the construc- 
tion of a bug (and yet can't see the God who made it) who have given up their minds to 
the strange delusion that man was not created as we once supposed, but by a kind of 
transmigration through various animals, and at last when he came into the form of a 
monkey, obtained sufficient perfection to assume the dignity of man. You ask me if I 
do not believe it? Not a word of it! If this were so, would not monkeys be seen at 
this day in various stages of this transformation? Would you not see men who had lost 
every feature of the monkey except the tail? Poor fellows ! How perplexing to decide 
what to do with them ; whether to tuck them in their trousers or manage them like the 
devil, 

" When he comes upon earth, in a suit of blue, 
With a hole behind for his tail to come through." 

While these delusions exist amongst the reputed wise men of earth, spare your smile of 
contempt at the country justice. 

After having served in the capacity of county clerk for six years to the general 
satisfaction of the people, Mr. Gallagher was elected clerk of the circuit court. After 
this (how long I do not remember) he looked around for a wife, and found her in the 
daughter of Mr. Joseph Martin. He was reared in Georgia, where he married a sister 
of George Walton. The Martin family were plain, good people, very much respected in 
Georgia. They were near neighbors to the family of Dr. Thomas A. Watkins, formerly 
of Courtland, and Mrs. Martin was so much attached to Dr. Watkins' mother that she 
named one of her daughters in her honor. (Mrs. Watkins was a sister to Governor Peter 
Early.) Joseph Martin and George Walton moved together, and settled in Lawrence 
county, Mr. Martin seven miles northwest of Courtland, in sight of my father's house. 
They owned a small tract of land and a few slaves, and every member of the family was 
industrious. The loom stood under a shed at the end of the log-cabin, and the girls kept it 
busy. It was one of the best specimens of a family in the middle walks of life that I 
have ever known. The elder of the girls was Miss Caroline. She was very large but of 
fine proportions; very pretty, and as good as she was pretty. Many wondered why a 
dumpling of a man, like Gallagher, should have fallen in love with such a queenly, 
majestic woman. I never did. I am satisfied from observation that small men prefer 



50 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

large women ; because it is an instinct of our nature, implanted by the Creator. Were it 
not so — were the large uniformly to intermarry with the large, and the small with the 
small, the world would be divided into two factions — the giants and the pigmies. Hap- 
pily the instinct which I have mentioned preserves the average stature of man. 

Several years after his marriage Mr. Gallagher was unluckily induced, by a large 
salary, to remove to the city of Mobile, and become an officer in a bank. Here he died, 
and Mrs. Gallagher brought her children back to our county, lived several years near 
Eed Banks, thence she moved to Mississippi, and the last time her friends heard from 
her she was in Arkansas, and with only three living children. Before I leave the 
Martin family I will state that tbeir son, Walton, a very fine young man, died in the 
epidemic of 1824, and Miss Rachel, a tall, beautiful girl, married Abraham Battle. 
They lived on the place now occupied by their son-in-law, John H. Houston. Mr. Battle 
died many years ago. Rachel died in 1873. We will notice Mr. Houston when we take 
up his family. 

Among the merchants in early times were Moore & Norwood (both Methodist 
preachers). Moore was in fine condition, but they failed in business, and he returned 
to Virginia, where he spent the rest of his life in the ministry. B. M. Patterson had a 
store in Moulton for a while, but removed to Pulaski. James Deary and Mitchell & 
Pryor sold goods for a while and returned to Shelbyville, Tenn. Also James Elliott, a 
Scotchman, did business in Moulton at an early day, and Isaac N. Owen, then a young 
man, was his clerk. Elliott went to Tuscumbia. Oneill & Kelly (he was no kin to 
Mr. Kelly now in Moulton), when they first commenced, were in the liquor line, then 
added groceries and then dry goods. They made money fast. I have heard a good 
story of Oneill employing a man to build for them a log ware-house in the rear of their 
store, and when asked if he had any choice of timber he answered : " No, except the 
foundation logs, which I want of good hard HicJc-o-ree." 

The family of the Owens, is one of the most respectable in our county. Caleb 
Owen, of Camden, S. O, the ancestor, was married to Mary Nabors, of Laurens District 
S. C, in 1795. She was the daughter of Isaac and Mary (Boyd) Nabors. His ances- 
tors were Welch. He moved to Madison county, Ala., in 1813. Huntsville (which 
had first been named Twickenham) was a very small place. He removed thence to Tus- 
caloosa in 1818, which was then a mere germ of a town, and afterward to Jefferson 
county (1821), and later Pickens county, and finally Tipton county, Tenn., where he 
died in 1842. I judge he was a man who "ordered his household aright," for among 
all his descendants, I have not found one who was not a worthy member of society. 
He had three sons who were merchants in our county — Isaac N., Allen G., and Franklin 
C. Owen, and besides these four other children.* 

Isaac N. Owen, 

born 1803 in South Carolina, came to Moulton in August, 1821, when quite a young 
man. At first he was a clerk for James Elliott ; but afterward went into business on his 
own account. He was of fine judgment and unswerving integrity; and won the esteem 
and confidence of the people in a remarkable degree. His manner was dignified and 
somewhat reserved; except in company with his intimate friends. In person he was tall, 
fully six feet and spare, but broad across the shoulders. His eye was dark and his 
complexion sallow. In a few years he found himself in a condition to marry, and won 

* Note. — These four children were: Jane Owen (born Darlington District, S. C, 1798; died 1848) 
married (1822) in? Jefferson county, Ala., Pereival Pickens Halbert. Their son is Prof. Henry Sale 
Halbert, Crawford, Miss., author and Indianologist. 

Wm. Owen (born 1800, died 1841) unmarried. 

Nancy Boyd Owen (born 1805) married (first) 1823, in Jefferson county, Ala., Thompson Brown; 
and ("second) Rev. Henry "Wortham Sale. Her son is Henry T. Sale, lawyer, Denver, Col. 

Louisa Owen (born 1818) married (1840) Dr. B. H. Ligon, and died 1844. 

The descendants of Caleb Owen have, as a rule, been church members and of pious dispositions. 
Eight grandsons and one great-grandson served in the Civil War, 1861. — (Thomas M. Owen.) 



Recollections op North Alabama. 51 

"the hand of Miss Martha Craddock, 1829 — a very small, beautiful, and well educated 
daughter of Pleasant Craddock. He kept one of the best hotels in Nashville for a long 
time, and his children had the advantage of the best schools, and his daughters were 
highly accomplished. James B. Wallace, Esq., having married the eldest daughter, 
Caroline, in Nashville, and settled in Moulton, Mr. Craddock sold his property in 
Nashville, purchased a farm east of Moulton, and moved his family also, Mrs. Crad- 
dock who was an excellent lady, suffered the most excruciating tortures from rheu- 
matism, for many years before her death. Not long afterward her husband followed 
her, and I think none of the family are now living, except Mrs. Owen, and my old 
Tennessee schoolmate, John Craddock (1880). 

Colonel Owen, during his long career as merchant, had his troubles, but they never 
diminished the confidence of the people ; and he was able, at all times, to support his 
family in comfort, and have his children well educated. He had no taste for public life, 
although he was a decided Whig in his opinions ; but in 1834 a nomination for the 
Legislature was thrust upon him, and he was elected by a large majority. He was a mem- 
ber of the Baptist Church, and one of its pillars ; but had no bitter sectarian feelings 
toward other denominations. In short, he was a man of liberal and enlarged views. 
He had moved with his son-in-law, Mr. Harris, to Nashville, and his sudden death this 
spring, 1880, has deeply affected this community. A good man has fallen, who has 
been influential in his church, has reared his family well, and was dear to his friends, 
some of whom have known him " through sunshine and storm," for more than half a 
century. 

He left children as follows : (1) Mary, who married Thomas C. Sale (son of Rev. 
Alex. Sale). He died about 1852. His daughter Anna was married to John Phelan, 
Esq., who, aftef living at Courtland for some years, removed to Chattanooga, and Mrs. Sale 
went with them. Later they removed to Birmingham, where Captain Phelan died ; his 
wife and five children survive him. (2) William Franklin, went to Pine Bluff, 
Ark., and commenced the practice of law in company with two young men from 
our county — Simpson Harris and William Galloway. The firm became prominent and 
was doing a good business when the late war broke out. Mr. Owen became captain, 
and in the course of things was taken prisoner, and was confined for two years at John- 
son's Island. He died a year or two after his return home. (3) Martha, who married 
Captain Isaac M. Jackson. They lived on Cotaco river, in Morgan county. (4) Louisa 
Ligon, who married Mr. Daniel Johnson of Mississippi. (5) Harriet Perkins, the 
youngest, who married Andrew J. Harris, long a merchant of Moulton, and now of 
Nashville. We will notice him again in connection with the family of his father, Wm. 
Harris. 

Allen G. Owen was the second son of Caleb, and was born in South Carolina, 6th 
September, 1808. He came to Moulton February, 1829 ; but in 1839 moved away, and 
returned from Texas in 1850. He married, 1853, at Courtland a young widow, Mrs. 
Martha Alman, daughter of Michael Mayes, Esq. Major Owen (like his brother Isaac) 
is a member of the Baptist Church, and is a gentleman of singular amiability and cour- 
tesy, and much respected by all who know him. He was a merchant, for many years, in 
Moulton, and since 1875 has been the clerk of the Chancery Court. He has three 
•children, Nannie, who married W. H. Hicks, of Henderson, Ky. ; Frank C, who con- 
ducts a mercantile depot for General Wheeler, and Patty, an accomplished daughter, un- 
married. He died in 1882. 

The third son of Caleb Owen was Frank Caleb Owen, born, 1817, in Madison county ; 
was merchant for many years in Moulton, and had a high character for integrity. He mar- 
Tied, 1850, Lucy, a daughter of Col. Benj. Harris, of Russell's "Valley, who was one of 
its first settlers there. He surveyed and speculated in lands a great deal. He and the 
Gilchrists of our county were great friends, and were partners at land sales. Colonel 
Harris became quite wealthy. He was the brother of Nehemiah Harris of our county. 
Mr. Frank Owen was greatly respected by all who knew him. Died in Moulton, 1857. 
His only son, Benjamin L,, married Miss Watson, the daughter of a planter in Eastern 



52 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Mississippi, and lived a few miles southwest of Moulton. He finally removed to Colum- 
bus, Miss. 

Mr. Edmond Pierce Anderson (born 1800), another merchant, was reared in Cum- 
berland county, Virginia. He married Adelaide Dechaud, of Abingdon, Va., and moved 
to Moulton in 1823. Their oldest son, James M., was born 30th July, 1824. After a 
few years, this family moved to Winchester, Tenn., where Mr. Anderson died at the- 
early age of twenty-seven, leaving his widow with two sons — the one we have mentioned 
and Edmond P. Jr. Col. James M. first settled at Rusk, Cherokee county, Texas, where 
be practised law until 1866, when he went to the flourishing city of Waco. His attention, 
I am informed, has been almost exclusively devoted to his profession, eschewing poli- 
tics and office ; never having departed from this rule but twice — he was in the secession 
convention of 1860 and the Legislature of 1873. He has the reputation of being one of 
the foremost lawyers of the State and an able legislator. He was the law partner of 
Senator Coke when he was elected Governor of Texas. The colonel came in 1850 to 
see the place of his nativity, from which I infer that he is a man of sentiment. We hop& 
be will come again. If he sturald, we will confer on him the "the freedom of the 
city," and give him a welcome, as a son of Lawrence, suitable to his merits. 

David and Ambrose Hunter, and James M. Minnis — all merchants — came from the- 
same section of East Tennessee. David and Ambrose did business as partners, for some 
years, and made independent livings. David, the elder brother, was rather under the- 
average height, but strongly built. He married Maria, daughter of Capt. Wm. Leetch r 
but she died a few years after, without issue. David was a man of fine business capacity. 
In addition to his merchandise, he turned a penny by horse trading. I might have for- 
gotten this, but for an accident which happened to me when I lived at Moulton. I pur- 
chased from David a match of horses. Some little time afterward, one" Sunday morn- 
ing, my boy, who had been copper colored the day before, came in nearly as white as a 
sheet. " What's the matter, Billy?" He answered: "Why, sir, Wash and me was 
having a little race to see which horse was the swiftest, when my horse fronted, me clean 
over a stump — and I lit on my hip upon a root — and I'm most ded, sir." Says I, " Go- 
and lie down, and get your mammy to rub it with eamphor." But Billy still lingered, 

and at length said : "And the horse, he's ded too, sir." " The , you say?" "Yes r 

sir, he stump his toe, and fell wid his hed gin the stump, and broke his neck smack 
off." And so it was. 1 never complained of David, for he didn't guarantee that the- 
borses' head was harder than a seasoned stump. David married for his second wife a 
widow named Green, and from that time commenced moving about — and it was said 
that he moved so often that he wore out the tenons of his bedsteads. 

Ambrose Hunter was a tall, well proportioned man, and a good merchant and citi- 
zen. His circumstances had improved very much since he came to this country, and he 
naturally felt it; but he could not get clear of the East Tennessee drawl in his pronun- 
ciation. His friend Minnis had the same infirmity; but was much the sharper man of 
the two, and always delighted to have a joke on his friends. He said that "Ambrose 
one night was attacked with a pain in the top of his head and running down into his- 
brain. He made out to stand it until daylight, when Dr. Glover was sent for in great- 
haste. The doctor removed a scratch, which Ambrose wore on the top of his head, 
secured by small slips of cloth, pasted to his head, when lo! a large cockroach made his 
escape. He had been feeding on the paste, and by way of variety, taking a mouthful of" 
the flesh — and this was the sum of his brain fever." I never could tell how much of 
this story was true; for whenever it was alluded to in my presence, Minnis got so merry, 
and Ambrose so mad, that a full explanation never took place. Ambrose Hunter mar- 
ried Margaret Grugett, and, after her death, a lady who had an interest in the saltworks 
in West Virginia, and I think he moved there. Minnis married also a daughter of Mrs. 
Grugett, a worthy woman, who should receive more special notice. 

Maj. Jobn Grugett had been the contractor for the erection of the public buildings, 
and after completing them built one of the largest log hotels I ever saw. It was two 
stories high, had four rooms "on each floor and wide halls. It stood on the east side of 



Recollections of North Alabama. 53 

the street leading south from the southwest corner of the square. When the major died 
his widow had nothing but his house, and decided to keep a hotel. She was well pat- 
ionized, especially by the lawyers from other counties. Here, in olden time, could be 
seen the first Clay, with his eagle eye, and MeKinley with his pewter eye, but so full of 
metaphysics that he caused George Coulter, in his agony, to exclaim, " If your Honor 
please, Colonel MeKinley would have us believe that you was a ' Idee ' and I was an 
J Idee ' and we were all 'Idees ' together ;" and the fiery Cooper, who, after a long career;, 
has no abatement of his natural force and fire, and Billy Martin, who from an East 
Tennessee school master raised himself to the bar, and thus educated two brothers who 
became governors of Alabama. But where am I going? Mrs. Grugett had a heavy 
burden upon her in the support of her family, and keeping her three daughters in the 
social position formerly held by her family. The terms of court, in which, only, she 
had any income, were so short and the vacations (in which she made nothing) were so 
long that the good lady was sometimes greatly depressed. But she was a faithful Pres- 
byterian, aad a devoted mother, and she heroically maintained the conflict with poverty. 
•She " made every edge cut," and once when she moved her woodpile, which had been 
for years in the street, she utilized the rich mould by extending her fence around it, 
and making a fine crop of onions. This will, doubtless, excite wonder in the minds of 
many people, but it must be kept in mind that in those davs we had only town constables 
but now we have marshals with batons of office, and in a case like this not only the 
onions but the fence around them would have been forfeited, " pro bono publico. 

In this conflict the poor widow was helped by her son Ben. When he got large 
■enough to water the lawyer's horses he drew to his aid nearly all the boys in town. 
When mounted bare-back, Captain Ben would not lead his squadron the nearest way to 
the water, but the gay crowd would canter south for more than half a mile. The 
mothers in town were up in arms, and many a boy who wore white pants, which bore 
Ben's signet, got "Jesse" when he returned home. Ben got to be a stout boy, and then in 
the long vacations, he would go out to the woods with an ox-cart and cut and bring home a 
supply of wood ; but one strange thing was that Ben always rode the steer bare-back. 
He seemed to be invulnerable. As he grew stronger he did all the rough work of the 
family. The girls were pretty and genteel. The eldest, Malonia, married Parker 
Alexander, who had a plantation on the Tombigbee ; Margaret married Ambrose Hun- 
ter, and Ianthawas courted by James M. Minnis, who had a very good living. Iantha 
was tall, slender, and so delicate that her friends earnestly advised her not to marry ; 
but she dissented and was stout in maintaining her ground. The result proved that she 
was right, for she had ten children. 

The girls having been provided for, the old lady at length hung up her arms in the 
Temple of Peace. And Ben — what about Ben? Poor fellow! During all these years 
of drudgery and labor for others he had been forgotten and his education neglected. 
Had his mind grown as his body he would have been a prodigy of intellect. When he 
was fully grown, straightened out he measured largely — over six feet. Ben went off to 
Mississippi and engaged in manual labor for support, and I have never heard of him 
but once. When war was declared with Mexico, my nephew, the late Capt. Joel T. 
Parrish, of the Jeff. Davis rifles, wrote informing me of his departure. I answered at 
once, advising him in forming his mess to include some who were inured to hard labor. 
On his return from Mexico he informed me that he invited Ben Grugett into his mess, 
and owed his life to that fact, for he fell sick and he nursed him like a brother — and 
morever made a splendid soldier. For my part I gave him more honor for the noble 
manner in which he sustained his widowed mother and helpless sisters than I would 
had he gained a colonel's plume in that campaign. I omitted to mention in this con- 
nection' that Mr. Minnis removed his family to Aberdeen many years ago. 

Circuit Judges. 

_ Richard' : Elli§, Esq., was the first" qudge of this circuit. His residence was in Frank- 
lin county,, and, he was .a, delegate from'that county to the Convention Which framed the 



54 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Constitution of the State in 1819. He was a large man. with a very popular address and 
fine conversational powers, and was born in the State of Virginia. He was elected judge 
of the Fourth Circuit. It will be recollected that, from the commencement of our State 
government down to the year 1832, we had no separate Supreme Court, but that the 
circuit judges constituted this court,. At the end of the term for which he was elected, 
by the General Assembly, Judge Ellis removed to Red River county, Texas. He was a 
distinguished citizen of that State, and when, in 1836, the Convention met to form a 
State Constitution, he was then 54 years of age. and was elected its president. He died 
in 1849. 

John White, Esq., was elected Circuit Judge in 1825. Mr. White was a lawyer in 
the t;own of Franklin, Tennessee. He had the reputation of being a sound lawyer, 
although not an eloquent man. He was a man of sober, steady habits, and enjoyed the 
confidence of that community. He had a good, regular practice, and a respectable posi- 
tion at this bar — second only to that of Nashville, in the State of Tennessee. Mr. 
White was rather under the average stature, and had an aquiline nose and an expressive 
face. He married a Miss Dickenson, who was of medium size; had very fine black 
eyes, and was noted for her intellect; she was consumptive — the cause of the removal 
of the family to Courtland, where it was hoped that a milder climate would effect a cure, 
but she fell a victim to this disease in a few years. They built the house now occupied 
by E. P. Shackelford, Esq. 

Soon after coming to Courtland, a partnership was formed between Mr. White and 
John J. Ormond, Esq., under the style of White & Ormond, which came rapidly into- 
favor before the public. He was elected a member of the House of Representatives, in 
1824, and, in the next year, judge of this circuit, and performed the duties well and 
faithfully. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and most exemplary in the 
performance of the duties of that relation. In Franklin, the eloquent Dr. Blackburn 
•had been his pastor, and yet, when he came to Courtland, where that good man, but dull 
'preacher, Mr. Barr, was in charge, he was just as punctual in attending church as he had 
been under the administration of his favorite Apollos. For his second wife he married 
Miss Southwrayed, a Northern teacher — had two children, and lived for many years at 
Talladega — where he died. 

He left five children by his first wife — Alexander, Sidney, Robert, Ann Catherine 
and John. Dr. Robert, the third son, married Miss Spyker, of Franklin county, Tenn. 
Alexander White, whose education had been superintended with great care, by his 
parents, became one of the most brilliant orators of Alabama. He located at Talladega 
at an early day after the settlement of that part of the State, and at once took a leading 
rank at the bar, and was distinguished for legal attainments, and powers as a speaker 
and debater. He served only one term in Congress before the late war, having been 
elected in 1851, and was a warm supporter of General Scott for the Presidency. In 1860, 
Mr. White supported Mr. Bell in the contest for President. He was opposed to seces- 
sion, but, after the ordinance passed, he acted with the State throughout the struggle 
which ensued. He was a zealous war man, and was for a time a member of a battalion 
organized for home defence. 

Mr. White was a member of the Convention of 1865, and, of course, took a leading 
part, such as his eminent abilities and stirring eloquence rendered proper. His devo- 
tion to the State, his devotion to the South, was expressed in language and with emo- 
tions which consecrated him anew as a patriot. He had loved his country, he had 
loved the land of his birth, his native Alabama (for he was born in Lawrence) before 
her disasters, before she was stricken down by armed battalions ; but now, that she 
was in her misfortunes and desolation, now that she was in chains, he loved her more 
than ever. I will quote in full the paragraph which contained this noble sentiment as- 
a sample of his magnificent style : 

" Mr. President : The Bonnie Blue Flag no longer reflects the light of the morning 
sunbeam, or kisses with its silken folds the genial breezes of our Southern clime. The 
hands that waved it along the crest of a hundred battle-fields, and the hearts that, for 



Recollections op North Alabama. 55 

the love they bore it, no longer rally around it. Another banner waves in triumph 
over its closed and prostrate folds ; but proud memories and glorious recollections 
cluster around it. Sir, I will refrain. The South needs no eulogy. The faithful 
record of her achievements will encircle her brow with glory bright and enduring as 
the diadem that crowns the night of her cloudless skies. The fields of Marathon and 
Platas have been re-enacted in the New World, without the beneficent results which 
flowed from those battle-fields of freedom, and our country lies prostrate at the feet of 
the conqueror. But dearer to me is she in this hour of her humiliation than she was 
in the day and hour of her pride and her power. Each blood-stained battle-field, each 
desolated home, each new-made grave of her sons fallen in her defence, each mutilated 
form of the Confederate soldier, her widow's tears, her orphan's cry, are but so many 
cords which bind me to her in her desolation, and draw my affections closer around my 
stricken country. "When I raise my voice, or lift my hand against her, may the thun- 
ders rive me where I stand. Though I will be false to all else, I will be true to her. 
Though all others may prove faithless, I will be faithful still. And when, in obedience 
to the great summons, ' Dust to dust,' my heart shall return to that earth from which it 
sprung, it shall sink into her bosom with the proud consciousness that it never knew 
one beat not in unison with the honor, the interests, the glory of my country." 

After the war he advocated with zeal the reconstruction policy of President John- 
son, and was a leading member of the Convention which assembled at Selma in June, 
1866, to send delegates to the National Union Convention appointed to be held in Phil- 
adelphia on the 4th of July. In the Selma council he submitted resolutions which he 
had prepared. He asked permission to read ; and, leave granted, he gave them all the 
power and charm of his effective elocution. They were bold and defiant, and amongst 
other things declared that "Alabama had hung her banner on the outer wall, and 
would defend it to the last." The reading of these resolutions by their eloquent author 
came near firing the Convention, and their lofty tone, under a consciousness of right, 
reminded one of former days when the process of ''firing the Southern heart" was 
going on ; but they were not passed. (The substance of the foregoing is from Garrett's 
' ' Public Men of Alabama. " ) 

In 1868 Mr. White supported Seymour for the Presidency. In that canvass he 
made many speeches which were regarded as able attacks on the Radical party. 

I wish I could close this sketch just here, but I can not do so with proper regard to 
truth and propriety. 

In 1869 Mr. White changed his party relations, and soon became a conspicuous 
member of the Radical party. 

His former political friends strongly censured his course as a politician from that 
time to the date of his departure for Texas. In 1872 Mr. White was placed on the Rad- 
ical ticket for Congress at large, and was declared elected. The next memorable event 
in his congressional career was the introduction and support by him of the Force Bill. 
Fortunately, under the fair ruling of Mr. Blaine and the vigorous opposition of the 
Democrats in the House of Representatives, led on by Mr. Randall, of Pennsylvania, 
it was defeated, as it passed the House too late for consideration in the Senate before 
adjournment sine die. 

I have attempted to present fairly the material facts in the remarkable career of 
this highly-gifted man. I wish I could account for his inconsistencies on some princi- 
ple which would be conservative of his fair fame, but with real anxiety to do it I find 
myself unable to accomplish it. 

Sidney, the elder daughter of Judge White, was married to a gentleman of distinc- 
tion. This was Joseph G. Baldwin, the lawyer, the legislator, the author and the judge ; 
and yet, with all his attainments, his wife was a fit companion for him. She was beauti- 
ful, discreet, highly educated, and accomplished. Mr. Baldwin was a Virginian of rare 
gifts and culture. He settled in Gainesville, Ala., and soon obtained a good practice. 
He was a decided Whig in politics, and yet, in the Democratic county of Sumter, was 
elected to the House of Representatives, 1843. He at once proved himself one of the ablest 



56 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

and most skilful debaters in the House. He was courteous, and always confined himself 
to parliamentary rules in his efforts on the floor. A man of great firmness, he never 
blustered. He respected the personal rights and feelings of others in discussion and 
demanded the like civilities for himself. In 1849 he was a candidate for Congress in 
opposition to the Hon. S. W. Inge,' in the Tuscaloosa district ; but his Democratic rival 
had the advantage of having knocked down an abolitionist on the floor of Congress, and 
this gave him decided prestige. This district was ably canvassed by both gentlemen, and 
Mr. Baldwin was defeated by a small majority. 

Mr, Baldwin was the author of two works of considerable merit. One was " Flush 
Times of Alabama and Mississippi." It was designed to show the evil effects of an 
inflation of paper currency, and covered, in time, a period of about seven years, from 
1833 to 1840, when paper money was so abundant and great speculations were carried on 
upon a small money basis, and when a series of financial experiments were made in loans 
to debtors, and the formation of real estate banks. The work was quite dramatic and 
described many transactions and scenes in and out of court, of wonderful originality and 
humor. It had an extensive sale. The other work was " Party Leaders," in which Jeffer- 
son, Hamilton, Adams, Randolph and Clay were introduced as representative men, with 
contrasts and parallels well delineated, showing a great fund of information, and remark- 
able power of analysis in the writer. 

Not satisfied in remaining in Alabama, where the political majority precluded his 
hopes of preferment, Mr. Baldwin, not long after his defeat for Congress, removed to 
California, where his distinguished talents and legal capacity, soon obtained for him a 
seat on the bench of the Supreme Court of that State, an office which he held until his 
death, which occurred a few years after the close of the late war (Garrett's Public Men 
of Alabama). 

I learn from a letter received from a judicious friend that " the widow of Mr. Bald- 
win still lives in great splendor and in fine health, retaining much of her youthful 
beauty and vivacity. She lives with her daughter, Mrs. Judge Felton, of Oakland, Cal- 
ifornia, who has the finest residence in that pleasant city. Judge Felton died about two 
years ago, in 1878. He was one of the best lawyers in that State, and his practice, at 
one time, was said to amount to one hundred thousand dollars per annum. 

Ann Catherine, the second daughter of Judge White, was thought to be more beau- 
tiful than Sidney. She was married to Mr. William Dixon, a merchant, of Talladega. 
I am not, at present, well informed as to this branch of the family. I shall have to 
notice Judge White again incidentally, and when I do, I hope to tell semething of his 
youngest daughter. 

There were but two of the Circuit Judges which belonged to Early Times, and we 
have now disposed of them. 

The clerks of the Circuit Courts, including all who have held the office for the past 
sixty-two years, were twelve in number. These were all old settlers, or descendants of 
them ; I shall therefore speak of them consecutively. 

1. George Foote, when the county seat was Melton's Bluff, on the Tennessee river. 
The lapse of time has been so great that I am not able to give a connected account of 
our first, Circuit Clerk. It, seems that he had a son, John, who married and died a few 
miles east of Moulton. Another son who was once a candidate in our county for the 
Legislature. George Foote himself moved to Limestone county, near Mooresville. His 
brother, Philip A. Foote, died in Huntsville many years ago. His daughter Ann mar- 
ried LeRoy Pope, Jr. , and with her mother moved to Memphis, where she still lives — a 
widow (1880). " 

2. Jonathan Burford, the second clerk, was a gbod physician, who had an extensive 
practice in and around Moulton. He was a man of talent and popularity. He did not 
perform ihe duties of the office in' person, but by a very competent deputy, whom we 
will notice' presently. The Doctor had come from Giles county, Tenh., to which place 
he returned before his term of office expired. He had a brothei', Daniel Burford, who 
came with' him from Tennessee'. 'He was a tall, spare inan, with blue'' eyes, and high 



Recollections op North Alabama. 57 

"narrow forehead. He had a strong clear mind, and was a fine talker. When he was a 
boy, in Tennessee new-ground, a dead limb had fallen across his neck and partially 
broken it, but he finally recovered from the serious injury, and ever afterward carried 
his head at half mast, which gave him a peculiar expression of countenance. Daniel 
was an old man when I first knew him ; lived a few miles east of Moulton, and ginned 
•cotton for toll, extensively, for his poor neighbors. Moreover, he hired a number of 
white men ; and had a great many lawsuits, on a small scale, with his numerous cus- 
tomers. In these, for a long time, he was uniformly victorious. The old man in the 
preparation of his cases left nothing to chance. He knew what every one of his wit- 
nesses (who were his retainers) would say before court ; and if the recollection of any 
•one of them seemed to be dim, he would refresh it by recital of concurrent facts so 
clear that the witness could then see the thing as plain as day. When one of his cases 
was called Old Daniel seemed to grow taller, his form to expand, and even his head be- 
come mere erect. He loomed up like a gallant general in the opening of a battle. At 
first I supposed that the desire of gain was the motive which influenced him, but long 
observation convinced me that though it was in part, yet that the main motive was a love 
of the excitement of litigation. But in process of time, the old man, very unexpectedly 
to himself, was defeated in one of his cases. For his life he could not divine the cause 
of his disaster. He had prepared the case well, and no one of .his veteran witnesses 
had gone back on him. He concluded that it must have been owing to the young lawyer 
who hackled and dissected his witnesses, so he employed him on his side for his next 
case. But all this failed to show up what was the matter. The truth was that the pub- 
lic had tired of the old man and his witnesses. They had been before it too often. 
The Gunpowder plot had exploded. One by one his cases went off the docket in the 
same way until the sheriff was no longer heard to sing out of the court house window : 
■* l Dan-iel Bur-ford !" The man who is fond of going to law — who is successful for a 
season, and thinks full surely "his greatness is a ripening," will certainly meet the 
same fate. A witty fellow, after these defeats, offered to bet any man $20 that the old 
man could not recover on a plain note of hand. He had one child, a daughter, who 
married her cousin L. P. C. Burford, who moved to West Tennessee and became very 
rich. 

Dr. Burford's deputy was Gilbert C. K. Mitchell, one of the handsomest men we 
ever had in the county. He was tall and well-proportioned, and had a light com- 
plexion, hazel eyes and light red hair. He studied law whilst he was performing his 
clerkly duties satisfactorily. He was the son of Nat Mitchell, who was a hatter in 
Moulton, when there were three on the south side of the mountain — Hansford Fears. 
John McDowell and himself. The Mitchells were Catholics. The old man and his son 
moved to Courtland about 1828. The former was appointed postmaster and young 
Gilbert commenced the practice of law. After living at Courtland a few years father 
and son moved to the Northwest, where Gilbert became distinguished as a lawyer, and 
died just before or during the war. 

3. John Gallagher, the third clerk, has been already noticed. 

4. John M. Jackson, the jfourth clerk, when I first knew him, was a small farmer 
near Moulton, and a bachelor. He was a little under the usual height, but strongly 
built. His temper was one of the meekest and calmest I ever knew. He was then, and 
continued until his death, a consistent member of the Methodist Church. But his 
Christian sympathies were not confined to that branch. Jackson's manner of speech 
was very slow, and his words fell very softly and lazily from his mouth. So much so 
that a stranger would not be apt to wait to hear the conclusion of the sentence ; but any 
who knew him would be patient that they might hear " something full-. of good sense." 
He continued in office, first, some seven or eight years — made an excellent officer — and 
then, several years afterward, when Mr. Cummings died before his term of office, as 
clerk, expired, Jackson filled out his term and handed over the emoluments to the 
family, of the deceased, who were in need of them, thus "proving his faith by his 
works." I consider it one of the fortunate events of my early life that! enjoyed the 



58 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

friendship of this good man. It was at our house, in Moulton, that he received his- 
friends after his marriage, more than fifty years ago. I had forgotten it until Mr. 
William Harris reminded me of it, remarking: " I can't think of any person present 
on that occasion who is now living except yourself and wife, Mrs. I. N. Owen and 
myself' 1 (1880). Of Jackson's children one son, William, became a dentist and went 
to the far West ; one daughter married Dr. John M. Clarke, and another Col. John H. 
Hansell. 

5. John McBride was the son of Hugh McBride, who came to the county when 
quite an old man, and settled about seven miles northeast of Moulton. John had a 
brother, named Hugh, who lived a few miles north of Moulton. J. K. McBride, who was- 
tax collector a few years ago, was the son of John. He lost an arm during the late war 
between the States, at Gettysburg, Pa. 

6. C. J. M. Cummings lived east of Moulton when I first knew him. He then was 
a militia Major, and had great fondness for Regimental musters. After that, he became 
an able Missionary Baptist Preacher. His oldest son was very promising, but died be- 
fore his father — another married a Miss Deskins, and moved to Morgan county — he had 
a very pretty, intelligent daughter, who married my neighbor, Paul King, they are both 
dead. 

7. David J. Goodlett, clerk 1864, served as clerk for four different terms, and made 
an excellent officer. He was born in South Carolina, in 1804 ; and married a sister of 
Col. John H. Hansell. For many years after Mr. Goodlett came to the county, he was- 
a farmer and a merchant. In 1872 he was thrown from his horse and lamed for life. 
His wife died in 1874, and he in 1878. 

They reared a large family of children. 

a. John S., who died of small-pox, while attending medical lectures at Memphis. 
& .William D. went to Texas, was editor of a newspaper in Marshall county, and! 
died. 

c. Dr. M. L. resides in this county. 

d. David Crockett also lives in this county. 

e. W. T., killed at the battle of Shiloh, in 1862. 

j. 0. E. married J. G. McAlister, and lives in this county. 
g. Robert Y. Goodlett, now clerk (1880). 
h. A. J. lives in Lawrence county. 

8. John M. McGhee was elected in 1860. He was the son of Judge Henry A. Mc- 
Ghee. He married Miss Wear, who lived near Mt. Hope, and they now live in Waco,- 
Texas. He was First Lieutenant in Captain Hodges' company, Sixteenth Alabama- 
Regiment. He had a brother named Silas, who died at "Fishing Creek." 

I have, for some time, seen the need of a history of the Sixteenth and Thirty-fifth 
Alabama Regiments, and would be much obliged to officers, and gentlemen who bore a 
part in the many conflicts, in, which these regiments (largely composed of young men 
from Lawrence) were concerned, for contributions. Let these be written in reference to 
what the writers themselves knew and saw. If I had a dozen or two letters written 
freely, carelessly, rapidly, as you please, but full of facts, I could digest a history within 
convenient compass which would rescue many a gallant deed from oblivion, and be a 
matter of cherished interest to generations of people yet to come. The members of the 
Thirty-fifth Regiment ought specially to aid me in this matter ; for when the order was 
issued at Corinth to abolish that regiment and use its young men in filling up other regi- 
ments, I spent a large part of the night in laboring with the commander-in-chief and 
hisiadjxitant general for a reversal of the order, which 1 succeeded in obtaining.* 

H3L Christopher C. Harris was elected clerk in 1866. I will notice him more particu- 
larly -when I come to speak of his father's family, and of his brother who fell by his- 
side on the bloody field of " Perry ville." 

^his patriotic appeal evoked response, and a graphic epic of these nohle regiments is published! 
furilier on. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 59 

10. Asa M. Hodges. I will notice him when I come to speak of the Hodges family. 
He was elected in 1868, bnt declined to accept the office. 

11. D. C. Goodlett was appointed clerk in his stead — accepted, served several years, ; 
and resigned in 1872. I will speak of him in connection with his father's family. 

12. Robert Y. Goodlett has been clerk since the resignation of his brother (1872) r 
and is now the incumbent. He joined Roddy's escort (Captain Jarman) when he was- 
bnt a youth, and served on it up to the closing scene, at Selma. Here twenty-three of 
this gallant company, surrounded by the enemy, but disdaining to yield, cut their way 
to a swollen stream, plunged in, and so escaped pursuit. Robert Y. was one of the- 
twenty -three. 

Judges of the County Court. 

While Alabama was a territory five justices of the peace were appointed by the 
Governor to preside over the county court ; one of which was designated as chairman 
and who was charged with the duties of probate judge. 1. Peter Taylor was the first 
judge elected by the Legislature after Alabama became a State. He came from Kentucky 
about 1820, had some experience in the practice of law, and was perhaps between twenty- 
five and thirty years of age. He was fully six feet high and was well formed. He had 
black eyes and hair, and was grave and dignified in his demeanor. He was not a bright 
man, but studious and attentive to business. He was honest and independent, and 
although slow in the transaction of business, gave reasonable satisfaction to the bar and 
the people. He practised law in the Circuit Court, but being a dull, heavy speaker was. 
not very successful in getting practice. 

He was elected several times to the Legislature, when, one day, in a crowd, he 
became suddenly a violent maniac. This was without any premonition. He commenced 
this melancholy career by attacking with a large stick James B. "Wallace, Esq., who was 
one of his intimate friends. It is said that lunatics are apt to take up an aversion to their 
best friends (hence the necessity of asylums for the insane to restrain them from injur- 
ing those who have been most fondly loved before) . He was carried to Kentucky by his 
relatives, and in the course of a year or two he died in a lunatic asylum. It is fortunate 
he was not marrried. 

2. James B. Wallace was the second judge. He came from Middle Tennessee with 
his wife (whom we have already mentioned), and they were a great accession to the 
society of Moulton — which was already very good ; for there were in the place ten law- 
yers, four or five physicians, a number of merchants, nearly all of whom were married 
men, and also many families residing in the town who owned plantations in the neigh- 
borhood. Mrs. Wallace was a graceful, refined lady, and one of the best pianists of that 
age. Judge Wallace was a man of fine presence, about five feet ten inches high, and 
hazel eyes, auburn hair and Roman nose. He was a gentleman of elegaDt manners and 
sound principles. I think he was then better versed in the polite literature than in the- 
law, though he was not deficient in legal attainments. In the outset he was timid, 
nervous and backward in speaking in public. Because he was not as fluent as some of 
his competitors, he almost despaired of success as a public speaker. He was not then 
aware of the fact that a man who speaks good sense in a modest and becoming manner 
is always listened to patiently by his hearers, whether he has the trappings of an orator 
or not. He did, however, realize this truth — learned by practice, to think while he was 
upon his feet, and gradually became a dighified, self-possessed and forcible speaker; 
but, at his best, he never commanded any opulence of language. In the place of it he- 
had that which was of far more value to a public man, and that was a refined courtesy,. 
a candor in his statement of facts, and a generosity in his bearing toward political 
opponents ; which secured for him a high position in the great brotherhood of cultured 
gentlemen far beyond that which his talents, respectable as they were, would have won 
for him. 

When Judge Taylor was carried to Kentucky he became County Judge in his stead,. 
and performed the duties of the office very satisfactorily. 



60 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

In 1833, he commenced his political career, and was elected senator from Lawrence 
county, which position he retained until 1838 ; his personal popularity steadily increasing 
at home, while he became a distinguished leader of the Whig party of the State Rights 
school. 

In 1838, he was appointed clerk of the Supreme Court in the place of Judge Henry 
Minor, deceased. This was one of the most lucrative offices in the State, and the judge 
removed his family to Tuscaloosa, and held the office ten years. 

During this time he became well known to the people of Tuscaloosa county, and in 
1851 became a member of the House of Representatives from that county. Having more 
experience and information, he occupied a still higher position than he had ever done 
before. In 1853 he was again a candidate, but, before the election, died suddenly of 
apoplexy. 

Mrs. Wallace, who was always of a delicate constitution, died long before her hus- 
band. The judge raised six children to be grown, all of whom are dead, except one son, 
who is living at Caldwell, Texas. His oldest son, John, died in California; Edward, in 
Mississippi; James, in Richmond, Va. — Harriet, his oldest daughter, in Tuscaloosa — and 
his youngest child, and daughter, in Pine Bluff, Ark. 

3. James Gallagher, third judge of our county, was a younger brother of John 
Gallagher, of whom we have already given a full account. James was of very small 
stature and a lawyer. He started life under favorable auspices, obtained the above 

office and married a daughter of Rev. Cunningham living near Rogersville, Ala. 

Judge Gallagher lived but a short time, his constitution having been injured by the too 
free use of intoxicating liquors. 

4. Boiling C. Baker was pur fourth judge. He was the descendant of the dis- 
tinguished family of Bakers which lived at Richmond, Va. His father died while 
he was a boy, and his eldest brother, Gen. Wayles Baker (of whom we shall speak 
in full hereafter), assumed the care of him. He studied law, commenced the practice 
and was made judge. He was tall, spare, and delicate. He married Elizabeth, young- 
est daughter of Mr. William Banks, of Courtland, and moved to Florida. 

5. John B. Sale was the fifth judge of our County Court. We shall notice him 
in our next number. 

6. David P. Lewis was the sixth judge of our County Court. He has filled many 
of the high offices of the State, and is a man of decided ability, but his history be- 
longs to more modern times. (He was Governor of Alabama in "Reconstruction" 
times.) 

7. Richard 0. Pickett was the seventh judge. He came into the county at a late 
date. I shall, however, have to speak of him as one of the colonels in the brigade of 
General Roddy, when I come to treat of him. 

8. William M. Gallaway, the eighth judge, we have already mentioned as the son 
of Wiley, and the brother of Col. Matthew C. Gallaway. When his term- of service 
expired, he was elected with Dr. Prank Sykes, a member of the House of Representa- 
tives. In 1859 he emigrated to Pine Bluff, Ark., and with two other young men (Owen 
and Harris) engaged in the practice of the law. Judge Gallaway was twice elected to the 
Arkansas Legislature, and died in 1873. He was a man of strong mind and popular 
manners, and had he been less convivial, and more persistent in his efforts, he might 
have obtained a much higher position. 

9. William C. Graham was the ninth judge of the county court, and held the office 
until 1850, when the civil jurisdiction of the county court was taken away, and it was 
left merely as a court of probate. It had subsisted under the former organization for 
thirty years. The father of Judge Graham was named John., He lived near Franklin 
town, in Tennessee, upon a small farm. I knew him there very well sixty years, ago. 
The leisure part of the year he occupied in hauling tobacco to Nashville, and goods back 
to Franklin. The two places were eighteen miles apart as the road then ran. It was 
before the construction of turnpikes and railroads. At some seasons of, the. year, one 
living now can not conceive of the miry, condition of the roads. ..Graham used to 



Recollections op North Alabama. 61 

encounter them, and with his Scotch tenacity of purpose, always made his trips in good 
time — and I have heard my father (who was a merchant) say the goods were uniformly 
delivered according to manifest. Graham was very much respected, and married Miss 
Ladio Cherry, who belonged to a good family. They moved into this county in 1816. 
He settled first on the east side of Big Nance, and, after the land sales, moved to the 
west side, and occupied the place he had just purchased, and on which his son Thomas 
now lives. They planted the first orchard I had any knowledge of ; the boys all worked on 
the farm, obtained a good English education, and it was one of the happiest families in 
our county. The old people, however, in the course of time, had some heart-rending sor- 
rows. In the first place their oldest son, Tidant L., who was a house carpenter, was 
stricken- by lightning and killed. Then, after an interval of many years, the war 
between the States broke out. Their two youngest sons had just grown up. John C, 
the elder, had gone to Texas, and volunteered in one of her regiments; while Noel C. r 
the younger, entered the Ninth Alabama, the first regiment to which Lawrence contrib- 
uted volunteers. Nearly three years of hard service transpired, and I know not if these 
two brothers ever happened to meet during all that time. But when the memorable 
battle of Gettysburg was fought, both these regiments were in that gallant but disastrous 
charge under Longstreet, on the 3d of- July, 1863, and both of these brave brothers fell 
on the same field. In their once happy home they had, when boys, knelt for prayers at the- 
knee of the same pious Methodist mother, and slept in the same bed. Then, after years of 
separation, they had met at the same carnival of blood, and sank, together, into a soldier's 
grave. The Ninth Alabama had passed through many a hard-fought field ere then. It 
had been at Williamsburg, the battles before Richmond, the Second Manassas, at Har- 
per's Ferry, at Sharpsburg, at Fredericksburg, at Salem Church, and its members had 
become veterans. By what route the Texas regiment had reached that fatal field I know 
not, but I am satisfied it was a " fiery " one, for it is the lot of gallant soldiers always 
to occupy posts of danger. 

Before the expiration of that year (1864) John Graham was in his grave. His good 
wife still lives at the advanced age of 83 years. Instead of her being a burden to her 
children, she is yet straight, active, industrious, and has a mind still clear as it ever 
was. Why was the strong man broken down by this heavy grief, and the feeble woman 
left. It is the old story of the oak and the reed in a storm. And, it may be, women 
look higher than men, in the day of calamity, and trust more to Him " who is an anchor 
to the soul, both sure and steadfast." 

William C. Graham, when grown up, learned the tanner's trade under Mr. McLung, 
who owned the tanyard at Whitesburg, which Graham afterward purchased. During 
all the time he owned it he devoted every spare moment to study, rising in winter long 
before day. He commenced the practice of the law, and it was not long before he was. 
elected judge. Then he was elected to the House of Representatives. 

After this he returned to the practice of law. The commencement of his career was: 
full of promise and his advancement rapid. But he did not continue to advance. He 
met an enemy in his path and succumbed to him ; that same enemy which has destroyed 
so many of our professional men in the South. 

John Graham and wife had eleven children. We have already noticed four of them. 
The others were Malvina, who married Joseph Love ; he is dead and she still lives a 
widow; Malcolm S., who married first Eliza, daughter of Jerry Holland, and secondly 
Mrs. Pittman. He died in 1876. Thomas J., who married another daughter of Jerry 
Holland ; James went to Texas and there died ; Mary, who married Rev. L. B. Sander- 
son ; Sarah, who married Thomas, son of Jerry Holland ; Louisa, who married J. V. 
Love; she is dead and he living (in 1880). 

John B. Sale, 

fifth judge of our county court, was born in Amherst eounty, Va. , in 1818 . His father' s 



62 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

family moved to Lawrence in 1821 ;* was descended from Capt. John Sale, 
who was an officer in the revolutionary army, and served for seven years. His father, 
Alexander Sale, was an able minister of the Methodist Church, of sound judgment, but 
deficient in imagination ; and his mother was a Burruss, gifted with genius, imagination 
and wit. Young John was entered at La Grange College (Bishop Paine, Pres.) in 1835, 
and being well advanced in his studies, graduated with the highest honors in 1837. He then 
studied law in Courtland, and commenced practice in Moulton early in the year 1839, 
and, near the expiration of 1840, was elected judge. He had the confidence of the bar and 
the people. His practice in other courts rapidly increased, but he was seized by a desire 
to try a new country, and removed to Aberdeen, Miss. My brother, Col. William H. 
Saunders was reared near Judge Sale — was his college mate — lived near him at Aber- 
deen — helped him to raise his company in the late war — was his messmate until he was 
transferred to Richmond — succeeded him as military judge of Bragg's corps, and, at my 
request, has furnished me with the sketch of his career from the time he left Alabama. 

Judge Sale moved to Aberdeen, Miss., in 1848, and immediately formed a partner- 
ship with John Goodwin, which lasted until Mr. Goodwin's death, 1854. In 1852 or 53 
Jas. Phelan joined them, under firm name of "Goodwin, Sale & Phelan ;" this firm did 
a very large business from the very beginning. After the war, W. F. Dowd was added 
to the partnership. This firm, probably combining more talent than any other in the 
State, did an immense business during the lawyer's "harvest" after the war, which 
lasted to about 1874. Some years after Judge Phelan removed to Memphis ; Sale & Dowd 
continuing partners up to a few months before Sale's death, in 1876. After this disso- 
lution, Sale and E. H. Bristow (a talented young lawyer) became partners. 

As a lawyer, Colonel Sale ranked with the very best in the State, and this is very 
high praise. In his profession, as well as in the conduct of his private and domestic 
affairs, he was always methodical and systematic. Throughout the economy of his life, 
anything, from his biggest case at the bar down to the very stationery on his office table, 
was the subject of perfect order. Some of his friends thought that this invariable devo- 
tion to method in matters of detail and minutiae might interfere with graver matters. 
Sale contended that nothing paid so well, both in money and comfort. These particular 
habits became more and more confirmed as he grew older, and might have interfered, to 

* "With this colony of Virginians came the Butler, Booth, Littlebury Jones, Norment and 
Fitezgerald families, and all settled in the same neighborhood, Judge Sale, etc. 

Guilliam Booth, of Dinwiddie county, Va., died 1810. Had sons: (1) Guilliam, and (2) William 
F. Booth, who married Mary Ann Fitzgerald, and moved to Botetourt county, Va., 1817, and from 
thence to Alabama, 1825, and finally removed to Quincy, Fla. (William Booth, Sr., and Dr. Booth 
lived near Courtland, Ala., until they removed to Florida in the 30's.) 

(1} William F. Booth married Sarah Guilliam Coe, daughter of Jesse and Celia (Guilliam) Coe, 
■of Virginia. 

(2) Mary Ann Fitzgerald Booth, born in Notting county, 10th April, 1810, died 3d May, 1892, 
•Quincy, Fla. ; married A. J. Forman, of Baltimore, Md., and had (1) William Booth Forman, (2) 

Annie Forman, who married Dismukes, Columbus, Ga., and (3) Ellen Forman, who married 

Du Pont. 

George Booth, first mentioned, in Surrey county, 1714. His son, George, 1140 acres on Sappony 
Creek, 1746. There was also a son (or brother), Thomas Booth, who married Dorcas — , and had Amy, 
.born 1728 (Bristol Pa. Register). 

George, Sr., died 14th August, 1763, aged 84 years (born 1679), so certified "his grandson," 
■George Booth, in the old Albemarle Pa. Register. George Booth was of the Committee of Safety for 
Sussex, 1775. Mary Booth died 1752. 

There was also John, Arthur, Beverly, Burwell, Shelley and Gilliam Booth, in 1765. George 
and Ann Booth had sons: Robert (b. 1770), and Thomas (b. 1773), with Gilliam and Mary Booth as 
god-parents (Albemarle Pa. Register). John Booth marrried Hollan — , before 1764. George Booth, 
lands in Prince George, in 1722, and also 1727 ; Charles, lands in Prince George, 1727. 

In Sussex county, in 1804, were Beverly, Robert, Matthew and Peter Booth. 



Eecollections op North Alabama. 63 

some extent, with a large miscellaneous business. Colonel Dowd, once speaking of Sale, 
likened him to a great steamboat — slow to go about and start, but when once under way 
irresistible and fast. 

When the war was imminent, but many still hoped it might be averted, Sale with 
several of his middle-aged friends determined that they (when war was inevitable) would 
go into the service. The military events in the spring of 1861 removed all doubt as to 
coming events ; the married muscle of the country was needed in the field. He assisted 
in raising a splendid company of infantry, 111 men, and was elected captain. This 
company and others were mustered into service separately, and afterward constituted 
the Fifth Mississippi Battalion of Infantry ; went first to Mobile and thence to Pensacola. 
Before the reorganization of the army, iu the spring of 1862, it was discovered that 
battalions and small bodies less then a regiment were very useful in the army for all 
sorts of odd jobs only ; in short that your crack battalions were a mistake. As a general 
rule, ten companies would organize and be mustered in as a regiment. Sale's company, 
however, and a number of others had been mustered in each as a company, relinquish- 
ing under military law the very thing they were aiming at, viz. : the right to choose 
their associates and regimental officers. General Bragg, who knew the army regulations, 
but " didn't know any man after the flesh," consolidated these companies into the 
Twenty- seventh Mississippi Infantry, asking no questions; Sale's command was one of 
the eleven companies of this splendid regiment of over 1100. Bragg appointed the 
"field and staff," against which alleged tyranny there was great dissatisfaction and almost 
mutiny. The " old man," however, took them specially in hand and soon "licked them 
into shape." After this instance of strict discipline coupled with justice, Bragg became, 
and continued ever after, exceedingly popular in this regiment, and the regiment was 
high in 7ms esteem, as evidenced by its being chosen as one of the five for Walthall's 
brigade which played so conspicuous a part in the Army of Tennessee. 

Sale's connection with the Twenty-seventh ceased shortly after the Kentucky cam- 
paign ; about the time Bragg was in great need of some one at the head of the Depart- 
ment of Military Justice (Judge Advocate General, I believe, is the title of this official). 
He selected Sale, and " had no further trouble in that department," as he told me years 
after the war. 

About the time that Bragg was removed from the Army of the Tennessee, the new 
military court was adopted by the Confederate Government ; in view of the removal of 
General Bragg, and not caring for a place on Johnson's personal staff, Sale applied for 
a judgeship on the military court of Hood's Corps, and was appointed. In that office he 
served for several months, and until President Davis selected Bragg as his military 
adviser at Richmond. I am not certain that there was any regular official title for this 
particular service ; suppose he was the President's adjutant or chief of staff practically. 
In this position, Bragg needed (more than ever) an accomplished chief of staff, and 
urged Sale to accept the position; resigning his judgeship, he accepted Bragg' s offer, 
retaining his rank of colonel of cavalry. He remained with Bragg " to the bitter end." 

It was during the time that Bragg held this place near the President that he was 
sent (I suppose) to assist in the operations against General Sherman, then marching 
toward Goldsboro. Whether General Johnson detailed troops for General Bragg of his 
own free will, or by orders, I do not know. At any rate Bragg, with about 6000 troops, 
by rapid movements placed himself in front of Sherman' s right column under Scho- 
field, at Kingston, N. C. The result was, Schofield was surprised and cut to pieces, 
losing nearly all his transportation, captured or destroyed. Bragg then, by forced 
marches, returned to Johnson near Bentonville, in time to meet Sherman's left column, 
commanded by himself. The enemy was attacked about the middle of the afternoon, 
and driven out of a part of his works, when night put a stop to the battle. Had the 
attack been made at dawn, or before, the result might have been as complete a success 
as that at Kingston. The following morning Sherman's middle column, under Gen. 
Jeff Davis, was at hand; Johnson " fell back," and Sherman went his way to Golds- 
boro. Colonel Sale accompanied General Bragg in the short campaign in North Caro 



64 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

lina, and they both returned to Richmond (after the battle of Bentonville) , where they 
remained until the evacuation of that city. I regret that Sale did not, as he intended,, 
write an account of this part of the history of the war. 

Colonel Sale was married four times. First, to S. Turner Sykes, daughter of Dr. 
Wm. Sykes, then of North Alabama. Dr. Paul Sale was the issue of this marriage. 
Second time, to Miss Nannie Mills of Aberdeen ; Archie and Susan Turner are the chil- 
dren of this marriage. Third time, to Miss Lou Leigh of Columbus. Fourth time, to 
Miss Annie Cornelius, who survives him ; the children of this marriage are Braxton and 
Sallie. 

Sale was anything than a negative character ; he was capable of the strongest attach- 
ments, and indefatigable in his services to his friends. He was outspoken as to the- 
foibles of those who claimed his attention, and sometimes impatient with those who dif- 
fered from him. As for his enemies — well, they didn't love him. His intellect was 
massive, and of the order analytical. Few men could unravel a complication so success- 
fully, or use the reconstructed material so powerfully. His devotion to method and sys- 
tem, as applied to the business of his life, was without change. Nothing could hurry 
him into disorder. All matters of professional business, domestic business, his argu- 
ments at the bar, and his books of account, were the subjects of careful arrangement. 
Notwithstanding these strong traits and habits, he was sentimental. No one enjoyed' 
romance more than he, and he loved poetry, if it was of the emotional kind; his theory 
on this subject was that the mission of poetry was to make us feel ; that to write of 
commonplace things, or demonstrate mathematics in verse, was a thundering humbug! 
Can do it far more pleasantly in prose. He delighted in humor, broad or narrow, and 
was himself a considerable wit, and was (sorry to say it) much given to "punning." 
Utterly without policy, he couldn't help rasping his best friends sometimes, when they 
" stood fair." 

Sale's knowledge of the English language, and his use of it, was remarkable ; as a 
letter writer, he was unexcelled ; his friendly correspondence combined the force and' 
point of a man's with the ease and gossip of a woman's pen. As a draftsman of busi- 
ness or legal papers, he was considered a' model; had great talent for making difficult 
and complicated subjects read smoothly, in spite of the cant and rugged technicalities- 
which seem indispensable to such writing. A friend (not a lawyer) once suggested that 
his papers were just a little prolix ; he contended, however, that as ink and paper were 
eheap you had better bear the tautology than run the risk of obscurity. 

Before the war Sale had accumulated an ample fortune, but nearly all of it consisted 
of promises-to-pay aud uncollected fees; of course, like others, he lost nearly all, and 
when the war was over had but little beside his residence and law office. He, however,, 
left his family independent, if not rich, at his death. 

His careful forethought was not less remarkable than his uniformly methodical 
habits. In speaking of these, I might have mentioned many amusing incidents ; 
instance his purchase of the alarm clock for arousing Gus, a sleepy- headed servant, 
at a certain time in the morning. He was then single, and occupied a room adjoining 
his office. Gus slept in this office, and usually made his bed under a large table in 
front of the fire. The clock was started, duly explained, and the alarm set for day 
break next morning. Now, in order that Gus should have a proper sense of this clock, 
Sale got up a few minutes before alarm time, and stood ready with a long red cowhide ; 
sharp to the minute, " she went off," but in spite of bells, rattles and smashing crock- 
ery, Gus slept well for half a second, when the cowhide joined in the reveille. Gus, 
tremendously stampeded, bounced up with the big table right on top of his head ; the 
table fell first on one corner, and after one or two ricochets, landed bottom upward at 
the back door. Such a scatteration of briefs, private correspondence, inks (red, black and 
copying), postage stamps and kerosene lamps! Augustus thereafter, about daybreak,, 
slept like the mink, with one eye open. 

One of Sale's maxims was, that a soldier should always be prepared and ready for- 
victory as well as for defeat, especially for those sudden emergencies, when there is no 



Recollections op North Alabama. 65 

time to pack up your things. True to his principles, at the beginning, he had a very 
large pair of saddle-bags made (the- biggest in the army) and in them he kept a complete 
soldier's outfit; these bags were never'used, or even opened, except for the purpose of 
better arrangement of the outfit, which he kept ready at hand during the entire war. 
Fortunately, there was no occasion to test the true value of the saddle-bags. 

My brother, Col. William H. Saunders, of Mississippi, his life-long friend, who also 
served with him in the Military Court of Hood's army, in transmitting this sketch, says : 
4 ' You will of course use it as so much raw material for making up your article for pub- 
lication." I have taken the liberty of insertiug it, just as he wrote it. 

From a long and intimate personal acquaintance with Judge Sale, I consider this 
delineation of him a very successful one. For some years before his death, the Judge 
was a consistent and pious Methodist ; and his Christian duties were performed with as 
much method and earnestness, as his professional ones. He was an active and efficient 
member of the church to which he belonged ; and his death was deeply mourned by its 
best members. 

In taking a general review of the career of Judge Sale, of the prominent position he 
held at the bar, as a civil judge, as a military judge, as the trusted Adjutant of General 
Bragg, in organizing the armies of the Confederacy, and directing their general move- 
ments ; of his ardent patriotism; of his unsullied honor, and his sincere, modest and 
consistent piety, I think we are authorized in pronouncing him, one of the ablest and 
best men emanating from our county. One or two others may have excelled him in a 
single department ; but his mind was one of great versatility, and proved to be fully equal 
to the demands made upon it, in the various positions referred to, requiring different 
attributes of the intellect. 

The Clerks of the County Court, 

for thirty-two years, from 1818 to 1850, when the office was abolished, were five in 
number. 

1. Daniel W. Wright was the first. His father settled in Courtland at an early 
day. and kept a boarding house. His son, Daniel, was very sprightly and studied ; and 
obtained the office of clerk. By this means he became favorably known to the people, 
and in 1819 was elected, with Arthur F. Hopkins, a delegate from Lawrence county to 
the Constitutional Convention. 

Shortly afterward Mr. Wright moved to the State of Mississippi, where he was 
«lected judge of the Circuit Court, and, I believe, died before he arrived at middle age. 

2. John Gallagher was the second clerk. His history we have already given. 

3. John Gregg was the third clerk. His father had been a Revolutionary soldier. 
He came to Lawrence in early times, and died near Moulton. He had, besides John, three 
sons, Henry, Samuel, and Ellis. 

John married Sarah, daughter of Samuel Bigham, Esq., who first settled, before 
the land sales, at Bigham' s Spring — called afterward Hickman's Spring — and now 
"Pond Spring." There was quite a colony of squatters around this spring, who were 
over-bid at the sales, and scattered in various directions. Esquire Bigham was a large, 
and good-looking man, and was elected to the Legislature in 1819 and 1820. He was a 
poor speaker, and not well versed in public affairs; but he was honest and respectable, 
and had all the influence of the earliest settlers in his behalf. This constituted a large 
proportion of the voters then, but the influx of population gave the majority to the 
new comers, and the old gentleman had to subside into private life. 

John Gregg succeeded Boiling B. Burnett as sheriff, and his deputy was his brother 
Ellis. He was a modest, quiet man in general, but being powerful when roused he was 
formidable for he acted very promptly. I recollect an amusing incident which happened 
while he was sheriff. On the McMahon corner, at Moulton, a ring of wild drinking fel- 
lows had, for several days, caused great annoyance to the court by their noise and clamor, 
sometimes bellowing like bulls. At length they became so bold that they came into the 



66 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

court house. One of them caused a disturbance, and the judge ordered him to jail. John 
started with him, when one of his friends attempted a rescue. John knocked the interloper 
down and he fell at full lengthonthe hard brick floor, and then, turningto the judge, John 
coolly said : "If your honor please, here is a man interfering. ' ' It caused a great laugh, 
and the " bull " ring was broken up. In John's court the execution had preceded the 
judgment. 

As county clerk (although he was not so expert as some of the others) he was atten- 
tive to business, and gave fair satisfaction. 

In 1835, during the revolution in Texas, John Gregg, in company with W. D. 
Thomason, John Wren, James Ellis, James McDaniel, Humphrey Montgomery, Farney 
Smith and young Kaiser, engaged in that cause. They all entered the same company, 
except James Ellis, who, hearing of the arrival of the " Red Rovers" from Courtland, 
joined them, and was amongst those murdered at Goliad. 

After the Texan war, John returned to Lawrence for his family, and on his way 
back to Texas was attacked by the Indians ; his wife and one son were killed, and another 
son, Henry, was carried off a prisoner and detained in captivity for several years. 
I have tried, in vain, to learn the particulars of this mournful tragedy. John Gregg 
died not many years after this in Texas. His brothers moved to Arkansas. 

5. Wiley Gallaway was the fifth clerk, and held the office for fifteen years — from 
1835 to 1850. Lawrence county never had a better clerk than he. We have already 
related his family history. 

Probate Judges of Lawrence County, 

In 1850 the civil jurisdiction having been taken away from the county courts, and 
the office of clerk abolished all the duties were performed by the probate judges. 

Henry A. McGhee was the first of these, and his career was in a wonderful degree 
marked by success and good fortune. I have (as is my habit in such cases) inquired 
particularly into the history of his early life. His grandfather was Joseph McGhee, 
who lived in Wake county, North Carolina, and was a soldier of the Revolution. 

His father was Merryman McGhee, and his mother Elizabeth Harvill, who was born 
in Virginia, Henry was born in Wake County, North Carolina, in 1810. The family 
moved to Blount county, East Tennessee, in 1818. Henry was now eight years old, the 
period at which education should commence in earnest, but his father was poor, and the 
chances for education, in that new country, very slim. He managed, however, by going 
to school two or three months every year, after the crops were made, to get an average 
education for the times, and enough to enable him, by careful study, to attend to any 
business which came before him during his different terms of office. The truth is, that 
nature had endowed him with quick perception aud good judgment. 

When the family moved to Lawrence, Henry and his elder brother, Silas, per- 
formed manual labor with great industry. The first time I ever saw them they were 
using their pole axes with considerable activity ; and then commenced my acquaintance 
with the judge, which has continued for nearly a half century. ' 

In 1835 the judge married Jane Warren, who was reared near Fayetteville, Tenn. 
After this, the two brothers purchased the saw-mill near the Chalybeate Spring on the 
Tuscaloosa road, which they managed with great industry, until Henry was elected con- 
stable in 1840 ; aud now commenced a career of success not surpassed by any man who 
has ever lived in this county. 

He was constable until 1843 ; he was then elected tax collector, and again elected in 
1844 and 1845, and in 1846 he was candidate for sheriff against five opponents, and 
was elected by a vote larger than that of all the others put together ; and in 1850, his 
term" of service as sheriff having expired, he was elected Probate Judge. His term of 
office expired in 1856 ; in 1857 he was elected to the Legislature over one of the ablest 
men in the county ; in 1858 he was again elected sheriff, and in 1860 he was census enu- 
merator. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 67 

What was the secret of this uniform success? It was. that, in every office of trust, 
he acted honestly ; in politics he was true to his principles, and he moreover had very 
pleasing manners and great tact in electioneering. "All the while the wonder grew" 
how he could love so many people as warmly as he did. I suppose it was on the princi- 
ple that a muscle grows in size and increases in power from exercise, the heart being no 
exception to the general law. 

When the war between the States broke out, Judge MeGhee, although over fifty years 
of age, raised a company for twelve months, and went out as captain. It was included in 
the Twenty-seventh Alabama Regiment. At Port Donelson the regiment was captured, 
but the judge was at home on leave of absence at the time. 

The judge removed to Texas after the war, and his wife died at Bremond in 1872. 
His children were : 1. Elizabeth, who married Jere Gibson, who established a newspaper 
called the Democratic Standard. 2. John M., whom we have noticed as clerk, and will 
have occasion to do so-again when I come to the history of the Sixteenth Alabama Regi- 
ment. 3. Mattie, who married Ben Talliaferro and died in 1873. 4. Silas, who belonged 
to Captain Bankhead's company in the Sixteenth Alabama, and died on the morning of 
the battle of Fishing creek. 5. Mollie, who married J. T. Strain, who was captain in 
Col. Johnson's Regiment in Roddy's Brigade. They live in Waco. 6. William, living in 
McLennan county, teaching school. 7. Henry is in Mason county, Texas, as deputy 
sheriff. The judge has married, for his second wife, Mrs. Green who is a native of Texas. 
He is her fourth husband. 

Croekett McDonald was the second probate judge of our county and like his pre- 
decessor was very successful in his aspirations. His character of mind, however, was 
very different. He was rather a taciturn man, with strong common sense, and strict 
application to business ; and on this foundation he built successfully. I first knew him 
in 1826, |when he came to Moulton, although he had come to the county two years 
before from Kentucky. At that time he used to preach, not very fluent, but 
verv sensible, discourses in the court house, as a minister of the Christian (or 
Campbellite) church. In less than four years, his industry and fine business capacity, 
sustained by his known integrity, were fully appreciated by the people of Moulton ; for 
he combined in his own person, and at the same time, the offices of justice of the peace, 
postmaster, treasurer of the county, mayor of Moulton, and preacher, and it seems to 
me, I have omitted one or two more of his pursuits. He had a good clear head for 
arranging business, and I never heard that any suffered from the pluralities combined in 
one hand. A strong proof of this is to be found in the fact that he was elected probate 
judge, and held the office until his death. 

One of his sons, James H., is now (1880) probate judge, and we will notice him in 
regular order. Another, William S., is postmaster in Moulton. He married a Miss 
Alexander. A third, Edward C, married Sarah C, daughter of Judge Ligon, and is 
clerk in the office of the probate judge. Another son, David C, was clerk of the Cir- 
cuit Court, resigned the office ; and has moved away. 

Rev. Andrew 0. Horn was the third clerk of the County Court, and his name was 
passed over by accident. Previous to his election he had been a very acceptable preacher 
in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and to the influence of the large membership 
of that sect he was indebted for his success in obtaining the office. He made a pretty 
good officer. After his term had expired he had some difficulty with his church ; left it 
and joined the Christian (or Campbellite) Church, and moved away, first to Missouri 
and thence to Texas. I had not heard of him for over thirty years, when my friend, 
Major Owen, met him in Austin, where he was visiting his son, Dr. James Horn, who 
was very promising, and was getting into a good practice. Mr. Horn himself was 
teaching a school some eighteen miles distant. 

Christopher C. Gewin, the third Probate Judge, succeeded Crockett McDonald. 
During the term for which Mr. Valiant was sheriff, Mr. Gewin was one of his deputies, 
and formed an extensive acquaintance with the people. In 1840 he was elected sheriff, 
and made an active, faithful officer; but, within the limits of his duty, performed its 



€8 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

functions in so considerate and forbearing a manner, that he increased the number of his 
friends. In 1844 he was elected to the House of Representatives, and afterward, Probate 
Judge. Mr. Gewin was a man of but little education, but of a strong, clear, natural mind 
and energetic character. He was decided in his opinions and movements, and had warm 
friendsand bitter enemies. He was twice married; first to a daughter of William Boyd, and 
the second time to her sister. Some years ago he moved to Madison county, in this 
State, where he still lives. 

Charles Gibson was our fourth Probate Judge. He was the son of John Gib- 
son, who had moved his family from Georgia and settled them in Lawrence county, 
near Oakville, in 1818. Charles was then about 17 years of age. He had been reared 
to work on a farm, with only such opportunities for an education as were afforded by 
the common schools of Georgia, which he attended at intervals when he could be spared 
from the business of the farm. In 1823 he married Clarissa, a daughter of John 
McDowell, an Irishman, and Revolutionary soldier, whom we have noticed in a former 
article. Their married life was a very happy and busy one, and continued about forty 
years, during which they made a good estate, and, moreover, reared (to be grown) 
six sons and four daughters. During the first years of his married life he amused 
himself with military affairs. He was captain, then adjutant, then major and colonel. 
I very well remember all this, for I was young, too, then, and I do not recollect in all 
my travels ever having seen so many long white plumes floating in the air ; as many 
scarlet sashes, and war-horses so richly caparisoned, as I used to see at the brigade 
musters in Moulton in early times. The taste of the present age has changed in this 
respect entirely, and the floating plume has degenerated into the pompon, not much 
longer than your finger, and tufted with colored wool, and all the appointments seem to 
be designed for the purpose of rendering the officer inconspicuous in battle. 

Colonel Gibson, whilst busily engaged on his farm, was constantly improving his 
mind, and kept well posted as to public affairs. Those who knew best his sterling hon- 
esty and excellent common sense, at length urged him forward as a candidate for office, 
but his first efforts were unsuccessful. He was too independent a character to succeed 
well in this line. His temper was not supple enough, and he was too firm and tenacious 
of his opinions ; in short, he lacked tact in electioneering. But when the people were 
fully informed in regard to his just claims he became a decided favorite. He was fre- 
quently a member of the Commissioners' Court, and has served in all, on that bench, 
twenty years. Here his experience in practical matters, and his independence in 
guarding the county treasury from pillage, made him very useful. In 1858 he was 
elected Probate Judge. As in every other trust, he was faithful, and had but fairly 
begun to reap benefit from the emoluments of the office when the war occurred, and put 
a stop to all paying business. His labors, however, did not cease. Our soldiers were 
in the field gallantly doing their duty, and their wives and children began to suffer. 
The labor was then imposed on the judge of taking charge of all donations made for 
soldiers' families, and making distribution of them. As difficult as this was, being 
deeply devoted to the Southern cause, he performed it with energy, pride and pleasure. 
Those were scarce and difficult times ; the country was becoming bare of everything, and 
as the facts of the case will shortly fade from memory I will here specify a few of them. 
The judge had frequently to go to Montgomery to draw the funds for the purpose, and 
then to scour the country to purchase articles of necessity at fabulous prices. He found 
a fine lot of molasses in Russellville, sent there for fear of falling into the hands of 
the enemy, bought it, and hauled it to Moulton for the soldiers' families. There 
were 100 sacks of salt in Gadsden, sent there for the use of this county; he pro- 
cured ten wagons and went for it. Riding ahead, he found many of the sacks in so bad 
a condition that there would have been great waste of this substance, whose crystals 
were worth more to our women than diamonds, and he repaired them with his own hands 
before his teams came up. When this supply was exhausted he bought four barrels 
which had been hauled from Tuscaloosa, at one hundred dollars per barrel. The tax corn and 
meat of the county had been going into the hands of the army commissaries, and he man- 



Recollections of North Alabama. 69 

aged to get it all for the use of the soldiers' families. He had his agents to help him, and 
had it distributed all over the county. He had several boxes of cotton cards brought in, and 
it was a timely relief, for the clothing of the poor had become scanty. But, with all 
this effort, the pressure became heavier every month until the close of the war. At the 
darkest hour he received a note from a noble-hearted man, donating 100 bushels ot 
wheat, and saying, further, that no soldier's wife should starve as long as he had a 
bushel of meal. That man has gone from us, but "his works do follow him." I shall 
have occasion to speak of him again. Many a soldier from our county, when he heard 
that Charles Gibson was charged with the duty of providing for his dear ones at home, 
slept soundly by the camp fire, even while the earth was shaken with the thunder of 
artillery. He was re-elected Probate Judge in 1864, and was disfranchised before two 
years of this term had expired. 

The war closed, and in 1875 he was elected a member of the Constitutional Conven- 
tion, and then retired from public life. He was a farmer for fifty years, and was very 
successful. He boasts that, in all that time, he never bought a bushel of meal, or a 
pound of meat or lard, but, on the contrary, has sold a good deal. 

When the judge was about sixty-five years of age he married a second time. And 
here again he showed his good common sense ; for, instead of marrying a young girl, he 
chose an elderly lady, a Mrs. McCulloch. who has made him a good wife. 

Many of my readers will notice that in speaking of Judge Gibson I have departed 
from the rule adopted in the outset, of saying but little in commendation of the living ; 
but, in this case, they should keep in mind that the judge is over seventy-eight years 
old, and by this time he has gotten a "set," and will not change much. Don't imagine 
that I consider him near the end, and am writing his obituary. By no means ! The 
judge is still robust in mind and body, and is now a better life, as the underwriters call 
it, than many men of but half his age. But were I writing his obituary I would not omit 
the excellent Christian character he has always sustained in the Baptist church. 

Judge Gibson's children were : 1. John C, who is now a wealthy farmer in Ellis 
county, Texas. He is a gentleman, in every sense of the word, and is one of the best 
managers on a plantation I ever knew in this county. He has been married four times, 
and has one child by his first wife, two by his third, and one by his fourth. 4. William, 
who was killed at the battle of Murfreesboro, and belonged to the Sixteenth Alabama 
Regiment. 3. Sylvanus, who died at 21 years of age. 5. James S. , who was in the Sixth 
Arkansas Regiment, and at the battle of Shiloh was wounded in the head three times, 
but not severely. He is a Baptist preacher and merchant at Landersville. 2. J. J. 
(commonly called Mack), who is farming near Moulton. 6. Charles, the youngest, who 
studied law, went to Texas and married a Miss Ellis. He was clerk of the District 
Court in Ellis county, and a member of the Legislature in 1878. He was a member of 
the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment at Shiloh ; had a bone in his leg broken at the battle of 
Murfreesboro, and afterward, at the battle of Chickamauga, was wounded in the same 
place. 

Of Judge Gibson's daughters, one married Darius Lynch, Esq., of Moulton, and 
has been dead many years ; another married J. T. Adair, of Trinity, and never had any 
children; the third married Robert Prewit, brother of J. W., who now lives east of 
Moulton. They are both dead, but have left a son named Talbot; the fourth daughter 
married W. L. Kirk, of Texas. 

5. James H. McDonald, the fifth probate judge, is now the incumbent. In the last 
number we gave a sketch of his father and the McDonald family. He was elected in 
1866, and has been judge nearly fourteen years, and from his youth his habits were well 
fitted for office work. He is thoroughly acquainted with the duties of his office, and 
performs them with great assiduity. He is supposed to be better acquainted with the 
minutiae of the statute laws of Alabama than any man in this section of our State, 
except Milton McLanaham, of Morgan, who was celebrated in this respect. The judge 
has but little to do with politics, and has very quiet and polite manners. 

Judge McDonald first married Mary Ann, daughter of Wiley Gallaway. By this 



70 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

marriage he has two young daughters of much promise. His wife died iu 1874. He 
las since married a Mrs. Duke, of Memphis, a most estimable lady. 

Sheriffs of Lawrence County. 

Prom the year 1818 to the late war, a period of sixty-two years, there were thirteen 
sheriffs, and every one of them was an early settler. This important and lucrative 
office was never committed to any man who had not enjoyed the confidence of the people 
for a long time. What a commentary is this upon the habit of our people of breaking 
all the ties which bind them to their early homes and friends, and seeking new homes, 
where it requires a large part of a lifetime to give them the same social position they 
once had. 

Hance M. Cunningham was the first sheriff of this county. His name is mentioned 
in several of the early Acts for the organization of the county and for the establish- 
ment of turnpike roads. His mother was sister to John and Moses McWhorter, a very 
respectable family of old times, into which Dr. Robert M. Clark married. The Mc- 
Whorters and Cunninghams moved into the county in 1817. Hance married Mary 
Tiggs. He was elected sheriff, and Esquire Hogan was his deputy, and this is as much 
as I have been able to learn concerning him. 

William Reneau, the second sheriff, I knew very well. The Reneau family came 
from East Tennessee; and John (the father of William) died many years afterward, at 
the house of his son. William was not a man of much education, but of energy and a very 
kindly disposition, almost too much so for a sheriff. The consequence was that he became 
very popular, and at the expiration of his term of office he was elected to the House of 
Representatives of the General Assembly, in which he served during the sessions of 
1835 and 1836. His deputies were Asa Hodges and Hugh M. Warren. 

Hugh M. Warren, our third sheriff, lived first in Madison, where he was sheriff of 
that county. He married for his first wife,' a Miss Hart, and settled near Leighton. 
Being weli known to our citizens who came from Madison county (and we had a great 
many of them) he was elected, by their influence, sheriff of the county. I knew him 
well, for I was then practising law in Moulton. He was a man of energy and method. 
All his official business was closed up promptly. In this he was assisted by Andrew 
Kaiser and Levi P. Warren. 

By his first marriage he had four sons : William H. Warren, who was major in the 
Confederate service, and lives in Colbert county. He married first Miss Cassidy, of 
Florence, and secondly, a daughter of John Dial, near La Grange. He was a fearless 
officer, but not always temperate. The second son, Robert, married a daughter of Dr. 
Clark, and also lives in Colbert county. The third son, Thomas, married a Miss Webb, 
of Madison county, and lives near Moulton. The youngest son, Hugh, married a 
daughter of John L. Murray, and moved to Texas years ago. 

Hugh M. Warren, for his second wife, married Nancy Emily, daughter of John 
(Pond) Smith. This old gentleman was much respected, and was the head of a pious 
Baptist family. The issue of this marriage was two daughters, Martha and Mary. 
Martha married Robert King, son of Oswald King, in 1856 ; and Mary married Burchett 
C. King, brother of Robert, in 1858. Each has many children. 

Andrew Kaiser, one of Mr. Warren's deputies, studied medicine, found some mineral 
springs (called Kaiser's Springs), settled and I think died there. Levi P. Warren lived 
near Moulton, amassed a very large fortune and died a few years ago. 

Boiling B. Burnett, the fourth sheriff, was a very sociable, talkative man, made a 
good officer, and was a Methodist and a man of consistent moral character. He married 
Mary, the daughter of a stout, lame blacksmith, living near Town Creek Bridge, com- 
monly called Judge Hall ; and moved to the State of Mississippi, near Aberdeen, in 1837. 
Deputies not known. 

John Gregg was the fifth sheriff, and had for his deputy his brother Ellis. Of John 
(who was a clerk of the county court) we have already spoken. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 71 

Matthew Roberts, the sixth sheriff, is now living ; with physical and mental powers 
very good for an old man, and although he is about 86 years of age, and deaf, he is as 
fond of hearing the news as any man in the county. Major Roberts is one of a genera- 
tion, the individuals of which were born and reared when the county was new and wild, 
and the chances of an education poor, who have, notwithstanding, made a good estate, 
occupied positions of honor and profit, and raised large families. 

His father and mother were both descendants of revolutionary soldiers, and lived 
in Roane county, North Carolina. In 1809 they moved to Giles county, Tenn., and in 
1817, to this county. At the land sales, in the Spring of 1818, they were overbid, lost 
their improvement, and moved to a place on the southeast branch of Town Creek, where 
they lived for many years and died. When they moved into this county they brought 
with them a family consisting of seven children, of whom three are dead, and four 
living, viz; Matthew (the subject of this sketch), Howard, William (who lives in Texas) 
and Mary. 

Major Roberts, when I first knew him, was a constable, with a very large collecting 
practice. After a while he became so generally and favorably known tha't he was 
elected sheriff, and gave satisfaction to the people in that office, His deputies were 
Samuel Henderson, who succeeded him, and Boling C. Burnett, who had been sheriff 
before. The Major was a patriotic man, and was captain of one of the companies raised 
so promptly for the Florida war, which marched from Moulton to Tuscaloosa in forty- 
eight hours, of which I will speak more especially hereafter. 

Major Roberts was married in 1819, to Susan Wells, who was an orphan, and reared 
by her grandfather, John Chilcoat. They settled, during that year, in Robert's Cove, 
southwest of Moulton, where the family still live. This couple reared thirteen children, 
to be men and women, in comfort and respectability. Ye rolling stones ! What think you 
of a family home sixty-one years old? Of children, the oldest, John C, was in the Con- 
federate service, along with his son John, and both were Baptist preachers, living in 
Franklin county. Thomas and Absalom both died in the Confederate service (under 
General Roddy) of typhoid fever. Houston served for two years in Captain Hodge's 
company, in the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, and was wounded in the head at Shiloh. 
To be with his two brothers, he obtained a transfer into Captain Threlkeld's company, 
Fourth Alabama Cavalry, under General Roddy, and in falling back from Dodge's com- 
' mand from Tuscumbia, he was struck on the head with a fragment of a bomb, and fell 
apparently dead, but his comrades carried him to the rear, and he finally recovered. 
One of the daughters married a Masterson, another an Armor, and a third a Milam. 
One of the sons, James, has practised medicine for many years in Kentucky. This is 
but an imperfect account of this patriotic family, but it is the best that I can offer. 

Samuel Henderson was the seventh sheriff. He had for his deputies Denton H. 
Valiant and Robert Henderson. The administration of the office, I presume, was satis- 
factory to the people, for they elected him to the Legislature in 1838. He married his 
cousin Rebecca, daughter of John Henderson. The family moved to Texas many years 
ago. 

Denton H. Yaliaut was the eighth sheriff. I am not advised from what State he 
came. When I moved to Moulton he was industriously carrying on the trade of a cabi- 
net maker. He was a man of good natural mind and embraced every opportunity of im- 
proving a very defective education. He was honest and very tenacious of his opinions 
and was much respected. After being deputy he was elected sheriff and made an effi- 
cient and popular officer ; so much so that he was elected to the Legislature in 1841 and 
also in 1842. He married a Miss Kilpatrick, and so did Mr. Branch, who lived in the 
grove at the Moulton Spring. They were ladies of some culture and sisters to Dr. 
Kilpatrick, who was a successful practitioner on the lower Mississippi river. I knew him 
when he came to visit his sisters. I have been told that Mr. Valiant, who with his 
wife has been dead for many years, left two sons, who have become lawyers of distinc- 
tion, to-wit, Frank, of Greenville, Mississippi, and LeRoy, of St. Louis. If this be so, 
it is probable that the direction of the boys' minds was given by the mother. Denton 



72 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

H. Valiant was Lieutenant in the company of Volunteers for the Florida war, to which 
I have alluded. 

Mr. John C. Burruss, son of Richard Burruss, is said to have been one of the 
best officers Lawrence county ever had. He was elected in 1851 and served a full term 
very acceptably to the people, and honorably and profitably to himself. He married 
Kate, a sister of Samuel D. and John H. Houston. She was a most excellent lady, highly 
endowed by nature and education, and a great favorite among her acquaintances. When 
I come to speak of the Burruss and Houston families I shall give an account of the 
ancestry of Mr. Burruss and his wife. 

Wm. Eubank succeeded Mr. Burruss and made a correct, painstaking officer. 
He was a popular gentleman and much respected by all the people. He moved to Texas 
before the war and died years ago. 

Joseph H. Shrygley succeeded Mr. Eubank, and gave satisfaction as high sheriff 
of old Lawrence. 

C. C. Gewin was the twelfth and Henry A. MeGhee was the thirteenth, and we have 
already spoken of them. We will now give an account of the Burleson family, includ- 
ing Gen. Edward Burleson. 

The Burleson Family 

emigrated at an early day from North Carolina to East Tennessee. At that time there 
was open war with the Cherokees, for a sister of Joe and James Burleson (who after- 
ward lived in Lawrence county) was scalped by these Indians. But belonging to a race 
possessing a great deal of vital energy, she recovered, and was the grandmother of Gen. 
John H. Morgan, one of the most renowned of the cavalry commanders in the late war 
(Dr. Burleson, president of Waco University). 

These two brothers moved from East to Middle Tennessee. When the Creek war 
occurred James Burleson became a volunteer, and was made captain of a company. He 
was uneducated and took his son Edward (afterward General Burleson) along to keep 
the muster roll of the company. He thus received his first taste of military life under 
Gen. Andrew Jackson. 

Joseph Burleson and his brother James came into this county some time before the 
Indians were removed. When Moulton was established Joe kept the best public house 
in it. He moved to Brazos, Texas. He had a son, named Aaron, who had consid- 
erable reputation as an Indian fighter; but, as far as I know, never held piiblic office. 
His daughter married George Jones, of Lawrence county, Ala. Hon. G. W. Jones, the 
member of Congress from the Austin district, is a grandson of Joe Burleson. 

James Burleson settled with his family on the north side of the mountain, on Pox 
creek. Here, near an Indian village called Moneetown, the family became involved in 
a feud in consequence of the imprudence of a son-in-law named Martin, and the conse- 
quence was that James Burleson and his son, Edward, killed three Cherokees and fled to 
Missouri. Of course, the circumstances attending the killing can not now be recalled. 
It is probable, however, that after the scalping, which occurred in East Tennessee in 
their own family, they had no love for Cherokees, and that it did not require much pro- 
vocation to bring on a conflict. 

Prom Missouri the family moved to Texas, about the year 1831, to Bastrop county. 
By this time, his father having become an old man, no longer took part in public affairs, 
but the career of Edward Burleson continued for twenty years, and steadily became more 
distinguished until his death. Of course, I will not attempt to give a detailed account of 
it, for this would be like writing the history of Texas over again ; but I will touch on the 
salient points for the purpose of illustrating his character. For several years, after he 
became a colonist, his home was on the extreme frontier, and he was frequently called 
upon to repel parties of marauding Indians. His courage and ability soon inspired con- 
fidence, and the people learned to repose in security when Burleson was between them 
and the hostile Comanches 



Recollections of North Alabama. 73 

But matters soon assumed a more serious aspect. The perfidious tyraut, Santa 
Anna, had reduced every State in Mexico into subserviency to his views except two, one- 
of which was Zacatecas. This was a wealthy mining district, devoted from the first to 
the cause of the Patriots, and the spirit of liberty had here taken deep root. The peo- 
ple of Zacatecas met Santa Anna with his army upon a plain near that city on the 10th 
of May, 1835, and after an obstinate contest of two hours the Dictator triumphed, and 
the Zaeatecans were completely routed. Two thousand of them were killed and twenty- 
seven hundred of them taken prisoners. SantaAnnaandhis troops marched into the capi- 
tal of that State, where for two days they engaged in the butchery of its inhabitants, and the 
plunder of their city. The fugitives who escaped fled to Texas, and spread the news of 
their bloody catastrophe. The effect of it was depressing even on the bravest hearts, 
for Texas alone, with a meagre population scattered over a large area of country, was 
left to battle with this conqueror, who had subdued all the other States of that wide 
Republic. But " there were giants in those days," and the people, led by their choice 
spirits, began to rise up against this invasion of their rights. On the 17th of May the 
people of Bastrop met, and had the name of Edward Burleson added to the Committee 
of Safety. This was the first movement made toward an organization for protection ; 
and Colonel Burleson's regiment was the first which organized for the reduction of San 
Antonio, into which General Cos (the brother-in-law of Santa Anna) had thrown his 
forces. When the Texas volunteers concentrated they elected Austin their General. 
In a few days the General was appointed Commissioner to the United States, resigned 
his command, and Burleson was elected to fill his place. 

The first affair which occurred after Burleson became general was the <: Grass 
Fight. ' ' About one hundred Mexicans slipped out on one side of the town to cut grass 
for their horses. About the same number of Texans, under Col. James Bowie, set out 
to intercept them. The movement was seen from the town and the besieged marched 
out with two pieces of artillery to defend the foraging party. Colonel Bowie had to 
meet both nearly at the same time and the battle was pretty well sustained until the 
main body of the Texans coming up, charged the Mexicans, who retreating rapidly, 
they fell back into the town, leaving about fifty killed and several wounded on the 
field. The Texans lost very few. 

A few days after General Burleson was considering a plan of assaulting the town 
at three different points, under guides familiar with the location, and a certain morning 
was set for the attack and volunteers were called for, and the army was in a state of 
great excitement. But the attack was postponed on account of the absence of one of 
the guides. The burst of indignation and disappointment which followed was inde- 
scribable. The next day a curious episode occurred. A rough looking customer ap- 
peared in the crowd, with his rifle raised above his head, and cried out : " Who will go 
with old Ben Milam into San Antonio ? ' ' There was a shout of approval on the part of 
the men and the officers, and the most curious part of this whole proceeding was that 
the men were ordered to form into line, and Milam promptly elected to the command, 
and — that all this transpired in the presence of General Burleson and with his approba- 
tion. At that time there was no government, and a Texan army was a little republic. • 
General Burleson was waited on and requested to hold his position until the result of 
the attack should be known, which he is said to have cheerfully consented to do. 
Milam's attack was ultimately successful, but on the third day he himself was instantly 
killed by a rifle shot through the head: When the enemy surrendered the terms of 
capitulation were concluded with General Burleson, who during the whole seige gave 
all the aid he could to Milam's party. In a few days a garrison was left in the town 
under an officer of their own selection, and Burleson, his officers and men retired to 
their homes, and the troops were discharged until they should come together on some 
future emergency of their own free will. 

The victory obtained under circumstances of so much insubordination, proved, in the 
end, to be almost fatal to the cause of Texan independence. Even after the institution 
of a provisional government, it encouraged the selfish, ambitious, and reckless Fannin. 



74 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

to plot against the commander-in-ehief, Houston, to destroy all discipline in the army, 
and bring about a state of the things which led to the massacre of the volunteers from 
the United States ; and when, the next spring, the army of Santa Anna hung like a dark 
cloud over the confines of the State, removed every barrier from before, so that it swept 
in its desolation like a tidal wave even to the waters of Galveston Bay. 

When the fatal invasion came rolling on to San Antonio, Burleson and Neill made 
the most earnest and patriotic efforts to raise a force for the relief of Travis, and to 
unite the forces of Fannin and Neill for that piirpose, as General Houston had ordered, 
but he failed in all his efforts. After that instead of abandoning a cause which seemed 
to be hopeless, he quietly went on to raise a regiment, which was no easy matter, when 
the whole population was flying before an enemy, whose hands were stained with blood 
even to the elbows. But he did raise it, and ranged himself under the banner of his 
chief. The morning of the battle of San Jacinto dawned in brightness, and as the sun 
rose, gradually the waves of the bay were seen to ripple in the Seabreeze, over the heads 
of the enemy. The positions of the parties had been reversed, for Santa Anna was 
before and Houston was behind. The latter made his arrangements for battle. Why 
was Burleson placed in the post of honor? For fifteen years in Texas he had watched 
his career, and had witnessed his iinselfish devotion to his adopted country, and the 
steady valor which he had shown in battle, tempered by a caution which was sometimes 
excessive, as it proved at San Antonio. But this was not all ; the general in chief was 
born and spent his boyhood in the same Bast Tennessee mountains ; by tradition he had 
known that the elders of the Burleson tribe were men, who, like the Beans, the Russells 
and the Campbells, were" without fear or reproach," who, with heavy hands, had taught 
the Cherokees to fear them, and thus secured their infant settlement from destruction. 
And again, he had known General Burleson, when a boy of fifteen, doing his duty as if 
it were mere sport in the bloody conflicts with the Creeks. He was the cynosure of all 
eyes, as a gallant boy soldier always is in an army. It is not probable that Houston had 
forgotten the features of the field, on which -he himself (as Lieutenant of Regulars) did 
his devoir, and tasted the first delicious sip of military glory. No wonder then that 
Houston should have implicit confidence in him. It was not misplaced, for, in fifteen 
minutes after the charge was sounded, Burleson's Regiment and Millard's Infantry, had 
stormed the breastwork, taken the enemy's artillery, and were driving them back. 

After this decisive action Texas had considerable quiet for many years, although 
Mexico withheld any acknowledgment of her independence. In 1839 Burleson defeated 
Cordova and his Indians on the Colorado. During the next year he assisted in repelling 
an attack of Indians above Bastrop. He was afterward in' the battle in which the 
Cherokees were punished for their hostility to the whites. He participated also in the 
battle with the Indians at Plum Creek. 

In 1841 he was elected vice president, but in 1842 he was again at the head of the 
army, and asked permission of the president to cross the Rio Grande and retaliate upon 
the enemy his oft-repeated outrages, thereby inflicting a chastisement upon him which 
would result in honorable peace. President Houston did not favor the idea, and the 
troops were disbanded. In the next presidential election General Burleson was put 
forward as a candidate on account of the views expressed above, but he was defeated by 
Dr. Anson Jones, who was an advocate for the peace policy. 

The publications respecting General Burleson are singularly bare of information 
in regard to his qualities as a civilian. He was elected to the Senate of Texas, and then 
made president of that body. From this fact I infer that he was a man of ready abilities, 
and some culture, otherwise it would have been very unkind in his admirers to place 
him in such a position. He is represented as one of the most honorable men, and purest 
patriots, that Texas ever had. His home was in San Marcos/Hays county, but he died 
while sojourning at Austin, in 1851. 

His son, Edward, was also a brave and patriotic soldier on the frontier, upon which 
he was raised, won distinction as an Indian fighter, and was a highly distinguished 
citizen. He represented Hays county in the Constitutional Convention, and died in 1877. 



Recollections of North Alabama. 75 

The old Indian fighters to whom our people are so much indebted have nearly all 
sunk into the grave. Their achievements iu future times will be treasured up as 
the romance of family history ; just as English families preserve the memory of the 
deeds of their ancestors, and hang up in their magnificent halls their old rusty armor 
and antique swords. The times which demanded such men have passed away, and in 
this very Burleson family may be found men highly cultivated, such as that excellent 
Christian divine, and ripe scholar, Dr. Burleson, president of the Waco University, 
to whom I am indebted for information as to the early history of his family. 

Moulton Newspapers and Editors. 

The first newspaper established in Moulton was by Alexander A. McCartney, in 
1832, and was called the Moulton Whig. He was born in Pennsylvania and was a printer 
by trade. He married, either at Mooreville or Athens, a Miss Beatty, cousin to the 
Hills, of Athens. He was never engaged in a newspaper after the Moulton Whig was 
sold out ; and acquired considerable property, which he left to his wife, who died about 
the close of the late war, at Decatur, leaving her property to relations, who have 
long since squandered it. McCartney and his wife had for many years before his 
•death kept the principal hotel at that place, which she continued successfully. She 
was an excellent lady and was noted for her deeds of kindness to the unfortunate, with- 
out regard to the side they espoused, and had the prudence to be silent in politics, so 
that living on the debatable ground during the war, first in possession of one army 
and then of the other, she could more efficiently perform her deeds of mercy. Many of 
those whom she succored will remember her gratefully to the last hour of their being, 
and the writer among them ; for. when in a Federal camp prison, during a cold and wet 
season in winter, he had nowhere to lay his head except a muddy floor, she sent him 
bedding, which saved him from great suffering, and perhaps from death. 

In 1836, Thomas M. Peters, Esq., then a young lawyer in Moulton, purchased the 
Moulton Whig, and changed the name to The Moulton News. Mr. Peters owned the paper 
but a short time, and as this was a mere episode in the career of a gentleman who, for 
thirty-five years, was distinguished as a lawyer and a public man, we shall defer a sketch 
of him until we give an account of the Peters family. 

The Moulton News was purchased by Wiley Gallaway, Esq. , then clerk of the County 
Court of Lawrence, and presented to Matthew C. Gallaway, his oldest son, who was 
then a practical printer in the office of that paper. Lawrence has contributed to the 
legal, medical and ministerial departments, a number of young men, far beyond what I 
supposed before I commenced collecting data on the subject. But she has sent out very 
few journalists. The most distinguished of these is Colonel Gallaway, and we shall 
give to the several stages of his career special notice. His paternal ancestry came 
from Scotland and Ireland, and located in Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia. His 
maternal grandfather was John McDowell. He emigrated from Ireland to America in 
1774, and was in the revolutionary war from the beginning to the close. He died near 
Oakville in 1841, and was a pensioner at his death. He was a hatter by trade, and there 
are citizens still living in Lawrence who purchased his hats for years. Indeed, for the 
first ten years of the settlement he made most of the hats worn in that part of the 
county and Morgan. He made the old-fashioned fur hats, and carried on an extensive 
trade with the negroes and boys of North Alabama for raccoon skins. He had twelve 
children ; all of them left Lawrence county but Mary (who married Wiley Gallaway, 
father of the Colonel), and Clarissa, who married Hon. Charles Gibson. Mary Galla- 
way died at Moulton in 1855, and Clarissa Gibson some time during the war. 

Wiley Gallaway and his brothers, Levi, Anderson, Brittain, Nathan J. and sister 
Sallie, were all born in Oglethorpe county, Georgia. In 1816, the family commenced 
moving to North Alabama, and in 1819, nearly every member of the family were 

Note. — The Moulton Whig was first owned and edited by a Presbyterian minister, W. Gf. Mc- 
pherson, and McCartney was his printer, to whom he sold out in a very short time. 



76 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

located in Lawrence county. I shall be compelled to notice these brothers, for they are- 
so connected with the political history of the county, it can not be avoided — , the Galla- 
ways are a buoyant family, and have a knack of coming to the top — but I will defer it 
for the present. 

Wiley Gallaway was a very competent and successful school teacher. He taught in 
Huntsville, from 1820 to 1823. He then taught at Houston's Store, in Morgan county. 
In 1824, he removed to Oakville, in this county, and taught two sessions. He then 
removed to KIttakaska, in the northern end of the county, where he conducted a flourishing- 
school until 1830. He removed to Moulton in 1831, and was engaged m teaching until 
1835, when he was elected county court clerk, which place he held until 1850. He was 
born in 1792, and died in Texas in 1864 ; very much respected in the many places where 
he lived, and the head of a family which were well raised, all useful and some distin- 
guished men. 

Matthew C. Gallaway, his eldest son, was born in Huntsville, Ala., on the fifth day 
of March, 1820. In his youth, with such a father, he must have been well instructed. His 
connection with the newspaper business commenced in 1836, when he made a contract 
with Mr. Peters (whom we have mentioned as editor of the Moulton News) to work 
twelve months for one hundred dollars. He is fond of telling his friends that the first 
work he performed, after entering the office, was to aid in printing off the presidential 
tickets. That Van Buren and White were the candidates and the young foreman pinned 
a newspaper in front of him to keep the ink from his clothes, and that he stood all day 
rolling off tickets, and that at night he was tired down with his hands blistered, but that 
he still determined to stick. In three months he could set up as much matter 
as any man in the office. After the News was printed he folded each paper, carried 
them to the sixty subscribers in town, and then made up the mails. I conclude that his- 
proficency and energy were uncommon for a youth of his years, for his father was so- 
well satisfied with his progress that he purchased the News, gave it to him, and his name 
appeared as editor, in 1838, before he was eighteen years of age. In September, 1840, 
he removed to Tuscumbia, and in connection with John H. Tice (now the great weather 
prophet) started the first Democratic paper ever published in that county. In 1842 h& 
removed to Decatur, and married the niece of Gol. L. S. Banks, Miss Fannie B. Barker, a 
lovely girl who proved herself, in after years, a heroic wife. His connection with the 
paper, at Decatur, did not continue long. 

He permanently located at Florence, in January, 1844; and owned, and edited, the 
Gazette. He was now twenty-four years of age only ; but he had more experience than 
many journalists of thirty. He had been wielding his pen for six years. At first his 
efforts were crude, but lively and aggressive* It was his habit to strike, directly, at the 
gist of a subject, and he never failed to make a hit. As his information increased, he 
became more effective, and by the time he settled at Florence, he had an unusual repu- 
tation for so young a man. During the whole twelve years he conducted the Gazette, his 
income, and reputation, gradually increased. Allured by the prospects presented by a 
new and prosperous country, he established the Sunny South, in Aberdeen, Miss., in 
1856, and infused such a warm life into it, that in 1857, when he concluded to seek a 
wider field of action, he sold it for nearly three times its cost. 

At length we find him in the city of Memphis, where he started the Avalanche. Its 
editor was a Provincial, it is true, but he brought with him a varied experience. In 
many a hot campaign he had received countless blows, but they had fallen harmless on 
his battered shield, whilst he had learned to hurl his lance with such force, that there 
was no defence against it but " tripple steel." The paper was a success from the start, 
and he edited it for twelve years. 

In 1859, President Buchanan appointed Colonel Gallaway postmaster of Memphis — 
an office which he held until 1862. This was strong proof of his merits as an editor. It 
has always been a wonder to me, that high offices are not oftener conferred on journal- 
ists-who have distinguished themselves by their fearlessness and ability in the fiery 
political campaigns which prevail in this country. It has been my observation for many 



Recollections op North Alabama. 77 

years, that they are generally subordinated to men of far less merit— to mere carpet 
knights, who have done but little during those contests, without which a republic could 
not long endure. Why is this so? A half dozen young lawyers, educated together at 
the same State institutions, and residing in different localities, do more to advance 
the claims of each other to office than fifty editors. There seems to be very little 
or no fraternity amongst them. They seem to acquiesce in the notion that they are a 
subordinate class, and designed to be ridden by a highly refined race of politicians, who 
are " booted and spurred" for that special purpose. It is not so bad as it used to be, 
before the institution of typographical unions ; and I sincerely hope that the beneficent 
efforts of these institutions may not only be extended to the correction of this injustice, 
but of all infractions of professional etiquette, so that discussions by journalists of dif- 
ferent parties may be conducted without vulgar abuse and personal detraction. After 
•all, may it not be this which is keeping the profession at a discount? 

For more than two years, before the close of the late war, Colonel Gallaway was on 
General Forrest's staff. He was on confidential terms with this commander, who was 
the greatest military genius this country ever produced. General Forrest spent several 
weeks with me, at "Rocky Hill, "just before his death, and conversation often turned 
upon his comrades in arms. He regarded Colonel Gallaway, as one of the ablest and 
bravest of them. And well he might, so regard him. Gallaway had been a member of 
his mess, and written most of his letters, reports and addresses. He had been at his 
side, in nearly all the battles, during that time. With some Generals, a staff officer 
would have but little use for any weapon except his portfolio, but it was not so with 
Forrest. It was his habit whenever an engagement was protracted to charge on the 
fiank of the enemy, with the members of his staff at his side, and his escort at his back, 
with such tremendous impetuosity as to carry everything before him. 

It was the good fortune of Colonel Gallaway to save the life of his chief in one of 
the last affairs of the war — but let Forrest's historian tell the story which could only 
come from the lips of the general himself: " By this time (5 p. m 1st of April, 1865), 
General Forrest, his staff and escort, were engaged in a hand-to-hand melee with the 
enemy, and the general became involved in one of those personal encounters that 
have marked his life, and his escapes which appear incredible. He was set upon by 
four troopers, in the road at the same moment. Shooting one, the others dashed down 
npon him with uplifted sabres, which he attempted to parry with his revolver, but 
received several slight wounds and bruises, both on his head and arm. The others 
came up, meanwhile, and took part, so that as many as six troopers were either attempt- 
ing to sabre or shoot him. By this time the hammer of his pistol had been hacked 
away, so that the weapon was useless, and his right arm had been sorely weakened by 
the many blows which had fallen upon it. His staff and escort could not help him, for 
all (at that moment) were strenuously engaged in like personal combats. On either 
hand the roadway was hedged in by a dense, impenetrable thicket, and rearward was 
choked by a two-horse wagon, which barred his escape in that direction, while his ene- 
mies filled the road frontward, fiercely cutting and shooting at him. Escape now seemed 
hopeless, for his horse was severely wounded by a pistol ball in his thigh. But it was 
not the habit of the man to look upon aught as hopeless. Wheeling his horse toward 
the wagon, giving him the spur fiercely, and lifting him with the bridle, the brave 
animal rose in the air and surmounted the obstacle at the bound J going some thirty steps 
before he was halted, and Forrest turned to survey the field. Scarcely had he done so, 
when he was charged by a Federal officer who lunged at him with his sabre, but Forrest 
parried the thrust with his other pistol, which he had been able to draw, and firing, 
killed his resolute adversary (Captain Taylor, see Andrews; page 350). By this time 
those whom he had eluded, by his desperate leap over the wagon, had contrived to pass 
it, and were upon him, but Col. M. C. Gallaway, of Memphis, and Dr. Jones of his staff, 
by this time had come to the aid of their imperiled chief, and, firing, each put an adver- 
sary hors de combat. Forrest killed yet another, and Gallaway wounding still another, 
took him prisoner. Meanwhile, the escort fighting with their usual fearless prowess, 



78 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

had first checked and then driven their enemy back ; leaving Forrest and his friends 
masters of the field. The enemy had used the sabre almost exclusively. Forrest and 
his staff were each armed with two navy revolvers, and the escort with Spencer rifles r 
as well as pistols. It was a contest of sabres with firearms, in a thick wood with the 
odds of four to one against the Confederates. Forrest, Lieutenant Boon, and five of the 
men only, were wounded, while thirty of the enemy were killed, and as many as sixty 
were left in the hospital near by wounded. {See General Jordan's Life of Forrest, 668~). 
We have noticed Colonel Gallaway as a soldier, fighting by the side of the " bravest 
of the brave ; ' ' but now we have to follow him through a struggle for the liberty of the 
press, which required moral as well as physical courage of the highest order. We allude 
to the memorable contest with the Criminal Court, of Memphis, in what was called the 
Contempt Cases. In the winter of 1867, when the solid, taxpaying citizens were disfran- 
chised, Colonel Gallaway, editor of the Avalanche, was arrested and brought before Will- 
iam Hunter, judge of that court, for a contempt, which consisted of an editorial in that 
paper. The colonel gave bond and security, and the next morning another of a more 
caustic nature appeared, for which he was again arrested, fined and ordered to be 
imprisoned, and this process went on day after day, until the fines amounted to a large 
sum and the terms of imprisonment aggregated fifty years. At iength he was thrown 
into the county prison, and still every morning a fearless, caustic editorial appeared in 
the Avalanche. A profound sensation was produced in the community by this prosecu- 
tion, and the judge, without any good ground for it, became afraid of personal violence, 
and when Gallaway was brought out one morning by the sheriff the court room was 
guarded by Federal soldiers with fixed bayonets, and no one suffered to enter the room 
without special license. But, in spite of all this, a new editorial appeared every morn- 
ing which denounced the tyrant. At length, in his desperation, the judge determined to 
seal up Gallaway's prison and ordered that he should have no communication with the 
outer world. He flattered himself that he could now rest iu peace. But next morning 
a sweet feminine voice was heard from the sanctum of the Avalanche, which though "still 
as the breeze was dreadful as the storm." No one of Gallaway's thunderbolts hurt Judge 
Hunter so severe as this, which was the inaugural address o£ his excellent wife, who had 
assumed the conduct of the paper. It was graceful, it was fit (in view of all the circum- 
stances), it was full of calm heroism — but you shall, presently, read it. The contempt 
cases were before the court, either every day or at intervals, from the 10th December to 
the 25th March. Finally, the Supreme Court put an end to them by deciding that the 
whole proceeding was unconstitutional, and that no court could punish as a contempt 
anything which was not done in its presence to hinder its process. 

These proceedings before the Criminal Court, and the editorials of Gallaway, were 
published in 1868, in' a large pamphlet from which I shall make copious extracts for the 
benefit of the young men of Lawrence. 

The editorial for which the first arrest was made was as follows : " Tuesday, Decem- 
ber 19. Saturday, in the Criminal Court, the case of John Henry came up on applica- 
tion for a new trial. It will be recollected that this black desperado some time since, 
broke into Lyon, Fies & Co.'s dry goods store, corner of Main and Jefferson streets, 
and stole from thence a quantity of dry goods. An application was made on Saturday 
for a new trial, and the judge concluded to grant it provided he could give bail in the 
sum of two thousand dollars for his appearance. This Henry said he could do, and 
produced as his bondsmen two negroes, named, respectively, George Washington and 
Tom Smith, who signed the requisite bond. Now, it was well known to dozens in the 
court that neither of these men, if both were shook up together, was worth twenty-fiVe 
dollars. Immediately after they had signed the bond an order was issued for his release, 
and his friends started to convey him the glad tidings. But on the Metropolitan police 
we happen to have some simple minded and honest officers, who pay more attention to- 
doing their duty than cultivating the negro for the purpose of securing their votes. 
Knowing these facts, Sergeant Brown arrested one of these bondsmen on a charge of 
perjury, and asked him where the other was, when he pointed across the street to him. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 79 

The negro noticed the motion, and knowing his guilt, immediately broke and ran. The 
officer placed his prisoner in safe hands and gave chase. The negro ran down the- 
alley between Second and Third, and for an amateiir made good time, but the law was 
at his heels and he was finally brought to bay, snugly ensconced beneath a bed. He- 
was taken out and conveyed to the station. 

"This is but one sample in a thousand of the manner in which Hunter turns negroes 
loose, after they have been arrested for the perpetration of crimes under the Code of 
Tennessee. It has become almost impossible to convict and punish a negro in this 
court, as Hunter would sooner allow a dozen crimes to go unpunished than one vote 
should be lost to his party. This is so, and it always will be, so long as a judge is a 
partisan, and weighs, as he does, his every judicial action in the scale of politics." 

The judge having entered .a rule excluding Mr. Campbell, the local editor, from the 
court room, and prohibiting any publication being made in the various papers of the 
city of the proceedings of the contempt cases then pending before him, Callaway com- 
ments thus: " In all the annals of American jurisprudence we defy the citation of an- 
other rule as arbitrary as this, or one which has struck more evenly and squarely at the 
foundation of the individual liberty of the American citizen. * * * The friend and 
boon companion of negro gamblers, he prates of morality, and speaks Puritanical lying 
words to cover up the festering putrefaction of his acts ; this creature, William Hunter,. 
visits gambling nouses, feeds on their keno lunches, drinks their liquors, and becomes 
hail fellow well met with men beside whom Pratt and Horton are respectable. * * * 
How long will the liberties of the people survive if this shameless Judas, this infamous 
trafficker on the infamy of the times, this base sycophant to the passions of a negro- 
mob, scarce one degree more brutal or more licentious than himself, is allowed thus to- 
lord it in our fair city?" 

In the Avalanche of the 24th December : ' ' On Saturday Judge Hunter ordered the- 
arrest of the proprietors of this paper, on three additional charges of contempt for his 
august majesty. We have expressed no contempt for the tribunal over which this in- 
famous poacher upon the rights of the people and the liberty of a free press erects his 
hang-dog countenance. But if William Hunter imprisons us in proportion to the con- 
tempt we entertain for him, as a corrupt man, our imprisonment will be as long as that 
which made the life of John Bunyan immortal ; and if he fines us in proportion to the- 
contempt we feel for him as a stupid Judge, devoid of knowledge, truth, decency and 
honor, we will soon owe his Court an amount as large as that out of which he swindled his 
honest creditors in Illinois. The old whangdoodle may play upon his harp of a thou- 
sand strings, to the full content of his rotten heart without moving us from our pur- 
pose. The principles involved are of too much magnitude for us to shirk the issue, 
although our devotion to principle and the maintenance of our own rights, may entail 
upon ourselves personal inconveniences. The Constitution of the United States guar- 
antees the freedom of the Press. The Constitution of Tennessee, in language broad, 
emphatic and unequivocal, says the Press shall be as free and illimitable as the winds — 
free to praise — free to censure — free to lash with just severity, corruption in high 
places — and free to defend the beggar in his hovel. We had "rather be a dog and bay 
the moon,"' a toad feeding on the vapors of a dungeon, than to publish a paper over 
which William Hunter is to be the censor. He is not yet a triumphal conqueror, nor 
are we captives chained to his chariot. Despotism has made fearful strides, of late, in 
the South, but it remains to be seen if mankind is to be stripped of every prerogative, 
and robbed of every right. If a contemptible Judge, a worthless vagabond on society, 
dressed in a little brief authority, is permitted to override Constitutional law, and to 
muzzle a free and unshackled press, we are fast drifting back into the dark ages, when 
to worship God was to mount from the funeral pile, through the flames of martyrdom, 
to Heaven. Our soul is still our own! * * * In the conduct of this petty judge, 
we see fully illustrated the truth of the old proverb : ' Put a beggar on horseback and 
he will ride to the devil.'' By some strange accident, a bankrupt swindler, a mounte- 
bank musician, who with bleared eyes and inflated cheeks has for twenty years been 



80 Eaely Settlers of Alabama. 

trying to blow away his worthless life through the mouth of a trombone, has found a 
seat upon the bench like a snail upon the top of an obelisk; and it is not surprising 
that the giddy fool should attempt to trample upon justice, and ride to the devil over 
the laws and Constitution of his country. 

Speaking of the trial on December 21, he says: "These gentlemen (E. M-. Yerger 
and others) pled for our cause — the cause of free speech, and the rights of the citizens, 
with a power and eloquence, we never heard surpassed. When despotic and intolerant 
hands arrested the parsons for preaching the Gospel of the Son of God, Henry appeared 
in their behalf, and the minions of despotism bent before the blast of his irresistible 
eloquence like the frail reed bends before the rushing tornado. So powerful was 
Henry's defence, so withering his exposure of the enormity of arresting men for preach- 
ing the Gospel, that the prosecuting attorney fled in dismay, and the judge, with cheeks 
burning with shame, trembling hands and faltering tongue, drawled out through his 
•chattering teeth, 'Sheriff, discharge these men. " But the contemptible whangdoodle 
who presides over the criminal court at Memphis, is actuated by no such magnanimity, 
conceptions of justice or appeals to conviction. * * # • ihi s bigoted fool who has 
undertaken to gag an independent press, will live to learn that he might as well 
attempt to dam up the Mississippi with the bulrush which grows upon its banks. The 
rushing tide of water can not be confined by the puny arm of man, and free thought and 
free utterance can not be confined by an ipse dixit, whether emanating from a swindling 
vagabond, who wishes to hide his corruptions, the leader of a brass band, or a debased 
judge on a desecrated bench. Such a creature shall be held accursed when the bloody 
mandates and cruel despotism, of the Jacobins, shall have been forgotten. 

" The common damned will shun his society 
And look upon themselves as fiends less foul." 

Friday, January 3. — " But if Hunter expects to keep posted, he must subscribe for 
the Avalanche, instead of borrowing, or stealing it, as he has done heretofore. We give 
him notice, now, that for the balance of our natural lives he is ours, wholly and in part, 
in general and in particular. We will take it as a particular affront for anybody to kick 
or cuff him. This is a luxury for which we have a patent right, and nobody shall 
infringe upon our letters without being arrested for "contempt" of our prerogatives. 
When small matters alone remain for editorial comment we intend to impale him on the 
point of our pen, and dissect him as the entomologist examines rare bugs and curious 
insects. Occasionally, we may be tempted to pull off his epidermis, as a butcher does 
the hide of a fat kid. Then again, we may be forced to drop him into a big mortar, and 
with our editorial pestle pound him into mince meat. One thing they may rely on, that 
William Hunter will be served up to them, most every morniug. We intend to cook 
him in every conceivable way; first stew him, then bake him, then fry him, and next 
toast him upon coals of burning fire." 

January 26. Gallaway's apology to the ladies for calling Judge Hunter "an old 
woman" : "Had we been Adam, when tempted by Eve, we would have eaten that apple, 
rich, ripe and luscious as it was, if it had been as large as a cimbling and as sour as a 
crab-apple. Woman is a great institution. Her faculties, her graces, her heart, her 
gentleness, her capacity for endurance, her firmness, her submission, her virtue, her 
character, all indicate her superiority, and her right to tempt poor frail men whenever 
she pleases. Indeed, woman in this world is a Peri at the gate of Paradise. It is true, 
her name has been the theme of many a keen reproach, many a ribald jest. 'Woe of the 
world,' it is said, because she was first in transgression. Woe — of — man, it is alleged, 
because she is the prime cause, and active agent in the woes which fill the world with 
sin, and sorrow, and desolation. We sympathize not with" the temper, or the injustice 
of the pen. If first in the disobedience, she has been the chief sufferer. Her history 
has beeu one of long-drawn agony, pain and suffering, patience and affliction. The 
keenest edge of the avenging sword has pierced her soul. Her cup of sorrow has been 
deepest and bitterest. And it is as true as it is poetic and beautiful, 



Recollections op North Alabama. 81 

"Without the smile from partial beauty won, 
Oh ! What were man? — a world without a sun. 

" Entertaining these exalted views of a woman, it is with deep pain that we should 
«ver offend her. It is with profound regret that we learn the ladies of the city felt out- 
raged and indignant at our calling Hunter a woman. We understand that this feeling is 
intense and that our own office is to be attacked with broomsticks, and that we are to 
be manacled with apron strings. We here make the most unqualified and unconditional 
•apology to the fair sex for the insult we have offered them. When a man or a 
woman unsex themselves, they always become the subject of ridicule and contempt. A 
masculine woman, however, is much more endurable than an effeminate man, for both 
are abandoning their proper sphere, the former seeks to rise above, and the other to 
sink beneath, it. Be assured, dear lovely woman, we shall not again degrade your sex, 
by calling Hunter a woman. But what shall we do? Men are still more offended by 
calling the thing a man. To dignify Hunter with such an appellation is a libel upon 
man, sufficient cause for us to be flogged at every street corner. It will not do for us to 
call him a hermaphrodite, for that would be an insult to Francis Thompson, the misera- 
ble nondescript, who swore to nearly as many lies, before the congressional committee 
investigating the Memphis riots, as did Hunter himself." 

January 28. " The Avalanche's editorial rooms, in a few days, will be tempora- 
rily removed to the county jail, on Adams street, where we shall be happy to see our 
friends. A swindling vagabond, an unprincipled judge, dressed in a little brief author- 
ity, may trample upon laws, usurp authority, and incarcerate us in loathsome 
dungeons; but thank God! he can not chain the mind, the immortal mind, 
which scorns fetters, soars above despotism, and since our right arm is not 
manacled or palsied we intend with our editorial pincers to make the putrid 
flesh, which covers the rotten bones of our prosecutor, quiver like a worm in 
hot ashes. No amount of imprisonment can change our opinion of William 
Hunter. We repeat here all we have said about him. We accused him Of taking 
straw-bail, of receiving as security negroes who had been arrested for vagrancy. We 
repeat the charge, and what is more, we can prove it. * * * The Avalanche for two 
long years of bitter toil and strife has warred against the plunderers who came into our 
midst to rob and steal, and to claim rights which they deny to men born and raised on 
this soil. We have shown that these vagabonds pay no taxes ; that they never gave a 
dollar to advance the interests of the State, and yet they fatten on the hard earnings of 
the taxpaying people, making them ' hewers of wood and drawers of water ' for their 
greedy avarice. It is not surprising that such a gang of thieves should hate the Ava- 
lanche! Hunter is made the contemptible instrument — the puny cats-paw either to 
muzzle or crush out this paper. Had he power he would imitate the olden custom by 
putting a ring iuto our nose and a bridle into our mouth, and drive us like a wild beast 
through the streets. Tyrants always hate a free and independent press, but honest men 
invite its severest and most rigid investigation. The Southern people have no armies to 
defend them, and voiceless as they are in the councils of the nation, the press is the last 
bulwark of the people, and while they impart to it the strength to be free, outspoken 
and brave, there is no need to despair of ultimate redemption." 

January 29. — Judge Hunter having gone to the Nashville Convention, and been 
absent for ten days. Oh ! Hunter, where are you? Eureka! the lost Pleiad has been 
found. The Knoxville Press and Herald gives the following account of him : 

"Three distinguished individuals arrived in town yesterday, and put up at the Bell 
House. Their names are William Hunter, D. P._Beecher and Ed. Shaw, the last named 
being a citizen of African descent. The two white persons insisted on having a first-class 
room for their negro friend, and that he should sit at the first table with them. The affa- 
ble Story politely informed them that they might go to a place where no overcoats were 
needed, even in winter, and the advocates of negro equality left in disgust. 

"The people of East Tennessee must be savages, or they would not thus deprive 
a Memphis judge of the luxury of eating and sleeping with a negro," etc. 



82 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

March 11. — The last voice from prison: "We learn that Hunter, whose mean 
heart is festering in malice and uncharitableness, declared that he — yes, he, a poor old 
bankrupt thief, had sworn in his heart that the Avalanche should be crushed out. "We 
are equally resolved that the Avalanche shall not be crushed out by so small a despot 
as William Hunter." 

March 12, inaugural of Mrs. Gallaway: " Twenty-six years ago I gave my girlish 
heart to the husband whose name 1 proudly own. We have lived through prosperity 
and adversity, but in whatever condition our lots have been cast, calumny has never 
dared to assail my husband's name. Nothwithstanding this fact he was yesterday torn 
from his little family, and is now a prisoner in the county jail, but thank God he is a 
prisoner without a crime. He has been torn from his home for the offence of exercising 
the rights which are his by the laws of the land. To a free country, a free press is as- 
indispensable as light is to day. It is in fact the sun of the social and political system 
from which emanates the healthy influences which produce vitality, strength and fertility.. 
For exercising rights which the Constitution guarantees my husband has been incar- 
cerated in jail. Not only my prayers, but the prayers of all good people of both sexes 
will follow him in his prison cell. I shall not speak unkindly of the man who has 
sought to degrade my husband, and who has brought unhappiness upon two families. 
But as the principal editor and the local editor have both been arrested and no free man 
is allowed to speak through the columns of the Avalanche, there is no other alternative 
left but for me to assume the position forced upon me by the prosecution and 
misfortunes which despotism always brings on the noble and brave. A preconcerted 
arrangement has been made to crush out this paper. During the incarceration of my 
husband and Mr. Campbell I am constrained to take charge of the paper, and can be 
found at the editorial rooms of the Avalanche, and if men are not brave enough to 
defend their liberties, I trust the paper, for the next ten days, will prove that there is 
one woman ready to defend the rights which weak and timid men seem to yield. 

Fanny B. Gallaway. 

We have given copious extracts from the editorials of the Avalanche during the 
contempt cases. You ask me if the style of Colonel Gallaway in these is not amenable 
to criticism? I answer as Mr. Webster did : " There are no Sabbaths in a revolution." 
The ordinary rules of rhetoric are lost sight of in such contests as he was engaged in. 
To judge rightly you must realize the state of things in Memphis at that time ; that a 
negro mob, intoxicated by their newly -gotten liberty and led by a few designing white 
men, were bringing the whole body of whites into peril, and that the mob had eventu- 
ally to be subdued by a United States force in a regular battle. In such a contest the 
ordinary rules of rhetoric do not prevail. After all, there was not such an infraction of 
these rules as one might at first blush suppose. When Gallaway uses a mean metaphor 
he has a mean subject ; when a disgusting one, his intention is to render the object of it 
disgusting ; and when his theme rises in dignity so do his words, until he finally becomes 
morally sublime. He passes with great versatility from one passion to another. In 
turn he is humorous, and even playful; uses bitter sarcasm, terrible invective and with- 
ering denunciation. These philippics do not, however, present a fair sample of his 
ordinary style. The contempt cases were a violent episode in his life, in which his bold 
and manly heart was stirred to its very foundation. In that frame he was not choice in 
selecting his words, but like the artillerist, when his fixed ammunition is all shot away 
and there is danger of losing his piece by a charge of whooping savages, he gathers up 
the iron clippings of the smith's forge, long and short, ragged and jagged, rams them 
down his gun, and at close quarters sends terror and dismay, consternation and death 
into their ranks. 

To him the battle of life has been fierce, stormy and tempestuous. He has had 
many rencounters with knives, pistols and sticks. In one of these he was shot through 
the hand and his thumb paralyzed. This occurred during the fierce war he was carrying 
on against Radicalism in Memphis. From the commencement of his editorial life he 



Recollections op North Alabama. 83 

has held himself personally responsible for whatever he wrote. He kept no fighting 
editor. He advocates dueling in the interest of peace — because it saves human life — 
contends that it is more decent than street encounters and not so fatal — that it makes 
the man physically weak, the equal of the muscular bully — and says that men punctilious 
in observing the code seldom give or receive insults. In justice to Colonel Gal- 
laway, I must say that Memphis has long been a battle-field for duelists who have flocked 
there from Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky, and from all parts of Ten- 
nessee ; and that the Colonel has often been selected as arbitrator or second ; and has 
settled more impending duels than any gentleman in that State. There were two cases, 
however, so impracticable that he failed to settle them. The parties for whom he was 
second were both North Alabamians and victorious; but as those duels are frequently 
spoken of, and never twice in the same way, I will here give a brief account of them. 

The first duel was between William A. Lake and Henry C. Chambers, a son of Dr. 
Chambers, who was one of the first United States Senators from Alabama. They 
resided in Mississippi and were candidates for Congress in 1863. While making the 
canvass they had a personal difficulty and came to Memphis to adjust it. Chambers 
selected Callaway as his friend. The weapons fought with were rifles, and although 
awkward at first, Chambers became, in three days, quite a proficient marksman. Cham- 
ber's party chartered a boat, and were on the ground about sunrise. Lake with his 
second, Walter Brooks, United States Senator, and his friends, came afterward. Lots 
were cast for the word, and Gallaway won it. The word was given, and Chambers' ball 
went whizzing by Lake's head and Lake's ball passed through Chambers' goatee. 
Neither party was satisfied and there was a second exchange of shots. After which 
Gallaway made an earnest effort to adjust the difficulty. He presented several proposi- 
tions as to how the matter could be settled, all of which Lake's friends declined to 
accept. In about two hours after the second fire, the rifles were again loaded ; the hos- 
tile parties took their position, and at the word three, Lake fell dead, Chambers' ball hav- 
ing gone crashing through his brain. 

Colonel Gallaway was also second for George T. Phelan, son of Judge James Phelan, 
a native of Huntsville, Ala., in a duel with James Brizzolari. At the second fire Phe- 
lan' s ball passed through the arm and body of his adversary, who had already fired three 
shots without effect. The parties fought with Colts six shooters, and were to fire until 
all the barrels were emptied, or one of the parties fell. 

About ten years ago (1870) Colonel Gallaway purchased a half interest in the Mem- 
phis Appeal for thirty thousand dollars. Since then the paper has greatly extended its 
reputation and its subscription list, and has taken its place abreast of the few Southern 
papers which are leading public opinion. I doubt now whether the paper could be pur- 
chased for one hundred thousand dollars. 

Colonel Gallaway, during his career, has written volume after volume of matter — 
and is now the oldest editor in the Southern States. His success, which was not sudden 
or accidental, but had a steady increase during a long and varied provincial career, is the 
best commentary on his ability. 

Colonel Gallaway has never been a candidate for office, and was not even an appli- 
cant when Mr. Buchanan appointed him postmaster of Memphis. But during this sea- 
son there were so many manifestations of a desire to have him nominated for the office 
of Governor of Tennessee, in opposition to the incumbent, Governor Marks, that he was 
forced to answer, and he did so in a letter so graceful and so indicative of his generous 
and magnanimous nature, that we shall quote a few lines of it : " My manhood has been 
active, sometimes tempestuous ; but its day-dream throughout has been for quiet serenity 
in the evening of life. In my younger days, when the future was painted in the colors 
of hope, which youth always inspires, I had no aspirations ; and now when the shadows 
are lengthened and reversed, and the mind turns retrospective, I can not be induced, 
under any circumstances, to become a candidate. * * * I served two years as a 
soldier, in General Forrest's command, by the side of A. S. Marks ; was with him in the 
camp, the mareh, the battle and had ample opportunities of sounding the man, in all his 



84 , Early Settlers op Alabama. 

height, his length, his breadth and depth, and learned to love him for the noble attributes 
of his generous heart, and to admire his great abilities, his genius, his honesty, his man- 
hood and his heroic patriotism. At Murfreesboro the frosty earth was crimsoned with 
the blood he shed for the people of Tennessee, and if there he left a leg to tell the story 
of his fidelity to the soil he was defending, he brought in triumph from the field of battle 
an unsullied honor and a devotion to the cause which never faltered." 

The Moulton Advertiser 

was established in 1841, by Levi Gallaway, who purchased the printing materials owned 
by "Wiley Conner, at Courtland, and which had been used for the Courtland Herald. 
The first Advertiser was printed on this old Ramage wooden press, the bed of which 
was stone and could only print one page at a time. Levi J. was a cousin of Matthew C. 
Gallaway. 1 don't know how many years he published the Advertiser. Perhaps its 
present editors may supply this information. Levi J. Gallaway removed to Mississippi, 
and died in Florida in 1867. 

The brothers and sisters of Matthew C. Gallaway were William M. , Elizabeth C, 
Harriet, Mary Ann and Levi T. William M. was made judge of the county court, and 
will be noticed when we come to dispose of that list. Elizabeth C. married James Wise, 
an old citizen of Morgan and Lawrence counties. She died in Arkansas in 1868, and 
her husband died near Trinity, Alabama, in 1871. Their children being orphans, two 
of them were adopted by Col. Matt Gallaway and his wife, they having no children of 
their own. I am reliably informed that they have raised more than thirty of other peo- 
ple's. Harriet married James Townsend, an old citizen of Lawrence, died in Pine 
Bluff, Arkansas, on her way home from Texas. Mr. Townsend still lives near Hills- 
boro, in this county. Mary Ann married Judge James H. McDonald, of Moulton. She 
died in 1874. Levi T. died in Memphis of the yellow fever, in 1878. Colonel Matthew 
Gallaway is now the only living member of his father's family. 

The brothers and sisters of Wiley Gallaway remain now to be disposed of. They 
were Levi, Anderson, Brittian, Nathan J. and Sailie. Of these there is not a single one 
living. The descendants of Levi Gallaway are all in Mississippi. Anderson Gallaway 
has children still living in this county. Amos P., who was elected sheriff of this county 
in 1843, was his son. He married a sister of Christopher C. Gowin, moved away in 
1847, and was elected to the Texas Legislature in 1852. Levi J., who started the Moul- 
ton Advertiser, was another son of Anderson Gallaway. Nathan J. Gallaway was a 
very good saddler. He settled in Courtland and married Hersylia, daughter of "West- 
wood W. James. He was much respected, became postmaster and died before his term 
expired. Prom this marriage the only child now living is Clement. He resides in 
Kildie, Texas, and is a prominent and prosperous citizen. 

Melton's Bluff 

was the seat of justice for the county whilst Alabama was a Territory. It was the first 
and largest town, and located at the head of Elk river shoals, on the south bank of the Ten- 
nessee river. It was laid out by Gen. Andrew Jackson and his associates. The General 
thought a town above the shoals must succeed, whilst his relative, John Donelson, my 
father, and others, thought thatBainbridge, at the foot of the shoals, was the very site for 
a large town, and they cut a broad canal through the river bottom, for a mile, to the foot 
of the prospective town. Neither Melton's Bluff or Bainbridge was a success. There are 
no remains of a town at either place. The former is now included in the cotton plantation 
of Mr. Thomas Jones, and the latter in that of Mrs. Kernahan. • Decatur far above, and 
Florence below, have become flourishing towns. Sixty years ago, railroads were 
unknown, and their introduction overturned all calculations based on pre-existing facts. 
How the completion of the great canal, now being constructed around the shoals, may 
affect the trade of existing towns, or the location of new ones, remains to be seen. It is 
probable that the effect of the canal, like that of railroads, may be to diffuse trade, and 
make, instead of a large city, a number of small towns, at points on the river, which 



Recollections op North Alabama. 85 

have good landings, and good roads, extending into the back country. Mel- 
ton's Bluff was settled rapidly, and the houses were built on a line par- 
allel to the bluff. The most prominent citizen in the place then, and for 
many years after, was Isaac Brownlow, who died at Lamb's Perry, in 1828, 
a brother of Hon. W. G. Brownlow, late United States Senator from Tennessee. 
They were alike in many respects. They were men of considerable natural ability, and 
were polite and hospitable. Isaac was the brighter, and had more wit, but William G. 
was the more earnest character, and when he undertook an enterprise he pursued it 
"with an eye that never winked, and a wing that never tired." In other respects they 
were unlike. Isaac floated down the stream of existence, caring only to cull the flowers 
of sensual gratification which overhung its banks, and never married. He had lost 
(as he said) by the use of calomel, the bones of his fingers and toes, and some from his 
face, and was awfully profane. On the other hand, William G. had married, and had 
reared and educated a respectable family. It is true that as a polemic and politician his 
controversies were marred by rude vindictiveness, and he had scattered from his quiver 
poisoned arrows ; yet as a private citizen he was gentle, kind and charitable ; so much so 
that he was the idol of the poor people around him. His violence was so excessive that 
many considered him a great sinner ; but his moral conduct was so free from blame that 
no grounds could be found to cut him off from the communion of the church to which he 
belonged, although thousands " sought for it, carefully and with tears." I have said 
nothing of his politics, and I beg my readers to keep in mind, that- these articles are 
not political : but mere narratives of things which occurred in old times. 

The Inn-keepers 

of Moulton have been numerous, and they have followed each other in quick succession 
like scenes in a panorama. One reason of this incessant change was that each found, in 
spite of the closest economy, that no money could be made in the business. The rush 
for the dinner table, in old times, was disgraceful when the signal was given. In an 
adjoining county the crowd, in such a rush, pressed a young lawyer against a door-post 
until he was for some moments speechless, but he was of very small stature. It was 
reserved for two noble ladies of Moulton, in modern times, to discover a complete remedy 
for all this disorder, and that is to provide plenty to eat, and that of the best quality. I 
shall not attempt to give a full account of the Inn-keepers, but merely notice such as 
occur to my mind. 

John L. Stone was in this line. He was of middle age when he came from Ten- 
nessee, and becoming discontented, he moved back, and there died. 

William L. Wilson was quite an old man when he came from Tennessee and occu- 
pied the inn afterward kept by McKelvy. He had several large boys, gave but little 
satisfaetion,and eventually moved to Memphis. Then he went to Randolph, and there died. 

George McMahon occupied a large old house on the northwest corner of the square. 
It was from this quarter that all disorder seemed to proceed. From here the " Bulls of 
Bashan" started to storm the court house, when John Gregg knocked the leader down. 
When old McMahon was brought to account for these disorders, he would declare, with 
the most innocent face, that " he couldn't imagine what made the boys act so, and that 
it was ' diametrically agin ' his will." Many people believed the old man was sincere, 
and that the uproar was owing to the meanness of his whiskey. 

After all, there may have been another cause. He had a nephew, named Martin 
McMahon, who was fond of a rowdy crowd, and had more reputation as a bully than 
any man then around Moulton. It is true he was of medium stature only, but he was 
built both for activity and strength, and "wore the belt." He had been some time 
without a fight, and seemed to be "spiling" for one, and I will tell you how he was 
cured. There came a circus to Moulton. Not a paltry imitation, but a real live circus, 
with fine horses well trained, splendid actors, and all the requisite furniture. I am a 
pretty good judge of a circus, for during my life I have frequently attended them ; not 
that I cared anything for them myself, you know, but simply to give the young ones a 



86 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

chance to see them. Well, such an excitement as this circus stirred up was never wit- 
nessed before. It was kept up from day to day, for the convenience of the countrypeople, 
and from night to night, for the pleasure of the city people. At length Mr. Wise, the 
manager, who was a man of experience in his business, saw signs of falling off, and 
was preparing to wind up, when Martin McMahon proposed to rent his circus for so 
many days, paying all expenses, and so many dollars per day. The enterprise failed to 
meet the expectations of Martin, and it became evident that he had no idea of paying 
the money, but intended to pay off the debt by giving Wise a whipping. The play- 
actor seemed very reluctant to close the account in that way ; but Martin forced it upon 
him, and a ring was formed. Martin put in a blow, but somehow it glanced off on 
Wise's left arm, and Wise answered by one which knocked Martin down. The same 
thing occurred twelve or fifteen times, except that his friends closed around and made 
the ring smaller, so that Martin might not fall on the pavement but against his friends. 
At last his proud heart gave way, and "he spoke to the bystanders." When Wise 
was examined it was found he had not been hit a single blow. I never heard of Martin 
being engaged in another fight. Wise seemed to have "taken all the starch out of 
him." The McMahon family moved to the rich lands of Texas, and did very well. 
Many of them are said to have joined the Methodists, and if Martin was among them it 
may be that he owed his salvation to the play-actor. To the young men who may read 
this article I have this advice to give : Never fight an athlete, play cards with a pro- 
fessional gambler,, or get into a newspaper controversy with its editor — in short, never 
play with a man at his own game. If he offers to bet that he can swallow his own head 
don't you take him up ! 

A man named Boggs also kept a hotel, but this was before my time. He sold out 
to Mr. Moses K. Thomason, who had been living two miles west of Moulton, on a place 
which he purchased from Aaron Burleson. Thomason tired of the business in a few 
years, and moved back to his farm, where he lived until his death. He had come origi- 
nally from North Carolina. We all know his son, Maj. W. D. (Donnel) Thomason, 
who served so efficiently during the late civil war as quarter and paymaster in General 
Roddy's command. But few know that he was a veteran when he came into this com- 
mand. I have already mentioned his going out to Texas in the fall of 1835 to aid in the 
revolution with eight of our countrymen, all of whom are now dead, except J. McDaniel 
(who married Miss Wear) and lives near Moulton, and Thomason himself. The latter, 
during the Texas war, rose to the rank of major, and was commissioned as such by Gen- 
eral Houston. He was then appointed district surveyor, and held the office until 1843, 
Major Thomason then moved to Mississippi, with an elder brother, who had become dis- 
satisfied with Texas. Here he remained until the war between the States, when he vol- 
unteered in the brigade of General Reuben Davis, and was marched to Bowling Green. 
Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston (who himself had served in Texas for many years) had 
Major Thomason appointed quartermaster and commissary for the post of Russellville, 
Ky. When Johnston's army fell back to Corinth, he was then sent to bag corn, and pen 
it up on the Mobile & Ohio road, and send it up, as it was wanted by the army. After 
General Johnston was killed, and the army fell back, he was made post quartermaster at 
Meridian, Miss., where an immense amount of stores had been forwarded from New 
Orleans. After this, upon his request, he was transferred to General Roddy's com- 
mand, and when we give an account of its services we shall have to speak of him again. 

Robert B. Cary also kept a hotel in Moulton, and a very good one. He had the 
same in Courtland, and was one of the five commissioners when the town was incorpo- 
rated in 1819. He descended from one of the best families in Virginia, and unfortu- 
nately (good man as he was) he thought in his poverty too often of the wealth and 
splendor of his ancestors. After going to Moulton a serious misfortune happened to the 
family, and that was a rumor that some man in England of the family, having millions 
of money, had died without heirs in that country ; the money was in bank, and that his 
heirs in America had nothing to do but to prove their relation, and draw a check for the 
money. It is needless to say that this rumor turned out to be an ignus fattens, as have 



Recollections op North Alabama. 87 

so many in late years, that Mr. Benjamin (the able American lawyer, now living in 
London) has issued a general letter, warning his countrymen against such deceptions. 
After this, however, a more serious and real calamity fell on the family. He had a very 
pretty and accomplished daughter named Martha, and a tall, solemn, gaunt, sorrel man, 
named Talmage (who was a partner of Major Hubbard, and supposed to be well off), 
paid his addresses to her, and was favored by her. He was so jealous in his disposition 
that he was deeply offended if she spoke a courteous word to any of the other young 
men who boarded in the house. She, poor thing, construed this as a proof of the 
strength of his affection (many a girl has been deceived in the same way). When she 
married him, she found out that she was the wife of a cold, selfish, and jealous ogre. 
In the end, they separated, and he became a wreck. I am not informed as to the" other 
members of this family, except Prof. Cary, a very clever gentleman, who was in the 
Granger's Academy at Trinity. 

There were also in this line of inn-keepers Mcintosh, Devan, McCord, McKelvy 
and others. Mcintosh was a tailor, kept the hotel west of the court-house, for many 
years, moved to Richmond, Texas, and may still be living. ' 

Joseph and James McCord were brothers who came to the county in very early times. 
They were very good men, and much respected. Joseph was honored by the people 
with a seat in the Legislature in 1824, and James, in 1834. Sain'l W. McCord, who 
kept a hotel for a while, was, I believe, a son of his. 

William McKelvy married a daughter of Randolph Wren, a fine old man who lived 
in the Courtland Valley. The descendants of this marriage I will notice in part, when 
I give an account of the military services of a certain regiment. 

The Misses DeGraffenreid will be noticed in connection with their father's family. 

LAWYERS OF NORTH ALABAMA — Hon. Arthur Francis Hopkins 

settled in our county before the State Constitution was formed. Here he established 
his professional reputation and commenced his political career, and it affords me real 
pleasure to sketch the history of a gentleman so distinguished as a jurist and a states- 
man and so much respected and beloved for the purity of his private life, and the genial 
affability of his manners. 

He was born 1794 in Virginia, near Danville, in Pittsylvania county. He was well 
educated, for, after leaving the common school, he went to the Academy at New London, 
Va., then to one in Caswell county, N. C, and finished his education at the University 
of Chapel Hill (then one of the best in the Southern States). 

He was a descendant of Arthur Hopkins, an Englishman, and a physician of very 
high standing, who settled in the early part of the eighteenth century, in the Colony of 
Virginia. His grandmother was a Miss Jefferson, a relative of President Jefferson. 
His father, James Hopkins, was a volunteer soldier at the age of fifteen; was in the 
severe battle of Guilford Courthouse, and died at his residence in Pittsylvania county, 
Va., in 1844. 

In obtaining his education for the bar he was also fortunate. There happened to live 
n the adjoining county of Halifax, the Hon. William Leigh, who was a distinguished 
jurist, and brother of the celebrated Benjamin Watkins Leigh. In Halifax he 
was a student with Judge Leigh for some time. He was married before he was twenty- 
two years old, to Pamelia Mosely (sister of Judge John Mosely) ; and their families, with 
his friends, Matthew and Joseph Clay, removed in 1816 to Madison county, Ala. Here 
these friends improved plantations, but Mr. Hopkins had also a home in the town of Hunts- 
ville, where he commenced the practice of law. In January, 1819, the little colony of inti- 
mate friends (with the exception of Joseph Clay), moved to Lawrence county. Matt Clay 
settling upon the place now occupied by Captain Swoope, and Mr. Hopkins and Judge 
Mosely on adjoining plantations, oppositeClay. The county seat was then at Melton's Bluff. 
In May, 1819, he was selected a member of the Constitutional Convention, and on the 



88 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

5th of July took his seat in that body. Its number was about forty only, but there was 
in it a large proportion of men of handsome abilities, and not a few who became dis- 
tinguished statesmen and honored members of the U. S. Senate, to-wit: C. C. Clay, 
Henry Chambers, John W. Walker, and Wm. ft. King. Mr. Hopkins, then only twenty- 
five years of age, was classed with such men as these. Legislation may be regarded as 
.he "eminent domain" of the law, and he had read so extensively, and reflected so pro- 
foundly, that he was familiar with this region of thought- The Convention in less than 
a month made an excellent Constitution, with the exception of the authority given to the 
General Assembly to establish State banks — which provision was not approved by Mr. 
Hopkins. When the public buildings at Moulton were completed Mr. Hopkins removed 
to that place. 

He was elected to the State Senate, and served during the sessions of 1822, 1823 and 
1824. It was during this term, that the law was introduced for the establishment of a 
State Bank, in which the State should own the stock exclusively, and the capital should 
consist of the various funds which the State held as trustee ; in other words, the debts 
due by the State, It was contended very speciously by the friends of the measure, that, 
as individuals had no interest in the profits of the institution, there would be a pure 
management on the part of the directors, who would be entirely disinterested, and being 
upon the " faith and credit " of the State, its notes would have more character than 
those of private Banks. Mr. Hopkins made several able speeches against the connec- 
tion of Bank and State, in which he predicted with remarkable accuracy (considering 
that no such experiment had ever been made) the consequences which would result 
from that measure. His views, however, were overruled, and when the final vote in the 
Senate was taken, he was left in the lean minority of thirteen, amongst whom was Hon. 
Joshua L. Martin, who, when the eyes of the people were opened, became Governor of 
Alabama. This bank bubble did not burst as soon as its opponents supposed. Accidental 
circumstances carried the balloon higher and higher, until all taxes were forgiven to the 
people, and the annual expenses of the State Government were paid out of the supposed 
profits of the bank. Many very sensible and wealthy citizens who had adopted Mr. 
Hopkins' views on the subject, discarded them because this proof of the success of the 
scheme was decisive, for they actually felt their pockets heavier by the amount of taxes 
which the State had remitted, and this argument of the increase of the weight of 
the pocket, which they could see and feel, was too strong to be resisted. Just at this 
juncture, the opponents of this beneficent system of banking were the most unpopular 
men, politically, that had ever lived in the State. Bnt at length the bubble burst, the 
banks became insolvent. To save the State from loss there was instituted a rigorous 
system of collections, under which thousands of her citizens were ruined, and eventually 
a debt of millions of dollars was left upon the shoulders of the State — which, however, 
was materially lightened by the compromise made by that sensible and faithful public 
servant, Governor Houston. 

It is not alone for the purpose of showing the prescience of Mr. Hopkins, that I have 
at such length reproduced the features of this bank project. The people need to be 
reminded of this part of our history, for there are many sensible men amongst us now 
who are too young to have known, (or else have forgotten, it) whom may hear 
advocating the plan of the United States Government furnishing exclusively a circula- 
tion for the people. 

When Mr. Hopkins was elected to the Convention and the Senate, there were no 
political parties ; for it was in the halcyon days of Monroe's administration, when parties 
had subsided. But as the election of 1824 approached, and Clay, Jackson and Crawford 
were brought forward as candidates, men began to array themselves under one or the 
other, according to their prepossessions. It was in the Spring of this year that I met 
Mr. Hopkins at the house of my brother-in-law, Mr. Matt "Clay, and formed his acquaint- 
ance. Clay, though nearly allied by blood to Henry Clay, the Presidential candidate, 
was opposed to him ; because he (Matt Clay) was a Jeffersonian, as his father (long a 
member of Congress from Virginia) had been, before him. Mr. Hopkins was a great 



Recollections op North Alabama. 89* 

admirer of Henry Clay. This seems to have been the first time they had met for the 
purpose of shaping their course for the future. I was then quite young, but eighteen, and 
understood Latin and Greek much better than polities ; but the questions discussed by 
them were so novel, so interesting, and made so deep an impression upon my mind, that 
I have never forgotten that interview. The two men had been bosom friends from their 
boyhood, had moved to new homes, together, twice, and, in county politics, their party 
was called the " MopMns and Clay party," and the opposing one the " Anderson anS 
Bingham party.'" There was evidently great personal anxiety to remain together, but 
the effort was useless, and they went, in politics, different ways. Mr. Hopkins became 
one of the most earnest and ablest advocates of Henry Clay to be found in the Southern 
States. 

Some time in the year 1825 he removed from Moulton to Huntsville for the purpose 
of having a wider field for the practice of his profession, and better facilities for the 
education of his family. And here, before we follow him to his new home, we will give 
an account of him personally, socially and professionally. At that period of his life he 
was a very handsome man, aboutrthe average height, compactly built (but not yet corpu- 
lent), with clear blue eyes and light hair ; he was indeed a fine specimen of physical man- 
hood. His countanance was unusually responsive in its expression to every emotion 
which he felt. If he was about to try an important case, and had an adversary who 
was " worthy of his steel," there was a corrugation of the muscles of his forehead, and 
an expression of deep anxiety pervaded his face ; but this would pass off as soon as he 
found everything ready for the conflict. The general expression of his face was that of 
great good nature and kindness. It was in the earnest argument when he was 
thoroughly roused that his form seemed to expand, his eye would flash and his whole 
face to glow with intellectual light. 

Socially he was a great favorite, not only with members of the bar and men of 
culture, but with plain farmers, who greatly admired him for his genial, unaffected 
manners. In his intercourse with them he forgot his cases, his books and his conflicts 
in the court house, and was really interested in learning everything that was transpiring in 
the country of any interest. He had the power (unusual amongst studious men) of concen- 
trating his mind upon whatever he happened to be engaged in at the moment. This 
power constitutes the very foundation of success in life. His intercourse with his family 
was beautiful. When he went from his office to home, instead of carrying some law 
case in his head and looking as wise as an old owl, he seems to have adopted the rule of. 
Sir Thomas Moore, one of the ablest Lord Chancellors England ever had, "of giving 
the remainder of the day to my family at home. I must gossip with my wife, chat with 
my children and find something to say to my servants ; for all these things I reckon to- 
be a part of my business, unless I were to become a stranger to my own house." Mr. 
Hopkins became a great favorite with our people. Mrs. Hopkins was as much so as her 
husband. She was a lady of fine person, graceful and unaffected manners, and very 
kind and charitable to the poor. She was very fond of young people, and was idolized 
by them. Some professional men have hindrances in their wives, but he had a help- 
mate, indeed, both in private and public life. I knew this excellent Christian lady 
throughout her life, and she never changed; always genial, kind and hospitable, the 
sunshine of cheefulness resting on her path. Lawyers' wives have great influence on 
their lives, and therefore should not be omitted in their biographies. 

At the time of his removal to Huntsville he had won the reputation of being one- 
of the best lawyers in North Alabama ; clear and learned in his argument of law ques- 
tions before the court, and of almost resistless force in his appeal to the jury. In fact, 
there were but few who could contend, successfully, with him. His mind naturally was of 
the first order, and his memory wonderfully tenacious. He had been a voracious reader. 
I was present once in a knot of lawyers, when there was a discussion as to the best 
mode of studying law. A fine lawyer remarked that a student should read no more law 
at a time than he could digest, and, moreover, when he met with any matter he could not 
comprehend, he should halt until the difficulty was solved by some competent friend. 



90 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

■Mr. Hopkins, when the matter was referred to him, remarked " that this course seemed 
reasonable, but it had been Ms habit to read law from twelve to fourteen hours a day, 
and what he could not understand was made plain as he read on, and the subject was 
unfolded." I am inclined to think that the quantity of matter which Mr. Hopkin's mind 
could digest, and his memory retain, was exceptionally large. This accounts for his 
wonderful success as a lawyer. His mind was well stored with elementary principles, 
and in preparing his cases he had nothing to do but to examine the adjudicated cases in 
point, in the reports which were then of authority. 

The immense accumulation of them at this day must be very discouraging to the 
profession, especially, as the profits are in inverse ratio to the required labor. His 
style was more remarkable for force than beauty; his imagination was not prolific, and 
moreover was kept under the control of a severe taste, but, occasionally, when deeply 
excited, he would deliver passages of such rare beauty and force as to cause every nerve 
in your body to quiver, and which would linger in your memory for years. He had 
great influence on juries in consequence of the confidence men had in his candor and 
integrity. Indeed, he was " the very soul of honor." Young men do not realize how 
indispensable integrity is to the constitution of a great and successful man. Men without 
it sometimes " flourish like the green bay tree " for many years, but my observation, 
through a long life, is that distrust is sure to cause "their leaf to wither," long before 
the end of their lives. 

There was an amusing defect in Mr. Hopkins' mind, and that was a want of me- 
chanical genius. After severe drilling he would still call mortises holes. He was never 
able to make a pen that would write. When one was furnished to him he was unable to 
write the lines straight across the paper, which then had no ruled lines. His all pointed 
to the northeast corner of the paper, like the leaves of a fan. His handwriting though 
legible was rugged. In spite of all this, however, the old clerk, Gallagher, who wrote, 
himself, a fine engrossing hand, used to say that he had rather write Hopkins' hand 
than any he had ever seen. The secret of this was that he admired the man and every- 
thing he did. Mr. Hopkins treated all the officers of the court with courtesy and 
kindness, and if he had accidentally omitted anything, so that a case was not 
ready for trial, the blame was not laid upon the clerk, but, like General Lee, he 
bravely assumed the responsibility himself. In the smallest matters, the native 
grandeur of his character was unconsciously shown. Mr. Hopkins from the 
time of his removal from Moulton to Huntsville, to his election to a seat on the 
Supreme Court Bench devoted himself to the practice of his profession. He had attained 
so much distinction that he was enabled to confine his practice to cases of importance 
where the fees were large, and the drudgery was performed by junior counsel. He 
practiced in the Supreme Court, in the Federal and Circuit courts at Huntsville, attended 
the circuit courts of Lawrence and went to other courts in^special cases. This 
phase of professional business, the most pleasant, profitable and least laborious, 
it is the privilege of but few to enjoy. There was no interruption to the " even 
tenor of his way," except that the people of Madison county elected him to the 
General Assembly in 1833. An ugly controversy had sprung up between Governor 
Gayle and President Jackson, as to the proper jurisdiction over Indian lands within the 
boundaries of Alabama, for which there, seemed to be no solution but force. Governor 
Gayle showed a good deal of " pluck," and there was an " iron " man on the other side 
of the controversy. Serious apprehensions of a conflict of arms were entertained ; but 
the difficulty was avoided by the independent course pursued by Mr. Hopkins, and his 
old friend and rival Mr. John J. Ormond. These two men, nurtured into intellectual 
strength on the soil of Lawrence, where countless " passages at arms " had occurred 
between them, had mental visions of such power as enabled them to see far beyond the 
limits of their State; and, although decided Whigs in politics, took the side of General 
Jackson, and by their able speeches carried the Legislature with them, in despite of the 
sectional excitement, which extended their reputation greatly as constitutional lawyers. 
In Jauuary, 1836, Mr. Hopkins, without ever having sat on a county or circuit bench, 



Recollections of North Alabama. 91 

was elected a judge of the Supreme Court, and that, too, by a Legislature overwhelmingly 
Democratic. This tribute to his public character and private worth was almost univer- 
sally approved amongst the members of the profession. There were very sensible men, 
however, who feared that Mr. Hopkins, who had shown so much zeal as an advocate, 
would not add much to his reputation on the bench. They mistook the general principle 
and its application. A cold neutral man never makes a judge of high order. Decision 
and fearlessness are requisite, and he who possesses these in mature life must have been 
zealous and determined as a rising advocate. The veteran who has a steady valor must 
have had a fiery gallantry when a young soldier. The independence of the bench can 
not be sustained by timid, neutral men. In this country, that Hydra "vox populi" dares 
sometimes to rear his horrid front before a court to sway its decisions, and it is indis- 
pensable to have incumbents of brave hearts to cut off his heads one after another. He 
had not been long on the Supreme Bench before his colleagues elected him Chief Justice, 
and they of all others were best qualified to judge of his merits. In 1837 Judge Hop- 
kins resigned his judgeship and resumed the practice of the law. In regard to his judi- 
cial character, I beg leave to refer to the following estimate made of it by that ac- 
complished scholar and lawyer, H. M. Sommerville, Esq., Professor of Law in the Uni- 
versity of Alabama. "Judge Arthur F. Hopkins was, in many respects, a conspicuous 
judge. His decisions may be found in the third, fourth and fifth volumes of Porter's 
Reports. They are distinguished for quickness of perception, terseness of style; accu- 
racy of logical deduction, and that self-poised consciousness of intellectual power which 
has always characterized great judicial minds like those of Marshall, Mansfield, Kent and 
Eldon. He goes at once to the vitals of the question under consideration, and eviscerates 
its complexities, as it were, by a skilful touch of a surgeon's scalpel. Ignorant or un- 
learned judges bolster their conclusions by unnecessary citations of authorities to sup- 
port the simplest assertions of the elementary principles of law. Not so with Judge 
Hopkins. He never cites an authority unless appropriate and necessary. Chancellor 
Kent's opinious in Johnson's (New York) Reports, and Lord Bldon's in Versey Jr. are 
models of the judicial style. Judge Hopkins, I believe, has more nearly approximated 
their excellencies than any other judge who has occupied our Supreme Court Bench, ex- 
cept Chief Justices Ormond and Rice. Note, per example, what a flood of light is 
thrown in Vandegraff vs. Medlock (3 Porter, 389) within the short compass of two 
pages, upon the novel and interesting question as to whether the Chancery Court has 
power to decree to the mortgagee the procceeds of a policy of insurance effected by the 
mortgageor on the mortgaged property where the property has been destroyed by fire, 
there being no covenant to insure. And again in Clark and Lindsay vs. Simmons (4 
Porter, 14) it is refreshing to see how, in a few brief lines, he succinctly disposes of a 
less important question, in the adjudication of which many judges of the present day 
would obstinately expend vast treasures of legal lore. A judicious regard for the style 
of this eminent jurist would correct a vast and growing evil of the present day — the rapid 
and burdensome multiplication of our law reports, for the correction of which there is 
going forth an earnest cry of protest from the whole American Bar. ' ' 

Judge Hopkins again resumed his practice and nothing unusual occurred in his 
career until the Presidential election of 1840. During this campaign he was an elector 
and the acknowledged leader of the Whig party in the State. This was a high honor, 
for that party was distinguished by the great number of eloquent and talented men in 
its ranks; such men as Gayle, Jackson, Davis, Thornton, Langdon, Hillard and others. 
An able address was issued by a committee of the Whig convention, to the people of 
Alabama, advocating the claims of General Harrison, and arraigning the administration 
of President Van Buren. The authorship of it was attributed to Judge Hopkins. He 
made able argumentive speeches at large mass meetings over the State. These speeches 
were the magazines from which the stump-speakers of the party drew their arguments 
and inspirations. As a campaign speaker he used the same style which, at the bar, had 
raised him to distinction. He had too much good sense to attempt the flippant humorous 
role so common with popular orators. If he had made the attempt and failed, it would 



92 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

have rendered him ridiculous, and if he had been successful it would have tended to- 
iOwer his reputation as a man of first-class ability. Had the Whigs come into power in 
this State, in 1840, Judge Hopkins would certainly have been elected United States Sena- 
tor. His name was put in nomination by the minority, in opposition to Senator King, 
as it had been in 1836 against Mr. McKinly, and as it continued to be in every Sena- 
torial election, for many terms afterward. Had he become a member of the Senate, he 
would, in my opinion, have assumed a position amongst the great, patriotic and conser- 
vative Senators, who distinguished that body in ante-bellum times, of which Alabama 
would have been justly proud. 

In 1842 Judge Hopkins removed to St. Louis. Before his departure he partook of" 
a complimentary public dinner given to him by the members of the North Alabama Bar, 
at Florence. The newspaper reports of it have perished, but a few facts of interest are 
remembered. The dinner was served in the Florence Hotel, a large brick building 
which was destroyed by fire during the late war by the Federals. The president was 
James Irvine, Esq., the senior of the Florence bar, an able lawyer, profoundly versed 
in its principles, an accurate special pleader, with all his law papers drawn up in a neat 
hand and with great method, not an eloquent, but a chaste and logical speaker, and one 
who had made a fortune by the practice of his profession. He delivered a very graceful 
speech of welcome, and the response of Judge Hopkins exhibited so much taste, such 
deep feeling, and such devotion to the noble profession to which he belonged that it 
produced a lasting impression upon his brethren. In the evening a reception was given 
at the house of Mr. Irvine ; the members of the bar and the elite of the town and country 
attended, and Judge Hopkins moving amongst highly cultured men and beautiful and ac- 
complished ladies, proved that his social qualities were not inferior to his professional. 
It is melancholy to think how few of the honored guests at this dinner still survive. 
He in whose honor it was given has passed away. Its president departed in 1867.. 
Out of the nine lawyers who constituted the committee of arrangements only Mr. 
Robinson of Huntsville, Mr. Cooper of Tuscumbia, and General O'Neal of Florence,, 
remain! (1881). 

After residing about one year in St. Louis, Judge Hopkins returned to Alabama. He 
found the climate of Missouri rugged and unconditional to his constitution, and that 
it would be a tedious process to secure so desirable a practice there as he had left behind 
him. Lawyers of middle age who remove to distant States generally meet with dis- 
appointment. They are surrounded by strangers, who may have heard of their reputa- 
tion but as the faint sound of distant artillery. They are not conversant with the State's- 
laws, and the cases of litigation which arise upon these are more numerous than those 
which rest on the general principles of law. Therefore, such removals are like trans- 
planting full-grown trees, which require long years of imperfect growth to regain the 
full vigor of root and leaf ; if they ever do. Indeed, I have known of but one case of this 
kind which was a complete success, and that was the the removal of Judge John A. 
Campbell, from Mobile to New Orleans ; but his reputation for great ability was almost 
as well known in one city as the other ; and, moreover, the civil law was the basis of the 
statute laws of Louisiana, and as a civilian, Judge Campbell had as much reputation as 
any lawyer in the South, and it was thought when he resigned his seat on the bench of 
the United States Supreme Court, he left no judge behind him who was his equal in 
this branch of the law. 

On Judge Hopkins' return to this State, he settled in Mobile ; and for several years 
acted as president of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, occasionally appearing in court, in 
important cases. At this season of his life, he was surrounded by every circumstance 
calculated to render life happy. He had a competent fortune ; was surrounded by a 
numerous family of dutiful children, mostly daughters, happily married; his house was 
a centre of wide hospitality; he had " troops of friends," and, to crown the whole, he 
was an humble and consistent Christian. Many years before, when they resided in 
Huntsville, he and his wife became pious members of the Presbyterian Church, and 
ever afterward their lives were consistent with the rules of this evangelic body. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 93 

Many years passed away in this manner. At length he had a great sorrow in the death 
of his excellent wife, whose character I have already portrayed. Some years afterward 
he married Mrs. Ogden, of Staten Island, widow of Colonel Ogden, of the United States 
army, who, " when the late war broke out, took an active part in the management of 
the Confederate hospitals at Richmond, and by her intelligence, her sympathizing, and 
personal attention to the sick and wounded, gained an enviable reputation. In all these 
efforts and sacrifices she was nobly sustained by her patriotic husband, who, well 
stricken in years, did what he could to alleviate suffering, and to aid the cause of his 
native South. The anxieties and results of the war undermined the vigorous health of 
the judge, whose large and manly form sank under the effects of disease thus produced, 
and, at the age of 72 years, he died in 1866." 

His children by his first wife (he had none by his second) were: 1, Maria, who 
married Mr. John J. Walker, son of U. S- Senator John W. Walker, of Huntsville. 2. 
Cornelia, who married an English merchant named Lowe. 3. Louisa, who died early. 
4. Mosely, who married Eliza, daughter of Gov. Thomas Bibb. 5. Augusta, who 
married Mr. Rice, formerly of Talladega. 6. Mary, who married Mr. Barnwell. 7. 
Kate, who married Mr. Starke Oliver. 8. And a young son, Leigh, named for Judge 
Leigh, his law preceptor. (See Bibb and Oliver.) 

Joseph Young, 

a young lawyer, came from Kentucky, and I judge from the " Blue Grass " region, for 
he was well grown, about six feet high, and well formed. He had read law sparingly, 
but he was "death" on Shakespeare, and the staple of his speeches was composed, in 
great part, of quotations from that author. I think he was a man of uniform courtesy, 
for I never heard of his refusing to drink with a man when invited. He was of weak 
judgment, and great vanity. He had heard Henry Clay speak several times, and it 
seemed " to come so natural and easy-like to 7iim," he imagined that he, too, was born an 
orator. He knew it, for he felt it in him. On all occasions, in season and out of season, 
he would play the orator, and would rise boldly in his flight, yet as certainly as he rose 
would " his wings be melted," and he would fall heavily to the ground. But no amount 
■of falling would ever convince him that he was not to succeed as an eagle orator. He 
was like the confident Yankee who tried his flying machine from the top of the barn. 
As he lay upon the ground in a heap, he was asked how he liked flying. " Wal, I like 
flyin' well enough," he said, " but the' ain't sich a thunderin' sight o' fun in it when 
you come to light." The people came to know this tumbling habit of Joke's, and some- 
times took unfair advantage of him. On one occasion the question before the Commis- 
sioners' Court was where the road to Tuscaloosa should rise the Sand Mountain ; whether 
at Sutton's Gap, or run through the valley many miles beyond and ascend at Martin's Gap.. 
Joe was the advocate of the valley route. He commenced by saying : "If the court please, 
suppose you were offered the choice of two routes to Heaven, one like this by Sutton's 
Gap — sterile, rough, rocky and steep ; and another through a rich and verdant valley, 
canopied with flowers and — " " Stop, Mr. Young," said a member of the court, " the 
question is not which is the best road to Heaven, but to Tuscaloosa." Joe's balloon 
collapsed; it was " a lost ball," and he never could recover it. Joe was fond of " Old 
Bourbon," but whether he brought this fondness from Kentucky with him is uncertain, 
as I did not know him until some years after he came. 

It is said the people now take a man at his own valuation of himself, but this 
adage was not true in Joe's case. The people elected him to the Legislature, not only 
in 1822, but in 1823. He was the colleague of Judge Hopkins. I have wondered what 
use Judge Hopkins had for him, but I suppose in the canvass Joe did his drinking for 
him with the people as a proxy, and in the Legislature he made the same use of him 
which dextrous men now make of the negro — he " voted him." But why did the 
people of Lawrence elect him? There, you are too hard for me. It was not for want of 
good material, for I have shown in my early numbers that there was plenty of that. I 
have been conniug over the list of legislators from the commencement (all of whom I 



94 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

knew personally until 1865), and the conclusion I draw is, that the people of Lawrence 
have a "weakness" for weak men — a magnanimity which inclines, in witnessing a 
fight, to favor the " small" man. It is true that our county has been represented by a 
number of solid prudent men of experience, and a few able men, but, with them, a large 
proportion of men who did not comprehend the first principles of legislation. Is there 
no remedy for this state of things? We have Normal schools for those that wish to be 
teachers ; how would it do to have a Normal school for those who aspire to be legisla- 
tors? Or is a man born a legislator, as Mr. Grundy said, factiously of himself, he was 
born a " veteran?" 

As Joe Young's professional and political prospects declined, he became fonder of 
old Bourbon, and gradually seedy in his dress, until he declined finally into a wreck,, 
and died while yet a young man. 

William E. Anderson, Esq., was the brother of Hugh A. Anderson, who lived east 
of Courtland, and was leader of a party in early times. William E. had been Secretary 
of State in Kentucky, and had practised law there, before he came to Moulton, in 1822. 
In less than a year he died from sitting in his offiee one day with his feet wet. I never 
knew him. Col. Isaac Owen described him as a tall, fine-looking man, a graceful and 
strong speaker, and said that many persons thought he would, had he lived, become a 
rival of Judge Hopkins. 

Ellison A. Daniel, Esq., came early to Moulton. He was a lawyer of slender abil- 
ities, but modest and industrious. He had the good fortune to be elected to the House 
of Representatives in 1827. 

Argyle Campbell, Esq., came from Tennessee. He was a nephew of Hon. George 
W. Campbell, of Nashville, once Minister to Russia, and he was brother-in-law of Hon. 
David Hubbard. Mr. Campbell had been pretty well educated for that day; had a fine 
person, and was a graceful speaker. But, with all these advantages, he had only mod- 
erate success in his profession. In his case there seemed to be no lack of intellect, but 
a want of force of character. He moved to Columbus, Miss., where he died many 
years ago. 

Rufus K. Anderson, Esq., came to Moulton about 1825 from Tennessee. He was a 
handsome man, dressed well, and had genteel but distant manners. Our people some- 
how didn't give him much encouragement, and after a year or two he left Lawrence and 
went into Pickens. His tragic history is told by Colonel Garrett in his " History of 
the Public Men of Alabama:" "Rufus K. Anderson, formerly of Tennessee, resided 
in Pickens, and was a Senator in the State Legislature from 1829 to 1833. He had pre- 
viously killed his brother-in-law, Thomas P. Taul, of Franklin county, Tennessee, and 
was arraigned for murder. He was on trial eighteen days, during which he was de- 
fended by Hon. Felix Grundy, the eminent advocate, who succeeded in procuring his 
acquittal by the jury. 

" Mr. Anderson was said to be an overbearing, reckless man, who insulted whom 
he pleased, and was generally regarded as a dangerous man. Peaceable men avoided 
difficulties with him, and would often submit to exactions rather than enter into a 
' deadly conflict. To oppose him in any way, or to incur his resentment, brought life 
into jeopardy. It was reported that he had beaten one of his slaves to death in his 
barn, and had left him hanging from a beam. Several persons happened to pass near 
the barn and peep through the cracks to see if the negro was there. Among those 
who looked in for discovery was Mr. Gideon B. Frierson. It appears that Mr. Ander- 
son was then away from home. In the meantime Mr. Frierson made a journey to Mis- 
sissippi. When Mr. Anderson was informed of the liberty that had been taken at his 
barn he declared vengeance, and set out in pursuit of Mr. Frierson to take his life. At 
one place he dined where his intended victim had stayed the night before, and on learn- 
ing that the latter had left a bundle for which he would probably return the next day, 
Mr. Anderson said he would remain, as he wished to see him. Providentially the 
bundle was sent for by the person to whom it was addressed, and Mr. Frierson went in 
another direction. Anderson kept on his track, from Mississippi to Pickensville, and 



Recollections of Noeth Alabama. 95- 

arrived in a few hours after Mr. Frierson reached home, April, 1834. The latter was in 
his office when he was informed of the threats of Anderson to take his life, and was 
advised by his friends to be prepared. He loaded a double-barreled gun and awaited 
the attack. Anderson appeared before the office and called out in a loud, angry voice : 
" Come forth, Gideon, like a man. I am after your blood, and am determined to have 
it. Face the thing at once, and let it be over." 

" In the meantime Mr. Frierson had retired from his office through the back door, 
and came facing the street where Anderson stood. On the latter perceiving him he 
advanced with his pistol drawn, swearing that the time had come, and he would make 
sure work. Mr. Frierson discharged one load without effect, and as Anderson still came 
on, he emptied the other barrel with better aim. A number of shots entered the breast 
and shoulder of Anderson, who in the meantime had fired one pistol, and drawn 
another. Mr. Frierson held his ground, and was about to club his guD. To ward it 
off, Anderson picked up a chair which he held befoTe^himas a shield, when Mr. Frierson 
struck a blow with his gun which shivered the chair into fragments, and came down on 
the head of Anderson with such force, that the cock penetrated his brain ; he fell to the 
ground, and died in a few minutes. Thus the bloody encounter terminated fatally to- 
the aggressor, and much to the relief of the community. Mr. Frierson was not even 
prosecuted." 

Hon. David Hubbard, 

for thirty-five years, was a man of note in our county. No man ever had more uniform 
success in elections before the people. He had considerable ability, but was eccentric in 
mind, person, and manners;' and at all times there was great contrariety of opinion 
respecting him amongst the people.. He had warm friends and bitter enemies. I can 
hardly natter myself that the account I shall give of him will be satisfactory to all ; but 
it shall be based entirely on facts, and the comments made conceived in a spirit of fair- 
ness and charity. 

David Hubbard was the son of Major Hubbard, who was an officer iD the Revolution- 
ary War, and a very intelligent and respectable gentleman.* He moved from Virginia 
to Rutherford county, Tenn., in early times. Young David had been taught in the- 
country schools, and had just entered an academy, and begun to lay a foundation for a 
classical education, when during the war with Great Britain, the enemy sent the expe- 
dition against New Orleans. Youth, as he was, he became a volunteer under General 
Jackson, and in the midnight attack on the British, of the 23d of December, 1814, he 
was wounded in the hip, and left upon the field, when our forces were withdrawn. Dur- 
ing the fifteen days which intervened between that, time and the battle on the 8th of 
January, -he was a prisoner in the hands of the enemy, suffering from this severe wound. 
The morning of that battle (so memorable too, in our history) dawned, and when the- 
forces of the enemy, with their scarlet uniforms, gorgeous banners, and perfect dicipline,. 
marched to the attack of our raw recruits, the heart of young Hubbard sank within him. 
His deep anxiety during the battle was unrelieved until the wreck of the British army fell 
back on the camp. The spirits of young Hubbard then reacted so powerfully that he 
napped his wings and crowed (all the boys in Tennessee could crow in the days of "Old 
Hiekory"). One of the guard was so infuriated that he assaulted him with the bayonet, 
but his officer arrested the movement and protected him. 

This interruption to the course of young Hubbard's education occurring at the "seed 
time " of life, was never recovered, and he had to enter upon the study, and practice of 
law with an imperfect preparation, which he felt during his life. Early in his pro- 
fessional career he moved to Florence, Ala., and was fortunate in being elected Solici- 
tor in 1823. I say fortunate because in that position, a lawyer of good natural talent 
improves rapidly. A Solicitor is engaged in incessant conflict with men of every calibre 

* Note. — Thomas Hubbard is the only officer from Virginia, of that name, mentioned in Heit- 
man's Historical Begister of the Officers of the Continental Army. He was Regimental Quartermaster, 
First Virginia, 1777 to May 1778. 



96 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

of mind. There is no sympathy for him either amongst the members of the Bar, or the 
spectators. He is an Ishmaelite indeed ; for " his hand is against every man, and every 
man's hand against him." What better arena on which a young lawyer can obtain self- 
reliance, and develop his power of argumentation? A few years in this position will 
improve a lawyer more than any law school in the United States, as has been demonstrated 
in the cases of a large number of lawyers, who in our State have become Senators, and 
members of Congress, Governors, judges of the Supreme, and other courts, and men 
•of distinction . It was in this practical school that Hitchcock, Henry Goldthwaite, Richard 
W. Walker, Hubbard, Houston, Pitzpatrick, Percy Walker, Shorter, Sampson W. 
Harris, O'Neal, and many others, were taught the science of "thrust and parry" in 
mental gladiation. This school, too, was that man who cultivated a masterly style of elocu- 
tion, who fired the Northern mind almost solitary and alone, set the abolition ball in 
motion politically, was the first candidate of that party for the Presidency, and, by these 
means, largely contributed to deluge this land in blood. That man was James G. 
Birney, once Solicitor for the Huntsville circuit ! 

Major Hubbard held his office four years ; and during that time he moved his family 
to Moulton, in this county. His income had been good, and in 1827 he commenced a 
mercantile business. During the same year he engaged in politics, and was elected to 
the State Senate ; so he had law, merchandise, and politics, all in full blast, at the 
same time. A very important question had presented itself, and that was the disposi- 
tion of the 400,000 acres of land given to the State, as trustee, for the purpose of the 
■cutting a canal around the Muscle Shoals. As this is a very interesting chapter in the 
History of the Early Settlers, I will give an account of it: When the public lands were 
first sold in North Alabama, the United States sold them at public auction, and on credit. 

Cotton was very high, the rush of immigrants wonderful ; and, consequently, lands 
were bid off at fabulous prices. Pirst-class lands, I think, went off at an average of $20 
per acre ; and I know of two quarters which were knocked down at more than $100. 
The purchasers, of course, were not able to pay these rates, and as the instalments fell 
due, they applied their money to a part of what they had bid off at the sales, leaving 
the rest of their purchases to be relinquished or forfeited. They applied to Congress for 
relief, and an act was passed, permitting them to apply the money they had paid on the 
relinquished lands, to the completion of the payments on the land retained. What to 
do with these relinquished lands became an embarrassing question to Congress, as the 
purchasers then insisted, that they ought to have the privilege of entering these at their 
•actual value. The Gordian knot was cut by Congress granting these lands to the State, 
as trustee, for the purpose of constructing a canal around the Muscls Shoals ; leaving it 
to the State to decide as to the mode of disposing of them. These lands had been, more 
•or less, improved by clearing and fencing. 

When the subsequent election for members occurred, there was great excitement, 
for the planters had a large pecuniary interest in the measures to be adopted. Major 
Hubbard assumed the ground that poor men, who had no land, ought to have pre-emp- 
tion of these lands, divided into small tracts, and at a cash valuation ; and that, where 
more than one person applied for the same tract, it should be drawn for. He depicted, 
very graphically, the trials and hardships of the poor man, and used to say that " poor 
land was like skimmed milk, for it would not fatten " and he wanted these hard-work- 
ing men to have a chance for a small tract of rich land. His speeches were models of 
that kind ; and, of course, he was triumphantly elected. If George Washington had 
been alive, and his competitor, he wonld have been disgracefully beaten as the advocate 
of the rights of the planters. 

When the General Assembly met, Major Hubbard was at the head of the party fav- 
oring his views ; and he marshaled his forces, as usual, with great skill. Hon. C. C. 
Clay, of Madison county, led the members who thought that, in equity, the planters should 
have the first right to enter those lands at their cash value upon which they had 
expended their labor, especially as they had paid to the United States for the adjoining 
lands twice as much as they were worth. The Legislature finally enacted that the lands 



Recollections op North Alabama. 97 

should all be valued by commissioners, the planters should have the privilege of enter- 
ing each two quarter sections of the land they had relinquished, and the balance of them 
should be subject to entry in small tracts as proposed. 

In 1829 he moved to Courtland, in our county. His mind was developing rapidly, 
not so much from the study of books, as from contact with men of broad information. 
He became deeply interested in the subject of the Tariff, and one of the most powerful 
opponents of the protection system in our State. He belonged to what was called the' 
Mate's Bights School, in politics. So decided was he, that he denounced the Force Bill, 
and the proclamation of General Jackson, against South Carolina, as a departure from 
the Constitution. 

He was a member of the House of Representatives in 1831-32, and then followed 
an interval of some years, during which he was engaged in buying and selling Chick- 
asaw Indian land ; and obtained that intermediate knowledge of Indian character, which 
rendered him, twenty-five years afterward, so useful to the Confederate government. 

In 1839 he was elected to Congress, and as a member of the committee of Ways 
and Means he soon established a high character for his clear comprehension of the great 
political questions then before the country. In 1841, in his canvass for Congress, his 
competitor, at the outset, was Col. Francis H. Jones, of our county, an educated man, 
and a fine speaker. They were both decided Democrats, and the chances for some time 
seemed to be equal. As Colonel Jones, however, in a previous election, had given some 
offence to the Whig party, who had the power of deciding the election, between the 
advice of friends Colonel Jones was withdrawn, and George S. Houston, Esq., 
brought out in his stead. In Houston Major Hubbard met " his evil genius." Hous- 
ton was well known to the people of the district, for he had acted as Solicitor for the 
State for many years. Houston naturally had less genius and grasp of intellect than 
Hubbard; but he was better educated, and was more logical and systematic in his argu- 
ments. In their love for the ' ' dear people ' ' they stood on an equal footing, except 
that Hubbard had made enemies of the planters and their friends, by the course he pur- 
sued on the land question I have mentioned, and the warm affection of Houston em- 
braced all classes, rich and poor. 

But in one respect Houston had, in this canvass, a decided advantage; he had no 
political record ; for he had never been in political life but once, and that, as a member' 
of the State Legislature from Lauderdale county, some ten years before. As might 
have been expected, Houston was elected, and was afterward never beaten. 

The next year (1842), Major Hubbard was elected member of the House in the 
General Assembly, and served in 1843 and also in 1845. The engrossing question before 
the Legislature in 1842 was the " White Basis." Major Hubbard introduced a resolu- 
tion providing, that in laying off the congressional districts, the committee should re- 
port a bill " having regard only to the white population as the basis of congressional 
representation." It was opposed by the Representatives of the large slave-holding 
counties in South Alabama, on the ground that the basis of representation should be 
mixed, viz. : the whole of the white population and three-fifths of the slaves. There 
was a third phase of opinion on this question, expressed by Hon. John A. Campbell in 
his protest, which was : That although it was clear to his mind that the basis of repre- 
sentation was the white population, yet he believed that the committee could have laid 
off the districts in a manner to harmonize both opinions without public discussion, 
which he considered mischievous. That this last opinion was the wisest, I think subse- 
quent events in the State have clearly shown. 

In the session of 1843 there was a good deal of skirmishing preparatory to the 
Presidential election next year, in which Major Hubbard bore a prominent part. He 
was chairman of the committee on Federal Relations, and made an able report on which 
these discussions were founded. In these, in which such eminent men as Calhoun, Erwin, 
Joseph G. Baldwin, Morrisette, C. C. Clay, Jr., McClung, Howard and Campbell 
participated, it is just to Major Hubbard to say, that in defending the propositions set 
forth in his report, he exhibited a familiar understanding of the subject, and powers of 
debate not surpassed by any. 



'98 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

In 1849 Major Hubbard was again elected, and served during the Thirty-first Con- 
gress, when the compromise of 1850 was made (memorable on account of its being the 
last ever effected before the abolition of slavery) . Major Hubbard opposed the com- 
promise, and was classed with the section of the Democratic party called Fire Eaters; 
and on this issue he was beaten by Hon. George S. Houston, who was a conservative, 
and had retired for awhile from politics. During that Congress the pre-emption 
question engaged their attention, and Major Hubbard always took an active and in- 
fluential part in providing homes on the public lands for poor men. 

Afterward in 1853, Major Hubbard was elected to the House of Representatives of 
the State Legislature. During this session the main subject of interest was the liquida- 
tion of the State banks, and the amendment of the new Code of 1851, passed without 
proper examination. 

In 1859 Major Hubbard again became a member of this body. It was a time of 
great excitement on the slavery question. 

In April, 1859, he was appointed by the Governor a State delegate to the Southern 
Commercial Convention. The members of that delegation were amongst the ablest men 
of the State. It was called a commercial convention, but it had great political signifi- 
cance. In the summer he was elected a member of the House in the General Assembly. 
The engrossing topic at this session was the slavery question. Major Hubbard made a 
speech, in closing the debate, on a resolution he had offered for the postponement of the 
-election for Senator, from which I will make copious extracts for the purpose of showing 
the nature of the crisis and his style of speaking. 

' ' Wj en I made the motion to postpone the election of Senator I stated my object 
fairly, which was to leave the election to the next Legislature. I intended to speak to 
no other point, but the debate has been allowed to take so wide a range that the main 
.question has been lost sight of amidst the noise and confusion arising from the discus- 
sion of the qualification of candidates (not for Senator) but President ; the best means 
of electing and how we can preserve our institutions amidst this clamor for spoils and 
office. This makes it my duty, in closing the debate, to go into subjects which I did not 
expect to arise, and to answer some strange positions which have been assumed by mem- 
bers who have preceded me. All agree the Southern States have lost influence and 
strength in the Union, up to this date. The South, as a section, has lost her foreign 
trade, as well as her political standing. 

" Something has caused this — what is it? Is it the Union, or is it her system of 
domestic labor? The Northern man will tell you it is working the land with slave 
labor. To this I answer, that we had slave labor before the Union was formed, 
and yet Virginia, alone, had more foreign trade than all the Northern States put 
together. Then it could not be domestic slavery which has dried up the fountains of 
her prosperity. Her disease is deeper seated than any supposed deficiency in her indus- 
trial pursuits. May it not be found in the perversion of the uses for which the Union 
was formed, by a dominant majority, seeking to make government an instrument in the 
•distribution of wealth, on the one part, and the giving up of the material interests of the 
South, compromising away her territorial possessions, and yielding the proper fiscal 
arrangements for popularity, that her vanity might be gratified by the promotion of 
her sons to places of distinction, on the other. The same suicidal policy we are now 
engaged in, where statesmanship has no higher aim than to fool national conventions 
with double meaning platforms, with which ' voters ' are to be fooled afterward. It is 
to these matters I am now required to speak, for nearly all those who have spoken, in 
this debate, advise conciliation, and compromise in 'President-making,' in some form or 
other, through national conventions, as a cure for our political disorders. Before we 
give our assent to this remedy, suppose we examine our past efforts in this business, and 
see what success has attended them. 

" We were conciliating Northern sentiment when Virginia ceded to anti-slavery all 
that vast territory of unsurpassed fertility between the great Mississippi and Ohio 
rivers, whereon five powerful anti-slavery States have grown up. * * * 



Recollections op North Alabama. 99 

' Aggression assumed a new form for a time, and our section is next assailed by Pro- 
tective Tariffs, 'judiciously' or 'injudiciously' framed to conciliate Northern senti- 
ment (Northern interests, perhaps, better expresses the idea), and we got a few more 
•Southern Presidents by yielding to these demands. * * * When in the 

war with Mexico we acquired a country larger than all the Atlantic States put together, 
did we find the Northern States mindful of their earlier obligations of friend- 
ship? Did they keep any portion of the covenant of Union, as set forth in the Consti- 
tution? Did they even keep any part of the compromise of 1820? Not a bit of it. 
They demanded all — every foot ; and our Southern men yielded the territory away 
south, to about the latitude of Vicksburg", Miss., a point in my earlier days deemed 
almost too hot for a white man to reside upon, even were he able to keep in the shade. 
* * * Seeing, therefore, that all future acquisitions are intended for the 
Northern section, and that we are expected to pay and fight oar share, and get no part 
of the spoils, which is directly against the Lord's direction to Gideon, it becomes our 
duty to examine well our condition in the Union, and to ask how long we are to flee 
before the enemy for this transgression and disobedience of the Divine commands? 

" How long shall we rely on President-making? is now the question. When I was 
& boy our fathers did not know of more than two or three men in the broad ' Sunny 
South ' fit to make a President of — and I have shown you the sacrifices to get them 
elected. Now, sir, we all know, at least, two men in every county who are in every way 
fit for President, and how is it possible we can give up — compromise — and concede 
enough of principle and interest to get them all in? It is impossible, sir, and I am 
almost tempted to say ' we are fools for trying,' but that I suppose would not be 
proper. Would any of us who had a young friend or son, who at the gambling table 
had lost four-fifths of his estate, advise him to go back and risk the remnant which is 
left, amongst gamblers who had swindled him, and divided the spoils — and to play at the 
same game — with the same old stocked cards, and the same hands to stock them? * * 
Nothing but a fair share of lands, and jurisdiction, in proportion to population, will 
answer. I am for trying an election by Congress, which is constitutional. We can, 
before a vote is taken , insist on the exclusion of those States from voting, or refusing 
to vote with such as have violated the covenants of union by nullifying acts of Con- 
gress made for our benefit; and passed in pursuance of the Constitution. If they 
give proper pledges, then I would again consider them as brothers, and do a brother's 
part by them. If however, they refuse such reasonable and just demands, we will be 
free to seek an association with such States only as will keep and perform what they 
bind themselves to do, and no longer associate with the perjurer, and covenant-breaker, 
who glories in his shame." 

This speech, delivered a year before the election of President Lincoln, was far in 
advance of even his section of the party, and the Major spoke under deep excitement. It 
is easy to account for this, for circumstances of great aggravation had occurred but a 
short time before. Seward had announced the irrepressible conflict. Some of the large 
Northern States had nullified the fugitive slave law. A slave owner from Alabama 
crossing the line to reclaim his property, had been greatly abused. Another, on the 
same errand, had been seized by a mob headed by his own runaway-slave, stripped of his 
clothing, which was transferred to the runaway, while the owner was compelled to dress 
himself in the cast-off clothing of the negro, pay fifty dollars as the expense of this novel 
process, and leave the State instanter. Old John Brown, with his broad pikes, had in- 
cited a negro insurrection at Harper's Perry, been conquered in a battle and hung, by 
.authority of the United States Court. And yet a few days before the speech was made, bells 
were tolled all through the Northern States, wails of sorrow were heard throughout the 
land, and high wrought eulogiums were pronounced from the pulpit, rostrum, and the 
press upon a cold-blooded mnrderer, who not only deserved hanging, but should have been 
drawn and quartered, and his head fixed on a pole. Mr. Ingersoll, once Minister to 
Russia, declared in a public speech, "I have lived through two wars in which many gal- 
lant and patriotic officers fell, but I have never known one, though wrapped in his country's 



100 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

flag as a winding sheet, receive such extravagant praises as pulpit, press and lecture room 
have lavished upon the leader of the Harper's Ferry Massacre." And, moreover, sixty- 
seven northern members of Congress had endorsed a most mischievous book by Helper,- 
called "The Impending Crisis," and contributed a large sum of money to defray the ex- 
penses of its secret circulation throughout the South. Was it at all remarkable, then, that 
Southern speakers who were capable of profound emotions should express them in their 
speeches ! The irritation produced by such measures continued to increase, and when 
the Democratic party was severed, Major Hubbard was one of the electors for Brecken- 
ridge, and made effective speeches in various parts of the State. 

"When the Confederate Government was formed Major Hubbard was appointed 
" Commissioner of Indian Affairs," which was a most judicious appointment. The 
object for which this appointment was made was of the utmost importance to the Con- 
federacy. The large tribes which once encompassed Alabama, and many others, were 
located on the western border of these States, and they were capable (if hostile) of 
bringing an army of warriors upon our flank, and it was very important to detach them> 
from the Union. In accomplishing his purpose Major Hubbard did not call a conven- 
tion of these tribes together for a grand pow-wow. He had too much sagacity for that. 
His work was done quietly and secretly, and was accomplished before the United States- 
could frustrate his plans. His appointment as Commissioner occurred on the 12th of 
April, 1861, and on the 25th of the succeeding month the Cherokees seceded from the 
Union and declared themselves an independent nation, and nearly all the other tribes 
followed in quick successiou. The Confederacy was not only relieved of all appre- 
hension from this source, but they raised a large force of Indian volunteers from these 
tribes, which a Northern historian {Draper 1, Vol. 239) estimated at the battle of Elk- 
horn alone at four to five thousand warriors. But the extent of the services of the 
Commissioner will never be known until the Confederate archives are brought to light 
and published. 

While these operations were progressing, he made his home at Nashville. His- 
losses by the war were considerable. He lived at Spring Hill, Tenn., near General 
Ewell (who was a relative), some six or eight years, and died at the house of his son- 
Duncan, in Louisiana, at the age of 82 years. 

His mind, by nature, was of a high order, but eccentric. He was original and- 
independent in his habits of thought, and studied human nature more than books. He- 
was not very capable of solving abstract propositions, but where they were concrete,- 
and human nature one of the factors, he rarely failed in working out correct results. 
On this account, in every deliberative body, of which he was a member, he was dreaded 
as an adversary. One peculiarity in his mind was a deficiency in the faculty of clear 
explication. When in Congress he became quite famous for his knowledge of the Pre- 
emption Laws, and was about to introduce anew bill on that subject; aNorthern lawyer 
of distinction, who was a new member, and very anxious to understand all about pre- 
emption, tipped across the floor, and took a seat near the speaker. When the explana- 
tion was finished he whispered to a friend, " The matter is more obscure to me than it- 
was before." But when the main debate took place, and the major warmed to his work, 
he got the information he desired, but it came "by instalments." 

In person Major Hubbard was very tall, spare, somewhat stoop-shouldered, and his- 
arms seemed disproportionately long. His head and brain were much over the average 
of men of his stature. His eye was gray and restless. In later years he fattened up,- 
and became a stout man. He was homely, but striking in his person, and in any circle- 
would have arrested the attention of a stranger. 

His manners were not graceful, but he was cheerful and interesting ; and in his; 
old age he was genial and charming, for he had been a close observer of men and 
things as he passed along, and his recollections were told in a very original manner 
interspersed with amusing anecdotes. 

Note. — At the same time, the author was elector for Stephen A. Douglas, and president of the 
convention which met at Montgomery. 



Recollections of North Alabama. 101 

As a lawyer, he was not profound in his learning, as he had no patience for per- 
sistent study. But before a jury, he was always formidable. His experience as solici- 
tor, enabled him to clear many a culprit on technical grounds. His ablest speech, per- 
haps, was made in defence of Preston Bowling, for murder. 1 will rehearse the leading 
facts of the case (which occurred in this county) to show what an achievement the acquit- 
tal was. Pres. (as he was always called) had threatened the life of his father (Alex- 
ander Bowling), and on this account was kept in prison, for some time. After the old 
man's death, his great spite seemed to be against his brother James. He had him 
arrested for the murder of an unknown trader; and brought before a justice's court, 
where he (Pres.) swore that his brother 'had confessed to him, that he had killed the 
trader, by which he got three or four thousand dollars ; and that he had hidden the body 
in a cave in the mountain ; and advised Pres. to do the same, and not to be a poor man 
all his life. There were thirty or forty witnesses examined on the trial, several of whom 
swore that the bones in the cave alluded to, were there before the Bowlings came to the 
county; and all of them swore that they would not believe Pres. Bowling on his oath. 
Of course, James Bowling was acquitted. After this James was found dead ; and Pres 
was arraigned for his murder. Pres was poor, and James, under the will of his father, 
managed the plantation. The theory of the prosecution was, that Pres. had taken a big 
bore rifle, and gone to a certain gate, by which he knew James would pass, -and stood 
behind the post. That when James got within thirty or forty feet, he saw Pres., halted, 
and wheeled; and that Pres. shot him in the back, while his horse was in a gallop. I 
have talked with several of the old men who were at the trial, who thought that this 
theory was sustained by the circumstances proven by the witnesses. There was a moun- 
tain of prejudice therefore against the prisoner, when Major Hubbard commenced his 
speech. He made a great effort, and not only removed this mountain, but made so deep 
an impression on his hearers, that when the jury brought in a verdict of acquittal, the 
spectators received it with cheers and shouts. 

He had the art (when he chose) of mystifying a matter. An anecdote used to be 
told amongst the lawyers to this effect: Major Hubbard was assisted once in the defence 
of a case by the late Judge Ormond. Upon the testimony the case proved to be a very 
bad one. Ormond whispered, " Hubbard, what shall we do with it!" The answer was, 
" Ormond, you go ahead and make the best speech you can; and when I come on, I'll 
puzzle the case so that they will never be able to unravel it." And so he did. Oliver 
Cromwell could not have beaten him in this line, and the consequence was a mis-trial. 

But it was in politics that he was most distinguished. He had from his superior 
knowledge of human nature, great art in planning a campaign. As a speaker he was 
excelled by many of his competitors. His voice was harsh, but could be heard distinctly 
in a large crowd ; for he generally spoke on a high key. He had no harmony in his 
style, but a great deal of good sense, and an instinctive knowledge of the most effective 
arguments to use with a promiscuous crowd. He believed strongly in the depravity of 
human nature; and he appealed of tener to men's prejudices than to their better senti- 
ments. His speeches were not of the routine order ; he was like the captain who had 
cleared his vessel for any port where he could sell his cargo to the best advantage. He 
would first try one topic and then another, keeping his eyes intently fixed upon the up- 
turned faces of the people ; and when he found that he had made a successful hit, he 
would enlarge upon it, and illustrate it with one of his good anectotes. I once heard 
him demonstrate how far men, having a common interest, would go in sustaining each 
other by a case which he said occurred in the " Upper-rooting " (the name of a Circuit) 
where he commenced the practice of law. " A man was indicted for stealing a cow, and 
the proof of the fact was positive. Nevertheless, his lawyer (one of the old. Tennessee 
stagers) made a labored defence, furiously attacking the witnesses for the State, and 
almost coming to a fight with the solicitor. When he sat down and was wiping the 
sweat from his forehead, he asked him in a whisper, " Is it possible you have any idea 
of clearing your client?" The answer was, " Certainly I will clear him, Hubbard, for 
eleven of the men on that jury helped to eat that cow." 



102 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

At this stage of his life he had but crude ideas of the science of government, and' 
was a mere politician, plotting for his own advancement. But, before many years 
elapsed, he made great measures, such as the Tariff, the slavery question and the land 
laws, his study; and then, in a section of the State where some of his opinions were not 
popular, boldly advocated them, regardless of consequences. Instead of the mere poli- 
tician, he had become a statesman. I do not mean that he was always right ; that is not 
essential to the character of a statesman. Webster and Calhoun were both statesmen, 
and yet they differed in their theories Mo ccelo. At this stage of his life, the char- 
acter of Major Hubbard assumed a dignity and elevation it had not before, which con- 
tinued to the end of his career. 

Colonel Garrett, author of the " Public Men of Alabama," says: " Alabama has 
had but few men in her councils who understood the framework of her government bet- 
ter, or guarded her interests more faithfully and with more ability than David Hubbard." 

Major Hubbard was twice married — first to Miss Campbell, a niece of Hon. G. W. 
Campbell, of Nashville, Tenn., once minister to Russia. She was of fine person and 
intellect, and co-operated faithfully with her husband in rearing a family of sons and 
daughters, who were unusually well educated. 

Major Hubbard's second wife was an elderly maiden lady, named Stoddard, who 
was sister of the Mr. Campbell referred to above. It was a most judicious marriage. 
The Major occupied a very healthy home in the mountains called " Kinloch" until he 
moved to Tennessee. His second wife died near Springfield. 

The children of Major Hubbard were : (1) Mary, who married Dr. John Tucker, of 
Virginia. (2) Duncan, who lived in Okalona, Miss., until the close of the war and then 
moved to Louisiana. He died of yellow fever in 1878. His first wife was Miss Cham- 
bers, of Virginia, and his second, Miss Edmondson, of Holly Springs, Miss. (3) 
David lived near Okalona, until the close of war, and then moved to Louisiana with his 
brother Duncan. He was twice married ; first to a Miss Wiley, of Holly Springs, Miss., a 
niece of Hon. Jacob Thompson, and secondly to Miss Holt, of New Orleans. (4) Cale- 
donia, who married Gaston Henderson, and lived at Okalona, Miss., until the close of 
the war and then moved to Mississippi City. (5) Emma, who married Jas. Young, son 
of Col. G. H. Young, of "Waverly," Miss. (6) George C, the youngest child, lived in 
Alabama, with his father — was married to Miss Margaret King, daughter of Mr. 
Oswald King. George was killed at the battle of Baker's Creek, in Mississippi. His 
widow lives with her father in this county, and has only one child — George C. — a youth 
of great promise about fifteen years of age, and the only descendant of the Hon. David 
Hubbard, now living in Lawrence county. 

The Physicians of Moulton 

whom I knew in early times were Drs. George A. Glover, Edward Gantt, Campbell,. J. 
S. Ringo, Elijah Koons and Tandy W. Walker. Of the history of some of these I have- 
learned so little that it will not be necessary to write separate notices of them. Dr. 
Campbell, who was well versed in medicine, moved to the West, I think. Dr. Ringo, 
who was a brother-in-law of E. A. Daniel, I think died in Moulton. Dr. Koons was a 
young physician of much promise, and a cousin of Judge Taylor, and carried the latter 
back to Kentucky (when he became insane), and never returned. 

Dr. Glover was very much esteemed as a man and physician. He had married a 
sister of Bishop Robert Paine, and lived in the house now occupied by Judge Gibson, 
which he (Glover) built. He had the misfortune to lose his wife, and moved back to 
Giles county, Tenn., where he died. I never knew any of his children except Darthula, 
who was well reared and educated by Bishop Paine, and married in Aberdeen, Miss. 

Dr. Edward Gantt was an old man when he came to Moulton. He was descended from 
a distinguished Catholic family, and was born and reared in the State of Maryland. He 
had grown up in polished society — had received one of the best collegiate educations— 
and as a physician had taken his diploma at the Medical College of Edinburgh ; then 
one of the most celebrated in the world. He was married twice. His second wife 



Recollections op North Alabama. 103-- 

was living when he moved from Missouri to Moulton. She was reared in Baltimore, 
and was a lady of fine person and culture, and a strict member of the Catholic Church- 
They had a large family of young children. He died in Moulton about the year 1848. 
After his death she returned to Missouri with her children. I have heard of none of 
them since, except two sons who became physicians ; William, some years ago in 
Galveston, Texas, and a professor in the medical college at that place; and John, who- 
had settled in Arkansas, and Robert, who also settled in Arkansas, and became dis- 
tinguished as a lawyer. 

Dr. Gantt was quite tall, and had blue eyes and a light complexion. He was an 
excellent physician, and his manner in a sick room was marked by delicacy and 
dignity. In his general intercourse he showed the perfect gentleman. His conver- 
sation was very interesting ; for he had traveled over Europe, and had been a close 
observer of whatever was worthy of note. I can even now remember distinctly 
some of the conversations with him in which he would describe the quaint old city of 
Edinburgh, one street of which was built on a hill-side so steep that you could step out 
of the first story upon a street on the south, and from the sixth story on the street upon 
the north side. The vineyards of France, with their heavy clusters of grapes, remind- 
ing one of Eshcol, and the cities of Europe, where can be seen such wonderful illustra- 
trations of architecture and art. It was mournful to think that a gentleman who, in 
youth, was favored by such opportunities of refined enjoyment, should have made the 
mistake, in his old age, of marrying a wife too young for him, and subjecting himself 
thereby to the annoyance of young children, and the burden and expense of rearing 
and educating larger ones, at the season of a man's life when quiet and competence, and 
the absence of solicitude, are requisite for his happiness. 

Dr. Uantt was well informed also in politics. He was the first " Federalist of 
the John Adams school " I had ever met. and having very strong prejudices against 
that way of thinking, it was with curious interest that I led him on to explain himself 
fully. I found that the foundation of the political creed of that party was a strong doubt 
of the capacity of the people for self-government. The triumph of Mr. Jefferson had ! 
been so complete, that at this time there were very few survivors left of that dignified* 
old party, strongly tinctured with aristocratic notions, but with hands unpolluted by' 
bribes. They demanded a strong Federal government. I expected that when these ven- 
erable relics of that party passed away it would never be revived. But, strange as it 
may appear, the demand for a strong government has been renewed by a large party in 
the country; and, stranger still, that this should have occurred just after a civil war" 
which tested the powers of our general government, and demonstrated that it was- capable - 
of bearing a greater strain than any which ever ruled in Europe. 

Dr. Tandy W. Walker commenced the practice of medicine at Oakville, a flourish- 
ing village, nine miles east of Moulton, now abandoned. The doctor was a gentleman' 
of genius, and well educated. He had a genial temper, and became a great favorite 
with the people. He was elected five times by our county to the House, and for three' 
years to the Senate, and was a very efficient member. Before the people he made good 1 
speeches, and understood, well, how to ingratiate himself with them. On one occasion' 
he was defending himself from some small charges, and concluded by saying; " And' 
now, gentlemen, although I am entirely innocent of what was alleged against me, J 
have often done wrong, and made great mistakes. I don't claim to be any better than 
other men, but just about as clever as the common run of you, no better and no worse- 
I am no angel in any respect, but would be greatly obliged to you for your votes." 
This announcement was received with great plaudits, and the doctor became more popu- 
lar than he had ever been before — because he admitted that he was no angel, and no bet- 
ter than the " common run" of the voters. This declaration, made forty years ago, and 
the manner in which it was received, I have often thought of since. It showed the truth 
of the proposition that a representative will generally resemble his constituency. And 1 
here a mournful reflection forces itself on my mind. The South has been jubilant for 
some years over a new and large element which has been added to its voting strength v 



104 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

and consequently its representation in Congress. In the end, however, it will prove to 
be a curse. When this new element shall cease to vote on the color line, it will become 
a weapon in the hands of unprincipled and ignorant demagogues for their own advance- 
ment over the heads of those learned, eloquent and chivalrous men, who, as a class, 
have shed so much lustre on the South. 

When Oakville was abandoned, Dr. Walker came to Moulton, practised medicine 
for years and died about 1851, very much respected and beloved. To show the impres- 
sion produced by the doctor at the seat of government for the State, I introduce the fol- 
lowing notice of him from "The Public Men of Alabama," by Col. Garrett: "Tandy W. 
Walker came to the House in 1838, and continued to serve in that body, and in the Sen- 
ate, until 1845. He was quite convivial, and loved the society of boon companions. No 
gentleman was regarded with more favor. His heart was formed for friendship, and 
the more its emotions were indulged, the stronger the tie became. He frequently shared 
in the debates with a vigor of mind and a degree of culture which did him credit. When 
passing his winters in Tuscaloosa, he was much in society, and being a widower in the 
zenith of life, he was quite attentive to the ladies, who seemed to be fond of his com- 
pany. Among the tender associations which connect the mind with the old Capitol, and 
with the pleasant scenes of other days, nothing is more natural, nothing more promi- 
nent, than the genial face, and merry laugh, of Dr. Tandy Walker. He was a genial 
favorite, even with the Whigs, when party spirit ran highest in 1840 and in 1844. The 
social enjoyments afforded by such a man, can never be forgotten by old friends. And 
yet, after all, it is much to be lamented that the days of Dr. Tandy (as we used to call 
him, and as he liked to be called) were shortened by the same deceptive, fatal agent 
which deprived Scotland of her idol poet, Burns, at the age of thirty-seven years. Let 
the warning be heard by the young in time to resist the temptation, which has brought 
so much ruin on the world." 

riechanics of Moulton. 

Wm. D. C. Jones was the eldest brother of the Hon. Geo. W. Jones, of Fayetteville, 
Tenn., from whom I have the following account of him : 

In the latter part of December, 1820, he left Giles county, Tennessee, and went to 
Moulton, Ala., and found employment with a Mr. Henderson, a cabinet maker, with 
whom he had served his apprenticeship in Elkton, Tenn. Joseph Burleson was living 
in Moulton at that time, and Wm. Jones made the acquaintance of Rachel Burleson. Her 
father moved out upon the Byler road. Wm. Jones soon followed, and there married 
Rachel. Their son, George W. Jones, the present Representative in Congress, from the 
Austin district, in Texas, was born September 5, 1828. His father moved to Tipton 
county, Tennessee, a few years after the birth of his son, and in the winter of 1848 to 
Bastrop county, Texas, where he and his son have resided ever since. George W. Jones 
is a lawyer. He is a Democrat, and supported S. A. Douglas for President in 1860. 
When the war came on, he volunteered in the Confederate service, and was a colonel in 
one of the Texas regiments. After the war was over, he returned to Bastrop ; was a 
member of the Constitutional Convention of 1866, and on the adoption of the Constitu- 
tion formed by that convention, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of the State. He 
and others were removed by General Sheridan, " as an impediment to reconstruction." 
He was elected to the Forty-sixth Congress, and is now a candidate for re-election. 

Nathaniel Alman, in old times, was a carpenter in Moulton. He was an industrious 
man, of a social disposition, and very much respected ; but like the mechanics, generally, 
of that day, whenever he finished one job of work, he gave himself an interval for 
recreation, before he commenced another. It was in one of those intervals that my 
acquaintance with him first commenced, and which ripened into a friendship which con- 
tinued during his life. At this time the county prisoners were confined under a tem- 
porary shelter, in the corner of the public square, and strongly guarded, during the 
removal of the county jail from the public square to the site where it now stands. 
Alman happened to be taking what chancery clerks call "a rest in his account; " and 
although a peaceable man, got into a quarel with a member of the guard. This resulted 



Recollections op North Alabama. 105 

in an affray, during which there was a great uproar, and a large crowd collected around 
the combatants. When the police put a stop to it, Alman, surrounded by his friends, 
■came to my office. I put them out, and had Alman tell me all about the fight. He did 
so circumstantially, and mentioned, in conclusion, that his adversary made a furious 
assault on him with a knife. Says I, " Did he cut you? " " No, but his knife grazed 
my shirt." I opened his shirt bosom, and found (what in his excitement he had 
not been conscious of before) a scratch across his breast, at least six inches long, with a 
drop of blood here and there exuding from it. I advised him to say nothing about it ; 
and in a short time the trial commenced, before two justices of the peace. This was the 
first time I had ever appeared in a law case. Mr. Argyle Campbell conducted the prosecu- 
tion, and he proceeded to show that this was not an ordinary case, but a very serious 
assault upon the majesty of the State, in the person of the guard. I began to fear that 
instead of a simple affray, my client would be convicted of treason. A feeling of embar- 
rassment crept over me when I commenced my speech, and partial blindness, so that 
the members of the court seemed to be in a mist a great way off. I judge I said but 
little, for I spoke very fast ; but just as I felt sensible of being out of breath and out of 
ideas, it occurred to me to play my trump card ; and I laid open the bosom of my client 
before the court. This " brought down the hoiise," and Alman was escorted from the 
court house by his friends in triumph. I have had a purpose in mentioning my embar- 
rassment in this, my first effort. Young men, when listening to practised speakers, 
imagine that they never have passed through this climacteric of the profession. But all 
must experience it, and in every calling. It is said that a carpenter must cut his foot 
badly with the adze before he ever becomes skilful in his trade, and I have never known 
& hunter kill a deer until he had passed through what is called the " buck-ague ! " 

After this Nat. Alman married, made a modest competence by his trade, and settled 
in the country, not far from town, where he reared his children. When he began to be 
an old man he had the misfortune to lose his good wife. After awhile he became more 
attentive to his dress, and also looked around at the good dames for another wife. His 
objection to those around him was that he knew them too well. So he went out to fish 
in strange waters, and "caught a tartar." There was, at that time, in the neighboring 
town of Courtland a widow Harley, who was quite buxom, was always well dressed 
and had buried two husbands. She, too, seemed to be looking out for a partner. 
Her husbands had been tailors, and she was just as skilful as either of them. She 
could set the buckram in the rolling collars of the coats, they wore in early times, 
as well as either. Whenever there was a press of business in the shop she came 
to the rescue, and was like a tailor in every respect, except that she did not 
seat herself like a Turk on the tailor's board. Instead of that she seated herself 
in a chair and " drove things ahead," as General Forrest did. Her life had been a 
stormy one, for she not only strove to do her whole duty herself, but tried to compel her 
husbands to do theirs ; the consequence was constant intestine war. When our civil 
war took place there were some public men who advocated the plan of carrying on the 
war within the Union. Governor Wise, of Virginia, belonged to this class ; and in his 
explanation he made the thing " as clear as mud." But this is what Mrs. Harley under- 
stood perfectly. In every union she formed, so imperious was her temper, war was 
carried on incessantly. But when she would lose a husband there ensued a time of pro- 
found peace. Mrs. Harley was not fond " of the smooth surface of a summer sea, but 
loved to hear, amid the rending tackle's roar, the spirit of the equinoctial gale." 

At length Alman appeared as a wooer. Things were eligible on both sides. 
Alman had gained a competence, and so had the widow. She not only owned town lots, 
but a family of slaves and the head of this family was a large negro woman as black as 
tar. Capt. Sam Shackelford called her "Snow-ball," and a friend of hers often seen 
on the street with her who was very large and black, was called "The Big Black," 
after a certain river, in a sister State. What the baptismal name of " Snow-ball " was is 
not known, since it was so completely superseded by the new one, that it was supposed to 
be forgotten, even by her mistress. Well, Nat Alman and Mrs. Harley formed a union, 



106 Early Settlees of Alabama. 

and the war commenced. He stood up manfully at first, but she was in her native element 
and he was not, and the final consequence was : separation and divorce — on what grounds 1 
never ascertained. Some years afterward, when Mrs. Harley was about sixty years of 
age, but always so neatly dressed she appeared to be much younger, she hung out 
her banner again "upon the outer wall." She had become tired of looking upon 
wrinkled faces, and cast her eyes with favor on a young man, named Doyle, about 
twenty-seven years of age, who worked in Henry Thome's gin shop — and they were 
married. Some time later she removed her young husband and her property to 
Corinth, and here occurred to her the catastrophe of her life. Hitherto she had gotten 
along with " Snow-ball " much better than one would suppose. They had their colli' 
sions, but whenever Snow-ball saw that a fierce storm was brewing, she would " reef all 
sails " and " lie to," until it passed over. She had borne much, but at length the vials 
of wrath which had been bottled up so long, were poured out on the head of her mistress, 
and she rose up in open rebellion. Her mistress threatened to sell her and all her 
family. Doyle was much in favor of this course, and sustained it by many plausible 
reasons. She instructed him to set about it, which he did with great alacrity. He con- 
sulted her in all the preliminary steps, but when he closed the sale and received the 
money, he put it in his own pocket, disappeared, and has never been heard of since. At 
what time the devil entered into Doyle will never be known. 

To return to my old friend Alman; in the Courtland campaign he had passed 
." through great tribulation," and he became a wiser and a better man. His last days 
were passed tranquilly with his children, who are highly respectable. One of his 
grandsons is a promising young lawyer. 

John Simmons was an excellent saddler, and a man of slight but fine person. He 
uniformly dressed well, and had very genteel manners. He and the Dewoodys, into 
which family he married more than sixty years since, descended the Tennessee river in 
a flatboat. The Dewoodys landed at a place called Cotton-Gin Port, in Limestone 
county, and he, with his family, consisting then of only his wife and one child (our 
worthy postmaster) floated on to Lawrence county, and went out to their new home at 
Moulton. The Dewoodys were a very respectable family, and descended from William 
Dewoody, who emigrated from Ireland when eighteen years of age. His wife was Han- 
nah Alexander, a Pennsylvanian by birth. They had a large family of children. One 
of them, John, was a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher (and of the descendants of 
that family there is one, or perhaps more, Methodist preachers). One daughter, Eliza, 
married James Hubbard, brother of Hon. David Hubbard. And another daughter, 
Agnes G., married John Simmons. He was born at Petersville, Va., January 1, 1789, 
and married at Greenville, East Tennessee. He died at Moulton in 1838, and his wife 
at the same place, in 1841. They had five children, of whom two died young, and three 
are now living. The eldest, Alfred D. Simmons, has been acting postmaster in Court- 
land for thirty years, and is so much respected that he has been, at all times, the choice 
of both parties for that office. 

He married Martha Jane "Woolard. She was an orphan, bereft in childhood 
of her father and her mother, who both died in one day in a subterranean spring 
from the damps. She was reared by her uncle, Mr. Odel, of Athens", and during 
a long life, most faithfully performed her duty as a wife, mother, neighbor and a 
Christian . In her late affliction this notable woman has had the sympathy of the whole 
community. I am not in the habit of speaking in commendation of the living, but she 
has nearly " run her course." For a generation past she has been the impersonation of 
active benevolence. She has aided the poor, comforted the broken-hearted by infusing 
the spirit of her wonderful fortitude, and the minister who found himself amongst 
strangers, ready to faint from discouragement, has always been welcomed to the " Pro- 
phet's chamber" in her house, and had his heart strengthened by communion with this 
excellent Methodist lady. They have a number of children: (1) John A. S., was in the 
late war in Captain Warren's company of the Ninth Alabama regiment, was wounded 
in the battle of Fredericksburg, recovered and remained with the army to the end. He 



Recollections of North Alabama. 107 

married Laura McLemore at Petersburg, Va., in 1865;. and died at his father's house in 
Courtland in 1878. His widow is living with her mother in Petersburg. (2) Thomas 
W., was in the same company — wounded at the battle of Williamsburg, and taken 
prisoner, exchanged in a short time, and remained with the army until the close of the- 
war. He married Jennie M. Watkins, daughter of James C. Watkins. He died in 
1870. (3) Nancy Lou died in 1868. She was postmistress at the time of her death, 
(4) Edwin J. was in the same company with John and Thomas, and is still living in 
Courtland. He married Emma Merrill in 1867, (5) Mary V. married Charles J. Gray, 
lived in Memphis until her husband's death, and died in Courtland in 1874. (6) Alice 
C. married Henry Jacques in 1876. (7) Alfred D. married his cousin, Nannie Rainey, 
resides in Courtland, and has been favorably known as a merchant for many years. (8) 
Josephine and Mattie are young girls. (9) Willie is a youth and living at home. 

William T. , second child of John Simmons and Agnes his wife, is and has been for 
many years, an enterprising citizen of Courtland and has served as sheriff of the 
county, during a term. He married Nancy, daughter of Hiram Campbell. They have 
two children: Walter W., who married Ida, daughter of Henry Thorn, and Frederick 
A., who is now at school. 

Lucy E., third child of John Simmons and Agnes his wife, married James L. 
Rainey, of Athens, Alabama. One of their daughters — Nannie — married Alfred D. 
Simmons, Jr., and now lives in Courtland. John H., was in the army of Gen. Joe 
Johnston. 

Rev. Robert M. Cunningham, D. D. 

When I commenced the collection of facts respecting the life of this distinguished 
minister I made very slow progress. This was not strange, for he was called by the 
Presbyterian Church, in Moulton, nearly sixty years ago, was eighty years old when he 
died, and had been dead more than forty years, so that the space of time to be investi- 
gated extended as far back as 120 years. I had known Dr. Cunningham, personally, 
for about a year; admired him as a man and a preacher, and felt satisfied that he had a 
history of much interest, provided it could be brought to light. I first applied for in- 
formation to the Alabama State Historical Society, at Tuscaloosa, and obtained valuable 
items as to the latter part of his life, which closed near this place. Prom Maj. H. B. 
McLellan, president of Sayre Female Institute, I received important information as to 
his long pastorate at Lexington, Ky. Rev. F. B. Converse, of Louisville, editor of the 
Christian Observer, was written to. He promptly supplied what he could, remarking 
' ' that it was too long ago for us to furnish any information respecting him from per- 
sonal knowledge," and suggested that, possibly, the Presbyterian Historical Society, at 
Philadelphia, might contribute some items. I felt discouraged, but nearly fifty years of 
his valuable life remained unaccounted for, and I addressed an inquiry to that society, 
who referred it to Rev. Henry E. Dwight, D.D., of Philadelphia. The doctor promptly 
sent an account of Dr. Cunningham from his birth, covering fully and circumstantially 
the blank in his history, and shedding much light on the subsequent part of his career. 
The authorities cited by Dr. Dwight were Revs. J. D. Shane, Nathan S. Beman and S. 
McCulloch. This forms the staple of the following sketch of the life of Dr. Cunning- 
ham. I have interwoven, in their order, such facts as I have ascertained, so as to pre- 
sent at one view the principal events of a long and useful life. I have made this pre- 
liminary explanation for the purpose of showing how it happened that I am able to pre- 
sent so circumstantial an account of events of so ancient a date, the reliable sources- 
from which they were derived, and the importance of historical societies. 

Robt. M. Cunningham, a son of Roger and Mary Cunningham, was born in York 
county, Pa., September 10,1760. In his fifteenth year, his father removed his family- 
to North Carolina, where he bought a plantation, and reared his children. While quite- 
a youth he served as a soldier in the revolutionary war. At the close of the war, he 
entered a Latin school, taught by the Rev. Robert Finley, in the neighborhood of Rocky 
River, N. C. He remained here a year, and then went to Bethel settlement, York; 
county, N. C, to be a pupil of Mr. Robert McCulloch, for two years. Then he removed] 



108 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

to an academy on Bullock's creek, taught by Rev. Jos. Alexander. In 1787 (being 26 
years of age) he entered the junior class in Dickinson College, Carlisle ; and graduated 
in 1789. 

On leaving college, he returned to his parents. While studying theology he taught 
school for a support. He soon joined the First Presbytery of South Carolina, by which 
he was licensed to preach, in 1792. Here he married his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter 
of Charles and Mary Moore, of Spartanburg District. She died on November 3, 1794; 
issue, a daughter who died early. 

In the autumn of 1792 he went to Georgia and organized a church in a part of 
■Green county, now called Hancock; and ordained elders to a church called Ebenezer. 
He settled in the neighborhood, opened a school, and preached alternately 
at Ebenezer and Bethany and subsequently removed to Bethany, where he 
remained until he left the State. On October 15, 1795, he married Betsy 
Ann, daughter of Joseph Parks, of Prince Edward county, Va. By this mar- 
riage he had five sons. In 1796, he, with four other ministers, were sent off from the 
Presbytery of South Carolina, to form one in Georgia, called Hopewell, which was 
constituted the March following. On October 14, 1805, he married, as a third wife, 
Emily, daughter of Col. Byrd, of Augusta, Ga., who survived him. Hers was a family 
of distinction. Her sister, Caroline, married Benj. C. Yancy, a lawyer of great promise 
in South Caroliua, who died in the morning of life. Wm. L. Yancy, the great 
Southern orator was her son, by this marriage. She married a second time, Rev. 
Nathan S. Beman, a Presbyterian minister, who occupied the pulpit in Augusta for 
many years ; and had great reputation for learning and eloquence. A strong proof of 
this was given in the fact that his Northern anti-slavery opinions were tolerated. 
Another sister of this family married Jesse Beene, of Cahaba, Ala., a distinguished 
lawyer and politician. At the time of this marriage, we judge that Mr. Cunningham had 
won distinction in a ministerial and social respect. 

In 1807, Mr. Cunningham removed to Lexington, Ky., and was installed pastor of 
the First Presbyterian Church, succeeding Rev. Dr. Blythe, who was the first preacher 
of that church. Lexington was the oldest town in the State of Kentucky, and in the 
centre of a beautiful and fertile country. Its society was even then celebrated for its 
wealth and intellectual culture. Of all the pulpits west of the mountains, none required 
a minister of learning and eloquence more than the one occupied by Mr. Cunningham. 
Here were the homes of the Clays, Breckinridges, and other families which have since 
been famous in the history of the country. One would be apt to conclude, that at this 
early period, the grade of the Presbyterian preachers was much below what it is at the 
present day, but it is not so. From the progress of the Arts and Sciences the modern 
preachers may have a broader culture, but I much doubt if any one of them is the equal, 
in eloquence, of Dr. Samuel Davies, who died a hundred years ago. His fervid, rich, 
imaginative style, flowing as ample as the current of a great river, was the model for 
ministers who succeeded him in the early part of this century. Mr. Cunningham's pas- 
torate there was a long one. The records of the board of trustees show that he was 
called in 1807 and continued until 1821, inclusive. He became a member of the Synod 
of Kentucky as early as 1803, and was one of the founders of the Kentucky Bible Society 
in 1817. The early sessional records of this church can not be found ; and therefore we 
are unable to present as full an account of him as is desirable at this period of his life, 
when he was in full mental and bodily vigor. 

He remained in Lexington until 1822,. when he resigned and removed to 
Moulton, a small town in North Alabama. He was now an old man and had been 
laboring as a minister for thirty years. He became a farmer, preaching constantly in 
Moulton and surrounding villages. In the fall of 1826 he removed to the South and 
bought a farm eleven miles from Tuscaloosa, on the Greensboro road. In Tuscaloosa, 
and at the neighboring town of Carthage, near his plantation, he built up churches. 
Here he alternated, occasionally preaching at Greensboro, of which church his son 
Joseph was pastor. For eight years he preached a free gospel at Tuscaloosa, and then 



Recollections op North Alabama. 109 

resigned in favor of Rev. Win, Williams. For several years afterward he supplied 
the pulpit at Carthage, and preached his last sermon in the summer of 1838. From 
this time his mental and bodily powers began to decline. 

He was honored with the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Franklin College, 
Georgia, in 1827, when Dr. Waddell was President, and Dr. Church, and James and 
Henry Jackson, were members of the Faculty. In 1836 he removed to Tuscaloosa for 
the sake of schools for his youngest daughter, and several orphan grandchildren, and 
partly to provide a comfortable home for his family, in view of his approaching departure ;; 
but he still passed the greater part of his time at his retreat near his plantatiou. Here 
his favorite authors were Milton, President Edwards and Dr. Thomas Dick. In June, 
1839, he attended the meeting of the Presbytery at Tuscaloosa, and was enabled to 
address that body — his last effort in public. After an illness of a week, he died. His 
monument stands in the city cemetery of Tuscaloosa, with an inscription on each of its 
four sides in the Latin language, showing, among other things, that he had been ai 
soldier of the Revolution ; that he had been Pastor of Presbyterian churches in Georgia,, 
and in Lexington, Ky., for many years, and that he died on the 11th day of July, A. D, 
1839, 80 years of age. 

Rev. Joseph Cunningham (above referred to) was one of five sons by his father's 
second marriage, and a minister of ability. By his last marriage, he had a son, Robert, 
a physician, who died in Sumter county, Alabama, and three daughters, viz. : Mrs. 
Maltby. Mrs. Wilson and Miss Louisa, who it is believed was never married. 

Dr. Dwight says : " The exterior of Dr. Cunningham was impressive. His stature 
at fifty-three years of age was more than six feet, and his form was full and well devel- 
oped. His face was good, his eye mild but expressive, and his utterances in private 
conversation, in the pulpit and in social meetings were eloquent. In his preaching he 
was less doctrinal than experimental, aiming ever to bring sinners to Christ, and Christ- 
ians to higher attainments in holiness. He was on the best terms with all evangelical 
Christians, and rejoiced in the progress of Christ's kingdom under any form, and the 
glory of God in all events. He greatly rejoiced in revivals of religion, which, in his 
time, were wonderful in Kentucky, and extended farther South, till they reached 
Georgia. Here was the hiding of his power, which tinged and colored all his subse- 
quent ministry. His great tenderness in preaching opened many hearts, whilst God's 
spirit sealed their souls. 

The Presbyterian Church in Moulton had no settled minister for many years after 
Dr. Cunningham moved away. Early records of the Presbytery have been mislaid, and 

Itherefore can not speak with certainty on this point. I remember that the Rev. 

Morrison filled this pulpit for several years. He was a young man of great dignity, and 

propriety of deportment, and an earnest, sensible preacher. After him came Rev. 

McMillan, who taught a classical school at, the Chalybeate Springs, seven miles northeast 
of Moulton, and supplied the pulpit in Moulton. He was a good theologian, and a pious, 
good preacher. I shall have more to say of these ministers in connection with other 
churches. For several years, also, previous to 1830, a young minister of Tuscumbia, 
named Ashbridge, occasionally preached in Moulton. He was a man of fine intellect, of 
high culture, and of a rich imagination. He died early, and his death was very much 
lamented by people of all denominations. Had he lived to middle life he would have 
been an orator of the first class. 

Capt. William Leetch 

was born in the northern part of Ireland, of Scottish parentage, in 1766, removed to 
Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, and married Naomi Knox, daughter of Capt. James 
Knox, in 1795. He came to Lawrence county in 1818 ; first lived on his plantation, near 
Moulton, and then removed his family into Moulton, where he died in 1837. The captain 
was a tall man, of strangely marked features, and of very decided cast of character. He 
was one of our best citizens, very much respected in the community for his integrity, and 
was devoted to his family and his church, which was Presbyterian. Indeed, he was 



110 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

its main pillar. He believed in its doctrines, and, what is more, his conduct was uni- 
formly consistent with them. He considered " The Westminster Confession of Faith " 
as the Bible in epitome, and he received the articles pure and unadulterated, according 
to the Scotch interpretation. He performed his secular work as a duty to his family, but 
his functions as an Elder in the church seemed to be a luxury to him. He appeared to 
strangers to be rather stern ; but those of us who had familiar intercourse with him, 
knew him to be a man of genuine feeling and principle. 

Mrs. Naomi K. Leetch was one of the worthy women of the olden times. In her 
youth she had been beautiful, and when old she was well favored and graceful in her 
manners. She came of. one of the best revolutionary families. She was the aunt of 
President James (Knox) Polk, and the first time I ever saw him he was on a visit to her 
in Moulton. He was then a young man, and had served only one session in Congress. 
He spent a week in Moulton, and was so affable and well informed he became quite 
a favorite with our people. My acquaintance with him commenced then, and ripened 
into a friendship which continued during his life. The next time he visited Lawrence was 
following his election as Governor of Tennessee, after a fierce contest, during which he 
had added greatly to his reputation as a popular speaker. At a public dinner given to 
him in Courtland, he made a speech so able, so dignified and patriotic, that it made a 
deep impression on the public mind. It did not astonish those who knew him, that he 
was elevated to the Presidency. The gentleman who made the speech of welcome, at 
the public dinner, predicted that this would be the case ; and it was, even at this early 
stage of his life, a very general impression. Mrs. Leetch died in Moulton in 1854. 
Her daughter Maria married David Hunter, whom we have already noticed, and died 
in Mississippi. James K., a son, died in Moulton. He was a young man of fine person 
and promise. Naomi S., her youngest, married the Hon. Thomas M. Peters, and here 
I will give an account of 

The Peters Family. 
Mr. Lemuel Peters (the father of the Judge) was born in Kean, New Hampshire, in 
1772. His nationality was Welsh and his father's family were Quakers. They were, 
I understood, a people of great stoutness and resolution. I knew Mr. Peters very well. He 
used to say that his father could lift a weight of a thousand pounds. Lemuel Peters married 
Sarah Minott, who was born in Dnmmerston, Vermont, in 1770. In religion she was a 
Puritan and Presbyterian, and French and Irish in blood and nationality. The fami- 
lies of Mr. Peters and wife were amongst the earliest settlers of New England. She yras 
unusually well educated, and intelligent, and very fond of reading. She greatly admired 
the Spectator and Scott's Novels, which appeared, one after another, about the time our 
county was settled. In their house were books and papers for their children to 
read, and this accounts for the fact that every son in the family was well educated, and 
belonged to a profession. Their home was one of hospitality where ministers, of all 
denominations, especially the Presbyterian, were welcomed. Mr. Peters was an ardent 
Clay Whig. He came South, after his marriage in 1808, and settled at Clarksville, Ten- 
nessee, and from that place he removed to Lawrence county in 1820 or 1821, and settled 
near Leighton where he reared a large family of children. Mrs. Peters died here in 
1834, and is buried in the "Leigh Graveyard." He removed to Bowie county, Texas ; but 
sold out his possessions there in 1836, and on his way to visit New England, died, 
1837, at the house of Dr. Gideon Williams, on Town creek, and was buried by the 
side of his deceased wife. 

Of their children Charles became a lawyer, resided in the adjoining county of Mor- 
gan, and was for many years the judge of the County Court there. Another son, 
John, became a physician, lived for some years in Courtland, and removed to Texas. 
Samuel, another son, became a lawyer, settled first in La Grange, then in Tuscumbia. 
Hon. Thomas M. Peters, who lives now in Moulton, is a son of this family. He 
had good opportunities of acquiring an education, and availed himself of them. He 
graduated at the University of Alabama, in 1834, in the same class with Hon. C. C. Clay 
and Walter H. Crenshaw, and also Wm, S. Parham and John Mel. Smith, of our 



Recollections op North Alabama. Ill 

county. He studied law and settled in the town of Moulton, where, as we have already 
stated, he owned and edited a newspaper, which he sold out after a few years. About 
this time he married Naomi Sophia Leetch, a young lady of much beauty, very modest 
and amiable, and a great favorite with all her acquaintances. This elegant woman died 
only a few months ago. Mr. Peters devoted himself to his profession, and not only 
became a good lawyer, but a man of general literary and scientific culture. He was a 
decided Clay Whig, and entered into politics in 1845, when, in spite of opposition, he 
was elected to the House of Representatives, of the General Assembly, with Hon. 
David Hubbard and Dr. Tandy Walker, both strong Democrats, Here when he took 
his seat, he proved himself to be a self-possessed, sensible and ready debater. In 1847 
he was elected to the Senate, and in this body he maintained the character he had formed 
for intelligence and ability. After serving through his term in the Senate, he retired 
to private life, and continued the practice of his profession. 

At length the great crisis of 1861 approached, and Mr. Peters (like every other man 
of information and influence) was called upon to give his counsel in regard to the 
momentous question then presented to the people of the South for their decision. This 
he did, in the most emphatic manner, in favor of the preservation of the Union. 
Whilst the Convention was in session, he published in the Moulton Democrat a strong 
article in which he denied the right of secession ; contended that the Convention having 
been called by virtue of ' ' Joint Resolutions' ' passed by the General Assembly nine 
months before the Presidential election of 1860, was not based upon the sovereignty of 
the people, and that its ordinances would be of no validity unless they were submitted 
to a vote of the people ; and he prophesied that they would not be in the following 
terms : 

'■ It is to be feared that the ' Joint Resolutions' Convention will be pretty much a 
secession affair, chiefly owned and worked by Col. Bill Yancey on the plan and plat- 
form of his ' Slaughter ' letter. He can put the concern nicely into his breeches- 
pocket — Tom Watts and all — with ' The Union, the Constitution and the enforcement of 
the Laws.' What he decrees, it will graciously consent to decree also ; but these decrees 
will never be submitted to the ratification of the people if he can help it. The seces- 
sionists repudiate the people. They acknowledge no sovereignty but themselves. Their 
watchwords are : ' Resistance ! resistance ! Let us overthrow this rotten government ! 
Let us act at once, and not wait to hear from the crossroads and groceries.' So they 
designate the people. They have no love for majorities unless they can control them. 
This, most generally, they are unable to do without the most demoralizing confusion, 
and when this takes place their great remedy is secession. Can it be possible that such 
utter folly can get forgiveness in this life or in the life to come? Certainly not, unless 
folly covers a multitude of sins." 

When the Ordinance of Secession was finally passed Mr. Peters, with those among 
us who agreed with him in sentiment, acquiesced, as a want of harmony in action among 
us would have produced the most deplorable consequences. He remained in private life 
until the close of the war, when in the marshaling of parties, under the reconstruction 
policy of Congress he allied himself with the Republican party, and was elected a dele- 
gate to form a new State Constitution. He was the nominee of the same party for a 
seat on the Bench of the Supreme Court, was elected, and served a term as one of its 
judges. His becoming a member of that party, at the time when the strata of society 
was turned topsy-turvy — when the solid men of the South were disfranchised, and when 
the State was virtually under bayonet rule, was very distasteful to his friends ; and his 
motives were frequently attacked. But from my experience for a half century I have 
become very slow in ascribing to men who have shown integrity in their private lives 
improper motives in their public conduct. A. political question is often a polygon — a 
figure of many sides and angles. Every man must decide it according to his own tastes 
and conscience — and the proper test of his freedom from all improper motives is not so 
much the acceptance of the office as the uprightness and impartiality with which he 
discharges its functions. 



112 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Since Judge Peters left the, bench he has devoted himself to the practice of his pre 
fession, and training of his children, who are said, by those who are judges, to have 
been well educated. He has been uniformly a patron of education, and has served for 
many years as president of the Board of Trustees of the Female Academy at Moulton. 
On account of some botanic discoveries he has been elected a member of the American 
Scientific Association. 

Southeastern Part of the County. 

I have been detained in Moulton much longer than I expected when I set out on this 
journey, which promises to be a long one. We will, however, jog along at easy stages. 

In the Southeastern part of the county there settled a great many worthy citizens. 
Some of them were very wealthy, but the greater part in moderate circumstances. I 
knew nearly all these old men, heads of families, very well — some of them intimately. 
Very few of them are now alive, and many of their families have disappeared by death 
or emigration. I shall be able to notice, especially, some of those who were prominent 
in the history of the county fifty years ago, and many others will be incidentally men- 
tioned in connection with the gallant deeds of their sons and grandsons during the late 
war, when I shall write the military articles which I have promised. 

The Smith Family. 

The head of this family, Andrew Smith, came from North Carolina, about 1818 f 
and settled four miles north of Moulton, on the road to Courtland. His family then 
consisted of himself, his wife, and his eldest child, George W. His place was not rich, 
for it was situated on the margin of " The Little Mountain," but he managed by select- 
ing productive spots, here and there, to get arable land enough for the support of his 
family. He built on the Eastern branch of Big Nance creek a little mill, to help in the 
struggle of raising his family, and to give them such an education as the neighborhood 
then afforded. Andy Smith was a man of good person, and was quite intelligent ; and 
the impression he made upon my mind was that he had seen better days. He read the 
papers, was an ardent Clay Whig, and very strenuous in maintaining his opinions ; and 
impatient of contradiction. His wife having died, he married the sister of Argyle and 
Archibald Campbell. We have in another place mentioned his second son, Parrar, 
who emigrated to Texas, in company with John Gregg and Major Thomason, and died 
there. His oldest son, 

George W. Smith, 

obtained distinction in spite of the limited means of his family, during his boyhood. As 
he grew up, he alternately assisted in the labors of the little farm and mill, and attended 
neighborhood schools until Mr. McMillan (a Presbyterian minister) opened a classical 
school at the Chalybeate Springs. He became one of his scholars, and being nearly 
grown and quite ambitious, he profited greatly from his tuition. When a young man 
he emigrated to Texas. A sketch of his career there is thus given by Thrall, in his 
history of that State: "George W. Smith was a native of North Carolina, came to 
Texas during Colonial times, and was commissioner in Jasper county in that State, was 
one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, in the Convention of 1836. In 
1837 president of the Board of Land Commissioners; in 1845, he was a member of the 
Annexation Convention ; and in 1853-54-55 he was a member of the United States House 
of Representatives ; in 1866 he was a member of the Reconstruction Convention, and 
died in Austin during the session of that convention." May Thomason was his school' 
mate and has frequently heard him speak, while he was in Congress. He says he was 
very much esteemed; not so much for his proficiency as a public speaker, as for the in- 
tegrity of his character, and his financial abilities. His descendants live about. Jeffer- 
son in Texas. He has a son in Beaumont. I have, in reflecting on the slender oppor- 
tunities which Mr. Smith had in his early days, traced a strong resemblance between 
his fortunes and those of Hon. M. F. Maury, once Superintendent of the National 
Observatory. When a boy he was my schoolmate ; at least he attended Dr. Blackburn's 
academy, at such seasons as he could be spared from the labors of the farm and the mill. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 113 

His father, Dick Maury, had a little old mill on a small branch of Harpeth creek in 
Tennessee, and so had Andy Smyth, the father of George W., on a branch of Big Nance. 
Both of these little old mills were built of unhewn logs. They looked as much alike as 
two black-eyed peas, and they performed alike ; for they ground very well as long as it 
rained, but as soon as the weather became fair, " the grinding became low." This little 
old mill stood for a generation, as a monument to show the boys of old Lawrence how 
little of Fortune's gifts it takes to rear one to eminence, provided he is made of the 
proper metal, and has sufficient energy; but unluckily the present owner has pulled 
down the little mill, and built in its stead a new framed one. All its romance has been 
destroyed. Esquire Masterson, how could yon have the heart to commit such a Vandal 
deed! 

I am indebted for the materials of the sketch of George W. Smyth to Dr. Thomas 
A. Watkins, J. G. Stevenson, Esq., and Major G. D. Thomason, who was his schoolmate 
in Alabama, and a resident of his congressional district in Texas. 

After the death of Andrew Smyth and his wife, the children by the second wife 
were cared for by Constantine, a son of the first. He was a merchant of Mooresville for 
many years, but has removed to Texas. 

The Priest Family 

came to Lawrence in early times from Madison county. They were not rich, but all 
I ever knew had clear heads, and were persevering in carrying out their plans. Micajah 
Priest, considering the poor chance he had in early life, has made a good record as a 
professional man. His parents died when he was in his infancy,. He was then taken 
care of by his grandparents, who also died when he was a small boy, leaving him 
" to paddle his own canoe " unaided. He had several uncles, but they were poor. From 
this small beginning he so embraced every interval of leisure (when he was not work- 
ing for bread, to improve his mind), that without the help of influential family, or 
friends, he was elected three times, by the people of the county, a member of the House 
of Representatives, viz. : for the years 1836-37-38. He then studied law, and removed to 
Rusk, in Texas, where he practised his profession and became a member of the Con- 
stitutional Convention of 1869 ; was elected to the Senate in 1870, and made chair- 
man of the Judiciary Committee, which is everywhere esteemed a high compliment to a 
lawyer for his legal attainments. Mr Priest was then elected judge of his district, and 
removed from office by "address." This removal, I am assured by a judicious friend 
in Texas, was not on account of any personal charges against Judge Priest, but simply on 
political grounds. When the people of Texas were enfranchised, they elected Mr. Coke 
•Governor by a majority of 100,000 votes. The Republican Governor and Legislature 
refused to give place to those elected by the people. Governor Coke appointed Gen. 
Henry McCulloch commander (who was from Lawrence county) and had them removed 
from the State capitol by force. Moreover, he had every Republican officer in the State, 
good and bad, removed. Mr. Priest belonged to that party, and went overboard with 
the rest. He is now an old man practising law in Rusk, and is respected as a man and 
&. lawyer ; for, not long since, when the judge of that district was unable to attend a ses- 
sion of the court from serious illness, Judge Priest was appointed to preside in his stead, 
fit the solicitation of members of the bar of both parties. 

Rev. Elliott Jones 

was a local preacher of the Methodist Church, and occupied a small farm in the neigh- 
borhood of Moulton, from a very early day. He was an old-fashioned Methodist 
preacher, and firmly believed in the doctrines and usages of the church ; wore a round- 
breasted coat, believed in the witness of the Spirit, delighted in camp-meetings and 
revivals, and when any of his neighbors were sick, he was sure to be there, giving all 
-the aid he could to their bodies and comfort to their souls. There was no sham in the 
man, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, and the consequence was, every- 
body respected him, whether they agreed in opinion or not. He was a fair preacher, 
and " held fast the form of sound doctrine" he had received from John Wesley. 



114 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Somehow he married more young people thau any preacher in that section of the 
country. Why was it so I never could tell ; but I will mention some points in which he 
differed from other ministers in tying the marriage knot. He always, before he com- 
menced the ceremony proper, took occasion to remind the " man and the woman" of the 
obligations they were about to assume in a set speech. He reminded them that the 
woman, in the beginning, was not taken from the man's head to rule over him, or from 
his foot to be trodden upon, but from his side to be fondly cherished. His address 
would consume nearly a quarter of an hour. I do not think he would be popular with 
the girls of the present day, for I have often heard them beg the minister to abbreviate 
the ceremony. But it was not so in early times. The girls then wanted the marriage 
knot well tied, if tied at all. They were slow to make engagements, and when made, 
they considered it a solemn duty to perform them ; whilst, in this age, they break one 
and make another, with as much indifference as changing a pair of gloves. 

Parson Jones and his wife reared their children remarkably well. Their son 
William was one of five children, and gave his name to Jonesboro. Since that name 
was taken from it, it has had none; for " Town Creek" is a very poor name for a town, 
unless you annex " City" to it. William Jones was a man of great integrity and much 
esteemed. He moved to Warrenton, on the Tennessee river. Col. John Jones, who 
has for many years been a most popular railroad agent at Decatur, is a son of the 
old gentleman. I think, too, Judge Elliott, P. Jones of Payette county, Ala., was an- 
other son. Colonel Garrett, in his history, Says that Judge Jones " was born in Law- 
rence county in 1819, and was elected Judge of Payette county in 1847. His first ser- 
vice in the Senate was in 1850, to fill a vacancy. He was re-elected in 1853, 1855 and 
1857. In 1861 he was a member of the Convention which passed the Ordinance of 
Secession ; and in 1865 he was a member of the Constitutional Convention to reorganize 
the State. He was re-elected in 1865 to the Senate, from the district composed of 
Payette and Marion counties, and served through the sessions of 1865 and 1866. Judge 
Jones was honored by the Legislature of 1866 by having his name given to a new 
county; but on the coming in of other political influences, the name of the county was 
changed to Sanford. He was a Democrat, and a useful, industrious member of the 
Senate, bringing to the discharge of his duties a large experience in public affairs, and 
an honest purpose. In the last two sessions I served with him (Colonel Garrett was 
then President of the Senate), he was often called to the Chair, and displayed intelli- 
gence and promptness in the administration of parliamentary law, giving entire satis- 
faction to the Senate. He resides in Payette among a people who have long honored- 
him with their confidence, and whose interests he has faithfully served." 

The Cowans. 

Samuel Cowan, the head of this family, lived four miles northeast of Moulton. He 
was a man of fine person, of uncommonly cheerfnl and amiable disposition, and much 
esteemed by his neighbors. He was born and reared in Virginia, married Mary Dixon, 
November 25, 1880, near Lexington, Ky., and moved to Alabama in early times. He 
was a Cumberland Presbyterian. His oldest son. Houston, married the daughter of 
Wade Cooper, in Courtland. It was a run-a-way match. He accumulated a good deal 
of property, and died in 1879, near Landersville. B. Cowan, another son, went some- 
where to the West. A daughter, Ann, married William McCord, and another, Esther 
Caroline, Michael Wert. 

The Werts. 

Michael was the son of an old revolutionary soldier, who was born, reared and died 
in Pennsylvania. His mother was a native of Virginia, and an intelligent Christian 
lady of the Presbyterian church. His father died when he was less than a year old , and- 
his estate passed into the hands of an administrator who squandered it. Principal and 
sureties both proved insolvent; and so, his mother was left with small means, to rear six 
children, four daughters and two sons, of whom Michael was the youngest. His sisters 
married very good men, are all living (1880), and in affluent circumstances. His- 



Recollections op North Alabama. 115 

brother died in Ohio, after accumulating a large fortune. Michael obtained per- 
mission from his mother, when he was fifteen years of age, to learn the tailor's trade — 
landed at Louisville at the age of twenty, and worked there one year — moved to Court- 
land in 1836, and in the fall of 1838 went to Moulton. He had saved $200 ; and opened 
a tailor's shop. He worked hard, and obtained a good custom, and made some money. 
These interesting facts, in reference to his early history, I learned from Mr. Wert 
himself. 

I well remember him when he first came into our county. He was a modest, well 
behaved young man, and had evidently been well reared. He was never seen in drinking 
houses, but most assiduously applied himself to his business and seemed to have 
in his own mind a fixed purpose to succeed in life. With men who do succeed my 
observation has convinced me that this purpose is formed, much earlier in life, than is 
generally supposed. At the age of 23 he seriously considered the subject of 
marriage. In modern times public opinion is averse to the formation of the matrimonial 
connection until a hnsband can maintain a wife in luxury and idleness. But it was 
not so with the "early settlers." Then a young man prepared to marry, without 
delay, the girl whom he loved, and enjoy with her the property they jointly achieved. 
Mr. Wert was most fortunate in his selection. In Esther Caroline Cowan he found 
beauty, good common sense, industry equal to his own, and a strong constitution. She 
has been to him truly a help-mate in economy and the moral training of his children. 
In 1840 he commenced merchandising, and did a successful business until the war came 
on, when, near its close, the Tories burned his storehouse, goods, books, etc. 
This calamity left him in point of means near where he commenced in 1840, except a 
debt of $4000, and nothing to pay it with. But he always had good credit and good 
friends, so he bought more goods, and in a few years he paid his debts ; and, moreover, 
reinstated his fortune. During all this time he had a large and expensive family. This 
worthy couple have, now living, twelve children — six sons and six daughters. They 
have been liberally educated, and several of them have graduated. All these occupy 
a high position in society, are members of the church of their father and mother, and 
are doing well in the world. To use the words of Major Owen, " few men have 
been more successful in business, or with his family, in consequence of his strict integ- 
rity in his dealings and his example to his family." His success both in these particulars 
has been so signal that I inquired of him how he had accomplished so much with such small 
means, and whether in rearing his boys they were made to do any labor. His answer 
was this: "Soon after we married in 1839, wife and I joined the Methodist Church, 
and on the same day erected a family altar to the Lord ; where we have worshipped 
night and morning from that day to this, and where we received grace day by day to 
train our children in the way they should go. We lived on the edge of the town and 
have a small farm. When my boys were not at school they worked on the farm. Their 
nights were always spent at home, if not at church. Our great object has been to 
make home so attractive that they would love home more than any other place ; not only 
at night, but at all leisure times ; hence we had no trouble on that account. My children 
are very obedient and affectionate. But whatever success we may have had in training 
our children we give all honor and glory to a kind Providence." These are golden 
words. I commend them to the fathers and mothers of our country. 

Their children were: (1) Mary F., who married W. D. McDaniel, son of P. A. 
McDaniel, near Moulton (Baptist) ; (2) Martha W., who married Rev. W. P. Owen, a 
Methodist preacher, who had charge of Decatur District High School and the station at 
Moulton; (3) Clara B., who married E. A. Farley, a merchant at Moulton; (4) Julia 
C, who married. C. C. Harris, Esq., lawyer, of Decatur, Ala. ; (5) Jacob B. Wert, mer- 
chant, Chattanooga, Tenn., who married Augusta Kirby, of Columbia, Tenn. ; (6) 
Michael C, merchant, of Weatherford, Tex., who married Maggie Saunders, daughter 
of Wm. Saunders, of Jackson county, Ala. ; (7) Annie A., who married J. J. Gillespie, 
then of Nashville, but moved to his farm in Lincoln county, Tenn. ; (8) Tennis S. 
Wert, lawyer, of Decatur, of the firm of Wert & Wert, who married Eliza Gibbs ; (9) 



116 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Nannie L., who married Dr. W. L. Dinsmore, of Laudersville ; (10) B. S. Wert, M. D., 
who a physieian at Moulton ; (11) F. 0. Wert, lawyer, of the firm of Wert & Wert, 
of Decatur; (12) Arthur B. Wert, 18 years old, student. 

The McCords. 

Two brothers of this name, Joseph and James, lived Northeast of Moulton. They 
must have come very early, for Joseph was a member of the Legislature in 1824, and 
his brother James ten years after, in 1834. They were men of excellent character, and 
very much respected. Their descendants have, I believe, nearly all emigrated. Will- 
iam (as I have mentioned) married Ann Cowan, and Samuel W., for some years after 
1829, kept the Moulton Inn; but I think all are gone, except a granddaughter of James 
McCord, who now lives in Courtland. 

The Hodges 

were prominent in the first settlement ot the county. Fleming was the eldest of two 
brothers who came together. He first married Miss Johnson of Madison, and secondly, 
Miss Loony of the. same county. Col. Fleming Hodges was a member of the General 
Assembly (Senate) in 1819, 1820, 1821. He died about 1828. His wife survived him. 
Col. Wm. Hodges was the younger brother and was a member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives in 1828-29. His eldest son, Fleming, had considerable talent for trade, and 
moved to Mississippi. Wm. (Buck) Hodges of the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, who 
made so much reputation in the late war, was his son. Another, Asa, was a lawyer, 
he moved to Arkansas. Two sons, Moses and James, moved to Mississippi. A sister 
of Fleming and William Hodges married Samuel W. Wallace in Shelby county, where 
she happened to be on a visit. They resided in to Dallas county, and were there when 
the State was organized and then removed to Shelby county again. Thence to Oakville, 
in Lawrence county, and, in 1840, to Wolf Spring. The old gentleman is now in his 
85th year; but is vigorous in mind, and, having been aschool teacher, can still write a 
fine hand. 

The Prewitts. 

Three members of this family were among the earliest settlers of our county. The 
eldest of the Prewitts, of whom I have any knowledge, came from Clinch river in East 
Tennessee. He settled his family in Madison county, Alabama, and lived to the ad- 
vanced age of 112 years, and his wife to 116 years. 1 never knew them, but I have 
known their descendants, and they have been distinguished by fine persons, strong con- 
stitutions, vigorous minds, and uncommon energy. His sons, James and Jacob, 
came to Lawrence, and settled on the Byler Road as soon as it was cut out. James im- 
proved the place since occupied by the De Graffenrieds, but after some years removed to 
another State. Jacob purchased a place (further South) from John McKinney, on the 
drift (or what our State geologist calls the " Orange-sand "), and having a force of some 
twenty-five hands, and the soil being fresh and productive, he was quite prosperous. 
The large old field still seen there attests his industry. His house was on the 
Pebbly branch, where a bold spring runs over a bed of round, water-worn pebbles, very 
beautiful and variegated in color. Here he kept a noted stand, where there was an 
abundant supply of provender for " man and beast." In those days, when the larger 
proportion of hogs and mules, for the planters of Middle Alabama, was driven down 
this road, such stands were very profitable. The old gentleman had arrived at the age 
of 77 years, hale, hearty and active, when in chasing a bear, his horse fell in a pine- 
hole and threw him on the pomel of his saddle, which caused his death. 

His son William came from Madison county at the same time with his father, and 
improved a place Southeast of Moulton about five miles. He, too, was born in Tennes- 
see. He was a prosperous planter, and purchased the plantation belonging to the Price 
estate, which was one of the finest in the Southern end of the county. His first wife 
was Nancy Cavit, of Madison county. By this marriage he had two sons, Jacob and 
Richard. Jacob moved to Texas; Richard lives near Leighton, and carries with him all 



Recollections op North Alabama. 117 

the bold characteristics I have mentioned as belonging to his race. When I first knew 
him he lived on a plantation five miles Northeast of Moulton, well stocked with slaves 
and mules, and it had the highest fence I ever saw. Moreover, there was a splendid pack 
of hounds, showing that he wisely understood the art of mingling labor and amusement. 
But he was seized with the ambition of being the largest planter in the county, and I 
think he became so, for he had some 1500 acres in cotton when, unluckily, the war 
broke out, and he was crippled in his estate ; but he still has enough, and I judge he is a 
happier man than he was before. He first married a daughter of Senator Fleming 
Hodges. The name of his second wife I am not advised of. 

William Prewit married for his second wife the widow of Fleming Hodges, Sr., 
and died at the age of 56 years. Mrs. Prewit had three children by Senator Hodges, 
who are all dead, and four by her second husband. The eldest, Robert, married a 
daughter of Judge Gibson. They are both dead. They left one son named Talbot. 
Two others married, and are long since dead. The remaining son is John W. Prewit, 
who lives on the Price place, where his father died. He is a first-rate planter, and 
is now the largest taxpayer in Lawrence county. Mrs. Prewit, when her husband died, 
was in the prime of life, and full of energy. She was indeed a "notable" woman; 
for when Mr. Prewit died she took the guardianship of her children, bought all the 
land at the sale, hired an overseer, kept the property together, and made a fortune for 
herself, and the children. 

Col. Nicholas Johnson 
was the son of Thomas Johnson, of Louisa county, Virginia, and Ann, daughter of 
Thomas Merriwether, of Albemarle county, Virginia. He had married in Georgia, 
Mary, daughter of James Marks, of Broad river. She died in 1815, and in 1819 he 
immigrated to Lawrence county, and settled on one of the branches of Flint river, some 
five miles Southeast of Moulton. He was an old man when he came in. His career in 
Georgia was a remarkable one, as will be shown you in the sequel. We will first speak 
of that part of it which transpired in this county. 

Colonel Johnson was the wealthiest man who came into our county, having brought 
about seventy-five negroes with him (Richard Prewit). No planter, either North or 
South of the Little Mountain, had brought so many. Col. Ben Sherrod asked him why 
he did not purchase richer land in the Courtland valley. His answer was, that he 
intended to raise stock exclusively, and get rich off the cotton planters in that valley, by 
selling them supplies which they could raise, if they would. I first saw him in 1827. I 
was riding with a friend, to hear a debate at Oakville, between Hon. C. C. Clay, and 
Gabriel Moore, when he prevailed on me to call on Colonel Johnson. We passed 
through a very large plantation, and entered a plain but large log house. The Colonel 
was in his cotton field, which we had passed on the way, and observed that although it 
was the month of June, it had not been worked, and the hog weeds were knee high. At 
length he came in from the field, dressed in a straw hat, cotton shirt, and pants, and 
coarse shoes, without any socks. Nevertheless, he received us with the civility of a 
friend. He excused himself until he could reform his dress, and when he came in, 
engaged in pleasant talk, and showed remarkable conversational powers. 1 alluded 
playfully to the foul condition of his cotton field. He said, "Call it patch, sir. I plant 
but few acres for my force ; so few that I have never built a gin house, and I never work 
my cotton until everything else is put in complete order. The fact is, I have a great 
aversion for cotton." When he heard that I had married a wife from Broad river, in 
Georgia, he insisted on our paying him a visit, which we did. 

It was midsummer when we went. We passed first, large peach orchards (always 
fifty acres in extent) and approached the dwelling through an avenue of 200 nectarine 
trees loaded with their rich, ripe, delicious fruit. I thought that the "utile et dulce" 
were as well mingled here as could be. His place was a world of abundance. We spent 
a delightful day, during which he spoke freely of his peculiar mode of management ; and 
to make a quaint illustration of how successful it had been. He proposed to show us a 
mirror which had cost him $4000 ; and when we entered the room he pointed out a 



118 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

small one, perhaps 12 by 18, with a frame of veneered mahogony, and when we looked 
on him with astonishment, he explained by recounting all the articles he owned when he 
married, how much his estate had increased, and if the looking glass had increased in 
value at the same ratio, it would now have been worth $4000. I have often thought of 
this view of the subject, which he kindly intended for our good, as we were young 
people. 

He talked freely of his system of management. His horses were of the Arabian 
and Medley breeds combined. They were allowed to eat little or no corn until they 
were put to work. They were small, but of fine wind, and great endurance. I pur- 
chased three of them at a sale, where 100 horses were sold, and they proved to be re- 
markably serviceable. His hogs were raised on an excellent plan ; they gleaned on his 
wheat fields ; then consumed the oat fields ; then the peaches in his enormous orchards ; 
passed through fields of green corn, and were then fat and ready to have their flesh 
hardened by a short feeding on hard corn. His cows in summer were turned into the 
range, but brought home and penned, every night, on some poor spot. He had a very 
large herd. Some of his notions were strange. He never upset a fence by putting new 
rails at the bottom, but laid them always on top. When holes occurred by rails rotting 
at the bottom, he stuck others into the hole, and this he called " darning." His reason 
for this was that when the fence was moved the row would be very rich. When a 
Scotch schoolmaster married his daughter, Barbara, he said to him that no man should 
own a farm until he knew how to do any work required upon it ; and proposed that if 
Frazier would clear up five acres on a very good tract, he would give it to him. The old 
man used to tell, with great glee, how F. started out next day by sunrise, and had his 
breakfast sent to him. That he heard his axe ringing very merrily all the morning, but 
that when he went to see how he was coming on, he had not brought a single tree to the 
ground, but had seven tall red oaks lodged one against another ! 

As to his system, I can not pass an opinion unless I were better acquainted with his 
antecedents. He certainly had a large estate — after his death the sale of his property 
lasted a week. He claimed to have made it from a small beginning. But, from long 
experience in this climate, I consider it best for a farmer to make all the " home sup- 
plies" he can on the place, and have cotton for his "money " crop. He, however, was 
very successful, was entirely out of debt, and had considerable money capital at interest ; 
this I know, as I was his collecting attorney. One thing was apparent, his hogs, 
sheep, cattle, horses and negroes, were all fat. 

After coming to this county he married, for his second wife, an elderly widow 
named Ried. Colonel Johnson died about 1832 from cancer in the stomach, as it was 
supposed. 

I am indebted to my friend, Dr. Thos. A. Watkins, formerly of Courtland, but now 
of Austin, Tex., for the means of giving a full account of Colonel Johnson while he 
lived in Georgia. Dr. Watkins, when young, was frequently at his house; aud, more- 
over is an antiquary, and has many curious old books, from one of which, Governor 
Gilmer's " History' of the Early Settlers of Upper Georgia," he has furnished me with the 
following extracts : 

Nicholas Johnson, when he first visited Georgia, appeared in more dashing style 
than had ever been seen in that hard, economical and simple frontier community. He 
was attended by a well-dressed servant, rode a fine blooded horse, his servant another, 
and a third followed for the relief of the other two. His dress was a blue coat, red 
waistcoat, and buff pantaloons. His person was stout, his features full and round, his 
complexion fair and florid, his voice well modulated and his address exceedingly civil. 
He united grand scheming with successful. doing, in a very unusual manner. When he 
went to any public place, crowds might generally be seen gathered around him, listening 
to his fervid account of some danger which threatened the nation, or some new fashion 
of planting corn, tobacco or cotton. His land was very poor, and his plantation very 
large, with granite rocks scattered about over it. He described to some acquaintances, 
in Augusta, the beauty of the native flowers and shrubs, and the wild scenery of the 



Recollections op North Alabama. 119 

rocky hills around him, in such glowing terms that they planned a special visit to enjoy 
the pleasure of the sight. Colonel Johnson lived in log-cabins, for twenty years after 
his marriage, in the plainest style. 

The public road ran through his plantation , and not far from his residence. He 
fell in one day with a pompous fellow traveling along his lane, who inquired where he 
could get his breakfast, and descanted largely upon the unfitness of the accommodation 
upon the road, for a gentleman. The Colonel told him he could be accommodated at his 
house. The fellow said he would turn in and see if -he could get anything to suit his 
taste. The Colonel' accompanied him, held his stirrup while he alighted, ordered the 
best to be got for him, waited upon him at the table, and never ceased to press him to 
eat until he could eat no more. When the fellow asked for his bill he was made to pay 
a dollar, when he opened his eyes in astonishment. Colonel Johnson then advised him 
to be more modest when he went amongst strangers. 

Whenever a monkey show, or any other, passed through the country, he sent for 
his negroes, and treated them to the exhibition. His eldest children were daughters, 
and when his eldest son, Frank, was born, he was so pleased, that he planted in the 
fence corners of his extensive fields, a hundred thousand walnuts. According to his 
account, by the time the infant arrived at manhood, each of the walnuts would be grown 
to a tree, and worth a dollar, which would make a fortune worth talking about. 

He used to " shirtee " his fields along the public roads with cowpens, so as to make 
the corn which was seen in passing by, exhibit a very luxuriant appearance, and so 
create the opinion in the lookers-on that his land was very productive. His orders to 
the cow-boy were that his cattle must never leave the pen in the morning without add- 
ing to its fertility. Some lawyers passing on to Court found the boy chasing a cow 
and crying as if his heart would break. A kind gentleman stopped and inquired what 
was the matter, and received for an answer that "Brownie would not do what master 
ordered." Major Oliver H. Prince, and Hon. Angustin S. Clayton, rival wits at the 
Georgia bar, expressed the opinion in a social assemblage of lawyers, when Scott's 
poetry was spouted by everybody, that the rhyme was doggerel, and could be written 
by any versifier. The conversation excited interest, and opposition to the assertions of 
the wits. To prove the correctness of the criticism, Mr. Prince wrote off, at once, a 
string of lines ending in words of similar sound, to which Judge Clayton adding a note, 
after Scott's fashion. The subject was "Brownie, and the little negro ooxf aforesaid. 
The rhyme and note appeared soon after in a newspaper published by David A. Hill- 
house, in Columbia, S. C. Colonel Johnson when he heard of the satire, only laughed 
when he understood why it was written. Not so, Mrs. Johnson was furious, and 
asked a kinsman, who was a lawyer, to induce Mr. Prince in passing by to the Court to 
call, that she might teach him a lesson on good behavior. 

When a daughter married he gave to her husband five hundred dollars (in addition 
to what he would have given otherwise) if he removed to a new country, where fertile 
lands were to be had. Mrs. Johnson inherited her father's wit, and her mother's clear 
understanding. Though she read but little, and her intercourse with general society 
was limited, her conversation was very agreeable, and her knowledge accurate. She and 
her husband, too, were great talkers. Her table was the most profuse of home produc- 
tions of any I ever set down to. She had seven houses for chickens. A bushel of corn 
was usually scattered around the yard every morning. They kept forty cows, 500 sheep, 
and countless hogs. 

Their children (there were none by the second marriage) were: (1) Nancy, who 
married Reuben 'Jordan. (2) Martha, who married Geo. 0. Gilmer. (3) Lucy, who 

married John Gilmer. (4)" Barbara, who married Prazer. (5) Betsy, whomarried 

Lewis B. Taliaferro. (6) Rebecca, who married Charles Jordan. (7) Sarah, who mar- 
ried Jordan Smith. (8) Prank and James both died young. (9) Edward, the youngest 
child, who was accidentally killed in a deer hunt. 

The Prices. 

Charles Price, the ancestor, in the latter part of the last century, lived near Rich- 



120 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

mond, Va. He. had only two sons. The eldest, Robert, came to Alabama, and- 
William, went to Missouri. 

Gen. Sterling Price, of that State, was the son of this William. He attained a 
reputation during the late war, as a soldier and a man, which was truly enviable. He 
early took the field with the "State Guards " of Missouri, before there was any Confed- 
erate organization in the State. Each division was commanded by a brigadier, with 
General Price as Commander-in-Chief. His command was composed of the best young 
men of the State, many of whom had been enured to war in the Kansas troubles. The 
old General was the centre of attraction in this volunteer army, whose cohesion seemed 
to depend mainly on his wonderful personal magnetism. He marched, fought, ad- 
vanced and retreated, in turn, until (having no quartermaster and commissary depart- 
ment) these intrepid young men became "ragged" and "bare-footed." When the 
battle of Wilson's Creek was at the highest, a tall, red-headed fellow, from the central 
part of the State, advanced beyond the line to get free from the smoke, and to see how 
to make a better shot. He aimed with deliberation at a particular man, similarly ad- 
vanced, and when he saw his man fall, he cried out with great glee, " Them's my shoes !" 
Ever after that, this was the battle cry of the Missouri soldiers. In despite of want and 
nakedness, they were brave fighters, always rallying around the flag in battle; but, 
under a lax discipline, were somewhat given to straggliug during the intervals. The 
authorities at Washington were so much amazed by the movements of this army that 
after sending first one commander and then another, the Secretary of War dispatched 
General Halleck to the scene of action. Strong Federal reinforcements were thrown 
into the State, and General Price was compelled to retreat, first into Arkansas, and then 
to the Eastern side of the Mississippi river. The following tribute was paid to General 
Price by a Northern historian : " Price had displayed no small skill in his movements, 
and it was believed in Richmond that if he had been properly supported he would have 
secured Missouri to the Confederacy." But it was when his soldiers were " exiles " 
from their homes that General Price exhibited those high qualities of soul which made 
him their idol. The solicitude he showed to secure their comfort, or alleviate their 
sufferings, was so great as to call forth the highest admiration. They entertained the most 
grateful feelings toward him for his tender sympathy for them in their " orphaned " 
condition, and called him " Pap." He was a fine illustration of 

" The bravest are the tenderest." 

These high qualities possessed by this descendant of William Price, of Missouri, 
were found in the descendants of Robert Price, of Alabama. Every one of his grand- 
sons, who were of sufficient age, were volunteers, except one, who was paralyzed. Every 
name in the list I shall give below is a record of gallant service in the field. 

Robert Price was married in 1806, in Charlotte county, Virginia, to Frances S., 
daughter of Rev. John Campbell, a local preacher of the Methodist Church. The cere- 
mony was performed by Rev. Alexander Sale, who removed to this county afterward — 
one of the best of men, and one of the best friends I ever had. 

Robert Price sent out some of his hands to Lawrence county in 1819, and he fol- 
lowed with his family in 1820. He and his wife were much beloved by his neighbors, 
and were pious members of the Methodist Church. He purchased the valuable tract of 
land, already mentioned, improved his estate very much, and died in 1824. He brought 
with him from Virginia six children ; another was born in Alabama, but lived only a 
few years. 

1. Edwin S., his oldest son, married Mildred, daughter of Robert Wood, of West 
Tennessee. By this marriage there were five children who lived to be grown, viz. : Rob- 
ert N., Edwin W., William H., Darthula, and Lucilla. (1) Robert was paralyzed while 
quite young, and never recovered. (2) Edwin belonged to the Fourth Tennessee 
Regiment of infantry {Col. B. P. Neely). He was in the battle of Shiloh. His health 
became bad, and he was sent home, to Whiteville, Tennessee. He was captured and 
sent to prison, where he was confined eight months. When exchanged, he returned to' 



Recollections op North Alabama. 121 

his regiment, and remained until the close of the war. (3) William, of the Ninth Ten- 
nessee Regiment of infantry (Col. Henry Douglass), was taken ill from exposure, and 
died in March, 1862. Edwin S., the father of these boys, was married a second time to 
Mrs. Jane Redd, of Brownsville, Tennessee, in 1845, and died in 1853. 

William H. (second son of Robert Price and Prances 8. Chappell), was married to 
Elizabeth, daughter of William Dixon, near Florence, Ala., in 1831, and moved to 
Franklin county, and died in 1866. They had six children who lived to be grown. (1) 
William H., who became captain of the " Florence Guards," after the promotion of 
Gen. Sterling Wood, and was killed at the battle of Perry ville, Ky. I may notice the 
career of this gallant officer more specially hereafter. (2) Charles S. W, was a surgeon in 
the army, and was at Columbus, Miss., for a long time. (3) John R. was attending 
a military school somewhere in the North when the war broke out. He went to Rich- 
mond and joined an Alabama regiment. He was detached and sent to Florida as a drill- 
master and thence to North Carolina. Here he joined a company which was sent out to 
Scotland, to bring a vessel which was being built for the Confederacy. The British 
Admiralty forbade the sailing of the vessel, and the company had to return home. (4) 
Edwin was only twelve years old when the war commenced. William H., the father of 
these sons, was married a second time to Mrs. Catharine Peters (of Texas), whilst she 
was on a visit to friends in Florence. 

Robert J. (the third son of Robert 'Price and Frances Chappell), was first married 
to Martha A., daughter of Maj. James Moore, near Aberdeen, Miss. He moved to 
Fayette and thence to Lawrence county, Ala., where he died in 1841. By this marriage 
he had four children who lived to be grown, viz.: Robert J., Mary E., Abagail, and 
Martha A. Robert belonged to the Eighth Texas Cavalry Company called the " Texas 
Bangers.' 11 This regiment achieved a high reputation. Commanded first by Colonel 
Terry, who was killed, and then by Col. John A. Wharton, and then by Col. Thos. Har- 
rison. It was its fortune to be under fire oftener, during the war, than any regiment I 
knew of. The history of this regiment (if ever written) will be virtually a history of 
the war south of the Carolinas. The privates were fine horsemen, and there was a great 
deal of individual gallantry amongst them. At the capture of Murfreesboro, by Gen- 
eral Forrest, (Jolonel Wharton (afterward General) when one arm was broken, placed 
the reins between his teeth, and plied his revolver with the other, until the enemy sur- 
rendered. This feat has been equaled by many of the same kind, amongst the privates. 
Price still lives in Texas. His father, Robert, was married a second time to Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Douglas, sister of Hon. Luke Pryor. 

John C. (fourth son of Robert Price and Frances Chappell) married Margaret, 
daughter of Col. William Hodges. They had six children, viz. : William, Fleming, 
John, James, Mary F., and Eudocia Ann. (1) William belonged to General Wheeler's 
command in Colonel Sharpe's regiment, which went from Columbus, Miss., where his 
father then lived. Fleming belonged to Forrest's command, under Colonel Boon. His 
brothers, John and James, were too young for service. The father of these boys was 
married a second time to Miss McCarty of Columbus, Miss,, and died two months after- 
ward. 

Dr. Charles W. (the fifth son of Robert Price and Frances S. Chappell), and the 
only one now living, resides in Morgan county, Ala. He married Mary F. Moore, a 
sister of his brother Robert's wife, who is still living. They have had' the goodly number 
of nine children, to-wit: James E., Wm. F., John W., Charles L., Fannie A., Martha 
A., Mary A., Emma V. and Lizzie D. (1) Of these James E. had the honor of being a 
member of the Ninth Alabama Regiment, whose record includes a great many of the 
bloodiest battles of the war. The last battle in which he took part with this regiment 
was that of Sharpsburg. The company to which he belonged had been so reduced by 
casualties that only three men entered the fight, and they were James E. Price, W. 
Harper and Willis. In that bloody conflict Willis was killed. Price and Harper 
were elected Lieutenants in Col. James Malone's Regiment of cavalry, and were trans- 
fered to it by proper authority. Thomas Malone, Esq. (now Professor in the Law 



122 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Department of Vanderbilt University), was their captain. Lientenant Price was fre- 
quently on scouting expeditions within the enemy's lines, near Nashville, which, to one 
so long confined to the monotonous routine of the infantry, was very exciting. Here 
an incident occurred which was quite amusing. It somehow became known to the com- 
manding officer that Colonel Brownlow, of the Federal Army (who was a very enterpris- 
ing young officer and had been troublesome to our side), frequently visited a young lady 
(whom he afterward married) who was a member of a Union family. As her home was 
within the Federal lines, the young colonel used no precaution, against capture, in 
making his visits. Lientenant Price attempted his capture, and the first effort he madp 
was nearly successful ; for the colonel barely escaped the trap. Not long after, he made 
a second attempt, and approaching the house he left his squad not far off. Finding' that 
his man had not arrived, he entered the house, and commenced a conversation with the 
young lady. Very soon he heard the steps of several men approaching the door, and 
seeing no means of escape he slipt under the bed, which was in the room. In a few 
moments, Colonel Brownlow, and several others entered. The young lady did not betray 
him ; for although she had Union opinions, she had Southern feelings. For two long 
hours (the longest of any other two in his life) the conversation continued, and at length 
the colonel and his comrades left without discovering him. He participated in all the 
battles with his regiment, until his company was captured at Shelbyville, while attempt- 
ing to defend a battery, which was covering the crossing of our troops. They were 
taken to Johnson's Island, and were imprisoned there twenty months, before they were 
exchanged. They arrived at home three or four weeks before the surrender. (2) 
William F., the second son of Charles W. . joined Colonel Scott's Louisiana Regiment, 
while in this valley; was in several battles; and whilst near Charleston, Tenn., the 
regiment moved one night to meet the enemy. He was in the advance; and as he passed 
a comrade who had his gun lying across his lap, it went off and the ball passed through 
his thigh, injuring the artery ; and he lived only a few days. He was buried in Charles- 
ton. (3) and (4) — John W., and Charles L. — only thirteen and seven years of age, 
respectively, when the war commenced. 

Rev. Thos. A. Strain. 

We have already mentioned the death of Robt. Price, Sr., in 1824. His widow 
(who was Frances S. Chappell) married Rev. Thomas A. Strain. Where there are 
■children, second marriages rarely do well, but this one was fortunate, for Mrs. Price and 
her children. I knew all the parties intimately. Mr. Strain was a gentleman in his 
person, dress, manners and principles. The large family estate was wound up and 
divided equitably. Mr. Strain and wife afterward moved to Morgan county. He was so 
much esteemed that he was (although no politician) elected a member of the Legislature 
He and his wife died in that county, leaving four children. He had the confidence of that 
branch of the church to which he belonged. Dr. McFerrin, in his " History of Metho- 
dism," a work of high authority, and to which I have frequent occasion to refer, says 
of Mr. Strain: " Thos A. Strain traveled several years, located and settled in North 
Alabama, where he lived for many years, and devoted much time to the preaching of the 
gospel. He was a man of slender constitution, but of ardent piety and burning zeal 
for the cause of Christ. He was highly endowed by nature, and sanctified by grace, so 
that he was a popular and useful preacher. He rests from his labors." 

Lindseys and Speaks. 

Mark Lindsey was a tall, spare, old gentleman, who lived on a branch of Flint 
river when I first knew him. He wore the round-breasted Methodist coat, and had a 
most excellant reputation. He was also noted for his industry and good morals. The 
venerable Mr. McFerrin rode this circuit when quite a youth, and still remembers and 
speaks of the kindness and hospitality he received from the Lindseys. Mark Lindsey 
was raised in South Carolina. He went to Kentucky when young, and lived there a 
long time. In 1827 he and his son, Dennis (who was a second edition of his father, in 
person and character), came to Lawrence county, and settled in the place I have men- 



Recollections of North Alabama. 123 

tioned. J. B. Speak married Sarah, the eldest daughter of Dennis Lindsey, on the 
4th of June, 1833. She was the first child born in that community. Mr. Speak had 
also emigrated from Kentucky in 1830; and was a school teacher of fine natural sense, 
great dignity of deportment and good acquirements. Judge Gibson who raised his fam- 
ily there, says that " he taught nearly all the children of that community for nearly a 
generation." His usefulness was great, as he performed his duties not only with a 
view to his own interest, but to the future well being of his pupils. His services were 
duly appreciated. He was county Superintendent of Education for many years before 
the late war, and was elected a delegate, after the war, to the State Convention and was 
also elected a member of the House of Representatives, in 1870, and several times since. 
Our county never was represented by a man who performed his duties with more 
industry or a more honest purpose than J. B. Speak. 

He named his two sons Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. This saves me the trouble 
of telling what party he belonged to, iu old times. Although decided in his opinions, 
he was always temperate and conservative. His son, Henry Clay, served with distinc- 
tion throughout the war, in the cavalry arm of the service. He was in the Fourth Ala- 
bama Regiment, and was promoted to the rank of adjutant, which post he held at the 
surrender. He has risen rapidly in the profession of the law. In 1874 he was elected 
Chancellor of the Northern division of Alabama, and has filled the office with much abil- 
ity, and very acceptably to the bar, and the people. His term of office having expired, 
he has been recently elected judge of this circuit. Daniel Webster, his younger brother, 
is a highly educated young gentleman, having graduated from the State University in 
June, 1879, with the highest honors and is now practising law in Moulton, with the 
promise of a bright future. 

Major Richard Puckett was a merchant of Oakville during the " Plush Times of 
Alabama." He was a man of good person and of fair average mind, and made a pretty 
good speech, for he became a politician. He was elected by th§ Whig party a member 
of the House of Representatives both in 1836-37 and was also the leading man in Oakville, 
which grew up like a mushroom, on loans obtained from the State Bank. He thought, 
no doubt, he was rapidly getting rich, but when the " crash " of 1837 occurred it broke 
him, aud every merchant in the place. Not only so, but many of the most solvent farmers 
around were involved as sureties for Major Puckett and other merchants, and broken up. 
The town itself had been built up on a school section, and was sold by an act of the 
Legislature, and every building afterward rotted down, so that no vestige of the place is 
left. Major Puckett afterward moved to Memphis, became a commission merchant, and 
died there. 

The Thomases 

were a family of very industrious, moral, and respectable people. The eldest of the 
family was Ezekial ; he died in this county. It seems to me that he was involved in the 
general calamity which prostrated Oakville. His son Jesse became a partner of Patrick 
O'Neill (formerly of Moulton), in the commission business, in the city of Mobile. The 
style of the firm was O'Neill, Miehaux & Thomas. They failed in business, and Jesse 
"Thomas moved to Burleson county, Tex., where he became a Baptist preacher. Another 
son, Jerry, moved to the same place. A third son, William E., became a Baptist 
preacher, but whether he moved to Texas or not, I am uncertain. 

Hamptons. 

The " Poplar Log Cove" in early times was a narrow but fertile valley, abounding 
in springs of the purest water. The one which entered the head of the valley had a 
peculiar and pleasing feature in it. About fifty yards before it emerged from the rock, 
nature had furnished an upright square door in which you could stand, and dip the cold, 
limpid element as it passed by. There were a number of families, in this lovely but 
secluded valley, who were making a good living, took the couuty papers, were pretty 
well informed in public affairs, and were the firmest kind of Jackson Democrats. I 
have not visited the valley for forty years, but have been told things there have very 



124 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

much altered. The hillsides once so productive, have been washed into unsightly 
gullies, the people no more take the county paper, and there exists a good deal of con- 
fusion in their minds as to the progress of political events. 

Of the Hamptons (who were cousins to the Shaws in the Northern part of the 
county), there was a large family, but the principal man in the Cove was Ephraim 
Hampton. He was justice of the peace, owned a cotton gin, was well informed in poli- 
tics, and had considerable influence. I think he, as well as Sam Livingston, Elijah 
Stover, and many others in that part of the county, were soldiers under General Jackson, 
during the Creek war. This gave him (as it should) great ascendancy over his neigh- 
bors and as Ephraim Hampton went, the Cove was sure to go, Ephraim had many an 
encounter at Oakville, with Puckett, and other Whig champions, but he remained as 
firm as a rock to his party. At length, an occurrence took place, which gave them (as 
they supposed) a great advantage over Ephraim. As he drove his wagon to market 
loaded with cotton (before our railroad was built), in the neighborhood of Tuscumbia, 
where the mud was very deep, he met a gentleman's carriage. Unfortunately, the wheel 
of Hampton's wagon locked in that of tbe carriage. A gentleman from its window, who 
proved to be Mr. W. Winter Payne, in a furious passion, threatened to give him his 
cane for running against his carriage; and Hampton raising his wagon whip rep'iedthat 
he would cut his broadcloth into ribbons, if he didn't apologize for that insult. The 
result was that they mutually descended from their vehicles to the ground, for a pitched 
battle. Mrs. Payne implored them to desist, but her words were unheeded. There they 
stood confronting each other, both in the prime of their strength and activity- 
Payne was fully six feet high, and well developed ; Hampton about the same 
height, but more spare ; Payne was wealthy, irascible and brave, for he had Winston 
blood in his veins ; Hampton was just as fearless, for he had heard bullets whistle 
before, and just as proud, for he was a "Highland Chief " at the head of his clan. 
Payne was well muscled and in splendid condition, from a habit of deer hunting. Hamp- 
ton had undergone severe training, not only of manual labor, but he often climbed the 
steep mountains before the sun touched their summits, in pursuit of wild game.. There 
they stood like two game cocks of the finest feather, with crests proudly arched, and 
ready for the encounter. When the shock did come it was dreadful. Blows resounded. 
Mrs. Payne screamed, the combatants maintained the conflict for a long time, when 
both, bruised and bleeding, fell to the ground side by side, and were so completely 
exhausted that they were only able to claw each other in the face, with their finger-nails. 
Then Mrs. Payne successfully interfered, and parted them. Scowling darkly at each 
other, they rose from the ground and each went his way. It happened afterward that 
Mr. Winter Payne was nominated by the Democratic party as their candidate for Con- 
gress. When the news reached Oakville, Hampton's Whig friends prepared themselves 
for a good laugh at his expense. Wheu he visited the place, they gathered around him 
and informed him of the nomination of his personal enemy, and inquired if he would 
vote for him. Hampton paused a while and reasoned with himself and then replied r 
"Winter Payne is the best man I ever fought with, in my life, and he is not afraid of 
anybody. Now is the time we need fearless men in Congress ; therefore, I will not 
only vote for him myself, but will give him all the help I can." The consequence 
was that Payne lost no Democratic votes in that beat. 

I have now closed my article on the Southeast Part of the County. I will now com- 
mence the Military articles, and finish them on my way to Courtland. 

The War Between the States. 

This conflict, in its dimensions, equals any which has ever occurred on the continent 
of Europe. The soldiers who took part in it, from both sections of the United States, 
without respect to the flag under which they fought, deserve to be remembered with 
respect and admiration, by this and succeeding generations ; not only for their gallantry, 
but for the reason, that they shed their blood for an opinion— for an idea — for (what 
they respectively considered) their rights ; and not like the followers of noble chiefs in 



Recollections op North Alabama. 125 

past ages, who were mere machines in their hands, for the advancement of their personal 
ambition. 

Some people think that this bloody war should be ignored. Could English his- 
torians ignore the wars of the houses of York and Lancaster, which desolated England 
for nearly a century? No! Such are the events which constitute the experience of 
nations; and from them may be deduced lessons of wisdom for their future conduct. 
The most useful one taught by our late civil war, is that of non-interference with the 
domestic institutions oE each State, so far as they are consistent with the Constitution 
of the United States. This has been a most costly lesson. Hundreds of thousands of 
our young men have been cut down in the bloom of their youth, and a national debt 
contracted, which may never be paid. There is a fearful responsibility resting on the 
public men who were instrumental in bringing it about. It is too soon for its history to 
be written (1880). When, however, the public mind shajl have become calm enough to 
pronounce it, a correct verdict will be given on this matter. When the future historian, 
free from any bias, shall consider the question philosophically, he will discard all un- 
certain sources of information, and build his conclusion on public acts of record,. State 
papers, and the allegations pro and con, of contemporaneous historians. His attention 
will be arrested by the last message of President Buchanan (himself a Northern man), 
which immediately preceded the war. In this, the President said that " he imputed the 
threatened destruction of the Union, to the long continued and intemperate interference 
of the Northern people, with the question of slavery in the Southern States." He said 
that " in consequence of this agitation, a sense of security no longer existed around the 
family altar; it had been displaced by a dread of servile insurrection." He declared 
that " many a matron retired at night, in dread of what might befall herself and children 
before the morning. Should this apprehension pervade the masses of the Southern 
people, then disunion would become inevitable ; since ' self-preservation is the first law 
of Nature.' That, even then, it was the easiest thing for the people to settle the slavery 
question forever ; and restore peace and harmony to the country. All that was neces- 
sary to accomplish that object, and all for which the slave States had ever contended, 
was — to be let alone." This is a simple and true statement of the cause of the war, 
announced by a temperate, and disinterested statesman, and no sophistry can evade it. 
That there were serious mistakes made by our public men will now be admitted ; but, 
in the main, we contend that in this unfortunate business, there is nothing of which the 
people of the South need be ashamed. 

In despite, however, of all that has occurred, of the immense loss of our property, 
of the torrents of blood which have flowed, and the desolation of our country, there is 
no reason why our nation may not regain its former prosperity. Nations soon forget the 
past ; and it is well it is so. In a few generations after the Norman conquered England, 
and the lands of her people were forfeited, and divided amongst his followers, the out- 
rages of the past were forgotten, and she became a united, strong and prosperous king- 
dom. So it will be in this nation, if the same excellent constitution which our fathers 
made is spared to us. With these preliminary remarks, which self-respect prompts me 
to make, I will proceed to my subject. 

The list of companies of Ninth Alabama Regiment: Company A, Mobile; Company 
B, Jackson; Company C, Lawrence; Company D (Howlan's), Lauderdale; Company E, 
Morgan; Company G, Limestone ; Company H, Greene (Hill's) ; Company I, Lauder- 
dale (O'Neal) ; Company K, Marshall. 

, The Invincibles. 

The first volunteers for the late war, in our county, were about a dozea young men,' 
mostly under 21 years of age, who commenced raising a company to be called " The 
Invincibles," in March, 1861. Hearing that the " Florence Guards " had completed their 
organization and were about to march, they abandoned the idea of completing their com- 
pany, and in the latter part of the month they bid adieu to their friends and joined the 
" Florence Guards." 



126 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

Previous to the act of secession, the people of our county were divided in opinion 
in regard to secession. One class were in favor of immediate and separate action; a 
second favored a call for a convention of the Southern States, and a third did not con^ 
sider the election of Mr. Lincoln a sufficient cause for a dissolution of the Union. But 
after the act was passed, the very air became hot with excitement. People of all shades 
of opinion became united in a determination to maintain the position assumed by the 
State. A subscription was raised for the equipment of these chivalrous young men, 
and the Garths, the Sykes and the Mastersons, representatives of all these opinions, 
poured out their money like water. 

The " Florence Guards, 11 into which " The Invincibles " were merged, was a large 
company, composed of the finest young men in and about Florence, and many of the 
college students, and their captain was Sterling A. M. Wood. It became a part of the 
Seventh Alabama Regiment, which was organized at Pensacola as a twelve months regi' 
ment, and Captain Wood was elected its colonel. In his stead Wm. H. Price was elected 
captain. The Seventh Alabama, during most of the year, remained at Pensacola. and 
spent their time in drilling, making fortifications and carrying sand bags. While at 
Pensacola the regiment was in Bushrod Johnson's Brigade, and in Walker's Division, 
The regiment, in the autumn of 1861, was ordered to Bowling Green, Ky., to join the 
army of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston. After the regiment reached that place, Colonel 
Wood was appointed Brigadier General, and the regiment continued in his brigade. 
Hardee's Division, and was commanded by Colonel Coltart. They retreated with him 
to Corinth. Their term of service having expired, they were discharged about the 1st 
of April, 1862, just before the battle of Shiloh, but they all joined other commands and 
nearly all Captain Hodges' company of the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, and the most 
of them were in that battle. As they occupied the post of honor amongst the volunteers 
of our county, I shall, one by one, give such an account of them as my information will 
enable me. 

1. Peter White was the first volunteer in the county. His father, Nelson H. White, 
came to this county from Virginia in 1819, in company with Alex. Sale and Jack Bur' 
russ. He taught a classical school at or near Courtland in 1820-21. In 1823, in com- 
pany with Capt. Thomas Ashford, his intimate personal and political friend, he visited 
Natchez, Miss. While there he bought the Natchez Hotel, and conducted it very suc- 
cessfully for two years. In 1825 he bought a farm on Cedar creek, Franklin cpunty, 
and in 1826 married Mary B., eldest daughter of Major Thomas S. Pope. The issue of 
this union was 14 children — 8 boys and 6 girls. Mrs. White, the mother, still survives, 
is 75 years old, and remarkably healthy and lively. Mr. White again came into Lawrence 
county in 1832, where he finished his useful career, alternately following the occupa- 
tions of farmer, merchant, teacher and hotel keeper. For many years he kept hotel 
in Moulton, and in 1854, as his son, Major D. C. White, was proprietor of the Moulton 
Democrat, he learned the trade first of a practical printer, and then conducted the 
paper as its editor until his death. He was a man of good person, of expressive face, 
of strong convictions, and of much independence. He was a clear and nervous writer, 
held the views of the extreme party in the South, which he sustained with ability. But 
he was an editor of integrity, had a great love for the truth, and the columns of his 
paper were open for articles, from Judge Peters and others, who differed from him in 
opinion. The paper of the 17th of April, 1863, contains a notice of his funeral sermon, 
to. be preached by Rev. John S. Davis. The paper, which two years before was large 
for a village paper, was reduced to a sheet not larger than one of letter paper. Small, 
however, as it was, that number was full of woes. In addition to the funeral ctf its 
editor, there was an obituary of William W., son of Judge Gibson, written by his com- 
rade, Edward Stephenson, and also a list of eighteen young men of Moulton and 
vicinity, who had already fallen in battle, although the carnage of war had but fairly 
commenced. Their names were John T. White, John Dinsmore, Thomas R. Boyd, 
Wm. W. Gibson, Goring Crittenden, John W. Irwin, James Gailey, Newton Parker, 
Jimmie Dick Moore, John W. McDonald, John W. Byler, Waddy T. Goodlett, James N. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 127 

McDaniel, Lover Moore, Jack Warren, R. Gailey, M. B. Cox and T. M. Heflin. I know 
that I am opening many a wound which has long since ceased to bleed, but they will 
heal again with a healthier action, when it is seen that the patriotic gallantry of our 
fallen is not forgotten. It is not my purpose in what I write to invade the province of 
general history, but to fill the chasm about which history is silent. Mine is the humble 
task of gathering from the neglected battle-fields of the South, the ashes of our sol- 
diers, who, uninfluenced by emoluments and the hope of distinction have given them- 
selves disinterestedly to their country, and to deposit these ashes, with reverence, in 
the Dm of Memory, over which those who loved them may shed tears, softened by the 
reflection that their devotion to the country is gratefully remembered. 

Maj. D. C. White, now the senior editor of the Moulton Advertiser, is the oldest son of 
Nelson H. White. He became a printer first, aud then taught his father and four 
brothers to set type. He purchased the Moulton paper, then called the Advertiser,. 
from Samuel W. McGord and his son, Luther, in 1851, and changed its name to that of 
the Moulton Democrat. He has run the paper from that time, with the exception of one 
year (1854), when he and Col. W. H. H. Tyson published a paper at Eastport, Miss. 
When the war closed the name of the paper was changed back to that of the Moulton 
Advertiser. When Captain Hodges raised his company he entered it as a private, but 
was made second sergeant. In the battle of Shiloh he acted with such steady courage 
that a few days afterward he was promoted to the post of regimental ordnance sergeant 
in the Sixteenth Alabama, to which his company belonged. He was wounded at Shiloh, 
but not so severely as to prevent him from atteding to his duty. General Beauregard's 
army retreated to Tupelo. In reviewing the state of the conflict the authorities deter- 
mined to organize the Home Guards for an emergency. Major White was appointed to 
command them in Lawrence county, with the rank of major. Nine companies were 
organized, and when Selma was threatened, they were ordered to that point; but they 
could not be armed and gotten ready in time, and in a short time afterwards the war 
closed. 

Another son of Nelson H. White, John Thomas, belonged to the Fifteenth Arkan- 
sas regiment. He was killed at Shiloh, in the van of his regiment, in a charge on 
Monday. He was esteemed by his officers and comrades as among the truest and 
bravest. 

Peter White, of the " Invincibles ," was a son of Nelson H. White. When the 
Seventh Alabama Regiment was disbanded, he was at home very ill with pneumonia. As 
soon as he was able he joined Captain Hodge's company of the Sixteenth Alabama 
Regiment, where he filled the place vacated by his brother, D. C-, most faithfully. 
He was in the battle of Perryville, was shot through the right arm at Murfreesboro, 
was at Missionary Ridge, Chickamauga, and all the fights from Chattanooga to Atlanta. 
At the latter place he was so severely wounded that he was afterward unfit for active 
duty, and was placed in the quartermaster's department at Augusta, Ga., where he re- 
mained until the surrender. He is now editing a paper called the News, in Belgreen, 
Franklin county, Ala. 

Leonidas, a young son of Nelson H. White, entered the Sixteenth Alabama at the 
tender age of fifteen years. Those who knew him say that he was gentle and kind as a 
woman, but as bold as a lion in battle. He might have enjoyed ease and idleness at 
home, but when the South was bleeding at every pore, he was too chivalrous to do so. 
On the day his brother Peter was shot down at Atlanta, he was captured by the enemy, 
taken to Camp Chase, and died with erysipelas, engendered by an attack of the measles. 
A lovelier boy or a braver soldier never donned the Confederate gray. 

2. John Collier came from Morgan county. He studied law with Hon. D. P, Lewis. 
He was a nephew of Governor Collier. When the Seventh Alabama Regiment was dis- 
banded, I presume he joined the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, but I have no certain in- 
formation. He moved to Texas, and is doing well as a lawyer. 

3. S. H. Brown was a son of Jenkins W. Brown, was born near Moulton, and now 
lives in Texas. 



128 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

4. J. G. Nipper came to Moulton a short time before he became a volunteer. It is 
not known what has become of him. 

5. John C. Chitwood. His father's name was Stephen 0. Chitwood. He came from 
Lincoln county", Tennessee. He was once a man of wealth, but he indorsed for his friends 
to a very large amount, and his estate was sold to pay these security debts. His mother 
was a daughter of Parker Campbell and a niece of Archer Campbell, now dead, but form- 
erly of this county. I think he was elected twice a member of the Legislature. She 
was born in Virginia. Her father moved first to Madison county, Alabama, and thence 
to Lincoln county, Tennessee, where she was married. Stephen C. Chitwood died in 
1875, and his widow in 1877. They had first settled three miles south of Moulton, and 
afterward moved nearer town, where they died. 

The oldest son, William P., received his primary tuition in the schools in Moulton, 
and finished his education at Irving College in Warren county, Tennessee. He read law 
with Judge Lewis in Moulton, and got license to practice in 1859. The war came on, 
and suspended all business. He served in Roddy's cavalry, and at the close of the war 
resumed his practice at Moulton, where he is much esteemed as a gentleman, and is 
respected as a sound and learned lawyer. 

John C. Chitwood above mentioned was the second son. After the Seventh Ala- 
bama was disbanded he became a member of General Roddy's cavalry. When the war 
closed he practised law for several years in Decatur, and is now living near Moulton, 
engaged in farming. 

Richard Chitwood, the third son and youngest child in this family, belonged to Gen- 
eral Roddy's escort ; was captured by the enemy, on a scout near Paint Rock, in Jackson 
county, Ala., and died in prison, at Camp Chase. There were two sisters in this family. 
One — Virginia — dead; and the other, Camilla, lives in Moulton. 

6. Thomas L. Daugherty, son of Noble Daugherty, was born near Moulton; and 
died of yellow fever in Memphis in 1878. 

7. R. S. Milwee was born near New Burg, Franklin county, and is a farmer near 
Landersville. 

8. Elijah B. Stowe, who was a brother-in-law of the Rev. Josephus Shackelford, 
was born in Edenton, Ga., in 1841. His father, Elijah B. Stowe, was born in Milford, 
Conn. The Stowes were quite an old -family in that State. His mother was Susan 
Underwood, and was born in Putnam county, Ga. Her maternal grandfather was James 
Tinsley, a Baptist minister of Virginia. Young Stowe was educated partly at Mercer 
University and partly at the Georgia University, at Athens. I have learned that he was 
a sprightly young man, very fond of music, and a fine performer on the flute. He died 
in Forrest City, Ark., in 1877. He was living at the time with Mr. Shackelford. 

9. E. T. Johnson was born in Morgan county, and was going to school at Moulton 
when he volunteered. He is now a citizen of Mississippi. 

10. James N, McDaniel was a son of Jefferson McDaniel, and was born in the 
vicinity of Moulton. When the Seventh Alabama left Fort Morgan for Pensacola 
young Daniel was very sick and eventually died. He was the only one of these ten 
noble yoUng men and true soldiers who failed to visit his home. I much regret that I can 
not give a circumstantial account of each one of them. 

The Ninth Alabama Regiment. 

The history of this noble regiment is as eventful as any which served during the 
late war. Arriving at Manassas only one day after the first battle at that place, they 
served under Gen. Joe Johnston until he was wounded, and then under General Lee 
until the surrender, except when they were detached for some bold enterprise under 
" Stonewall " Jackson. It was Napoleon Bonaparte's habit to emblazon on the flags of 
his veteran regiments in large letters, the names of the great battles in which they had 
taken part. But the battle flag of the Ninth Alabama could not have contained the names 
of the engagements in which they gathered laurels and shed their blood. The material 



Recollections op Noeth Alabama. 129 

of the regiment, both men and officers, was of the very best, which North Alabama 
could furnish. 

The companies which were to compose the regiment left home early in June, 1861, 
and were organized in Richmond, Va., in July. Calmus W. Wilcox was the colonel, 
Samuel Henry the lieutenant colonel, Edward A. O'Neal, also General, afterward Gov- 
ernor of Alabama, was the major, and Jeremiah Williams the second major. 

In October, 1861, when Colonel Wilcox was promoted to Brigadier General, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Henry was promoted to Colonel. Eventually he resigned, and Captain 
Horace King was made Colonel, at the special request of General Wilcox — continued with 
the regiment until the close of the war, and died a few years after, in Decatur. 

When Lieutenant Colonel Henry resigned, Capt. G. C. Smith, of aLimestone company, 
was appointed in his stead, and served until the close of the war. 

When Major O'Neal was transferred to the command of the Twenty-eighth Alabama 
Regiment, in March, 1862, Lieut. J. M. Crow, of Company, was promoted to major. 

Dr. John M. Hayes was surgeon of the Ninth Alabama, but was transferred at the 
same time with Major O'Neal.* Dr. Minor, of Mississippi, succeeded him. Dr. J. R. 
Edwards was assistant surgeon, and served until the surrender in that capacity. 

Company A, was from Mobile, Ala. Capt. T. H. Ripley (a half brother of 
our neighbor, Captain Comegys) was an accomplished officer, of great bravery. He 
resigned and raised a regiment, and was killed in some engagement in South Alabama. 

Captain Murphry, of Mobile, succeeded him. He was a descendant of Governor 

Murphry, of Alabama. A gentleman of culture and a brave officer. He was badly 
wounded at the battle of Second Manassas, and not well fitted for active service after- 
ward, but held his rank until the surrender. 

Company B, was from Jackson county, and was commanded by Captain Jere Will- 
iams, who is spoken of above. He was a brave man. and resigned because an officer 
below him was promoted to colonel. 

Company C, from Lawrence county, was commanded by Capt. James M. Warren. 
He was the son of Levi P. Warren, who lived near Moulton. He resigned, and became 
colonel of a cavalry regiment in General Roddy's command. This was, from its number, 
the color company. Donley, an Irishman, was first color bearer. He was recklessly 
brave, and was killed in the bloody battle of Cold Harbor. Shelton was the next one,, 
of the same fearless stamp, and was killed four days afterward. The post was not so 
much sought for after these casualties, and the men frequently changed until 1863, 
when the flag bearer was invested with the rank of first lieutenant, when Ed. R. Till, 
now of Waterloo, Ala., was appointed. He was of the right stamp for such a hazardous 
place, and although he lost an arm at Burgess' Mills, near the close of the war, returned 
to his duty, and served until the surrender. It was an honor to be the flag company,, 
but the post was a dangerous one, and not to be sought for. 

Company D, was from Lauderdale county, and commanded by Capt. J. B. Houston, 
a nephew of Governor Houston, of Alabama, Dr. Edwards, who has lived in Courtland 
since the war, was a member of this company until he became a surgeon. 

Company E, from Morgan county, was commanded by Capt. Horace King. He was 
a very efficient officer, and was promoted, at one step, to the command of the regiment. 

Company G, from Limestone county, was commanded by that excellent and brave 
gentleman, Thomas H. Hobbs (son of Ira Hobbs and Rebecca Macklin) till he was 
severely wounded at Cold Harbor, and died at Lynchburg. He was succeeded by Capt, 
John C. Peatherston, who is a brother of Mrs. Tweedy, wife of Dr. Tweedy,- of Court- 
land. He was a fine looking gentleman and a good officer. 

Company G, was commanded by Captain Hill, and was from Greene county. I am 
sorry my information is so meagre of this company. 

* Note. — The battle flag of the Twenty-sixth Alabama hangs on the wall at " Rocky Hill," the 
family home of Mrs. Hayes. Faded, and riddled with bullets, it yet proudly displays the names of 
>' Gettysburg," " Chancellorsville," "" Mechanicsville." 



130 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

Company H, was from Limestone county, and was commanded by Oapt. G. C. 
Smith, who was promoted to lieutenant colonel, after the resignation of his predecessor, 
Williams. He served efficiently until the surrender. 

Company I, was raised and commanded by Capt. Ed. A. O'Neal, of Florence, son of 
General O'Neal. He was transferred before active operations commenced to the com- 
mand of the Twenty -fifth Alabama Regiment, and thus getting beyond my jurisdiction, 
I am deprived of the pleasure of sketching the career of this eloquent, impressive and 
chivalrous officer. He was succeeded in the command of the company by Capt. D. W. 
Gillett, a splendid fellow, who was wounded at Williamsburg, and died at Richmond 
This was his first battle. He was wounded in the fleshy part of the arm, marched with 
his company on foot to Richmond, and died from this slight wound. 

Company K, was from Marshall county, and was commanded by Capt. Samuel 
Henry, who served as colonel of the regiment for some time. In the command of the 
company he was succeeded by Captain Sheffield, a good officer, who was transferred to 
the command of the Forty-seventh Alabama (I think). Col. S. has been frequently in 
our Legislature since the war, and is a politician of some note. The Lawrence com- 
pany, as first organized, stood thus : 

Captain, James M. Warren; first lieutenant, M. G. May; second lieutenant, G. W. 
Garth; third lieutenant, W. T. Couch; first sergeant, R. E. Davis; second sergeant, H. 
V. Whitehead; third sergeant, H. H. Bibb; fourth sergeant, A. Livingston; first cor- 
poral, Charles F. Davis, second corporal, J. R. Warren; third corporal, W. P. Farley; 
fourth corporal, D. C. Harrison. ' Lieut. G. W. Garth having been transferred to another 
command, those officers who were below him were promoted and J. K. McBride added 
to the list. Changes in the officers will be noted from time to time. 

Privates, 

Jeffrey Beck, G. S. Crittenden, R. Abies, J. L. McDowell, J. T. Cooper, James Dan- 
iel, Dennis Cullen, B. F. Gray, William Jennings, James Donahue, P. H. Morris. S. C. 
Clark, J. A. Isham, N. Eddy, E. W. Berry, J. E. Alexander, D. W. Glenn, J. T. Rover, 
J. M. Wright, J. H. House, J. E. Chilcoat, J. K. McBride, J. L. Harvey, James T. Car- 
ter, W. P. Holmes, S. M. Horton, J. B. Windham, J. W. Martin, E. W. Sale, L. P. 
Jones, Jeff Lindsay, A. F. Johnson, E. H. Coleman, A. L. Johnson, A. J. Wade, T. H. 
Riddle, A. J. Watkins, J. K. Whitlow, R. A. Hunter, Wm. Foote, John Washer, T. J. 
Austin, W. W. Alexander, M. B. Castleberry, J. W. Norwood, A. A. Sullivan, S. W. 
Crittenden, A. P. Montgomery, J. H. Odom, A. N. Thorn, J. R. Free, M. B. Crown- 
over. T. W. Wilson, J, A. Simmons, W. H. Thorn, Thomas J. Simmons, J. A. Bynum, 
Edwin Simmons, J. J. Whitlow, Noel C. Graham. 

In reading over this list of volunteers, my readers will recognize the names of many 
of the worthy early settlers of the county. 

This company on the day of their departure had a beautiful flag presented to them 
by Miss Mary Elliott, in terms so elegant and patriotic, they must have rung in their 
ears for many a day. The old men of this county, by a common impulse, opened their 
purses for the benefit of the volunteers, and the wives of the needy; Mr. John H. Har- 
ris heading the list, with the sum of five hundred dollars. 

When the Ninth Alabama reached Richmond they were organized at once, and after 
an address by President Davis, on the 12th of July, 1861, were sent to Strasburg, in the 
Valley of Virginia. After a few days they were ordered, by forced marches, to Manas- 
sas. They arrived at Piedmont, and on 20th July failed to get transportation on the 
train — and so were prevented taking part in the battle on the next day — officers and men 
chafed with disappointment. If the curtain of the future had been lifted, and these fiery 
spirits had been permitted to see, in one grand panorama, the long and " winding way" 
they were destined to pursue, leading through every one of those bloody fields which 
marked the career of General Lee — the broad Potomac, which, with bleeding feet, they 
were to wade four times in one campaign — if they could have felt, in advance, that burn- 
ing thirst, known only to the wounded soldier, whose blood was gushing from his veins, 



Recollections op North Alabama. 131 

they would have been well content to have bathed their gallant feet in the cold stream 
which flowed from the summit of the Blue Ridge, and rested their weary bodies on the 
green grass, upon its foot hills. It is fortunate that He who does all things well, had 
hidden these things from their view. The day after the battle, they reached Manass 
and were encamped there for many months. 

In the month of March, the Ninth Alabama was sent to Yorktown, to form a part 
•of General Magruder's small army of some 8000 men. The Federals had recovered from 
the depression produced by their defeat at Manassas. They were organizing a great 
army at Washington. All was bustle and activity. " The streets resounded with the 
wheels of artillery, and the tramp of cavalry. The best officers were engaged in drilling 
the raw troops, and every field around it was alive with regiments, being carried through 
their evolutions." The command of this great army was committed " to a young officer 
of rising reputation — Gen. George B. McClellan — who achieved success in Western Vir- 
ginia. He was not forty, but had impressed the authorities with a high opinion of his 
abilities. A soldier, by profession, and enjoying the distinction of having served with 
credit in the Mexican war, he had been sent as United States Commissioner to The 
Crimea, and on his return had written a book of marked ability, on the military organ- 
izations of the nations of Europe. From that time he became famous." — John Esten 
Gouke. 

"The route adopted by General McClellan for his advance upon Richmond, was by 
Fortress Monroe, and up the Peninsula. 113 steamers, 188 schooners, and 88 barges, 
were employed for thirty-seven days, in transporting his army with the animals, wagons, 
batteries, and equipage required. When he got ready for an advance, Gen. Jog. E. 
Johnston, in command of the Confederates, made a masterly retreat from Manassas, 
and suddenly appeared on the Peninsula with his army. He withdrew General 
Magruder from Yorktown, who was pursued by General McClellan's army. Gen Jos. 
E. Johnston was a Virginian by birth. He had held General Patterson in check in the 
Shenandoah Valley, deceived him and hastened to the assistance of General Beauregard, 
at Manassas. He, in face, figure, and character, was thoroughly the soldier. Above 
the medium height, with an erect figure in a closely fitting uniform 
buttoned to the chin, with a ruddy face; reserved in manner, brief of 
speech, without impulses of any description, it seemed that his appear- 
ance and bearing were military even to stiffness. As a soldier his reputation was 
deservedly high ; to unshrinking personal courage, he added a far-reaching capacity for 
the conduct of large operations" — (Cooke). The enemy having overtaken him at Will- 
iamsburg, he turned with his rear guard upon his pursuers and gave them a bloody 
.check, which will ever exact the applause of military critics. The first collision was 
late in the afternoon of a drizzly and dark day. " There was great confusion in the 
Federal ranks.' The men marched forward over leaves slippery with rain, over fallen 
trees, and across ravines, so that it was impossible to preserve an alignment of a com- 
pany, much more of a brigade. The night came ou pitch dark ; and the Forty-third New 
York fired, by mischance, into a Peunsylvania regiment. They were so much demoral- 
ized that the former had to be withdrawn next day" — (Northern historian, Draper). 

The next day General Hooker led the Federals to the attack, and he declared that 
he was " under a hot fire for nine hours." No doubt it seemed to be a long time to the 
General, when, in point of fact, it lasted from 1 to 4:30 p. M. But, in that short 
time, the Federals lost 2228 men in killed and wounded, according to their own report. 
In this fight the Ninth Alabama occupied the extreme right of the infantry, in a grove 
•of pines, which were large enough to shelter the men, so that their loss was small. Not 
so with their neighbor, the Nineteenth Mississippi, who happened to be posted in a 
small open field, for their loss was severe, and here fell their commander, Colonel Mott, 
a gentleman of culture, and an officer of much merit. The next morning General John- 
ston resumed his march to Richmond. Thomas J. Simmons, son of our worthy post- 
master at Courtland, was left behind, having been wounded in the thigh. He was kept 
.a prisoner about five months. It is worthy of remark, that after this battle our sur- 



132 Eably Settlers of Alabama. 

geons made a hospital of the venerable halls of William and Mary College, which was 
the oldest in the United States except Harvard. The former had educated, for nearly 
two hundred years, the sons of the Cavaliers, and Harvard, the sons of the Puritans. 
Thomas Jefferson was the representative man amongst the alumni of William and Mary, 
and Samuel Adams amongst those of Harvard. In the struggle for independence, the 
two stood side by side, and were both jealous of delegated power, and champions of the 
rights of States. Only a century had elapsed (a short time in the life of a nation) and, 
lo ! the sons of the Puritans, forgetful of their principles, attack the domestic institu- 
tions of their sister States, and " like reapers descend to the harvest of death," even 
under the moss-covered walls of this time-honored institution of learning. 

The Federal army did not resume their march until two days had elapsed ; for they 
had dead to bury, and wounded to care for. On the 24th of May, General McClellan 
arrived at Chickahominy creek, which flows through a fiat country, liable to overflow 
when freshets occur. The Confederates had destroyed all the bridges, after crossing, 
General McClellan had the lower bridge repaired, and crossed two of his corps ; one en' 
camped at Pair Oaks and Seven Pines ; and the other behind it. The rest of his army 
occupied the north bank of the stream, and his headquarters were in plain view of the 
spires of Richmond. "The Federal sword had nearly pierced the heart of "Virginia." 
His army, however, was in a dangerous position, for it was divided into two parts by the 
large creek. Prom the head of the column on the south side, counting by the bridge, to 
that on the north side, it was twelve miles ; although from one to the other, directly 
across, it was only a few miles. In view of this state of things, General Johnston deter- 
mined to attack that portion of the Federal army, which was encamped on the south 
bank. Nature favored this plan. It had rained heavily on the 29th, and on the night 
of the 30th of May, a deluge of rain fell. On the next day the battle occurred ; and it 
was one of the most desperate and bloody of the war. The Confederate attack was fierce 
and sudden, and drove the first corps of the enemy back for a mile, took two camps and 
six guns ; and made an unsuccessful attempt to turn the enemy's left, which rested on a 
swamp. General Johnston then in turn, made a determined attack on the Federal right 
by passing down between it and the creek, when an event occurred which changed the 
whole aspect of the battle. It had been going on for three and a half hours, when Gen- 
eral McClellan ordered General Sumner to cross the swollen stream, which was rising' 
rapidly, to relieve their comrades, on the south side, who were sorely pressed. Sedg- 
wick's division of 15,000 men crossed the swollen stream over a tottering bridge, which 
had been constructed nearly opposite the battle-field, and he had dragged over by hand 
a battery of twenty-four Napoleon guns. It was well he moved rapidly, for it was not 
long afterward before the bridge was submerged by the angry flood. Sumner urged his 
men on, and guided them through the woods, by the roar of the battle. In the mean- 
time the Confederates steadily forced their way." The evening was coming on dark and 
gloomy, and dark and gloomy was the prospect of the two corps who had been separated 
from the Federal army. But Sumner planted his guns in a clearing of the woods. 
The Confederate column pressing on victoriously for Bottom's bridge must show its- 
flank to this battery. The flanker was out- flanked — (Draper). 

About sunset General Johnston was severely wounded by the fragment of a shell 
whilst superintending this attack ; and the nature of the wound rendered it impossible for' 
him to retain command of the army. Night fell on a field where neither side could claim 
a victory. The Confederates, however, had given a severe check to the enemy. In this- 
battle the Ninth Alabama Regiment of Wilcox's Brigade was actively engaged, but again 
suffered a very small loss. An interesting incident occurred during the battle. A 
good young man named Vaughn, of Hobbs' company, was shot down, and sent for Dr. 
Edwards. When asked how he was hurt, he answered, laying his hand upon his heart, 
' ' Doctor, I am shot plumb through and through." When the doctor examined he found 
that a large ball had struck him just over his heart, and buried itself in his pocket 
Bible, which he uniformly carried in his breast-pocket. The effect on the boys in camp 
was very decided. A great many carried Bibles in their breast pockets. Not long after- 



Recollections op North Alabama. 133 

ward, however, young was saved from death in a similar way, except that the 

shield this time was a pack of cards. So between the card-player and Bible readers 
" honors were easy." 

"A steed comes at morning, no rider is there — 
But the bridle is stained with the sign of despair." 

In the battle already recounted, this regiment was fortunate in having sustained but 
little loss ; but sorrow came to many a family in North Alabama from the carnage in the 
engagements which I am about to sketch. 

On the 3d of June, 1862, Robert E. Lee was appointed Commander of the Army in 
the place of General Johnston. Robert E. was descended from illustrious ancestors. 
The most remote of these, Launcelot Lee, came from France to England with William 
the Conqueror. A later one, Lionel Lee, went with Richard, the lion hearted, on his 
third crusade; and displayed great gallantry at the siege of Acre. His father was Gen. 
Henry Lee (Light Horse Harry of Revolutionary fame). Robert was uniformly a steady, 
good boy, and during the whole time he was at West Point did not receive a single 
demerit. Three years after graduating, he married Mary Custis, daughter of Mr. 
George Washington Custis — the adopted son of General Washington. He entered the 
army, in 1846, and was a captain and assigned to duty as Chief Engineer of the Central 
Army of Mexico. He made a great reputation in this position. In 1855, when the 
Second Cavalry (corps d'elite) of the United States Army was organized he was made 
one of its officers. The Colonel was Albert Sidney Johnston — the Lieut. Col., Robert 
E. Lee — Senior Major, William J. Hardee — Senior Captain, Earl Van Dorn — the next 
ranking Captain, Kirby Smith — Lieutenants Hood, Fields, Cosby ; Majors, Fitz-Hugh 
Lee, Johnston, Palmer and Stevenson — all of whom became general officers on the 
Southern side, except George H. Thomas (who was the Junior Major) and the three last 
mentioned, who became generals in the Northern Army. What a constellation of mili- 
tary genius for a single regiment ! 

When Virginia passed the Act of Secession Lieutenant Colonel Lee resigned his posi- 
tion in the army and took the part of his native State. In a private letter to a friend he 
said: " The whole South is in a state of revolution, into which Virginia, after a long 
struggle, ha& been drawn, and though I recoguize no necessity for such a state of 
things, and would have forborne and pleaded to the end, for redress of grievances, real 
or supposed, yet in my own person I had to meet the question, whether I should take 
part against my native State." 

McClellan's army, then before Richmond, when it landed on the peninsula had 
159,000 men, and, on the day of General Lee's appointment, 115,000 men present and 
ready for duty. Besides these there were about 60,000 more under McDowell, and 
other commanders, for which he had been anxiously looking. But Gen. (Stonewall) 
Jackson was in the Shenandoah valley, with orders to threaten Washington, and to em- 
barrass the movements of McClellan in his attack on Richmond. The manner in which 
he performed this duty constitutes a brilliant portion of the military annals of the Con- 
federacy. To sum it up in few words, " He had been pursued by three major generals, 
and turning upon his pursuers, at every opportunity, had made good his retreat. He 
had diverted large reinforcements from McClellan, had neutralized a National force of 
60,000 men, and given to the Southern armies the prestige of victory. He was now 
ready to join the army in front of Richmond, opposing McClellan's advance " (Draper). 
So great was the consternation produced .at Washington by his rapid blows that the 
Secretary of War issued a circular to each of the Governors of the Northern States 
" To organize and send forward all volunteer and militia force in your State," and the 
President seized upon all the railroads for the purpose of transporting them. These 
acts were founded on the belief (which General Lee caused by a ruse) that Jackson had 
been reinforced, and was marching on to Washington, when, at that very time, he was 
making forced marches toward Richmond, to aid General Lee in crushing McClellan 
before Federal reinforcements could arrive. 



134 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

When General Lee assumed command, MeClellan had advanced his left wing withitt 
four or five miles of the city, and was protected by the strongest defences which bristled 
with artillerj^. The right wing of this army still lay north of the Chickahominy, but 
they Were connected by a number of solid bridges. General Lee was satisfied that it 
would be very hazardous to attack in front, and with a view of ascertaining the defences- 
of the enemy on the right flank and rear, he organized 

Stuart's Ride Around McGlellan. 

Gen. J. E. B, Stuart was a Virginian by birth, and not yet thirty years of age. 
When the war commenced he was lieutenant in the United States cavalry ; he joined 
Johnston in the valley, and impressed him with a high opinion of his abilities. At 
Manassas he charged and broke a regiment of zouave infantry, protected the rear of 
the army when Johnston retreated, and, at Williamsburg, protected our right (the 
Ninth Alabama) from being turned, marching, and countermarching, in such a way as 
to make the impression that the cavalry was twice as many as they really were. In 
person, he was of medium height; his frame was broad and powerful; he wore a heavy 
brown beard flowing upon his breast, a huge moustache of the same color, with ends 
curling upward, and the blue eyes flashing beneath a "piled up" forehead, had at 
times the dazzling brilliancy attributed to the eyes of the eagle. Pond of movement, 
adventure, bright colors, and all the pomp and pageantry of war, Stuart had entered on 
the struggle with ardor, and enjoyed it as the huntsman does the chase. Young, ardent, 
ambitious, as brave as steel, ready with jest or laughter, with his banjo player following 
him, going into the hottest battle humming a song, this young Virginian was in truth, 
an original character, and impressed powerfully all who approached him. One who- 
knew him well wrote: "Everything striking, brilliant and picturesque, seemed to 
centre in him." 

The war seemed to be, to Stuart, a splendid and exciting game, in which his blood 
coursed joyously in his veins, and his immensely strong; physical organization found an 
arena for the display of its faculties. The affluent life of the man craved those perils 
and hardships which flush the pulses, and make the heart beat fast. He swung himself 
into the saddle at the sound of the bugle, as the huDter springs on horseback and at 
such movements his cheeks glowed and his huge moustache curled with enjoyment. 
The romance and poetry of the hard trade of arms seemed first to be inaugurated when 
this joyous cavalier, with his floating plume and splendid laughter, appeared upon the 
great arena of the war in Virginia. Precise people shook their heads and called him 
frivolous, undervaluing his great abilities. Those best acquainted with him were of a 
different opinion. Johnston wrote to him from the West: " How can I eat or sleep 
without you on my outpost?" Jackson said when he fell, " Go back to' General Stuart 
and act upon his own judgment, and do what he thinks best I have implicit confidence 
in him." Lee said, when he was killed at Yellow Tavern : "lean scarcely think of 
him without weeping." And the brave General Sedgwick of the U. S. Army, said; 
" Stuart is the best cavalry officer ever foaled in North America" — (John Esten Cooke). 

With a picked force of 1500 men, officered by the two Lees and others, he drove 
the outposts of the enemy from Hanover Courthouse, broke two squadrons of eavalry 
near Old Church, pushed on to York River Railroad which he crossed burning or cap- 
turing all Federal stores met with, including enormous wagon camps; and then finding 
the way back barred against him, and the Federal army on the alert, he continued his 
march with rapidity, passed entirely around General MeClellan' s army, and building a 
bridge over the Chickahominy, safely re-entered the Confederate lines, jusi as a force 
appeared on his rear. He reported to General Lee that the right and rear of the enemy 
were unprotected by works of any strength. 

Jackson marched and countermarched with a pretence of advancing down the valley. 
At last one morning he disappeared and marched rapidly to join General Lee. Not even 
his own soldiers knew what direction they were taking. They were forbidden by gen- 
eral order to intimate even the names of the towns they passed through ; directed to 



Recollections , of North Alabama. 135 

reply to every question "I don't know," and it is said that when Jackson demanded the 
name and regiment of a soldier robbing a cherry tree, he could extract from the man no 
reply but "I don't know." When Jackson reached Ashland, forty-six miles from 
Richmond, he, with a relay of horses, rode rapidly to General Lee's camp. A council 
of war was held at once. While the corps of commanders was being convened, General 
Lee asked General Jackson to take some refreshments, but he answered that he " was 
not hungry." He then invited him to rest on his bed, and he said he " was not tired." 
In this council was determined the mode in which the enemy was to be attacked and 
when it closed General Jackson mounted his horse and rode back to his army as rapidly, 
as he came. This was the first interview which had taken place between these great 
commanders since the commencement of the war. 

General Lee's plan was to send a force under Gen. A. P. Hill to cross the Chicka- 
hominy, ten miles above the right of the enemy, which was at Mechaniesville, and when 
they were driven back, Gen. A. B. Longstreet, who was stationed opposite, was to cross 
the bridge at that place. " General Hill, a Virginian by birth, was the representative of 
the spirit and dash of the army. Under forty years of age, with a slender figure, a 
Ireavily-bearded face, dark eyes, a composed and unassuming bearing, he was personally 
popular with all, and greatly beloved as a man and commander. His chief merit, as a 
soldier, was his dash and impetus in the charge. A braver heart never beat in human 
breast; throughout the war he retained the admiration and respect of the army and 
country; and a strange fact in relation to this eminent soldier is, that his name was 
uttered by both Jackson and Lee, as they expired." — {Coolie.) He made the attack in 
his usual dashing style and he was joined by Longstreet, who crossed the bridge imme- 
diately, and so the first act in this bloody drama was accomplished. " Gen. A. B. Long- 
street was able and resolute — an officer of low and powerful stature, with a heavy brown 
beard reaching to his breast, a manner marked by unalterable composure and a counte- 
nance, whose expression, phlegmatic tranquillity, never varied^ in the hottest hours of 
battle. Longstreet was as famous for his bull-dog obstinacy, as Hill was for his dash 
and enthusiasm. General Lee styled him his ' old war horse,' and depended upon him 
in some of the most critical operations of the war." — {Coolie.) 

General Lee's plan succeeded in all respects except that General Jackson had been 
delayed in his march and he found himself in front of the Federal army, who occupied 
a strong position, and as time was precious, he was compelled to make the attack without 
him. John Bsten Cooke, who was on the staff of General Lee, and was an eye-witness, one 
of the most graphic writers in America. I will here quote his account of this momentous 
battle — Cold Harbor : 

" The memorable 27th of Junehad dawned clear and cloudless, and the brilliant sun- 
shine gave promise of a day on which the elements would not check the bloody work to 
be performed. Hill advanced steadily on the track of the retiring Federal forces, and 
about noon came in front of the very powerful position of the main body near Cold Har- 
bor. General McClellan had drawn up his force ou the ridge, the left of which was pro- 
tected by a deep ravine, and his right rested on elevated ground. His whole line was 
protected by difficult approaches ; the ground was swampy or covered with tangled 
undergrowth, or both. The ridge had been fortified by breastworks of felled trees and 
earth, behind which the long lines of infantry supported by numerous artillery, 
awaited the attack. 

" The Federal force was commanded by the brave and able Gen. Fitz John Porter. 
The moment had come. A. P. Hill pressing forward rapidly, with Longstreet' s divi- 
sion, on the right, reached Cold Harbor in front of the enemy, about noon. Hill im- 
mediately attacked and an engagement of the most sanguinary character ensued. Gen- 
eral Lee, accompanied by General Longstreet, had ridden from his headquarters to the 
scene of action, and now witnessed in person the fighting of the troops, who charged 
under his eye, closing in a nearly hand-to-hand conflict with the enemy. This was the 
first occasion on which a considerable portion of the men had seen him, and that air of 
supreme calmness which always characterized him in action, must have made a deep 



136 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

impression upon them. He was clad simply, and wore scarcely any badges of rank. A 
felt hat drooped low over the broad forehead, and the eyes beneath were calm and 
unclouded. Add a view of measured calmness, the air of immovable composure which 
marked the erect military figure, evidently at home in the saddle, and the reader will 
have a just conception of General Lee's personal appearance in the first of the great 
battles in his career. 

" Hill attacked with that dash and obstinacy which, from this time forward, char- 
acterized him ; but succeeded in making no impression on the Federal line. In every 
assault he was repulsed with heavy loss. The Federal artillery, which was handled with 
skill and coolness, did great execution upon his column as it rushed forward, and the 
infantry behind their works stood firm, in spite of the most determined efforts to drive 
them from the ridge. Three of Hill's regiments reached the crest and fought hand to 
hand over the breastworks, but they were speedily repulsed, and driven from the crest, 
and after two hours hard fighting Hill found that he had lost heavily, and effected 
nothing. 

" It was now half-past two o'clock in the afternoon, and General Lee listened with 
anxiety for the sound of guns from the left, which would herald the approach of Gen- 
eral Jackson. Nothing was heard from that quarter, however, and affairs were growing 
critical. The Confederate attack had been repulsed — the Federal position seemed 
impregnable — and, said General Lee, ' it became apparent that the enemy were gradu- 
ally gaining ground.' * * It became necessary to act without delay, without awaiting 
the approach of General Jackson. General Lee directed General Longstreet to make a 
feint movement against the enemy's left, and thus relieve the pressure on Hill. Long- 
street proceeded with promptness to obey the order ; advanced in the face of a heavy 
fire, and with a cross-fire of artillery raking his right over the Chickahominy, and made 
the feint which had been ordered by General Lee. It effected nothing, and to attain the 
desired result, it was found necessary to turn the feint into a real attack. This Long- 
street proceeded to do, first dispersing with a single volley a force of cavalry, which had 
the temerity to charge his infantry. As he advanced, and attacked the powerful position 
before him, the roar of guns was heard on the left of Lee's line. General Jackson had 
arrived and thrown his troops into action without delay. He then rode forward to Gold 
Harbor, where General Lee awaited him, and the two soldiers shook hands in the midst 
of tumultuous cheering from the troops. The contrast between the two men was 
extremely striking. We have presented a sketch nf the grave commander-in-chief, with 
his erect and graceful seat in the saddle, his imposing dignity of demeanor, and his 
calm and deliberate tones, as deliberate as though he were in a drawing-room. Jackson 
was a very different personage. He was in a dingy old coat, wore a discolored cadet 
cap, tilted almost upon his nose, and rode a raw-boned horse, with short stirrups, which 
raised his knees in a very ungraceful manner. Neither in his face nor figure was there 
the least indication of the great faculties of the man, and a more awkward-looking per- 
sonage it would be impossible to imagine. In his hand he held a lemon, which he sucked 
from time to time, and his demeanor was abstracted and silent. 

As Jackson approached Lee rode toward him and greeted him with a cordial pressure 
of the hand. 

"Ah, general, I am very glad to see you. I hoped to be with you before." 
Jackson made a twitching movement of the hand, and replied in a few words, rather 
jerked from the lips than deliberately uttered. Lee had paused, and now listened to 
the long roll of musketry from the woods, where Hill and Longstreet were engaged ; 
theu to the still more incessant and angry roar from the direction of Jackson's own 
troops, who had closed in upon the Federal forces. 

" That fire is very heavy," said Lee. " Do you think your men can stand it?" 
Jackson listened for a moment, with his head bent toward one shoulder, as was 
customary with him, for he was deaf, he said, in one ear, and could not hear very well 
out of the other, and replied briefly : ' ' They can stand almost anything ! They can 
stand that!" 



Recollections of North Alabama. 137 

He then, after receiving General Lee's instructions, immediately saluted him and 
returned to his corps — Lee remaining still at Cold Harbor, which was opposite the 
Federal centre. 

"The arrival of Jackson changed, in a moment, the aspect of affairs in every part 
of the field. Whitney's division of his command took position on Longstreet's left; the 
•command of D. H. Hill on the extreme right of the whole line, and EvrelPs division, 
with part of Jackson's old division, supported A. P. Hill. No sooner had these disposi- 
tions been made, than General Lee ordered an attack along the whole line. It was now 
five or six o'clock, and the sun was sinking. Prom that moment until night came, the 
battle raged with a fury unsurpassed in any subsequent engagement of the war. The 
Texas troops under General Hood especially distinguished themselves. These, followed 
by their comrades, charged the Federal left on the bluff, and in spite of a desperate re- 
sistance, carried the position. 

" The enemy were driven," says General Lee, <; from the ravine to the first line of 
breastworks, over which one impetuous column dashed, up to the intrenchments on the 
crest." Here the Federal artillery was captured, their line driven from the hill, aud in 
other parts of the field a similar success followed the attack. As night fell, their line 
gave way in all parts, and the remnants of General Porter's command returned to the 
bridges on the Chickahominy. 

In this engagement the Ninth Alabama, in Wilcox's brigade, and Longstreet's divi- 
sion, was actively engaged on the right of our army. Here the contest was in a wood 
on each side of a ravine which ran parallel to the Federal line and entered into the 
Chickahominy. The bottom of the ravine was a washed channel, with perpendicular 
sides, in many places too high to be scaled ; and our men were repulsed with heavy loss, 
until the final charge was made all along the line. The death roll of Lawrence volun- 
teers during the war was very great, and only a remnant of them now survive. It is 
pretty well known which of them died in battle, but there is much uncertainty as to the 
battles in which they fell, or were wounded. With most of the survivors with whom 
I have conversed there is a want of distinctness as to the recollection of the circum- 
stances. The events of the war seem to float before their mental vision like a horrid 
phantasmagoria. I have therefore concluded to make no special report of casualties 
after each battle, except in cases well attested, but to append a death roll to the last 
number I will write on this regiment. As already mentioned, here fell Capt. Thos. H. 
Hobbs; so severely wounded that he died shortly afterward, also Donley, the brave Irish- 
man, the color-hearer of the regiment, and of Warren's company; Alexander Isham 
was killed, and J. B. Windham and Gray Whitehead wounded, with many others. 

The Retreat of McCIellan. 

After this bloody victory, for which the Confederates paid very dearly, General 
McCIellan determined to retreat to James river, and the next morning started his sup- 
ply train of 5000 wagons, his siege train, and 2500 oxen. He had, for some time, con 
templated a change of base from York to James river ; but he did not expect to exe- 
cute this plan " upon compulsion." He anticipated the arrival of General McDowell, 
with a large force, to occupy his right, while, with the remainder of his army, he would 
move by his left, and rest it on James river. However, his retreat was conducted with 
the ability of the great commander he was. Lee sent Magruder to attack the Federal 
rear, at Savage's Station. They were destroying all the material they could not carry 
away, and as the Confederates approached they set fire to a train heavily loaded with 
supplies and shells, and turned it loose under a full head of steam. It thundered along 
with the shells exploding as it went, and was sent headlong over the broken bridge into 
the Chickahominy. 

. Their line in retreat was over eight miles long. General Jackson hung upon their 
rear ; but Franklin was there, and he was kept at bay. The Federals had to pass through 
A swamp four miles wide, and Lee had a strong force under Hill and Longstreet to 
attack them beyond it in flank; but there they met Keys, who had taken a strong posi- 



38 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

tion, and were repulsed. In this action at " Frazier's Farm" it was McCall's Fed' 
eral division which was attacked. McCall, in his report, says, "Randall's battery was 
charged by the Confederates in great force, and with a reckless impetuosity, I never saw 
equaled. They advanced at a run over six hundred yards of open ground. The guns of 
the battery mowed them down, yet they never paused. A volley of musketry was poured 
into them by the Fourth Infantry in support of this battery, but it did not check them 
for a moment. They dashed on, and pistoled and bayoneted the cannoniers." 

In this conflict General McCall reported that one-fourth of his division had been killed 
or wounded. He himself was taken prisoner, and General Meade severely wounded. 
On the part of the Confederates who were repulsed, the losses were great. General 
Pryor, who commanded the fifth brigade of Longstreet's corps, speaking of the Four- 
teenth Alabama, says it was nearly annihilated. 

Here the Mnth Alabama lost another gallant color-bearer — Shelton. And, amongst 
the Lawrence volunteers, R. A. Hunter and A. Livingston were killed, and Gray Whit- 
field and many others wounded. Livingston was a gray-haired man, who was sergeant 
in his company. I think he was the son of Samuel Livingston already mentioned as 
having served under General Jackson in the Creek war. 

All night the Federal column pursued its weary way, and before day arrived at 
Malvern Hill. This was an elevated plateau, cleared of timber, about a mile and a half 
long, by three-fourths of a mile wide. It was a very strong position. Tier after 
tier of batteries were seen on the slope of the hill which rose in the form of an amphi- 
theatre. The first line of batteries could be reached only by passing over an open field 
of three hundred yards, exposed to grape and canister from cannon, and musketry from 
the infantry. Brigade after brigade forming in the woods, was started in a run over 
the open field to capture the batteries ; but the heavy fire of the volleys of the Federal 
infantry in every instance sent them reeling back, and covered the ground with the dead 
and wounded. Until dark, General Lee persisted in his efforts to carry the position, but 
every charge was fearfully repulsed. 

This battle was followed by a dark and stormy night, hiding the agony of thou- 
sands who lay on the blood-stained slopes of MalvernHill. The next morning, the enemy 
was nowhere to be seen. They had retreated to Harrison's landing. 

Thus ended the campaign of Lee and McClellan. The most accomplished officer of 
the Federal army had been beaten — the siege of Richmond had been raised — more than 
10,000 prisoners had been captured, including officers, and fifty-two pieces of artillery, 
and 35,000 stand of small arms. The losses on both sides, in killed and wounded, were 
very heavy, but it is believed that the losses of the Federals were much the greater. 

After these engagements terminated, the Ninth Alabama, in line, counted only sixty- 
three muskets, so many had been lost by death, by wounds, by details, and by the 
exhaustion of the men from the extreme heat of the weather. 

The campaign was over, Richmond, for this time, was saved. McClellan lay on 
the James river below, with his army badly shattered and despondent. The army of 
Lee returned to their quarters before Richmond, for rest. The Ninth Alabama went 
into their old camp, where their slightly wounded had been collected in a hospital, from 
the battle-fields of Cold Harbor, Frazier's Farm, and Malvern Hill, under charge of 
Surgeons Minor and Edwards ; while those hurt more seriously were in the hospital at 
Richmond. For awhile the shadow of battle and death rested darkly over the men ; but 
it was not long before a healthy reaction took place, they regained their wonted cheerful- 
ness, and the camp again became a scene of thoughtless gayety and mirth. In a few 
weeks the regiment became strong in numbers again. 

But the commander-in-chief knew that nothing decisive had yet occurred. McClellan 
lay thirty miles below the city, with an army of 90,000 men. He was in a position most 
dangerous to the Confederate capital, and from which General Grant, finally, effected 
its downfall. 

McClellan insisted, in an interview with General Haileck, upon advancing upon the 
Petersburg side, but his advice was not taken. In the meantime a new Federal com- 



Recollections op North Alabama. 139 

mander appeared at Culpeper Court House, and threatened the capital from that side. 
General Pope had been called from the West, to take command of the forces which 
operated in the valley of Virginia, with large reinforcements. For some time it was 
uncertain from which side the real attack would come. But the secret was discovered 
by Col. John S. Mosby, then a private, who on his return from prison in Washington, 
saw that Burnside's flotilla from the south, instead of ascending James river, were on 
their way to reinforce General Pope, and communicated the fact at once to Mr. Davis at 
Richmond. 

In a few hours the army was under marching orders, and General Lee determined 
to fight General Pope before he became too strong. General Jackson had been sent 
several weeks before to confront the Federal army, and had checked General Pope's 
advance by a sharp action at Cedar Mountain. The bulk of the army was moved by 
General Lee in that direction, and on the 19th of August, 1862, he issued his orders for 
an immediate attack, but General Pope fell back behind the Rappahannock and guarded 
all the fords. 

General Stuart had been sent to the rear of the Federals, and at Catlett's Station 
he captured the headquarters of General Pope, and carried away a box of official docu- 
ments. These papers which Stewart hastened — marching day and night — through storm 
and flood — to convey to General Lee, presented the clearest evidence of the enemy's 
movements and designs. Troops were hastening in every direction to reinforce General 
Pope, and the entire force on James river was to be added to his army. The case ad- 
mitted of no delay. He decided to send General Jackson, by a route near the Mountain, 
to fall on the rear of the enemy at Manassas. Jackson crossed the Rappahannock, by 
an old ford, high up and out of sight of the enemy, marched day and night, passed through 
Thoroughfare Gap, west of Manassas, and completely destroyed the immense mass of 
supplies in the depot at that place. The whole movement had been so rapid, and Gen- 
eral Stuart had so fully guarded the flank of the advancing column from observation, 
that Manassas was a mass of smoking ruins, before General Pope suspected the danger. 
He hastily broke up his camp, and hurried to attack Jackson. General Lee, who had 
been confronting the Federal army with Longstreet's bare corps, by forced marches, 
hastened to the support of Jackson, by the same route on which that General had marched. 
It was a trial of speed, and Lee feared that his friend would be crushed by the great 
numbers of the enemy before he could relieve him. The Ninth Alabama was still in 
Wilcox' brigade, Anderson's division, and Longstreet's corps; and shared in his forced 
march. It is a coincidence somewhat strange, that the year before they were in a march 
for Manassas which strained every nerve, but missed the first battle at that place by one 
day — and now, with blistered feet, they were aiming to reach the same place. This 
time, however, they arrived at the field of conflict in time. Jackson had burned the 
stores at Manassas on the 29th, and on the next day Pope hurried to attack him. Jack- 
son having accomplished his object fell back to Sadley, and awaited the coming of Lee, 
with his back to the mountain. Lee reached the western end of Thoroughfare Gap on 
the 28th, at sunset, and heard the sound of artillery. He had great fear that the gap 
was strongly guarded, and that he would not be able to reach Jackson. It proved to be 
occupied by a division under command of General King (Draper, 3d Vol., p. 439) ; but 
Lee assaulted it at once, sending a flanking column around the north side ; and the di- 
vision fell back, leaving the gap open for Longstreet's corps, which formed next day on 
the l'ight of Jackson, upon the same field on which the first battle of Manassas was- 
fought; but this time the Confederates occupied the ground which the Federals did 
then. 

v The second battle of Manassas was fought on the twenty-ninth and thirtieth days of 
August. Lee's army was formed in the shape of a V, with the open side next to the; 
enemy; General Jackson's corps being the left, and Longstreet's the right. On the^ 
last day after noon, the Federal right attacked Jackson's left, under A. P. Hill. " An 
obstinate conflict ensued; the opposing lines fighting almost bayonet to bayonet, deliv- 
ering their volleys into each other at the distance of ten paces." At one time Jackson's 



140 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

line was penetrated in A. P. Hill's division, but the injury was repaired. The Federal 
troops returned, again and again to the encounter; and General Hill reported six differ- 
erent assaults made upon him. {Life of Lee.) 

On the second day of the battle the armies remained in the face of each other until 
3 o'clock in the afternoon. "General Pope then resumed the attack upon Jackson's 
left with his best troops. The charge was furious, and a bloody struggle ensued ; but 
Jackson succeeded in repulsing the force. It fell back in disorder, but was succeeded 
by a second and third line, which rushed forward at the ' double quick,' in a desperate 
attempt to break the Southern line. These new attacks were met with greater obstinacy 
than at first; and just as the opponents had closed in, a heavy fire was directed against 
the Federal column by Col. S. D. Lee, commanding the artillery at Lee's centre. (Our 
readers will remember Gen. Stephen D. Lee, who, with a large cavalry force, once de- 
fended our homes in North Alabama from ' war's desolation,' at a time when the night 
march of Federal armies was illuminated by dwellings in flames. This modest, unpre- 
tending, learned, and gallant gentleman is now presiding over an agricultural college 
at Starkville, Miss., with the same calm energy which he displayed at Manassas.) 
This fire, which was of the most rapid and destructive character, struck the enemy in 
front and flank-, at once, and seemed to sweep back the charging brigades as they came. 
The fire of the cannon was then redoubled, and Jackson's line advanced with cheers. 
Before this charge the Federal line broke, and Jackson pressed forward, allowing them 
no respite. General Lee then threw forward Longstreet, who pressed them in front and 
flank ; as Lee intended in forming this peculiar line. The Federal forces were driven 
from position to position ; and at 10 at night the darkness put an end to the battle and 
pursuit. General Pope was retreating with his forces toward Washington." 

In this engagement the Ninth Alabama occupied a place near the right of Long- 
street's corps, and although they were engaged but a short time, the conflict was stub- 
born and they lost many in killed and wounded. The latter, as soon as their wounds 
were dressed, went back at once to the hospital at Richmond (an indication that some 
unusual movement was contemplated by General Lee), and this proved to be the march 
into Maryland. 

On the 3d of September, General Lee put his army in motion and crossed the 
Potomac at Leesburg, the infantry wading the river. The troops had not recovered 
from the fatigue of the heavy marching and fighting they had undergone of late. 
Moreover, the men were ragged, and with scarcely shoes upon their feet, and in a poor 
condition to undertake an invasion ; the consequence was that there were a great many 
stragglers from the ranks. At Frederick, Anderson's division was detached to aid 
General Jackson in the reduction of Harper's Ferry. 

In the meantime General Pope reached Washington and resigned his command ; and 
General McClellan was again appointed to command the Federal army. The invasion 
caused an immense excitement in the North, and in a few days McClellan was able to 
collect an army and to march in pursuit of General Lee, who was marching leisurely in the 
direction of Hagerstown, to allow Jackson time for the capture of Harper's Ferry. 
That officer displayed his usual energy. He occupied the heights around the place with 
artillery, and after an attack of two hours the garrison surrendered about 8 o'clock on 
the morning of the 15th of September. Fast riding couriers brought the welcome news 
to General Lee, as he was approaching Sharpsburg ; and soon official information was 
received that more than eleven thousand prisoners, thirteen thousand small arms and 
seventy-three cannons had been captured. General McClellan was in pursuit of General 
Lee; and all along his march he fired signal guns to inform the officer at Harper's 
Ferry of his approach. General Lee had drawn up his forces on the west of Antietam 
creek, and waited the coming of Jackson. Longstreet's corps was on the right resting 
on the creek ; D. H. Hill's command was on his left, and next, two brigades under General 
Hood, and when Jackson arrived he was directed to form on the left of Hood — while 
Stuart, with his cavalry and horse artillery, occupied the remainder of the ground to 
the Potomac river. General McClellan formed his army on the ridge east of the creek 



Recollecrions of North Alabama. 141 

numbering eighty thousand, according to his report, while that of General Lee num- 
bered less than forty thousand men according to his report. 

General Jackson arrived on the field in the evening of the 16th of September, with 
4000 of his men, Bwell's division of 2400, and his old division of 1600 men. The last 
was held back as a reserve. I insert an account of the first act in this bloody drama 
from a Northern historian. "As soon as he could see, Hooker with his corps (there 
were 18,000 men — Swinton) made so furious an attack on Jackson's brigades that they 
could not retain their hold, but were expelled with severe loss, across the cornfield of the 
battle-area, and into the woods, where were their reserves. These issuing forth, after 
an infuriated struggle, succeeded in checking Hooker's advance. The antagonists fight- 
ing in a cloud of sulphurous smoke, almost annihilated each other. It was necessary to- 
withdraw the wreck of Jackson's regiments to the rear, and replace them by Hood's 
division. On the other side, Hooker's corps was nearly destroyed." 

In this first struggle, the roar of which was heard by the Ninth Alabama, as they 
waded the Potomac at Shepherdstown, a few miles off — Bwell's division had sustained 
the shock, and it was truly a wreck. In one hour after dawn, General Lawton, division 
commander, was wounded and carried from .the field ; Colonel Douglas, division com- 
mander, was killed ; Lawton's brigade lost 554 killed and wounded, out of 1150, and five 
or six regimental commanders. Eayes' brigade lost 323 outof 550, and all the regimental 
commanders. Walker's brigade lost 228 oat of less than 700 ; and three out of four 
regimental commanders; and out of the staff officers of the division, scarcely one 
remained. " Mansfield's corps had now reached the field, and made its way down to the 
Hagerstown road, where it was met by the division of D. H. Hill, which had come out 
of the woods at the Dunker church. Another furious encounter ensued, and the valley 
was filled with smoke. Out of the battle's din, the yells of the Confederates, and the 
cheers of the national troops — down in the cornfield, came forth a ghastly procession of 
wounded men. Mansfield's troops were driven back to the woods, from which they had 
emerged. Mansfield was killed and Hooker wounded." — (Draper.) The Ninth Ala-' 
bama arrived just in time to take part in the second struggle, and lost severely in killed 
and wounded. 

The third act of this drama opened the appearance of a third corps of the Federals 
under General Sumner (an officer of great dash and courage), which made a vigorous 
charge. General Lee had sent to the rear the brigades of Colquit, Ripley, and McRea, 
and with these and the forces he had before, Jackson presented a stubborn front ; but 
his loss was heavy. General Starke, of his old division, was killed; the brigade, regi- 
mental, and company officers fell almost without an exception, and the brigades dwin- 
dled to mere handfnls. Under the great pressure, Jackson was at length forced back. 
Sedgwick's division followed the retiring Confederates. This was the turning point of 
the battle. Genei-al Lee witnessed the conflict on his left, with great anxiety, but he 
was unable to send more troops. Fortunately, however, General MeLaws, who had been 
delayed in his march from Harper's Ferry, arrived, and was hurried to the left. Jack- 
son was holding his ground with difficulty, when MeLaws and Walker were sent to him. 
As soon as they arrived they were thrown into action — the onward rush of the Federal 
line was checked, Jackson's weary men took heart — the enemy were driven back by the 
advance of Lee's whole force; and he reoccupied the line from which General Sumner 
had forced him to retire. The great struggle on the left was over — (Life of Lee). 

Later in the day, owing to a mistake of orders, a gap had been left in the centre, 
where D. H. Hill commanded. The enemy saw it, and a sudden rush was made to 
pierce the line. D. H. Hill, with the help of a few officers of promptness and courage 
(amongst them Lieut. Col. Ben. Taylor, then commanding O'Neal's old company), 
rallied a few hundred men (amongst them about seventy of the Ninth Alabama), and 
filled the gap. With a single gun, Hill opened upon the enemy, and Colonel Cooke 
faced them with his regiment, as General Lee reported, " standing boldly in line with- 
out a cartridge." The bold action by this small force saved the army from serious dis-. 
aster. In this conflict Lieutenant Taylor was shot through the leg, the ball passing 



142 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

between the bones. Nevertheless, that bold gentleman marched off with the army on 
its retreat, preferring the torture of his wound to a Federal prison. Many of the volun- 
teers from Lawrence fell in this battle, but we lack specific information, and must refer 
our readers to the final list It is known, however, that R. H. Coleman, now of Leigh- 
ton, was wounded, and T. J. Austin was so severely wounded that he was sent home and 
died iu a few months. 

On the next day the two armies remained confronting each other, both being too 
much exhausted to renew the struggle ; and that night General Lee retreated across the 
Potomac, into the Valley of Virginia, for rest and refreshment. " In this region, so 
famous for its salubrity and the beauty of its scenery, these gallant men passed the 
brilliant days of autumn. This section is known as the " Garden of Virginia," and the 
benign influence of their surroundings was soon seen in the faces of the troops. In 
their camps along the banks of the picturesque little stream, called the Opequan, the 
troops laughed, jested, sang rude ballads, and exhibited a joyous indifference to their 
privations and hardships, which said much for their courage and endurance." 

The troops had admired General Lee for his great military capacity, but in this 
camp, and during this long rest, the awe with which they once regarded him wore off, 
and they began to love him for the sterling qualities of his heart. It was here that he 
penned his eloquent appeal to the people of the South for the relief of the army. 

Said he, alluding to the late campaign, " During all this time, covering the space 
of a month, the troops rested but four days. And let it always be remembered to their 
honor that of the men who performed this wonderful feat, one-fifth were bare-footed, 
one-half in rags and the whole half famished. * * * But great as have been the 
trials to which the army has been subjected, they are hardly worthy to be named in 
comparison with the sufferings in store for it this winter, unless the people of the Con- 
federate States, everywhere, come to their relief The men must have clothing and shoes 
this winter. They must have something to cover them when sleeping and to protect 
them from the driving sleet and snow storms when on duty. This must be done though 
our friends at home should have to wear cotton and sit by the fir.e. The army of 
Virginia stands guard this day, as it will stand guard this winter, over every hearth- 
stone throughout the South. The ragged sentinel who may pace his weary rounds this 
winter on the bleak spurs of the Blue Ridge, or along the frozen valleys of the Shenan- 
doah, or Rappahannock, will be your sentinel, my friends, at home. It will be for you, 
and your household, that he encounters the wrath of the tempest, and the dangers of the 
night. He suffers, and toils, and fights, for you too, brave, true-hearted women of the 
South. Will you not put shoes and stockings on his feet? Is it not enough that he has 
written down his patriotism, in crimson characters, from the Rappannock to the 
Potomac? And must his bleeding feet, too, impress the mark of fidelity on the snows 
of the coming winter?" 

I quote from this appeal, not only to show the deep sympathy of General Lee for his 
men, but the sufferings endured by our soldiers during the late war. I am satisfied that 
it requires less real heroism and fortitude to meet the dangers of the battle-field, where 
the blood is stirred by the deep-toned cannon and the bursting bomb, than to be;ar the 
sufferings of the camp. 

On the Federal side, General McClellan was steadily engaged in the complete equip- 
ment of his army. General Halleck urged him to advance, but he delayed his movement 
until about the first of November, when, with an army of 150,000 men (see Draper, 2d 
Vol., 467), he crossed the Potomac on the east side of .Blue Ridge, and marched south. 
General Lee broke np his camp at Opequan, and marched abreast of him on the west 
side. On the 7th of November winter set in with a heavy snowstorm. How the poor 
ragged Confederates must have suffered ! President Lincoln, vexed that his commander 
should have wasted (as he thought) the fine autumn weather, removed General McClellan 
from the command, which act removed also a great weight from the mind of General Lee. 

General Burnside was placed in command of the Federal army. At the first battle 
of Manassas he had commanded a brigade in the centre of the advancing force, and 



Recollections of North Alabama. 143 

driven the Confederates before him until his men had exhausted every cartridge.' He 
had been at the head of an expedition against Roanoke Island, which commanded the 
seaboard from Oregon Inlet to Cape Henry, and carried the works and captured the 
garrison. Having been made a Major General, he drove the rear of Lee's army from 
Turner's Gap, three days before the battle of Sharpsburg, and, at the latter, he had 
commanded a corps. He was a modest and honorable gentleman, the bosom friend of 
McClellan, and was very unwilling to supersede him. His plan was to march directly 
toward Richmond. On the 20th of November the Federal army, encamped on the 
heights north of Fredericksburg, "saw on the highlands, south' of the city, the red 
flags and gray lines of their old adversaries." His base was Acquia Creek, and his 
supplies were brought on the railroad from that place. 

General Lee had about 50,000 men, and General Burnside six corps, variously esti- 
mated from 80,000 (Draper) to 110,000 (Cooke). Lee, in view of his inferiority in 
numbers, took a strong position and determined to await an attack. On the morning 
of the 11th of December, Burnside commenced crossing his troops. Lee had placed 
Barksdale, with two regiments of Mississippians, along the bank of the river, in the 
city, to impede construction of pontoon bridges. These sharpshooters did their duty 
so well that the Federals discontinued the attempt. It was renewed again and again 
without success, so that General Burnside was provoked and opened a furious fire of 
artillery upon the city. ' ' One hundred and forty-seven pieces of artillery were em- 
ployed, which fired more than 7000 rounds of ammunition, and frequently 100 guns in * 
a minute. The town was soon fired, and a dense cloud of smoke enveloped its roofs 
and steeples. Men, women and children were driven from the town, and hundreds of 
ladies and children were seen wandering homeless and without shelter over the frozen 
highway, in thin clothing, knowing not where to find a place of refuge." — (Life of Lee.) 
The sharpshooters were withdrawn and the crossing continued the whole of the next day. 

General Burnside formed his line of battle with General Sumner's grand division 
on his right, and opposite Lee's left under Longstreet, and General Franklin's on his 
left, opposite Lee's right under Jackson. The line was four miles long. The plan of 
attack was for Franklin to march by his left on the river road to attack Jackson's right; 
then for Sumner to attack Longstreet, and then for Hooker with a corps to attack the 
centre. A heavy fog covered the river bottom until 10 o'clock. As it began to dis- 
perse " Gen. Lee rode along his line to the right, amid the cheers of his men." He 
was clad in his plain, well-worn uniform, with felt hat, cavalry boots and short cape, 
without sword, and almost without any distinctions of .his rank. In these outward 
details he differed very much from Generals Jackson and Stuart, who rode with' him. 
Stuart, as usual, wore a fully decorated uniform, sash, black plume, sabre and hand- 
some gauntlets. General Jackson also, on this day, chanced to have exchanged his 
dingy old coat and sun-scorched cadet cap for a new coat (the gift of Stuart), covered 
with dazzling buttons, and a cap brilliant with a broad band of gold lace, in which (for 
him) extraordinary disguise his men scarcely knew him. Lee saw that Franklin was 
moving a body of men (under Meade) down the river road, when a single gun began to 
fire rapidly upon it. It was commanded by Major Pelham, of Alabama — almost a boy 
in years — who continued to hold his exposed position, with great gallantry, until a num- 
ber of his gunners were killed. Pelham continued the cannonade for about two hours, 
only retiring when he received a peremptory order from Jackson to do so. 

General Lee exclaimed, "It is glorious to see such courage in one so young!" 
Before the flowers of spring had appeared he fell, in a cavalry fight, at Kelly's Ford. 
Pelham was, in spite of his youth, an artillerist of the first order of excellence, and his 
death was greatly lamented. This single gun of his was worked so rapidly that the 
Federals mistook it for a battery (Swinton). As soon as this impediment was removed, 
General Meade advanced upon Jackson's right, with his division supported by two 
others in his rear. Jackson had his men drawn up in three lines to receive him, for he 
had been expecting the attack for two hours. "The Confederate General Longstreet 
had personally come so near the Federals under the cloudy veil of the fog, that he could 



144 Early Settleks op Alabama. 

hear their officer's commands. He found that an attack was to be made on Jackson, and' 
notified him of it " (Draper). The Federals were suffered to come within a few 
hundred yards, when a sudden and furious fire of artillery was opened upon them. In 
spite of it, they charged bravely up the hill, and encountered the front lines under A, 
P. Hill. There was a fierce and bloody struggle. But a gap was left in the line by 
some accident, and they pierced it. They then fell on General Gregg's brigade of 
reserves, threw it into confusion, and seemed as if they would carry the position- 
Gregg's brigade, however, was quickly rallied, by its brave commander, who soon after- 
ward fell mortally wounded (this was not General Gregg of Texas). The enemy was 
checked, and Jackson's second line rapidly advancing, they were met and forced back, 
step by step, until they were driven down the slope again. Here they were attacked by 
the brigades of Hoke and Atkinson, and driven beyond the railroad. In this attack, 
Draper says, Meade lost more than one-third of his troops. 

It was now the turn of Lee's left, under Longstreet, to receive an attack, which 
proved to be far more bloody still. His corps contained the Ninth Alabama, whose- 
steps we are following. The strongest position in this part of the line was Marye's hill, 
Longstreet' s corps was in heavy line of battle behind it and its crest bristled with 
artillery. The inequalities in the plain beneath were all commanded by gans placed in 
the right and left, for Lee was accounted the best military engineer that West Point 
had ever educated, and to his skill in that line much of his success, in pitched battles, 
'may be attributed. 

Sumner made ready to storm this hill. He had selected the corps of French and 
Hancock for that duty, and had Howard's division in readiness to support them. A 
little before noon, French's corps, preceded by skirmishers, was seen as a long black 
line, deploying in the rear of the city and advancing to the assault. Behind it followed 
another black line. It was Hancock's corps. The Confederate batteries were silent 
until their enemy was half-way across the plain, when, in an instant, they poured forth 
a tempest of fire. Longstreet said that the gaps made by the artillery could be seen a 
half-mile off. The thin line moved through the focus of death, quivering but still 
advancing. The line became thinner and thinner, and becoming too weak to hold 
together, it halted, and was dispersed. Another attack was made. The line moved- 
through the rain of grape and canister, and closing the gaps torn through it, it seemed 
as if Fortune, unable to resist such daring, was about to smile on it. Two-thirds of the 
plain was passed, a few steps more, and the flaming hill itself would give some protec- 
tion — one moment for taking breath, then a bayonet charge up the heights, and the 
Confederates would be hurled out of their fortifications. In front was a stone wall. 
In an instant it was fringed with fire, and hidden in smoke. Enfiladed by the batteries, 
confronted by a mile of rifles, which were securely discharged behind the fortifications,, 
the surviving assailants were forced back to the shelter ol a ravine, within musket shot 
of the enemy. Here a line of assault was once more formed, and a bayonet charge 
made on the artillery. Thrice was that attack made — thrice vainly. The storming 
party, almost annihilated, was compelled to retire." — (Draper.) 

General Burnside, When this frightful scene was being enacted, having alighted 
from his horse, was walking up and down in great agitation. In spite of these murder- 
ous assaults, he determined on another. He ordered Hooker to make it. The old soldier 
protested against it, but sullenly obeyed and opened with artillery upon the stone wall, 
in order to make a breach in it. This fire was continued until sunset, when the men 
were formed for the charge. They were ordered to throw aside their knapsacks, over- 
coats, and haversacks, and not to load their guns. The head of the division charged 
headlong over the ground already covered with the dead, advanced within fifteen or 
twenty yards of the stone wall, when they were turned back as quickly as they had 
advanced. The advance and retreat did not occupy fifteen minutes. Out of 4000 men 
1760 were left behind. This great army fell back to the banks of the river, pursued by 
Stuart with thirty pieces of flying artillery. 

The official report made their loss in this battle 13,771, while General Lee reported 



Recollections of North Alabama. 145 

that of the Confederates at less than 1800. Never was such a victory so cheaply 
bought, over such gallant foes. General Burnside shortly afterward relinquished the 
command of the Army of the Potomac, which he could gracefully do as it had been 
thrust upon him. He- was first assigned to the Department of the Ohio — captured Knox- 
ville, repulsed Longstreet, marched his corps thirty miles in one night, to reach " The 
Wilderness "—and ultimately fell into disfavor, by failing to advance with 50,000 men 
when the mine at Petersburg was sprung. He was a good corps commander. 

During the winter which succeeded the battle of Fredericksburg, the Southern army 
lay mainly in the woods south of the city, watching the Northern army, which still con- 
tinued to occupy the country north of it. But Wilcox' brigade (which included the 
Ninth Alabama) was encamped about four miles above the city, charged with the special 
duty of watching Bank's Ford and Scott's Dam. 

On the 26th of January, 1863, Gen. Joseph Hooker was appointed to command the 
Army of the Potomac. He had achieved a high reputation, in many battles, as a stub- 
born fighter and a good subordinate officer. His division had borne the brunt of the 
battle at Williamsburg. When Pope was retreating, it was Hooker's column which drove 
EwelPs force from the field, with considerable loss. At South Mountain, Hooker had 
carried the mountain sides ou the right of the gap, while Reno was killed in carrying 
those on the left. At Sharpsburg he had stood before Stonewall Jackson until his corps 
was nearly demolished, and he was borne wounded from the field; and at Fredericks- 
burg he commanded the corps, which, after two bloody charges had failed, constituted 
the " forlorn hope," which made the last fruitless charge, with guns unloaded, and 
relying entirely on the bayonet. 

He reorganized the Federal army. Its strength with infantry and artillery was 
120,000, his cavalry 13,000 and he had 400 guns. He determined to attack the Southern 
army, and his plan was considered very good by military critics. He sent Sedgwick 
across the Rappahannack below Fredericksburg, to make the impression that his army 
was to attack on Lee's right, dispatched Stoneman's cavalry in the rear, to cut off com- 
munication with Richmond, while the bulk of his great army was rapidly thrown across 
the upper fords of the river, upon the Confederate left. The great battle of Chancel- 
lorsville then occurred ; the details of which I shall not relate, as it is not connected with 
the movements of the Ninth Alabama directly. Stonewall Jackson stormed Hooker's 
western flank on Saturday evening, the second day of May, 1863— routed the enemy, and 
then "fell in the arms of victory." Next morning (Sunday) the main battle was 
fought, and Hooker's army had been driven back in great confusion. Lee was prepar- 
ing to crush it by a concentrated charge, when news was brought from his right flank 
which arrested his movements. Sedgwick with a large corps, estimated by the Northern 
historian, Draper, at 30,000 (see pages 111 and 118 in Vol. 3) was in motion to attack 
the right flank of Lee. When on Saturday night Jackson had routed Howard's corps, 
.a swift courier was sent to Sedgwick by Hooker, directing him to advance at once. The 
messenger arrived at midnight, and in half an hour his corps was in motion. A thick 
fog settled upon the river bottom, and you could not see fifty feet ahead. Generals 
Early and Barksdale, with 6000 men, occupied Marye's Hill, and the stonewall, which 
had been made memorable, in the great battle of Fredericksburg; and Sedgwick had 
first to remove these from his path. Early in the morning au attempt was made in the 
fog to run over the stone wall. The men moved silently until they came within forty 
feet, when the Confederates opened with artillery and musketry; and the attacking 
force retreated in the fog. At 10 a. m., Sedgwick made a combined attack on three dif- 
ferent points. " Shaler's column (in the centre) was almost blown away by the heavy 
artillery fire. The attacking force reeled and staggered — large gaps were made in it, and 
when it reached the enemy's works it had apparently dwindled into a mere skirmishing 
line. About 1000 men were lost in ten minutes, but the object was accomplished." 
(Draper.) 

The same morning, General Wilcox, excited by the sound of artillery above and 
below him, marched his Alabama brigade from Scott's dam, out to an old field on the 



146 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

plank road, near the " Yellow House," and there awaited orders. He was instructed 
by Lee to meet Sedgwick, and delay his march as long as possible, until he could send 
reinforcements to him. A messenger also came from Barksdale, asking for immediate 
assistance. Wilcox marched his brigade at " double-quick," and reached the top of the 
hill near the Stansburg House, in Fredericksburg, just in time to see the Federals go 
over the works on Marye's Heights, and the National flag unfurled. As he advanced 
down the hill he was met by a rapid fire from their sharpshooters. The general formed 
line of battle ; but it was evident that he could not withstand the triumphant foe. The 
enemy had possession of the nearest road to Salem Heights, and for fear they might 
reach that point, he marched rapidly to seize it, and protect General Lee's flank. On 
reaching Salem Church a line of battle was formed across the plank road, with two regi- 
ments to the right, and the rest of the brigade on the left of it. After the line was 
formed, four brigades arrived, under command of General McLaws r which were formed 
on the right and left of the line. He was the ranking officer, hut no change was made 
in the plan of Wilcox. The two generals took position in the rear of the right of the 
Ninth Alabama, which was placed directly in rear of the Tenth Alabama, about 
thirty yards. The generals were surprised that Sedgwick delayed his coming. But his 
command had bean boggling about in the fog during the night, had fought a hard battle, 
and he had given them rest until 1 p. m. His command was formed in line of battle between 
3 and 4 o'clock, and charged upon ours. The whole weight of the assaulting column was- 
directed against the centre of our line at the plank road. They advanced within ninety 
yards before firing, and the discharge was so deadly that it scattered the Tenth Ala- 
bama. It was a critical moment, and Major Williams gave the command, " Forward,. 
Ninth Alabama." Just as the regiment rose to obey this order, a destructive volley was 
fired into them, at a distance of not morethan forty yards, by the Sixth Maine, and the 
One Hundred and Twenty-third New York regiments, which did great damage. Eleven 
men of Company K, from Marshall county — Captain Sheffield — fell dead in their tracks,- 
without firing a gun, and almost twice that number wounded. Companies C, from' 
Lawrence, Captain Couch; O'Neal's old Company D, from Lauderdale, Captain Houston, 
and H from Limestone and Hobb's old Company (commanded now by Capt. G. C. Smith); 
were next to K in their losses. Company A from Mobile, commanded first by Captain 1 
Ripley, and then by Captain Murphy, stationed in a school house forty yards in advance 
of our line, after firing a volley at the advancing enemy, were prisoners in their hands 
for a while, and this company did not suffer as did the rest. In Company D, Charles 
Sharp, and Josiah Whitten were killed, and amongst the wounded are remembered, 
Thomas Harman, of Florence, and Dr. J. R. Edwards, of Courtland. Of C, the Law- 
rence company, E. W. Sale was killed, and N. Garrett wounded, and many others not 
yet ascertained. (I am indebted to Hon. E. P. Patterson, of Savannah, Tenn., who was- 
a member of Company D, for most of the foregoing account of this battle. He thinks- 
Captain Murphy, of Mobile, was killed in this engagement, with the wounds he received' 
at Williamsburg still unhealed.) This first collision was also fatal to the Federals, for 
150 dead bodies were picked up on the ground where the Sixth Maine, and One Hundred 
and Twenty-third New York stood. 

With a wild yell the brigade moved forward, right and left at the same time, and 1 
the Federals were driven back. The battle, however, continued until night fell on the- 
combatants without any decisive result. In this conflict the losses of the enemy are- 
estimated at 3000 men. It is admitted that Sedgwick while on the south side of the- 
river lost 5000 men. (Draper.) Of these 1000 fell at Marye's Heights, and a few on' 
the evening of the 4th, so we conclude that fully 3000 must have fallen at Salem Church. - 
This battle, which was equal in magnitude to that of the 8th January, 1815, was so- over- 
shadowed by the terrible conflict which occurred on the same day at Chancellorsville,- 
that no details of it are given in history. For this reason I have labored to ascertain-- 
the facts, and record them. The above account, however is quite partial, aud if some- 
competent military man who witnessed it, would forward a full account, it will afford 
me pleasure to have it published, as a supplement to this article. 



Recollections of North Alabama. 147 

i 

On Monday morning General Lee went in person with three of Anderson's brigades 
to Salem Church, and formed line of battle with the whole force there. For some cause, 
the attack was not begun until late in the afternoon. Then the whole line advanced upon 
Sedgwick, Lee's object being to cut him off from Bank's Ford. He failed in this, the 
stubborn resistance of the Federal forces enabling them to hold their ground until dark- 
ness put an and to the conflict. That night Sedgwick retreated rapidly across the river 
ou a pontoon which had been previously laid, Southern cannon firing constantly upon 
the retreating column. The next morning General Lee returned to (Jhancellorsville, and 
spent the day in making preparations for a decisive attack on General Hooker. When, 
however, the advance was about to commence, it was found that the works were entirely 
deserted, and that General Hooker had recrossed the river, spreading pine boughs on 
the pontoon bridge, to muffle the sound of his artillery wheels. Thus ended one of the 
most remarkable campaigns on record, of only nine days' duration, during which four 
battles had occurred, and a Federal force of 120,000 men had crossed the Rappahannock 
" with all the pomp and circumstance of war," and had been defeated by 47,000 Con- 
federates of all arms (for Longstreet with two divisions was south of the Potomac), and 
the Federals had sought safety by recrossing the river during the dark hours of the 
night. 

The elation of the Southern people was excessive. The hope of having the Southern 
Confederacy acknowledged by the Washington Government became strong. The occa- 
sion was embraced by Mr. Stephens, Vice President, to propose negotiations. He wrote 
to President Davis, offering to go in person to Washington, and confer with the authori- 
ties. He was summoned to Richmond by telegraph; but by that time Lee's vanguard 
was entering Maryland, and Gettysburg speedily followed ; and with this repulse ended 
all hopes of peace. 

We will resume the thread of our narrative. After the defeat of General Hooker, 
General Lee reorganized his army. Longstreet' s two divisions were recalled, and the 
army, which had been increased by new levies, was divided into three corps, of three 
divisions each. Ewell succeeded Jackson in command of Jackson's old corps, 
Longstreet retained in command of his old corps, and A. P. Hill was assigned 
to the command of a third corps (made up portions of two others). In this new ar- 
rangement, Wilcox' brigade was assigned to Hill. The artillery of the army was made 
a distinct command, and placed under General Pendleton, who had been Lee's Chief of 
Artillery. Generaal Lee was then in command of a fine army of eighty thousand meu, 
of all arms, composed of veterans, who had followed him on many a hard-fought field, 
through fire and blood. He was now ready for the 

Invasion of Pennsylvania. 

Longstreet moving first into the Shenandoah valley, burst upon the force of General 
Milroy (who had ruled .the people with a rod of iron), and defeated him. Ewell's 
corps' followed, and as soon as Hill, who had been left behind to watch Hooker, found 
that he was moving northward, marched on the same route traveled by Longstreet and 
Ewell. The cavalry had been brought up to a high state of efficiency. On the 8th of 
June a brilliant pageant, succeeded by a dramatic and stirring incident, was now to pre- 
lude the march of Lee. A review of Stuart's cavalry took place in the presence of 
General Lee, who was sitting on his horse, motionless, on a slight knoll, while above 
him, from a lofty staff, waved a large Confederate flag. The long column of about 
8000 men was first drawn up in line, and afterward passed in front of Lee, at a gallop, 
Stuart and his staff officers leading the charge, with sabres at tierce point. There was 
a sham fight with the " Horse Artillery," who received the cavalry with a thunderous 
discharge of blank ammunition, which rolled like the roar of battle, amoDg the sur- 
rounding hills. This sham fight was kept up for some time, and puzzled the enemy on 
the opposite side of the Rappahannock. On the next morning, to ascertain what this 
discharge of artillery meant, two divisions of Federal cavalry, supported by two brig- 
ades of "picked infantry," were sent across the river, to beat up the quarters of 



148 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Stuart, and find out what was going on. The most extensive cavalry fight of the whole 
war followed. {Life of Lee.) Stuart was attacked in front and rear at the same time. 
He went to the front in a gallop, brought his artillery to bear on the advancing columns. 
The enemy's artillery was captured, and recaptured, several times, and finally remained 
with Stuart. The contest was mainly with the sabre, and was distinguished by numer- 
ous instances of great personal valor, and continued nearly the whole day, when the 
enemy which were computed at 15,000 men, were pursued across the river. This battle 
■of Fleetwood Hill was never surpassed by any cavalry fight in America or Europe. 

Lee's columns were in full march for the plentiful fields of Pennsylvania. One 
•object was to find subsistence for his half-starved men. A heavy requisition which he 
had made on the Commissary Department, at Richmond was returned with this endorse- 
ment: " You must seek for your supplies in Pennsylvania." His several corps crossed 
the Potomac on pontoons at Shepherdstown and Williamsport, and united at Hagers- 
town, Md. 

The Ninth Alabama, Gettysburg Campaign. 
General Hill's corps was the last to leave Fredericksburg. On the 5th of May the 
Ninth Alabama was watching the enemy along the Plank road, in a torrent of rain, 
when the lightning struck a tree near the head of the regiment, knocking down quite a 
number of men, three of whom had to be removed in an ambulance ; and every one in the 
regiment felt the shock. From this time, until the 13th of June, when the march com- 
menced, the men were very much exposed on picket, not being allowed to have any fire. 
I have before me an account of the daily marches of Wilcox' brigade into Pennsylva- 
nia, written by a distinguished lawyer of Tennessee, then a gallant young soldier of the 
Ninth Alabama, from which I will make a few extracts : " The 18th of June was one of 
the hottest days I ever remember, and, I think, as many as a dozen men in the regi- 
ment suffered from sunstroke during the day. We were marching through long dusty 
lanes, beneath a burning sun, with the dust choking us, and the suffering was fearful. 
•On the morning of the 19th we marched to Front Royal, where we remained . until 4 
o'clock in the afternoon, as it was said, for the pontoons to be laid across the Shenan- 
doah. But when the head of the column commenced crossing just at dark, we found the 
pontoons still upon the wagons. When the Ninth Alabama reached the river, the rain 
was pouring in torrents, and it was dark as pitch. The opposite bank was very steep and 
slippery, and we had to climb it "on all fours." Some of the men would nearly reach 
the top, when an unlucky slip would send them back again into the river. After getting 
across, we fell into gullies and waded through briar patches, until we ran against a 
fence, which we converted into beds, by laying the rails upon the ground and lying upon 
them, to keep out of the mud and water, and where we slept, with the darkness and rain 
for a covering." (Here, reader, you are permitted to go behind the curtain, and see 
something of the hard life of the common soldier.) " On the 24th we crossed the Poto- 
mac at Mill Ford, near Shepherdstown, the water being from three to four feet deep, but 
we waded it, and kept in good order. As the Ninth Alabama was wading the river, they 
struck up the song ' Maryland, my Maryland,' and woke the echoes of the hills, far and 
wide. On the 25th we reached the rendezvous of Hagerstown. 

Here the three corps of General Lee's army had concentrated. All arms of the 
service were here except one. Where was Stuart and his cavalry! Where was the 
force which, heretofore, in every previous invasion, had hung like a curtain between 
Lee and the enemy, veiling the movements of his own army, but imparting to him exact 
information as to theirs. Stuart had been ordered by General Lee to observe 
the enemy, to obstruct his march, and if he crossed the Potomac, to cross his cavalry and 
take position on the right of Lee's army as it advanced. Circumstances occurred which 
rendered it impossible to comply with his orders. General Hooker was very tardy in 
following Lee. He remained in his camp until Lee's army (with the front marching and 
the rear stationary) was stretched out for one hundred miles. Hooker, with one eye 
on Richmond and the other on Washington, remained for ten days after Lee had 
commenced his march. During all this time Stuart was constantly on the alert, to cover 



Recollections of North Alabama. 149 

the movements of our army. When Hooker did move, Stuart harassed his rear. It 
became ahsolutely necessary that Stuart's cavalry should be driven back. This was 
undertaken in a deliberate manner. Three corps of cavalry with a division of infantry, 
and a full supply of artillery, were sent from Manassas to drive him back. A fierce 
struggle ensued, in which Stuart fought the great force opposed to him, from every hill 
and knoll. But he was forced back steadily, in spite of a determined resistance, and at 
Upperville, a hand to hand sabre fight wound up the movement, in which the Federal 
cavalry was checked, when Stuart fell back toward Paris, crowded the mountain side 
with his cannon, and awaited the final attack. This was not made. The Federal force- 
fell back; and the next morning Stuart followed them on the same road over which he 
had so rapidly retreated. When the Federal army crossed the Potomac near Leesburg, 
Stuart was at Middleburg. For twenty-three days his men had been almost constantly 
in the saddle, his horses were worn down with service, and a poor supply of provender. 
He was in the confidence of Lee and from his plan he concluded that he could not pos- 
sibly overtake him on the route he had traveled ; but could join him by making a 
straight cut across the country, for Harrisburg. Accordingly he passed through Mary- 
land between Hooker and Washington, stopped to capture a large train of Federal 
wagons at Rockville, was delayed by combats with Federal cavalry at Westminster and 
Hanovertown, and was at Carlisle, when he was called by his chief to the field of Gettys- 
burg, where he arrived on the second day of the battle. 

The battle of Gettysburg was fought on the first three days of July, 1863. When 
it commenced Lee's forces happened to be scattered. A part was approaching Harris- 
burg and another had captured York, but the Federal army, reorganized, and filled up, 
and under a new commander, General Meade, was rapidly concentrating near Gettysburg. 
General Lee intended to march toward Harrishurg, but on the night of the 29th of June 
he was informed by his scouts of the advance of the Federal army. He sent immediate 
orders for the concentration of his troops, and on the next day commenced his march 
toward Gettysburg with Hill's corps in front. The first of July his troops were crossing 
South Mountain on the Cashtown road. " It was a beautiful day and a beautiful season- 
of the year. The fields were green with grass, or golden with ripening grain, over which 
passed a gentle breeze, raising waves upon the brilliant surface. The landscape was- 
broken, here and there, by woods; in the south rose the blue range of the South Moun- 
tains ; the sun was shining through showery clouds, and in the east the sky was spanned 
by a rainbow. This peaceful scene was now disturbed by the thunders of artillery and 
the rattle of musketry." The head of Hill's column had descended the mountain side, 
traversed the valley and began to ascend the western acclivity of Seminary ridge, when 
it came into collision with Buford's Federal Cavalry. At that moment Wilcox' Brigade,, 
which was marching in the rear of the column, was halted as a reserve on the top of the- 
mountain, from which they could see all the shifting scenes of the battle as they transpired 
below them. The cavalry fell back before the infantry to the top of the ridge. When 
they disappeared behind it a long line of Federal infantry, commanded by General 
Reynolds, appeared. When the two infantry lines first met, the leading Federal brigade 
was driven back by one from Mississippi. In their turn the Federals nearly surrounded 
Archer's brigade and took several hundred prisoners, including their general. The 
affair had become a hot engagement, Reynolds ordered forward Howard's corps, and 
shortly afterward fell mortally wounded by a shot in the neck. About this time General 
Lee passed Wilcox' brigade on the way to the scene of the conflict. By this time the sky 
was darkened, here and there, by clouds of smoke rising from barns and dwelling 
houses set ou fire by shells. Lee ordered Hill's corps to be closed up, and reinforce- 
ments to be sent forward rapidly to the point of action . The field was contested stub- 
b6rnly by both parties, and the action became a regular battle. Hill was hard pressed 
— when fortunately, from the heights north of the battle-field, was seen a long gray line. 
Their march was rapid, they had but few wagons, but the ammunition trains were all 
up, and the red battle flags were waving over their heads. This gray serpent, winding 
in and out, among the distant hills, was Rhodes, coming, with his Alabamians, to decide- 



150 Early Settlees of Alabama. 

the day. Rhodes went promptly into action on the enemy's flank, without " waiting for 
an invitation." Howard extended his line, bendingit to meet the new danger and attacked 
furiously. Rhodes returned it with interest. It was a bloody affair — when Early, in 
turn, made his appearance from the north. When he came into the mele6, Rhodes made 
an impetuous attack on the Federal centre, and Early on its right, with General Gordon's 
brigade in front (Gordon, who was said " never to be so happy as when the air was full 
of bullets "), and, under this combined attack, the Federals gave way and retreated in 
great disorder to Cemetery Hill, where General Howard, as he advanced in the morning 
had left one of his divisions with three batteries of artillery. It was a decided Southern 
victory. The enemy lost 10,000 men and sixteen pieces of artillery. The brigade of 
Wilcox was ordered forward, but before they reached the field the enemy were in full 
retreat. 

General Meade, who had been only two days in command, was that day fourteen 
miles south of Gettysburg, where he was arranging a defensive line on Pipe creek, when 
he received news of a battle having been fought, and of Reynolds having been killed. 
He was one of his most trusted and able generals. He sent General Hancock forward 
to take command, and he himself arrived at midnight, under a full moon, at the Ceme- 
tery. It is a poor index to the Christian civilization of the age, that the council of war, 
which was a prelude to a battle in which more than 50,000 human beings fell, was held 
by one commander amidst the glistening sepulchral monuments of a burial ground, and 
by the other in the quiet grove of a seminary, which was dedicated to the study of 
theology. 

Second Day of the Battle, 

The Northern army was posted on Cemetery Ridge, running north and south, 
with the town of Gettysburg nestling in the valley at the northern end. . The 
Southern army occupied a parallel ridge (Seminary), with a valley of a half 
mile wide, dotted with farm houses, barns, orchards, pastures and wheat fields 
between them. The advantage of position was in favor of Meade, for the ridge 
on which he had drawn out his line of battle was higher — it commanded the 
other — its front was convex and its extremities tending together, the reserve was 
in thirty minutes' march of any part of the line ; signal flags set on points over- 
looking the scene could be seen from one to another in the rear ; moreover, the rocky 
ledges (with a little improvement) made substantial breastworks. General Lee pre- 
ferred to await an attack, but he was in an enemy's country, and lacked provisions, 
while General Meade was on his own soil, and had abundant supplies. Meade could 
wait, but Lee could not. Both commanders prepared most carefully for a contest, which 
proved to be the turning point of the war. The whole forenoon was passed in prepara- 
tion. "There was scarcely a sound to disturb the silence, and it was difficult to believe 
that nearly 200,000 men were watching each other across this narrow valley', ready at 
the word to advance and tear each other to pieces." Down in the valley were fields of 
ripening wheat, and here and there, unconscious of the impending tempest, cattle quietly 
grazing. 

General Lee, in forming his line of battle, had placed Longstreet's corps on his 
right, Hill's in his centre, and Ewell's on his left. Wilcox' brigade occupied the ex- 
treme right of Hill's corps, and stood next to Barksdale's Mississippians, who were on 
the left in Longstreet's corps, Lee was not ready until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, 
when the signal was given, and Longstreet suddenly opened a heavy artillery fire on the 
position opposite to him, the guns of Hill opened from the ridge on the left, and those 
of Ewell from the extreme left. Then occurred the charge of Hood, to seize "Little 
Round-Top," 280 feet above the valley, so well known to history. General Vincent had 
been sent from the Federal side to occupy it, while Hood came up on the other with a 
like purpose. A violent struggle ensued, in which Vincent lost his life and Hood a 
leg. Then, too, occurred Longstreet's charge, in which the enemy were driven back to 
the ridge. To show the part borne by Wilcox' Alabama brigade in this day's fight, I 
here insert an account of it, written by Hon. E. D. Patterson, at my special request: 



Recollections of North Alabama. 151 

•" Early in the morning of the 2d our line of battle was formed, with the Tenth and 
Eleventh Alabama a little in advance of the rest of the brigade. These regiments were 
mueh annoyed by the enemy's sharpshooters, who were posted behind a stone wall. 
"They were soon dislodged, and our brigade formed a line of battle along the stone wall. 
-Quite a number were wounded in this skirmish, among whom was Major Fletcher, of 
the Eleventh Alabama. As soon as the Ninth got into position Company D, of Lauder- ' 
^ale, was ordered forward as skirmishers, Capt. J. M. Crow being in command, Lieut. 
W. J. Cannon leading the first platoon, and I the second. I joined the skirmishers of 
the Second Florida, on my left, with my right at a large barn, which afforded a good 
protection, and a good point from which to watch the movements of the enemy. 

We held possession of this barn for several hours, and until the Federals brought 
a battery to play upon it, when I withdrew my men, placing them on a line with the 
rest of the company. The line of skirmishers were then withdrawn, and we took our 
places in line with the regiment. It soon became evident that the Federals were mov- 
ing up men to take possession of the barn (where they could have annoyed us greatly), 
when Lieut. Rufus Jones, of Company C, of Limestone county, ran through a shower 
of bullets to the barn, set fire to it and ran back without getting hurt. He was noted 
for his gallantry. About 3 o'clock in the afternoon, brigade after brigade, and battery 
after battery of the enemy were moved' rapidly toward our right, and we knew the time 
for action had come. We were not in suspense, for, at a signal, our artillery opened 
.on them with a deadly fire, and then we heard upon our right a cheer, or rather a yell, 
such as Southern soldiers only can give, followed by a terrible crash of musketry that 
told us that Longstreet was hurling his forces against the enemy's left, but they were 
too strong to give way easily. In half an hour they were retreating, followed closely 
by Longstreet. They were falling back right down the front of our line, and were 
unable to reform their shattered lines unless fresh troops were sent out to relieve them. 
Bnt, just at this time, we saw solid masses moving up in our immediate front, and 
-coming between us and victory. The spirit of the troops was never better, and as 
General Wilcox rode along down our line, giving the order to charge, cheer after cheer 
filled the air, almost drowning the sound of the shells which were bursting above and 
around us. The old battle-scarred banner of the Ninth, which had waved amid the 
wild tempests of battle at Williamsbnrg, Cold Harbor, Frazer's Farm, Sharpsburg and 
Salem Church, never rose more proudly than that day, as we moved forward in a storm 
of shot, shell and canister, and felt confident of victory. 

The battle raged furiously, but our line moved onward, straight onward, \jrrape 
and canister came plunging.through our ranks ; bullets, thick as hail-storms in winter, 
were falling on every side. It was terrible, yet our men faltered not ; and we succeeded 
in breaking their first and second line of battle, capturing many prisoners, artillery and 
colors. Here, for the first time since the war began, we met the famous Irish brigade. 
The troops upon their immediate right and left had given way, leaving them exposed 
not only to a fire in front, but an oblique fire from both flanks. Yet, under this terrible 
ordeal they did not run, but retreated slowly and in good order — returning our fire, but 
leaving the ground literally covered with their dead. One regiment of this brigade 
formed a hollow square around a piece of artillery and carried it some distance by hand, 
loading and firing it very rapidly, the square opening to allow them to fire, but at last 
they had to abandon it. We drove them to the foot of the ridge on which was posted 
their reserve artillery; but there receiving reinforcements, and seeing our terribly 
thinned ranks, they made another stand. Wilcox, excited by the valor of his troops, 
moved among them, and before them, as if " courting death " by his own daring intrep- 
idity. The fight still goes on — blood flows like water — but few were left unhurt, and, 
with ranks torn and bleeding, we felt that capture or death was inevitable if we remained 
longer. Some one gives the order to fall back — no one knows from whence it came — 
some fall back and some do not — there were no longer organized regiments or companies 
Barksdale's brigade had completely overlapped ours, and we were mingled in inex- 
tricable confusion — the air was hot, and filled with sticks, stones, dust and black smoke 



152 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

— almost suffocating us, when I, with a few Mississippians, and a number of other 
officers of the Ninth Alabama (in all about fifty men), attempted to make our way to 
where the Confederate line was re-forming. After getting back about a hundi - ed yards 
we found ourselves confronted by a line of Federal soldiers. A line of guns was leveled 
at us, and an officer cried out, ' : Surrender, you d — n gray-backs ! " — and our part in the 
battle was over. The officers of the Ninth taken prisoners that daywere Capt. G. C. 
Smith (afterward Lieutenant Colonel) ; Captain John Chisholm, of Company I (O'Neal's 
old company), and Lieutenants Cartwright, Chisholm, Sharp, Gamble, Nicholson, and 
myself. The loss of the Ninth on that day was very heavy. Amongst them were Joseph 
McMurray, of Lauderdale county, who lost a leg, and of the Lawrence volunteers, Lieut. 
J. K. McBride, who lost an arm ; and privates Noel C. Graham, and Jeff. Lindsey, who 
were killed. Many of our surgeons and chaplains, when General Lee retreated, were 
left behind to attend to the severely wounded, and these were sent to Federal prisons — 
most of them to Fort McHenry, and detained about a year. Amongst these were Dr. 
Minor, of the Ninth, Dr. John M. Hayes, of the Thirty-ninth, and Rev. M. L. Whitten. 
No distinction was made between them and soldiers in the ranks. 

Thus ended the second day of the battle, which had lasted about four hours, when 
night, in mercy, cast a veil of darkness over the scene, 

The Federals acknowledged a loss of 10,000. Ours was fully that much. General 
Lee had on his right driven the enemy back a half-mile, and on his left Ewell had 
carried Gulp's Hill. 

The morning of the third day of this battle dawned with broken clouds, and the 
sun shining fitfully through them. The attack on Swell's position, which he had gained 
on Cemetery Ridge, was made at early dawn by a combined force, and after four hours' 
hard fighting that stubborn soldier was driven from the ridge. Generals Lee, Hill and 
Longstreet rode along the lines, forming some new combinations. The decision was to 
attack the Federal centre under Hancock, with a column of 15,000 men under command 
of Pickett. At 1 p. m. the clouds broke away, and it became still and sultry. Sud- 
denly a cannonade was commenced, with 145 guns, by General Lee and continued for 
two hours. General Hancock pronounced it " the most terrific one I ever witnessed — 
one hardly ever paralleled." At 3 p. m. Pickett's line was arranged behind Seminary 
Ridge. It was a mile in length. Kemper's and Garnett's brigades were in front and 
Armistead's brigade in the rear. Two or three hundred yards in the rear, on the left, 
was Pettigrew's division, and, on the right, Wilcox' brigade. Pickett's troops were 
fresh, having only joined the main army, with Stuart's cavalry, the evening before. 
Pettigrew's division were new recruits, never having been in action before, and Wilcox' 
brigade of Alabamians were veterans, .but had taken an active part in the struggle under 
Longstreet the evening before, and their ranks Were thinned considerably and the men 
were jaded. To Pickett was assigned the main duty of breaking the enemy's centre, 
and to Wilcox and Pettigrew to cover the right and left of the advancing column, and 
protect it from a flank attack. 

Pickett's division was Virginia veterans, and the manner in which they moved in 
this charge, challenged the admiration of both armies. The opposing ridges at this point 
were about one mile asunder; and across the space Pickett's force moved at the word, 
and advanced slowly, and perfectly dressed, with its red battle-flags flying, and the sun- 
shine darting from their gnn-barrels and bayonets. The two armies were silent, concen- 
trating their whole attention upon the slow and ominous advance of men, who seemed to 
be in no haste, and resolved to allow nothing to arrest them. When the column had 
reached a point about midway between the opposing heights, the Federal artillery sud- 
denly opened a furious fire upon them, which inflicted considerable loss. This however, 
had no effect upon the troops, who continued to advance slowly in the same excellent 
order, without exhibiting any desire to return the fire. Where shell tore gaps in the 
ranks, the men quietly closed up, and the hostile front advanced in the same ominous 
silence toward the slope, where the real struggle all felt would really begin. They were 
within a few hundred yards of the hill, when suddenly a rapid cannon fire thundered on 



Recollections op North Alabama. 153 

their right, and shell and canister from nearly fifty pieces of artillery, swept the south- 
ern line, enfiladed it, and threw the right into disorder; which however soon disap- 
peared. The column closed up and continued to advance unmoved toward the heights. 
At last the moment came. The steady "common-time" step become "quicklime ;" this 
had changed to "double-quick," then the column rushed headlong on the enemy's 
works." (Life of Lee.} 

At this juncture, Pettigrew's division, which was composed of new recruits, began to 
waver. Perceiving that the Federals were moving around their flanks strong parties, 
they became panic stricken, their lines dissolved, and they doubled up into knots. They 
then fled in confusion to the rear. All but one of their field officers had been killed, 
and they fell back under command of a Major. " Pettigrew's division had mustered 
2800 strong ; at roll-call next morning 835 men answered to their names ; many, how- 
ever, of the lost had been taken prisoners." Perhaps during the whole war raw troops 
had never been subjected to so fiery an ordeal, or had endured it longer. 

Pickett's column, though unsupported on the left, still rushed forward, ouly pausing 
to return the fire of the Federals. The smoke soon enveloped the combatants. There 
was a hurricane of musketry. As they emerged from the cloud, they were led by 
Armistead, and reached the Stone Wall occupied by Webb. His two regiments fell 
back on the forces in the rear. The Virginians rushed over the first line of breast- 
works and charged on the second. This was defended by a strong line, for reinforce- 
ments had been coming from all sides. A desperate hand-co-hand conflict now ensued. 
Men and officers were all fighting together. The attempt to carry this strong line was a 
desperate one. They were driven back with a frightful loss. Ot fifteen field officers 
only one was unhurt. Of the brigade officers Garnett was killed; Armistead fell mor- 
tally wounded, as h6 leaped on the breastworks, cheering and waving his hat, and 
Kemper fell severely wounded. From the first rush of this column to its repulse, was 
but a few minutes. As Wilcox brought up his brigade from its position, some distance 
in the rear, Pickett was falling back discomfited. Nevertheless he moved forward to 
the assault ; but the musketry fire being concentrated by the Federals on his brigade, 
it was literally hurled back. His loss was frightful, but we will speak of that here- 
after. 

" Seeing from his place on Seminary Ridge the unfortunate results of the attack, 
Lee mounted his horse and rode forward to meet and encourage the retreating troops. 
He spoke in a kindly voice to the men. ' All this will come right in the end. We 
want all good and true men to rally now.' To the badly wounded he uttered words of 
sympathy and kindness ; to those but slightly wounded he said, ' Come, bind up your 
wound, and take a musket, my friend.' Meanwhile the men continued to stream back, 
pursued by the triumphant roar of the enemy's artillery, which swept the whole valley 
and slope of the Seminary ridge with shot and shell. As he was riding about the fringe 
of the woods General Wilcox, who had advanced about the time of Pickett's repulse, 
and was speedily thrown back with loss, rode up and said, almost sobbing as he spoke, 
that 'his brigade was nearly destroyed.' Lee held out his hand to him as he was 
speaking, and grasping that of his subordinate in a friendly manner, replied with great 
gentleness and kindness: ' Never mind, General, all this has been my fault. It is I 
who have lost this fight, and you must help me out of it the best way you can.' The 
supreme composure of the commander-in-chief communicated itself to the troops, who 
soon got together again, and lay down quietly in the line of battle, along the crest of 
the ridge, where Lee placed them as they came up. In front of tfhem the guns used in 
the great cannonade were still in position, and Lee was making every preparation in his. 
power for the probable event of an instant assault upon him, in his disordered con- 
dition, by the enemy. It was obvious that the situation of affairs at the moment was 
such as to render such an attack highly perilous to the Southern troops. Thus ended 
the last great conflict on Federal soil." 

The Federal loss in killed and wounded amounted to 23,190. The Confederate loss 
must have been larger. Federal historians estimate it at 36,000 men. This was the 



154 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

grand climacteric of the war. At the very moment (4 o'clock) that Pickett's charge 
was repulsed at Gettysburg, 700 miles to the southwest at Vicksburg, Pemberton, 
reduced to the direst straits, was sitting with Grant under an oak tree, surrendering his 
fortunes and army. 

After the repulse, Lee withdrew Ewell's corps from the extreme right of the enemy, 
and forming a compact line of battle on Seminary ridge, awaited the assault of General 
Meade. No attack was made. On the 4th of July he buried his dead, and on that night 
retreated toward Williamsport on the Potomac, forty miles distant. His amunition had 
been nearly exhausted by the three days fight, and provisions could not be proctired. It 
was dreadful weather, but he continued his retreat for fear the Potomac might rise in his 
rear, and cut off his retreat. Be reached the river on the 7th, to find that the enemy's 
cavalry had destroyed the pontoon, which had been laid for his army, and to his dismay, 
that the Potomac was so swollen that it was unfordable. On the 12th of July Meade 
appeared before Lee, who occupied a strong position, and was in line of battle. Meade 
hesitated in attacking during that day and the next. In the meantime Lee collected a 
portion of the pontoon which the enemy, had destroyed, built some new boats, and had 
a bridge constructed in his rear by the evening of the 13th, when the river had fallen and 
was fordable, so that he was able to cross his army safely into Virginia, and so ended 
the invasion of Pennsylvania. 

General Lee repaired to his old camp on the banks of the Opequan, where he rested 
his weary troops a short time. His own iron frame also needed relaxation. Colonel 
Preemantle, of the British Army, who had been with him during this arduous campaign, 
has described his person and habits at this time ; and a short extract may not be out of 
place herei " General Lee is, almost without exception, the handsomest man of his age 
I ever saw. He is tall, broad-shouldered, very well made, a thorough soldier in appear- 
ance, and his manners are most courteous and full of dignity. He is a perfect gentle- 
man m every respect. I can imagine no man who has so few enemies, or is so univer- 
sally esteemed. He has none of the small vices, such as smoking, drinking, chewing, 
and swearing ; and his bitterest enemy never accused him of any of the greater ones." 
The portrait is very attractive to the eye and remains in many memories now, when the 
sound of battle is hushed, and the great leader, in turn, has finished his life-battle, and 
lain down in peace. 

As soon as General Meade marched South on the east side of the Blue Ridge, Gen- 
eral Lee kept pari passu with him on the west side, and at length the two armies were 
found again confronting each other on the Rappahannock. Here Longstreet with his 
•corps was detached to reinforce General Bragg, and on the other side, Hooker with the 
Eleventh and Twelfth corps, to strengthen the army of Chattanooga. On the 9th of 
October, General Lee commenced a flank movement on General Meade, with a view of 
bringing on a battle in some good position, for which the latter was equally anxious, 
provided he could select his own battle-field. This campaign was remarkable for skilful 
manoeuvres and romantic incidents. The fighting (except in one instance) was done by 
the cavalry. General Stuart, in the Gettysburg campaign, where he was constantly in 
combats, had lost one-third of his force ; but his white plume floated as high in the 
breeze, and his spirit was as joyous when he drew his sabre, as ever. Hill, who was 
raised up in that section of country, led the advance ' ' by circuitous and concealed 
roads," and Stuart moved between the two armies in such a manner as to conceal the 
movements of his friends. General Meade was so much in doubt, that he moved his 
forces first north and* then south, and then again marched rapidly toward Manassas, 
■with Stuart and his cavalry in his front, " when, on the night of the 12th, he met with 
one of the incidents which were thickly strewn throughout his romantic career. He was 
near Auburn, just at nightfall, when as the rear guard closed up, information reached 
him from that quarter that the Federal army was passing directly in his rear. Nearly, 
at the same moment, intelligence arrived, that another column of the enemy, consisting 
like the first, of infantry, cavalry and artillery, was moving across his front. Stuart 
was now in an aetual trap, and his situation was perilous in the extreme. He was 



Recollections of North Alabama. 155 

enclosed between two moving walls of enemies, and if discovered his fate seemed sealed. 
He ordered his troopers to remain silent and motionless in their saddles during the 
night, ready at any instant to move, at the order ; and thus passed the longfhours of 
darkness — the Southern horsemen as silent as phantoms — the Federal columns passing 
rapidly, with the roll of artillery wheels, the tramp of cavalry horses, and the shuffling 
sound of feet, on both sides of his command — the column moving in rear of Stuart being 
distant but two or three hundred yards. The opportunity for escape came at dawn. 
The Federal rear, under General Caldwell, had bivouacked near, and had just kindled 
fires to cook their breakfast, when Stuart suddenly opened upon them with his horse 
.artillery, and as he said in his report, knocked over coffee pots, and other utensils for 
the moment, when the men least expected it. He directed a rapid fire on the disordered 
troops, and under cover of it, wheeled to the left, and emerged safely" (Life of Lee). 

Hill's infantry, with Cook's and Wilcox' brigades in front, overtook the rear of 
Meade's army under General Warren. Seeing the Federal column hastening along the 
railroad to pass Broad Run, Hill ordered a prompt attack, and Cook's brigade led the 
charge. General Warren promptly place his men behind the railroad embankment, who 
poured a destructive fire into the ranks as they came down the slope, which killed and 
wounded a considerable number of them. General Cook himself fell wounded. Gen- 
eral Warren carried off five captured Napoleon guns. General Wilcox' brigade made 
an attempt to recover them, but failed with some loss. In the Ninth Alabama there 
were none killed, but two wounded, Before he could be arrested, Warren had crossed 
and joined the main army on its retreat. General Lee sent Stuart to follow the enemy, 
and returned to his camp in Culpeper. 

General Stuart had the boldness to flank the Federal army ; and attack the second 
corps. This caused great excitement, for at first it was supposed to be Lee's army. But 
as soon as they ascertained that they had only dismounted troopers before them, the 
infantry charged, and Stuart retired toward Warrenton. This audacious assault upon 
the infantry so excited the Federal commander that he sent a considerable body of 
cavalry, under Kilpatrick, to overtake and destroy him. Stuart was at Buckland when 
he heard that he was pursued. Gen. Fitz Lee was his second in command. He pro- 
posed that Stuart would return toward Warrenton with Hampton's division, while with 
his own he should remain hidden from sight, on the enemy's left flank. Then at a 
given signal, Stuart was to face about, and he, Gen. Fitz Lee, would attack them in 
flank. This plan was carried out strictly. When the sudden boom of a gun from Fitz 
Lee gave the signal, Stuart wheeled and made a furious charge upon his pursuers. Fitz 
Lee in turn fell upon his flank; and Kilpatrick' s whole force was routed, and pursued 
back to Buckland at full speed. 

Nothing of much interest occurred until the spring of 1864, when General Grant 
made his appearance. 

Amongst the numerous casualties at Gettysburg in the Ninth Alabama are remem- 
bered the following : In Company C — Lieut. J. K. McBride, who lost an arm and was 
taken prisoner ; Privates Jeff . Lindsay and Noel C. Graham, who were killed. Com- 

S an y D — J. M. Crow, commanding; Lieut. E. D. Patterson, made prisoner; Jos. 
[cMurray, lost a leg, and Ashbury Williams, wounded, and both made prisoners. 
Company B — Lieut. J. H. Sharpe was made prisoner. Company F — Lieut. J. H. Cart- 
wright was made prisoner. Company H — Capt. G. C. Smith and Lieut. R. C. Jones 
were both made prisoners. Company I — Capt. John L. Chisholm and Lieut. Alexander 
C. Chisholm, prisoners; Sergt. S. J. Matthews, right leg shot off; John G. Durbin, 
grape shot through the hip, from which he died some years afterward, and E. C. 
Holden — all these were captured. Company K — Lieut. Edward Nicholson, a prisoner. 
There is in the minds of the few survivors of this regiment a clear recollection of 
their comrades who fell, but they can not specify " where." 

The Ninth Alabama — Grant and Lee. 

On the 9th of March, 1864, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was commissioned Lieutenant 



156 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

General, and assigned by President Lincoln ' ' to the command of all the armies of the 
United States." He had distinguished himself in the southwest, as a commander, at 
Belmont, "Port Henry, Fort Donelson, Shiloh; he had fought five battles around Vicks- 
burg aud captured it ; and had defeated General Bragg before Chattanooga. General 
Meade he still retained at the head of the Army of the Potomac, but he came in person 
to superintend its operations. For the first time, Grant, who had shown his superiority 
over all opponents in the South, and Lee, who occupied the same relative position in the 
northern section of the theatre of war, encountered each other. The fortifications made 
by both these generals, wherever they camped for one night, until the close of the war, 
attest the caution with which every movement was made, and the respect they had for 
each other as eommanders. That respect with General Lee became a personal one when, 
after the surrender, there was a threat of a prosecution for treason against him, and 
General Grant indignantly declared that he would resign his commission if the faith he 
had plighted to General Lee was broken by the United States Government. The new 
policy adopted by General Grant, for the prosecution of the war, was instead of having 
the Federal armies to act separately and independently (as they had done) to have union 
and vigorous and continuous operations of all the troops, regardless of the season and 
the weather, to bring about a speedy termination of the war. Consequently, on the 
same day (4th of May, 1864,) on which the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rapidan f 
every other Federal army commenced an aggressive march leading to a common centre. 
This army was divided into three corps, commanded by Generals Hancock, Warren 
and Sedgwick, respectively. The strength of the army, as agreed on both sides, was 
140,000 men, and they were veterans. The strength of Lee's army was 52,926 as com- 
puted by Southern, and 60,000 by Northern historians. Longstreet with his force had 
been brought back from the West. The army was divided into three corps, and com" 
manded by Ewell, Hill and Longstreet. 

By the evening of the 5th of May the Federal army had ail crossed the Rapidan. 
General Grant had determined " to fight General Lee provided he would stand," some 
where on the road to Richmond. He was now marching through the "Wilderness" 
with a train of 4000 wagons. " It is a region of worn-out tobacco fields, covered with 
scraggy oaks, sassafras, hazel, pine, intersected by narrow roads and deep ravines." 
Grant had no idea of fighting in this thicket, for Hancock's corps was ten miles ahead, 
and emerged from the jungle into the open country, when his flank was suddenly struck 
by Bwell's corps. There was no choice now, and ordering Hancock to return, he made 
his preparations to fight where artillery and cavalry could not be used, and superior 
numbers could be of no benefit. For some time there was a sharp conflict between 
Warren's and Ewell's corps, until 4 p. m., when both parties fell back and began to 
fortify. " They were but a hundred or two yards apart, and though the ring of axes to 
form breastworks and abatis filled' the air, not a man on either side could be discerned 
by the other." On the other flank, Hill pressed the enemy until Hancock returned, 
about 3 p.m., without any decisive results. 

Second Day of the Wilderness. 

At dawn on the 6th of May the main battle commenced. Longstreet' s corps had not 
arrived on the field, but delay was impracticable. Both sides were ready, and Ewell 
attacked first on the left. Hill had been joined by his absent brigades, and formed his 
line of battle with Wilcox' old brigade as guide centre. General Wilcox had been pro- 
moted to the command of a division, and Gen. E. Perrin had been promoted to the com- 
mand of the brigade in his stead. It was formed in a small old field to the left of the 
plank road. When Hill advanced his line nearly to the Brock road, he met Hancock, 
who was also advancing. A most obstinate conflict ensued. On the Federal side the 
roar of battle became suddenly louder. It was Burnside. who had marched his 20.000 
men thirty miles since late in the afternoon before, and thrown them at once into action. 
Hill's corps began at first steadily to fall back ; but Wadsworth, who had lain all night 
upou his flank, at a given signal, made a furious attack, and Hill's corps were forced 



Recollections of North Alabama. 157 

back in great disorder to the ground on which they had originally formed. Here he had 
ample time to reform his line; for Hancock's men, in their rapid advance through the 
thicket, had fallen into great disorder also, and it took him from 7 to 9 a. m. to restore 
his line. 

In the meantime Longstreet fortunately appeared. His corps consolidated in a line 
with Hill's, so that when Hancock again advanced he was unexpectedly met by fresh 
troops ; and after a bloody contest, in which General Wadsworth was killed, was forced 
back to his original position, which was fortified. Here General Longstreet was disabled 
by a musket ball, which passed through the side of his neck and came out at his shoulder. 
At first it was thought to be mortal. General Lee took personal command of his corps, 
and as soon as order was restored ordered the line to be advanced. " The most bloody 
and determined struggle of the day ensued. The thicket filled the valleys, and a new 
horror was added to the horror of battle. A fire broke out in the thicket, and soon 
wrapped the adversaries in flarne and smoke. They fought on, however, amid the crack- 
ling flames. Night put an end to the conflict, and the struggle had not been decisive of 
any important results. 

" These battles were fought in a jungle, where men could not see each other twenty 
yards off. Science had but little to do with it, for officers were seen guiding their men 
by the compass. Death came unseen; regiments stumbled upon each other, and sent 
swift destruction into each other's ranks, guided by the rustling of the bushes. In this 
mournful and desolate thicket did the campaign of 1864 begin. Here in blind wrestle, 
as at midnight, did nearly 200,000 men, in blue and gray, clutch each other — bloodiest 
and weirdest of encounters. The Genius of Destruction, "tired of the old commonplace 
mode of killing, had invented the unseen death." {Life of Lee.) 

In the two battles in the Wilderness Federal accounts make their loss 20,000 men, 
of whom 5000 were prisoners, and our loss 10,000, of whom very few were prisoners. 

The day after the battle both armies remained quiet. That night General Grant 
moved his army toward Richmond ; and General Lee sent Anderson's division forward 
to intercept him. All through the night, Grant encountered barricades erected by 
Stuart's dismounted men, who from behind them received his troops with galling fire; 
and as soon as the infantry was brought up in force, they would mount their horses and 
ride rapidly forward to erect another, and so on. Warren, who commanded the advance, 
was delayed in his march four hours. When he arrived in sight of Spottsylvania Court 
House he encountered Anderson's division behind a breastwork. He endeavored to force 
his way, and there was" a desperate struggle with severe loss on both sides. The First 
Michigan, which was in advance, went in with 200 men and fell back with only twenty- 
three. Unluckily, General Perrin made a charge with his brigade (Wilcox' old men) 
in which he was killed. He was an accomplished officer, and much lamented. In this 
skirmish Colonel Horace King, once captain of the Company of Morgan Volunteers, and 
now commanding the Ninth Alabama, was slightly wounded. The next day (9th of 
May), a similar misfortune happened to the Federals. General Sedgwick was superin- 
tending the placing of a battery, where the men were exposed to a sharp fire from the 
sharpshooters who were up in the trees busy picking off the officers. ■' Pooh! they 
could not hit an elephant at this distance," said he. At that moment he was struck with 
a rifle-ball, in the face, and instantly fell dead. He was an officer of ability and 
courage, and had risen rapidly in public estimation from the battle of Sharpsburg. 

On the morning of the 10th of May, Grant's line stretched for six miles on the north 
bank of the Po river, confronting Lee's line on the southern side of that stream. There 
was heavy fighting that day, during which the Federals sustained considerable loss, but 
the • 

Battle of the i2th of flay 

was one of wonderful interest. At early dawn, Grant, with his best troops, advanced 
with a heavy column, against a salient in the work on Lee's right centre. Hancock was 
in command. He passed silently over the Confederate skirmishers, scarcely firing a 
shot, and just as the first streak of daylight touched the eastern woods, burst upon the 



158 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

salient, which they stormed at the point of the bayonet. The attack was a complete sur- 
prise, and carried everything before it. The Southern troops, asleep in the trenches, 
woke to have the bayonet thrust into them, to be felled with clubbed muskets, and to 
find the works in secure possession of the enemy, before they could fire a shot. Such 
was the excellent success of the Federal movement, and the Southern line seemed to be 
hopelessly disrupted. Nearly the whole of Johnson's division were taken prisoners — 
the number amounting to more than three thousand — and eighteen pieces of artillery fell 
into the hands of the assaulting column. The position of affairs now with Lee was 
exceedingly critical. The Federal army had broken his line, was pouring into the open- 
ing, and to prevent him from concentrating at this point to regain his works, heavy 
attacks were begun by the enemy on his right and left wings. At no time during the 
war was the Southern array in greater danger of a bloody and decisive disaster. At this- 
critical moment General Lee acted with the nerve and coolness of a soldier, whom 
no adverse event can shake. Line of battle was formed a short distance in the rear of 
the salient then in the enemy's possession, and a fierce charge was made .by the South- 
erners to regain it. It was on this occasion that, on fire with the ardor of battle, Lee 
went forward in front of the line, and taking his station beside the colors of one of his 
Virginia regiments, he took off his hat, and turning to the men, pointed to the enemy. 
General Gordon spurred to his side, and seized his rein. His men, too, cried out, 
" Lee to the rear ! Lee to the rear!" and they seemed determined not to charge unless 
he retired. He accordingly did so, and the line advanced under General Gordon, (Life 
of Lee.) 

Notwithstanding the pressure on the wings, reinforcements were sent to the centre, 
from both of them. Wilcox' old brigade, now under command of Col. J. C. C. Saunders, 
formerly the Colonel of the Eleventh Alabama, were all sent, with the exception of the 
Ninth Alabama regiment, which in a thin line defended the works before occupied by 
the whole brigade, from sunrise until sunset. Burnside's corps was assaulting this 
wing of the Southern army. 

To return to the main conflict in the centre : Ewell having fallen back to an interior 
line, and been reinforced from both flanks, and his adversary, Hancock, having had 
Sedgwick's old corps (now commanded by Wright) sent to his aid, a fight took place as 
severe as any during the war. Five different assaults were made by the Confederates, 
in heavy force, to recover the works. The fight was desperate and unyielding. A 
Northern writer thus describes it: " It is to be doubted if musketry firing was ever kept 
up so incessantly as it was by the contending troops, near the captured salient. The 
whole forest in range was blighted by it. One tree, eighteen inches in diameter, was 
actually cut in two by the leaden bullets, and a part of it is now to be seen in Washing- 
ton City. From dawn to dusk, the roar of the guns was ceaseless ; and a tempest of 
shells shrieked through the forest and ploughed the field. When night came, the angle 
of those works where the fire had been hottest, and from which the enemy had been 
finally driven, had a spectacle for whoever cared to look that would never have enticed 
his gaze again. Men in hundreds, killed and wounded together, were piled in hideous 
heaps. The writhing of the wounded, beneath the dead, moved these masses at times; 
at times a lifted arm or a quivering limb told of agony not quenched by the Lethe of 
Death around. Bitter fruit this! a dear price, it seemed, to pay for the capture of a 
salient angle of an enemy's entrenched work, even though the enemy's loss was 
terrible." 

The Federal loss on the Po was from 8000 to 10,000, and the Confederate perhaps 
as much, including prisoners. The loss of the Ninth Alabama was small, as they 
fought under cover of the works. 

The Federal army remained until the 19th of May. It was from this camp that 
General Grant announced to the President his intention to " fight it out on this line, if 
it takes all summer." Here he waited for " reinforcements from Washington, and the 
number he received made up for all his losses." (Draper, Vol. 3, p. 381.) On the other" 
hand, General Lee expected none, and with an army reduced to 40,000, boldly con-- 



Recollections of North Alabama. 159 

fronted an array of .140,000 men. Not a man could President Davis spare to him, for 
the Confederacy was assailed at the most vulnerable points ; and with its territory cir- 
cumscribed, its reduced armies stood, as it were, back to back, defending themselves, 
against overwhelming numbers . 

Battle of North Anna. 

On the 19th of May, at midnight, General Grant moved his army for the- purpose" 
of seizing Hanover Junction ; but when on the 23d he reached the banks of the North 
Anna General Lee was there ready to oppose his crossing. As Lee, since his arrival,. 
had no rime to erect fortifications, Grant crossed over a strong force both above and below 
his adversary. Whik Lee was resisting the advance of these most obstinately, he was- 
fortifying in a novel manner to prevent their junction. From a salient on the bank of 
the stream he extended the wings back in an obtuse angle, forming a broad V with the 
point in front. It answered its purpose, and Grant becoming satisfied that he could not 
attack to advantage, marched again on the night of the 26th May toward Richmond. Ini 
the conflict at North Anna the whole of Wilcox' old brigade was engaged in repelling: 
the enemy, but as they fought behind breastworks their loss was small. 

It was while General Lee was at North Anna that he was plunged into the deepest 
grief by the intelligence of the death of General Stuart. General Sheridan had been 
detached from the Federal army to operate in the rear of the Confederates with a large 
force. General Stuart had been sent to pursue him, and had intercepted bis column at 
a place called "Yellow Tavern." Here an obstinate engagement occurred in which 
this great Cavalry Chief was mortally wounded, and soon afterward expired. His 
death was a grievous blow to the South, at this time, when its fortunes were on the 
wane. 

Second Battle of Cold Harbor. 

On the 3d of Jane General Grant determined to attack the small army of General 
Lee strongly intrenched at this place, which was the scene of his first great battle two- 
years before On this occasion there were no brilliant manoeuvres, but it was an at- 
tempt on the part of Grant to carry the position by mere force of numbers — by throw- 
ing his army in one great mass upon his adversary. The action did not last half an 
hour, and in that time the Federal loss was 15,000 men as computed by the Confederates, 
and 7000 as claimed by the Federals. " Later in the day orders were issued to renew 
the assault ; but the whole army, correctly appreciating what the result would be, silently 
disobeyed." {Draper, 3d Vol., 337.) After this bloody repulse General Grant ap- 
proached James River for the purpose of crossing and besieging Richmond from the 
south side of that stream. 

The Ninth Alabama — The Siege of Richmond. 

(In a former page was a mistake in stating that General Hood lost his leg at Gettys- 
burg. He was wounded there, but lost his lirnb at Chickamauga. Again, I omitted 
to mention a reinforcement of 9000 men received by General Lee at Hanover Junction 
from General Beauregard's Richmond Army.) 

In a cloud of dust the head of General Grant's columns came down to the pontoon 
bridge laid across the James river, at City Point, at daylight on the 15th of June, 1864. 
It was 1200 yards long and wide enough for twelve men or five horses to pass abreast. 
On this bridge mainly, but partly on ferry-boats, this great army was crossing in pro- 
cession for three days. General Butler was already upon the ground and had been for 
for many days with his 30,000 men, in the fork between James and Appomattox rivers j 
so completely enclosed by Beauregard's strong works, across his front. and from river to' 
river, that General Grant wrote : ' ' His army was as completely shut off as if it had been 
in a bottle completely corked." The approach of his chief released him from his 
imprisonment. 

General Lee divined that the object of General Grant was to seize on Petersburg 
and the railroads which supplied Richmond. He put his army in motion, and none too 



160 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

soon. He crossed James river above Drewry's Bluff and appeared before bis adversary, 
at Petersburg, on tbe morning of tbe 16th of June. Here, for three days, there was 
stubborn fighting, in wbicb, however, Wilcox' old brigade bore no part. Commanded 
now by General Saunders, it left the field of Cold Harbor on the 15th, and camped near 
Chafin's Bluff. On the morning of the 18th, tbe brigade was marched, in double-quick 
time, to Petersburg, and arrived there about dark. Shortly afterward it was placed in 
■General Mahone's division. There were only a few days of quiet, ere tbis brigade 
was fated to participate in the most formidable struggle of any which had yet occurred 
south of the James river. On the evening of .21st of June, General Grant moved a 
strong force out of his entrenchments, to seize upon the Weldon railroad. Night coming 
on, they took their position for an attack next morning. General Hill perceived 
in tbeir movements that a gap had been left between Hancock's and "Wright's corps, 
and threw into the opening a strong column. Both corps were struck on the flank, and 
thrown into great confusion. The Federal attack was repulsed, and Hill carried off 
3000 prisoners. The first attempt to seize the road was attended with great loss on tbe 
part of the Federals, wbo fell back into their trenches, and remained quiet for several 
weeks. The troops employed by Hill on this occasion were mainly Anderson's division 
and a brigade of Heath's division. Wilcox' old brigade, in this fight, faced the troops 
of Barlow and Gibbon on the Union side. 

About the time of tbis engagement, Generals Wilson and Kautz, with two divisions 
of cavalry, were sent out to destroy the three railroads south and west of Richmond. 
They were at work, busily, for a week occupied in their destruction, when they com- 
menced their return to the main army. Wilcox' old brigade, and Finnegan's Florida 
brigade, with Anderson's battery, were marched from Petersburg, to intercept this 
cavalry force, during a whole night, and did not stop for rest or sleep. They arrived 
at Ream's station about sunrise, and soon afterward saw clouds of dust in their front, 
which signaled the approach of the enemy. They came on with much confidence, be- 
cause they fully expected that General Grant was in possession of the Station. When 
within range, our artillery was opened upon them, and did effective work. A 
charge of infantry took place, and General Fitz Lee with his cavalry attacked them in 
their rear, when a complete route of the entire force ensued. All their artillery was 
captured, and quite a number of prisoners; also about 1000 negroes and a large num- 
ber of carriages and buggies, which had been stolen by the Yankees for their idols to 
ride in. The brigade returned to Petersburg the next day, and occupied the same posi- 
tion on the line to the right of Petersburg. 

Six weeks had passed. Repeated attempts were made by General Grant to break 
through the lines without success, when a conflict occurred of so novel a character that 
we shall give the facts somewhat in detail. The opposing works to the right of Peters- 
burg approximated so near to each other that the idea was suggested by some men who 
had been Pennsylvania miners, to run a mine under a portion of the Confederate lines. 
It was approved by General Grant, and commenced on the 25th of June and finished oh 
the 23d of July. The gallery was over 500 feet long, four or five feet across, and 
when it reached the desired point it had lateral galleries run each way for forty feet. 
Extensive arrangements were, made by the commander to take advantage of the panic 
to be produced by its explosion, and with a force'of 50,000 men to charge through and 
seize a crest called Cemetery Hill, which commanded the city of Petersburg. To weaken 
General Lee's defence he sent on the 25th of July a force north of the James river to 
threaten Richmond, which had the effect of drawing after them a strong force from the 
Confederate army. Everything so far worked well, and the time fixed for the explo- 
sion of the mine was at 3:30 o'clock on the morning of the 30th of July. It was 
charged with 8000 pounds of powder, the immense body of troops were placed in col- 
umn, and when the moment arrived the fuse was iguited, but without effect. After 
waiting till daylight'two bold men, Lieutenant Douty and Sergeant Reese, crept into tbe 
mine and found that the fuse was broken within fifty feet of the magazine. They set 
fire to it and barely had time to escape before the explosion occurred. It was indeed a 



Becollections op North Alabama. 161 

terrible one, and was heard for thirty miles. The effect was frightful. Captain 
Coinegys (a neighbor of mine) who was in full view when the explosion took place, 
describes the column of flame, mingled with smoke, timbers, the wreck of gun car- 
riages, and the bodies of men, as ascending half a mile high, apparently. As soon as 
the wreck fell to the ground, and the smoke and dust subsided, he looked across and 
beheld the largest body of Federals in readiness to charge that he ever saw during the 
war, on the same space of ground ; although he had served from the commencement, 
and had taken part in many a great battle. The advance of the Federal army charged, 
but instead of crossing the breastworks they took refuge from a sharp fire in them, and 
the " crater " which had been heaved up by the tremendous explosion, thirty feet deep, 
sixty feet wide and two hundred feet long. Here the first division entered, followed by 
several regiments of negroes, and for hours waited for the advance of General Burn- 
side, who commanded the large army set apart for that purpose. General Lee, whose 
headquarters were not far off, was soon on the field, accompanied by General Beaure- 
gard. General Mahone charged the enemy and dislodged them from a portion of the 
works they had captured on the side of the crater; while General Wright, who charged 
them on the other side, failed with much loss. Things remained in this state for hours, 
during which the Federals in the crater were shelled. The troops brought up by Gen- 
eral Lee were sheltered by ditches and ridges where they lay in the hot sun until many 
suffered from sunstroke — in the Ninth Alabama alone, there were four cases. 

At length Wilcox's brigade (then commanded by General Saunders) advanced. 
Captain Comegys describes their charge as being very rapid. They soon reached the 
margin and disappeared in the crater. Here a hand-to-hand fight occurred, which, the 
captain thinks, must have lasted fifteen or twenty minutes. At length the Federals 
yielded, with a loss of 4000 men, of which 1300 were prisoners. The appearances inside 
the crater, after the fight, were remarkable. Here was seen bodies torn to pieces by the 
shells, and the whole cavity of the crater covered by the killed and wounded, and in 
some places in heaps three or four feet deep, of whites and negroes. They lost an 
excellent opportunity of breaking General Lee's lines, and General Burnside was much 
censured for not advancing according to the plan. 

About the 25th of August, Hancock's corps and Gregg's division of cavalry, while 
at Ream's station destroying the railroad, were attacked by the Confederates, and after 
desperate fighting, the Federals gave way. Here General Hancock lost 2400 men out 
of 8000. Wilcox's old brigade, whose commander, General Saunders, had been killed 
some days before, was led to the charge by General Wilcox himself, who having failed 
to repulse the Federals with other troops, put himself at the head of his old brigade, 
the men of which received him with cheers. They never failed to follow him wherever 
he led, and speedily broke the enemy's line. 

In our last we gave a brief account of a number of engagements which succeeded 
the investment of Richmond and Petersburg by the Federal army. But let not my 
readers suppose that the intervals of time between these were quiet. Far from it. Lee's 
small, scantily fed force confronted Grant's large one, which had an abundance of sup- 
plies of every kind, in parallel lines of fortifications from before Richmond, around 
Petersburg, and to the west of it, until they finally reached the enormous length of 
forty miles.- These approached each other until in some places they were not one hun- 
dred yards apart. "It was one long battle, day and night, week after week, and month 
after month, during the heats of summer, the sad hours of autumn, and the days and 
nights of winter." One-third of the army of Lee was, for more than nine months, 
constantly in the trenches, night and day, ready to meet an assault of the enemy at any 
place in this long line. During all hours of the night the heavens were lighted up by 
bombs curving through the air and exploding in these trenches, in which the men had. 
to shelter themselves. This siege was the most arduous campaign of the whole war. 

Reference has been made to the conflict, at Ream's Station, on the 25th August. 
Late in September General Grant intending a heavy attack on General Lee's right, and 
to conceal his purpose, sent a strong force north of James river on the night of the 



162 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

twenty-eighth of that month. Next morning they advanced suddenly, and carried the 
strong fortifications called Fort Harrison. Elated with their success, they made an 
assault on Fort Gilmer, which was repulsed with heavy loss to the Federal troops. 
There was sharp fighting for several days, in which Wilcox's old brigade (now com- 
manded by General Forney) took an active part. They were in the fight on the 7th of 
October, in which General John Gregg, of Texas, fell. He was a native of our county, 
and a gentlemen of high culture and great gallantry. In the proper place we shall give 
a sketch of his career. 

Again on the 27th of October, General Grant made a heavy attack on the Confede- 
rate right. The force was very large ; for ' ' only men enough were left to hold their 
fortified line." Generals Grant and Meade superintended this movement in person. 
They threw their forces across Hatcher's Run, near Burgess' Mill: and an obstinate 
attack was made on Lee's lines. The cavalry under Generals Hampton and W. H. F. 
Lee attacked them in front and rear — and infantry was hastened to the point. Here 
General Hampton lost his son, Preston. When the infantry arrived, the struggle was 
obstinate, but the Federals were driven back into their works. The next day General 
Lee reported that " the attack was made by three brigades, under General Mahone, and 
General Hampton in the rear. Mahone captured 400 prisoners, three stands of colors, 
and six pieces of artillery. In the attack subsequently made by the enemy, Mahone broke 
three lines of battle." Forney's brigade (Wilcox' old one) was in this celebrated 
charge, and the Ninth Alabama sustained a heavy loss. 

From this time active operations in the field closed until the opening of the spring 
of 1865 ; but the same constant, worrying, wearying conflict, continued in the trenches. 
The gay livery of spring brought no corresponding cheerfulness into the hearts of the 
Confederates. Events had occurred of a very depressing nature. Early, in the valley 
of Virginia, had been overpowered- by numbers — Sherman had borne down all opposi- 
tion, marched through Georgia, and had reached Goldsboro, in North Carolina, on his 
way to unite with the Army of the Potomac — and Grant with an army of 150,000 men 
confronted Lee, whose forces were reduced to less than 40,000. The physical condition 
of the men too was deplorable. " It was the mere phantom of an army. Shoeless, in 
rags, with just sufficient coarse food to sustain life, but never enough to keep the gnaw- 
ing fiend, Hunger, at arm's length, Lee's old veterans remained firm." Their morale 
may be well illustrated by the case of the noble Till (the color bearer of the Ninth 
Alabama), who in the last battle lost an arm, and in the first battle of the spring led 
the regiment, holding the battle flag with his remaining arm. This force, purged of its 
dross, by years of fiery conflict, was all pure gold, and fully equal to the " old guard of 
Napoleon." 

In the attack by Gordon on Fort Steadman, Forney's brigade bore no part, but in 
the decisive attack of Grant of the 29th of March, they participated. It was stationed 
near Howlett's battery on the extreme right. The enemy charged but were repulsed 
with loss, but numbers (as all know) prevailed, and our forces on that wing were 
routed, and made their way across the Appomattox to join General Lee, who had crossed 
the remnant of his army far below. There were a number of the men of the Ninth Ala- 
bama wounded in these conflicts. They had been collected and were in charge of that 
faithful surgeon, and warm-hearted gentleman, Dr. Jas. R. Edwards, and were all taken 
prisoners. 

I shall cast a veil over the closing scenes of the surrender, in which one noble look- 
ing personage was the centre of attraction to both armies, he who during his wonderful 
career was guided by the principle that " duty was the sublimest word in our language. 
You can not do more, and you should never wish to do less." And when the gloom 
and darkness of that last eclipse, filled every heart in his small army, and in the broad 
South, with hopeless sadness, his declaration that " human fortitude should be equal to 
human calamity," calmed the agitation of the country, while his steady application to 
the duties he assumed in civil life, his strict observance of the laws, and absence from 
all intrigues against the Federal Government, had much to do with the tranquillity which 
has prevailed in the country since the cessation of hostilities. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 163 

In treating of the personal annals, which it has been my humble task to record, I 
have drawn from the pages of military history just enough to render my narrative 
intelligible and interesting. I have not been writing history, but extracting from it. 
I am satisfied that the histories that have been issued from the press, in reference to 
Lee's campaign, are quite imperfect and incorrect, in numerous instances. Such a sub- 
ject deserves a historian of a high order of talent, extensive learning (especially in 
military history), great perseverance, the taste of an antiquary, and a judicial fairness, 
which would invite men of all parties to consult his pages for the truth. An officer of 
considerable ability has remarked, "I can cite no army, either in ancient or modern 
times, that will figure more prominently in history, than that of the Army of Northern 
Virginia. Its distinguished commander in all the higher elements of the soldier, will 
rank with the most renowned captains of the past, and will be regarded as the first in 
the war which closed' so disastrously to the South. The infantry of that army fought 
more triumphal battles than any other which I have knowledge of, and sustained fewer 
defeats. Their spirit and organization were maintained to the last, although for two 
years they were virtually without pay, miserably clothed, and poorly fed." 

A complete history of these campaigns would be a text-book in which the student 
of military science could learn the higher elements of his profession ; but such a history 
could not be well written without having first from officers of talent and learning (who 
still survive) , subsidiary histories of the brigades which they commanded. For instance, 
how valuable and deeply interesting a complete history of Wilcox's brigade would be 
from the pen of General Wilcox himself, who still survives in full vigor of mind and 
body ! It is said that he has never forgotten anything. He was greatly respected and 
admired by the officers and men of the Alabama brigades under his command. He was 
the first colonel of the Ninth Alabama, then made a brigadier general, and his command 
was made up exclusively of Alabamians. 

This will close the narrative part of the sketch of the Ninth Alabama. I will next 
give a roll of the Lawrence volunteers, with the fate of each man, as far as it could be 
ascertained. Rolls of other companies will be published with pleasure if sent to me. 

The Ninth Alabama — Fate of the Lawrence County Volunteers. 

The roll of Captain Warren's company as published in the Moulton Democrat of 
31st May, 1861, will be the foundation of the matters of personal history which follow. 
But this does not, by any means, contain the full number of names which afterward 
were enrolled. I am credibly informed that, at one time, this company mustered as 
many as 120 men. I have added as many names as I could ascertain, but still there is a 
large number wanting. At one time, when Captain May visited home, he brought 17 
recruits (mostly from Winston county) and on the way to the army they contracted 
measles, of a malignant type, and nearly all died. I am not certain that there is a 
single one of these names on my list. It is due to their memories that they should be 
there ; and I should be pleased to receive information which will enable me not only to 
complete the list, but to give some account of each person added to it. 

The members of this company, with few exceptions, were poor young men and many 
of them quite illiterate. Indeed, some of them could not write their names, but, like 
General Morgan of revolutionary fame," they could make their marks " on the enemy. 
A gentleman who had much to do with the issuance of rations to the several companies 
of the Ninth Alabama told me that his company, when the signal for battle was given, 
brought more men into line, in proportion to the number of rations which they drew 
than any in the regiment. Many of them had been raised up in mountain homes where 
they had indulged in the chase of wild animals, and had become experts in the use of the 
rifle. No wonder then that with these habits of early life they were able in the dark 
days which preceded the end of the war, to march as far bare-foot, could live on as small 
ration and be as cheerful in their rags as any men of the regiment. They went into the 
service to " stay," and some of these poor fellows did " stay " on every battle-field which 
was made memorable by the skill of their great commander. 



164 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Capt. J. M. Warren. Of his family and military career I have already spoken. 
First Lieut. M. G. May was from South Alabama. (Captain Warren had married his 
sister, and this accounts for his being- an officer in the company). He made a fair captain 
when he was promoted in the place of Captain Warren, who.resigned. Toward the closer 
of the war he resigned and raised some independent cavalry. 

Second Lieut. William T. Couch. His father was Washington Couch, who came from 
Limestone to Lawrence some thirty years ago. The old man was poor, but he and his 
sons worked industriously. William was the oldest and married a sister of Dr. J. H. 
Odom. Marion Couch married a widow, Wright. Robert, the youngest son, married 
a daughter of Rev. Hamilton Moore, a Campbellite minister. When May became captain 
Couch was promoted to his place, and when May resigned Couch became captain. He 
was much esteemed by his men and a good captain. He was wounded at Frazier's Farm, 
but served until the end of the war, and still lives near Hillsboro in this county, and 
has no enemies that I know of except himself. 

George W. Garth's name was on the original muster roll of the company as second 
lieutenant, but he was never mustered in. He became first lieutenant in Captain Bank- 
head's company of the Sixteenth Alabama, in which connection I will speak of him. 

First Sergeant R.B. Davis was probably an orphan, for he was raised up in the 
family of Thomas Holland, Esq., of Mallard's creek, of whom he was a relative, but 
in what degree I do not know. His uncle, a one-legged man, named Davis, married 
a daughter of Esquire Holland, and she was his cousin. R. E. Davis was killed in 
some battle in Virginia. 

Second Sergeant H. Van Whitehead came from Limestone county before the war. 
He was a quiet man, but a good soldier, was wounded once or twice, and finally killed, 
in some battle near Petersburg. 

Third Sergeant H. H. Bibb was from Winston county. He was a good soldier 
and survived the war. When the Winston men returned to their homes, they found 
the country in great fear of a band of tories, who had been robbing and murdering the 
people. The soldier boys made short work of them. Some were disposed of "without 
shriving," and the rest becoming alarmed, "stood not on the order of their going." 
My old friend, Doctor Andrew Kaiser, had been killed by them, and I think his house 
burned, and his widow fled from her home. When Bibb returned he carried Mrs. 
Kaiser to her home, and assisted in rebuilding her house. He has gone out west 
somewhere. 

J. K. MeBride was a private when he first went out. When Garth left the company 
he became third Lieutenant; and at the end of the war was second in command. He 
was a fearless soldier, and in the company had warm friends and bitter enemies. He 
lost an arm at Gettysburg, and is at Hillsboro, in this county. I have spoken elsewhere 
of his family. 

Sergeant A. Livingston: (I first spoke of him as the son of Sam Livingston, who 
was one of Jackson's old soldiers, and celebrated the 8th of January as long as he lived ; 
but I was mistaken) was the son of William Livingston, the brother of Sam, who lived in 
the near corner of Blount county. He was a brave soldier, and was killed in the charge 
at Frazer's Farm, when about the centre of the open field. A shell carried away all his 
head except the hinder part of the skull. In this battle more young men of this com- 
pany fell than in any other. 

Corporal D. C. Harrison: He was a man of gay disposition, fond of whiskey and 
pleasure, and of much wit; but was always in his place when a battle was on hand. 
He was wounded in the seven days fight around Richmond, but survived the war. He 
married a daughter of Win. Foote, near Oakville. He had a quarrel with a neighbor 
originating in a bad partition fence, attacked him with a shotgun and was killed by 
one of the same kind. 

William Foote, Jr., was a son of the same William Foote, and grandson of the 
first clerk of our Circuit Court, at Melton's Bluff. He was quite cheerful, and had all 



Recollections of North Alabama. 165 

the qualities to make a soldier popular around the camp-fire; but he had consumption, 
was unable to bear fatigue, was discharged and died before the end of the war. 

J. T. Cooper: His father was one of the old settlers, and related to the Couch fam- 
ily; but I have not learned his christian name. J. T. was a brave soldier, and was 
killed at Cold Harbor, in the second year of the war. 

R. Abies was a tanner when he enlisted. He fell out of the ranks complaining of 
being sick, in the first march into Maryland, after the capture of Harper's Perry, and 
was never heard of afterward. 

Jeffrey Beck was an old man when he entered the service, and was discharged on 
account of age, 

Dennis Cullen was a brave Irishman who was killed in some battle. There were 
several of them, all in the same mess ; but some of their names are not on my list. 
They were always cheerful and witty, regardless of discomfort or danger; and when 
they could get a little whiskey, refused not to sing their native songs, even " in a 
strange land." 

William A. Jenkins, son of Dr. W. Jenkins, and grandson of Dr. Hickey, made a 
good soldier, survives the war and is living in Mississippi. 

John H. Morris, son of Rev. Moses Morris, of Trinity, was never mustered into this 
company, although his name was on the original roll. He was a well educated young 
man, and went into Captain Hobb's company of the same regiment. He too was killed 
at Frazier's Farm. His body was not found until next morning. But for this it was 
thought that his life might have been saved. 

J . Alexander Isham came from Fayetteville, Tenn. Mr. Grant, near Brown's Ferry, 
had married his sister, and he and his brother Charles came to Lawrence a few years 
before the war. For some time he was attached to the wagon train. He was a faithful 
man, wherever he was. The commissary officer under whom he served informed me 
that he had a presentiment, that he would be killed in his first battle. This happened 
in fact in the battle of Cold Harbor. But the melancholy impression caused uo 
abatement of his courage. He fell in the stubborn conflict, on the right, on the top of 
the ridge, after three lines of , breastworks had been carried, the most glorious part of 
the field for a gallant soldier to yield up his life. 

Charles Isham, brother of the above, was badly wounded in the thigh at Salem 
Church.' The ball had passed near the artery, and in the hospital erosion took place and 
he died. 

G. W. Berry, son of an old settler west of Town creek, survived the war, and has 
since died. 

D. W. Glen, Irish soldier, survived the war, and lives somewhere in this county. 
J. M. Wright died in the service. 

J. B. Chileoat. His name was on the roll, but he was never mustered in. He made 
a fine soldier in the Sixteenth Alabama. 

J, L. Harvey was discharged on account of age. 

W. H. Holmes had killed a man named Gibson, near Courtland. Under a Confed- 
erate regulation, a nol. pros, was entered in court upon his enlistment; but he was 
seriously diseased, and unfit for service. He died last year in Moulton. 

J. B. Windham was the son of Hardy Windham, an old settler. He was a good 
soldier, badly wounded at Cold Harbor, survived the war, and has removed to Texas. 

E. W: Sale was the son of Lewis Sale, who was the nephew of Rev. Alexander Sale. 
B. W. was a man of some education, and was mortally wounded at Salem Church. The 
ball passed through both cheeks far back and crushed the bones of his mouth. The 
comrade who nursed him told me that he lingered many days before he died. 

Jeff. Lindsay was the son of Jack Lindsay, an old settler on Flint, in our county. 
He was a brave soldier, and fell on the second day of the battle of Gettysburg. A gen- 
tleman, who was by his side, told me that he was shot through the breast and fell dead 
in the bloody conflict with the Irish brigade. 

Robert H. Coleman was a man of fine intellect and pretty good education. He was 



166 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

of the Virginia family of Colemans, and a relative of Judge Coleman of the Supreme 
Court, formerly of our county. His father was named Richard, and married Miss Adair, 
sister of John Adair, of Trinity, who married a daughter of Judge Charles Gibson. The 
Colemans had lived in Prince William county, Virginia, near Manassas; moved to 
Christiansburg, thence to Kentucky, and about fifty years ago came into our county. 
At the time Mr. y Coleman volunteered he was a surveyor, and carried on a steam 
mill a few miles southeast of Hillsboro. His only brother, William, died in 1855. His 
only living sister is the wife of Dr. Wm. Cochrane, of Tuscaloosa. Coleman was com- 
missary sergeant of the Ninth, and generally employed in the commissary and quarter- 
master departments ; but when a battle occurred, he was in line. At Cold Harbor, 
Donell, the color bearer, was killed before they crossed the deep gulley; another man 
seized the flag and at the second line he was shot down — Coleman raised it, and before 
he reached the top of the hill he was shot three times without having any bones broken, 
and from weakness had to resign it to another man, who, amidst the cheers of the men 
on the top of the ridge, waved it in triumph as the routed Federals vrent down the slope 
to the Chickahominy. At the battle of Sharpsburg Coleman was wounded severely, his 
arm being shattered from wrist to elbow. He recovered slowly, but was in time to take 
a part in the battle of Gettysburg, where he was taken prisoner,, and with some sixty or 
seventy others of the Ninth Alabama was carried to Fort Delaware, about sixty miles 
below Philadelphia. The Fort was on an island in the middle of the river, which here 
became a broad estuary. 

On the night of the 12th of August, 1863, some twenty of these prisoners escaped 
from the island. It was a daring feat and I have been curious to learn the particulars, 
but I have only succeeded in two instances — that of Coleman and William Patton of 
O'Neal's old company. Coleman had provided himself, for a buoy, with a seasoned 
plank about eight feet long, and Patton had a lot of empty canteens tied around his arm- 
pits, under his blouse. The night was pitch dark ; it was a dead calm, and the tide was 
running up with great velocity. As the sentinel turned his back to them, they slipped 
silently in the river behind him and swam out silently into the current. When about a 
hundred yards out, he blew a low whistle for Patton but received no answer. This was 
repeated several times, and without success. After floating several miles above the Fort, 
he was struck by a squall of wind, and was often completely submerged ; but he stuck to 
his plank and the squall was soon over. He found himself now, a hundred and fifty yards 
from the desired shore, and his escape seemed assured. He passed under the stern of a 
schooner lying at anchor, and just then, a short distance ahead of him, he heard a cry 
and a gurgling sound as if some person was drowning. He hurried to his assistance, and 
found it to be a Mr. Young, of South Carolina. But unluckily, the cry of distress had 
been heard also on board the schooner; and the two men were picked up, and carried 
aboard. The Captain was kind, but refused to put them on land. On arriving at Phila- 
delphia he gave each of them a new suit of citizen's clothes and handed them over to the 
Provost Marshal. The next day Coleman's left was handcuffed to Young's right hand ; 
and they were sent to the Fort on a magnificent bay steamer bound for Cape May, and 
filled with ladies and gentlemen. Their bracelets being of an unusual style for such 
company, attracted a great deal of attention, especially from the ladies (God bless them ! ) 
who admired courage and are always magnanimous enough to sympathize with the 
unfortunate. 

Before they left the steamer the prisoners had received donations from them to the 
amount of more than $200 apiece. But what became of Patton? Why, he not only 
escaped, but he rode into camp one day just as General Lee arrived in Culpeper, with 
two fine cavalry horses completely equipped. "But how did he get them?" I must 
first tell you something of his history. He was a printer in Pulaski, and when the Ninth 
Alabama was being raised he came down to Florence and became a member (as I have 
said) of O'Neal's company. He was a small man, of not more than ninety pounds weight ; 
but he had a big head and a large heart, and had resources at hand for every emergency. 
He was expert at the game of cards, and always had money ; but he shared liberally with 



Recollections op North Alabama. 167 

his comrades. He was cheerful and witty; and a great favorite around the camp fire. 
When floating on the tide he and Coleman were separated. He was smart enough to be 
in no hurry to leave the river near the fort. In the squall his empty canteens floated 
like bottles. When he had gotten about fourteen miles above he made a landing, and, 
trusting to his histrionic talents, he reached safely the neighborhood of Winchester, 
where an adventure of uncommon interest happened to him. He was trudging along a 
little after dark, when a large force of Federal cavalry overtook him. He stepped aside 
in the bushes to let them pass, when the order was given to encamp. The troopers scat- 
tered over the woods, and he heard one ask another to take his horse to water. When 
the request was refused, Patton stepped forward and said: "I'll take your horse to 
water, sir." The rein was handed to him, and he had just mounted when another asked 
him to take Ms horse, too. In this way he came into possession of two fine horses in the 
dark. He was as good as his word, for he did take them to water, but he never brought 
them back. Patton was again taken prisoner in some affair around Petersburg, but 
within four days he escaped and was with his company again. He should have joined 
the cavalry and become a scout. He would have been as skilful and useful as McGuire 
(now of Memphis), who belonged to the First Kentucky Cavalry. But to return to Cole- 
man. After the war he was appointed county surveyer of our county, and served for 
many years. He was detained a prisoner until November, 1864, when he was carried to 
Savannah and released. He was so disabled, and the way was so obstructed by the 
enemy, that it was January before he reached Tuscaloosa, and much later when he reached 
home. He married the Widow Mullins, and now lives several miles south of Leighton. 
His wife is a sister of Rufus Milwee, who was one of ten young men who first volunteered 
and marched from our county. Mr. Milwee has lately married a daughter of Irwin 
Smith, near Newburg, and now lives in view of Landersville. 

A. J. Wade was the son of one of the old settlers, who lived near Smith's mill. He 
served through the war, and has since died. 

G. S. Crittenden (son of George W., who was a tailor of Courtland, Ala.), was 
taken ill on the march to Williamsburg, and died in Richmond. 

J. L. McDowell was the grandson of John McDowell, the Irish hatter and Revolu- 
tionary soldier, whose history I have previously given. He was grandfather of Col. M. C. 
Gallaway and the father of Judge Gibson's first wife. J. L. McDowell was a good 
soldier, but was of a delicate constitution. At one time, in camp, he lost his speech 
entirely. He survived the war, married a daughter of Silas Garrison, and now lives in 
Borden's Cove. 

James Daniel survives the war, and lives near Oakville. 

Benj. F. Gray came of good fighting stock. His father was Jonathan Gray, who 
was captain in the Creek war and at the battle of New Orleans. He was wounded, but 
served through the war, and now lives near Palarm, Ark. 

James Donohoe had his throat cut by a bullet at Williamsburg. 

S. C. Clark — his name was on the roll, 'but he was never mustered in. His mother 
was sister to Dr. Irwin, and he was a daring, brave man in Roddy's cavalry. 

Nicholas Eddy was the son of a man of the same name, who was one of the early 
settlers in the Poplar Log Cove. Nick was a larger man than his father, and weighed 
200 pounds. He was over fifty years of age when he enlisted, and his heart was in 
the work. At that 'awful battle of Sharpsburg, Nick was behind the ledge of rocks, 
which with the addition of fence rails, made a pretty good breastwork, and very busy 
plying his musket on the advancing Federals, when a long conical bullet tore through a 
rail, scattered the splinters in the face of a comrade who sat on his right, and striking 
Nick, who cried out that he was a dead man. As soon as his friend could brush away 
the splinters from his face he saw Nick with one hand held up bleeding, with lacerated 
fingers, the other held to his breast and his countenance pale as ashes. On examination 
the bullet had penetrated the cartilage of the breast-bone, and there it stuck. The 
hollow end was still above the surface, and by this with the forefinger and thumb it 
was drawn out, and the healthy color returned again to his face — and none too soon, for 



168 Early Settlers op Alabama. ■ 

now they were forced back by the enemy across the cornfield. It was in this retrograde 
movement that the brave Lieut. John Rayburn, Adjutant of the Ninth Alabama, was 
killed. A few days before the Federals on the north side of the Tennessee river had 
been wantonly firing into the little town of Guntersville, and his mother had been 
killed by thejragment of a shell. The news had just reached him and he was very sad. 
Nick Eddy after this battle was honorably discharged from the service. 

J. Ephraim Alexander and W. W. Alexander were good soldiers and much re- 
spected in the company. They belonged to the Alexanders, a family who settled around 
Pin Hook, over fifty years ago. The name of their father was George W. Alexander, a 
substantial citizen, who died a year or two ago. Ephraim was wounded, and perhaps 
his brother. They survived the war, and now live not far from Monlton. 

J. T. Royer was a son of Jeff. Royer (who was a lunatic) and lived about nine 
miles east of Monlton. A cloud seemed to be over the family, for his son, who was a 
fearless man, was killed at Prazier'sFarm in the charge — and this was the first season of 
active operations. 

A. H. House drifted down from Ohio to Courtland before the war. He was em- 
ployed for some time (if I mistake not) by the father of Dr. McMahon. When the war 
broke out, he caught the contagion and went out with the company. He was quite a useful 
soldier indirectly, for General Wilcox made him an orderly, and he kept his horses in 
fine order. After the war he lived some time in Nashville, but the last we heard of him 
he was in Cincinnati in a candy shop. 

Jacob Verner was raised in the Warrior mountains, on the Cheatham road to 
Tuscaloosa, in a small smoky cabin. I am not certain that he could write his name, and 
yet he proved to be one of the very best soldiers in the regiment. He was quite droll 
in manners, and had a good store, not of Attic, but of camp wit. A battle always 
excited him, and he was in high humor. He bore his full share of the fighting, and 
survived the war, and lives somewhere in our county. When he first came, he was 
quite fresh, and the boys were very much amused at his simplicity. They tell the story 
on him to this day (but I don't guarantee the truth of it) that at the battle of 
Williamsburg, which was the first he was in, he was astonished when the firing ceased; 
for he said he supposed that the battle would continue until, on one side or the other, 
the last man was killed. He acquired the most reputation, however, by accidentally falling 
into a gulley. You want to know how that was. Well, I'll tell you. On the evening 
of the day after the battle of Salem Church you remember General Wilcox tells us that 
he made a night attack on the enemy. The Ninth was moving cautiously around the 
Federal right when the click of hundreds of musket-locks was heard in rapid succession. 
"Down," was the word, and flat they fell on the ground. The volley fired by the 
enemy showed where their line was, and it was returned with interest. The Federals 
were thrown into great confusion, and the Ninth advanced. In the dark, Jake Verner, 
J. T. Carter, Lieutenant Sparks of the Morgan volunteers, and a fourth (whose name I 
have forgotten) rolled into a deep gulley. As soon as they struck the bottom they knew 
where they were, and that it was a gulch which had once been dug for gold, and washed 
out very deep, and that there was no way to escape from it except some steps which the 
boys who had been camped on the spot all the winter had cut in one side. They were 
approaching this, when they were halted by Federal soldiers and taken prisoners. 
Presently a battery which Wilcox had masked for some months behind a clump of pine 
bushes, to guard the crossing of Bank's ford, began to play upon the Federals, and the 
shot and shell passed right over the heads of those who were in the gulley. The 
Federals hunted for a place to escape but could find none, for the sides were too steep, 
and the termination of it on the river-side was a perpendicular rock. The upshot of 
the affair was, that sixty Federals who had tumbled into the gulley first, surrendered to 
four of our men who rolled in last. 

J. T. Carter, who had a part in the adventure above mentioned, was the son of a 
shoemaker, who worked for a long time at Ashford's tanyard, and who was lame. J. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 169 

T. was a good soldier, served through the war, married afterward and went to West Ten- 
nessee, where I am told he is doing well. 

J. M. Horton, in 1862, had a severe spell of sickness, was sent home, and when he 
recovered joined Roddy's cavalry. He now lives southwest of Courtland. 

J. W. Martin is said to have survived the war, but I have' no certain information in 
regard to him. 

Luke P. Jones, son of Alexander Jones and nephew of Rev. Alexander Sale, was a 
worthy young man and a good soldier. After the termination of the war, he went to 
Texas, where he was assassinated. 

A. F. Johnson was from Winston county. He died from sickness at Culpeper Court- 
house. 

A. L. Johnson was the son of Richard Johnson, who resides in the edge of Morgan 
•county. He, also, died in the service. 

T. H. Riddle served through the war and lives, I am told, near Pin Hook. 

Albert J. Watkins was the son'of Albert Watkins and was a good soldier. He sur- 
vived the war and moved West. 

R. A. Hunter was the son of Matthew Hunter of the Poplar Long Cove. He was 
killed in the charge across the open field, at Frazier's Farm, soon after it commenced. 

John Washer's father has been dead many years;, his mother died last year. He 
survived the war, and lives in Illinois. His brother Richard was in Roddy's cavalry, 
and was sent by the general to guard his family to Tuscaloosa, and was murdered, on 
the way, by the Tories. 

S. W. Crittenden was the son of George W., of Courtland. He survived the war, 
moved to Arkansas and was murdered. 

J. H. Odom, whose name stands on the roll, was never mustered in, but belonged 
to the Twenty-seventh Alabama. The doctor lives in Tennessee. 

J. R. Free was a good soldier, and was wounded in the seven days' fight. He 
survived the war, and now lives near Landersville. 

Tandy W. Wilson was wounded in the same fight. (Mr. Thorn thinks that he was 
afterward killed ; Dr. Irwin thinks that he lives in the county). 

J. K. Whitlow was an old man when he went out. He was discharged on account 
of age, and lives near Hillsboro. 

J. J. Whitlow, his son, died in the Richmond hospital. 

T. J. Austin was the son of William Austin, of Fox's creek, and was a fine soldier. 
He was severely wounded at the battle of Sharpsburg, sent home by the surgeon, ling- 
ered awhile, and died. 

M. B. Castlebury was a good soldier and was shot in the head at Williamsburg. He 
was from Borden's Cove. His widow still lives there. 

A. A. Sullivan, son of Judge James Sullivan, of Winston county, was severely 
wounded, and came home. 

A. P. Montgomery was killed at Cold Harbor. 

A. N. Thorne, son of Joseph W. Thorne, a machinist of great skill, who once lived 
in Courtland, was a good soldier. He was wounded in the knee at Malvern Hill, also 
wounded in the hand at Ghancellorsville — survived the war, and now lives in Arkansas. 

W. H. Thorne, a brother of the above, was killed at Williamsburg. 

John A. Simmons, Thomas W. Simmons and Edwin J. Simmons, all sons of A. D. 
Simmons, our late postmaster, who was respected by every one, have already been fully 
noticed. 

Junius A. Bynum, son of Junius Bynum and Josephine Taylor, was a spirited, 
reckless young man, and a fearless soldier. At Williamsburg, the first battle in which 
the Ninth Alabama was engaged, he was wounded in the arm. With many others, 
wounded in a similar way, he marched with the army to Richmond and his wound put 
on an unhealthy action. He was sent home, and when he recovered he joined another 
command, in which he shot one of his comrades somewhere north of the Tennessee 
river. He fled to his home and a provost-gaurd of men, not personally known in 



170 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

Courtland, arrested him and carried him away — and that was the last that was ever heard 
of him. Some believed that to screen himself from punishment, he had made his escape 
from the guard and gone into the Northern army ; and others that he had been murdered 
and his body sunk into the Tennessee river. His mother lived and died in this state of 
horrible uncertainty. She was a lady of culture and exquisite sensibility, and from a 
book of poems composed by her, I make a few extracts to show how acute were her 
sufferings : 

One year has passed — changes have swept 

Across thy mother's home ; 
But raised in prayer, her eyes oft weep 

For him who can not come. 
Oh, Thou, who dwellest in heaven above, 

Protect my absent boy ; 
Watch o"er him, with a lather's love, 

And bless each day's employ. 

***** 

O ! gently, gently strike those notes- 
Breathe softly the familiar strain ; 

It takes me to the blissful past — 
I'm with my " wanderer " again. 

O ! lady, sing that song once more, 
It falls upon my frozen breast 

Like sunbeams upon the fallen snow, 
"When weeping clouds have sunk to rest. 

***** 

He is gone from me, forever gone ! 

Gone from his early boyhood's home, 
To plod life's weary paths alone 

Or fills an exile's nameless tomb. 
I often think I hear the tread 

Of his quick footsteps at the door, 
And quickly turn myself around, 

To fold him in my arms once more. 

Ah ! months have ripened into years — 

A broken circle still we are ; 
Hope's wooing stay our falling tears, 

With whisperings sweet " He'll come again;" 
O ! quickly haste, long seems the time — 

Absence has smit our hearts with fear ; 
Come, bless us with thy happy smile, 

And fill again thy vacant chair. 

Gray Whitehead joined in Virginia and was wounded at Frazier's Farm. 

Noel C. Graham was killed at Gettysburg. (We have previously published a notice 
of his family). 

M. D. Allen was not of the early settlers of the county. He was accidentally wounded 
in the hand, survived the war, and now lives in this county near Leighton. 

Newton Garnett was a plasterer. (Bailey Hill was his step-father, and he married a 
daughter of William Borum). He is still living, although at Salem Church battle he 
was apparently shot through the heart. The bullet must have run around on a rib. 

J. Kitchens, I think, came from Tennessee a few years before the war. He was 
wounded in the " Seven Days Fight," and now lives near Trinity. 

A Mr. Bailey, Bwing, Jackson Turner, John Turner, and Melton were from Ken- 
tucky. When that State was invaded each one procured his discharge, except Jackson 
Turner, who remained until the surrender. Melton had been elected third lieutenant. 

Mr. Graham, of Hobb's Company, received a remarkable wound. He had a bullet 
to pass through both lobes of his brain from temple to temple. The brains were escaping 
from the wound, on each side, for some time, but he still lives — is an industrious man, 
and although his intellect is somewhat impaired, he still has enough to guide him very 
well in his work. 



Recollections of North Alabama. 171 

I have now noticed the Lawrence Volunteers of the Ninth Alabama, individually 
(except a few who deserted). In view of the fact that it is a " lost cause ;" that in many 
instances the distress was so great, that sympathy was felt for deserters, and expressed 
even by that magnanimous commander-in-chief — General Lee — I will not publish their 
names, but " bury them out of my sight," without a public funeral. 

The Sixteenth Alabama Regiment. 

In tracing the career of the Ninth Alabama, we were led to refer briefly to the his- 
tory of every battle fought by the Army of Northern Virginia, under the personal com- 
mand of General Lee. With the Sixteenth Alabama we have been brought nearer home, 
to the movements of our army in the Department of the Mississippi, under the com- 
mand, for a little while, of Gen. A. Sidney Johnston, who fell at Shiloh, just as the 
sun was emerging, gloriously, from an eclipse ; and then under Generals Beauregard, 
Joseph B. Johnston and Bragg, who were changed from time to time, in obedience to 
popular whims. 

In this number we shall introduce to our readers the regimental officers of the 
Sixteenth Alabama in general terms, deferring the circumstantial account of them to 
be given in connection with the regiment as it passed through sunshine and storm, 
from Fishing Creek to the battle of Nashville, where its organization was virtually 
broken up. Many of these officers I have known from boyhood; but I shall not give 
my personal estimate of their characters. I prefer that of their comrades-in-arms. In 
the ordeal of the camp and the battle-field, if there be any selfishness, meanness or 
cowardice, it will be seen, while the nobler qualities of the man will be exhibited in a 
clear light. In many cases I shall give quotations, and if in some cases they seem to- 
the reader to be extravagant, he must keep in mind that nothing but the pure gold will 
bear this "trial by fire." 

The Sixteenth was organized in Courtland on the 8th of August, 1861, about seven- 
teen days after the battle of First Manassas. William B. Wood, Esq., was elected col- 
onel. He was a lawyer of ability, residing in Florence, Ala., and at the same time a 
local preacher in the Methodist Church, who was very acceptable to his people. His 
father's name 'was Alexander Hamilton Wood — so named because his father was an 
officer in the Revolutionary war who was the intimate friend and comrade of the soldier 
statesman, Alexander Hamilton. The mother of Colonel Wood was an English woman, 
Mary E. Evans, daughter of Colonel Evans, of the British army. She came to 
America in 1816. Colonel Wood was born in Nashville, Tenn., in 1820, and in 1821 he 
came with his father to Florence, Ala., and has liyed there ever since. He married 
Sarah B., daughter of Major Jesse Leftwitch, who came from Virginia to Columbia, 
Tenn., and thence to Florence. Colonel Wood was judge of the County Court of Lau- 
derdale county from 1844 to 1850 ; elector for the State at large on the Bell and Everett. 
ticket in 1860 ; was elected Circuit Judge in 1863, but remained in the army until the 
close of the war. In that awful retreat from Fishing creek, he, with many members of 
the regiment, contracted serious disease. (" This was typhoid fever, which so prostrated 
him that he was granted sick leave, and was not able to rejoin the regiment until the 
succeeding November at Estell's Springs." — Surgeon McMahon.) At the battles of 
Triune and Murfreesboro he led his regiment gallantly, as he had done at Fishing creek, 
as will be recorded in full in the progress of our narrative. In May, 1863, having been 
appointed presiding judge of Longstreet's corps, he was transferred to the Army of 
Northern Virginia. During the time of his service with the Sixteenth he often preached 
in the camps, and at War Trace he, Colonel Lowry and Colonel Reid assisted the chap- 
lain of the regiment in a revival, in which several hundred were converted. It was here, 
in June, 1863, the night before he left them, he delivered his farewell sermon to the men 
of his regiment. I am told that it was a parting in which sorrow was shown on both 
sides, for the colonel was much loved by his men. 

At the conclusion of the war the Colonel was about to assume the office of Judge, to 
which he had been elected by the people, when, in 1865, he was removed by Governor 



172 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Parsons. He was re-elected by the people in 1866, put out by the reconstruction acts of 
1868 — elected again in 1874, and served until 1880. At the expiration of his term he 
"was not again a candidate for circuit judge, as his friends were urging his claims to a 
seat on the Supreme Court bench, for which he held a very strong hold, and may now 
be considered the " heir apparent " whenever a vacancy shall occur. 

Jndge Wood is rather over the medium size, broad-shouldered and portly, and with 
frank social manners. His mind is not metaphysical, but masculine ; and there is 
nothing neutral in his character. He is a man of great earnestness and strong convic- 
tions — remarkably so, and like most men of that character, he is somewhat impatient of 
•contradiction, and sometimes imperious in his manner. Take him in the aggregate as a 
man, a minister, a judge, and a soldier, the community in which he has lived so long 
have reason to be proud of him. 

John W. Harris, Jr., raised Company H, was the first captain of it; and was, on the 
•organization of the Sixteenth, elected lieutenant colonel, Colonel Harris was born in 
Russell's Valley in 1831, and this has always been his permanent home. His father, 
•John W. Harris, Sr., came from Virginia in 1823, settled in the same valley, and 
■although he, at intervals, taught school at La Grange and Tuscumbia, the valley, also, 
has been his permanent home. His life work has been in the school-room. He was at 
the head of a classical institution of high character for more than forty years, from 
which went out an intellectual and Christian influence, the value of which can not be 
estimated. He is now living with his son. and at the age of eighty years, patiently and 
hopefully waiting for his Master. He is no kin of Colonel Ben Harris, of Franklin, or 
Mr. Nehemiah Harris, of Lawrence county, but his father was of English descent, lived in 
Hanover county, Virginia, and married Margaret Wyatt, a descendant of Sir Francis 
Wyatt, one of the Colonial' Governors. Col. JohnW, Harris'' mother was a daughter of 
Henry Cox, one of the early settlers of the valley, and her name was Judith. One of 
her sisters was the wife of Capt. Wm. S. Jones. 

The comrades of Colonel Harris give a most flattering account of him, as a man 
and an officer. One says, " He was a most capable, brave and promising officer. Col- 
onel Wood being absent from sickness, he commanded the regiment in the battle at 
Shiloh, and acted most gallantly, when he was sick from disease contracted at Fishing 
-creek, and scarcely able to sit on his horse. After the battle he went home and suffered 
from a severe spell of typhoid fever." Another officer says, '•' He is one of the most 
•cultivated and accomplished gentlemen in North Alabama. His profession is that of 
teacher, but he has been pretty largely engaged in farming. He is an excellent Christ- 
ian gentleman. In the army he was brave, true and generous." In August, 1862, 
finding his constitution shattered, upon the advice of his surgeon he resigned, and for 
twelve months afterward was so feeble that he was unable to resume business of any 
kind. 

Colonel Harris was educated in his father's school, and in the Centenary College 
of Louisiana, under Drs. Longstreet and Rivers. The degree of A. M., was conferred 
upon him by the State Agricultural and Mechanical College at Auburn. The Colonel 
has been married twice. His wives were sisters, and they were daughters of Mrs. P. 
Gibson, now the wife of Hon. Charles Gibson of Moulton.- The Colonel is a member of 
the M. E. Church South, and one who performs his duties faithfully. His house is the 
liome of the preachers, and although after a service of many years, he might devolve 
the duties of Steward upon younger shoulders, he still performs them faithfully. His 
church has a due appreciation of his worth, for he was sent by the Tennessee Confer- 
ence as a delegate to the general conference — esteemed a high honor for a private mem- 
ber. 

Alexander H. Helveston was captain of Company G, from Marion county, and in 
the organization was elected major of the Sixteenth Alabama. He had recently come 
from South Carolina, and had received a military education at the Georgia Military In- 
stitute. He was a man of unflinching courage, a good officer and a tried disciplinarian. 
Be was austere and imperious ; the men thought him overbearing, and were not fond of 



Recollections op North Alabama. 173 

him. He was wounded several times. An officer said that it seemed to him that Hel- 
veston was wounded every time he went into battle. When Colonel Wood resigned he 
was promoted Colonel in his place, in May, 1863, having been Lieutenant Colonel since 
the resignation of John W. Harris, in August, 1862. Colonel Helveston, owing to an 
'injury to his spine caused by the fall of his horse, and to disability from the wounds 
he received, resigned in December, 1863. I believe he is living, near Gainesville, 
Ala. 

John H. McGaughey. was captain of Company A, of the Sixteenth ; was the son of 
Eli A. McGaughey, who resided west of Mt. Hope, in Lawrence county, and a practi- 
tioner at Barton, west of Tuscumbia, when the company was organized. When Major 
Helveston was made lieutenant colonel, he was promoted in his stead. He was a genial 
companion, an honorable man and a good officer, and like Helveston, he was wounded 
in nearly every engagement in which he participated. He received a fearful wound 
at Shiloh on the first volley which the enemy fired. When Helveston was made colonel, 
he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and at Chickamauga he was mortally hurt and 
died of his wounds. Colonel McGaughey was well educated, a gentleman, and an honor 
to the large family of that name formerly in the southwestern part of our county, of 
which scarcely one remains bearing the family name. 

Frederick A. Ashford was captain of Company B, in the Sixteenth, which he raised 
and organized. When McGaughey was promoted to lieutenant colonel he became major 
of the regiment in his stead, and when Colonel McGaughey was killed he was promoted 
lieutenant colonel. Colonel Ashford was an officer of very fine person and polished 
manners, was a splendid officer, and was always at the post of danger. His gallantry 
on many occasions will be recorded as we proceed with the history of the regiment. His 
brilliant career was closed at the bloody battle of Franklin, where he fell leading a 
charge of his regiment. 

The father of Colonel Ashford was Thomas Ashford, one of the earliest settlers- 
near Courtland. In his youth he, too, had experience in war, was in the regiment of Col. 
Wm. R. Johnson, of Kentucky, and was near his command in the battle of Tippecanoe, 
when he killed the Chief Tecumseh. He was a leading member of the Baptist Church, 
and was very zealous in the performance of his church duties, and much respected. 
He married, many years before he came from Kentucky, a Miss Elgin, a lady of supe- 
rior mind, and good education. All their children have had liberal educations. Thomas, 
the oldest, married Miss Caroline Tate, and died some years ago, leaving a widow and 
two sons, Thomas and Frederick A. Col. Alva E. Ashford married Miss Caroline Fletcher, 
and occupies the old mansion. The Colonel commanded the Thirty-fifth Alabama, and 
his services will be considered in connection with that regiment. Dr. Edward C. Ash- 
ford is a good physician, a genial companion, and a man of the kindest heart; but he is 
not yet married. There was one daughter, Lucilla, who married Rev. D. Bridenthall, 
of Texas. They have several children. 

When Major Fred. A. Ashford was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Capt. J, J. 
May became Major ; and when Ashford became Colonel of the regiment, May became 
Lieutenant Colonel. Nine of the companies composing the regiment were from four 
neighboring counties on the elevated region of the waters of the Tennessee river, but 
the tenth was from the extreme southern boundary of Alabama, on the tidewater streams 
of the Gulf of Mexico. This company was raised and commanded by Capt. J. J. May, 
and was from Conecuh county. At first they were strangers, but they were commanded 
by one who proved himself to be a gentleman and a good officer, and following his lead 
in the many severe engagements which followed each other in quick succession, they 
were soon received in full brotherhood. Lieutenant Colonel May was wounded in the 
leg at the battle of the 22d of July, 1864, near Atlanta, and was not able to return 
to his regiment. I hope to be able to give a fuller account of him as we proceed with 
our narrative. 

On the organization of the Sixteenth, Henry C. Wood became its first Adjutant. He 



174 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

had been a private and a Lieutenant in the Florence Guards, the first company which 
went out from Lauderdale county. Was at Port Morgan and Pensacola, and trans- 
ferred to the Sixteenth. When this regiment was made a part of Wood's brigade, Gen- 
eral Wood made him his Aide, and on the return from the Kentucky campaign he suc- 
ceeded (as Brigade Quartermaster, with the rank of Major) the gallant Gailor, who fell 
at the battle of Perry ville. When the Sixteenth was transferred to Lowry's brigade, he 
was continued, by General Lowry, in this office. His steady rise in the army shows 
that he was a faithful officer; and a comrade living near me tells me that " he is one of 
the best and cleverest men in the world." He is a younger brother of Gen. S. A. M. 
Wood and Judge W. B. Wood. 

Oliver S. Kennedy was the next adjutant of the regiment. He is a nephew of John 
S. and Blias Kennedy, Esqs., who were lawyers of Florence. Adjutant Kennedy, in 
the battle of Shiloh, which was contested from morning till night, " acted his part well." 
He was left sick at Carthage, and was absent on sick leave for some months, when he 
resigned. 

Bryce Wilson was the last adjutant of the regiment. He was the son of Bryce 
Wilson, Sr., of Russellville. Had been in the Ninth Mississippi. He was transferred 
to the Sixteenth at Tupelo in the summer of 1863. " Bryce was a fine adjutant and very 
rigid." He was killed at the battle of Franklin, simultaneously with Ool. Fred. Ash- 
ford. " There was no braver man in the army. A student of Bethany College, Va., 
he had begun the practice of law at Hernando, Miss. At the close of the war his father 
had his remains and those of his brother William (private in the Twenty-seventh Ala- 
bama, who died in prison at Camp Douglas) brought home and interred, side by side, 
beneath the sod of their native valley." — {Col. J. W. Harris.) 

The first quartermaster of the regiment was John Gracey, who soon resigned. The 
next was J. J. Bailey, son of the proprietor of Bailey's Springs. He was a good officer, 
and continued to the bitter end, " and in the last act of the drama, in North Carolina, 
he was ready to go into the ranks with his musket." He now lives in Opelousas, La. 

The quartermaster sergeant was W. 0. Harris, commonly called Buck. He is a 
brother of Lieutenant Colonel Harris, and continued to serve faithfully through the 
war, and came home from North Carolina with his furlough in his pocket. His com- 
rades regarded him as "an efficient officer," and as " a good and brave man." He now 
resides at New Market, in Madison county. 

The first commissary was Mr. Hughes, of Franklin county, who was elected colonel 
of the Thirty-seventh Alabama, and who will be noticed again in that connection. His 
successor as commissary was Capt. F. O. White, of Russellville. He was a cousin of 
Col. Harris, " a nice gentleman and a good officer." 

The commissary sergeant was Hiram White, of Tuscumbia, a brave man whose 
history is a melancholy one. " He and his brother were the bravest men I ever saw," 
says a comrade who was a gallant man himself. Hiram's mother was in a distressed 
condition, and wrote to him to come home, and a furlough having been refused, he went 
any how and staid until he provided for his mother. He returned, was reduced to the 
ranks, and was killed at Chickamauga* " He was first wounded in one or both legs, so 
badly that he could neither stand or walk. Any ordinary man would have had the 
infirmary corps to cany him to the hospital. Instead of that, Hiram having exhausted 
his ammunition, crawled to the body of a dead Federal, and filling his cartridge box 
from his he fired round after round, until wounded mortally in the spine, his arms 
became paralyzed, and he was unable to use his rifle. He told Surgeon McMahon, when 
carried to the hospital, ' that his only regret was that he could not have died fighting on 
the battle-field.' " 

Wm. C. Cross, of Cherokee, Colbert county, was appointed surgeon of the Sixteenth 
in October, 1861, and was promoted to senior surgeon of the brigade in the spring of 
1862 while at Corinth. He remained with the wounded at Perryville ; was transferred 
to hospital duty in the spring of 1863, and remained on duty at Newnan, Ga., until near 
the close of the war. A brother surgeon who knew him in service, intimately says, " he 



Recollections of North Alabama. 175 

is a fine physician, a devoted friend, a true patriot, and an elegant gentleman." He 
lives at Cherokee. 

Fortunatus S. McMahon, M. D., of Courtland, was a private in Company I — (Bank- 
head's) — was commissioned as assistant surgeon in September, 1861, and on the pro- 
motion of Dr. Cross became full surgeon of the regiment and continued such until the 
end of the war. He was the grandson of Dr. Jack Shackelford and inherited the noble 
qualities of that gentleman, whose memory is very dear to ail who knew him. Dr. 
McMahon had excellent early advantages as learned, in and outside, his profession; and 
is much esteemed by his old comrades in arms ; and has a devotion to them, which I 
have never known surpassed ; and for the brave who fell in ' ' the lost cause ' ' his heart 
is a mausoleum, on which is inscribed their virtues and their glorious deeds. He never 
seems to tire of writing or speaking about them ; and I am indebted to him for more 
information respecting the Sixteenth Alabama than to any other person. Since the 
termination of the war this community is much indebted to Dr. McMahon for quelling a 
large negro mob which would- have assumed huge proportions but for him. It was the 
second which had taken place within a few months. He still lives in Courtland (1880). 
He never married. (Died in 1889.) 

Dr. William M. Mayes, son of Drnry Mayes of our county, served awhile as Assistant 
Surgeon of the regiment ; but was transferred to hospital duty. He will be noticed 
with his family. Dr. W. J. McMahon — brother of Dr. F. S. McMahon — succeeded 
him. Dr. W. J. was quite young when the war broke out. He joined his brother 
at Corinth soon after the battle of Shiloh. He was then assigned to duty as Assistant 
Surgeon in the hospital at Gainesville, about May 1862, and remained there until January, 
1863, when he was assigned to duty with his brother in the Sixteenth, and served with 
it until wounded on the morning of the 23d of July, 1864, near Atlanta. The day 
before, a bloody battle had been fought, and on the field we had taken from the enemy, 
many of their wounded were making piteous appeals for aid. General Cleburne ordered 
his Assistant Surgeon to go upon the field and dress their wounded. In the discharge 
of that duty, the medical officers with their infirmary corps, went out, and the enemy in 
the fog (not being able to see their little flags), fired upon them. Dr. Jack McMahon 
was seriously wounded in the ankle. He was carried to the hospiial and several bones 
taken out. The wound might have healed, but after the war his horse fell upon the 
wounded limb, and since then his body has become a perfect wreck ; but his heart is still 
warm and magnanimous, as it ever was. 

The first hospital steward was a Dr. Eames, from Cleveland, O. There were in the 
■Confederate army, many gallant soldiers from Illinois, Indiana, and other Northern 
States. For instance, in the Fifteenth Tennessee regiment, there was an entire company 
raised in Illinois, General Strahl commanding the brigade. These volunteers believed 
that the cause of the South was right, and as it was the weaker party they magnani- 
mously espoused their cause, and left their homes to engage in the unequal conflict. 
Some of them came on General Roddy's steamboat to Bastport, and joined as privates 
Company A, which was then being raised by Dr. McGaughy. This is the appropriate 
place to notice a few of- these noble men, of whom we happen to have special inform- 
ation. 

Dr. Barnes was a druggist from Cleveland, Ohio, as I have said, and became steward 
for the regimental hospital. His capacity was such that he was transferred to Post 
Hospital duty, and was a long time at Newnan, in Georgia. He had visited some 
friends in North Alabama, and started over Sand Mountain with the view of settling up 
his business in Newnan and returning to his family in Ohio, but was never heard of 
afterward. It is supposed that as he had money and several watches about his person, 
which friends had sent to be repaired at Newman, that he had been robbed and mur- 
dered by the Tories. Such was the fate of a young gentleman who might have re- 
mained at home in safety and affluence, but impelled by lofty motives he, with others, 
came to our aid in the day of our extremity, and we therefore record the facts, and 
■offer to their memories the tribute of our grateful remembrance. Another of these 



176 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

gentlemen was a young lawyer from Cincinnati named Hassen (or Hassel). After 
serving in the ranks for a long time, he was made commissary sergeant of the brigade 
by Major H. 0. Wood ; and was serving in that capacity at the battle of Chickamauga 
(although he had just been elected Lieutenant in his old company), when on the third 
day, while victory was perching on the Confederate banner ,-and the enemy in full retreat,, 
came to a sad end. While urging a train of provisions to the hungry men of the 
brigade, was shot by one of our men. His excuse for it was, that he had on a Fed- 
eral overcoat. It was an act of great folly considering that Lieutenant Hassen was 
alone in that dress and coming up from the rear. Still another case which lam glad to say 
had a happy conclusion. Amongst the privates of Company A was a young gentleman 
of genteel manners and good 'education, named Almon Brooks. He was left in th& 
hospital with opacity of the cornea of the eye, when Geueral Bragg marched in his 
Kentucky campaign. He attracted the attention of Dr. Frank Ramsey, Medical Director 
of the Department of East Tennessee and "Virginia. He first made him hospital steward, 
and afterward transferred him to hospital service at the University of Virginia, where 
he graduated in medicine, and this unpretending but chivalrous private of Company A 
is now the learned, wealthy and celebrated Dr. Almon Brooks of Hot Springs, Ark. I 
am indebted to Dr. F. S. McMahon for a report of these three eases. 

Dr. Barnes was succeeded as hospital steward by Dr. W. M. Cravens, who was born 
in Courtland and died in Gainesville ; of whom we shall speak in connection with the 
McMahon family. 

There was no ordnance sergeant at first, but at the battle of Fishing creek, Buck 
Harris, who was in the Quartermaster's Department, acted in that capacity. Orderly 
Sergeant A. J. Rice, of Florence, was the first regular appointed. He once lived in 
Texas, I believe. He was then made ordnance officer of the brigade with the rank of 
first lieutenant. He acted in that capacity at the battle of Shiloh, and at length was 
transferred to General Roddy's command. "He was outspoken, brave, and irascible," 
and I judge from his promotion that he was an efficient officer. When he was promoted, 
DeWitt C. ' White was appointed ordnance sergeant for the Sixteenth. When Mr. 
White withdrew from the regiment, Columbus C. Harris was appointed ordnance ser- 
geant of the Sixteenth in his place ; and again when Captain Rice was transferred, he 
was made ordnance officer of the brigade, with the rank of first lieutennat. He was a 
fearless soldier and was wounded several times during the war. 

At the battle of Franklin he was wounded in five places ; and perhaps his leg would 
have been amputated, but for the protest of that skilful surgeon McMahon, who saved the 
limb by a resection of the bones. Lieutenant Harris is the son of William Harris, one 
of the early settlers, and is a lawyer of Decatur. A comrade of whom I inquired re- 
specting his character in the army, writes "he was indeed a good soldier. You know 
him in private life, how quiet and yet how true in the discharge of duty. He was such 
in the army." I shall give an account of the Harris family should I live to get to the- 
southwest part of the country. 

The first chaplain of the regiment was Rev. A. Hamilton, of the Methodist Church. 
He had been at the head of a female academy before, and had about him that nameless 
something which you so often find in men who have followed his calling ; which at first 
created a prejudice against him amongst the soldiers. But time corrects all things. He 
was fastidious in his uniform, but under it was a heart warm with solicitude for the 
spiritual good of the men, and also full of martial ardor. He proved to be a man at all 
points. " In the awful retreat from Fishing creek, the quartermaster being absent and 
the men suffering immensely. Dr. Hamilton was assigned to this duty and performed it 
so well that he was afterward regularly commissioned. He was fastidious in his dress, 
buthe was a good preacher, a pleasant messmate, a genial gentleman, and when transferred 
made one of the best quartermasters in the army. He had a good deal of military ardor 
up to the time that his horse ran away at Perry ville, and knocked down a panel of fence 
and seriously bruised him. Then for awhile he acted as aide for Gen. S. A. M. Wood,, 
the members of whose staff were nearly all killed, and who was himself wounded. He 



Recollections of North Alabama. 177 

was on duty as quartermaster at Huutsville, Kingston, Ga., and Tuscaloosa. His church 
had a high appreciation of his ability, and the degree of D. D. was conferred upon him. 
After the war he was president of a female academy at Outhbert, Georgia. Under- 
standing that he had kept a diary of the movements of the Sixteenth, I addressed a letter 
to him not many days since, and was shocked to read in the Nashville Christian Advocate, 
on the next day, an announcement of the death of this fine officer and able minister. 

Rev. Frank Kimball, of the Kimballs of Morgan county, was the successor of 
Major Hamilton as chaplain of the regiment. He was a. good, plain, earnest preacher, 
and was popular with the men. He followed his avocation, alike on the field of battle 
as in the hospital. A comrade said he truly belonged to the " Church Militant." He, 
too, died in Georgia. We shall refer to him again .in connection with the battle of 
Mnrfreesboro. Having disposed of the regimental officers of the Sixteenth, we will 
now treat of the commissioned officers of the several companies. Charles R. Gibson 
was sergeant major of the regiment. He was the youngest son of Judge Charles 
Gibson, and was in this office at the battle of Shiloh — had a bone in his leg 
broken at the battle of Murfreesboro, when his brother William was mortally 
wounded — and was. strangely, wounded in the same place, on his leg, at the battle of 
Chickamauga. He served bravely and faithfully during the war, studied law and emi- 
grated to Waxahatchie, Texas, where he married a Miss Ellis. For some time he was 
■clerk of the District Court of Ellis county, and since a member of the Legislature, to 
which he has been twice elected, and is now a member. 

Company A. — Had for its first captain John fl. McGaughey, an account of whom we 
have given in our last. The first lieutenant was Barton Dixon. He was the son of 
one of the most useful and honored citizens which Franklin (now Colbert) county ever 
had. His father was an old man when the war broke out, and might have sat quietly 
down in the chimney corner until the storm blew over ; but William Dixon was not 
made of that kind of stuff. At a time when great numbers of volunteers were dis- 
charged for want of arms, he went into the interior of Georgia and established a large 
factory for the manufacture of them. He not only devoted his large wealth, but all 
the faculties of his active and strong mind to the successful prosecution of this patriotic 
enterprise. When Captain McGaughey was promoted, Lieut. Barton Dixon became 
captain in his place, about August, 1863. He was wounded severely in the hip at the 
battle of Jonesboro, Ga., just before Hood's expedition into Tennessee. He was 
esteemed by his comrades a perfect gentleman and a brave and intelligent officer. 
He married Miss Nellie Mayes, daughter of Drury Mayes, Esq., near Courtland. 
Second Lieut. Goodloe Pride, too, was of a good stock, and was, like Dixon, gentle- 
manly, brave and efficient. They had been reared together, and were warm friends. 
The day after Dixon 'was wounded, Pride (who had become first lieutenant) was 
seriously wounded by the explosion of a shell. The clothes were nearly torn from his 
body and he bled from his ears. He is still -living. John Calhoun was third lieu- 
tenant, and was killed at the battle of Franklin, at which he commanded the company. 
I hope some comrade will give me information respecting him. I omitted to mention 
that the company was raised in Franklin county. 

Company B. — We have given a sketch of Captain Frederick A. Ashford (who 
became colonel). First Lieutenant Isaac [G. Madden became captain in his stead. 
Capt. M. lived near Leighton in Lawrence county, where the company was raised. " He 
was no disciplinarian; he was easy with his men; took little authority over them, and 
yet had unbounded influence over them. He seemed truly to rule by the 'Suaviter in 
mo&o,' 1 rather than by harsh and preemptory command. The men of his company were 
devoted to him, as they had been to their first captain — the noble and true Fred. Ashford, 
who never ordered his men to go forward, but to follow him : so it was with Captain 
Madden. No men were more beloved." This is the utterance of a comrade: he is 
noble and gallant. The history of the Madden family is one of deep and melancholy 
interest to me, personally. More than sixty-five years ago, when a boy, I knew in 



178 Early Settlers .of Alabama. 

Williamson county, Tenn., the head of this family, Elisha Madden, well. He was a. 
young man of very fine person, good manners and great energy. He afterward came 
to this county, as the agent of Hinchua Pettway, a very wealthy merchant of Franklin, 
and cleared and improved a large plantation west of Town creek. He accumulated a 
handsome fortune for himself, and married a daughter of Dr. Croom, one of three or 
four brothers who were wealthy, and came from North Carolina nearly stxty years ago. 
They moved eventually to South Alabama. Captain Elisha Madden was a man of fine 
sense, had four sons and two daughters, and gave them all liberal educations. When 
the war of the States came, every one of these sons engaged actively in the service, and 
three out of the four gave up their fives for the " lost cause." Richard, the eldest, a 
private in Captain Fred. Ashford's company, had his thigh broken at the battle of 
Shiloh, and was laid by Surgeon McMahon in a tent of a captured Federal camp. His 
brother Isaac was called back from the front, and as the enemy was shelling that part of 
the field, furiously, they removed Richard from the tent. They had carried him but a 
short distance when a shell exploded in the tent and tore it to atoms. But this escape- 
availed nothing, for this brave soldier afterward died at Corinth, after the amputation 
of his limb. Isaac C. was killed at the battle of Chickamauga. "He had studied law 
before the war, but had not commenced the practice. He was well educated, brave and 
high-minded, and in person eminently handsome." 

Dr. Frank Madden graduated in medicine at the University of Louisiana. He was 
assistant surgeon of some Alabama regiment, and was killed in the trenches near 
Atlanta by a shot from a Federal sharpshooter. The fourth son, Capt. James Mad- 
den, served gallantly in the Thirty-fifth Alabama (as we will show when we come to 
speak of that regiment), survived the war, and unfortunately died from fever last 
autumn. The eldest daughter married Augustus Toney, Esq., and they have a very in- 
teresting family. The younger daughter, Camilla, grew up with much beauty and a 
queenly person — a discreet, sweet-tempered, graceful and cultivated woman. She has 
been married twice — first to Dr. James T. Jones, of Lawrence, and then to Capt. Alex- 
ander D. Coffee, of Lauderdale county. The father of the family, Elisha Madden, died 
some years ago, much respected by all who knew him for his integrity and many vir- 
tues. The " mother of the Gracchi," who gave all her sons to her country, still lives — 
the same unpretending, kind, true-hearted Christian woman she ever was, performing 
faithfully her duties in the private circle, as they nobly theirs before the world on 
the battle-field. 

Frederick A. M. Sherrod was second lieutenant of Company B, and when Captain 
Madden was killed., he succeeded him in command. Captain Sherrod was a cultivated 
and kind-hearted gentleman, excitable and brave, and proved to be a good officer. He 
was wounded both at Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, after which he was absent from 
his command for some time on leave. He still lives, and is highly respected for his 
Christian and social virtues. He is the grandson of Col. Benjamin Sherrod, of Law- 
rence, who was the head of a large and influential family, and will be noticed again in 
that connection. 

Chesley Davis was third lieutenant of Company B, and was promoted by steps to 
first lieutenant. He commanded the company after Captain Sherrod was wounded, and 
was regarded by his comrades as a brave, good officer. He was the son of Orrin Davis 
then of Winston county, whose family history we will notice hereafter. Captain Davis 
was wounded by the fragment of a shell at Atlanta, in the battle of which General 
McPherson was killed. 

A. M. Hill, of Jasper, in Walker county, son of Senator Hill, then of this district, 
was a good soldier; and was promoted to second, when Davis became first lieutenant. 

Company C. — From Lauderdale county, had for its first captain, Alexander D. Coffee. 
He was the son of Gen. John Coffee, who was a brigadier under General Jackson and ac- 
quired considerable reputation in the Creek and New Orleans campaigns. Captain Coffee 



Recollections of Nokth Alabama. 179 

was a good officer, and had the confidence of his men . ' ' After the battle of Shiloh his health 
became bad. He had severe bronchitis, and at least one hemorrhage from the lungs; and 
was apprehensive of pulmonary disease. He was sent back by the surgeon of the Six- 
teenth Alabama to the hospital at Corinth, and by the post surgeon at that place to the 
hospital at Columbus, Miss. ; from which place, in a few weeks, he sent in his resigna- 
tion." 

William Patton was the first lieutenant of Company G, a brave and most promising 
young officer, of a fine person, and of a popular turn, 'in the battle of Shiloh the Six- 
teenth Alabama had charged so rapidly forward that a strong force of the enemy, with 
a battery of guns, were playing upon their left. The regiment was reformed, nearly at 
right angles to its first course, and charged rapidly on the battery. When within 
twenty feet of it, this splendid young officer was shot in the forehead, and fell dead. 
He was the son of Governor Patton, and had the blood of the Weakleys and Brahams 
in his veins. We shall speak of the family hereafter. 

Oliver S. Kennedy was the second lieutenant of Company C, and we have given an 
account of him. , 

Calvin Carson, who was third, was promoted second, then first lieutenant, and became 
captain of Company C in December, 1863. He was an efficient officer, and served 
until the end of the war. He is still living, and has turned his attention to commercial 
affairs. When he was promoted J. J. Stubbs became first lieutenant. Of him I have 
no information. 

Company D. — We have already spoken of this company, which was from Co- 
necuh county, and of its first captain, J. J, May, who became lieutenant colonel of the 
Sixteenth. Mr. Stallsworth was first lieutenant, but on the death of his father, Hon. 
James Stallsworth (who was Congressman from our State), he resigned and re- 
turned home. He was succeeded by Lieutenant Jackson, a very promising young 
officer, who was sick at the battle of Fishing creek, and fell into the hands of the 
enemy. When he recovered he managed to escape, and rejoined the company at Shel- 
byville. Tenn. He was killed at the battle of Murfreesboro. Frank Walker was pro- 
moted captain, and commanded in the Georgia campaign. I hope to obtain, as we go 
on, more special information as to the members of Company D. 

Company E. — Was from Franklin county. Its first captain was W. W. Weatherford, 
a son of John Weatherford, a former sheriff of Franklin county. Captain Weatherford 
was practising medicine in Frankfort when the war commenced. He served faithfully 
for about two years, and then resigned. He did not have a liberal education, but was a 
man of extensive reading and good memory. "He was very tall and ungainly, even 
awkward, and from the peculiar attitude he assumed when standing, the boys nick- 
named him 'Parade Rest.' He was a kind-hearted, generous man, esteemed by the 
people, and elected a member of the Legislature in 1876." He has been dead for sev- 
eral years. Israel P. Guy, First Lieutenant of Company B, is the son of Albert Guy, 
near Tuscumbia, and is still living at that place. He was a student at LaGrange, a 
military college, and was well drilled. Although quite young when he volunteered, he 
was large and fat. He made a good officer. He was severely wounded at the battle of 
Chickamauga, by a grape shot, and it took a long crucial incision to remove it. There 
was a Lieutenant Russell in the company, who was killed at the battle of Murfreesboro, 
about 10 o'clock in the forenoon, while charging a battery. 

Company F. — Was from Lawrence county. Its first captain, William Hodges, the son 
of Col. Flemming Hodges, who was born in this county, although when the war com- 
menced he was practising law at Okolona, Miss. Captain Hodges raised a large com- 
pany^of excellent material. He had belonged to Mott's Nineteenth Mississippi regiment. 
During the war Captain Hodges was highly esteemed as a gentleman and a brave officer ; 
wounded several times, and was terribly mangled at the battle of Chickamauga, and 
afterward placed upon the retired list. Since the war he has been a member of the 
Mississippi Legislature, and now resides in Aberdeen. John M. McGhee was first lieu- 



180 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

tenant of the company. He was a son of Judge Henry A. McGhee, and a brave and very 
popular officer. He served until the spring of 1863. Having been elected clerk of the 
Circuit Court, he was transferred to General Roddy's command. He now lives in Waco, 
Texas. Second Lieutenant David W. Alexander survived the war, and now lives in 
Shelbyville, Tenn. D. 0. Warren was third lieutenant of this company. And lost an 
arm at Chickamauga. He is a son of William Warren, and has lived near Moulton until 
recently, when he moved to Texas. 

Company G. — Prom Marion county, had for its first captain A. H. Helveston, of 
whom we gave an account in our last, G. W. Archer was first lieutenant and captain in 
1861. He remained a long time with the company. W. T. Bishop was also first lieu- 
tenant, John Hamilton, second lieutenant, and Robert Robuck, third lieutenant. David 
Bentley, a lieutenant of Compauy I, was transferred and appointed to the command of 
Company G by the colonel commanding. Such a measure, no matter how strong the 
necessity may be, is always hazardous. It was greatly to the mortification of the sub- 
ordinates, and to the chagrin of the company. The men after twelve or eighteen months, 
got to respecting their new officer, for he was an excellent man of the finest business 
capacity and a high-toned gentleman, but he never relished his position. At the battle 
of Murfreesboro he was an invalid, and unable to walk, but after it commenced he 
mounted the horse of a friend, rode to the front and took command of his company; in 
one hour he was brought back to the hospital mortally wounded. Thos. Stanley, lieu- 
tenant, in Company , from Lawrence county, was then transferred and placed in 

command of the company, and may have continued in command, but of this we have no 
certain information. 

Company H. — From Franklin county, was raised by Lieutenant Colonel John W. 
Harris, Jr., who was its first captain. Of him we have already given an account. He 
was succeeded as captain by First Lieutenant James Smith, who after the battle of Per- 
ryville, was seriously injured in a railroad collision at Cleveland, Tenn., and resigned. 
Lieutenant John Bean, son of Col. Dillion Bean, of Lawrence county, succeeded him as 
captain. Indeed, there were many Lawrence men in Company H. Captain Bean 
commanded the company to the end of the war. The captain was a brave officer, and 
did not disgrace his descent from the early Indian fighters of East Tennessee. John Hurst 
was a lieutenant and a good officer. He was terribly wounded at Chickamauga, but 
recovered and returned to his duty. John White became a lieutenant in 1863. We have 
already spoken of him in connection with Hiram White, his brother. 

Company I. — From Lawrencp county, of which William S. Bankhead was first captain. 
Captain B. was a. lineal descendant of President Thomas Jefferson. We shall speak of 
him again in connection with the families into which he married. " Captian B. joined 
General Zollicoffer, at Cumberland Gap, in a bitterly cold spell, and contracted inflam- 
matory rheumatism ; and returned home on sick leave, and when the regiment passed 
through Courtland on its way to Corinth, he resigned his commission. He had in a very 
short space of time, obtained extraordinary proficiency in drilling and disciplining his 
men ; and but thathe almost lost the use of a leg from rheumatism, a distinguished career 
was before him." First Lieutenant George M. Garth, of Courtland, was promoted to the 
captaincy, then being in bad health. He resigned in April, 1862, and died a few 
weeks afterward. " Lieutenant McDonald, too, succumbed to the rigor of the climate, 
and offered his resignation. He was a perfect gentleman, but of so weak and delicate a 
frame he ought never have thought of joining a marching regiment. He died 
recently in Courtland." " I remember," says his surgeon, "when Lieutenant McDon- 
ald, who had been on sick leave, joined us on the retreat from Fishing Creek, how pale 
and exhausted he looked — abetter subject for a sick bed than a march." The Third 
Lieutenant, La Fayette Swoope, M. D., first from Virginia, but more recently from De 
Soto, Miss., was promoted to the captaincy. He had commanded the company at the battle 
of Shiloh, and was wounded in the shoulder. In January, 1863, he resigned, and Lieu- 
tenant Robert McGregor was promoted to the captaincy. Captain M. was a descendant of a 



Recollections op Noeth Alabama. 181 

North Carolina family, which settled near Courtlaud more than half a century ago, and of 
which I shall hereaftergive an account. He, like Col. Fred. Ashford, was quite a young 
man, and of splendid person. They fell at the battle of Franklin, near each other, and close 
to the interior works of the enemy. Their loss was deeply felt in our neighborhood. 
Lieutenant Thomas S. Pointer, then and now of Courtland, succeeded to the captaincy 
of the company, and commanded it to the end of the war. Robert H. Cherry was a 
splendid soldier ; he was a good mechanic, and worked iu Thorn's gin shop at Courtland ; 
he married a daughter of Noah Cooper, of our county ; was a brave man, became 
second lieutenant of the company and was killed at the battle of Chickamauga — a field 
upon which fell so many of the best young men of the Sixteenth Alabama. The widow of 
Lieutenant Cherry is now the wife of Robert Miller of our county, who was also a 
faithful soldier. Overton Bggleston became second lieutenant in his place, and was the 
last in the company. 

Company K. — From Marion county, had for its first captain, the Rev, William Powers. 
He was a good officer, much respected by his men, but resigned in 1863. J. N. Watson 
was first lieutenant when first organized, but I have not learned what became of him. 
Second Lieutenant John H. Bankhead* succeeded Captain Powers in the captaincy. He 
was a good officer, has been in our Legislature since the war, and is now warden of our 
State penitentiary. Third Lieutenant W. S. Humphries became first, and was killed 
somewhere in Georgia. Captain Powers had a son, a minister of the gospel, who 
became lieutenant, served through the war, and has since joined the conference again. 

I have now introduced to our readers, in general terms, the officers of the Sixteenth 
Alabama. The actors in the tragedy which was enacted for nearly four long years, in 
bloody acts, commencing with the battle of Fishing creek and passing through those of 
Shiloh, Perryville, Murfreesboro, Decatur, Chickamauga, Atlanta and Franklin, vir- 
tually closing with that of Nashville. 

The survivors of the regiment have it in their power to enrich its history, by com- 
municating to the writer, as we proceed, facts of interest connected with these battles. 
It is especially the duty of the officers of all the companies to do so. While these cam- 
paigns were in progress, they were bound to provide for the comfort of their men, and 
now when oblivion is fast settling over these transactions, it is their duty to perpetuate 
the fame'of their gallant privates, " for the night cometh in which no man can work." 

*John Hollis Bankhead, born in Moscow, Marion (now Lamar) county, Alabama, September 13, 
1842, has had a distinguished career. His war service was conspicuous. After tbe war he had various 
business interests. His public service for Alabama comprises Representative in the General Assembly 
from Marion county, for the sessions 1865-66, and 1866-67, member of the State Senate 1876-77, Rep- 
resentative from Lamar county, 1880-81 ; and Warden of the Alabama Penitentiary 1881-85. He has been 
successively a member of the Fiftieth, Fifty-first, Fifty-second, Fifty-third, Fifty-fourth, Fifty-fifth 
and Fifty-sixth Congress from the Sixth Alabama District. He is one of the political leaders of the 
State, wise and fearless, but with conservative views on all great public questions. He belongs to that 
sturdy Scotch-Irish stock, to which America owes so much. His parents were James Greer and Susan 
Fleming {Hollis) Bankhead, who lived and died in Marion county. She was a daughter of Col. John 
Hollis, who was the son of Capt John Hollis, a Revolutionary soldier in Marion's command, who died 
in Fairfield District, South Carolina. His grandfather, George Bankhead, and wife, Jane Greer, came 
to Marion county about 1820, and here they reared a large family. They were from Union District, 
South Carolina. Here his parents, James and Elizabeth {Black) Bankhead, lived on Broad river, their 
lands lying on this and Pacolet river. James Bankhead was at one time principal owner of the town 
of Pinckneyville, the countv seat of old Camden District. He and wife lie side by side in the old 
burying ground at Bullock Creek Presbyterian Church, York District, South Carolina, with tomb- 
stones over their graves. 

Mr. Bankhead's wife is Tallulah James Brockman, daughter of James and Elizabeth {Stairley) 
Brockman, of Greenville District, South Carolina. They have five children, viz : (1) Louise Bank- 
head, married Col. William Hayne Perry, of Greenville, South Carolina; (2) Marie Susan, married 
Thomas McAdory Owen, a practising attorney and author, of Carrollton, Alabama; (3) John Hollis, 
Jr., married Musa Harkins, and is practising law at Jasper, Alabama; (4) William Brockman, a lawyer, 
residing at Huntsville, Alabama; and (5; Henry McAuley, Captain in the Fifth United States Volun- 
teers, Infantry, Cuban War. 



182 Eaely Settlers op Alabama. 

I contemplate, as soon as I can collect the material, publishing a number in " con- 
clusion" of the history of the Ninth Alabama, giving sketches of General Wilcox and 
Surgeon Minor. 

The Sixteenth Alabama — Its Departure. 

This, like all the regiments which volunteered early in the war, was taken from the 
cream of the fighting material of the country, and they were volunteers indeed. On 
the 20th August, 1861, they left their rendezvous at Courtland, cheered by the hospi- 
tality of its citizens, and by the enthusiasm which gushed from the patriotic hearts of 
the people assembled to witness their departure. " Prom Courtland to Kuoxville the 
trip was one grand ovation. Confederate flags hung from almost every house top ; at 
every cross-roads and town they were greeted with loud huzzas." At Knoxville they 
were thrown into camps of instruction, where they nad to learn the " goose-step" and 
pass through the " measles" before they were thought worthy to encounter a campaign. 
These were halcyon days for the boys. They were viewing, the sunny side of war. The 
Confederate army had been so far triumphant, and a spirit of overweening confidence 
prevailed among those in the field ready to battle for the cause; but, unfortunately, to 
a greater extent among those who stayed at home, that others might do what little 
fighting was necessary, for them. The camp was a scene of great merriment. The 
music of rude camp ballads filled the air. One, which Elijah Stover of the brass band 
of Oakville, had the honor of composing, or introducing, ran thus : 

" "We'll pray for the Doctor, whom I like to have forgot, 
I believe he's the meanest of the whole flock; 
He'll tell you that he'll cure you, for half you possess, 
And when you are dead, he'll take all the rest." 

One ingenious fellow ventured to make a change in the laws of war, and to pro- 
mulgate it in verse : 

" And if we find about our tents, 
A chicken over his owner's fence. 
We take him prisoner, and then he is tied 
Till 12 o'clock, when he is tried." 

It is somewhat uncertain whether the last word should not have been "fried." 
Horses had always been contraband of war, but the chickens were now placed in the 
same category. 

The soldiers could be seen in knots talking of the various phases of the great vic- 
tory at Manassas. Here a lot of very young ones, gravely discoursing about the case 
of a boy from Florence, who captured a Zouave Colonel with his war horse, sword and 
pistols, and brought him to General Beauregard — and there a crowd of older ones, en- 
joying with loud burst of laughter, the account that Asa Hartz gave of what occurred 
in Washington before, during and after this battle. The reader will remember that 
Asa was a second Sam Slick and pretended to be on intimate terms with General Scott, 
who would read to him the dispatches of General McDowell as they came in. At first, 
they were very encouraging, and the old Guard took the oath (a dram) once; then they 
were not so good, and he took the oath twice ; but when the dispatch came, " the enemy is 
running, but we are before them. My division is making splendid time, and long 
tracks," the old hero took the oath three times, and overturned the chairs and tables 
generally. How fortunate it is that a thick curtain hangs before the future. Could 
these brave fellows have foreseen, that in the first battle, they were to witness the rout 
of their army — a retreat at midnight from a fortified camp — leaving all their stores be- 
hind them — and that in their march the suffering from cold and hunger would be so 
great that some of them would beg their comrades for the privilege of lying down by the 
side of the road to die ; it would have unfitted them entirely for the conflict through 
which they were to pass. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 183 

The Sixteenth Alabama was placed in the brigade of Gen. Felix K. Zollieoffer. 
u He was of a Swiss family of knightly rank, settled in North Carolina before the Rev- 
olutionary war, in which his grandfather was a captain. His father was a prosperous 
farmer in Maury county, Tenn., where Zollieoffer was born May 19, 1812. He began 
life as a printer, and in 1835 was elected printer for the State. After several essays on 
journalism he became editor of the Republican Banner in 1842, and was noted as the 
champion of the Whig party. He was then elected comptroller of the State, which 
position he held until 1847. 1848 he was elected a State Senator, and in 1852 a Repre- 
sentative in the United States Congress, to which position he was re-elected. When the 
war seemed inevitable he was elected by the General Assembly of Tennessee as a com- 
missioner to the Peace Congress, from which he returned dejected by its failure to ac- 
complish any useful purpose. Governor Harris offered to appoint him a major general, 
but he would only accept the place of brigadier on account of his inexperience." This 
account is by Gen. Marcus J. Wright, and copied from the life of Gen. A. S. Johnston 
written by his son, Col. William Preston Johnston. This is a work of great worth, and 
abounds in facts. In the case of General Zollieoffer, however, he has done his memory 
great injustice by launching out into the region of opinions ; as I shall show in the prog- 
ress of this narrative. What he says in this history carries more force from the sup- 
position that he reflected his father's opinions, but had no better oppportunity than 
others to know them,. for he tells us he never saw his father after parting from him at 
Nashville, the day on which he assumed the command of the army. 

General Zollieoffer had risen very rapidly in the estimation of the people of Ten- 
nessee. In Congress from the commencement of his service, he was placed on impor- 
tant committees, and on the floor his speeches were luminous and strong, and his opinions 
respected by statesmen of experience, even on abstruse subjects, which could only be 
accounted for by the fact that he had been a journalist, and while conducting a paper 
of large circulation for many years, he had stored a mind naturally of the first order 
with information on all great political questions. He was sober, industrious, honorable, 
and his reputation was spotless. He was a tall, thin man, of distinguished personal 
appearance and thoughtful mien. " He was more than a mere popular leader; he was a 
patriot full of noble and generous qualities. He was the idol of Tennessee, and the peo- 
ple felt his death as a personal bereavement, and still cherish his memory with tender 
and reverent regret." He was sent in command of a brigade to East Tennessee at a 
critical moment. Hon. Andy Johnson and other civic leaders were planning a revolt in 
that region, which, sustained by a Federal invasion, should break the Confederate line 
of railroad communication between Virginia and the Southwest. Already two regiments 
of East Tennesseeans had been organized ; but as soon as General Zollieoffer assumed 
command, these regiments (with their Union leaders) crossed the mountains and joined 
the Federal army in front, commanded by General Schoeff ; but by unfrequented paths 
they still kept up communication with the disaffected at home. 

About the 13th of September, 1861, General Albert Sydney Johnston arrived at 
Knoxville, on his way from Richmond, where he had been invested with the command 
of the Department of the Mississippi. He came with a reputation, personal and mili- 
tary, inferior to none, He had received a complete education in his profession, at West 
Point, and was a gallant and experienced soldier. He had served in the Black Hawk 
war — in the Texan Revolution — in the Mexican war — and had conducted a difficult expe- 
dition into Utah. Amongst military men it was a question, who was the ablest, he or 
Robert E. Lee. When Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War — and he was the ablest we 
have ever had — he gave the first place in the celebrated Second Cavalry to Johnston as 
colonel, and the second to Lee as lieutenant colonel. General Scott thought the appoint- 
ments should have been reversed. The two men were esteemed the first in the United 
States Army and were devoted personal friends. 

General Johnston remained at Knoxville long enough to have a full conference on 
the military situation with General Zollieoffer, to approve the plans already made by 
him (with the advice of Governor Harris, of Tennessee), to advance into Kentucky and 



184 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

seize Cumberland Gap, and to put General Zollicoffer into full possession of his general 
policy as to the conduct of the campaign, " which was, from the beginning, to keep up 
such an aspect of menace as would deter the enemy from an advance. A crushing 
blow delivered by Sherman on any part of his line would discover his weakness, and his 
wish was to parry rather than to meet such a blow. It could only be averted by inspir- 
ing the enemy with an exaggerated notion of the Confederate strength, and with such 
expectation of immediate attack as would put him on the defensive." {Life of John- 
ston, page 362.) 

In pursuance of this policy, General Zollicoffer seized Cumberland Gap 15th of 
September, and while fortifying it, he sent Colonel Battle, who broke up a camp of 
Union men at Barbourville — another encampment at Laurel Bridge was broken up, and 
a supply of salt and ammunition obtained, and a camp near Alburry was attacked, 
routed and a good many muskets captured — all these before the end of September. 
During October he advanced to "Wild Cat, where he expected to find General Schoeff,. 
with two regiments. " He felt of him," and found him in strong force (six regiments), 
and fell back, for his orders were not to fight pitched battles. 

In pursuance of orders from General Johnston, he was encamped with his force 
at Mill Spring on the 30th of November. 

The regiment had been greatly afflicted with measles. So many were on the sick 
list, that General Zollicoffer when he moved to Cumberland Gap, took only a Battalion 
of it with him ; leaving the sick with 150 effective men and three cavalry companies, 
under Col. W. B. Wood, who was in command of the post. The enemy had made 
extensive arrangements for a revolt in Bast Tennessee, which was to be sustained by 
an advance of the Federal army; but it was foiled by General Johnston, who ordered a 
combined movement up the Cumberland, under Cleburne, and down that river, under 
Zollicoffer. His information of their designs was so accurate, and the movement was so 
well timed, " that the Federal army, under Schoeff, fell back to Crab Orchard, with so 
much precipitation as to resemble a rout. The weather was bad and the roads were 
deep; and tons of ammunition', and vast quantities of stores, were thrown away." — 
{Life of Johnston 363.) This was on the 11th of November. It put an end to the great 
revolt; but the arrangement for it on a day fixed had gone so far that it could not be 
entirely arrested. All the railroad bridges would have been burned, but for prompt 
measures on the part of Colonel Wood. Captain McGaughey and Lieutenant Sherrod 
with twenty men, held about 500 of the Union men at bay for two days, at Strawberry 
Plains ; but they barely arrived in time, for sixteen incendiaries, at midnight, had 
attacked John Keelan, the keeper of the bridge. He defended, it and killed the leader 
in the act of setting fire to it. He received three bullet- wounds, and many cuts and 
gashes, and his hand was nearly severed from his wrist; but he fought his assailants so 
fiercely they fled. Captain May and Lieutenant McGhee, with a like force, protected 
the bridge near Midway, although surrounded on every side by tories, who were 
infuriated. Captain Fred. Ashford, with ten men, went up to Lick creek and brought 
down six of the bridge burners, although the whole country was filled with the 
disaffected, who coi n Jd have captured him, had they dared the enterprise. The notorious 
Colonel Cliff, too, had collected in a camp on Sale creek, 500 to 1000 Union men, which 
Col. W. B. Wood dispersed by a concerted movement of 100 of his men, and two of 
Powell's companies from Knoxville, and the Seventh Alabama regiment, under Col. S. 
A. M. Wood, from Chattanooga. They enclosed Cliff's camp about daylight; but he 
by some means heard of the movement at three a. m., and fled to the mountains. 

When General Carroll arrived in Knoxville from Memphis, with his brigade, Col. 
W. B. Wood, with the rest of his regiment, marched to Mill Springs. On the 21th of 
November Gen. Geo. B. Crittenden arrived at Knoxville, and by order of the War 
Department took command of that district. I presume this was a political appointment. 
His father, Senator Crittenden, was sitting on the fence of " neutrality," his brother, 
Thomas L., had gotten down on the Federal side, and been appointed Major General, and 
Geo. B. taking the Confederate side, was appointed to the same grade for the purpose of 



Recollections op North Alabama. 185 

countervailing the family influence in Kentucky. His district included the brigade of 
General Zollicoffer, but for some reason he reported directly to, and received his orders 
directly from General Johnston, until Major General Crittenden arrived at Mill Springs 
on the last day of 1861. 

A few days after General Zollicoffer arrived at this camp (30th November) he 
received a communication from General Johnston approving of all his movements up to 
that time, and suggesting "that Mill Springs was a point from which you may be able 
to observe the river, without crossing it as far as Burksville, which is desirable." Gen- 
eral Zollicoffer answered that he had crossed the river before he had received his infor- 
mation from him, and then described his camp thus: " This camp is immediately oppo- 
site the Mill Springs, one and a quarter miles distant. The river protects our rear and 
flanks. We have about 1200 yards fighting front to defend, which we are intrenching as. 
fast as our few tools will allow. * * * 

The position I occupy, north of the river, is a fine base for operation in front, ft 
is a much stronger natural position for defence than that on the south bank. I think it 
should be held at all hazards. General J. saw at once that the position was a good one 
for defence and for menacing the enemy in front ; and he telegraphed to General Crit- 
tenden " to dispatch without delay the supplies and intrenching tools sent there for 
General Zollicoffer ; and to send at once a regiment and a battery to his support ; stating 
also that he has crossed the Cumberland at Mill Springs, has the enemy in front and the 
river behind and is securing his front." {Life of Johnston , ■pages 398, 400.) If this- 
language means anything, it was that Gen. Z. should be sustained in his position by 
the most vigorous measures, and not by a withdrawal of the forces. The camp too was- 
plentiful in wood and water, and had a grist and saw-mill at hand. 

" While constructing his ferries he sent some troops on the 2d of December and 1 
shelled a small force of the enemy posted on the north bank, and compelled it to move. 
On the 4th he threw over a small cavalry picket, which drove back the Federal horse,, 
and caused a precipitate retreat of the Seventeenth Ohio, which was advancing on a 
reconnoisance. Next day the pickets wounded and captured Major Helveston and Cap- 
tain Prime, engineer officers, and along with them a corporal. Then the cavalry crossed 
Pishing creek (which falls into the river five miles above the camp), and reconnoitred 
the Federal camp at Somerset. On the 8th they had a skirmish with Wolford's Cavalry 
and the Thirty-fifth Ohio Infantry, killing 10 and capturing 16, and having only 1 Con- 
federate' wounded. On the 11th he sent an expedition to attack a small body of Fed- 
erals, thirty miles distant toward Columbia, in which they were completely routed. 
In the meantime, Schoeff, overawed and put upon his guard, retired three miles behind! 
Somerset, intrenched himself in a strong position and called loudly, in every direc- 
tion, for re-enforcements." {See Life of Johnston, page 397.) 

These minor movements were carrying out the policy of his great commander-in- 
chief in a skilful manner. He gained time to intrench and construct a strong camp 
by making an exaggerated impression of his strength and setting his antagonist to 
"digging." And these close all the active operations for which General Zollicoffer 
was responsible. From the time he marched out of Knoxville three short months had 
expired, and during that short term he had fortified the gaps in the Cumberland Moun- 
tains; he had beat .up the Union encampments in Kentucky in such a lively manner 
that Schoeff was completely deceived as to his strength ; he had moved in conjunction 
with Cleburne in so bold a manner that even Sherman was startled and ordered both 
Thomas and Schoeff to retreat rapidly to central Kentucky {see his Memoirs, Vol. 1, 
■ 199), and at length Zollicoffer crosses the Cumberland in the face of the enemy, and 
by a series of quick, bold movements gained time to fortify himself in a chosen camp, 
where General Crittenden found him on the last day of the year, and superseded him 
in command. 

General Crittenden brought with him the brigade of Gen. Wm. H. Carroll. 
On the 31st of December, 1861, General Thomas started from Lebanon to attack the 
Confederates at Mill Springs. . George H. Thomas was an officer of fine abilities and. 



186 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

much experience. When Johnston was appointed colonel of the Second Cavalry, and 
Lee next in rank, Thomas was made major. He was a Virginian by birth, and a West 
Pointer. " His command consisted of eight and a half regiments and three batteries of 
■artillery. Rains, high water and bad roads impeded their progress, so that it was the 
17th of January before they reached Logan's Cross Roads, ten miles from Zollicoffer's 
intrenched camp. Here Thomas took position to await four of his regiments that had 
not come up. To secure himself he communicated with Schoeff, and obtained from him 
a reinforcement of three regiments and a battery. This gave him eleven regiments and 
a battalion, besides artillery. The remainder of Schoeff's force must have been nearby, 
as they joined in the pursuit" {Life of Johnston, p. 398). This left that officer four 
regiments and some cavalry, and made the amount of the Federal forces, when com- 
bined, fifteen regiments and one battalion. 

Gen. Crittenden called a council, of war, the evening before the battle of Fishing 
creek, the following account of which has been given me by Col. Wm. B. Wood 
" He laid before the generals and colonels such information as he had received fr.om his 
scouts, and citizens who had come into our camp, in reference to the number and posi- 
tion of the army of General Thomas ; and the opinion of each one was asked, as to 
whether it was best to go out and attack him, or remain in our fortifications and await 
his attack. General Zollicoffer did not vote. All the rest favored going out and attack- 
ing him but myself. After the council was over and we had received our instructions, as I 
went out of the house I met General Zollicoffer on the porch, and he remarked that he 
very much doubted the propriety of the movement, and believed it to be contrary to the 
wishes and policy of the commander-in-chief, General Johnston.* 

General Zollicoffer and myself rode back together to his quarters, which were not 
far from mine. On the way we talked of General Crittenden's condition, and his unfit- 
ness to go into a fight. The fatal march commenced at midnight. 

Why this council of war was called is a mystery. Was it because General Zolli- 
coffer, when consulted, doubted the policy of offering battle to the enemy, outside of 
intrenchments, which had been projected by a competent engineer, and on which he 
had labored diligently, for six weeks? I infer from all the facts stated, that this was 
the case. 

The force of General Crittenden, according to a weekly report made by him, on the 
7th of January, 1862, amounted to an aggregate, present and absent, of 9417 men, but 
numbering effectives (present for duty) of 333 officers and 6111 rank and file" (Life 
of Johnston'). 

The day after the council, three regiments which had been encamped on the south 
of the Cumberland river were carried to the north side, on a stern-wheel steamboat 
under command of Captain Spiller, and the ferry-boats. The river was then very high. 
Captain Montsurratt's splendid battery of six brass guns from Memphis was left on 
the south bank of the river. It would seem that the object of General Crittenden in 
leaving it on the south side (which was much higher than the camp on the north side) 
was, in case of a defeat, to secure a safe and deliberate crossing of the river, under the 
protection of its guns. If that was his design, it was forgotten in the confusion of his 
retreat. 

The Thirty-seventh Tennessee Regiment (Colonel Moses White, which was part of 
Carroll's brigade) was left as camp guard. " The men who had been standing all day 
in the trenches, exposed to a constant and pelting rain, and having been suddenly called 
to arms, and hourly expecting an attack, had neither time nor opportunity to prepare 
food. They were hurriedly put in motion. At midnight on the 18th of January the 

*Note. — J. W. Harris, then colonel of the Sixteenth Alabama, comments (1881) that he thinks 
General Zollicoffer's hesitation was due solely to his knowledge of General Crittenden's condition, 
and that Brigadier General Carroll was seldom in any better plight. General Zollicoffer was " ever 
-anxious for forward and aggressive movements. Brave as a lion, daring and intrepid, nothing de- 
lighted him more than a hand-to-hand conflict in an open field." 



Recollections op North Alabama. 187 

Confederate army marched against the enemy in this order: First, with Bledsoe's and 
Saunders' independent cavalry companies as a vanguard ; Zollicoffer's brigade; Wal- 
thall's (it was Statham's) Fifteenth Mississippi regiment in advance, followed by Rut- 
ledge's battery (this had two twelve-pound Howitzers and four rifled guns), Cummings' 
Nineteenth, Battie's Twentieth, and Stanton's twenty-fifth Tennessee regiments. Then 
came Carroll's brigade, as follows: Newman's Seventh, Murray's Twenty-eighth, and 
Powell's Twenty-ninth, with two guns (there were four) of Captain McClung's battery; 
and Colonel Wood's Sixteenth Alabama held in reserve. Branner's and McClellan's 
battalions of cavalry were placed on the flanks and rear" (Life of Johnston) . "Besides 
the cavalry here mentioned, was a company under command of Captain Frank McNairy, 
of Nashville, and another under command of Capt. Henry A. Ashby, and another under 
Captain Shelby Coffee. There were in all seventeen cavalry companies, according to the 
report above mentioned. 

"A cold rain continued to fall on the thinly-clad Confederates, chilling them to the 
marrow, but they toiled painfully along. The road was rough and very heavy with the 
long rain, following severe freezes. Even unencumbered with artillery, the infantry 
would have made poor progress in the darkness, rain and mud, but as the guns, from 
the first, began to mire down the soldier were called on to help them along. Hence it 
was 6 o'clock or daylight before the advance guard struck the enemy's pickets, two miles 
in front of the enemy's camps. It had been six hours in getting over eight miles, and 
the rear was fully three miles behind." (See the same, 401.) Now certainly after the 
effort to surprise the enemy had signally failed, General Crittenden should either have 
abandoned the enterprise and fallen back on his intrenchments, or he should have called 
a halt and closed up his lines so as to have made a strong, combined attack. He knew 
that his antagonist, General Thomas, was an able, wary and experienced officer, and 
should have exercised ordinary prudence. But so far from this, we are told, " When 
the Mississippians, under Walthall, followed by Battle's Tennessee Regiment, en- 
countered no resistance, and pressing rapidly forward, in obedience to orders, they 
increased the interval between themselves and the next regiment in the column to about 
one mile. It was thus that Walthall's and Battle's regiments came upon the first line 
Thomas had thrown forward to receive them. General Thomas' troops were encamped 
on each side of the road, with a wood in the front from one-fourth to a half mile through. 
In front of the wood were fields about 300 yards across, and beyond this again a low 
ridge parallel with the wood. The Confederates promptly crossed the ridge and fields 
and found a force in the edge of the wood in their front. This consisted of the Fourth 
Kentucky and Fourth Indiana regiments. General Crittenden had warned them, in the 
Council of War, of the danger of firing into their friends, especially as many of the 
Southern troops wore blue uniforms, and to avoid the risk they had adopted as a pass- 
word — " Kentucky." 

The morning was dark and misty, and nothing could be seen of the opposing force, 
except a line of armed men. The skirmishers reported to Walthall that this was Battle's 
command. Walthall made his regiment lie down behind a slight elevation, and going 
forward to some ground, hailed the troops in his front, " What troops are those?" The 
answer was " Kentucky." He called again, " Who are you?" and the answer came as 
before, "Kentucky." He then went back and got his colors, and, returning once more, 
asked the same question, and received the same answer. He then unfurled his flag, and 
the Federal line opened upon him with a volley. He turned to order forward his regi- 
ment, and found that Lieutenant Harrington, who had followed him without his knowl- 
edge, was lying dead by him, pierced by more than twenty balls. The flag was riddled, 
and the staff was cut, but Colonel Walthall was untouched. The Mississippians drove 
this regiment from its cover, and after a severe struggle, it fell back fighting. In the 
meantime, the Tenth Indiana, coming to the aid of the Fourth Kentucky, was met by 
Walthall's and Battle's regiments, which had formed on their right. A strenuous com- 
bat ensued at the forks of the road, Wolford's Cavalry supporting the Federal troops. 
The Ninth Ohio also became engaged ; but after a desperate conflict the whole Federal 



188 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

line was driven back. Just then the Second Minnesota came up, and held the ground 
until the beaten regiments could rally upon it ; which they did with spirit. In the mean- 
time, the Nineteenth Tennessee (Colonel Cummings) had come upon the left, and found 
itself opposed in the woods to the Fourth Kentucky, which had returned to the conflict. 
In the darkness of the morning, it was difficult to distinguish between Federals and Con- 
federates, many of the latter still wearing blue uniforms. General Zollicoffer was con- 
vinced that the regiment in his front was Confederates, and preemptorily ordered the 
Nineteenth Tennessee to cease firing, as they were firing upon their own troops. He 
then rode across to the Federal line to put a stop to the firing there. Just as he entered 
the road, he met a Federal officer, Colonel Speed S. Fry, of the Fourth Kentucky, and 
said to him quietly, " We must not shoot our own men." Gen. Zollicoffer wore a white 
gum overcoat which concealed his uniform, and Colonel Fry supposing him to be a 
Federal officer replied, " I would not of course do so intentionally." Zollicoffer, then 
pointing to the Nineteenth Tennessee said, "Those are our men." Colonel Fry then 
started toward his regiment to stop their firing, when Major Fogg ( Zollicoffer' s aide) 
eoming out of the road, at this instant, and clearly perceiving that Fry was a Federal, 
fired upon him, wounding his horse. Fry riding off, obliquely, saw his action, and 
turning, discharged his revolver. The ball passed through General Zollicoffer's heart, 
and he fell exactly where he stood. Zollicoffer was near-sighted, and never knew that 
Fry was an enemy. Major Fogg was also wounded (mortally). 

"The Nineteenth Tennessee now stood waiting for orders, until it was flanked and 
broken." (Same 402.) But why continue the recital of a combat so humiliating to 
Southern pride. It is sufficient that regiment after regiment came up and was beaten 
in detail. "Rutledge's fine battery from Nashville retired under orders, it is said, of 
General Crittenden, without firing a gun." At length the whole line fell back in disor- 
der, and was followed by the victorious Federals, nearly to their entrenchments at Beech 
Grove. Fortunately "they were checked repeatedly by the rear- guard," This consisted 
of the reserve of the Sixteenth Alabama, under Colonel Wood. He had been ordered by 
one of General Crittenden's staff to form line of battle in an old field, advance to the 
woods, and there await further orders. During the battle it was with difficulty his men 
could be restrained from going forward, and taking part in it. In about two hours our 
army was driven back, and as it passed in disorder, some of the Sixteenth began to fol- 
low, but "Colonel Wood advanced to the front of the regiment, and ordered the men to 
face the enemy, to remember that they were Alabamians, and declared that if they re- 
treated, he would advance on the enemy, single and alone." This inspired the men, 
who having been joined by Colonel Stanton (who had been wounded in the arm) and a 
portion of his regiment, and some of Colonel Powell's, met the onset of the enemy, who 
were twice driven back. When in danger of being flanked on both sides, Colonel Wood 
fell back over the hill and took position again. Here he remained about an hour and 
until all our army had passed. Colonel Wpod then retreated about two miles to a good 
position — and continued to do so until they arrived at the fortifications, late in the after- 
noon. 

The men were completely exhausted when they took their places again in the 
trenches, and were soon in a profound slumber — from which they were aroused at mid- 
night to commence the most disastrous retreat of the war. 

The loss of the Confederates in this battle may be fairly estimated in killed and 
wounded at 390. It fell mostly on the Fifteenth Mississippi and Twentieth Tennessee, 
who had borne the brunt of the day. There were but few casualties in the Sixteenth 
Alabama. Amongst them was John W. McDonald, a son of Hon. Crockett McDonald, 
born in Moulton, who was mortally wounded, and died a prisoner over at Somerset, Ky. 
Joseph Elkins, also of Company F (Captain Hodges), was wounded and left behind, was 
exchanged at Vicksburg in the summer of 1882, rejoined his command, and was terribly 
wounded in Georgia, so much so as to be placed on the retired list ; came home and was 
afterward elected sheriff of our county. Dr. Wm. M. Mayes was captured here, and 
though paroled in a short time, was not exchanged until August. 



Recollections of North Alabama. 189 

The result of this battle was more humiliating to Southern pride than any which 
occurred during the war ; and on the part of the major general in command of our troops 
there was a succession of blunders from first to last. 

The information laid before the council of war was defective and erroneous, 
although his cavalry (the eyes of an army) was double in number and fully equal in 
quality to that of the enemy, and well officered. Ned Saunders was a daring partisan 
officer ; Capt. Prank McNairy, a man of splendid person, and descended from one of the 
best pioneer families of the Cumberland, was afterward a gallant officer under Forrest 
and killed in battle ; and Major McClelland, a man past middle age, cool, practical and 
brave, was not much given to drilling his battalion, which was mainly from the moun- 
tains of Bast Tennessee, but when the old man would lead they would follow, " even 
to the cannon's mouth." These officers were personally known to the writer. The rest 
of the officers who had commands in the seventeen cavalry companies had equally as 
much reputation as those I have mentioned; and yet when this council was held General 
C. was ignorant of General Thomas having been reinforced by General Schoeff with 
three regiments of infantry and a battery on the 17th of January, the day of his arrival ; 
and from the same cause, on the 18th, our men were kept in the trenches under a cold 
rain, expecting the enemy, when Thomas had his troops twelve miles distant under shel- 
ter in their camps. Again, it was absurd to expect that he could surprise an officer with 
the ability and experience of Thomas, especially with such heavy and deep roads, after 
he had been in camp thirty-six hours before the night march commenced. . But the most 
astonishing feature of the whole affair was that, after having brought off his army back 
into the fortified camp, instead of making a vigorous defence, he should have stolen 
away at midnight, and crossed his troops- on his steamboat, barges and ferry-boats — 
leaving behind him 1200 horses and mules, all his wagons, quartermaster, commissary 
and hospital stores ; after having tumbled eight guns into the river, which was all he 
ever had on the north bank of it, except two of McCungs, which were left buried in the 
mud on the battle-field. 

The excuses made by General Crittenden for his defeat were numerous, and very re- 
markable. One was that he had not transportation enough to carry his army and army 
material across the river, and therefore he fought the battle. This is strange logic. If 
he had considered it desirable to interpose the river between him and the enemy, he had 
ample time and to spare ; and there were six of his guns already on the south bank 
(which was higher than his camp) which would have covered his retreat, even if the 
enemy had been on his heels. 

He alleged that there was no range for artillery in front. Here the surface was 
level for a mile and a half or two miles, and there was no obstruction to cannon except 
the timber, and that would have been equally in the way of his adversary. It has been 
alleged also, that there was a point up the river (distance uncertain) higher than the 
camp, from which cannon could have thrown balls into the camp. If that was the case 
(of which I have my doubts), such a point would have been dominated by Confederate 
guns on the south, which was still higher, and where there was already a fine battery of six 
guns. The feature in the camp which General Crittenden mainly condemned was, that 
it was on the north side of the river. It was that feature of the camp, strange to say, 
which the Federals most disliked, also. When the combined movement against Bow- 
ling Green and Forts Henry and Donalson was projected, there is good ground to 
believe that they were annoyed by the fact that Beech Grove, with an army not to be 
despised, would be on their flank as they advanced to Bowling Greenland General 
Buell sent Thomas ' ' to deal them a severe blow, or cause a hasty flight across the 
river." As soon as the Confederates did cross to the south bank, they were no longer 
in their way, and General Thomas was immediately ordered back, and the combined 
attack occurred. 

General Crittenden's excuse for abandoning the fortified camp was that " the Con- 
federate army was so demoralized that it could not have resisted the combined attack of 
Thomas and Schoeff." Let lis look at the condition on both sides. The Federals had 



190 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

fifteen regiments and a half, and the Confederates, including their cavalry, eleven. The 
Confederates, in artillery, still had fourteen guns; the Federals, four batteries, of how 
many guns each we are not told; if four, the sum would have been sixteen. The loss 
in the battle had not been heavy, and was nearly equal on both sides. With these 
forces opposing each other, the advantage would have been greatly in favor of the Con 
federates, in the trenches, which were only 1200 yards long, and the flanks protected 
perfectly by a swollen river, which the enemy had no means of crossing. I consider it 
an aspersion upon the officers and men, that they were too much demoralized to have 
held the trenches, for the order to run away at midnight was heard by them with aston- 
ishment. White's and Wood's regiments, and parts of Powell's and Stanton's were 
intact and ready for action, and so would have been the remaining regiments, as soou 
as the physical strength of the men had been restored by rest and sleep. 

This little army was one of the finest the South ever had. It was made up of vol- 
unteers raised mostly before the battle of first Manassas, and was a selection from the 
chivalry of Tennessee (Middle, East and West), Middle Mississippi and Northwestern 
Alabama. It had a great number of excellent officers in it, many of whom were men of 
ability. One of them (Walthall) became a major general, and had a reputation unsur- 
passed by any of that rank ; and when the army of Hood was shattered to pieces at 
Nashville, and the indomitable Forrest was ordered to take command of the cavalry and 
infantry for the defence of the rear in that arduous retreat, with his characteristic 
bluntness he said he would do so, if he were permitted to name his colleague to com- 
mand the infantry. His demand (irregular though it was) was granted, and Walthall 
was his choice. Marshal Ney gained his crowning laurels when commanding the rear 
guard on the retreat from Russia ; and when Forrest and Walthall, fighting step by 
step, and crowning every hill-top with a canopy of fire and smoke, to give time for the 
crippled army to escape, at length stood on Anthony's hill, with torn uniforms and 
faces blackened with powder, and hurled back the forces of Thomas, and put an end to 
the pursuit, nothing more could have been added to their fame. . In that little army,, 
too, there were four other officers — Statham, Battle, Dibrell and Brantley — who be- 
came brigadiers, but I have no space to speak of them individually. Of the regiments 
which composed it, I can trace five and one battery through the battle of Shiloh. The 
Sixteenth Alabama was one of them ; and in the regular course of my narrative I shall 
speak of its conduct with pride and pleasure. Colonel Statham there commanded a 
large brigade of six regiments, in which were included the four others, Walthall's, 
Cummings' Battle's and Murray's, and Rutledge's battery. This brigade came into the 
field as a part of Breckenridge's reserve, about midday on Sunday, after the Federals 
had been driven back from ridge to ridge, until Hurlbut had collected some of the best 
fighting men of the Federal army on a ridge, and, after repeated charges, they could be 
driven no further. 

General Johnston regarded this stubborn angle, from which Chalmers on the right 
had folded back the Federal left, as the key of the enemy's position. Statham's brigade 
was sent in about noon, and it was their fortune to be placed opposite this angle The 
Federals were lying down in double lines, and firing, while the opposite ridge occupied 
by this brigade was commanded and raked by this deadly ambuscade. They stood 
delivering and receiving a fire as heavy as any during the war. — {Life of Johnston, 609.) 
General Johnston saw that a crisis had arrived. The afternoon was upon him. The 
final blow must be struck. He prepared the line for the use of the bayonet, and although 
the troops had to descend one slope, and ascend another swept by this withering fire, he 
placed himself at the head of the regiments, "who had known nothing of war except 
that miserable defeat at Mill Springs." Isham G. Harris, Governor of Tennessee (who 
had carried away the archives of the State to a place of safety, and might have deposited 
his person there, too), put himself at the head of the two raw regiments on the right, and 
the brigade advanced. A sheet of flame burst from the Federal stronghold, and blazed 
along the crest of the ridge. The Confederate line wavered, and the dead and dying^ 
strewed the dark valley. But there was not an instant's pause. Right up the steep they 



Recollections op North Alabama. 191 

went. The crest was gained. The enemy were in flight — a few scattering shots reply- 
ing to the ringing cheers of the Confederates. — {Life of Johnston, 612.) General John- 
ston seeing that a Federal battery was enfilading his line sent an order by Governor Har- 
ris to Colonel Statham to take that battery, so fortune ordered that the troops (who, 
without any fault of theirs) had been disgraced at Fishing creek, should break the key 
of the enemy's position at Shiloh, and have the melancholy honor of receiving and exe- 
cuting the last military order which ever issued from the lips of that illustrious com- 
mander, whose life blood was then fast ebbing away {Same, 614.) 

On the- second day of the battle, " Bowen and Statham, and what was left of the 
commands of Hindman and Cleburne, formed the nucleus of the defence. The Federal 
army was held at bay by the Southern troops with obstinate valor. It is a strange 
coincidence, that some of the regiments of McCook, who conquered at Fishing creek, 
encountered some of them whom they conquered — and in the words of General Sherman 
— ' in the severest musketry fire I ever saw,' the victors were driven back. 

At the conclusion of this day's battle, "General Breckenridge stationed Statham's 
brigade about a mile and a half in the rear of Shiloh Church; and this brigade and the 
Kentucky brigade, and the cavalry, formed the rear guard of the retiring army, which 
retired like a lion, wounded but dauntless" — {Same, 652.) 

I have gone to a distant field for facts to show that the little army at Beech Grove 
would have held the trenches. On whom then does the responsibility for this disaster 
rest? Certainly on the major general who commanded this army. His antecedents 
were all favorable. A graduate at West Point of the class of 1832, he had, as an officer, 
of the United States army, been brevetted for gallantry in the Mexican War. In 1856, 
he was lieutenant colonel. He was a Kentuckian, and was known as a brave and fearless 
officer. But his fine intellect was under a cloud. His intemperate habits were well 
known in the army. One reliable officer informed me " I saw him but few times while 
he was in command. He was either in a debauch, or just getting over one, whenever 1 
saw him." I am not responsible for thrusting this subject before the public. Colonel 
Johnston, in his "Life of A. S. Johnston" (a history of great merit, and which covers only 
about six months, and has more matter official and documentary, than any I have read 
treating of the whole war), says : " Crittenden had a lot still harder for a brave soldier, 
than that of his dead colleague. Skulking slanderers, were charging him up and down the 
country with cowardice and treasonable correspondence with the enemy. He was 
charged with drunkenness also; but the writer has the evidence of impartial witnesses, 
who saw him on the day, that he was sober." It is due to the officers and soldiers who 
were sacrificed by him, that the author in the next edition of his book should correct 
the error into which he honestly fell, and notice the proceedings of the court martial 
which suspended him from office. The truth, especiallyinamatterlikethis, which involves 
the reputation of so many, had better appear on the page of history. General Critten- 
den was deeply mortified at his suspension ; and afterward served gallantly on thg staff 
of Gen. R. B. Lee, in Virginia. 

I have less repugnance in discussing this matter because General Crittenden, in 
making his defence, depreciated the ability of his " dead colleague." Colonel Johnston 
in writing his history was evidently under the influence of it. He seems to hold Zolli- 
coffer responsible, as chief in command, even after he was superseded. He 
says, speaking of General Crittenden having been appointed major general: " It was 
hoped that his long service would supplement the inexperience of General Zollicoffer." 
The , historian intimates that General Zollicoffer was rash in the manner in which he 
exposed himself in the battle. Then so was Walthall, and for the same reason. 
I carefully considered all the facts connected with the short military career of this 
able man, and I was astonished at the false estimate which, by some, was placed upon 
his abilities, and wrote to an officer, in whose judgment I had great confidence. His 
answer was this: "My opinion of General Zollicoffer, from an intimate acquaintance 
and association of several months, was that if he had lived he would have been in the 
army of Tennessee what Stonewall Jackson was in the army of Virginia." This opinion 



192 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

may seem to be extravagant, but it is certain that those who knew him best appreciated 
him most. 

When after dark, the order was given to prepare for retreat across the Cumberland, 
at midnight, "it was received by.the men who had manned the trenches two or three deep, 
with the utmost astonishment. At that stage of the war, it had not been known that a 
Federal force had ever succeeded in storming fortifications with a sufficient garrison ; 
although later, they became as steady soldiers in a charge as the world ever saw. But 
when the order was given to the commanders of the batteries on the north bank, to sink 
their guns in the river, it was received with deep mortification. Over the large battery 
was Captain Arthur Middleton Rntledge, from Nashville, a gentleman of culture and 
gallantry ; (descended from two of the statesmen of South Carolina, who were signers 
of the Declaration of Independence) supported by his Lieutenants, Falconet and Cock- 
rill, and a company of choice young men from Nashville, the "Rock City." Over the 
other battery was Hugh McClung, descended from the distinguished Hugh L. White of 
East Tennessee, with his Lieutenants, McClung and Allison, and a company of young 
men, who were the pride of Knoxville. With soldiers of this branch of the service, it 
is a point of honor to save their guns, or to lose them after a bloody struggle; but 
here they were commanded to throw them away without firing, and flee before the 
enemy ! 

The retreat of General Crittenden's army was most disastrous. At my special 
request. Colonel W. B. Wood has given a graphic and interesting account of it, which I 
here lay before my readers: "About 12 o'clock that night, I was ordered 
to move with what rations my men could take in their haversacks to the river 
bank, and cross over without delay. Wheu I arrived at the river, I found the 
whole army there before me, being transported across the river by a little 
steamboat, the river being very high. It was nearly day before I crossed, being 
in the rear. We left all our baggage, wagons, horses, tents and everything but 
what we had on. When I found that we were retreating, I went back to the river, 
and crossed over again to try to recover my papers, which were in my wagon, but 
before I could find them, Captain Spiller, who had command of the boat, called to me 
to come on, as the enemy were then on the brow of the hill, and advancing. We had 
just time to cut loose and get across, before they opened with their cannon upon us. 
Captain Spiller set fire to the boat, and we, hurried on to join the army, which was then 
several miles on the road to Monticello. We passed through Monticello, and bivouacked 
a few miles this side. , 

Here we found ourselves without tents, provisions, with but few wagons, and a 
hundred miles from our base of supplies. We expected the enemy would be in full 
pursuit of us the next day. The men were completely exhausted and had nothing to 
«at. Colonel Battle, Colonel Cummings and myself went to the house where General 
Crittenden was, to ascertain what could be done for the men and what he proposed to do 
It was after midnight, the snow was falling, the men were lying around upon the cold, 
wet ground, and the prospect before us gloomy. We found the general lying across a 
bed, very drunk. One of his staff tried to arouse him, but could not. We consulted 
together, and informed the adjutant general that unless the general should sleep off his 
drunkenness so as to be able to take command and direct the retreat, we would march 
on our own responsibility early in the morning, toward the nearest point where we 
could obtain supplies. Just before leaving, I went to the general, and shaking him, 
succeeded in arousing him so that he asked what I wanted. I told him we wanted to 
know where we were going, and when he expected to get supplies. He told us "to go 

where we pleased, and let him alone." We left. The colonels told me that they 

had been to see General Carroll, who commanded their brigade, before they came to me, 
and he was in the same condition. They proposed that I, being the senior colonel, 
should take command and bring off the army. I told them I would do so, but would 
depend on them to lead the way into Tennessee, where we could obtain provisions. I 
issued an order for the army to move at daylight, Colonel Statham in advance, and 



Recollections op North Alabama. 193 

moved in the direction of Livingston. It is impossible at this late day, and in the short 
space of a communication intended for a newspaper, to give the incidents of that disas- 
trous retreat. The roads were over high mountains, and very muddy; the creeks and 
rivers were full, and had to be waded ; the weather was cold, and sometimes the snow 
falling, and the country as a general thing was uninhabited, at least along the. road. 
Sometimes we would come to a small valley, where there were some good farms, but the 
cavalry had been along before us, and stripped them of all their supplies. We marched 
four days without anything to eat, except one night. I had about one hundred dollars 
in gold, which I gave to Colonel Helveston, Captain Hodges, and one or two others, 
who went on in advance, and leaving the road, found some farmers from whom they 
succeeded in buying some bacon and corn bread. They brought it into camp, and it was 
divided equally, every man receiving a slice of bread and meat. I heard many of them 
say it was the sweetest supper they had ever enjoyed. 

The first day or two the men stood up bravely under the privations. We had 
three wagons in which our sick and wounded were packed. Every horse and mule in 
the wagons had a rider in some sick or broken-down man. The third morning of the 
retreat was one of extreme sadness and gloom. The men could not sleep because of the 
hunger gnawing at their vitals. They were cold and hungry, tired and sick. Their 
eyes began to glare, their skins became dry and tight, so as to have the appearance of a 
man who had been for weeks sick with a fever ; the joke and laugh and wit, in which the 
soldier indulges so much on the march, was gone. The army, as it stretched along the 
road, looked like a great funeral procession, and indeed it was, for many a poor fellow, 
exhausted and crazed, fell by the wayside and perished. Dul'ing this march I was 
most of the time in the rear of my command. It was the most trying and afflicting 
time of my experience as a soldier. My men were giving out and falling by the way- 
side, declaring that they could not go another step, and begging to be allowed to die 
where they were. To leave them was certain death, no habitation near, and no one to 
care for them; indeed, it was an enemy's country, for most of the people along that 
road were opposed to the Confederates, and were giad of our misfortunes. It looked 
like heartless, cruelty to drive a poor, weak, tottering man along, or to make others, 
nearly as weak, drag him np the steep hills and over rough places ; but it was the only 
way to save him. I knew that in another day or two we would arrive where we would 
find hospitable homes and abundance of provisions. No one can fully comprehend the 
horrors of a starving army who has not seen it. One night it rained nearly all night, 
and the ground was covered with water. The men sat up under the trees and bushes, 
and tried to sleep, with their clothes wet, and the cold wind cutting like a razor. 

They arose next morning completely exhausted ; haggard, weak, cold, wet and hun- 
gry. They set out on another day's dreary march, through mud and water. Of course, 
many were left along the road to perish. I brought off nearly all of my regiment. They 
behaved with remarkable courage and endurance. The officers did all that men could do 
for their companies, and set examples of fortitude and 'self-denial which were truly 
heroic. The men would eat the twigs off the bushes, and everything that had the least 
nutriment in it. I remember coming to a house abandoned by the family. Some of the 
men went in and found an old barrel, with bones and scraps of meat, used in making 
soap; I never saw men enjoy a meal more at a first-class hotel, than these starving 
soldiers did the contents of that stinking barrel. On the fourth morning one of my 
officers had been hunting through a garden, which seemed to have been thoroughly 
robbed, of every sprig of vegetation that had been in it. He succeeded however in 
finding two onions. He ate one, and put the other in his haversack for his dinner. 
Coming along where I was sitting on a log, he said : " Colonel, what will you have for 
your breakfast this morning?" I replied, "Hot coffee, beefsteak and onions." He put 
his hand into his haversack and brought forth his onion and said: "I can furnish the 
onion." Another officer near by stepped up, and presented me with a piece of poor beef, 
that had been burned to a crisp on the coals, without salt, and said: "I will furnish the 
steak." I never enjoyed a breakfast more, but my noble and generous officers went 



194 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

dinnerless. A more devoted set of officers and men never lived or died, for their 
country. I mustered into service when I organized my regiment 1088 men, besides 
officers. In the Fishing creek fight the killed and wounded were 54, at Shiloh 162, 
at Murfreesboro 164, at Chickamaugi 234. The regiment was in other battles and 
skirmishes, where their loss was heavy. I was not with it then, and do not know the 
exact casualties. I am satisfied that there were not two hundred who came out of the 
war that had not been wounded." 

I also present below, an extract of a letter from Lieut. John M. McGhee, now of 
Waco, Texas, on the same subject: "I wish to make a few remarks about our field offi- 
cers. Colonel Wood was not a strict disciplinarian, and did not believe in bringing vol- 
unteers down to regular army rules ; but I know that there was not a colonel in the army, 
who was more beloved by his men, and that he could lead them anywhere. He was 
very cool in the battle-field, and was very kind to the sick and wounded. When we were 
on the retreat from Fishing creek, the weather was very cold and we were destitute of 
blankets, and had nothing but a little parched corn to eat ; and we would urge him 
to go to a house and remain all night ; but he would always refuse and remain with us, 
saying that he had volunteered with us, and intended to stand by us. On the retreat 
we had some of the sick with us, who had crawled out of the hospital when they saw the 
Yankees coming ; and who were mere shadows. He suffered them to ride his horse, and 
he walked until he wore his feet into solid blisters ; but he stuck to it until he got sick, 
and afterward came near dying. Such conduct as this will attach a command to an 
officer." 

When the command joined the army of Gen. A. S. Johnston, at Murfreesboro, Tenn. , 
the Sixteenth Alabama was placed in the brigade of Gen. S. A. M. Wood. After the 
battle of Chiekamauga, Brigadier General Wood resigned, and Colonel M. P. Lowry, 
of the Thircy-second Mississippi was appointed in his stead, and in this brigade the 
regiment remained until the end of the war. 

I have made an effort to obtain the names of the officers who composed the staff of 
General Crittenden's army ; but have only partially succeeded. Capt. Charles Morgan, 
brother of Gen. John H. Morgan, was on his staff. On General Zollicoffer's, Major 
Pollock B. Lee was Adjutant General, and Major Hall E. Fogg (son of Hon. Francis B. 
Fogg) was his aide; and on General Carroll's staff, Major F. M. Gailor was brigade 
quartermaster, and Major (Rev.) John M. Holland was brigade commissary, and the 
general's son his aide. 

On the route to Corinth, the Sixteenth marched throngh Fayetteville, Athens and 
Decatur. * 

Courtland and Its First White Inhabitant. 

One of the Dillahunty family was the first man who settled at Courtland, Ala. This 
family emigrated from Nancy (France) to North Carolina. They were well educated, 
and had a habit of recording everything important. Their descent for five genera- 
tions could have been procured. Thomas Dillahunty moved from Jones county, 
North Carolina, in December, 1773, and purchased land four miles from a then 
small village, called Nashville, in Davidson county, Tennessee. It must have been very 
small, for ten years afterward it had a population of only four hundred. He had four 
sons, Edmund, .Lewis, Harvey and John. Edmund studied law, lived in Columbia, was 
a chancellor, and also a common law judge. Judge Foster, now of our county, once 
practised in his court, and says that he had a spotless character as a man. and was emi- 
nent as a judge. He never came to Lawrence county, but all his brothers and his father 
did. 

Lewis Dillahunty was born in North Carolina, 18th of July, 1793, a few months 
before his father's removal to Tennessee. These were perilous times. During that 
year about fifty whites were killed by the Indians, and amongst them some of the best 
citizens. This state of things continued for several years afterward. In 1813 the Creek 
war broke out, and young Lewis (then nineteen years old) volunteered, and was elected 



Recollections op Noeth Alabama. 195 

lieutenant in Capt. Andrew Hyne's company. He made a good soldier, for he came 
back a captain with the army, which returned in May, 1814. They were received by the 
people with great enthusiasm ; a speech of welcome was made by Mr. Grundy and 
1 responded to by General Jackson. 

The gallant young men of Tennessee had only a few -months for rest, and the enjoy- 
ment of the society of their friends and the smiles of the fair ones. Gen. Wra, Carroll 
made a sudden call for 3000 volunteer infantry for the defence of New Orleans, to 
rendezvous at Nashville on the 13th of November, 1814. Captain Dillahunty not only 
was on the ground at the appointed time, bat had a full company completely organized, 
raised in Davidson and Williamson counties. Daniel Bradford, so well known since at 
Huntsville as General Bradford, was his first lieutenant. The captain kept a blank book 
in which he recorded all General Carroll's general orders, and such special ones as related to 
his company, also muster-rolls, requisitions for supplies of provisions and ammunition, a 
list of casualties, etc., from that day until the return of , the army to Nashville. With 
its paper yellowed and its ink faded with the ravages of time for seventy years, the 
venerable record lies before me, and will enable me to give (along with the personal 
facts I have learned from his very intelligent daughter, Mrs. Merritt, of Franklin, Tenn.) 
a continuous and faithful memoir of a gentleman who was the first white settler of " 
Courtland, and a public man highly respected by our people in his day. I judge that 
young as he was his company was composed of the best material, for General 
Carroll, by a special order written by himself, without the intervention of an aide, 
directed Captain D. to select a sergeant and five men from his company to take charge 
of the ammunition boat, and by another, ordered Captain D. to send a certain man from 
his company to superintend the putting up of the beef for the whole command. General 
Carroll, probably, attached more importance to this than to any other order made before 
he sailed ; since for want of precaution and experience on the part of the officers he and 
his men were subjected, in the Creek campaign, to protraeted~and severe" starvation. 

The voyage of this army down to the Mississippi in a very short time, is a matter 
of history. When the memorable tweuty-third day of December, 1814, dawned they 
had just landed at the levee in New Orleans. At half-past one p. m. on that day, two 
French gentlemen who lived on the river below the city, rode up the street with great 
speed, and suddenly stopped at the headquarters of General Jackson, who with an able 
staff, including Governor Claiborne the eloquent Grimes and others, had just risen from 
dinner. The French gentlemen, who were well .known as patriots to Governor Clai- 
borne, announced that the British army had lauded twelve miles below the city. Ques-_ 
tion and answer followed each other in quick succession. General Jackson was more a 
listener than talker during this colloquy. At its conclusion he rested his head upon 
his hand for a short time, then rose to his feet and said: " Gentlemen, we will fight 
them before midnight!" Then followed orders to the members of his staff for the con- 
centration of his troops. A part of them was three miles above the city ; the regulars 
were encamped in it, and Carroll's men were still in their boats. That his conclusion 
to attack was thus made is shown in recent authentic articles published in the New 
Orleans Democrat. 

We now return to our company, whose captain, Dillahunty, is composedly writing 
out a list of his men for the purpose of recording the issuance of arms. It now 
lies before me, in handwriting which shows no excitement and no tremor, and that each 
of his men had drawn one musket, one bayonet and one flint. Before night, General 
Jackson mounted his horse and posted himself at the foot of the street, and remained 
there until every soldier of his army had defiled before him. The battle occurred in the 
darkness of the night ; companies and regiments of our men and the enemy were inter- 
mingled in great confusion, and the British marched down the levee, and our men back 
to Chalmette, which Jackson afterward fortified. The battle was indecisive, but Gen- 
eral Jackson had gained his object, which was time to fortify. In answer to the ques- 
tion why he did not fortify before, the proper reply is that General Jackson had made 
himself acquainted, by personal inspection, with all the localities around New Orlean 



L96 Eakly Settlers op Alabama. 

as far down as the Belize, and had found so miny water approaches to the city, that he 
could not divine where the enemy would land. 

In the battle of the 8th of January, Captain D. gave so much satisfaction to his 
commander that he was promoted to the rank of major, and Lieutenant Bradford made < 
captain in his place. The only .entry in his diary in respect to the battle itself, is that 
he had one man in the company wounded, and that "James Kirkpatriek was killed 
while helping a wounded British prisoner over the works." In reading this entry I 
felt deep regret that so fearless and tender-hearted a soldier shonld have met such a 
fate. In burying the dead, a letter was found on the body of T. Wilkerson, major in 
the brigade of General Gibbs, written the day before the battle, to his brother Robert, 
who was in the British War Department. Major D. copied it into his diary. This letter 
shows that the British commander had assiduously sought some route through the 
swamp by which he might turn the hank of General Jackson's position, without success, 
and had determined on the nest day, to storm the works. He says "• the Americans are 
highly favored by their natural situation, but I hope to-morrow will show that they have 
trusted to a broken reed by resting their defence on a line. I have no doubt it will be 
like other lines, when one point is forced the whole will take to their heels.''' The 
result is known to the world. This accomplished young officer, Generals Gibbs, Pack- 
enbam and many others, were killed in a vain attempt to rally their men, when their 
ranks were broken by the steady and terrific fire of the men who were expected " to take 
to their heels " as soon as they came to close quarters. 

A season of quiet followed this battle. At length the time arrived for the return of 
the army to their homes. It was cheerful for those who were able to march, but great 
apprehensions were felt by the sick and wounded, that they would be left in the " low 
country" to linger and die in the hospitals. But the Tennessee generals had received 
from the fathers and mothers of these young men a sacred trust, and most faithfully 
did they perform it. 

As to Carroll's division, the sick and wounded were placed under the command of 
young Major Dillahunty. This was the highest compliment ever paid him during the 
war. By an order of the 13th of March, General Carroll ordered the sick and wounded 
to be placed by Major Dillahunty on board of the steamer Vesuvius, and transported to 
Natchez, and to be placed in camp furnished with everything necessary for their com- 
fort. A report was made by the major, of every man who died on the way, and a copy 
of it preserved in his book. At length, on the 21st of March, Major Dillahunty was 
ordered to procure the necessary transportation, provisions, etc., and to move on with 
such of the sick and wounded as were able, toward Tennessee. 

Poor fellows ! How many a heart beat with apprehension for fear of being left 
behind. 

An incident I heard when a boy well depicts the state of feeling which prevailed 
among them. As Dr. Hogg passed along the aisle of the hospital to decide who could 
go, a poor emaciated soldier claimed the privilege. Says the doctor, " You can't march." 
Says the man, " Yes I can." The doctor replied, " Why, you can't even stand alone." 
Then the poor soldier in his agony begged them " to stand him up, and if he fell, let him 
fall toward Tennessee." 

By Major Dillahunty's orders, which are still preserved, it is plain that he was 
deeply moved by this state of things. Assisted by the surgeon he made two classes of 
them ; such as could march and carry their knapsacks, and such as could march without 
them. . 

Transportation was very scarce, and he ordered the private baggage of the officers to 
be left behind, so that there might be room in the wagons for the exhausted men to ride. 
Occasionally, some of them from necessity would have to be left behind. In such cases 
a surgeon was left in charge, and provisions (which were very scarce) provided for them ;' 
and the officer directed to report to General Jackson (who was marching in the rear) for 
further orders. 

General Carroll with the able-bodied men iu front, arrived at home, and was 



Recollections of North Alabama. 197 

welcomed with public rejoicing long before Major Dillahunty appeared at the head of 
his pale procession. 

The public appreciated his services, and many a mother remembered him in her 
prayers for having brought her disabled boy back safely to her arms. But there was 
one ovation awaiting him which was dearer to his heart than all others besides. One of 
Tennessee's lovely daughters (Miss Lucinda C, daughter of Mr. John Johnson) had 
promised before he sailed for New Orleans to marry him on his return home, and 
they were united on the 18th of April, 1815, just three days after his arrival. 

No doubt her heart swelled with pride when, at the altar, she gave her hand to a 
gentleman .not twenty-two years old, who had not only gathered laurels in two wars, but 
had displayed the wisdom and discretion which belonged to more mature years. 

Our people were then rapidly settling up the lands in North Alabama, on the North 
bank of the Tennessee river, and much anxiety was felt by the United States Government 
to procure a cession from the Cherokees of the lands on the south side : On the recom- 
mendation of General Jackson, Major Dillahunty was sent by President Monroe as an 
agent to prepare the minds of the Iudians for this cession. 

Early in 1816 he and his young wife located in the place called Courtland. 
Whether he was an Indian agent or a confidential emissary of the government, I have 
not been able to ascertain. A constant correspondence passed between Mr. Monroe 
and him. He made himself very popular with the Indians, and in 1817, when his 
patron, General Jackson, attempted to purchase all the Cherokee lands, he succeeded in 
getting that part occupied by the Indians (Morgan, Lawrence and Franklin counties), 
through the personal influence of Major Dillahunty. 

In 1817 Major Dillahunty was elected to the House of Representatives in the Ter- 
ritorial Legislature, and Green K. Hubbard was his colleague. This was the' first elec- 
tion ever held in our county. 

The next year Alabama became a State, and Major Dillahunty was again elected a 
member of the House of Representatives. Samuel Bigham was his colleague, and 
Fleming Hodges was senator. 

Major Dillahunty lived three years at Courtland, and then moved to the neighbor- 
hood of Mount Pleasant church. He purchased lands for his father, Thomas Dilla- 
hunty, and for his father-in-law, John Johnson. When his father died in 1829 his 
place was sold to Vincler Jones, and Mr. Johnson's place was the one now occupied by 
Stewart Hennigan. While Major Dillahunty lived at Mt. Pleasant occurred the first 
Masonic burial that ever took place in the county, and Major Dillahunty, who was then 
the highest Mason, performed the ceremony. It was that of Jack Ethridge. He had 
been married one day to Martha Beavers and the next day he rode to Bainbridge with a 
friend, and on returning they concluded to try the speed of their horses, and Ethridge 
was thrown against a tree and killed. I judge she earlier became a widow than any wife 
ever in our county. 

In 1825 Major Dillahunty moved to Hardeman county, Tennessee, where he died in 
1826. He left three sons, and one daughter; Mrs. Sallie Merritt, whom we have already 
mentioned. Two of his sons died early. William Carroll (the remaining sou of 
Major Dillahunty) and his mother moved near South Florence in 1844. He and his son, 
William Ruf us, are thought to be the only male descendants of Thomas Dillahunty living. 

Harvey D , brother of Lewis, was by no means equal to him in ability, but 
was very much respected, and was elected to the House of Representatives in this 
county in 1830. He married Hetty, daughter of Colonel Savage, of Lauderdale county, 
Alabama, and removed to Memphis, Tenn., and from there to Mount Pleasant, Titus 
county, Texas, in 1859, and died there in 1878. He was Circuit Judge there for eight 
* years. His wife died in 1880. Issue: (1) Charles C, of Mt. Pleasant; (2) Harvey died at 
Mt. Pleasant; (3) Mildred married Major Batte, of Titus county, Texas, a cotton planter 
of large means. She died in 1859. 

John B. Dillahunty, the remaining brother of Lewis D., married (1) Sallie Savage, 
daughter of the same Colonel Savage mentioned above, and had a son, Samuel S., 



198 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

who died in Sevier county, Ark., 1883. He married (2) Martha N. Littlepage, of Madi- 
son county, Alabama, near Huntsville, and had two children — (1) Eliza S., who mar- 
ried W. G. McDougal. of Aberdeen, Miss. ; (2) John B., of Nashville, Tenn., married, 
in 1874, Julia R. Banks, sister of Hon. Robt. Webb Banks, of Columbus, Miss. 

The town of Courtland was laid out on the site of a Cherokee town, and was sur- 
rounded by old fields, on which Indian cabins were still standing when I first saw it, in 
1821. The mound builders had been there before the Cherokees, and left on the west 
side of the creek one of their largest monuments. Courtland was incorporated on the 
13th of December, 1819; and Robert B. Cary, Thomas Wooldridge, Ira Carlton, Benja- 
min Thomas, and Dr. Gideon G. Williams were the Commissioners. 

Robert B. Cary had emigrated from Virginia — was descended from a wealthy family ; 
but was reduced in his circumstances. He was a small man, very much esteemed, and 
quite industrious in maintaining his family; when news came to him, across the At- 
lantic, that he was one of the heirs to an estate of millions. Ee was a nervous man, and 
it seemed to change his whole nature ; and had an unhappy effect upon him and his family. 
Of course it ended in disappointment, as such claims have always done. In Mobile, many 
years ago, I was counsel for a gentleman who had such a claim. I investigated the facts ; 
and found there was really a fortune left by a wealthy iron-master, nearly a hundred 
years before ; but came to the conclusion that the lapse of time had been too great; and 
that there was no prospect of success. When I announced it to my client he first ap- 
peared astonished — -then he grew very angry — and then became as pale as ashes and 
came near fainting. But it was too late ; and the man was never able to addict himself 
to regular work afterward. A few years ago, our Minister to England published a circu- 
lar warning Americans not to be excited by such delusive hopes ; but it has not had 
' much effect. 

Thomas Wooldridge came from South Carolina, where he had killed a man named 
Moffit, and seemed to be unhappy. It had this effect — he became intemperate, and 
moved first to Mississippi, and then to Texas, where he died. 

IraCarltondid a moderate but safe business as a merchant — moved to Green county, 
where he became a cotton planter. 

Dr. Gideon G. Williams was from Tennessee in 1819 — was a lagre man of fine per- 
sonnel — of genial nature, and sometimes convivial ; but he was a good physician, and very 
popular. He married Jane Lane, of La Grange, and moved to the plantation since occu- 
pied by Robert King. Here he did an extensive country practice for a few years, then 
removed to Texas, where he died. 

I can not remember the other commissioner — B. Thomas. 

Within five years after its incorporation Courtland attained its full dimensions ; its 
mechanics were skilful, and of a higher order than I have seen anywhere — its lawyers 
and doctors eminent and its merchants prosperous, selling from three to four hundred 
thousand dollars worth of goods annually. 

There lived in Courtland in 1825, a man of very amiable disposition, named James 
A. Francisco. He was powerfully made, and was the sou of the celebrated Peter 
Francisco, a Portugese, of Cumberland county, Virginia, who was noted as the strongest 
man in America, and was, during the Revolutionary war. every inch a Whig. He killed 
three Tories, in hand-to-hand fight, who attacked him at the same time. This is verified 
by history. There are many stories of his great strength. One to this effect: a 
celebrated bully, who lived in another county, hearing of the wonderful strength of 
Peter Francisco, rode over to Cumberland to have a fight with him. He rode into the 
yard and told his business. Francisco told him he was no fighting man, and asked him 
to get down, and take some dinner. The bully refused, and said he had come for a» 
fight and a fight he would have, and approaching Peter, he was caught and thrown over 
the fence. The bully was dumfounded, and in a subdued tone, said: "Now, Mr. 
Francisco, as you have thrown me over the fence, throw my pony over too, and I will go 
home satisfied," which Peter did. History does not verify this story, but it was believed 



Recollections op North Alabama. 199 

by thousands of Virginians, and this proves what was thought of his wonderful strength. 
James Francisco moved from Courtland to Cottongin, Miss., where he died. 

A Mr. Hines settled early in Courtland, was a merchant for a short time, and died. 
He was a brother of Colonel Andrew Hines, who was a distinguished man of Nashville. 
He left but little for his two daughters, who never married, and were notable for their 
industry and charity. I mention them here, because they were the first of those "sisters 
of charity" who, for the last sixty years, have distinguished the noble women of 
Courtland, in their aid to the indigent, and sympathy for the unfortunate. 

Noble R. Ladd was amongst the first merchants of Courtland ; and his history is 
connected with the first excitement in the town". Mi'. Ladd had the misfortune to kill 
Dr. Mitchell, in a rencounter in the square. The place was divided into two parties. 
The friends of the deceased were determined on the conviction of Ladd, raised a heavy 
purse, and employed Felix Grundy, the renowned criminal lawyer, of Nashville, to 
prosecute him. Mr. Grundy had defended 160 men for capital offences, and succeeded 
in clearing all except one, Bennet, of Rutherford county. In this case, however, Mr. G. 
signally failed in convicting; but his speech was so eloquent that many children in the 
county were named for him (amongst the rest, my friend Captain McGregor. ) Mr. Ladd 
removed to Russell ville, where he died a few years ago. 

One of the early merchants in Courtland was Charles McClung from Knoxville. 
Tenn. He had married a daughter of Judge Pleasant M. Miller, of West Tennessee, 
was the brother of James W. McClung, of Huntsville, and the nephew of the Hon. Hugh 
L. White of Tennessee, who was so long an able Senator from that State, and once a 
prominent candidate for the Presidency. Mr. Charles McClung did not remain long in 
Courtland ; but returned to Knoxville in 1825 ; and in this movement society in Court- 
land sustained a great loss. 

William H. Whitaker was another of the merchants of Courtland. He came 
from Nashville, where he had married a daughter of Judge Williams White. After many 
years he removed to Grenada, Miss., where he and his wife both died. 

Another merchant, Joseph Trotter, married Miss Flournoy, of Pulaski, Tenn., and 
came to Courtland ; and, on the death of his first wife, married Miss Mayor, of Franklin 
county. He moved to Caddo parish, Louisiana, and opened a commission house in New 
Orleans under the style of Trotter & Pearsall. His second wife having died in Caddo, 
he married the Widow Rivers, of Pulaski, Tenn. He returned to that place, where he 
died. 

Andrew Beirne, Esq., of Western Virginia, a man of large wealth and an accom- 
plished merchant, sent a young man to Courtland, at an early day, named John Ander- 
son, and established a large mercantile business under the style of " Beirne & Ander- 
son," which proved to be so profitable that, in a few years, John Anderson's part of the 
profits enabled him to retire from business and purchase a large plantation near Mont- 
gomery, where he died in 1837. He was a brother of Richard N. Anderson, but a man 
of more sagacity. He was born in Maryland, but reared in Madison county, Alabama, 
and left his fortune to his sisters. An amusing story is told of John Anderson getting 
early news of a sudden rise of two cents per pound in cotton. He concluded then to go 
hunting for a " stray horse." Took a bridle in hand, and rode into the country. He 
came to the house of Charles Anderson (no kin to him, however) and inquired, very 
particularly, about the stray horse, but said nothing at all about cotton. As he turned 
off and bid Mr. Charles a good morning, the latter detained him with a proposition to 
sell him .his cotton crop, .which, after some chaffering, John bought at the old price. 
Charles was a keen man himself, and was greatly vexed. He used to declare afterward 
that he would never sell his cotton again to a merchant " hunting for a stray horse," 
even if he offered twenty-five cents per pound. 

Jeremiah Pearsall moved his family to this county about 1821. His house stood 
about one hundred yards south of the large mansion since erected by the late John H. 
Harris. The Pearsalls were good Presbyterian people, cultivated, refined and hospitable. 
The head of this family not only squared his conduct by the law, but by the golden rule. 



200 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

1 remember that a horse trader, one spring, -offered him a plow horse for one hundred 
dollars; extolling his good qualities. Mr Pearsall had doubts as to his value, and 
offered ninety dollars for him, payable in the fall, and bought him. When the drover 
came for his money the old gentleman paid him the full price of one hundred dollars, 
saying that the horse was found, on trial, to be everything the trader said he was. One 
of his sons, Edward, moved to the adjoining county of Colbert, where his descendants 
live. Another, James M. Pearsall, married a Miss Mayor, of Colbert, and for a long 
time was a commission merchant of New Orleans, first of the firm of Trotter & Pearsall 
and then of McMahon & Pearsall. Metcalfe De Graffenried married Dolly Pearsall, and 
a gentleman from Tennessee, named Bronson, married Catherine. The Pearsalls were 
all well favored ; but a daughter of Jeremiah Pearsall was especially beautiful in person, 
and lovely in character. She, as a young widow, Mrs. Camp, was sought in marriage by 
many suitors, and at length married Nathan Gregg. 

The Greggs came from East Tennessee, and opened a store in Courtland (amongst 
the first) under the style of N. & W. Gregg. Their business was prosperous until the 
revulsion in 1836, when they became embarrassed. Nathan Gregg and his excellent 
wife, having sons old enough for collegiate ' instruction, moved to La Grange, Ala., 
where was then a flourishing institution. They wisely concluded that if they could not 
leave a fortune to their boys, they would give them an opportunity to get a good educa- 
tion. Here they kept the Stewai-d's Hall for several years. Their son, of whom we 
shall speak, particularly, in this number, was 

Gen. John Gregg. 

Born in Lawrence county, Ala., on September 28, 1828, and graduated with such 
distinction in 1847, that he was selected by Prof. Henry Tutwiler, then principal 
of a high school in Green county, Ala., as teacher of the languages and mathematics. Mr. 
Tutwiler had been a professor both in La Grange College, and the University of Ala- 
bama, and was known to be a remarkable scholar; and if any professor in college was 
ill, he could supply his place, no matter what the study in the curriculum. The 
endorsement from such a scientist was the strongest proof of the genius and scholarship 
of young Gregg. He remained with Mr. Tutwiler four years, and returned to North 
Alabama, and studied law with Judge Townes. of Tuscumbia. In 1852 he went to 
Texas, and' settled in Fairfield, Freestone county, just then laid out. His reputation as 
a lawyer grew so rapidly that in four years he was elected judge of the district over an 
old Texan, who had held the office for several years. 

He had mounted the first step on the ladder of distinction, when he returned to 
North Alabama and married Miss Mollie Garth, daughter of Gen. Jesse Garth, and sister 
of Hon. W. W. Garth. Miss Garth was in every respectworthy to be the companion of 
one whose life commenced so auspiciously, and promised so brilliant a career. 

Secession found him still a judge. He was its warm advocate. When Governor 
Houston refused to call a convention to know the wishes of the people on this subject, 
one was called over his head ; Judge Gregg was a member of it ; and represented Free- 
stone and Navarro counties. The acts of the convention were ratified, — in some coun- 
ties almost unanimously. He was one of the representatives sent to Montgomery. 
After the Seat of government was removed to Richmond he served one term. The bat- 
tles of Bull Run and Manassas proved that a bloody war was before us. He resigned 
his place amongst the law-makers, for more desperate work. He asked and obtained, 
from the "War Department, authority to raise a regiment ; returned to Texas ; and 
brought to Corinth the Seventh Texas Infantry in an incredibly short time. They 
were ordered to Hopkmsville, Ky., to Gen. A. S. Johnston. The Judge was elected Col- 
onel, and the command was surrendered by General Buckner, at Fort Donalson, the 
16th of February, 1862. They were incarcerated in Northern prisons until the seven 
days' fight around Richmond. A general exchange was then effected. Colonel Gregg 
was promoted to Brigadier General, and assigned duty at Vicksburg, Miss., in command 
of a brigade composed of Tennesseeans and old Texas regiments. The defence against 



Recollections op North Alabama. 201 

Sherman was successful, and the command sent to Port Hudson ; and, with Bledsoe's 
battery of Missourians, did excellent service in repelling the fleet under Farragut, and 
the land forces under Banks. On the 1st of May orders were sent to General Gregg to 
bring his command to Jackson in all haste. General Loring's had been scattered along 
the Big Black ; and rumors were coming in of a large force of Federals approaching the 
place. The afternoon witnessed the welcome arrival of General Joseph E. Johnston 
from Georgia, who soon brought system out of chaos. While doing so, he sent General 
Gregg to fe?l of the enemy, and if possible to ascertain their force. He attacked them 
at Raymond with such vim, as to impress them with the idea that they were confronted 
by a large force ; and he learned from the prisoners he had taken that they belonged to 
the different army corps, and that he had been fighting 30,000 men with 2500. After 
the fall of Vicksburg, General Johnston fell back on Jackson, where there was a week's 
fighting, when the Confederates were repulsed, and retreated into the interior. 

General Gregg's command was then sent to Georgia, and arrived in time to partici- 
pate in the battle of Chickamauga. A member of the brigade says {Annals of Ten- 
nessee, 1878) that " he was on the skirmish line when they found the Federals lying 
down, in line of battle. It was reported back, and in a few minutes he heard General 
Gregg's stentorian -'Forward !" and a wild yell, as the boys came on at a charge. The 
enemy fled, throwing down their guns and knapsacks. The charge was kept up for half 
a mile, when we heard that our gallant General Gregg, in advance of the line, had been 
severely, if not mortally, wounded." He fell temporarily into the hands of the enemy. 
When he became conscious, two Federal soldiers were robbing him, and disputing over 
a division of the spoils. Suddenly they ran off, and he saw the cause of their flight was the 
advance of our forces. To escape being crushed, he dragged himself out of the road ; and 
here remained until found by the hospital corps. He was carried to the nearest hospital, and 
his wound dressed by Doctor Gilmer, who became eminent afterward in Mobile. At the 
General's request he was taken to Marietta, Georgia, to be attended by his old friend, 
Dr. Dudley D. Saunders, Director of Hospital in that city. (Mrs. Gregg.) 

During his long confinement, the army was reorganized, and the brigades formed 
of regiments from the same State. General Gregg was assigned to Hood's old Texan 
brigade, Longstreet's corps, wintering in East Tennessee. In the spring of 1864, this 
command was ordered to reinforce General Lee ; and General Gregg participated in all 
the battles of that memorable campaign, from the Wilderness to the fatal field on the 
James ; where he closed his earthly career. We shall only sketch the two battles. 

When General Grant was appointed commander-in-chief, of the Federal forces, and, 
in Virginia, was pitted against Lee, there was conviction in the minds of all men, North 
and South, that a decisive campaign was coming. Lee had been in winter quarters on the 
Rapidan. Grant confronted him, and on the night of the 4th of May he moved his 
army across the lower fords of the Rapidan, with 121,116 men (according to the report 
of the War Department). Lee had in his camp 42,000 men only. Grant intended to 
flank Lee and drive him back before Richmond, where he expected to fight a decisive 
battle. Lee having perfect knowledge of Grant's movements, on the very next day 
boldly struck Grant on his flank, in the Wilderness, trusting to the dense thickets 
to cover the paucity of his numbers. On the 5th of May the conflict commenced on 
Lee's right. Heth's and Wilcox's divisions received the shock of an immense Federal 
force. The ammunition of Heth's men gave out, and they fell to the rear, leaving 
Wilcox's division to bear the brunt of the battle. His line was becoming irregular and 
much broken, but the musketry died out at 8 p. m., and General Wilcox repaired to 
GeneralLee's camp, some 300 yards behind, and was informed that General Longstreet 
with his corps would relieve him before daylight. This corps had occupied-the extreme 
left of the line on the Rapidan, and had been delayed by having to march a greater dis- 
tance than any other. 

General Wilcox visited his outposts that night. "All was quiet; and it seemed 
impossible to realize that a fierce battle had been fought only a few hours before ; and 
that so many armed men lay almost within reach, ready to spring forward at early dawn 



202 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

to renew the Moody work. A line had been designated for Longstreet; but 12, 2 and 
3 o'clock arrived and he came not. Clear daylight had come, and the tree tops were 
tinged with the early rays of the rising sun ; but the enemy lay quiet. At length the suu 
rose above the trees, and the Confederates, eager to catch at straws in their unprepared 
state, began to have hopes that the Federals would not advance ; but these were soon 
dispelled. A few shots were heard on the right which soon extended along the line. 
The badly formed line of Wilcox received, unaided, this powerful column, which soon 
enveloped its flank. The fighting was severe, and lasted an hour." (From a letter of 
Wilcox published in the Philadelphia Times.) 

It was at this critical moment that the head of Longstreet' s column arrived. As Gen- 
Gregg passed, General Lee asked, ''What brigade is that?" and when told it was the 
Texas brigade, General Lee rejoined: "General, when you go in, give them the cold 
steel, the Texans always move them." (Major Campbell of Gregg's staff.) Wilcox was 
still fighting in front. While the Texans were deploying, Colonel Polsom, of the Four- 
teenth Georgia, was borne to the rear on a stretcher. In a few minutes Colonel Avery, 
of the Thirty-third North Carolina, was borne from the field mortally wounded. The 
brilliant charge then made by Longstreet's corps belongs to history. A captain of the 
Pennsylvania Artillery says: "It was the charge of the war, and was led by Longstreet 
in person. Our men stood it like heroes. The guns were double-shotted with canister, 
and fired at short range; but still the column moved on. We wounded Longstreet, and 
killed Jenkins. We had repulsed the enemy, but they held their original ground, 
besides securing their wounded, and thousands of ours. They had lost heavily, and we 
counted our dead and wounded by thousands. Grant is said to have declared that his 
previous battle^ were but skirmishes compared to this." (Captain Broclioray in the 
Philadelphia Times.) That to Gregg's brigade, under his leading, is mainly due the 
credit of cheeking the enemy, is generally believed; and the fact that he left half their 
numbers dead or wounded on the field, is proof of it. In these two days the Federals 
lost in killed, wounded and missing, 37,000 men, according to official reports; and the 
Confederates as many in proportion to the number of their forces. 

But the crowning glory of General Gregg's military career, extending through 
every department, from the Mississippi to the Rappahannock, was his defence of Rich- 
mond, on the 29th of September, 1864, with a force of about 2000 men. General Grant 
had extended his lines far to the west of Petersburg, when he conceived the idea of 
secretly throwing around on the north side of James river a force sufficient to capture 
Richmond by a surprise. It might have succeeded but for the gallantry of General 
Gregg. During a hard day's fight he held in check two corps of the Federals (Orel's 
and Burney's) until General Lee could reinforce him. Here his horse was killed under 
him. He resisted nine different assaults, made by a force which outnumbered him 
eight to one. 

On the morning of the 7th of October, General Lee determined to attack the enemy 
on the north side of the James, with a strong force, and dislodge them from their 
breastworks. General Gregg fell, while leading a charge, near these works. He was 
pierced through the neck and died without speaking. In the pride of his manhood and 
usefulness, at the early age of 36, this patriot, soldier and hero, fell a martyr to the 
cause so dear to his heart. 

I conclude this notice with a tribute to his memory by Dr. Saunders, of Memphis. 
" Gen. John Gregg was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga. After his wounds 
were dressed, at his special request, he was sent to Marietta, Ga., to be attended by me, 
then in charge of this hospital post. General Gregg was a splendid specimen of man- 
hood, upon whose face and physique the impress of greatness and nobility of soul was 
plainly stamped. Large, tall, handsome, and well proportioned — massive head — splen- 
did eye, which set a halo ever finely cut features — a face indicative, at a glance, 
of position, character, and yet a manner so entirely frank and guileless as to impress 
one with the idea that he was entirely unconscious of his latent powers. 

During 'this long and painful suffering at Marietta, never a murmur of complaint at 



Recollections of North Alabama. 203 

fate or Providence was uttered ; and the first questions when visited in the morning were : 
" What news have you from the army? What are they doing at the front? " His suf- 
fering was alleviated by the company of his wife, whose gentle tenderness and cheer- 
fulness assisted him greatly to bear the long weary hours of confinement in bed. The 
recollection of my intercourse with General Gregg, at Marietta, has always been to me a 
pleasant thought, and the news of his death while gallantly leading his com- 
mand in a charge upon the enemy's works was a source of poignant grief. " The 
reaper, Death, with his sickle keen," had laid low this fair flower of Southern chivalry, 
and no brighter gem ever decked his coronet than the brave and noble General John 
Gregg." 

The Swoopes. 

Jacob Swoope came from Germany to Virginia. He had been well educated and 
was an accomplished merchant, and in view of his coming to the United States, had 
learned to read and speak the English language fluently. 

The first authentic account we have of him is in Governor Gilmer's old book on the 
Georgians. He says: " While in Rockingham county, Va., I witnessed an electioneer- 
ing scene, equally interesting with the one I had seen in Charlottesville. David Holmes, 
who had, for twenty years, immediately preceding, represented in Congress the district 
of which the county of Rockingham formed a part, had been appointed Governor of Mis- 
sissippi Territory by President Jefferson. A new member had to be elected, and the 
Republicans and Federalists were very equally divided in the district. Mr. Smith (now 
Judge Smith) became the candidate of the Republicans, and Jacob Swoope the candidate 
of the Federalists. The Virginians vote " viva voce." The candidates seat themselves 
during the day of election on the judge's bench in the court house, and as each voter 
names the person for whom he votes he is bowed to and thanked by the candidate voted for. 
I was in Harrisonburg, the county town of Rockingham, on the day of election, and saw 
Mr. Smith and Mr. Swoope thus seated and occupied. Smith was of an " old Virginia^ 
family," Swoope was German and could speak the German language. The farmers of the 
county were mostly German ; the lawyers, doctors, merchants, sheriffs, clerks, etc., were 
Virginians. Mr. Smith and Mr. Swoope addressed the people on the party topics of the- 
day. British orders in council, Napoleon's. edicts restraining commerce, the embargo- 
and anti-commercial system of President Jefferson. After both candidates had spoken, 
Mr. Swoope commenced addressing the people in German in reply to Mr. Smith. A 
huge old German rose and in broken English said Mr. Swoope should not talk German, 
because Mr. Smith could not talk it, and stopped Swoope. Mr. Swoope was a merchant, 
a handsome man, and usually well dressed. He resided in Staunton, Augusta county. 
He came to Rockingham dressed in German fashion. The German succeeded, though 
the Republicans had the majority in the district, and Mr. Smith was the equal, if not the 
superior of Mr. Swoope in qualifications for congressional service." Mr. Swoope served 
in Congress from 1809 to 1811, and then very wisely returned to his merchandising, in 
which he was very successful. 

He was the father of three of the best merchants Courtland ever had — JohnM., 
Jacob K., and Edgar M. Swoope. They brought to the place a substantial cash capital, 
and did business under, the style of "J. & J. Swoope," and in a few years reaped large 
profits. The planters then cultivated fresh, productive lands, made large cotton crops, 
and sold for high prices. No wonder then that the merchants of that day grew rich. 
We shall now notice each of the merchants in detail. 

John M. Swoope, the oldest of these brothers, was one of the best judges of goods 
in the place, and for several years spent a large part of his time in New York and Phila-- 
delphia in making purchases for the firm. Everything he did was well done. He was 
always neatly and richly dressed; never appeared on the street without having his 
clothes well brushed and his hat as slick as when it came from the block of the hatter. 
Indeed, he was fastidiously neat in everything. His house and garden were kept in 
complete order, and before he became a cotton planter he was often heard to say that 



204 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Ms fence corners should always be kept as clean as any other part of the field ; but after 
he became a member of that slovenly crowd I never heard anything more of that. 

He married Cynthia M., daughter of Governor Peter Early, of Georgia, and sister 

of Mrs. Richard S. Jones. Mr. Swoope died in , and his widow in 1886. Mary, 

their firstborn, died when a young lady in 1852. Emma married Dr. Andrew Jackson 
Sykes, whose family history we shall notice hereafter. The doctor came to Lawrence 
over forty years ago and soon became one of our most successful physicians. He had a 
good person, fine manners, a cultured mind and withal so good a temper that he soon 
had " troops of friends." For several years past he has been afflicted, and is now con- 
fined to his bed and has the sympathy of the whole cdmmunity. 

The children of Dr. Sykes are : Lucy Early, who married Watkins Phinizy, son of 
John T. Phinizy, Esq. ; James married Susie, daughter of Mr. Oakley Bynum, and died 
young; Anna married Mr. Crenshaw, and Emma, the, youngest. 

Virginia, third child of John M. Swoope and wife, married Hon. E. C. Betts, now 
Commissioner of Agriculture for the State of Alabama. He was judge of the Probate 
■Court of Madison count.v, and also represented that county in the State Senate for a 
number of years. They have a number of children. Of these Rostan is a lawyer of 
Huntsville, and married a daughter of Minor Merriwether, Esq., of Memphis, and 
Tailored, a clerk in one of the departments in Washington City, married a daughter of 
Dr. Wm. L. Brown, president of A. and M. College, Auburn, Ala. 

Jacob K. Swoope, the next oldest brother in the Courtland firm was also a very 
handsome man, with black hair and eyes, whereas his two brothers had blue. He had 
■social manners and a good deal of humor, and was very popular. He was the partner 
who conducted all matters of contract with customers, while his brother John had more 
to do with the machinery of the large concern, and felt little interest in association, except 
with his personal friends. At length the members dissolved partnership. He married 
first Antoinette, a daughter of Col. Benjamin Sherrod, by whom" he had one child, 
William, who died before he attained his majority. She lived but a short time, and he 
married for his second wife Mrs. Clay, widow of Hon. Matthew Clay, and daughter of the 
Rev. Turner Saunders. Mr. Swoope retired from business, and settled ou the planta- 
tion now occupied by his son, Capt. C. C. Swoope. In winding up his mercantile busi- 
ness he took in payment of his debts a good deal of cotton, and having confidence in 
the article, he bought largely in addition, and in the end made about $20,000 profit. 
He was never known to buy any cotton afterward ; a remarkable fact, for it is generally 
the case that when men make in this way, they never rest until they lose it all at the 
same game. Mr. Swoope proved to be a most excellent planter. His business was con- 
ducted with much method, and with the best tools, and the most perfect machinery. In 
this respect his son, Captain Swoope, who now occupies the same place, has trodden in 
his footsteps. 

Mr. Jacob Swoope after retiring from the counting-room, to which he had been so 
closely confined for many years, enjoyed his release very much, and was fond of joining 
his friends in hunting, and other country amusements. There was amongst them a man 
who owned a small farm near the Big Spring (then called Hickman's), whose cotton field 
became very foul. Swoope, feeling that he was somewhat to blame for decoying his 
neighbor from his work, and with his natural love of fun, collected secretly a large num- 
ber of hands, and had his little cotton field hoed over one morning before the owner waked 
up. When he did, he pretended to become very angry at the liberty his friends had 
taken with him ; but his anger soon subsided, and the first time the horn blew he joined 
the hunt again. The issue of this marriage was Jacob K., Charles C. and Prances 
• {commonly called Fanuie) Swoope. 

Jacob K. married Elizabeth Haley, of Florence, Ala. The issue of this marriage 
was only two children. The eldest, young Jacob, was fishing on the bank of the Ten- 
nessee river with a son of Dr. Alfred Jones, of Florence. Jacob fell into the river, and 
young Jones bravely sprang into the water to rescue his friend, when, unfortunately, 
both were drowned. These boys were of uncommon promise. The daughter, 



Recollections op North Alabama. 205- 

Tempie, married Mr. Darrow, of Virginia. Elizabeth Haley has survived her husband, 
•Jacob Swoope, many years. She was the heir of Jack Peters, one of the wealthiest men 
of Lauderdale county, and inherited a half dozen plantations. 

The second child of Jacob K. Swoope by this marriage was Charles C. He passed 
through the late war as a captain, and since then has been a very enlightened and 
successful farmer. There seems to be something in the German blood' which predisposes 
a man to be a good farmer. He married Miss Fannie Hutchins, and has reared a large 
family in habits of industry and thrift; contrary to the usual custom of parents having 
ample fortune. Their children are Edgar, William, Susan, Charles, Jacob, Saunders 
and Clay. Of these, two are married; William, who married a Miss Carter, of Como, 
Miss., and Susan, who married Thomas Ashford, of Birmingham, Ala., who is a grand- 
son of Captain Thomas Ashford, who emigrated from Kentucky, and whose family will 
be noticed. Fannie, third c"hild of Jacob K. Swoope, married Edward Moore, ot 
Columbus, Miss. Their children are: Edward, who married Miss Houston; Jacob, who 
is unmarried, and Fannie, who married James Harrison (son of James T. Harrison, Esq., 
a distinguished lawyer, of that city). 

Edgar M. Swoope 

was the youngest of the three brothers, and when he came to Courtland, was under age. 
He was then a very steady youth. When the firm of "J. & J. Swoope" was dissolved, he 
came into possession of his estate, and formed a partnership with Richard Trotter, under 
the style of "Swoope & Trotter." He married Elmira, daughter of Samuel Watkins, a 
wealthy planter who lived a few miles east of Courtland. After some years the firm of 
Swoope & Trotter was dissolved, and while the business was being wound up 
by a clerk, who kept the strong box in the brick house, called Swoope's corner, a 
remarkable episode occurred in his history, one which had a material effect on his life. 
That strong box was robbed, and money and bills of exchange to a large amount taken 
from it. A mystery which seemed impenetrable rested on the theft, until a letter was 
received by Mr. Swoope, from Mr. Owen, cashier of the Bank of Mobile, informing him 
that these bills of exchange had been offered for discount by Dr. Phares, of Courtland ; 
and as there were some suspicious features in the case, he wished to know about it. 
This led to the arrest of Dr. Phares. If a bomb of the largest dimensions had bursted sud- 
denly over the little town, it would not have caused such amazement. Dr. Phares guilty 
of theft ! It was not possible ! He was a man of a nice little fortune, was doing a good 
business as druggist, was always neatly dressed, was a Free Mason, had a fine face, pale 
and spirituelle, and as the negro would say had " a 'ligous walk." When brought to 
trial Phares employed every lawyer in Courtland, and Mr. Wm. Cooper, of Tuscumbia, 
to lead them. Although I had been for some years out of practice, it devolved on me to 
prosecute the case, as some of the money stolen from the strong box belonged to my 
sister, Mrs. Swoope. The trial resulted in Phares being bound over, and on his way to 
jail he took laudanum, but the dose was too large and it failed to kill him. During the 
trial it was noticed that not a single Free Mason denounced the accused, and they were 
criticised severely for it. They kept a profound silence, but they listened to the state- 
ments of the witnesses with the closest attention, and that night Courtland Lodge con- 
vened, and excommunicated Phares. How often have I thought since, that church 
members would do well to follow the example of these Masons; and instead of tak- 
ing up a reproach against an accused brother, wait until he was tried, and ail the proof 
given, before they formed an opinion. After the trial, Fergus Phares, a brother of the 
accused, attacked Mr. Swoope and shot at him with a pistol, then used the pistol by 
striking him on the head with such violence that he felled him to his knees, and Mr. 
Swoope, as he rose shot him through the breast. Phares made no effort to evade the 
shot; and it is believed that he courted death. He was very much esteemed by the 
young men of Courtland. Dr. Phares mortgaged his property, obtained bail on a bond 
of $4000, left the country, and was never heard of afterward. 

This unfortunate affair had an unhappy effect upon Mr. Swoope. He acted in that 



206 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

encounter with Fergus Phares in self-defence, yet the act seemed to prey on his mind, 
and he became wonderfully intemperate. How long this habit continued I do not 
remember, but in process of time he underwent poignant conviction for the course he 
was pursuing, and determined to lead a better life. It was at the conclusion of a long 
spell of drunkenness, when his nervous system was shattered, that he saw the Devil in 
person rise up before him. However this may have been, he firmly believed it, and used 
to tell it in the pulpit, as a part of his Christian experience, until the day of his death. 
He was in consequence of this vision as firm a believer in the personality of the Devil as 
the reformer Luther himself. When Mr. Swoope's conversion was announced very 
many people believed his reformation was merely temporary, and prophesied that he would 
soon return to his old ways ; but, year in and year out he persevered in a career of zealous 
usefulness, and consistency of Christian character, which eventually made calumny 
ashamed, and it retired from the contest. Mr. Swoope became a local preacher of the 
Methodist Church South. He purchased one of the best historical and theological 
libraries, studied diligently, and having a strong mind, he was able to discuss thor- 
oughly every subject on which he preached; but this generally took him two hours. 
On one occasion I had a humorous friend from Mississippi visiting me, and we went 
to hear him preach, at Courtland. On returning home, the visitor was asked " how he 
liked the sermon ; " he answered that it showed much learning and ability, but he added, 
" I would not have abused a dog as Mr. Swoope abused the Devil. He seemed to have 
a special spite against him!" Most of his preaching, however, was among the poor 
people, who seldom heard service, and were therefore more tolerant of the great length 
of his sermons. Here he would preach the terrors of the Law, and shake them over 
hell-fire most terribly. He was a firm believer iu what the scriptures teach on this sub- 
ject, and would contend that with any person who believed in the resurrection of the 
body there should be no difficulty in accepting the doctrine of hell-fire. 

In making these excursions to preach, Mr. Swoope rode in a fine buggy, drawn by 
a fine, sleek horse, and was driven by a fine looking mulatto servant, named Jim Lewis. 
Some may suppose that being a rich man, and moving in such style, he would have 
but little access to these plain people; but they are mistaken. It is not a rich man 
people hate, but a mean, stingy rich man. Common opinion, expects a man to move in a 
style suited to his estate ; as much as for a poor man to abstain from wearing a costly 
coat — not paid for. Such is the law too, as you will find if you enter the Probate Court, 
.and witness the settlement of estates. The people knew that Mr. Swoope had a big heart, 
and had witnessed his many charities. Suffer me to give one instance. At the darkest 
hour of the civil war, when the men were all in the field — when the Tennessee Valley 
was a debatable ground, first occupied by the Federals and then by the Confederates, 
until its resources for food were nearly exhausted — when the southern part of the country, 
depleted of its efficient laboring men, was reduced to nearly the same condition of 
scarcity — when that noble old man, Charles Gibson, then Judge of our county court, 
was devoting his whole time to collecting food for the women and children who 
were beginning to suffer — and when (as he wrote me) he was at his wit's end to know 
what to do next,. he received a note from Edgar M. Swoope, who had a steam mill in the 
centre of the county, authorizing him to draw upon him for a hundred bushels of wheat 
and a quantity of meal, and when that was exhausted to draw on him for more, as long 
as it was needed ; for the women and children should not starve while the men were, 
fighting our battles, as long as he had a bushel of wheat, or a dust of meal. No wonder 
that as a preacher he had access to their souls, when he was so kindly caring for their 
bodies. 

His style of preaching was direct, earnest and logical. He had no imagination or 
poetic taste, and when he used a metaphor it was often so quaint as to derogate from the 
force of the position he was maintaining. Naturally he was a man of strong antipathies, 
and warm friendships — had nothing neutral about him. He was original and indepen- 
dent, and honest in all he did; and somewhat eccentric. He had some faults, but great 
virtues; and it would be a boon to this Christian community, if, in every age, the Lord 



Recollections of North Alabama.. 207 

would send just one man like the Rev. Edgar M. Swoope to break the stereotyped mono- 
tony of the pulpit. 

He had one son, Samuel, a young man of much promise, who died unmarried, 
and one daughter, Mary, who married James Ballentine, of Pulaski, Tenn. These 
are both dead, and their children are Edgar -C.,. Orlean V., James EL., William H. 
and Sadie E. These are now the only descendants' of Edgar M. and Elmira Swoope. 
She has survived him, and lives in Courtland, with her estate much diminished by litiga- 
tion. 

Jim Lewis, 

The servant of Mr. Swoope alluded to above, had a very kind master, who taught him 
the ordinary branches of an English education, and in their constant intercourse imbued 
his mind with far more learning than usually falls to the lot of men of his race. He 
lent him books and at his death gave him a good library, which he read to great profit. 
He is a man naturally of fine mind and excellent judgment, and in his manners a real 
gentleman, if he be " somewhat off color." He had become a Methodist preacher, and 
uses a chaste style of speaking, and though he is earnest and zealous, he has neither rant 
nor cant ; so you can see at once that he has great influence in repressing the fanaticism of 
his people. This assumed, in former years, various forms. I will give you. an illustra- 
tion : A long time ago, one Saturday, when Father Kilpatrick, missionary to the blacks, 
had come in, ready for" service next day, there was a great rumpus on " the street," or 
quarters, and it seemed like a fight. I sent for the fighters, and presently Aunt Violet 
and Edy, a young girl, were brought before me; Edy looking very guilty, with a 
knot on her forehead as large as a hen-egg, " What does all this mean?" Aunt Violet : 
" Mars Jeemes, you know you put Edy in my house for me to make her behave? 
Well, sir, Edy cusses, and sometime ago, she cussed, and I tol' her, up and down, dat 
if she don' so any mo', I would knock her do.wn. Well, dis mornin' while we was wuchin' 
Edy cussed, and I just took a board and knock her down. You see dat knot on 
Edy's head? Does you think it was de strenk of my poor arm dat made dat knot? 
No, sir, it was de strenk of my Jesus V This was too much for my dignity, and I called 
the missionary to lecture the parties, and retired for a good laugh. What he said to 
them I never knew ; but I am satisfied that Aunt Violet was never convinced that she 
had done wrong ; and as Edy reformed after that, she always thought she had mauled 
religion into her with, that board. 

But I do not wish to be misunderstood. It is the habit of many persons to sneer 
at the religion of the colored people. For myself, I have a profound respect for it. 
They hold to the doctrine of the witness of the spirit as laid down in the Bible. They 
have ultraisms, I admit, but as their teachers become better educated, these are gradu- 
ally disappearing. But you often hear it said that the negro is apt to back-slide very 
often. Well, that is so, but they are good repenters, and when they apply for 
pardon they are orthodox^ too, for they kneel not before altars made with hands, but 
before "the great white throne." I can see a steady improvement in the religious 
exercises of the race, and their fanaticism is being toned down, but it is to be hoped 
that this will not be carried so far as to make the religion of the emotional negro'as 
cold as that of the philosophical white man. I have begun to preach, and remember 
that I have no license. 

Dr. Jack Shackelford 
was born in Richmond, Va., March 20, 1790. His father, Richard Shackelford, was 
married three times. His last wife, Johanna Lawson, was the mother of Jack Shackel- 
ford, and died when he was an infant. Catharine Allgood (a sister of one of the first 
wives) took the little orphan Jack (for that was his baptismal name) and reared him 
with all the love of a devoted mother. When grown, he left Virginia to seek a new 
home, and went to Winnsboro, S. C, where he married Maria Yongue, daughter of a 
Presbyterian minister ; a lady of small person and much beauty, with most estimable 
qualities. He served in the British war of 1812, and, in a skirmish near Charleston, 



208 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

was cut in the face by an officer's sword. In 1818 he moved to Shelby county, Ala- 
bama, where he became a cotton planter, and practised medicine very successfully. In 
1820 he was elected member of the House of Representatives of the State Legislature, 
and served in the State Senate from the district composed of Shelby and Bibb counties 
for the years 1822-23-24. I knew of his great popularity in this district from our Sen- 
ator — Matt Clay — long before I saw him. In one election, when his opponent lived 
in Bibb county, he carried every vote, save one, in his own county, and nearly a major- 
ity in Bibb. 

At this period of his life, Dr. Shackelford had all the elements that constitute happi- 
ness. He had been promoted, politically, and had numerous friends in South Alabama, 
and such men as Matt Clay, Nicholas Davis and James Jackson as his bosom friends in 
North Alabama. When the Legislature adjourned, they usually visited the doctor at 
his home in Shelby, where he lived like a baron of the middle ages, with profuse hospi- 
tality, and where guests, escaping from the short rations of Cahaba, would revel in the 
luxury of venison from the woods, and fish from the Coosa. He had a good practice and 
an ample fortune, and, moreover, a wife whose chief enjoyment was to make him and 
his friends happy. But he had a cousin. This cousin had conceived the idea of making 
a fortune as a merchant, without capital or previous training. Dr. Shackelford, in the- 
generosity of his nature, became surety for' him to a large amount. In the sequel 
the cousin failed, and to pay his debts, Dr. Shackelford had to sell his lands and slaves, 
except a few old men, women and children. 

His friends were as true as steel, and had him elected to the office of receiver of the 
land office at Courtland, whither he brought his family, and the wreck of his fortune, 
fifty-eight years ago (1829). The land given to the State for the Muscle Shoals canal 
was soon disposed of, and afterward he applied himself to the practice of his profession 
with wonderful success. This was owing, in some degree, to his very popular manners, 
but more to his merit as a physician. He had the good sense to embrace the mild prac- 
tice of Broussais, in an age when calomel, jalap, gamboge and the lancet were heroically 
used. Be cured his patients with gentle remedies, and topical applications, while his 
competitors killed them scientifically. He was especially successful in nervous disorders, 
but his remedies were not always laid down in medical books. In one case a lady of 
family, living in the neighborhood of Courtland, imagined that she had swallowed a 
frog. When she mentioned it to him, he first attempted to remove the impression from 
her mind, but finding it useless, he said sympathetically, " But if it be as you suppose, 
I can kill the frog in your stomach, and then remove it by an emetic." She acquiesced 
joyfully. He colored red some effervescing powders, and directed her to take them at 
regular intervals, until he returned. He had much trouble in securing a tree frog, but 
a prize of a quarter offered to the boys, at length brought one, and he hastened to see 
his patient, who was in a state of anxious expectancy. The emetic was administered, 
and after the first spell of vomiting, she inquired, " Doctor, has the frog come?" He 
answered, " No, madam." A second dose was given, and she had a severe spell of vom- 
iting, and he threw the frog into the bowl, saying joyfully, " Here it is, madam," She 
wiped her eyes, and when she saw it exclaimed, "I knew I could not be mistaken." 
Then she fell back on her pillows and was completely cured. 

When the concentrated power of Mexico was invoked to crush the people of Texas 
after a long course of oppression, the citizens of the United States sympathized pro- 
foundly with their friends who had emigrated to that country. Company after com- 
pany was raised and hurriedly marched forward to the scene of conflict. Among others 
Dr. Jack Shackelford raised a company of young men, in a few days, called the "Red 
Rovers,', from the color of their jeans uniforms. A meeting of citizens was called for 
the purpose of raising money to purchase an outfit and supplies for the company. A 
friend, after making a few remarks, laid a hundred dollar bill on the table, and it was 
covered at once by eleven others ; then followed donations of less amount until the ex- 
penses of the expedition were fully provided for. No time was lost on the way. The 
company sailed from New Orleans on a schooner, and landed at Copano, thence they 



Recollections of North Alabama. 209 

marched at once to Goliad, about the time the Mexicans marched on the Alamo. Tha 
company was incorporated with a regiment commanded by Gol. J. W. Fannin of 
Georgia, on the 10th of March, 1836. 

General Sam Houston, commander-in-chief, sent orders to Colonel Fannin, on the 
11th, to retreat on Victoria.- These did not reach him until the 14th- of March. He 
waited for Captain King', who had been sent out to help in some settlers, and after whom 
Major Ward had been sent with 100 men. This resulted in the loss of the whole com- 
mand. Not having found his missing men, Colonel Fannin started on the morning of 
the 19th, and after marching about eight miles called a halt, to rest his oxen and 
refresh his men. He had, all along, entertained too great a contempt for the enemy. 
Captain Shackelford remonstrated against the halt, until they should reach the Goleta, 
then five miles distant ; but he was overruled. Col. F. could not be made to believe that 
the Mexicans would dare follow him. Here they halted an hour, and Col. A. C. Horton, 
who had come in with twenty-seven men the day before, was dispatched to examine the 
crossing of the Coleta. On resuming the march the enemy began to appear in sight, 
and then Fannan attempted to reach the timber a mile or two in front, but it was too 
late, and he was compelled to form for battle in a depression in the plain, six or seven 
feet below the surrounding surface. The Texans in number only 275, were surrounded 
by the enemy, about ten or twelve hundred infantry (the celebrated Tampico regiment) 
and 700 cavalry. Here one of the most remarkable contests occurred ever recorded in 
military history. With the disadvantage of being cut off from timber and water, and 
hemmed in a depression, this small force stoutly repelled many charges of the Mexicans. 
After the first heavy charge, for want of water the cannon of the Texans became too hot 
for use, and they were forced to rely wholly on their small arms, and with these they 
continued the fight from one o'clock until night. To show the determined spirit of the 
Texans in this struggle I will mention a single instance. Among the wounded was Henry 
Ripley, a youth of eighteen years, a son of General Ripley, of Louisiana. He had his 
thigh broken. Mrs. Cash (who was with the army) at his request helped him into a cart, 
fixed a prop for him to lean on, and a rest for his rifle. Thus he continued to fight, until 
another shot broke his right arm. At length the scene became too dreadfrd to behold. 
Killed and wounded men, and horses, were strewn over the'plain : the wounded were 
rending the air with their distressing moans, while a great many horses were rushing to 
and fro back upon the enemy's lines, increasing the confusion among them : they thus 
became so entangled, one with another, that their retreat after the last charge, resembled 
the headlong flight of a herd of buffaloes, rather than the retreat of a well drilled regu- 
lar army as they were. 

Night suspended the contest. After dark the Texans, by leaving their wounded, 
might perhaps have cut their way through the enemy's line, but, after the massacres 
which had occurred at the Alamo and other places, they felt that it would be dishonor- 
able to leave their comrades in the hands of a savage foe. How different from 
the state of things in our civil war. No matter in whose hands the wounded fell at the 
conclusion of a bloody battle, they were secure from violence. As soon as the sound of 
artillery died away " grim visaged war smoothed his wrinkled front," and the humane 
surgeon with his torniquet stopped the flow of life blood from the arteries of the wounded ; 
no matter under what flag and tender-hearted women, under the Red Cross ensign, held 
the cup of water to parched lips to assuage the raging thirst which none but a wounded 
soldier who feels his life-blood ebbing away can ever know. 

Early next morning General Urrea received a reinforcement of 500 men, under 
Colonel Morales, with three pieces of artillery. The Mexicans fired a few rounds and 
then hoisted a white flag, but it was soon taken down. The Texan wounded had 
suffered agonies for want of water, and the officers having held a consultation raised a 
white flag, which was promptly answered by the enemy. Colonel Fannin then went to 
meet Urrea, and arranged the terms of capitulation, which were: The Texans should be 
received and treated as prisoners of war, according to the usage of the most civilized 
nations. 2. That private property should be respected. 3. That they should be sent to 



210 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Copaao, and in eight days to the United States, or so soon thereafter as vessels could 
be procured to take them. 4. That the officers should be.paroled, and return to the United 
States in like manner. Colonel Holzinger, a German engineer, together with several 
other Mexican officers, came into our lines to consummate the agreement. The first 
words Colonel Holzinger uttered, after a polite bow, were: "Well, gentlemen, in eight 
days, liberty and home." The terms of the capitulation were then written in both lan- 
guages, English and Mexican, and the instruments were signed and exchanged in the 
most formal manner. 

The prisoners were carried back to Goliad. On the 23d Colonel Holzinger and Col- 
onel Fannin proceeded to Copano to ascertain if a vessel could be had to convey the 
Texans to the United States, but the vessel they expected to obtain had already left that 
port.' The evening of the 26th passed off pleasantly, Colonel Fannin entertaining his 
friends with the prospect of returning to the United States, and some of the young men 
who could perform well on the flute were playing " Home, Sweet Home." How fortu- 
nate it is that the veil of the future is suspended before us ! At 7 o'cloek, that night, an 
order by an extraordinary courier from the Commander-in-chief, Santa Anna, required 
the prisoners to be shot. Detailed instructions were sent as to the mode of executing 
this cold-blooded and atrocious order. Colonel Portilla, the commandant of the post, did 
not long hesitate in its execution. He had four hundred and forty-five prisoners under 
his charge. But eighty of these (Captain Miller's company) having just landed, with- 
out arms, was considered not being within the scope of the order, and were for the time 
spared. The truth is, that they owed their lives to Senora Alinez, whose name ought to 
be perpetuated to the remotest times for her virtues, and whose actions contrasting so 
strangely with those of her countrymen, deserve to be recorded in the annals of this 
country, and treasured in the heart of every Texan. When she arrived at Copano with 
her husband, who was one of Urrea's officers, Miller and his men had just been taken 
prisoners. They were tied tightly with cords so as to check completely the flow of the 
blood in their arms, and in this way they had been left for several hours before she saw 
them. Her heart was touched by the sight, and she immediately ordered the cords to 
be taken off, and refreshments given them. She treated them with great kindness, 
and when, the night before the massacre, she learned that the prisoners were to be shot, 
she so efficiently pleaded with General Guerrier (whose humane feelings revolted against 
the barbarous order) that with great personal responsibility on himself, and at great 
hazard in so doing, counter to the orders of the then powerful Santa Anna, he resolved 
to save all he could; and a few of us are left to tell of this bloody day." (This state- 
ment is from Regimental Surgeon Barnard.) The services of four of the physicians — 
that is, Drs. Barnard, Field, Hall and Shackelford — were needed to take care of the 
Mexican wounded, and their lives were spared. 

At dawn of day, on Palm Sunday, March 27, the Texans were awaketfed by a 
Mexican officer, who said he wished them to form a line, that they might be counted. 
The men were marched out in separate divisions, under different pretext. Drs. Shackel- 
ford and Barnard had been invited by Colonel Guerrier to his tent, about one hundred 
yards from the fort, to remove them further from the scene shortly to be enacted. Soon 
they heard four distinct volleys, fired in as many directions, accompanied by yells and 
shouts. The hellish work was going on. Many attempted to escape, but the most of 
those who survived the first fire were cut down by the pursuing cavalry. As the differ- 
ent divisions were brought to the place of execution, they were ordered to sit down with 
their backs to the guard. In this last sad hour there were many instances of heroic 
courage. Young Fenner exclaimed: "Boys, they are going to kill us, die with your 
faces to them, like men." Others waving their hats sent forth their death cries, 
"Hurrah for Texas !" Dr. Barnard in an article he wrote on this massacre, said : "Our 
situation and feelings during this time, is not in the power of language to describe. 
The sound of every gun which rang in my ears told but too terribly the fate of our 
brave companions. Dr. Shackelford, who sat by my side, suffered the severest anguish 
the human heart could feel. His company of "Red Rovers," which he brought out 



Recollections of North Alabama. 211 

and commanded, were young men of the first families in his neighborhood — his particu- 
lar and especial friends. Besides two of his nephews, his oldest son, a talented boy. 
the pride of his father's heart, and the beloved of his company, was here, and included 
in this butchery." But the end was not yet. In about an honr the wounded were 
dragged out and butchered. Colonel Fannin was the last to suffer. "When informed of 
his fate he met it like a soldier. He handed his watch to the officer whose business it 
was to murder him, and requested him to have him shot in the breast and not in the 
head, and have him decently buried. With the perfidy of his race he did neither. 

The foregoing account of the battle of Coleta, and the massacre of Goliad, has 
been compiled from Yoakum's history of Texas (which the author says was founded on 
notes furnished by Dr. Shackelford himself), an article published by Dr. Barnard, and 
many conversations held by me with Dr. Shackelford after his return home. Santa 
Anna justified his action upon the ground that he did not know of the capitulation; and 
that there was a law of the Mexican Congress requiring the summary execution of 
every volunteer from the United States. The answer of General Houston to this 
excuse, when Santa Anna was captured and brought before him was, " You are a dic- 
tator, and responsible for this infamous law ;" and it was one which completely silenced 
him. 

But there is no doubt whatever of a capitulation. The detachment of Major Ward, 
when brought in as prisoners, stated that they surrendered upon the same terms that 
were granted to Colonel Fannin's command. The whole body of prisoners during the 
few days they were permitted to live, relied confidently on the promises made by the 
Mexicans. Colonel Portilla, commandant at Goliad, and a full-blooded Indian, on the 
evening of the massacre writes to General Urrea thus : "I feel much distressed at what 
has occurred here, a scene enacted in cold blood having passed before my eyes, which has 
filled me with horror." And General Urrea in his journal, which has been published, 
says : '■ Every soldier in my command was confounded at the news ; all was amazement 
and consternation. They certainly surrendered in the full confidence that Mexican 
generosity would not be sterile on their behalf. They assuredly did so, or otherwise 
they would have resisted to the last, and sold their lives as dearly as possible." 

Dr. Shackelford and the other surgeons were transferred to San Antonio, where 
they were detained for months. During this imprisonment, momentous events were 
occurring. The settlers were so alarmed at the atrocities of the enemy they fled 
from their homes, leaving nearly all their effects behind them. The Mexican armies 
covered the country. Texas was fortunate in having such a military commander as 
General Houston in this crisis. For myself, I confess I was surprised at the wisdom 
he displayed. I had known him when he was a young man in Franklin, Tenn., parad- 
ing the streets of a summer evening on a fine horse, dressed with barbaric splendor, 
courting notoriety, aud showing every symptom of a frivolous nature. In sparing the 
life of Santa Anna he exhibited great self-control and discretion, looking calmly on 
the question as one of public policy, while a tornado of popular indignation was sweep- 
ing over Texas. 

At length Drs. Shackelford and Barnard managed to procure arms and horses and 
make their escape. They traveled all night and secreted themselves during the day; 
next night they did the same, and considering themselves safe from pursuit, they ap- 
proached a deserted house, and entering it, found everything just as if the family 
had left the moment before. The Bible was on the table, there was bedding, and 
meal in the barrel. They shot a fat heifer, and during that day and night ate 
and slept and recovered from their fatigue. On his return, Dr. Shackelford wrote from 
New Orleans to inform his family that he was still alive and on his way home. 

Short as was the notice, Courtland was full of friends, come to welcome the gallant 
man to his home. A lady who was present, informed me that his excellent wife, who 
had suffered so long and so acutely, received him (on her knees, with tears streaming 
down her face aud with outstretched arms,) as one raised from the dead. Some time 
before, solemn funeral services had been held over the dead of the " Red Rovers." and 



212- Early Settlers of Alabama. 

he was numbered amongst them, and a wooden cenotaph erected intended to preserve 
the names of the massacred until a durable monument was raised. This has mouldered 
into dust, but I will here insert aroll of these heroic young men who perished in defence 
of Texan liberty : 

Captain Shackelford's Company of Alabama Volunteers. 

Officers — Jack Shackelford, captain; Win. Horton Francis, lieutenant; Fortu- 
natusG. Shackelford, orderly; J, D. Hamilton, A. J. Foley and C. M. Short, sergeants ; 
H. H. Bentley, J. H. Barclay, D. Moore and A. Winters, corporals. 

Privates — T. H. Anderson, J. N. Burnhill, Cantwell, Seth Clark, D. Gamble, 

Samuel Farley, John H. Miller, H. W. Jones, E. Burbridge, James Vaughan, G. L- 
Davis, Harvey Cox, M. C. Garner, J. E. Ellis, Charles McKinley, John Jackson, Wm. 
Quinn, F. W. Savage, W. C. Douglas, L. M. Brooks, J. W. Duncan, Alfred Dorsey, J- 
E. Grimes, Joseph Fenner, J. N. Seaton, John Kelly, A. Dickson, Joseph Blackwell- 
Wm. Gunter, J. G. Coe, Wm. Simpson, Robert Fenner, James Wilder, John N. Jack- 
son, D. Cooper, W. E. Vaughan, John Hvser, F. T. Burts, B. Strunk, H. D. Day, J- 
W. Cain, E. B. Franklin, R. T. Davidson, 'Daniel A. Murdock, Wm. Hemphill, G. W. 
Brooks, Wm. S. Shackelford, J. G. Ferguson, H. L. Douglas, Robert Wilson. 

Of these all were massacred but eight — Dr. Shackelford, because he was a phy- 
sician; L. M. Brooks, G. W. Brooks, W. Simpson, D. Cooper and Isaac D. Hamilton, 
who escaped after the first volley by swimming the river (Isaac Hamilton had a deep 
flesh wound in the thigh and yet saved his life), and W. H. Francis and Joseph 
Fenner, who were detailed on Colonel Horton's advance guard and cut off from the 
main body by Urrea's army. 

There were persons in our community who, after the tragic conclusion of this expe- 
dition to Texas, severely criticised it as unjustifiable and fruitless. Suffer me to make 
a few sober comments on each bi'anch of this proposition in vindication of the memory 
of one of the dearest and best friends 1 ever had. When our people began to colonize 
Texas, Mexico was independent of Spanish domination, and enjoyed freedom under the 
Constitution of 1824, modeled after that of the United States. Texas was united to 
Coahuila, because not strong enough to form a State, but the promise in the law was 
that she should be made a separate State as soon as she had the elements for it. Even 
in our country, our State or local government has always been ' regarded as the best 
security for personal rights ; and here we have a homogeneous people ; how much more, 
then, was it required in Mexico, where the masses differed from our colonists in 
race, language and religion. The stronger Texas became in the attributes required, the 
more persistently did Mexico deny her the privilege of separate local government. 
Wrong after wrong was perpetrated upon them. At first, land grants were made to 
Austin Edwards and many others with the purpose of having these settled with Amer- 
icans. In a few years they prohibited, bylaw, the settlement of emigrants from the 
United States. Then large grants to Americans were demanded, by executive decree, 
without a resort to the courts of the country — then there was a law for virtually dis- 
arming the population ; then a commander-general was sent into the State invested with 
civil and military power, and to complete the list of outrages, on the 3d of October, 
1835, the destruction of the Federal Constitution of Mexico was consummated by the 
abolition of the State Legislature ; and that which was a republic when settled by the 
Americans, became a consolidated despotism. We think we had wrongs when our inde- 
pendence was declared in 1776 ; but those of Texas exceeded them, as much as the 
Mexican exceeded the British people in tyranny and barbarity. No wonder that a peo- 
ple who had breathed the air of freedom from infancy should have declared their inde- 
pendence. The flag of the Lone Star was a tacit appeal to their friends in our republic 
for aid in this emergency. The appeal met with a prompt response in the hearts of 
many of our noblest men. The United States was at peace with Mexico, and according 
to the laws of nations could not properly interfere in the contest then looming up. But 
individuals were free to give their aid to the Texas cause, as Lafayette, DeKalb and 



Recollections of North Alabama. 213 

others did to us in our Revolutionary struggle ; and the opinion of the civilized world 
not only justifies it, but in such eases invests the act with a higher degree of chivalry 
than when one defends his own country, because it is disinterested, and a sacrifice 
offered upon the altar of Liberty for its own sake. 

But was the expedition to Texas fruitless? As unfortunate as it was, it bore fruits 
which contributed more to the Texas cause than any other during the war. These massa- 
cres when first announced, caused a feeling of sorrow in all civilized people. But the 
reaction was tremendous; and such was the indignation, that volunteers rushed to 
the aid of Texas so fast, that the number had to be limited by requiring passports from 
the territorial agent at New Orleans. General Jackson, then President, whose bosom 
was as full of wrath as the crater of a volcano about to blaze up is of melted lava, 
issued an equivocal order to General Gaines, then commanding on our western border, 
who instanter, marched fourteen companies of regulars to the Sabine, and sent a messen- 
ger to the Indians (who were about to march to Texas), who prevailed on them to remain 
at home. They accomplished the recognition of Texan Independence by the United 
States, long before they actually achieved it, and the tidal wave of indignation, crossing 
the Atlantic, caused the example to be followed by England and France. 

Doctor Shackelford, after his return from Texas, resumed the practice of his pro- 
fession. His estimable wife died in Courtland in 1842. After some years he married 
Mrs. Martha Chardavoyne, the widow of Win. V. Chardavoyne, and the mother of Major 
Wm. V. Chardavoyne. Cheered by the society of this accomplished and excellent lady, 
the doctor lived until January 27, 1857. His wife survived him many years. 

Dr. Shackelford, was natural and unaffected in his manners. He was a charm- 
ing companion. He had a strong mmd, well stored with information, and a large 
fund of anecdotes (and, having histrionic powers which would have made his fortune in one 
profession) he told them better than any man who ever was in the State, except Baldwin, 
author of "Plush Times in Alabama." He was a member of the Methodist church, 
and a sincere and humble Christian. It is true, he never carried a long, sanctimonious 
face. These are the mere shells of piety. But, judged by his fruits, he was one of the 
best men I ever knew. With a most sympathetic heart he relieved suffering wherever 
he found it, without distinction of color, to the best of his personal ability, and the ex- 
tent of his fortune. He had unbounded hospitality. To the young disciple who had 
pursued his weary way until he was oppresed with home sickness, he not only "gave a 
cup of cold water" but every comfort of his house, and made him feel completely at 
home ; so that he took fresh courage and went on his way reinvigorated. I never knew a 
man in my long pilgrimage, more beloved, than Dr. Jack Shackelford. 

By his first marriage, Dr. Shackelford had four children, to-wit: Fortunatus S., 
who was massacreed at Goliad. 2. Samuel W., who married first Margaret McMahon, 
who lived but a short time. He then married Addie, daughter of Colonel Benjamin 
Sherrod. They have two children — Jack, a young man of much energy, and May, 
a young lady of many accomplishments. 3. Harriett C, married John J. McMahon. 
They have four children : Fortunatus S. S., a physician of eminence in Courtland. He 
followed the fortunes of the Confederate cause, during the civil war, from the disaster 
at Fishing Creek to the surrender; as will be seen in our previous numbers; Dr. W. 
Jack, surgeon C. S. A. married Miss Cutter, of New Orleans, and has several children, 
His army career has already been noticed. Robert, who was abrave soldier also ; and Lil- 
lie, a young lady of beauty and merit living with her mother, who is a widow (her husband 
having died in 1857). The fourth child of Dr. Shackelford was Edward P., a skilful 
man of business in Courtland who died some years ago. He married Caroline Watkins, 
and their children are Frank W., Harriet C, and Elizabeth, all young. 

Mcriahon Family. 

In 1828, John J. McMahon was sent to Courtland by Andrew Bierne to supply the 
place in his mercantile concern there of a son who became a lunatic, and had been sent 



214 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

to a hospital in Philadelphia. The new firm was called "Bierne & McMahon," and con- 
tinued prosperously for many years. During this time he married Harriet C. Shakel- 
ford (as we have mentioned above). Some ten years after he came to Courtland, Wm'. 
McMahon, his father, moved his family from Harrisonburg, Va., to a plantation north 
of Courtland. He and his wife were then quite old, but they lived long enough to be 
known as most estimable people ; indeed, the family of McMahons were distinguished 
for courtesy, amiability and integrity. They had numerous progency, to-wit: John J., 
above mentioned ; became a commission merchant in New Orleans, and enjoyed the 
confidence of his customers to a remarkable degree. Charles, who never married, died 
in Gainesville, Ala. William P., who married Laura Chaffee, and practised law in 
Courtland for many years. Their children (after their death), moved to South Carolina 
and Mississippi. Mary, who married Oscar Cravens, a physician of culture, in Court- 
land for many years. Robert G. , who moved to Gainesville and married the widow of L. 
Branch Fawcett (who once lived in Courtland as book-keeper for Bierne & McMahon). 
They are both dead. She was born Elizabeth R. C. Scott, daughter of Gen. John 
Baytop Scott, who died in Virginia in 1813. (See Scott family.) Mrs. McMahon's first 
husband was Dr. T. D. Bell, by whom were several children, and also three daughters by 
McMahon's marriage (none living by the Fawcett marriage). C. Waterman, who mar- 
ried Jane, daughter of Prof. James Jackson, of Franklin College, Georgia; Margaret, 
first wife of Samuel W. Shackelford, above mentioned ; Ethelbert S. (Bert), a bachelor, 
still living, and Paxton, who died in Gainesville in his youth. 

Among the physicians of Courtland were Dr. Booth, Dr. Young A. Grey, Dr. George 
L. Rrousseau, 1825 ; Dr. Thomas A. Watkins, who formed partnership with Dr. Jack 
Shakelford in 1832. Drs. Booth and Rousseau moved away. After that, Dr. James E. 
Wyche, 1825; Dr. Robert Martin, Dr. Hayne (1827), of Virginia, friend of Andrew 
Bierne; Dr. Milligen, 1832; Dr. Baxter, about 1836 ; Dr. Harper, and Dr. King, about 
1840— (Dr. Watkins.). 

Dr. Thomas A. Watkins, 

born a descendant of Thomas Watkins, of Chickahominy, came to Courtland in 1825. 
He had graduated at the University of Georgia, and had his diploma as a physician from 
a school at Philadelphia. He had a good person, hazel eyes and a dark complexion. 
His manners were dignified and rather cold, and not calculated to ingratiate him with 
the people ; therefore, it was some time before he achieved a good practice. In 
the meantime, he had a drugstore in which he had invested his slender patrimony 
which sustained him during the first years of practice. But as he became better 
known his practice increased until he occupied a place in the front rank of our physicians. 
He agreed with Dr. Shackelford in his medical theories, and they practised together as 
partners fo many years. 

At length Dr. Watkins finding himself in a condition which justified it, married 
into the family of Wm. Fitzgerald. He had come from Botetourt county, Va., with a 
small colony of friends ; his brother. Freeman Fitzgerald, who lived at Rocky Hill, 
(which has been the home of the writer for the last fifty years) ; Littleberry Jones, who 
married a sister of the Fitzgeralds, and built the brick house now occupied by Harvey 
Gilchrist, and Wm. Booth, Sr., the first occupant of the place where Geo. Garth now 
lives. After the lapse of some ten or twelve years, they were struck by a Florida boom 
and moved away, except Wm. Fitzgerald. He had married in Virginia long since his 
cousin, Letty Williams, and when he came to Alabama he was past middle age, but still 
very fond of young people. In the deer hunts, so common at that day, he was an 
efficient hand, but as he was fat he was' always indulged with a stand, and he was a dead 
shot. Moreover he would keep his stand until he was called off, as faithfully as a 
soldier would keep his watch. He would find a log to sit upon, and the deer might be 
driven by the hounds into the Tennessee river, and hours might transpire, yet when 
relieved he would be found in the same position. Like a centaur he had grown to his 
log. He and his wife had no ambition, except to entertain their friends and to make 
them happy. It was an old Virginia home transplanted from the foot hills of the Blue 



Recollections of North Alabama. 215 

Ridge to the valley of the Tennessee. The young people were always welcome, and 
would not hesitate to make up parties to invade this hospitable dwelling whose doors 
were always wide open, and here without any restraint, they would divide tap into com- 
mittees of two, in which momentous questions as to the future would be determined. 
How well I remember " Aunt Letty," with a cap on her head (not a mere pretence no 
longer than your hand, set on the back of it), a real cap, as white as snow, fitting closely 
around her face, and furnishing a lovely frame for a countenance once beautiful, still ' 
sweet, and wonderfully expressive of the kindness and sympathy of her disposition. 

The home of the two old people is now called " Ingleside." It was to this home, 
years after, that Orrin Davis brought from Providence, R. I., his bride, Hannah Chaffee, 
of queenly beauty and with a voice unsurpassed in sweetness and compass. And here re- 
side now J. J. Barclay and his wife, once Decima Campbell. If they only belonged to 
" old times," it would delight me to tell in detail how his ancestor, Robert Barclay, con- 
sul-general to the Barbary States, in the days of Washington, by his indignant protests 
was the inspiration which sent our navy to teach these " pirates," who had thousands of 
our people in slavery, a wholesome respect for an American citizen ; and I should like 
also to give the reasons why, irrespective of sects, every Protestant Christian should 
revere the name of her father, Dr. Alexander Campbell. During these three generations 
of owners and occupants, "Ingleside," in its quiet beauty, has been a favorite seat of 
the genius of hospitality. 

William Fitzgerald and his wife were childless, and they adopted an orphan nephew, 
William Fitzgerald who married a Miss Bledsoe, and his sister, Sarah Epos Fitzgerald, 
who married Dr. Watkins, the subject of this sketch. He remained in the county until 
he had accumulated sufficient capital, and then moved to the State of Mississippi, where 
he amassed a large fortune. Here he lost his excellent wife, and met the inflictions of 
the civil war, which made wreck of his estate. His last years were spent in Austin, 
Texas, to which he moved in 1867, and died there in 1884. 

In the Austin Daily Statesman there is a truthful notice of him, from which I will 
quote a paragraph. " No ordinary man passed from the stage of action when Dr. Wat 
kins died. He had played a prominent and useful part in the drama of life, and died at 
the ripe age of eighty-two, beloved and respected by a host of friends. He was a man 
of the most varied and accurate scholarship — possessing a fund of knowledge on almost 
every subject. He was kind, generous and hospitable, and ever the first to seek out and 
welcome strangers." 

One quality of his heart was gratitude. When I commenced' these memoirs he 
wrote me the names of two friends who had aided him financially when he became em- 
barrassed in carrying on his drug business, and requested me to notice them par- 
ticularly in my articles. More than fifty years had elapsed, and yet the remembrance of 
the favors was as vivid as if " graven with the point of a diamond." 

He was born in Georgia, and his attachment to his native State, her people, her 
traditions and her politics was wonderful. He had lived in Alabama, Mississippi and 
Texas, and loved them all, but he adored Georgia, and knew every fact of her history by 
heart. He was the most striking illustration of the English doctrine of "perpetual 
allegiance " I ever saw. He dressed neatly but plainly, and seemed to have no personal ' 
pride, but he was a born aristocrat, and proud of his family descent and connections, and 
when I shall have briefly sketched them, you will see that he had reason. 

On the paternal side, his father, George, was a lawyer of good standing, for he, and 
his brother, Robert Watkins, were selected to make the first digest of the laws of Georgia, 
His father married a daughter of Joel Early, and sister of Gov. Peter Early — Charles 
Matthews, a son of Gen. George Matthews, married also a sister of Gov. Peter Early — 
George Matthews, a son of Charles Matthews, married a sister of Dr. Watkins — Judge 
Junius Hiller married another sister — and a Mr. Todd, yet another sister, Thomas Wat- 
kins, grandfather of Dr. Watkins, married a sister of Gov. George Walton, one of the 
signers of the Declaration of Indendenee, and so on. My readers can see by glancing 
over this network of marriages that the doctor was closely allied to three of the most 
distinguished families of Georgia: the Earlys, Matthews and Waltons. 



216 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

Dr. Thomas A. Watkins, had but two children, Letitia A., born 1835, and Mary 
Early. 

Major W. M. Walton married (1854) Letitia A. He was a grandson (his father, 
Samuel) of Mr. George Walton, who came from Georgia, at an early day, and settled in 
this county near Town creek. Major Walton, now lives near Austin, Tex., and is 
a distinguished lawyer in full practice. He was a brave soldier and served during 
the civil war in such a way as to command the favor of the Texans who elected him 
Attorney General. But this was in the days of the "captivity," and Reynolds, 
the military Governor, removed Major Walton ; a strong proof of his merit and his 
devotion to his people. Their children are : (1) Newton S., born in 1855, and now a 
partner with his father in the practice of the law. He married Annie Hicks, of Jackson, 
Tenn. They have two children, both quite young: Ethel Early, and Wm. Hicks. (2) 
Early Watkins Walton, M. D., unmarried. (3) George Longstreet Walton, one of the 
most prominent young men of his day, who was shot in 1836 by a pistol ball, fired at 
random, by an intoxicated young man at a Christmas tree, which caused his death; 
and (4) Sarah Walton, who is unmarried. 

The other daughter of Dr. Watkins was Mary Early, born 1844, who married, in 
1863. Jefferson H. McLemore, who now lives near Waco, Tex. They never had any 
children. 

Dr. Watkins died, 1884. He also wrote a manuscript of the old settlers of Georgia, 
of his own day, says Major Walton. 

Of the Early family I shall speak in the next number, in connection with that of 
Col. Richard Jones. The family of Matthews in Georgia, descended from Gen. George 
Matthews, who was born near Staunton, Va., a brave officer of the Revolutionary war, 
a member of Congress from Georgia, and also Governor of that State. He fought the 
Indians from his boyhood up. " In 1761, a family not far from his father's residence 
was massacred. He and twp or three youths, supposing from the firing that there was 
a shooting match at the place, went to join in the sport. Upon riding up they saw the 
dead bodies lying in the yard. Perceiving at once their mistake, they turned their 
horses and fled. The Indians rose from their concealment and fired their rifles at them, 
as they passed in full speed. A ball grazed the head of George Matthews, so as to cut 
off his cue. Stimulated by the danger he had escaped, and the murder of his neighbors, 
he collected a party, put himself at their head, pursued the Indians, overtook them and 
killed nine." In 1774, in the great battle with the Indians under Logan, " he com* 
manded a company and contributed much by his bravery and military skill to the victory 
gained by the Virginians. The fighting commenced at sunrise, and had continued with- 
out any decided advantage, until evening, when Captain Matthews, Captain Shelby,. and 
Captain Stewart withdrew, with their companies from the fighting, out of sight, got into 
the bed of Crooked creek, then low in water, and concealed by the banks, gained the 
rear of the Indians, and attacking them unexpectedly, drove them across the Ohio river." 
Colonel Matthews did good service under Washington at Brandywine. At the 
battle of Germantown he attacked the British troops opposite to him, pursued them tri- 
umphantly, and had just captured them, when he and his command became so 
embarrassed in a dense fog that in the confusion which followed he was attacked, 
knocked down, and a bayonet driven through his body. He was made prisoner, sent to 
the British prison ship in the harbor of New York, where he suffered many craelties, 
and was not exchanged until near the end of the war. Colonel Matthews then joined 
the army uuder General Green, in command of the Third Virginia regiment. 

He removed to Georgia in 1784, and settled on Broad river. General Matthews was 
a short thick man ; his features were full and bluff, his hair light red, and his complexion 
fair and florid. His looks spoke out that he would not fear the Devil should he meet 
him face to face. He talked often of himself and of his services to his country, and 
admitted no superior but General Washington. His dress was iu unison with 
his looks and conversation. He wore a three-cornered cocked hat, fair-top boots, a full 
ruffled shirt at bosom and wrists, and occasionally a long sword at his side. He was 



Recollections op North Alabama. 217 

unlearned, but his memory was uuequaled. While he was a member of Congress, an 
important document which had been read once was lost, and he was able to repeat its- 
contents verbatim. He knew all the officers of the Revolutionary army entitled to land,, 
and he acquired a very large estate principally by trafficking in bounty lands. 

His youngest son, Charles, as I have said,- married Lucy Early, and moved to South 
Alabama. His four sons, Joel, George, Thomas and Peter, were all men of great 
respectability and wealth. Joel was my college mate, and I knew him intimately. He- 
was a man of superior intellect and extensive information. He was the only Southern 
planter I ever knew who was a practical astronomer, and studied the heavens through a 
telescope. He had one of considerable power, selected for him by the great scientist,- 
Maury when he was in charge of the U. S. Observatory. The advance of this nation 
in the last one hundred years in scholastic acquirements could he well illustrated by 
two pictures, one of Joel Early Matthews at work with his telescope, and another of his 
successor, Gen. George Matthews, with his pen laboriously writing " coffee" " Kaugh- 
phy." But he was great without schooling, perhaps a greater man than any of his de- 
scendants. For the information respecting him I am indebted to that rare old book,. 
" Governor Gilmer's Georgians." Lucy! daughter of Joel E. Matthews, married Col. 
David S. Troy of Montgomery, and lived only a few months. (He married (II) Flor- 
ence L., daughter of Gov. Thos. H. Watts, of Montgomery.) 

Of the family in Georgia, the Honorable George Walton was head. Born in Frederick 
county, Va., 1740, and died in Augusta, Ga., 1804, Governor of Georgia, 1779, fought 
in Revolution. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, a mem- 
ber of the United States Senate. Mrs. Levert, of Mobile, was his granddaughter. She 
was an authoress, and in the firmament of society, shone as a star of the- 
first magnitude. In the city of Paris, on one occasion, the American minister pre- 
sented a celebrated French statesman to Mrs. Levert. After they resumed their 
seats, the Frenchman was informed that Mrs. Levert was a granddaughter of one of the 
signers of American Independence; he rose from his seat, with signs of deep emotion,, 
made her a profound bow, and resumed his seat without a word. This silent 
bow was an eloquent tribute to her ancestor. She was unaffectedly kind and affeetionate- 
in her intercourse with her neighbors. One always left her company feeling better and 
thinking more of himself than he did before. She was an optimist, always looked on 
the bright side of things, and never spoke evil of other women. If this was not that 
charity spoken of in the good book, it was " one floweret of Eden left since the fall,' r 
and should be cultivated by every one. I am not traveling " out of the record " in say- 
ing so much of Mrs. Levert, for her husband, Dr. Henry S. Levert, was a resident of 
Lawrence county for several years, while a student of medicine. He made his home 
with an uncle of mine within sight of where I pen these lines, and taught a classical 
school that he might perfect his professional education — and he left many dear friends 
behind him. After more than twenty years I found him in the city of Mobile, in the front 
rank of physicians, contending for supremacy with such men as Dr. Nott and others ,- 
and I was gratified to learn that he cherished a lively remembrance of the friends of his- 
early days. Mrs. Levert, once Octavia Walton, must have had a substratum of good' 
common ' sense, to have selected so solid a man as Dr. Levert from a crowd of suchi 
frivolous suitors as contended for the hand of the Pensacola belle. 

Col. Richard Jones 

was born in Cumberland county, Va., on the 29th of June, 1773. His father was 
Harrison Jones, who after being engaged to be married to Anne Ligon of the same- 
State, joined the army as a soldier of the Revolution, and lost a leg at the battle of" 
Guilford C. H. On his return home she did not refuse to perform her part of the con- 
tract, although there had been a "partial failure of consideration." He was true to 
his country, and she was true to her lover, and I consider it good sound stock to start 
with. Colonel Jones was the youngest of seven children, all sons, and they have all 
passed from earth. The Hon. Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, a member of the Con-- 



218 Early Settleks of Alabama. 

federate Cabinet of Mr. Davis, married a daughter of Peyton, the elder brother" of 
Colonel Jones. 

Colonel Jones graduated at the University of Georgia, in 1812, with the first honors. 
The war with Great Britain commenced the same year, and young Jones volunteered 
and served as a soldier, and on his return home he began the study of law in 
the office of Gov. Peter Early. He married Lucy Early (born in Washington, Wilkes 
county, Ga., 18th October, 1799), daughter of the governor, and without a sketch of 
this gentleman, the family history would be incomplete. 

It is furnished in the most authentic form in " The Bench and Bar of Georgia," a 
book written by Stephen P. Miller, Esq., the last twenty years of whose life was spent 
in Tuscaloosa, where he was the able editor of the independent Monitor. He says : 
" Peter Early was born in June, 1773, in Madison county, Virginia, and migrated with 
his father, Joel Early and family, about the year 1795 to the county of Green, State of 
Georgia. After the usual preparation, he entered Nassau Hall, at Princeton, N. J., and 
in due time received its academic honors, as a regular graduate. Prom this institution he 
passed into the office of Mr. Ingersoll, an eminent counsellor of the Philadelphia bar, 
where he had the benefit of a protracted apprenticeship as a student of law. With the 
advantages of such a course of study, it cannot be a matter of wonder, that Mr. Early' s 
first appearance in the courts of Georgia, should have made a most favorable impression. 
His voice and elocution were admirable, and his manners at once dignified and gentle, 
secured the esteem and favor (not less of the multitude) than of his associates of the 
bar." 

" Though he entered on his professional career with such bright prospects, in pursuit 
of fame and fortune, he had to encouuter competitors who put his great resources to 
frequent and severe trials. Among these were Carnes, Dooley, Griffin and William H. 
Crawford of the Western, and Robert Watkins, George Walker and John E. Anderson 
of the Middle circuit. The three gentlemen last mentioned, were eminently distinguished, 
for genius and eloquence." 

" He had not been many years at the bar before popular opinion began to point him 
out for the public service. His election to Congress was carried by a majority of votes 
seldom equalled in this or any other State." 

Amongst the notable transactions in which he bore a leading part was the impeach- 
ment of Samuel Chase, one of the judges of the Supreme Court of the United States. 
"He was an ultra Federalist, and in presiding at the trial of more than one case of 
breaches of the Alien and Sedition laws, he incurred the suspicion of gross and vindic- 
tive bias against the prisoners. Public indignation rose to such a pitch that nothing 
could satisfy it but the impeachment of the judge. The House of Representatives had 
appointed a committee to conduct the prosecution — one of which was Mr. Early. John 
Randolph, of Roanoke, and four or five members of high rank, were on the committee, 
and took part in the discussion before the court. It has been said, however, that in force 
and true forensic eloquence, the argument delivered by Mr. Early was decidedly the 
best. Aaron Burr, then Vice President of the United States, presided, with austere 
dignity peculiar to the man." The foregoing account of Governor Early, to be fouud in 
Vol. 1, page 345, was furnished by Hon. Joel Crawford. 

Judge Strong, the " Nestor of the Georgia bar," furnishes another. "Mr. Early 
was present at the great congressional debate on the reception of Jay's treaty, and 
heard that wonderful and last speech of the great orator, Fisher Ames, and saw him fall and 
borne from the Hall of the House of Representatives. Never shall I forget his bright 
tearful eyes, as he portrayed that overwhelming scene. That unsurpassed speech of 
Mr. Ames so completely overwhelmed the whole house and audience, that Mr. Giles, of 
Virginia, rose, and said it was easy to see that the members were too much excited and 
agitated to vote considerately, and therefore be moved an adjournment. Having finished 
his legal course of study, Mr. Early came to the bar fully prepared. To all these ad- 
vantages was added a clear, strong, discriminating mind, wonderfully endowed with the 
power of analysis and condensation. He seldom spoke more than twenty or thirty 



Recollections of North Alabama. 219 

minutes. To all these was added a fine form. He had square shoulders and well pro- 
portioned, fair and healthful complexion, light brown hair, and penetrating blue eyes, 
of deportment, voice and manner, which proclaimed to all who saw him', that he was a 
man. His voice was full and somewhat authoritative. No wonder then , that in one 
year he was in the front rank of the bar ; and in two years at the head. He was truly 
a noble, honest man, warm friend, and always inflexible in the cause of truth, virtue 
and justice" (Vol. 2, page 285). 

_ Mr. Early, when he retired from Congress, was elected judge of the Oemulgee Cir- 
cuit, the boundaries of which were extended to include the county of Greene, in 
which was his residence ; and he had no opposition. He continued "to discharge the 
duties with distinguished ability for some years. In Georgia, then, there was no Su- 
preme Court, and the decisions of a circuit judge were final. For this reason a judge 
rarely retired from the bench without being very unpopular. But Judge Early had the 
gratification to know that he possessed the confidence of all classes up to the day of his 
retirement. . 

One very peculiar case arose in his court. A woman was indicted as " a common 
scold " under the Common Law; which affixes the penalty of ducking to the offence. Her 
counsel contended that the law was obsolete. The prosecuting attorney insisted that it 
was still the law of Georgia, unless they could show an act repealing it. The members 
of the bar knowing the inflexibility of Judge Early were curious to know how he could 
escape from the dilemma, but he made no attempt. He pronounced judgment 
against the woman, and after he adjourned this court, and was on his way to the next 
one, it was executed. On the day fixed there was an immense crowd of witnesses. The 
sheriff took the culprit in a sulky into a deep hole in a creek and ducked her three times. 
Two of these duckings were said to be extra-judicial, but the whole country-side was 
against the woman, and as long as she came up out of the water scolding he was per- 
suaded to duck her, on the ground that the punishment should be infiicted " pro re nata." 
This is the last time this law was enforced in Georgia. It may have been repealed, 
or as it became known, in two days, in every log cabin in Georgia, the rigorous punish- 
ment may have put an end to the practice of scolding amongst the Georgia woman. The 
latter is the most probable, for I believe the Georgia women never scold. L have had 
one of them for sixty-two years, and she does not even know how to scold ! 

In 1813 Judge Early was elected Governor of Georgia. The country was engaged 
in a war with Great Britain, and every requisition made, by the United States govern- 
ment on the State was promptly filled. He died 1819. 

When quite a young man, Governor Early married Miss Smith, of Wilkes county, 
sister of Colonel — afterward General — Thomas A. Smith, of the United States army. 
This General Smith married Cynthia Barry White, a sister of Hugh Lawson White, the 
great Tennessee statesman, who was a candidate for the Presidency. 

Governor Early's children were, Lucy, wife of Colonel Richard Jones, Cynthia, 
wife of Mr. John M. Swoope, and several sons. 

Colonel Jones practiced law in Georgia for about seven years with much success ; 
but when the great exodus to North Alabama occurred, he moved to this county in 1822, 
and settled a cotton plantation west of Town creek. In 1829 he sold this place and pur- 
chased a much larger one, east of Courtland. He conducted his cotton planting with 
such judgment and force that his estate, from a moderate beginning, grew very great, 
and he was one of the three men in our county who accumulated the largest landed 
estates. Colonel Jones, with his talents and industry, would certainly have risen to dis- 
tinction at the bar. 

He died on the 3d of February, 1883, having attained the age of 89 years and 6 
months. His wife had departed a few years before him, on the 31st of October, 1869. 
He not only loved his wife, but admired her ; to use his own language in a letter 
received from him, " she was a superior woman in every respect." Up to the time of 
his death his fine form was unbent by age, for he mounted his horse every morning and 
exercised it ; his mind seemed as bright as when I first saw him more than sixty years 



220 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

ago, as lie never suffered it to rust, and his affections kept warm by the sympathies of 
his children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors, made him welcome to every company 
he entered. 

He had but two children, Thomas and Ella. Thomas was educated for the bar, but 
his large landed estate has monopolized his attention. He has always been distinguished 
for his devotion to his family, his father, mother, sister and her interesting family of 
children. In his early life there was a romance, and he remained single until he 
arrived at middle age — he then married its object, Mrs. Sarah Pointer, who lived but a 
short time. 

Ella Jones had superior advantages not only in school, but in the society of a 
mother who, inheriting a mind of uncommon strength, and being an invalid and con- 
fined to her room nearly all the days of her married life, found her chief amusement in 
books. Ella was greatly indulged by her father. He and his neighbor, Robert King, 
visited Huutsville once when their daughters were there at school, and boarding with 
Colonel Bradford. King had been making some money, arrangements for his daughter, 
when Bradford turned to Colonel Jones and said: "And now, Colonel, what can I do 
for Miss Ella? His answer was, "Anything she wishes. If she requires you to have 
the court house moved, have it done and draw on me for the expense." It is a wonder 
she was not spoiled beyond redemption, but she was no parvenu; belonged to 
a family which had been rich for generations ; and had been taught by an intellectual 
mother to value other things more than diamonds and ball dresses. Ella Jones, when 
very young, married Benjamin Sherrod, grandson of Col. Benjamin Sherrod, the 
wealthiest man in our county, but he died in a short time, and she was left a blooming 
young widow. 

And, now, indulge me in an episode, which happened at the house of Colonel JoDes 
during the late war, and which has not been recorded in history. When Rosencrans, 
with a large Federal army occupied Chattanooga, Major General Joseph Wheeler made 
a raid in his rear, to cut off his supplies, which had to be hauled in wagons across the 
mountains. This was a raid, indeed. General Stuart's raid around McClellan's army 
has been immortalized by the genius of J. Esten Cooke, but that was nothing compared 
to Wheeler's. That was for only two days, Wheeler's continued for forty. That was 
only to gain information ; Wheeler's, for material destruction. Stuart had only the 
narrow Chickahominy behind him ; Wheeler had the broad Tennessee between his force 
and the Confederate army. Stuart's was barren of material results, but Wheeler's cut 
off the supplies of the Federals, until, in the language of their great historian, Draper, 
" distress began to reign in their camps — the auimals of the trains starved — until there 
were not artillery horses enough to take a battery into action — and it became doubtful 
whether the National army could hold Chattanooga much longer." Stuart had one 
initial skirmish ; Wheeler had repeated conflicts with the Federal cavalry, and when in 
number about 13,000 tbey pressed upon his small force in his retreat, for some days he 
had to repulse them from nearly every hilltop until he forded the Tennessee river. But 
he effected the crossing safely, and made his headquarters in the house of Colonel 
Jones ; and it was here the event happened to which I have alluded, and that was : Gen- 
eral Wheeler being taken prisoner, not by the enemy, but by the charming young widow 
I have mentioned. 

This capture resulted in the marriage of General Wheeler to Mrs. Ella Sherrod. 
He was born in Augusta, Ga., on September 10, 1836. Graduated at West Point 
Military Academy in 1859. When his native State seceded he resigned his commission 
in the United States army, and served during the war, and from a lienteuantcy 
rose to the rank of lieutenant general, and that before he reached the age of twenty- 
eight years. To attempt merely a sketch of his military career would trench on the 
domain of public history, and consume more space than could be spared in these unpre- 
tending articles. He has for some years represented this Eighth Congressional District 
in Congress, and, to use a term from the cavalry, " he is firmly seated in the saddle." 



Recollections op North Alabama. 221 

Their children are Lucy Louise, Annie Early, Julia Knox, Joseph, Carrie Peyton, 
and Tom Fenwicke.*' 

Hon. David Q. Ligon 

came to Courtland from Virginia in 1823. He and Rev. John L. Townes were near of 
kin, being sons of two sisters of the Leigh family ; and this gave him a passport at once 
into the best society. He had a fine person, was about six feet high, had dark hair and 
deep blue eyes. In manners he was remarkably social and popular, and soon had many 
friends. He had been thoroughly educated, and was master of the English language; 
indeed, in pronunciation and style, he was fastidious. He made a fair start in his pro- 
fession, considering the fact that Arthur F. Hopkins and John J. Ormand, the two great 
leaders at the bar, had monopolized the best business. But young Ligon was so dis- 
tinguished by the splendor of his imagination that he forced himself into public notice. 
He was more brilliant than Henry S. Foote (who then lived in Courtland, but after two 
years residence, despaired of success, and removed to Mississippi, where he came to the 
front as a popular speaker and a politician). 

Mr. Ligon had fine colloquial powers, and no matter where he was, in a select com- 
pany or in a crowd, in a store or on the pavement, his language was choice, and the 
finest gems of thought were lavishly expended, without reference to the capacity of his 
auditors. I have seen him surrounded by men who had never advanced farther than 
"crucifix" in Webster's spelling book, who seemed to be delighted — I suppose by the 
jingle of his conversation. He was noted for good nature ; had fine powers of repartee, 
and they were not exercised sarcastically but humorously. I never knew him silenced 
and left without an answer, but once. He was defending a horse thief who was found 
guilty by the jury, and sentenced by the judge to receive thirty-nine lashes on his bare 
back, the next day at 10 o'clock a. m. Mr. Ligon entered a motion for a new trial, and 
next morning, on the opening of court, he commenced his argument. He had gotten 
to the most cogent part of it, when he observed a titter run around the court room. He 
paused, and heard the sheriff whipping his client, and then sat down without saying a 
word, completely silenced, amidst the laughter of court, bar and spectators. 

Mr. Ligon' s first effort for political advancement was in 1828 when he was a candi- 
date for the House of Representatives in the State Legislature. I was then living in 
Moulton, and the night of the election, while the returns were coming in from the pre*- 
cincts, I happened to be in the court house. When it became certain that Mr. Ligon 
had been beaten, some person in the crowd called on him for a speech. I never heard 
anything from him, before or after, so well conceived, in such graceful, faultless lan- 
guage, so flattering to his friends and so disarming to 'his enemies. I think this speech 
elected him in 1829. 

And now follows a barren stretch of nearly ten years in the history of Mr. Ligon. 
He became intemperate, and no wonder ; the social qualities of this spoilt child of 
genius were so great, that he was welcome in every company, and sometimes even 
dragged from home to give life to a little party of friends. The consequence was he lost 
his practice and became very poor. He imagined that the fault was in the place, and 
moved to Moulton and staid there awhile ; he returned to Courtland and remained there 
awhile ; thence to Decatur where he ran a newspaper ; and then finding that the 
fault was not in the place but in himself, he returned to Moulton and reformed his 
habits, a. year or two before the great Harrison campaign of 1840. His body and mind 
soon recovered their strength and elasticity ; and during this contest, which lasted for 
months, he delivered some of the ablest and most brilliant speeches of his life. He was 
always a decided Whig. 

In 1842 he became a member of the Christian (commonly called Campbellite) 
Church, and after a few years commenced preaching. This confirmed his reformation. 
Before he became a member of the church he was somewhat unstable ; often he attempted 
to reform, but afterward, with its restraints and friendly bands thrown around him, he 

Note. — Mrs. Wheeler died in 1895, and the young son, Thomas Fenwicke, was drowned in 1898, 
while his father was the hero of the Cuban war. 



222 Eakia 7 Settlers of Alabama. 

advanced rapidly in reputation. He practised law for several years in partnership with 
Judge Thomas M. Peters. In 1845 he was elected Chancellor of the Northern Division 
over his competitors, Alexander Bowie and T. W. Woodward. 

In 1848 he published a book entitled "Digested Index of the Supreme Court of 
Alabama, in Chancery Cases, from 1820 to 1847." It was found useful to the profes- 
sion, and a second edition was soon called for. — (Brewer's Alabama.) 

Chancellor Ligon was a candidate for Congress in opposition to Mr. Hubbard in 
1849. Ligon was beaten, but Hubbard found him a troublesome antagonist. It was a 
lively canvass, and it was then that Ligon much disconcerted Hubbard with one of his 
repartees. Hubbard took occasion in his speech to answer the charge of speculating in 
lands, and being sharp thereat. He confessed it, and said it was the bad laws which 
enabled him to do it, but that he knew their defects and wished to go to Congress to 
correct them. In reply Ligon said it was the first time he had ever heard it suggested 
that the " bell cow" should be sent to put up the fence. 

In 1851 Chancellor Ligon was elected Associate Judge of the Supreme Court, 
beating John D. Phelan, a Democrat of ability and popularity, before a Democratic 
Legislature. Garrett, in his " Public Men of Alabama," says: " Upon the reorganiza- 
tion of the court in 1853 he declined a re-election. He sustained himself pretty well as 
a Chancellor, but it was doubted by many whether his legal learning and early training 
had been equal to the task and responsibilities of a Supreme Court Judge. Be this as 
it may, his declension of a continuance upon the bench, after a trial of two years was 
generally appreciated as an act of good taste." The criticism was just, but who can tell 
how it would have been if so many years of Judge Ligon' s life had not been wasted? 
If through life, he had steadily persevered in a course of temperance and industry, with 
his fine constitution unimpaired and his mind " going on from strength to strength," I 
think he might have lived to extreme old age, and been well fitted for any department of 
service in the State. 

In 1854 he was elected trustee of the State University; and on the 21st of January, 
1855, departed this life. While preaching in the Christian Church, at Moult on, he 
was seized with appoplexy, and died almost immediately. 

His father was William Ligon, who was born in 1765, and married a Miss Leigh, in 
Prince Edward county, Va. 

Judge Ligon married a Miss Greenhill, his cousin, in this county, in 1825. She 
was the daughter of Mrs. Greenhill, who married secondly a Rice, and agaiu became a 
widow. I knew her and Mrs. Ligon well. They were ladies of great modesty, industry 
and worth. The mother died in 1851, and the daughter in 1868. 

Judge Ligon's descendants were: 1. Dr. Charles W. Ligon, born in Court- 
land in 1825, and married Susan Pollis in 1857. He was a physician in good stand- 
ing, living near Moulton, and died about three years ago. 2. Pascal L. Ligon, 
born in Moulton in 1828, and married Martha P. Lee about the year 1853. He had 
a good practice at the law and became Senator in the state legislature of Arkansas, from 
Powhatan county, before bis death, which occurred in 1867. 3. David G. Ligon, Jr., 
born in Courtland in 1832. Never married, but died in our army, near Shannon, in 1862. 

4. John H. Ligon, born December, 1835. He has not married, and lives near Moulton. 

5. Sarah C. Ligon, born in Moulton in 1840; was married to E. C. McDonald, a son of 
the late Crockett McDonald, Esq. She is still living. (1887). 

REV. HUGH BARR 

was the first Presbyterian minister I ever knew in Courtland. When his church was 
small he supplemented his salary by teaching a school. He was an excellent man, of 
unblemished reputation, and a good pastor, but a dull preacher. Alexander Linn 
married his daughter. 

David Smith was then a lawyer of respectable standing at the bar. He had mar- 
ried first his cousin, Miss Smith, of Charlotte C. H., Va,, and secondly a daughter of 
Dr. J. W. Allen, Presbyterian minister at Huntsville. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 223 

Mr. Barr, Mr. Lynn, and/Lawyer Smith became conscientious on the propriety of 
holding slaves, and moved to Illinois, manumitting their slaves. Here Mr- Smith 
made a good fortune, and died during the war. Of the others I have no reliable infor- 
mation after, they left Oourtland. 

Thomas Smith was the father of David Smith, above mentioned, and accumulated 
a snug living. When the railroad was approaching Oourtland he invested his ready 
money (some five thousand dollars), in stock. As soon as it reached Oourtland his 
hotel made money rapidly, and was crowded with guests. When, however, it passed 
on to Decatur, his was no longer an eating house, but the breakfast place was Tuscum- 
bia and the dining place was Decatur. One day, shortly after the change, a friend 
walked into his hotel and found him in tears — for he always cried when vexed. 
"What's the matter, Mr. Smith?" He answered: " Here I was such a fool as to lay 
out all my money on this road, and now the passengers, who breakfast at Tuscumbia, 
pass by my hotel picking their teeth, and I am left in a worse condition than -I was 
before." He was a heavy, fat man of short stature, and his son David was smaller, 
but of the same form. 

The Courtland Herald 
was published by Willie Connor, and continued for many years. Connor was a practi- 
cal printer, and got the advice of young Ormond in giving shape to his paper, who 
promised to write a leader occasionally. Ormand selected as a motto for his paper: 

" Here comes the Herald of a noisy world. 
News from all nations lumbering at his back." 

Ormand wrote some excellent articles for the paper in the outset, but Connor 
couldn't comprehend them, and they soon drifted apart. Connor undertook to run the 
whole machine, mental and mechanical, and did so for many years " after a sort." He 
was a short, fat man, and Jones called him the " Yam Potato ;" and the name stuck to 
him, for it was appropriate. On week days, Conner used to sit in his sanctum with the 
hairs on the side of his head- drawn up, and tied over the crown of his bald pate with a 
cotton string — this, on Sundays, was substituted by a blue ribbon, 

Rumors began to circulate as to the wonderful capacity of the editor as an eater. 
One of the most striking proofs of his power in this line was given at Oonrdtown Spring, 
on Spring creek. It was not at a public barbecue, where half done shoat was served up, 
but a social one, such as we used to have in early times. Hubbard, a red headed man 
of Courtland, had charge of the cooking department, and had wonderful skill in barbe- 
cuing. It is now a lost art. All other industries except this have improved. For the 
benefit of posterity I will explain Hubbard's method. When he once put down his pigs 
and buffalo fishes, flesh side down, over the pit of coals, they were never turned until 
the drying of the skin showed that they were nearly done, and then when turned the 
flesh was nicely browned and cracked open in deep fissures, so that when the hot gravy 
of sweet butter, vinegar and black pepper, was poured on, it penetrated to the bone — a 
far superior mode to frequently turning and basting. It was to such a luscious feast 
that the editor of the Herald sat down, with the hindquarter of a pig on his right, a half 
of a stout buffalo fish on his left, and a bottle of whiskey in front. He moved steadily 
to the attack, frequently washing down the viands with grog. Orrin Davis, always full 
of fun, watched his eye glisten with pleasure ; but at last perceiving that he was waver- 
ing in the attack, he rigged a lever in the fork of a sapling, which happened to stand 
just behind his seat, and passing a cord under his arms, he would raise him and then let 
him fall suddenly in his seat, so as to settle his food. This was equal to a cotton com- 
press, and the editor, in the best humor, would renew the attack, until all had vanished, 
except the bones. This was not at all wonderful, for he was the author of the saying 
that " a turkey was of a very inconvenient size, for it was rather too much for one man, 
and not quite enough for two." 

But the sketch of Willie Connor would be incomplete without informing you that 



224 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

he was the author of the first book written and published in Lawrence county. It was 
entitled " The Lost Virgin of the South," and was a story of a young girl captured by the 
Indians. While it was in manuscript he would detain his friends, almost by force, to 
hear him read portions of it, when tears would be profusely shed — by the author. A 
second edition was never called for, and the work unfortunately has been lost. How do 
we know but that the "Lost Virgin," if found at some future time, may cause as great a 
revolution in that kind of literature as the Institutes of Justinian (after being lost a 
thousand years) did iu jurisprudence. 

At length the editor discontinued the Courtland Herald and removed to Mississippi. 
I never had any authentic account ofhis subsequent career. We had some rumors, one 
■of which was that he had become a traveling preacher. If this was really so, I judge 
that on his circuit chickens became very scarce, and turkeys roosted very high ! 

Courtland Mechanics. 

In early times North Alabama was an El Dorado, and our mechanics, as well as our 
planters, were men of a high order. The absence of railroads afforded them a pros- 
perity which is not known in modern times, when nearly every article we use is made 
by machinery in large and distant factories. This gave our home workmen an oppor- 
tunity to educate their children, many of whom are now successful members of the 
learned professions. 

Mr. Kouck, 

house builder, came from Philadelphia with Dr. Clopper. He and the doctor, had married 
sisters, who were notable women, ever ready to aid their neighbors in time of sickness 
and death. Dr. Clopper, who was a very nice man, and respectable physician, soon died. 
Mr. Kouck died, and his widow married that modest, gentlemanly carpenter, Maurice 
Morris, who had lived and worked with Mr. Kouck for many years, and who made her 
a good husband ; he died first and his widow before the war. Mrs. Clopper died 
only a short time ago. Her husband, George, a man of excellent character, went before 
her. A sister of Mrs. Clopper married Schuylar Pai-shall, of Tuscumbia. 

James Hudd 

was an excellent saddler. He was a small man with clear cut features, indicating grea 
intelligence. Mudd was a Clay Whig, at a time when there were but few in Courtland, 
and the Jackson men, being in great majority, were naturally imperious. But woe be to 
the Jackson man who attacked the Whig saddler, for Mudd was so witty that he was very 
apt to come out second best, and somewhat scarified. Mr. Mudd moved to Elyton in 
1831, and among his children was William S. Mudd, who became a man of distinction 
in our State. He was licensed to practice law in 1839. In 1843 he was elected a mem- 
ber of the House, and was re-elected in 1844 and again in 1845. In 1847 he was elected 
solicitor, and filled the office efficiently for eight years, When you consider the fact that 
he was a decided Whig, and a majority of his constituents Democrats, he must have 
been of unblemished reputation and of first rate talents. But he was never extreme 
in his politics, and in 1851 he was the candidate for Congress of the compromise party, 
and came very near defeating Sampson W. Harris, one of the most graceful orators 
Alabama ever had. In 1855 he was selected judge of the Third Circuit, and I believe 
continued on the bench up to within a year of his death, which occurred in 1883. Mr. 
Brewer, in his History of Alabama, says of him: "His temperament is dispassionate 
and his views are practical. As a jurist, he is much disposed to disregard the technicali- 
ties of the law, in order to reach equity. As a citizen his exemplary deportment and 
amiable disposition are the basis of an esteem, which time has only served to build up." 
He married the daughter of Dr. S. S. Earle. 

One of Judge Mudd's daughters married Dr. Jordan, who was at the head of his 
profession in Birmingham, but his health failing, he accepted a professorship in the 
Medical College of Mobile. Another married Dr. Cochrane, of Birmingham, a young 
and very promising physician ; and Miss Susie Mudd is an accomplished young lady. 



Recollections of North Alabama. 225 

Robert Williamson 

was a skilful gun-smith, who had plenty of profitable work in early times, 
and he was careful in educating his children. .. One of them, Richard is a lawyer in good 
practice in the city of Montgomery. He moved to .Gainesville, about 1838, where he 
died. 

The James Family 

descended from Westwood W. James, who was bom in Virginia on the third day of 
September, 1795, and married to Catherine Conway Owens on the 17th of May, 1821. 
This family with its connections now constitute, "a large proportion of the popula- 
tion of Courtland. They are intelligent and respectable, and are pillars in the Pres- 
byterian Church. W. W. James came to Courtland a year or two after his marriage. 
He and his wife were well favored in person and reared a family of daughters who wera 
all beautiful. Mr. James and his wife came from Richmond, Va., and were people of 
refinement. He was a cabinet maker and very skilful. From his shop were turned out 
samples which would be esteemed respectable, even dow, after so many improvements in 
that line ; and owing to the fact that in this section, at that day, there was no trans- 
portation, except in wagons, and for a great distance, prices for heavy commodities, 
like furniture, were wonderfully high. He enlarged his shop and employed more 
workmen, for the planters were rich, and the demand was great, and he made in a 
few years money enought to endow his daughters snugly — if he had gotten it. I 
happened to know how he failed to get it. He had a partner who " spoke trippingly 
on the tongue," who had a good address and wore a ruffled shirt, whom Mr. James (who 
was a modest man) thought more competent than himself, and installed as salesman and 
bookkeeper. The more furniture the concern sold, the less money it got; and at length 
Mr. James became suspicious, and consulted the writer, then a young lawyer. A suit in 
chancery was, commenced and a decree obtained for a considerable amount — and the 
decree was all that was ever gotten. The money had been won from the partner with 
the ruffled shirt at an " underground exchange." (I hope there are none of the kind now 
in Courtland.) 

The two old people, who were highly respected, have departed this life. Ten of 
their children lived to be grown, all of whom married except Dr. Edward C, Westwood 
W. and Robert P. 

P. A. James married Miss S. B. Davis, of Cornersville, Term. They had no chil- 
dren. Miss H. A. James married Nathan J. Gallaway, a brother of Judge Wiley Gall- 
away, and was left a widow with one child — a son. The widow then married W. G. 
Campbell. E. 0. Campbell (of Campbell & Brown), is a son from this marriage. Miss 
A. A. James married Jos. C. Baker, Esq., alawyer of very respectable talents and avery 
useful man. One of the sons of this marriage is Dr. Woody Baker, who lives in Arkan- 
sas. W. W. Baker married Miss Ida Watts, daughter of Dr. Edward Watts, of Gaines- 
ville, Ala., and a daughter, Miss E. K. Baker married S. P. Drake first, and secondly E. 0. 
Campbell. Miss M. W. James married William W. Steel, an Episcopal minister. She 
died, leaving one child — a son. Miss K. P. James married D. B. Campbell, North Car- 
olina. They are the parents of three living children. Miss M. E. James married Thomas 
E. Cannon, of Columbus, Miss., they had no children. Miss V. V. James married B. B. 
Hawkins. She was left a widow with one son, and has since married S. T. Torian. 

Daniel Wade 

was a very decent man, with a fine person, and came with the Booths and Pitzgeralds 
and Benj. Ward from Virginia. He was a house builder, who employed many 
carpenters, and was doing a good business. He was wrecked as I will relate. He had 
married Martha, a lovely daughter of William Booth, Sr., a planter living south of 
Courtland, and being anxious to own a home, contracted for a small plantation, and 
borrowed from a Shylock in Huntsville, four thousand dollars, at twenty pe^r cent, per 
month. His friend, Littleberry Jones, kindly became responsible for the debt, and sue- 



226 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

ceeded in lowering the interest, bat it eventually broke Wade and bent Jones, and Wade 
went to Florida with the small colony I have mentioned on a former page. It may seem 
strange that any sane man should have borrowed, as Wade did, a large sum of money 
at such a bloody rate of interest; but he was very sanguine, and having several houses 
going up, felt certain that he could, meet the payment. The debt was sued upon ; the 
case went up to the Supreme Court, and the decision made there was afterward one of 
the grounds of impeaching three of the Supreme Court judges. " Behold ! what a great 
fire a little matter kindleth." 

LEONARD H. SIMS 

was a man of remarkable mechanical genius. I think he came from Georgia; for in 
Athens, when a college boy, 1 boarded with his brother, Zachariah Sims, who had a like 
inventive talent.* 

Leonard H. came to Conrtland in 1822 and erected a huge shop for the manufacture 
of cotton gins. He was continually improving these until he finally turned out a gin with 
an iron frame, which was very generally approved by the planters. When at leisure, he 
was a genial and welcome companion among the young men. He spun long yarns, mostly 
about himself, very seriously, and came to believe them, until, one day, young Ligon, 
involved him in a very great dilemma. Says Ligon, taking out his pencil, " Sims, you 
say when you grew up you taught school so many years — you were deputy sheriff so 
many years — you practised medicine so many years — you were an apothecary so many 
years — you were a traveling machinist for repairs, and you have been a settled machinist 
so many years. Now I have added up carefully and find that you are just 217 years old." 
This raised a great laugh at Sims' expense, and he was afterwards called Dr. Sims. Even 
with this foibie, he was a useful citizen and much esteemed, and being very prosperous, 
he married the widow Washington, a handsome and well educated woman, and 
provided for her very generously. By this, her third marriage, she had two daughters 
— Elizabeth and Prudence — and after the death of her husband, she returned to Pulaski, 
Tenn., (where she had lived before marriage). 

The Puryears. 

Of these there were three brothers. Peter, was a carpenter, and owned and 
kept the hotel, when Smith moved away. I have heard of one liviug child of his — a 
daughter, who married James -Mays and moved to Texas. John, the second brother, 
was first a farmer, and then lived with his brother at the hotel. He was never mar- 
ried, but came very .near it once. The marriage was to have taken place at the 
hotel, and the wedding supper was prepared, when, the same night, Simon Jeffreys 
came from Pontotoc, Miss., and married his intended bride, " and he was left 
lamenting." William, the third brother, was a brick-mason Had three children. 
The first was Major William, well known as one of the best salesmen Courtland 
ever had. He is now a traveling commercial agent. He has been married twice; 
the first time, to Anna Thorn. Ernest and Addie were chidren of this marriage. His 
second wife was Alice Harris, who died leaving one child. The second child of Will- 
iam Puryear, Sr., was Anna, who married John Powers, of Tuscumbia, and the third 
was Susie, who lives with her sister in Tuscumbia. 

Thomas Dunnevant 

was a skilful smith, and a very good local Methodist preacher, and had the confidence of the 
planters who engaged him as missionary to their colored people, to whom he was very 
acceptable. By his first marriage he had two sons, James B. and John, who moved to 
Texas. The second time he married a MissLeiper, and their children were William, who 
lives in Indiana, Thomas, Albert and Pauline. 

*Note. — Zachariah Sims had married a Miss Saunders, and they were the grand-parents of the 
Hon. William H. Sims, of Mississippi, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, in Cleveland's second 
administration. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 227 

The Gilchrist Family 

is the largest I believe, in the county. It is very intelligent and substantial and is 
numerous, from the fact that they have never emigrated. Here they were born, here 
they have grown up ; and here they constitute an unbroken connection. It is one feat- 
ure of American character, that if a prospect of gain is presented by removal to a new 
country, it is followed, without respect to social or religious ties, which are wontonly 
broken without compunction. But the houses of the members of this family are dotted 
over our lovely valley, from the mountain to the Tennessee river. They are, generally, 
progressive farmers, using improved implements, and impressed with the cardinal idea 
that " you must feed the land, if you wish the land to feed you." They have, in my 
opinion, acted wisely. When a family is settled in a good climate and on a good soil 
they should rest contented. (But perhaps you may ask me, what is a good climate for 
our staple? For wheat and corn, the heaviest crop is seen near the northern limit 
of their production. And for cotton, if you take a series of years, the same rule pre- 
vails : provided the quality of soil be the same. Observent men admit that in north 
Alabama, in north Mississippi, and in north Georgia, there are fewer enemies and fewer 
disasters to the cotton crop, than in climates farther South.) The Gilchrists have 
inherited the best and most enduring traits of their Scotch and Welsh progenitors ; and 
are noted for their fidelity to their church (Presbyterian), their friends, and to their kith 
and kin. 

As far back as I have authentic information, of the paternal ancestry of this family, 
Malcolm Gilchrist was born in Cantire, Scotland, settled first in North Carolina, 
where he married Catherine Buie (or Bowie,) and moved to Maury county, Tennessee, in 
1809. Their sons, Malcolm arid Daniel, moved to this country at an early day and 
settled near Melton's Bluff. Malcolm was a surveyor and a land dealer, as all 
surveyors have been since the days of Washington. He did a good deal in this 
line in Tennessee before he left it. There the country was a cane brake when his 
father came to Maury county, and the mode of proceeding was to purchase land 
warrants, and then survey tracts on which to locate them. In Alabama the mode 
was a very different one. So much confusion had resulted from each holder survey- 
ing for himself, that the general Government employed public surveyors, who first 
divided the land into townships and then subdivided it into sections, which were 
sold a't auction, the minimum price being fixed at $1.25 per acre. Then a new 
manoeuvre was invented by the land buyers. A mammoth company (we would call 
it now a syndicate) was formed, and every acre of Uncle Sam's land offered for 
sale was purchased at the minimum price. Then the company would sell it at public 
auction, and energetic men, like Malcolm Gilchrist, who had been carefully examining 
the lands for weeks before the sales, would reap large profits by reselling the lands they 
would purchase to planters. 

In addition to this pursuit he was a cotton-freighter. Before our railroad was 
built the mode of transporting our cotton crop was in flatboats, through the tortuous 
and dangerous channel over the Muscle Shoals, down the Tennessee, Ohio and Missis- 
sippi rivers to New Orleans. A few men like Malcolm Gilchrist, who had the confi- 
dence of the planters and capital enough, would purchase a goodly number of boats 
and would employ for each one a steersman, and commonly four more to work the oars, 
when necessary. As fast as the boats were loaded, they were one by one passed under 
the care of a pilot through the Shoals, the pilot returning from Bainbridge for another 
trip. The first pilot was an Indian named Melton, after whom Melton's Bluff was 
named. But as soon as he showed the white man the channel, he could handle a boat 
so much better than the Indian, that "Othello's occupation was gone," and he went 
east to join his tribe. The price of freight to New Orleans was $1 per 100 pounds, and the 
cotton-freighter reaped a rich harvest. Gilchrist would require his steersmen to write to 
him at several points on the Mississippi river, and when his last boat was loaded he 
would take passage on it to New Orleans to collect his freights from the commission 



228 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

merchants, and return by steamer to Memphis, and thence home by stage coach. One 
would suppose that, from the number of boat hands required, the profits of the 
common carrier would be small; but the wages of these hands (except the steersman) 
were very low, for these places were eagerly sought for by hundreds of young men in 
sequestered neighborhoods, who we're dying with a desire of seeing the outside world. 
These after doing New Orleans, and spending nearly all their wages, would have to 
walk all the way back home, through the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. They were 
compensated, however, by eager audiences, who gathered around them to hear of the 
wonders they had seen ; and many of the best looking fellows were ' ' loved ' ' for the 
" dangers they had passed." 

Malcolm Gilchrist, in this way, left a large inheritance, chiefly in lands, to the 
family of his brother Daniel. He had never married. 

Daniel Gilchrist, I think, was endowed with the same attributes of character 
which belonged to his brother, viz: strong intellect and wonderful perseverance. He 
became a married man, and these qualities showed themselves in a different channel. 
His life was therefore less eventful. Daniel was born December 22, 1788; and in 1819 
married Nancy Philips, near Nashville, Tenn. She was born 21st January, 1793. 

The Philips Family 

was descended from Philip Philips, who was born in Wales. He settled first in Penn- 
sylvania, then Kentucky, and thence to Davidson county, Tenn., near Nashville, about 1795. 
I have information of four of his children — Nancy, the wife of Daniel Gilchrist. Her 
brother. Judge Joseph Philips and his wife, I knew well in Nashville sixty years ago, 
when I was a raw young student of law. 1 boarded opposite their dwelling, and well re- 
member the kindness shown me by this family. The judge was a man of varied experience 
and extensive learning for that day, and of pleasing manners. I returned to Alabama, 
and a term of thirty-six years passed away, during which, Judge Philips had departed 
this life ; but his wife survived him. Their daughter had married Major John W. Chil- 
dress, of Murfreesboro. I was prostrate, in 1863, at that place, from a wound supposed 
to be mortal, when Mrs. Philips paid me a visit of sympathy. She brought her 
whole family several times afterward, consisting of her daughter, Mrs. Childress, Major 
Childress (who was a brother of Mrs. President Polk), and their lovely daughter, Miss 
Bettie, who afterward married John C. Brown, a major general of distinction during 
the civil war, and afterward, Governor of Tennessee. I understand they have several 
living children — all daughters. My readers will pardon me for extending the notice of 
this branch of the Gilchrist family so far, for their kindness to me in the condition, 
prisoner in the midst of a hostile camp, has made a deep impression on my memory, 
and on my heart. 

My friend, Dr. James Wendel, of Murfreesboro, informs me that " Major John W. 
Childress first married the daughter of Elisha Williams, whose wife was a Philips, 
sister to Judge Joseph Philips. She died leaving six children, four sous and two 
daughters. The elder one married J. M. Avent, a lawyer of Murfreesboro. The other 
(as you state) married Gen. John C. Brown; both are living. Three of the sons are 
dead. His second wife is a daughter of Judge Philips; of course, cousin to the first. 
Major Childress died in October, 1884, leaving six children by the second wife ; three 
sons and three daughters. Judge Philips died in 1856 or 1857. His widow at the 
advanced age of ninety, or more, died in November, 1881. Gen. Robert Pu'rdy and wife 
I knew in my boyhood days. They died in this place, she some years before him.,' 

The sisters of Mrs. Daniel Gilchrist were Eleanor, Elizabeth and Mary. Eleanor 
married Major James Neely, and Rev. Philip Philips Neely, D. D., a Methodist minister 
of celebrity, was their son. In the latest history of Alabama, by Brewer, a sketch of 
his life is given. The author after mentioning a number of representative men who 
have lived in Mobile, and of the learned professions, such as John A. Campbell, of the Bar ; 
Josiah C. Nott, of Medicine; John Forsyth, of the Press; Jones M. Withers, of the 
Army; and Raphael Semme, of the Navy, selects Dr. P. P. Neely as the representa- 



Recollections of North Alabama. 229 

tive man of the pulpit, in a city always noted for the ability of its ministers. In con- 
cluding his sketch he introduced the following estimate of him as an orator, furnished 
at the request of the author, by Bishop Payne: "As a preacher Dr. Neely had few 
equals. He was keenly alive to the beautiful and sublime, and his rare powers of 
description enabled him to portray his vivid conceptions with thrilling effect." 

He was always attractive and instructive, and sometimes was almost overwhelming. 
His pleasing and impressive person, his tall and erect form, his easy and graceful man- 
ners, and his clear and musical voice, like a fine toned instrument in the hands of a 
skilful musician, gave him great advantages. The writer's acquaintance with him com- 
menced in his youth, and he is familiar with the incidents of his life. On one occa- 
sion, when Mr. Neely was young, Bishop Bascom made his home at the house of the 
writer while presiding over a Conference at Mobile. One night, when Mr. Neely was 
to preach, the bishop went in late and took a back seat, but in time to hear his whole 
sermon. On our return home the bishop was asked what he thought of the preacher. 
He answered, emphatically : " That man has eloquence enough, as a popular speaker 
in a disturbed country, to produce a revolution." One volume of his sermons was pub- 
lished in his life time, and another, for the benefit of his widow, since his death, and 
.they are worthy a place in any collection. Another sister of Mrs. Daniel Gilchrist, was 
Elizabeth, who married Gen. Robert Purdy, and still another, Mary, who married Mr. 
Elisha Williams. 

Daniel Gilchrist and Nancy Philips reared a family of four children, and reared 
them well, and they, in their turn, have reared children, and although the connection is 
so large, I know of no failure among them. The old gentleman died 24th July, 1850, 
and the old lady in May, 1863. I will notice their children in regular order. 

1. Malcolm Joseph (Malcolm the Third) was born 5th February, 1821. , He has 
always been a cotton planter, cultivating plantations both in this valley and the Missis- 
sippi" bottom. In November, 1847, he married Prances Poster, daughter of James H. 
Poster, and his wife, Narcissa (who was the daughter of the Rev. Turner Saunders, and 
sister of the writer, and who was born in 1825 and died in 1856). Their children were 
(1) James Harvey, who was bora in 1850, and married Nannie Bankhead in 1874. 
They have only one child, who married (in 1896) Lawson Sykes, grandson of Mr. 
Oakley Bynum, Sr., of Courtland, Ala. (The father of Mr. Bynum, Drew S. Bynum, 
came from North Carolina) . (2) Malcolm (the Fourth), who was born in 1853, and 
married Mary F. Burkhead, who soon died, leaving one child. (3) Philip, who was 
born in 1854, aud died, unmarried, in Mississippi. 

2. Philip Philips was born 20th November, 1825. He too has always been a 
cotton planter, but sometimes in public life, and has represented this county in the 
House of Representatives. He was married three times. First to Sarah E. Moore 
in 1847, who died in 1849. Had one child, Daniel. Secondly, married to Ellen Philips 
in December, 1851. They had one child, Joseph P., now a young man. Thirdly 
married Alice Garth, of Virginia, in 1860. By this marriage there were the following 
children: Philip P., who married Mattie Carter-, Ellen A., who married D. L. Martin ; 
George G., Malcolm P., Alice Armine, William G., and Daniel. 

3. John A., the third child of Daniel Gilchrist and his wife, Nancy Philips, married 
first Texanna Jones. The only child by this marriage is William, who married Agnes 
Darrell. They have one little daughter. The second marriage of John A. was with 
Addie Michie, of Charlottesville, Va. Their children are James B., Annie K,, and 
Agnes E. John A. has always been a cotton planter. 

4. The fourth child of Daniel Gilchrist and his wife was Katherine, who was born 
4th of June, 1830. She married (first) George W. Garth, in 1851. Of his military ser- 
vices, we spoke in former pages. By this marriage the only living children are ; Kate, 
who married Rev. Robert Means DuBose, who was descended from a South Carolina 
family, and George W., who married Kate W. Burt. They have several children. 

Her second marriage was to Capt. Wm. S. Bankhead, a Virginian. He was a lineal 
descendant of President Thomas Jefferson, and in this way : Thos. Man Randolph, of one 



230 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

of the most distinguished and wealthy families of Virginia, married Martha Jefferson, 
eldest daughther of the President. Anne Gary Randolph was a daughter of this marriage 
and married Charles L. Bankhead, and our worthy neighbor, Capt. W. S. Bankhead was a 
son of this marriage. Thomas Jefferson Randolph was a brother of Capt. Bankhead's 
mother, and to this grandson Mr. Jefferson in his will bequeathed all his manu- 
script papers, which were published in four volumes under the title of " Writings 
of Thomas Jefferson." These volumes are the repository not only of his State papers, 
but of hundreds of his letters. Good judges have pronounced these letters to be written 
in the finest epistolary syle of any extant in America or Europe. 

Capt. Wm. S. Bankhead married (first) Martha J. Watkins, daughter of Paul J. Wat- 
kins. There was no issue of this marriage. (Secondly), Lizzie Garth. Nannie Bankhead, 

wife of James Harvey Gilchrist above mentioned ; and Lizzie Bankhead, wife of 

Hotchkiss, are daughters of this marriage- And his third marriage was with Mrs. Kate 
Garth, as we have said above. One son, John Stuart Bankhead, was born of this marriage, 
but he is not now living. Capt. Bankhead's military services, during the late war, have 
been spoken of. 

The Points Family. 

Pour members of it came to Courtland. Joseph Points, their paternal grand- 
father, was of English extraction. He was mortally wounded in the first year of the 
revolutionary war, in the unsuccessful assault on Quebec, when General Montgomery 
was killed. 

His son, Joseph Points, was born in Philadelphia in 1760. When the British 
marched on that city in 1777, although a youth, he joined the Continental army, was 
wounded, and recovering he rejoined the army, and continued to serve until the surren- 
der of the British at Yorktown. His mother died when he was quite young, leavingfour 
children. After peace he entered the service of Wm. Rose, of Philadelphia, who was 
considered at that day a large manufacturer of hoes, plows, guns, swords, all kinds of 
farming utensils and in fact of almost everything made of iron. After serving out his 
time he remained several years with Mr. Rose, and hearing so much of the beautiful val- 
ley of Virginia he concluded to leave Philadelphia and go to Staunton, then a mere vil- 
lage. He opened business on the same plan, though not on so large a scale. It was pro- 
ductive from the start, and it was not long before there were six furnaces, in which the 
workmen turned out a great variety of.articles. Mr. Points was very prosperous, for this 
was before machinery had cheapened every thing. At first he employed white work- 
men, but as his means increased he replaced them with black men, until he had two of 
them at every forge, superintended by a white fireman and a book-keeper. In time he 
bought a good farm, worked by his own slaves under a white overseer. 

In the meantime there came to Staunton a merchant of means and a gentleman of 
education, and polished manners, David Greiner. He was from Frankfort' on the 
Main. There came also another family, in good circumstances, from Strasburg, 
and purchased a farm near Staunton. Mr. Greiner married their daughter, Katherine 
Siler, and had a fine residence in the centre of the town. Joseph Points married in 
1778, a daughter of this couple, Katherine Greiner, (who was born in 1779,) and erected 
a good house on Gospel Hill. No doubt many thought the match between the prosper- 
ous mechanic, and the daughter of the polished merchant, a mesalliance. But the infu- 
sion of vigorous blood from the working classes, is of great benefit to the physical and 
mental condition of the rich. Before the invention of gunpowder, when war was carried 
on in hand to hand conflicts, the sons of distinguished families were inured to labor, by 
a vigorous course of daily martial exercises, which kept the body and mind in vigor ; and 
history exhibits cases where families maintained their ascendency for ages. But it is 
not so now. Men as old as I, have lived to see many a rich family go down to obscurity 
under the influence of luxury and idleness. 

But the fortunes of Joseph Points were fated to suffer a great reverse. By 
becoming surety for friends, he failed in business, but managed, in winding up his 
affairs, to secure a competency, including the house I have mentioned, where his wife 



Recollections op Noeth Alabama. 231 

lived until her death. Mr. Points in 1837, traveled on horse-back from Staunton to 
Courtland to visit his children there, and died a few months afterward. He was a man 
of great energy aud force of character, and he and his family were very much respected. 
I know a great deal of him and his descendants, as my readers will see in the sequel, 
and I am satisfied that they were uncommonly well reared by their parents, for they 
have been noted for their industry, integrity and courtesy, and some of them have been 
distinguished. I will mention them in order. 

1. James Points, the eldest son, was a prosperous aud popular man. He, and his 
father, and all his brothers, were unswerving Democrats, in a county which had a large 
whig majority ; and he was appointed marshal of the Northern District of Virginia by 
General Jackson during his first presidential term, and was continued in office by Mr- 
Filmore until his death, for he was a first rate, officer and numbered amongst his friends 
many of the most prominent Whigs in the State. He married Eliza Stevenson, of Mary- 
land. Several of his sons were at the Univerity of Virginia and graduated with honors. 
One of them (John) obtained his diploma in a shorter time than any student ever before. 
My cousin, Judge Thomas S. Gholson, of Petersburg, Va., was at the university at that 
time. John became an Episcopal minister, and was called to St. John Church, 
Richmond. He married a Miss Tyler, a niece of President Tyler. His sons and 
daughters married well generally. Mr. James Points was trustee in several public insti- 
tutions, amongst them the Virginia Female Institute. In his death the Masonic fraternity 
lost its brightest jewel. He was Grand Master and Grand High Priest, and as such laid 
the corner stone of the Washington Monument. 

2. Joseph Points was a man of probity and sound reputation, and was appointed, 
with his brother James, manager of a lottery to raise money to build a road 
across the mountains. The means were raised and the road completed, but a great 
opposition sprung up amongst the Methodists against this mode of raising money, 
and the consequence was that James, Joseph and David withdrew from that church, 
of which they were all members, without, however, joining another. Their homes were 
still homes of the preachers, as in former days. 

3. David, of whom we have spoken, married Sydney Taylor, and died in 1847. 

4. Jacob Points was the first of the family who came to Courtland; he was 
prosperous in his vocation, which was that of a tinner. He was hospitable in his house, 
genial amongst his friends, and was remarkable for his good temper. This, however, 
gave way on one occasion. Young Sale, the clerk of Thos. B. Jones, a merchant, one morn- 
ing ordered a full load of tin of all sorts and sizes to be sent to the store. In due time Jacob, 
with his sales wagon, drove up, and began to put the goods into the store. Jones asked for 
an explanation. Young Sale was called for, but was nowhere to be found. Jones, who 
was very fiery, kicked the tin out as fast as Points put it in. In a few minutes there 
would have been a fight, when a friend passing by reminded them that perhaps some- 
body was trying to make April fool of them. Jones quit kicking out, and Points putting 
in, and they retired from the field under a great laugh. This joke, however, was the 
making of young Sale. He lost his place, and his father concluded as he was unfit for 
a merchant, he might make a lawyer of him — and he did make one of the first class. 
You will find a full account of him amongst our county judges. 

Jacob Points first married Eliza Allen, daughter of Robert Allen, by whom he had 
two sons and a daughter ; and several years after her death, he married Mary Ann Allen. 
About 1843 he moved to Aberdeen, Miss. When the California gold fever broke out, 
his two sons joined Captain Farris' company and went overland to that country. One of 
them, was Jacob J., and the other, William Franklin, who after writing home to 
his father for several years, ceased to write altogether. His daughter, Logan, married 
Dr. Lawson, of Talladega, Ala., and lives there. Jacob Points died at the home of his 
brother, George W., in New Orleans, in 1857. 

5. Benjamin F. Points married Mary Jane Grove, of Staunton, daughter of a large 
building contractor. He died in 1875. 

6. Catharine Points married James M. Beemer in Virginia, and moved to 



232 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

Courtland, where they died. James Beemer is a son. I hardly know what is the 
special calling of my versatile friend Beemer. He can build a house, cover it with tin, 
and then paint it from top to bottom ; in fact he can do anytning but plead law. and- in a 
magistrate's court, he could make a pretty good showing even at that. 

7. William R. Points was one of the sons who came to Courtland. He had the 
good qualities which made all of this family respectable, but differed from the rest 
in having more vitality and curiosity. I cau better illustrate this by detailing the 
adventures of a day in his company and that of John Glass, many years ago. We rode 
to Moulton one summer's day, and on arriving at the hotel scattered, each one attend- 
ing to his own special affairs. I remember I was in the clerk's office, busily engaged. 
After dinner we mounted, and started home. Points asked me if I had heard of the 
death of a friend, and on my answering in the negative, he told me all about it, and how 
much property he had left. Then followed news of another death, and all about the 
family. In a few minutes he turned on the case of a man in jail charged with murder, 
and seemed to be familiar with all the facts, especially those in his favor. I said to 
him, " Points, how on earth did you find out all this?," He answered, " Why, I talked 
with many friends, and then went to the jail and conversed with every prisoner 
in it." It has occurred to me that such a man should never have wasted his 
talents in the country, but lived in a city, where he certainly would have risen to eini- 
nence as a detective. He might have lacked the genius to rival a Fouche, but with his 
turn for finding out all that was going on, he would have become his right arm and 
made a good fortune. 

8. Felicia Points married William Kyle, a merchant of Staunton, and died in 1873. 

9. George Washington Points was the youngest child of Joseph Points. I knew 
him far better than any of the family. He was quite young, and a sales clerk in Court- 
land, when he proposed to me to take a place as clerk in my commission house in Mo- 
bile. He wrote a fine hand, and had a good reputation for steadiness, and I engaged 
him for a small salary — which was increased from year to year, until it reached $1200 
per year. He was intelligent, industrious, affable and polite to customers, and always 
in place. He had, at all times the full confidence of his employers, and was intrusted 
with large sums of money in their absence, for months. Cotton brokers pronounced 
him one of the best, and promptest, cotton clerks in the city, for their invoices were al- 
ways ready in time, and at the banks he was regarded by the officers as one of the most 
reliable men in town. Young Points was a fair judge of human nature, but in one in- 
stance he was wofully mistaken. One morning when he was alone, an old gentleman 
came into the office, and inquired for my partner, General Bradford. He was invited 
to a seat, and told that the gentleman would be in presently. The old gentleman was 
modest, but affable, and began to tell of all that part of Mobile near the river front 
being in salt marsh, when he first came to live there. " What business did you follow 
then?" inquired Points. " I was a commission merchant," he answered. "And what 
business do you follow now?" He answered, " No regular business; I don't do much 
of anything." Points, looking at his clothes, which were decent but somewhat worn, 
and the leather strings in his shoes, concluded he had quit work too soon, and gave him 
a sound lecture on idleness, which the old gentleman took very meekly. Mr, Bradford 
came in, and after some conversation the old gentleman left. " Who is that man "?" in- 
quired Points. The answer was, " That is William Jones, Jr., by far the richest man 
in the city." Points never (judged a man) after that by his clothes, and some witty 
man, after he got a money capital of his own to lend out, said that Points would always 
lend more readily to a man who had leather strings in his shoes. 

His worth became so widely known that he was offered $1800 a year in New Orleans, 
and I very reluctantly relinquished him. He saved his money and kept it out at good 
interest, compounded every year, until his capital overwent $25,000. Then the war 
came on, his debtors became insolvent, and he was left where he began. 

Before the war Mr. Points married Delphine Stuart, a young woman of remarkable 
beauty. He is now the father of four boys, Richard (who is an invalid) , Robert L. , George 



Recollections of North Alabama. 233 

Ward and Joseph F., and seven daughters, Marguerite, Rosa, Willie, Augusta, Delphine, 
Eugenie, Marie Louise * and Josephine. The boys and girls have been well educated, and 
those old enough are clerks, or teachers, and earn, in the aggregate, a comfortable living. 

Sherrod. 

In " The Memories of Fifty Years," by Colonel Sparks, he speaks of the exodus 
from Georgia to Alabama, as threatening the former State with the loss of her best pop- 
ulation, and amongst the families emigrating mentions " the Sherrods and Watkinses 
men of substance and character," and in this, and other numbers, we shall And them 
closely connected. 

Col. Benj. Sherrod, was born in Halifax, North Carolina, 20th January, 1776. His 
father was Isaac Sherrod, and his mother's maiden name was Mary Ricks. She was the 
sister of Abram Ricks (who once lived near La Grange, moved to Mississippi and became 
one of the richest men in that State). She was married twice. First, to Mr. Copeland, 
who died leaving only one child, a daughter, who married Mr. Long. Sherrod Long, 
and William Long, were the children of this marriage. Isaac Sherrod married the widow 
Copeland, and by this marriage they had only one child, Benjamin Sherrod, the subject 
of this sketch. His father died before his birth and his mother shortly after, and he 
was reared by the father of Abram Ricks. 

Colonel Sherrod was educated at Chapel Hill, and migrated, when a young man to- 
Washington, Wilkes county, Ga. In the war of 1812, he was an army contractor, with 
the commissary department', and brought into the 1 service the administrative ability 
which distinguished his subsequent life. The Georgians, whenever they pitched their 
camps, if only for a few days, were furnished with good bread from bakers' ovens 
speedily erected. Promoting the comfort of the troops, he added to their efficiency, as 
much or more, than would a whole additional company. 

His first wife was Eliza Watkins, daughter of Mr. Samuel Watkins, who was a mer- 
chant of Petersburg, Va., and a large planter on Broad river. After the death of his 
wife, in 1821, he removed to this county, and settled a large plantation called " Cotton 
Garden," on Spring creek. 

In 1822 he married his second wife, Mrs. Tabitha (Goode) Watkins, the widow of 
Coleman Watkins. It was in this year I first saw Colonel Sherrod. He had dark-blue 
eyes, Roman nose, and a very expressive face. His colloquial powers were great. 
His conversation was not only enriched by ample stores of experience and observation, 
but varied by flashes of humpr and racy anecdote, which made it very interesting. He 
was an ardent Whig, and very strong in political argument. I never knew him over- 
come but once. On the pavement in Courtland, he was seated in a crowd of men and 
gave General Jackson strong denunciation. When he came to a pause, no one answered 
him. " Uncle " Woodson May, an humble shingle maker from the mountain, had been 
listening intently, wnile he sat on the curbstone. Colonel Sherrod put his hand on 
the old man's shoulder and asked him what he thought of it. He answered : " Colonel, 
I don't understand much of what you have been saying, but one thing I know ; when the 
war came to an end, and the boys had all marched toward home, except such as were 'in 
the hospital, we were started under an officer, who was riding on a horse, and I was very 
weak and staggered as I walked. General Jackson and his staff overtook us, and seeing 
my condition he said roughly to the officer : "Why don't you get down and put that man 
for awhile on your horse? Dont you see he can hardly drag himself along? By the 
Eternal ! You ought to be cashiered !" This plain talk saved my life, and enabled me 
to see my wife and child once more, and if I ever forget General Jackson, may God 
Almighty forget me ! "This burst of gratitude was duly appreciated by the Colonel, 
who was a man of generous feeling, and he said afterward that it was the most eloquent 
speech he ever heard. 

* Miss Points has been for years the able writer and correspondent for the New Orleans Picayune- 



234 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

As a planter, Colonel Sherrod was very skilful. His management was marked by 
system more than that of any man I ever knew. His plows moved abreast like a com- 
pany of cavalry in a charge. The foreman with a mule of average speed set the gait, 
the fast mules being held back, and the slow ones hurried up a little. He was one of the 
few men who iised clover in this valley as a renovator. He wasted nothing which would 
maintain the fertility of the soil. And here I will mention an operation I witnessed on 
his plantation of a novel character. He had cleared up a large field, and in the hurry 
of getting it into cultivation the long worm-fence around it (he had no short ones) had 
been constructed of poles. When it became rotten and a new permanent fence had to 
be made, instead of being burned, these poles were buried in deep furrows, and ridges for 
cotton thrown up over them, and for years afterward you could see how far the ferti- 
lizer went. Now, the Yankee would make the world believe that the Southern planter 
does nothing but sit on the fence and whittle. I repel this charge by asking triumph- 
antly if there be any record in their farming paper of any Northern man having buried a 
fence a mile long for a fertilizer 1 

The success which followed Colonel Sherrod' s farming operations demonstrated the 
skilfulness of his management. He added plantation to plantation in quick succession. 
But in justice to the planters of the present day, who are moving so slowly under the 
drawback of low prices and a worn soil, we should state that then it' was the reverse, for 
it was high prices and a rich soil. The first year's crop of cotton on the " Hard Bar- 
gain " place amounted to the price he gave for it. He purchased the plantation now occu- 
pied by General Wheeler, and then a large plantation (still held by the family) near 
Tuscumbia, and then a large body of land in the Chickasaw session, west of Tuscumbia, 
and then his means were diverted into a new channel. 

Colonel Sherrod was one of the chief promoters of the Tuscumbia, Courtland and 
Decatur Railroad. He was named as president of the board of directors, composed of 
himself, Jos. Trotter, Wm. H. Whittaker, P. G. Godley, Micajah Turner, David Deshler, 
James Davis, Peter W. Taylor, James B. Wallace, David Coopwood, Wm. Leab, Henry 
W. Rhodes and Jesse W. Garth, in the charter of said company, dated on the 13th of 
January, 1832. A short road of two miles, from Tuscumbia to the river, had been 
finished just before this time, and called the attention of the public to this mode of 
transportation. Colonel, Sherrod, with his fine practical mind, saw at once that it was 
destined to work a wonderful revolution in the business of the world. The object of this 
road from Tuscumbia to Decatur was to avoid the obstructions in the Tennessee river, caused 
by the Muscle Shoals. It was contemplated that produce and goods would be transferred 
from steamboats to the road, andreshipped on the boats, both in ascending and descending. 
But there was a mistake made in the descending part of it. The transportation down the 
river was still continued , yet at reduced freights ; but freights up the road were offered in 
such quantity that it was difficult for the road to do the work with the defective and light 
locomotives constructed in that day. Moreover the road was built on a primitive plan, 
unsuited to bear the weight of heavy trains, having string pieces of wood scantlings on 
which flat bars of iron, a half inch by two-and-a-half inches were laid. On the whole, 
the road was a failure financially. It has since become-a link in the "Memphis and 
Charleston Railroad," and a part of a system of roads extending to New York. Colonel 
Sherrod, who had thrown all the force of his strong mind, ardent spirit, and long purse, 
into the enterprise, was saddled with the debt of the corporation, to the amount of three 
hundred thousand dollars — he having endorsed all its papers. He managed to discharge 
this debt, and at his death to bequeath to each of his children a plantation stocked with 
slaves. 

The descendants of Colonel Sherrod have been, generally, men of great respectabil- 
ity and intelligence. By his first wife, Eliza Watkins, he had six children — four sons 
and two daughters, to-wit: Felix M., Federick 0., Samuel W., George, Antoinette and 
Eliza. Of these George and Eliza died quite young. The rest, with their descendants, 
we will mention in regular order : 

1. Felix M. married (first) Margaret McGrau, of Augusta, Ga., and then Sarah Ann 



Recollections of North Alabama. 235 

Parrish, daughter of Sophia, eldest daughter of Rev. Turner Sauuders. We shall speak 
especially of the lineage of these families hereafter. The childreu of the last marriage 
(except two who died young) : (1) Benjamin, who married Ella Jones, who married (sec- 
ond) Gen. Joseph Wheeler, 0. S. A. ; (2) Frank, who married Mary Harris, daughter of 
the late Mr. John H. Harris. Frank died many years ago, leaving a widow and two sons, 
Frank and Harris, now young men. (3) Alice, who married Capt. Robert W. Banks, of 
Columbus, Miss. He is United States Internal Revenue Collector for that State. They 
have five living children — Sarah Felix, Lucile, Robert Webb, James Oliver and Alice 
Sherrod. (2) Antoinette Sherrod married, as we have already stated, Jacob K, Swoope ; 
they had one son, William, who died before he attained his majority. 

(3) Frederick O, third child of Colonel Sherrod, married Ann Bolton. They had four 
sons, John Bolton, Frederick, Felix and Benjamin, and two daughters, who died young. 
(A) John Bolton of Montgomery, married Judith Winston and has five children, John 
B-, William W., Judith. Edward and an infant. (B) Frederick, who married Mittie 
Davis, and has four children: Mary, Frederick, Mittie and Annie; (C) Felix who died, 

unmarried, since the war'; (D) Benjamin, who married Alexander, and they have 

four children, Frederick, Bolton, Felix and May. 

(4) Samuel W., fourth child of Colonel Sherrod, married Frances Parrish, sister of 
the wife of Felix. They had two children, Henry, who died before marriage, and Walter, 
who married Laura Davis. Henry the only living child of this marriage, married Ella, 
daughter of James Irvine of Florence, Ala. 

Colonel Sherrod, as we have already said, married a second time, Tabitha (Goode) 
Watkins, widow of Coleman Watkins. She had two sons, Willis Watkins, and Goode 
Watkins, by her first marriage, which we will speak of in connection with Mr. William 
Watkins, Sr. Colonel Sherrod, by this second marriage, had four children : A. Eliza, 
who died young ; B. Adelaide, who married Samuel W. Shackelford. They have two liv- 
ing children, Jack and May; C. Charles Fox of Columbus, Mississippi, married Susan, 
daughter of Col. Thos. Billups, of Columbus. Children: Thomas B. who married 

Pope ; Charles F. , who married Mary Harrison ; Benjamin M. ; Joseph B. ; William 

C. ; Sarah; Ella; Lily; Antoinette; Irene and Loleta. Mr. Sherrod and sons Benj. and 
Joseph are dead. 

(4) William C. (last child by the second marriage,) married Amanda Morgan, daugh- 
ter of Mr. Samuel Morgan, an eminent merchant of Nashville. Col. Wm. Sherrod has 
been a member of Congress from this district. His wife is a cousin of Gen. John Mor- 
gan, the celebrated calvary chief. Their children are Charles M., William C, St. Clair, 
Benjamin, Eugene, Lillian and Lucile. 

The Watkins Family. 

Our readers will remember that in connection with Dr. Thos. A. Watkins, 
we gave an account of a branch of this family which settled about Augusta, Ga. 
These descended from " Thomas Watkins, of Chickahominy .' ' I will now speak of another 
from Prince Edward county, Va., which came mostly to Elbert county, Ga., in the latter 
part of the last century. There are good reasons for believing that both these branches 
have descended from a common ancestor, but I have not been able to make out the 
connection. 

William was the first of the latter branch whose name appears in the family records. 
His son James (1 will call him the first) was born 5th of February, 1728, was married 
to Martha Thompson 20th of November, 1755, and died 21st December, 1780. His 
wife, Martha, was born 10th December, 1737, and died the 20th October, 1803. This 
Martha was daughter of Robert Thompson, who was a goldsmith, and had money to 
lend. Mrs. Harris (the mother of the late Stephen W. Harris, of Huntsville) and 
their granddaughter, in a long written account she gave me, thirty years ago said she 
remembered her grandparents, James and Martha Watkins, very well; that he was of 
ordinary stature, well set, of light complexion and blue eyes, and her grandmother was 
a handsome woman of medium size, and black eyes. This union produced in nineteen 



236 Early Settlers op Alabama. 

years nine children; all of whom grew up, all of whom married, all of whom had a 
family of children (except one), and all of whom lived to a good old age. The names 
of the children were : William, James, Sarah, Robert, Samuel, John, Thompson, Joseph 
and Isham. Of these: William, Samuel and John first moved to Georgia 1783, for they 
were all born in Prince Edward county, Va. After awhile about 1796 (Mrs. Harris) the 
rest of the family moved also, and the old people now " well stricken in years " with 
them. They were devoted members of the Baptist Church. I will speak of their eight 
sons and one daughter in order especially of those who came to Lawrence county, 
and generally of those who migrated to Madison and Montgomery counties in Alabama, 
or remained in Georgia. 

1. William Watkins, the eldest son of James the First and Martha, was born 20th 
October, 1756. He was married to Susan Clark Coleman about 1789, in Elbert county, 
Georgia. She was born 25th February, 1769. He was • a stalwart, finely formed man, 
with black eyes and dark complexion ; and she was a beautiful and very charming young 
woman of the same complexion, and a notable housekeeper (Mrs. Harris.) After some 
years of prosperity, his imagination was inflamed by accounts of the great fertility of 
Maury county, Tennessee; and he moved to that county, and, at length, when his rela- 
tives began to settle in North Alabama, he removed to Madison county, about 1819 ; a 
poorer man than when he left Georgia. He had been worsted in his encounter with the 
tall thick heavy timber of Tennessee. The farmers had not learned to girdle the 
timber, let it die, cut down the cane, and then at some dry time set fire to it, and when 
everything is as hot as an oven, the burning is complete. Such a conflagration where 
thousands of canes heated by the fire are exploding every minute, resembles a battle of 
musketry. The settlers either didn't know', or had not time to wait for this process. Wil- 
liam Wafkins encountered the forest in the " green tree," and not in the " dry," and 
was badly defeated. 

In Madison county he had begun to retrieve his fortunes when I saw him for the 
first time ; and although sixty years ago, I shall never forget what occurred. I was 
sitting in the back parlor at Dr. James Mannings, when his niece and the young ladies 
in the front room exclaimed : "Why! Uncle Billy, how are you?" He was then 70 
years old; but he sprang up and struck his heels together twice, and said: " That's how 
I am." They asked him why people could not do that " now-a-days." He answered 
emphathically that it was owing to "calomel, coffee and Prunella shoes. There was some- 
thing quite original in his manner, and a great deal of droll humor. I have known 
three of this old Watkins family who were born (all of them) before the revolution, 
and who had the same cast of character ; and all men of solid judgment and keen judges 
of human nature'. Some years afterward Mr. William Watkins moved to Lawrence 
county and died near Courtland on the 28th May, 1832, 76 years of age. His wife lived 
until 20th April, 1843. These old people were much revered, and good members of 
the Baptist Church. 

1. Coleman Watkins was the eldest of their children (except three who died in in- 
fancy). He married Tabitha Goode, who was born near Cambridge, S. C, 25th April, 
1792. They lived in Madison county. They had two children ; William Willis and 
Samuel Goode, both of whom are living. William Willis has been married twice. His 
first wife was Susan Burt. Their children were John Coleman, who married a Miss 
McWeaver, of Louisiana, and died, leaving two children, Jennie and Coleman. 2 Ade- 
laide, 3 Caroline and 4 Frank. Of Caroline, the widow of Edward P. Shackelford, we 
have already spoken. Adelaide married a Mr. Guitor, and lives in Bibb county. The 
second wife of William Willis was Mrs. Martha Whiting, of Tuscaloosa, aud by this 
marriage there were four children, Good, Thomas, Leigh and Tabitha. Samuel Goode, 
second son of Coleman, and Tabitha Watkins, has been married three times. First to 
Caroline Oliver, secondly to Martha Jane Foster, and thirdly to Elizabeth Daniel. 
There were no children of the two first marriages. Those from the third are Sandy H., 
John W., Elizabeth D. and Goode. Coleman Watkins died in a few years, and his 



Recollections op North Alabama. % 237 

widow, as we have said, married Col. Benjamin Sherrod, who reared her two boys as if 
they were his own, and gave them handsome legacies in his will. 

2. Milton died unmarried. 

3. James Coleman, the third son of William Watkins, was a merchant of Court- 
land. He was married three times, first to Isabella M. Moore. The issue was Milton, 
Samuel and Sarah I. Milton and Samuel were members of the celebrated Eighth Texas 
Cavalry in the late war ; and I happen to know that Colonel Wharton detailed them for 
dangerous service, and heard him say they were amongst the bravest soldiers he had. 
I understand that Milton died in 1885. Susan I. married Arthur A. Acklen, who con- 
ducted a drug business in Courtland, and died there, and who had been reared in Hunts- 
ville, of a fine old family. Their daughter, Blanche, married Mr. Macke, of San 
Marcos, Texas. They have six children. For his second wife Mr. Watkins married 
Lottie Williams. The children were: William (who joined the Eighth Texas, and died 
early in the war), Paul James, Jane M. , and Martha. Jane M. married Thos. Simmons, 
and when she became a widow married a Mr. Woods ; had a son by the first and a 
daughter by the second, marriage. They live in Texas. 

James C. married for his third wife Mary Calvert, in Moulton, Ala. Her sister, 
Susan, married Jack Hays, the celebrated Indian fighter of Texas. By this third mar- 
riage the issue was Calvert, Mary, Hettie and Bettie. 

4. William, the fourth son of William and Susan, lived in Madison county. He mar- 
ried Harriet Anderson, sister of John and Richard Anderson. Their children were Mary, 
Susan, Ann, John William, Martha, Harriet, and Cobert. Ann married Henry C. Brad- 
ford. John William married Lydia Hayes, and Martha married Wm. Spotswood, a 
descendant of Alex. Spotswood, who was governor of Virginia in colonial times (1714). 

5. Martha, the youngest child of William and Susan, was born in 1810. Being the 
only daughter she was reared, and educated, with great care. For many years 
she was under the special supervision of Mrs. De Vandel, who by her graceful 
manner had such eclat, then in Huntsville, and, years afterward, in Mobile. She was 
also a woman of genius, and transmitted it to her daughters; one of whom wrote " Mrs. 
John Johnson Jones," a satire which had quite a "run" in that day. And well did 
young Martha repay the care bestowed on her by a mother of excellent mind and great 
discretion, and that gifted instructress, Mrs. Be Vandel. She married a young com- 
mission merchant of New Orleans who was reared in New York — William Vermylie 
Chardavoyne. It was a marriage of affection, ratified by judgment. The husband was 
descended from a Hugenot family, which fled from France from Roman Catholic perse- 
cution, on the fall of the Protestant stronghold of La Rochelle. Elise Chardavoyne was 
the founder of the family in New York and his direct descendant. William Charda- 
voyne married Susanna Vermylie of an old Knickerbocker family of New York (see 
Baird's "History of the Huguenots of New York," and " The Huguenot Colony of New 
York," in which these families have honorable mention). The head of the family was 
knighted in France on account of valorous conduct, and raised to the peerage by the 
title of " Count de Chardavoyne " and came into possession of the Lordship of Creve- 
couer et Yalse, by marriage and descent (see " History of French Kings and their Retainers," 
in which their coat of arms is minutely described). Such a descent is not to be despised ; 
but dearer by far to this family should be the remembrance of that heroic virtue, which 
sustained their ancestors in the surrender of everything for conscience sake. 

On the marriage of William V. Chardavoyne and Martha Watkins she accompanied 
him to New Orleans, but after a few months the state of her health required her to 
return to North Alabama. 1 was in New Orleans afterward, and business detained me 
for several weeks. I spent much of my time in the office of the young husband. The 
city was threatened with cholera, and I returned home. In a few days news was received 
of his death by that fell disease. A son had been born to her, and she wrote the pathe- 
tic entry in her diary : " Wife, mother and widow in less than one year !" 

Maj. William V. Chardavoyne is that son. He married Lavinia Harris, daughter of 
Mr. Daniel Harris, of Madison county, who married Eliza Bentley, both from Virginia. 



238 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

The children of Major Chardavoyne are Martha, who married Major Thorns, Civil En- 
gineer on the Muscle Shoals Canal, and Edward, who is a young man (has since married 
Miss Annie Pippin, of Courtland, Ala.). 

Sarah Watkins. 

In a family of nine, was the only daughter of James Watkins and Martha Thomp- 
son, and was born 20th of June, 1760. I have heard the old people say that in her youth 
she was very beautiful. 8he married, in Georgia, Capt. Robert Thompson, who for dis- 
tinction where there were so many of the same name, was called " Old Blue." His father, 
Robert, was the son of Robert Thompson, the immigrant (from England) and the 
brother of Martha Thompson ; and so Captain Thompson and his wife, Sarah Watkins, 
were cousins. The captain was a man of uncommon sagacity, and like his grandfather, 
the goldsmith, "he always had money to lend." He was a merchant of Petersburg, 
Ga., and moved with his sons-in-law, at an early day, to Huntsville, Madison county, 
Ala., where both he and his wife died. 

They had three children ; Sophia, Pamelia and Eliza. Sophia married Dr. James 
Manning, a man of great worth and modesty. Their eldest daughter married Gen. 
Bartley M. Lowe; Dr. Felix Manning, their son, married Sarah Millwater, and settled 
in Aberdeen. Peyton married Sarah Weedon, James married Indiana Thompson, Wil- 
liam married Frances Weedon, and Robert married Louisiana Thompson. 

Pamelia married Thomas Bibb, who was a brother of Gov. William W. Bibb, and 
on his death succeeded him in that office by virtue of being President of the Senate. 
Their children were numerous, and the Bibbs, Bradleys and Pleasants are scattered, 
like the descendants of Dr. Manning, over several States. It does not comport with the 
plan of my brief articles, to give a detailed aecount of these families, but simply to fix 
a few links from which those who live after me can finish the family chain. 

Samuel Watkins, 

Was the son of James Watkins (the first) and Martha Thompson. He was born 
in Prince Edward county, 17th of May, 1765, more than 120 years ago ; removed 
to Elbert county, Georgia, about 1783, and there married Eleanor Thompson, 
daughter of Robert Thompson above mentioned, and sister of "Old Blue." She 
had been born also in Virginia, in the same county, and was a woman of great 
beauty, a notable housekeeper. Mr. Samuel Watkins was not only a large cotton 
planter on Broad river, bat a merchant doing a large business in the town of Petersburg, 
Ga. For twenty years or more this place was noted for the intelligence and wealth of its 
inhabitants. Its importance, however, was far greater than its population. Here lived 
at one time, the Bibbs, the Olivers, the Watkinses, the Stokes, the Popes, the Walkers, 
the Remberts and a number of other aristocratic families. It was here that the wealthy 
young Benjamin Sherrod found his beautiful and wealthy bride, Eliza Watkins, the 
eldest child of Mr. Samuel Watkins. This city in epitome, was sustained by the 
lucrative trade of the Broad river planters on the Georgia, and the Calhoun settlement 
on the South Carolina, side — and academic facilities for education were furnished for the 
young men at an academy under the charge of Dr. Moses Waddel, a distinguished 
educator, near the house of Patrick Calhoun, the father of John C. Calhoun. Dr. 
Waddel married his sister. He was afterward president of the Georgia University, where 
the writer was a student. But this little city began to wane. Its wealthy and talented 
citizens emigrated, one by one, mostly to Alabama, and it was literally depopulated. A 
sentimental descendant of one of these families, seeking to find "where the home of his 
forefathers stood," would have to employ a guide to show him the site of the ruined town. 
Mr. Samuel,Watkins purchased a large tract of land in this county, extending from 
the head of Spring creek southward to the Brown's ferry road, and his eldest son. Paul 
J. Watkins, moved out, and prepared the lands for cultivation, and built the houses, so 
that his father, when he came to his new home, had but to hang up his hat. At this 
time, although an old man, he was very fine looking, with brown eyes, and a dark but 
rich complexion. He seemed to enjoy his release from mercantile life, and the society 



Recollections op North Alabama. 239 

of his old Georgia friends by whom he was surrounded. He was very polite and grace- 
ful, and like most retired merchants, dressed very neatly. Now, in warm weather you 
often see cotton planters of his age in their broad halls", going slip-shod ; but I never 
saw him under these circumstances when his feet were not cased in fine pumps. 

Like all of his name, he was full of humor. Colonel Sherrod's young sons, during 
a vaeation, were visiting the old gentleman, with a large pack of dogs. Says he, 
" Boys, why don't you go to work? Why do you idle your time in this way !" " Why, 
grandpa, we have no work to do, and we don't know where we can get any." He re-, 
lieved them of the difficulty by accepting their proposition to burn brush in his new 
ground at a quarter of a dollar a day. Well, next Monday morning, bright and early, 
the boys came over and brought all their dogs with them. To tell the truth, they 
worked pretty well, except when the dogs would jump a rabbit. Then they would break 
ranks, for the temptation was too strong to be resisted. At the end of the week the 
boys proposed a settlement. The old gentleman required each one to make out his 
account, and then he made out his. Upon charging them and their dogs a very moderate 
amount for board, he brought them a little in his debt. The boys looked amazed, and 
cried out, " Grandpa!" all in one breath. But he insisted that there was no stipulation 
for him to furnish board gratis. Col. William Sherrod, who furnished me with this amus- 
ing incident, says that this lesson from the old gentleman was worth more to him than 
any he ever learned at school, and that he never signed an agreement after he grew up 
without the "burning brush" contract coming into his mind, and without having 
every material stipulation inserted before he signed it. 

Mr. Samuel Watkins and his wife were members of the Methodist Church. They 
had a family of five children. Eliza, the first wife of Colonel Sherrod, who died (as we 
have already said) in Georgia, Paul J., Edgar, and Elmira, who married Rev. Edgar 
M. Swoope, and whose family has already been spoken of. 

Mr. Paul J. Watkins after clearing up the Spring Creek place for his father moved to 
a large tract he had purchased on the Tennessee river below Brown's Ferry. This place, 
also, he reduced to cultivation and founded a home still called " Flower Hill." He had 
married Elizabeth Watt, a young lady of sweet face, great vitality and remarkable love 
of flowers. She was not a botanist who filled her garden with ugly blossoms on account 
merely of their rarity, but cultivated varieties for their beauty and fragrance, hence 
the name of this family seat, which was dedicated to hospitality. She was a woman of 
energy and an excellent manager. His days were assiduously devoted to business. 
But when night came he was unlike most of our farmers who are still thinking over 
their business, and laying plans for to-morrow. No, a general cheerfulness pervaded the 
mansion. On his violin he would accompany one of his daughters who were excellent 
performers on the piano, with the most enlivening music. The tunes were popular, and 
the effect was delightful. If farmers were more studious to render their homes happy, 
their sons would not be so anxious to abandon them for the excitement of cities where 
they are so often wrecked both in body and soul. 

Eliza, daughter of PaulJ. Watkins, married John Phinizy. Their daughter, Lizzie, 
married Samuel Pointer; Maggie married James Strong; Watkins married Lucy Sykes, 
and Maud, Ferdinand and James are still single. 

Susan A., daughter of Paul J. Watkins, married Ephraim H. Foster. Their son, 
James H., married Ida Speaks ; Bettie married Thomas Pointer ; Harry C. married Laura 
Dove; Fannie C. married William Wallace, and Narcissa H., Susie A. and Ephraim H. 
are single. 

Amelia, a daughter of Paul J. Watkins, married Edward Munford. They had but 
one child, Paul, and he died unmarried. 

Martha J., as we have stated, married William S. Bankhead. No issue. 

Mary E., youngest child of PaulJ. Watkins, married James Branch, Their children 
are James H., who married Cornelia Bail. Their children are Joseph C, Susan S. and 
Robert W. 



240 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

Eleanor, daughter of Mr. Samuel Watkins, married Jessie Thompson, and died in 
a short time after her marriage, without issue. 

Edgar, a sen of Mr. Samuel Watkins, died recently, never having married. 

James Watkins 

was the second of that name. Like his brothers William and Samuel he was born before 
the revolution and on the 20th October, 1758. In person he differed from them, for he 
had blue eyes and light complexion. He was of ordinary stature, but well set and of 
fine judgment and great industry. 

On the 27th February, 1779, he married Jane Thompson, daughter of Isham Thomp- 
son and Mary Ann Oliver, his wife. Jane Thompson was a pretty woman with black 
eyes and a notable housekeeper (Mrs. Harris). 

Their home was a few miles above Petersburg, Ga., on the bank of the Savannah 
river. They were not wealthy, but independent. The plantation, however, was fertile, 
for it comprised an island in the river and rich creek lands, and there was a mill on it. 
Although foreign luxuries were not to be had then, the family abounded in domestic com- 
forts. One who sits near me while I write, has been telling of the home of her grand 
-parents where she spent so many Saturdays when a child — of the hill, on which the mansion 
stood shaded by forest trees with wide spreading branches — of the cool spring at the 
foot of the hill, and the gourd which hung upon a nail driven into a tree near by — of 
throwing off her shoes and stockings and wading in the branch — of the large water- 
melons brought from the island — of the apples and peaches, and cherries, and the cherry 
pies made in deep plates and full of juice to the brim. I give a side glance at her. She 
is looking through the window in the distance. She is a child again, and her black eyes 
alternately sparkle, or are dimmed by tears as scenes of other days flit across the land- 
scape of her memory. She sees a light, 

" That ne'er shall shine again 
On life's dull stream." 

The daughters of the family were black-eyed, and noted for their beauty; not that 
kind of beauty which disappears like the morning dew, but a quality founded on a good 
constitution, which retains the bloom on the cheek long after youth has departed. I 
have seen four of these ladies, and even in old age " they were fair to look upon." 
These daughters were trained to habits of industry. There were no sewing machines, 
mantuamakers or milliners in that day, and each girl had to win her diploma with her 
own fingers, and the exercise of her individual taste. Of course having to rely exclu- 
sively on the needle for the fabrication of their dresses, there were no superfluous 
flounces or " fubelows " as now. And perhaps there was another reason: the figures 
of the girls, in that day, were most perfect, and such illusions in dresses as are now 
common were not required to hide personal defects. 

The sons were brought up to labor, and habits of business. There was one excep- 
tion. The youngest was most indulged, " wore soft clothing," and in the sequel we 
shall see the effect. 

In this family there were not only physical influences which gave force to the 
character of the young, but a spirit of pure and simple piety imbued members 
generally. Their Methodism was earnest and pronounced, and sprang from the 
pure seed planted by John Wesley himself, while he was in Georgia. This country 
home was the resort of many of the rising young men of Georgia, and its sons and 
daughters formed worthy alliances, and families of great respectability in Georgia, Ala- 
bama, Mississippi and Texas trace their origin to it. Two of the sons died before mar- 
riage. Garland T. served during the war of 1812, returned home, and beiug a man of 
great sprightliness, he studied law, but died before he commenced the practice. Another 
son, Theophilus, died at the age of 15 years. The other children of James and 
Jane Watkins we shall notice briefly in succession. 

Major Robert H. Watkins was born 1st October, 1782. In person he was over six 




Robert H. Watkins 

As a Youth. 
Born 1782, Died 1855. 




Mrs. Prudence Oliver Watkins. 
Born 1788, died 1867. 



Recollections op North Alabama. 241 

feet in height, and had a finely proportioned person. His eyes were black and his nose 
aequilline. He was noted for a perseverance which never flagged, and great sagacity in 
practical business, and for an unselfish devotion to the welfare of his children, which 
is gratefully remembered. 

On the 25th April, 1805, he married Prudence T. Oliver, who was born 22d October, 
1788. She was the daughter of Mr. John Oliver, a merchant and planter of great worth 
and purity of character. The late Dr. Samuel C. Oliver, so long State Senator from 
Montgomery, and. Rev. Christopher D. Oliver, D. D,, of the Methodist Church, South, 
descended from the same stock. Major Watkins was the neighbor and intimate friend 
of Colonel Sherrod, of whom we have spoken in a previous number ; but they were rivals 
in cotton planting. In their rapid accumulation of wealth (which was only equaled by 
one planter in Madison county), they advanced "pari passee." Major Watkins owned 
all the land from the first hill north of Courtland to the Tennessee river; and when Col- 
onel Sherrod, for want of room, took his flight to the Chickasaw cession, Major Watkins 
passed the Tennessee river and made large purchases on Elk river. As managers, how- 
ever, they differed very much in their modes of action. Major Watkins, a man of won- 
derful physical strength and endurance, superintended his overseers as closely as they 
did the hands — and he moved business on with great energy. While Colonel Sherrod, 
whose health would not bear exposure, accomplished about as much by systematic man- 
agement ; but to do this he had to employ overseers of a higher grade and at greater costs. 

But there was a principle of action which was common to both of those great 
managers, and that was never to expend labor on poor land. If this was correct policy 
then when the labor was owned, how much more is it now, when it is dear. On the 
plantations I cultivate, it requires double the number of laborers it did before the eman- 
cipation, to work the same land ; and it is therefore very costly. No matter on what 
contract you work, labor must be paid iu some form — labor must have food and clothing, 
and houses and fuel, in winter ; therefore you should work (as the eminent planters did.) 
none but rich lands. But how are we to make them so? I answer: study your farm- 
ing papers, as an essay on that subject would be out of plaee here. 

In their old age Major Watkins and his excellent wife moved to Pulaski, and after 
some years they died. She had been a most exemplary and humble Christian from her 
youth. When quite old he also was brought into the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South. 

Their eldest child, Mary Frances, married James B. Saunders, the writer of these 
reminiscences. Of their children (1887), Robert Turner has not married. Elizabeth 
D. married Dr. Bruno Poellnitz, of Marengo county, and died young, 1852. Mary 
Louisa married Henry D. Blair, of Mobile, and died young, 1859, leaving one child, 
Elizabeth Saunders, who married Prof. Wm. C. Stubbs (who is in charge of the experi- 
ment stations of Louisiana). Dr. Dudley Dunn Saunders lives in Memphis. He mar- 
ried (first) Kate Wheatley. They had two children, Mary Louisa, who maried Samuel 
Gordon Brent, a lawyer of Alexandria, Va., and died leaving a little boy named Samuel 
Gordon ; and Kate Wheatley, her sister. The doctor married (secondly) Mary Wheatley, 
and they have two children, Dudley Dunn, and Elizabeth Wheatley. Sarah Jane Saun- 
ders married Dr. John M. Hayes, formerly of Florence. They now live in Birmingham 
(1887). Prudence Oliver Saunders, who died soon after completing her education 
(1864), Lawrence Watkins Saunders, who entered the army during the late war, when 
quite a youth, and died from hardships endured during his imprisonment at Camp 
Chase; and Ellen Virginia, who married L. B. McFarland, Esq., lawyer. They reside 
in Memphis. 

Sarah Independence Watkins, daughter of Major Watkins, married Geo. W. Foster. 
We shall say more of him under the head of " The Foster Family." Their daughter, 
Mary Ann, married James Simpson. She died early, leaving one child, Margaret M., 
who married Thomas McDonald, of Limestone county. Dr. Watkins Foster commenced 
life with promise, but was wrecked on the rock of intemperance. He died in 1885. 
Virginia, who married James Irvine, a lawyer of Florence. He died several years ago. 



242 Early Settlers of Alabama. 

Their children are Mary, who married William Houston ; James, who married a 
daughter of Dr. McAlexander; Ella, who married Henry Sherrod; and Emma, and Vir- 
ginia, and Washington, who are not married. Geeorge W. Poster, C. S. A., married 
Emma McKiernon, She died several years ago, leaving several children. Andrew J. 
Foster, C. S. A., married Mrs. Hellen Potter, of Tunica county, Miss. He died leaving 
one son. Louisa Poster married Charles Pant, of North Mississippi. She died several 
years ago, leaving several children. Sallie Foster married Sterling McDonald. They 
live in Florence, and have a half dozen young children. 

Major James Lawrence, eldest son of Major Robert H. Watkins, married Eliza Pat- 
ton, daughter of Mr. William Patton, one of the early merchants of Huntsville, who 
had been very successful in life. He was father also to Gov. Robt. Patton, of Alabama. 
Major James Lawrence Watkins was one of General Forrest's staff officer when he cap- 
tured Murfreesboro, and was sent during the battle on a special mission. In returning, 
the fire of a whole company of Federals was drawn upon him, and two others. He 
escaped unhurt, but had his boot heel shot off. He has only one surviving child, 
Virginia, who married Charles Robinson (a merchant of Mississippi. They now live in 
Louisville, Ky.). They have one youngd aughter, married Mr. Glazebrook. Major Law- 
rence also had one son, William, who took his diploma as a physician with great honor 
in New York, and was about to sail for Europe to complete his medicinal education when 
he died suddenly in 1882 at his home in Huntsville. 

Virginia P. Watkins, another daughter of Major Watkins, married to Hon. Thomas 
J. Foster, who will be noticed fully in another number. She died soon after marriage 
and left no living issue. 

Robert H. Watkins (son of Major R. H. Watkins), married Mary Margaret Carter, 
daughter of Dr. Benjamin Carter, of Pulaski, Tenn. They died in Huntsville. Their 
daughter, Mary M., married Yancey Newman, and they reside in Birmingham, Ala. 
They have several children. James Lawrence Watkins and Robert H. Watkins, their 
sons, edit the "Birmingham Age." James Lawrence married Bettie Matthews, daughter 
of the late Luke Matthews, of Huntsville. They have two sons, Lucius and Lawrence. 
Robert H. married Mamie Lindsay, daughter of ex-Governor Lindsay. They have one 
daughter. Lizzie Watkins married Col. Guilford Buford, of Giles county, Tenn. She 
is a widow with several children. Sallie Watkins married James Patton, of Huntsville, 
and has three children. Frank Watkins married Miuuie Murray, and has lived in 
Oregon for several years. They have several children. And Dr. Lindsay Watkins, of 
Nashville, Tenn., has recently married a Miss Connolly. He is in good practice for a 
young physician. 

Mary (Polly) Thompson, daughter of James Watkins (the second) and sister of 
Major Robert H. Watkins, was born 5th of March, 1784, and married Dr. Asa Thomp- 
son 15th January, 1801, in Elbert county, Ga. The doctor lived a few miles from Peters- 
burg, and was a practising physician, and cotton planter. They moved to Madison 
county, Ala., and settled inMuliins' Plat. He died about fifty-five yearsago. She was 
left to rear and educate the younger children, and well did she perform that duty. She 
was a go