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By Anna M. Gayle Fry 















In the following pages I have been particular in my 
descriptions of Cahaba, because I wanted to present 
as nearly as possible a "pen picture" of the place as it 
existed and the people as I recollect them before time 
and age shall have entirely obliterated the scenes from 

I have faithfully endeavored to describe truthfully 
each place as it was, the individuals as they appeared, 
and life as it was lived in the old days. 

In doing this, I have attempted to do what others 
better fitted should have done, for there is no place 
richer in history and tradition and none more worthy 
the pen of the most gifted writer. 

Anna M. Gayle Fry. 

Cahaba History. 


At the foot of the picturesque Cahaba Hills, on the 
banks of the majestic Alabama, just above the mouth 
of the beautiful little Cahaba, where their waters glide 
into each other's embrace on their way to the sea. is 
located the old, historic town of Cahaba — a place re- 
plete with romantic interest, and in its might)- ruins a 
forceful reminder that man, proud man, cannot build 
against the destructive inroads of time, circumstance, 
and political influence. 

Around this deserted village, this now lonely, neg- 
lected hamlet, centered some of the most historic char- 
acters of the South, and it has the proud distinction 
of having been the first capital of Alabama, after she 
was admitted into the galaxy of States, when she was 
yet in her infancy, with her great wealth unknown 
and her many natural resources undeveloped and un- 
dreamed of. 

From early historians we. learn that, as far back as 
1713, the locality at the mouth of the Cahaba River, 
which from the remains of the old fort and trenches 
seen there, is thought to be the present site of the 
town, was one of importance, and was once occupied 
by the officers of Crozart, a rich merchant of Paris, 
He received a large grant of land from the French 
King Louis XV., and established military and trading 
posts at different points in this country, when it was 
under French dominion, and is known in history and 
romance as "The Prince of Louisiana." 



Finding the location too unprotected from the bar- 
barous attacks of Indians, it was abandoned in early 
days and remained in the unbroken wilds of nature 
until 1816, when it became among the first election 
precincts established. 

These elections were held at the houses of George 
Tubs, Joseph Britton, Cap Yost, and a Mr. Federicks, 
and were precincts of Montgomery County, which at 
that time embraced all Central Alabama. 

At the last meeting of the Territorial Legislature, 
at old St. Stephens in 1818, a number of new counties 
were formed, among them Dallas County. At the 
same time a committee was appointed, under an Act 
of this Legislature, to select a more central point for 
the capital of the State of Alabama. C. C. Clay, 
Samuel Dale, James Titus, William L. Adams, and 
Samuel. Taylor composed this committee. 

When the General Assembly convened at Hunts- 
ville the following year, the Commissioners reported 
they had selected a locality at the mouth of the Cahaba 
River for the capital, and by that Legislature of 1819 
the town of Cahaba was incorporated, lots laid out, 
and a location for the government buildings selected 
by Governor William Bibb, who appointed Luther 
Blake, Carlisle Humphreys, and Willis Roberts to 
hold the first town election. 

Cahaba at this early day was not only the capital of 
the State, but was also the seat of justice of Dallas 
County, and soon sprung into an important business 
and social center, despite its unfortunate geographical 
location. Lying in a valley, the Alabama River in 
front, with the Cahaba River flowing around the north- 
western and northern portion of the town, and Clear 


Creek on the west, the place is almost surrounded by 
streams of water, which become swollen torrents and 
subject it to heavy overflows during the wet season. 

Who the early settlers of Cahaba were in its brilliant 
capitolian days, and of their life there, little or nothing 
is known. Few or none of their personalities can now 
be recalled, and their memories are but a shadowy 
dream of an almost forgotten past. 

Brewer and Garrett mention as belonging to Cahaba 
in those early times only Jesse Beene, Thomas Casey, 
and Horatio G. Perry, all prominent men who resided 
there. It is presumed the Governor's mansion was 
there, and that it was occupied by Governor William 
Bibb, Governor Thomas Bibb, Governor Pickens, 
when they were Chief Executives of the State, and 
that James J. Pleasants, James I. Thornton, Jack 
F. Ross, Henry Minor, Samuel Pickens, and Reuben 
Saffold were all citizens of Cahaba when they were 
officials of the State ; also Joseph Mays, who, in 1813, 
had charge of the land office which was located there 
— but there is no record to tell us in what part of the 
town these prominent people resided. 

In an old account book, dated "Cahaba, 1818-1830," 
are found a few other names of old residents of Cahaba 
and surrounding country, which may be of interest 
to the present generation, as some of those men- 
tioned are, doubtless, ancestors of those of the same 
name who still reside in Dallas County. Among them 
is John Cotton, due for the rent of a house in 1818. 
Unfortunately the price is not stated to give us an 
idea of the value of property in the town at that early 
day, but farther on one Merrett is charged with the 
lease of two cabins on lot 31, at $7 a month, from 


which fact Cahaba property seems to have brought a 
good income. 

In this book are also found the names of William 
B. Allen, David Sheppard, N. Cocheron, Samuel Ken- 
dall, Willis Roberts, John Radcliff, Luther Blake, Car- 
lisle Humphreys, Shirley Biwell, R. Wade, Peyton 
King, William Judge, John Gayle, E. W. Saunders, 
James Welsh, Thomson of Bogue Chitto, Joseph 
Mays, John McElroy, a "gentleman taylor," Dalton & 
Riggs, merchants, Campbell & Hanna, lawyers ; also 
William Gill, a lawyer, who owned considerable prop- 
erty in the town. 

In 1820 Cahaba had two newspapers, a land office, 
State bank, stores, private boarding houses, hotels, 
schools, and churches we presume, though there is no 
mention made of a church until later on. 

In 1822 a large amount of public land was sold in 
Cahaba at public outcry. Lands in the vicinity of the 
town brought $1.25 an acre. In a few weeks these 
same lands were worth $60 and $70 an acre, and in 
a few months could not be had at any price. There 
was a great demand for city lots, and it has been 
stated that unimproved lots in the central portion of 
the town in 1822 sold as high as $5,025, and that the 
sale of 184 lots amounted to over $120,000, which 
amount was added to the sum set aside by the Legis- 
lature for government buildings. 

The capitol was a solid square brick structure, two 
stories high, surmounted by an imposing dome, said 
to be similar in appearance to the old capitol building 
of St. Augustine, Fla.. which was erected in the same 
year. On either side of the broad hall that ran through 
the center of the first floor were the executive and 


State offices. The second floor, composed of two 
large rooms, was occupied by the Senate and House 
of Representatives. 

The town was now growing and continued to im- 
prove rapidly until 1825, when the largest flood ever 
known in the history of this country swept down the 
Alabama and Cahaba Rivers and completely inun- 
dated Cahaba. According to tradition, the Legislature 
was in session when the flood came and the different 
representatives had to be rowed in boats and landed in 
the second story of the capitol, to reach the legislative 
halls. Many of the private residences and public 
buildings were injured by the overflow, and when a 
portion of the Statehouse fell Cahaba was no longer 
deemed safe as the seat of government, and at a meet- 
ing of the next Legislature, in January, 1826, the 
capital was removed to Tuscaloosa. Cahaba now be- 
came almost abandoned. 

Though it still remained the county seat of Dallas 
County, many of the most influential inhabitants moved 
away and the town rapidly declined. Many of the 
houses were torn down and moved to Mobile. Many 
of those left were unoccupied. Rare flowers bloomed 
in the lonely yards in neglected wild luxuriance. 
Beautiful climbing roses waved mournfully to the 
breeze from decaying galleries, and the grass grew in 
the principal streets as though months had passed since 
foot had touched it. The place was lonely and deserted. 
And this, a few months before, was the gay capital 
of the State of Alabama, famed for its thrift and in- 
dustry, its hospitality, and its chivalry ! A sad com- 
mentary on the uncertainty and mutability of human 
hopes, human endeavors, and human ambition ! 


Abandoned to its neglected fate, the little village 
struggled on until more fortunate days dawned upon 
it, and after a few years began to rise "Phoenix-like" 
from its ashes and again assume its old importance. 
In those early days stagecoaches and steamboats, fre- 
quently flatboats and barges, were the only mode of 
conveyance. There were no railroads in Alabama at 
that time. Indeed, we are told that the longest con- 
tinuous line of railroad known in the world, even so 
late as 1836, was from Augusta, Ga., to Charleston, 
S. C, and that only one hundred and fifty miles 

Back of Cahaba, and extending into the counties 
of Green and Perry, were rich lands that were rap- 
idly being cleared and developed into a productive 
agricultural country, whose only market was Mobile ; 
Cahaba was the most accessible point to ship from, 
and in the early thirties it was the largest and most 
important shipping point on the Alabama River, and 
the town was then making rapid strides in prosperity. 

Large warehouses were built, old residences re- 
paired, and new ones erected. With the sound of 
hammer and buzz of saw people began to again flock 
there, and the place once more became the mart of 
a busy community. 

In 1830 Campbell and Hanna were still advertised 
as lawyers at Cahaba ; also Jesse Beene, Horatio Per- 
ry, James C. Calhoun, Burwell Boykin, and James D. 

In 1832 George W. Gayle is added to the list, with 
Daniel Coggin, R. R. Chamberlain, R. E. B. Baylor, 
William W. Fambro, William Gayle, John R. Hood, 
Joseph W. Outlaw, William L. Phillips, A. J. Saffold, 


Horace Cone, and James B. Clarke, better known as 
"Chancellor Clarke." 

The prominent physicians at this time were J. F. 
Heustis, B. H. Hogan, P. W. Herbert, and L. B. 
Earle. The merchants mentioned are W. L. Dunham 
and Crocheran & Perine, who settled in Cahaba as 
early as 1820. 

In addition we found the names of the following 
persons in 1833: John Hardy, John McLoughlin, Tay- 
lor Rogers, Italus Brown, Thomas J. Frond, B. H. 
Ruthland, Jesse Ross, James Grumbles, N. Harder, 
Theosophile Jordon, Mrs. Lilian Huddleston, James 
Wilson, Robert Nott, John Hill, James Flanegan, T. 
M. Jackson, Dave Adams, Archebald Fair, Joseph 
Hildebrand, William Curtis, Joseph Derry, M. A. 
Parnell, Levi Comolander, A. Avery, Mathew Gayle, 
Billups Gayle, Alfred Averett, Nathan Jackson, James 
Nelson, W. Crenshaw, John M. Speed, Mrs. Margaret 
Blake)-, John Cargill, Tom McGowan, John Guiwn, 
M. Garrett, John Mosely, Smeed, Eliot, McDonald, 
William Whitehead, John Lovett, William Lovett, 
Jacob Hoot, Dr. Underwood, Thomas Holiway, H. 
Kirkland, Dr. Thomas W. Gill, George Mathews, 
Tbomas M. Mathews, Joel E. Mathews, Peter E. 
Mathews, Daniel Norwood, William H. Norris, and 
Eathan I. Brown in charge of the land office. 

The town continued to grow rapidly until 1833, 
when another flood swept over the place, and again 
it was in a measure depopulated, but in a year or 
two recovered, and in 1836 began to rebuild and im- 
prove. Some of the old citizens had left never to 
return, but new people came to take their place. 

William L. Yancey was now editing the Cahaba 


Reporter, Ben C. Yancey, William Hunter, and George 
R. Evans were added to the list of lawyers, and William 
R. King, at this time Senator, afterwards Vice Presi- 
dent of the United States, was a frequent visitor in 
the town. Marant & Warford were among the 
most prosperous merchants, and J. T. Wilson was in 
the land office. He was succeeded by J. M. Garland, 
who also became a resident of Cahaba. 

In 1833 a foot bridge spanned the Cahaba River at 
the foot of Vine Street, the principal business street, 
and many pretty homes and residences were built in 
that part of the city known as "Over the Point." 

There were still the remains of an old graveyard to 
be found there, with one tomb protected by an iron 
fence in a good state of preservation up to the early 
seventies— the tomb of a Mr. Joseph Derry, one of 
Bonaparte's soldiers, who came to this country in 1818, 
with the French exiles who settled at Demopolis. 
From there he removed to Cahaba and lived "Over 
the Point." 

Bereft of all kindred and utterly alone in the world, 
this old French gentleman made his home during the 
latter years of his life at the residence of Dr. T. W. 
Gill, near his plantation on the Cahaba and Marion 
road, and died there in 1853 or 1854. His last re- 
quest was to be taken to Cahaba and buried "Over the 
Point." This lonely grave was plainly visible from 
the old ferry road leading from Cahaba to Selma. 

In the forties and fifties and up to the early sixties 
Cahaba was in the zenith of its prosperity. The exact 
number of the inhabitants of the place cannot now be 
accurately known. Some claim for it as high as 5,000 
inhabitants, others say the population ranged from 


2,500 to 3,000 residents and never exceeded that 

But it was not in the numbers, but more the char- 
acter, of its inhabitants that made the town famous. 
Its social life, the wealth and intellect of its people, 
the eminence and influence of its men. the beauty and 
accomplishments of its women, and the lordly, gen- 
erous hospitality of the people at large, combined with 
the highest cultivation and refinement, gave Cahaba 
a prominence that was unsurpassed by any place in 
Alabama, or indeed by any place in the South, which 
fact is conceded by all who were ever familiar with the 
town in the days of its prosperity. 

In his life of William L. Yancey, the author, John 
W. Duboise, pays Cahaba a beautiful tribute when he 
says: "In all America, in town or country, no people 
sat down to more bounteous dinners, served by better 
servants, on richer mahogany ; no people wore more 
fashionable clothes, rode better groomed horses, wrote 
a purer vernacular, or spoke it with gentler tones." 
As it was in 1836, so it continued to the end. In all 
the Southern country there was not another commu- 
nity more thoroughly representative of the South's best 
and highest cultivation than was shown in and around 

The people, being generally wealthy, with many 
slaves and large plantations located near by in the 
surrounding country, had an abundance of leisure to 
extend a generous hospitality, which they did in a 
royal manner, and there was no limit to the round of 
visiting and entertainment, which was continuous and 
practically endless. 

This mode of life, among an educated and a culti- 


vated people, led to the development of the highest 
social life that characterized Cahaba until the ruin 
that overswept the South after the Civil War. 

There was found the charm, the romance of the old 
South, with its feudal institutions, its pride and purity 
of social life in all of its unbounded hospitality. It 
was the political center of Alabama, and the most 
prominent statesmen of the day were familiar figures 
in the social and business life of the place. 

The town was built on the model of Philadelphia. 
The same style of arranging the streets and the same 
system of naming them was adopted. 

Like Philadelphia, this old Southern capital had its 
Vine, Walnut, Oak, Mulberry, Chestnut, Ash, Beech, 
and Pine Streets, that ran north and south. 

Capitol Avenue was one of the fashionable resi- 
dence streets that extended east and west through the 
center of the town. The streets to the north of it 
were called First North Street, Second North Street, 
Third North Street, and so on up to Sixth North 
Street. Those south of Capitol Avenue were desig- 
nated as First South Street, Second South Street, and 
so on to Sixth South Street. 

When Cahaba was the capital, the Statehouse stood 
in the center of the square, on the corner of Vine 
Street and Capitol Avenue. 

As I have before stated, Vine Street was at that 
time and continued to be the principal business street 
of the town. It was ornamented by ancient shade 
trees, gnarled and seamed ; china berry, mulberry, and 
water oaks lined the streets on each side, a custom 
with most 'Southern cities in early days. The place 
presented quite the air of a city, with paved walks. 


large public buildings of brick, telegraph office, in- 
surance office, three well-edited papers, four churches, 
beautiful private residences, handsome suburban villas, 
and marvelous overflowing wells, whose waters darted 
high up in the air and fell in sheets of snowy foam, 
in sparkling, perpetually flowing streams. There were 
seventy-five of these wells counted within the cor- 
porate limits of the town, some of them costing from 
two to three thousand dollars, and affording quantity 
of pure sweet water that made them the admiration 
and envy of the whole country. 

There was also a large academy built of brick, 
"The Cahaba Female Academy," which was exten- 
sively patronized both at home and by other parts of 
the State. It contained a fine library and laboratory 
for philosophical and chemical research that cost sev- 
eral thousand dollars presented by Mr. Eaton, the first 
principal. The building was almost a facsimile in 
style to the old Dallas Academy of Selma, so long used 
as a courthouse. It was regarded as one of the most 
important institutions of learning in the State, and in 
the years that it flourished was in charge of some of 
the finest educators of the day. 

In 1853 Mr. Thomas J. Portis was Principal of the 
Academy. He afterwards became one of the most 
prominent lawyers and influential citizens of Cahaba, 
where he resided until after the Civil War. In 1857- 
58 Professor Town became Principal. In i860 Mrs. 
Roberson and Mrs. Adams, two accomplished ladies, 
had it in charge. They were followed by Professor 
Lowery, an Irish gentleman, reputed to be one of the 
finest teachers in Alabama. He was succeeded by Rev. 
Powhattan Collins, who taught at Cahaba in 1864-65. 


Here still resided some of the most prominent law- 
yers of the South. In the forties and fifties the bar 
of Dallas County was represented by such brilliant 
minds as John R. Campbell, Judge George R. Evans, 
John A. Lodor, Jesse Beene, George W. Gayle, John 
D. Hunter, Rees D. Gayle, Judge William E. Bird, 
John Lapsley, A. W. Spaight, William Boyd, Daniel 
Troy, N. H. R. Dawson, Frank Saunders, P. G. 
Woods, Reginald Dawson, Orsin Howell, A. H. Jack- 
son, B. H. Craig, Thomas H. Lewis, P. G. Woods, 
and many others whose names have passed into the 
limitless silence of almost forgotten years, while later 
on, in 1857 or 1858, the names of E. W. Pettus, John 
T. Morgan, and John White appear to add an addi- 
tional luster to the list of scholarly men who at this 
time made Cahaba their home. 

The years have swept ruthlessly over these grand 
characters, and of those above mentioned William 
Boyd and A. W. Spaight, of Galveston, Tex., and 
John White, of Birmingham, are all who are now 
living of this intellectual coterie who marked that 
brililant epoch of Cahaba history. 

In 1852 Judge Rainer occupied the bench of the 
Probate Court, and continued in office until 1865, 
when he died, lamented by all who knew him. Bob 
Roberts was Clerk of the Court from 1852 to i860. 
He was a large-hearted man of generous impulses, 
and made a popular officer, generally beloved, espe- 
cially by the children, to whom he was always kind 
and liberal. He died in the early sixties. Judge James 
Evans — a man equally beloved— succeeded Mr. Rob- 
erts in the clerk's office, where he remained until elect- 


ed to fill the vacancy in the Probate Court caused by 
the death of Judge Rainer. 

Abner Brazile was the efficient Clerk of the Circuit 
Court. Comolander, with his self-important air, was 
conspicuous as high constable. Many ridiculous jokes 
were told by the lawyers, illustrative of his bombastic 
language, and many a hearty laugh enjoyed at his 
grotesque mistakes. 

On one occasion there was an important case to be 
tried, where the opposing council was anxious for a 
continuance. Much time had been spent in argument 
for and against the motion, when some one, tired out 
with the delay, secretly dropped a pod of red pepper 
on the stove. Everybody, judge, lawyers, and all the 
officials of the court, immediately became convulsed 
with sneezing. As soon as he could control himself, 
the judge called upon Comolander "to make an in- 
vestigation, report the cause, and arrest the culprit." 

After a long and tedious search, Comolander re- 
turned to the courtroom and said : "May your honor 
please, I have made a careful examination of the en- 
tire premises, and can find no cause for the sneezing 
except that the whole house is unanimously con- 
densed." At this amazing announcement court was 
immediately adjourned amid peals of uproarious 

Warren Andrews, sheriff of the county, was an 
important figure in all public parades, and Calvin 
Harris, who succeeded him, also became a resident 
of the town. 

The prominent physicians of those years, the late 
forties and early fifties, were Dr. John English, Dr. 
Robert English, Dr. J. Ulmer, Dr. Troy, Dr. C. K. 


Farley, and Dr. Thomas Hunter. In their chosen 
profession they had few superiors, and were all intel- 
lectual, cultivated gentlemen of the highest type. 

On Vine Street, at the corner of Second North 
Street, stood the famous old Bell Tavern, a rambling 
two-story frame building, painted white with green 
blinds, raised only a few inches from the ground. 
This building was closely connected with the early 
history of Cahaba. For years it was the favorite 
stopping place of the celebrated lawyers when they 
visited the capital or attended court, and for the 
politicians and wealthy planters who gathered at this 
gay little metropolis on their way to Mobile. Here 
they would spend days, "waiting for the boat," passing 
the time in playing billiards or a gentlemanly game of 
poker, where the stakes nightly went far into the thou- 
sands, and valuable slaves frequently changed masters 
to satisfy a "debt of honor." 

Tradition has it that here too a grand banquet was 
given to LaFayette when he visited the capital of 
Alabama in 1825. He remained in Cahaba three days, 
and was entertained with much pomp and ceremony. 
A large, beautiful triumphal arch was erected in his 
honor. It stood in the center of Vine Street between 
Capitol Avenue and First North Street, immediately 
in front of where the Saltmarsh Hall was afterwards 
built, and not far from the artesian well on Vine 
Street. Through this arch LaFayette passed to the 
Statehouse, amid the boom of cannon, ringing of bells, 
and the loud cheers of hundreds who had assembled 
to do him honor. 

The Bell Tavern continued to be the principal place 
of entertainment during the early fifties. Many were 


the grand balls given there in those olden times ! Many 
were the beautiful belles resplendent in brocaded satin, 
costly laces and diamonds, who had "tread a measure" 
with the stately cavaliers of those days, or merrily 
danced the Virginia reel in that long old ballroom, 
'neath the soft mellow light of spermaceti candles or 
the old-fashioned lard oil lamps, with their ground glass 
shades. During the Confederate war this old build- 
ing was used as a hospital, and the ballroom was filled 
with the long rows of white cots, where the sick and 
wounded of our own army and those from the prison 
of Northern soldiers were carefully nursed back to 
life again, regardless of the flag under which they 

On the banks just above the mouth of the Cahaba, 
and fronting the Alabama River, was one of the most 
beautiful and elegant homes of early days, the old 
Crocheran place, which is still standing, though a 
wreck of its former glory. This house was built by 
Mr. Henry Crocheran, a prominent gentleman from 
New York, who married a sister of Mr. Simeon 
Watts, of Cahaba, and Col. Ed Walls, of Selma, two 
of the wealthiest citizens of Dallas County. 

Mr. Crocheran was one of the firm of "Crocheran 
& Perine," a wealthy mercantile house that located 
in Cahaba in 1820 or 1821, and whose members were 
largely identified with the growth and improvement 
of the town. 

In 1859 or i860 Col. Sam Hill, another wealthy 
merchant and planter, owned this property, and the 
brick store back of the residence, fronting on Second 
North Street, was occupied by the mercantile firm of 
Hill & Somerville. In the same vicinity were sev- 


era! millinery establishments, shoe stores, the fashion- 
able tailor shops of John and William Bassett and Jerry 
Lister, and Brenner's tin shop. 

In 1865 the Crocheran place was the residence of 
Col. Thomas M. Mathews, who was uniformly a Un- 
ion man without disguise, and it was here at his house 
that General Wilson, of the United States Army, met 
General N. B. Forrest, of the Confederate Army, and 
arranged the terms for the surrender of the Confed- 
erate forces or the exchange of prisoners captured at 

On the southwest corner of Vine and Second North 
Streets, opposite the Bell Tavern, was an imposing 
two-story brick building, erected for W. P. Dunham 
(the father of Mrs. H. V. Weedon and Miss Willie 
Dunham), another wealthy merchant of Cahaba in its 
early history. In the fifties this was the handsome es- 
tablishment of E. M. Perine, who later on became one 
of the firm of Perine & Hunter. In the center of the 
block across the street was another dry goods firm of ' 
note — War ford & Black well. 

All of these houses carried elegant stocks of goods, 
and their immense sales amounted to princely incomes. 
There were many other smaller stores and shops which 
also did a good business, for at this time Cahaba was 
still the largest shipping point on the Alabama River. 
Thousands of bales of cotton were handled there dur- 
ing the season, money was plentiful and always in cir- 
culation ; the people spent lavishly and enjoyed all thai 
life could give. 

In 1859 and i860 Herbert L. Hudson, a young 
Englishman who settled in Cahaba and married a 
daughter of Mr. James D. Craig, a wealthy and in- 


fiuential citizen, owned the handsome drug Store on 
the southeast corner of Second North and Vine Streets, 
which was formerly Dr. Smith's old stand. In the 
same block of buildings at this time were located the 
large family grocery store of Thomas L. Craig, the 
jewelry store of Thorn Fellows, the dry goods stores 
of H. I. F. Coleman, L. Engleman, and of Warford ; 
the harness and saddle shop of Hildebrand, the 
saloons with their swinging green blind doors, the 
post office, Bowe's bakery, and the fashionable barber 
shop in charge of Sam Edwards and "J oe the Bar- 
ber," as he was generally known. These were two 
free negroes of the mulatto type, whose former own- 
ers had returned North and left them in Cahaba. 
They were well thought of and made many friends 
among the white people by their good behavior. 

There was another negro known as "Free Joe," the 
most pitiable object I ever saw, and the only object of 
charity I remember ever to have known in Cahaba. 
He was also left there by his owners, and was too old 
and decrepit to provide for himself. He had no home 
and was utterly destitute, his clothing ragged and 
worn, and his feet so horribly frostbitten that he could 
hobble along only with the aid of a stick. He gained a 
precarious living by begging and slept in any old build- 
ing in which he could find shelter. His destitute con- 
dition appealed warmly to the children of the town, 
who would beg their parents for food and clothes to 
give him whenever he came to the different houses ; 
but, strange to say, the negroes had no sympathy for 
him, and called him an "old free nigger that had 
no owners ;" in fact, the negroes of wealthy owners 
rather looked down with contempt on all free ne- 


groes, and would have but little if any association 
with them. 

In recalling- the above-mentioned free negroes I am 
reminded of two or three others, whose faithfulness 
as slaves deserves to be crowned with the "laurel 
wreath of fame." One of these, Walter Diggs, a 
strong, able-bodied mulatto man, was the body servant 
of the father of Mr. J. S. Diggs, of Cahaba. On one 
occasion Mr. Diggs was returning home from a visit 
to Louisiana with his two daughters and their maid, 
Walter's wife. On Red River the steamer caught fire 
and all would have perished but for the noble efforts 
of this negro, who threw himself in the stream, placed 
his master on his back, and swam to shore with him. 
He then returned for the two girls, carrying one under 
each arm, and after placing them in safety went back 
the third time and rescued his wife from the burning- 
steamer just before it went under. Freeman or bond- 
man, what greater gift can a man offer than to endan- 
ger his own life for the salvation of another ? History 
can chronicle no braver or more heroic act, and none 
that speaks louder for the Southern slave's devotion 
to his master of the kindness of the master to his 
slaves, for only kindness will beget such love and 

Another illustration was found in Ben, the body 
servant of my Uncle Billups Gayle. a brother of my 
father, Col. Rees D. Gayle. In 1849 or ^o my uncle, 
without the knowledge of my father, went to Missouri 
to buy lands, and carried with him a large sum of 
money in a leather belt buckled around his body, as 
was then the custom. At St. Louis he became violent- 
ly ill, and upon the advice of a physician Ben, his 



faithful body servant, placed him on a steamer and 
brought him home in a perfectly helpless and uncon- 
scious condition. On his arrival Ben at once un- 
buckled the leather belt from around his own body, 
handed it to my father, told him the amount of money 
it contained, and asked him to count it and see that it 
was all there. He then handed him my uncle's purse, 
told him the amount that was in it, and accounted for 
every dime he had used on the trip home. Not a cent 
was missing out of the entire amount. This conduct, 
on the part of a negro, impressed every one as a won- 
derful illustration of honesty and fidelity. While Mis- 
souri was not a free State, it was so near the "Missouri 
Compromise line" that Ben could easily have escaped 
to the free States, and with so large an amount of 
money been independent for life. He told my father 
that a number of abolitionists had tried to induce him 
to leave my uncle at St. Louis and go North with 
them, but he preferred to come home. He was after- 
wards offered his freedom, which he declined to ac- 
cept. When my uncle died, a year or two later, he 
became my father's coachman, and was a faithful, de- 
voted servant up to the day of his death. 

Across on the west side of Vine Street, near Perine's 
store, was Krout's confectionery and restaurant, where 
at all times the most delicious confections could be 
found. Next were the offices occupied by the lawyers 
and physicians, who rested and enjoyed themselves in 
the long summer afternoons sitting under the venerable 
mulberry and China trees that still shade the walks on 
each side of the street. We see them now, heads un- 
covered, chairs tilted back, feet resting against the 
trees, laughing and talking as in olden days, but quick 

u .£■£ 


to resent any infringement of their personal dignity or 
rights of property. 

It was here, on Vine Street, between First North 
Street and Second North Street, that the celebrated 
encounter took place between the Bells, Judge Bird, Dr. 
Troy, and Dr. Thomas Hunter, marriage connections of 
Judge Bird. It was a fight to the death, in which 
Col. John Bell and his son, John Bell, Jr., both lost 
their lives. The difficulty grew out of a number of 
robberies that had but recently occurred in Cahaba 
and the burning of several houses which the most dis- 
passionate could but believe was the work of an in- 
cendiary. Suspicion rested on a notoriously bad negro 
by the name of Pleas, who at one time belonged to 
Mr. E. M. Perine, and who sold him to young John 
Bell because of his uncontrollable conduct. 

Pleas was a bright, smart negro 1 , and so efficient a 
servant that, despite his bad reputation, he became a 
great favorite with the Bells, from whom he com- 
pletely succeeded in concealing his faults. 

In those days to accuse a gentleman's servant of 
crime, especially a favorite servant, was regarded al- 
most as great an insult as to accuse the gentleman 
himself, and a master would fight in defense of his 
slaves as quickly as he would in defense of his children 
— hence no one dared make public the accusation 
against the negro ; but when Dr. Troy's residence fell a 
victim to flames, followed in quick succession by the de- 
struction of Judge Bird's house in the same way, then 
Judge Bird became so exasperated that he openly 
charged this negro with arson, and denounced the 
Bells as accessories to the crime. Accusation followed 
accusation, recrimination recrimination, until it ended 


in the fatal meeting. The parties involved were all 
prominent in social life. Feeling ran high on both 
sides, everybody in the town in a measure became in- 
volved in the fend, and it is impossible to describe the 
excitement and grief that prevailed when the difficulty 
terminated and the tragedy became known. 

The Dallas Hall, the principal hotel in Cahaba in 
1856 and 1857, was located one block south of Perine's 
store on the northwest corner of Vine and First North 
Street. In 1858 or 1859 this building was remodeled 
and known as "Aicardie's Hotel," which was famed 
for its magnificent cooking, elegant saloon, and fine 

Fronting on First North Street, back of Aicardie's 
Hotel, was Barker's livery stable with its large over- 
flowing well on the east side of the house near the 
front door. This stable was in charge of Burwell 
Gibson. It was well supplied with fine horses and 
with all the most up-to-date vehicles. 

Back of Barker's stable, fronting on Second North 
Street, opposite the old Ocheltree House, was another 
large livery stable known as Bell's stable. 

On the northwest corner of Walnut and Second 
North Streets stood the market house and calaboose, 
a brick building of unimposing dimensions. Every 
night, exactly at nine o'clock, rain or shine, this old 
market house bell rang, and after that hour any negro 
found on the streets without "a pass" from his own- 
er was arrested by the patrols (or "patarollers," as 
the negroes called them), and thrown into the cal- 
aboose. This was one of the strictest ordinances of 
the town, and one most rigidly enforced. 

In front of the market house, on the southwest corner 


of Walnut and First North Streets was Barker's Hotel, 
afterwards kept by Bob Travers. On the southeast 
eorner of- Walnut and First North Streets stood the 
Odd Fellows' Hall, a two-story brick building erected 
in 1859 or !86o. On the southwest corner of Vine 
and First North Streets, in the center of the town, 
was the large two-story brick building known as 
Saltmarsh Hall, a part of which was used as a Masonic 
Lodge. Here in the late fifties or early sixties all the 
public entertainments were given. Here gathered the 
oligarchs of fashion. Here the courtly, dignified N. H. 
R. Dawson opened the ball on the 25th of January, 
Jackson's day, or the 22d of February, Washington's 
birthday, at "the head of the set," in the old-fashioned 
cotillion, with beautiful, fascinating Mrs. Beene, or led 
the grand inarch at the G. G. H. balls, when the gen- 
tlemen were all "in masque," with graceful, charming- 
Mrs. Pegues, or Mrs. Virginia Mathews, stately in 
point lace and diamonds, with the air and manner 
of an empress. Here assembled the wealthy Minters 
and Moletts, the aristocratic Boykins, from Portland 
beat, and the talented Saft'olds,* from their plantations 
in the surrounding country. Here were seen tableaux 
representing magnificent, historical scenes, romantic 
scenes from Byron and Moore, and political scenes, 
illustrative of the stormy times of the secession period. 
Here were held the political meetings of the sixties 
when those old walls reverberated with the patriotic 
eloquence of E. W. Pettus, John T. Morgan, George 
W. Gayle, Rees D. Gayle, John White, C. C. Pegues, 

*Judge Milton Saffnld, later of Montgomery, and Judge 
Ben Saffold, of Selma. 



and noted Southern orators who visited the town. 
Here the flag was presented to the Cahaba Rifles, Dal- 
las County's bravest and most gallant sons, on the eve 
of their departure for the scene of conflict, in an ad- 
dress eloquent with patriotism by Miss Anna M. Vas- 
ser ; and here in the name of that company Capt. 
Christopher C. Pegues accepted that banner and swore 
to bear it on to "victory or to death." Right royally 
was that oath fulfilled. In the front, on every battle- 
field, from Manassas to Fredericksburg, the flag of 
the Cahaba Rifles was borne proudly aloft and never 
seen to waver. Three of its standard bearers fell, 
yielding their lives in its defense. 

The third young Horace Chilton, one of the most 
valiant — -"the bravest of the brave" — carried it in the 
thickest of the fight at Cold Harbor, Va., and was 
killed in the battle ; other loyal hands came to its res- 
cue before it "trailed the dust," and the standard of the 
Cahaba Rifles continued to wave until captured on 
the retreat from Pennsylvania. Only a few, "a mere 
handful," of those brave men were left to tell the 
story of that retreat and of this flag, furled forever in 
the hands of the enemy. 

In the center of Vine Street, between First North 
Street and Capitol Avenue, was another large over- 
flowing well, from which a sparkling flow of water fell 
in a cemented basin, covering it like a delicate silver 
drapery. Near by this well, fronting on First North 
Street, was the courthouse, a double, two-story brick 
building, with iron shutters painted green, and two 
small oblong windows placed like eyeglasses in the 
east and west ends of the house just below the roof, 
suggestive of the ever-watchful and all-seeing eye of 



justice, and it was here in front of the courthouse on 
First North Street that all negroes sold at public sale 
were put on the block and auctioned off to the highest 
bidder. In the same vicinity were the jail, the steam- 
boat offices, and the private residence of Mrs. Eliza 
Babcock, and immediately back of the residence on the 
banks of the Alabama River was the old Babcock 

On the east side of Vine Street, in the center of the 
block between First North Street and Capitol Avenue, 
were the Probate Court office and the Public Land 
office, a flat, one-story brick building of four rooms, 
with hall between. 

On the southwest corner of Vine Street and Capitol 
Avenue, on the grounds where the statehouse once 
stood, known as Capitol Square, was the office and resi- 
dence of Col. George W. Gayle, a pretty frame cottage, 
with a long gallery in front standing far back in the 
yard at the end of a broad avenue, shaded by wide- 
spreading mulberry trees, said to be the same that or- 
namented the capital grounds. Here were enjoyed 
many social pleasures in the old days in the genial soci- 
ety of Colonel Gayle and his family, who loved to gath- 
er their friends around them. Adjoining Colonel Gayle's 
office on Pine Street was an old place, in early years 
occupied by Mr. E. M. Perine, but which in 1866 or 
1867 was the hospitable home of Mr. Frank Millions. 

Fronting on Capitol Avenue, on the northeast cor- 
ner of Pine Street and Capitol Avenue, was the Som- 
erville place, a landmark of earlier days, when it was 
kept as a hotel by Mr. William Curtis, one of the old- 
est citizens of Cahaba. 

Immediately on the banks of the Alabama River, 


also fronting on Capitol Avenue, was Babcock's brick 
warehouse, in which three thousand Yankee prisoners 
were confined during the war between the States. 

Back of the Somerville lot, fronting on Pine Street, 
opposite the Frank Milhous residence, was the pretty 
little Episcopal Church (St. Luke's) built in Gothic 
style, with exquisite stained glass windows. This church 
stood within a short distance of the banks of a broad, 
deep ravine that had cut through from the northern 
portion of the town, across several of the principal 
streets, and emptied itself in the Alabama River, at the 
foot of what was said to have been originally a part of 
First South Street. This ravine was spanned by a 
large frame bridge on Capitol Avenue and one also on 
Walnut Street. On Vine Street it was crossed by a 
dirt bridge, built over a brick culvert. 

Just above the banks of the ravine, across from the 
business part of the town, on the west side of Vine 
Street, was the Burwell Gibson place, which in the 
sixties became the home of Judge Fambro. At the 
death of Mrs. Fambro she willed this place to the 
Presbyterian Church as a parsonage. 

Across Vine Street, in front of the Fambro place, 
were several vacant lots on which stood a number of 
gigantic pines. Beyond these lots at the end of Third 
South Street, on the banks of the Alabama River, was 
the cottage home of Judge James Evans, surrounded 
by broad galleries and the same growth of aged pine 
trees. The waters of the artesian well on this place 
were strongly impregnated with sulphur. Opposite the 
Evans place was the cottage of Mrs. Sallie Bush, with 
a yard full of beautiful flowers at all seasons of the 



On the southwest corner of Vine and South Streets 
was the handsome two-story Abernathy house, com- 
pleted just after the war began. Farther down, on the 
corner of Vine and Fifth South Streets, was the resi- 
dence of Judge Rainer. 

At the foot of Vine Street and extending several 
blocks on South Street were the grounds surrounding 
the palatial residence of E. M. Ferine. "a merchant 
prince of ante-bellum days," a Northern gentleman of 
the old school who was universally beloved by all who 
knew him. A massive iron gate opened into the 
grounds, laid off in broad, circular walks, bordered 
with closely clipped hedges of boxwood, surrounding 
mounds of rare flowers and ever-playing fountains, 
whose waters rose and fell, glistening and sparkling 
in the sunlight, with a perpetual flow of indescribable 

The front walls of the spacious brick mansion were 
covered by masses of old English ivy, its delicate ten- 
drils and green leaves, twining in and around the iron 
balcony, up the turret that formed the vestibule in 
front, clinging to the eaves and climbing out into the 
chimneys, like some pictured castle of old baronial 

The house contained twenty-six rooms, finished in 
the most artistic manner. There were long, broad 
halls, with winding stairway, reception rooms, parlors, 
and ballroom, with embossed ceilings and chandeliers 
of silver and crystal, shimmering and flashing bril- 
liantly over the beautiful marble mantles imported 
from Italy. The capacious dining room with its mag- 
nificent mahogany, handsome silver, and beautiful cut 
glass, in which it was no unusual occurrence to find 


seventy-five or a hundred guests seated around the 
massive mahogany tables with their heavy damask so 
thick that no silence cloths were needed. Back of the 
residence were the conservatory, vineries, and artesian 
well nine hundred feet deep, with a marvelous stream 
of water gushing and falling into a large cemented 
basin, from which it was conducted off through the 
beautiful grounds in cemented branches to the pas- 
tures beyond. 

On the banks of the Alabama River east of the 
Perine place on Fifth South Street was the distillery, 
owned and carried on during the war by Shepard 
Diggs and Aicardie. 

Back of the distillery, farther down on the banks 
of the Alabama River, was the Portis place, with its 
beautiful glens and glades, in the midst of a mag- 
nificent forest growth. 

Going west parallel with Vine Street was Walnut 
Street. On the corner of Walnut and Second South 
Streets, just above the ravine, was the residence of 
Mrs. John English. Opposite, on the southeast cor- 
ner of Walnut and Second South Streets, was the old 
Yogelin place, another one of the early landmarks of 
Cahaba. On the northwest corner of Walnut and 
Fifth South Streets was the Bird place, the old resi- 
dence of Judge Bird, afterwards owned by Col. John 
White, and which later became the home of Dr. E. M. 

On the southeast corner of Walnut and Fourth 
South Streets was the residence of Judge George 
Evans. In the same neighborhood, on Fifth South 
Street, was the residence of Dr. Troy. In the early 
days of Cahaba this place was the home of Dr. J. F. 


Heustis, Sr., who removed to Mobile. It was also the 
residence of Dr. John English during his life. 

Each of these places occupied a separate block of 
ground, with well-kept yards, ornamented with beau- 
tiful flowers, stately magnolias, and where roses of all 
varieties bloomed profusely. Farther south on Wal- 
nut Street was the little suburban villa of Herbert S. 
Hudson, with its terraced grounds in imitation of his 
old home in England. 

Beyond the Hudson place was the cottage home of 
Shepard Diggs, built in i860, and the Foulks place, 
a two-story brick residence which was never com- 

Parallel with Walnut Street, running north and 
south through the town, was Mulberry Street, which 
was but little improved, and in the sixties contained 
but few buildings. The most important of these was 
the Methodist church, built of brick and surmounted 
by an imposing cupola. Near the church, around 
the square on First North Street, was the residence of 
Dr. C. K. Farley, and just north of the church was a 
frame building of two rooms, known as the "Boys' 

On the west side of Mulberry Street were the 
grounds belonging to the residence of Judge Camp- 
bell, located on First South Street, in the center of 
the block between Mulberry and Oak Streets. This 
place was afterwards bought and remodeled by Mr. 
William Boynton, a nephew of Dr. Saltmarsh and 
a prominent young lawyer of Cahaba, who married 
Miss Fannie Isabel, of Talladega. At one time Gen- 
eral Pettus lived here ; later on it became the home of 
Mrs. Eliza Babcock. 


South of the Methodist church, on the west side 
of Mulberry Street in a small grove of pines, was 
the negro church, built by the people of Cahaba for 
the negroes. It was a large one-story frame building, 
painted white with green blinds and surmounted by a 

In all the churches seats were provided in the gal- 
leries for the negroes, but their regular worship was 
held at two o'clock on Sunday afternoons at their 
own church, when they were seen gathering in 
crowds, neatly dressed, but always in bright colors. 
Their voices were remarkably rich and melodious, and 
it was a treat to hear them sing, especially "The Old 
Ship of Zion" and that grand old hymn, "The Year of 
Jubilee Is Come." As they sang the}- would keep 
time to the music in swinging their bodies, bowing 
their heads, and clapping their hands, which they 
called "patting Jubil." 

Extending from the Cahaba River north and south 
through the center of the town was Oak Street, one 
of the prettiest and best-improved streets of the place. 
Here was the beautiful home of Mrs. Simeon Watts, 
occupying a block, on the corner of Oak and Fifth 
North Streets. The home of Mr. John A. Lodor was at 
the southwest corner of Oak and Fourth South Streets, 
the residence of P. G. Wood being diagonally across 
from it. The Episcopal parsonage, occupied by Dr. Cush- 
man, was on the same block at the southwest corner of 
Oak and Third South Streets. The residence of Col. 
Rees D. Gayle on Oak, between First and Second 
North Streets, shaded by huge water oaks, china 
trees, mulberries, and large bushes of cape jessamine, 
a house whose hospitable doors were ever open and 


a home of delightful entertainment, ever celebrated for 
its refinement and culture, its cordial Southern wel- 
come, and large-hearted, elegant hospitality. 

The artesian well on the Rees Gayle place was sec- 
ond in size only to the one on the Perine place, which 
was said to be next to the largest well known in the 
world, at Paris, France. 

Occupying the block on Oak Street, between First 
South Street and Capitol Avenue, was Academy 
Square, with its Indian mounds. The two-story brick 
building was ornamented by a large observatory and 
belfry. Across the street, in front of the Academy 
on the corner of First South Street, was the residence 
of John Guiwn, another old landmark of early days. 
Adjoining the Guiwn place, at the corner of Capitol 
Avenue and Walnut Street, was the Presbyterian 

On the southeast corner of Capitol Avenue and 
Walnut Street was the old Union church, claimed to 
be the first church built in Cahaba after the capital 
was removed. When the other denominations built 
their own churches, the Baptists continued to worship 
in the building, and it became known as the Baptist 

The most prominent ministers connected with Ca- 
haba history and those most closely identified with the 
place and people were : Rev. Dr. Smyth, of the Pres- 
byterian Church ; Rev. Dr. Cotton, of the Methodist 
Church ; and Rev. Dr. Cushman, of the Episcopal 
Church. A minister by the name of Bailey was the 
Baptist minister stationed in Cahaba for a short while, 
but he did not remain long, and it can't be recalled 
that he had a successor. 


After Dr. Smyth resigned the pastorate of the Pres- 
byterian Church, a Mr. Kegwin was in charge for a 
short while in 1861 or 1862. The pulpit then became 
vacant until occupied by the Rev. Dr. Sparrow, in 
1863, 1864, and 1865, an aged minister, a man of 
God, so zealous in his work that when too feeble to 
stand he delivered his sermons in a chair seated in 
front of the pulpit. 

On the southwest corner of Capitol Avenue and 
Oak Street was the residence of Judge William Hunt- 
er, afterwards known as the home of Miss Mary Troy, 
a roomy house with broad galleries and beautiful 
shrubbery, occupying the entire square. It was at 
this house that Fanny Troy, a young girl from North 
Carolina who was visiting relatives in Cahaba, fell 
suddenly into one of those somnolent conditions that 
defied the skill of the most prominent physicians. 
The case was a peculiar one, and gave rise to consid- 
erable interest at the time. Apparently in the best of 
health, and one of those happy, genial dispositions 
who seem to enjoy everything in life, she returned 
one evening in May from a jaunt in the woods with 
a party of girls hunting dewberries and fell fast asleep 
while sitting on the front gallery conversing with her 
aunt. When awakened she complained of being "too 
sleepy to hold her eyes open," and retired to her room 
without awaiting supper. The next morning when 
called for breakfast she answered only to fall asleep 
again, and continued to sleep all that day and until 
the next evening, when her aunt became alarmed and 
called in a physician. For three weeks she continued 
in this condition, rousing only for a few moments at 
a time, scarcely long enough to take necessary nour- 


ishment, which had to he administered to her from a 
spoon, yet when roused she was perfectly conscious 
and seemed to know every one. She became so thin 
and emaciated as to be scarcely recognizable, and no 
hope was entertained ' of her recovery. Finally her 
father and mother came from North Carolina and car- 
ried her back home. She continued to sleep all during 
the journey, and for three weeks, I am told, after her 
arrival at home she still slept, when, to the surprise 
of every one, she waked up, recovered her, normal con- 
dition, and became a stout, robust woman. No ex- 
planation could ever be arrived at as to the cause of 
her condition. It was suggested that she might have 
eaten some poisonous berry or was stung or bitten by 
a poisonous insect while in the woods, but I am cer- 
tain this could not have been, for we were together the 
entire evening gathering berries in the same basket, 
and nothing of the kind could have occurred to her 
without my knowledge. 

On the southeast corner of Oak and First North 
Streets was the John Williams home, built in early 
years by Judge Fambro, and once owned by the late 
Col. Daniel Troy, of Montgomery, when, as a young 
man, he settled in Cahaba and married Miss Lucy 
Mathews, a daughter of Mr. Joel E. Mathews. After 
her death, Colonel Troy sold the place to Mr. John 
Williams, a prominent lawyer of Cahaba. It was a 
lovely home with its overflowing well and wealth of 
ever-blooming roses. This place was occupied by Mr. 
Shepard Diggs and family during the war, and when 
the surrender came and Wilson's Raiders were ex- 
pected in Cahaba, it was here that gallons upon gallons 
of fine brandy, wines, cordials, and cherry bounce 



were consigned to the waters of the artesian well to 
prevent its falling- into the hands of the Yankee sol- 

Occupying a square on Oak Street, between First 
and Second North Streets, was the large two-story 
frame residence of Mr. James D. Craig, one of Ca- 
haba's wealthiest and most influential citizens. Friends 
and relatives met cordial welcome at this home, and 
would here gather around the hospitable board and 
unite in morning and evening worship at the family 
altar, a good old-time custom most rigidly observed 
in this household. 

In the same neighborhood, just across the street, 
were the Lake place, the Duke place, and Chancellor 
Clarke's old home, then known as the Warren An- 
drews place. All of these houses fronted on Second 
North Street. 

Farther north on Oak Street was the residence of 
H. I. F. Coleman, with a long, broad avenue of 
cedars leading to the front gallery, overhung with 
climbing roses and surrounded by other rare and 
beautiful flowers. 

Still farther north on Oak Street were other at- 
tractive homes, and the commons, shaded on one side 
by mighty oaks, whose interlocking boughs formed a 
rich canopy of green in springtime, when the earth 
beneath was carpeted in Bermuda grass, dotted with 
blue forget-me-nots and yellow dandelions. 

In this same direction, on the outskirts of the town, 
was the Barker place, an impressive brick residence, 
two stories in height, with big "Corinthian columns" 
in front. It was built by a prominent resident of 
Cahaba, familiarly known as "Shoestring Barker." It 


is said to have cost him between $25,000 and $30,000, 
and it has been claimed that he never lived a day in the 
house, but this is an erroneous assertion. Mr. Barker 
and his family occupied the residence for a year or 
fourteen months, perhaps longer, and then removed to 
their plantation. This still beautiful place is now 
owned and occupied by Mr. Clifton Kirkpatrick, a 
prominent merchant and farmer, whose father bought 
it for a few hundred dollars. It is the only place in 
Cahaba that retains any of its old-time beauty. 

The Cahaba River on the road to Selma in the fifties 
was spanned by a covered bridge and had a tollgate, 
which in early years was kept by Mr. Allen, the father 
of Mr. Walter Allen, of Selma, whose residence was 
near the bridge, and who owned all the land lying in 
the bend of the Cahaba River, near that part of the 
town. Mr. Allen was one of the finest stone-cutters 
in Alabama, ''an artist in the art," and was celebrated 
for his exquisite work. His marble yard was near 
his residence, across the road in front of his house. 

Fronting the commons,, a little to the northeast, was 
the Tom Walker place, a white cottage with climbing 
roses and beautiful shrubbery on Fifth North Street. 

In the same neighborhood was the Warford place, 
a lovely spot in the midst of wide-spreading shade 
trees, overlooking the Cahaba River, opposite the lo- 
cality on which that part of the town was built in 
early days known as "Over the Point," to which I 
have previously referred. 

There were many other good citizens living in this 
part of the town, but only the families of Jere Lister 
and John and William Bassett can now be recalled. 

On the eastern part of Second North Street, just 


out of the business portion of the town, on the north 
side of the street, was the old Ocheltree house, an- 
other one of the early landmarks, with two immense 
trees of pink crape myrtle shading the long front gal- 
lery. Going farther west, on the opposite side of the 
street were the homes of Dr. Smith, Menzo Watson, 
and Tom Fellows, who lived across the street a block 
or two distant. Father west, on Second North Street, 
were also the homes of Reuben Tipton, Tom Watson, 
William Damon, and in the same neighborhood John 
and William Lovett, all good citizens who, in their 
chosen avocations, contributed to the prosperity of the 

Fronting on Pine Street and occupying the block 
between Pine and Chestnut was the home of Col. C. 
C. Pegues, with its spacious grounds and maze or 
labyrinth of cedars, where one emerged from the soft 
twilight of forest shades into a yard ornamented with 
magnolia trees, Lombardy pines, fragrant flowers, and 
overflowing fountains. This had been the jail in cap- 
itolean days, but the brick building had been re- 
modeled into one of the loveliest places in town, and 
was now a home which at all times was the center of 
social life and attraction. 

From the mystical shadows of long ago comes the 
memory of one of those strange, mysterious, uncanny 
phenomena connected with this place that sometimes 
happen to astonish the most materialistic, and which 
at the time of its occurrence caused much interest and 
speculation even among the most intelligent and best- 
informed citizens of Cahaba. 

In the spring of 1862, on one of those brilliant moon- 
light nights, a night "in which nature seems in silent 


contemplation to adore its Maker," a young lady and 
gentleman, promenading near the maze of cedars, 
turned to enter one of the circular walks leading to 
the center of the labyrinth, when they were startled 
to see a large white, luminous ball moving a few feet 
above the ground in front of them, apparently floating 
in air. This ball would dart first on one side of the 
walk and then on the other, approach close enough to 
almost touch them, recede and disappear in the shrub- 
bery, to suddenly be seen again floating beside them. 
Thinking the apparition was a trick of fancy or was 
caused by some peculiar phase of the moon's shadows, 
they turned to retrace their steps, when again it ap- 
peared in front of them, going through the same gyra- 
tions. The gentleman now determined to test the 
materiality of the object ; but just as he attempted 
to grasp it, it darted beyond his reach and disappeared, 
to be seen no more that night. On several occasions 
this apparition appeared to other parties, and became 
known as the "Pegues Ghost." No one could ever 
definitely explain what it was, but general opinion 
finally concluded it to be one of those strange phos- 
phorescent phenomena so often read of but rarely seen, 
known as "will-o'-the-wisp" or "Jack-o'-lantern." 

Opposite the Pegues place on the block extending 
from First North Street to Capitol Avenue was the 
Hoot place. A quaint, old-fashioned well, "with its 
moss-covered bucket," stood in the front yard of the 
long, narrow, one-story brick house surrounded with 
blue and white flag lilies, jonquils, wallflowers, lilacs, 
and other old-fashioned flowers. 

Farther west, on Capitol Avenue and Ash Street, 
was the Aicardie place, afterwards the residence of 


Col. R. D. Hunter, another home that was one of the 
social centers of the town and noted for its charming 
hospitality. In front of the Hunter place were the 
vacant lots belonging to the Robert Lake property, a 
handsome new house fronting on First North Street, 
which was built just before the war. On the north- 
west corner of Capitol Avenue and Ash Street, diag- 
onally across from the Hunter place, was the residence 
of Mr. Thomas L. Craig. 

Immediately in front of the Craig place, on the 
southwest corner of Capitol Avenue and Ash Street, 
was a spacious cottage built by J. S. Hays, a young 
lawyer, who settled in Cahaba and married Miss Liz- 
zie Diggs, a granddaughter of Mrs. Mary Arther, one 
of Cahaba's oldest and best-known residents. At one 
time this house was occupied by Mr. James B. Martin, 
a prominent lawyer from Jacksonville, Ala., who came 
to Cahaba in 1856 or 1857, and who was afterwards 
Lieutenant-General Martin of Confederate fame. It 
later became the home of Gen. John T. Morgan. 
Each of the places occupied a square in one of the 
most attractive resident portions of the town, and 
were all well-improved homes, surrounded with beau- 
tiful flower yards, fine orchards, and every conven- 
ience to add to the comfort of life. 

On the Morgan place was another of those numer- 
ous overflowing wells for which Cahaba was famed. 
Two magnificent magnolia trees stood on each side of 
the steps, and with branches extending far over into the 
front gallery added greatly to the charm of the place. 

Going farther west, at the corner of Capitol Avenue 
and Beech Street, was the large two-story frame resi- 
dence of Abner Brazile, Clerk of the Circuit Court. 


Back of the Brazile place, lying' on Clear Creek, at 
the foot of First North Street, were the grounds sur- 
rounding the county poorhouse kept by Frank Mosely. 
Near by, on the banks of Clear Creek, was the spot 
where for many years might have been seen the re- 
mains of an old gallows, on which was executed the 
first person condemned to capital punishment in Dallas 
County. The crime was a particularly horrible one, 
and so uncommon in the South at that time that it 
caused the greatest excitement and most intense feel- 
ing. The victim was a Mrs. Chaptman, the daughter 
of a wealthy and prominent citizen of Dallas County 
in early times. On her marriage to Chaptman, 
who, it is said, was a Northern man, he gave 
his daughter a number of old family servants. 
Chaptman proved a hard master, so the negroes 
hated him and wanted to return to their old home. 
By some strange machination of reasoning, these ig- 
norant creatures conceived the idea that if Mrs. Chapt- 
man could be quietly gotten out of the way Chapt- 
man would have no further claim to them, and they 
could return to their old master. One day in the 
early spring one of the oldest and most trusted of the 
negroes came to the house where Mrs. Chaptman was 
alone, sitting quietly in her room sewing, utterly un- 
mindful of danger, and sent the cook to tell her 
he had found "a turkey nest" in a pile of brush in the 
clearing, just below the house "where they were at 
work," "and wanted to show it to her." She arose, 
put on her bonnet, and went with the negro, followed 
by the cook, another trusted servant. Just as she 
leaned over to remove the eggs from the nest the man 
struck her on the head with an ax and killed her in- 

5 o 


stantly. A little negro girl witnessed the outrage and 
ran screaming to the house and told Chaptman, who 
at that moment had just returned home from another 
part of the plantation. Besides this man and woman, 
there were several other negroes implicated in the 
plot, and tradition says that three or four were hanged 
in Cahaba for the crime. 

All the evidence at the trial showed that Chaptman's 
harshness and a desire to return home was the only 
incentive that actuated the negroes in the brutal mur- 
der of their mistress. Compared to the modern un- 
mentionable crime of the race, this might be consid- 
ered an extenuating circumstance. 

On the southeast corner of Beech and First South 
Streets was a cottage, around which centered quite a 
romantic story, illustrative of a man's unselfish devotion 
to a woman. The place belonged to Smith Lucy, a 
young gentleman of some wealth and social promi- 
nence, who died a few weeks before the time ap- 
pointed for his marriage and left all his property to 
his intended wife. After a short period of mourning, 
the young lady married, came to Cahaba, and lived in 
the home of her former lover, apparently as happy as 
though she had married him. Back of the Smith 
Lucy place, fronting on Beech Street, was the Ebenezer 
Bower place, the property of a young man of fine 
intellect, but too modest and bashful to allow himself 
to be appreciated. Farther out were the large brick- 
yards of John and William Lovett, the home of Isaac 
Saddler, and the tannery in charge of M. Benish. 
Farther on First South Street, between Pine and 
Chestnut Streets, was the cottage home of B. H. Craig, 
with its magnolia trees, mounds of beautiful flowers. 


and circular walks in front of the house. Beginning 
at Vine Street, in front of the Perine residence and 
extending out to Sixth South Street, was the plank 
road built from Cahaba to Woodville, now Union- 
town. This road, with its tollgate, was the fashion- 
able drive in the fifties and sixties. In the summer 
afternoons it was crowded with elegant carriages, 
containing exquisitely dressed women and beautiful 
children, with their black nurses ; stately aristocratic 
Southern gentlemen out for a canter, followed by their 
mounted body servants ; large parties of gay young 
people ; the ladies in their picturesque riding habit, 
with long, flowing skirt and curling plume falling 
gracefully from the tall silk hat ; the handsome, spir- 
ited horses, whose feet seemed to disdain the ground 
as they daintily capered along, altogether made a 
picture so brilliant that Time's darkest shadows can 
never efface it from the tablet of memory. 

Happy and prosperous were the Cahabaians in 
those old days, with their slaves, their gardens, their 
orchards, their fertile fields of waving corn and cotton, 
brilliant with bloom in summer and in autumn heavy 
with boll and long, snowy staple that covered the val- 
leys and gentle slopes around the town ; while forest 
trees of primeval growth crowned the summit of the 
hills, lending an additional beauty to the landscape. 

West of the busy streets and homes of the living 
(Hit on Sixth South Street was the old graveyard, the 
burial place of Alabama's first capital, and where 
some of her most distinguished citizens were laid to 
rest. This "silent city of the dead" was protected 
by a solid wall of brick masonry five or six feet high 
with a heavy iron gate. Each separate lot was also 


surrounded by a high wall of brick. Within these 
dilapidated inclosures thirty-five or forty years ago 
were a number of handsome monuments covered with 
the moss of ages and fast crumbling to decay. Only 
two inscriptions on these fallen and broken stones had 
escaped "the touch of Time's defacing finger." One 
of these was sacred to the memory of Hon. Thomas 
11. Rutherford, the father of Mrs. Thomas L. Craig. 
of Cahaba, and Mrs. William Norris, of Selma, and 
a member of the Lower House of Representatives 
from Dallas County in 1822. The other showed the 
remains of having been a beautiful monument, orna- 
mented with the figure of an angel holding a wreath 
of flowers in each hand. It bore the name of Mar- 
garet Earl, but was so broken that nothing could be 
learned from the inscription except that it was erect- 
ed in memory of a beautiful young girl, "who passed 
away in the dawn of a young and brilliant woman- 
hood." But these memorials have all perished, and 
the names of those who sleep beneath them are "but 
i\\ a tale that is told." All that we now know of 
them is, they lived, they loved, and they have passed 

In "the old days when a person died the black-bor- 
dered funeral notice was carried around to each house 
by a negro boy ringing a bell and wearing long black 
streamers attached to each shoulder, called "weepers." 
These weepers became obsolete many years ago*, and 
I do not remember to have ever seen them used but 
once, and that I think was on the occasion of the 
funeral of a very old gentleman who hung himself in 
Cahaba from senile insanity. 

( hi a little rise at the south end of Oak Street was 


the new cemetery, a beautiful spot shaded by large 
trees of pine, oak, and magnolia, and also containing" 
a number of handsome monuments. Here, in later 
years, were buried many prominent citizens in full 
regalia of the Masonic Order, with the solemn and 
impressive ceremony of the Masonic funeral service. 

Here, too, was witnessed the burial of Bettie Watts, 
the only daughter of Mrs. Simeon Watts, a lovely 
young girl in the first flush of early maidenhood. No 
hearse or other trappings of woe was seen at her 
funeral, but she was carried to the grave on a bier 
surrounded by a procession of her young friends and 
companions — all bearing wreaths and garlands of 
flowers. Masses of roses, spirea, cape jasmine, and 
long trailing branches of fleecy bridal wreath cov- 
ered the casket, and falling in rich profusion formed 
a pall over the entire bier, which presented the ap- 
pearance of a mound of beautiful white flowers as 
it was borne along in the midst of the young boys and 
girls to the cemetery. It was a sad but beautiful pic- 
ture, and one that seemed to rob death of half its 

Two miles south of Cahaba, immediately on the 
banks of the Alabama River, was the home of Mr. 
Joel E. Mathews, one of the most beautifully im- 
proved places in the South. The house was of brick 
built in the old English style with open court in front 
and a broad gallery entirely across the southern por- 
tion. It was in a grove of large forest trees, extend- 
ing to the banks of the river. On the east and west 
in front of the house were extensive grounds, with 
broad walks and circular carriage drives, bordered 
on each side with smoothly trimmed hedges of Yopon 


and Pyracanthia, surrounding large beds and mounds, 
rioting in myraids of beautiful flowers. Roses, 
japonicas, cape jasmine, spirea, snowballs, hyacinths, 
tulips, sweet shrubs, jonquils, and violets gave forth 
their rich perfume, and the mocking birds sang per- 
petually from the bowers of honeysuckle and wisteria, 
heavy and purple with blossom in springtime. Lead- 
ing from the circular drives to the gate was a long, 
broad avenue, with branches of rippling water on 
each side, shaded by trees of magnolia and water 
oaks. Beyond to the right and left were rich mead- 
ows of bermuda grass, and orchards containing varie- 
ties of delicious fruits. Pears, peaches, plums, apri- 
cots, nectarines, and figs of many varieties grew lux- 
uriantly and bore abundantly. On the north side of 
the house was the garden through which was the en- 
trance to the family burial ground, with its handsome 
monuments, beautiful shrubbery, and even rarer flow- 
ers than the yard contained. A short distance from 
the house on the south side was the luxurious bath 
house, with an immense cemented pool through which 
flowed a constant and continuous stream of gushing 
water from the artesian well. South of the residence 
was the plantation with its broad acres, its church, its 
ballroom, and comfortable log houses, occupied by 
hundreds of slaves, devoted to their master and his 
family. This was an ideal Southern home, the em- 
bodiment of cordial and princely hospitality, with its 
well-trained servants, magnificent library, and every 
surrounding for comfort, ease, and luxury, and a 
home that was noted far and wide for the kindness 
and cultivation, the refinement and liberality of its 
owners. Here guests would come and go at pleasure. 


and on all occasions were made to feel thoroughly wel- 
come. The old-fashioned, roomy carriage, drawn by 
large gray horses, with its tall, high seat, occupied by 
Jeff, the polite negro driver, was always ready to con- 
vey parties of visitors to and from Cahaba, or bring 
them from Selma, while at the landing some one was 
waiting to welcome those who came by boat. No one 
who did not live in the old days can conceive the 
pleasure, the exquisite delight of a visit to one of 
these old palatial country homes of ante-bellum times, 
and none can have a full appreciation of hospitality 
or understand its full meaning who did not enjoy it at 
the hands of the old Southern planter. 

A mile northwest of the Mathews place, on the 
Cahaba road just above the Mathews Creek, was the 
home of Col. N. H. R. Dawson in his early married 
life to Miss Ann Mathews, the oldest dauughter of 
Mr. Joel E. Mathews. This place was built by Col. 
Josiah Walker, a prominent citizen of Dallas County, 
and was his home for many years. The location was 
picturesque and beautiful, with a grove of stately trees 
of natural growth, festooned with gray Spanish moss. 
The house was a comfortable log building with open 
hall in the center. In those days the aesthetic was 
not considered so necessary a part of life as at the 
present time, and the wealthiest and most cultivated 
-girls would marry and leave luxurious homes to begin 
Hfe in a plain but comfortable log house. 

In a southwesterly direction from Cahaba, beyond 
the old cemetery, was the road to White Bluff and 
Orrville. Orrville was at this time only a small set- 
tlement of three or four wealthy, influential families, 
composed of the Smiths, the Craigs, the Orrs, and 


one or two others whose names I can't recall — near 
Foulton, which was a place of some importance in 
the early forties, with a number of inhahitants and a 
large, flourishing school, hut in a decade ceased to 
exist and became an abandoned village. 

Four or five miles from ( )rrvile, in a southwester- 
ly direction, was another settlement of refined, wealthy 
people, living in beautiful homes, surrounded by large 
plantations. This was known as the Providence 
Church community — a Baptist community composed 
of the Cochrans, the Vaughns, the Cobbs, the Youngs, 
the Hardaways, the Ellises, the Hatchers, the Kenne- 
dys, and many other substantial citizens too numerous 
to mention, but all of whom mingled freely in the busi- 
ness and social life of Cahaba, and whose young la- 
dies were among the most admired of that period. 
Particularly do I recall Miss Puss Mosely, Miss Ellen 
Cochran, and Miss- Alice Smith, a stepdaughter of Mr. 
Atlas J. Martin, among the county belles of the late 

At the large protracted meetings, held once or twice 
a year at these numerous country churches, were to be 
found represented much of the wealth, beauty, and 
refinement of the county, and strangers were always 
impressed with the general prosperity that everywhere 
seemed to prevail. The scene was a bright and happy 
one : the young men, driving handsome equipages or 
riding spirited, well-caparisoned horses ; the young 
ladies mounted on steeds trained especially for their 
own use or, dressed in the height of the style, reclined 
in the large family carriage attended by a colored 
maid ; the kind, old-fashioned, motherly ladies, with 


their large turkey-tail fans and cordial old-time greet- 
ing. And the dinners ! The most appetizing meats, 
the most delicious pastries and cakes, brought in large 
hamper baskets, spread on improvised tables, and 
served between the morning and evening sermons 
under the shade of the trees, are memories on which 
we all love to dwell, and which brighten the lives of 
many who have now passed their three score years 
and ten. 

The Providence Church community responded nobly 
to the call for volunteers in the Confederate service. 
In the roll call of the Cahaba Rifles alone are to be 
found the names of two of the Ellis family, three or 
four of the Hatcher family, two from the Swann 
family, and three from the Mosely family, not to 
mention others who volunteered in other commands. 
After Capt. C. C. Pegues was appointed colonel of 
the Fifth Alabama Regiment, Dr. E. B. Mosely was 
elected captain of the Cahaba Rifles, and commanded 
that company until the war ended. 

Still farther west from Orrville was the Pegues, the 
Irby, and the Ellerbee neighborhood, near the edge 
of the county ; while seven miles back from Portland, 
on the Alabama River, was the Boykin settlement, 
composed of the Boykin, the James, the Oliver, and 
the Reeves families — all of whom were wealthy, cul- 
tured, and refined people, who attended all the social 
functions in Cahaba and entertained royally at their 
country homes. Especially during "court week" was 
Dallas County represented by her most influential citi- 
zens, and nowhere could there have been found a 
higher class of representative men than those who 


assembled in Cahaba at that time from these sur- 
rounding country precincts. 

Two and a half miles from Cahaba, on the Orrville 
road, on a high elevation overlooking the town, was 
the old Beene place, at one time the home of Mrs. Wil- 
liam Beene, one of the most beautiful and gifted wom- 
en of her day. Mr. Beene was a first cousin of Wil- 
liam L. Yancey and a nephew of Judge William E. 
Bird, of Cahaba. Back of the Beene place was Mt. 
Nebo, the country residence of Judge Campbell, a 
picturesque and romantic spot in a large pine grove. 
Farther out, on the Orrville road, was the long, high 
Saltmarsh hill, on the top of which was located an- 
other spacious country house, surrounded by wealth 
and luxury, with its numerous slaves and an exten- 
sive, well-improved plantation, the home of Dr. Salt- 
marsh, a wealthy, public-spirited gentleman of North- 
ern birth who married a Miss Beck, sister of the late 
Col. Thomas R. Beck, of Camden, Ala., and a niece 
of Hon. William R. King. Beyond the Saltmarsh place 
was the large two-story Mitchell house, standing in a 
magnificent grove of forest trees. Beyond the Mitchell 
place was the home of Mrs. Peter Mathews, now- 
known as the Chambliss place. This was an ideal 
spot, overlooking the high bluff's of the Alabama 
River, and also surrounded by a handsome grove of 
old trees. The beautiful residence was fitted up with 
all the luxury that heart could wish or mind desire — 
handsome furniture, rare books, beautiful paintings. 
and a stable filled with fine horses and elegant car- 
riages. Here was the lifetime home of the stately 
and accomplished Mattie Mathews, one of the lovely 
girls of Dallas County in the early sixties, and who 


afterwards became the wife of Major N. Chambliss, 
from Tennessee. Still farther out', on the White Bluff 
road, were the homes of Judge Le Noir, Judge Griffin, 
and Gilbert Johnson, all beautifully improved places. 
Down in the south bend of the Alabama River were 
the large plantations of the Molett family, with their 
hundreds of slaves, many of whom were native-born 
Africans and could speak only the African lingo. 

Skirting the Cahaba River in a westerly direction, 
for a short distance is the Marion and Cahaba road. 
A mile and a half out on this road, just beyond Clear 
Creek, was the old Haralson place, where Judge John 
Haralson, now of the Supreme Court of Alabama, was 
born. After crossing Clear Creek, there is a gradual 
rise in the surface of the country for two miles or 
more until we reach the old Frank Saunders residence, 
which is located on one of the high plateaus of the 
Cahaba River, with the plantation lying in front of 
the house and extending back into the valleys on the 
river. Following this road, we come to the old Basin 
Spring, with its romantic glades, redolent in spring- 
time with the refreshing perfume of the bay flower, 
yellow jasmine, and wild honeysuckle. Here were 
given many of the barbecues and picnics of ante-bel- 
lum days, when the wealth and beauty of Cahaba and 
the surrounding country were in full attendance. Be- 
yond Basin Spring was another one of Dr. Saltmarsh's 
large plantations, with its long lane of three miles 
bordered on each side by a tall rail fence and shaded 
occasionally by peach trees, which in springtime pre- 
sented a pretty picture — the brilliant pink blossoms, the 
green, waving corn, and the happy, contented faces 
of the negroes working and singing in the fields. At 


the end of Saltmarsh lane was the Muckel place, 
afterwards the plantation home of A. H. Jackson, a 
young lawyer of Cahaba, who married Miss Jennie 
Gill a daughter of Dr. T. W. Gill. The house stood 
in the midst of a grove of large, majestic beech trees. 
On the east side was. and is now. one of the loveliest 
landscapes ever presented to the eye of man, a sublime 
picture that would inspire the artist at the rising or 
at the setting of the sun : the Cahaba hills, with 
the river winding like a belt of silver in and around 
its green, fertile valleys, while far in the hazy dis- 
tance are the forests on or beyond the Alabama River. 
Above the Muckel place, and lying immediately on 
the Cahaba and Marion road, was the farm of Thomas 
Carr. Adjoining the Carr place were the plantation 
and residence of Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor, which for- 
merly belonged to her brother William Gill, a lawyer 
and one of the earliest settlers of Cahaba. Beyond the 
Taylor place was the plantation of Mr. William Cur- 
tis, the father of Mrs. Eliza Babcock and Mrs. Dr. 
Ulmer, of Cahaba. and one of the oldest residents of 
the town. 

A mile from the Curtis place was Walnut Grove, 
the residence of Dr. T. W. Gill, the honored grand- 
father of the writer, surrounded by a plantation of 
two thousand acres. Here, too, was a large, handsome 
house built in the old colonial style, a home with every- 
thing to make life happy, contented, and comfortable. 
Smokehouses, storehouses, and corncribs filled to over- 
flowing, well-trained servants to obey one's slightest 
wish. Sideboards groaning beneath the weight of 
handsome silver and beautiful china, horses to ride 
and drive at pleasure, large pastures with blooded 


stock grazing on luxuriant clover and blue grass, 
equal to any in Tennessee or Kentucky. Another 
typical Southern home, where wealth and plenty 
abounded, and which presented a fine illustration of 
Southern life during the last years of the South's pros- 

Into these country homes visitors would come in 
crowds, and they were expected to remain as long as 
they felt inclined. Everything was done to contrib- 
ute to their pleasure and amusement, and each person 
was made to feel that he or she conferred an honor in 
accepting the extended hospitality. Gentlemen would 
arrive on horseback and the ladies in carriages, not 
open or covered buggies or one-horse vehicles, but 
closed family carriages, such as were used by the 
English nobility at their country seats, drawn by well- 
trained carriage horses or large, fine mules kept ex- 
pressly for that purpose, covered with harness mount- 
ed in silver plate, a negro driver in the coachman's 
box. the ladies' waiting maid beside him, and a negro 
boy occupying the little seat behind as footman. Serv- 
ants waited to open the large entrance gate and take 
charge of the horses ; and, after a cordial welcome, 
the guests were made to feel unconstrained and al- 
lowed to seek their own way of entertaining themselves. 

The gentlemen were shown the growing crops on 
the plantation by their host, or taken out to hunt, armed 
with the finest guns, or with the hounds on a fox chase. 

The rest of the time was devoted to the ladies, who, 
with their small, jeweled hands, soft and white, and 
tastefully dressed in the fashion of the day — wide, 
flowing robes, large hoops, thread lace scarfs, hand- 
some jewelry of cameo or coral — and smooth, beau- 


tifully braided hair (which it required a full hour for 
a maid to arrange), spent the morning hours of sum- 
mer in reading, conversation, or fine needlework. Aft- 
er the midday nap, the afternoons were passed in visit- 
ing, riding, or driving ; and the evening was given up 
to music and dancing until exhausted with the mere 
pleasure of living, one sought rest and slumber in the 
sensuous delight of linen sheets, lavender scented, or 
in winter found unspeakable comfort in the soft, 
downy feather beds of the high, old-fashioned, canopy 
top bedsteads, to sink to sleep in the golden glow of 
the hickory logs, and awaken in the morning with a 
maid standing at the bedside with a cup of fragrant 
coffee. There was no hurry ; no special labor was 
pressing. None were in haste to leave. The climate, 
the great abundance, the warm-hearted hospitality, 
made existence in any of these homes an unceasing de- 
light. It was the "charmed land of the lotus-eaters," 
where life seemed one long, sweet dream of pleasure. 
Back on the Cahaba River was the home of J. B. 
Gill, another comfortable country place, surrounded 
by fertile lands. West of Dr. T. W. Gill's place, near 
the Marion and Orrville road, were the handsomely 
improved place of Nathan Jackson and the home of 
Mr. Robert G. Craig, surrounded by their large plan- 
tations and numerous negroes. Adjoining these places 
was the plantation of Rees D. Gayle, another valuable 
estate, with its two hundred slaves and rich., fertile 
lands. In all the South there could not have been found 
a more beautiful and prosperous and self-sustaining 
country than was here — plantations in splendid con- 
dition, droves of fat horses and mules, herds of cat- 
tle, flocks of sheep, goats, and droves of hogs ; the 


slaves happy and contented, with a magnificent pros- 
pect of fine crops ; vast fields of waving corn, luxu- 
riant oats, and wheat and rice heavy in sheath ; cotton 
green and growing, all worked out ready to lay by 
until harvest time; corncribs full of last year's corn; 
thousands of pounds of fat bacon and hams, hickory- 
flavored, bags* of molasses hanging from the rafters, 
and sacks of flour fresh from the mill, filling the 
smokehouses and the rooms, and hundreds of yards of 
homemade cloth spun and woven for clothing for the 
field hands and house servants ; but alas ! in May the 
surrender came, and ruin followed. The negroes, elated 
with freedom, abandoned their homes, left their houses, 
their household goods and clothing — all but what they 
wore — and flocked to the Yankee camp to become pen- 
sioners of the government and spend their time in idle- 
ness, while the plantations grew up in weeds ; plows 
lay idle where they had been abandoned in the fields, 
and stock were left to graze in the pastures. On my 
father's plantation alone, eight hundred hogs were 
turned out to go wild in the swamp because there was 
no one to feed and care for them. 

The question now arose how to get the growing 
crops harvested. My father concluded he would go t( 
Selma and offer his negroes one-half of the crop to 
return home and gather it. As he rode into the camp, 
the first person he spied was an old woman named Pat- 
ty, one of his slaves inherited from his mother, and the 
one of all others who expressed the greatest devotion 

*Barrels were scarce and hard to get during the war, and 
on my father's plantations bags made of heavy cotton cloth 
were used to hold the molasses. 


to her "young master," as she called him. For years 
half bent with rheumatism, Patty had not known 
work, and went hobbling around on a stick ; but lo ! 
freedom had worked a marvelous change — now. with 
head erect, she was stepping around as agile and spry 
as a young girl that had never known an ache or pain. 
Her master called to her : "Come here, Patty ; I want 
to speak to you." She turned, saw who it was, and' 
flounced off, exclaiming : "Lord a massie, chile, I ain't 
got time to fool with you now." This was a novel ex- 
perience to my father — the first time in his life a negro 
had ever refused to come at his bidding — and to be an- 
swered in this offhand manner, especially by one of 
his old slaves, was too much to be borne. He con- 
cluded to make no further overtures, and returned 
home, gave the crop to the Confederate soldiers, who 
reaped a rich harvest in the fall, thus enabling many of 
them to make a new start in life. But a sad and fear- 
ful change has swept over this beautiful country, and 

The harvest moon shines with the same old splendor. 

Our lands lie barren and bare ; 
And the cheerful song of the old-time slave 

No longer resounds on the air. 

Xo longer the ring of the ax is heard 

Nor the corn-song over the hill ; 
The banjo is silent, the dance is clone. 

Its music forever is still. 

The sound of the horn is heard no more. 

Nor the neigh of the hunter's steed ; 
Nor the yelp of the fox, nor the bay of the hounds. 

Resounding over the mead. 


The planter has gone, with his lordly grace ; 

His home is in alien hands ; 
His children are ruined, dead, or lost. 

Or struggling in foreign lands. 

His house is left deserted and lone — 

All, all have gone away ; 
And its falling roof and crumbling walls 

Are fast falling to decay. 

The door stands open, gaping wide. 

Creaking on one hinge ; 
And the ghosts of former wealth and pride 

Are all who now come in. 

Save here and there, some lone old home. 

Heir to a sadder fate. 
With rough, rude negroes, former slaves. 

Inhabiting its rooms of state. 

Not a mark is left of the former glory — 

Of this land in its beauty and pride ; 
Not a soul is left to tell the story; 

They have all passed away and died. 

Nine or ten miles from Cahaba, a mile or more off 
from the Cahaba and Marion road, was Prosperity 
Church, known as "The Seceder Church," in charge 
of the Rev. John Young. In the surrounding country 
were the Johnsons, the Chestnuts, the Spears, and Capt. 
Robert Moore's plantation. Five miles distant was 
Harrel's Crossroads, another country settlement of 
the Harrels, the Forts, the Craigs, the Chisholms, 
Voltzes. and Capt. John Moore's family — all planters 
in affluent circumstances, with comfortable homes, 
where a belated traveler ever found a sweet night's 
rest, and where friends and relatives always received 


a cordial and sincere welcome from those good, old- 
time people, whom it was always a pleasure to visit. 
These communities did the greater part of their buy- 
ing and selling in Cahaba, and also contributed a 
number of volunteers to the Cahaba Rifles — brave, 
valiant young men, several of whom yielded their 
lives on the field of battle. The women, too, did a 
noble part in the cause of the Confederacy : with their 
own hands they spun and wove the finest of jeans 
and made it into clothes for the soldiers. It was a 
labor of love that they would not intrust to their 
servants, many of whom were skilled in the art of 
weaving; and the finest and most beautiful cloth 
made during the war was to be seen in this community. 

Across the Alabama River from Cahaba were other 
planters — representative men — also with beautiful and 
luxurious homes, large plantations, and numberless 
slaves. There resided Col. Thomas M. Mathews, Col. 
Robert Hatcher, the Saffolds, the Milhouses, the 
Davises, the Pickenses, the Minters, the Calhouns. the 
Wades, the Winnamores, the Vassers, the Smiths, 
Judge Harris, and Josiah Walker, and Dr. Rees, with 
his deer park and beautiful grounds surrounding his 
residence. There, too, was the Cornegay place, the old 
home of William R. King, Ex-Vice President of the 
United States, surrounded by a heavy grove of chest- 
nut trees, which he highly prized. In the family 
burial ground, near the house, was the marble vault, 
where his remains rested until a few years ago, when 
they were removed to Selma. 

In the bend of the Alabama River, just above Caha- 
ba, was another beautiful place, the home of Mrs. Sa- 
rah Blackwell, which was always the scene of social 

— Y~~ 

?5s~* i 



mirth and attraction. On the Cahaba road, leading to 
Selma, about two or two and a half miles from town, 
was the McCnrdy plantation, the home of Mr. Mc- 
Curdy and his daughter, now Mrs. Dr. Henry, of 
Montgomery ; and in the same vicinity was the resi- 
dence of Col. William Saunders, whose lovely daugh- 
ters were also among the most admired girls of Dallas 
County. Five miles from Cahaba, on the Selma road, 
was the beautiful Kirk Harrison place, with its fine 
race track, which afterwards became the property of 
Judge John Hunter, where he kept a number of fine 
race horses. While many of the last-named persons 
were not actual citizens of Cahaba, these wealthy 
planters contributed greatly to the general prosperity 
and added much to the social life of the place. 

Two large ferries on the Alabama and Cahaba Riv- 
ers furnished the means of transportation across these 
streams for the numerous visitors, travelers, and teams 
of wagons to and from the town. 

There was a constant exchange of courtesies be- 
tween the Cahabans and the old county families, and 
visits frequently extended themselves into days, weeks, 
and months. As before stated there was practically no 
end to the hospitality, and it would have been regarded 
a great breech of etiquette in extending an invita- 
tion to limit the stay of a guest or specify a time for 
the visit to end as is now customary. 

In 1859, when the railroad was first built from Ca- 
haba to Marion, Cahaba was in a flourishing condi- 
tion ; but the war came on, business was paralyzed, 
and the town ceased to build up and improve, although 
it still continued to be a place of importance. An 


army post and one of the largest Federal prisons in the 
South were located there in 1863 or 1864. and a num- 
ber of refugees also sought an asylum within the 
town, some investing in town property ; but in 
1865, just before the surrender, another flood came. 
the post was abandoned, and. when the war ended, 
Cahaba began to realize that the clouds of adversity 
were falling fast upon her. Spartanlike, she bore her 
misfortune bravely and cheerfully and tried to stem the 
tide that had turned against her. but the effort was 
vain ; and in 1866 her death knell was sounded when, 
by a vote of the people of the county, the courthouse 
was removed to Selma, and she, for the first time with- 
in her existence, ceased to be the county seat of Dallas 
County. It was a cruel blow from which the grand 
old place never recovered. 

Many of the prominent citizens followed the court- 
house to Selma ; many others moved to more distant 
localities. A few new families came in to fill their 
places, and for a time Cahaba hoped at least to regain 
her old-time importance as a commercial center, but 
the hope was illusive, and in the seventies, for the 
third time within the memory of man, the town be- 
came a deserted village. The scenes of 1826 were re- 
peated. The doors of the business houses were all 
closed and locked, the stately homes were abandoned 
and deserted. Flowers again bloomed untended in 
the lovely yards and grass covered the principal streets. 
An air of loneliness and desolation impossible to 
describe encompassed the place. Where wealth and 
fashion a few short years before held unlimited 
sway, ruin and desolation now danced in high carni- 


val, and one could but exclaim : "Time ! Time ! how 
inscrutable are thy changes!" 

In reviewing the history of Cahaba, it seemed a 
most fatuous blindness on the part of those early 
commissioners appointed to locate the capital that they 
did not select one of the many majestic bluffs, with 
their broad plateaus, bordering the Alabama River 
farther south, for a site of the town ; but 

"When self the waving balance shakes. 
It's rarely right adjusted." 

And it has been whispered that some of these com- 
missioners were land speculators, or in the hands of 
land speculators, and self-interest was the motive that 
prompted the unfortunate selection of the place. Be 
that as it may ; but certain it is that, had the town been 
built on a more solid foundation, it might to-day be 
one of the principal cities, if not the capital, of the 

But those beautiful scenes are no more. All those 
noble, grand old people have passed away, and their 
like will never be seen again, because the conditions 
and surroundings that produced them are no longer a 
part of the South. They are gone never to return, 
and Cahaba, like Rome, must ever remain a Niobe of 
the nation, a mother bereft of her children, to whom our 
hearts still cling with living enthusiasm in memory of 
her departed glory. Though long years have passed 
and the ruin is now perfect and complete, the site of 
the old town is still a lovely spot, where the pure, 
limpid waters gush unceasingly from the artesian 
wells ; where the flowers planted long years ago still 
bloom in perennial spring in the old-time yards ; where 


the mocking bird still sings in springtime, and the 
Cherokee roses, full with blossoms, shed their snowy 
petals along the deserted streets ; where the sweet 
breath of the china blossom is wafted by the night 
breeze ; where the stars still shine in all their brilliant 
beauty, and the moon rises in its old-time splendor 
infolding the ruined town in its soft, mellow light and 
lovingly shadows the graves of the dead who, when 
living, were among the most refined, cultivated, and 
intellectual people that ever adorned the State of Ala- 

Memoirs of Old Cahaba. 


Part I. 

By the side of the river, we sat down and wept. 
And sighed for the days that are gone ; 

And told the story, o'er and o'er, 
Of the glory of the dear old town. 

Each scene was recalled of youth's golden hours. 

Each friend we used to know 
Was with us again, from the silent land. 

The land of long ago. 

And again we heard the song of the birds. 

With the ripple of the waters' flow ; 
The memories of years, forever lost. 

Swept over our hearts once more. 

Those old-time homes, with open doors. 
Those streets by large trees shaded, 

The rich perfume of flowers rare. 
From memory have never faded. 

The sweet, clear notes of the academy bell 

Come stealing through the air ; 
The joyous songs of children bright 

Who are happily playing there ; 

And the ringing sound of the church bells old, 

In their steeples all so high. 
And those good old people who worshiped there — 

Their memory can never die. 

The merry sound of the violin. 
The voices of girls and bovs. 



Come floating back from the dust of years 
Full of youth's bright joys. 

The rattle of wheels we hear on the street. 

Fine coaches, of the a la mode. 
Come dashing by, as in days of yore. 

For a spin on the old plank road. 

Large stores are open, their wealth displayed 

In jewels, fine silks, and laces. 
Imported from far-distant lands. 

Or brought from nearer places. 

Huge wagons crowd the streets so old. 

With cotton bales piled high ; 
And negro drivers, worth their weight in gold, 

Pass again before the eye. 

Princely planters, from their country seats, 
Ride fine hunting steeds to town. 

On business and on pleasure bent. 
Until the night rolls round. 

We hear the distant whistle sound — 
The St. Nicholas conies in sight ; 

With sweet music from her calliope. 
We see her land at night. 

Once more we see the lightwood torch 
And hear the deck hands' song. 

As they gayly grapple the cotton hooks 
And pull the bales along. 

That roll and tumble down the hill 
From the warehouse, old and gray, 

That holds ten thousand fleecy bales 
To be sent so far away. 

And a gay and brilliant party 
From* the Dallas Hall Hotel ; 


Wealthy planters, from the country. 
With their daughters, each a helle. 

Now crowd upon the steamer's deck. 
Accompanied by their beaux — 

Young men of wealth and fashion. 
Whose life's all couleur de rose. 

They gracefully wave their last farewell. 

So blithe, so gay, so bonny ; 
The boat slowly moves, the waters swell. 

And the calliope plays "Annie Laurie." 

Now backward the curtain of Time is thrown- 

Cahaba is pictured in space. 
With the names of those enrolled on a scroll 

Who had lived in the dear old place. 

The noble forms pass slowly by, 

Of many in history's pages. 
Whose names through Time shall ever live. 

Descending down the ages ! 

From across the river came William R. King, 
A statesman, courtly and grand ; 

The eloquent Yancey and Jesse Beene 
Follow closely in hand, 

With William Hunter, of noble form. 
And Ben Yancey, both jurists famed ; 

And George R. Evans, a brilliant judge, 
Of fair and spotless name. 

And Charles G. Edwards, a lawyer of note, 

A man reserved and cold ; 
And Dr. John English, of princely form. 

Of proud and generous soul. 


The Heustis, the Roberts, the Clarks, the Herberts, 
The Stoutenboroughs and Crocherans come back 

The Beenes, the Saffolds, the Rutherfords, too. 
Follow in memory's track. 

The Perines, the Curtis, the Wafords, the Blackwells, j 

The Babcocks, so kind and true ; 
While good Dr. Ulmer is passing by 

And asking: "How do you do?" 

The Watts, the Arthers. the Evans, the Craigs, 

Appear in full array ; 
While our ministers, Smyth and Cushman, 

"Meet Bailey and Cotton halfway."* 

The Troys, the Birds, the Hills, the Bells, 
The Campbells, Dawsons, and Lodors ; 

And Dr. Rob English, a cavalier — 
They all appear before us. 

The Watsons, the Somervilles, the Mitchells, the 

The Saunders, Fambros, and Lakes ; 
John Carter, Mike Keenan, and Sam Abernathy. 

Emmett George, Green Wood, and Spaight ; 

The Saltmarsh, the Kings, Dr. Howard, 

A gentleman courtly we find ; 
A. H. Jackson, Hays, Dawsomf and Lewis, 

Of bright and promising mind. 

With Bradley, William Boyd, and Boynton. 

Young lawyers of brilliant parts. 
Whose charming and manly graces 

Found a way to win all hearts. 

*The Presbyterian, Methodist, and Episcopal ministers 
who, in a friendly way, argued their different creeds. 

tReginald Dawson, the brilliant young solicitor of Dallas 
County in 1858. 


The Pegues, the Potris, the Whites, the Bushes, 

Judge James Evans, wise and true. 
With Norris, Mobley, and Garrett, 

Charley Hays and Dick English in view. 

The Hunters, the Vassers, the Colemans, the Shields, 
The Milhouses, and Dunhams, so cheery, 

With all the grace of tlie olden days. 
Are dancing and laughing so merry. 

The Walkers, the Tipton s. the Davis, the Smiths. 

The Reeses, and Hatchers galore ; 
The Mitchells and Gills, from Cahaba hills. 

Come and are with us once more. 

Foulks and McKinnis and W'illiam Quarles. 

Stephenson, Becker, and Cal Harris, 
And Herbert Hudson and William Town. 

Shoestring Barker, Rube Tipton, and Travis. 

Ben Craig, so good and pious, 

He would not attend a ball ; 
And Menzo Watson, with his racy jokes. 

Made laugh and jest for all. 

Mot. Chilton,* and Siddons. too. we see. 

Shep Diggs, and gay Tom Brown, 
Whose waggish wit and repartee 

Were known throughout the town. 

Sam Hill, and Becker. Perine, and Hunter, 

Merchant princes of renown ; 
And the old-time druggist, Dr. Smith, 

Was known the country round. 

*Dr. Horace Chilton, the brave young color bearer of the 
Cahaba Rifles, killed at Cold Harbor, Va., in 1863. 


Judge Rhiner, Bob Roberts, and Ab Brazile, 

High officials of the county ; 
And Joel Mathews, of learning and wealth. 

Known for his generous bounty. 

Judge John S. Hunter, stately and tall. 

With proud, aristocratic ways ; 
And Captain Bob Hatcher, of count) fame, 

Both prominent in olden days. 

Dr. T. W. Gill, a planter of wealth. 

With his noble, strong, fine face ; 
And Dr. McCurty, and Dr. Saltmarsh, 

All men of Christian grace. 

Tom Mathews, with manner imposing and grand, 

From his near-by estate; 
Thomas Craig, a grocer and merchant. 

Famed for his honest weight. 

And Farley. Tom Hunter, and Troy, 

Physicians held high in esteem ; 
Isaac Lenoir, with Duffin, the artist. 

And our young dentist, J. S. Dean. 

And Joiner, a Justice of the Peace — 

His ridiculous, practical jokes 
Repeated now, though years have passed. 

Mirth and laughter still provokes. 

Tom Fellows, a jeweler, with beard so black. 

A man of Northern birth : 
And L. Engleman, a merchant of Jewish descent. 

Both of well-known honor and worth. 

And those old professors of music. 

Who played at our parties and balls — 
Both German, with spectacled faces — 

Funk and Engleman, the past recalls. 


And old man Krout, and old man Bowe, 
With their cakes and confections so rare; 

And Quartermas, the marshal of the town, 
With his busy, inquisitive air. 

And James D. Craig, a man of wealth, 

Known for his pious ways. 
And rigid truth and honesty, 

In those good old bygone days. 

And our minister. Dr. Sparrow, 

So feeble and so old ; 
But would never give up his Master's work 

And had no greed for gold. 

There was good Mrs. English, and bright Mrs. Lodor, 

And beautiful Lucy Bell, 
Whose silvery laugh once more we hear. 

Resounding through the dell. 

Mrs. George Evans, with her stately grace, 
Mrs. Will Beene, with Circe's charms ; 

Miss Eliza Evans and Mary Troy, 
With their elegant, queenly forms. 

Mrs. Pegues comes by so graceful and gay, 

Ready for party or ball, 
With her joyous mirth and sparkling way. 

A smile and a jest for all. 

And in the picture now we see 

Mrs. Rees Gayle, ever kind — 
A lovely, gracious lady. 

Cultured, gentle, and refined. 

Mrs. Robertson, and Mrs. Pettus too — 

Handsome sisters of one race — \ 

With charming, old-time manners. 
Full of dignity and grace. 


Mrs. George Gayle, of exquisite tact, 

And bright, ingenious mind — 
Ah ! those old-time Southern women, 

Their like we scarce can find. 

Mrs. James D. Craig, with her cordial smile, 

Mrs. Tom Craig, all so gentle, 
Kind Mrs. Morgan, and Mrs. White, 

In memory's hall assemble. 

Mrs. R. D. Hunter, too, we see. 
With her sweet and pretty face ; 

And Mrs. Perine. with elegant mien. 
At home in her grand old place. 

Mrs. Peter Mathews, a choice friend, 
Mrs. Blackwell, of gracious fame; 

Mrs. Simeon Watts, stately and calm, 
A perfect, grand old dame. 

Mrs. White Duke and Mrs. Portis, 

Both graceful, fair, and tall ; 
Mrs. Thomas and Joel Mathews, 

Constant friends, and kind to all. 

Mrs. "Hamp" Coleman, pious, good, and kind. 

Mrs. Tom Walker, just and true; 
And Mrs. Dowman. calm and reserved — 

They all pass now in view. 

We live again in those olden days. 
Those golden days that are passed ; 

So many familiar scenes come back 
In the shadows that fly so fast ! 

The commons, with their grass so green, 

Those large, old, village oaks, 
That cast their cool, protecting shade 

Over crowds of gay young folks. 


A picture grand now there appears — 

The militia, in full review ; 
With banner flying and martial tread, 

They come within our view. 

We hear the sound of the big bass drum. 

The music of the fife. 
And see those muster days again. 

Replete with joy and life. 

Billy McCracken* is the drummer bold, 

Who leads the troop along ; 
With tall blue cap and feather red. 

He halts before the throng. 

And with a loud, resounding note. 

He beat the drum that day. 
And rattled and tapped, and tapped and rattled, 

As the soldiers marched away. 

And Warren Andrews dashed around. 

Grand Marshal of the day ; 
And Captain Lewis, on prancing steed. 

His red sash flashing gay. 

Now the beautiful belles of all those years 

Appear upon the scene, 
With sparkling eyes and laughing lips. 

All standing on the green. 

Addie Davis, with her large, black eyes, 

Mel Walker, loved by all; 
Lucy Mathews with her winsome ways, 

Margaret Bush we too recall. 

*Billy McCracken, a free negro, who was the well-known 
drummer on all public parades in Cahaba, 



Mary Babcock, with sweet, modest face. 

And Ann, with hair so brown 
And merry, laughing, bright, bine eyes — 

The prettiest girl in town. 

There were Anna Diggs and Lizzie Diggs. 

And Lucy Bell, so courted ; 
And Maggie Gayle and Jennie Gill, 

Whose beauty was far noted. 

There were Sallie Craig and Geqrgie Craig, 

And Evie McLemore, 
And Laura Milhouse and Mary Perine — 

All beauties of long ago. 

There were Mar)- Campbell and Lizzie Arther, 

Among the girls so fair; 
And Sallie Walker, with rosy mouth 

And youthful, happy air. 

There were Isadore Hill and Mollie McCurty, 
Lizzie English, with heart so true ; 

And Kate B. Evans, of brilliant mind, 
All pictured in full view. 

A score of others are standing there, 

'Mid the soldier boys so gay. 
With banner flying and music sweet, 

'An that bright, festal day. 

Part II. 

And now the old courthouse appears. 

Reflected on the scene — 
A large, strong building of red brick. 

Amid the trees so green. 


Near by the great artesian well. 

With its never-ceasing flow 
Of bright and sparkling water ; 

And the heavy, iron door 

Of the jail and probate office. 

Not so many steps apart, 
In charge of old Judge Rainer 

And Bob Roberts, of generous heart. 

Once more we hear the crier's call : 

"The Court is 'bout to meet !" 
His Honor is in his robes again. 

Each lawyer in his seat. 

We hear the old familiar names — 

Judge Cook is on the bench. 
John C. Campbell is standing near. 

Briefed, ready for defense. 

Bill Yancey is there, in his full pride. 

George Gayle is in his prime ; 
Lapsley and Blake — Bill Murphy, too — 

Are waiting for their time. 

And W. M. Brooks, ever courteous and kind. 

With intellect grand in action ; 
In the corridor of fame his name shall remain 

Undisputed by party or faction. 

John Morgan stands by with massive mind. 

In oratory brilliant and eloquent ; 
Rees Gayle is there, with argument clear. 

And rhetoric splendid and trenchant. 

Judge Pettus and Dawson* are both in Court, 
Learned lawyers, and deep in debate ; 

! N. H. R. Dawsop, of Selma. Ala. 


John Williams and Lodor, Saunders and White, 
Chancellor Clark, Gus Coleman,* and Spaight. 

Dan Troy, Kit Pegues, William Boyd, and Blake, 
Jackson Bradley and Lewis apace ; 

And Cumolander is running- around. 
Getting the jury in place. 

The Dallas Gazette is now thrown aside. 
With its advertisements for runaway slaves. 

And its editorial, strong and bright. 
From the pen of Charley Hays. 

Brazile, the clerk, is at his desk. 

The court's now in full session ; 
We hear again those brilliant minds. 

Of the times before secession. 

So proud and grand they looked that day. 

Those knights of olden time. 
With stiff, white fronts and tall, silk hats 

And broadcloth suits so fine ! 

Then, at the merry, festal board, 

Of bar dinners and bar suppers, 
They met and jested, laughed and talked, 

And flashed their wit upon us. 

And at Aicardie's grand saloon 

The hours flew all too fast — 
In laughing over old-time jokes 

And taking the social glass. 

Then came the happy Christmas time. 
The old town with joy was bright; 

The new year calls, the "G. G. H." balls, 
Their torchlight procession at night. 

*Judge A. R. Coleman, *iow of Birmingham, Ala. 


And then the great Masonic fete. 
And the Odd Fellows' ball so grand 

At the Saltmarsh Hall, in the year '58, 
To the fairest within the land. 

And the Thespian Society followed too, 

With a play at Bell's famous hotel. 
Just across from Perine's store 

And the old moss-covered well. 

We hear the click of the billiard ball. 

The rattle of dice as we pass, 
And see the lights from the barrooms flash. 

As night's shadows gather fast. 

We hear the sound of the hunter's horn. 
And the yelp of the dogs as they run ; 

And see those princely sportsmen again. 
All out for a night of fun. 

William Davis, Ed Yasser, and William Quarks, 
And Stark Hunter, with dashing ways. 

And Darius Curtis — all come back- 
In these visions of olden days. 

Bruce Gill, Bob Hatcher, and Emmit George, 
Ed Milhouse, graceful and slender, 

And Walter Milhouse and Rufus Gill, 
Gay and handsome — all remember. 

All booted and spurred, on prancing steeds. 

They meet near Saltmarsh Hall, 
Off on a fox hunt, in Portland beat. 

Then back for party or ball. 

And now a fearful scene we see — 

The town with passion is rife ! 
Idle Bells, Dr. Hunter. Troy, and Judge Bird 

Meet in a battle for life ! 


And when to an end the duel had come. 

The end of that fatal affray. 
The Bells had fallen, both father and son. 

Near the end of a bright autumn day. 

Laid in one grave together, they rest 

In the cemetery old and lone. 
Where the sobbing pines, to the evening breeze. 

Their requiem ever shall mourn. 

But months pass on, brighter scenes return. 

Gay life and mirth abound ; 
Each face beams now with exultant joy — 

We've a railroad on the ground ! 

Prominent men from all the country round. 

High officials of the State, 
Are with us on this gala day, 

The event to celebrate. 

We see with others in the crowd 

Stanch, loyal General King ; 
And our thoughts travel back once more 

On memory's golden wing. 

Again we hear his words ring out. 
Strong, clear, and most emphatic : 

"The road shall not fail ; money are power. 
And I, and I are got it !" 

His pledge made good, the railroad lies 

A firm, established fact ; 
The engine, wreathed in flowers gay. 

Is mounted on the track. 

Brilliant speeches and a barbecue 

Are programmed for the day ; 
And Mrs. Pegues again appears 

In gorgeous, grand array. 


With smiling face and graceful words. 

She smashed a foaming bottle ; 
As she christened the engine with champagne, 

Jerry Munn was at the throttle. 

We hear the locomotive shriek — 

Loud shouts sound all around : 
"We've a railroad now to Marion, 

A plank road to Uniontown ! 

And Cahaba we expect to grow 

Into a great, extensive city — 
A rival to Mobile we know, 

Wbile Selma has our pity." 

Part III. 

And now comes the eventful year of '59 — 
Political differences culminate and combine ; 
John Brown, on his raid, into Virginia rode 
To arm our negroes with fire and sword. 

To set them free and ruin our land. 
And destroy the Southrons to a man ; 
And though he was caught and justly hung. 
Our country's troubles had just begun. 

And when in '60 Abe Lincoln's elected. 
Our hearts the bitterest resentment reflected. 
Alabama seceded — bitter passion is rife — 
The North and the South are ready for strife. 

Wild with excitement, and meetings at night, 
Our town is eager to enter the fight ; 
And now, in place of party and ball, 
Political banquets ire given by all. 


At one of these banquets, a brilliant ovation. 
In speeches the North was condemned as a nation ; 
And George W. Gayle joined his glass in a toast 
With "death and damnation to the whole Yankee host. 

And then in an eloquent oration he led 
And offered a reward for Abe Lincoln's head ; 
One million dollars was the sum he named, 
For which he became in the South so famed. 

In the flush of secession, a thoughtless boast, 
A reckless defiance to the Northern host ; 
Tt went out to the world in the weekly edition 
Of John Hardy's paper,* famed for its sedition. 

And was copied in all the Northern papers, 
Who execrated our Southern traitors ; 
And George W. Gayle, with our leaders of State. 
Became a target for Yankee hate. 

So to the year of '61 the tide of Time rolls on ; 
The rumor of strife, the alarms of war. 
The signal gun, that's heard from afar. 

Overshadows our fair town. 

At the tap of the drum, with the blue cockade. 

Are gathered the flower of our land 
To don the gray and march away 

To meet an invading band. 

The name of "Cahaba" is on their shields. 

On their rifles, gleaming and bright ; 
Miss Vasser presented the colors so gav 
To the gallant men who marched away, 

So proudly marched that night. 

Kit Pegues, the company's captain brave. 
Accepted that banner fair; 

The Selma Times, 


And, as he flung it to the hreeze. 
Wild plaudits filled the air. 

The band struck up the "Bonnie Blue Flag," 

The soldiers marched around ; 
And the drum gave forth its martial sound. 

Beat now by gay Tom Brown. 

And John T. Morgan* played the fife 

As it never was played before ; 
And we hear its notes reecho still 

Through the years, as they come and go. 

Ah me ! the memory of all those years 

That come with their joys, their smiles, their tears ! 

Cahaba so bright, so brilliant, so gay ; 

And the soldier boys, who marched away. 

But 'neath all this gladness, joy, and mirth 
Were many an anxious heart and lonely hearth. 
And prayers for our boys who wore the gray. 
Our boys who bravely marched away. 

And when, from bloody Antietam, 
The sad news filled our Southern land. 
Of the Cahaba Rifles, our company so brave, 
Many had filled a soldier's grave. 

And, at the end of that fatal clay, 

When the roll was called, after the carnage and fray, 

Only fivef could be found of that noble band 

\\ no risked their lives to save our land. 

*Late United States Senator from Alabama. 

tMy father, Col. Rees D. Gayle, Capt. E. B. Mosely, of 
Bogue Chitto. and Mr. Halsey Smith, of Carlowville, were 
three of the five members of the Cahaba Rifles to be found 
the morning after the battle of Antietam. 

(jo Memories of old cahaBA. 

Dead, wounded, or missing- was the message that came 
To our sad hearts, aching with sorrow and pain ; 
But, like the matrons of old, we buried our grief 
And more fervently prayed for our country's relief. 

Then followed the years wearily by ; 

But hitter tears fell from many a sad eye — 

Cahaba became an army post 

And a prison, too, for the captured host ; 

And about Babcock's large, brick warehouse 

Extended a stockade so far. 
And within its strong, high, grim walls 

Were the Yankee prisoners of war. 

And now, as the curtain of Time unrolls. 
'Sixty-four appears on its magic folds — 
Brave soldiers are camping in the town. 
And officers gay are riding around. 

Refugees are with us from afar — 
New Orleans, Memphis, other seats of war- ■ 
Their homes were burned by the Yankee braves, 
And they forced to flight with their children and slaves. 

Beautiful belles of those years are also there. 

With silks and jewels and laces rare. 

Dug from the chests of long ago, 

Old-time dresses their grandmothers wore. 

Some gowned in homespun, with a princess's air, 
And hats of palmetto covered heads so fair ; 
There were dinners and suppers in the town so gay. 
And parties and balls in the war time way. 

Fair hands, too, were busy all the day. 
At work for the soldier boys far away — 
Knitting and sewing and making clothes. 
With prayers to God to defeat our foes. 


And the tide of the years turns backward. 

And again, as in olden days. 
We see our beautiful maidens, 

With their winning Southern ways. 

There was Mary Evans, graceful and proud, 

And Alice Gayle, so smart ; 
And Roberta Evans, calm and cold. 

But with a warm, true heart. 

There was Lucy Pettus, loyal and true. 

And Mary Saunders, queenly ; 
And Sophia, with her merry laugh 

And happy heart so seemly. 

Mary Johnson, with her modest air. 

And strong, intellectual face ; 
And Lizzie Rainer, a slender girl. 

Of gentle, quiet grace. 

There were Eliza Stark and Emma Arther, 

Both bright and fascinating ; 
And "Tack" Craig, whose beguiling ways 

Some found so aggravating. 

There were Fannie and Mississippi Bush, 

And Anna Yasser, gifted, 
Whose brilliant, bright, and facile mind 

Dark shadows ever lifted. 

There were Mattie Mathews, stately and rare, 

And Texcie Dunham, a beauty ; 
And Sallie Perine, majestic and fair, 

With her high sense of duty. 

There were Ellen Craig and Adra Perine. 

Sallie Hunter, so debonair ; 
And Rebecca Mathews and Willie Dunham. 

With beautiful eyes and hair. 


Fannie Hunter, with sweet Madonna face 

And large eyes, soft and brown ; 
And Nannie Hunter, of girlish grace. 

With brown curls tumbling down. 

There were Fannie Pegues, a slight brunette, 

Octa Babcock, fair and slender ; 
Pamelia Bush and Alice Watts, 

With hearts kind, true, and tender ; 

And Ella Hines and Betty Watts, 
Sallie Gayle, both bright and witty ; 

And Kate Evans, with black, twinkling eyes. 
All youthful, gay, and pretty. 

There was Hattie Stringfellow "en tableau" 

Of the Empress Josephine, 
Resplendent in the royal robes 

Of her coronation scene ; 

And A. B. Griffin — Napoleon — 

With the coronet of France 
To place upon her queenly brow, 

And Her Majesty thus enhance ; 

And Charley Hays, as Pope of Rome, 

Stands by, in solemn state. 
To give his benediction 

To this travesty of Fate. 

And Medora Mathews, of elegant mien. 
Lovely, accomplished — a social queen — 
We see her again, in velvet and plume. 
With General Loring in full costume. 

Dashing by in a handsome turnout. 

With trappings of silver that flash about ! 

Spirited horses, prancing in vain. 

'Gainst the colored coachman who holds the rein 


And now come the radiant refugee girls — 
Beautiful Miss Haley, with teeth like pearls; 
Miss Page, so handsome; Miss Talbot, so tall ; 
Mattie McClellan, bewitching; Nettie Watkins, so 
small ; 

Fannie Garland, so dark ; and Kate, so fair. 
So frail and fragile, with soft, brown hair ; 
And last, but not least, of that bright band, 
Mrs. Bullock, a gay widow, from Georgia's land. 

And the brilliant officers, then at the Post, 
Are with us again — a gallant host : 
Their names now appear, written in space. 
As an invisible hand their features trace : 

Majors Hilliard and Gasset, in gold lace so grand; 
Major Chambliss, a fine, dashing young man ; 
Dr. Weedon, quite polished; Col. Weedon, urbane; 
Young Captain John Purtam, handsome and vain. 

The surgeons, too, Hill, Whitfield, and Force. 
Are fine looking men, who honor the Post ; 
Dr. Prophlay, small, of dignified form ; 
Dr. Maddin, Tom Summers, and young Dr. Orm. 

Captains Watkins and Read and Carrington we see. 
And the two Captains Nelson, all handsome and free ; 
Young Humphreys and Crutcher, so gloomy and tall ; 
And one other young captain — by name, Nuthall. 

And the chaplain, Henderson, so brilliant and bright. 
And Lieutenant McClenan, a tall, fair knight ; 
Captains Metcalf, Reco, and Captain LaFay, 
And Captain John Allison, though married, quite gay. 

There was General Dan Adams, courteous and bland. 
Belonging to Forrest's noted command ; 
And Bedford and Robertson, of handsome face. 
Polished young captains, of manly grace. 


And Lieutenant Pinkney, young and brave, 
Who was doomed to fill an early grave ; 
Captains Garland and Porter, too, we recall. 
As the flickering shades of twilight fall. 

Now Golsby's Cavalry dashes by 
On prancing steed, with flashing eye — 
Young and gay, those boys in gray, 
Handsome and brave in that early May. 

And we hear the echo of their horses' feet. 
As they clatter away far down the street ; 
Like Centaurs they ride, all in a race. 
Back to camp at the Dawson place. 

And once more we hear the sentinel's tread. 

The sound of the evening gun, 
And the bugle's loud call to reveille 

Ere the rising of the sun. 

And at evening the music of the band 
Comes with the scent of clover. 

As it softly plays, in sad refrain, 
"When This Cruel War Is Over." 

And the martial strains of "Dixie" 

Sound far beyond the hill 
And a lonelv cornet answers 

In "Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still." 

"The Bonnie Blue Flag" and "Maryland" 

Now float upon the breeze. 
As a whiff of Cape Jasmine's rich perfume 

Comes through the mulberry trees. 

And once more we hear ''Lorena," 
With its throbbing, human pain. 

Sung by the brave young soldiers. 
And "Rock Me to Sleep Again." 


"All Quiet along the Potomac To-Night !" 

Its memory we cannot smother ; 
And we hear again that sad, old song, 

"Just Before the Battle, Mother." 

Now the strains of other music 

Float out on the soft moonlight — 
Col. George W. Gayle plaving on his flute 

"Oft in the Stilly Night." 

And we see the moonlight shadows. 

And the fireflies flashing around ; 
And we live again those brilliant nights. 

Those nights in the gay old town. 

Part IV. 

And now came the spring of dark '65, 
When the river, god, angry, caused the waters to rise 
From the grand Alabama and the little Cahaba ; 
And, passing all bounds, burst out of their border. 

Rushing and meeting, they swept over the town, 
Those dark, seething waters ; and then quieted down 
To a murmuring ripple and gentle flow. 
As they rapidly rose up to each door. 

For a time, like Venice, despite this disaster. 
We lived on the waters and soon became master 
Of the flood, and visited and flirted 
In birch bark canoes, so many asserted. 

On those beautiful nights, 'neath the moon's bright ray, 
On the river's broad bosom floated ladies so gay. 
With music and song and officers brave ; 
And prisoners, on parole, steered the boat through the 


And when the waters receded and left us, 

The sad news from the front of all hope bereft us — 

Our army was broken, scattered, and lost. 

And orders now came to abandon the Post. 

And then came the scullions, the Northern invaders — 
An army of locusts were Wilson's great raiders. 
Who devastated our land, stole all they could find: 
Jewels and silver, mules, horses, and kine. 

But few found their way to our dear village. 
Though we constantly dreaded carnage and pillage ; 
For the Post was abandoned, our soldiers had gone. 
And only two men were left in the town. 

One was Brenner, a German who feared no harm. 
And a young lawyer, Sam Shepard, who had lost an 

arm ; 
Other citizens, too old to enter the war. 
Sought safety in flight to the woods afar. 

In a few weeks more, on that fatal May morning. 
Our hearts were appalled at the surrender of Lee. 

"All save honor was lost," our country had fallen. 
Our land was in ruin, our negroes were free. 

And now, with a courage born of despair. 
We turn from the present to a future more fair ; 
Hiding our scars, we laughed and we jested 
At the ironclad oaths by which we were tested. 

Our hearts yearned again for the old-time ways, 
The parties, the balls, the dinners, the plays ; 
And soon the old town with mirth was bright. 
And again could be heard the music at night. 

The first entertainment after the war* 
Was a brilliant affair, a ball de riguew; 

*A large party at Col. G. W. Gayle's, in November, 1865. 


The ladies wore cashmere, satin, and pearls,* 
And blond lace and tarlatan adorned the fair girls. 

Again, with gentlemen in citizens' clothes, 

We danced and were happy, forgetting our foes ; 

Unheeding the specter that stood at our feast, 

We cherished fond hopes that our troubles had ceased. 

But alas! came the days of dark reconstruction; 

Our town to its center with grief was torn. 
When George W. Gayle was arrested for treason 

And off to the North a prisoner was borne. 

Though utterly ignorant of Booth and his plan 
To murder Lincoln, the Northern land 
Remembered his words, in the excitement of war. 
And arrested him now as a conspirator. 

He was cast in prison, at Fortress Monroe, 

With John A. Campbell and Clay, 
Where Jeff Davis, our honored President, 

In irons and shackles lay, 

By command of that monster in human form — 

The illustrious Nelson Miles — 
Who, with Stanton and others then in power, 

Were fiends in men's disguise. 

Part V. 

Old Time now turns another leaf — 

'Sixty-six is now the year; 
And the belles and beaux of '58 

Are staid men and women here. 

♦Pearl bead trimmings were greatly in vogue at this time. 



Among the matrons whom we see, 

Four as brides we well recall — 
Mrs. Ben Craig, with sweet, modest face; 

Mrs. Will Boyd, admired by all; 

Mrs. Will Boynton, too, a blushing bride. 

A belle from Talladega ; 
And Mrs. Dean, a Northern girl 

Of youthful grace and vigor. 

And still gay scenes are pictured bright. 

Scenes of a later age — 
A night in May, with maidens rare. 

Just entering on life's stage : 

Mollie Hunter, a stately "Queen of May," 

Is seated on her throne 
Of flowers, with their rich perfume. 

Which on the air is borne. 

Around her gather all her maids : 

Each represents a season, 
Who bring their fruits from every clime 

And bright flowers without reason. 

Anna Gayle, as blushing Spring, appears 

With a basket full of posies ; 
Fannie Milhouse, as blooming Summer. 

With a wreath entwined with roses ; 

Mamie Gayle brings Autumn leaves and grapes 

To offer to our Queen ; 
And Lucy W T alker, Winter's fruits 

Encased in leaves of green ; 

Kittie Watson, with scepter of flowers white. 

Stands just beside the throne ; 
And the beautiful crown by Ida Craig 

Aloft is proudly borne — 


With waving curls and rosy cheeks 

And brown eyes, sparkling gay. 
And merry, glad, and laughing lips. 

She crowned the Queen of May. 

Among the girls in that gay scene. 
Replete with youth's bright faces, 

Is Ella Milhouse, so pretty and mild, 
( )bserved in all such places. 

There are Sallie Farley and Anna 

And Ellen and Bett'ie Shields, 
And Alvena White — their many charms 

A mystic power wields. 

There is Mollie Pettus and Fannie Thorn. 

And Lizzie Dawson's well-known face ; 
And Mamie Morgan and Kate McCraw 

In all their girlish grace. 

And among the manly forms we see 

Amid that scene so gay., 
Remaining ever on memory's walls 

In that sweet night of May, 

Are Charley English and William Craig. 

And Sam and Danet Hill, 
Whose bright and cheer)- laugh rings out 

On that summer night so still. 

John Hunter, with bright, racy jest. 

Landon Watts, of quiet mind ; 
Fat Sparrow, brilliant in repartee. 

Within the crowd we find. 

George Craig, in military dress, 

A captain in full honors 
From Tuscaloosa's martial halls, 

With gold lace flashed among us. 


And Henry Dowman, dark and tall, 

Hal Walker, tall and fair; 
And Ned Hunt, all reserve. 

With proud, distingue air. 

Finley White and Joel Mathews. 

And the Smiths, from over the river; 
And gay John Babcock and Tom Moss. 

John Shields and D. McKeever. 

John H. Morgan, with his brilliant mind: 
James Milhouse, gay and cheerful ; 

And Willie Cade, so bright and quick, 
But in logic always careful. 

George Norris and Sam Shepard. 

A. B. Griffin, too, is there ; 
And that sweet old tune of "Money Musk 

Floats merrily on the air. 

And in that gorgeous springtime 

We pass glad, happy hours. 
Young people wandering in the woods. 

Gathering the sweet, wild flowers — 

The sweet shrub and the woodbine, ' 
The honeysuckle and dogwood white. 

The golden yellow jasmine — 
Will never fade from sight. 

And their wild and spicy odors 
Come with the memory of years. 

When life was one long, sweet dream. 
And the future had no fears. 


Part VI. 

But alas ! how soon the bright days pass by, 
And clouds obscure the clear, blue sky ! 
Damocles' sword by Fate is suspended. 
And those glad, joyous days are soon to be ended. 

For in the near future dark clouds are woven — 
Our neighboring city a false friend has proven ! 
In her small, infant state, she asked for our aid — 
With ingratitude great, our kindness repaid. 

Trusting her promise, we helped her to vote, 

And joined her petition for a full city court ; 

Betraying our trust, she turned in her greed 

And demanded the courthouse — forgetting our need. 

By the power of vote, and a small local faction, 
Our town now lost its greatest attraction ; 
All the "Records of Dallas," so aged and gray. 
Were carried to Selma, just ten miles away. 

And that ''Temple of Justice," that old courthouse, 
Whose forum was famed throughout the great South 
For its brilliant orators and bright, legal minds, 
Alone and deserted now we find, 

Used as a millhouse — sad irony of Fate ! 
Corn is now ground in its old room of State. . 
Where the eloquence of Yancey and Murphy burst 

No voice is now heard but the miller's rude oath. 

And Cahaba ! Cahaba ! so brilliant and gay, 

Is left to destruction, neglect, and decay ; 

Her children are scattered like the sands of the sea, 

And ruin now rests on our fair Galilee. 


Her streets are deserted, save now and then 
A lav be seen the rude forms of old negro men. 
And when night's shadows begin to fall, 
Xo sound can be heard but the lone owl's call 

Or the scudding wings of the bat as it flies 
From some lone, bleak house to bright, starry skies 
Or the whip-poor-will's song we knew as a child. 
Haunting the gloaming, so sad, so wild. 

That strange weird note of that bird of unrest. 
Like a poor, human mortal by misery oppressed. 
It sounds in the distance sad and low 
In constant refrain. "Chip-will's-widow." 

Rising and falling, it floats on the air. 
Like some lone soul calling to one in despair. 
Who, lost in misfortune, now wanders round. 
Seeking its mate in the old ruined town. 

Like the "Ghost of the Past," it will never be still. 
But comes to us ever at its own sweet will ; 
And in memory's hall, forever and aye. 
Cahaba will live — ever bright, ever gay. 

Song: On the Banks of Old Cah. 

( )n the baiiks of old Cahaba. 

Where the rippling waters flow, 
And the stately Alabama 

Glides and sparkles in the glow 
Of the bright and brilliant moonlight 

In this sweetest of all climes, 
I sit down with my banjo 

And sing about old times. 



For the old town now is silent, 

Sadness lingers all around ; 
There is not a soul to greet me, 

Not an old friend to be found. 

I wander round the quiet streets, 

I see each well-known place, 
And memory brings to mind again 

Each old familiar face ; 
But the days are sad and lonely. 

The nights are drear and long — 
There is not a soul to greet me. 

Or listen to my song. 

But I think about the old clays. 

Those days so bright and fair ; 
And again I see Cahaba, 

Like a jewel, rich and rare, 
Sparkling in the sunlight 

Of a happy, glorious past ; 
And I live again the old days. 

Those days too bright to last. 

I hear the church bells ringing — 

How they peal upon the air ! 
And I see those grand old people 

Who in days past worshiped there 
I hear the merry laughter 

Of the happy girls and boys ; 
And I live the old days over, 

Those days with all their joys. 

I hear the old-time music 

Of the violin at night. 
And I see the stately dancers 

Pass again before my sight. 


With the flash of brilliant beauty 
Comes the flowers' rich perfume. 

And I live those old days over. 
Those days that passed too soon. 

I try to sing the old songs, 

But the tears begin to flow 
As I think of old Cahaba 

In the days of long ago — 
In that glad and happy springtime, 

When the roses were in bloom. 
And we walked and talked together 

'Neath the shadows of the moon. 

I've wandered far in distant lands, 

I've sailed the earth around. 
But I've never found another spot 

I love like this dear old town ; 
But my path's been rough and weary, 

I have lingered on the way, 
And now there is none to greet me. 

Not one to bid me stay. 


For the old town now is silent. 
Sadness lingers all around ; 

There is not a friend to greet me. 
They all, all now are gone. 


One of the bravest and most gallant companies ever 
organized for the Confederate Army, and one whose 
splendid record was not surpassed by any command 
in the South was the "Cahaba Rifles," Company F, 
Fifth Alabama Regiment. 


The company was organized in Cahaba April 16, 
1861 ; and, when the tocsin sounded, men of wealth 
and position left everything and hurried to join its 
standard. Brave youths, in the first flush of early man- 
hood, whose future was brilliant with promise, eager- 
ly enlisted and marched away to yield up their lives 
on the first battlefield. The heart swells and the eye 
grows dim with sad, sweet memories of a never-to-be- 
forgotten past, as their names are recalled and their 
well-remembered faces arise before us from the shad- 
ows of vanished years. 

The following is the history compiled by Capt. 
Charles Irby Pegues, of Dallas County, brother of Col. 
Christopher Pegues, who was made adjutant of the 
Fifth Alabama Infantry on April 27, 1862. After the 
death of Col. Christopher C. Pegues, his mother 
presented this document to Mr. G. Waring Smith. 
who was himself a gallant member of the Rifles, and 
through his courtesy I am permitted to use it : 

C. C. Pegues. Elected captain of Company F (Ca- 
haba Rifles) January 14, 1861 ; served twelve months 
and elected colonel ; mortally wounded in battle of 
Gaines' Mills, June 27, 1862; died July 15, 1862. 

Thomas H. Lewis. Elected first lieutenant January 
14, 1861 ; resigned November, 1861 ; went home and 
raised a company of Partisan Rangers. 

Henry Brooks. Elected second lieutenant January 
14, 1861 ; served twelve months ; elected first lieuten- 
ant April 22, 1862 ; refused to accept ; went home ; 
elected first lieutenant of Lewis's Partisan Rangers. 

Joseph Babcock. Elected third Lieutenant January 
14, 1861 ; served twelve months; elected second lieu- 
tenant April 27, 1862 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
May 12, 1862; killed in battle at Gaines' Mills. 


No. i. J. L. Beach. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, Ala., by Captain C. C. Pegues, for one year ; 
elected first sergeant May 20, 1861 ; sergeant, May 1, 
[862; deserted in battle of Boonesboro, Md., Sep- 
tember 14, 1862. 

No. 2. C. B. Sturdevant. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by C. C. Pegnes. for one year ; elected sec- 
ond sergeant; appointed fifth sergeant major April 27, 
1862; wounded in battle at Gettysburg. Pa., July 1. 
1863; captured and exchanged. 

No. 3. Frank Bradley. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; elected 
third sergeant April 4, 186 1 ; discharged for disability 
February 5, 1861 ; enlisted again in Lewis's Partisan 

No. 4. Robert H. Lake. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; elected 
fourth sergeant January 14, 1861 ; appointed quarter- 
master sergeant January 1, 1863; captured on retreat 
from Pennsylvania and sent to Fort Delaware. 

No. 5. John A. Duke, first corporal. Enlisted April 
10, 1861, at Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one 
year; elected first corporal January 14, 1861 ; died Jan- 
uary 27, 1 86 1. of disease at Union Mills, Va. 

No. 6. W. A. Holston, second corporal. Enlisted 
April 10, 1861, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for 
one year; elected second corporal April 4, 1861 ; dis- 
charged for disability July 12, 1861 ; enlisted in First 
Alabama Heavy Artillery ; died of smallpox. 

No. 7. John F. Garrett, third corporal. Enlisted 
April 10, 1861. at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for 
one year; elected third corporal January 14, 186 1 ; 
wounded in battle June 2/, 1862 ; blind from wounds. 

No. 8. John A. Gardner, fourth corporal. Enlisted 
April 10, 1861. at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for 
one year ; elected fourth corporal January 14, 1861 ; 
killed in battle at Seven Pines, Va.. May 31, 1862. 



No. 9. Andrews, Joseph. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; died 
November 29, 1861, of disease. 

No. 10. Andrews, J. N. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; elected 
first sergeant April 27, 1862 ; slightly wounded in bat- 
tle June 27, 1862 ; wounded and lost a leg in the bat- 
tle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1, 1863; captured, paroled, 
and exchanged. 

No. 11. Andrews, W. T. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues ; wounded in battle 
June 2J, 1862; discharged for disability November 21, 
1862. by Secretary of War. 

No. 12. Allen, H. O. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; ap- 
pointed drummer July 10, 1862. 

No. 13. Allen, H. A. Enlisted March 10, 1862, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues. for one year ; died 
April 26, 1862, of disease. 

No. 14. Alexander, W. F. Enlisted July 27, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Lieut. M. L. Brown, for one year ; dis- 
abled bv accidental wounds and discharged June 25, 

No. 15. Arnier, W. H. Enlisted July 2-j, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; dis- 
charged for disability January 22, 1862. 

No. 16. Babcock, John. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; dis- 
abled by wounds in battle May 31. 1862; discharged 
October 13, 1862, by Secretary of War; enlisted again 
in Lewis's Partisan Rangers. 

No. 17. Bassett, James. Enlisted April 10, 1861. 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; cap- 
tured in battle at Boonesboro, Md.. September 14, 
1862, and exchanged October 8, 1862 ; captured at 
Gettysburg, Pa., July 1, 1863, and sent to Fort Don- 


No. 1 8. Bassett, P. L. Enlisted July 27. 1861, .at 
Cahaba, by Lieutenant Brown, for one year ; died July 
12, 1862, at Banner Hospital, Richmond. Va., of 
wounds received in battle June 27. 

No. 19. Beach, James. Enlisted July 27, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Lieutenant Brown, for one year ; trans- 
ferred from Company H, where he had enlisted as a 
substitute for twelve months; time expired August 1, 
T863 ; discharged. 

No. 20. Beene, W. A. Enlisted April to, 1861, at 
Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; killed in 
battle July 27, 1862, at Cold Harbor, Va. 

No. 21. Blair, George. Enlisted March 10, 1862. 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; 
died April 19, 1862, of disease. 

No. 22. Blount, Peter M. Enlisted April to, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues. for one year ; slight- 
ly wounded in battle at Boonesboro, Md., September 
14, 1862. 

No. 23. Booth, H. C. Enlisted July 27, T862, at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year; elected 
second corporal April 27. 1862 ; wounded in battle Mav 
3T, 1862. 

No. 24. Boseman, I. Enlisted September 8, T862, 
in Lowndes County, by Captain Stewart, for the war. 
Conscript with company. 

No. 25. Bradford, John. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; mor- 
tally wounded in battle Mav 31, 1862. 

No. 26. Bradley, T. P. ' Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues. for one year ; killed in 
battle May 31, 1862. 

No. 27. Campbell, R. E. Enlisted April 10, at Ca- 
haba, Ala., by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; ap- 
pointed Assistant Surgeon C. S. A., to the Forty- 
Fourth Georgia Regiment ; since transferred to the 
hospital at Montgomery. Ala. 

No. 28. Campbell, P. L. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; se- 



verely wounded and captured at the battle of Gettys- 
burg, Pa., July 1, 1863. 

No. 29. Capps, W. H. Enlisted April 10. 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; dis- 
charged for disability January 22, 1862 ; enlisted again 
March 10. 1862; slightly wounded in battle of Gettys- 
burg, July 1, 1863. 

No. 30. Caswell, T. S. Enlisted May 30, 1861, at 
Pensacola, Fla., by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; 
transferred September 12, 1861, to Captain King's 
Fourth Alabama Regiment. 

No. 31. Cannon, F. A. Enlisted June 2J, 1861. at 
Farr's Crossroads, by Capt. C. C. Pegues. for one year ; 
wounded in battle at Boonesboro, Md., September 14, 
1862 ; now in Lewis's Partisan Rangers, having been 
transferred by exchange. 

No. 2,2. Chadwick, S. \V. Enlisted June 10, 1861, at 
Richmond. Ya.. by Capt. C. C. Pegues; transferred 
August 1. 1861, to Captain Hobson's Company. Fifth 
Alabama Regiment 

No. 33. Chilton, H. B. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues. for one year ; appointed 
color corporal May 20. 1861 ; was color bearer and 
killed in battle June 2J, 1862, at Cold Harbor. Va. 

No. 34. Chestnut, William M. Enlisted April 10, 
1861, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
died at First Alabama Hospital August 16, 1862. of 

No. 35. Chestnut, R. C. Enlisted July 27, 1861, at 
Cahaba. by Lieutenant Brown, for one year ; died 
October 30, 1861, of pneumonia. 

No. 36. Clothier, G. E. Enlisted April 10. 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; wounded 
in battle July 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill, Va. ; disabled 
for further field service. 

No. 37. Cocheron, J. P. Enlisted April ro, 1861. at 
Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; trans- 
ferred July 16, 1862, to Captain Blackford's Company, 
Fifth Alabama Regiment ; died of smallpox. 


No. 38. Coleman. J. A. Enlisted April 10. 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegnes, for one year ; died 
November 17, 1861, of pneumonia. 

No. 30. Coleman, J. J. Enlisted April 10. 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; slightly 
wounded in battle June 2j, 1862. at Cold Harbor, Va. ; 
mortallv wounded in battle of Chancellorsville May 3, 
1863 ; died May 3, 1863. 

No. 40. Coleman, J. R. Enlisted April 10. at Ca- 
haba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; discharged 
for disability February 25, 1862 ; returned and again 
enlisted for the war. 

No. 41. Coleman. W. H. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; 
died April 30, 1862. of disease. 

No. 42. Cooper, H. M. Enlisted April 10, 1861. 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; dis- 
charged for disability May 13, 1862. 

No. 43. Costigan, Patrick. Enlisted March 10, 
1 861, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues. for three 
years ; slightly wounded in battle June 27 ', 1862 ; left as 
nurse in hospital at Gettysburg, captured and sent to 
Fort Donelson. 

No. 44. Chisholm. Thomas. Enlisted July 27, 186 1, 
at Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year; cap- 
tured in battle at Boonesboro, Md.. September 14. 
1862; paroled, sent home, and exchanged. 

No. 45. Craig, William. Enlisted April 10. 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues ; discharged for disa- 
bility; went home and joined an Alabama Regiment, 
Bragg' s Army. 

No. 46. Craig, E. E. Enlisted April 10, 1861. at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues ; discharged for disa- 
bility October 18, 1861. 

No. 47. Curtis, J. R. Enlisted at Cahaba March 
10, 1862, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; killed 
in battle at Seven Pines, May 31, 1862. 

No. 48. Damon, G. H. Enlisted April 10. 1861, at 
Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; died of 


wounds received in battle July I, 1862, at Malvern Hill, 

No. 49. Daniels, P. S. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; killed 
in battle July 1. 1862, at Malvern Hill, Ya". 
- No. 50. Dallas, W. H. Enlisted April 10, 186 1, at 
Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; sent 
home from Union Mills. November 26, to hospital, very 
sick ; not heard from since, supposed to have died. 

No. 51. Davis, John. Enlisted March 10, 1862, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues. for three years ; died 
May 10, 1862, of disease. 

No. 52. Diggs, J. S. Enlisted March 10. 1862, at 
Cahaba, by Captain C. C. Pegnes. for three years; disa- 
bled by wounds received in battle July 1, 1862; dis- 
charged November 25, 1862. 

No. 53. Ellerbe. E. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at Ca- 
haba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; discharged 
for disability September 3, 1861. 

No. 54. Ellis, J. M. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; elected 
fourth sergeant April 24, 1862; killed in battle July 
1, at Malvern Hill, Va. 

No. 55. Ellis, F. J. Enlisted July 2J, 1861, at Ca- 
haba, by Lieutenant Brown, for one year. 

No. 56. Etheridge. D. L. Enlisted April 10, 1861. 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; 
wounded in battle June 2J< 1862 ; promoted second lieu- 
tenant September 26, 1862 ; wounded in battle of Get- 
tysburg, Pa., July 1, 1863; promoted first lieutenant. 

No. 57. Etheridge, Caleb. Enlisted March 10, 1862. 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; 
wounded in battle July 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill. Va. ; 
disabled and detailed at General Hospital, at Peters- 
burg, Va. 

No. 58. Etheridge, F. J. Enlisted March to, 1862. 
at Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; 
died August 8, 1862, of disease. 

No. 59. Etheridge, James. Enlisted March 10, 1862. 


at Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegnes, for three years ; 
died April 10, 1862. 

No. 60. Erwin, James. Enlisted April 10. 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegnes, for one year; dis- 
charged for disability September 4, 1861 ; went home 
and enlisted again in an Alabama Regiment, Bragg's 

No. 61. Farr, Charles. Enlisted March 10. 1862. at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegnes, for three years ; killed 
in battle June 27. [862, at Cold Harbor, Va. 

Mo. 62, Parley, J. C. Enlisted April 10. 1861. at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegnes, for one year : appoint- 
ed Assistant Surgeon, C. S. A., November, 1861. 

No. 63. Gaddy, L. L. Enlisted June 20, 1861, at 
Fair's Crossroads, by Capt. C. C. Pegnes, for one 
year; discharged for disability September 17, 1861. 

No. 64. Gayle. R. D. Enlisted March 10, 1862, at 
Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegnes, for three years ; 
wounded in battle May 31, 1862, at Seven Pines; dis- 
charged in 1863 ; went home and enlisted in heavy 
artillery at Mobile, Ala. 

No. 65. Garry, D. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at Ca- 
haba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; deserted 
May 20. 1861, at Pensacola. Fla. ; supposed to have 
drowned in trying to get away. 

No. 66. Garrett, J. S. Enlisted July 27, 186 1, at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year ; slightly 
wounded in battle September 14, 1862 ; again wounded, 
mortallv, in battle at Chancellorsville ; died May 31, 

No. 67. Gill, William G. Enlisted March 1, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years; 
discharged for disability June 10, 1862. 

No. 68. Grice, William. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; 
died April 7, 1862, at Orange C. H., Va., of disease. 

No. 69. Hardaway, J. J. Enlisted April 10, 1861. 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues; slightly wounded 
in battle June 2y, 1862, at Cojd Harbor, Va., where 


his clothes were perforated with halls in several 

No. 70. Harper, W. J. Enlisted March 10. 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; 
captured by the enemy in retreat from Pennsylvania 
July 1, 1863. 

No. 71. Harper, J. Enlisted March 10, 1862, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; died 
April 19, 1862, of disease. 

No. J2. Hatcher, W. H. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; wound- 
ed in battle May 31, 1862, at Seven Pines. Ya. ; cap- 
tured at South Mountain September 14. 1862 ; pro- 
moted first corporal May 1, 1863; captured at Chan- 
cellorsville May 3, 1863. 

No. y^. Hatcher, James. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; dis- 
charged October 29 for disability. 

No. 74. Hill. Bennett. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, bv Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one vear. 

No. 75.' Hill, D. M. Enlisted July '27. 1861. at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year ; appoint- 
ed fourth lieutenant July 3, 1862 ; captured in battle 
at Boonesboro, Md., September 14, 1862 ; paroled ; 
exchanged October 8, 1862 ; elected second lieutenant 
August 3, 1863 ; wounded in battle of Gettysburg, Pa., 
July 1, 1863. 

No. 76. Heidrick, J. Enlisted March 10, 1862, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; died 
August 2, 1861, at Lynchburg, Va., of disease. 

No. yy. Heidrick, P. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; 
died May 3, 1862. 

No. 78. Holmes, J. L. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; cap- 
tured at the battle of Boonesboro, Md. ; exchanged 
October 8, 1862 ; wounded in battle at Chancellors- 
ville May 3, 1863 ; promoted third corporal August 3. 


No. 79. Holston, L. G. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year. 

No. 80. Holloway, E. Y. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues. for one year. 

No. 81. Hunter. Thomas. Enlisted July 1, 1861, at 
Farr's Crossroads, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; 
slightly wounded in battle May 31, 1862; elected sec- 
ond lieutenant May' 12, 1862; resigned October 23, 

No. 82.. Hunter, R. D. Enlisted July 27, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year ; trans- 
ferred January 7, 1863, to Jenkins's Cavalry, Alabama 

No. 83. Hays, G. T. Enlisted July 27, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year. 

No. 84." Haggard, L. L. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years; 
killed in battle at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1, 1863. 

No. 85. Husbands. W. C. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues. for one year; dis- 
charged for disability February 25, 1862; enlisted in a 
South Carolina regiment. 

No. 86. Jacobson, M. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; severe- 
ly' wounded in battle July 1, 1862; disabled for further 
field service ; discharged. 1862. 

No. 87. Jackson, G. W. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years. 

No. 88. Jennings, J. J. Enlisted July 27, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year. 

No. 89. Johnson. J. J. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; dis- 
charged for disability June 25, 1862; enlisted in heavy 
artillery at Fort Morgan. 

No. 90. Johnson, J. T. Enlisted July 27, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown; mortally wounded in 
battle of Chancellorsville, Va. ; died May 23, 1863. 

No. 91. Jones, J. E. Enlisted July 27, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year; elected 


first corporal April 22, 1862; killed in battle July I, 
1862, at Malvern Hill, Va. 

No. 92. Jordan, H. C. Enlisted August 8, 1862, 
in Pike County, by Captain McBride. for tbe war, 
conscript ; wounded in battle at Gettysburg, Pa., July 
1, 1863; paroled; exchanged February 4, 1864. 

N°- 93- Jordan. J. J. Enlisted August 8, 1862, in 
Pike County, by Captain McBride, for the war. con- 
script; wounded in battle at Gettysburg, Pa.. July I, 
1863 ; captured, paroled, and exchanged. 

No. 94. Kennon, Robert L. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
wounded in battle May 31, 1862, at Seven Pines, Va. 

No. 95. Kirkland. H. T. Enlisted March 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C' Pegues, for three years ; 
detailed on government works, Selma, Ala. 

No. 96. Kelly, Alexander. Enlisted April 10, 1861. 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; elected 
third sergeant April 27, 1862. 

No. 97. Kelly, S. P. D. Enlisted July 27. 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown ; died near Union Mills, 
Va., of disease, August 31, 1862. 

'No. 98. Lucas, O. M. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; trans- 
ferred to Company K, Ninth Alabama Regiment. 

No. 99. Lucas, W. P. Enlisted April 10, 186 1, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; died 
July 14, 1862, from wounds received in battle on June 
27, 1862. 

No. 100. Ledlow, A. R. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; killed 
in battle of Sharpsburg, Md., September 14, 1862. 

No. 101. Laster. R. C. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; 
left on guard at house, near Charlestown, Va., Oc- 
tober 27, 1862 ; not heard from since, supposed to have 

No. 102. Lester, J. B. Enlisted August 8, 1862, in 
Pike County, by Captain McBride, for the war, con- 


script ; wounded in battle of Chancellorsville, May 6, 
1863; disabled for field service; now detailed on gov- 
ernment works, Selma, Ala. 

No. 103. McGuire, C. S. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; dis- 
charged for disability June 6, 1861. 

No. 104. McElroy, T. Enlisted March 10, 1862, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; died at 
Orange C. H., Va., April 22, 1862, of disease. 

No. 105. Mathews, W. H. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; died 
September 19, 1862, from wounds received in battle 
September 17, 1862. 

No. 106. Matheson, J. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; disa- 
bled by wounds received in battle May 31, 1862; dis- 
charged October 13, 1862; now engaged on govern- 
ment works, Selma, Ala. 

No. 107. Mays, T. S. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; died 
June 9, from wounds received in battle May 31, 1862. 

No. 108. Mason. T. S. Enlisted April 10. 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; died 
December 14, 1861, at Warrenton, Va., of disease. 

No. 109. Mason, John. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years; 
died April 27, 1862, of disease. 

No. no. Morman, Jacob. Enlisted March 10. 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; de- 
tailed on government work September 16, 1862, by 
order of Secretary of War. 

No. in. Moreland, J. P. Enlisted March 10, 1862. 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years; 
wounded in battle at Chancellorsville May 3, 1863. 

No. 112. Moss, Thomas K. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; ap- 
pointed third corporal July 3, 1862. 

No. 113. Moore, W. O. Enlisted July 27, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year; elected 


third corporal April 27, 1862; killed in battle May 31, 
1862, at Seven Pines, Va. 

No. 114. Mott, Silas J. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; killed in 
battle July 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill, Va. 

No. 115. Mobly, W. W. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegnes, for one year ; dis- 
charged for disability September 5, 1861. 

No. 116. Mosely, E. B. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; elected 
captain April 22. 1862; was previously elected junior 
second lieutenant January 7, 1862 ; wounded in battle 
of Malvern Hill, Va., July 1, 1862; wounded in battle 
of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1, 1863. 

No. 117. Mosely, W. I. Enlisted March 10. 1862, 
at Cahaba, for three years, by Capt. C. C. Pegues; 
severely' wounded in battle July 1, 1862 — leg ampu- 

No. 118. Mosely, T. I. Enlisted March 10. 1862, at 
Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; cap- 
tured in our retreat from Pennsylvania in July, 1863. 

No. 119. Newsome, J. W. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; slight- 
ly wounded in battle May 31, 1862. 

No. 120. Newberry, J. H. Enlisted March 10, 
1862, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three 
years ; slightly wounded in battle June 27, 1863 ; trans- 
ferred to a Georgia regiment in 1863. 

No. 121. Norris, George W. Enlisted April 10, 
1861, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
discharged for disability September 4, 1862. 

No. 122. Norris, Columbus L. Enlisted April 10. 
1861, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
died March 23, 1862, of disease. 

No. 123. O'Donohoe, John. Enlisted April 10, 
1861, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; 
promoted to second corporal June 15, 1862 ; wounded 
in battle July 1, 1862; killed in battle of Chancellors- 
ville May 2, 1863. 


No. 124. Odell, A. H. Enlisted March 10, 1862, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; wound- 
ed severely in battle of Gettysburg-, Pa., July 1, 1863; 
captured and paroled: exchanged February 4. 1864. 

No. 125. O'Meara, William. Enlisted March 10. 
1862, at Cahaba. by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three 
years; killed in battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1, 1863. 

No. 126. Overtell, H. Enlisted April* 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; dis- 
charged by order of Secretary of War July 29, 1862. 

No. 127. Parkman, J. B. Enlisted August 8, 1862, 
in Pike County, by Captain McBride. for the war, con- 
script; wounded in battle of Chancellorsville, Va., Mav 
3, 1863. 

No. 128. Pearce, Joseph. Enlisted July 27, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year; killed 
in battle of Chancellorsville. Ya., May 3. 1863. 

No. 129. Pegues, Charles I. Enlisted April 10, 
1861, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
appointed third corporal September 5, 1861 ; appointed 
Adjutant of Fifth Alabama Infantry April 27, 1862; 
wounded in battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862; pris- 
oner at Chancellorsville May 3, 1863 ; exchanged May 
21, 1863; acting Assistant Adjutant General Battle's 
Brigade May 5 to September, 1864 ; wounded May 5, 
1864; wounded September 3, 1864; retired Februarv 
5, 1865. 

No. 130. Pence, E. B. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; died at 
Union Mills, Va., September 24, 1861, of disease. 

No. 131. Pope, A. B. Enlisted January 1, 1862, at 
Davis's Ford, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
slightly wounded July 1, 1862; elected second sergeant 
April 27, 1862; severely wounded and arm ampu- 
tated at battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1, 1863. 

No. 132. Rainer, Frank M. Enlisted April io, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; wound- 
ed in battle of Chancellorsville May 3, 1863 ; captured, 
exchanged, disabled for further field service. 


No. 133. Reed, George. Enlisted September 18, 

1862, in Clarke County, by Captain Sewell, for the 
war — conscript. 

No. 134. Rains. R. A. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; dis- 
charged for disability February 5, 1862. 

No. 135. Roark, Walter. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, Ala., by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
killed in battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1, 1863. 

No. 136. Rogan, Owen. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years. 

No. 137. Rosseau, F. L. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year. 

No. 138. Russum, W. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; killed 
in battle of Chancellorsville May 3, 1862. 

No. 139. Smith, G. W. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; slightly 
wounded July 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill; slightly 
wounded in battle at Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863; 
captured, paroled, exchanged. 

No. 140. Smith, William. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; died 
November 8, 1861, of disease. 

No. 141. Spears, H. C. Enlisted April 27, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year; wounded 
in foot at W T arrenton Springs, Va. 

No. 142. Speck, W. L. Enlisted April 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; died of 
wounds received in battle at Cold Harbor, Va. 

No. 143. Speck, Henry. . Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues ; discharged for dis- 
ability November 30, 1861. 

No. 144. Smyley, S. A. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues; died January 2, 

1863, of pneumonia, at Winder Hospital, Richmond, 

No. 145. Smyley, C. F. Enlisted x\pril 10, 1861, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; dis- 


charged for disability October 29, 1861 ; went home 
and joined the Ninth Alabama Battery ; is now in the 
Fifty-Eighth Alabama Regiment. 

No. 146. Schneider, J. B. Enlisted March 10, 1862. 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years; 
wounded severely in battle May 31, 1862, at Seven 
Pines ; disabled and discharged from service. 

No. 147. Spradley, C. L. Enlisted September 9, 
in Butler County, by Captain Farrar, for the war — 

No. 148. Summerlin, C. M. Enlisted September 
9, in Butler County, by Captain Farrar, for the war — 

No. 149. Swann, H. C. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
wounded in battle, 1862, at Boonesboro, Md. ; captured 
and paroled ; exchanged October 8, 1862 ; wounded 
and captured at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1, 1863; paroled; 
exchanged February 4, 1864. 

No. 150. Swann, Thomas. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; dis- 
charged for disability September 4, 1861 ; since joined 
Cocheron's Light Dragoons, on duty as General 
Bragg's guards. 

No, 151. Templin, B. F. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year. 

No. 152. Terry, C. H. Enlisted March 10, 1862, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years; died 
April 27, 1862, of disease. 

No. 153. Thrash, W. H. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. -Pegues, for one year; killed 
in battle May 31, 1862, at Seven Pines, Va. 

No. 154. Thrash, G. B. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
wounded in battle June 2y : 1862, at Cold Harbor, Va. 

No. 155. Trainum, Samuel. Enlisted September 9, 
1862, in Butler County, by Capt. Farrar, for the war 
— conscript; captured in battle at Chancellorsville, Pa., 
May 3, 1863 ; paroled and exchanged. 


No. 156. Trainum, J. W. Enlisted September 9, 
1862, in Bulter County, by Captain Turner — conscript. 

No. 157. Watts, L. G. Enlisted March 10, 1862, at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; wound- 
ed in battle July r. at Malvern Hill. Ya. ; put in substi- 
tute May, 1863 ; has since joined Captain Golsby's 
command and stationed at Cahaba. 

No. 158. Watson, George L. Enlisted April 10, 

1861, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
detailed in First Alabama Hospital by order of Secre- 
tary of War ; since transferred to hospital at Fort 
Morgan. Ala. 

No. 159. Walker, G. C. S. Enlisted April 10, 186 1, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; dis- 
charged for disability November 29, 1861 ; since joined 
Lewis's Partisan Rangers. 

No. 160. Weaver, W. H. Enlisted September 9, 

1862, in Butler County, by Captain Turner, for the 
war — conscript. 

No. 161. Welch. John C. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; killed 
in battle July 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill, Va. 

No. 162. Westbrook, Thomas. Enlisted April 10. 
1 86 1, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; 
passed through many battles unscathed ; went home 
on furlough of indulgence, and died of pneumonia. 

No. 163. Wilcox, W. A., Sr. Enlisted April 10, 
r86i, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
discharged for disability April 26, 1862. 

No. 164. Wilcox, W. A., Jr. Enlisted April 10, 
1861, at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; 
killed in battle May 31, 1862, at Seven Pines, Va. 

No. 165. Wilcox, A. J. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year; 
elected junior second lieutenant April 27, 1862 ; pro- 
moted second lieutenant May 12, 1862 ; promoted first 
lieutenant September 26, 1862 ; wounded in battle 
July 1, 1862; killed in battle July 1, 1863. 

No. 166. White. J. D. Enlisted July 27, 186 1, at 


Cahaba, by Lieut. M. I. Brown, for one year; dis- 
charged for disability September 4, 1861. 

No. 167. Wilder, W. A. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; died 
May 27, 1862, at Winder Hospital, of disease. 

.No. 168. White, John. Enlisted March 10, 1862. at 
Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years ; ap- 
pointed quartermaster April zy, 1862; captured on 
our retreat from Pennsylvania July 1, [863, and sent 
to Johnson's Island. 

No. 169. W r ilson. W. J. Enlisted April 10, 1861, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for one year ; 
elected fourth corporal April 2j, 1862 ; killed in battle 
at Chancellorsville May 3, 1863. 

No. 170. Cotton, William G. Enlisted September 
5, 1862, in Tallapoosa, by Capt. Erford, for the war ; 
transferred February 1. 1862, to Company G (Fer- 
guson's Company), Fifth Alabama Regiment. 

No. 171. Willet, L. D. Enlisted March 10, 1862, 
at Cahaba, by Capt. C. C. Pegues, for three years. 

No. 172. Scott, William. Enlisted May 1, 1863, at 
Grace Church, Va., by Captain Hull, for war; enlisted 
as substitute for L. G. Watts, and transferred to Com- 
pany — , Twenty-Sixth Alabama Regiment. 

No. 173. Smith, L. A. H. Enlisted August 21, 1861, 
at Charleston, S. C, by Captain Barksdale, for three 
years; wounded and captured May 3, 1863; paroled 
and exchanged. 

No. 174. Sam, D. K. Enlisted June 1, 1862, at Ca- 
haba. by Captain Lewis, for three years ; transferred 
from Lewis's Partisan Rangers, stationed at Talla- 
dega, Ala. 

No. 175. Smith. John W. Enlisted May .5, 186—, 
at New Orleans, La., by Captain Hall. 

No. 176. Farrell, Thomas. Enlisted July 1, 1861. 
in Perry County, Ala., by Captain Mclnnis, Company 
K, Eleventh Alabama Regiment. 

Church History. 


Taken from the Cahaba Church book, containing 
the names of the subscribers, the amount subscribed 
by each,, together with the names of trustees, title 
papers, etc. : 

Cahaba, Ala., December 10, 1839. 

Names of persons who subscribed money for the 
first church ever built in Cahaba: W. L. Yancey, 
Mathew Gavle, Jesse Beene, H. Roiford, C. G. Ed- 
wards, W. T. Phillips, P. W. Herbert, George A. 
Evans, William Whitted, W. P. Dunham, E. G. Ul- 
mer, T. K. Cornegay, Thomas W. Gill, Ira Cole, B. 
Johnson, John R. Hood, Perine & Crocheran, I. N. 
Campbell, Stewart George, A. Roberts, Joseph Bab- 
cock, Julius Snead, Will E. Bird, John McElroy, 
James B. Clarke, Isaac B. Ulmer, Joseph P. Saffold, 
Aiken Brazile, Philip Voglin, R. C. Crocheran, Wil- 
liam Hendrick, Paul H. Earle, E. W. Saunders, L. 
D. Winnemore, John M. Walker, A. Saltmarsh, Ben- 
jamin C. Yancey, Joel E. Mathews, T. M. Jackson, 
J. A. English, Jacob Hoot, James D. Craig, Norwood 
& Olds, W. W. Fambro, Hamilton Ouarles, Charles 
Dear, E. M. Perine, William R. KingT H. Prait, I. B. 
Moseley, Louis Bassett, Stephen Crosby. 

The list contains the names of fifty-two persons, 
all of whom have passed into the "great unknown." 
Some of these men filled high positions of trust and 
honor in the State and national affairs of the days in 
which they lived. 

The first on the list, William Lowndes Yancey, was 
an editor, an orator, a Representative and Senator in 
the Legislature, a Representative in Congress, a Com- 


missioner from the Confederate States to England and 
France to procure from those governments recogni- 
tion of the Southern Confederacy, and was also a 
Senator in the Confederate Congress. As a speaker 
and orator, he was without peer. 

Jesse Beene represented Dallas County in both 
Houses of the Senate. 

Charles G. Edwards was a Senator from Dallas 

Will . E. Bird was Judge of the County Court of 
Dallas County. 

James D. Craig was also Judge of the County Court 
for many years. 

James B. Clarke was in the Legislature from Bibb 
County, and then was able Chancellor of the Southern 
Division of Alabama. 

William Whitted was Clerk of the Circuit Court 
of Dallas County. 

William T. Phillips served several terms in the Leg- 
islature, and in 1861 was a member of the Secession 

Lewis D. Wlnnemore was at one time Clerk of the 
Circuit Court of Dallas County. 

I. N. Campbell was once Sheriff of Dallas County. 

Peter W. Herbert was a member of the House of 
Representatives for several terms. 

Ethelbert W. Saunders was also a Representative 
from Dallas County for several terms. 

Joseph P. Saffold was also a Representative from 
Dallas County, and was Chancellor of the Southern 
Division at the time of his death. 

Benjamin C. Yancey, a brother of William L. Yan- 
cey, was several times a member of the Legislature in 


[2 7 

South Carolina, to which State he returned after he 
helped build the "Cahaba Church." He afterwards 
came back to Alabama and settled in Cherokee 
County. "In 1855 ne was brought out by the Democ- 
racy and elected to the State Senate, and at his first 
and only session was made President of that body." 

George R. Evans was Register in Chancery and was 
Judge of the County Court and was in the Legisla- 

William R. King was once a Representative in Con- 
gress from North Carolina, was a delegate to the 
Convention that formed the first constitution of Ala- 
bama, was a Senator in Congress from Alabama for 
many years, was Minister to France, and was elected 
Vice President in 1852 on the ticket with Franklin 

The subscriptions to the "Cahaba Church" ranged 
from five dollars to three hundred dollars. The cost 
of the building was $3,300. It was dedicated the first 
Sunday in May, 1840. By a resolution of the Board 
of Trustees, the church was used by the Episcopalians 
on the first Sunday in each month, by the Cumberland 
Presbyterians on the second Sunday, by the Meth- 
odists on the third Sunday, by the Presbyterians on 
the fourth Sunday, and by other denominations that 
should make the first appointment on the fifth Sun- 

In 1849 the Methodists built themselves a church 
and "swarmed later." The Episcopalians next built 
a church, and later still the Presbyterians erected their 
own house of worship. The Baptists then occupied 
the "Cahaba Church." This building still stands, but 
is not used, and is much decayed. 


St. Luke's, the Episcopal church, was removed 
from Cahaba many years ago to Martin's neighbor- 
hood. The Presbyterian church was removed to 
Selma, and occupied by a colored congregation until 
it was burned. The Methodist church was of brick 
and is still standing in Cahaba. It is occupied by col- 
< red people.