The Martins of Marion County, Virginia

The 1842 decision to carve a county into existence from the neighboring counties of Monongalia and Harrison in Virginia, and to name the new county in honor of the celebrated American Revolutionary War Brigadier General Francis Marion, could be seen as prescient by the end of the Civil War. Throughout the Revolutionary War, Marion’s Partisans harassed the British Army with guerrilla tactics which continue to inspire special warfare doctrine into the twenty-first century.  It was upon the exploits of General Marion whom the protagonist of the Roland Emmerich-directed historical fiction movie The Patriot (2000) starring Mel Gibson was based.  Although the film’s central character “Benjamin Martin” did not actually exist in real life, the real life Martin family of Marion County actually did leave their mark on a brutal chapter in American history.

The guerrilla saboteur Blackburn Davis (1842-1882) was himself a Martin. His mother Sarah Martin Davis (1805-1850) was a daughter of Joshua Martin (1769-1849) and Katharine Tetrick Martin (1776-1852), who married on August 12, 1796 in Harrison County.  Sarah Martin Davis married  Asa S. Davis (1802-1890) on January 4, 1824 in Harrison County.  In 1824, Harrison County also saw the birth of Confederate States Army Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.  The performance of his soldiers throughout the legendary Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862 solidified the status of Stonewall Jackson as one of the greatest Confederate States Army officers, second only to General Robert E. Lee.

Jackson and Lee at Chancellorsville

Stonewall Jackson’s cousin Colonel William L. Jackson, another native of Harrison County, also fought in the Valley Campaign of 1862.  Although Colonel William L. Jackson served on the staff of his cousin at that time, he had previously been responsible for organizing volunteers in northwestern Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army, and he had served as the original commander of the 31st Virginia Infantry Regiment.

The 31st Virginia Infantry Regiment consisted almost entirely of companies from the area that is now known as the State of West Virginia, including the counties of Harrison and Marion.  Company A originally constituted itself on May 17, 1861 in Fairmont as a state guard infantry militia called the Marion Guard.  Along with Blackburn Davis and his twin brother Jesse Davis, their cousins Benjamin Koon Martin and Henry Flowers Martin enlisted together on May 17.  Another cousin, Ezekiel Martin, had moved away from Marion County before the war but enlisted in Company A at Huttonsville on June 14, where the companies of the 31st first organized together as a regiment.

Benjamin Koon Martin was a son of Jesse Martin (1773-1859) and his much younger second wife Cinderella Koon Martin (1819-1875). Mary Koon Davis, the mother of Asa S. Davis, was an aunt of Cinderella Koon Martin, thus Asa S. Davis and Cinderella Koon Martin were first cousins on the Koon side. Joshua Martin, the father of Sarah Martin Davis, was a brother of Jesse Martin, thus Sarah Martin Davis and Private Benjamin Koon Martin were first cousins on the Martin side.  Another first cousin of Sarah Martin Davis and Private Benjamin Koon Martin, Templeton Crim Martin (1820-1854) was the father of Private Henry Flowers Martin.  In addition to her uncle Jesse, Sarah Martin Davis had a brother named Jesse Martin (1808-1851), who was the father of Private Ezekiel Martin. Thus Privates Jesse and Blackburn Davis were first cousins of Private Ezekiel Martin, second cousins of Private Henry F. Martin, and of Private Benjamin Koon Martin first cousins once removed.

The closer proximity of the descendants of Joshua Martin among the many branches of the Martin family is obvious in their names. His daughter Sarah Martin Davis and her brother Jesse Martin both named sons William. Sarah named a son Jesse Davis, and after Sarah named a son Blackburn Davis, Jesse Martin named a son Blackburn Martin. Another brother of Sarah Martin Davis and Jesse Martin was named George Washington Martin, and Sarah Martin Davis named her oldest son George Washington Davis. Sarah Martin Davis and her husband Asa S. Davis named a son John Davis, and Sarah’s brother John Martin named a son Asa Davis Martin. Asa Davis Martin (1841-1913) stayed out of the war as well as he could, but the Unionists nevertheless harassed him, arrested him, imprisoned him, and then released him without charge following a petition by the citizenry.

In addition to his wife Elizabeth Franklin Martin, and their sons Blackburn (aged five) and Ezekiel Martin (aged nine), Jesse Martin’s oldest sons David (aged thirteen) and William F. (aged twenty) appear together with their four sisters Minerva, Rebecca, Martha, and Mary (aged fifteen, eleven, seven, and three, respectively) in the 1850 census of Marion County. Following the death of Jesse Martin in 1851, his family scattered across the counties of northwestern Virginia.

By 1860, most of Jesse Martin’s children remained in Marion County. David Martin lived and worked near Boothsville, on the farm of Harrison Manly, whose wife Sarah was a Martin cousin of David. Ezekiel Martin lived and worked on the farm of Hamilton Williamson in Pleasants County, and Blackburn Martin lived and worked on the farm of his brother William F. Martin, also in Pleasants County. The Martin brothers may have stayed apart and away from Marion County throughout the 1860’s, had they not been brought together by the Civil War.

Private Ezekiel Martin found his way to his relatives and friends in Company A of the 31st Virginia Infantry Regiment weeks following the organization of that unit in the early summer of 1861, but it is unknown for precisely how long he served in the 31st. His record of service in that regiment ceases after the Company A muster report of September 2, 1861. The service record of Private Benjamin Koon Martin contains the same muster report, a receipt for clothing, and a note that he received special orders  to report from the Army of Northern Virginia in January of 1863.

Private Henry F. Martin received orders to serve as a nurse at the hospital in Staunton from October of 1862 to February of 1863.  A report dated August 31, 1864 notes that he went absent without leave on August 28.  A report dated September 9 states that he reported to the Unionists at Paw Paw Station in Marion County on August 30.  He swore the oath and was released on September 2, 1864.
After the desertion of Henry Flowers Martin, the last Martin cousin remaining in Company A of the 31st Virginia Infantry Regiment was Private Jesse Davis, who was captured in the fall of Petersburg at the end of the war. Private Blackburn Davis had been captured by the invader during the Valley Campaign at Strasburg on June 2, 1862.
Following his parole ten days later, Blackburn Davis quickly returned home to join the guerrilla effort in Marion County, which was well underway at that point in the war. On June 21, Blackburn Davis was captured by the same Union Army regiment which had captured his cousin Blackburn Martin just a month before.

One source states that the Unionist 6th Virginia Infantry Regiment (later known as the 6th West Virginia Infantry Regiment) captured Blackburn Martin in Marion County on May 1, another states that his arrest took place in Wood County on May 1, and yet another places his apprehension in Marion County on May 5. One source states that he served as a private in the “Moris Rangers,” but no such unit seems to have existed. It must have been an error, as the other sources agree that Blackburn Martin served as a member of possibly the most dreaded of all the Virginian guerrilla outfits: the Moccasin Rangers of Calhoun County.

The Moccasin Rangers were a Confederate guerrilla company that operated around the headwaters of the Little Kanawha River during the first two years of the Civil War. The Moccasins, led by Perry Conley, drew most of their members from Calhoun County, but at various times included men from Webster and Braxton counties. Other leaders were George Downs, Daniel Duskey, and Peter Saurburn. . . The Moccasins were regarded as bushwhackers by many. According to West Virginia Civil War historian Boyd Stutler, they were responsible for atrocities on the civilian population in the region and only rarely participated in actual combat with federal troops.

Typical of the bitter divide which plagued families all across the Upper South, it was his own cousin who betrayed Blackburn Martin to the Unionists. Elizabeth Franklin Martin — the mother of Ezekiel, Blackburn, David, and William F. Martin — had a sister named Martha who married Abraham D. Nuzum (1806–1890). Their son Sanford Nuzum (1832-1910) reported to Unionist Captain William M. Skelton that Blackburn Martin was “a very malicious man,” and that Martin would be a threat to the very life of Nuzum should Martin ever learn that Nuzum testified against Martin. According to Nuzum:

About the month of September 1861 I asked Blackburn Martin how they were coming on in Harrison County, he said he had not been there, I asked him where he had been, he said he had been up on Kanawha, I asked him if there was any truth in the report that a lot of men was surrounded at Spencer Court House, he said yes, we kept about 100 of damned abolitionists there three days on dry bread, I asked him why they did not keep them there longer, he said the damned abolitionists come on them so strong that they had to give back, but we give some of them Blue kills and he said there were companies of Guerrillas through there that all hell could not take them…

The event in which Sanford Nuzum claimed that Blackburn Martin boasted of having participated is indeed historical. According to pages 114 and 115 of On This Day in West Virginia Civil War History:

The Siege of Roane Court House (Spencer) began as two hundred “Moccasin Rangers” — led by Captains George Downs, Peregrine Hayes, Dan Duskey, Perry Conley, and James Smith — isolated the town. Attacked from Tanner’s Hill (Schoolhouse Hill), the forty Federal defenders under Captain William F. Pell (later Company B, Eleventh West Virginia Infantry) retreated to the Roane County Courthouse. Pell ordered Union earthworks built on Fort Hill to hold out until reinforcements could arrive. The Confederates constructed earthworks and pinned down the Federals at the courthouse, which the guerrillas threatened to bombard. For eleven days (August 23-September 2), the Rebels lay siege. Finally, the approach from Ripley of Major (later Brigadier General) Adam J. Slemmer with Union reinforcements forced the Confederates to retreat, ending the siege. The guerrillas fell back into Calhoun County to harass the Federal approach. During the siege, several men were killed and wounded on each side.

Captain Skelton arrested Blackburn Martin on or about May 1, 1862, almost certainly in Marion County, and Blackburn Martin was charged with being “one of the Moccasin Rangers.”  On May 9, Blackburn Martin arrived at Atheneum Prison in Wheeling, from where he was sent to Camp Chase on May 13.  On August 25, Blackburn Martin began his journey to Vicksburg to be exchanged, which took place on March 28, 1863.  This was a very important time in the Civil War history of the present-day State of West Virginia.

Throughout the late winter and early spring of 1863, an audacious plan made its way up the chain of command in the Army of Northern Virginia. The plan advanced from renowned guerrilla Captain John H. McNeill to Brigadier Generals John D. Imboden and William E. “Grumble” Jones, both of whom altered it accordingly before sending it up to General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate government. Their planning resulted in The Jones-Imboden Raid.

Beginning in late April 1863, Confederate Generals William E. Jones and John Imboden led a month-long raid through West Virginia. Their goals were to wreck the vital B & O Railroad, cripple the Union government in Wheeling, and seize horses and cattle badly needed by the Confederacy. Splitting into two columns totaling about 5,000 men, Jones and Imboden left their camps near the Shenandoah Valley and circled the state. Jones pushed north, destroying railroad bridges, tunnels and track. Moving west to “Oiltown” at Burning Springs, he torched some 150,000 barrels of crude, turning the Little Kanawha River into an inferno.

General Imboden’s exploits were no less dramatic. Marching northwest along the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike, he struck the Union depot at Beverly on April 24th, wounding Sheriff Jesse Phares who still managed to sound the alarm. Imboden met resistance from 900 Federals under Col. George Latham of the 2nd West Virginia Infantry, but the defenders fled by nightfall, burning large quantities of supplies and a portion of the town. Imboden’s raiders entered Beverly to the cheers and waving handkerchiefs of the citizens, now liberated from their “Yankee” occupiers. The raiders chased small Union forces from Buckhannon, Weston, and points south before rejoining General Jones at Summersville and returning east. Although the raid fell short of their goals, they wrecked railroads and turnpikes, demoralized Union troops, and threw the Wheeling government into a panic. An estimated 3,000 cattle and more than 1,200 horses were driven south through Beverly by the raiders—stock that kept Confederate troops in the field for two more years.

The Jones-Imboden Raid made use of Confederate regulars, but relied heavily on raiders native to northwestern Virginia who had participated in some of the earliest guerrilla violence of the war.

In part due to the excesses of groups such as the Moccasin Rangers of Calhoun County throughout late 1861, the Confederate government sought a mechanism by which partisan guerrillas would be legitimized under the laws of war, thereby preventing their capture and execution as mere bushwhackers. The Confederate States Congress passed the Partisan Ranger Act on April 21, 1862.  The Virginia General Assembly had already taken the initiative on March 27 with an act to authorize the Virginia State Rangers.  Many of the Virginia State Ranger companies would later be organized into a branch of service called the Virginia State Line. The Confederate States Army gradually absorbed these units as numbered regiments of regular infantry and cavalry, and the Virginia State Line formally disbanded.  The Moccasin Rangers for example made their way through these formations, first as Virginia State Ranger Company 1, and then as Company A of the 3rd Virginia State Line Regiment.  In March of 1863, the aforementioned Colonel William L. Jackson reorganized the 3rd Virginia State Line Regiment as the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, of which the Moccasin Rangers again received the designation as Company A.

The Confederate States Congress eventually repealed the Partisan Ranger Act on February 17, 1864. Only two Virginia ranger units continued to operate as such throughout the remainder of the war, one of which was commanded by the most famous Virginian ranger of all, Colonel John S. Mosby. McNeill’s Rangers, commanded by the aforementioned progenitor of the Jones-Imboden Raid Captain John H. McNeill, was the other. Whereas Colonel Mosby served under General Grumble Jones early in the war, Captain McNeill and his rangers served under General John D. Imboden when the latter commanded the 1st Virginia Partisan Ranger Regiment at the rank of colonel.

True to the fluid nature of the war in northwestern Virginia, this regiment was also variously known as the 62nd Virginia Partisan Ranger Regiment, the 62nd Virginia Cavalry Regiment, the 62nd Virginia Infantry Regiment, the 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment, or simply Imboden’s Regiment.  Later in the war, following his promotion to brigadier general, this unit would be reorganized as the 18th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, commanded by Imboden’s cousin, Colonel George W. Imboden.

Battle flag of the 18th Virginia Cavalry Regiment

General John D. Imboden led various units on his prong of the Jones-Imboden Raid, one of which was his former regiment, then known generally as the 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment. He had also specifically requested a loan of the 31st Virginia Infantry Regiment from the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, thus the Martin cousins remaining in that unit would not be with Stonewall Jackson in his final battle at Chancellorsville. They did however raid northwestern Virginia with their cousin Private Blackburn Martin, who had enlisted less than two weeks following his exchange, in the 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment.

In addition to the 31st Virginia Infantry Regiment, the 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment, and various other notable units in the brigade of General Imboden on his prong of the Jones-Imboden Raid was the aforementioned 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment of Colonel William L. Jackson.  Another company in the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment besides the Moccasin Rangers of Company A was a unit known as Captain Righter’s Cavalry Company.

Captain John Righter, Company D, 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, CSA

Captain Righter’s Cavalry Company also made its way through the Virginia State Rangers, as Company 4, and then joined the 3rd Virginia State Line Regiment as Company C, before Colonel Jackson organized the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment with Righter’s men as Company D.  Captain Righter’s Cavalry Company came from Marion County and had served as the principle guerrilla force in the area.  The best available source on how Righter got his start in guerrilla warfare is the account given by the vociferously Unionist Colonel Henry Haymond of Harrison County, in his History of Harrison County, of the firefight at the home of John Righter’s father:

Peter B. Righter, a well to do farmer and grazier, lived in a handsome residence on Coon’s Run about four miles from Shinnston just over the Marion County line.  He was a pronounced secessionist and his house was a headquarters for those of like faith in the neighborhood.  He was reported to the Military authorities and a detachment of Company I of the 20th Ohio under Captain Cable from Mannington, was ordered to the Righter Farm on June 21, 1861.  They were fired upon from the house, one of his men was killed and three or four wounded, and John Nay, the guide, also wounded.  Captain Cable’s command fell back to Shinnston and receiving reinforcements on the 22nd returned to Righter’s and found the premises deserted.  The house, barns and outbuildings were burned and all the horses taken. . . Banks Corbin, a resident of the neighborhood while held a prisoner by the troops, attempted to escape, was fired upon and killed.  This incident caused great excitement in the neighborhood and brought the realities of war home to our people.

Peter B. Righter was the son of John Righter (1762-1820), an American Revolutionary War Veteran who is buried in Harrison County. Peter B. Righter was born in Harrison County, but his neighborhood fell just across the border at the creation of Marion County.  Because Peter B. Righter and his son John politically supported the democratic secession of the State of Virginia from the Unites States, the Unionists initiated the first Civil War battle in Marion County by showing themselves at his front door. The Unionists lost the skirmish, and their revenge arson attacks the next day only ensured that the Righters had nothing else better to do than wage a private guerrilla war against the Unionists.

Upon their formal muster in the spring of 1863 into the Confederate States Army as Company D of the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, Private Peter B. Righter, born in 1804 and an old man when the war broke out, served under the command of his own son Captain John Righter. The extent of Peter B. Righter’s leadership up until that time is unknown. However, a year after the skirmish on his property at the beginning of the war, he was captured on May 5, 1862 by the Unionists in Harrison County who remarked that Peter B. Righter was a “bad secesh and guerrilla leader.”

This took place just days after the arrest of Blackburn Martin. Peter B. Righter and Blackburn Martin were at Camp Chase together, as well as Atheneum Prison in Wheeling. They even made the same voyage down to Vicksburg, Mississippi as prisoners of war onboard the Steamer John H. Done.

This was very fortunate for the two, as Peter B. Righter was an uncle of Blackburn Martin.  Peter B. Righter’s wife, Mary Franklin Righter (1808-1890) was a sister of the mother of Ezekiel, Blackburn, David, and William F. Martin.  This explains the disappearance of Private Ezekiel Martin from the rolls of the 31st Virginia Infantry; First Lieutenant Ezekiel Martin went home to serve as the right-hand man of his first cousin Captain John Righter.

The rolls of the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment also reveal the fact that two other men of Captain Righter’s Cavalry Company were two of Ezekiel’s brothers, David and William F. Martin.
Also solved is the mystery of the orders sent early in 1863 from the Army of Northern Virginia to Private Benjamin Koon Martin. Although he was not a Franklin cousin of the Righters, Benjamin Koon Martin did follow their mutual Martin cousins into the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment.

A careful examination of the rolls of the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment also answers perhaps the biggest unaddressed mystery of all thus far:  why in September of 1861 would Blackburn Martin of Marion County have been riding around with the Moccasin Rangers of Calhoun County?  Multiple counties lie in between Marion and Calhoun, so why would a band of brutal mountain guerrillas have allowed a stranger, who was just a teenager, into their ranks?  The answer is because Blackburn Martin’s uncle Joseph Martin, who was born in Harrison County, moved with his sons to Calhoun County before the war; Joseph Martin and his son Joshua H. Martin were Moccasin Rangers.

It is very likely that more of Joseph Martin’s sons served with the Moccasin Rangers.  However, they must not have made it as far into the war as the time of the organization of the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment.  Joseph Martin’s son George served with the Moccasin Rangers when they were known as Company A of the 3rd Virginia State Line Regiment, but there is no trace of George Martin in the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment.

Captain John Righter and Private Benjamin Koon Martin were not cousins, but they served together with their mutual cousins, the brothers First Lieutenant Ezekiel Martin, Private David Martin, and Private William F. Martin.  It is unknown at exactly what point the Unionists took Private Benjamin Koon Martin as a prisoner of war, but he received his parole as such on April 30, 1865.  Captain John Righter was captured as a “spy” in Harrison County on April 3, 1864 and was imprisoned at Wheeling, but escaped on July 18, 1865 after the war ended.  He later reported to the Unionists, received his parole in Harrison County on August 8, and went home.  Private Peter B. Righter evaded capture throughout his formal enlistment in the Confederate States Army, and received a full pardon from United States President Andrew Johnson on February 6, 1867.

Righter’s men had served in nearly every Confederate unit associated with Marion County; as Company D of the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, Company C of the 3rd Virginia State Line Regiment, and as Virginia State Ranger Company 4. Only two other Confederate regiments are associated with the men of Marion County, and First Lieutenant Ezekiel Martin had served in one of them, as a private in Company A of the 31st Virginia Infantry. As such, he and his Martin cousins of that company had served under the command of Marion County’s own William W. Arnett.

William W. Arnett, a distinguished jurist of Wheeling, W. Va., was born in Marion county, October 23, 1843, the son of Ulysses N. Arnett, who resided many years on the Monongahela river and served in the Virginia and West Virginia legislatures and in the constitutional convention of 1872. At the age of sixteen years he entered Allegheny college at Meadville, Pa., where he was graduated in 1860. He then studied law under Judge A. F. Hammond, and was admitted to the bar, but closed his office in April, 1861, to enlist as a private in Company A of the Thirty-first Virginia regiment of infantry. . . In December, 1861, he was elected captain of Company A, and subsequently he was transferred to the Twentieth Virginia cavalry, with the rank of colonel, in which command he served until the close of the war.

wwarnett31st01 wwarnett20th01
A few months following the Jones-Imboden Raid, a brigade led by US Army Brigadier General William W. Averell, in conjunction with the brigade of Union Army Brigadier General Alfred Napoléon Alexander Duffié (a French Army deserter who sailed through the ranks of the Union Army) launched a similar raid against the Virginians. The Unionist raid culminated in the Battle of Droop Mountain on November 6, 1863. The Confederate defeat there effectively ended organized resistance to US military occupation of northwestern Virginia – a land proclaimed that very year as the State of West Virginia. Resistance in West Virginia did continue however, reverting back to its earlier guerrilla forms. Following the Battle of Droop Mountain, much of the 19th Virginia Cavalry Regiment amalgamated with the 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiment under Colonel William W. Arnett. This regiment would go on to fight in the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns of 1864, at which time the Confederates brought the career of US Army General William W. Averell to a humiliating end. Likewise the Union Army General Alfred Napoléon Alexander Duffié pushed further into Virginia and declared his intent to capture the most famous Virginian ranger of all, Colonel John S. Mosby. Duffié’s military career however effectively ended upon his capture by Colonel John S. Mosby.

Captain John Righter did not join the 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, hence his continued affiliation with the 19th, his return to Harrison County, and his capture there as a spy in 1864. Yet months prior to the Battle of Droop Mountain and the consolidation of the 19th and 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiments, First Lieutenant Ezekiel Martin led a core remnant of Captain Righter’s Cavalry Company into Company B of the 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, a unit which had previously been known as Captain Arnett’s Cavalry Company. On the same day of Captain Arnett’s promotion to colonel, the first lieutenant became Captain Ezekiel Martin.

Whereas Captain Righter’s Cavalry Company represented the men of Marion County who engaged the enemy as guerrillas, Captain Arnett’s Cavalry Company represented the men of Marion County who engaged the enemy as regular soldiers. Their amalgamation into Captain Ezekiel Martin’s Cavalry Company perpetuated the heritage of each in a single unit. Together in that single unit, the brothers Ezekiel, David, and William F. Martin would once again serve. Finally, their brother Blackburn Martin transferred in from the 62nd Mounted Infantry Regiment on June 12, 1864.
emartin20th01 dmartin20th01 wfmartin20th01 bmartin20th01
At last the Martin brothers of Marion County were united in Company B of the 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiment.  The beginning of the war found them spread across northwestern Virginia, and their service took them even further on varying paths. Captain Ezekiel Martin may be the only man who served in every Confederate regiment and ranger company associated with Marion County. He served under Brigadier General William L. Jackson in the 31st Infantry and the 19th Cavalry, and he served under Colonel William W. Arnett in the 31st Infantry and the 20th Cavalry. All four brothers raided northwestern Virginia under Brigadier General John D. Imboden. Private Blackburn Martin rode with the McNeills in the 62nd Mounted Infantry, and he served in the Moccasin Rangers, with whom Ezekiel, David, and William F. Martin served in the 19th Cavalry. Together in Company B of the 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiment they would each serve out the remainder of the war, which all of them survived.  As with the mysterious circumstances of the demise of Blackburn Martin at some point in the late 1860’s, the precise fate of David and William F. Martin remain unclear. Peter B. Righter died in 1895, and is buried in the Righter Cemetery in Harrison County. In 1911, Captain John Righter was laid to rest in the Martin Cemetery, Marion County, not far from his first lieutenant and first cousin, Captain Ezekiel Martin, who died in 1907. The guerrilla captains of Marion County grew old, living out their days in the land for which they fought and lost, but held all the same.

Elizabeth Warren’s Botched Native DNA Vindication 2020 POTUS Campaign Ad

This is not a political site; the author does not even bother to vote and has no loyalty to any political ideology or party. But the author is an Oklahoman, and this is a genealogy/history site, and so it would be remiss not to comment on the latest developments in a controversial national news story which has already been covered on this blog.

When President Donald Trump challenged Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to a DNA test half a year ago, she adamantly refused, declaring that her alleged Cherokee and Delaware national ancestry is “the story that my brothers and I all learned from our mom and our dad, from our grandparents” . . . “It’s a part of me and nobody’s going to take that part of me away.”

It is important to remember that Cherokee and Delaware heritage has always been the claim she has advanced. She never advanced an unspecified claim of generic Native heritage. She is part Cherokee and part Delaware, she says. Both tribes live in the State of Oklahoma, and she is from Oklahoma. This mixture of Cherokee and Delaware heritage is by necessity very recent in her line — within the last few generations — and so recent that her parents were forced to elope, she says, as society shunned them for being a mixed-race couple, she says.

However, in a 5:37-long video released Monday, entitled “Elizabeth Warren’s family story,” Senator Warren attempted to counter the criticism of President Trump once and for all by conferring with “Carlos Bustamante, a professor of genetics at Stanford and adviser to Ancestry and 23 and Me,” who confirmed that Senator Elizabeth Warren does indeed have traces of Native American ancestry.

In her video, Warren defiantly frames the question: “Now, the President likes to call my mom a liar…what do the facts say?” As they are now reported, the facts say that Senator Warren has “a potential 6th to 10th generation” Native ancestor, and that she is “between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American.”

Six to ten generations back, for someone the age of Senator Warren, is the Colonial Era. If we are speaking of the Colonial Era then we are not speaking of a time in which the Cherokee and the Delaware had been removed and resettled in the present-day State of Oklahoma. Six generations ago for someone the age of Senator Warren predates the alleged miscegenation of Senator Warren’s white ancestors with the Cherokee and Delaware in Oklahoma. We do not need to call her “mom a liar” to notice the fact that her own DNA test has debunked “Elizabeth Warren’s family story.” The Boston Globe article even went so far as to mention the debunked theory, still apparently advanced by Senator Warren, that her great-great-great grandmother Smith was a Cherokee.

Admonished by the Cherokee, and shunned even by the likes of CNN, Senator Warren’s stunt placed her squarely on the defensive and provided loads of fodder for her political rivals. Republicans had fun pointing out that the “biggest genetic profile of the United States to date” found that “European-Americans had genomes that were on average 98.6 percent European, .19 percent African, and .18 Native American,” which means that Senator Warren inadvertently outed herself for being even less genetically Native than the average white person. Nothing that President Trump can say or do could have damaged Senator Warren’s efforts to re-brand herself as a Victim/Person-of-Color as badly as she has now damaged them herself.

Another wonderful example of Political Correctness not belonging in genealogy. There is probably an interesting story waiting to be discovered in the ancestry of Senator Warren, but as long as she views her own genealogy as a tool of political expediency, then we can look forward to her accidental comic relief in the 2020 election cycle.

Update: October 22, 2018

According to Senator Elizabeth Warren, the reason why she “changed her mind and took a DNA test” which again debunked her false claims of Cherokee and Delaware national ancestry, before publicizing the results last week in a backfired campaign ad in which she reasserted the debunked claims, is “because Americans’ trust in government is ‘at an all-time low’ and she wants to rebuild it.”

Update: December 06, 2018

Senator Elizabeth Warren has reportedly discovered that her botched Native DNA vindication 2020 POTUS campaign ad was not as positively received as she assumed it would be.

Advisers close to Ms. Warren say she has privately expressed concern that she may have damaged her relationships to Native American groups and her own standing with activists, particularly those who are racial minorities. Several outside advisers are even more worried: They say they believe a plan should be made to repair that damage, possibly including a strong statement of apology.

Update: February 01, 2019

In yet another amazing development, Senator Elizabeth Warren has now “privately” apologized to a single person of Cherokee descent for her botched Native DNA vindication 2020 POTUS campaign ad. It is unknown if she plans on taking the same misstep with someone of Delaware national affiliation.

Senator Elizabeth Warren tried to put a nagging controversy behind her by apologizing privately to a leader of the Cherokee Nation for her decision to take a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry last year, a move that had angered some tribal leaders and ignited a significant political backlash.

But mixed reactions among prominent Native American critics Friday suggested that Ms. Warren might still have further to go.

Update: February 05, 2019

Senator Elizabeth Warren has now issued a blanket apology “for calling herself Native American.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday that she was sorry that she identified herself as a Native American for almost two decades, reflecting her ongoing struggle to quiet a controversy that continues to haunt her as she prepares to formally announce a presidential bid.

Her comments more fully explain the regret she expressed last week to the chief of the Cherokee Nation, the first time she’s said she was sorry for claiming American Indian heritage.

Should Senator Warren secure her party’s nomination to contend with President Trump following the primaries, then this saga will surely prove to be far from over.

Barnhart Family Lines

As of August 2018, the Barnhart Family Lines website ( has gone up for sale. It is unknown to this researcher who exactly compiled all of the information on that site, what happened to them, or why the site is up for sale. However, it would seem the information formerly compiled on that site should be preserved. Some of the information is incorrect or incomplete, and some of the contact information is no longer valid. Nevertheless, much work was put into the research by members of many different Barnhart lines, and there is enough good information to get started researching any Barnhart line in the United States.

As it appeared on April 7, 2018 – courtesy of the Wayback Machine:

Continue reading “Barnhart Family Lines”

A Tale of Two Tales of Three Satterfields

In the fall of 2013, Purdue University Associate Professor Kristina Bross “was asked to teach the inaugural offering of ‘Interdisciplinary Approaches to Writing’ for Purdue’s new Honors College.” As she wrote in the preface of Little Else Than a Memory: Purdue Students Search for the Class of 1904:

After such preliminaries, we turned the rest of the semester over to the main project of the course: to select, research, and critically examine the life story of a member of Purdue’s class of 1904. To do so, students had to immerse themselves in the the Purdue Libraries Archives and Special Collections. They consulted genealogy sources, wrote to descendants, and combed scholarly databases for contextual studies to help make sense of the details of the lives they uncovered. Most importantly, they had to answer the ever difficult “so what” question: for readers who are not descendants of the subject or who may not care about Purdue, why is the life story . . . significant?

A handful of Purdue Honors College students spent the semester researching every scrap of information they could get their hands on pertaining to one of their predecessors. The class then teamed up with an Honors College publishing class, compiled their research, and produced the above-quoted book.

The first story presented in the book, entitled “A Tale of Two Satterfields: The Power of a Purdue Education,” was written by a liberal arts sophomore named Eden Holmes who noted that she experienced a certain problem while doing her research, the frustration of which few genealogical researchers will ever truly know.

I had been asked to create a biography of a Purdue student from the graduating class of 1904, and my research tracking Howard Satterfield, from Marion County, West Virginia, divulged no shortage of details, including an apparent four-year time gap where I assumed the young man was at Purdue. After weeks of in-depth research and drafting, I finally discovered the stressful truth—there were two men with matching monikers and a similar upbringing, and I had been tracing the path of the wrong one. I had confused the trails of their lives, mixed up by their identical names and similar backgrounds.

It was a classic Marion County, West Virginia Satterfield Switcheroo.  Holmes initially confused Howard Ernest Satterfield (1885-1969) with his cousin Howard Ernest Satterfield (1877-1944).  Once she realized her mistake, and getting dangerously close to a deadline, she finally began to sort it out.  Although, based on the fact that she says the two Howard Ernest Satterfields were “born in the same year,” she apparently got Howard Lindsey Satterfield (1888-1965) tangled up in there too.  It is easy to do because Howard Lindsey Satterfield only appears as Howard in some records, and he was born and died within a few years of the younger Howard Ernest Satterfield.  Holmes ultimately differentiated them by referring to the younger Howard Ernest Satterfield as “the Politician,” and to the older Howard Ernest Satterfield — the Purdue alumnus — as “the Professor.”

Holmes’ problem researching the Marion County Satterfields is similar to the problem had by this researcher when investigating the Civil War service of a grandfather of Harold Otis “Yank” Davis (1898-1970) of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Yank Davis was a son of Charles Morgan “Charley” Davis (1864-1941) and Temperance Ursula “Sula” Satterfield Davis (1868-1945). Sula Satterfield Davis was a daughter of Samuel Satterfield (1831-1881) of Marion County, West Virginia. Samuel Satterfield is twisted up with all sorts of conflicting information in many family trees, and his alleged military service makes no chronological sense.

To make a long story short, four Unionist West Virginian regiments had Samuel Satterfields in their ranks.  Privates Samuel L. Satterfield of the 10th and 15th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiments are one person, Samuel Layman Satterfield (1846-1903), who served in both regiments with his father, Private Francis S. Satterfield (1821-1887).

Likewise, Battery F of the 1st West Virginia Light Artillery Regiment was originally part of Company C of the 6th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment; thus the Corporal Samuel C. Satterfield of each unit is one person, Samuel Carpenter Satterfield (1843-1913).

Corporal Samuel Carpenter Satterfield was a son of Michael Yeoman Satterfield (1824-1891). Michael Yeoman Satterfield was a brother of Private Francis S. Satterfield, thus “the Corporal” was a first cousin of “the Private” Samuel Layman Satterfield.

Michael Yeoman Satterfield had another son named Elias Yost Satterfield (1850-1933), who was the father of “the Politician” Howard Ernest Satterfield. Elias Yost Satterfield is not to be confused with Elias Yost Satterfield (1830-1895), who was a brother of Michael Yeoman Satterfield and Private Francis S. Satterfield. The brothers Michael Yeoman Satterfield, Private Francis S. Satterfield, and Elias Yost Satterfield (the elder) had another brother named Nimrod Satterfield (1819-1871). Nimrod Satterfield had a son named John M. Satterfield (1852-1892). John M. Satterfield was the father of “the Professor” Howard Ernest Satterfield. Thus the Professor and the Politician were second cousins.

The Professor and the Politician shared a great-grandfather, Samuel Satterfield (1795-1836). As with the Elias Yost Satterfield imbroglio — another Tale of Two Satterfields, in and of itself — Samuel Satterfield’s brother George Coleman Satterfield (1791-1840) named a son after an uncle. George Coleman Satterfield’s son Samuel Satterfield, “the Farmer” who stayed out of the war, was the father of Sula Satterfield Davis. Thus Harold Otis “Yank” Davis of Tulsa, Oklahoma (“the Firefighter”) was a third cousin of the Professor and the Politician.

Many Satterfields lived in Marion County, West Virginia at the time of the Civil War. They all descended from the brothers Samuel Satterfield and George Coleman Satterfield, who were sons of William Satterfield (1761-1860). William Satterfield was a son of Benjamin Satterfield (1735-1825) of Maryland. The Satterfields moved west early, living around Harper’s Ferry before pushing out further into an area of Monongalia County, Virginia that is now known as Marion County, West Virginia. When the Satterfield family moved further west to Adams County, Ohio, the brothers Samuel Satterfield and George Coleman Satterfield stayed behind in Virginia, where they thrived and multiplied. No less than eleven Satterfields served in the locally-recruited 6th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, including a few uncles of Sula Satterfield Davis. The 6th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry is the regiment that captured Blackburn Davis, thus ending the brief guerrilla saboteur campaign of Sula Satterfield Davis’ future father-in-law.

Sula Satterfield Davis probably never met Blackburn Davis, as he died in the Province-Davis Feud years before Sula married his son Charley Morgan Davis. Charley Morgan Davis may have never met his father-in-law Samuel Satterfield, either. What may also never be known is the reason why Samuel Satterfield’s cause of death is listed as the same thing as Blackburn Davis’ cause of death: Violence.

Samuel Satterfield died one year before Blackburn Davis, and it is unlikely that their deaths had anything to do with each other. The Province-Davis Feud was rooted in old wartime antagonisms. The Davises, being Confederates, and the overwhelmingly Unionist Satterfields, would most likely not have been on the same side of such a feud.

Could the marriage of Charley Morgan Davis and Sula Satterfield Davis have constituted an Appalachian Romeo and Juliet situation? A grandson of Sula Satterfield Davis was recently asked if he knew anything about the death of her father Samuel Satterfield. “It was some sort of Hatfield and McCoy nonsense,” is all he remembers. Marion County is of course on the opposite side of West Virginia from the Hatfields and McCoys, but the fact that Samuel Satterfield apparently died in a feud will be the subject of a future research project for this author.

As for the fall 2013 research project of the author and Purdue University honors student Eden Holmes, one may agree or disagree with her conclusion that the Politician had a necessarily harder life because he did not go to Purdue like the Professor. Holmes certainly researched the subjects as well as she could, and the paper she authored is not the paper she intended to write before discovering the existence of more than one Howard Ernest Satterfield. However the influence of critical theory, which has saturated nearly every degree path one could pursue in a modern university, is certainly noticeable in her writing.

After noting the hard-won successes of the Professor, Holmes states that the Professor “reported that he owed his renown as an academic, engineer, and contractor to his education at Purdue University.”

The University contributed to the Professor’s early promotion and ultimate success, as the lessons bestowed during his stint at the institution greatly influenced the remainder of his professional and personal life. But what would have happened if the Professor hadn’t attended Purdue?

Holmes makes a value judgment between the Professor’s departure from Marion County — to which she refers as “Nowheresville” — and the fact that the Politician “lingered” in Marion County, pursuing a variety of career paths throughout his lifetime.  Although she concludes that his “modest achievement provided financial comfort for his wife and six children,” Holmes sees his various jobs as an “unstable background,” concluding that he must have experienced “drastic social stratification” and “rank suppression reinforced by his job-hopping years.”  She writes of the Politician being “continually outpaced by his more academically accomplished competitors in career success and community acknowledgment;” and that in “the changing world of the early 1900s, a Purdue University education represented ability, knowledge, and experience. ”

Nothing says ability, knowledge, and experience like a long resume’. One could see how an enthusiastic millennial coed at a $40,000-plus per annum university would be concerned with status and advancement, or define success in terms of academic achievement.  It can also be seen in the primary source material that the Politician must not have thought in such a contemporary way.

Born in 1885, Howard Ernest Satterfield married the love of his life, Lula May Zinn Satterfield (1888-1972), in 1909.  According to the 1910 census, Howard and Lula lived in their own home, which they owned free and clear.  They lived on a farm, and Howard then also worked as a meat cutter in a butcher shop.  That may not sound very glamorous, but for a country boy cutting meat is easy work. A farm to provide what you need to live, an easy job, and no mortgage or student loans does not sound like too bad a deal.

According to the census of 1920, Howard and Lula still lived in their own home, with two young children and Lula’s widowed father.  Howard then worked as an assistant shipping clerk.  He works other jobs throughout his early adulthood, and by the time he turns forty the people of West Virginia have elected him to represent them in the government.  Whereas one may see missed opportunities and disappointment in the sort of jobs Howard worked, others may recall “Czar Peter content to toil in the shipyards.”  Howard Ernest Satterfield did about every job one could do in Marion County, where the Satterfield family had been well-established for a very long time.  The families which married into the Satterfield family, and the families into which the Satterfield family married, descended from the earliest colonial families who had flourished in the area for centuries.  Howard Ernest Satterfield the Politician “lingered” in his ancestral homeland, where his family had always thrived as farmers; a land for which many of his forebears sacrificed and died in various wars. For some people, being in such a place merely sounds like a dream. Howard Ernest Satterfield the Politician lived a longer life than Howard Ernest Satterfield the Professor. But they both did what they wanted to do, worked hard for what they had, did well by their families and communities, and they both lived fulfilling lives. Above all else they were Marion County Satterfields – not the sort of people who needed to worry about “class” or “status.”

All in all the author Eden Holmes has honored the Satterfields by taking them on as subjects of scholarly study. It was fun to see someone else wading into the mess that is Satterfield family genealogy; her task was not an easy one. Holmes’ work contributed to a very interesting book which reveals that Purdue University truly has taken a cutting edge approach to the teaching of authorship and publishing. More universities should offer such a program as the one pioneered by Professor Kristina Bross and Eden Holmes at Purdue in the fall of 2013.

Brothers-in-Arms Part 4: The Tennessee Forsees

Due to the destruction of the 1890 census records, limited information is available regarding the mother of Myrtle Annie Foresee Foster. It is known that her maiden name was Sarah Jane Russell, and she does appear on the 1880 census of Boone County, Arkansas with Myrtle’s father Stephen Henry Foresee (1859-1933). Sarah Jane Russell Foresee apparently died in the 1890’s, and Stephen Henry Foresee remarried Missouri Ann Roberts/Robbirds (1866-1946) shortly thereafter.

Stephen Henry Foresee first appears in written history as an infant living with his parents in the Humphreys County, Tennessee household of his grandfather Henry Crockett (1804-1879); a cousin of the soldier, politician, and frontiersman Davy Crockett. The Crocketts and the Foresees descended from old Huguenot families of Colonial Virginia. The Norman noble de Farcy name was brought to America by Jean Farcy, a founder of the Manakin settlement. His descendants in Tennessee spelled their name Forsee, and his descendants who branched out into Arkansas and Oklahoma spell it Foresee.

Myrtle Annie Foresee Foster’s father Stephen Henry Foresee was a son of James Tilford Foresee (1835-1908) and Elizabeth Ann Crockett Foresee. It is unclear if Elizabeth died before or after the family moved to Arkansas around the time of the Civil War, but she did not live too long into the 1860’s. James Tilford Foresee stayed out of the war. His father, Stephen Pierre Forsee (1811-unknown), was a son of Daniel Pierre Forsee (1783–1867) and Naomi Flowers Forsee (1789–1850).

The only two Forsees who fought for Tennessee were Stephen Pierre Forsee’s brothers: First Lieutenant Tilford Monroe Forsee (1821-1864) from Company A of the 24th Tennessee Sharpshooters Battalion, and Corporal Valentine Flowers Forsee (1825-1893) from Company F of the 10th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment.
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Lieutenant Tilford Monroe Forsee died heroically on November 30, 1864 in the Battle of Franklin.

Tilford Monroe Forsee enlisted during the Civil War, September 7, 1861 at Waverly, Tennessee and served until he was killed on the breastworks during the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, November 30, 1864. He was Sergent, 2nd Lieutenant, the 1st Lieutenant of Company A, 24th Battalion Tennessee Sharp Shooters, Confederate States Army. He was a school teacher by occupation and never married.

When Tilford was killed, Billy Slayton sent word to his father, Squire Travis Slayton, of his death. Squire Slayton went to Daniel Pierre Forsee. A cabinet maker by the name of Mr. Lumsden, who lived three miles west of the Forsee home, made the coffin.

Squire Travis Slayton, Martha Forsee Nolan(a sister of Tilford) with Big John, a Negro house boy in the Forsee home, drove to Franklin, Tennessee, for the body. It required three days and nights to make the trip, the roads were bad and they had trouble passing the picket lines. The only method of conveyance at the time was an ox wagon. Big John did the driving.

Upon their arrival in Franklin, Billy Slayton directed them to the shallow grave where the slain body lay buried. They found him buried with a comrade who was killed at the same time. Both bodies were wrapped in Tilford’s blanket. The men, with the help of Big John, removed the bodies, placed Tilford in the coffin they had carried with them, then replaced the unknown soldier in the grave, after prewrapping him in the same blanket.

Upon arrival home, the uniform was removed and civilian clothes placed on him. He was buried in the Forsee Cemetery, six miles south of McEwen, on Hurricane Creek.

The information contained in the military service records of Corporal Valentine Flowers Forsee is limited. The nature and date of his discharge from military service are not specified. He may have been surrendered with the Confederate Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana at the end of the war. He first enlisted in December of 1862 and served in Company C of Napier’s Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, which soon consolidated with Cox’s Tennessee Cavalry Battalion to become the 10th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment.
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His name appears in the records of Napier’s Battalion as Foresee, with the extra ‘e’, as his relatives in Arkansas and Oklahoma would go on to spell their name.  Corporal Valentine Flowers Forsee survived the war and lived into old age, but he never met the descendants of his nephew, across the Mississippi.

Brothers-in-Arms Part 3: The Howells of the South

The 1930 census of the present-day Seminole County, Oklahoma ghost town of Econtuchka provides the earliest glimpse of the family of Raymond Ted Barnhart (1902-1949) and Claudia Odessa Howell Barnhart Boully Dye (1903-1996).

Raymond Ted Barnhart and Claudia Odessa Howell Barnhart, early 1920’s

In 1930, Raymond Ted Barnhart worked in the oil fields while Claudia raised their children Dorothy Marie Barnhart Lancaster (1923-2012), Clifford Wayne Barnhart (1925-1965), Raymond John Barnhart (1927-1999), and Ector E. Barnhart (1929-2012).  Cliff and Ector were inventors and pursued successful careers in the field of natural resources extraction.  Cliff and Raymond John both attended the University of Oklahoma and served in the US Navy during World War Two.  Lieutenant Junior Grade Clifford Wayne Barnhart earned his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps, and served as an engineering officer onboard the USS Haynsworth (DD-700). Petty Officer Third Class Raymond John Barnhart served in the Pacific as a Seabee.

Raymond Ted Barnhart moved from Dallas County, Missouri to Oklahoma for work in the oil fields.   Following his death in 1949, his widow Claudia married two times.  Once to a fellow named Boully, and then to one named Dye, both of whom predeceased her.  While married to Boully, the two owned and operated a resort on the newly-constructed Lake Tenkiller in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma.  Lieutenant Governor Cowboy Pink Williams, as the Acting Governor of Oklahoma, appointed Claudia the prestigious rank and title of Commodore and Queen in the Great Navy of the State of Oklahoma.

Claudia Odessa Howell Barnhart Boully Dye was a daughter of John Henry Howell (1871-1944) of Alabama, and Nancy C. Benefield Howell (1876-1932) of Mississippi.  The families of John Henry Howell and Nancy C. Benefield had relocated to northern Texas in the early 1890’s, and the two married each other in Grayson County, Texas in 1895.

At the time of the 1900 census, John Henry Howell and Nancy C. Benefield Howell lived in Choctaw Nation with their son James Andrew Howell (1899-1977). Claudia would be born there a couple of years later, followed by another daughter, Ether P. Howell Rogers Stogsdill (1903-1993), who oddly enough is buried in Dallas County, Missouri. Like his sister Claudia, James Andrew Howell also sent his offspring to go fight in World War Two. Petty Officer Third Class James Doyal Howell (1925-2007) served as a US Navy Corpsman, earning a Silver Star and four Purple Hearts in the process.

Also living in the household of John Henry and Nancy C. Benefield Howell at the time of the 1900 census was Nancy’s mother Lucetta Benson Benefield (born 1837), who died some time shortly thereafter. Lucetta Benson Benefield was a daughter of Squire William Ellis Benson (1816-1862) of Itawamba County, Mississippi, who served as a lieutenant in the 28th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment until he died of disease.
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Lucetta’s husband John L. Benefield of Monroe County, Mississippi enlisted on June 1, 1863 and served as a private in the 12th Mississippi Partisan Ranger Battalion. This battalion, and Company C of the 56th Alabama Partisan Rangers, would later consolidate in the 10th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment. He may have objected to regular service, or service outside of Mississippi; for whatever reason, Private John L. Benefield deserted the 10th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment by June of 1864.

Many other Bensons and Benefields enlisted.  Some served honorably, and others deserted.  There were however no deserters among the much more numerous Confederate States Army veterans in the family of John Henry Howell.

John Henry Howell was a grandson of Reverend John Howell (1788-1854) of Laurens County, South Carolina.  Reverend John Howell is listed in some family trees as John Wilson [and/or] Wesley/Westley Howell, but there is no record of his middle name.  He served in the War of 1812 as a lieutenant in Captain Ebenezer Starn’s Company of Colonel Reuben Nash’s Regiment of South Carolina Volunteer Militia, a unit which fought the Red Sticks.  According to some family trees, his father fought in the Revolutionary War.
Reverend John Howell and his wife Elizabeth Howell (1795-1885), also from Laurens County, South Carolina, moved across the Deep South, utilizing land bounties awarded to John for his military service to settle first in Gwinnett County, Georgia and then in Benton County, Alabama.  The citizens renamed Benton County, Alabama to Calhoun County before the war; a name-change which resulted from the politics of slavery. According to the available records, Reverend John Howell never owned slaves.  He taught school, ministered the Methodist faith, and worked his farm with his following fourteen children:

  • William M. Howell (1813-1895)
  • Mahala Howell Grubbs (1814 – 1913)
  • Malinda Victoria Howell Grubbs (1816-1885)
  • John Sanders Howell (1818 – 1891)
  • Caroline Epsey Howell Chandler (1821-1907)
  • Eli S. Howell (1823 – 1899)
  • Reverend James Asbury Howell (1826 – 1890)
  • Ryal Madison Howell (1828 – 1898)
  • Nancy Elizabeth Howell Clements (1830-1909)
  • Reverend Wilson Parks Howell (1832 – 1912)
  • Allen Wesley Howell (1833-1849)
  • Anderson Taylor Howell (1837 – 1896)
  • Abraham Milton Howell (1840-1918)
  • Margaret Ann Howell Buttram (1843 – 1913)

The most famous son of Reverend John Howell is of course Reverend Wilson Parks Howell, who went on to serve in both houses of the Alabama Legislature.  During the war, Captain Wilson Parks Howell commanded Company I of the 25th Alabama Infantry Regiment, Deas’ Brigade, Hindman’s Division, Polk’s Corps, Army of Tennessee. The 25th Alabama Infantry Regiment formed by a merger of Loomis’ 1st Alabama Infantry Battalion and McClellan’s 6th Alabama Infantry Battalion. McClellan’s Company C, called the Mountain Guards, became Company I of the 25th Alabama Infantry Regiment.  Captain Wilson Parks Howell served with this unit from the start to the finish of the war.  After being severely wounded in his very last battle, in the final days of the war, he and several other wounded Confederates remained in a CS Army field hospital in North Carolina.  Following the surrender, the Confederate nurses all went home, abandoning the wounded for some time.  Union troops ultimately discovered the grisly site.  To the Unionist who personally nursed Captain Howell back from the brink of death, the latter gave his sword.
Captain Wilson Parks Howell’s brothers, Private Abraham Milton Howell and Private John Sanders Howell, served under his command.

Private John Sanders Howell’s own son John Preston Howell (1838-1903) served as a sergeant in Company D of the 13th Alabama Infantry Regiment.

Reverend John Howell’s oldest son William M. Howell stayed out of the war, likely due to his age.  William M. Howell’s oldest son Private Hudson F. Howell (1835-1864), served with his family in Company I of the 25th Alabama Infantry Regiment.   William M. Howell’s daughters Elizabeth Caroline Howell Story (1839-1910), Margaret Jane Howell Pitchford (1841-1927), and Mary Adeline Howell Roberts (1842-1908) were the wives of Private Marvin A. Story, Corporal Elijah Wesley Pitchford, and Corporal Joseph Little Roberts of Company I, 25th Alabama Infantry Regiment.

Many other blood relatives and in-laws of the Howells served in Company I of the 25th Alabama Infantry Regiment.  Their First Sergeant John Henry Grubbs was a grandson of Reverend John Howell, as a son of William Wyley Grubbs (1813-1855) and Malinda Victoria Howell Grubbs.  Reverend John Howell’s daughter Mahala married George Allen Grubbs (1809-1858), a brother of William Wyley Grubbs.  Mahala’s son John Nabors Grubbs (1843-1916) served as a private in Company C of the 5th Alabama Infantry Battalion.

Reverend John Howell’s other daughters married men who served in the Confederate States Army.  Nancy Elizabeth Howell Clements married Abihue Barry Clements (1825-1870) in 1849.  Private Clements served in Company B of the 28th Alabama Infantry Regiment.  Reverend John Howell’s daughter Margaret Ann Howell Buttram (1843-1913) married Reverend Elijah Wilson Buttram (1843-1901) in 1889. Reverend Buttram was widowed earlier that year by his first wife, Mahalia M. Chandler Buttram (1844-1889), who was a daughter of Caroline Epsey Howell Chandler, and thus a granddaughter of Reverend John Howell.  Reverend Elijah Wilson Buttram and Mahalia M. Chandler Buttram had a grandson named Maxwell Emmett “Pat” Buttram (1915-1994) who played Gene Autrey’s sidekick and starred as Mr. Haney in the television series Green Acres.  Reverend First Sergeant Elijah Wilson Buttram served with even more Buttrams in Company H of the 56th Georgia Infantry Regiment.

Reverend John Howell’s son Eli S. Howell also remained in Georgia, forgoing the move to Alabama.  Corporal Eli S. Howell served in the cavalry Company G of the Floyd Legion, Georgia State Guard.  Another son of Reverend Howell, Ryal Madison Howell, went west before the war and served as a private in Company A of Chisum’s Dismounted Cavalry Regiment, also known as the 2nd Texas Partisan Rangers.

Yet more sons of Reverend John Howell fought for Alabama.  One was Reverend James Asbury Howell of Pickens County, who rode with Forrest as a private in Company I of the 7th Alabama Cavalry Regiment.

The other son of Reverend John Howell who fought for Alabama is Anderson Taylor Howell – the father of John Henry Howell, and grandfather of Claudia Odessa Howell Barnhart Boully Dye of Oklahoma.  Anderson Taylor Howell enlisted with his father-in-law, James Madison Bush (1822-1897), in Pickens County, Alabama in March of 1862.  The militia who volunteered that day called their unit the Pickens Planters.  Their unit mustered into Confederate service as Company B of the 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment.

Two other Bushes served in this company:  Private Andrew J. Bush and Private John E. Bush.  Private Andrew J. Bush is also filed as Private Joseph A. Bush. He was admitted to the Confederate hospital in Jackson, Mississippi on March 19, 1863 as Private Joseph Andrew Bush. He is James Madison Bush’s son, Joseph Andrew Bush. James Madison Bush had several other children.  His oldest daughter, Mary Elizabeth Bush Howell (1843-1883), was the wife of Anderson Taylor Howell, and the mother John Henry Howell of Oklahoma.
Private Joseph Andrew Bush spent some periods of his enlistment sick in hospitals. On July 14, 1863 he was assigned as a nurse at Jackson’s Cavalry Division Hospital in Lauderdale, Mississippi. He was paroled along with all personnel at Confederate General Hospital Number 12 in Greensboro, North Carolina on April 28, 1865.
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Private James Madison Bush detached from his unit on December 25, 1862 to serve as a nurse in the hospital at Jackson’s Cavalry Division Hospital in Lauderdale, Mississippi where he would later be joined by his son.  Private James Madison Bush eventually returned to his unit, and has no records after his wounding in the Battle of Lookout Mountain on November 24, 1863.
Following the death of Mary Elizabeth Bush Howell in 1883, Anderson Taylor Howell married twice more.  First on Christmas of 1883 to Elizabeth O. “Lizzie” Price (1843-1890), and then again in 1892 to Lizzie’s sister Lucinda Booker “Bookie” Price (1853-1927).  A brother of Lizzie and Bookie, Robert Thomas Price (1840-1892), enlisted in Pickensville, Alabama on March 24, 1862 and served as a private in Company H of the 5th Alabama Infantry Regiment, which was assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia.  Anderson Taylor Howell continued siring children into old age with his younger Price wives.

According to the 1900 census, Lucinda Booker Price Howell lived in the Grayson County, Texas household of her stepson Edward Willett “Eddy” Howell (1877-1934), with Thomas Andrew Howell (1883-1956).  Her sister’s son Robert Gaston Howell (1886-1920), as well as her own daughter, Elizabeth May “Lizzie” Howell Duffie (1894-1991), also lived with Eddy.

Lucinda Booker Price Howell followed her stepsons to northern Texas following the death of Anderson Taylor Howell in 1896.  There is no evidence that she ever went to live in Oklahoma with her stepson John Henry Howell.  She lived in Coryell County, Texas in 1920 and died there in 1927.  However, in 1921 she began drawing a Confederate pension from the State of Oklahoma.  She already received a Confederate pension from the State of Texas.
Some thrifty taxpayers might decry this apparent perpetration of benefits fraud, but if any Confederate widow ever deserved a double-pension, then it would be the widow of Private Anderson Taylor Howell.  Unlike his Bush in-laws, Private Anderson Taylor Howell never detached from his unit, or mustered absent due to sickness.  He mustered present for duty from his enlistment in March of 1862 until his severe wounding on June 6, 1863 in the Siege of Vicksburg.

Major Elbert Decatur Willett, commander of the 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment’s Company B, kept a journal throughout the war.  According to Major Willett, Private Anderson Taylor Howell took a Minié ball to the arm and shoulder amid heavy fighting in the trenches. Private Howell spent the rest of the siege in Confederate Hospital Number 3, and after Vicksburg fell, he was captured and paroled there on July 16, 1863.
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After promising the invader that he would not again take up arms against the United States, Private Anderson Taylor Howell promptly found his unit and returned to duty.
The 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment continued to fight hard, losing many soldiers along the way.  Following the Battle of Bentonville in March of 1865, the survivors of the 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment consolidated with the 19th Alabama Infantry Regiment.  Private Anderson Taylor Howell served in Company H until the army surrendered on April 26, 1865.  He was paroled one last time at Salisbury, North Carolina on May 2.
Some of the Alabama infantry regiments mentioned throughout this article — especially the 25th and the 40th — fought beside each other in the Battle of Bentonville. Many Howells were present. Captain Wilson Parks Howell was severely wounded. It was:

the last full-scale action of the Civil War in which a Confederate army was able to mount a tactical offensive. This major battle, the largest ever fought in North Carolina, was the only significant attempt to defeat the large Union army of Gen. William T. Sherman…

Although a three-times larger Union Army failed to break the Army of the South, the Confederates withdrew first.

During the night, Johnston retreated across the bridge at Bentonville. Union forces pursued at first light, driving back Joseph Wheeler’s cavalry rearguard and saving the bridge. Federal pursuit was halted at Hannah’s Creek after a severe skirmish. Sherman, after regrouping at Goldsboro, pursued Johnston toward Raleigh. On April 18, Johnston signed an armistice with Sherman at the Bennett House, and on April 26, 1865, formally surrendered his army.

Because the 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment consolidated with the 19th following the Battle of Bentonville, the 40th never surrendered their regimental flag to the invader.  They did however come very close to losing it in the aftermath of their last battle.  Private Anderson Taylor Howell may very likely have been one of the last remaining men of Company B who had something to do with the flag’s heroic recovery.

At the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina, March 22-23, 1865 three flag bearers were shot down carrying the flag. Following the battle, a small group of men became separated from the rest of the regiment for several days narrowly avoiding capture on a number of occasions. To avoid losing the colors, flag bearer Hilliard O’Neal removed the flag from its staff and wrapped it around his body, wearing it underneath his clothing. In his diary, Sgt. John H. Curry of Co. B, provided additional details concerning the incident, “our flag with 40 men were cut off from our Reg. And got behind Fed. Lines and had to make their way Raleigh and return by rail. The flag-bearer tore it from the staff, took down his pants, tied it around his leg, and brought it out all ok except the staff. Several days after the battle they came into camp with it flying on a staff cut for the occasion, men shouted – cried, kissed it, hugged it – such a sensation was never produced in our command before.”

The flag of the 40th Alabama Infantry Regiment is now safely kept for all posterity by the Alabama Department of Archives and History. In the early 1900’s, The Alabama Department of Archives and History solicited Captain Wilson Parks Howell to write a history of the 25th Alabama Infantry Regiment, which they authorized a gentleman named Steven L. Driskell to publish in the late 1990’s. Howell’s first-hand account serves as a reminder of the character, honor, and sacrifices of the men who volunteered to fight under the Confederate battle flag; the “citizen, who, without reward or the hope thereof, moved only by impulse of patriotism and love of country, shouldered his musket, haversack, cartridge box and threw his blanket across his shoulder and bade farewell to home, mother, wife and children. And took his place in the Private ranks and lived much on less than half rations, marching often all night long through cold, rain and wind and then lie down to sleep on the bare ground with many other hardships to say nothing of facing the cruel showers of lead hail he had often to meet.”

Brothers-in-Arms Part 2: The Livengoods of Nodaway County, Missouri

When Opal Mae Foster Tigert of Sapulpa, Oklahoma died in 2013, she beat her mother’s record for longevity. Opal was born on December 16th, 1910 in Bristow, Oklahoma to Elmer Foster (1881-1950) and Myrtle Annie Foresee Foster (1885-1984). Opal had one sibling, her brother Everett Beecher Foster (1908-1976). Everett and Opal are found with their parents Elmer and Myrtle on the 1920 census of Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma. In 1910, just months before his sister Opal would be born, Everett is recorded living with his parents on their farm in Okfuskee County. Elmer’s brothers Oscar Foster (1871-1957), Charles Foster (1873-1919), and Larkin Foster (1886-1961) also lived and worked on Elmer’s farm in 1910.  Elmer and Larkin can be found on the 1900 census, living on their parents’ farm in Cleveland County, with their younger sister Flora Edna Foster Reding McKown (1888-1947).  Flora was the mother of a US Army Air Corps veteran of World War Two, Retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Joseph Reding (1918-2008), who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The Oklahoma Fosters, some time in the 1910’s:  (back row) William Jacob Foster (1869-1942), Flora, and Lark; (front row) Oscar, Charles, and Elmer

Elmer, Oscar, Charles, Larkin, Flora, William Jacob, and their other siblings were born in Nodaway County, Missouri to Isaac Henry Foster (1835-1904) and Catharine Livengood Foster (1846-1910).  Isaac and Catharine were both born in Indiana; in Hendricks and Fountain Counties, respectively. The Foster and Livengood families were early settlers of Nodaway County, Missouri.  In the early 1890’s, Isaac and Catharine, with most of their children, as well as Catharine’s younger brothers Thomas Livengood (1855-1925) and Marion F. Livengood (1861-1942), moved to the Oklahoma Territory, becoming some of the earliest settlers of an area now called Lincoln County, Oklahoma.

Catharine Livengood was not the first wife of Isaac Henry Foster. He married Rachel Farrens (born in 1840) some time before the Civil War. Rachel was a daughter of John Henry Farrens (1813-1900) and Sarah Buckingham Farrens (1814-1863), who moved to Nodaway County, Missouri from Tennessee. When the war came to Missouri, John Henry Farrens enlisted in the Nodaway County Regiment of the Unionist Missouri Home Guard, serving from July 5 to July 16, 1861 as a private in Company G.  The Home Guards were temporary units.  Following their disbandment, Private John Henry Farrens served in Company K of the Unionist 3rd Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia.

Private John Henry Farrens’ daughter, Rachel Farrens Foster, had cousins who served in the Unionist 1st Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. The Nebraska Territory played a limited role in the Civil War, only furnishing the Union Army with two cavalry regiments, the 1st and the 2nd Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry Regiment.

After the war, another cousin of Rachel Farrens Foster, Sarah Elizabeth Farrens (1847-1943), married Andrew Jackson Livengood (1839-1890), an older brother of Catharine Livengood Foster.  Andrew Jackson Livengood, as well as his and Catharine’s brothers Levi Livengood (1838-1905) and George Washington Livengood (1842-1925), served with Private John Henry Farrens in the Unionist Nodaway County Home Guard Regiment.

Catharine Livengood Foster and her brothers Andrew Jackson, Levi, George Washington, Thomas, and Marion F.  had other siblings:  Henry Livengood (1836-1911), Jacob Samuel Livengood (1844-1904), Solomon Livengood (1849-1925), and Sarah Magdalene Livengood Sloan (1851-1935).  These Livengoods were the children of Jacob Livengood Sr. (1809-1863) and Elizabeth Starnes Livengood (1816-1861).  Elizabeth died shortly after giving birth to Marion, at the age of forty-four.

Jacob’s Sr.’s grandfather Hardtman Leibengut (1727-1806) arrived in 1750 from the Black Forest of Germany to the city of Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania.  Like many German colonists in Pennsylvania, Hardtman Liebengut brought his family to North Carolina, where his grandson Jacob Sr. would later be born.  Jacob Sr. and Elizabeth Starnes Livengood brought their family to Nodaway County, Missouri around 1858.

The Livengoods, shortly before 1861

Isaac Henry Foster’s first wife Rachel Farrens Foster died in October of 1863, just months after the death of her own mother.  Corporal Isaac Henry Foster was away at war, having enlisted in the Union Army at Saint Joseph, Missouri on March 15, 1862.  On April 1, he mustered into Company C of the 4th Missouri State Militia Cavalry Regiment, and he was appointed to the rank of corporal on April 4.

Corporal Isaac Henry Foster mustered present for duty from April of 1862 through October of 1863.  The Company C muster report from November and December of 1863 notes his absence, and his confinement in Tipton since November 30.  The muster report of January and February of 1864 notes his reduction in rank to private and stoppage of pay for a month; the results of a court-martial on January 13. Corporal Isaac Henry Foster most likely went AWOL upon receiving the news of the death of his wife Rachel Farrens Foster.  He either got caught in his attempt, or turned himself into the authorities upon returning to his unit.  He then spent his first holidays as a widower in a military jail. Private Isaac Henry Foster was appointed to the rank of corporal once again just months after his court-martial.

According to the Company C muster report of September and October of 1864, Corporal Isaac Henry Foster was absent, on detached service in the capital.  It was in September of 1864 that Confederate Major General Sterling Price began his Raid of Missouri. Unionist regiments all over Missouri sent reinforcements to the capital. Corporal Isaac Henry Foster mustered present for duty with Company C from November of 1864 until the expiration of his enlistment, on March 31, 1865.

The Unionist 4th Missouri State Militia Cavalry Regiment served in numerous battles, and carried out operations against some of the most renowned Missouri partisans.  According to the National Park Service:

Pursuit of Coffee August 8-September 1, 1862. Between Stockton and Humansville and near Stockton August 12. Duty at Mt. Vernon till September 30. Joined Totten’s Division, Army of the Frontier. Oxford Bend, near Fayetteville, Ark., October 27-28. Expedition from Greenfield into Jasper and Barton Counties November 24-26. Operations against Marmaduke in Missouri December 31, 1862-January 25, 1863. Defence of Springfield, Mo., January 8, 1863. Duty in Central Missouri and guarding Missouri Pacific Railroad, with Headquarters at LaMine Bridge, Jefferson City, Tipton, Sedalia and Warrensburg, Mo., till October, 1864. Operations about Princeton May 4, 1863. Waverly June 1 (Cos. “B” and “C”). Sibley June 23 (4 Cos.). Marshall July 28. Saline County July 30. Operations against Quantrell August 20-28. Operations against Shelby September 22-October 26. Tipton and Syracuse October 10 (Cos. “A,” “B,” “E” and “F”). Booneville October 11-12. Merrill’s Landing and Dug Ford, near Jonesborough, October 12. Marshall, Arrow Rock, Blackwater, October 13. Operations about Warrensburg February 22-24, 1864. Scout from Sedalla to Blackwater June 3-5 (Co. “E”). Near Sedalia and Marshall Road June 26 (Co. “E”). Huntsville July 16. Scout from Independence to Lafayette County August 7-8 (Detachment). Operations in Lafayette and Saline Counties August 13-22 (Detachment). Near Rocheport August 28 (Detachment). Howard County August 28 (Co. “E”). Moved to Defence of Jefferson City October 1. Campaign against Price October -. Moreau Bottoms October 7. California October 9. Booneville October 11-12. Little Blue October 21. Independence, Big Blue and State Line October 22. Westport October 23. Engagement at the Marmiton or battle of Charlot October 25. Mine Creek, Little Osage River, Marias des Cygnes, October 25. At Sedalia, Mo., November, 1864, to April, 1865. Scout in Calloway County November 6-7, 1864 (Detachment). Moved to St. Louis April, 1865, and most of Regiment mustered out April 18, 1865. Balance mustered out July 8, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 2 Officers and 34 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 86 Enlisted men by disease. Total 124.

Corporal Isaac Henry Foster honorably discharged from the Union Army and went home to Nodaway County, Missouri.  He had moved there as a boy from Hendricks County, Indiana with his father William Jacob Foster (1800-1872), and his Irish stepmother Mary Wright Foster.  Isaac Henry Foster’s own mother,  Elizabeth Heath Foster (1801-1852), was born in New Jersey and is buried in Hendricks County, Indiana.  William Jacob Foster was born in Washington County, New York.  It is believed that William Jacob’s father is the First Lieutenant Jacob Foster who served in the Washington County mounted militia during the War of 1812.

Isaac Henry Foster married Catharine Livengood shortly after the war.  His new Livengood brothers-in-law served with his former Farrens father-in-law in the Unionist Nodaway County Home Guard Regiment.  Following their discharge from the Home Guard, Andrew Jackson Livengood, Levi Livengood, and George Washington Livengood went to the Nebraska Territory and enlisted as privates in Company F of the 2nd Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry Regiment on November 17, 1862.  They mustered out where they enlisted, in Nebraska City, on December 10, 1863.


The 2nd Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry Regiment did not fight Confederates.  Specifically, Company F, in which the Livengoods served, is noted by the National Park Service for its presence at White Stone Hill, and its participation in a “skirmish” there in early September of 1863.  The history books refer to Federal actions there as the Battle of White Stone Hill.  Today many people call it a massacre.

It stands as the deadliest conflict ever recorded on North Dakota soil.

Between 100 and 300 Dakota and Lakota Sioux men, women and children were killed, and 20 soldiers died from their wounds.

After the fighting stopped, soldiers lingered for two days, burning teepees, shooting dogs as well as wounded horses and burning the Indians’ food and belongings.

An immense mound of buffalo meat – half a million pounds being dried for winter provisions – was burned. The melted tallow ran in streams down the hilly terrain.

The acts of destruction ensured that even the survivors were condemned to hunger and hardship as they scattered after the attack on a sprawling Sioux encampment in Dakota Territory.

US Army Brigadier General Alfred Sully, who had disgraced himself in a bloody defeat inflicted by the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December of 1862, found himself banished to an obscure command in the Great Plains soon thereafter. He quickly launched a punitive expedition against the Sioux, in which he commanded the 2nd Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry Regiment and the 6th Iowa Volunteer Cavalry Regiment at White Stone Hill.

Cavalry Charge of Sully’s Brigade at the battle of White Stone Hill

General Sully believed he had scored a great victory for the US. Samuel J. Brown, an interpreter in the employ of General Sully during the expedition, said of the general:

I don’t think he ought to brag of it at all, because it was, what no decent man would have done, he pitched into their camp and just slaughtered them, worse a great deal than what the Indians did in 1862, he killed very few men and took no hostile ones prisoners. . .and now he returns saying that we need fear no more, for he has ‘wiped out all hostile Indians from Dakota.’ If he had killed men instead of women & children, then it would have been a success, and the worse of it, they had no hostile intention whatever, the Nebraska 2nd pitched into them without orders, while the Iowa 6th were shaking hands with them on one side, they even shot their own men.

Following their service in the Nebraska 2nd, Andrew Jackson Livengood and Levi Livengood offered no further military service. Their father Jacob Sr. died in 1863, and their youngest siblings were being raised by Catharine, with help from their oldest brother Henry, who did not serve in the war. George Washington Livengood enlisted again in August of 1864, and served as a corporal in Company I of the 48th Missouri Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He got sick in March or April of 1865, and spent the rest of the war in the hospital at Camp Douglas in Chicago, Illinois. Corporal George Washington Livengood mustered out of the Union Army on June 29, 1865. Jacob Samuel Livengood enlisted on February 22, 1865 and mustered into Company H of the 51st Missouri Volunteer Infantry Regiment a month later. On March 25, Solomon Livengood exaggerated his age a couple of years to serve alongside Jacob, the latter of whom received a promotion to the rank of corporal on July 1. Corporal Jacob Samuel Livengood and Private Solomon Livengood mustered out of the Union Army on August 31, 1865. Their brothers Thomas and Marion were of course too young to serve. For her part, their sister Sarah Magdalene Livengood would later marry James Lewis Sloan, a veteran of the 94th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Thus Elmer Foster — the grandfather of Wanda Lee (Foster) Vaughn Barnhart Dumont of Tulsa, Oklahoma — was a son and a nephew of seven Unionists. It is unclear now precisely which year he married Myrtle Annie Foresee, who had relocated to Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma with her father, stepmother, and siblings in the first decade of the twentieth century. A later article in this series will look at the wartime service of her family. The next article in this series will however explore a family from which descended Wanda’s husband Cliff Barnhart; a family that also fielded an impressive amount of its members for service in the Civil War.