THE WILLIAM McCALL & MARY ANN (KIRBY) BLAIR FAMILY
1828 - 1904 1829 - 1861
William McCall Blair Mary Ann Kirby
|William McCall Blair, possibly a Civil War picture.|
William McCall Blair was the son of John Blair and Margaret McCall ("Peggy"). Peggy was born in 1790 and died in 1852. John and Peggy's children included: Elizabeth A., Margary M., Mary Ann, John Stewart, Jane Gambel, Martha E., and Margaret S. Blair.
William was born on March 30, 1828 in Alabama. He married Mary Ann Kirby on August 17, 1845 in Benton county (now Calhoun county), Alabama. William's family lived at the foot of Ol' Choccolocca Mountain in Anniston. (Note: Anniston, Alabama is in a mining region of the Appalachian foothills. It was founded as an Iron making "company town". It was incorporated in 1873. The town opened up to the public in 1883).
|Record of William McCall Blair & Mary Ann Kirby marriage.|
Mary Ann was born on June 18, 1829 in Alabama and died on August 28, 1861 in Alabama. William's religious preference was that of Methodist. William died on May 22, 1904 in Moody, Texas and is buried in the Moody cemetery.
The Children of William & Mary Ann (Kirby) Blair:
I. Serelda Ann Blair ("Relda", Marelda or Eralda?): She was born in 1851 in Alabama. She married Tom Lewellen (One source says James Lewallen); they lived in Chilton, Texas (One source said they lived out towards Blevins, Texas).
II. Margaret Blair: She was born in 1853.
III. William S. Blair: He was born in 1855 in Alabama.
IV. Robert Thomas Blair ("R.T." or "Bob"): He was born on November 21, 1858 in Anniston, Alabama (Calhoun county). He married Sallie Whatley at Clifton, Texas. They lived at Little River, Texas (Bell county).
V. Mary Caroline Blair: She was born in 1861in Alabama, according to the 1880 McLennan county, Texas census. She married F.M. McElroy.
VI. Molly Blair: She married Mack McElroy. She died when she was thirty-six years old. They lived in Oklahoma. (Note: I dont know if "Molly" was a nickname for one of the other children or if she is an additional child).
|The Mack & Molly (Blair) McElroy Family|
1 3 1. Charlie McElroy
2 6 2. Beulah McElroy
4 5 3. Mary McElroy
7 4. Mack McElroy
5. Granville McElroy
6. Molly (Blair) McElroy
7. Willie Fergus McElroy
Mack and Molly (Blair) McElroy had the following children:
A. Mary McElroy:
B. Beulah McElroy:
C. Charlie McElroy:
D. Granville McElroy:
E. Bill McElroy:
VII. Margaret Jane Blair ("Maggie"): She was born on November 26, 1851 (One source says 1853) in Alabama. She was 18 years old when her family left Alabama. "She walked almost all the way to Texas". She married Martin Van Buren Fergus ("Dick" or "M.V.") on Christmas day (One source says December 2nd) in 1875 at William McCall & Mary (Kirby) Blair's home in Belton. They were married by Rev. Willis King. The witnesses at the wedding were George Pendleton and Mollie C. Blair (Was this her sister?). The four pages below are copies of the family history pages from the family Bible of Dick & Maggie Fergus:
|Dick & Maggie (Blair) Fergus|
Dick Fergus was Methodist by faith. He was born on July 30, 1844 near Burkville in Cumberland county, Kentucky. Regarding war service, he was a member of the _______________ Riders in Kentucky. Dick died on February 28, 1924 in Killeen, Texas (Coryell county) and is buried there. He had no other wives. Dick's father died in Kentucky. His mother was F.H. Fergus ("Fannie"?); she died on September 18, 1928 at age 98. Dick Fergus had a sister named Betty. Dick was a farmer and he and Maggie lived in Killeen, Texas in the same house that either Robert Thomas Blair or Herbert Orlando Blair ("H.O.") lived in. Maggie died on December 6, 1929 in this home (in Killeen, Texas). She is buried alongside her husband. She had no other husbands. Dick and Maggie Fergus had the following children:
The Children of Dick & Maggie (Blair) Fergus
1. Max Vinson Fergus: He was born on January 15, 1923. He married Gladys Wills on August 27, 1946. He died in Abilene, Texas. They had the following children:
a. Mark Vinson Fergus: He was born on December 25, 1947.
b. Kenneth Wills Fergus: He was born on August 16, 1950.
c. David Lee Fergus: He was born on September 20, 1952.
2. Daniel Martin Fergus ("Dan"): He was born on August 27, 1925. He married Anita Irene Poor ("Anita") on June 22, 1957. Dan has been a lawyer in Abilene for many years. They had the following children:
a. Dan Martin Jr.: He was born on May 30, 1958.
b. Gregory Stewart Fergus: He was born on May 20, 1959.
c. Marvin Powell Fergus: He was born on September 25, 1964.
3. Guinn Carlton Fergus: He was born on August 29, 1928. He married Darlene Goodman on December 16, 1950.
a. Keith Carlton Fergus: He was born on March 3, 1954. He married Cyndy Saxe on July 20, 1974. Keith is a professional golfer. He and Cyndy have the following children:
(1. Stephen Fergus: He was possibly born in 1980.
b. Emory Ann Fergus: She was born on November 16, 1956.
c. Janet (pronounced "Jay/ Net") Fergus: She was born on July 26, 1960.
B. Fannie Fergus: She was born on October 14, 1876 in Belton, Bell county, Texas. She married Lon A. Brooks in 1898. Lon was a lawyer by occupation and was the first mayor of Killeen, Texas. He died on October 8, 1935 in Killeen, Texas. They lived in Killeen, Texas and then moved to Anson, Texas (Jones county) in 1907. Fannie died on May 23, 1955 in Missouri; she is buried in Killeen, Texas. They had the following children:
1. Kathleen Brooks:
2. Clyde Fergus Brooks:
3. Mary Evelyn Brooks:
C. Mamie Fergus: She was born on February 1, 1878 in Belton, Texas. She married Ernest J. Brooks on October 30, 1899. Ernest was a lawyer who resided in Killeen, Texas. They moved to Anson, Texas in 1907. Ernest died on March 3, 1954 in Abilene, Texas. Mamie died on July 25, 1960 in Abilene. They had the following children:
1. Meryl McCall Brooks:
2. Aubrey H. Brooks ("A.H."):
3. Maurice F. Brooks:
4. Frances Brooks Anderson:
D. Tennie (or Tinnie) Fergus: She was born on April 5, 1883 in Killeen, Texas. She died on August 30, 1894 at the age of eleven.
VIII. (Boy): He died when he was seventeen years old. (Note: I don't know if this is one of the existing children or an additional child).
VIV. John G. Blair:
(Note: Another source lists the children as: Robert Thomas, Eralda, Molly, Maggie, Landa, and a boy who died when he was 17 years old).
X. Oregana Blair: She married Frank Clark.
|The Clark Family|
|Oregana (Blair) Clark|
3 4 5 6
1. Frank Clark Jr.
3. Florence Clark
4. Oregana Clark
6. Frank Clark
Sarah E. Embry, William McCall Blair's second wife, was born in 1836 in North Carolina (according to census records). On July 20, 1865, William and Sallie were married.
The above record of their marriage says:
" The State of Alabama
To any ministry of the gospel Judge or Justice lawfully authorized to celebrate the rites of matrimony. You __ __ ________ _________ to celebrate the rites of matrimony between William Blair and S.E. Embry and for so doing this shall be your warrant given under my hand and seal this 20th day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 65.
A Woods Judge of Probats
In __________ of a license from the Judge of the court of Probate of said county. I have this day celebrated the rites of matrimony between Wm Blair & Sarah E. Embry. Given under my hand this 20th day of July 1865.
J.M Frank, J.P."
|Sarah E. (Embry) Blair|
|Sarah & William McCall Blair|
The Children of William Blair & Sallie E. (Embry) Blair:
I. Hugh Orlando Blair (Orlander; Landa): He was born in 1868 in Alabama (1880 McLennan county, Texas census). Herbert Orlando Blair was named for him. He lived in Lott, Texas. He married Florence Currie Beall (or Bull).
A. Floyd Currie Blair: He was born in Coleman county, Texas. He graduated from high school in Santa Anna. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II. He was the owner and operator of the Piggy Wiggly grocery stores in Goldthwaite and Lampassas for many years. He lived in Temple, Texas for twelve years and in Lampassas for 30 years. He married Maida Husdson on December 4, 1938 in Lampassas. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Temple and a former member of First Presbyterian Church in Lampassas, where he served as an elder. Floyd Currie Blair died on a Friday; his obituary appeared in the paper on June 1, 1997. Visitation was from 5-8 pm at the Sheffield Funeral Home in Temple, Texas. His service was on Monday at 3 pm at the Santa Anna cemetery in Santa Anna, Texas. Rev. Victor H. Dindot officiated. His wife survived him and lived in Temple, Texas (Bell county).
II. Annie Blair: She was born in 1870 in Alabama. She married R.H. Howard ("Dick"). They lived in Moody, Texas (1880 & 1890 McLennan county, Texas census). Dick and Annie (Blair) Howard had the following children:
A. Hiram Howard:
B. Ruth Howard:
C. (unknown girl): She married a Mr. Johnson.
The following information is taken from pages 289-290 of the book The Moody Area: It's History and People 1852 - 1981 by Estelle Mabray Rice:
"R.H. Howard operated the general store alone after his brother John P. Howard died, although Miss Winnie kept her job trimming hats and taking care of her family. R.H. Howard owned land east of Moody where he raised cotton, corn, and other grains. He was later joined in the business by a kinsman, Howard Lawhon, who added a grain storage house and bought and sold small grain.
R.H. Howard married Annie Blair in 1901, a quiet little lady whose parents owned a farm joining the Howard land. They had three children, Ruth, Armead, and Hiram Howard. R.H. and Annie wanted very much to educate their children so that they might have a better way of life than they had. Ruth, the oldest child, became a school teacher, having taught in Lorena, Eddy and McGregor. Armead, born in 1904 taught school in Eddy and Waco. Both girls were graduates of Baylor University. Armead married Edwin Johnson, a contractor and builder. Ed built a beautiful home on Lindsey Hollow Road in Waco, where Armead continued to live after Ed died suddenly of a heart attack in 1958. Their only child was Armead Howard Johnson, born in 1942. Her parents called her 'Chinky'. She studied and traveled extensively. Her major studies in school had to do with medicine. She earned her Ph.D degree and to celebrate her achievement she traveled to Norway to visit her father's family. She makes her home in Washington D.C.
The R.H. Howard family taught their children the value of money, of land and of human life. Hiram Howard was graduated from Baylor University; he then returned to his father's farm to manage it. Hiram was married to Iris Knight Taylor in December 1946. Their daughter, Martha Ann Howard, born in 1947, a talented musician and home economist, was graduated from Texas State University with honors. She taught school one year after which she was employed by a Japanese Appliance Company to demonstrate their products all over the world, and as Ann herself said, 'I enjoy every minute of my life.'
It would have been a joy for R.H. and Annie Blair Howard to know their three children and their two granddaughters fulfilled a dream they had made many years ago. Hiram Howard, a civic and religious leader in Moody, chose farming and ranching as his way of life. His wife, Iris Howard is a home maker and a business woman, employed by the First National Bank of Moody. Iris remarked, 'I'd like to retire, but what would I do with myself after I'd cleaned the house, washed and polished the silver and cleaned the windows?' She heaved a big sigh and said, 'Oh well, I won't think of that today, guess I'll work another year.' "
(Note: There is also an article on both Richard Harris Howard and Hiram Howard following the above article).
On March 30, 1828, William McCall Blair was born in Tennessee (1880 and 1900 Texas census). He was probably born in Washington or Anderson county, Tennessee and then moved to Alabama at an early age. Relatives say that William's family moved to Alabama when William was just a small child; they used oxen to pull their carts and wagons. Aubrey Lee Blair said that his grandfather, Robert Thomas Blair, said that William was born in Washington county,Tennessee. It was named for the man who surveyed the land, George Washington.
On June 18, 1829, Mary Ann Kirby, William's future wife, was born in Alabama. Most of the Kirbys came from Scottsboro in Jackson county, Alabama (according to the Jimmy Lewis source). Mary Ann's parents were Thomas Hawkin Kirby (born in Anniston, Alabama) and Nancy C. Kirby (who was the cousin of Thomas Hawkins Kirby). William McCall Blair and Mary Ann Kirby got married in Benton (now Calhoun) county, Alabama on August 17, 1845. They were married by Justice of the Peace, Robert McCain.
William and Mary received some glassware from William's parents as a wedding present. There are four pieces, all of which still have gold leaf on them. These pieces have been passed down to a male Blair descendant since their marriage in 1845.
On August 28, 1861, Mary Ann (Kirby) Blair died in Alabama. (Could she have died while giving birth to Mary Caroline?). When Mary Ann Blair died, her parents, who were also living in Alabama, came to keep the children while William was fighting in the Civil War. Mr. Kirby was blind.
In 1871, William McCall Blair moved to Bell county, Texas from Anniston, Alabama in Calhoun county. There is a possibility that he rented a house in Belton for one or two years before moving to the Moody, Texas area. On September 19, 1873, William M. Blair purchased about 120 acres of land in McLennan county, Texas. He was living in Bell county at the time. He bought this land from Cyrus Eastland for $ 360.00. In 1875, William moved his family to the area just east of Moody, Texas. He bought a good farm with rich, black soil; William owned this farm until the time of his death in 1904. The farm was about 300 acres in size. On February 22, 1875, William M. Blair purchased land in Bell county, Texas from J.M. Payne for $ 50.00.
On December 22, 1882, William Blair purchased about 106 acres of land in McLennan county, Texas from J. Weslie McClain. William paid $ 424.00 for this land. In 1903 the William McCall Blair moved inito the town of Moody, Texas (had been living east of town prior to 1903 on their farm).
|William McCall Blair's family the day of his death, Moody, Texas.|
4 5 6 7 8
1. Dick Howard (married Annie Blair, a child from William & Sarah (Embry) Blair's marriage).
2. Annie (Blair) Howard (child of William and Sarah (Embry) Blair's marriage).
3. Robert Thomas Blair ("R.T.")
4. Relda Blair
5. Sarah E. (Embry) Blair ("Sallie") (William McCall Blair's second wife).
7. Maggie (Blair) Fergus
8. Sallie (Whatley) Blair
9. Mollie (Blair) McElroy
10. Mollie (Blair) McElroy's son.
Note: This image was provided to me by Chris Gilliland. I believe it was taken at William McCall Blair's home in Moody, Texas (McLennan county).
| The William McCall Blair Family, May 22, 1904|
The picture on the right was taken at William McCall Blair's funeral at Moody, Texas (McLennan county) on May 22, 1904. The picture was identified by Ruby Blair in December, 1981.
1. Molly (Blair) McElroy
2. Serelda (Blair) Lewellen
3. Sallie (Whatley) Blair
4. Robert Thomas Blair ("R.T.")
5. Annie (Blair) Howard
6. Maggie (Blair) Fergus
7. Dick Fergus
8. Orlando Blair ("Lander")
10. Sarah (Embry) Blair
On May 22, 1904 William McCall Blair died in Moody, Texas; he is buried in the Moody cemetery. He died very suddenly at his home at 4 am; he wa s76 years old.
|Death Record, William McCall Blair. McLennan Co. Tx. Vol. 1, p. 10. Cert. # 311. Filed on June 17, 1904.|
Rev. J.T. Griswold held the funeral at the Methodist church on Monday afternoon, the day after his death. Dr. A.M. Kuycandall issued the death certificate; it was filed on June 17, 1904.
|William McCall Blair tombstone|
|Sally (Embry) Blair tombstone|
|Moody Cemetery: Blair plot on front left of photo. View is S. to N.|
Tombstone inscriptions are interesting. William and Sarah's are identical, other than William's first word being "Husband" instead of "Wither." The inscriptions read:
"Wither (or "Husband"), dear take thy rest
The summer flowers will bloom.
While you, the purest and the best
doth wither in the tomb."
Dick Howard received almost all the land when William died (about 300 acres); however, the children from William's first marriage did receive some money. Hiram Howard, the grandson, now has the land. His wife works for the bank in Moody. All of the children from the first marriage seemed to like Sarah Embry except for Robet Thomas; he gave her a hard time.
THE CIVIL WAR RECORD OF WILLIAM McCALL BLAIR
January, 1861 to April, 1865
William joined the Confederate service in January of 1861; this was just seven months prior to his first wife's death. He was a member of "Dudley's Home Rangers", also known as the 51st Alabama Cavalry (Some sources say "D. Dudley Snow's Rangers" or "Dudley's Snow Rangers." The regiment was also known as "Wheeler's Favorites" and "Morgan's - Kirkpatrick's Cavalry regiment"). The 51st Alabama Cavalry was organized as a Partisan Ranger unit during the summer of 1862. William was mustered into company D of the 51st Alabama Cavalry on May 27, 1862 (according to the Mrs. Coleman source. Mrs. Coleman also confirmed that William went to Texas and also lived in Anniston, Alabama).
NOTE: Company B of the 7th Alabama (a one year unit) was commanded by Robert W. Draper and was from Calhoun county. They transferred as Company D when it was mustered into the 51st on August 11, 1862.
Exerpt from Mrs. Coleman's book regarding Muster Day:"Washington Williams and his wife Francis Griffin who was a sister of Sarah Griffin wife of Abner Borders - came from ___________ ___________ and settled close to Abner Borders on a hill. He was a successful planter later very wealthy. They had no children of their own, but were much beloved by all the young people. They were known as Uncle Work and Aunt Fanny. He was a big, robust, hearty. - she - tiny, dainty. Between Chocc. and white P., he had a time __________ in the farm.
(Note: The first half of this quote is incomplete and may seem irrelevant, but I have decided to leave it for the possibility of discovering future relevance. The portion in bold print is the most important portion).
What muster day meant in Calhoun co. before the stormy day of the Civil War.
It was a long time ago probably in the early thirties, that Colonel Wash Williams purchased a tract of land on what is now the white plains pike, 3 1/ 2 miles, north of White Plains, opened up a farm and built a big house upon the hill a hundred yds or so from the present road line.
True to the custom of the old times this house was fashioned much after the order of the southern aristocrat's home - as the slave owner was sometimes called particularly by the anti-slavery element the owning of a negro ______ ________ being sufficient reason for applying the name to any southern man. His home was very attractive _______ ________ the ________ for some reason omitted the practically inevitable 2 story front porch and set the kitchen to the west of the house about thirty feet away.
instead of to the rear. The timber entering into the constructin of the foundation were selected heart hewn in the woods with a broad ax full 12 in. sq. morticed, tencented?, and dram pinned together. The corner part were hewn to 8 in. sq. 8 rabbete? to 4 in. was to fit 2 walls ___ ___ LS. All the lumber ___ ___ cut with a salk? saw probably at John Borders mill. The ___________ of its construction is affected? by ____
old house that was owned by Jordan Faulkner (today father?).
Colonel Williams was a real colonel. In ___ day every able bodied man between certain ages was compelled at stated periods to drill and train for military duty and he was the chief commander of the military regiment. It was quite an honor and he elected colonel ___ ______. There was _____ rivalry among the ambitious to secure the honor. Woodford Harris? was a captain and commanded a company.
Just across the road a few hundred yards to the west where Jim and Lee Borders lived and where there was later an apple orchard was the drilling ground dedicated to the militia of that _________. It was then a forest of stalwart oaks. There gathered big crowds on muster day as it was called to drill-talk-fight- and eat ginger cakes and drink cider sold by the hucksters. The bully of each beat was there sure to fight the bully of another beat. Which beat had the best man was an important question to be settled and he who could knock his man out of the ring was awarded the belt. Later when the Civil War came on drilling on that ground came to have a serious meaning."
Although officially accepted into Confederate service as such an organization, the 51st Alabama Cavalry served as a regular cavalry regiment throughout its career. Soon after being mustered into the service, they were sent to the southern most counties of the state, serving there for a very brief time. Ordered north, the regiment joined the Department of East Tennessee. The unit served with that Army until early iin 1865. After serving briefly in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, the regiment returned to service in the Army of Tennessee, remaining in that Army for the remainder of the war. The 51st Alabama Cavalry was one of the most frequently engaged units in the war, even though it saw no combat until late in 1862. In all, the unit participated in more than 225 various engagements during it's career. No records have been found to show exactly how many members were still with the unit when it finally surrendered in late April, 1865. It is probable, however, that from the hardships of the final year of the war that fewer than 100 men remained with the regiment.
The list below identifies the specific higher command assignments of the regiment:
September 29, 1862: Attached, Cavalry, Department of East Tennessee.
December 31, 1862: Wheeler's Brigade, Cavalry, Army of Tennessee.
July 31, 1863: First Brigade, Martin's Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee.
October 31, 1863: First Brigade, Second Division, Wheeler's Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee.
December 10, 1863: Morgan's Brigade, Martin's Division, Wheeler's Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee
(detached in the Dept. of East Tennessee).
December 31, 1863: Russell's Brigade, Morgan's Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee (detached in the Dept. of East Tennessee).
April 30, 1864: Morgan's Brigade, Martin's Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee.
June 10, 1864: Allen's Brigade, Martin's Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee.
January 31, 1865: Hagan's Brigade, Allen's Division, Cavalry Corps, Dept. of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
March 15, 1865: Hagan's Brigade, Allen's Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee.
Summary of the 51st Alabama mounted regiment:
This regiment was organized at Oxford, in Calhoun county, Alabama on August 11, 1862. Ordered to Tennessee, the regiment was placed under General Forrest, and was in the fight at LaVergne. A few weeks later, it was assigned to General Wheeler's command, and served during the war principally in the brigades of General Allen of Montgomery or General Hagan of Mobile. It was engaged in the battle of Murfreesboro with light loss, and was in the raid down the Cumberland river in January with like result. The regiment was engaged in frequent skirmishes while protecting General Bragg's communications. It was in the fight at Shelbyville, where nearly half the regiment were killed or captured. The 51st fought at Tracey City and Chicamauga with few casualties, then was part of the force that made the Sequatchee raid, in which 1, 000 wagons laden with stores were destroyed, and 4, 000 mules were butchered. The regiment was part of the force that captured 400 of the enemy at Maryville, and soon after was part of the investing force at Knoxville. During the remainder of the winter of 1863-1864, the 51st was arduously employed in east Tennessee. It took it's place on Johnston's flank in the retreat to Dalton, and fought nearly every day for three months. At Decatur and Jonesboro, the 51st was fully engaged, and lost severely. It moved into Tennessee shortly after, then wheeled about and harassed Sherman's march into the Carolinas with much effect. About a week before the capitulation, the 51st captured the 1st Alabama Union regiment. As part of General Hagan's brigade, the regiment laid down it's arms near Raleigh.
Civil War Notes:
1. Chickamauga orders of battle:
Martin's Division under Wheeler's Cavalry:
a. 1st Bde (Morgan): included 1st Ala.; 3rd Ala.; 51st Ala.; 8th C.S.
b. 2nd Bde (Russell): included 4th Alal.; 1st C.S.
Artiillery support for both groups was: Wiggin's Ar. Battery (Bryant).
2. Chattanooga orders of battle:
Martin's Division under Wheeler's Cavalry Corps:
a. 1st Bde (J.T. Morgan): included 1st Ala.; 3rd Ala.; 4th Ala.; Malone's Al. Regiment; 51st Alabama.
b. 2nd Bde (Morrison): included 1st Ga; 2nd Ga; 3rd Ga.; 4th Ga; 6th Ga.
3. General notes on "Cavalry" in the Civil War:
Only 8 to 10 % of the armed forces were cavalry. They were used primarily for scouting and raiding; they were away from the battlefield. In major engagements, their main role was to screen the flanks or control the rear areas. "Whoever saw a dead cavalryman?" was a byword among the soldiers. Being in the cavalry involved greater expense (The cost of a horse was 10 times the monthly salary of an infantryman. There was also the costs for gear for the horse, special equipment, and clothes for the rider. 26 pounds of feed and forage was needed per horse per day, which was many times the daily requirement of a man). Heavily wooded terrain in America limited the cavalry's use on the battlefield.
MILITARY SERVICE RECORD DURING THE WAR:
Conflict in bold indicates the most intense fighting.
Highlighted "blue" = Events connected with the Seige of Atlanta, Georgia.
Highlighted "Red" =Events connected with the Battle of Stones River (or Murfreesboro).
1862: The 51st saw much action from August 11 - December 31st, although they got a late start in organizing and getting underway. They had seen more action than any other unit in such a short time.
(Note: Shorter, the Governor of Alabama ordered the 51st on September 2, 1862 to aid General S.A.M. Wood in protecting the railroads in Northern Alabama and Tennessee. On September 8, it was declared that there are no U.S. troops in Northern Alabama "and Colonel Morgan's regiment was sent to General Maxey at Bridgeport, Alabama. On September 20, General Wood ordered Colonel Morgan to assist General Forrest in his actions near Nashville. On September 21st, the regiment was sent to Tullahoma and ordered to harass the enemy and cut off foraging parties. Orders were received on October 5th to report to LaVergne and cooperate with Forrest in his harassing the enemy in and near Nashville. On October 9th, the regiment reported to Forrest just after Forrest had been given a licking at LaVergne on the 6th. One night in November, 1862, the 51st was placed by General Forrest to the right of the Murfreesboro pike with instructions to move forward on the Lebanon, Stone's River, and Chicken pikes, and to drive the Abolistionist pickets at daylight, which was done agreeably to orders, and in gallant style.
November 27: Skirmish, Mill's Creek, Tennessee near Scrougesville and LaVergne.
December 6: Skirmish, Kimbrough's Mills, Mill Creek, Tennessee (Map, # 1).
December 9: Skirmish, Carter's Farm, Tennessee. (One sources says this occured on Dec. 7th).
December 9: Skirmish, Dobbin's Ferry near LaVergne, Tennessee.
December 11: Skirmish on the Nolensville Pike near LaVerge, Tennessee.
December 11: Skirmish, Wilson's Creek Pike, Tennessee.
December 13: (Jefferson Davis visits Bragg at Murfreesboro).
December 23: Skirmish near Nashville.
December 25: (Christmas Day) Skirmish, Cox Hill, Tennessee (At Prim's blacksmith shop on the Edmondson Pike, Tennessee.
December 26: Skirmish at Hurricane Creek near LaVergne as Rosecrans moved out of Nashville toward Bragg at Murfreesboro. In General Wheeler's command, stationed at Stewart's Creek, ten miles northwest of Murfreesboro.
December 27-28 (one source says 26-27): Engagement, LaVergne, Tennessee (Map, # 2).
December 27: Skirmish, Triune, Tennessee (Map, # 3).
December 27: Skirmishing on the Jefferson Pike as Rosecrans moved out toward Murfreesboro. Stewart's Creek bridge skirmish resulted in Lt. Fitts being killed and at another Stewart's Creek bridge, Lt. J.J. Seawell was captured. Bivouacked without rations on Stone's River.
December 27: Skirmish, Murfreesborough Pike, Stewart's Creek, Tennessee (Map, # 4).
December 28: Skirmish, Perkin's Mill, Elk Fork, Tennessee.
December 29: Skirmish, Lizzard's (Map, # 5) between Triune (Map, # 3) and
Murfreesborough (Map, # 6), Tennessee.
December 29: Skirmish, Stewart's Creek (Map, # 4), Tennessee (detachment).
December 29-30: Skirmishes near Murfreesborough (Map, # 6), Tennessee.
December 29: At LaVergne, charged a train of wagons, captured and burned 36 wagons. Captured other weapons and teams and 50 prisoners. At Nolensville, captured 20 wagons and 50 prisoners.
December 29 - 31: Operations near LaVergne (Map, # 2), Tennessee.
December 30: Skirmish, Rock Springs, Tennessee (detachment).
December 30 to January 3: Battle, Murfreesboro (also called the Battle of Stones River),
Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Map, # 7). The 51st cavalry fought on the Confederate left. Wheeler's cavalry rode completely around the Federal army and skirmished all day long, seizing wagons in Rosecran's supply train. (NOTE: The Confederate troops always referred to the battle by the name of the town; the Union troops referred to it by a place).
Note: In the book, Wheeler's Favorites, there is a detailed report regarding the events of December 26 - 31 (pages 4-5).
(Note: see above 12/30/62 to 1/3/63 battle at Stone's River).
(Note: January to June, 1863. Civil War artifacts from the 51st Alabama Cavalry are in Billy Blair's possession. They were found on November 18, 1999 by Rafael Eledgee, who is the owner of Shiloh Relics. He said, "These were simple men with simple supplies." The items were found on a picket line between Mufreesboro and Shelbyville, Tennessee. The artifacts include: horseshoes, flat buttons, round balls, bivola, and a piece of a bowl from a hutsite. The exact location of the site was not revealed since it was the first day of excavation after discovering the site).
January 4: Skirmish, Stone's River, Tennessee (Map, # 7).
January 5: Skirmish, Lytle's Creek, Tennessee.
January 8: Skirmish, Mill Creek, Tennessee (Map, # 1).
January 8 - 14: Wheeler's Raid in Tennessee.
January 11: Skirmish, Harding Pike, Tennessee.
January 13: Affair, Harpeth Shoals, Tennessee (Map, # 8). (detachment).
January 23: Skirmish, Berryville Pike (Map, # 9) near Murfreesborough (May, # 6), Tennessee (detachment).
January 23: Skirmish near Smyrna, Tennessee (Map, # 9).
January 31: Action, Rover, Tennessee (Map, # 11).
January 31: Skirmish, Unionville, Tennessee (Map, # 12).
March 9: Action, Thompson's Station, Tennessee (Map, # 13).
March 20: Skirmish, Murfreesborough, Pike Tennessee ( Map, # 6).
March 21: Skirmish, Murfreesborough, Tennessee (Map, # 6).
March 22: Skirmish near Murfreesborough, Tennessee (Map, # 6).
March 23: Skirmish near Thompson's Station, Tennessee (Map, # 13).
April 10: Affair, Hadley's Bend and Hurricane Creek, Tennessee (detachment).
April 10: Skirmish, Harpeth River near Franklin, Tennessee (Map, # 14).
June 23: Skirmishes, Rover (Map, # 11) and Unionville (Map, # 12), Tennessee.
June 23 - July 7: Campaign in Middle Tennessee (Tullahoma Campaign).
June 24: Action, Middleton, Tennessee (Map, # 15).
June 25: Skirmishes, Guy's Gap (Map, # 16) and Fosterville (Map, # 17), Tennessee.
June 25: Action, Shelbyville, Tennessee (Map, # 18). Nearly half the regiment was killed/ captured.
June 27: Actions, Fosterville (Map, # 17), Guy's Gap (Map, # 16), and Shelbyville (Map, # 18), Tennessee.
June 28: Skirmish, Rover, Tennessee (Map, # 11).
July 1: Skirmish, Machester, Tennessee (Map, # 19).
July 1: Skirmish, New Church, Tennessee (detachment).
July 4: Action, Univeristy Depot, Tennessee (Map, # 20). (detachment).
August 16 - September 22: Occupation of Middle Tennessee, Passage of the Cumberland Mountains, and Chickamauga, Georgia (Map, # 21) Campaign.
August 29: Skirmish, Caperton's Ferry, Alabama (Map, # 22).
August 31: Skirmish, Wills Valley, Alabama.
September 1: Skirmish, Wills Creek, Davis Gap, Tap's Gap, Neal's Gap, Alabama (Map, # 23).
September 15: Skirmish, Trion Factory, Georgia (Map, # 24).
September 17: Skirmish, Neal's Gap (Map, # 23).
September 19-21: Battle, Chickamauga, Georgia (Map, # 21).
September 22: Skirmish, Missionary Gap and Shallow Ford Gap, Tennessee (Map, # 25) (detachment).
September 23: Skirmishes, Summerton (Map, # 26) and Lookout Mountain (Map, # 27), Tennessee (detachment).
September 26: Skirmish, Hiwassee, Tennessee (detachment).
September 30 - October 17: Wheeler's and Roddey's Raid on Rosecran's Communications above Chattanooga (Map, # 28), Tennessee.
October 1: Skirmish, Anderson's Gap (Mountain Gap) near Smith's Cross Roads, Tennessee (Map, #29).
October 2: Skirmish, Pitt's Cross Roads, Sequatchie Valley, Tennessee (Map, # 30).
October 2: Skirmish, Valley Road near Jasper, Tennessee (Map, # 31).
October 2: Skirmish near Dunlap, Tennessee (Map, # 32) (detachment).
October 2: Skirmish, Anderson's Cross Roads, Tennessee (Map, # 33) (detachment).
October 3: Skirmish, Hill's Gap, Thompson's Cove, near Berrsheba, Tennessee (Map, # 34) (detachment).
October 4: Action, McMinnville, Tennessee (Map, # 35).
October 5: Skirmish, Readyville, Tennessee (Map, # 36). (detachment).
October 6: Skirmish, Wartrace, Tennessee (Map, # 37). (detachment).
October 6: Skirmish, Christiana, Tennessee (Map, # 38). (detachment).
October 6: Skirmish, Readyville, Tennessee (Map, # 36).
October 7: Actions, Farmington (May, # 39) and Sim's Farm near Shelbyville (Map, # 7), Tennessee.
October 20: Skirmishes, Barton's Station, Cane Creek, and Dicksons Station, Tennessee (detachment).
October 20: Engagement , Philadelphia, Tennessee (Map, # 40).
October 26: Skirmish, Philadelphia, Tennessee (Map, # 40).
November 4 - December 23: Knoxville Campaign (Map, # 41).
November 4: Action, Huff's Ferry, Tennessee.
November 14: Skirmish, Marysville, Tennessee (Map, # 42).
November 14: Action, Rockford, Tennessee (Map, # 43) (detachment).
November 14: Skirmish, Little River, Tennessee (detachment).
November 15: Skirmish, Stock Creek, Tennessee (Map, # 44).
November 15: Skirmish, Holston river, Tennessee (detachment).
November 15: Skirmish near Loudon, Tennessee (Map, # 45) (detachment).
November 16: Engagement, Campbell's Station, Tennessee (Map, # 46).
November 17 - December 4: Siege, Knoxville, Tennessee (Map, # 41).
November 24: Action, Kingston, Tennessee (Map, # 47). (Note: Carolina's Campaign).
November 26: Skirmish, Kingston, Tennessee (Map, # 47).
December 14: Engagement, Bean's Station, Tennessee (Map, # 48).
December 26: Action, Mossy Creek, Tennessee (Map, # 49).
December 29: Engagement, Mossy Creek (Map, # 49), Talbot Station (Map, # 50), Tennessee.
January 16: Skirmish, Kimbrough's Cross Roads, Tennessee.
January 16-17: Skirmishes, Bend of Chucky River near Dandridge, Tennessee (Map, # 51).
January 16-17: Operations about Dandridge, Tennessee (Map, # 51).
January 18: Action, Dandridge, Tennessee (Map, # 51).
January 23: Skirmish near Newport, Tennessee (Map, # 52).
January 26: Skirmishes, Flat Creek and Muddy Creek, Tennessee.
January 27: Engagement near Fair Garden, Tennessee (Map, # 53).
January 28: Action, Dandridge, Tennessee (Map, # 51).
May 1 - September 8: Atlanta Campaign.
May 9: Action, Varnell Station, Georgia (Map, #54).
May 13: Action, Tilton, Georgia (Map, # 55).
May 14-15: Battle, Resaca, Georgia (Map, # 56).
May 15: Skirmish, Calhoun, Georgia (Map, # 57).
May 15: Skirmish, Gideon's Ferry, Georgia
May 16: Skirmish, Floyd's Springs, Georgia (Map, # 58).
May 17: Skirmish, Kingston, Georgia (Map, # 59).
May 18-19: Combats near Cassville, Georgia (Map, # 60).
May 19: Skirmish, Mill Springs Gap, Georgia (detachment).
May 25 - June 5: Operations on the line of Pumpkin Vine Creek (Map, # 61) and Battles about Dallas (Map, # 62), New Hope Church (Map, # 63), and Allatoona Hills (Map, # 64), Georgia.
May 26: Action near Burned Church, Georgia (Map, # 65).
May 28: Skirmish, Allatoona Road, Georgia (Map, # 66) (detachment).
May 30: Action, Allatoona, Georgia (Map, # 66).
May 30 - June 1: Actions, Burned Church, Georgia (Map, # 65).
May 31: Skirmish, Marietta Road, Georgia (Map, # 67) (detachment).
June 1-2: Engagement, Allatoona Pass, Georgia (Map, # 66) (detachment).
June 2: Action, Ackworth, Georgia (Map, # 68) (detachment).
June 3: Skirmish, Ackworth, Georgia (Map, # 68) (detachment).
June 3-4: Skirmishes, Ackworth, Georgia (Map, # 68) (detachment).
June 10 - July 2: Operations about Marietta (Map, # 67) and against Kenesaw Mountain (Map, # 69), Georgia.
June 15: Action, Noonday Creek, Georgia (Map, # 70).
June 19: Combat, Noyes' Creek, Georgia (Map, # 71).
June 19: Action, Noonday Creek, Georgia (Map, # 71) (detachment).
June 27: Combat, Noonday Creek, Georgia (Map, # 71).
June 29: Skirmish, Roswell Road, Georgia (Map, # 72) (detachment).
July 2-5: Operations on the line on Nickajack Creek, Georgia (Map, # 73).
July 4: Action, Rottenwood Creek, Georgia (Map, # 74).
July 5: Skirmish, Pace's Ferry, Chattahoochee River, Georgia (Map, # 75).
NOTE: July 18 - General John Bell Hood, C.S. Army, supercedes General Joseph E. Johnston in command of the Army of Tennessee.
July 22-24: Operations against Garrard's Raid to Covington, Georgia (Map, # 76).
July 22: Engagement, Decatur, Georgia (Map, # 77). (One source lists July 22nd as the "Battle of Atlanta." If this is different than the Siege of Atlanta which began on July 23rd, the I guess William McCall Blair was not in the battle). Note: Also on July 22nd, Major General John A. Logan, U.S. Army, succeeds Major General James B. McPherson in command of the Army of Tennessee.
July 23 - August 25: Siege, Atlanta, Georgia (Map, # 78).
July 27 - 31: Operations against Garrard's Raid to South River, Georgia
(Map, # 79).
July 27: Skirmish, Snapfinger Creek, Georgia (Map, # 80). NOTE: Also on July 27th, Major General Oliver O. Howard, U.S. Army, assumes command of the Army of Tennessee.
August 23 - September 12: Wheeler's Raid in Northern Georgia and Tennessee.
August 29: Skirmish, Liberty, Tennessee (Map, # 81).
August 31: Skirmishes, Block Houses Nos. 4 and 5, Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, Tennessee (detachment).
August 31: Skirmish, Clifton, Tennessee (Map, # 82) (detachment).
September 1: Skirmish, LaVergne, Tennessee (Map, # 2) (detachment).
September 1: Skirmish, Clifton, Tennessee (Map, # 82) (detachment).
September 1-8: Operations against Wheeler in East Tennessee
September 2: Skirmish, Franklin, Tennessee (Map, # 14) (detachment).
September 2: NOTE: Union occupation of Atlanta.
September 4: Skirmish, Nashville and Northwest Railroad, Tennessee (detachment).
September 4: Skirmish, Lynnville, Tennessee (Map, # 83) (detachment).
September 5: Skirmish, Campbellsville, Tennessee (Map, # 84) (detachment).
September 6: Skirmish, Lawrence, Tennessee (Map, # 84) (detachment).
September 7: Skirmish, Readyville, Tennessee (Map, # 36) (detachment).
September 8: Skirmish near Lexington, Tennessee (Map, # 86) (detachment).
September 9: Skirmish, Shoal Creek (Map, # 87) and Florence (Map, # 88), Alabama (detachment).
September 10: Skirmish, Florence, Alabama (Map, # 88) (detachment).
September 12: Skirmish, Florence, Alabama (Map, # 88) (detachment).
September 29 - November 3: Hood's Operations in Northern Georgia and Northern Alabama.
October 2-3: Skirmishes, Sweetwater (Map, # 89) and Noyes Creek (Map, # 71) near Powder Springs, (Map, # 90), Georgia.
October 17: Skirmish, Rome, Georgia (Map, # 91) (detachment).
October 18: Action near Summerville, Georgia (Map, # 92).
October 18: Skirmish, Tryon Factory, Georgia (Map, # 24) (detachment).
October 19: Skirmish, Ruff's Station, Georgia (Map, # 93) (detachment).
October 19: Skirmish, Eagleville, Alabama (detachment).
October 20: Skirmish, Blue Pond, Alabama (detachment) (Map, # 94).
October 21: Action, Leesburg, Alabama (Map, #95).
October 21: Skirmish, Drove Road Crossing, Alabama (detachment) (Map, # 96).
October 22: Skirmish, Round Mountain Ironworks, Alabama (detachment) (Map, # 97).
October 23: Skirmish, King's Hill near Gadsden, Alabama (detachment) (Map, # 98).
October 23: Skirmish, Turkeytown, Alabama (detachment) (Map, # 99).
October 25: Skirmishes, Turkeytown (Map, # 99) and Gadsden Road, Alabama.
October 25: Skirmish near Round Mountain, Alabama (detachment) (Map, # 97).
October 26: Skirmish near Goshen, Alabama (detachment) (Map, # 100).
November 15 - December 10: Campaign against Savannah, Georgia (Sherman's March to the Sea).
December 1: Skirmish, Louisville, Georgia (detachment) (Map, #101).
December 2: Skirmish, Buckhead Church, Georgia (detachment) (Map, #102).
December 5: Skirmish, Statesboro, Georgia (detachment) (Map, # 103).
December 5: Skirmish, Little Ogeechee River, Georgia (detachment) (Map, # 104).
December 7: Skirmish, Eden Station,Georgia (detachment) (Map, # 105).
December 7: Skirmish, Jenks' Bridge, Ogeechee River, Georgia (detachment) (Map, # 106).
December 8: Skirmish, Ebenezer Church, Georgia (detachment) (Map, # 107).
December 8: Skirmish near Bryan Court House, Georgia (detachment).
December 9: Skirmishes, Montieth Swamp, Georgia (detachment) (Map, # 108).
December 9: Action, Harrison's Field, Georgia (detachment) (Map, # 109).
December 9: Skirmish, Wilmington Cross Roads,Georgia (detachment).
December 10: Skirmish near Springfield, Georgia (detachment) (Map, # 110).
December 10-21: Siege, Savannah, Georgia (Map, # 111).
January 15 - April 26: Campaign of the Carolinas.
January 15: Skirmish, Savannah Road, South Carolina (detachment).
January 22: Skirmish, Combahee Road, South Carolina (detachment).
January 27: Skirmish, Ennis' Cross Roads, South Carolina (detachment).
January 29: Skirmish, Robertsville, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 112).
February 1: Skirmish, Hickory Hill, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 113).
February 1: Skirmish, Duck Branch near Loper's Cross Roads, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 114).
February 2: Skirmish, Lawtonville, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 115).
February 2: Skirmishes, River's and Braxton's Bridges (Map, # 116), Salkahatchie River, South Carolina (detachment).
February 3: Skirmish, Dillingham's Cross Roads (Duck Branch), South Carolina (detachment)
(Map, # 114).
February 6: Action, Fishburn's Plantation near Lane's Bridge, South Carolina (detachment).
February 6: Skirmish near Barnwell, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 117).
February 6: Skirmish, Cowpens Ferry, Little Salkahatchie River, South Carolina (detachment)
(Map, # 118).
February 7: Skirmish, Blackville, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 119).
February 8: Skirmish, Walker's Bridge (Edisto River), South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 120).
February 8: Skirmish, Cannon's Bridge, South Edisto River, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 121).
February 9: Skirmish, Binnaker's Bridge, South Edisto River, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 122).
February 9: Skirmish, Holman's Bridge, South Edisto River, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 123).
February 10: Skirmish, Orangeburg, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 124).
February 11: Action, Aiken, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 125).
February 11: Action, Johnson's Station, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 126).
February 14: Skirmish, Gunter's Bridge, North Edisto River, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 127).
February 15: Skirmish, Congaree Creek, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 128).
February 15: Skirmish, Bates Ferry, Congaree Creek, South Carolina (detachment).
February 15: Skirmish, Two Leagurs Cross Roads near Lexington, South Carolina (detachment)
(Map, # 129).
February 19: Skirmish, Wadesboro, South Carolina (detachment).
February 21: Skirmish, Youngsville, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 130).
February 22: Skirmish near Camden, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 131).
February 23: Skirmish near Camden, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 131).
February 24: Skirmish, Camden, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 131).
February 26: Skirmish, Lynch's Creek, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 132).
March 1: Skirmish, Wilson's Stoer, South Carolina (detachment).
March 2: Skirmish, Thompson's Creek near Chesterfield, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 133).
March 3: Skirmish, Juniper Creek near Cheraw, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 134).
March 6: Skirmish near Cheraw, South Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 134).
March 7: Shirmish near Rockingham, North Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 135).
March 10: Skirmish, Monroe's Cross Roads, North Carolina (detachment).
March: Skirmish, Nahunta Swamp, North Carolina (detachment).
March 13: Skirmish, Fayetteville, North Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 136).
March 14: Operations against reconnaisnce from Fayetteville (Map, # 136) to Silver Run Creek
(Map, # 137) and Skirmish, North Carolina (detachment).
March 16: Skirmish, Little Cohera Creek, North Carolina (detachment) (Map, #138).
March 16: Battle, Averysborough (Taylor's Hole Creek), North Carolina (detachment)
(Map, # 139).
March 18: Skirmish, Bucshy Swamp, North Carolina (detachment).
March 19-21: Battle, Bentonville, North Carolina (Map, # 141).
March: Skirmish near Goldsborough, North Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 140).
March 22: Skirmish, Mill Creek, North Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 142).
April 10: Skirmish, Nahuanta Swamp, North Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 143).
April 11: Skirmish, Beulah, North Carolina (detachment) ( Map, # 144).
April 12: Skirmish near Raleigh, North Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 145).
April 13: Skirmish near Raleigh, North Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 145).
April 14: Skirmish, Saunder's Farm, North Carolina (detachment).
April 15: Skirmish near Chapel Hill, North Carolina (detachment) (Map, # 147).
April 26: Surrender, Bennett's House, Durham Station, North Carolina (Map, # 147).
Notation regarding Bennett's House, where the peace was negotiated
This simple farmhouse was situated between Confederate General Johnston's headquarters in Greensboro and Union General Sherman's headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1865 the two soldiers met at the Bennett Place, where they signed surrender papers for Southern armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. In April, 1865, two battle-weary adversaries, Joseph E. Johnston and William T. Sherman, met under a flag of truce to discuss a peaceful solution to a tragic Civil War. The generals and their escorts met midway between their lines on the Hillsborough Road, seven miles from Durham Station. Needing a place for a conference, Johnston suggested a simple farmhouse a short distance away. On three separate occasions the Union and Confederate generals struggled to achieve equitable terms for surrender at the home of James and Nancy Bennitt (research indicates that Bennitt is the correct spelling of the family name). On April 26th, the Bennitt dwelling became the site of the largest troop surrender of the Civil War.
Final Days: After completing his famous march from Atlanta to Savannah, Sherman turned his army of
60, 000 north. In March, 1865, he entered North Carolina. Living off the land and destroying public buildings and factories, the Union commander brought his "total war" policy to a state that had been slow to secede. Johnston, recently placed in command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, failed to stop Sherman at the Battle of Bentonville. The days of the Confederacy were numbered. Striving to avoid capture in Virginia, President Jefferson Davis arrived in Greensboro on April 11th and summoned Johnston to assess the strength of his army. Although Davis felt the South could continue the war, the confirmation of Lee's surrender prompted him to allow Johnston to confer with Sherman.
Surrender: On April 17th, Johnston and Sherman met at the Bennitt farm. Before negotiations began, Sherman showed Johnston a telegram announcing the assassination of President Lincoln. Unaware of the difficulties this tragedy would create, the generals began their conference. Sherman was prepared to offer terms like those Grant gave Lee - military terms only. Johnston wanted "to arrange the terms of a permanent peace", including political terms.
At the second meeting on April 18, Sherman submitted "a basis of agreement" which Johnston accepted. This liberal document provided for an armistice terminable at 48 hours notice, disbanding armies following the deposit of arms in state arsenals, recognition of state government, establishment of federal courts, restoration of political and civil rights, and a general amnesty. Jefferson Davis approved these terms, but the Union rejected them in light of hostilities in Washington following the assassination. Grant instructed Sherman to re-negotiate terms similar to those given Lee at Appomattox.
Davis, who opposed the more stringent terms, ordered Johnston to disband the infantry and escape with the mounted troops. Realizing the tragedy of a prolonged war, Johnston disobeyed orders and met Sherman again at the Bennitt farm on April 26th. The final agreement was simply a military surrender which ended the war in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, and affected 89, 270 soldiers. The mustering out of the troops and the issuing of paroles for those who surrendered took place in Greensboro (Note: The place were arms were actually laid down was on the present site of the University of Greensboro campus). Two surrenders followed: Richard Taylor in Alabama on May 4th and E. Kirby Smith at New Orleans on May 26. Together with Lee's surrender, the Confederate forces were completely disbanded. The surrender spared North Carolina the destruction experienced by her neighboring states. Equally important, the economy of the entire state and the development of Durham were given a boost when troops in the area were introduced to "bright leaf" tobacco.
Source: "Stop # 5 on the audio tour of Greensboro, North Carolina. Public History Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
"Stop # 5: Army of Tennessee monument
You are now standing on the spot where Joseph Johnston addressed the soldiers in his Army of Tennessee for the last time. You should be looking at the granite monument located near the large magnolia tree. On April 26, 1865, Joseph Johnston surrendered to Union troops at Bennett Place, and in North Carolina, the Confederacy no longer existed. But he came back to Greensboro in the beginning of May to address his men one last time. It was his sincere hope that these men would embrace peace and help rebuild the shattered southern states with the same zeal with which they had fought the past four years. Johnston told his men:
"Comrades: In terminating our official relations I most earnestly exhort you to observe faithfully the terms of pacification agreed upon...You will return to your homes with the admiration of our people, won by the courage and noble devotion you have displayed in this long war... I now part with you with deep regret, and bid you farewell with feelings of cordial friendship and with earnest wishes that you may have hereafter all the prosperity and happiness to be found in this world."
Johnston spoke of peace and friendship, even if this was not what all southerners experienced. The ensuing collapse of the Confederacy caused chaos among soldiers, refugees, and citizens. But it was a day of jubilee for slaves freed from bondage - including those at the Arms Factory - when Union troops took control of the state. It also signaled the beginning of reunion, although questions still remained . Reconstruction would prove to be extremely difficult and would foster resentment among white southerners, leading to southerners' creation of a romanticized memory of the Confederate cause. The way people remember the Civil War today does not reflect the chaos that you just experienced in the past hour. Typically, what people usually remember is the sentiment of white southerners who romanticized the Civil War. Look at the words on the Army of Tennessee monument in front of you. It says, 'They are all gone now, with their tattered flags and their faded uniforms.' Unfortunately, though, this romanticized viewpoint denies the experience of African Americans in the Civil War and still has not resolved the question of freedom." (Note: about May 1, 1865).
The text of the April 26th (Surrender) Agreement:
"Terms of a Military Convention, entered into this 26th day of April, 1865, at Bennitt's House, near Durham Station, North Carolina, between General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Confederate Army, and Major-General W.T. Sherman, commanding the United States Army in North Carolina.
1. All acts of war on the part of the troops under General Johnston's command to cease from this date.
2. All arms and public property to be deposited at Greensboro, and delivered to an ordinance-officer of the United States Army.
3. Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate; one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by General Sherman. Each officer and man to give individual obligation in writing not to take up arms against the Government of the United States, until properly released from this obligation.
4. The side-arms of officers, and their private horses and baggage, to be retained by them.
5. This being done, all the officers and men will be permitted to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by the United States authorities, so long as they observe their obligation and the laws in force where they may reside.
W.T. Sherman, Major-General
Commanding United States Forces in North Carolina
J.E. Johnston, General
Commanding Confederate States Forces in North Carolina
Approved: U.S. Grant, Lieutenant-General"
Parole signed by the officers and men in Johnston's Army:
"In accordance with ther terms of the Military Convention, entered into the twenty-sixth day of April, 1865, between General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Confederate army, and Major-General W.T. Sherman, commanding the United States Army in North Carolina, has given his solemn obligation not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly released from this obligation, and is permitted to return to his home, not to be disturbed by the United States authorities so long as he observes this obligation and obeys the laws in force where he may reside."
The Bennitt Family: In 1846 at age forty, James Bennitt, his wife Nancy, and their three children settled on a 325-acre farm in Orange county. The family cultivated corn, wheat, oats, and potatoes, and raised hogs. Bennitt was also a tailor, cobbler, and sold horse feed, tobacco plugs, and distilled liquor. Bennitt's sons and son-in-law died during the war years. Advancing age and the loss of available labor prompted Bennitt to enter into a sharecropping agreement with his in-laws. He ceased farming in 1875 and died in 1878; his wife died six years later.
CIVIL WAR MAPS FOR 51ST ALABAMA CAVALRY LOCATIONS:
|NUMBER RANGE: # 1 - 101|
|NUMBER RANGE: # 21 - 91|
|NUMBER RANGE: # 76 - 147|
1. Census Records:
a. 1900 Bell county, Texas
b. 1880 McLennan county, Texas.
c. 1900 McLennan county, Texas.
d. 1850 Izard county, Arkansas. (There is a William M. Blair listed here with no additional information).
e. 1860 Calhoun county, Alabama.
2. Death certificate for Robert Thomas Blair. Bell county, Texas courthouse, Belton, Texas.
3. William McCall Blair obituary, Moody, Texas newspaper (McLennan county).
4. Examination of death records in McLennan county, Texas.
5. Conversations between Billy Blair and Aubrey Blair, Belton, Texas.
6. Alva Mae (Swan) Hooker's records (These are two sheets of very old paper with what seems like a copied list from a Bible record. Possibly William McCall Blair's Bible?).
7. William McCall Blair's death certificate in McLennan county, Texas courthouse (Records building, second floor, Waco, Texas). Vol. 1, page 10. Certificate # 311. Filed on June 17, 1904.
8. Marvin Smith Blair genealogy chart.
9. Robert Thomas Blair family Bible (in possession of Jewell (Blair) Berry. She had the family history pages of the Bible, but the actually Bible was burned in the fire at the R.T. Blair home at Sugar Loaf Mountain).
10. Dr. Erik France (provided me with a copy of the "Army of Tennessee monument" audio tour notes of the Public History Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina).
11. Conversations between Billy Blair and father Robert Glenn Blair in Belton, Texas.
12. Marriage Records 1834 to 1850 Benton (now Calhoun) Co. Alabama by Mann.
13. Conversation between Billy Blair, Glenn Blair, and Anna Fergus in Killeen, Texas in 1983.
14. 1880 Texas Soundex.
15. Handwritten notes on Choccolocco Valley in Anniston, Alabama by Mrs. F.W. (or T.N.) Coleman. (The notes were in pencil; contained in a small school notebook. The cover said "Bessie Coleman Robinson Collection"). These notes are in the "Alabama Room" in the Anniston Public Library (contains partial company roster with historical notes on the 51st Alabama Cavalry).
16. Jimmy Lewis. Tomball, Texas. He has researched all of Mary Ann Kirby's family tree.
17. Land deed (Vol. W, page 395), Bell county, Texas. (states the sale of land from J.M. Payne to William McCall Blair. Land purchased in Bell county for $ 50.00).
18. Wedding license of William McCall Blair and Mary Ann Kirby. Anniston, Alabama courthouse.
19. Wedding license of William McCall Blair and Sarah E. Embry. Anniston, Alabama courthouse.
20. Tombstones of William McCall Blair and Sallie Blair, Moody cemetery in Moody, Texas.
21. Civil War Record: Texas State Archives, Austin, Texas. William McCall Blair.
22. Civil War Record: Confederate Research Center at Hill County College, Hillsboro, Texas (Hill county). (detailed descriptions of battles fought, regiment histories....). William McCall Blair.
23. Margaret Vance Webb correspondence, March 1988. 116 Westwood Drive. Knoxville, Tennessee 37919.
24. Washington county, Tennessee Marriage Book, page 8 (Grammer & Mullison). Shows a Margaret McCall having married a John Blair on January 22, 1811 in Washington county, Tennessee.
25. Washington county, Tennessee Will Book by Goldene.
26. http://www.asc.edu/archives/referenc/alamilor/51stinf.html (Summary of 51st Alabama mounted regiment with information regarding company formation and officers).
27. Wheeler's Favorites: A Regimental History of the 51st Alabama Cavalry Regiment by Rex Miller 1991. Patrex Press. 74 Eastwood Parkway, Depew, NY 14043. (Note: Texas A & M; the Glen Rose, Texas Genealogical Library; Billy Blair; and the National Archives have a copy of this book).
28. Chickamauga, A Battlefield Guild with a section on Chattanooga by Steven E. Woodworth. University of Nebraska Press. Lincoln & London. 1999. TCU author. 180 pages. (Cost: $ 20.00; good source; good drawings)
29. Website on Bennitt's House, the site of the 51st Alabama Cavalry surrender. Web address is:
30. Mrs. Mark J. Nash (Fergus articles in the Bell county History Book).
31. Conversation between Billy Blair and Daniel Martin Fergus ("Dan") in 2001. He lives in Abilene, Texas.
32. The Margaret Jane (Blair) and Dick Fergus Family Bible (family history pages). I believe I received copies of these from Anna Fergus in 1983 in Killeen, Texas.
1. Anna Fergus has Margaret Jane (Blair) Fergus' wedding license. I need to get a copy of it.
2. Source: The Modesto Bee newspaper in Anniston, Alabama on Friday, April 15, 1936 "Sheriff W.P. Cotton dismissed a posse of 'wild man' hunters today and reported that an all day search for a strange gorilla like family in a Choccolocca Valley swamp was in vain. Cotton led a group of farmers and citizens into the swamp after rural residents reported seeing a man, woman, and child whose bodies were covered with hair and at times walked on all fours".
3. Source: Newspaper Abstracts from The Cleburne News in Heflin, Cleburne county, Alabama. Newspaper reference in the Anniston, Alabama area of Choccolocca from November 27, 1924. The local news section states, "E.W. Wheeler, the 'good syrup man' of near Choccolocca was in town Wednesday".