The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Lauderdale County

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Handsome, even if in a hot sweaty steaming jungle.

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Harold Hovater pays tribute to his friend Ray Ashnault. I love that poem.

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The photo of Harold was an attempt to document the scars on his head from wounds received while serving in Vietnam; that injury was the impetus for one of his two Purple Hearts.

Harold Hovater, Vicky Laster Hovater, and some of Harold's awards

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History: First Hand page 16

In photo: weapons, gravemarker photo of Dennis Lavern English, and cemetery where Ray Ashnault is buried Saint Gertrude’s Roman Catholic Church located in Colonia, Middlesex County, New Jersey.

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Howard Brown Handley Remembrances page 2

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Howard Brown Handley Remembrances

Howard Brown Handley Remembrances, page 1

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Howard Brown Handley KIA in Republic of Vietnam: South Vietnam

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Robert Henry King in the Class of 1962 SHS

Page 21 of the Class of 1962 in the Sheffield High School yearbook Demitasse

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KIA in Republic of Vietnam: South Vietnam


Sheffield native killed in Vietnam to be honored

By Christopher Pelton
5 July 2008

A former chief warrant officer from Sheffield who was killed during battle in the Vietnam War is being inducted into the Alabama Military Hall of Honor.

David Rolland Jackson, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, was killed during a mission in 1969, about two weeks before he was to end his tour of duty in Vietnam. Before he was killed by enemy gunfire while piloting a helicopter, U.S. Army officials say Jackson’s actions resulted in the lives of numerous American soldiers being spared.

“Through his timely and courageous actions, he was responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades and instrumental in the defeat of the enemy force,” U.S. Army officials wrote in one of the numerous citations recognizing his military achievements.

Jackson, who would have been 65 had he lived, will be inducted in the hall of honor Oct. 31 during a ceremony at Marion Military Institute. Only 38 other Alabamians have been inducted into the hall.

His widow, Mary Jackson, of Sheffield, said she sent an application of the hall of honor committee in 2007, but her late husband was not among those who were chosen.

“I’m thrilled,” Mary Jackson said. “I felt he deserved it because he lost his life doing a brave thing. It’s a great honor, but unfortunately, it doesn’t bring him back.”

Jackson received numerous medals posthumously, namely the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

He was born in Sheffield on Nov. 13, 1942, and attended Sheffield High School. He left school early to join the U.S. Navy and returned home three years later to work at the Sheffield Fire Department. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on Oct. 24, 1967.

Nearly two years later, on Sept, 22, 1969, Jackson volunteered when American troops involved in a fierce battle in South Vietnam sent out an emergency call for a resupply of ammunition.

The helicopter Jackson was flying began taking on gunfire from automatic weapons as it approached the drop site.

Unable to land, Jackson continued hovering over the drop area until the ammunition was unloaded. He returned later in the day to complete the mission and bring out several severely wounded soldiers despite taking on heavy gunfire from enemy soldiers.

Jackson, a member of the 71st Assault Helicopter Co., was not as fortunate three days later.

With his bags already packed and ready for a transfer to Germany, Jackson again volunteered for a dangerous air assault mission near the village of Chi Tu. A bullet fragment that penetrated the helicopter struck Jackson, and he died before receiving medical attention.

“Based on the citations, David was a real good pilot,” Mary Jackson said. “He was doing his duty and trying to help those who were in danger.”

The Jacksons had two children during their marriage, both of whom no longer live in the Shoals.

Sheffield historian Richard Sheridan helped Jackson file the application to have her late husband considered for the honor.

“I didn’t know him personally, but his record is worth the recognition,” Sheridan said.

Jackson’s co-pilot for those two September 1969 missions is now a chaplain at the Pentagon.

He wrote a story detailing the missions after Jackson’s daughter wrote emails seeking to hear from people who knew her father.

“It gave me a lot of closure although it was very graphic,” Jackson said.

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My heroes!

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My heroes!




History: first hand…

With great respect and a slight feel for the excruciating agony that those who served in a thankless war in the Republic of Vietnam experienced, the following is an attempt to provide a snapshot of history as lived by those boys we grew up with in Sheffield. They were our sons, our husbands, our brothers, our schoolmates, and our friends. There are many who served from the area, but few could match the nightmares experienced by the two subjects of this story: William “Bill” Presley and Harold Lee Hovater. Sheffield may never be more proud of its boys, turned men by war. Sheffield, in Colbert County, Alabama has a long history of volunteers in each and every war since our Independence. I am so proud of my little hometown of Sheffield. If only, it could return to the thriving little city it was once.

Look closely. Come closer. Closer. You can clearly see that the war lives in the mind of this hero. It plays, like a 3-D video with maximum volume surround sound, in his mind and it shows in his eyes. It plays pretty much nightly.

Harold Lee Hovater is just a hometown boy. If you see him today he seems so like your brother, your cousin, your neighbor, or your husband. And he is, but more importantly he is the stuff that heroes are made of, In fact he IS a hero. A real life, living and breathing hero. But if you could see what he sees, especially when he tries to sleep, without a doubt, you would shudder with all that he has gone through for you, for me, for our children , and for our children’s children.

Harold Hovater is proud of his family. He and his wife, Vicky Laster Hovater live in a nice apartment in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Vicky tells of her love story with Harold. In the their youth Harold and Vicky had dated. She was three days away from marrying someone else when Harold stated he needed to talk to her before she married. She never had that talk with Harold. The day after the wedding Harold joined the Army. Each married and went about having children and a family of their own. Two years ago, she contacted Harold and told him that she had loved him all her life. That was it for both. They left everything behind them and became a couple after all those decades. They truly seem to be happy. Vicky would grab Harold’s hand and squeeze it tight when it was obvious that he was having a hard time relaying his memories of the war. For Harold Hovater the adage that war is hell is as true today as it was in the 1960s when the war was raging.

Vicky has one son Jon-Thomas Willet and Harold has five children all from previous marriages. When asked if I knew Lee Hovater, the name seemed familiar. He grabbed a photo of his son Lee Hovater and pounded at his chest saying “…he is my heart.” Those at Leighton Elementary will remember Lee Hovater as a student in Vicki Turberville’s class. Lee Hovater was a special needs student, he is now 34 years old. Harold’s children are Tammy Hovater, Lee Hovater, Roger Hovater, Casey Hovater, and Jennifer Hovater Collett. Harold’s five children and Vicky’s one child are now Harold and Vicky Hovater’s six children.

Harold joined the Army  and enlisted in Company A, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Battalion of the Light Weapons Infantry of the U. S. Army; and trained. They saw service in the Republic of Vietnam: South Vietnam. Harold and his unit flew into South Vietnam. He said it looked just like they were flying onto Panama City Beach. It seemed picturesque to the soldiers just arriving. They did not stay long on the beach scene, but entered the steaming jungle of Vietnam to get the job done for their America. It was in the jungles of Vietnam that every breath was one more breath toward living to get home to tell the stories of his bravery.

Harold Hovater, Leldon Roden, Herschel Kyle, and Steve Kyle all joined the Army together. It was Steve Kyle that Harold would wind up serving with in Vietnam. Harold served in the Spirit of America Platoon.

Harold’s best friend was Ray Ashnault. This account of the war in the jungles of Vietnam is dedicated to Raymond John Ashnault at the request of Harold’s family. That seems like such a small way to honor one of our Heroes of the Shoals just a little bit. A little more information about Harold’s best friend follows.

Raymond John Ashnault was born 17 April 1948 in Union County, New Jersey and lived in Cranford, Union County, New Jersey when he entered service. He held the rank of United States Army Specialist 4 and served with Company A, First Battalion, Eighth Cavalry, First Cavalry Division. His tour date started 2 Dec 1968. He was of the Catholic faith. He was deployed in defensive position with this Battalion when a friendly tank crew accidentally fired a shell on them that was directed at hostile forces. The prior June  he had been injured during an offensive  and was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with a V for Valor.

His death came shortly after his discharge from treatment for these injuries.  Ray’s casualty status is listed as hostile dead: killed out-right. It is also noted that his death was Not Booby Trap Connected: None Of The Above; Other Weapons (including Cutting Instruments, Piercing Instruments, Blunt Instruments, Etc. Specialist 4th Class Raymond John Ashnault was killed outright in a war that was not declared to be such by our President or our Congress in Binh Long Province of the Republic of Vietnam in South Vietnam.  Harold grieves for the loss of his very best friend of all in that lonely foreign place.

His burial site is located at Saint Gertrude’s Roman Catholic Cemetery. The cemetery is located in Colonia, Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA. He is listed on The Wall of Vietnam soldiers killed in action. His name is located at: Wall Number: P-19W / L-65.  May God bless your soul; and may your spirit of patriotism live on forever, and may your very best friend find peacefulness, Specialist 4th Class Raymond John Ashnault.

Another good friend in the same unit and who served with Harold and Ray Ashnault was Sgt. Leonard Bauck. He was killed in action on 2 June 1969. Harold recounts those dates like rote. If we could see in Harold’s mind’s eye, he probably relives their deaths second by agonizing second.

The accompanying photos show a proud display of just some of the awards that Harold Lee Hovater earned during his tours in Vietnam. He earned one Purple Heart when a direct hit exploded and ripped his head open. He earned theHarold Hovater Awards second one when shrapnel tore into his arms.  He has five Bronze Stars. He is most proud of one in particular. The military ceremony included General Westmoreland awarding that Bronze Star in person to one of our Heroes of the Shoals – Harold Lee Hovater.  It was Gen. Westmoreland who pinned that Bronze Star on the chest of one who richly deserved the award. Vicky has tastefully mounted Harold’s medals and awards on the wall of the living room in their home. The wall is covered.

William “Bill” Presley grew up in our southwest Sheffield neighborhood. He was ‘one of us’. He was special as they all were, and a handsome guy to boot. He survived the war well—but only as well as he wants you to see. He has wounds he walks around with every breathing second of the almost fifty years since his experience in the Vietnam war began. He succeeds in his daily life. But, oh those torturous nights he still experiences. He did not talk much about his service, just about those from our neighborhood who went into combat in the same war.

Bill Presley talks in a calming voice about the experience in South Vietnam; the tenor of his voice seems to soothe the listeners as he talks. What seems to bother him most is that five young southwest Sheffield boys served together. But only one returned home. The one who returned home was him. He was the only one alive to come back home.

Bill Presley is our quiet hero. He does not complain. He tries to ease the pain for others; maybe that helps him as well. He is also one of our Heroes of the Shoals. He and his wife, Nelda, travel sometimes on their motorcycles. Life seems good for Bill.

One of the four southwest Sheffield boys who was killed in action in South Vietnam was David Rolland Jackson. David David Rolland Jackson Obit, Sheffield, Colbert County, AlabamaJackson was a Warrant Officer and died a victim of a helicopter air crash on land. He was with the Army Reserve which was active in the US Army. He served in Military Region 1— Quang Tin.  He was born 23 November 1942 in Sheffield, Alabama and was killed in action at age twenty-six on 25 Sept 1969. He was the commander of the rotary wing aircraft when it was downed in the Province of Quang Tin. David Jackson left a grieving wife and children. He left a widow, Mrs. Mary W. Jackson, a son David R Jackson II, a daughter Jill S. Jackson, his mother Mrs. Lois Jackson and other relatives. He had a funeral with full military honors and was interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Sheffield, Colbert County, Alabama. His number on The Wall is P-17W L-07.

Another of the four southwest Sheffield boys who was killed in action in South Vietnam was Dennis Lavern English. Dennis lived in southwest Sheffield, but the family moved to Russellville in Franklin County, therefore, His name does not appear at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial near the Standpipe in downtown Sheffield. His name appears on the memorial in Franklin County.  Dennis English only served twenty days in Vietnam. His tour of duty began on the second of August; he was killed in action on the twenty-first of the same month 1969.  Dennis served as a Private in Company HHC of the 60th Infantry of the 2nd Battalion in the Light Weapons Infantry. Dennis was a ground casualty from a gun shot or small arms fire. His body was recovered from Military Region 3 in Long An. Dennis English’s number on The Wall is P-19W L-85.

In response to my query of a relative, a niece Danielle English, wrote this:

Dennis was my father’s youngest brother, we lost him to war before I was even born. I have always wondered about him. What he was like, what music he listened to, was there someone he had waiting forDennis Lavern English's gravemarker photo KIA in Vietnam him at home? These questions and countless others have been left unanswered. He was so young like so many others that died so far from home. I have posted on other site[s] to see if there were any soldiers who served with him that might have some answers but have not had any luck.

My father John was over there at the same time. He has returned home with memories too painful to discuss and those include those about his brother. I have a picture of Dennis, he is about 12 year old in it and all smiles. The few comments that have slipped through from my dad are those of a sweet boy who everyone loved and could have done good in this world.

I wish I had more to offer you about him. I look forward to reading the article. Who knows maybe there is something more that the men who served in his unit can tell me. If there is please feel free to give my contact information. I would really love to know more about him. My hopes have always been to find someone who could fill in a few of the blanks, maybe find a few pictures so that I could continue telling my children about a young man who gave all in a country so far from home. His loss and those of the men with him that didn’t make it home and those who did but [were] damaged and scared should not be forgotten.

God bless

Danielle English

Another  of the four southwest Sheffield boys who was killed in action in South Vietnam was Howard Handley. Quiet Howard Brown Handley Obit KIA in Vietnamunassuming young Howard, it is hard to believe he was gone so young. I can visualize him as he looked in the 1950s with his golden tawny brown complexion and his crew cut hair that glistened the lightest blond in the sun. He never got to have a family. He will never know the heartache and joy that comes with having children. But, alas, he will forever be young.

His tour of duty included Saigon. He was a Staff Sgt, Specialist 5th Class ,Infantry Operations and Intelligence Specialist  in the Military Region 3 – Tay Nnh for the US Army. He was killed as the result of artillery or rocket fire; he was ground dead but his body was recovered. He died of wounds received in action near Saigon; the obituary was published in the Times Daily Newspaper on 21 September 1968. He was killed in action 13 September 1968. He was but nineteen years old.

Howard was one of a large family of children born to George Hasten and Flora Belle Handley of Sheffield. His siblings were: James, Donald, Billy, Catherine, Wallace, Margaret, Gary and Kayla. This family lived on the next street from our house in southwest Sheffield on the same side of the street as Jimmy and Earl Johnson. The boys of like ages were all good friends; some still are today. The parents and family of Howard’s would visit The Wall any chance they got. Howard’s Wall Number is P-44W L-498.

The last of the four southwest Sheffield boys killed in action in South Vietnam was Robert King. Robert and his family lived behind the Winston Cemetery on Hook Street. Right there is where Sheffield meets Tuscumbia. His sister Joan was in my class at Southwest Elementary. Robert Henry King was born, likely in Winston County, on 12 February 1944 to Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Harrison King; he was the namesake of his paternal grandfather who was a lifelong resident of Winston County, Alabama. His home city was Tuscumbia in Colbert County, Alabama on the date of his enlistment. His tour start date was 17 November 1967. Robert King served as a First Lieutenant in the 117th Aviation Company, 12th Aviation Group of the 222nd Aviation Battalion in Province 42. Robert was a rotary wing aviator for the Army. The date of his death is 25 January 1968. He died serving his country in the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). He was married at the time of his death. His Wall number is P-44W L-498..

Robert King was one of the handsome hometown boys that graduated from Sheffield High School in the class of 1962. His senior portrait is featured top left of page 21 in the Demitasse 1962. He is listed in the Index as Bob King. There were others from that senior class that would serve their country in that undeclared war in that faraway land of jungles.

Despite the different locales during the war that Harold Hovater and Bill Presley were assigned to in The Republic of Vietnam: South Vietnam, there were similarities that resulted from their service. This is likely true of all vets of this long war. There was the Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome that afflicted the returning veterans. The fact that our government attempted to deny the syndrome, postpone acknowledgement, and delay services to these heroes just makes my blood boil. But, as a student of history, this is the pattern that our government has developed and continues to employ.  This strategy is evident as far back as The War Between the States in the 1860s. Online the Mayo Clinic describes PTSD as:                                                                 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while. But with time and taking care of yourself, such traumatic reactions usually get better. In some cases, though, the symptoms can get worse or last for months or even years. Sometimes they may completely shake up your life. In a case such as this, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Getting treatment as soon as possible after post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms develop may prevent long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.

Hovater and Presley acknowledge they suffer from PTSD. The nightmares these two heroes have are indescribable. Bill says that his wife, Nelda Holloway Presley, knows better than to wake him during one of his nightly movies-in-his-mind. If he does not get awakened, he does not remember the dream, or should I say nightmare. Vicky Laster Hovater, on the other hand says that she does wake her husband up when he has one of his frequent night terrors. The two heroes discussed the disorder and the huge numbers of vets who continue to be plagued with the terrors that anxiety of war has visited upon them. One thing that Bill Presley stated helps him is to go to the gatherings that vets like him have, such as reunions. He says that talking to someone that has been there and had similar experiences during and after the war helps. It seems that vets can talk to vets, while vets find it impossible to talk about their experiences with the rest of us. That is so very understandable and seems to be true of veterans of all wars.

Again, the Mayo Clinic addresses the needs of those who suffer with PTSD: traumatic stress disorder. Things you can do include:

  • Follow your health professional’s instructions. Although it may take a while to feel benefits from therapy or medications, most people do recover. Remind yourself that it takes time. Healing won’t come overnight. Following your treatment plan will help move you forward.
  • Take care of yourself. Get enough rest, eat a balanced diet, exercise and take time to relax. Avoid caffeine and nicotine, which can worsen anxiety.
  • Don’t self-medicate. Turning to alcohol or drugs to numb your feelings isn’t healthy, even though it may be a tempting way to cope. It can lead to more problems down the road and prevent real healing.
  • Break the cycle. When you feel anxious, take a brisk walk or jump into a hobby to re-focus.
  • Talk to someone. Stay connected with supportive and caring family, friends, faith leaders or others. You don’t have to talk about what happened, if you don’t want to. Just sharing time with loved ones can offer healing and comfort.
  • Consider a support group. Many communities have support groups geared to specific situations. Ask your health care professional for help finding one, look in your local phone book or contact your community’s social services system.

And then there is consideration that is needed for those surrounding the veteran with PTSD; this is what may be overlooked especially by those who surround the veteran. The Mayo Clinic provides us with the understanding that Post-traumatic stress disorder can significantly strain the emotional and mental health of the affected person’s caregivers and loved ones. In fact, the term “compassion fatigue” was coined to describe the feelings, such as depression and helplessness, that commonly develop in those close to a person with PTSD. So, even the ones who never left home can suffer dramatically along with the heroes that returned.

The next logical topic brings our narrative to how the government handles the needs of those who have returned from service and their families. Mighty poorly is what I have noticed from those that I have known over the years who have tried to obtain services. If benefits are provided at all, the time span (especially for the War Between the States) was to begin the benefits after most all of the intended recipients are dead. There are the VA hospitals, but the service and the quality of the service is just not there; not even after all these one hundred and fifty years or more of existence. Sometimes the veterans can not communicate with the doctors and other personnel because of a language barrier; and the turn-over rate at these facilities is astounding.

Bill and Harold agree that veterans who have medical needs or who suffer from PTSD are in a pickle. Veterans have a hard time getting disability benefits. At first the government would not acknowledge the disorder, the government dithered with beginning treatment, and now for the last forty-six years or so the disability benefits for the veterans is a hard fought for battle. It seems that a veteran who gets his head blown open is only eligible to a thirty percent disability. And a veteran who has both arms ripped by shrapnel is only eligible to a twenty percent disability, iirc. There was no mention of what the loved ones might suffer on the government’s part. But to be fair, a vet can get a Purple Heart for having his head exploded open, and for damage to both arms in an attack by the enemy of war can earn him another Purple Heart, but try to work and make a living to raise a family with all that plus coping with all the complications added on by Post traumatic stress syndrome. The Purple Hearts are more than well deserved, but do our veterans not deserve more for their service to our country? Something tells me that the hospitals, the caregivers, the medicine, the processes would all be improved that are provided by our tax dollars, if the elected and appointed government officials were forced onto a health plan that included using the VA facilities, personnel, and processes.

Another similarity that Bill Presley and Harold Hovater noted was veterans seem to have a problem with keeping a stable home life. They both gave some thought to the topic and agreed that many veterans they know of have had multiple marriages. Three seems to be the magic number. Perhaps it has a lot to do with “compassion fatigue” on the part of the spouse, perhaps it is just that the war rages on the mind of those who returned from war. Perhaps, it is just normal behavior reflected by our society of the day. But, it seemed to bother both heroes. The question in my mind is this: What do the young boys who went to Canada, shot off a toe, enrolled in college, or got married just to avoid the Vietnam War wonder and worry about today? Are the heroes or zeroes in their own mind? Even if one did not love the war; every American must love the soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who serve to keep us free; it is a requirement as far as I am concerned.

When asked what was the hardest thing about the war the heroes had very similar answers. For Bill Presley the hardest thing seemed to be that of the five southwest Sheffield boys who went to war together, only one returned. The one who returned was him. While Bill seems to be a very easy going, laid back guy, he also appears to be a very thoughtful and kind person. He seems to have adjusted well to life outside of war, but still has scars that are not seen with the naked eye. The burden of living up to being the only one to survive must be very heavy. He has not forgotten the soldiers that did not return, or their families,  even after almost fifty years. It brings to my mind the song by Kris Kristofferson that echoes the sentiments: Why me, Lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the blessings I’ve known? Why me, Lord? What have I ever done to enjoy even one of the blessings you’ve bestowed?

I recounted the story of a Vietnam vet that I know who said that the hardest thing about the war was having to shoot down a child who was seven or eight years old. But, that child was carrying a live grenade and heading toward that soldier. There was no choice. It was kill or be killed. The military conditions soldiers to kill reflexively . They train soldiers to target locations, not target humans. The term locations suggests target the location of the imminent threat, whether it be bullet, bomb, or grenade. Soldiers who kill reflexively in combat will likely one day reconsider their actions reflectively.  If soldiers are unable to justify to themselves the fact that they killed another human being, especially a civilian, they will likely–and understandably–suffer enormous guilt.  This guilt manifests itself as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and it has damaged the lives of thousands of men who performed their duty in combat. 

The use of child soldiers was rampant in the Republic of Vietnam: South Vietnam’s steaming jungle of hell from 1964 to 1972.  In the most notorious case in Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos, the Khmer Rouge communist group exploited thousands of desensitized conscripted children to commit mass murders and other inhuman acts during the Cambodian genocide. The brainwashed child soldiers were taught to follow any order without hesitation. And yet there were those celebs of the day taunting our soldiers and calling them “Baby Killers”. Oh, please, just shut up you who disrespected our boys upon their return home!!!

When I was telling of this soldier, Sam Barron, one that Harold and Bill likely knew, I could see motion in Harold’s body. I witnessed a stiffening in his body. I saw his head shake with affirmation. His hands were shaking  grand mal seizure-like and I believe that is when Vicky reached over and grasped his hand to quell the shaking; she held his hand with a squeezing grip like I have never seen in a woman. I  witnessed a river of tears well up in his big blue eyes. The tears welled up in his eyes in such volume as I have never witnessed, and yet they did not flow down his face. Those big blue eyes and that river of tears that refused to flow is stamped indelibly into my mind. I told Bill and Harold that the soldier in question, mucho macho that he was, was torn apart by having to kill a kid in order to live. Harold nods his head, yes. He holds up two fingers and in the softest masculine voice you can imagine said, “Two.” He said without words that was the hardest part of the war for him.

Wow. Now that was emotional. At that point I asked Harold if he had family. At first he seemed confused. I asked since Vietnam did you have a family and kids? He said he had five kids. Well, if he had not done what was necessary in Vietnam, I stated, those five beautiful human beings would never have existed. At that point I felt some of the tension in his body fall away. Harold Lee Hovater was awarded a wall full of awards, medals, ribbons and stars. And he deserves every single one of them.

And then the discussion went into more global topics about the Vietnam War. There were the topics of: was it a conflict or a war since it was never declared a war, women in combat during wartime, the lack of respect that these returning heroes encountered, and the use of Agent Orange. Volumes could be written about each of these topics and there would be as many opinions of each topic as there are people discussing the topics, though some may be uninformed and lacking in knowledge of the history on the topics. Those can be ignored. But for what matters, it is the opinion of those who served, sacrificed, and suffered that stand above the rest of the crowd. Jane Fonda’s and other celeb opinions do not count one iota. Protestors of the war opinions do not count one iota. Mainstream media opinions do not count one iota. Politicians and government officials’ opinions do not matter not one iota. Nor do the opinions of those who refused to serve count one iota. And as never before, the history books often do not reflect the true story of political events. Each of these men had his own personal opinion on each of the above subjects, but it is the Agent Orange issue and the lack of respect these returning soldiers have been shown that should concern us most.

Vietnam map depicting  dispersion of Agent Orange

Map depicting dispersion of Agent Orange

Agent Orange was the code name for a herbicide developed for the military, primarily for use in tropical climates. Although the genesis of the product goes back to the 1940’s, serious testing for military applications did not begin until the early 1960’s. The Vietnam conflict started in August of 1964 and ended in April 1975. That was a total of 116 months of combat. That was sixteen months longer than the American Revolution had spanned. American involvement in Vietnam began in the late 1950s; my father-in-law was one of the first Ambassadors to Vietnam in the early 1950s. Major combat forces began taking part in large unit combat in 1964.

The purpose of the product was to deny an enemy cover and concealment in dense terrain by defoliating trees and shrubbery where the enemy could hide. The product “Agent Orange” (a code name for the orange band that was used to mark the drums it was stored) in, was principally effective against broad-leaf foliage, such as the dense jungle-like terrain found in Southeast Asia.

The product was tested in Vietnam in the early 1960’s, and brought into ever widening use during the height of the war (1967-68), though it’s use was diminished and eventually discontinued in 1971. It was a combination of two chemicals mixed with kerosene or diesel fuel and then distributed from airplanes. It was also sprayed by hand and from vehicles. The TCDD’s in Agent Orange are man-made and unwanted by-product of the manufacturing process of Agent Orange. It is NOT found in nature. It is toxic to humans. The Agent Orange used in Vietnam was later found to be extremely contaminated with TCDD, or dioxin. Estimations are that some 19 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed on South Vietnam during the years the war was raging.

Source and credit for Vietnam map:

Mysterious and seemingly not diagnosable ailments started occurring among those who had served their country in the Republic of Vietnam: South Vietnam. It would seem that the government and the VA made the veterans feel crazy, for even though there were medical problems apparent and obvious, there were no diagnoses to be had. Scores of them had symptoms, but no disease. Huh? This added to the psychological stress of those veterans and their families. The government had failed our servicemen again; so, what else is new?

Many who returned from warfare in the Republic of Vietnam: South Vietnam point to the prolific use of Agent Orange in resulting illnesses suffered. Cancer, birth defects, mood swings, depression and skin problems were reportedly contracted after the exposure to the by-products of Agent Orange. In addition, the veterans of this war had to live with the fear that they would contract one or more diseases as a result of exposure to the toxins in Agent Orange. The negatives poured upon these servicemen must have felt insurmountable to those who returned home.

At a recent appointment to the VA in Birmingham a sailor who became disabled after his service in the Persian Gulf War, encountered a Vietnam veteran who was still trying to get on the Agent Orange Registry and they told him it would be several months before they could schedule him for an appointment. The government and the VA already knows who served over there, so there is no need for veterans to have to prove their exposure to the toxins. Only recently have some of the rules and criteria to exposure been corrected.

He gives another example of a Navy man who had benefits denied because the VA said he did not serve in the areas that were affected. Well, no, but they failed to conceive that he was stationed there; but, he as a mailman for the ship went into those affected areas on a daily basis.

The use of Agent Orange in Vietnam brought the discussion around to the fact that for the first time known in history, the government had used an agent of destruction to plant and animal on our own men and women in  battle. And yet they continue to sign up to serve even yet. When asked if they would serve their country again, both men answered with, “Yes.” Harold Hovater had served more than one tour in Vietnam voluntarily. Bill Presley had answered his country’s call for his first tour of duty; but re-upped for a second tour. Only one four letter word describes these two men accurately, and that is the four letter word HERO!




The United States’ longest conflict, Vietnam shaped a generation and tested the resolve of the nation. Major battles in the Republic of Vietnam: South Vietnam:





Pictured from the left: Leonard Bauck, Ray Ashnault, Harold Hovater, behind Harold is unnamed, and at the far right is unnamed.



By distinguishing himself with the most valorous action…

Vietnam War Memorial: The Wall
Vietnam War Memorial: The Wall
each answered the call of his nation and served with distinction in a conflict that lasted longer than the American Revolution-The Vietnam War. And now we will WTF! And now we WTF: Wave The Flag for them. From now through Memorial Day, may each of us post as our profile photo a U.S.A Flag to honor them and veterans who are serving and have served in our military.
This post is a prelude to the article Remembering the Shoals will publish shortly about two outstanding and valorous Vietnam veterans of the Shoals area, it is appropriate that others that we can identify be honored as well. The Shoals area has given its sons and daughters to the service of our country since time immemorial, some never came home.

It would be wonderful if friends and family would add to the information about the soldiers who served through comments and photos added to this article and on our Facebook page. These are likely not all who were never to return from Vietnam; please add that information as well.

The following are the names and information on those who were Killed-In-Action while serving in the Vietnam War and were from Sheffield at the time of their service:

The photos are of Bill Presley and Harold Hovater who served with those who were KIA in Vietnam; the gravemarker photo is of Dennis Laverne English KIA; and actual photos of the war are courtesy of Bill Presley and Harold Hovater.

Sheffield boys who were KIA during the Vietnam War: List 1


Sheffield boys who were KIA during the Vietnam War: List 2

…to be continued in next post 

By distinguishing himself with the most valorous action…

Vietnam War Memorial: The Wall
Vietnam War Memorial: The Wall
each answered the call of his nation and served with distinction in a conflict that lasted longer than the American Revolution-The Vietnam War. And now we will WTF! And now we WTF: Wave The Flag for them. From now through Memorial Day, may each of us post as our profile photo a U.S.A Flag to honor them and veterans who are serving and have served in our military.
This post is a prelude to the article Remembering the Shoals will publish shortly about two outstanding and valorous Vietnam veterans of the Shoals area, it is appropriate that others that we can identify be honored as well. The Shoals area has given its sons and daughters to the service of our country since time immemorial, some never came home.

It would be wonderful if friends and family would add to the information about the soldiers who served through comments and photos added to this article and on our Facebook page. These are likely not all who were never to return from Vietnam; please add that information as well.

The following are the names and information from List 3 and 4 on those who were Killed-In-Action while serving in the Vietnam War and were from Sheffield at the time of their service:

The photos are of Bill Presley and Harold Hovater who served with those who were KIA in Vietnam; the gravemarker photo is of Dennis Laverne English KIA; and actual photos of the war are courtesy of Bill Presley and Harold Hovater.

Sheffield boys who were KIA during the Vietnam War: List 3

Sheffield boys who were KIA during the Vietnam War: List 4 



1967 was a very good year…

Dale and Wanda Wright 1967

for the Wright couple.

So many of these names…

sound so familiar. Are any of these soldiers of the 27th Alabama Infantry in your family tree?

The 27th ALabama Infantry - Rosters Companies C and E

The 27th ALabama Infantry
Company C, The 27th Alabama Infantry 

WHEELER, A.S.                   Captain
THOMPSON, Empson B.             Captain
GENTRY, John W                  Lieutenant
DENNIS, W.A.                    Lieutenant
CHANDLER, James H.              1st Lieutenant
ALEXANDER, E.M.                 1st Lieutenant
BECKWITH, A.W.                  2nd Lieutenant
OLIVE, James J.                 2nd Lieutenant
WINBOURNE, Henry G.             Sergeant [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
SIMMONS, James M.               1st Sergeant[Died during the war]
THOMPSON, William A.            1st Sergeant
RANDLE, Wiley W.                Sergeant
CANNON, J.P.                    Sergeant
BRADFORD, J.D.                  Sergeant
LEDBETTER, M.T.                 Sergeant
SPENCE, W.M.                    Sergeant
POOL, Nathaniel A.              Sergeant
FLETCHER, J.W.                  1st Sergeant
FLYNT, John                     2nd Sergeant
BRADFORD, Jesse D.              5th Sergeant[Filed for pension in Madison County]
CANADA, W.A.                    Corporal
CLARK, Samuel                   Corporal
COOK, Samuel V.                 Corporal
GRAMMER, J.R.                   Corporal
SUMMERHILL, William R.          Corporal 


ADAMS, Henry J
BALCOMBE, Allen[Died during the war]
BEVIS, A.J. [Died during the war]
BEVIS, Jesse W
BEVIS, Thomas F. [Filed for pension in Colbert County]
BRYANT, Edward
BURGE, William
BURR, James
CANADA, Starling
CARR, John J [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
CARR, Milton
CASEY, Samuel G.[Died during the war]
CLANTON, Jesse C [Died in Limestone County]
CLARK, Dennis
CLARK, Robert
COTHRON, W. Monroe
CURTIS, Hillary
[Died during the war]
DUNCAN, Reuben
[Died during the war]
FLYNT, Henry A. [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
GARVIN, William M.
GILBERT, Richard
GRIMES, George B
HENDRIX, A.J [Died 1909 Winston County]
HIGGINS, Zack [Died during the war]
HOOKS, Curtis D[Died in Lauderdale County]
HUGHES, Nathan
HURLEY, George W
JONES, John W.
JONES, Nathan A.
LANDERS, James H [Filed for pension in Lawrence County]
LANGFORD, Joseph E. [Died during the war]
LINDSAY, Adron L [Filed for pension in 1921 in Lauderdale County]
LINDSAY, Andrew J.[Died during the war]
LINSEY, Monroe
LONG, John [Died 1901, widow filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
LOVE, Thomas J.
MARTIN, Asbury
MOLT, William
MOODY, James W.
NIXON, William H.
NORMAN, William C
ODOM, Watson W
PALMER, James W. [Died during the war]
PALMER, Samuel
PALMER, William C.
PARIS, Elias C.
PARKER, George W
POOL, James M
PRICE, Caswell
SEGO, G.W [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
SMITH, John R [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
TERRILL, Richard
WAITS, Shelton A.
WALLACE, John W [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
Wallace, J [Died during the war]
WESSON, Randolph
WESSON, William [Died during the war]
YOUNG, William W. 

Company E, The 27th Alabama Infantry 

JONES, T.A.                     Captain
BELSON, W.B.                    Captain
ANDREWS, Robert                 Captain [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
PETTUS, William W               1st Lieutenant[Died 1882 Lauderdale County]
KILLEN, Henry A                 1st Lieutenant [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
CUNNINGHAM, G.W.                2nd Lieutenant
McMAHEN, James A                2nd Lieutenant
RICHARDSON, James               2nd Lieutenant
McCRACKEN, J.E.                 Sergeant
McMAHEN, R.A.                   Sergeant
MURDOCK, J.A.D.                 Sergeant
ALLEN, Henry D                  Sergeant [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
ENGLE, E.H.                     Sergeant
HOOD, W.C.                      1st Sergeant
CONNER, A.J                     1st Sergeant
BYNUM, S.E.                     Corporal
COTTRELL, Geo. W.               Corporal
COX, Hiram                      Corporal [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
CRUMP, W.G.H.                   Corporal
KEENER, J.S.                    Corporal
KILLEN, Daniel D.               Corporal [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
THRASHER, J.H.                  Corporal 


ALLINGTON, Sidney P [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
BARNETT, James W. [Died during the war]
BARNETT, Zechariah [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
BROWN, James
BROWN, Jancel [Died during the war]
CREEL, Josiah C [Filed for pension in Marshall County]
ELLIS, Edward T.
FRENCH, Garrett
FRENCH, James [Filed for pension in Lawrence County]
FULKS, John [Died during the war]
GARRARD, William G [Died during the war]
GREEN, Leonard [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
HARRISON, James Marion [Widow filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
HILL, William H. [Widow filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
HOUSE, James
JAMES, Charles
JOINER, T.L. [Died during the war]
JONES, Charles [Died during the war
KILLEN, Daniel M [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
LILES, James [Widow filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
LILES, Stephen
MASSEY, Richard, H.
ODEN, Britton B. [Died during the war]
QUILLEN, William M
RICHARDSON, Isham M [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
RITTER, L.T. [Died during the war]
RITTER, John [Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
ROE, William P. [Died during the war]
ROSS, B.F. [Died in OK]
SHELTON, Thomas B[Died during the war]
THIGPEN, Amos M. [Died in 1925 Tennessee]
THIGPEN, Riley F.M [Died 1912 Lauderdale County]
THOMPSON, James [Died during the war]
WALKER, T.C.[Filed for pension in Lauderdale County]
WATKINS, J.W. [Died during the war]

Source: Archives Alabama

She did too die…

in Lawrence County, Alabama even if the state has no record of her death. Conversely that means that she lived. Yes, she lived and died in Lawrence County, Alabama. She was born in 1884 in Lauderdale County, Alabama. Her family originally resided at a community named Rawhide, but she was born in the area known now as Center Star near Gabriel Butler’s Bluewater Creek cemetery and on Chief Doublehead‘s former Reserve property. She lived there until

Willie Viola Casey Peebles' obituary

Obituary was published Monday, 4 December 1939 in the Decatur Daily

shortly after the 1900 Federal Census was enumerated. Then  she moved with her husband to his stamping ground in Lawrence County, Alabama. It was there she died in 1939.  But, The state has no death certificate on file for Willie Viola Casey Peebles. Numerous attempts to obtain an official death certificate has resulted in a response of are you sure she did not die in another state. I would stomp my little feet and say, I am SURE she died in Lawrence County, Alabama. I can take you to her grave and show you her marker. I can show you her obituary from the Decatur Daily Newspaper dated 4 December 1939. OH, yes, she lived.

In 1888 records of Goodsprings Church in Center Star, she is listed as a member of the church. That is the same church that Gabriel Butler helped establish. It was a lovely little white wooden church and should have been of great historical value but since then it had been added on to and now is bricked, so how much of its historical value is left is not for me to say. I just know that every time I have driven or gone by that little church, I always think of her.

Her maiden name was Willie Viola Casey. She was undoubtedly named after her father Willis Robert Lucas Casey. A measure of how much she was loved by family might be indicated by the fact that at least two descendants were named in her honor. My mother and other grandchildren lovingly called her ‘Willmaw.” She married George Washington Peebles (Maj) and became the mother of  eleven known children.

One of her grandsons recalled her fondly. He stated that she was a very religious woman. His favorite memory of her was her singing. He stated that she could sing every bit as well as Loretta Lynn. He recalled that on bringing the family cow up for milking that she would be singing the song “Amazing Grace.” He cherished that memory.

My mother’s memory of her always seemed wistful if her body language was any indication. Mother talked of her having breast cancer. As she recalled the next part, her face would show the pain she felt at the recall of those memories. She stated that her grandpa  told Willmaw that if she had her breasts cut off she could no longer live in his house. Mother said that Willmaw did not have her breasts cut off; and that her grandpa got his way of her not living, at least living very long, in his house. She said Willmaw didn’t live long after that in his house, and I shuddered at the thought. Perhaps this is the reason that in my grown up years I am so adamant that only a woman can govern her own body as it has never been Government Issue.

Mother would go on to talk about going to Willmaw’s funeral. If I recall correctly, it was Luke who drove an old school bus and took all those who cared to ride to Willmaw’s funeral at Cottingham Cemetery. The cemetery is located just off the highway. Back in the 1960s when I would take Mother and others around to the cemeteries Cottingham Cemetery would pretty much tear your car up if you drove back to it. There was a little loop around the cemetery that circles the cemetery. After a business located and built their shop near it, they improved the road and a car could easily maneuver back there and all around the little cemetery. 

Getting there was likely an adventure for the kids like my mother, but nothing would compare with the return trip. She stated that Luke drove the bus and that Luther would lean out the door of the old decrepid school bus and  hold a coal oil lamp to try to illuminate the way to drive back home. It must have been a long, long trip back home under those circumstances. It left a little tear in her heart for the rest of her life.

Byron W Butler promoted…

in the following NASA news release in 2008:

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – David King, director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has named Byron W. Butler director of the center’s Office of Procurement.

Butler will supervise all stages of the Marshall Center’s contracting process, including solicitation, evaluation, negotiations, awarding and contract management, both at Marshall and at associated contractor facilities. In his new role, he will oversee more than 150 civil service and contract employees and supervise more than 900 active contracts, grants and cooperative agreements valued at more than $31 billion.

The Marshall Center is a key leader in business development for North Alabama and the Tennessee Valley region. Butler will play an integral role in the continued support of this effort through the procurement and supervision of multiple contracts. This includes contracts for Constellation Program work assigned to Marshall, including the first stage and upper stage of the Ares I rocket which will open up avenues of human exploration to the moon and destinations beyond. From 1997 to 2008, Butler served as deputy director of the Office of Procurement and had a significant role in all stages of the Marshall Center’s contracting process and employee management for the office. During that period, he also served, from April 2004 to May 2005, in a temporary assignment at NASA Headquarters in Washington. There, Butler was project manager of the Contract Management Module Project in NASA’s Integrated Financial Management Program. He helped lead efforts to select, configure, integrate and implement software to enhance contract administration and reporting.

Butler previously served as contracting officer and chief of the Research and Development Support Division in

Byron W Butler

Byron W Butler

 Marshall’s Office of Procurement from 1994 to 1997. He managed contracts for Marshall’s Engineering Directorate and was responsible for procurement planning; solicitation development; proposal evaluation; contract creation negotiation and awarding; and resulting contract administration and management.

In 1989, Butler was appointed contracting officer and division chief for the Space Projects Division at Marshall. He was responsible for several major systems contracts; provided advice on procurement policies, procedures, methods and techniques; and negotiated and advised in awarding multimillion dollar contracts.

From 1984 to 1989, Butler served as contracting officer and branch chief of the Special Projects Branch of the Space Projects Division within the Marshall Center’s Office of Procurement. He began his NASA career in 1979 at Marshall as a contract specialist.

A native of Anderson, Ala., Butler has received numerous special service and group achievement awards. In 2006, he was appointed to the Senior Executive Service – the personnel system covering top managerial positions in approximately 75 federal agencies. He was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2002, for his work on the NASA Consolidated Business Study Team in Washington. He has served as an essential advisor to major contract selection boards at the Marshall Center and has provided leadership in the administration of contracts for the Space Shuttle Program, International Space Station and NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Butler earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1978 from the University of North Alabama in Florence and a master’s of business administration in 1984 from the Florida Institute of Technology in Huntsville. In 2001, he earned a Certificate of Professional Contract Management accreditation from the National Contract Management Association and received a Level III Certification, the highest level possible from the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

Butler and his wife, the former Lydia Zeleznok of Fairbanks, Alaska, reside in Madison, Ala. and have four children and three grandchildren.

Old settlers…

on Doublehead Reserve in what is now Lauderdale County included Thomas G Butler, Richard Butler, John Butler and Gabriel Butler.

Gabriel Butler Timeline (1779 – 1856)

Source: Byron Butler, a descendant of Gabriel Butler’s through his son Chisholm Butler

1779 Gabriel Butler born in South Carolina. (This is from information Gabriel Butler provided in the 1850 census.)

1800 – 1803 Gabriel Butler is living in Logan County, Kentucky which is just north of the Tennessee state line. Other Butler’s living in Logan County include John Butler, John (Jr) Butler (who appears to be living alongside Gabriel) andGabriel Butler Cemetery Thomas Butler.

December 26, 1803 Gabriel Butler marries Sarah Whiteside in Warren County, Kentucky (Gabriel Butler’s 1st Marriage).

Mar 19, 1804 In the Warren County, Kentucky marriage of Henry Butler to Polly Russel, Gabriel Butler acts as security (i.e. it was he who presented that both of those parties were over 21)

January 14, 1806 John W. Butler is born in either Tennessee or Kentucky (1st child of Gabriel & Sarah)

1806 The Cherokee Chief Doublehead and John D. Chisolm establish a land company and begin granting leases to settlers to lands in what is now Lauderdale County, Alabama.

1806 In testimony stemming from an 1816 court case in Logan County, Kentucky, Leonard West stated that THOMAS BUTLER left (Logan County, Kentucky) in the spring of 1806 in search of new country and when he returned he said had found one and made some sort of agreement with DOUBLEHEAD and CHISM. He moved in the fall of 1806. (This is apparently the same Thomas G. Butler that subsequently is listed as an “old settler” on the listing of Doublehead tenants.) Apparently at or about this same time, Gabriel Butler relocated to Doublehead’s Reserve (present Lauderdale County, Alabama) along with Thomas G. Butler as he is subsequently found on lists of settlers on Doublehead’s Reserve.

August 9, 1807 Chief Doublehead is murdered by Cherokees at Hiwassee.

April – June 1809 Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs leads troops from Hiwassee Garrison in Tennessee into Northwest Alabama to evict intruders following complaints from Chickasaw Chief Colbert.

March 1809 Outgoing President Thomas Jefferson writes a letter to the incoming President James Madison concerning Intruders on Indian Lands: “…all should be removed except those settled on Doublehead’s reserve under titles from him; & they should be notified that those lands having been claimed by the Chickasaws as well as the Cherokees, purchased the Cherokee right with the exception of Doublehead’s reserve, which we did not guarantee to him, but left it as it stood under the claims of both nations; that consequently they are not under our protection that whenever we purchase the Chickasaw right, all their titles under Doublehead will become void; as our laws do not permit individuals to purchase lands from the Indians: that they should therefore look out for themselves in time.”

May 25, 1809 Return J. Meigs inventory of Intruders on Indian lands shows Gabriel Butler as an “Old Settler” and having a legitimate lease. Also shown as “Old Settler’s” in this listing are Thomas G. Butler and John Butler.

1809 The Cherokees Chief Tahlonteskee, a kinsman of Doublehead’s, leads about 300 Cherokee (including those that that lived at Bluewater Creek) in emigrating to Arkansas. They are “accompanied by John D. Chisholm, a white man who had been adopted into the tribe.”

1809 Mary “Polly” Butler born in either Kentucky or Alabama (2nd child of Gabriel & Sarah)

December 1809 A petition signed by Gabriel Butler and others (including John Butler, Thomas G. Butler and Richard Butler) then living on Doublehead’s Reserve is received in Washington. (James Madison was then President.) The petition ask that these settlers not to be evicted from the land they had leased from Chief Doublehead.

1810 Fort Hampton, in present Limestone County, Alabama, is constructed to keep intruders off of Indian lands Fall

1811 Eviction of Doublehead Tenants by Fort Hampton soldiers

November 1812 Gabriel Butler is found on Maury County, Tennessee tax list for 1812. In that year Gabriel, along with Thomas G. Butler, Henry Butler and John Butler were all charged in Maury County, Tennessee with negro stealing.

October 1813 State Docket listing of October Term 1813 of Maury County, Tennessee, batch 5 – 8, show cases on the docket including State vs. Thomas G. Butler, State vs. Henry Butler, State vs. Gabriel Butler, and State vs. John Butler. All were continued due to sheriff’s notes not being found.

1814 Henry W. Butler born in Kentucky (3rd child of Gabriel & Sarah)

1816 Treaties with Cherokee and Chickasaw signed allowing settlers into Northwest Alabama and then able to “file” for the land

1816 Elizabeth “Betsy” Butler born in Alabama (4th child of Gabriel & Sarah)

Circa 1816-1817 Sarah Whiteside Butler dies 1818 Gabriel Butler sold back to Samuel Whiteside (for $50) the land he received from Samuel when he married his daughter Sarah who was then deceased

Circa 1818 Gabriel Butler marries Sophia (?) Littrell (2nd Marriage)

November 14, 1818 Gabriel Butler traveled to the Huntsville, Alabama land sales office where he filed for land (purchased from the Government) along Bluewater Creek in what is now Lauderdale County. This property was in the same Section where Doublehead’s chief village, home and store had been in 1807.

February 20, 1822 Chisolm Butler born in Alabama (1st child of Gabriel & the Littrell wife)

February 7, 1824 Susan Butler born in Alabama (2nd child of Gabriel & the Littrell wife)

1827 Some settlers were still trying to recover the lands (or compensation for the land) they had leased from Doublehead

January 22, 1829 John W. Butler, son of Gabriel. marries Margaret “Peggy” Herston

February 4, 1830 Mary “Polly” Butler, daughter of Gabriel, marries Samuel H. Richardson

Circa 1830 Gabriel Butler, Jr. born in Alabama (3rd child of Gabriel & the Littrell wife)

1831 Construction begins on the original Mussel Shoals Canal Project

September 3, 1831 Henry R. Butler, son of Gabriel. marries Nancy Phillips

November 30, 1834 Elizabeth “Betsy” Butler, daughter of Gabriel, marries Robert Phillips

Circa 1834-1835 Sophia Littrell Butler (2nd wife of Gabriel Butler) dies

August 8, 1935 Gabriel Butler marries Frances Winstead Paine (3rd Marriage)

Circa 1837 Francis Butler born in Alabama (1st child of Gabriel & Francis)

Circa 1839 Henry R. Butler and his family move to Texas

August 18, 1839 Chisolm Butler marries Mary Ann Paine (one of the twin daughters of Francis Winstead Paine)

Circa 1840 Sarah P. Butler born in Alabama (2nd child of Gabriel & Francis)

Circa 1840 John W. Butler, son of Gabriel, and his family move to Mississippi

May 16 1840 Gabriel Butler executes deed giving 2 acres of land for the Baptist Meeting House at Bluewater

January 25, 1842 Susan Butler, daughter of Gabriel, marries Abner Barnett

January 24, 1849 Gabriel Butler, Jr., son of Gabriel, marries Sarah Ann Bevers

September 1849 Sarah Ann Bevers Butler (wife of Gabriel Butler, Jr.) dies

November 1, 1853 Gabriel Butler, Jr. marries Charlotte Best

April 13, 1856 Gabriel Butler files his last will and testament

November 1856 Gabriel Butler dies and is buried within rock enclosure at Butler Cemetery, Bluewater (Lauderdale County, Alabama)

Some War of 1812 Military Land Grants

from Lauderdale County Alabama. Help fill in the missing information for these soldiers.

Actual flag that inspired the writing of the Star Spangled Banner

Actual flag that inspired the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. Flag on display at the Smithsonian Institute


Last Name: First Name: Regiment Birth: Death: Spouse:
Adkisson, David Tennessee Militia      
Barnett, James Thomas’ Mississippi Volunteers      
Beard, Jabez 2nd Regiment Virginia Militia      
Beshirs, Henry Griffin’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Bevis,  Thomas L South Carolina Militia      
Boyd,  Joseph Ellis’ Company Tennessee Militia      
Bradley,  James A Williamson’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Brown,  Daniel Tennessee Militia      
Brown,  William Butler’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Bumpass,  Robert South Carolina Militia    bef 1852 Martha
Butler,  Darius H 1st Regiment North Carolina Militia      
Clark, CharlesH Fawcett’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Clark, James 1st Regiment Tennessee Volunteers      
Cole, Abraham Tennessee Militia      
Darby, Phillip 1st Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Dickey, Robert Hill’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Dowdy, Thomas 39th Regiment Alabama Militia     Margaret
Edwards, John Hodges’ Company Alabama Volunteers      
Estes, Josiah 9th Regiment Virginia Militia      
Farmer, Thomas Tennessee Militia      
Frosbaugh, John Allen’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Gordon, JamesF 3rdRegimentUnitedStatesInfantry      
Grissoud, Eaton United States Mounted Rangers      
Haddock, James White’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Hail, JohnA Edward’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Hammons, William Watkins’s Company North Carolina Militia      
Harrel, Asa Tennessee Militia      
Harvey, Ira J Boston’s Company Alabama Volunteers      
Hazelwood,  Mitchell 4th Regiment Virginia Militia      
Hendrix,  Abner Tennessee Militia      
Herstone,  Samuel 1st Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Hogan,  Anderson 4th Regiment Tennessee Volunteers      
Holt,  James Milligan’s Company Tennessee Militia   bef 1852 Elizabeth
Hough,  Joseph Welch’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Hugh,  David Tennessee Militia      
Hutton,  James Nance’s Company Tennessee Volunteers      
Iron,  Phillip 2nd Regiment North Carolina Militia      
Johnson,  John Brandon’s Tennessee Volunteers   bef 1852 Melinda
Lancaster,  David Williamson’s Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Lane,  Drewry H Bullington’s Company Virginia Militia      
Lee,  Henry Tennessee Militia      
Lemaster,  John W 2nd Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Lucy,  Jesse Raney’s Company Virginia Militia      
Martin,  Andrew 2nd Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Mason,  Thomas A 2nd Regiment United States Riflemen      
McAsel,  Allen North Carolina Volunteers      
McBride,  Thomas Allen’s Company Tennessee Militia      
McCartney,  Robert Hamilton’s Company Alabama Militia      
McConnell, James 2nd Regiment Tennessee Militia      
McDougal,  James 4th Regiment Tennessee Militia      
McGlamery,  John Keith’s Company Georgia Militia      
McGwier,  David Barrett’s Tennessee Militia     Margaret
McKelvy,  John Woods’ Company South Carolina Militia      
McKnight,  Thomas P Tennessee Volunteers      
McMillan,  Jesse 5th Regiment Virginia Militia      
Meals,  Daniel Copeland’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Miller,  John 8th Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Mitchell,  John S Gray’s Company Mississippi Militia      
Moses,  Peter Tennessee Militia      
Myrick,  James C 4th North Carolina Militia      
Nolen,  Thomas 2nd Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Partin,  Leonard Allen’s Company Alabama Volunteers      
Pike,  George 16th Regiment Virginia Militia      
Pinkston,  Mathew Williamson’s Regiment Tennessee Volunteers      
Poteet,  William 1st Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Pratt,  Jesse Steel’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Richards, William Griffin’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Romine,  Peter Raines’ Company Tennessee Militia      
Shelby,  Evans McNeil’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Siles,  John Martin’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Simmons,  William Collin’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Stewart,  Duncan 4th Regiment North Carolina Militia   bef 1854 Catherine
Tate,  Jesse O 39th Regiment United States Infantry      
Terrill,  Joseph South Carolina Militia   bef 1851 Tabitha
Thomas,  Andrew Tennessee Militia      
Walker,  Stephen Woodson’s Company Virginia Militia   bef 1853 Mahala
Washburn,  John 2nd Regiment Tennessee Militia      
White,  Abraham Shiver’s Company Georgia Militia      
Williams,  Benjamin Gregg’s Company Virginia Volunteers      
Williams,  Henry Taylor’s Company Virginia Militia      
Wood,  Alexander H 2nd Regiment Virginia Militia      

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The history of James Ceburn Burch…

does not begin with him,  but with all the ancestors so far found from whom he descended as reported by a researcher of the Burch family.

The earliest documented  Burch ancestor found is his father John C. Burch who
was born 1812 in Georgia and died 10 Aug 1858 in Randolph County, Alabama. He was
riding either a horse or mule that ran under a low tree limb. John C. Burch died of a broken neck.

James’ mother was Mary Ann Burroughs, daughter of Joshua Burroughs and Mary
Barnhill. (Depending on census year the Burroughs name has also been spelled
Burris, Burress, and Burrows. The final spelling of Burroughs was used from
1850 onward.) Mary Barnhill was the daughter of Mary Clancy Barnhill. A 1840
census for Georgia (Meriwether County, image 59) has Joshua Burris living next
door to the household of James Barnhill his wife, their 2 young children, a
teen age male too old to be his child, and an older woman who can only be his
mother Mary Clancy Barnhill then aged 60-70. (Mary Clancy lived 107 years, and
daughter Mary Barnhill Burroughs lived 105 years.)

Also, depending on census year Mary Ann Burroughs Burch birth place listed as
Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Her mother and grandmother are
both listed on the 1870 census as being born in North Carolina.

James Ceburn Burch and wife Adaline Eubanks Burch
Georgia marriage records have John C. Burch and Mary Burris wed on 15 December 1842 in Meriwether County.

They moved almost immediately to Randolph County,
Alabama. Many members of their extended families also moved there about the
same time. The 1850 census, Al, Randolph County, Weedowee Beat 12, image 9,
shows John C. and Mary Ann as parents of Berry (Little Berry) age 7, Seaborn
(James Ceburn) age 5, and Edward (Anderson) 2. Martha Sousan was born 1851,
William Thomas was born 10 Apr 1855. The 1860 census shows Mary Ann Burch and
her 4 sons still living in Randolph County. Daughter Martha Sousan died 1853
and is buried next to her father.

At the same time in 1860 Randolph County, (Randolph P O , image 18) the
household of William and Sarah Eubanks includes Matilda and her daughter
Adeline age 5. Matilda’s relationship to other members of this household has
never been determined. There is a son of William and Sarah named Thomas
Griffin age 10. A very small bible passed down to this writer records
Matilda’s full name as Katherine Matilda Eubanks, born 12 Mar 1828, and her
daughter as Adeline Josephine Eubanks, born 12 Feb 1856.

With permission, follows a piece written by the g-g-grand daughter of  Edward
Anderson Burch which details the service of Little Berry and James Ceburn
Burch in the War between the States.

“Our Confederate Ancestors
By Kathy Burch Spit

Pvt. Berry Burch (b 2 Feb 1845 – d 20 Dec 1911) Company ‘F’
Berry Burch was the son of John C. Burch (b 1812) and Mary Ann Burris
He joined the 25th Alabama Infantry at age 16.

The “Census of Enumeration of Confederate soldiers residing in Alabama, 1907”
states the following:
“First entered military service as a Private on 30 Oct 1861 [Nat’l Archives
information states the date was 19 Oct 1861] in Wesobulga, Alabama in the 25
Alabama Infantry Company F. Paroled and discharged April 26 1865 at
Greensboro, North Carolina.”   Under “Other service” Berry stated, “The 25th
Alabama Regiment consolidated with the 22 Alabama Regiment between 1st and
15th April 1865 and my company was Co. F. After the consolidation it became
Co. D and I was paroled under Co. D 22 Alabama Reg. on 26 Apr 1865.”

Military records obtained from the Alabama Department of Archives and History
reflect that Berry Burch received payroll dated near Dalton, GA February 29,

Military records obtained from the National Archives in Washington, D. C.
reflect that Berry Burch was present Sept. and Oct., 1863 and reenlisted in
the service of the Confederate States on March 14, 1864 near Dalton, GA

James Ceburn Burch (b 15 Jan 1848 – d 23 Jun 1932) Company ‘F’

James Ceburn Burch was the son of John C. Burch (b 1812) and Mary Ann Burris
(Burroughs) and younger brother to Berry Burch.   Military records for James
Ceburn Burch are as follows:

“BURCH, James, Private, age 16. Eyes: Blue   Hair: Light   Height 5 Ft. 8
inches. Complexion Fair, Born in Randolph Co. Alabama. Occupation: Farmer
Captain Jefferson Falkner Company Mounted Infantry. Home 
Roll Dated Wedowee Ala. Oct 20th, 1864”

Also on record – “Burch, James Coborn (or Ceburn) Co. F. 25th Ala. Private.
Born Feb 18, 1848 at Blake’s Ferry in Randolph County, State of Alabama.  
Enlisted Spring of 1864 at Columbia S. C. and continued until Spring of
1865.   Paroled at Raleigh N. Carolina.   Served as Home Guard about 12 months
before enlisting in regular service as above
stated. Address Anderson Ala.  Census Tax Assessor, Lauderdale County. 1907″

James C. Burch applied for Soldier’s Pension in September, 1923, at the age of
75 years, 8 months, and 25 days.   His application is signed by him on
September 26th.  On it he states he enlisted in Georgia. The application
contains   a “Certificate As To Service By A Confederate Veteran” signed by
Capt. F. M. Handley, Roanoke, Alabama, notarized by W. H. Welch, Notary Public
for the State of Alabama, Lauderdale County.   It also contains affidavits of
T. L. Howard and T. R. Gurley of Anderson, Alabama (Lauderdale County)
attesting that they have known the applicant “20 and 30 years respectively,”
and that they “consider him to be a truthful and reliable person and do not
believe that he would make a false statement for the purpose of securing a
pension.”   This affidavit is notarized by W. J. Hammond, Notary Public.  

James Ceburn did not give any specific dates on his pension application. He
only states his enlistment as “January, 1865,” and the length of service
as, “something over 3 months.”   He also states that his parole papers
were, “lost in
some way.”   (None of this is surprising, considering he was a 78 year-old
man trying to recall specific dates and locate papers nearly 60 years after
the war!)   He also states that he was paroled in May, 1865 because the “war
was over,” that he was married in “1878 or 9” but his wife was dead,  and that
he lived with his two daughters.   When asked if he belonged to a Camp of
United Confederate Veterans he answered he belonged to “Camp Hobbs No. 400.”  
When asked if he had taken the oath of allegiance to any other government than
the Confederate States
before April 9, 1865, he wrote an emphatic “NO!”  He also stated that was a
registered voter of “Beat #1 Lauderdale Co. Ala.”   He did not list any

It is evident that James Ceburn tried to sign his full name at least twice on
this application, eventually signing the  application a mark.  The
signature/mark is witnessed by J. I. McClure, a Judge of Probate for
Lauderdale County, Alabama.   The application is stamped as received by the
Pension Commission on October 4, 1923.

It appears that James C. had trouble proving his military service when he
applied for Pension because of the lost parole papers.   This is evident
through correspondence with the Alabama Pension Commission,  in October,
1923,   which is on file with the Alabama State Archives. The first letter
from the Pension Commission,  dated October 11, 1923, is to the Adjutant
General, War Department, Washington, D. C. and asks for James Ceburn’s record
of service, capture, or parole, naming Capt. F. M. Handley as first officer,
Col. Johnson, and Col Rouse. Capt. F.M. Handley is named as a witness to the
certificate.  The reply, in memo form from Robert C. Davis, Adjutant General,
U.S. War Department dated October 19, 1923 states the following:

“The name James C. Burch, has not been found on the only roll on file in this
office of Co. F (Capt. F.M. Hendley) 25th Regt. Ala. Inf. C.S.A. covering the
period Sept. & Oct 1863 and no record has been found of the enlistment,
capture, or parole of a man of that name and orgn. [organization].   The name
J.C. Burch, prt. [part] of above orgn. appears on a Register of Pettigrew Gen.
Hosp. No. 13. Raleigh, N.C. showing him admitted Apr. 10, 1865 and transferred
Apr. 12, 1865. No later record has been found. George D. Johnston was Col. of
above Regt.  Col. Rouse has not been identified.”  

On October 23, 1923, the Alabama Pension Commission wrote a letter to James C.
Burch, requesting the following:

“Dear Sir:

Will you please inform us whether after enlisting as a soldier you were sent
to a Hospital while in North Carolina and give if you can the name of the
hospital and where it was located. Were you in the Hospital when the war

James C.’s reply on October 25, 1923 was a hand-written note, written directly
on the Pension Commission’s letter:


I was in a Hospital in North Carolina two or three days, but do not remember
name of the town, or the name of the Hospital, but it was somewhere between
Kingston and Raleigh N.C. My company was retreating before the enemy, and I
was placed on a box car and moved to Raleigh, N.C. and remained there till the
James C. Burch”

Another letter from the Alabama Pension Commission, also written on October
23, 1923 was to Capt. F. M. Handley, Roanoke, Alabama. It states:

“Your name appears as a witness to the pension application of Mr. James C.
Burch, who states he served about three months and was paroled in May 1865, in
North Caroline (sic).

Will you please inform us whether your company was surrendered at Greensboro
or Salisbury, North Carolina, or where it was surrendered?  Do you recall
whether Mr. Burch was in a hospital at the time of the surrender?   Do you
recall a Hospital called Pettigrew Hospital and where it was located?   Please
give us the information requested at your earliest convenience.”

The reply, again hand-written on the bottom of  the original letter and dated
October 28. 1923,  states:

“Cant (sic) answer any of the above questions. Wasn’t with company when it
surrendered. Off on a wounded furlough.”   This note is signed “T.M. Handley
for M.H” (assuming that M.H. is Capt. Handley and T.M. is possibly a relative
writing on his behalf).   Another note written on the same letter which
appears to be in a different handwriting reveals, “M. Handley died. Can’t
attach thought or incidents.”

1870, Alabama, Randolph County (Blake’s Ferry) Township 20 Wedowee, image 120.
James is back home with his mother and younger brother William Thomas. Edward
has married Elizabeth K Taylor and has a 1 year old son John. Little Berry has
married Nancy J Ogletree and has one son born Mar 1870.

Meanwhile, Katherine Matilda Eubanks, her daughter Adeline age 14, and Griffin
Eubanks age 20 are still residing in Randolph County.

Adeline Josephine Eubanks became the bride of James Ceburn Burch on 19
November 1874. James and Adeline became the parents of:
  Robert Lee, born 11 Oct 1875
  Lela Jane, born 6 Feb 1877
  Dora Montana, born 13 Mar 1879
  Ada Dixie, born 17 Apr 1881
  Julia Ann, born 23 Dec 1882
  Della Lee, born 2 Apr 1885
  Gustus, born Aug 1887
  Lavada, born 27 Jun 1890
  Cora Josephine, born 7 Oct 1892, died 19 Mar 1896
  James William, born 23 Dec 1894.

In 1880 James, Adeline, their 3 oldest children, and Katherine Matilda make up
one household in Randolph County, Flat Rock, house 271/290. Edward and his
wife are in house 223/238 with 4 children and his mother Mary Ann Burch. In
the next house are Little Berry Burch, his wife and their 6 children.

Sometime before 1890 James, Edward, and Little Berry moved their entire
households to Cullman, Alabama. It was there that Cora Josephine died and was
buried in 1896. Little Berry settled in Cullman County where he died 20 Dec
1911 and his wife died 17 Dec 1913. Edward and his wife also stayed in Cullman
County. She died 20 Dec 1904. Edward eventually moved on to Lawrence County,
TN where he died Jan 1940. Their brother William Thomas married Cinthia Reed
Sanders and they settled in Morgan County, Al. where they raised their family
of 15 children.

The mothers, Mary Ann Burch and Katherine Matilda Eubanks, both died and were
buried in Cullman County.

Before 1900 James Ceburn and Adeline moved on to the little town of Anderson
near the Tennessee border in Lauderdale County, Alabama. (1900 census,
Lauderdale, Mitchell Beat, image 9)  There James owned and operated a cotton
ginning mill and another member of the family owned and operated a water-
driven grist mill on the little creek that flows through the town.

One by one, the children of James and Adeline married and moved on to their
own homes.
Robert Lee married 7 Dec 1898 to Cinthia Adeline Griffin and lived to 16 Dec
1955, seven children.
Lela Jane married Aug 1902 to Jasper Newton Hammond and died 29 Apr 1947, five
Dora Montana married 25 Dec 1901 to Stephen D Howard and died 5 Dec 1956, one
Julia Ann married about 1906 to Mack Lonnis Ingram and died 27 May 1940, three
Della Lee married 19 Jul 1903 to Jesse Lee Eastep and died 22 Apr 1926, ten
Gustus married Jane Ellen Lee and died 28 Sep 1956, twelve children
Lavada married Sam Threet, died 19 Jan 1932, her only child a son.
James William married 7 Aug 1915 to Edna Mae Thornton and died 2 Nov 1961, two
Ada Dixie, known in the family as Aunt Dixie, never married, remained in the
old home place at Anderson, and raised Lavada’s son. She died 29 Mar 1967.

Adeline died 13 June 1922 at Anderson, Alabama.

In 1932 James Ceburn Burch attended a reunion of Confederate Soldiers in
Richmond, Va. The quarters assignment receipt says he was assigned to cot #
1253 in Johnston Hall at Camp DeSaussure, was from Florence, Al, served in Co
F, 25th, rank Private. Attendants were Mrs W.B. Burch (as yet not identified
within the family) and Lillian Hammond, the 29 year old daughter of Lela Jane
Burch Hammond. Mrs Burch was given cot # 1254, room 1, Johnston Hall, Lillian
Hammond had cot # 1360, room 3, Johnston Hall.

At the end of the reunion the family group departed and headed for Washignton
DC. There was a vehicle accident and James Ceburn died of his injuries 23 Jun
1932 at the Quantico military hospital. His body was returned to Anderson, Al
where he was buried at Mitchell Cemetery. He had lived 84 years, 5 months and
8 days. Many members of his family and descendants are buried nearby.

Sadly, we still don’t know if James Ceburn ever got his pension!

Henry C Jones…

was a native to Franklin County, Alabama. He served his country with honor in the judiciary. His brother-in-law Wade Keys followed a similar path.

Author: Vol. II. Brant & Fuller. Madison, Wis., 1893. pp. 358-359



HENRY C. JONES, a prominent citizen of Florence, and solicitor for the eighth judicial district of Alabama, was born in Franklin county, January 23, 1821. HeLaGrange College Site is a son of William S. and Ann (Cox) Jones, both natives of Virginia, and of English descent. Thomas Jones, grandfather of Henry C., was a colonel in the Revolutionary war, and William Jones, father of Henry C., came to Alabama in 1813, locating in Madison county, and removing thence to Franklin county, in 1819, where he died in 1874, at the age of seventy-six.

Henry C. Jones was educated primarily at the county schools, and then attended LaGrange college, graduating in 1840. He next read law under Prof. Tutwiler of La Grange college, and with Hon. Daniel Coleman of Athens, was admitted to the Franklin county bar in 1841. During the same year he was elected probate judge of Franklin county, and held the office for eighteen months. Being then elected to the legislature,
he resigned his judgeship and served in the legislature with distinction, both in the lower house and in the senate.

His work in both branches of the legislature gained him prominence all over the state. In 1856, Judge Jones settled in Florence, and continued the practice of his profession In 1860 he was a Douglas elector, and was a member of the state convention called up on
the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. In that convention he vigorously opposed secession, yet when the state had seceded, notwithstanding his vigorous opposition, to a secessional policy, he was elected to the Confederate provisional congress, in which body he served one year. During  which he was engaged in the manufacture of cottons and woolens in Mississippi, under a contract for the Confederate government.

After the war he returned to Florence, and resumed the practice of law, taking rank with the leading members of the bar. Judge Jones has always taken an active part in politics, and has given his services freely to the party in time of need. During the period of reconstruction he was for five years chairman of the democratic central committee. In 1876, he was the Tilden elector for his district, and made speeches throughout northern Alabama.

In 1874, Judge Jones was elected, by the legislature, solicitor for the eighth district, and he has been re-elected to that position at each election since. He is now serving his third term, which expires in 1892, and intends to retire with its expiration. Judge Jones was married in Athens to Martha L. Keyes, who died in Florence, May 6, 1887.

[Memorial Record of Alabama. Vol. II. Brant & Fuller. Madison, Wis., 1893. pp.

Judge Jones married Martha Louisa Keyes, daughter of General Keyes and sister to Wade Keyes on 13 Oct 1844 in Limestone County, Alabama.

Wade Keyes also resides in this county, but is a native of Limestone. His father, Gen. Keyes, was a planter, and merchant at Mooresville, where the son was born in 1821. His mother was a Miss Rutledge of Tennessee. Educated at Lagrange College and the University of Virginia, he read law under the eye of Judge Coleman in Athens, and in Lexington, Kentucky,

After a tour in Europe, he located in Tallahassee, Florida, in 1844. While there he wrote a volume on contingent remainders, and another on the practice hi chancery.

In 1851 he removed to Montgomery, this State. At the session of the general assembly in 1853 he was elected chancellor of the southern division, over Messrs Bugbee of Montgomery, and Sterling G. Cato of Barbour. He filled this station with marked ability for six years. In 1861 he was appointed assistant attorney general of the Confederate States, and held the position during the existence of that government He resumed the duties of his profession at the close of the war in Montgomery, but came to reside in this county in 1867, and an office in Florence.

Chancellor Keyes is justly admired for a profound knowledge of law, and for the dignity and impartiality with which he presided as a judicial officer. His attainments as a scholar are shown in the ease and clearness of his writings, which are restricted to professional subjects, and are valued by the members of the bar. He married a daughter of Gen. George Whitfield of Florida.

History is all around us…

but sometimes we just don’t write it down before it is gone. Poof!

Bluewater Freewill Baptist Men's Group

This is the Men’s Group from Bluewater Freewill Baptist Church in Lauderdale County, near Elgin Crossroads. There are three of the men whose names are known:

Chisholm Butler – 1st on left in front of seated row
Steven Emory McDonald – 5th from left, second row
Taylor Leman – kneeling, far right, with hat in hand

The date of the photo is not known at this time, but Chisholm Butler is known to have lived from, but wait there were several Chisholm Butler’s in Lauderdale County at  Blue Water Creek. All of them are buried at Gabriel Butler’s cemetery at Blue Water Creek.

They were:

Chisholm Butler who lived 1866-1951

Chisholm Butler who lived 20 Feb 1825  –  15 Sep 1895

Chisholm C Butler who lived  15 Sep 1879  – 16 Sep 1939

Chisholm D Butler who lived 14 Feb 1894 – 4 Jan 1900

These are all ancestors of people from the Shoals. Any help in dating the photo or adding names to those in the photo would be very helpful.

Holland Court Records, part 1871, 1873, 1878…

Florence, Alabama

O'Neal Bridge

reveal some genealogical information that may be of interest to descendants.

Lauderdale County Alabama Archives: Court records for Holland, James L. “et al” May 4, 1871 Source: Lauderdale County, Alabama Probate Office Records Written: May 4, 1871

PETITIONS IN PROBATE COURT AFTER THE DEATH OF JAMES L. HOLLAND,1871: To the Hon. T.T. Allington, Probate Judge of Lauderdale Co. Alabama Your petitioners, JOHN WILLIAMS AND WILLIAM HOLLAND, citizen of said county show unto your Honor that JAMES HOLLAND, late of said county, died at his residence in said county on the 24th day of April, 1870 intestate. That he left surviving him BERSHEBA HOLLAND, his widow, WILLIAM HOLLAND, JANE HOLLAND, JOHN HOLLAND and PHEBEY SUE GEORGE, wife of HENRY GEORGE, his children all of whom are of age or married except JOHN HOLLAND who is 19 years of age. And all of whom reside in this county except PHEBEY SUE GEORGE and her husband HENRY GEORGE who reside in Bedford County, Tennessee. Your petitioner further states that said intestate died seized and possessed of real and personal estate estimated to be of the value of fifty thousand dollars. Petitioner JOHN WILLIAMS is the brother of said widow, and WILLIAM HOLLAND is the eldest son of said intestate, and the said widow is incapacitated from administering on said estate by reason of blindness, and it is the desire of all said heirs at law that petitioner take out letters of administration on said estate. They therefore ask your Honor that notice be given as required by law to said widow and heirs at law, and that your petitioner be appointed administrator of said estate and they will give bond and be qualified or such according to the law. JOHN WILLIAMS  WILLIAM HOLLAND Sworn to & subscribed before me this 4 May, 1871 T.T. Allington Probate Judge Book E page 172 Additional Comments: Names in Probate record for James L. Holland estate: John Williams, William Holland, Bersheba Holland, Jane Holland, John Holland, Phebey Sue George, Henry George


Lauderdale County Al Archives Court…..Holland, James L. “et Al” June 23, 1873 Probate Record for Estate of James Holland: 1873 To the Hon. T.T. Allington Judge of Probate Court of Lauderdale Co. Alabama The undersigned, the widow and heirs of JAMES HOLLAND decd. desire and intend to reside together and cultivate the land we have inherited from our deceased husband and father, as tenants in common in propestion to our respective rights, and we desire to keep all the stock, farming implements, household and kitchen furniture without a sale or division thereof, at this time therefore in the final settlement of the estate of said intestate we agree that you render a decree ascertaining the value or each distributes share, but that it remain undivided until we or any one of us, desire to withdraw our portion from the common stock. and as the notes and judgments to be distributed cannot be equally divided we agree that our respective interest may be ascertained in them and we will receive them jointly to be held, collected, and divided equally amongst us. And we agree that the decree of the Court may be rendered in accordance with this agreement. Witness June 23, 1872. Witnesses: BASHEBA HOLLAND, PHEBE S. GEORGE, JANIE HOLLAND, JOHN HOLLAND ANDREW J. GRESHAM 1873 Received of JOHN WILLIAM AND WILLIAM HOLLAND adm’s of the estate of JAMES HOLLAND decd. viz, seventeen hundred and twenty seven dollars & fifty cents in money and seventeen hundred & thirty eight dollars & fifty cents of the notes & judgments due said estate, each, and we also acknowledge the receipt of all the personal property of said estate, and this is a full acquittance and release of said administrators from all further liability to us, as administrators of said estate, June 23, 1873. Witnesses: ANDREW J.GRESHAM BESHEBE HOLLAND PHEBE S. GEORGE JANIE HOLLAND JOHN HOLLAND Recorded: Minute Book E page 573 1873 Probate Court June 23, 1873  JOHN WILLIAMS & WILLIAM HOLLAND (adm. of JAMES HOLLAND decd.) vs. JANE HOLLAND & others-Heirs at law of said intestate. Summary of legal document: Notice of settlement of estate published in Times Journal, a newspaper in Florence, AL for three successive weeks and no exceptions were made. Order & decree by the court that said account be approved, confirmed and recorded as the final settlement of the administrators. Said administrators have received in assets of estate $13, 762.17 and the expenses of administration plus commissions of administrators amount to $1211.00 and for advertising and other expenses, $34.65, leaving in the hands of the administrators to be divided among the widow and heirs the sum of $8, 637.65 in money. Further the administrators have in hand, as shown by account notes and judgments, the amount of $8,692.49 and that there is personal property estimated at the value of $9,010.00 The following are entitled to distribution: BESHEBA HOLLAND, the widow of intestate, WILLIAM HOLLAND, one of the administrators, JANE HOLLAND, JOHN HOLLAND, AND PHEBE SUE GEORGE(widow) children of said intestate. The said distributes have filed in this court their agreement and desire that the personal property, stock farming implements, household and kitchen furniture shall not be divided but remain the property of all as tenants in common so that they can live together and cultivate the land inherited by them until they or some one of them desire to withdraws their postive from the common stock. It is decreed that that PHEBE HOLLAND, WILLIAM HOLLAND, JANE HOLLAND, JOHN HOLLAND, & PHEBE SUE GEORGE recover their portions of said estate the sum of $1727. 53 and $1738.50 (notes & judgments). Additional Comments: Other names in documents: Besheba Holland, Phebe S. [Holland] George, Janie Holland, Andrew J. Gresham, John Holland, John Williams, William Holland


Lauderdale County Al Court…..Wilson, Annie E. “et Al” November 1878 Source: Lauderdale County, Alabama Chancery Court Records Written: November 1878 1878 CHANCERY COURT OF LAUDERDALE CO. ALABAMA Date; November 17, 1878 Recorded: Final Record, L, pages 528 & 538-58 ANNIE E. WILSON vs. WILLIAM HOLLAND, JANE HOLLAND, PHEBE SUE GEORGE, JOHN HOLLAND & BASHEBA HOLLAND ANNIE E. WILSON has a claim against the estate of JAMES L. HOLLAND for $7686.30 with interest. Complainant had a decree rendered against JOHN W. MC ALISTER, administrator of estate of JOHN WILSON, deceased for said amount rendered by this court. Conveys the following lands in summary: In Section 18, Township 2, Range 11 West: 120 acres; In Section 20, Township 2, Range 11 West, 176 acres; In sections 20,18, 19, & 17 & 30 Range 11 West, Township 2, 290 acres; In section 17 & 30, Range 11 West, Township 2, 190 acres; and in Section 30, Township 2, Range 11 West, 40 acres part os Section 18, Township 2, Range 11 West. That said McALISTER is insolvent and that said JAMES L. HOLLAND WAS surity on the bond of McALISTER as such administrator. Bill prays that said lands which belong to the estate of JAMES L. HOLLAND, deceased, be sold to satisfy said claim. This bill was amended to include W. T. WHITE, administrator of the estate of JAMES L.HOLLAND, deceased. CHANCERY COURT OF LAUDERDALE COUNTY ALABAMA November 7, 1878 Recorded: Final Record, L., pages 538-558. Annie Wilson vs. the defendants, WILLIAM HOLLAND, JOHN HOLLAND, JAMES HOLLAND, PHEBE SUE GEORGE, & BASHEBA HOLLAND pay complainant the sum of $6500 for her claim and that a decree which shall be a lien on said lands shall be rendered for that amount. On Dec. 20, 1878 another claim is made by Annie E. Wilson saying that she has a lien on the lands for the amount of $6500 and lands will be sold unless defendancts pay sum on or before February 7, 1879, and if sale takes place to execute to purchaser a deed to same and report at first term of court thereafter. Recorded, Book of Final Record L. p. 560. Receipts for whole amount of $6500, dated December 24, 1878 for $6000 and January 3, 1879 for $500. Recorded: Final Record Book L, page 563. Additional Comments: William Holland, Jane Holland, Phebe Sue George, John Holland, Basheba Holland. John Wilson, John W. McAlister are other names in this document.

Note: Barsheba Williams and James L Holland were married 15 Feb 1844 in Lauderdale County, Alabama. He was born in Georgia; she was born in Tennessee.

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