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

Northwest Alabama

Sometime inlaws are outlaws…

or something to that effect.

Samuel Boulds Barron who was born  16 Oct 1808 in Greene County, Georgia and died 8 June 1886 in Nacogdoches, Nocogdoches, Texas married Phoebe C Barber born 1818 and died 1900. They had a number of children. Their known chidlren are:Sarah Elizabeth Barron 1838–1924, Mahala Ann Barron 1843–1910, Samuel B Barron 1844–1932, Tillitha Barron born 1845, J T Barron 1845–1880, Phineas Barron 1854–1939, Marcus LaFayette Fate Barron 1857–194, Louisa J Barron 1859–1891.

While Samuel B Barron have descendants that were residents and natives of the Shoals area, it is Samuel Boulds Barron’s daughter Mahala Ann Barron who married William Wilson Walker that is of interest at present.With all the bravery in the Revolutionary War, the Indian Wars, the War of Northern Aggression, and the Vietnam Conflict that Barron men fought in and Barron wives and families suffered through, it is the infamous that seem to catch interest.

Mahala Ann Barron was born about 1843 in Nacogdoches, Texas. Her parents were Samuel Boulds Barron and Phoebe C Barber. She married William Wilson “W.W.” Walker on March 18, 1886. They divorced on March 24, 1910.

They had several children:

Charles Samuel Walker (1866 – 1956)
Mary Elizabeth Walker Toms (1869 – 1930)
Susan “Susie” Virginia Walker Muckleroy (1876 – 1966)
Belle Zora Walker Briggs (1879 – 1962)
Walter Willis Walker (1880 – 1960)
Cumie Talitha Walker Barrow (1874 – 1942)
William Alexander Walker

Mahala Ann Barron Walker had a daughter named Cumie Talitha Walker. She was born 21 Nov 1874 in Nacogdoches, Texas. Cumie Talitha had siblings by the names of Charles Walker and Mary Elizabeth Waker Toms. Cumie Talitha Walker married Henry Basil Barrow. Cumie Talitha Walker Barrow died 14 Aug 1942 om Dallas, Texas.

Henry Basil Barrow and Cumie Talitha Walker were the parents of Elvin Wilson Barrow, Artie Adelle Barrow Keys, Marvin Ivan Barrow Sr, Nellie May Barrow Francis, Leon C Barrow, and Lillian Marie Barrow Scoma. And, they were the parents of Clyde Chestnut Barrow.

Clyde Chestnut Barrow was born on 24 March 1909, in Telico, Texas. He was the fifth of seven children born into a family lacking in worldly  riches but a close-knit farming family. His family’s farm failed due to drought and they eventually moved to Dallas, Texas. Clyde Chestnut Barrow, who was a small and unassuming boy, attended school until the age of 16 and had ambitions of becoming a musician, learning to play both the guitar and saxophone.

However, under the influence of his older brother, Buck, Clyde soon turned to a life of crime. Beginning with petty thievery, then graduating to stealing cars, Clyde soon escalated his activities to armed robbery. By late 1929, at the age of 20, Clyde was already a fugitive from the law, wanted by authorities for several robberies.

And then he joined with Bonnie.

Bonnie and Clyde

In January 1930, Clyde met a 19-year-old waitress named Bonnie Parker through a mutual friend and was immediately smitten. But after spending much time together during the following weeks, their budding romance was interrupted when Clyde was arrested and convicted on various counts of auto theft.

Once in prison, Clyde’s thoughts turned to escape. By this time, he and Bonnie had fallen deeply in love, and Clyde was overtaken by heartache. Sharing his sentiments, much to the dismay of her mother, a lovesick Bonnie was more than willing to help the man she called her soulmate, and soon after his conviction she smuggled a gun into the prison for him. On March 11, 1930, Clyde used the weapon to escape with his cellmates, but they were captured a week later. Clyde was then sentenced to 14 years of hard labor, eventually being transferred to Eastham State Farm, where he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by another inmate.

While Clyde was serving his sentence, he and Bonnie began a passionate correspondence with each other, and once again, Clyde’s thoughts turned to escape. Hoping to be relieved of his grueling work detail and paroled, Clyde had his big toe and part of another toe cut off in an “accident.’ (As a result, he would walk with a permanent limp and be forced to drive in his socks.) Unbeknownst to Clyde, his desperate scheme was unnecessary—his mother had already convinced the judge in his case to grant him parole. He was released two weeks later, in February 1932. Source: Clyde Barrow

It did not end well for Bonnie and Clyde, even when the shootout happened and they were killed, they were so famous that souvenir seekers ravaged the scene, cutting one of Clyde’s ears for a take home souvenir. They wanted to be buried together or side by side, but their wish was not granted as they were buried separately.

So far away but so near in function…

were the kitchens of the plantations in our area of northern Alabama. Or at least the Pond Springs Plantation and the Cunningham Plantation seemed very far from each other in the horse and buggy days. One commonalty of the two plantation homes were their kitchens.

Pond Springs Plantation,  also known as the Joseph Wheeler Home, Hillsboro, Lawrence County, Alabama

The three houses now on the property include a dogtrot or double log cabin possibly built before 1818, a somewhat later two-story Federal-style house (1830’s), and the main wing built around 1872.

This photograph by Alex Bush, 1935 shows the kitchen at Pond Springs located in Lawrence County, Alabama in the Wheeler Basin community was typical of the kitchens of many plantations. Pond Springs originally was owned by the Hickmans who apparently sold their interest in the plantation, known as Pond Spring, to Colonel Benjamin Sherrod, partner in the initial kitchen at pond springspurchase of the property.

Colonel Sherrod was born in Halifax County, NC, migrated first to Georgia, then about 1818 settled in Alabama where he established several cotton plantations throughout the Tennessee River Valley. Sherrod’s own home, Cotton Garden, was located north of the nearby town of Courtland, and it appears that his eldest son, Felix, and his family lived at the Pond Spring place.

The owner of more than 300 slaves, Benjamin Sherrod was an early Alabama tycoon, with extensive and varied business interests. He also served as chief promoter and stockholder of the Tuscumbia, Courtland, and Decatur Railroad, one of the earliest west of the Appalachians.

The Pond Spring plantation passed from Sherrod’s son, Felix, to a grandson, also named Benjamin Sherrod. In 1859, Benjamin married Daniella Jones of nearby Caledonia plantation, and at the time of his premature death in 1861, the plantation became Daniella’s. Daniella (known as Ella) Jones Sherrod, born in 1841,  was the daughter of Richard Harrison Jones and his wife, Lucy Early, who was the daughter of Georgia Governor Peter Early. The Jones family had moved from Georgia to Alabama in 1822.

After Benjamin Sherrod’s death, Daniella returned to her parents’ home. Caledonia, where in the fall of 1863, she met General Joseph Wheeler while he and his troops camped near the Jones home. They were married following the War in 1866. Wheeler moved his family to New Orleans after the War Between the States for four years, then relocated back at Pond Springs where they raised their family of children.

Cunningham Plantation, now known as Barton Hall, located near Cherokee in Colbert County, Alabama

This reproduction of a drawing by Harry J. Frahn, 1937 of the plan of the kitchen at the Cunningham Plantation in Colbert County, Alabama seems typical of plantation kitchens of that day.

Drawing of the kitchen of Cunningham Plantation.These kitchens both, at Pond Springs and at the Cunningham Plantation, include a bedroom, presumably for the cook and her family. Thus confined, the cook was never relieved from work as she faced constant demands from the main house. John White, a former slave from Texas who lived in a kitchen- quarter, remembered that his proximity to the Big House made him a frequent target of his owner’s temper.

English: Cunningham Plantation (Barton Hall), ...

Family is important…

and sometimes documenting family history is difficult. Joseph Lane Stooksberry formerly of Florence has posted some of his family story and some of the stories are heartwarming. His paternal line goes back further than the American Revolution. This article will concentrate on the Stooksberry line. The Wallis line will be the next article; and it is very interesting as well.

The name Stooksbury, variously spelled Stukesberry, Stukesbury, Stokesberry, Stretchbury, Stuchbury, Stretchbury, appears in the records of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. These records indicate that a Robert Stukesbury was in that county as early as 1695. In 1719 William Penn, divided all the land of Wrightstown, Bucks County, among 15 men, one of whom was Robert Stuckbury. Since that was the last time his name appeared in the Bucks County records, it is assumed that he was Robert Stretchbury, of Bucks County who married Elizabeth Heuitt, widow, of the same county, on October 16,1792, and later appeared in the Fairfax County, Virginia records. Robert died intestate in 1751. William Stokesbury was in Buckingham and Wrightstown Militia, Bucks County, Pennsylvania on August 21, 1775, and Jacob Stooksbury, Solesbury Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was in the same militia company. They could have been brothers. It is probable that Sir William and Susannah Thomas Stukesbury are the parents of Robert Stukesbury. Sir William Stooksbury of England Came to America about 1720 and had sons.

On October 28, 1757 Robert Stukesberry, lawful son and heir of Robert Stukesberry, deceased, and Jean, his wife, sell land formerly owned by his father to Thomas Gore of Loudon County, Virginia. The Robert Stukesberry family lived near Waterford, in that part of Fairfax County which in 1757 became Loudon County. In Loudon County Court Order Book A, page 229, there is record of a transaction in 1759 between Robert Stukesberry and his stepmother, Elizabeth Powderell. (She may have remarried after the first Robert’s death.) Robert and Jean Stukesberry had sons David, John, Jacob and William and daughter Rebecca.

His eldest son Jacob was born in New York about 1750 and moved to Virginia. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary Photo of marker for Jacob Stooksbury's burial place in Anderson County, TennesseeWar. His wife was Elizabeth Brixtraw Moorhead and they had sons Jacob, William, Robert, Enoch, and Joseph or Josiah, Franklin S, and twin sons who were born and died in 1807.There were two Rixey boys that were associated with the family in the census records. Elizabeth Morehead had previously been married to Richard Rixey and they had a number of children. Richard Rixey served in the Revolutionary War as well and his descendants are members of the Sons of Revolutionary War and likely the DAR. The Rixey children were: John, Mary, Richard, Presley, Samuel, Charles and William.

Photo of burial marker for Jacob Stooksbury in Anderson County, TennesseeHis second son William Stooksbury moved to Pennsylvania or Ohio and had sons named Jacob, William, David, and John.  

This Jacob Stooksbury is the lineage for the Stooksberry’s from Lauderdale County, Alabama. Jacob Stooksbury served in the American Revolutionary War. He was born 10 May 1753 in Loudoun County, Virginia (one source stated he was born in Pennsylvania). He died in the year 1839 in York Springs, Anderson County, Tennessee.

These notes on Jacob Stooksbury tell us about his life:

Jacob Stooksbury was the first of the name in Anderson County, Tennessee. The exact date of his arrival in the county is not known, but the following record was found in the Anderson County Court Minutes 1810-1814, April 1814, p. 206: Ordered by the court that Jacob Stukesbury be allowed $30.00 annually, payable quarter annually, for the support and maintenance of Elizabeth Hutchings instead of Phillip Albright, who has refused to keep said woman.Jacob may have been part of the Henderson and Company Survey or another Land company that held title to the land of the Big Valley area off of the Clinch River.

Jacob was not pensioned for his service in the revolution. The application he made and the application for survivor benefits stated that proof of his service was insufficient. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Sons of the Revolution (SOR) accept Jacob’s declaration and allow his descendents into their organizations. ( page 9 To Loy’s Cross Roads, by William G. Tharpe )

Jacob applied for a Revolutionary War pension 8 September 1818. He served on the Virginia Line. His pension application number was  S39094. He lived in Frederick County, Virginia at the time of his enlistment. He  moved to Montgomery County for several years and then to Anderson County, Tennessee. Jacob,enlisted in Frederick County, Virginia in the spring of 1776, and served under Capt. William Frost and Col. Dan Milligan of the Virgina Line and was discharged below Richmond from the Melinburg Brigade. He was hurt by a wagon running over his hip. His job was wagoneer. He also served under Lt. Abraham Anderson until 1781, After the battle of Eaton Springs. He was discharged near Williamsburg. (Bessys Ferry on the Shenadough) His petition was witnessed by Jacob Strader. Benjamine Wheeler, Edward Ervin, and William King.

Jacob Stooksbury sold 100 and 640 acre tracts in Loudoun County, Virginia to a Joseph and William Parks for 5 Shillings. A Jacob Stooksbury is shown in the Soldiers of the American Revolution for Bucks County, Pennsylvania as:

  • Pvt. , Solbury Co., 2d Batt…(s2, v14, 159)
  • Pvt., Solbury Co., 1st Batt…(s5, v5, 330)
  • Muster Rolls and Papers Relating to the Associators and Militia of the County of Bucks.
  • Roll of the Associated Company for the Township of Solesbury, Bucks County, August 21, 1775 lists a Jacob Stooksbury on its rolls as a private.

Jacob filed for a pension for his Revolutionary War service on 8 September 1818 Campbell County, 9 April 1821 in Anderson County and in Knox County on 28 December 1821. He was never awarded a pension. Alternate spelling of last name Stukesbury. Alternate birth date of 1750 in New York. Jacob Strechberry was listed in Virginia, Fredrick’s County in 1782 as the head of the household with two in the household.

Jacob and Eliazabeth Moorehead Stooksbury’s eldest son, Robert Robin ‘Squire’ was born circa 1780 in Loudoun County, Virigina and dies 15 October 1850, some say he died in 1855, in Mount Pleasant, Union County, Tennessee.

He lived in Loyston for a time; that area has historic significance. In the 1870s a frontier fort known as “Sharp’s Station”1870s was built by a German immigrant named Henry Sharp. It was situated on the slopes of Big Ridge overlooking the Clinch River east of Loyston; the area that had been identified by long hunters travelling down the Clinch Valley during the 1860s. Another notable early settlers, Robert Stooksbury, moved to the Loyston area around 1800. Several dozen Stooksbury descendants were still living in the Loyston area; some operated one of the community’s general in the early 1930s. The valley in which Loyston was once located is now submerged under the widest part of Norris Lake, the mile-wide “Loyston Sea.” 

Robert Stooksbury married Hannah Parley Horton. They had children named Isaac, Elizabeth, Jacob, Robert, Rebecca JAne, Mary Nancy, Anna, Alfred, and William Josiah Stooksbury. Robert Stooksbury died in Mount Pleasant in Union County, Tennessee. The Lauderdale County Stooksbury line continues through their son Robert.

Robert Stooksbury was born circa 1815 in Anderson County, Tennessee and died 10 May 1879 in Wayne County, Tennessee. One source gives the death date as September 1880. On 5 August 1846 he married Jane Jennie Sharp. They have children named: Francis Franklin “Frank” who married Nancy Dee Hensley; Ellen Nellie who died at age 34 and never married; Hannah who married Abraham Mart Sims; Isaac who married Sarah M Woody; Samuel G who died at age 22; and William Sherman Stooksbury who died at the age of 32.Robert Stooksbury served in Company F of the 6th Tennessee Infantry; he and his wife Jane received pensions.

Francis Franklin Stooksbury and Nancy Dee Hensley married 27 February 1872 in Wayne County, Tennessee. They had sons Lemuel W, James Robert, and William C; and daughters Eliza E, Mary L, Francis E, and Parley J Stooksbury. Frank was born in August of 1846 in Anderson County, Tennessee and died in 1905 in Wayne County, Tennessee.

James Robert Stooksberry was born in March 1876 and died 1913 in Wayne County, Tennessee. A 1901 marriage record shows him married to Lillie Bell Brewer and they had a son Willie Herman Stooksberry.  James Robert Stooksberry married again in 1908 to Mattie Moore (Mary Molly Martin is also given as a wife)  and they had a son Matthew Floyd.

Willie Herman Stooksberry was born 23 Oct 1902 in Wayne County, Tennessee and died  27 May 1986 in Iron City, Wayne County, Tennessee. He married Bessie E Olive and they had Iva Dean, James Ellis, and J Marie Stooksberry. Herman Stooksberry married Mattie Levellyn Moore in 1920 and they had J W Stooksberry.

James Ellis Stooksberry was born 24 February 1927 in Wayne County, Tennessee. He died 21 September 2007 in Lauderdale CountyAlabama. His obituary reads:

Mr.James Ellis Stooksberry, 80, of Florence, passed away Friday, Sept. 21, 2007, at his residence following an extended illness.He was a native of Wayne County, Tenn., and a member of Oakdale Baptist Church.Visitation was last evening at Greenview Funeral Home. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. today, Sept. 23, 2007, in Greenview Memorial Chapel, with burial in Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens. Officiating will be the Rev. Tim Hanback. Mr. Stooksberry was preceded in death by his father and mother, Hermon and Mattie Moore Stooksberry; stepmother, Bessie Stooksberry; brother, J.W. Stooksberry; and daughter-in-law, Donna Stooksberry.He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Libby) Hunt Stooksberry; three sons, Terry Stooksberry and wife, Teresa, Richard Stooksberry and Ronald Stooksberry and wife; Donna; two daughters, Carolyn Sue Edwards and husband, John, and Maureen Napps and husband, Rick; two brothers, Junior Stooksberry and wife, Kaye, and Keith Stooksberry and wife, Lisa; four sisters, Ivadeen Jackson, Lillie Day and husband, Herman, Marie Weavers and husband, James, Shirley Robertson and husband, Royce, and Cathy Cook and husband, Bill; sister-in-law, Crystal Stooksberry; 12 grandchildren plus a special grandson, Ryan Stooksberry and wife, Lori, four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.Family and friends will serve as pallbearers. Special thanks to Dr. Irons, Mid South Home Health and to Hospice of the Shoals.Arrangements by Greenview Funeral Home. Published in Florence Times Daily on September 23, 2007. Burial: Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens Florence, Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Son Richard Lane Stooksberry’s mother was Tommie Venus Jones Stooksberry Rich. The other siblings are Sue, Ronnie, Ricky, Maureen and Terry Stooksberry. Many Shoals area residents will recall Terry and Maureen due to their great athleticism. All of them were Bradshaw High School graduates except the two oldest; this probably means that Bradshaw was not built at that date.

Richard Lane “Ricky” Stooksberry was born 10 August 1953 in Lauderdale County. Ricky married Donna Jo Grigsby who was born 6 Apr 1958  and died 26 July 2002 in Lauderdale County. It is interesting to note that Ricky already has a memorial in Find-A-Grave, even though he is not deceased. This is a volunteer site where citizens, and I am a contributor, document the burials of others and recently we have started putting a little history of the person online in the memorials. Ricky has a memorial because Donna’s headmarker is a double marker and Ricky’s side of the marker has Photo of Donna Jo Grigsby and  Richard Lane "Ricky" Stooksberrybeen completed except for the expiration date. This is the first time I have run across a memorial for a living person in my years and extensive research on the site.

Donna passed away at the age of forty-four and was a beautiful lady. Joseph, a son, states that, “Actually, all the men and women were really good looking people in my family and were very well-known for that.” Ricky and Donna had two biological children: Joseph L Stooksberry and Amy Stooksberry; and an adopted son who is five years older than Joseph. The adopted son is Anthony Wallace and Donna and Ricky took him in at birth. Anthony Wallace and Joseph and Amy share Tom Wallace; who was Anthony’s grandfather and Joseph and Amy’s great-grandfather. Donna Stooksberry and Anthony Wallace were first cousins. Confusing, I know, but that is how genealogy unfolds.

Joseph Stooksberry was born 4 June 1979. He is married to Angela Weems and they now live in Huntsville, Alabama. Amy Wallace is younger than Joseph, but it is not polite to tell a girl’s age. Amy works at Shoals Hospital while Joseph works at Athens-Limestone Hospital. They were both born in Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Posted here is the obituary for Donna Jo Grigsby Stooksberry:

Birth: Apr. 6, 1958
Death: Jul. 26, 2002

Mrs. Donna Jo Stooksberry, 44, of Florence, passed away Friday, July 26, 2002, at ECM Hospital.Donna was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, and a homemaker. She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Earl Grigsby.Funeral service will be Monday at 3 p.m. at Elkins Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Brother Henry Melton, and burial will be at Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens.The family will receive friends Sunday from 6-8 p.m. Elkins Funeral Home, Florence, will be assisting the family.She is survived by her husband Ricky Stooksberry of Florence; daughter, Amy Lea Stooksberry of Florence; sons, Anthony Lynn Wallace of Galesburg, Ill., and Joseph Lane Stooksberry of Florence; mother, Bobbie Sue Woodruff of Milton, Fla.; sisters, Jeanne Brewer of Nashville, Tenn., and Lisa Adcock of Texarkana, Ark.; brother, Roger Dale Grigsby of Milton, Fla.; one grandchild, Taylor Sky Wallace; and several nieces and nephews.Pallbearers will be Rick Willis, Fred Adams, Ryan Stooksberry, Justin Tatum, Johnny Wallace and Dwight Hubbard. Published in Florence Times Daily on July 28, 2002

The Wallace side of the Stooksberry family will be written about in a future article. For the most part, though, the ancestors who born in Tennessee, Wayne County is one area, then moved to Tippah County, Mississippi and somehow ventured in to Lauderdale County, Alabama at some point.


no it is not an event like a sit-in. Huggins was a name that appeared in Lauderdale County, Alabama around the 1840 era. There are still descendants of the Phillip Huggins line and the Mathew English (born 1772)  line in the Shoals area. A family reunion was held at McFarland Park in Florence for the English and Huggins descendants some years. The Huggins family was a prolific family that dated back to colonial days.

The progenitor of this Huggins line was John Huggins who was born in Belfast, Antrim, Ireland and died in Rowan County, North Carolina. Son, Luke Huggins, who was born 28 Nov 1723 in Belfast, Antrim, Ireland. He died 6 Jul 1806 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. It is not known where he is buried, but the surname is found in two cemeteries in Lincoln County, North Carolina: Hollybrook Cemetery in Lincolnton and Mount Zion Baptist Church Cemetery in Alexis.

The Huggins were some of the colonial first families of our budding nation. In Colonial Families of the United States of America: Volume 6 ISSUE BY FIRST MARRIAGE  the following passage is given: William Hancock, of Onslow County, North Carolina; b. 15th October, 1773; d. 27th September, 1849; m. (firstly) Dorothy (surname not given); m. (secondly) the widow Dudley; m. (thirdly) Ruth Huggins, sister of Luke Huggins.

Ruth and Luke’s parents were John Huggins 1690-1752 and Mary Carruth 1697-1796. John Huggins’ parents were James Huggins 1653 – 1728 born in Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland and died in Anterim, Scotland; and Janet McClelland who was born and died in Scotland. It is noted that John Huggins’ parents were Crandall O Hagan born in 1620 and Shirlie ODonally. No research has been conducted on these names.

John and Mary Carruth Huggins had a large family of children: James Huggins 1715 – 1789, Helen Huggins born 1716, Robert Huggins born 1718, James Huggins 1719 – 1742, Jane Huggins 1721 – 1798, Mary Huggins 1722 – 1787, Luke Huggins 1723 – 1806, John Huggins 1725 – 1811, Ann Huggins 1727 – 1789, William Huggins 1729 – 1801, James Huggins 1730 – 1793, and Mary Polly Huggins 1770 – 1832.

The Huggins surname appears regularly among those who fought for Independence in the American Revolution. Among the names were Daniel Huggins, James Huggins, Luke Huggins, Michael Huggins and Nehemiah Huggins. Luke Huggins, James Huggins, and Michael Huggins all entered service on 25 April 1781 in Dixon’s Company. They served for twelve months and left service on 25 April 1782. Nehemiah Huggins served in Sharp’s Company and enlisted for three years. James Huggins may have reached the rank of Captain.

Luke and wife Nelly had a large family of children: Charles Huggins, Esther Huggins, Hannah Huggins, Isaac Huggins, Jacob Huggins, James Huggins, Luke Huggins, Nelly Huggins Littlejohn, Phoebe Huggins Shelfer, Sarah Huggins Standley, Temperance Huggins, Thomas Huggins,  and Phillip Jasper Huggins 1765 – 1840.

The following is the Will for Luke Huggins:

Will of Luke Huggins                                                                      Jones County, N. Carolina

In the name of God amen, the eighth day of March 1784

I Luke Huggins of Jones Conty in the state of North Carolina, being in health
of body and of perfiect mind and memory thanks be given to God. therefore,
calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowning that it is appointed
for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament
in manner and form as follows.

Imprimis I lend to my beloved wife Nelly Huggins all my lands with the
plantation I now live on also all the rest of my estate of all kins
whatsoever during her natural life or widowhood.

Imprimis I give unto my daughter Phebe Shelfer on shilling sterling money.

Imprimis I give unto my daughter Sarah Standley one shilling sterling money.

Imprimis I give unto my daughter Nelly Littleton one shilling sterling money.

Imprimis I give unto my son James Huggins on shilling sterling money to him
& his heirs forever.

Imprimis I give unto my son Luke Huggins on shilling sterling money to him
his heirs forever.

Imprimis I give unto my son Isaac Huggins on shilling sterling money to him
& his heirs forever

Imprimis I give unto my son Jacob Huggins the plantation I now live on with
all the rest of my lands to him & his heirs forever.

Imprimis I give all the rest of my estate of all kind whatsoever to my
youngest children Esther Huggins, Hanna Huggins, Thomas Huggins, Charles
Huggins, and Temperance Huggins to be equally divided among them at my death
or the death of my wife Nelly Huggins, likewise I constitute and ordain Simon
Speight and John Perry executors of this my last will and testament.
I hereby utterly revoke and disannull all other wills or testaments ratifying
and confirming this and no other as my last will and testamen; in witness
whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.

Luke Huggins (seal)
signed sealed published and declared as his
last will and testament in the presence of the subscribers
Nathan X Bryan
Waxel Perry
Adonijah Perry
Probated Jones County, N. Carolina
Dec. Term 1784
Nathan Bryan, Adonija Parry, Simon
Speight were there
Test. Lew. Bryan C. C.
Jones County Will Book A pg 40-42
March 08, 1784 – Dec 1784

There was no mention of Phillip Huggins in the will; and that can not be explained with the information known today. As with all family research, you present the best information that is available at the time of research. There are bound to be some unknowns, unexplainables, errors, and omissions; it is just the nature of the human. However, the information presented is a very sound foundation for more research.

Phillip Jasper Huggins was born ca 1765 in Burke County, North Carolina and died in 1840 in Van Buren, Arkansas. Jane Morris was born 1771 in Burke County, North Carolina and married 8 December 1791 to Phillip Huggins. Their children were:

John Huggins born 9-22-1792 in Buncombe County, North Carolina USA 
Died 16 April 1849 in Franklin County, Arkansas                                                                                                                                                Married 10-14-1819 in Lauderdale County Alabama to Sarah D Farris

Mary Huggins born 1794 in North Carolina
Died 1855 in Van Buren, Arkansas
Married (in Tennessee?) before 1820 to Henry Goodnight, Jr

Luke Huggins Sr born 3-1-1795 in Buncombe, North Carolina 
Died 1 Feb 1879 in Ozark, Franklin County, Arkansas
Married 14 March 1818 in Tennessee to Nancy Melton

Susannah Charlotte Huggins born 1796 in North Carolina
Died 19 Nov 1883 in Hopkins County, Texas
Married 2 Feb 1818 in Giles County, Tennessee to William Garret

Tabitha Huggins born 1797 in Burke/Buncombe County, North Carolina
Died July 1886 in Mcnairy County, Tennessee 
Married 1818 in Lauderdale County, Alabama to Thomas Pinkney Hamm

Rachel Huggins born 13 Sep 1798 in North Carolina
Died 10 Jan 1874 in AR
Married William Hamm

Jenny Huggins bron in 1799 in North Carolina, death not known 
Married 14 Jan 1823 in Lauderdale County, Alabama to John H Garrett

Elizabeth Huggins born 18 Feb 1800 in North Carolina, death not known
Married 19 October 1820 in Lauderdale County, Alabama  to John English

James Madison Huggins born 27 May 1801 in Buncombe County, North Carolina
Died 2 Sep 1892 in Mcnairy County, Tennessee 
Married 12 Jan 1823 in Lauderdale County, Alabama  to Elizabeth Robertson

Thomas J Huggins born 1797 in North Carolina, death not known
Married Elizabeth Huggins
Married Nancy English

Phillip Jasper Huggins born 25 Jul 1809 in Lauderdale County, Alabama                                            Died between 1850-1860 in McNairy County, Tennessee 
Married Agnes Robertson
Married 25 Feb 1823 in Lauderdale County, Alabama to Elizabeth English

Sarah Morris “Sally” Huggins born 18 March 1811 in Kentucky
Died 4 March 1844 in Tennessee
Married 14 Jun 1825 in Florence, Lauderdale County, Alabama  to William Alfred Stone

Anney Huggins born 26 May 1817 in McNairy County, Tennessee
Died 11 July 1896 in McNairy County, Tennessee
Married 23 Dec 1824 in Lauderdale County, Alabama to Richard Rushing

Tabitha Huggins and her  husband Thomas Pinckney Hamm’s son was John M. Hamm who was the subject of a writing in Goodspeed’s. The text of the article follows:

HAMM, John M., one of the pioneers of the Fourth District, and son of Thomas P. and Tabitha (Huggins) Hamm, was born in Lauderdale County, Ala., in 1822, being the third of thirteen children, two only living. The father, Thomas P., was of Scotch-Dutch ancestry, born in Kentucky in 1778. The grandfather, John HAMM, was a native of South Carolina, born about 1759 and when fourteen or fifteen years of age volunteered his services in the Revolutionary war, served under Gen. MARION; was married in his native State and afterward went to Logan County, Ky., from there to Middle Tennessee, then to Lauderdale County, Ala., finally settling in McNairy County in 1826, where he engaged in farming until his death, October, 1836. He was a magistrate for a number of years. Thomas P. received a common-school education, while residing in Kentucky; married in 1818, and came to McNairy County in 1827, where, with the exception of a few years spent in Hardin County, he remained until his death in 1856. He was a farmer. The mother was born in North Carolina in 1778, and died July, 1886. Our subject, John M., was brought up on his father’s place; received such education as the common schools afforded; came to McNairy County with his family, and was married December, 1843, to Elizabeth, daughter of Robert C. and Rebecca HOUSTON. She was born in 1827. Their union was blessed with twelve children, of whom are Archibald B., James R., Rebecca, wife of Wilson A. SMITH, of Arkansas; Cynthia Ann, wife of Thomas RAMER; Tabitha, wife of James PRATHER; Mary E., wife of Dr. J. L. LAWSON; Fannie, wife of Jones REEDER; Sallie, wife of Thomas BAKER; John H., William and Mac. Mr. HAMM has lived in the vicinity and on his farm since 1865. He at one time owned 800 acres of land, but has divided a portion of it among his children; still has 400 of valuable acres under high cultivation, well improved, three miles east of Ramer. He is a man of great industry, and well informed, possessed of fine business capacity. He takes a deep interest in the advancement of education, has always a helping hand for charitable and religious institutions. At about the time of his majority was elected magistrate, held the office for twenty-five years, was tax collector about twenty-seven years, and in 1880 was census taker. He is a Democrat and has always been. The first presidential vote he cast was for James K. POLK, in 1844. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity thirty-five years, taking the Royal Arch degree. Both he and his wife are devoted members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Source: Goodspeed Biographies McNairy County Tennessee.

The Bible for Phillip Jasper Huggins and Ella English Huggins provides much information on the family members.



  • James M. Huggins and Elizabeth Robertson was married Jan 14, 1823
  • Philip Huggins and Jane Morris was married Dec the 8th, 1791
  • Joseph Robertson and Margaret Simpson was married July 26th, 1804
  • P. J. Huggins and Ella English were married Oct 11, 1885 Witness J. N. Hamm and J. W. McCoy


  • James M. Huggins was born May the 27th AD 1801
  • Elizabeth Robertson was born June 20th AD 1807
  • Leroy M. Huggins was born Nov 27th 1823
  • Lucinda was born Aug 1st 1825
  • Joseph R. Huggins was born May 12th 1827
  • Roda Huggins was born May 7th 1830
  • J. S. Huggins was born Dec 31st 1832
  • James L. Huggins was born Aug 9th 1834
  • Levi H. Huggins was born Feb 2nd 1838
  • Philip Huggins was born Nov 14th 1839
  • Huggins was born May 20th 1841
  • Elizabeth Huggins was born Oct 16th 1845
  • Sarah J. Huggins was born oct 26th 1848
  • Martha A. Huggins was born July 7, 1850
  • P. J. Huggins bornd Feb 14, 1864
  • Ella English bornd Nov 5, 1868
  • Edna N. Huggins bornd Aug 10, 1887
  • Lee Audry Huggins bornd May 24, 1893
  • Harlie Abbey Huggins borned May 31, 1895
  • Arthur Huggins bornd Nov 5, 1897
  • Edgar Judson Huggins bornd Sept 21, 1901
  • Joe R Huggins was born Mar 13, 1860


  • Lucinda Huggins departed this life August 15th 1825
  • Rhoda Huggins departed this life Sept 29th 1831
  • Levi H Huggins departed this life Feb 19th 1840
  • Margaret Huggins departed this life Aug 5th 1841
  • Martha A Huggins departed this life Sept the 7th 1850
  • Joseph R. Huggins departed this life Aug 30th 1853
  • Elizabeth Huggins the wife of James M Huggins, Sen Died May 1st 1882
  • James M. Huggins died Sept 3rd, 1892
  • J. S. Huggins departed this life Oct 27th, 1900
  • Joc R. Huggins died Nov 26th 1927
  • Thomas B. Huggins died Apr 9, 1928
  • Lee M. Huggins died Nov 31, 1936
  • Belle Latta Huggins died Nov 3, 1936
  • Izora Huggins wife of Lee Huggins died Sep 1, 1931
  • Martha Hamm wife of J. N. Hamm died Feb 2, 1940
  • Robert C. Huggins died July 11, 1953
  • James L. Hugginsdeparted this life Feb 27, 1952Courtesy of: Sybil Hamm Taylor and Nancy Wardlow Kennedy

James Montgomery Huggins, the eldest son of Phillip Jasper and Jane Morris Huggins was born 27 May 1801 in Buncombe County, North Carolina and died 3 Sep 1892 in Gravel Hill, McNairy County, Tennessee. The Huggins families  lived in Gravel Hill, Michie and Guys communities. James Huggins married 18 Feb 1823 to Elizabeth Robertson or Robison in Lauderdale County, Alabama. Their children were: John Morris Huggins, Leroy M. Huggins of Corinth, Mississippi; Joseph Huggins, John Simpson Huggins of McNairy County, Tennessee;  John L. Huggins of Corinth, Mississippi: Phillip Huggins, and Elizabeth Cates of Kossuth, Mississippi, wife of R.C. Cates, son of Pleasant Cates formerly of the county seat of Purdy.

John Morris Huggins was born December 1832 in Lauderdale County, Alabama and died 23 Sep 1890 in Mulberry, Franklin County, Arkansas. The Huggins family went to Arkansas before the 1840s and They seem to have ties to other families: Goodnight family in Van Buren; Reeves, Null, English, Weaver families who came from Giles County and McNairy County in Tennessee or Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Leroy M. “Lee” Huggins’ father was John Morris Huggins and Caroline Bower Huggins, according to Lee M. Huggins’ death certificate.  Both Leroy M. Huggins were evidently called “Lee M.” and their names appear as such in many records. This Leroy M. Huggins’ middle name was Montgomery, like his grandfather James Montgomery Huggins.

Leroy M. Huggins was listed in his father’s household on the 1850 census record in McNairy County, Tennessee. On the 1860 census record where he resides in the Gravel Hill community in McNairy County, Tennessee he is married and has one small child. His wife is listed as S.D.E. as a given name. Their child is one year old George M. Huggins [which likely is Georgia Ann Huggins, a daughter and there was an enumeration error]. Included in the household are W. E. English, 28 years old, and John English, 26 years old. Leroy sold the store he owned at Gravel Hill in McNairy County, Tennessee to John R. Gooch in 1899. He was secretary for many years for the Masonic Lodge after it was organized in 1853. He was postmaster at Gravel Hill from 1847 to February 1867, and again later to September 1868. Leroy and his brother Leander moved to Corinth, Mississippi, where they established a general merchandise business.”

Leroy M. Huggins married Sarah Della Elizabeth  (1837-1921) on 5 December 1854. She was the daughter of Ephriam and Sarah Davenport Sheffield. The 1860 census record listed the couple with their first child as George M. Huggins, male, age one; that must have been an error on the enumerators part. Children of “Lee” and “Lizzie Huggins” were:

  • Georgia Ann Huggins Inge (1859 -1937)                                                                                                       
  • Della Elizabeth Huggins Taylor (1869 – 1956)                                                                                            
  • Virginia “Virgie” Clyde Huggins Young (born 1879 ) 
  • Sarah Frances Huggins
  • Alice Lee Huggins born ca 1863
  •  Mary Ella Huggins 1867 – 1943
  • James Ephriam Huggins 1873 – 1962
  • Edna Huggins born ca 1878

Daughter Virgie C and her husband Herbert Young are in the household with Elizabeth Huggins in both 1900 and 1910 census. They live on Judson in Corinth; and Elizabeth has seven children living of eight born. Daughter Georgie Inge is in her household on the 1920 census record. In 1920 they reside on Jackson Street in Corinth, Mississippi.  Elizabeth Sheffield Huggins is listed as having seven children living of eight born to her on the 1920 census.

Son James Ephraim Huggins’ death certificate gave the place of birth for his mother as Colbert County, Alabama. On his WWI Draft Registration the following information is obtained: lives at Rt 2, Rienzi, Mississippi; 45 years old, farms for self; nearest relative is wife Maggie Huggins; medium build and height, blue eyes, light hair, not bald. On his death record the following information is obtained: cause of death is Sarcoma of right mandible/metastares and malnutrition, wife was Margaret Frances Huggins who had died 24 Sep 1942.  He is buried at New Hope Cemetery, his parents were Lee and Elizabeth Huggins.

There is enough discrepancy in records to cast a big shadow on relations of the Huggins’ families. Some records show that Meredith Stanford Huggins was the son of William Franklin Huggins, who in turn is the son of John Morris Huggins. There should be enough valid information that family of the Huggins’ lines might be able to sort it out, but we only go on what information seems relevant for this treatise.

Leroy Montgomery Huggins son, Merideth S “Minty” Huggins was born 15 Sep 1854 in Guys for Gravel Hill, McNairy County, Tennessee and died 27 Feb 1929 in Guys, Mcnairy County, Tennessee. Merideth S “Minty” Huggins married Sarah Caroline Farris Faires 1853 – 1927. Their known children are: Louella Huggins South 1875 – 1971, Elenander Huggins 1877 – 1965, Elvin Huggins Mills 1878 – 1946, Julius Huggins  born 1880, Elmer Huggins 1881 – 1942, Mamie Huggins born 1883, Robert L Huggins 1885 – 1968, Willie Huggins born 1888, Lora Bell Huggins 1891 – 1928, Lillie Mae Huggins 1892 – 1936 and Clayton Huggins 1895 – 1967.

Merideth S ” Minty  Huggins’ daughter’s name is sometimes given as Lara Bell or Lora Bell. She married William Edgar Curtis 1888 – 1942. Their children were: Ulas Curtis born 1910, Rubie Curtis born 1915, Bertha L Curtis born 1917, Maggie Curtis 1919 and Euthel Lee Curtis 1920 – 1985.

Lara Bell Huggins Curtis lived at Ramer #2 in McNairy County, Tennessee. The Tennessee, Deaths and Burials Index, 1874-1955 provides the following information:

  • Name: Lara Bell Curtis[Lara Bell Huggus]
  • Birth Date: abt 1890
  • Birth Place: Mcnairy County, Tennessee
  • Age: 38
  • Death Date: 9 Jan 1928
  • Death Place: Ranier, McNairy
  • Burial: Gravel Hill Cemetery

William Edgar Curtis was born 1 Feb 1888 in Mcnairy County, Tennessee. He died 28 Jun 1942 in Bolivar, Hardeman County, Tennessee. On his World War I Draft Registration on 5 June 1918 the following information is given: his residence is Guys, McNairy County, Tennessee, he is 29 years old, farms for himself, has a wife and three children at dependents, he is medium height and build, he has dark blue eyes and dark hair but is not bald.

At age 40, he marries Maggie Luvenia Laughlin in McNairy County, Tennessee on 25 Feb 1928. The record gives the name was W. E. Curtis, so it is presumed that it was William Edgar Curtis; on the 1930 census record for Beat 1 in Alcorn County, Mississippi  the children listed match the younger ones of his marriage to Lara Bell Huggins. There are two more children born to William Edgar Curtis by his second wife, Lavenia. They are: Idotha Curtiss born 1928 in McNairy County, Tennessee, and Charlie Curtiss born 1930 likely in Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi. Louvenia Laughlin married first to a Gadbury and had a family of children; and married William Edgar Curtis after both had become widowed.

William Edgar Curtis’s parents, according to his death record are James “Jim” Curtis and Josephine “Josie” Jones. The scant information on the parents are this: Jim Curtis was born circa 1865 in Alabama. There is a Josie Jones on the 1880 United States Federal Census record for Lauderdale County, Alabama. It gives her birth year as 1868, born in Alabama; that she is white and single, her mother and father were born in Alabama; and her occupation is a nurse. She is in the household of John A and Sarah A Potts and their three small children. Nothing further is found on Jim and Josie Jones Curtis.

William Edgar Curtis may have had at least one sibling, that of George Washington Curtis 1886 – 1939.  George W Curtis was born in Alabama and died in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee. He appears to have had two wives, both marriages officiated in Alabama.  One wife was Hattie B. and they had a child named Catherine T Curtis born circa 1918. Minnie P or F Plaxco and George W Curtis married 26 Jun 1902  in Franklin County, Alabama. They had at least one child, Ullman P Curtis  born 1903 and died 1904. In 1910 George W Curtis was in Sebastian, Arkansas. By 1920 he was in Sheffield, Colbert County, Alabama and was a broom maker and peddler. By 1930 he lived in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee and his occupation was Furniture repair man; was widowed; married at age 25; and lives alone. He died 20 Oct 1939 ; he was age 53, divorced, cause of death an accidental fall from a two-story building onto the driveway.

William Edgar Curtis and Lara Bell Huggins Curtis’ son, Euthel Lee Curtis was born 16 Apr 1920 likely in Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi. He died 28 Oct 1985 in Sheffield, Colbert County, Alabama. He married Dorothy Aileen “Dot” Mobley born 16 Dec 1923 in Alabama. She died 1 Dec 1990 in Colbert County, Alabama.  Her parents were  J Sid Mobley (born 1890) and May Mobley (born 1899).

Euthel Lee and Dot Mobley Curtis’ son, David L Curtis was born 1942 in Sheffield, Colbert County, Alabama. David Curtis married Joan Thompson and are the parents of: David Shawn Jones Curtis, Mary Allison Curtis Nichols, Victoria Leigh Curtis Davis, Beverly Joan Curtis Smith Foust, and Elizabeth Aileen Curtis Shelton.

The following is added because there are implications that this William Edward Curtis may be related to James “Jim” Curtis. Dr. W. E. Curtis, was born March 27, 1833 in Henry County, Tenn., an dis one of seven children born to John and Sarah (Sessams) Curtis, two daughters and our subject being the present surviving members of the family. The father was born in North Carolina, moved to Humphreys County, Tenn., when young, married there, then moved to Marengo

photo of Dr. William Edward Curtis

Dr. William Edward Curtis

County, Ala., about 1815, remained there engaged in farming two years, then moved to Stewart County, Tenn., and in 1826 to Henry County, being one of the early settlers in both counties. He resided in Henry County, farming, till his death in 1872. His wife died in 1854. Our subject remained with his parents until he attained his majority, then accepteda clerkship in a store at Paris, Henry Co., Tenn., remaining there until 1856, when he embarked in the drug business at the same place, which he continued a few years, when he commenced the study of medicine, attending the medical university at Nashville, during the sessions of 1859-61, and graduated. He began the practice of medicine in Carroll County, locating at McKenzie in 1878. During the war he was surgeon in 1861. Dr. Curtis married Harriet Looney, daughter of Dr. J. D. Looney, now deceased. From this union were born two daughters: Harriet Ella, and Alice, both living. Their mother died in 1865, and in 1866 Dr. Curtis married Ann E. Carson; from this marriage resulted these children: two sons and a daughter—John William, Lillian Howard and Thos. C., deceased. On Dr. Curtis’ father’s old place in Henry County is a very large Indian mound forming a perfect square and containing one and a half acres; the elevation is about seven feet and is used as a building site. The Doctor has two farms in Carroll County of 100 acres each; on one is located a grist-mill; also has a residence in McKenzie. He and his family are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He is also a member of the F. & A. M. [from Goodspeeds History Of TN ]

An ancestor of Dr. William Edward Curtis was Samuel R Curtis of Marengo County, Alabama. Samuel Curtis, during the revolution was a Regulator from Anson County, North Carolina; he was a Patriot and furnished supplies to the army.

The Samuel R Curtis House, also known as the Howze-Culpepper House, is a historic house in Demopolis, Alabama, United States. It is a brick structure that was built in 1840 by Samuel Curtis, a Revolutionary War veteran who was born in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland in 1751 and died in Marengo County, Alabama in 1846. The house was built in the Federal style, with the later addition of a Greek Revival influenced portico. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 11 April 1977.


George Henry Peebles to me has always been an enigma,

one minute completely insensitive, the next I am moved to tears by his bravery. In years of research, I have learned that you cannot always rely on the written word to be accurate; or that the written word has an equivalent meaning to what would be the standard today. The same is true for the spoken words and memories over time – or even the words etched in granite. How many times have I discovered that the dates, especially the death date on a gravemarker is different from the official record of death? This is especially true when family places a marker years after the event. George Henry Peebles is a study in contradictions.

On the human side, George Henry Peebles, must have been a genial old soul for those who knew him did not soon forget him. And funny, his dry sense of humor has been seen in descendants a number of generations later. My grandmother, Betty Drue Jane Tolbert Peebles, described Grandpa Dick (as the family called him) as a carbon copy of Luther Peebles, or maybe that should be written in reverse order. Luther was small in stature and a very nimble man. Almost all the Peebles men had the hallmark nose, long face, and big ears. My grandfather, Robert Duncan Peebles used to quip that the reason he had big ears was to hold up his hat since he had little hair to help in the matter. And most of them had that same deep gravelly voice and dry sense of humor. And many of them were musically inclined. Luther Peebles was a delight to be around and a very amusing person. Luther could tell some of the tallest tales ever heard by man. That is how I picture George Henry Peebles. My grandmother described him precisely as he rode a mule to visit her in the mornings in the early 1920s. She seemed amused at his insistence that he did not come to see her, but rather daughter Preston who was a baby at the time. It was not always what was said, but the intonation of what was said that provided a smile.

Another trait that George Henry Peebles had was his temperament that too seems to be a family trait. When mad, he was really really mad, and you knew it. You knew where he stood on issues, no doubt about it. He gave no quarter, but in comparison he took no quarter either. He was a good horseman and a better shot. And he was brave. His bravery will be discussed later in this article.

Competition seemed to be steeped into his soul. This is demonstrated by his love of racing and race horses after the War Between the States and by an incident that happened that involved crops. Before we can go further we must address the enigma of his name. The Peebles family over the generations have named children one thing and called them something else completely, and nicknames abounded. Our ancestor was named George Henry Peebles, but even his grandchildren did not know his real name; they called him Grandpa Dick and assumed his name to be either Dick or Richard when pressed. George Henry Peebles went by Dick Peebles, Richard Peebles, and sometimes Henry Peebles or Richard Henry Peebles.

Gathering information on him was a daunting task because he assumed so many personas. He married his first wife, Catherine Rebecca Jane Terry as G. H. Peebles, often misspelled Peoples in 10 March 1870 in Lawrence County, Alabama as recorded in Book E, Page 254.  The marriage book lists the names as George H Peebles and R. J. Terry. The original license gives the names as George H. Peebles and Rebecker J. Terry.

George Henry Peebles married a second time under the name George Peebles to Mrs. Willie Kazle as recorded on the original marriage license in Lawrence County, Alabama on 21 February 1895 in Book L, Record 238.  No further record has been located for Mrs. Willie Kazle [likely Cagle], but three years later he marries a third time. Perhaps this was a case where the license was taken out but a marriage never performed.

The original license has him as G. H. Peebles and bride as Alice Graham; the marriage took place in Lawrence County, Alabama on 4 February 1898 and is recorded in Book M, Record 20. After he married his third wife, Alice Graham, he gave his name on documents such as the census as Richard Peebles. Alice Graham was the younger sister of Eliza Holland Graham. Eliza Graham married George Henry Peebles’ son, William Henry Peebles.

The marriage record for George Henry Peebles was found in Morgan County for his fourth marriage. Mittie Elizabeth Dotson and George Henry Peebles married in 1914 in Morgan County, Alabama. It appears that George Henry Peebles was still married to Mittie Dotson at the time of his death even though they were living apart; her parents were likely William F and Sarah C Dotson who died in Lawrence County, Alabama. Nothing further is known about her; her name may be been Margaret Elizabeth Dotson and she was called Mittie by family and friends. Mittie was not one to be trifled with as evidence by her separation from her husband after he hurled a piece of firewood at her while she was at the stove.

On court documents he was named as George Peebles, George Henry Peebles, G H Peebles, R H Peebles, and Richard Peebles. Family called him Dick Peebles. On his pension records his name was given as G H Peoples. On his death record his name was given as Richard Peebles. All these names represent the same man. On his sons’ death certificates the informant gave the name of their father as Richard Peebles; the exception for this was Maj Peebles’ death certificate where his name was given correctly by the informant.

Next are the stories and records for George Henry Peebles during the War Between the States. And, oh my, but it is a gnarly set of records at best. He must have been a contortionist to have served in the different units as records indicate. That is not saying that it is not true, it could be. A study of the 16th Alabama Regiment of Infantry demonstrates adequately that units and regiments, rank, officers, and commanders can change in a heartbeat depending on untimely defeats and deaths. The south had to regroup so many times in every regiment that it became routine; regrouping caused the commanders to rename the regiments as ‘consolidated.’ Further and in depth research might reveal more adequate facts, but for now we work with what facts we find.

One record which is a List of Soldiers buried in Lawrence County, Alabama online. The list states that information was taken from the 1907 Lawrence County Pensioners and 1910 Census records. The list shows that he served in the 23rd North Carolina. There was a George H Peebles who served in the 23rd North Carolina Infantry, CSA. He ranked in and ranked out as a Private. The record for his service is File Number M230 roll 30. Since I consider this an unlikely match to our ancestor, there has been no attempt to research further.

Another record shows a George Peoples who ranked in and ranked out as a Private in the 6th Tennessee Cavalry, Wheeler’s Cavalry. An alternate name was given as R Peeples. The record is in the archives as M231 roll 34.  It is

A photo of Joseph Wheeler as a West Point Cadet

Joe Wheeler as West Point Cadet

possible that George Henry served as a scout for Joe Wheeler; they were from the same neighborhood and their families knew each other. Evidently Wheeler’s Cavalry was quite successful and personality types like our George Henry Peebles would have been quite valuable in endeavors such those in which Wheeler’s men took part. The following is an excerpt from the New York Times archive:


From the Selma Reporter [in Alabama]. From the Richmond Sentinel Sept. 24.

Published: October 2, 1864

The following is an extract of a letter from Camden County, North Carolina:

“The Yankees have just made a raid out here, committing the most fiendish acts of cruelty upon the people. They were not satisfied with subsisting upon the people, carrying of horses, &c., but they burned some fifteen or twenty houses, turning the defenceless families out of doors, with a total loss of furniture, clothing. &c. Many of the ladies, having secured their money and jewelry about their persons, were seized and forcibly robbed. Some of the citizens were badly beaten for trying to defend their wives from insult.”

Among the many jokes to which WHEELER’s cavalry raid has given rise, nothing is better than this in a letter from HOOD’s army. “The boys in camp, who are always very severe in their criticism upon the cavalry when a failure occurs, say that WHEELER, in his detour from Dalton toward Knoxville, was on his way to tear up the railroad between Lynchburgh and Richmond, and was only deterred from doing so by a dispatch from JEFF DAVIS requesting the General to spare it.”

The LaGrange (Tenn.,) Bulletin says: “We heard a little incident related in reference to the Alabama militia the other day, which shows the laxity of military discipline about Opelika. A captain of a cavalry company reported about ninety men for duty every morning, and on an occasion of parade, the colonel asked him why he did not parade more than twenty-six men. “The fact is,” says the captain, “there are about seventy of my men who have reported here in buggies, and there are only this number properly equipped.” We suppose these meelish have read of the style of the ancients who went to war in chariots, and are only imitating the ancients as nearly as they can.

The Richmond Dispatch states that when Gen. MORGAN was killed he had in his possession four valuable horses. The finest of these he rode in his last march, and he was captured in Greenville when the General fell. The three others were sold at Abingdon, Virginia, on Tuesday last, at public outcry. One was a bay saddle horse, and the others a pair of blacks, well matched. They were sold separately, and brought respectively, the bay one thousand six hundred and seventy-five dollars, and the others two thousand one hundred dollars and two thousand dollars. Neither horse sold for much more than half his real value.

From the Savannah Republican:

Our Northern brethren seem to have the Christian spirit of the Spaniards who first settled America. WASHINGTON IRVING relates, in his Knickerbocker History of New-York, that the pious Spaniards, after preparing the Indians for Heaven, immediately sent them there, by shooting them, burning them, pouring hot lead down their throats, and other such mild measures. The New-York Bible Society is trying to fit us for Heaven, and the Yankee Generals propose to send us there.

The Selma Mississippian, of the 16th, says:

Sixteen thousand copies of the Bible and Testament arrived in Selma yesterday evening, on route for HOOD’s army. They are the first installment of fifty thousand presented the troops of the Confederate States by the American Bible Society at New-York!

From the Richmond Enquirer:

The Lynchburgh Virginian thus points out the Polly of those who impair the confidence of the army by assuming that its fortunes would have been different under a different Commander:

“When, under such circumstances as exist in the Georgia army, the soldiers institute comparisons un[???]able to their Commanding General; and above all, when they feel that the lives of their brave comrades have been ‘sacrificed’ for naught, the spirit of disaffection toward a Government that condemns them to the reign of incompetency, may ‘manifest’ itself in a way that will be fatal to our hopes.”

Upon this subject we cannot help remarking one apparent difference between the army and people of the West and our own. There has been much complaint of the Generals in the West. None, we think, of those assigned us here. These Western Generals have stalked grimly across the stage, like the line of Banquo, Sidney Johnston, Floyd, Beauregard, Bragg, Pemberton, Johnston, Hood. Do none of these men suit the army or people of the West? Our armies have been driven back on the Western line, from Donaldson to _____ where the enemy choose to stop. Here we have had but few Generals, but there has been no parties, no complaints. We have accepted and sustained every commander that has been assigned us. And they have all been successful. One of them, at least, who had been relieved in the West, has been invariably triumphant here. We have backed the Government and sustained the generals. We are still within cannon sound of the first invasion. We do not claim to be braver men or better patriots than the people of the West, but we may claim that we are more easily satisfied, and have lost less territory. Somehow we do not run into military parties here. If an officer is successful we have no desire to see any one else in his place, because he might, perhaps, do better. Our only use for generals is to whip the enemy. If they can do that we are content. If they cannot we have no interest in their personal reputation, which makes us a partisan to vindicate or reinstate them. Possibly our Western friends expect too much. Possibly their ideal standard of military genius is too high. They must be patient, earnest, enduring and indulgent. We need concession and concentration as much in war as peace. We must accept the situation as it is, not complain because it is not as we would have it. Our Western friends must sustain HOOD, JOHNSTON, HARDEE, BRAGG. Yes, BRAGG — much as they complained of him — if either of these officers be appointed to command them.

From the Richmond Examiner, Sept. 16:

The managing proprietor of one of our first-class hotels returned the other day from a tour over fourteen counties of North Carolina, in quest of flour to supply the wants of his hotel. He found flour plenty and cheap at $125 and $150 per barrel, and had no difficulty in negotiating for its purchase. He secured fifty barrels, and negotiated for its delivery at the railroad station for shipment to Richmond. But no sooner did the flour touch the depot than the hawks of the impressment agents swooped down upon it and “gobbled” the whole of it. It was in vain that the hotel caterer presented an order from the Secretary of War, authorizing him to ship flour to Richmond, and guaranteeing the flour protection from impressment while in transit. The agent’s hawks presented a more recent order, signed by NORTHROP, Commissary General, who is a greater man than the Secretary of War; therefore there was no release for the flour, and it went the way of hundreds of other barrels that enterprising citizens have been endeavoring to transport to the Richmond market. Such conduct upon the part of the impressment agents is an outrage upon the rights of citizens, but it will not be checked.

Atlanta having fallen, it may not be long until this section of Alabama is overrun by the infernal raiders of SHERMAN’s army. They will come like infuriated demons to burn, pillage, and devastate. We have no alternative, as patriots, but to arm ourselves to the teeth and calmly await their coming. We may have to quit our homes and sacrifice our household goods — nay, we may have to suffer the loss of all our property, but we must fight them to the death, though they be poured upon us in legions, like the frogs of Egypt. To good and pure men death is a welcome boon if it comes in the place of dishonor.

The conflagration which have filled our nights with alarm for some time past, demand more adequate and energetic efforts at prevention than have yet been adopted. Whether due to a mania which seems at times to some over the evil-disposed, or to schemes of theft, and whether the actors are depraved whites, or vicious blacks, it does seem that a proper degree of vigor and address would succeed in detecting and arresting at least some of the culprits, and handing them over to the utmost severities of the law, which they so richly deserve.

A noticeable feature of these fires is, that they occur in most, if not all instances, not far from midnight. This may afford a hint as to the classes who are probably playing incendiary. The comparatively early hour does not point to the habitual nightwalkers. A house-burner will probably choose an hour which seems late to him. Vicious youths, who are allowed the freedom of the streets in search of excitement until amusement hours are over, and who are not missed or expected at home till midnight, may think it a fine thing, ere they retire, to alarm a sleeping city. The houses selected for their performances are such as are easy of ignition, and quickly in flames; so that they do not need to wait long for their sport.

But the wonder is why none of them are detected, and why the fired houses are often as bright as a bonfire before the flames are discovered. Often when the alarm is first sounded the city is already illuminated. Surely the watchmen are not asleep so early as midnight. Our good Mayor has offered $1,000 reward to any who shall, bring an incendiary to justice. This is very well. But we should be more encouraged if the night police could be moved to greater vigilance, or their number increased if they are now too few. If we could have that diligent observation and shrewd sagacity which we are accustomed to expect of professional policemen and detectives, we do not think it would be possible to reduce Richmond to ashes before an arrest was made.

If these fires are thus to continue, we do not know what better the citizens can do, than to organize on each square, for their own watch and guard. The night might be divided into a sufficient number of reliefs to make the task supportable, and then when one did lie down to sleep, it would be without the fear of waking to find his dwelling wrapped in flames. The robberies, too, which have been performed with such impunity, would be arrested by this home-guard. Carts could not then drive up to a dwelling or a store at midnight, and load without being seen.

We take it for granted that we shall catch some of our house-burners, very soon; we trust the very next performer. When caught, let him. if not shot down in the act, be visited with the law’s utmost rigors. It is only thus that such characters can be made to comprehend the enormity of their conduct.

The sharpshooters who were quick on foot and horseback were valuable assets to the military. They were surefooted and had been hunters all their lives. It would seem that the south had more of these than did the more industrial north. The Peebles men and all their friends and relations were among those tenacious enough to fight, lose, fight, win, fight, starve, fight, freeze, and fight some more. All this even though their families suffered mightily back home.

General Joseph Wheeler’s campaigns were in Middle Tennessee, Chickamauga and Chattanooga, and in Georgia and the Carolinas during the War Between the States.

My grandmother, Betty Drue Jane Tolbert Peebles, oft repeated the story about Grandpa Dick Peebles and Joe Wheeler so we know from that story that at some point George Henry Peebles and Joseph Wheeler were at the same place at the same time. She said that Grandpa Dick was cooking his meat on an open fire. Joe Wheeler came by and took his meat and ate it. Grandpa Dick whacked Joe Wheeler on the head with his skillet. As a result of that incident, Grandpa Dick’s punishment was to dig up a tree stump without breaking any of the tendril roots. Evidently, Grandpa Dick accomplished the task of the punishment. My grandmother stated further that the stump was on display somewhere up near Chattanooga. This was many decades ago. A short-lived attempt to find the stump many years ago was not successful. A side note here would be that pretty much everything that my grandmother told me over the years has turned out to be true. In family research decades ago, wherever I would go in Lawrence County people would tell me to, “… ask Drue, she would know.”

There is one further mention of George Henry Peebles serving in the 32nd Regiment of Tennessee. Other than what seems like a passing mention of him serving in this unit, nothing further has been noted. That is until one examines the 1921 Confederate Soldiers census records. A copy of the orginal files follow:

Images of the original Confederate Pension Files for George Henry Peebles

Images of the original Confederate Pension Files for George Henry Peebles

Some records show that George Henry Peebles served in the 4th Alabama Cavalry along with General Philip Dale Roddy. General Roddy was also from Lawrence County, Alabama as was George Henry Peebles and his family. The book Confederate Soldiers of Lawrence County Alabama by Spencer A Waters provides information about George H Peebles. From the book’s section entitled, Pension Applications of Soldiers the book reads: George H Peebles, Private in Company F, 4th Regiment of Alabama Cavalry. Was shot in the right hip on the 14 November [likely meant September], 1864 at Sulphur Trestle in Alabama.

The September 1864 War Between the States’ Battle of Sulphur Trestle Bridge cut a crucial Union supply line and was a victory for the Confederate forces under General Nathan Bedford Forrest. The engagement over the railroad bridge was the bloodiest to take place in north Alabama. By 1864, Union forces had advanced deep into Confederate territory, even into Alabama. The food, ammunition, clothes, and weapons required to continue their campaigns were transported primarily by railroads to troops. One of these, the Alabama and Tennessee Railroad, ran south from Nashville, Tennessee, through southern Tennessee and northern Alabama to Decatur in Morgan County. From Decatur, the railroad connected with another line that extended east to Chattanooga. This line provided a continuous route for supplies that were offloaded from boats on the Cumberland River in Nashville and then sent by train to support Union forces in Chattanooga. Union forces constructed forts at strategic points along the length of the railroad. Sulphur Trestle Fort was constructed by the Ninth and Tenth Indiana Cavalries on a gently sloping hill alongside the railroad tracks about one mile south of the town in Limestone County named Elkmont. Two wooden blockhouses fortified the very basic square fort of only 300-foot square embankments. The fort was protected by steep ravines on three sides and overlooked an open clearing to the south, providing an exposed field of fire on advancing enemy troops. The fort located below the summit of adjacent hills was fatally flawed and made protecting it a great difficulty.

Although small, the fort was important because it defended a vulnerable section of the railroad line, a wooden trestle, 300 feet long and 72 feet high, that spanned a broad valley bisected by narrow Sulphur Branch. The trestle was an inviting target for Confederate soldiers seeking to disrupt this prime supply line. The fort consisted of prominent earthworks for exterior defense, with two blockhouses built in the fort’s interior to provide a secondary means of defense. During the Civil War, blockhouses such as these were common for defending strategic points such as railway bridges. The fort was initially occupied by the Ninth and Tenth Indiana Cavalry. Over time, further Union reinforcements arrived, including soldiers from Union regiments raised in Tennessee. The fort’s garrison was eventually comprised of both white and black soldiers.

On Saturday, September 24, 1864, Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest’s troops, about 500 mounted cavalry and infantry, who had just enjoyed a victory over a much larger force of Union troops in the town of Athens in

Photo of the historical marker for the battle at Sulphur Creek Trestle Bridge

Historical marker commemorating the battle at Sulphur Creek Testle Bridge

Limestone County, six miles south of Sulphur Creek, advanced north with the intent of destroying the trestle. Confederate scouts engaged in a brief skirmish with a Union patrol late on Saturday evening, and the Union forces withdrew into the fort’s perimeters; the opposing sides exchanged gunfire sporadically throughout the night. Forrest’s troops were in position and ready for battle before dawn the next day. In the early hours of Sunday morning, September 25, Forrest’s artillery opened fire against the earthen works.

The approximately 1,000 Union troops garrisoning the fort returned fire, but they had only two 12-pound artillery pieces versus Forrest’s eight cannon. Although the Union defenders had the advantage of a fortified position, Confederate artillery and sharpshooters were able to fire down on the Union troops from the higher ground surrounding the fort. From their superior positions, Forrest’s artillery reportedly poured 800 rounds into the fort in a little more than two hours. Union troops tried to take cover in the fortification’s buildings, but the artillery fire either destroyed the structures or set them afire.

About mid-morning, a brigade of troops under the command of Col. David Campbell Kelley charged across the open field on the valley floor, losing a number of soldiers in this advance. Unable to breach the fort’s defenses, they took up positions in a ravine within 100 yards of the fort. From there they fired continually at the defenders. The tide was clearly in the Confederates’ favor. The cannon fire and the deadly accuracy of Confederate sharpshooters had decimated the Union ranks.

Around noon, Forrest demanded immediate and unconditional surrender, and Col. John B. Minnis, who had assumed command after the commanding officer, Col. William Hopkins Lathrop, was killed, complied. The Confederates took control of the fort and set the blockhouses and the trestle bridge afire, burning them to the ground. The battle, which had lasted about five hours, proved costly for the Union: the Confederate’s had severed the vital supply line, and 200 Union troops were killed, with the remaining 800 taken prisoner. About 40 Confederate soldiers were lost. Forrest catalogued his captures as 700 small arms, 16 wagons, 300 cavalry horses and equipments, and medical, quartermaster, and commissary stores. The battle was north Alabama’s bloodiest of the war and participants attested to the awful carnage suffered by the Union. Although the loss of the trestle affected the Union Southern Campaign, it did not affect the overall war effort. After the engagement at Sulphur Branch Trestle, Forrest continued his campaign of destroying and disrupting other import railway bridges along the Alabama and Tennessee Railroad. Many of the white Union soldiers captured here were sent to Castle Morgan, the Confederate Prison established in Cahaba, Alabama. The black Union soldiers captured were put to work on the continued construction of Mobile’s elaborate system of defensive earthworks.

The Sulphur Creek trestle bridge is believed by some scholars to have influenced Civil War veteran and writer Ambrose Bierce’s story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” Although the story recounts the hanging of a southern sympathizer in Tennessee and not a battle, the location described in the story strongly resembles the Sulphur Creek scenery, which Bierce had visited as a member of the Ninth Indiana Infantry while helping to repair the railroad in 1862.

The Sulfur Creek Trestle was rebuilt after the war and railroad traffic on the Tennessee and Alabama Central Railway continued until 1986.The gap that the trestle spanned was later filled in with dirt, and the railroad bed is now part of the Richard Martin Trail that runs from Veto at the Tennessee border, south to Hays Mill. It stands about 60 feet above Sulfur Creek and is about 1000 feet in length.  The track and cross ties have been removed and the surface is covered with fine gravel. It is now used for walking, bicycling, and horse riding as a part of the “Rail to Trails”, which runs from the Tennessee State Line to about 4.3 miles south of the trestle to Piney Chapel Road.

Mr Gilchrist owns the land near Sulphur Trestle Bridge in Limestone County that is the scene of a reenactment some years of the Battle at Sulphur Trestle Bridge. I attended that reenactment one year and it was wonderful. Cars were parked and we were transported to the battle scene by wagons filled with hay. One could hear the shots and see the smoke from the fire before the troops surfaced the hills of the undulating terrain. The horses were magnificent. The men were breathtaking. The action seemed real. It was better than watching a movie about the event because you could feel the tension and smell war. I kept watching for which one might have been my maternal great-great-grandfather. Beforehand I could never have imagined that a battlefield could be considered magnificent; this battlefield was magnificent. And to top it off, it was right in our own backyard. History abounds in and surrounds the Shoals area.

At some point, the government removed him from the pension roles. This occurred because he failed to complete and return some form that had been mailed to him by the government to effect the continuation of his confederate pension. There is a set of pension files where he applied again to the government for reinstatement of his pension. Evidently, he was successful for there was payment made to him for pension. His pension started out as five dollars per month and eventually was raised to $37.50 per month, as were all the others’ rate of pay for pensions. He received a pension for almost thirty years as recorded in pension records.

On some of George Henry Peebles’ military records there is a description of his wounds. It is stated that he was wounded twice, once at Chickamauga and once at Sulphur Trestle Bridge. It also states that he was captured and taken prisoner having been taken to Camp Chase in Ohio. The shot to his right hip went through his body and entered his groin destroying one of his testicles; any wonder now why I am amazed that any of us descendants exist? That does not even give any consideration to the fact that many of our future grandparents of any number of greats were in battle against each other.

My grandmother, Betty Drue Jane Tolbert Peebles, told us this story on as many occasions as we asked her to repeat it. It concerned her grandfather, George Washington Terry, who served in Company I of the 16th Alabama Regiment of Infantry. Her grandfather Terry was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga. That is well documented in George Washington Terry’s military file. George Washington Terry along with other Terry cousins, namely Thomas Jasper Terry, James Washington Terry, and John Franklin Terry all served in the Confederate Army. Thomas Jasper and James Washington Terry also served in Company I of the 16th. George W Terry was shot in the abdomen at Chickamauga. He laid suffering on the battlefield as a result of a shot from a minie ball. The shot entered the right hip and angled through his bowels. The injury occurred on the Chickamauga battlefield on the 19th day of September 1863. Family tradition had it that George W Terry’s guts were blown out during battle. Some of his comrades helped to handpick the leaves and debris from his guts. George W Terry’s bowels were then placed back inside him by these same comrades. They then proceeded to lean him against a tree for the medics to pick up. This act of heroism likely saved his life. One of those comrades was George Henry Peebles who would later become my great-great-grandfather from my grandfather’s side of the family. George W Terry would later become my great-great-grandfather from my grandmother’s side of the family. George W Terry drew a military pension. After his death, his widow Matilda Ann Rodgers Terry drew on his pension. He died in 1903 of injuries relating back to the war wound. He was leading an old horse when the horse jerked and pulled him back. This tore the old war wound open and he died as a result of those injuries. He, and George Henry Peebles, along with innumerable other relatives are buried in Smyrna Baptist Church Cemetery in Lawrence County, Alabama.

After the war, routine became farming for most of the soldiers of the war. Many of them, or their descendants, moved from Lawrence County to what was then Franklin County, Alabama after the war. George Henry Peebles returned to Lawrence County and his family. He lived his last years out at a house in Courtland that is still standing. The current owners have chosen to paint it brown now, it was originally white. But, the adventure for him did not end with the war.

George Henry Peebles was not a man to be trifled with, as borne out by some facts of his life. The old saying of tit for tat applied to him; if you gave him tit, you could expect tat back in return. He could be described as a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of person. On one occasion, he attracted the ire of a prominent cotton planter in the area. That year, George Henry Peebles, brought in the first bale of cotton. That was an honor that the prominent cotton planter had earned for some years prior; and had made the threat that he would kill any other man who brought in the first bale of cotton. One can assume that George Henry Peebles was pretty satisfied with himself that he could bring in the first bale of cotton. This planter confronted Peebles while he was having a shave in the barbershop and said he would make good on the threat. George Henry Peebles escaped injury at the barbershop and went on down the street. The planter encountered him again in a store down the street. There shots were fired and the planter was shot. George Henry Peebles was brought up on charges, but was found ‘not guilty’ by means of self defense by the court. This incident was documented in the Moulton Advertiser, a newspaper in Lawrence County.

There was another incident that involved him as Richard Peebles. The newspaper article dated 14 January 1886 in the Moulton Advertiser read: R. H. Peebles, who shot and killed Kennard Barnes at Hillsboro a few weeks ago, was tried before Judge Foster, in this place, on the 7th, on a writ of habeas corpus and discharged. A large crowd of country people attended the trial.

There was another incident involving the daughter of a Terry relative. There is no documentation that George Henry Peebles had a part in it; but the idea that he could recuse himself is unlikely. Thomas Jasper Terry was a veteran of the War Between the States. He had come back as a crippled man. Family and friends referred to him as Crippled Tom. Thomas Jasper was wounded at the battle of Shiloh by a shot through his right hip that passed out through his spine in 1862. He was wounded again in 1863 in the battle at Chickamauga when he received a gunshot wound in the left leg below the knee fracturing the bone. He testified that the wound caused his left leg to be paralyzed and never usable again. Even his nickname implies that he was crippled; he somehow managed to walk to Franklin, Tennessee and to the McGavock house where so many of his fellow soldiers fell to visit in honor of their memory one last time in his old age.

The incident involved a daughter of Thomas Jasper Terry sometime after the war. The daughter and her mother were at the creek washing clothes. The mother went back to the house. While the mother was away, a man attacked the daughter and raped her; to apparently avoid detection he then proceeded to take his knife and slice the young girl’s throat pretty much from ear to ear. He left her for dead. When the daughter was discovered she was able to identify the man. A posse of men considered where the man may have fled to; and they figured it out. The group of mounted men met the train and stopped it. They took the identified man off the train. They proceeded to hang him from the nearest big tree and left him dangling there. To date, the band of mounted men has never been identified. I would have no doubt that George Henry Peebles would have joined the group, if asked. The girl survived but bore a scar commemorating the terrible event.

George Henry Peebles lived the rest of his life in Lawrence County, mostly in Courtland. The informant for his death certificate is not known; it may have been the wife from his last marriage, Mittie Dotson Peebles.  George Henry Peebles died 13 January 1928 in Austinville, Morgan, Alabama under the name of Richard Peebles. Austinville is the old name for Decatur. This is proven by his death certificate. It is also proven by some of the dozens of war pension files and records. His war pension was ended in May of 1928 after his death on 13 January 1928 had been received by the officials and entered into his records. The war records had him as G H Peoples, but the death certificate had him as Richard Peebles. Evidently the government did not question the difference in names.

The death certificate lists his father as John Peebles, and his age as 95 years old. Whoever the informant was did not know or give his legal name, nor his age for he would have been 86 years old if he was in fact born in 1842. My grandmother stated that he lived to be nearly one hundred years old on different occasions. We will never know now because there is such a difference in documents over the years about the facts of him and his life.


Bryant, William O. Cahaba Prison and the Sultana Disaster. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001.

Foote, Shelby. The Civil War, A Narrative, Red River to Appomattox. New York: Random House, Inc, 1974.

Harris, W. Stuart. Dead Towns of Alabama. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1977.

Hurst, Jack. Nathan Bedford Forrest, A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.

Owens, David M. The Devil’s Topographer: Ambrose Bierce and the American War Story. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2006.

Wyeth, John Allen. That Devil Forrest, The Life of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1959.

Covered bridges…

are relics of the past, and not too many of them even exist anymore.

A Shoals area resident has drawn renderings of Buzzard Roost Covered Bridge in rural Colbert County. They were very admirable. Here is a photo of Buzzard Roost Covered Bridge. Are there other covered bridges in the area?

photo of Buzzard Roost Covered Bridge

Buzzard Roost Bridge

OMG, seriously…

Oh, My God! Thank the Lord above for all that may be about to ‘be.’

Through His grace, He gives the knowledge and ability to do great things that will benefit all mankind. He touches mankind often through other individuals to benefit even the unknowing, the unfeeling, the uncaring, the unaware, the unbelieving, undeserving,  and the ungrateful. Those who know me well know for an absolute that this is not how I begin any conversation.

But this is H-U-G-E!

My children are affected by many diseases and conditions that I [moi] have passed down to them through the genetic process. There is the Malignant Hyperthermia that has affected many in the family, most especially myself and my daughter. My eldest son is now a ‘chair’ user because of myopathy that was finally diagnosed as ‘related to Malignant Hyperthermia’ by those at Emory University Hospital, and after initial help from the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He is one of Jerry’s Kids even though he is no longer a child. The doctors and medical personnel at MDA and Emory were patient and listened and did not dismiss him as having a ‘make believe’ condition. He intelligently guided the doctors to ‘find’ the condition even though it may have been masked by other benign symptoms. Only a couple of doctors at Emory had given the adequate amount of time to actually witness the presenting problem. These doctors were astounded at how the synapses exploded on their monitors with the triggered bursts of calcium. Thank the Good Lord for them.

You see, we do not know whether the others would have the same problem because they have been healthy enough not to require surgery or anaesthesia. I don’t know whether those are the lucky ones or not; since it is relied upon that the personnel take the threat seriously and take the necessary precautions; the precautions are time-consuming and often expensive. There are no short cuts.

Then there is the Amblyopia, the Diabetes, the tumor, the strokes, the hypertension and the allergies that lead to asthma. You get the picture. No sympathy is elicited here; I just wanted everyone to understand how miraculous this might be, if not for my loved ones, then perhaps for yours. And I can think of no one else to credit other than the big man upstairs.

Someone, a  hithertofore unknown individual, has effected the power of healing from within. I know, it is a miracle. This is an overnight sensation. It is too bad it took twenty years or so to perfect this overnight success. A remarkable substance extracted from pig guts enables the body to regenerate lost muscle tissue. Adam Piore writes in the July/August 2011 issue of Discover magazine that pioneer Stephen Badylak is working on treatments that would allow patients to regrow entire limbs. Enough. Enough, I say about ‘the pigs in a blanket’ that we heard this last week from testimony in the Casey Anthony trial; this is important. And, yes mother, evidently they can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear – at least close enough to government work for me. And for those who were young during the 1960s, no the ‘pixie dust’  is not LSD.

Lord, please let your ‘pixie dust’ regenerate atrophied muscle tissue. It has been shown to regrow lost fingertips. The documented case of regrowing thigh muscle in the case presented in the article is astounding, stupendous, amazing! The leg was in need of amputation said the experts to Corporal Isaias Hernandez, a nineteen-year-old Iraq marine wounded while on duty; you would be better off with a prosthesis which would come with less pain. Then ensued medical

Cpl Isaias Herandez' thigh

Photograph by Scott Lewis from Discover Magazine page 69, July/August 2011 Issue showing Marine Cpl Isaias Hernandez' regenerated thigh tissue

procedures and three years of intense physical therapy, but to no avail. Recently talk of amputation had begun again.  Then his well-being took a dramatic turn when he viewed a documentary on the Discovery Channel dealing with a ‘magic powder’ that regrew another soldier’s fingertip with nail, bone, tissue and all. The other soldier’s brother is the one who invented and provided the ‘pixie dust.’

For the Corporal there were more rounds of intense physical therapy and surgery that included the insertion of a portion of a pig’s bladder known as ECM [extracellular matrix]which is the same source for material that is made into the ‘pixie dust.’ It had been believed to contain powerful proteins that can reawaken the body’s latent ability to regenerate tissues. Trials are now being conducted, that if successful, they could fundamentally change the treatment for catastrophic limb injuries.

The story of Stephen Badylak, regenerative-medicine pioneer, says this changes “the body’s default mechanism of healing.” His background in the most unlikely of fields led to disbelief in the medical field of experts. He became quiet of his results for years because no seemed to believe him. He then entered medical school and became an M.D. so that he could conduct his own research with the knowledge base of a doctor and researcher. And, viola! Twenty years or so later, his results are now a matter of public knowledge. He is an overnight sensation. Good for him; and good for mankind.

Source: Piore, Adam. Discover Magazine. July/August 2011 Issue, pages 68-73. Photography by Scott Lewis.

Doublehead Reserve 1810 Document

Historical Marker for Doublehead Reserve

Historical Marker for Doublehead Reserve

Lessees and squatters on the lands of the native americans were numerous. Among them were several lines of our families. The petition against the removal from lands of Double Head Reserve follows. Even though no date is known of when the petition was drawn up, it would seem that the year would have been 1810. It was received in Washington DC in December 1810.The locale of these petitioners seems to have been in the northwest section of what would become the

 state of Alabama in 1818. They lived inpresent day Lauderdale, Franklin and Colbert County. All spelling of names are original.

DoubleHead Squatters
Petitioners Names
Benjamin BirkJames Cummins

David Hudspeth


C.L. Burney

John Beard

John Butler

Gabriel Butler

J.G. Hemphill

Jos Lemaster

Green Hudspeth

R. H. Alpes

Kames Hannegan

Julius Alford

Isreal Harman

Henry Tucker

Hutson Alford

Andrew I. Kavanaugh

Justin Readford

Adam Lacky

James Hooper

James M. Petigrew

James Petigrew

Thomas Caplin

D.B. Potter

Matthew Jones

Hampton Strowell

William Strowell

Samuel Burney Sr.

Samuel Burney Jr.

Charles Burney

_____ Hayes

Carlis Hays

Elisha Wilborn

Elisha Wilson

David Bains

Willis Stevens

Jessee Stevens

James Brion

Alexander Cambrel

William Wilborn

Jos C. Wilborn

Mosser Moss

Benjamin Oberly

James Ellis

M. Armstrong

Thomas Grisham

John Kilough

David Kilough

Amus Wilks

Philop Mebery

Frederick Peeler

Benjamin Yardley

Allen Kilough

Hennery Morehead

Richard Haley

William Welch Jr.

Rebekeah Hays

Charles Moorhead

Jeremiah ____

Moses Norman

William Welch

Benjamin Moore

Thomas Yardley

Jonathan Little

James Young

Jno Crowly

Thomas Bowman

Mathew English

Thos G. Butler

James Brown

Jos Brown

Thos Redish

Richard Butler

Edmund Hatch

James Welch

Joshua Golner

J. N. Coe

Thomas Casey

Nathaniel Casey

John Manley

Archibald Sanders

Joseph Edwards

Hennery Tucker

Hennery Tucker

John I. Moss

John Cavenner

Marlin Towns

Tyre G. Dabney

Joel Wilbourn

James Wilbourn

William Wilbourn

Carlton Wilbourn

H. A. Hays

William Carwood

John Young

John Cole

Abraham Cole Sr.

Abraham Cole Jr.

Mason Moss

Alexander Carrel

Charles Hulsy

James Ellis