From long ago now and far away, there are memories that are cherished. Home. Family. Gran. Aunts and uncles and first cousins. Family like my children have never gotten to be a part of, extended family. It made you feel safe, secure, loved. You learned what was important even when you did not know that you were being instilled with values and wit and humor. My ancestors James Richardson Isbell and Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell lived in that
little community of Paint Rock while other kin lived in Larkinsville and other surrounding towns and communities. In Jackson County during those days Isbell was a fairy common name. There was John Isbell, James Isbell, Allen Isbell, Levi Isbell. There were Birdwells, too. John Birdwell, Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell’s father, with all his family were in Jackson County before statehood as well. There were the Houk and the Peters families, and the
Murray lines. Rev Simeon Houk whose wife was Tobitha Murray Houk married William Deaton Jackson Murray and Susan Anna Isbell Murray in the year 1848 in Jackson County.
My Birdwell/Isbell line settled in Jackson County, Alabama after they had brought their family into the Mississippi Territory a good fourteen years before statehood. And then moved to Franklin, now Colbert County, Alabama. But first were the towns of Paint Rock and Woodville, Trenton, Pleasant Grove, and the communities of Aspel and LimRock and all the surrounding little towns and communities.
When I read the account of one man named Hodges recount in a speech in 1993 his experience and delight in being born and raised in the little community of LimRock and Aspel. His title is Judge Bob Hodges and his story sounds so much like one that my Gran may have told. It made me feel at home, safe, and longing for the good old days, the simple days, the days of extended family. The content of his speech follows:
AN ADDRESS AT LIM ROCK ‐ ASPEL HERITAGE DAY on October 9 , 1993 by Jackson County Circuit Judge Bob Hodges
Before you take anything else I say seriously, I want to read to you my father’s business card he used at Hodges Drug Store for over 30 years: “Robert Leslie Levi Buchannon Fairbanks Hodges, Jr……. Born on land lying N W One-fourth o f S E One ‐ fourth of Sec 10, Township 4 , Range 7E, Berry’s Cove, North Lim Rock, Alabama…… Now located in trading business about, 1 2 miles N E born site…….Come’n see me…. T
elelphone: Day: 2 longs and 1 short Nite: 2 longs and a half….” As you can see, he never forgot where he came from, and he was one of the best representatives o f the Lim Rock Chamber of Commerce who ever served. My roots go back here a t least three generations before me, and my memories of this community go back to the years of my childhood just before World War II. I want to share some of them with you today, because the heritage of a place, to me, means what culture that place has left us ‐ that unique and special quality a community has that is measured not just by its physical boundaries and its geographical features, but by its people: Who they were, what they believed in, and what they raised their children to be. And so, as I began thinking about what to say today, I considered In any memories of this community and its people, and ‘the special place it has occupied in my heart and in my family.
It began, for me, over 60 years ago, when three brothers left the cotton fields here on a sharecropper farm and moved ten miles up the road to the big city of Scottsboro. Each of them, my Dad, my Uncle Mess, and my Uncle Charles, never missed a chance t o remind travelers who stopped at Hodges Drug Store ‘that Lim Rock and Aspel were not just places you passed by on your way from Woodville to Scottsboro ‐ Lim Rock and Aspel, to them, was an oasis where you could come from Huntsville or Scottsboro or wherever else and quench your thirst for plain and simple beauty and good solid. working people who loved a good laugh and a rocker on the porch in the evening after a plate of pinto beans and corn bread and turnip greens, and the sound of the animals in the barn at night. The stuff a farm boy never finds, no matter how long he has been gone from the farm and no matter how far removed he has become in his dress and his income, from that simple beginning. The stuff he always longs to return to, and he can only find in a place he called home.
From my great ‐ grandfather George Johnson Hodges, known to the folks in this community only as Crockett, or my Grandfather Bob, for whom I was named, to my father, I learned legends of the people who lived here. They were told over and over to me and to others in my hearing so many times that they have become the stuff of this community. Whether they ever really happened or not is now not important to me when I think of them and of this community ‐ What i s important is the humor and the dignity of those who were portrayed in the stories I heard and the respect of the storytellers for them and for this community.
M y memories begin with evenings spent with. my grandfather here as a very small child on the porch of a two ‐ story log house which sat just over yonder around the curve from the Methodist Church. And I remember the smell in the springtime in those evenings of freshly turned earth, and of his eagerness over the crop he thought he could coax out of it, and of our watching and waiting for the sound of the Joe Wheeler to come churning through the night, its whistle blowing for the people of Lim Rock.
I remember Clyde Gentle’s store, where my father had his first job as a boy clerking and keeping up with the eggs and chickens on the rolling store, and the smell of pine wood floors and kerosene, and the sight of mule harnesses hanging from pegs, and glass jars of candy, while we waited for the Joe Wheeler to return me to Scottsboro after a weekend. Even as a child, there was a sadness on leaving, a sense that the old man in the overalls who was waving bye to me as the train pulled out from Clyde Gentles’ store, and so many others like him in this community were somehow special parts of my beginning that I wanted to come back to and hold on to until I understood the peace and the simple virtues of this place.
I remember cotton fields and hoes and long pick sacks and the hot day in the field when my grandfather and Charlie Stewart watched me drink in gulps from a cool thermos jug and then cackled and told me it was a chamber pot they kept under the wagon for themselves.
Some of the past citizens of this community, many of them now dead and gone, have become legends in my mind, because of the stories I was told about them. The athletes in Lim Rock took on superhuman proportions for me. Dr. Rayford Hodges swore to me in the drug store as he was sipping his coffee, time and again, that Rabbit Gray, the catcher for Lim Rock’s baseball team, played barefooted and once caught a foul ball that traveled 200 feet and never got higher than his head. M y father swore to me that Shine Lusk kicked a 50 yard field goal barefooted for Lim Rock’s football team, against the wind, in the closing seconds of a big game against Aspel.
The people of this community were always church ‐ going people on Sundays. My father’s earliest memories were of being carried in a wagon by my Grandmother to the Primitive Baptist Church. He remembered it well, because when they got to my Grandfather with the footwashing, he always let out a cackle when they got to the foot with the stub of a little toe he had cut off when cutting railroad ties.
The people of this community“ have always stood out for me as being folks with a never ‐ give ‐ u p attitude. Through the droughts, the flooding rains, the bitter winters, the poverty of the depression, the great tornado that swept through Paint Rock and here, the infant flu deaths that struck family after family ‐ through all those times when it seemed that a mother and father and children could not possibly hold up for another day ‐ your ancestors and mine ‐ and some of you who are older and here today ‐ squared up your shoulders and spit on your hands and went back to work and endured. I think that never ‑ give ‐ u p attitude is best remembered by me in a little story by Bob Hodges my grandfather told me that happened back in the late twenties.
My Uncle Mess, an older and larger boy than my father by far, had my father down, pinned flat to the ground, pummeling him at will, when my grandfather discovered them on his way back from milking. “What’s going on here?”, he asked. Immediately, my father, who was flat on his back and taking a mighty whipping, said: “Papa, you better get him off of me or I’m gonna kill him.”
The generations of the people of Lim Rock and Aspel before us were hard ‐ working, church ‐ going, mostly quiet ‐ spoken people, it seems from my memory and from stories I heard. But in all that toil and adversity they faced as farmers and farmers’ children, there beat within many of them the pulse of a sense of humor that no other community surpassed.
My father never got past the little nine ‐ grade school house that used to sit down the road over yonder, and he always envied his older brother, Charles, for being so bright and for getting a college education. There came a day when my father’s old school teacher came in the drug store to get a prescription filled and my father” waited on her. He was working there as a teenager then, and he had some conversation with the lady, and then called all of us employees over t meet her.
We gathered around, and he said, “Now, Miss Birdie, tell all these people what you just told me.” She looked at u s and said: “He was the brightest student I ever had. He made all A’s and h e could work any problem I ever gave him. He was a brilliant student.” My father swelled up and beamed at all of us, and the little old lady made her way to the store going out, and she turned, looked back at my father, and said: “CHARLES (not R.L.), it sure was nice to see you again.”
My grandfather and my father had the same name, except for the junior and senior that separated them. One day a juror summons came to the drug store delivered by the sheriff and made out to just R . L . Hodges. My father made a call to the courthouse and discovered that, by the birthdate, it was intended for my father. He called my grandfather to the store and told him he had a jury summons delivered there for him.
M y grandfather took the subpoena, never said a word, went to the courthouse the next week, and served on the jury. Many months went by, with never another word being said. Then, just before Christmas, Mr. Brad Stewart, a long ‐ time friend and customer of m y father’s, delivered a nice big country ham to m y father as a gift, wrapped in brown paper and labeled “R.L.Hodges.” My father put it on a table at the back of the store until he could take it home at quitting time. In comes my grandfather, walks straight to the back room, picks up the ham, and starts out the drug store. “Papa” screamed my father. “Papa ‐ that’s m ham!” “Son,” my grandfather said, “If that was my name on that jury summons, that is my name on this ham.” And off he went.
Lim Rock and Aspel people have always been known as good neighbors. My grandfather Bob Hodges’ neighbor was Charlie Stewart, who lived on the next farm down the road toward the school house. One cold January day, when the snow was on the ground and more predicted, a Saturday, my grandfather told Charlie that h e was taking his wife and children down to Paint Rock Valley to sit with a sick relative for the night, would be gone the whole weekend, and would Charlie milk the cow and feed the mule the next day. Charlie readily agreed to help out.
The next morning, more snow having fallen during the night, and bitter cold, Charlie came trudging up in the darkness, milked the cow, set the pail on the back porch, fed the mule, and on his way out through the snow, just as he passed my grandfather’s bedroom window, my grandfather threw up the shade and the window, and said, “Much obliged, Charlie.” You don’t find good neighbors like that any more.
There are many, many other stories I could tell which reflect the solid kind of people who founded this community and those who came after them. It says something about what we revere in this community and its people that those of us who have ties here come back and back again and are here today to celebrate it.
Someone once wrote that you can never really go home again, but I think we can, time and again, in our memories. Less than thirty days before my father died, just before Christmas of 1983, we took our last ride together. He was s o frail I had to help him in the car, and he was so weak he could hardly talk above a whisper. “We’ll o anywhere you want,” I said as I backed the car out of his driveway. “I’ll show you,” he said, and he just from then on, pointed his finger where he wanted me to turn.
W e came here, and w e rode through Aspel and by Jenny’s Chapel and past Gentry Hastings’ house and down to Pinky’s Store to say hello and then by the old Clyde Gentle store where he first worked as a boy. And then on we went, by the fields where there used to be cotton and by the piece of ground where the barn and log house once stood, and around the curve where the old schoolhouse once stood, and then out into Berrys Cove where he was born, until. he became too tired to continue. He wasn’t talking during the ride, but both of us were thinking of these communities and his childhood and all the years that had brought him full circle back to here. You see, he never ever forgot that this was home. And you never ever forgot to take him in. That is why I am here today, and that is why I thank you for letting me be a part of it.
The phone number has changed for us – It’s no longer ” 2 longs and 1 short”, but our “trading business“, as he said on his card, is still about 1 2 miles
northeast of Berrys Cove, and, for our family, this is still home.
Robert L . (Bob) Hodges practiced law before being elected Circuit Judge of Jackson County, Alabama. He is a highly esteemed judiciary by profession, much sought after as a speaker, and without equal as a storyteller and writer. Bob is the son of the late R . L and Zelma (Nichols) Hodges, Jr. who set an impeccable example before him.
memories die with them as do life experiences and lessons learned. It is imperative that those of a younger generation preserve the memories of their forefathers; if one does not know their own and family history, how can he or she judge what the future should hold?
How I wish I could find photos and information on the Golden Gloves boxing of yesteryear, especially on those who got into the ring. And that would include Daddy, James Murray.
A name that you may recall from history is that of Governor George Wallace. He was also a boxer in his youth. He and my Daddy knew each other, were friends and that was a life long friendship. Perhaps they were introduced to each other during their boxing days. They had a lot in common. They were both stubborn, especially if they knew they were right about something. Neither would forfeit a fight even when encouraged to ‘fix’ a fight. They would rather quit than lose when victory could be theirs.
JFK and George Wallace visited TVA in Muscle Shoals to be the keynote speaker at the 30th anniversary of TVA.The date of the event was 18 May, 1963. Here is a photo of JFK and George Wallace on the TVA grounds on that date.
The fighting years of their youth must have been exciting. George Wallace received the moniker “The Fighting Judge” and James Murray, well he simply became known as “Daddy” to five children.
My brother related a story to me that I will treasure. He said that we were at one of George Wallace’s rallies, and when George Wallace saw our Daddy something notable happened. He came over and body hugged him and greeted him warmly. That was likely the rally I remember that was held at Spring Park in Tuscumbia. If only someone had a camera handy at that moment. What a treasure a photo would have been.
It was a sweltering hot day in the south in the 1960s, and a memorable one. The political rallies held at Spring Park in Tuscumbia, Alabama every year on the Labor Day weekend were touted as late as 1993 in the Times Daily newspaper as Alabama’s oldest continuously held Labor Day rally. The festivities were varied, the crowds were big and the snow cones were cold.
George Wallace came to Muscle Shoals, Alabama along with President John F Kennedy to present at the anniversary of the TVA Authority. He later endured an assassination attempt while running for President. The bullet did not kill him but he was in agony for the rest of his life as a result of the gunshot wounds. He endured the pain because he was a trained fighter.
are treasures that some families get to savor and keep over the centuries.
Here is a first hand account at the Battle of Shiloh by Chaplain J W. Collum as documented within the eyewitness series in mid-Tennessee during the War Between the States:
Cullom, Chaplain J.W.; 24th Tennessee, Cleburne’s brigade, Hardee’s corps
“Pastoral Sketches 1857-1907,” by J.W. Cullom; Williamson County Historical Journal, No. 27, 1996
Notes: 24th Tennessee organized at Murfreesboro in summer of 1861. Cullom was the chaplain; he resigned as chaplain after almost two years of service.
“On the night before the battle of Shiloh (Lt.) Colonel (Thomas H.) Peebles and I raked up a pile of dry leaves, spread our blankets over them, and lay down to sleep. We were in easy hearing of the enemy. … We listened to their brass bands and songs till a late hour.
“Awhile before day an order came to detail three men from each company to go down under the hill and make some coffee for the boys, but before their task was done an order came to march forward in line of battle.
“I ran down to where the boys were cooking and caught up two big army coffee boilers that held about half a bushel apiece, and as I ran along the line of battle the men held out their cups and drank. When the vessels were empty, we threw them down and fell into line.
“While the officers were placing their men, I said to Colonel Peebles that I would step over a little to the left and look for the enemy.
“I found them. The woods were blue with them, and they rose up from their ambush and poured a volley into us that was frightful.
“The men were ordered to lie down. …
“Gen. W.B. Bate, with his crack regiment, was held in reserve on the hill behind us, and Colonel Peebles called out to him in his stentorian voice to sustain our left wing.
“And so the Second Tennessee came charging into the fray and took me into their ranks about twenty men deep.
“Bate charged and fell back two or three times, and of course I went and came as they did. I was by the side of Captain Hemp Cheney. …
“General Bate was wounded and his horse killed. Major Doak and his horse were both killed at the same moment and rolled over down the hill within a dozen feet of me.
“It was frightful. The swish of the Minie balls seemed to be in our very hair, the dust knocked up at our feet, the shrubs cut down, and the cannon balls cutting off the limbs and dropping them among us….
“On the second day of the battle I was with the hospital. … From the amputation room I carried … out several times an armful of limbs and laid them in an old garden.
“One poor fellow was shot through the head, and his brain was oozing out; but he was still alive and seemed conscious of only one thing – his wish for water; but there as none to give him, as the old well had been dipped dry.
“The army that night fell back toward Corinth, and awhile after dark, the rain pouring down, I hitched my horse to an old peach tree in a little hamlet where a division of the army had camped.
“I first went into what seemed to be an empty tent, but stumbled over a sleeping man and lay down in my wet blanket.
“In a little while, however, the men to whom the tent belonged came in from the battlefield and pushed me out. I stood a minute or two in the drenching rain, looked at my shivering horse hitched to a limb, and it was the saddest moment that ever came over me.
“A few steps away was an old frame house in which there was a light. Looking at the door revealed … the floor was covered with wounded men, and a sentinel was sitting at the door with his gun across his lap; but he was fast asleep. Cautiously stepping over his knees, I picked my way over the wounded men to the fireplace and lay down at the edge of the ashes.
“It was late next morning when I awoke and was glad to find my horse still where he had been left.
“On my back to Corinth the straggling soldiers were picking their way over the streams. …
“I overtook … (Lt. Dick) Herbert, and he got up behind me and we rode double into camp.
“Colonel Peebles had heard that I was killed, and I had heard that he had been left dead on the battlefield. … When I walked up to him he looked at me a moment in mute astonishment, then threw his arms around me and wept like a child.”
An account of the regiment follows:
24th TENNESSEE INFANTRY REGIMENT
Organized August 6, 1861; Confederate service August 24, 1861; reorganized May 2, 1862; formed Company “F”, 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April 9, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865.
- Colonel-R. D. Allison, H. L. W. Bratton, John A. Wilson.
- Lieutenant Colonels-Thomas H. Peebles, J. J. Williams, H. L. W. Bratton, John A. Wilson, S. E. Shannon.
- Majors-J. J. Williams, H. L. W. Bratton, S. E. Shannon, William C. Fielding.
- John C. Jackson, F. M. Jackson, Co. “A”. Men from Rutherford County.
- Thomas H. Peebles, Samuel E. Shannon, Richard N. Herbert, Co. “B”. Men from. Williamson County.
- John M. Uhls, I. W. Burrow, Co. “C”. Men from Macon County.
- John A. Wilson, Nicholas H. Lamb, Co. “D”. Men from Williamson County.
- John A. Baskerville, Jesse Gwinn, H. M. Austin, Co. “E”. Men from Sumner County.
- R. D. Allison, William C. Fielding, H. P. Dowell, W. H. Lincoln, Co. “F”. Men from Alexandria, DeKaib County
- James M. Billington, 1st Co. “G”. Consolidated with “B” May 2, 1862. Men from Maury County.
- William W. May, Isa
ac T. Roberts, W. M. Bennett, 2nd Co. “C” formerly “L”. Men from Hillsboro, Coffee County.
- Charles Wesley Beale, H. C. Campbell, 1st Co. “H”. Consolidated with “I”, May 2, 1862. Men from Hickman County.
- Henry W. Hart, Erastus S. Hance, 2nd Co. “H” formerly “M”. Organized June 22, 1861 at Nashville, Tennessee. Men from Smith County. Attached to regiment early in 1862, prior to the Battle of Shiloh.
- John I. Williams, Edward W. Easley, I. A. Holmes, Co. “I”. Men from Hickman County.
- T. C. Goodner, Henry C. McBroom, Thomas H. Ragsdale, Co. “K”. Men from Manchester, Coffee County. Some from Wilson County.
Of the field officers, Colonel Allison resigned in July, 1862 and organized a squadron of cavalry. Colonel Bratton was killed January 4, 1863. Lieutenant Colonel Peebles resigned in May, 1862; Lieutenant Colonel Williams declined re-election. Major William C. Fielding died May 10, 1864.
The regiment was originally composed of 11 companies which had been organized in June, July and August 1861. They assembled at Camp Trousdale, where they were organized into a regiment, and mustered into Confederate service. Company “M”, which had formerly been an independent company was not attached until early 1862, making twelve companies, which, upon reorganization, were consolidated into ten.
Soon after organization the regiment moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky. On October 23, 1861, Major General William J. Hardee reported the troops then on the line subject to his command were Hindman’s, Hanson’s, Hawthorn’s and Allison’s Infantry Regiments, two battalions of cavalry, and one battery, Hanson’s was a Kentucky regiment, Hindman’s and Hawthorn’s were Arkansas regiments. On January 31, 1862 the regiment was reported in Colonel Patrick H. Cleburne’s Brigade along with the 15th Arkansas, 6th Mississippi, 23rd, 24th, and 35th (also called 5th) Tennessee Infantry Regiments. The regiment left Bowling Green February 13, 1862 and on February 23 was reported at Murfreesboro, where in Cleburne’s Brigade, the 1st Arkansas had replaced the 15th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, and the Watson Battery had been added.
It arrived at Corinth February 27, and was engaged at the Battle of Shiloh, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Peebles, as part of Cleburne’s Brigade, Hardee’s Corps.
The brigade in this battle was composed of the 15th Arkansas, 2nd (Bate’s), 23rd, 24th and 35th Tennessee, and 6th Mississippi Infantry Regiments, Shoup’s Artillery Battalion, and the Watson Battery. The regiment re-entered the battle with 406 effectives, and was commended by Cleburne for steadfast valor; he also commented that Lieutenant Colonel Peebles possessed all qualifications necessary for a commander of troops in the field. No itemized record of casualties by regiments was found, but the brigade reported 1032 casualties out of 2750 engaged.
In May, 1862 the 6th Mississippi had been replaced by the 48th Tennessee Regiment in Cleburne’s Brigade. In Cleburne’s report of an engagement outside of Corinth on the Farmington Road on May 28, 1862, he severely criticized Colonel Allison, but commended Major Bratton for his handling of troops.
On July 8, 1862 the regiment was placed in Major General Benjamin F. Cheatham’s Division, Brigadier General Alexander P. Stewart’s Brigade, composed of the 4th, 5th, 24th, 31st, 33rd Tennessee Infantry Regiments, and Stanford’s Mississippi Battery. These five regiments remained together for the duration of the war. This 5th Tennessee Regiment was commanded by Colonel Calvin J. Venable, and was not the same regiment with which the 24th had been associated in Cleburne’s Brigade which was commanded by Colonel Benjamin Hill, and was early called the 5th, although its official designation was the 35th Tennessee Infantry Regiment. As part of this brigade the regiment participated in General Bragg’s invasion of Kentucky, and was engaged at the Battle of Perryville October 8, 1862, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel H. L. W. Bratton. Here it suffered 68 casualties.
The regiment was next engaged at the Battle of Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862, where the 19th Tennessee Infantry Regiment was included in Stewart’s Brigade. Here the regiment suffered 79 casualties out of 344 engaged. Colonel Bratton was mortally wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Wilson was wounded, and Major S. E. Shannon took command of the regiment.
By April 1, 1863, Stewart had been promoted to Major General in command of a division, and Colonel (later brigadier general) O. F. Strahl was given command of the brigade, composed of the same units. The brigade remained unchanged until after the Battle of Franklin, where Strahi was killed. At Chickamauga, September 19-20, under the command of Colonel John A. Wilson, the regiment suffered 43 casualties.
On November 12, 1863, Strahrs Brigade was placed in Stewart’s Division, moved to Sweetwater, Tennessee, for a short time, but returned in time to be engaged at Missionary Ridge November 25, 1863, where the 24th suffered 45 casualties.
On February 20, 1864, the brigade was returned to Cheatham’s Division, where it remained until the end. The 24th was part of a force which was dispatched to Mississippi to re-enforce General Polk, but was ordered back to Dalton, Georgia, when it had reached Demopolis, Alabama. This expedition was the latter part of February. As part of the brigade, it was actively engaged in the Atlanta Campaign under General Joseph E. Johnston, and the return to Tennessee under General John B. Hood. On June 30, 1864, Colonel J. A. Wilson was reported in command of the regiment, but on July 31, August 31 and September 20 the commanding officer was shown as Lieutenant Colonel Samuel E. Shannon.
On December 10, 1864, Strahl’s Brigade, commanded by Colonel James D. Tillman was composed of the 4th/Sth/3lst/33rd/3Sth and the l9th/24th/4lst Tennessee Infantry Regiments with the l9th/24th/4lst commanded by Captain Daniel A. Kennedy. As such, the brigade was engaged at Nashville in the Granny White Pike area, and formed part of the force under General Walthall which covered the retreat of the army to Corinth, Mississippi.
Then came the move to North Carolina to join General Joseph E. Johnston’s forces, where, in the order of battle at Smithfield, North Carolina March 31, 1865, Strahl’s Brigade, commanded by Colonel James D. Tillman, was still composed of the same regiments. In the final reorganization of Johnston’s Army April 9, 1865, the 4th, 5th, 19th, 24th, 31st, 33rd, 35th, 38th, and 41st Tennessee Regiments, commanded by Colonel James D. Tillman, formed the 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment in Brigadier General Joseph B. Palmer’s Brigade. The 24th Tennessee Regiment formed Company “F” of this regiment, and, as such, was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865.
This unit history was extracted from Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol 1. Copyrighted © 1964 by the “Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee”
Thomas H. Peebles, the Lieutenant Colonel of the 24th, was from near Spring Hill, at which place and Franklin he had achieved great success as a teacher. He made up Company B in the southern part of Williamson County, and was elected its Captain. After Allison was chosen Colonel of the 24th, Peebles was given the next highest office, and Sam C. Shannon became Captain of Company B.
Col. Peebles commanded the regiment at Shiloh, and was highly complimented by Cleburne in his official report for the excellent manner in which he handled the men. Almost at the first fire his horse was killed under him. And he fought on foot throughout the rest of the battle, escaping unhurt, although his coat was pierced by three minie balls. Just after the battle he resigned and accepted a position with Cleburne and was not actively connected with the regiment afterwards.
Daring Work as a Spy.
A year or two later he was detailed on a hazardous secret mission into Middle Tennessee, then occupied by the Federals. He had accomplished the object of his trip, but just before reaching the Confederate lines was captured by a roaming squad of Federal cavalry. As they were proceeding to search him, he recognized one of these soldiers as having been a former member of his old Company, who, having deserted, had joined the enemy. The renegade prevailed on his comrades to desist, and treat the Colonel with more consideration. At the first convenient moment, Col. Peebles took the information he had been at so much pains to collect, and which, if discovered, would have hung him, and slipping the paper in his mouth, chewed it up. He was sent as a prisoner to Camp Chase, but was soon exchanged and returned to service. Col. Peebles was killed near Spring Hill in an unfortunate personal encounter in November 1870 on the very day on which he had been elected State Senator.
to document them all, but I try. William Henry Peebles 1871-1947, son of George Henry Peebles and Catherine “Kate” Rebecca Jane Terry Peebles and brother to our Robert Duncan Peebles, was married twice. His wives were Sally C Alexander and Eliza Holland Graham.
By his first wife William Henry Peebles had two known children: Maggie Peebles and Katie Peebles. Maggie Peebles married Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Terry and had a large number of children that included: Leonard R Terry born 1910, Clarence Terry born 1915, Bessie Terry 1919-1924, Cleveland Henry Terry 1922-1992, William Terry born 1923, and Bruce M Terry born 1928. They were all born in Lawrence County, Alabama. Daughter Katie Peebles married Isaac “Ike” Terry 1887-1963 as his first wife. They had three children: Willie L Terry 1911-1988, Katie F Terry 28 April 1913-19 Dec 1987, and John Henry Terry 1 Aug 1915-19 Feb 1992. John Henry Terry owned Terry’s grocery store in Decatur; and had worked as a carpenter helper in his younger years. Isaac “Ike” Terry was the son of George Washington Terry, Jr and Sarah V “Sallie” Watson, his third wife. Ike Terry had eighteen known children by his three wives.
William Henry Peebles married a second time to Eliza Holland Graham 1880-1939. They had the following known children: Ida Peebles born 1896, James Walter “Jim” Peebles 1898-1927, Lura Segalia Peebles 1899-1973, Nan Marie Peebles Maness 1903-1976, Velma Eren Peebles 1904-1990, Fannie Lavenia Peebles 1906-1971, William Henry “Will” Peebles 1908-1966, Elbert Lee Peebles 1910-1961, Buford May (Cook )Peebles 1912-1926, Robert McKinely Peebles 1914-1986, Houston Coleman “Buddy” Peebles 1919-1969. There are interesting histories with all but especially for Eliza Graham Peebles and Lura Segalia Peebles.
Elibert Lee Peebles married Naomi Lee Jinks born 9 January 1908 in Haskell County, Texas and died 14 December 1989 in Lawrence County, Alabama. Her parents were Allen Jinks and Lockie V A V Edwards. Elbert Lee Peebles was born 29 September 1910 in Lawrence County, Alabama and died 3 February 1961 in Morgan County, Alabama. Their children are: Annie Ruth Peebles who married an Evans, then an Adkins, Peggy Peebles who married a Chapman, Mildred Peebles 1938-2011 who married George L Madison, Pfc Elbert Lee Peebles 24 January 1929- 27 December 1949, James Alford Peebles 16 February 1931-22 August 1994, FREDrick Eugene Peebles 19 February 1933- 5 November 2010, Mildred Peebles 1938-2011, Wendell Houston Peebles 10 Mar 1941- 2 December 2002 (died in Georgia), Carl PRESTON Peebles 25 February 1943- 5 January 2011, Charles Russell Peebles and Shirley Jane Peebles 1948-1991 who married Jerry DeWayne Skipworth Jr. Shirley Peebles Skipworth’s eulogy was presented by Rev Houston Peebles; her middle name in her obituary states June, but is likely Jane.
Charles Russell Peebles, son of Elbert and Naomi Jinks Peebles, married Linda Christine Parker. He worked at Otasco and was lauded as a top salesman. They have two children: Angie Peebles Watson and Amanda Peebles.
and that is as true for the George family of Barton, Colbert County, Alabama as is for everyone. If you have not researched your family history, you may not even know how many heroes that you carry around a little bit of them in your dna today. It is important for children to know their roots, and then it is up to their parents to give them wings. Jennifer George asked about her George lineage. And just a short intense study of the family provides a lot of ground work for Jennifer and her family to add to; photos are especially important in family history in my estimation and only the family can provide those, except maybe for grave marker photos. Jennifer George’s parents are Lloyd George and Cheryl Ussery George. Floyd’s parents were Wilmer and Jessie Pearl Johnson George. Wilmer’s full name was Velma G but was called Wilmer, or perhaps that was a middle name. Jessie Pearl Johnson’ parents were John William Johnson or perhaps John Thomas Johnson; researchers have given both names for her father. Wilmer George and Jessie Pearl Johnson George had three known children: Clarice George Holt, Wilmer J George and Lloyd Douglas George. The following is gleaned from Lloyd George’s obituary:
|Lloyd Douglas George, 48, Colbert Heights, died Nov. 9, 2001.The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, 2001, at Morrison Funeral Home chapel, Tuscumbia, with burial in Tuscumbia Oakwood Cemetery. Officiating will be Tommy Heaps and Charles Richey. Mr. George was a native of Sheffield. He was the former owner of Georges Wrecker Service. He was a member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. Mr. George was preceded in death by his father, W.G. George; brother, W.J. George; and sister, Clarice Holt. He loved deer hunting, arrowhead hunting and fishing. Above all, he loved Courtney (Pawpaws girl).He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Cheryl Ussery George, Colbert Heights; mother, Jessie George, Tuscumbia; daughter, Jennifer George Wilkinson, Colbert Heights; grandchild, Courtney Wilkinson, Colbert Heights; nieces, nephews and many friends. Pallbearers will David Koon, Randy Jackson, Don Southall, Gilbert Borden, Mark Handley, James Bingham, Benji Dunn and Terril Chapman. Published in Florence Times Daily on November 11, 2001|
With a cursory review of the military records, I do not find any record that a Velma or Wilmer George served during WWII, but that alone does not mean that he did not serve. Velma “Wilmer” George’s obituary which is shown here names his three children and states that he leaves five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. All his known siblings were still living except one, David Allen George who was born 1923 and apparently died in 1932.
Velma “Wilmer” George’s parents were David Keylon or Kellan George and Sarah Anna Moody George (1890-1987 ). They had three known sons and three known daughters. Their children were: Velma G Wilmer George (1910 – 1992), Martha Ida George Patrick (1913-1997), Odell Elizabeth George Patrick (1915-2010), David Allen George (1917-1991). Charlie George (1923-1932), John William George (1926-1998) and daughter Frances George Pate born 22 August 1932.
David George’s 5 June 1917 registration card for WWI provides the following information: he was 30 years of age, he had a wife and three dependent children, he farms for self, he is tall, has blue eyes and light hair, and is not bald, and he signed the document with his mark. It also gave his name as David Kellan George and his birth date as 18 December 1888 (whereas grave marker give birth as 19 December 1888) and states he was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee. David and Sarah Anna Moody married 23 Jun 1906 in Cherokee, Alabama. David died 17 March 1965 in Colbert County, Alabama. He like most of the family named George are buried at Barton Cemetery.
David George’s parents were William Alexander George and Martha Catherine “Mattie” Harbin George who was born 30 November 1873 in Lincoln County, Tennessee and died in 1962. William Alexander George was born in 1853 in Lincoln County, Tennessee and died in June o f 1921 in Colbert County, Alabama. He reportedly died from the effects of contracting Typhoid Fever. Their children were: Mahaley George Oliver (1870-1937, Nancy George Bolden (1876-1966), Sarah Minnie Lee George Lindsey (1884-1967), David Keylon George (1888-1965), Robert B George (1890-1951), John Thomas George (1891-1967), Oscar George (1894-1929), and Arthur George (1894-1927).
If this is the same William and Martha (sometimes listed as Margaret) who were in Rhome, Wise County, Texas in 1920,1930, and 1940, there may have been more children. A daughter named Nona is listed on those census records.
William Alexander George’s parents were named William and Nancy Perry George. William Alexander George first wife and family were: wife Nancy Marilda Fanning (1824-1850) and children Benjamin George, Elizabeth D George and Mahaley Marilda George who may have married Pleasant D Reynolds.
William George was born 1810 in Tennessee likely in either Franklin or Lincoln County and died 1896 in Smithfield, Lincoln County, Tennessee. His burial site is unknown at this date. He was called Billy by family and friends.
It would seem that William George may have had a second family as well: wife Elisabeth R Clifton and children Ira Barker George born 1834, Nancy M George (1837-1900), Reuben W George born 1839, William George born 1841, Sarah E George born 1842, Catherine Olive George born 1844, Mary Elizabeth George born 1847, and Isabella George. This needs more research to disprove or prove it, but seems possible since one of the sons was named Reuben. It appears that this Mrs George removed to Texas.
William George married again to Nancy Perry (1824-1897). Nancy Perry was the daughter of James Perry and Mary Polly Oliver Perry. William George and Nancy Perry married 6 May 1847 in Lincoln County, Tennessee. They had the following children: James M George (1848-1899), Sarah Jane George (1850-1880), Samuel Jefferson George (1852-1910), William Alexander George (1854-1921), Felix Philander George (1858-1939) who was called Dock, and M C George (1861-1870).
William and Nancy Marilda Fanning George’s son, Benjamin was killed in action during the War Between the States. Son, Samuel Jefferson George married Mary Elizabeth Fowler and he was born and died in Lincoln County, Tennesse. Samuel Jefferson George was a farmer. He was born on the 4th of July 1846 and died 18 September 1933. His burial was in Fanning Cemetery in Lincoln County. Samuel J George and Mary Elizabeth Fowler George had the following children: Aldar George Mearse (1893-1963), Hannah George Pruitt (1898-1985), Mary Louella George Taylor (1900-1958), and Louellar George Taylor (1920-1921). It is possible that other William George’s sons also served during the War Between the States, but the scope of this limited research does not cover whether they served.
William George’s parents were: Reuben George and Nancy Hodges George. Reuben George was born 31 Jul 1776 in Bedford, TN or Virginia and died in Aug 1854 in Coffee County, Tennessee. No burial site has been located. Reuben was married first to Ann Handley, or so it would seem, but the dates are not adding up. Their son was Jacob Handley if indeed his wife was Ann Handley. Further research is required for this to be a certainty.
Reuben and Nancy Hodges George were married 13 June 1798 in Jefferson County, Tennessee. They had the following children: Eleanor Ellen George born 1799, Rebecca Elizabeth George (1804-1882), Edmond George (1807-1887), William George (circa 1808-1876), Susan George born circa 1809, Travis George (1810-1860), Daniel George born 1816, Nancy E George born 1820,Mary Ann George born 1822, Louisa George born 1824, and Mariah George born 1829. There may also have been a son named Charles.
Reuben George (Junior’s) father was also named Reuben George born 25 Nov 1749 in Culpepper, Virginia and died 16 Jan 1832 in Pendleton, Virginia. His mother was Mildred Rogers George 1733-1788. She was buried in Stokes County, North Carolina. There seems to have been a large family of children of born to Reuben and Mildred Rogers George. The names listed are not verified as accurate, but listed just for reference in future research: Phillip George, Anna George, Mary Molly George, Rebecca George, Lucy George, Byrd George, Joseph George, Travis George, Jesse George, Joseph George, Anne George, John George, Presley George, William George, and James George. If I counted correctly that is fifteen children; seems like too many for one mother, but it is believed possible.
Reuben George pension application for service during the Revolutionary War number i s S395567 as accessed from the “U. S. Revolutionary War Pensions and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900.” Reuben served as a Private from Pendleton County Virginia, under the command of Col. Edward Stevens of the Virginia Line for a term of war for three years. He was inscribed on the Roll of Virginia at the rate of 8 dollars per month to commence on the 4 of December 1818 with the Certificate of pension issued the 13 of Mary 1819? and sent to Hugh Holmes, Esq. in Winchester, Virginia. His Survivors Pension Application archive # M804. The Archive Roll number is 1062 and there are a total of 18 pages.
At the age of 68 when he made application he stated that he was enlisted at Pendleton County, Virginia in (the spring) of 1777 in Culpepper County, Virginia. He seemed to have lived in Pendleton County, Virginia at the time. He served in a company commanded by Captain John Elison, 10 Virginia Regiment and served until __ day of November 1783 when discharged at Hackensack, New York. He took part int he battles at Germantown, Brandywine, and White Marsh.
There are George family papers, 1718–1936. 163 items. Mss1G2937a and are likely housed in Virginia.
This collection concerns four generations of the George family primarily of Fairford, Thornberry, and White Chimneys, Caroline County. Included is correspondence of Lewis George (1779–1847) with Elliott M. Burruss discusses the hiring of slaves (folder 1). There are papers of John Dudley George (1758–1781) including a copy of his will dated 17 March 1780 giving directions for the division of his slaves among beneficiaries (folder 5). Reuben George’s will written 16 May 1799 provides for the bequest of named slaves (folder 6). And there are papers of Henry Hortensius George (1824–1902) include an undated list of slaves divided into lots and with monetary evaluations provided (folder 8).
There are certain to be errors in this research, as there always seem to be when you can not have in your hand the primary documentation for each and every record. Corrections will be needed and other information added by the family. Hopefully this gives them a sound foundation on which to build their family history.
With just a day and night devoted to intense research, the George family can now know with certainty that they have heroes within their family. You can not get much higher in hero status than being a soldier of the Revolution.
shows descendants of Levi Isbell at the 1930 family reunion at the Isbell home on Main Street, Albertville, Alabama. The home was later demolished but stood on the court house square across the street from the court house. Levi Isbell was the brother of our James Isbell. Levi Isbell married Sarah “Sallie” Birdwell and James Isbell married her sister Elizabeth Birdwell. James and Elizabeth Isbell are my third great-grandparents on my Murray line. The Murrays who married Isbells moved from around Paint Rock and Larkinsville in Jackson County, Alabama sometime between 1865-1870 to Colbert County, then Franklin County, Alabama.
this is a 1933 photo of the Sheffield, Alabama downtown area.
is in order. News in the most recent of days send me back into time. Back to a time growing up in Sheffield, Alabama was like living in a Norman Rockwell painting. Good days. Good times. Big family.
My cousin Betty Bassham Porter was found lying on the floor in a coma in her apartment. She was not responding. So right this minute her family is sitting with her waiting for the transfer to hospice. It has been determined that she had a stroke and will not survive. Betty was born in Sheffield, lived in Tuscumbia and Sheffield. In the 1950s her mother remarried and they moved to Dallas, Texas. The family moved to Arkansas, with some of them migrating to Missouri, mostly in the Springfield area.
The photo montage below is my tribute to a beloved cousin. Family.
so I will let the reader decide. I can tell you that it really disturbed me. And to think this is what they came to…after surviving a war like none other in the land we love.
There will be an attachment to this post below. There are 67 people, some women, who are considered inmates after a life of honor. They lived to an age that many would pray for, but I am not sure I would be at all happy with their life situation.
In searching for information on Samuel B Barron a Confederate who was born in Chambers County, Alabama and should have died in Alabama, but instead he died in Austin, Travis County, Texas. He died in the Men’s Confederate (Soldier’s) Home at 5:20 am to be exact on 28 February 1932. He was 87 years 4 months 24 days old. It appears that an official at the Old Soldier’s Home was the informant for the death certificate. The facility housed Civil War (southerners call it the War Between the States or the War of Northern Aggression) soldiers, and some wives, along with staff and workers. On Samuel Barron’s death certificate it provided the information that he died in the old soldier’s home of septic pneumonia. He was there 2 long years, two months and 20 days before his life ended. He is buried in the State Cemetery in Travis County, Texas.
There was an old soldier’s home in south Alabama, so I am aghast as to why so many of our elderly Confederate soldiers were shipped away from any home they knew and placed as inmates into what would have to seem like a prison. That question is for research on another day. This 1930 census of the inmates and workers, and wives is a sweet little piece of history to have stumbled upon. It gives the age of the person when they first married. It gives their age at the time of the census. It provides their marital status, and in some cases their spouses are living in the same room with the soldier. It tell us where the soldier was born, where their father was born, and where they mother was born. That is quite a lot of information that would have gone unoticed but for serendipity.
Below is an account of those 67 souls who were confined at the Men’s Confederate Home for Retired Confederate soldiers in Justice #3, District # 30 , Block#1600 in Austin, Travis County, Texas. Some of the names seem so familiar. Are there ancestors of yours among the inmates?
The information is there, I promise. I am not able to add media or tags so I did a workaround. Press the link below and it will take you to the pdf. Then press the link that reads 1930 Confederate Men’s Home. It is close enough to government work for me…this late at night. I hope you find your long lost ancestors on the list of 67 names.