Mississippi

Crossing the Rubicon of Loyalties: Piney Woods enlistees in the Union 1st and 2nd New Orleans Infantry

Crossing the Rubicon of Loyalties: Piney Woods enlistees in the Union 1st and 2nd New Orleans Infantry

By Ed Payne

Part I

Two years ago I gave a presentation in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, a portion of which dealt with the Knight Band.  Afterwards, three attendees approached me saying they wished to register a complaint.  These ladies were not upset, as one might suspect, about my broaching the subject of Piney Woods dissent against Confederate authority.  Instead, they expressed good natured consternation that “Jones County gets all the attention.”  They told me there were family stories, more openly discussed in recent years, about men from Marion and Perry counties who also opposed the Confederacy and even enlisted in the Union Army.   I solicited names from them and, later, from others who made similar claims.  In each case, research into military and pension files proved the rumor to be true.

My small but slowly growing list of Piney Woods men who became Union soldiers was augmented by those uncovered by Shelby Harriel .  Even so, several contemporary accounts mentioned not dozens, but hundreds of renegades (see preceding article).  This raised two questions:  How extensive was opposition to Confederate authority within the Mississippi Piney Woods during the final years of the Civil War?  And can this resistance be accurately ascribed to the leadership of a single man?  Seeking a new frame of reference, I undertook a complete review of the two Union regiments most frequently cited as those in which Piney Woods men enlisted:  the 1st and 2nd New Orleans Infantry.  The results may be found in the list of names accompanying this article.

Readers of “Renegade South” will be familiar with the fact that in the spring of 1864 Confederate forces, most famously those of  Col. Robert Lowry, were sent into the Piney Woods to quell resistance and compel deserters back into their units.  Many of those not caught up in the Confederate dragnet fled south to the swamps of the lower Pearl River, a region known as Honey Island.  At this point the refugees were encamped a mere 10 miles from the Union garrison at Fort Pike, Louisiana. Communications were established and groups of men began arriving at Fort Pike.

Aerial view of Fort Pike as it appeared prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005

Fort Pike was one of a series of fortifications, including Fort Sumter, built by the federal government in the wake of the War of 1812 for coastal defense.  The massive brick and mortar structure was completed in 1827. Situated on a peninsula of land, it guarded the Rigolets—a strait connecting Lake Pontchartrain with the Gulf of Mexico.  Louisiana militia occupied the fort at the outbreak of the Civil War, but it was abandoned by the Confederacy after New Orleans fell into Union hands in April of 1862.

When Piney Woods men made the decision to be ferried across the Rigolets and enter Fort Pike, they were also crossing a personal Rubicon of loyalties.  Henceforth, they were no longer simply resisting Confederate conscription and taxation; they were joining a Union Army whose mission, in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation, was to banish slavery.  If any were unclear about this fact, the sight of United States Colored Troops training at Fort Pike must have quickly educated them.

In counterintuitive military fashion, the 2nd New Orleans began enrolling troops in October of 1863, six months prior to the 1st New Orleans.  Never reaching full strength, it was disbanded in August of 1864 and its men transferred into the 1st New Orleans.  The 2nd New Orleans Infantry rolls cover 267 men, totaling 1,813 documents.    Those of the 1st New Orleans Infantry account for 1,377 men and comprise 20,829 documents.  The military files have been digitized and are available via the subscription service Footnote.com.  For purposes of this study, the records of every man in the two regiments were reviewed and summarized on spreadsheets.

At the outset my expectations were modest.  Several decades ago researcher Jean Strickland compiled information on 34 Union Army pension applications filed from Jones County.  During preliminary research, I located nine additional applications filed from other counties.  It seemed possible that by reversing the focus and examining all 1st and 2nd New Orleans records, perhaps another 30 or 40 names might be revealed.  But this proved to be a sizable miscalculation.  The records yielded the names of 206 Mississippians who enlisted in these regiments between November of 1863 and November of 1864.  Out of this total, 201 (97.6%) can be identified as inhabitants of the Piney Woods region (see note 1).

The names in the accompanying tables were ascertained by several methods: first, a table was created of all enlistees who reported Mississippi nativity.  It should be emphasized that enlistment documents recorded the birthplace of the recruit, not his pre-war residence.  Therefore, an attempt was made to crosscheck names against the federal censuses of 1850 and 1860.  It was not possible to establish matches in all cases, but the effort revealed the first evidence of kinship ties mirroring those explored by Victoria Bynum in Free State of Jones:  Mississippi’s Longest Civil War.  Of the 178 men whose military records identified them as native Mississippians, 170 reported Piney Woods nativity and census records indicate three others had apparently settled in the region by 1860.  These individuals are listed in Table 1 (see note 2).

To identify enlistees from Mississippi who had been born elsewhere, or whose files lacked nativity information, required delving deeper into census records.  Nearly all the military files recorded the date and location of enlistment.  It became evident early in the study that a large majority of Mississippians (84%) enlisted at Fort Pike, whereas other enlistees more typically joined at the New Orleans recruiting depot.  Therefore, census crosschecks were done on all men who enlisted at Fort Pike between January and August of 1864 using name, age, and state of birth.  This method identified men born in other states, but who later settled in the Piney Woods.  An example is John W. Axton, a 28 year-old farmer who enrolled at Fort Pike on March 25, 1864.  His enlistment papers state he was born in Morgan County, Alabama.  Census research shows that by 1850 his family had moved to Lauderdale County, Mississippi.  In 1860 he is found residing in Perry County with a wife and infant son.

Enlistment doc. of John W. Axton, who resided in Perry Co., MS in 1860, joined the 1st N.O. Infantry on 25 Mar. 1864, and died the following October.

About one-third of the regimental files are missing nativity information.   Still, the names and ages of those who enlisted at Fort Pike from January to August of 1864 provided some basis for crosschecking against 1850-1870 federal censuses of Mississippi.  In practice this method was less capricious than it may sound.   Common names that yielded too many possible candidates were excluded.   Of the names included, 70% can be verified through later pension applications.  Table 2 lists the 25 Mississippi recruits ascertained by these methods, along with census identification.  All lived within the Piney Woods region.

To determine if reliance on enlistment at Fort Pike as an indicator had been too exclusionary, a further check was made.  This focused on 63 men, all with records lacking nativity information, who enrolled between January and August 1864 at locations other than Fort Pike.  Among this group, only one emerged as a possible Piney Woods resident.

Fifty-one of the Mississippians identified on the 1st New Orleans rolls were initially assigned to the 2nd New Orleans.  As mentioned, this unit was disbanded in August 1864 and the men transferred to the 1st New Orleans.  However, the 2nd New Orleans records proved useful in establishing nativity for several men whose birth information was missing in the 1st New Orleans files.  Only three Piney Woods men appear in the 2nd New Orleans files but not subsequently on the 1st New Orleans rolls.  Their names are listed in Table 3, but they were excluded from all analysis pertained to the 1st New Orleans Piney Woods enlistees.

Finally, Table 4 lists other men who reported southern or even Mississippi nativity, but who are currently excluded from the count due to lack of supporting evidence.  While most probably resided in neighboring states, a few may be candidates for inclusion pending further research.  For example, Benjamin B. Patricks joined the 1st New Orleans at Fort Pike on March 25, 1864, stating he was 45 years-old.  Also attempting to enlist that same day was Edward Patricks, who claimed to be 17.  Both reporting being natives of Orangeville, South Carolina.  While Edward was rejected as underage, Benjamin was accepted and served until his desertion after the war.  The 1860 census of Jones County listed Richard Patrick, age 45, and a son named Edward, age 12—both natives of South Carolina.  Did Richard adopt “Benjamin B. Patricks” as a nom de guerre and if so why?  He later successfully applied for a pension and his file may provide an answer.

It should be kept in mind that the 206 men thus far identified formed a distinct minority among all those from their region who served during the Civil War.  Many others remained within the Confederate ranks, however faithfully or begrudgingly.  But the current research suggests that dissenters were more numerous and diffuse than previously thought.  While some might have harbored Unionist sympathies from the outset of the war, most probably developed growing resentment towards Confederate authority as the war dragged on.  The campaigns by Col. Henry Maury and Col. Robert Lowry in the spring of 1864, aimed at forcing them back into southern service, instead provoked a final severing of loyalties.

There is surprisingly little overlap between the men listed on the Newt Knight rosters and those who joined the Union regiments.  Of the 99 names associated with the Knight Band, only ten appear on the rolls of the 1st New Orleans.  In the years following the war, Newt Knight stated that he periodically revised his roster to eliminate men whom he felt had not maintained a proper Unionist stance.  Perhaps so, but given his efforts to obtain federal compensation for himself and his men, Knight may have also culled those he knew to be eligible for pensions based on their service in New Orleans.  This would help explain why over two dozen names on Union pension applications filed from Jones County are absent from Knight Band rosters (see note 3).

If Newt Knight chose to rewrite history according to his own dictates, he was neither the first nor the last to do so.   But the re-discovery of these 206 names provides testimony that opposition to Confederate authority in the Piney Woods extended well beyond the ranks of the Knight Band and far outside the boundaries of Jones County.  Newt Knight can be accurately credited with organizing the largest band of renegades in the region; however, it seems increasingly counterfactual to portray him as the sole prophet of Piney Woods dissent.

I believe that the list of names is substantially complete.  As noted, I am working to clarify the status of several other recruits, but possible additions are likely to number less than a dozen.  It seems worth noting that, even at the present count, the Piney Woods enlistees account for nearly 15% of all 1st New Orleans Infantry recruits.

In future posts in this series I will discuss some of the general characteristics of the enlistees, compare their performance as soldiers with others in the 1st New Orleans, and delve into some of the many individual and family stories that are coming to light.  I hope that by sharing the names of these Union enlistees, more descendants may come forth to share family lore and possibly documents which will help us to better understand this little known but intriguing chapter of Civil War history in the Deep South.

Note 1:  There are differing definitions of the area that comprises the Mississippi Piney Woods.  For purpose of this study, I included all Mississippi counties traversed by or south of a line from Vicksburg to Meridian, with the exception of those directly bordering the Mississippi River (Adams, Claiborne, Jefferson, Warren, and Wilkinson).  This encompasses 23 counties:  Amite, Clarke, Copiah, Covington, Franklin, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Marion, Newton, Perry, Pike, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, and Wayne.

Note 2:  As a general rule, enlistees reporting Mississippi nativity but found to be residing outside the state on pre-war censuses were excluded from the list.  Exceptions were made in three cases, all owing to kinship ties with other enlistees.  In the first case, the family of Ellis Bounds moved to St Helena Parish, Louisiana shortly before the 1860 census. Ellis was related to several other Bounds men who enlisted.  The other two cases involved brothers Martin Van Buren Parker and Thomas Jefferson Parker.  Their family moved from Jones County, Mississippi to Washington County, Alabama (across the state line from Wayne County, Mississippi) in the late 1840s.  The censuses of 1850 and 1860 show them residing there.  However, they were cousins of several other Parkers who enlisted in New Orleans and Martin Parker resettled in Jones County after the war (his brother Thomas died while serving in the 1st New Orleans).

Note 3:  The figure of 99 names associated with the Knight Band comes from my cross-compilation of three rosters:  1) The 1870 roster Newt Knight submitted as part of his claim for federal compensation, 2) the roster included in Thomas J. Knight’s Life and Activities of Captain Newton Knight (p 16-17), and 3) the roster published in Ethel Knight’s Echo of the Black Horn (p 89-89, 161).

TABLE 1:  1st New Orleans enlistees with Mississippi nativity recorded in their military files (refer to Note 2).

Died

  Name

Enlisted

Co

Age

  Birth Co

CW

  Elias A. Allen

05/19/1864

E

34

  Perry
  Willey Allen

05/19/1864

E

30

  Lawrence
  Elisha Anderson

05/23/1864

G

31

  Perry

X

  John Anderson

05/23/1864

G

29

  Perry
  James W. Arnold

06/11/1864

H

20

  Jackson
  Nora Belland

02/20/1864

F

20

  Jackson
  Harro Bellman

11/04/1864

I

18

  Jackson
  James O. Bennett

07/02/1864

H

22

  Jasper
  Henry Bond

06/24/1864

H

24

  Harrison
  William Boon

05/29/1864

H

19

  Marion

X

  Addison Bounds

03/30/1864

D

21

  Marion
  Daniel W. Bounds

06/24/1864

H

24

  Perry
  Ellis Bounds

05/23/1864

G

20

  Perry

X

  James Bounds

03/30/1864

D

23

  Marion
  John Bounds

04/21/1864

G

20

  Hancock

X

  Richard D. Bounds

03/25/1864

D

20

  Jasper
  William Bounds

04/21/1864

I

28

  Hancock
  William P. Boutwell

06/15/1864

I

18

  Pike
  James F. Braddy

06/21/1864

E

26

  Jones
  William Braddy

05/29/1864

H

20

  Covington
  Daniel Breland

05/19/1864

E

34

  Perry
  Meridy Broome

05/19/1864

E

27

  Covington
  John R. Burge

04/28/1864

E

19

  Hancock
  Prentice Bynum

05/26/1864

E

18

  Jones
  Joseph Byrd

12/23/1863

F

30

  Jasper
  Thomas Cameron

05/29/1864

H

19

  Marion
  James Clark

03/25/1864

C

19

  Perry

X

  Joel T. Clark

05/15/1864

H

20

  Perry
  Newton R. Clearman

04/18/1864

D

24

  Newton
  Riley J. Collins

04/30/1864

E

37

  Jones

X

  Isaac Cook

03/30/1864

D

19

  Newton
  Wylie C. Courtney

05/22/1864

G

24

  Smith
  Jacob Cox

04/18/1864

D

38

  Jones
  Elisha Crane

07/05/1864

H

19

  Rankin

X

  Rankin Crane

07/05/1864

H

18

  Rankin
  Charles J. Cuevas

02/02/1864

F

21

  Harrison
  John Culpepper

03/25/1864

D

18

  Jones
  Jessie Cunningham

05/19/1864

E

37

  Jasper

X

  William Dailey

04/28/1864

E

23

  Wayne

X

  Able Davis

05/26/1864

E

30

  Jones
  George W. Davis

05/23/1864

H

20

  Perry

X

  Henry F. Davis

06/29/1864

H

22

  Copiah
  James A. Davis

05/23/1864

G

23

  Perry

X

  Leroy T. Davis

05/03/1864

G

23

  Harrison
  James Dearman

05/29/1864

#

26

  Perry
  Allen DeBose

06/24/1864

H

23

  Jefferson *

X

  Riley DeBose

08/23/1864

H

30

  Perry

X

  Andrew Dement

04/19/1864

D

26

  Jones

X

  Hansford Dossett

03/25/1864

D

23

  Jones
  James A. Dossett

05/22/1864

G

24

  Jones
  Johnson Ellis

03/14/1864

A

36

  Lowndes *

X

  Marion H. Ellis

02/23/1864

C

18

  Lauderdale
  Asa B. Esterling

04/30/1864

E

21

  Perry
  William J. Finney

12/29/1863

C

32

  Pike

X

  Jessie T. Ford

06/11/1864

I

18

  Perry
  John Fortinbery

05/21/1864

E

24

  Marion
  Eugene Garcia

02/02/1864

F

16

  Hancock
  James Grantham

06/24/1864

H

24

  Perry

X

  Jesse R. Grice

04/18/1864

D

31

  Rankin
  John W. Gummell

06/15/1864

H

20

  Harrison
  Rutilles Harold

04/21/1864

G

25

  Jasper
  Jordan Harrington

04/28/1864

E

20

  Jones

X

  William J. Hatley

04/15/1864

G

25

  Lawrence
  Jeremiah Henley

05/19/1864

E

38

  Hancock
  Samuel D. Herron

06/25/1864

H

31

  Marion
  John Hester

06/14/1864

H

20

  Harrison
  John Hickman

06/14/1864

G

20

  Harrison
  William Hickman

05/03/1864

G

21

  Harrison
  George Hogan

05/03/1864

G

20

  Jasper
  John Holder

05/26/1864

E

18

  Jasper
  Brasille Holliman

05/12/1864

E

18

  Perry

X

  James Holliman

05/12/1864

E

18

  Perry

X

  Oliver Holliman

05/12/1864

E

26

  Smith
  Thomas Holliman

03/25/1864

D

33

  Perry

X

  William Holyfield

05/26/1864

E

24

  Jones
  Alexander Inman

06/20/1864

K

25

  Clarke

X

  Stephen Jenkins

03/25/1864

D

23

  Wayne
  Thomas Johnston

05/15/1864

E

24

  Jones

X

  William Jones

03/25/1864

D

32

  Marion
  William Knight

04/28/1864

E

24

  Jones
  Henry Landrum

03/25/1864

D

18

  Jones
  John Landrum

03/25/1864

D

19

  Jones

X

  Thomas Landrum

03/25/1864

D

43

  Jones
  William P. Landrum

03/25/1864

D

28

  Jones
  Nathaniel Lathiner

07/10/1864

H

18

  Hancock
  James W. Lee

04/13/1864

D

29

  Wayne

X

  Uriah Lee

05/03/1864

G

20

  Marion
  Ezekial Loftin

05/26/1864

E

23

  Lauderdale
  Thomas Loftin

05/26/1864

E

18

  Jasper
  Rutilles Loper

04/23/1864

G

32

  Jones
  Francis M. Lott

06/14/1864

H

20

  Harrison
  Bailey Martin

05/21/1864

E

18

  Attala *

X

  Caleb Martin

05/27/1864

H

34

  Perry

X

  Loth McArther

03/05/1864

H

18

  Hancock
  Enoch E. McFadden

11/18/1863

A

30

  Hancock
  James W. McFadden

11/18/1863

A

17

  Hancock

X

  Daniel McInnis

03/25/1864

D

19

  Greene
  George T. Mitchell

06/29/1864

K

21

  Hancock
  Mark W. Mitchell

03/30/1864

D

27

  Clarke
  John P. Myrick

04/21/1864

G

20

  Jasper
  William C. Nelson

07/05/1864

H

41

  Lowndes *
  John J. Newell

05/12/1864

E

26

  Perry
  Jacob Nicholson

04/28/1864

E

25

  Hancock

X

  General D. O Neal

07/08/1864

H

39

  Perry
  William Oadum

04/30/1864

E

18

  Perry

X

  Hezekiah Page

05/26/1864

G

22

  Jones
  Louis Page

05/26/1865

G

20

  Jones
  Robert Page

05/20/1864

G

24

  Jones
  John W. Parker

05/26/1864

E

23

  Newton
  Little B. Parker

07/13/1864

H

19

  Jasper
  Marion Parker

12/20/1863

F

27

  Jasper

X

  Obediah Parker

12/20/1863

F

40

  Wayne
  Pearson Parker

05/19/1864

E

34

  Coahoma *
  Thomas J. Parker

05/14/1864

B

19

  Clarke

X

  Elisha Perkins

07/08/1864

H

22

  Perry
  Daniel Pitts

03/25/1864

D

19

  Jones
  Elias Polk

03/25/1864

C

23

  Marion
  Calvin Raburn

05/21/1864

E

29

  Covington
  Thomas Redman

05/25/1864

G

20

  Jasper
  John W. Rester

06/14/1864

#

20

  Marion
  Ashberry Reynolds

05/12/1864

E

19

  Perry
  Charles Roberts

05/21/1864

H

19

  Lawrence
  Joseph Rowell

06/25/1864

#

25

  Marion
  William Rowell

06/25/1864

#

33

  Marion
  Samuel Sanders

05/26/1864

E

30

  Jasper
  Randolph Saucier

05/26/1864

G

21

  Harrison

X

  Anthony Seals

05/19/1864

#

18

  Hancock
  Thomas Shivers

06/25/1864

K

22

  Marion
  Martin V. Shows

03/25/1864

D

22

  Jones
  Jesse Slade

05/29/1864

B

19

  Marion

X

  Samuel Slade

05/29/1864

H

27

  Marion
  Andy Smith

04/19/1864

D

19

  Clarke
  Asbery Smith

03/25/1864

D

18

  Clarke
  Ira Smith

04/19/1864

D

18

  Clarke
  James Smith

05/12/1864

E

23

  Perry
  John L. Smith

06/20/1864

H

22

  Harrison

X

  Thomas R. Smith

05/26/1864

G

21

  Harrison
  William Spradley

06/14/1864

#

22

  Simpson
  Joshua Stafford

05/27/1864

#

26

  Perry
  William Steavenson

03/25/1864

D

19

  Wayne

X

  Alvin Sumrall

06/11/1864

F

29

  Perry

X

  Daniel Sumrall

06/11/1864

H

19

  Perry
  James Sumrall

03/25/1864

C

23

  Perry
  James Taylor

06/15/1864

H

29

  Monroe *
  Jones R. Temple

06/25/1864

K

33

  Marion
  Henry Thomas

05/29/1864

#

28

  Perry
  William M. Thompson

11/11/1864

I

18

  Marion
  Joseph Tillman

07/13/1864

H

20

  Jasper
  Seaborn Tisdale

04/30/1864

E

23

  Perry
  James Truss

03/25/1864

C

19

  Jones
  Dreyden Tucker

03/25/1864

D

19

  Jones
  James Tucker

05/15/1864

E

18

  Jones
  John Tucker

05/15/1864

E

36

  Jones

X

  Martin Tucker

05/15/1864

E

23

  Jones
  John Underwood

05/18/1864

E

30

  Covington

X

  Robert Underwood

05/19/1864

E

35

  Warren *
  Andrew Walker

12/24/1863

B

37

  Warren *
  Albert Walters

04/28/1864

E

38

  Jones
  Archy Walters

05/15/1864

E

19

  Jones

X

  Drury Walters

05/15/1864

E

25

  Jones

X

  Joel W. Walters

03/25/1864

D

26

  Jones
  Hanson A. Walters

05/24/1864

G

27

  Jones
  Marada M. Walters

05/15/1864

E

23

  Jones

X

  Richard Walters

05/15/1864

E

22

  Jones
  James P. Watts

07/02/1864

H

21

  Covington
  Frank Weatherbee

05/29/1864

H

26

  Lawrence

X

  Richard T. Welch

04/28/1864

E

21

  Jones
  Elijah Wilborn

04/30/1864

E

20

  Smith
  Tolbert F. Wilborn

05/26/1864

E

20

  Jasper

X

  William Wilborn

05/26/1864

E

32

  Jasper
  James Williams

04/21/1864

G

23

  Marion

X

  John Williams

07/02/1864

H

21

  Jones
  Joshua G. Williams

05/04/1864

G

26

  Perry

X

  Thomas Williams

05/03/1864

G

22

  Perry
  Frank Wilson

07/20/1864

H

28

  Lawrence
  John Worden

03/30/1864

D

19

  Marion
  Benjamin F. Young

05/23/1864

G

21

  Jackson
  Thomas Young

05/14/1864

G

20

  Jones

X

A pound sign (#) in the regimental company (“Co”) column on this and subsequent tables indicates the enlistee failed to report for muster and therefore was never assigned to a company.

An asterick (*) appearing after the nativity county indicates that it is located outside the Piney Woods region.  The 1860 census records suggest that Bailey Martin, James Taylor, and Andrew Walker had relocated to the Piney Woods.

TABLE 2:  1st New Orleans enlistees with Mississippi residency established through cross-checks of the 1850, 1860, and 1870 federal census records.

Census

Died

  Name

Enlisted

Co

Age

Year

  County

CW

  John Adams

03/25/1864

D

19

1860

  Jones
  John W. Axton

03/25/1864

D

28

1860

  Perry

X

  Irvin E. Elzey

04/28/1864

E

43

1860

  Jones
  William Ford

06/11/1864

K

43

1860

  Jasper

X

  Hamilton Haden

03/25/1864

D

24

1860

  Clarke
  John M. Jones

04/30/1864

E

19

1860

  Jones
  Willis B. Jones

04/30/1864

E

21

1860

  Jones
  Augustus Lambert

03/25/1864

D

25

1860

  Jones

X

  Blakely Lambert

03/25/1864

D

32

1860

  Jasper

X

  James C. Law

05/05/1864

E

26

1860

  Jones

X

  William Martin

05/26/1864

H

40

1860

  Perry

X

  William Mauldin

04/30/1864

E

27

1860

  Jones

X

  David McBride

03/25/1864

D

45

1860

  Jones

X

  William McBride

03/25/1864

D

18

1860

  Jones

X

  Robert McIntire

11/06/1863

C

35

1850

  Smith
  Lorenzo D. Nobles

03/14/1864

C

33

1860

  Jackson
  Martin Parker

12/20/1863

F

28

1870

  Jones
  Eli Rushing

05/23/1864

G

23

1850

  Jones
  James L. Seals

04/28/1864

D

27

1850

  Hancock
  Robert Spencer

05/03/1864

G

22

1850

  Clarke
  James Swilley

06/20/1864

K

37

1870

  Harrison
  Henry F. Taylor

04/30/1864

E

19

1860

  Perry
  Pleasant P. Terry

04/18/1864

D

34

1860

  Newton
  William J. Tippet

03/14/1864

C

44

1860

  Smith
  Aaron T. Wilborn

05/23/1864

G

27

1860

  Jones

TABLE 3: 2nd New Orleans enlistees with Mississippi nativity who did not subsequently appear on the 1st New Orleans rolls.

Died

  Name

Enlisted

Co

Age

  Birth Co

CW

  Elijah G. Brown

05/23/1864

B

31

  Perry
  James R. Davis

05/22/1864

B

29

  Perry

X

  Thommas Simons

05/23/1864

B

22

  Perry

TABLE 4:  Other 1st New Orleans enlistees who reported southern nativity, but for whom evidence of later Mississippi residency is currently lacking.

  Name

Enlisted

Co

Age

  Birth Co / State
  John A. Allen

01/23/1864

A

20

  Franklin, AL
  Josiah A. Allen

06/13/1864

H

32

  Columbus, MS
  Thomas  Bonner

03/30/1864

D

19

  Monroe Co, AL
  William Cameron

05/29/1864

#

na

  (Not listed)
  John  Cody

03/30/1864

C

25

  Mobile, AL
  John  Cotton

07/05/1864

#

18

  Mobile, AL
  John A. Graham

03/25/1864

D

20

  Butler, AL
  William  Graham

04/30/1864

H

18

  Montgomery, AL
  John W. Haley

04/17/1864

D

19

  Pike, AL
  David D. Hanscum

06/06/1864

#

na

  Natchez, MS
  William  Hull

02/18/1864

C

26

  Augusta, GA
  Joseph  Kelly

04/12/1864

D

23

  Carroll Co, TN
  Thomas  Kelly

02/23/1865

E

19

  Natchez, MS
  John Martin

05/02/1864

G

20

  (Not listed)
  John P. Moseley

02/23/1864

A

24

  Butler Co, AL
  Frank  Nata

10/09/1863

B

20

   Biloxi, MS
  Edward  Patricks

03/25/1864

#

17

  Orangeville, SC
  Benjamin B. Patricks

03/25/1864

D

45

  Orangeville, SC
  Warner B. Pittman

03/25/1864

E

47

  Washington, GA
  William  Pittman

03/25/1864

E

17

  Washington, GA
  Stephen H. Tourne

04/17/1864

D

19

  Macon Co, AL
  William  Wasdon

03/12/1864

C

23

  Jefferson Co, GA
  John H. Watson

04/27/1864

E

20

  Perry Co, AL
  Jucalion  Wedgeworth

07/08/1864

H

20

  Green Co, AL
  Jacob W. White

03/25/1864

D

34

  Steward Co, Ga
  Pleasant L. Williams

04/14/1864

G

28

  Hinds Co, MS
  William J. Williams

03/11/1864

G

20

  (Not listed)

28 replies »

  1. This article is very interesting and well written. Kudos to Ed Payne for researching and presenting the topic in such a thorough manner.

  2. Outstanding job. Thank you for all the work you put into enlightening the rest of us. I am proud that my ggreatgrandfather’s brother joined the NO 1st and was on the winning side. This must have been a heart wrenching decision for him – and a decision that led to his death before reaching 30.

  3. I hope Les will not mind me mentioning that several decades ago we both attended Ole Miss and have kept in touch since. Mid-way through compiling the list of Piney Woods Union enlistees, I experienced an odd streak. It seemed that for awhile that nearly everyone to whom I described the project would say, “Well, actually, there are stories in OUR family about an ancestor who drew a Union pension…”

    So when I found a 1st New Orleans recruit with the surname Easterling and mentioned it to Les, I was only moderately surprised when he said, yes, he knew the story about that gentlemen quite well because Asa B. Easterling was his gr-gr grandfather.

    • Gr-gr-grandfather Asa B. Easterling’s tombstone was vandalized many years ago by persons unknown. At the urging of my father, I was able to obtain a new tombstone from the Veteran’s Administration at no cost. Our family held an informal ceremony and set his new tombstone properly at his grave site next to that of his wife, Matilda Rose Smith Easterling. They rest in peace in Jones County, MS at the Lancaster Cemetery.

  4. I am reposting my recent post to Facebook, so that my comments can get into this blog action and inspire others to continue this thread.

    Great article and beautifully written. I am glad that you continue to pursue this history and hope that a book comes out of all this work. Thanks to you and Vikki, I am gradually finding answers to unanswered questions about my GGreatgrandfather’s brother, William A. Mauldin. He enlisted as a Confederate soldier in August 1861, fought in the battle of Ft Donelson, was wounded, captured and hospitalized in February 1862 and deserted shortly afterwards. Finally, he enlisted in the NO 1st in April 1864 and died of pneumonia in a military hospital in December 1864. My primary question was his motivation to join the confederacy, since he deserted shortly afterwards. Still haven’t answered this one. But, as Vikki points out, his change of heart was most likely caused by the “20 Negro Law” (rich man’s war/poor man’s fight) which caused many poor farmers who owned no slaves to rethink their allegiance after the Mississippi Legislature passed that law. Another question: where was William between February 1862 and April 1864? And why did he wait to April 1864 to enlist as a Union soldier? I assume he went back to Jones County, but he does not appear in any of Newt Knights rolls. The answer to this one is obvious: after Lowry’s raid in early 1864, his choices were stay and be hunted down and killed, join Knight’s renegades, rejoin the Confederacy (as many did), OR follow his soul (after Lowry’s men killed Taply Bynum, his sister’s husband), which meant joining the Union army. Unfortunately he died a few months later and didn’t get to enjoy his army’s win. I noted in your table that nearly all of the Piney Woods men joining the Union Army in New Orleans, did so within a few months of Lowry’s raid. Vikki says in her book, that they floated down the Mississippi to New Orleans. This alone would have been a dangerous venture. Of all my ancestors, William is near the top of the list of those I plan to connect with to listen to their life stories in the hereafter. Keep up the scholarly research, Ed. I can hardly wait to read the next one.

  5. Ed, enjoyed the read this morning. And intend to print out your tables. I enjoy reading all your writings on civil war.

    I think I have a couple of photos (per family members/CSA uniform) of Irvin E. Ellzey (who died in New Orleans in a train derailment), and I thought I had one of Acey Easterling.
    I didn’t know where Acey was buried, thought Perry Co. Ms.

    I tend to think that these men’s allegiance during this tragic war was with their wife and children, their families.

    Thanks Ed Mauldin for posting on Facebook.

    • The following link is where I verified the burial site of my Gr-Gr-Grandfather, Asa Benjamin Easterling, who was from Perry County, MS and is included in the military records of Ed Payne’s article. His burial site is actually in neighboring Jones County, MS. The link should help you in searching the Perry County cemetary records as well as those of Jones County.

      http://listsearches.rootsweb.com/th/read/CREEL-MS/2006-01/1137354866

      I hope that this link is of some use to you.

      Good luck,
      Les Easterling, Jr.

  6. Les, thank you for the link. I was not familiar with this cemetery. I see the date at that link as 1913 for death, but I wonder if that could be 1915?

    Thanks again.

    Also, just a note that Ashbury Reynolds, is actually Asbury/Asberry Runnells of Perry Co. Ms.

  7. Fannie, thank you for your comment. I hope descendants of these men might come across the list of names and, 150 years after the fact, accept the choices their ancestors made in very difficult times. As it stand now, the Public Trees on Ancestry are–with a few exceptions–silent about the Union service of these men. In the next post I’ll venture some opinions about motivations.

    I have images of the Asa Easterling pension file and it contains a notice that he died in 1913. His lengthy (213 documents!) quest to obtain a pension had only been granted in Jan 1912.

    In the matter of the spelling of names, for the sake of consistent I used the spelling found in the 1st and 2nd New Orleans files. These files include many reference cards indicating various spelling of the same name. I have developed a spreadsheet in which I’ve attempted to cross-link each these men with the 1850~1870 censuses. This has turned up alternatives such as Reynolds = Runnels and Oadum = Odom.

    Best, Ed P.

  8. Thank you Ed…………I have noted the 1913 date for Asa Easterling…….I look forward to your next writing.

    I find myself thinking regardles of what side, and when they served, that the effects were very negative, especially in the aftermath of their experiences. It was after all, a motivation to survive, for everybody.

  9. […] Nor were all Chains loyal to the Confederacy. Military records indicate that Isaac Chain’s brother, James Alexander Chain, deserted the 7th battalion in October 1862 after hospitalization for wounds sustained at the battle of Corinth. Although James never formally joined the Knight band, he remained AWOL until December 1863. Another Chain, first name uncertain, was similarly reported AWOL following the battle of Corinth, and again in early 1864. Like so many Piney Woods men, the Chains and the Dykes alternately served and deserted the Confederacy. By late 1863, many of these men (including Newt Knight) refused to go back, and joined the Knight band instead. By April, 1864, many more were joining the Union Army in New Orleans (see Ed Payne, “Crossing the Rubicon of Loyalties”). […]

  10. Dean Reid,

    Very interesting. My GG Grandfather is listed in your table. David McBride and also his son, William. I was born in Jones Co. MS and have heard and read the Free State of Jones stories all of my life. I have a copy of the Widow’s Pension Application made by my GG Grandmother in New Orleans in 1865 a year after David McBride died. Thanks for the research and article.

  11. Dean:

    Always nice to hear from descendants of these men. My own link is via the Collins family, with 1st New Orleans enlistee Riley J. Collins being a 4 x gr uncle. As I noted in Part 3 of the series (and you probably know), father David McBride and his son William enlisted together and died within days of each other in late July 1864 — David of chronic diarrhea and William of smallpox. The pension file for David McBride, as filed by his widow Agnes (Redd) McBride, contains 28 documents. I am advising Vikki via this post to provide you with my email address. Please contact me if you wish to know more about the McBride pension file.

    • Kelly, the bible belonged to John Bynum, Drury’s brother. John is my great grandfather. I am Nancy Stevens and was born in Clarke County, MS. I currently live in Santa Fe, NM. Would love to hear from you.

  12. I can find no James Lee born in wayne county around 1835, do you have any idea who his parents are?

  13. Brent: the information that James W. Lee was born in Wayne County comes from his 1st New Orleans Union military records. As you noted, his age (29) at the time of his enlistment on 13 April 1864 indicates he was born circa 1835. He can be found on the 1860 census of Jones County as “James W. Lee” age 25 with wife Delphine and 3 children. While serving in the 1st New Orleans, James W. Lee died of typhoid fever on 28 July 1864.

    In 1867 his widow filed for a Union pension. These records establish that her maiden name was Delphine Landrum and they married in 1856. Among their children were a son named William T. Lee born in 1859 and one named Abraham Lincoln Lee born in March of 1863. Delphine and her 5 children by James can be found on the 1870 Jones County census.

    Some genealogies list James W. Lee as a son of Nathaniel Lee and wife Sarah. If so, he would most likely be the child recorded as “William T. Lee” age 15 on the 1850 census of Covington County. Note this would match the name James gave his first son. Indeed, some genealogies list James’s full name as James William T. Lee, but I not found any documents to support this. Whether Nathaniel was James’s father or not, “Nathaniel Lee” was enumerated in neighboring Perry County on the 1860 census.

    Hope this helps.

    • I have Wayne County Lees in my line Is why i asked, and can find no census records of a James Lee In Wayne County MS, which is where i was born as well. I have noted doing research in the past that some west Wayne Countians are often included in Jones County. The Waller Ridge “EUCUTTA” area of Wayne County In particular, Often shows up in Jasper or Jones. I have reviewed my Genology of the Wayne County Lees and can find no James Lee until the 1700’s. I wonder, what other LA Union Regiments, Mississippians served in? I see a few other Wayne Countians on Your List. I have a Wayne County Ancestor Private Daniel Boutwell CSA who after being captured and sent to prison, said the Yankee Oath and Served out the last year of the war with a New york Infanry.! In Greene County Yankee Dan Mciniss Served in the Union. Im Told many of these Turncoats in the South were given the Reconstruction Marshall job in there towns. Some of these men were Of the worst sort, and Under the cover of Reconstruction, Used there new position to continue the Yankee Robbery and Rape of the South. Looks like you spent alot of time Researching this material. I salute your efforts.

      • Brent,
        Your position on the war is clear; I’m not sure it sheds light on the identity of James Lee. Language such as “turncoat” and phrases such as “Yankee Robbery and Rape of the South” repeat an ever-popular image of the Civil War as a morality play between southern victims and northern victimizers rather than what it was: a struggle over national vision, regional sovereignty, and the ever-present issue of human bondage. On this site, we try to understand the forces that led some Southerners to oppose the government set forth by their political leaders. There is no one image, and certainly no one stereotype, that tells their story.

        Vikki

      • Loved your reply above. With your razor-sharp intellect, you should feel guilty going toe-to-toe with the defenseless.

  14. was Jones County as anti-Confederate as advertised here? NO! Most professional men and craft workers listed on the seventy-three page census schedule for this county can be found on Confederate company rolls. For instance, in Co. “K”, 8th Mississippi Regt., the “Ellisville Invincibles”, we find Jacob R. Brown and Edward Campion (mechanics), Hansford D. Dossett (land speculator), Benjamin C. Deason (merchant), H. S. Pound (physician), F. K. Willoughby (painter), Robert J. Parker (saddler), Jacob Leonard (mason) and James M. Grubbs (miller). Several of these men served as commissioned officers.

    Others appear in Co. “C”, 7th Mississippi Battalion, the “Jones County Rebels”; Co. “B”, 27th Mississippi Regt., the “Rosin Heels”; Co. “K”, 37th Mississippi Regt., the “Jasper Guards”; Co. “H”, 5th Mississippi State Troops, and other commands.

    • Brent,
      You are correct that most of the eligible men of Jones County served in Confederate units at some point during the Civil War, and no one on Renegade South has argued otherwise. Most of the members of the Knight Company deserted their Confederate units rather than evaded conscript. Like the majority of Southerners who initially opposed secession (such as the Jones County Collins family), pro-Union men generally complied with conscription in hopes of a short war, and in hopes of serving alongside their kin and close neighbors. Many other men turned against the war by late 1862 and early 1863. Some joined the Knight band, but many others, as Ed Payne has demonstrated with his careful research, migrated to New Orleans and joined the Union Army.

      What interests me specifically, as well as others who have contributed to or commented on Renegade South, is why large numbers of families in the Jones County region either opposed or turned against the Confederacy. They were not alone in that opposition; such pockets of resistance existed throughout the South. Certainly, most deserters were not initially “Unionists” per se. They were struggling farmers who concluded that the Confederacy did not serve their interests. As a historian, I believe they were correct in that conclusion.

      The purpose of Renegade South is to understand the Civil War home front from the perspective of its dissenters. As the creator and moderator of this site, I welcome respectful comments and queries. Those who wish to denigrate the motives and actions of people who no longer can defend their actions, however, may do so on sites set up for that purpose.

      Vikki

  15. Hello,

    My great uncle was a gentlemen named Buck Temple, of Laurel, Mississippi. My grandfather was Austin Temple, married to Ruby White, both of Laurel. At the turn of the last century, I know that my great grandfather owned several hundred acres of Laurel land, having many businesses, saw mill, general goods, maybe sugar? At Sharon Community Church, there are many Temple or Temples grave sites that preceded the Civil War and continue to this day. My Mother was the only child (of 8 born to Austin) to move from Laurel to Chicago IL, where I presently live. Mother would tell us stories that her ancestors were part of a renegade band of men who were neither pro Union or pro Confederate. At the time of the Civil War, the name may have been spelled TEMPLES, later dropping the “S”. Also, the WHITE family may have participated as they are another long-standing family from Laurel. Was hoping that you may be able to confirm the story. Also, approximately 90% of this large family remain in Laurel, Austin and Ruby have 24 grandchildren. Amazing. I love to visit Laurel MS when I can. Love the history and proud of my Mississippi roots.

    Thank you for your work as an historian.

  16. June: Appreciate your comments and family lore. I’ve not found any men with the surnames of “White” or “Temple(s)” on the various rosters of the Newt Knight band. But there were other men in the area who, singularly or in groups, sought to evade Confederate conscription authorities–especially after the surrender of Vicksburg in July, 1863.

    Whether connected to your line or not, I did some research on a Jones R. Temples of Marion County. He can be found on the 1860 census in that county as a 27 year-old married man with several children. He apparently volunteered for the Confederate 7th MS Infantry in the spring of 1861 but his records end in December of that year. On June 25, 1864 a James/Jones R. Temple of Marion County (apparently the same individual) enlisted in the 2nd New Orleans and was transferred to the 1st New Orleans. Within 2 months, however, he was sentenced to confinement for the duration of the war at Fort Jefferson, in the Dry Tortugas off the coast of Florida. Contrary to most court martial proceedings in the New Orleans regiments, no reason for his imprisonment was cited in his military papers.

    After the war Jones R. Temples moved his family to Bowie, Texas.

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