Monday, October 13, 2008

The Story of Two Civil War Veterans

In old newspapers many interesting family stories can be found. One such newspaper story I found from 1910 involves two elderly veterans from the Civil War – one was Confederate and one was Union, and both were long-time neighbors here in Itawamba County.

The Confederate veteran was Isaac Hood. Isaac Hood (born during May of 1838 according to census records) brought his family to Itawamba County from Alabama, settling in the Van Buren and Cardsville area around 1873. He is found on the 1880 and 1900 census records of Itawamba County and is found on the 1860 and 1870 census records of Jefferson County, Alabama.

Records show he served in Company C of the Third Alabama Reserves. The Third Alabama Reserves was organized during the summer of 1864. Stationed at Mobile, it served in General B.M. Thomas' Brigade, District of the Gulf. During February of 1865, the unit was ordered to Selma. Six companies were assigned as guard duty at the post of Cahaba, and during March was attached to General Clanton's command. It was reported to be at Montgomery during April, and during May was included in the surrender of the department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana.

The Union veteran was Peter Franks, my great great uncle. Peter Franks (born during 1843 in Marion County, Alabama, the son of Lemuel Franks and Huldah Gann) came to Itawamba County during the late 1870’s, settling just west of the Van Buren area near Ballardsville. He is found in the 1860 and 1870 Marion County, Alabama census records and the 1880 and 1900 Itawamba County census records.

He served with Company A of the First Alabama Calvary of the United States Army. For the first few months of service, the First Alabama Cavalry was headquarted at Glendale, Mississippi. They were largely engaged in successful scouting and foraging expeditions in northern Mississippi and Alabama oweing to their acquaintance with the area. Two companies of the First Alabama Cavalry were attached to Colonel Abel D. Streight in his famous charge across Alabama against Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forest which ended in a battle near Gasden, Alabama. In October, 1863 the First Alabama under the command of Colonel George E. Spencer, a force of about 650 men, was ordered to move out ofCorinth toward Columbiana, Alabama. It's objective was to destroy the railroad from Line Station to Elyton. However, about 40 miles out of Glendale at Jones' Crossroads (present-day Red Bay, Alabama), the regiment was attacked by 2000 Confederates.

During the remainder of 1863 the main body of the First Alabama Cavalry remained in the Memphis, Tennessee area recuperating. From time to time, a regiment, a picked patrol or a company of this unit was sent out on reconnaissance expeditions, sometimes skirmishing with Confederate cavalry patrols.

So one may ask what these two veterans – one Confederate and one Union, have in common besides being sons of Alabama, and long-time neighbors here in Itawamba County?

The newspaper notice from the April 14, 1910 edition of the Itawamba County News reads: “Last week two old men and old soldiers died who were residents of the third district. Isaac Hood, an old confederate veteran died Wednesday and was buried at Enon Thursday. Same day, Peter Franks, a union soldier died and was buried at Keys Cemetery. Their death and interment occurring the same day.

On that Spring day in April of 1910 the small community lost two of its elderly citizens and neighbors – both veterans of the Civil War – one Confederate and one Union. And they were buried on the same day as well in the rural countryside of southwestern Itawamba County.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story - thanks for sharing!