Wilson-Mitchell-Gray-Thompson families from Attala & Chickasaw Counties in Mississippi

Tag Archives: Civil War

Magazines: I like ’em. Particularly new-to-me and/or regional publications. Last year I discovered and immediately subscribed to Garden & Gun. Bought a few gift subscriptions too. I posted about my discovery on Facebook, which spurred a neighbor to not only subscribe to the magazine but to order as many back issues as they had available.

When in the Asheville, NC airport a few days ago I found Our State: Down Home in North Carolina. Here’s another magazine I think you’ll like, Kathy.

Why am I posting about a regional magazine on a family history blog? There is an article in the August 2012 issue of Our State that details the physical burden a Confederate soldier carried. As author Philip Gerard stated, “Every soldier must carry his part of the war to the great staging grounds and then help to assemble it.

For readers of this blog — who may be descendants of Jack Thompson or his brothers, of Pierce Mitchell or his brothers Whitman, George, and Ben, of Coleman Gray, Singleton Hughes, his sons Robert, Thomas, and James — this article helps us picture the burdens they bore.

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The Burden of War 
by Philip Gerard
Our State: Down Home in North Carolina
August 2012 issue

The weight men carry nearly leaves them limp underneath their sacks. But there is only one way to shed that weight, and the price for that is far worse that shouldering the load...[click here to read more]

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Read the entire series of articles published to date: Civil War Series. Articles include:

  • A General’s Fatal Anger
  • A War of Songs
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Caught Between Blue and Gray
  • Baptism by Blood

[Reposted from Ancestry.com. Mary Caralyn was the half-sister of John F. “Jack” Thompson of Houston, Mississippi and grandfather of Annabelle Gray Wilson. The Burgesses are not part of this Wilson-Gray line; James Burgess married widow Nelly Harris Thompson, mother of Mary Caralyn Burgess, John F. “Jack” Thompson, and several other children.]

The author of this story is Leon Burgess, son of Limuel Lafayet Burgess, grandson of James Burgess, great grandson of James W. (Preacher) Burgess and great great grandson of John M. Burgess of Chickasaw Co., MS. “I need all the help to fill in the Burgess family gaps, and names or corrections where an error has been made. Leon Burgess, Gulfport, MS.”

Submitted by Leon Burgess, to The Chickasaw County Historical and Genealogy Society, for publication in “A History of Chickasaw County, Mississippi, Volume II.” Undated. Article #F202, Burgess, John W. Pioneer: an excerpt.

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Mary Caralyn (Caroline) Burgess Hargrove

Mary Caralyn, the sixth child of John W. Burgess, in her memoirs recalls this family history. “I was borned 29 May 1849 in Chickasaw Co., MS. My father was John M. Burgess who with five children whose mother had died moved from Tenn. to Miss. in the early 1840’s. My mother [Nelly Harris Thompson] was borned in South Carolina about the same time as my father. She was a widow with six children four boys and two girls. One of her sons was the Rev. R. W. Thompson. Mr. Burgess and Mrs. Thompson married and to this union was borned two girls. I, mary Caralyn, and my sister Lucinda Elendor, who also married a Hargrove.

“I think I know some of the hardships that the common poor people suffered in the Civil War times. My mother died when I was twelve (1861). This and the Civil War deprived me of a chance for an education. I know what it is like to card cotton, shin, and weave by the light of a pine knot. We died our thread with bark and indago before weaving it into cloth. We wove the cloth for our best clothing and work clothing too. For pleasure we girls would sing as we worked at night. One time a “bunch” of Confederate soldiers came by while we were making “hominy”. We had a big pot and needless to say, they enjoyed it. From time to time we would see the Confederate soldiers hunting for deserters or out to trade for new mounts and supplies. Most of the soldiers were nice, now and then some of them would take from us.

Lucinda Ellendor Burgess Hargrove

“We lived six miles from Houston (Thorn). That is as close as the “Union” soldiers ever came. Nevertheless, when we heard they was in the area, we hid all stuff in logs and stumps and drove the stock in the bottom. Four of my half brothers served in the army Condederacy, two lost legs [John F. “Jack” is one of them] and one died from the measles [Thomas].

John F. “Jack” Thompson

“At the age of 14, I joined the Baptist Church. The preacher was “Uncle Jimmie Martin”. (Authors note: what was his connection to the Burgess or Hargove family?) In 1870, we moved to Hamburg, TN. We would visit the Shiloh battlefield and pick up lead bullets and minie balls. It was easy picking, a few had to be dug. There was still soldiers sleeping on the battlefield.”

Mary Caralyn died 23 Feb. 1935 at age 86. [of apoplexy/stroke]

Death certificate for Mary C Burgess Hargrove


AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of Mississippi and other States united with her under the compact entitled “The Constitution of the United States of America.”

The people of the State of Mississippi, in convention assembled, do ordain and declare, and it is hereby ordained and declared, as follows, to wit:

Section 1. That all the laws and ordinances by which the said State of Mississippi became a member of the Federal Union of the United States of America be, and the same are hereby, repealed, and that all obligations on the part of the said State or the people thereof to observe the same be withdrawn, and that the said State doth hereby resume all the rights, functions, and powers which by any of said laws or ordinances were conveyed to the Government of the said United States, and is absolved from all the obligations, restraints, and duties incurred to the said Federal Union, and shall from henceforth be a free, sovereign, and independent State.

Sec. 2. That so much of the first section of the seventh article of the constitution of this State as requires members of the Legislature and all officers, executive and judicial, to take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States be, and the same is hereby, abrogated and annulled.

Sec. 3. That all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States, or under any act of Congress passed, or treaty made, in pursuance thereof, or under any law of this State, and not incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in force and have the same effect as if this ordinance had not been passed.

Sec. 4. That the people of the State of Mississippi hereby consent to form a federal union with such of the States as may have seceded or may secede from the Union of the United States of America, upon the basis of the present Constitution of the said United States, except such parts thereof as embrace other portions than such seceding States.

Thus ordained and declared in convention the 9th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1861.

Source: Official Records, Ser. IV, vol. 1, p. 42.

http://www.constitution.org/csa/ordinances_secession.htm#Mississippi


Since today is the 150th anniversary of the start of the War Between the States, I am publishing a quick post about those in the Wilson-Gray family who served in the military during this dark time in American history. As you may recall, this civil war began on Friday, April 12, 1861 when Confederate artillery opened fire on Fort Sumter, just off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Although many of our ancestors lived in South Carolina during Revolutionary War days, most moved west in the following decades.

There are no Union soldiers in our direct line that I’m aware of. We have several who served the Confederacy, none of whom were slave owners as far as I know.

Wilsons — Joel Fowler Wilson was the patriarch. He was 31 and the father of seven when the war broke out. Three more children were born between 1862-1865 making it unlikely that the Reverend served in the military at this time. However, his eldest sons Dixon L., Isom A. and Joel L. were old enough to have possibly served. More research needed.

Albert Pierce Mitchell and his brothers Whitman, George, and Ben served in the 30th Mississippi Infantry, Company D (Dixie Heroes). He was injured severely in the jaw during the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. His older brother Whitman came to his aid and was killed. Pierce was sent to a confederate hospital in Marietta, Georgia. On 24 November 1863 he was captured at the Battle of Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee and was imprisoned in Rock Island Barracks, Illinois. He was exchanged on 28 March 1865 and sent to Camp Lee near Richmond, Virginia. He returned to Attala County. (Read more about his brothers’ military service in an earlier post. [Albert Pierce Mitchell’s daughter, Leona Mitchell Wilson, is the mother of L.A., Roy, Frank, and Willie Wilson]

Grays — Annabelle Gray Wilson’s father, Lott Dulin Gray, and most of his siblings were born during or after the war but their father, Coleman C. Gray, might be the C.C. Gray listed in the National Park Service’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System among the soldiers in Perrin’s Battalion – Company H, also known as the Chicksaw Rangers, and/or the 8th Mississippi Calvary – Company E, also from Chickasaw County. Coleman might have had a brother, Lott (Lod) D. Gray, that also served. Much more research is needed.

ThompsonsAnnabelle Gray Wilson’s maternal grandfather, John F. “Jack” Thompson, lost a leg in battle. His wooden prosthesis, shaped like a fork without the middle tine, is still in the family’s possession. I believe he was a member of the 31st Mississippi Infantry. Again, more research is needed.




ohfordixieThe Civil War Record and Diary of Capt. William V. Davis
30th Mississippi Infantry, C.S.A.

Oh for Dixie!

by
Joe and Lavon Ashley
ISBN 0-9707635-0-6
Standing Pine Press, Colorado Springs

2001

($19.95 at Morningside Books)

Contains information on Albert Washington Mitchell (1810-1881, his wife Susan Ann Cone Mitchell, and their sons Albert Pierce Mitchell and his wife Frances Hines (parents of Leona A. Mitchell, who was married to William Ransom Wilson; they are the parents of Willie Arnold Wilson who died in 1948), Benjamin Franklin Mitchell, George Fellows Mitchell (and wife Nancy Merritt Davis), and Whitman William Mitchell (and his wife Alice Jane Davis).

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These four Mitchell sons served in the 30th Mississippi Infantry, Company D, otherwise known as the “Dixie Heroes” from Attala County, Mississippi:

Whitman William Mitchell was killed 31 December 1862 during the Battle at Murfreesboro, TN (more information, including maps, here)  He was hit by a cannon ball while attempting to aid his younger brother Albert Pierce Mitchell who had been severely injured. He was 29 years old.

Benjamin Frankin Mitchell was killed during the fighting around Atlanta in August 1864 and may be buried in Atlanta’s beautiful Oakland Cemetery.

George Fellows Mitchell struggled with rheumatism during his enlistment. After the war he returned to Attala County.

Albert Pierce Mitchell was injured severely in the jaw during the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. (See information and links above. His older brother Whitman came to his aid and was killed.) Pierce was sent to a confederate hospital in Marietta, Georgia. On 24 November 1863 he was captured at the Battle of Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee and was imprisoned in Rock Island Barracks, Illinois. He was exchanged on 28 March 1865 and sent to Camp Lee near Richmond, Virginia. He returned to Attala County.