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Category Archives: Civil War

Joanna Elizabeth Ham

Joanna Elizabeth “Jo” Ham was the first daughter born to Joel Ham and his wife Mary Emily Montgomery.  She was born in Mississippi, probably in Yalobusha County, on 31 Aug. 1843.  Joanna can be found there with her parents in the 1850 census.  By 1860, the Ham family is in Texas, and we find Joanna there with them in Mount Vernon, Titus County.  There she grew up and met Benjamin Franklin (known as Bing) Edwards whom she married on 3 Jan 1862 in Hopkins County, Texas.     

Bing was born in 28 September of 1840 in Cherokee County, Alabama.  He is one of the sons of Gideon  and Jane Edwards.  Bing served the Confederacy in the Civil War.  He was a Sergeant in Company K, 19th Texas Infantry.  His tombstone states that he was a “Badge of Courage” recipient. 

The family spent time between several different counties in Texas – 1870 they were in Hopkins County; 1880 they were in Johnson County; and in 1900 they were in Hill County.

To say that Jo and Bing had a large family would be a huge understatement.  In the census records Joanna advised the census taker that she had given birth 14 times and that 11 children survived.  Now…I don’t know about you – I barely managed to bring forth one child.  Can you image what it was like to be pregnant 14 times?!  And to give birth 14 times?!  And all this without prenatal care?  And then to lose three children – what heart-break. 

 These are the children that we know about:

  1. Calidonnia “Donnie” Mansfield Edwards (1864-1939)
  2. Alice Lenorah Edwards (1866-1946)
  3. Mary Udora Edwards (1868-1943)
  4. Sara Edwards (1871-?)
  5. Joanna Elizabeth “Betty” Edwards (1872-1930)
  6. Ninnie M. Edwards (1875-?)
  7. Benjamin Franklin Edwards, Jr. (1877-?)
  8. Lula L. Edwards (1879-?)
  9. William Arthur Edwards (1880-1898)
  10. Robert Eston Edwards (1882-1974)
  11. Ola Etna Edwards (1885-1971)
  12. Thomas E. Edwards (1886-1950)

Joanna’s husband, Benjamin Franklin Edwards died in Hill County, Texas on 4 July 1910 at the age of 69.  He is laid to rest in Derden Cemetery in the county.  That same year in the census record Joanna is living with one of her daughters, Ola Etna Edwards Mabe and her husband Clarence.  Joanna died five years later at the age of 72 on 20 Sept 1915 in Buel, Johnson County, Texas.  She is laid to rest in the Buel Cemetery.  Her death certificate below is a rare find.  Even though death records were sometimes kept as early as 1900 in Texas – it is unusual to find one this early (1915).  

Joanna Elizabeth Ham Edwards - Texas Death Certificate

This branch of the Ham family tree frankly still needs a lot of work.  We don’t have much information on any of Joanna’s children and no photographs.  For those of you that know me – you know I love the old family photographs most of all.  It helps to put a face to a name when researching a family line.  Theoretically, there should be a lot of descendants out there!  We would love to hear from any of you that are interested in exchanging information on the Ham family genealogy.  

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Posted by on February 21, 2011 in Civil War, Edwards, Ham

 

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William Henry Lytle – Husband of Lucinda Curbow

Lucinda Curbow’s husband, William Henry Lytle, was born in Georgia in September of 1840.  I do not know who the parents of William Henry Lytle were or exactly where in Georgia he was born.  When he enlisted into the Confederate Army, he did so out of Macon County.  

Macon County, Georgia

In the 1850 census there is present in Macon County the family of William and Mary Lytle – they have a son named William and a daughter named Sarah.  (William Henry Lytle and his wife would later name their daughter Belle Sarah.)  This could very well be his family, but at this time I have nothing to tie them together. 

William Lytle enlisted into the Confederate States Army at the age of 20 out of Macon County, Georgia on June 15, 1861.  His rank was private at enlistment and he was a sergeant at discharge.  He was a member of Company C, 12th Georgia Infantry Regiment, Dole’s Brigade, Rhodes Division, J. T. Jackson’s Army Corps.  William was wounded in the arm during the Battle of Lynchburg (Virginia) and spent time in the CSA General Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Muster Roll Card - William Henry Lytle

He was later captured and taken prisoner in 1864 at Winchester, Virginia and transported (via Harper’s Ferry) to the dreaded Yankee prison camp at Point Lookout, Maryland. 

Prisoner of War Muster Card - William Henry Lytle

Point Lookout was a prison camp for Confederate prisoners of war built on the tip of the peninsula where the Potomac River joins Chesapeake Bay.   Point Lookout, Maryland was deemed to be the largest and worst Yankee POW camp.  It was constructed of fourteen foot high wooden walls.  These walls surrounded an area of about 40 acres.  A walkway surrounded the top of the walls where Negro guards walked day and night.  It is reported that the guards were brutal in their treatment of the prisoners.  No barracks were ever built.  The Confederate soldiers were given tents to sleep in until overcrowding became so bad there were not even enough tents to go around.  Prison capacity was 10,000, but at any given time there would be between 12,000 to 20,000 soldiers incarcerated there.  The extreme overcrowding, Maryland’s freezing temperatures, shortages of firewood for heat, and living in tents took its toll and many lives were lost due to exposure.  As the water supply became polluted and food rations ran low, prisoners died from disease and starvation.  Food was in short supply; the men were reported to hunt rats as a food source.  A prisoner, Rev. J. B. Traywick said, “Our suffering from hunger was indescribable.”  (http://www.clements.umich.edu/Webguides/Schoff/NP/Point.html)

Point Lookout, Maryland - Yankee Prison Camp - Image from mycivilwar.com

William Henry Lytle survived this prison camp and was “exchanged” at the end of the war in 1865 – when he presumably headed for Texas.  As previously mentioned, William met and married Lucinda in Waco – they married 20 Aug. 1878.   Based on census and tax records, William and Lucinda spent their lives in Waco, Texas. 

 On 21 Nov. 1892, William Lytle joined the Pat Cleburne Camp of Ex-Confederate Army Veterans:  WACO MORNING NEWS; Sunday, April 21, 1895: The Pat Cleburne Camp was organized in 1888. Roster and roll of members as of March 31, 1895, full name, rank and organization:  Lytle, W. H. Ord Sgt. Co. C 12 Georgia Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia.

Cleburne Camp Application - William Henry Lytle

William died at his home on 25 Oct 1905.  He was 65 years old.  He is laid to rest in Greenwood Cemetery, also known as – East Waco Cemetery in the Lytle family plot.  Lucinda, his wife, and his children, Belle Sarah and William, Jr. are buried there with him.

William Henry Lytle - Death Notice

I would be interested in hearing from any Lytle researchers who have information on William Henry Lytle and his parents. 

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2011 in Brick Walls, Civil War, Lytle

 

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Hiram Jethro “Jet” Seago

The Seago family has a long and interesting history, both in Europe and here in the United States.  Unfortunately,  we don’t have much information on our Seago ancestors.  Oral tradition has the Seago family coming from Alsace, Lorraine, France/Germany.  The Seago family has an annual reunion and recently they met in Seagoville, Texas.  Seagoville was founded by Tillman Kimsey Seago.  The oldest known Seago is John Seago born 1715 who married Margaret Birmingham at St. Luke’s Parish in Church Hill, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, in 1740.  Interestingly enough, St. Luke’s Parish is the same church where Jean Corbo (Curbow) married Ann Phillips in 1755.   
Seago Family Crest

Hiram Jethro “Jet” Seago is my husband’s 3rd great grandfather through his daughter Sallie Mae Seago  → Ida Bell Howard who married Charles Franklin Curbow (great grandfather to my husband).  More names and relationships to untangle !  Hiram was the son of Joseph Seago and Amanda White.  It is believed that they died young leaving him an orphan.  It appears that his grandparents (James and Sally Seago) raised him.  

On 9 March 1853 Hiram married Nancy Jane Strunk (probably in Whitley County, Kentucky).  The couple had six children:  Mary Elizabeth in 1854; Sarah (Sallie) Mae in 1857; Nancy Jane in 1859; Ambrose Crawford in 1861; John William in 1865; and James Martin in 1868.

Hiram Jet Seago – Muster Card

Hiram served the Union during the Civil War.  According to his muster roll cards, he was a member of Company E, 32nd Kentucky Infantry.  On 7 January, 1863 Hiram Jethro Seago enlisted into the Union Army in Whitley County, Kentucky.  His rank at enlistment was private.  He was mustered out of the Army on 12 Aug 1863.  The note on his muster card reads as follows: “Deserted 11 Jun 1863 at Somerset, Kentucky.” His file contains a letter from the Adjutant General’s Office at the War Department dated 18 Nov. 1887 which discharges Hiram of the charge of desertion. It contains no details as to why he was accused and subsequently discharged of this crime.

 

It is not known when his first wife, Nancy Jane Strunk died.

On 15 Jun 1899 he married Mary Jane Abel.  He lived out the rest of his life with her and died 12 Apr 1919 in Brownsville, Edmonson County, Kentucky.  

Hiram Jethro Seago – Death Certificate – Photo courtesy of Sherman Gibbs

He is laid to rest at Good Spring Baptist Church and Cemetery  – which is an historic church and cemetery within Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.

I would love to hear from other researchers that may have information on Jet Seago. 

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2011 in Brick Walls, Civil War, Seago

 

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Tilman P. Curbow – Civil War Soldier

BG (“before genealogy”) the only thing I really knew about the Civil War was what I had learned in American history class and by watching Gone with the Wind!  Never would I have dreamed that so many of my husband’s ancestors were Confederate Civil War soldiers.  One such soldier was Tilman P. Curbow, my husband’s ggg-grandfather. 

Brother against Brother

“Blue against Gray – Brother against Brother!” Credit: AOL Images

These were turbulent and difficult times to be a Southerner.  I often reflect on the burden placed upon Elizabeth, Tilman’s wife, as she saw her husband leave for war.  Upon her fell the duty of managing the household and the raising of the children.  Keep in mind that at this time in history, “a lady” was not to leave the house without a gentleman escort; could not sign a contract on her own behalf; and could not vote.  During the Civil War period, women out of sheer necessity picked up tools and harnesses that their men had laid aside.  The southern home front during the Civil War was a place of severe hardship and heartache. 

Perhaps sensing the impending doom, sometime around 1858, Tilman Curbow and family left their Mississippi home and relocated to Carouse, Ouachita County, Arkansas.  

Map of Arkansas highlighting Ouachita County

On April 12, 1861, the first shots were fired in the American Civil War.  The State of Arkansas was a part of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, and provided a source of troops, supplies, military and political leaders for the Confederacy.  One year after the 1860 census was taken, and three months after the start of the Civil War, on July 19, 1861, Tilman Curbow enlisted into the Confederate States Army.  He is indexed as follows:  CURBOW, T.P. Pvt – Enlisted 19 July 1861 at Arkadelphia, Arkansas; Discharged 6 July 1862 at Tupelo, Mississippi; Age 42, farmer, ht 5’ 10 ½”, eyes gray, hair light, complexion light. 

I do not know where Tilman’s family is located during this time period.  It may be that Elizabeth and the children stayed in Ouachita County, Arkansas.  Alternatively, it is possible that Elizabeth and children returned to Itawamba County, Mississippi to wait out the war with her father William Bolton Box.  The more likely scenario, however, is that Tilman has taken them to live with his brother, Wiseman Curbow, in Bowie County, Texas. 

Tilman was a member of the 6th Arkansas Infantry.  This Infantry Regiment was formed at Little Rock, Arkansas in June of 1861 with 604 men.  Its companies were recruited in Little Rock and the counties of Calhoun, Dallas, Ouachita, Arkansas, Lafayette and Union. 

Tilman P. Curbow – Muster Roll – Arkansas

After its organization, Tilman’s regiment marched overland to Pocahontas, Arkansas (which is located in Randolph County).  Remembering that Tilman was living in Carouse and enlisted in Arkadelphia, this could have been close to a 250 mile walk for him.  Measles broke out in camp, and a great many died there. 

In September of 1861, the regiment was transferred to Confederate service in the brigade (consisting of the 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Arkansas Infantry regiments) commanded by Brigadier General William J. Hardee.  After a raid into Missouri, the 6th Arkansas returned to camp at Pittman’s Ferry, on Current River.  Pittman’s Ferry, was used by northern and southern forces alike.  The Ferry had long been a landmark for early pioneers.  Nearby Indian Ford was a crossing on a route of the Cherokee Trail of Tears.  Present day Pitman’s Ferry area contains a number of trenches, rifle pits and cannon emplacements still visible today. 

The latter part of September, 1861, the brigade was moved to southeast Missouri, and then by boat to Columbus, Kentucky, arriving on October 3, 1861.  From there, it was sent to Cave City, Barren County, Kentucky, where it spent the winter of 1861. 

While camped at Cave City, the 6th Arkansas had its first run in with a Union patrol.  On December 17, 1861, the 6th Arkansas supported the 8th Texas Calvary in a clash at Woodsonville, Kentucky.  The regiment occupied this advanced position until the fall of Fort Donelson (Tennessee), when it moved with the remainder of the Army to Corinth, Mississippi under General Albert Sydney Johnston.  Colonel Shaver next commanded the brigade gallantly at the vicious Battle of Shiloh

Battle of Shiloh

 

The Battle of Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, was a major battle in the western theater of the American Civil War, fought April 6th and 7th of 1862, in Hardin County, Tennessee.  Confederate forces under Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard launched a surprise attack against the Union Army of Major General Ulysses S. Grant.  The Confederates achieved considerable success on the first day but were ultimately defeated on the second day.  About 3,482 men lost their lives over this two day period. 

After the Battle of Shiloh, when Corinth, Mississippi was evacuated, Tilman Curbow’s brigade retreated to Tupelo, Mississippi where it remained until July of 1862.

As noted above, Tilman is discharged from the Army in Tupelo, Mississippi on July 6, 1862 – and presumably heads for Texas – possibly on foot.  Below is an excerpt of Tilman Curbow’s discharge report: 

“I certify that the written name, T. P. Curbow, a private of Captain L. J. Hagg’s Company (F) of the 6th Regiment of Arkansas Volunteers, aged 42 years, 5 feet 10 ½ inches high, light complexion, grey eyes, light hair and by occupation a farmer was enlisted by Col. E. M. Garrett at Arkadelphia, Ark. on the 19th day of July 1861 to serve for one year and is now entitled to discharge by reason of being a Non-Conscripted (i.e, not drafted, rather a volunteer).  The said T. P. Curbow was last paid by E. C. Jordan to include the 30th day of April 1862 and has pay due from that date to the present date.  There is due him seventy dollars traveling allowance from Tupelo, Mississippi, the place of discharge to Arkadelphia, the place of enrollment.  Transportation not being furnished in kind.”

The report goes on to say that Tilman is owed back pay for two months and 27 days of service at $11.00 per month; that he is being paid a 10 cent per mile travel allowance for 200 miles of travel; and that a deduction was being made for clothing – over-drawers.  Tilman’s final pay was $61.90.  The discharge report was signed by A. W. Steward and by T. P. Curbow.

If you would like to read more on 6th Arkansas Infantry you can read it at:  Calvin L. Collier, First In – Last Out: The Capitol Guards, Arkansas Brigade – Unit History and Muster Rolls for Company.

When we catch back up with Tilman – he is in Texas !!  He has reenlisted into the Confederate Army and is a member of Nelson’s Company of the 2nd Battalion Cavalry, Texas State Troops.  His brother Wiseman Curbow (indexed as “Carlow”) has enlisted with him and is a member of this same battalion.  The company mustered out in early 1864.  The Battalion was assigned to Townes Cavalry Brigade, Slaughter’s Divisions for [Eastern] District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. 

Tilman P. Curbow - Civil War Muster Roll - Bowie County, Texas

The 2nd Battalion of the Texas State Troops was part of the 14th Brigade territorial militia.   According to law, all male citizens between 18-45 (later 50) were required to enroll in the territorial militia or state troops – so basically, all males of the above mentioned age that were not in the Confederate Army belonged to this reserve militia organization. 

If you believe you may have an ancestor who served in the Civil War you can check the Soldiers and Sailors Systems website.  I have a subscription to Footnote.com, and would be happy to pull a copy of your ancestor’s muster roll cards for you. 

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2011 in Civil War, Curbow

 

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