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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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Lucinda Curbow Lytle

Lucinda Curbow Lytle (my husband’s great-great grand aunt) was the first child born to Tilman P. Curbow and Elizabeth Box (18 Dec, 1843 in Georgia).  Lucinda was known to her family and friends as “Lucy.”  Lucy spent a good part of her childhood living in Itawamba County, Mississippi before coming to Texas with her family during the Civil War period. 

On August 20, 1878 Lucinda married William Henry Lytle, a Confederate Civil War veteran, in McLennan County, Texas.  Given the time period – she married late in life – at the age of 34 (her groom was 37 years old).  When I reflect upon the life of Lucinda Curbow, I very often envision her as the family caretaker.  Given that she was the oldest daughter, I think that it is entirely possible that Lucinda may have set aside her own desires for a family – and that she married later in life, because she knew that she was needed by her father to assist in running the household and taking care of her younger siblings after the death of their mother, Elizabeth.  In fact, her youngest brother, Henry Harrison Curbow, is still living with Lucy and her new husband in the 1880 census. 

It is fairly clear, based on census records, McLennan County Tax Rolls and Waco City Directories that Lucinda and her husband spent their entire married lives living together in Waco, Texas.  They had four children, but it appears that only two of them survived to adulthood, Belle Sarah and William Henry Lytle, Jr.   The family home was located east of downtown Waco on Clay Avenue.  According to a local historian that my husband and I met at the McLennan County courthouse, this location used to be a very charming Victorian section of town.  Sadly it has fallen into neglect and disrepair. 

Lytle Family Home – Clay Avenue – Waco, McLennan County, Texas

Lucinda’s husband, William Henry Lytle, died many years before she did – in 1905.  After his death, Lucinda can be found always living with her children, Belle and Edward, Jr.  In 1915, Lucy filed a Widow’s Pension Application based on her husband’s Civil War Service where the Judge describes her as, “an old lady whose mind is very feeble.” 

Lucy died 16 July, 1923 in Waco, McLennan County, Texas.  She was 80 years, 5 months and 2 days old when she died of kidney failure.

Published on MONDAY, JULY 16, 1923 in the WACO TIMES HERALD

Lucinda Curbow Lytle - Obituary

 

Lucinda is laid to rest in the Lytle family plot in Greenwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County, Texas.

Lytle Family Headstone/Plot - Greenwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County, Texas

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2011 in Lytle

 

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Robert Montgomery Ham

Robert Montgomery Ham is the great great great grandfather of my son. 

Robert Montgomery Ham

Robert was born to Joel Ham and Mary Ellen Montgomery on 13 June 1852 in Jackson, Rankin County, Mississippi.  The Ham family migrated to Texas while Robert was still a child and were settled in Titus County, Texas by 1860 where they can be found living in Mount Vernon.  On July 1, 1875 Robert married Tabitha Clemintine Kenady, the daughter of Robert L. Kenady and Jemima Clemintine (“Mamie”) Rawls in Johnson County, Texas.  

Wedding Photo – Robert Montgomery Ham and Tabitha Clementine Kenady

Robert and Tabitha had a large family:  Willaim Neal born 1874; Maud Ellen born 1878; Evaline C. born 1880; Norman M. born 1882; Ora Deborah born 1885; Robert Joel born 1887; Samual David “Mack” born 1891; and Mabel Jemima born 1896. 

Robert died of pneumonia while still a young man dying on 9 Dec 1905 in Forney, Kaufman County, Texas. 

This undated obituary was published in The Headlight
DIED OF PNEUMONIA.  Mr. Robert Ham, died at his residence in North Forney about 8:30 of pneumonia.  He was about 50 years old and had lived in the county a number of years.  His remains were interred in the Lone Elm cemetery the following day.  He leaves a large family to which the Head light extends deepest sympathy. 

As mentioned in the obit, Robert Ham is laid to rest in Lone Elm Cemetery in Kaufman County, Texas.   This cemetery is also known as “Shipley Cemetery.”   It is located off of I-20 in the Lone Elm community in Kaufman County.  The condition of the cemetery is deplorable – cattle have trampled the area and broken the majority of the tombstones.  No headstone for Robert Ham is known to exist. 

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2011 in Ham

 

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Tilman P. Curbow – Southern Patriot

Tilman P. Curbow is the great-great-great-great grandfather of my son.  Tilman Curbow migrated across the south and brought the Curbow family to Texas.  Because of Tilman’s adventurous spirit, my son can today say proudly, “I am a seventh generation Texan.”   Tilman fought a war; suffered many hardships; lived a rough and tumble life; and left a trail that was often difficult to follow.  The bits and pieces and details of his life were buried by time and only recently were they uncovered and put in written form.  Tilman’s life tells the story of hard work, determination and real grit, and perhaps a barroom brawl or two (seriously) !  

There are many unanswered questions about Tilman Curbow.  We know that he was born around 1821 in Georgia and that he died in Texas somewhere around 1900.  I believe that Tilman was the son of Henry Curbow (who died in Cass County, Texas in 1850).  Additionally, I believe that Tilman is a younger brother of Wiseman Curbow who settled in Bowie County, Texas.  Tilman was married to Elizabeth Box, the daughter of William Bolton Box.  Their two oldest children Lucinda and Oliver Perry were born in Georgia.   The rest of their children (Virginia Elizabeth, Harriet, William F., Martha Isabell and Henry Harrison) were born in Mississippi, most likely Itawamba County.

Tilman Curbow served the Confederacy in the Amercian Civil War – first with the Arkansas 6th Infantry Regiment where he participated in the Battle of Shiloh and later in Texas with Nelson’s Co., 2 Battalion Cavalry.

Tilman Curbow - Civil War Muster Roll - Bowie County, Texas - Feb 3, 1864

During the reconstruction period Tilman Curbow was in Bowie County where he served as a juror on the infamous Dalby murder trial.  

Around 1867 Tilman moved his family to McLennan County – east of Waco on the Brazos River – where he farmed and ranched.   Tilman lost his wife sometime between 1870 and 1880.   Toward the end of his life Tilman became involved in a lawsuit over probate/property rights which case went all the way to the Texas Supreme Court. In connection with this lawsuit a “Suggestion of Death” for Tilman Curbow was filed on March, 1902.  

These are the last known records that Tilman Curbow left us.  It is my hope that as I progress in the research – I will be able to shed more light on some of our unanswered questions about him.  While we do not know everything about Tilman – we do know without a doubt that he possessed a strong pioneering spirit – that he experienced hardships – and that he was a true southern patriot.  His humble life is remembered here with fondness and appreciation.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2011 in Brick Walls, Curbow

 

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