Transcript by:  Ray Pennington; Courtland, Alabama;

April 1997

Co. "B", 16th Alabama Regiment, CSA (partial listing of members)

The following is from the book "Early Settlers of Alabama", by Col. James Edmonds Saunders, which was originally published in 1899.

The Sixteenth was organized in Courtland, Lawrence County, Alabama; August 8, 1861

The Sixteenth Alabama Regiment

In tracing the career of the Ninth Alabama, we were led to refer briefly to the history of every battle fought by the Army of Northern Virginia, under the personal command of General Lee. With the Sixteenth Alabama we have been brought nearer home, to the movements of our army in the Department of the Mississippi, under the command, for a little while, of Gen. A. Sidney Johnston, who fell at Shiloh, just as the sun was emerging, gloriously, from an eclipse; and then under Generals Beauregard, Joseph E. Johnston and Bragg, who were changed from time to time, in obedience to popular whims.

In this number we shall introduce to our readers the regimental officers of the Sixteenth Alabama in general terms, deferring the circumstantial account of them to be given in connection with the regiment as it passed through sunshine and storm, from Fishing Creek to the battle of Nashville, where its organization was virtually broken up. Many of these officers I have known from boyhood; but I shall not give my personal estimate of their characters. I prefer that of their comrades-in arms. In the ordeal of the camp and the battle-field, if there be any selfishness, meanness or cowardice, it will be seen, while the nobler qualities of the man will be exhibited in a clear light. In many cases I shall give quotations, and if in some cases they seem to the reader to be extravagant, he must keep in mind that nothing but pure gold will bear this "trial of fire."

The Sixteenth was organized in Courtland on the 8th of August, 1861, about seventeen days after the battle of First Manassas. William B. Wood, Esq. Was elected colonel. He was a lawyer of ability, residing in Florence, Ala., and at the same time a local preacher in the Methodist Church, who was very acceptable to his people. His father's name was Alexander Hamilton Wood - so named because his father was an officer in the Revolutionary war who was the intimate friend and comrade of the soldier statesman, Alexander Hamilton. The mother of Colonel Wood was an English woman, Mary E. Evans, daughter of Colonel Evans, of the British Army. She came to America in 1816. Colonel Wood was born in Nashville, Tenn., in 1820, and in 1821 he came with his father to Florence, Ala., and has lived there ever since. He married Sarah B., daughter of Major Jesse Leftwitch, who came from Virginia to Columbia, Tenn., and thence to Florence. Colonel Wood was judge of the County Court of Lauderdale county from 1844 to 1850; elector for the State at large on the Bell and Everett ticket in 1860; was elected Circuit Judge 1n 1863, but remained in the army until the close of the war. In that awful retreat from Fishing Creek, he, with many members of the regiment, contracted serious disease. ("This was typhoid fever, which so prostrated him that he was granted sick leave, and was not able to rejoin the regiment until the succeeding November at Estell's Springs." - Surgeon McMahon.) At the battles of Triune and Murfreesboro he led his regiment gallantly, as he had done at Fishing Creek, as will be recorded in full in the progress of our narrative. In May, 1863, having been appointed presiding judge of Longstreet's corps, he was transferred to the Army of Northern Virginia. During the time of his service with the Sixteenth he often preached in the camps, and at War Trace he, Colonel Lowry and Colonel Reid assisted the chaplain of the regiment in a revival, in which several hundred were converted. It was here, in June, 1863, the night before he left them, he delivered his farewell sermon to the men of his regiment. I am told that it was a parting in which sorrow was shown on both sides, for the colonel was much loved by his men.

At the conclusion of the war the Colonel was about to assume the office of Judge, to which he had been elected by the people, when, in 1865, he was removed by Governor Parsons. He was re-elected by the people in 1866, put out by the reconstruction acts of 1868 - elected again in 1874, and served until 1880. At the expiration of his term he was not again a candidate for circuit judge, as his friends were urging his claims to a seat on the Supreme Court bench, for which he held a very strong hold, and may now be considered the "heir apparent" whenever a vacancy shall occur.

Judge Wood is rather over the medium size, broad-shouldered and portly, and with frank social manners. His mind is not metaphysical, but masculine; and there is nothing neutral in his character. He is a man of great earnestness and strong convictions - remarkably so, and like most men of that character, he is somewhat impatient of contradictions, and sometimes imperious in his manner. Take him in the aggregate as a man, a minister, a judge, and a soldier, the community in which he has lived so long have reason to be proud of him.

John W. Harris, Jr., raised Company H, was the first captain of it; and was, on the organization of the Sixteenth, elected lieutenant colonel, Colonel Harris was born in Russell's Valley in 1831, and this has always been his permanent home. His father, John W. Harris, Sr., came from Virginia in 1823, settled in the same valley, and although he, at intervals, taught school at LaGrange and Tuscumbia, the valley, also, has been his permanent home. His life work has been in the school-room. He was at the head of a classical institution of high character for more than forty years, from which went out an intellectual and Christian influence, the value of which can not be estimated. He is now living with his son, and at the age of eighty years, patiently and hopefully waiting his Master. He is no kin of Colonel Ben Harris, of Franklin, or Mr. Nehemiah Harris, of Lawrence county, but his father was of English descent, lived in Hanover county, Virginia, and married Margaret Wyatt, a descendant of Sir Francis Wyatt, one of the Colonial Governors. Col. John W. Harris' mother was a daughter of Henry Cox, one of the early settlers of the valley, and her name was Judith. One of her sisters was the wife of Capt. Wm. S. Jones.

The comrades of Colonel Harris give a most flattering account of him, as a man and an officer. One says, "He was a most capable, brave and promising officer. Colonel Wood being absent from sickness, he commanded the regiment in the battle at Shiloh, and acted most gallantly, when he was sick from disease contracted at Fishing Creek, and scarcely able to sit on his horse. After the battle he went home and suffered from a severe spell of typhoid fever." Another officer says, "He is one of the most cultivated and accomplished gentlemen in North Alabama. His profession is that of a teacher, but he has been pretty largely engaged in farming. He is an excellent Christian gentleman. In the army he was brave, true and generous." In August, 1862, finding his constitution shattered, upon the advice of his surgeon he resigned, and for twelve months afterward was so feeble that he was unable to resume business of any kind.

Colonel Harris was educated in his father's school, and in the Centenary College of Louisiana, under Drs. Longstreet and Rivers. The degree of A. M., was conferred upon him by the State Agricultural and Mechanical College at Auburn. The Colonel has been married twice. His wives were sisters, and they were daughters of Mrs. P. Gibson, now the wife of Hon. Charles Gibson of Moulton. The Colonel is a member of the M. E. Church South, and one who performs his duties faithfully. His house is the home of the preachers, and although after a service of many years, he might devolve the duties of Steward upon younger shoulders, he still performs them faithfully. His church has a due appreciation of his worth, for he was sent by the Tennessee Conference as a delegate to the general conference - esteemed a high honor for a private member.

Alexander H. Helveston was captain of Company G, from Marion county, and in the organization was elected major of the Sixteenth Alabama. He had recently come from South Carolina, and had received a military education at the Georgia Military Institute. He was a man of unflinching courage, a good officer and a tried disciplinarian. He was austere and imperious; the men thought him overbearing, and were not fond of him. He was wounded several times. An officer said that it seemed to him that Helveston was wounded every time he went into battle. When Colonel Wood resigned he was promoted Colonel in his place, in May, 1863, having been Lieutenant Colonel since the resignation of John W. Harris, in August, 1862. Colonel Helveston, owing to an injury to his spine caused by the fall of his horse, and to disability from the wounds he received, resigned in December, 1863. I believe he is living, near Gainesville, Ala.

John H. McGaughey was captain of Company A, of the Sixteenth: was the son of Eli A. McGaughey, who resided west of Mt. Hope, in Lawrence county, and a practitioner at Barton, west of Tuscumbia, when the company was organized. When Major Helveston was made lieutenant colonel, he was promoted in his stead. He was a genial companion, an honorable man and a good officer, and like Helveston, he was wounded in nearly every engagement in which he participated. He received a fearful wound at Shiloh on the first volley which the enemy fired. When Helveston was made colonel, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and at Chickamauga he was mortally hurt and died of his wounds. Colonel McGaughey was well educated, a gentleman, and an honor to the large family of that name formerly in the southwestern part of our county, of which scarcely one remains bearing the family name.

Frederick A. Ashford was captain of Company B, in the Sixteenth, which he raised and organized. When McGaughey was promoted to lieutenant colonel he became major of the regiment in his stead, and when Colonel McGaughey was killed he was promoted lieutenant colonel. Colonel Ashford was an officer of very fine person and polished manners, was a splendid officer, and was always at the post of danger. His gallantry on many occasions will be recorded as we proceed with the history of the regiment. His brilliant career was closed at the bloody battle of Franklin, where he fell leading a charge of his regiment.

The father of Colonel Ashford was Thomas Ashford, one of the earliest settlers near Courtland. In his youth he, too, had experience in war, was in the regiment of Col. Wm. R. Johnson, of Kentucky, and was near his command in the battle of Tippecanoe, when he killed Chief Tecumseh. He was a leading member of the Baptist Church, and was very zealous in the performance of his church duties, and much respected. He married many years before he came from Kentucky, a Miss Elgin, a lady of superior mind, and good education. All their children have had liberal education's. Thomas, the oldest, married Miss Caroline Tate, and died some years ago, leaving a widow and two sons, Thomas and Frederick A. Col. Alva E. Ashford married Miss Caroline Fletcher, and occupies the old mansion. The Colonel commanded the Thirty-fifth Alabama, and his services will be considered in connection with that regiment. Dr. Edward C. Ashford is a good physician, a genial companion, and a man of the kindest heart; but he is not yet married. There was one daughter, Lucilla, who married Rev. D. Birdenthall, of Texas. They have several children.

When Major Fred. A. Ashford was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Capt. J. J. May became Major; and when Ashford became Colonel of the regiment, May became Lieutenant Colonel. Nine of the companies composing the regiment were from four neighboring counties on the elevated region of the waters of the Tennessee river, but the tenth was from the extreme southern boundary of Alabama, on the tidewater streams of the Gulf of Mexico. This company was raised and commanded by Capt. J. J. May, and was from Conecuh county. At first they were strangers, but they were commanded by one who proved himself to be a gentleman and a good officer, and followed his lead in the many severe engagements which followed each other in quick succession, they were soon received in full brotherhood. Lieutenant Colonel May was wounded in the leg at the battle of the 22d of July, 1864, near Atlanta, and was not able to return to his regiment. I hope to be able to give a fuller account of him as we proceed with our narrative.

On the organization of the Sixteenth, Henry C. Wood became its first Adjutant. He had been a private and a age Lieutenant in the Florence Guards, the first company which went out from Lauderdale county. Was at Morgan and Pensacola, and was transferred to the Sixteenth. When this regiment was made part of Wood's brigade, General Wood made him his Aide, and on the return from the Kentucky campaign he succeeded (as Brigade Quartermaster, with the rank of Major) the gallant Gailor, who fell at the battle of Perryville. When the Sixteenth was transferred to Lowry's brigade, he was continued, by General Lowry, in this office. His steady rise in the army shows that he was a faithful officer; and a comrade living near me tells me that "he is one of the best and cleverest men in the world." He is a younger brother of Gen. S. A. M. Wood and Judge W. B. Wood.

Oliver S. Kennedy was the next adjutant of the regiment. He is a nephew of John S. and Elias Kennedy, Esqs., who were lawyers of Florence. Adjutant Kennedy, in the battle of Shiloh, which was contested from morning till nigh, "acted his part well." He was left sick at Carthage, and was absent on sick leave for some months, when he resigned.

Bryce Wilson was the last adjutant of the regiment. He was the son of Bryce Wilson, Sr., of Russellville. Had been in the Ninth Mississippi. He was transferred to the Sixteenth at Tupelo in the summer of 1863. "Bryce was a fine adjutant and very rigid." He was killed at the battle of Franklin, simultaneously with Col. Fred. Ashford. "There was no braver man in the army. A student of Bethany College, Va., he had begun the practice of law at Hernando, Miss. At the close of the war his father had his remains and those of his brother William (private in the Twenty-seventh Alabama, who died in prison at Camp Douglas) brought home and interred, side by side, beneath the sod of their native valley." - (Col. J. W. Harris.)

The first quartermaster of the regiment was John Gracey, who soon resigned. The next was J. J. Bailey, son of the proprietor of Bailey's Springs. He was a good officer, and continued to the bitter end, "and in the last act of the drama, in North Carolina, he was ready to go into the ranks with his musket." He now lives in Opelousas, La.

The quartermaster sergeant was W. O. Harris, commonly called Buck. He is a brother of Lieutenant Colonel Harris, and continued to serve faithfully through the war, and came home from North Carolina with his furlough in his pocket. His comrades regarded him as "an efficient officer," and as "a good brave man." He now resides at New Market, in Madison county.

The first Commissary was Mr. Hughes, of Franklin county, who was elected colonel of the Thirty-seventh Alabama, and who will be noticed again in that connection. His successor as commissary was Capt. F. O. White, of Russellville. He was a cousin of Col. Harris, "a nice gentleman and a good officer."

The commissary sergeant was Hiram White, of Tuscumbia, a brave man whose history is a melancholy one. "He and his brother were the bravest men I ever saw," says a comrade who was a gallant man himself. Hiram's mother was in a distressed condition, and wrote to him to come home, and a furlough having been refused, he went any how and staid until he provided for his mother. He returned, was reduced to the ranks, and was killed at Chickamauga. "He was first wounded in one or both legs, so badly that he could neither stand or walk. Any ordinary man would have had the infirmary corps to carry him to the hospital. Instead of that, Hiram having exhausted his ammunition, crawled to the body of a dead Federal, and filling his cartridge box from his fired round after round, until wounded mortally in the spine, his arms became paralyzed, and he was unable to use his rifle. He told Surgeon McMahon, when carried to the hospital, ' that his only regret was that he could not have died fighting on the battle-field.' "

Wm. C. Cross, of Cherokee, Colbert county, was appointed surgeon of the Sixteenth in October, 1861, and was promoted to senior surgeon of the brigade in the spring of 1862 while at Corinth. He remained with the wounded at Perryville, G., until near the close of the war. A brother surgeon who knew him in service, intimately says, " he is a fine physician, a devoted friend, a true patriot, and an elegant gentleman. " He lives at Cherokee.

Fortunatus S. McMahon, M. D., of Courtland, was a private in Company I - (Bankhead's) - was commissioned as assistant surgeon in September, 1861, and on the promotion of Dr. Cross became full surgeon of the regiment and continued such until the end of the war. He was the grandson of Dr. Jack Shackelford and inherited the noble qualities of that gentleman, whose memory is very dear to all who knew him. Dr. McMahon had excellent early advantages as learned, in and outside, his profession; and is much esteemed by his old comrades in arms; and has a devotion to them, which I have never known surpassed; and for the brave who fell in "the lost cause" his heart is a mausoleum, on which is inscribed their virtues and their glorious deeds. He never seems to tire of writing or speaking about them; and I am indebted to him for more information respecting the Sixteenth Alabama than to any other person. Since the termination of the war this community is much indebted to Dr. McMahon for quelling a large Negro mob which had taken place within a few months. He still lives in Courtland (1880). He never married. (Died in 1889.)

Dr. William M. Mayes, son of Drury Mayes of our county, served awhile as Assistant Surgeon of the regiment; but was transferred to hospital duty. He will be noticed with his family. Dr. W. J. McMahon - brother of Dr. F. S. McMahon - succeeded him. Dr. W. J. was quite young when the war broke out. He joined his brother at Corinth soon after the battle of Shiloh. He was then assigned to duty as Assistant Surgeon in the hospital at Gainesville, about May 1862, and remained there until January, 1863, when he was assigned to duty with his brother in the Sixteenth, and served with it until wounded on the morning of the 23d of July, 1864, near Atlanta. The day before, a bloody battle had been fought, and on the field we had taken from the enemy, many of their wounded were making piteous appeals for aid. General Cleburne ordered his Assistant Surgeon to go upon the field and dress their wounded. In the discharge of that duty, the medical officers with their infirmary corps, went out, and the enemy in the fog (not being able to see their little flags), fired upon them. Dr. Jack McMahon was seriously wounded in the ankle. He was carried to the hospital and several bones taken out. The wound might have healed, but after the war his horse fell upon the wounded limb, and since then his body has become a perfect wreck; but his heart is still warm and magnanimous, as it ever was.

The first hospital steward was a Dr. Eames, from Cleveland, O. There were in the Confederate army, many gallant soldiers from Illinois, Indiana, and other Northern States. For instance, in the Fifteenth Tennessee regiment, there was an entire company raised in Illinois, General Strahl commanding the brigade. These volunteers believed that the cause of the South was right, and as it was the weaker party they magnanimously espoused their cause, and left their homes to engage in the unequal conflict. Some of them came on General Roddy's steamboat to Eastport, and joined as privates Company A, which was then being raised by Dr. McGaughey. This is the appropriate place to notice a few of these noble men, of whom we happen to have special information.

Dr. Eames was a druggist from Cleveland, Ohio, as I have said, and became steward for the regimental hospital. His capacity was such that he was transferred to Post Hospital duty, and was a long time at Newman, in Georgia. He had visited some friends in North Alabama, and started over Sand Mountain with the view of setting up his business in Newman and returning to his family in Ohio, but was never heard of afterward. It is supposed that he had money and several watches about his person, which friends had sent to be repaired in Newman, that he had been robbed and murdered by the Tories. Such was the fate of the young gentleman who might have remained at home in safety and affluence, but impelled by lofty motives he, with others, came to our aid in the day of our extremity, and we therefore record the facts, and offer to their memories the tribute of our grateful remembrance. Another of these gentlemen was a young lawyer from Cincinnati named Hassen (or Hassel). After serving in the ranks for a long time, he was made commissary sergeant of the brigade by Major H. C. Wood; and was serving in that capacity at the battle of Chickamauga (although he had just been elected Lieutenant in his old company), when on the third day, while victory was perching on the Confederate banner, and the enemy in full retreat, came to a sad end. While urging a train of provisions to the hungry men of the brigade, was shot by one of own men. His excuse for it was, that he had on a Federal overcoat. It was an act of great folly considering that Lieutenant Hassen was alone in that dress and coming up from the rear. Still another case which I am glad to say had a happy conclusion. Amongst the privates of Company A was a young gentleman of genteel manners and good education, named Almon Brooks. He was left in the hospital with opacity of the cornea of the eye, when General Bragg marched in his Kentucky campaign. He attracted the attention of Dr. Frank Ramsey, Medical Director of the Department of East Tennessee and Virginia. He first made him steward, and afterward transferred him to hospital service at the University of Virginia, where he graduated in medicine, and this unpretending but chivalrous private of Company A is now the learned, wealthy and celebrated Dr. Almon Brooks of Hot Springs, Ark. I am indebted to Dr. F. S. McMahon for a report of these three cases.

Dr. Eames was succeeded as hospital steward by Dr. W. M. Cravens, who was born in Courtland and died in Gainesville; of whom we shall speak in connection with the McMahon family.

There was no ordnance sergeant at first, but at the battle of Fishing creek, Buck Harris, who was in the Quartermaster's Department, acted in that capacity. Orderly Sergeant A. J. Rice, of Florence, was the first regular appointed. He once lived in Texas, I believe. He was then made ordnance officer of the brigade with the rank of first lieutenant. He acted in that capacity at the battle of Shiloh, and at length was transferred to General Roddy's Command. "He was outspoken, brave, and irascible, " and I judge from his promotion that he was an efficient officer. When he was promoted, DeWitt C. White was appointed ordnance sergeant for the Sixteenth. When Mr. White withdrew from the regiment, Columbus C. Harris was appointed ordnance sergeant of the Sixteenth in his place; and again when Captain Rice was transferred, he was made ordnance officer of the brigade, with the rank of first lieutenant. He was a fearless soldier and was wounded several times during the war.

At the battle of Franklin he was wounded in five places; and perhaps his leg would have been amputated, but for the protest of that skillful surgeon McMahon, who saved the limb by a resection of the bones. Lieutenant Harris is the son of William Harris, one of the early settlers, and is a lawyer of Decatur. A comrade of whom I inquired respecting his character in the army, writes "he was indeed a good soldier. You know him in private life, how quiet and how true in the discharge of duty. He was such in the army." I shall give an account of the Harris family should I live to get to the southwest part of the country.

The first chaplain of the regiment was Rev. A. Hamilton, of the Methodist Church. He had been at the head of a female academy before, and had about him that nameless something which you so often find in men who have followed his calling; which at first created a prejudice against him amongst the soldiers. But time corrects all things. He was fastidious in his uniform, but under it was a heart warm with solicitude for the spiritual good of men, and also full of martial ardor. He proved to be a man at all points. "In the awful retreat from Fishing creek, the quartermaster being absent and the men suffering immensely, Dr. Hamilton was assigned to this duty and performed it so well that he was afterward regularly commissioned. He was fastidious in his dress, but he was a good preacher, a pleasant messmate, a genial gentleman, and when transferred made one of the best quartermasters in the army. He had a good deal of military ardor up to the time that his horse ran away at Perryville, and knocked down a panel of fence and seriously bruised him. Then for awhile he acted as aide for Gen. S. A. M. Wood, the members of whose staff were nearly all killed, and who himself wounded. He was on duty as quartermaster at Huntsville, Kingston, Ga., and Tuscaloosa. His church had a high appreciation of his ability, and the degree of D. D. was conferred upon him. After the war he was president of a female academy at Cuthbert, Georgia. Understanding that he had kept a diary of the movement of the Sixteenth, I addressed a letter to him not many days since, and was shocked to read in the Nashville Christian Advocate , on the next day, an announcement of the death of this fine officer and able minister.

Rev. Frank Kimball, of the Kimball's of Morgan county, was the successor of Major Hamilton as chaplain of the regiment. He was a good, plain, earnest preacher, and was popular with the men. He followed his avocation, alike on the field of battle as in the hospital. A comrade said he truly belonged to the "Church Militant." He, too, died in Georgia. We shall refer to him again in connection with the battle of Murfreesboro. Having disposed of the regimental officers of the Sixteenth, we will now treat of the commissioned officers of the several companies. Charles R. Gibson was sergeant major of the regiment. He was the youngest son of Judge Charles Gibson, and was in this office at the battle of Shiloh - had a bone in his leg broken at the battle of Murfreesboro, when his brother William was mortally wounded - and was, strangely, wounded in the same place, on his leg, at the battle of Chickamauga. He served bravely and faithfully during the war, studied law and emigrated to Waxahatchie, Texas, where he married a Miss Ellis. For some time he was clerk of the District Court of Ellis county, and since a member of the Legislature, to which he has been twice elected, and is now a member.

COMPANY A. - Had for its first captain John H. McGaughey, an account of whom we have given in our last. The first lieutenant was Barton Dixon. He was the son of one of the most useful and honored citizens which Franklin (now Colbert) county ever had. His father was an old man when the war broke out, and might have sat quietly down in the chimney corner until the storm blew over; but William Dixon was not made of that kind of stuff. At a time when great numbers of volunteers were discharged for want of arms, he went into the interior of Georgia and established a large factory for the manufacture of them. He not only devoted his large wealth, but all the faculties of his active and strong mind to the successful prosecution of this patriotic enterprise. When Captain McGaughey was promoted, Lieut. Barton Dixon became captain in his place, about August, 1863. He was wounded severely in the hip at the battle of Jonesboro, Ga., just before Hood's expedition into Tennessee. He was esteemed by his comrades a perfect gentleman and a brave and intelligent officer. He married Miss Nellie Mayes, daughter of Drury Mayes, Esq., near Courtland. Second Lieut. Goodloe Pride, too, was of good stock, and was, like Dixon, gentlemanly, brave and efficient. They had been reared together, and were warm friends. The day after Dixon was wounded, Pride (who had become first lieutenant) was seriously wounded by the explosion of a shell. The clothes were nearly torn from his body and he bled from his ears. He is still living. John Calhoun was third lieutenant, and was killed at the battle of Franklin, at which he commanded the company. I hope some comrade will give me information respecting him. I omitted to mention that the company was raised in Franklin county.

COMPANY B. - We have given a sketch of Captain Frederick A. Ashford (who became colonel). First Lieutenant Isaac C. Madden became captain in his stead. Capt. M. lived near Leighton in Lawrence county, where the company was raised. "He was no disciplinarian; he was easy with his men; took little authority over them, and yet had unbounded influence over them. He seemed truly to rule by the ' Suaviter in modo, ' rather than by harsh and preemptory command. The men of his company were devoted to him, as they had been to their first captain - the noble and true Fred. Ashford, who never ordered his men to go forward, but to follow him: so it was with Captain Madden. No men were more beloved." This is the utterance of a comrade: he is noble and gallant. The history of the Madden family is one of deep and melancholy interest to me, personally. More than sixty-five years ago, when a boy I knew in Williamson county, Tenn., the head of this family, Elisha Madden, well. He was a young man of very fine person, good manners and great energy. He afterward came to this county, as the agent of Hinchua Pettway, a very wealthy merchant of Franklin, and cleared and improved a large plantation west of Town Creek. He accumulated a handsome fortune for himself, and married a daughter of Dr. Croom, one of three or four brother who were wealthy, and came from North Carolina nearly sixty years ago. They moved eventually to South Alabama. Captain Elisha Madden was a man of fine sense, had four sons and two daughters, and gave them all liberal education's. When the war of the States came, every one of these sons engaged actively in the service, and three out of four gave up their lives for the "lost cause." Richard, the eldest, a private in Captain Fred. Ashford's company, had his thigh broken at the battle of Shiloh, and was laid by Surgeon McMahon in a tent of a captured Federal camp. His brother Isaac was called back from the front, and as the enemy was shelling that part of the field, furiously, they removed Richard from the tent. They had carried him but a short distance when a shell exploded in the tent and tore it to atoms. But this escape availed nothing, for this brave soldier afterward died at Corinth, after the amputation of his limb. Isaac C. was killed at the battle of Chickamauga. "He had studied law before the war, but had not commenced the practice. He was well educated, brave and high-minded, and in person eminently handsome."

Dr. Frank Madden graduated in medicine at he University of Louisiana. He was assistant surgeon of some Alabama regiment, and was killed in the trenches near Atlanta by a shot from a Federal sharpshooter. The fourth son, Capt. James Madden, served gallantly in the Thirty-fifth Alabama (as we will show when we come to speak of that regiment), survived the war, and unfortunately died from fever last autumn. The eldest daughter married Augustus Toney, Esq., and they have a very interesting family. The younger daughter, Camilla, grew up with much beauty and a gueenly person - a discreet, sweet-tempered, grateful and cultivated woman. She has been married twice - first to Dr. James T. Jones, of Lawrence, and then to Capt. Alexander D. Coffee, of Lauderdale county. The father of the family, Elisha Madden, died some years ago, much respected by all who knew him for his integrity and many virtues. The "mother of the Gracchi," who gave all her sons to her country, still lives - the same unpretending, kind, true-hearted Christian woman she ever was, performing faithfully her duties in the private circle, as they nobly theirs before the world on the battle-field.

Frederick A. M. Sherrod was second lieutenant of Company B, and when Captain Madden was killed, he succeeded him in command. Captain Sherrod was a cultivated and kind-hearted gentleman, excitable and brave, and proved to be a good officer. He was wounded both at Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, after which he was absent from his command for some time on leave. He still lives, and is highly respected for his Christian and social virtues. He is the grandson of Col. Benjamin Sherrod, of Lawrence, who was the head of a large and influential family, and will be noticed again in that connection.

Chesley Davis was third lieutenant of Company B, and was promoted by steps to first lieutenant. He commanded the company after Captain Sherrod was wounded, and was regarded by his comrades as a brave, good officer. He was the son of Orrin Davis then of Winston county, whose family history we will notice hereafter. Captain Davis was wounded by the fragment of a shell at Atlanta, in the battle of which General McPherson was killed.

A. M. Hill, of Jasper, in Walker county, son of Senator Hill, then of this district, was a good soldier; and was promoted to second, when Davis became first lieutenant.

COMPANY C. - From Lauderdale county, had for its first captain, Alexander D. Coffee. He was the son of Gen. John Coffee, who was a brigadier under General Jackson and acquired considerable reputation in the Creek and New Orleans campaigns. Captain Coffee was a good officer, and had the confidence of his men. "After the battle of Shiloh his health became bad. He had severe bronchitis, and at least one hemorrhage from the lungs; and was apprehensive of pulmonary disease. He was sent back by the surgeon of the Sixteenth Alabama to the hospital at Corinth, and by the post surgeon at that place to the hospital at Columbus, Miss.; from which place, in a few weeks, he sent in his resignation."

William Patton was the first lieutenant of Company C, a brave and most promising young officer, of a fine person, and of a popular turn. In the battle of Shiloh the Sixteenth had charged so rapidly forward that a strong force of the enemy, with a battery of guns, were playing upon their left. The regiment was reformed, nearly at right angles to its first course, and charged rapidly on the battery. When within twenty feet of it, this splendid young officer was shot in the forehead, and fell dead. He was the son of Governor Patton, and had the blood of the Weakleys and Brahma's in his veins. We shall speak of the family hereafter.

Oliver S. Kennedy was the second lieutenant of Company C, and we have given an account of him.

Calvin Carson, who was third, was promoted second, then first lieutenant, and became captain of Company C in December, 1863. He was an efficient officer, and served until the end of the war. He is still living, and has turned his attention to commercial affairs. When he was promoted J. J. Stubbs became first lieutenant. Of him I have no information.

COMPANY D. - We have already spoken of this company, which was from Conecuh county, and of its first captain, J. J. May, who became lieutenant colonel of the Sixteenth. Mr. Stallsworth was first lieutenant, but on the death of his father, Hon. James Stallsworth (who was Congressman from our state), he resigned and returned home. He was succeeded by Lieutenant Jackson, a very promising young officer, who was sick at the battle of Fishing creek, and fell into the hands of the enemy. When he recovered he managed to escape, and rejoined the company at Shelbyville, Tenn. He was killed at the battle of Murfreesboro. Frank Walker was promoted captain, and commanded the Georgia campaign. I hope to obtain, as we go on, more information on the members of Company D.

COMPANY E. - Was from Franklin county. Its first captain was W. W. Weatherford, a son of John Weatherford, a former sheriff of Franklin County. Captain Weatherford was practicing medicine in Frankford when the war commenced. He served faithfully for about two years, and then resigned. He did not have a liberal education, but was a man of extensive reading and good memory. "He was very tall and ungainly, even awkward, and from the peculiar attitude he assumed when standing, the boys nicknamed him 'Parade Rest.' He was a kind-hearted, generous man, esteemed by the people, and elected a member of the Legislature in 1876." He has been dead for several years. Israel P. Guy, First Lieutenant of Company E, is the son of Albert Guy, near Tuscumbia, and is still living at that place. He was a student at LaGrange, a military college, and was well drilled. Although quite young when he volunteered, he was large and fat. He made a good officer. He was severely wounded at the battle of Chickamauga, by a grape shot, and it took a long crucial incision to remove it. There was a Lieutenant Russell in the company, who was killed at the battle of Murfreesboro, about 10 o'clock in the forenoon, while charging a battery.

COMPANY F. - Was from Lawrence county. Its first captain, William Hodges, the son of Col. Flemming Hodges, who was born in this county, although when the war commenced he was practicing law at Okolona, Miss. Captain Hodges raised a large company of excellent material. He had belonged to Mott's Nineteenth Mississippi regiment. During the war Captain Hodges was highly esteemed as a gentleman and a brave officer; wounded several times, and was terribly mangled at the battle of Chickamauga, and afterwards placed upon the retired list. Since the war he has been a member of the Mississippi Legislature, and now resides in Aberdeen. John M. McGhee was first lieutenant of the company. He was a son of Judge Henry A. Mcghee, and a brave and very popular officer. He served until the spring of 1863. Having been elected clerk of the Circuit Court, he was transferred to General Roddy's command. He now lives in Waco, Texas. Second Lieutenant David W. Alexander survived the war, and now lives in Shelbyville, Tenn. D. O. Warren was third lieutenant of this company. And lost an arm at Chickamauga. He is the son of William Warren, and lived near Moulton until recently, when he moved to Texas.

COMPANY G. - From Marion county, had for its first captain A. H. Helveston, of whom we gave an account in our last. G. W. Archer was first lieutenant and captain in 1861. He remained a long time with the company. W. T. Bishop was also first lieutenant, John Hamilton, second lieutenant, and Robert Robuck, third lieutenant. David Bentley, a lieutenant of Company I, was transferred and appointed to the command of Company G by the colonel commanding. Such a measure, no mater how strong the necessity may be, is always hazardous. It was greatly to the mortification of the subordinates, and to the chagrin of the company. The men after twelve or eighteen months, got to respecting their new officer, for he was an excellent man of the finest business capacity and a high-toned gentleman, but he never relished his position. At the battle of Murfreesboro he was an invalid, and unable to walk, but after it commenced he mounted the horse of a friend, rode to the front and took command of his company; in one hour he was brought back to the hospital mortally wounded. Thos. Stanley, lieutenant, in company __, from Lawrence county, was then transferred and placed in command of the company, and may have continued in command, but of this we have no certain information.

COMPANY H. - From Franklin county, was raised by Lieutenant Colonel John W. Harris, Jr., who was its first captain. Of him we have already given an account. He was succeeded as captain by First Lieutenant James Smith, who after the battle of Perryville, was seriously injured in a railroad collision at Cleveland, Tenn., and resigned. Lieutenant John Bean, son of Col. Dillion Bean, of Lawrence county, succeeded him as captain. Indeed, there were many Lawrence men in Company H. Captain Bean commanded the company to the end of the war. The captain was a brave officer, and did not disgrace his descent from the early Indian fighters of East Tennessee. John Hurst was a lieutenant and a good officer. He was terribly wounded at Chickamauga, but recovered and returned to his duty. John White became a lieutenant in 1863. We have already spoken of him in connection with Hiram White, his brother.

COMPANY I. - From Lawrence county, of which William S. Bankhead was first captain. Captain B. was a lineal descendant of President Thomas Jefferson. We shall speak of him again in connection with the families into which he married. "Captain B. joined General Zollicoffer, at Cumberland Gap, in a bitterly cold spell, and contracted inflammatory rheumatism; and returned home on sick leave, and when the regiment passed through Courtland on its way to Corinth, he resigned his commission. He had in a very short space of time, obtained extraordinary proficiency in drilling and disciplining his men; and but that he almost lost the use of a leg from rheumatism, a distinguished career was before him." First Lieutenant George M. Garth, of Courtland, was promoted to the captaincy, then being in bad health. He resigned in April, 1862, and died a few weeks afterward. "Lieutenant McDonald, too, succumbed to the rigor of the climate, and offered his resignation. He was a perfect gentleman, but of so weak and delicate frame he ought never have thought of joining a marching regiment. He died recently in Courtland." "I remember," says his surgeon, "when Lieutenant McDonald, who had been on sick leave, joined us on the retreat from Fishing Creek, how pale and exhausted he looked - a better subject for a sick bed than a march." The Third Lieutenant, LaFayette Swoope, M. D., first from Virginia, but more recently from DeSoto, Miss., was promoted to the captaincy. He had commanded the company at the battle of Shiloh, and was wounded in the shoulder. In January, 1863, he resigned, and Lieutenant Robert McGregor was promoted to the captaincy. Captain M. was a descendant of a North Carolina family, which settled near Courtland more than half a century ago, and of which I shall hereafter give an account. He, like Col. Fred. Ashford, was quite a young man, and of splendid person. They fell at the battle of Franklin, near each other, and close to the interior works of the enemy. Their loss was deeply felt in our neighborhood. Lieutenant Thomas S. Pointer, then and now of Courtland, succeeded to the captaincy of the company, and commanded it to the end of the war. Robert H. Cherry was a splendid soldier; he was a good mechanic, and worked in Thorn's gin shop at Courtland; he married a daughter of Noah Cooper, of out county; was a brave man, became second lieutenant of the company and was killed at the battle of Chickamauga - a field upon which fell so many of the best young men of the Sixteenth Alabama. The widow of Lieutenant Cherry is now the wife of Robert Miller of our county, who was also a faithful soldier. Overton Eggleston became second lieutenant in his place, and was the last in the company.

COMPANY K. - From Marion county, had for its first captain, the Rev. William Powers. He was a good officer, much respected by his men, but resigned in 1863. J. N. Watson was first lieutenant when first organized, but I have not learned what became of him. Second Lieutenant John H. Bankhead* succeeded Captain Powers to the captaincy. He was a good officer, has been in our Legislature since the war, and is now warden of our State penitentiary. Third Lieutenant W. S. Humphries became first, and was killed somewhere in Georgia. Captain Powers had a son, a minister of the gospel, who became lieutenant, served through the war, and has since joined the conference again.

I have now introduced to our readers, in general terms, the officers of the Sixteenth Alabama. The actors in the tragedy which was enacted for nearly four long years, in bloody acts, commencing with the battle of Fishing creek and passing through those of Shiloh, Perryville, Murfreesboro, Decatur, Chickamauga, Atlanta and Franklin, virtually closing with that of Nashville.

The survivors of the regiment have it in their power to enrich its history, by communicating to the writer, as we proceed, facts of interest connected with these battles. It is especially the duty of the officers of all the companies to do so. While these campaigns were in progress, they were bound to provide for the comfort of their men, and now when oblivion is fast settling over these transactions, it is their duty to perpetuate the fame of their gallant privates, "for the night cometh in which no man can work."


* John Hollis Bankhead, born in Moscow, Marion (now Lamar) county, Alabama, September 13, 1842, has had a distinguished career. His war service was conspicuous. After the war he had various business interest. His public service for Alabama comprises Representative in the General Assembly from Marion county, for the sessions 1865-66, and 1866-67, member of the State Senate 1876-77, Representative from Lamar county, 1880-81; and Warden of the Alabama Penitentiary 1881-85. He has been successively a member of the Fiftieth, Fifty-first, Fifty-second, Fifty-third, Fifty-fourth, Fifty-fifth and Fifty-sixth Congress from the Sixth Alabama District. He is one of the political leaders of the State, wise and fearless, but with conservative views on all great public questions. He belongs to the sturdy Scotch-Irish stock, to which America owes so much. His parents were James Greer and Susan Fleming ( Hollis) Bankhead, who lived and died in Marion county. She was a daughter of Col. John Hollis, who was son of Capt. John Hollis, a Revolutionary soldier in Marion's command, who died in Fairfield District, South Carolina. His grandfather, George Bankhead, and wife Jane Greer, came to Marion county about 1820, and there they reared a large family. They were from Union District, South Carolina. Here his parents, James and Elizabeth ( Black ) Bankhead, lived on broad river, their lands lying on this and Pacolet river. James Bankhead was at one time principal owner of the town of Pinckneyville, the county seat of old Camden District. He and wife lie side by side in the old burying grounds at Bullock Creek Presbyterian Church, York District, South Carolina, with tombstones over their graves.

Mr. Bankhead's wife is Tallulah James Brochman, daughter of James and Elizabeth ( Stairley ) Brockman, of Greenville District, South Carolina. They have five children, viz: (1) Louise Bankhead, married Col. William Hayne Perry, of Greenville, South Carolina; (2) Marie Susan, married Thomas McAdory Owen, a practicing attorney and author, of Carollton, Alabama; (3) John Hollis, Jr., married Musa Harkins, and is practicing law at Jasper, Alabama; (4) William Brockman, a lawyer, residing at Huntsville, Alabama; and (5) Henry McAuley, Captain in the Fifth United States Volunteers, Infantry, Cuban War.

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