I started my search for information regarding my Confederate ancestors (Benjamin Franklin Henderson, John Thomas Chisholm, Isaac Robert Higginbotham, and James Easterland Smith) in late 2003. My great-uncle, Earl Higginbotham sent me information on my grandmother's side of the family, which had long been a mystery to me. On this side are two of my Confederate ancestors: Isaac Robert Higginbotham and James Easterland Smith.
Isaac Robert Higginbotham was born September 21 1834 in Franklin County, Tennessee and died January 1 1928. His parents were Benjamin Isaac Higginbotham and Catherine Van Zandt; he had at least two brothers, Benjamin W. and Jacob Henry Higginbotham. According to the "HIGGINBOTHAM DESCENDANTS" book by Earl and Nena Higginbotham, he worked on the farm land in the lumber business. I found his Civil War service record courtesy of the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System:
Higginbotham, Isaac R.
41st Regiment, Tennessee Infantry, Company G
He is buried in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Cherokee Co., Alabama, and has all the appropriate CSA markers on his grave. One of my cousins had the markers placed about three years ago, along with all the pomp and ceremony. Earl Higginbotham was there and considered it a very impressive event. Isaac Robert's youngest brother, Jacob Henry Higginbotham, also served in the 41st. Tennessee. His brother Benjamin W., while serving in the 17th Tennessee, was ambushed and killed by bushwhackers in 1864.
I am currently researching the identity of Isaac Robert Higginbotham's wife, Eliza Jane Talley. She was born April 12 1843, making her only 13-years-old when she married the 22-year-old Isaac Robert Higginbotham, as evidenced by this record:
ISAAC R. HIGGINBOTHAM to JANE TALLEY
Isd August 6th 1856
Came to hand and executed August 7th 1856
William Litle, J.P. (Note: probably should be "Little")
Source: MARRIAGE RECORDS OF FRANKLIN COUNTY, TENNESSEE (page 199)
1838 - 1875
Transcribed By Billie and Hall Burks
Eliza Jane and Isaac Robert had four children, three boys and one girl, before her early death on January 1 1869 during the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War. We have been unable to locate her grave; there is no mention of her in the Franklin County, Tennessee Cemetery Book. After her death Isaac Robert moved to Texas in 1879 and remarried. His four children with Eliza Jane were:
1. Benjamin Isaac Higginbotham, born in Franklin Co., Tennessee on February 16 1858. He married Sarah Caroline (Brock). She died October 14 1907, and Isaac died on March 26 1908. Both are buried in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery. Named in honor of his paternal grandfather.
2. William Hence Higginbotham, born Franklin Co., Tennessee on November 12, 1859 and died in Etowah Co., Alabama on March 2, 1936. Married Mary Jane Smith, daughter of James Easterland Smith and Narcissa Caroline Stafford. She died May 20 1951. Both are buried in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Cherokee Co., Alabama. Named in honor of an uncle, William Hence Willis. This is my great-great-grandfather.
3. Louisa Catherine Higginbotham, born in Franklin Co., October 11 1864. She married William Sanders in Cherokee Co., Alabama where they spent all their lives. Will died on February 18 1946 and Lou died on July 30 1956. Both are buried in Black Creek Cemetery, Etowah Co., Alabama. Her middle name, Catherine, was in honor of her paternal grandmother. Her first name, Louisa, is of unknown origin; possibly Eliza Jane's mother's name?
4. Robert Lee Higginbotham, born in Franklin Co., November 3 1866. He grew up in Cherokee Co., Alabama where he married Meade Hardin, and had two children. He died at the age of 32, on October 2 1898, and is buried in Pleasant Valley Cemetery - we have been unable to determine the exact cause of his death. Meade married second, David W. Hollis, on February 11 1901 in Cherokee County, Alabama. Their two children were Earl Higginbotham (born born March 27 1896, and died at the age of 14 on November 16 1910) and Irene (born circa 1899, married, but no further data). He was named in honor of Robert E. Lee.
James Easterland Smith was born May 16 1840 and died September 8 1913. His parents were William K. Smith (born 1808) and Martha Sarah Easterland. They had moved from North Carolina to Franklin, Tennessee, and from there to Collinsville, Alabama in May 1840. They were living in AL in the 1860 and 1870 censuses, but had returned to Tennessee after 1870. James E. Smith had three siblings: William Joel Alan Smith, born 1843-44; Sarah Martha Smith, born by 1860; and Nancy C. Smith, born 1848-49 who possibly became a nun.
There were several James E. Smiths listed on the CWSS, and I was unsure which one was mine. I requested his military file from Washington, D.C. and it arrived in 2004. On it, he is confirmed as the James E. Smith listed on the CWSS as:
Smith, James E.
18 Tennessee Infantry, Company A
According to his military file, James E. Smith enlisted May 16 1861 at Nashville, Tennessee. Company A was under the command of captains Milton R. Rushing and John G. McCabe, and was raised from Cannon Co., Tennessee. He was home sick twice by October 1862. He was among those captured at Ft. Donelson, Tennessee on February 16 1862, and appeared on a Roll of Prisoners of War sent from Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois, to Vicksburg, Mississippi on September 23 1862 as part of an exchange (he was ill then, too). In May and June 1864 he appears on a Muster Roll for non-commissioned officers and privates on duty at Military Prison at Atlanta, Georgia. He was at the 3d Gen Hospital of Augusta, Georgia on November 7 1864, when he appears on a receipt roll for clothing.
James E. Smith married Narcissa Caroline Stafford (born March 20 1846), daughter of Elijah Stafford and Nancy Wright, both from North Carolina. The Stafford family was living in Cherokee Co., Alabama in the 1860 and 1870 censuses, but Elijah had died before 1880 as he is not listed. James E. Smith and Narcissa Caroline Stafford had at least one child:
1. Mary Jane Smith, born July 26 1864 and died May 20 1951, buried in Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Cherokee Co., Alabama. She married William Hence Higginbotham, above.
On my grandfather's side, I also have two Confederate ancestors that I am aware of. They are both from Smith Co., Mississippi and both actually served in the same regiment, but not unit.
John Thomas Chisholm was born February 16 1847 to John Chisholm (born 1804 in South Carolina) and Verlinda Harvey (born 1815 in Mississippi). He was the eighteth of their nine children, his siblings being Norman Columbus Chisholm, born 1830; Robert Goldsborough Chisholm, born 1834; Amelia Chisholm, born 1837, Margaret Jane Chisholm and Mary Sophronia Chisholm, both born 1840; William Alexander Chisholm, born 1843; Susan V. Chisholm, born 1845; and Hugh L. Chisholm, born 1848. All the children were born in Mississippi; in 1860 they were living in Scott Co. I checked the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System again and found John Thomas' record:
46 Mississippi Infantry, Company C
However, there were several other John Chisholms in the index and I wasn't sure which was mine. I looked up a book on Civil War Pension Claims from Mississippi and called a library that had a copy; the librarian was kind enough to check each John Chisholm until we found this one, whose widow was named Betty -- my John Thomas Chisholm's wife! He married Elizabeth "Betty" Houston about 1870; she was daughter of John and Drucilla Houston. They had eight children:
1. Rosa Lee Chisholm, born 1874 and died December 26 1960. She married William Thomas Headrick on December 10 1893 and had six children.
2. Rufus Neoma Chisholm, born November 18 1876 and died April 10 1943. He married Martha Matilda "Tilda" Mayfield and had five children.
3. Bonnie Larue Chisholm, born March 22 1879 and died October 24 1963. He married twice -- first to Lydia Virginia "Jenny" Henderson in 1899 and second to Ruby Lou Thornton in 1923. From the first marriage he had seven children, including my grandfather; from the second he had nine children.
4. Mary Elizabeth Chisholm, born July 5 1883, died June 18 1941, never married.
5. Ollie Drucilla Chisholm, born September 11 1884 and died January 5 1963. She married twice -- first to Oliver Stringer and secondly to Oscar Craven, with no children by either.
6. Olar Chisholm, born 1887, died 1963. She married A. Lee Develin and had one child.
7. John Ulysses Chisholm, born September 29 1891 and died May 31 1971. He married twice -- first to Eva Mae Develin in 1918 and secondly to Masie Mayfield. He had three children from the first marriage and none from the second.
8. William Horsie Chisholm, born April 26 1895 and died August 9 1972. He married Lilly Mae Green and had one child.
Benjamin Franklin Henderson was born November 3 1842 and died July 9 1946; he is buried in High Hill Baptist Church Cemetery at Raleigh, Mississippi. His parents were Daniel Henderson and Sarah Thornton, both originally from South Carolina. In 1850 they were living in Smith Co., Mississippi and their family was shown as follows in the census:
Henderson, Daniel, 50 M, Farmer, 300, SC
Henderson, Sarah, 42 F, SC
Henderson, Alexander, 16 M Student, Ala
Henderson, Richard, 14 M, Ala
Henderson, Harriet, 13 F, Miss
Henderson, Nathan, 11 M, Miss
Henderson, Benjamin, 9 M, Miss
Bejamin Franklin Henderson married Lydia Elizabeth Virginia Nichols; their marriage date is unknown to me but they were probably wed before 1868 and definitely before 1870, when they appear in the Smith Co., Mississippi census with their family:
HENDERSON, Benjamin, 26 M W, Farmer, 135, MS / Can't Read or Write / Male >/=21 years / Smith Co, MS
HENDERSON, Lydia, 25 F W, Keeping House, MS
HENDERSON, Martha A., 3 F W, MS / ~Child~
HENDERSON, Irvin A., 1 M W, MS / ~Child~
HENDERSON, Daniel I., 1/12 M W, MS / b. May 1870 / ~Child~
You can view a photograph of Benjamin and his wife Lydia here. Special thanks to Audrey Brigman! Interesting to me, anyway, is that John Thomas Chisholm and Benjamin Franklin Henderson both served in the 46th MS Infantry, though in different companies! Their children, Bonnie LaRue Chisholm and Lydia Virginia "Jenny" Henderson, married one another. Jenny was one of three daughters born to Benjamin Franklin and Lydia after the 1870 census. All told, the children were:
1. Martha A. Henderson, born 1867 in Mississippi.
2. Irvin A. Henderson, born 1869 in Misssissippi.
3. Daniel I. Henderson, born May 1870 in Mississippi.
4. Sallie E. Henderson, born June 28 1874.
5. Kate Henderson, born February 10 1876.
6. Lydia Virginia "Jenny" Henderson, born January 16 1878.