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Isaac Buckingham English (b. 1836 DE) Bio
migration: England to Milford, CN to Smyrna, DE to Bibb, GA
Isaac Buckingham English

[Based on a biography from the book "Men of Mark in Georgia", written in 1912]

The family name of ENGLISH is one of the most ancient that we have. It was derived from a tribe of Angli who lived on the Welsh border in the early days of Great Britain, and English came to be a tribal name. In the dispersion of tribes, many members of this tribe took other names, while a few adhered to the original name.

Captain Isaac Buckingham English, one of the most prominent and highly esteemed citizens of Macon, Georgia, was born in Delaware, on May 2, 1836, and died at this home in Macon on January 22, 1908. He was descended also from Thomas Buckingham who was the founder of the town of Milford, Connecticut, the colony that he arrived to from England in 1639. The Connecticut family has long been prominent in that State, and has furnished it with at least one Governor. The English family also goes back to the Colonial period in Delaware. Mrs. English kept the Buckingham record in a family Bible that goes back to 1703

Educated in the common schools of Smyrna, Delaware, Capt. I. B. English got his early training along mercantile lines. In 1860 as a young man of twenty-four he migrated to Macon, Georgia. He was so attached to his adopted state that when the outbreak of the Civil War occurred, he enlisted in the Confederate Army notwithstanding the fact that his native State adhered to the Federal side. He was a member of the Macon Volunteers, later known as Company B, second Georgia Battalion, Wright's Brigade. He served the entire four years as a private although he earned time and again promotions of which he always refused.

At the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Capt. I. B. English saved one of his fellow comrades and this began a relationship that lasted through his life. James H. Campbell was wounded on the battlefield and Capt. English carried him off the field to a safe place. Later in life these two would start a business partnership.

At the battle of Deep Bottom, on August 17, 1864, Captain English was wounded in the hip, and he never fully recovered from the effects of this injury which would gave him pain for the balance of his life. Captain Ripley, the commanding the company during that fight, wrote on June 27, 1906, the following letter to Captain English:

"Personally it affords a great deal of pleasure to reply to your letter of the 26th instant, and as at the time officially commanding officer of "Company B" Second Georgia Battalion (Wright's Brigade), to certify that you were desperately wounded at the battle of Fuzzle's Mill (or Deep Bottom) on August 17, 1864; that your gallant conduct on that occasion was observed by your comrades, and on our return to camp our company, using the privilege granted by the Secretary of War, by unanimous consent had your name placed on the "Roll of Honor." At the time I officially notified you of this fact, and regret the original has been lost. If I remember correctly, you were the only man that the Macon Volunteers ever so honored, it being very difficult to decide among so many brave and gallant men any one conspicuously above his comrades, and our company considered it an honor not lightly conferred."

The fine qualities of Capt. I. B. English as a soldier may be judged from the fact that he was the only member of the company that his comrades were ever willing to place upon the Roll of Honor. Another fact that is worthy of noting is that when he was wounded, he was greeted by General Lee personally, who wished him a safe recovery.

At the close of the War, Capt. I. B. English returned to Macon and became a clerk for the old dry goods firm of J. B. Ross and Company. By 1873 he engaged in a business with his old war comrade, James H. Campbell, under the firm name of Campbell and English, and in 1877 he became a member of the cotton firm of English, Huguenin and Company, Colonel E. D. Huguenin, one of the most prominent men of that day, being his partner. Colonel Huguenin was forced to retire in 1886 for health reasons, and the firm of I. B. English and Company was then formed, consisting of Mr. I. B. English, J. M. Johnston and August Warnke. Later R. W. Johnston purchased the interest of August Warnke, and the firm became English, Johnston and Company.

Captain English established the first cotton compress in Macon, and the second in the State, which was conducted very successfully, and later merged in the Atlantic Compress Company. He was considered a loyal citizen. In the Chamber of Commerce, and in every other organization calculated to build up the welfare of the community, he was a leader. Though in politics he was always a staunch Democrat and a man of great public spirit, he was never a seeker after office.

Home was an important part of life
for Capt. I. B. English, so much so that he didn't venture into the public and club life often. He planned and built a beautiful home in Vineville --Oak Haven Avenue being named for his place. The most prominent trait in his character was a rigid integrity. In speaking of this, Colonel Huguenin, his business partner for many years, said on the day after his death, that he was the straightest man in his transactions he had ever known. Captain English did not neglect the higher things of life. He was a communicant of the Episcopal Church, and a lover of good reading, especially of poetry, and occasionally wrote for his own pleasure verses, although these were never published.
Capt. English was married to Miss Mary H. Munnerlyn, the daughter of Colonel Charles J. Munnerly, of Decatur Co., GA., who was said to be one of the most patriotic men who ever served Georgia. At the time of death of Capt. Isaac B. English, surviving him were his wife Mary, and four children from this marriage: Mrs. Thomas Hartley Hall, I. B. English, Junior, Mrs. Walter Hammond Beeks, and Miss Mary M. English.

Men of Mark in Georgia
Edited by William J. Northern
Vol VI; pgs. 363-366
A. B. Caldwell Publisher
Atlanta, Georgia 1912

page created: 03 Jun 2003 / updated: 06 Mar 2010
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