Monroe Brawner and Sarah B. Higginbotham:
Talbot Brandon Womack
Farris Wade Womack
Brawner and Sarah B. Higginbotham: Lost Pioneers
The westward expansion of the United States has been written about for more than two centuries, but the power and attraction of the frontier still engage the imagination. And now with communication ubiquitous, we are startled that people actually set off for strange new places with little or no expectation of returning and with no means to communicate with family and friends who stayed behind except through mail that was slow or unavailable. Nevertheless, this was the story for hundreds of brave souls who staked their future on the belief that what lay beyond the horizon was better than the present and that they could make a new start completely free of past failures or successes.
The United States became a great country because of the drive and determination of countless nameless individuals who spent their lives in the pursuit of the dream to be free and to behave as they wished within a legal code that placed few restrictions on individual conduct. But none of those heroes made a greater contribution than those who spread the frontier ever westward. Many did, indeed, find fame and fortune at the end of their dream but many found hardship and misery. The great majority found neither. Instead they found a land rich in natural resources with sufficient freedom to allow expression in any way they could establish it. Great families grew out of this expansion and the names of those families continue to bring credit and honor to descendants and friends. But one of the most intriguing and poignant outcomes of this westward migration arose when a couple left no male heirs and their name died with them. Such is the story of Tilmon Monroe Brawner and Sarah Banks Higginbotham: Lost Pioneers.
Tilmon Monroe Brawner was born in Elberton, Elbert County, Georgia on April 21, 1801, the second child and second son of Henry Brawner and Celia Brown. Tilmon’s birth came just 25 years after the Declaration of Independence and one month after Thomas Jefferson assumed the Presidency. The Louisiana Purchase, which would open an area larger than the existing United States, was still two years away. But many were already restlessly looking toward the west in search of land and opportunity. Few, perhaps none, could see that the purchase of Louisiana would add more states to the Union than the original thirteen. There was plenty of land between the then frontier and the Mississippi River and there was no need to look further. In fact, more than 90 percent of the population of the Colonies lived within 100 miles of the Atlantic Ocean. The population of the United States in 1800 was 5.3 million but it grew by almost 40 percent to 7.3 million by 1810.
Elberton, Georgia was the county seat of Elbert County and the economic center of the region. Elbert is one of a series of counties in eastern Georgia joining South Carolina that was formed from Wilkes County. Tilmon’s father, Henry Brawner, was a prominent farmer and Tilmon probably grew up in much the same manner as thousands of other children in the south in the early 19th century. Whether he attended schools in Elberton is not known nor do we know how he passed his childhood and teen years. His father reported in 1820 that he and his four older sons were engaged in agriculture, an occupation that engaged more than 98 percent of the entire population.
The 1820 Census showed Henry Brawner with nine children at home. Because the 1820 Census listed by name only the head of household, we are left to identify the wife and children by age categories and deductive reason. Two males were under 10, one 16-18, two 16-26, and one 45 and over. One female was under 10, three females 10-16, and one 26-45. The Family Group Report provides the name and birth dates for each of the Henry and Celia Brown Brawner children and it can be concluded that these are consistent with those listed in the Census. James Middleton Brawner, the first born of Henry and Celia, is the ancestor of the physician by the same name who started the famous Brawner Clinic outside Atlanta, Georgia.
Tilmon M. Brawner married Sarah Banks Higginbotham August 13, 1822 in Elbert County, Georgia. Sarah was born March 15, 1801. Sarah was the fourth child of John Satterwhite Higginbotham and Ann Staunton Higginbotham; first cousins once removed. Scant records leave only speculation as to the early-married years for Tilmon and Sarah. Their first child, Mary Ellen, was born April 7, 1825. Four years later on January 4, 1829, the second child, Jane Elizabeth, was born. These two probably were born in Elbert County but current scholarship has not determined that with certainty.
By the time that the 1830 Census was taken, Tilmon and Sarah had moved from Elbert County to Monroe County. Monroe County is a considerable distance from Elbert County and we are left to speculate why they left the County of their birth to strike out toward the west. The 1830 Census listed only heads of households and the wife and children must be identified and corroborated by other records and deductive reasoning. Nevertheless, the dates of birth of each of the family members disclosed in the 1830 Census are consistent with the dates disclosed in the Brawner Family Bible.
Sarah E. "Sallie" was born February 20, 1831 and Hesseba C. "Hessey" was born June 7, 1834. The exact location of the birth of these two children cannot be established but it seems reasonable that Monroe County, Georgia would have been the birth place.
By early 1835, the Brawners had moved to Chambers County, Alabama. Chambers County was one of ten counties established in 1832 as a result of the Creek Cession. Here the record of Tilmon and Sarah Brawner as devout Baptists and church builders probably began but it would not to be the last time that they were engaged in organizing a church.
The following describes their participation in the establishment of this historic church and the cemetery nearby.
COUNTY LINE BAPTIST CHURCH
Section 6, Township 22, Range 25. County Line Baptist Church is due west of LaFayette, near the Chambers County and Tallapoosa County line.
Here in this community on May 2, 1835, a group of people met for the purpose of organizing a church of the Baptist Faith and Order. Charter members were as follows: Green Tolbert, Deacon; William C. Morgan, Tilmon Brawner, Charles Bussey, James Sanders, Thomas Berry, Mary Tolbert, Lucindy Morgan, Sarah Brawner, Almeda Bussey, Cindaulor Berry and Elender Butler. Francis Calloway, moderator, opened the doors of the church, and two slaves, Charles and Elizer, were received by letter as charter members.
County Line sent out a number of preachers: W. A. Hunter, John F. Bledsoe, A. C. A. Simmons, J. M. Russell, T. J. Russell, S. M. Perry, W. W. Sanders, J. P. Jarrell, W. M. Blackwelder, J. A. McCarley, J. P. Hunter, R. F. Stuckey, Robert Wooddy, Woodrow Owen, and James W. Allen. HISTORY OF EAST LIBERTY BAPTIST ASSOCIATION, pages 206, 207, Rev. Basil B McGinty and Historical Marker, Additional notes of interest: County Line Baptist Church has been named to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage by the Alabama Historical Commission, VALLEY NEWS DIGEST, HCC, Vol. 8, No. 3.
"According to the Alabama Historical Commission, County Line Baptist Church has been added to the National Register of historical Places by the United States Department of the Interior," EAST LIBERTY BAPTIST ASSOCIATION NEWS, Vol. XXV, No. 11, November 1982.
The Historical Marker, which has been placed on the church grounds, was dedicated May 1, 1983.
Tilmon acquired 320.06 acres of land in Section 8, Township 22 North, Range 25 East in Chambers County on October 29,1839. This land was a part of the 1832 Creek Cession and it seems likely that Brawner obtained the land as part of that activity. While the date that he signed the Patent is later than the time that Tilmon and Sarah came to Chambers County, it is likely that the land they acquired was the same as that upon which they live when they arrived. It was not unusual for a settler to find and stake out a piece of land and then actually acquire the Patent some time later. A Patent is the conveyance by the government of land it holds to an individual. The individual takes the Patent to the County and gets a deed in return. Almost all land was originally transferred to individuals by the government through this method. The County Line Baptist Church, located in Section 6, Township 22 North, Range 25 West was about one mile from the Brawner property.
In 1836, there were skirmishes with the Indians. After a successful campaign, the Army succeeded in relocating the Indians across the Alabama line into Mississippi. The threat of Indian resistance vanished from the county.
Louisa Frances Brawner, the fifth child of Tilmon and Sarah, was born in Chambers County, Alabama on November 4, 1838. Four years later, the Brawner family was complete with the birth of Tilmon Monroe on September 6, 1842 in Chambers County, Alabama.
On October 4, 1842, about one month after Tilmon Monroe’s birth in September, Mary Ellen, the oldest child, married Green Berry Talbot, son of Green Talbot and Mary Tate Anthony, co-founders with the Brawners of the County Line Baptist Church. The Talbots owned 640 acres of land in Sections 9 and 10 located one-half mile from the Brawners. On September 30, 1843, Mary Ellen presented Tilmon and Sarah with their first grandchild, Sarah Ann Talbot. They were 42 years of age. The second grandchild, Elizabeth Anthony, was born August 31, 1845.
Why the Brawners and the Green Berry Talbots decided to leave their home in Chambers County, Alabama and move to Dallas (now Calhoun) County, Arkansas is not known. Perhaps it was the same adventuresome spirit that had spurred them to leave Elberton more than two decades before. Nevertheless, sometime after 1845 and before 1847, they moved to Arkansas and acquired land in Moro Township.
Within months of their arrival in Arkansas, they were once again active in the establishment of a Baptist Church.
Church Book Bethesda
State of Arkansas, County of Dallas
August the 10th 1847
We the scattered members of Dallas County holding letters from different Baptist churches feeling our dependence upon God and seeing the great necessity of embodying our selves into Christ do give our selves to the Lord and one another. We subscribe to the following principles, to wit:
1st. We believe in one true and living God the Father the word and the Holy Ghost.
2nd. We believe that the Scriptures
comprising the Old and New Testament are the
Word of God and the only rule of faith and practice.
3rd. We believe in the doctrine of
election according as God hath chosen us in
Christ before the foundation of the Word that we shall be holy and
without blame before him in love in whom ye also trusted after that
ye had heard the Word of truth the gospel of your salvation in who also
after ye believed you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.
4th. We believe in the doctrine of original sin by the fall of Adam.
5th. We believe in mans incapability by
his own free will and ability to
recover himself from the fallen State in which he is by nature.
6th. We believe that Sinners are
justified in the sight of God by the imputed
righteousness of Christ only.
7th. We believe that the saints shall be
preserved in grace and never fall finally
8th. We believe that Baptism and the
Lords Supper are ordinances of Jesus Christ
and that true believers are the only Subjects of Baptism and that immersion
is the apostolic mode.
9th. We believe in the resurrection of
the dead and in the general judgment and
that the felicities of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will be
10th. We believe that no Minister has
any right to administer the ordinances of the
Gospel but one who is regularly Baptized called and come under the
imposition of the hands of the presbytery.
11th. We believe that none but regularly
Baptized members have a right to
commune at the Lord’s Table.
12th. We believe that the Lord’s Day
should be observed as a day of rest and
Tillman Brawner Harriet Council
Green B. Talbot Mary Talbot
Charles McClung Sarah Youngblood
Jacob Youngblood Mary Gardner
John Gardner Martha McCollock
John V. McCollock
Sarah Brawner Jr
Sarah Brawner Sr
In 1854, Stephen Zellars Hearnsberger and his wife, Louanna Norris Hearnsberger, gave land for a church and adjoining cemetery. It appears that a building was already standing as the deed states "….to secure to them their right to their house of worship…". Louanna Hearnsberger was a charter member of the Church but Stephen was not. In August of that year, Green Berry Talbot was ordained to preach and he became the first pastor of the Bethesda Church.
Tilmon continued to acquire land and property. The 1850 Census for Dallas County listed Tilmon and Sarah and name each of the five younger children at home and disclosed that the value of his real estate holdings was $2,000.00. The community that he and Sarah helped establish was called Chambersville in recognition of Chambers County, Alabama from which so many settlers had come to that part of Arkansas. Soon there was a school, two churches, several businesses including a brick factory and a cotton gin. Tilmon’s occupation was always listed as farmer but he may have engaged in other commercial interests as well including land speculation.
Sarah E. "Sallie" Brawner married William Spot Mosley in 1850 and Jane Elizabeth married Absalom Wiley Mosley on January 8, 1852. Green Berry Talbot, a Justice of the Peace, officiated at the ceremony. Talbot was later to be ordained as a minister of the gospel and would perform numerous wedding ceremonies throughout the area. Later that same year, on December 8, 1852, Hesseba married James Jabus Mosley. Jack C. Tomme, MG, officiated at the ceremony. William Spot Mosley and James Jabus Moseley were brothers and the sons of William Absalom Mosley. Wiley Mosley was their uncle. The Mosley family came to Arkansas from Aiken, South Carolina about 1850 and they became prosperous and contributing members of the community around the area that is now New Edinburgh, Arkansas. Many of the Mosleys lived in Red Lands Township in what is now Cleveland County.
Jane Elizabeth Brawner Mosley and Absolom Wiley Mosley were listed on the 1860 Census for Warren Township, Eagle Creek, Bradley County, Arkansas. In addition to the parents, Mary, 6; Woodson, 4; and Monroe, 1 are listed. In addition to these three children there were Sarah, Ellen, and Ophelia. The 1900 Census shows Wiley and Jane with Monroe, age 40, Ellen H., age 33, and Ophelia, age 28. Ellen and Ophelia did not marry and they lived with their mother until her death in 1910. In 1920, Ophelia, Ellen and Sarah Lugenia, whose husband had died, were living together with Ophelia as Head of Household. Wiley Mosley acquired land in what is now Cleveland County in 1856 and 1857. He obtained another Patent in 1882. Jane and Wiley Mosley’s six children all lived to adulthood. Wiley died in 1900 at the age of 80 and Jane died in 1910 at the age of 81.
The marriage of Sarah E. and William Spot Mosley ended with the death of William, July 30, 1851 just a few months after their marriage. On August 24,1853, Sarah was remarried, this time to Solomon Gardner. Some accounts contend that Sarah and William Spot Mosley had no children but there exists some evidence to the contrary. The 1860 Census for Pennington Township, Warren, Bradley County, Arkansas lists a Solomon W. Gardner, age 35, Sarah, 29; Mary, 11; Andrew, 9; and William F. Mosley, age 8. Also listed with the family was Stephen Johnson, age 50. Solomon Gardner listed his occupation as Missionary Baptist Clergy and estimated the value of his real estate at $6000.00 and the value of personal property as $10000.00. The 1870 Census for the same county and township again listed the same individuals with the exception that William Mosley is shown as Black. Also listed with the family was James Martin, 13, Sarah Gardner, 70; Henry Atkinson, 11; and Lenidus Atkinson, 10. These individuals were also listed as Black. This appears to be a mistake of the census taker but the reader can judge the evidence personally. The two Atkinsons gave their occupations as domestic servants.
Nevertheless, it seems reasonable to conclude that Sarah and William Spot Mosley did, indeed, have one child and that child was born after the death of William Spot. It also seems reasonable to conclude that the Gardner children living with Sarah and Solomon in 1860 and 1870 were the children of a previous marriage by Solomon Gardner. Solomon and Sarah may not have had children.
Hesseba Brawner Mosley and James Jabus Mosley were listed on the 1870 Census for Red Land Township, Eagle Creek, Bradley County, Arkansas. Three children are shown in the family: Theodore, 15; Larkin, 12; and Samuel, 10. The couple had four children but Tillman A Mosley died when he was five years of age and he was buried in the Brawner Cemetery where his grandfather and grandmother were buried. Hesseba’s name has been reported in various spellings and on this Census the taker listed it as Epsey. He also listed Jabus as Lubus. The difficulty with the spelling of Hesseba seems to have come about because of the unusual manner in which double "s’s" were written in the mid 1800’s. Jabus and Hesseba acquired several parcels of land in what is now Cleveland County. The Bureau of Land Management records contain no fewer than six instances of land being transferred by the Government to James J. Mosley. Most of the transactions occurred in 1856 and 1857. James Jabus Mosley died in 1895 and Hesseba did not remarry. She died in 1916 at the age of 81.
Louisa Frances Brawner married Perry F. Ingram September 9, 1859. Mason B. Lowry performed the ceremony. Perry Ingram acquired land in Bradley County from The United States in September 1860 and in April 1861.
On November 23, 1848, Mary Ellen and Green Berry Talbot had their third child, William Milton Talbot and almost three years later a fourth child, James Tilman Talbot was born on September 28, 1851. Four other children were born to Green Berry and Mary. They were Adonirom Judson, Larkin Monroe, Mary Jane, and Green Berry. Their farm was located about three miles from the Brawner’s. Mary Ellen died in 1885 at the age of 59 and Green Berry Talbot died in 1901 at the age of 78.
Happily, for the Brawners, in a period of four years, the Brawners saw three daughters married and their grandchildren increase. It seems clear from Census records and other public documents that the Brawners had at least nineteen grandchildren and there may have been others. They were prosperous farmers and their growing family must have been a source of great pride to them. Sadly, the happy state would not last because on April 14, 1856, Sarah died and was buried on the Brawner farm, probably the second grave in the Brawner Cemetery. A grandson, Tillman A. Mosley had been buried October 21, 1855. Almost two years later Eliza Taylor Gray, first wife of Henry Gray, died and was buried in the Brawner Cemetery. Henry Gray was a pioneer settler of the area as well. Later there would be about 13 graves but most burials took place at the Chambersville Cemetery located about one mile south.
After Sarah’s death, Tilmon apparently devoted his attention to his business and farming. He received land Patents in 1857 and one in 1860, however the 1860 Patent could belong to his son but that is unlikely because young Brawner would have been only 18 years of age. In the accounting of his estate, there appear numerous transactions, usually notes for money lent, dated after Sarah’s death. He did not remarry.
But there were other disturbing signals on the horizon as well. By the mid 1850’s the winds of civil war blew strongly in the southern states even if they were somewhat less direct in the far reaches of the new country that made up Arkansas. It was clear to many that the system that had been in place since the mid 17th century could not possibly survive into the 20th and probably would have to be resolved in the 19th. War had been averted first by the Comprise of 1820 and again by the Compromise of 1850 but even the most cynical could see that the sands in the glass were running out.
When the 1860 Census was taken for Moro Township, Calhoun County, Arkansas, Tilmon Brawner was not to be found. His son, Tilmon M. was living with William Braswell and gave his age as 17. One of the many enigmas surrounding the life and times of Tilmon Brawner can be clearly discerned from this data. Where would he have been? How could he have been missed? Why was the son of a prominent man a boarder in someone else’s house?
When war finally broke out in April 1861, many families faced difficult and emotional hardships. Arkansas was farther west than any other southern state except for Texas and its geography actually reflected three cultures. The delta was much like the adjoining states of Mississippi and Louisiana. But the rich coastal plain, which stretched across the southwestern third of the state, was much more akin to the free spirited Texans. But the most fiercely independent lot was the hill country people who neither had slaves nor wanted them and who viewed with suspicion anyone who advocated federations or confederations. Most Arkansans did not own slaves and almost all were more interested in "minding their own business" rather that getting involved in a struggle that would surely interfere with their own interests. The popular vote on secession lost by a 23000 to 17000 but the elected representatives took Arkansas into the Confederacy in May 1861.
Tilmon M. Brawner, age 60 years, joined the Confederate Army at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, July 27, 1861. Brawner’s service record, detailed in the National Archives Records Administration, consisted of several entries describing his appearance on company muster rolls. The first record card shows his enlistment on October 11, 1861 at Union City, Tennessee by R. M. Wallace. All other records show that he enlisted at Pine Bluff, Arkansas on July 27, 1861 and the enlisting person was J. S. Roone. The Battle of Shiloh occurred in April 1862 and the records show he was wounded in that engagement. Although his name appears on company muster rolls after that date, there is no notation that he was present. Further records concerning his service are silent. One record suggests that he recovered at home but there is no record to show that he returned to active duty. Appendix I contains a brief history the 9th Arkansas Infantry, the unit to which Brawner, Sr. was attached.
His last-born and namesake also volunteered for the Confederate Army. He joined Company B, 1st Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry at Hampton, Arkansas on May 12, 1862 and was enlisted by J. M. O’Neill for 3 years or the war. Records indicate that young Brawner was in an engagement at Fayetteville, Arkansas, that his horse was shot from under him, and that he returned home, perhaps for the purpose of getting a fresh mount. He was captured at Tipton, Missouri on October 11, 1864 and confined in the Rock Island Barracks just outside Chicago, Illinois on December 8, 1864. His time as a prisoner of war was short for on February 25. 1865, he was among a group of Confederate prisoner exchanged for a like number of Federal prisoners at Point Lookout. What happened in the intervening weeks between February 25, 1865 and March 22, 1865, we can only speculate but it seems reasonable that he would have been assigned to another cavalry unit although not necessarily the 1st Regiment, Arkansas, his original unit. Nevertheless, young Brawner was injured in an engagement near Cloverdale, South Carolina on Mar 22, 1865 and four days later he died from his wounds. See Appendix II for a brief history of the 1st Arkansas Cavalry.
Tilmon Brawner received the following letter a few weeks after the death of his son.
Clover Dale, S.C.
April 12th /65
Mr. Tilmon Brawner
It is now nearly three weeks since we performed the sad and last task for your most noble brave and Christian boy; Christian boy I say; yes, I had every external evidence of his being a child of God his last dying words to me was "Mrs. Barry I’m going to leave this world, I’m prepared" and in less than two minutes his spirit had take its flight, I trust to dwell with the Redeemer in heaven, where there is no war, no pain and no death. Through the kindness of Dr. Barnett, he was brought to my house Tuesday 22nd of March an expired on the Saturday Morning following between the hour of five and six. The morning he died he asked me very quietly and calmly, if we could discover any Sign of his being alarmed at the approach of death, we answered him No; and as I’ve already stated we had every indication, that with him "all was well." It was his request that I should supplement Dr. Barnett’s recital by a few epistolary remarks and say to you, he died in the hands of friends. Dear Mr. Brawner if it will in the least alleviate the great Suffering these Sad tidings will bring upon you, I can most sincerely assure you Your own dear boy was tenderly and most affectionately cared for, for our own brother I could not have done more, with my own hands I pressed his pallid lips, closed his sightless eyes, and crossed upon his sunken breast his cold and icy hands, his attire was neat.
And now beneath the sod of a selected Spot in our cemetery "Ebeneezer" rest his earthly Tabernacle, and dear sir I promise you the Spot will ever be held Sacred to his memory, I will very soon plant over it, the vine, evergreen and rose the later, which is ever dedicated to Silence and death, I will enclose you a momento of evergreen, plucked from the wreath that on his grave was twined by those, who for him prayed and also some of his hair.
Hoping these few lines may be of some Comfort, I subscribe Myself
Your unknown Friend
M E Barry
Thus with the death of Tilmon Monroe Brawner, Jr. the lineage died on a lonely battlefield in remote South Carolina, probably in an unmarked grave. Two years later, Tilmon Brawner would die and be buried on the farm he had built.
At the age of 64, Tilmon Brawner was alone. His only son was dead, his wife was dead, and his daughters had lives of their own to manage. He busied himself with his farm and business interests and continued to extend credit to a variety of friends and neighbors. Whether he suffered from the wounds he had received during the Civil War cannot be determined. On November 20, 1867, Tilmon Brawner died and was buried beside Sarah in the Brawner Cemetery.
Brawner died intestate and the Court appointed Green Berry Talbot, Mary Ellen Brawner’s husband and Tilmon’s son-in-law, administrator. It is interesting that a man of Brawner’s background and business sense would leave neither will nor other expression of his desires for disposition of his assets. Talbot’s accounting of his personal property amounted to $4,168.07 consisting of notes due from more than a score of individuals. From memorandum books, an additional $588.92 was identified. When the final accounting was done, the actual amount apportioned to each of the four legatees was only $275.00 for each of the four. The record shows that Talbot himself had four notes outstanding to Brawner in the amounts of $76.70, 13.48, 2.14, and $18.50. He took those notes for himself. The other named legatees were Wiley Mosley, Jabus Mosley, and Sol Gardner. Each drew about $275.00 in notes outstanding and if they collected from the debtors. One wonders what disposition was made of the other debts owed Brawner.
The lack of any mention of Louisa Frances, her husband or possible heirs is even more puzzling. Because Tilmon Brawner died intestate, Louisa Frances or her heirs, if any, would have been entitled to an equal part distribution of the Brawner estate and the Court would have insured that they received their rightful share. Moreover, Green Berry Talbot, the administrator, was a man of unblemished reputation and principle and he alone would have seen to it that she and her heirs were properly treated. Current scholarship has not disclosed her status at the time of Tilmon’s death nor that of her husband. Neither she nor her husband was listed on the 1860 Census for Arkansas although Perry Ingram obtained a land Patent as late as April 1862.
The Brawner name in Calhoun County died with Tilmon in 1867. His legacy lives in the person of many descendants some of whom bear his name as a given name if not as a surname. Their daughters’ children were proud and noble descendants of a truly outstanding couple. When Tilmon and Sarah were born in 1801, the young nation had had only three Presidents. But during their lives, they would see the country enlarge its borders from coast to coast, become a great world power, defeat the British again in the War of 1812, endure a bitter divisiveness over slavery, fight a brutal Civil War that threatened the very foundations of the fledgling democracy, and see the 17th President of the United States assume office as a result of the first Presidential assassination. Tilmon and Sarah Brawner were sturdy pioneers who faced many hardships and challenges to build a life for themselves and for their descendants. They, along with thousands like them, brought a spirit of discovery to the young country and their personal traits set them apart as civic and religious leaders.
9th Arkansas Infantry Regiment
The 9th Regiment, Arkansas Volunteer Infantry, was organized at Pine Bluff on July 20, 1861, and taken into state service at Pine Bluff on July 27. They marched to Pocahontas, Arkansas, later that month where they were mustered into Confederate service and assigned initially to Pillow's Division. Like all the other Arkansas regiments raised in the first wave of recruiting in 1861, they were taken into Confederate armies east of the Mississippi River, and only the few survivors made it back home after the war.
The 9th Arkansas was known as the "Parson's Regiment" because they included 42 ministers of the Gospel of all Protestant denominations among their ranks. The regimental commander was a preacher, as was the major and many of the company officers. Notwithstanding that it contained so many men of the cloth, it was a hard-fighting regiment and many of its officers, notably its last lieutenant colonel (Dunlop), were as intrepid and gallant as any knight of chivalry. Field officers were Colonel John M. Bradley, Major John C. Bratton, Lt. Col. (later Col.) Isaac L. Dunlop, Lt. Cols. W.Y. McCammon, Reuben W. Millsaps, and Jefferson W. Rogers, and Majors R.M. Wallace and W.J. Wallace. The company commanders were: Co. A, of Jefferson county, Cpt. James H. Hurley; Co. B, of Union county, Cpt. W.H. Wallace, Jr.; Co. C, of Jefferson county, Cpt. James T. Armstrong; Co. D, of Drew county, Cpt. W.C. Haislip; Co. E, of Bradley county, Cpt. Isaac Dunlop; Co. F, of Drew county, Cpt. W.H Isom; Co. G, of Bradley county, Cpt. J.W. Blankenship; Co. H, of Jefferson county, Cpt. George F. Bayne; Co. K, of Ashley county; Cpt.John F. Carr.
The regiment saw its first combat at the battle of Belmont, MO, and was subsequently retained at Bowling Green, KY for the defense of that post during the winter of 1861-1862. The regiment served in Shaver's Brigade, covering the retreat out of Kentucky to Corinth. It fought gallantly at Shiloh, charging repeatedly upon the "Hornet's Nest" where it lost Lt. Col. Dunlop. It was through this regiment that General A. Sidney Johnston rode from the rear to the front, with a tin cup he had appropriated earlier that morning, saying "Men of Arkansas, the enemy is stubborn. I want you to show General Beauregard and General Bragg what you can do with your bayonets and toothpicks!" The regiment went
forward with a cheer and passed him at a run; in five minutes 130 men of their ranks were killed or wounded, but they did not falter. Lt. Duckworth was killed at the head of his company, and Cpt. Wallace was wounded. It closed up and disappeared into the thicket in front, followed by the whole Confederate line, and the enemy was silenced in twenty minutes. General Johnston, however, received a mortal wound while leading this charge, and shortly thereafter bled to death.
Following the Confederates' repulse at Shiloh, the 9th Arkansas returned to Corinth and participated in the Corinth Campaign, in the battles of Corinth, and Iuka, MS. They served at Coffeeville, and in the Vicksburg Campaign in the spring and summer of 1863, where they served in the battle of Champion Hill on May 15, 1863. The 9th served in Loring's Division at Champion Hill, and following that battle, Loring retreated north
to join Joes Johnston's army near Jackson rather than being trapped with the rest of Pemberton's army in the Vicksburg defenses.
The 9th Arkansas served with Johnson's attempt to relieve Vicksburg, in the second battle of Jackson, in the Meridian (MS) campaign in Feb. to March, 1864; and the Atlanta Campaign at Resaca, New Hope Church, Kennesaw Mountain, Dug Gap, Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Ezra Church, and the final siege of Atlanta, as well as follow-on action at Lovejoy's Station and Jonesboro, Georgia. They were captured again, along with
most of the Arkansas Brigade, at Jonesboro on Sept 1, 1864, and then exchanged in time to rejoin John Bell Hood in the Tennessee campaign that resulted in the battles of Franklin, and Nashville, TN.
They continued service with the Army of Tennessee to the close of the war opposing Sherman's march to the sea at Sugar Creek on December 26, 1864, and in the Carolinas campaign in February to April, 1865, including the last big stand-up fight of the Tennessee Army at Bentonville on March 19-21, 1865.
The few remaining survivors of the 9th Arkansas were consolidated with the survivors of the 1st and 2nd Arkansas Mounted Rifles, the 4th and 25th Arkansas, and others as the "1st Mounted Rifles Regiment" (Dismounted, since they didn't have many horses left, either) in the last reorganization of the Army at Smithfield, North Carolina on April 9, 1865. Two weeks later, they were surrendered with the rest of the Army of
Tennessee near Raleigh, North Carolina.
Also Known As: "The Parson's Regiment"... This regiment numbered 42 ministers of the Gospel among its members.
(The capsule histories herein have been compiled mainly from (1) Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Florida and Arkansas (New York: Facts on File, 1992); (2) Clement Evans, Confederate Military History, Volume 10 (Louisiana and Arkansas) (Wilmington, NC, Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1987); and (3) Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies in the War of the
Rebellion, Part II, Serial 14; as well as scanning the Confederate orders of battle listed in many recent campaign and battle histories. )
1st Arkansas Cavalry Regiment (Fagan's - Monroe's)
Organized at Camp Shavers, near Pine Bluff as Johnson's Cavalry Battalion on or about August 10, 1862 by consolidating twelve independent cavalry companies under the command of Major A.N. Johnson, pending the arrival of Colonel Fagan, the appointed commander. Company commanders were Captains Wheat, Raulston, Porter, Young, Davis (from Jefferson county), O'Neill, George A. Davis, Reefis, Todd, Brown, and
Hanson. These companies were originally ordered to Pine Bluff in order to form a regiment to be commanded by Colonel Francis M. Chrisman, but these orders were rescinded by General Hindman, and the regiment was formed under Major Johnson, and later by Colonel Fagan upon his arrival at Camp Shavers. The first commander was Colonel James F. Fagan, field officers were Lt. Col. (later Col.) James C. Monroe, Major A.H. Johnson, later Major M.D. Davis, Major (later Lt. Col.) James M. O'Neal, and Major (later Lt. Col.) A.V. Reiff. Initially assigned to General M.M. Parsons' brigade near Pine Bluff, then to Caroll's Brigade, Marmaduke's Cavalry Division of Hindman's 1st Corps of the Trans-Mississippi in November, 1862. Fought at Battles of Cane Hill on November 28, and at Prairie Grove on December 7, 1862. Accompanied and fought with
Marmaduke's expedition into Missouri during December 31, 1862 - January 25, 1863. Reassigned to Cabell's Brigade in April 1863, where it fought at the battle of Fayetteville on April 18th. Fought at Devil's Backbone on September 1, 1863, and at Pine Bluff on October 25, 1863. Participated in the Confederate counterattacks against federal General Frederick Steele's Camden Expedition in March-May, 1864, fighting at the battles of Poison Springs and Marks' Mill. 13th Arkansas Cavalry Battalion was temporarily attached to Monroe's 1st Regiment during 1864. Participated in Price's Missouri Raid during September and October of 1864, thereafter served in southwestern Arkansas for the remainder of the War. Surrendered with General Kirby Smith on May 26, 1865.
(Tilmon Brawner, Jr. joined this Regiment May 12, 1862 at Hampton, Arkansas. The enlisting officer was J. M. O’Neil. He fought with the Regiment until his capture at Tipton, Missouri October 11, 1864. He was sent to the Rock Island Barracks, Rock Island, Illinois and confined there on December 8, 1864. On February 25, 1865, he was transferred and subsequently exhanged at Point Lookout. March 22, 1865, he was wounded at Clover dale, South Carolina and there he died on March 26, 1865.)
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