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Alexander Wake Holeman (Holman) & the Civil War
This is a copy of information sent to my maternal aunts in 1991. Updated remarks and misc. edits (such as links, removal of names of living family members, etc.) are noted in red italics. The original item included photocopies from material that is now available on the web and links to images from the web source are included below in place of the photocopies. Some additional links provided by JMB (cousin Jon) are included at the end.
To: The Lenhart Sisters From: Georgia Kinney Bopp
November 24, l991
Happy Birthday to Nanny
Alexander Wake Holeman
February 20, 1827 - October 19, 1887
Father of Betty "Nanny" Holeman (Williams) and John English Holeman
Grandfather of Ann Elizabeth Holeman (Lenhart)
Great Grandfather of the Lenhart Daughters
"COL. WAKE” & THE CIVIL WAR
ancestor Alexander Wake Holeman fought in the Mexican War, in
The enclosed photocopies [see images] concern the Civil War only and are from:
War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the
Union and Confederate Armies.
This monumental series contains 128 books and (thank heavens!) the following general index:
Serial 13C General Index War Dept. War of the Rebellion General Index & Additions & Corrections. 1901
The general index contains several entries for Holeman, Alexander W. There are no other Holemans in the Index; there are Holmans but none that are A. W. [Images of most relevant pages are here.]
The most interesting item is a May 1863 report that involves the 12th Kentucky Cavalry and Lt.-Col Holeman. This matches the information on the "family sword."2 However a year later 1864 correspondence refers to him as Colonel Holeman with the 11th Kentucky Cavalry. Apparently he was promoted during this period. I am enclosing photocopies of the 1863 report3 and the 1864 correspondence. 4 These are the only photocopies I made and are of poor quality. (I was lucky to obtain permission to copy them.) [Update – now, thanks to web, you have superior copies. See images]
For those of you who find it difficult to read the report, here's a simple version5 of the Report of Col. Richard T. Jacob, Ninth Kentucky Cavalry, commanding brigade; Columbia, KY., May 12, 1863:
There were several Union groups converging to meet
the larger Army. Some had crossed the
Today the site where this fight took place is probably
Holeman is mentioned several times in Jacob's report but this part is the most detailed:
Where every one, from the highest officer under command to the humblest private, behaved with the most distinguished gallantry, it may appear invidious to mention names. I will, however, mention such as came under my immediate observation. Lieutenant-Colonel Holeman, commanding the charge, being ranking officer and the commander of the Twelfth Kentucky Cavalry, cheered the men on to their work of death, and wherever the fight was most dangerous there he could be found. I found his counsel and aid during the whole time of the utmost service. . . . [Page 302]
Some of the other entries mention:
Second Brigade, Colonel Holeman
Col. Alexander W. Holeman
independent brigade Col. Alexander W. Holeman
W. Holeman Eleventh
The last entry of interest is this:6
Sep 11 1864
[From] Hugh Ewing Brigadier-General
to Capt. J. B. Dickson Asst. Adjutant General
I have no information on the capture of Jessee or of his command. I informed Holeman that he might offer good terms to those who came in and gave themselves up.
The above is a useful clue. Shortly before Ann Elizabeth Holeman Lenhart died, CLB asked her to write down something about the family. The handwriting is shaky and hard to read in spots. This is what she wrote concerning her grandfather:
During the civil war grandfather Holeman had to capture his own brother in law -- take him and hold him prisoner. There are many such stories of the civil war. Even of sons & father. It must have truly been a heart breaking war.
same brother in law was a famous judge & lawyer -- When he was running for
judgeship I believe one time
story can be found in
* * * * *
I don't know yet if the brother-in-law was the husband of a sister we don't know about [no] or if he was Jennie's brother [DuVal English?] [no] or maybe he was the spouse of one of Jennie's sisters [no]. However, with such helpful clues, maybe we'll find out some day. [Update: This may have been Alvin Duvall (later a Judge), the brother AHW’s mother-in-law.]
l. Watterson, Henry.
"Marse Henry" An Autobiography, Two Volumes in One,
George H. Doran Company,
CLB has DuVal Holeman's copy of this book. [She is now deceased, don’t know what happened to her copy but the book is on the web - see: Watterson ]
WBL's scrapbook contains Watterson articles from The [
Watterson writes of "Col. Wake" or Andrew Wake Holeman. We have since learned from Nanny's DAR application and census data that his name was Alexander Wake Holeman.
This is a summary of what Watterson says (I have not verified anything yet [except the Civil War] but I have written to the National Archives regarding the last item -- the Mexican War Pension Act [Update it appears he died before he collected anything.]):
1846 At the age of 22 he was a private in Col.
Humphrey Marshall’s Regiment of the Kentucky Riflemen. He was captured by Mexicans during which
time the "bean” episode occurred.
[Actually, Holeman was 19 years old in 1846]
l851 He was
War of Sections [Civil War] He commanded a
Mexican War Pension Act His is allegedly the second name on the roll. (Thanks to Watterson’s personal efforts on Holeman's behalf.) [Never did track down the roll.]
2. The family sword is now with [was with CLB’s son JMB, recently he sent it to his nephew]. According to CLB the engraving on the sword is:
U S A [on one side; on other:]
L. Col. A.W. Holeman 12th KY Cavalry
My spouse suggests that maybe the "leaves” on “
3. Series I, Vol
23, Part I REPORTS, "Expedition to
4. Series I, Vol 38 [fix typo in the original], Part IV CORRESPONDENCE,ETC. *Pages 302-307 [see images]
5. The simple version is the result of my spouse's explanation to me; Tom says Larry Bernard [now deceased] would give a better explanation.
6. Series I, Vol 39, Part II. Page 362 [image not copied]
[* Slightly different page ranges because the images are single page;, the original copies were two on a page.]
Some additional Civil War related links provided by JMB (cousin Jon):
One entry (under Holeman) shows that he was a Captain on
2 March 61 and from
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