Henry McKenzie BURT
M, b. 2 September 1844, d. 31 August 1917
Henry McKenzie BURT|b. 2 Sep 1844\nd. 31 Aug 1917|p127.htm|James Creth BURT|b. 20 Jun 1809\nd. 16 May 1896|p47.htm|Elizabeth BAIRD|d. b 1848|p126.htm|Joseph BURT Jr.|b. c 1770\nd. Nov 1840|p193.htm|Ann READ|b. c 1770\nd. 1831|p194.htm|Alexander BAIRD|d. Apr 1832|||||
- Great-granduncle of John Kennedy BROWN Jr.
Henry McKenzie BURT was born on 2 September 1844 in Mardisville, Talladega County, Alabama, son of James Creth BURT and Elizabeth BAIRD.1,2
Henry M. Burt, circa 1890
Henry McKenzie BURT appeared on a census, enumerated 1 June 1850, in the household of James Creth BURT and Frances Anne GIBSON in Mardisville, Talladega County, Alabama.3
Henry McKenzie BURT appeared on a census, enumerated 2 June 1860, in the household of James Creth BURT and Frances Anne GIBSON in Mardisville, Talledega County, Alabama.4,5
Henry was educated about 1862-1864 in the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. At that time the enrollment in the instituion was only 296, almost all teen-age boys, and it was principally a military "Camp of Instruction" (facetiously called a "nursery" for the Confederate States Army), although there was an attempt to uphold the usual academic standards of the time. Following the occupation of North Alabama fear of enemy raids was rampant in Tuscaloosa. According to Morgan S. Gilmer's History of Shockley's Alabama Escort Company, "Cadet Henry McKenzie Burt, age nineteen, from Alpine, captain of Company A, and Cadet Captain Branscom T. Shockley, also nineteen, from Montgomery, captain of Company B, conceived the idea of enrolling as many cadets as would be necessary to form a cavalry company for the Confederate Army-- but with the understanding that all volunteers would remain in college until the end of the term, July 1864. As Burt wrote Gilmer on May 9, 1905 when the latter was preparing his sketch and roster" of the company: "We had over 100 cadets enrolled when we met in a room one rainy Saturday evening to organize, all of which had to be done secretly on account of the Faculty deeming such proceedings insubordianation. When we met, the question was raised as to the time of [our] leaving the Corps to enter the Army, [and] to my surprise most of the boys had the Army fever so bad that they wanted to go into the Army at once.
To this idea I was opposed and fought the movement, but as it was agreed to leave it to a vote of the majority, and the majority voted to go immmediately. I contented that the end of the term was only a few weeks off and that we could afford to stay that long and then go, but as I was in a minority I contended no further. Then the question arose as to the officers. I was offered the captaincy, which I declined unless they remained until after the term. Then they elected B. T. Shockley captain and myself 1st lieutenant with the privilege of joining the company after the close of the term.
In a few days, after the boys had left, Commandant Colonel J. Murfree sent for me to come to his office. He told me that he had been informed that I belonged to 'that company' of boys who had deserted. I said yes, this is so. He then said that I had been left behind as a recruiting officer to get more boys. This I most positively denied. He then said that I could not belong to the Alabama Corps of Cadets and to 'that company' at the same time. To this alternative I chose to sever my connection with the Cadet Corps, so I packed up my duds and left, and I as well as all other boys were expelled for insubordination and desertion."
Capt. Shockley wanted to join Col. Charles P. Ball's 8th Alabama Cavalry which was then being organized at Newbern (Hale County), but when Ball notified them that the Eighth had made its quota, Shockley led his men to an encampment in Montgomery (near the Old Fair Grounds) to await further orders. Soon, with the aid of Brig. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, they were assigned as an 'escort' to his command, then operating in East Alabama and West Georgia. At the time Shockley's Alabama Escort Company numbered 54 men, including the orginal 18 Cadets and 5 other University students and 31 other Alabama youths who had later volunteered to 'join up'.
Henry's enlistment as 1st Lieutenant was effective March 1, 1864. The company served under the overall command of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest during Wilson's Raid through Alabama. Henry was captured during the Battle of Selma and paroled on the march between Selma and Montgomery.6
Martha Dandrige Welch, Henry's half-sister, recalled his activities during the war. "The oldest boy of the household, a handsome lad of sixteen, was a student at the University, placed there to remain until his education was finished, but with the fervor of youth and patriotism he felt that he must go to the war, so he and a felllow student organized among the students a cavalry company, and when all was arranged they left the University in the darkness of night. After an all night's ride they reached training camp, which was near our home. We girls were delighted at the nearness of their presence and visions of parties and happy hours were ours, for many weeks in camp were necessary to equip them for duty. But at last they day came when they had to bid us good-bye, and they were destined to be in the last battle of the war between the states, which was fought at Selma, Alabama.
Our brother rode away on his beautiful horse, attended by his valet 'Romeo' (the twin brother of 'Juliet'), who rode a less handsome animal, by the name of 'Jack Tom.' Romeo had a habit of appropriating to himself what he wished, regardless of to whom it belonged, and for this reason he was one of the servants selected to go with our brother. We knew him to be a good hand to forage. However, when the Federal army came near he took his master's fine horse, with his own, and rode to meet his supposed friends. He presented the horse to them, thinking thus to be immune from work for the rest of his life. Great was his disappointment when he was made to cook, carry water, attend the horses and be general servant. There was though a spark of hope left him. When the wagon wheels began to roll they meant to him 'home sweet home', for they rolled in his direction. On one dark night he folded his tent and silently stole away. After a two days walk he reached home, and with all his faults received a warm welcome from his 'white folks'-- while not forgetting they forgave.
Romeo's young master was taken prisoner, but escaped by seeming too sick to be taken from the battlefield. After lying quiet until the enemy had dissappeared he looked around and saw an old white horse that was quite lame, so making a bridle of a piece of rope he mounted the gentle steed and started for home. When he came to a broad, deep river he thought if his horse could not swim across he could, but the old grey proved an excellent swimmer, and now it was an easy ride home. As the family was seated on the poarch, on a warm summer afternoon, some one saw a tired looking horseman approaching, and when he drew nearer we saw to our joy that it was our eagerly looked for brother. He was literally carried by glad hands on to the porch and placed in his own chair, so long vacant. The faithful old horse was led into pastures green, where, with rest and care, his lameness disappeared and youth was renewed."
After the war, Henry was a farmer and served two terms as Talladega county commissioner 1884-1896.
Henry McKenzie BURT appeared on a census, enumerated 1 June 1870, in the household of James Creth BURT and Frances Anne GIBSON in Mardisville, Talladega County, Alabama.7
Henry married Margaret Mims CURRY on 12 December 1871 in the home of William Curry, Talladega, Alabama. Rev. Samuel Henderson performed the wedding service. Margie's uncle, J. L. M. Curry, was a noted politician whose statue is in the rotunda in the U. S. capitol. He owned the house (bought in 1886) in which Margie and Henry lived in Talladega.8 Belleview, the antebellum home of Henry and Margie is one of the 19 National Landmarks in Alabama. It has been hit by tornadoes four times and restored each time. Ruby was the only child born there, the other children were born in Mardisville. It was purchased from J. L. M. Curry in 1886.9
Well known state geologist Dr. Eugene Allen Smith recorded in his journal on 16 Aug 1893 that while traveling with the geological survey in Talladega County Smith happened on the summer home near Riddles Mill of an old friend, H. M. Burt, who invited the group to dine. Afterwards Burt's sons took Smith to an old forge site to make a photograph, but he had to leave pictureless because he had forgotten to bring the camera lens. Back at the mill Jack Riddle showed him his family's gold-bearing quartz mine about a half-mile distant. Dr. Smith was born in Prattville and was a professor at the University of Alabama which is where he and Henry become acquainted.10
Henry along with Anna BURT and Sarah Bell WEBB purchased a tract of land from Eustace Pierre BURT on 4 October 1899 in Bibb County, Alabama. The deed read E. P. Burt, "an unmarried man" of Bibb County to H. M. Burt of Talladega County, Mrs. Sarah B. Burt of San Francisco, California and Anna Buckner of Rappahanock County, Virginia for one dollar lands in Bibb County formerly owned by J. C. Burt, deceased, except for coal rights. The deed also recorded that they paid him $6,000 for 12/18th interest in J. C. Burt's lands in Talladega County, including section 17, township 19, range 5; the south 1/8 of the south half of section 8; the north half of the northeast quarter of section 19; the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter and the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 20; and more, all in the above township and range.11
Hampton Miller, a grandson, related the following story in 1992: "My Grandfather Burt having a large farm (about 1,000 acres, mostly cotton and corn, and his own cotton gin) and his only two sons not interested in farming (one a medical doctor and the other a lawyer) told his 2nd oldest daughter, Aunt Irene Foster, that if she would marry Mr. Foster, who was his superintendent, he would give her a piano. This she did to satisfy her father. Grandfather Burt wanted to have some one in the family that he could leave the farm to. Soon after Grandfather died they sold the farm and moved to Monticello."12
Henry married a second time to Sarah JEMISON in April 1911 in Talladega, Alabama. His seven children all approved of the match and accepted her. Her father was Shadrack Mims Jemison III.
From Hampton Miller: "...Grandpa married his 1st wife's 1st cousin. Grandpa hated automobiles and on the narrow roads existing at that time he would never yield any of the road when he was in his buggy or wagon to cars wanting to pass him. One day an irritable driver, ather trying to get Grandpa to yield rammed his buggy, knocking Grandpa out of the buggy. Grandpa got back in the buggy and still wouldn't let the motorist pass. A year or so before he died his 2nd wife thought it would be nice to buy Grandpa a car so she bought a Chevrolet (Model about 1916). Grandpa would never ride in it. Aunt Irene when they came to Monticello had the Chevrolet."12
His grandson further says "that Grandpa Burt weighed in at over 280 pounds and caused the old green rocking chair to develop a 'creak' from rocking on his front veranda. 'Tis said he could spit watermelon seeds further than anyone else from his porch perch."9
Henry McKenzie BURT died on 31 August 1917 in Talladega, Alabama, at age 72. He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Talladega, Alabama.
Last Edited=2 Oct 2012
Children of Henry McKenzie BURT and Margaret Mims CURRY
- Mary Madge BURT b. 10 Aug 1873, d. 6 Jan 1965
- Irene Curry BURT b. 16 Jan 1875, d. 1 Nov 1968
- Lillian Lee BURT b. 12 Apr 1877, d. 10 Oct 1944
- James Creth BURT b. 14 Dec 1878, d. 1964
- Dr. William Elbert BURT+ b. 1 Feb 1882, d. 1 Oct 1920
- Lotte Lucille BURT+ b. 31 Oct 1885, d. 26 Oct 1961
- Ruby Henry BURT+ b. 16 Jan 1891, d. 17 Jan 1984
- [S11] Oak Hill Cemetery, Tombstone Inscription, Author's Personal Collection, Prattville, Alabama.
- [S136] Joseph W. & Frances S. Upchurch, Talladega Co. Tombstone Inscriptions, Oak Hill Cemetery.
- [S215] 1850 U. S. Census, Talladega County, Alabama, James C. Burt household, pg. 55, No. 382.
- [S648] 1860 U.S. Census, Talladega County, Alabama, Jas. C. Burt household #40, pg. 816.
- [S408] 1860 U. S. Census, Talladega County, Alabama.
- [S464] Morgan S. Gilmer, Shockley's Escort Company, pg. 3-4.
- [S251] 1870 U. S. Census, Talladega County, Alabama, pg. 20.
- [S135] Talladega County Marriage Book: D:22 (1872-1876).
- [S618] Hooper Alexander, 2002 Miller-Burt Reunion.
- [S879] Aileen Kilgore Henderson, Eugene Allen Smith, pg. 87.
- [S377] Talladega Deed Books: DB 51, pg. 99-100.
- [S618] Hooper Alexander, 2002 Miller-Burt Reunion, Commentary by Hampton Miller III 5 Sep 1992.
Information on this site has been gathered over many years from many sources. Although great care has been taken, inaccuracies may exist.