Friday, July 31, 2015

The Estate Inventory of Henry Campbell, 1865

Henry Campbell was born on Christmas day 1813, in Russell County, the youngest son of Henry Campbell, Sr. Sometime before 1833 he married Cynthia Elliott, the daughter of James Elliott and Obedience Parsley.

Henry and Cynthia had at least 11 children, three of whom died young. On July 13, 1860, oldest son James Henry Campbell died while digging a well. The 1860 Mortality Schedule of the Census has these remarks by Isaac Vermillion, the census taker:

"James H. Campbell...was engaged in digging a well, when the gap broke in, he was drawn to the top, fainted and fell out of the Bucket to the bottom & was killed."

James H. was 25 years old.

Two months later, on September 8, 1860, Emeline Campbell, twin of Caroline Campbell, died of scarlet fever.

The tragedies continued for the Campbell family. Son Joel J. Campbell enlisted in the 48th Virginia Infantry and, on August 29th, 1862, died of wounds received at the battle of Cedar Run, near Charlottesville, Va.

A year later, on August 31, 1863, Henry Campbell died. The cause of death is not known. He was 49 years old.

Legal wrangling occurred regularly in the 19th century, and Henry Campbell died intestate. Lacking a will, objections arose as to the disposition of some of his goods and lands. A Chancery Court case of 1878 contains the following inventory of Henry Campbell goods.

After being duly sworn we the undersigned appraised the estate of Henry Campbell deceased by order of Court held in Russell County at the November term 1865.

One Cubbard 6.00
One Clock 4.00
4 Chairs 1.25
1 Gun 5.00
3 augers one looking Glass & slate & Trumpet 1.12 1/2
2 Pair Dog Irons 1 Shovel 2.00
3 Coffee Pots 0.50
1 Geography & Map 1.00
1 big Wheel & Real .37 1/2
3 parts of Wheat Seive .33 1/3
1 Saddle 5.00
Do & Sheep Skin 10.00
3 Bridals 1.25
2 Chists 0.50
1 Pot & Copper Kettle .32 1/2
1 Pail & half a Bushel 0.25
1 Wriden whip Ratzor & Strap 0.50
The remainder in the Cubbord 0.50
1 Pot & Kettle 2.00
3 Hoes & 1 Mattock 1.00
1 Saw & drawing Knife & Auger 0.75
1 Beef Hide 1.50
1 Beef Hide in Tan 2.50
1 Ladel Pan & Cup 0.30
6 Scythes 1.50
3 old Steel Tubs 0.50
1 Shovel Plow 0.50
1 Do 0.50
5 Bee Stands 8.00
15 Bee Stands 25.00
1 axe & dollar 1.00
4 Scythes and Cradles 3.50
1 Meat axe and Pot 1.00
1 Pair of geers & Bridal 2.50
1 Do 0.50
1 Shovel & spade & fork 1.25
7 Penter Pates & Dish 0.75
1 half of a crosscut Saw 2.00
1 Two Horse Wagon 75.00
2 Pair of Britchen & lines 7.00
1 half of a Ham 1.50
1 Bay Mare 50.00
1 wheat fan 10.00
6 Sheep 9.00
22 Sheep 33.00
50 bushels of corn @ 40 per Ca bushel 25.00
1 Hog 2.00
1 S Black Cow 12.00
1 Do 12.00
1 Sow & 8 Pigs 8.00
2 yearling Bulls 22.00
3 Calves 9.00
1 Brass Kettle 1.50
3 Pieces of Leather 1.50
1 Side Saddle 12.00
1 Hoe 0.25
1 Leats of Oats 3.50
2 Froes 0.50
1 Pair of Saddle Pockets 4.50
1 Horse Collar 1.25
1 Lock Chain & wag 0.75
1 Cutting Box & Knife 0.25
1 Grubbing Hoe 0.25
13 Bushels of corn at 40 per cent 5.20

Vincent Jessee
Joel Fields

We certify that the foregoing is a true inventory of H Campbell's estate Nov 6th 1866.

Wm Campbell
Wilson Elliott admr of H Campbell deceased

 Compare the above list with a summary of the 1860 Agricultural Census listing for Henry Campbell. On the Agricultural Census, Henry is listed as owning just over 200 acres of land and his farm implements were worth $150. He owned 4 horses, 9 milk cows, 9 head of cattle, 21 sheep, and 22 pigs. he also had 100 bushels of wheat, 15 bushels of rye, 420 bushels of corn and 100 bushels of oats.

He owned 45 pounds of wool, 20 bushels of beans, 100 pounds of butter, 5 tons of hay, 1 bushel of grass seed. Also, 100 pounds of maple sugar and 8 gallons of molasses.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Minnie Hawkins to Margaret Cynthia Elliott Martin, 1887

Bristol, Tenn.
August 24, 1887

Miss M. C. Martin,

Dear cousin it is with pleasure I seat myself to answer your letter which I received some time ago this leaves all well hoping when these few lines come to hand they may find you all enjoying the same. You said you was coming over this fall. I will be pleased to see you come to stay a month some of your Russell folks was over last week. I was truly glad to see them from old russell again. When you come over this fall I will try and go home with you and stay awhile. Laura said to tell you to write to her she is spending the day here. She is going to move to bristol this week. She said to tell you she enjoys married life splendid. When you come over be sure and come and see me. You wanted me to come and go to preaching it would afford me much pleasure to come and spend the pleasant Sabbath evening. There is preaching and Sunday School every Sunday but I seldom care to go. I dont enjoy the summer enough to go. I went and spent the day with Laura Sunday and eat so many nice peaches and apples and enjoyed my self splendid. Marna said to tell all handy she would be pleased to see you all again. Max and the children went to bristol and spent the day and went to preaching. So as news is scarce I will close for this time write soon and often.

I remain your cousin
Minnie Hawkins

A favorite thou will always be
forget thee I can never
friends may forget to think of thee
but I'll forget thee never. M. H.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Candler Brothers go to Texas, and to War

Archer Jessee Candler was born on October 9th, 1844. His younger brother William J. was born on May 26th, 1846. They were the second and third sons (behind John H.) of George and Dicy Candler, a well-to-do farmer of Russell County, Virginia. In 1860 Archer was working as a boot and shoe maker, while William was farming with his father. Soon after the census was taken in the late spring and early summer of 1860, Archer and William picked up roots and moved to Collin County, Texas. They were not the first, or the last, Russell County men to move to Collin County. In his obituary, written 50 years later, it was reported that he "[made] the trip overland with a herd of sheep."

In the fall of 1861 Archer enlisted as a private in the 9th Texas Infantry, captained by Joseph J. Dickson. He was soon promoted to Sergeant. He spent early 1862 in the hospital. He returned to his unit and participated in battles at Corinth, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Altoona, Perryville, Ky., and Nashville, Tennessee. In a post war memoir, he reported being wounded at the battle of Corinth, Tennessee, in October, 1862. However, his wartime record records the wounding as occurring several months earlier, on May 28th, 1862.

James W. Howard, a fellow soldier in the 9th recorded this incident involving Archer:
"At Marietta, Ga., I was on picket duty and we had been run into the breastworks. This was on July 4th. The weather was warm and as we had "double-quicked" through a cornfield and I was very hot and was about to smother in the ditches and had climbed upon the embankment for some fresh air, when Arch Candler said: "Jim. you had better get down from there; they will kill you," and I said: "I had as well be killed as smothered to death." Just then a bullet hit me under the eye, and I tumbled over. The litter bearers started to carry me off the field, when one of them was shot and fell. I told them if they would help me up maybe I could walk. They did so and I found I could run."
Archer and the 9th Texas were at Meridian, Mississippi when the War ended and he made his way back home, walking and riding on steamboats.

In his post war reminiscences he recalls:

"I had many narrow escapes incident [in the] war, and remember many things which happened to my comrades, but there is not space to set them down here. I want to thank the noble women of the South for their many kindnesses, and hope they have not forgotten me."

After the war he engaged in the freight business and lived until 1912, when he was killed by a train while looking after his sheep. [More about the death of Archer J. Candler in an upcoming post.]

Archer was twice married, the first to Nancy Elizabeth Honaker on January 7th, 1869, the second time to Mattie H. Ball on March 25th, 1894.

Younger brother William J. married Rhoda Day on Christmas Eve, 1861. On July 30th, 1862 he enlisted as a private in the Fifth Texas Partisan Rangers under Captain John K. Bumpass.

William's Compiled Service Record has no details of his war time career, but his comrade Tom Howard detailed his death at the second battle of Cabin Creek, Oklahoma which occurred on September 19th, 1864:
"Comrade Candler was killed at Cabin Creek, Okla. Bill Candler was not a talker, but when he was called on, or when volunteers were called for, he stepped to the front without a word and was ready for duty. He was the only man killed in the Cabin Creek fight. He was wounded in the bowels and we put him on a litter and started to carry him off the field. We had gone but a short distance when he said he was dying and was soon gone. We dug his grave as best we could with our big knives, and as his blanket was bloody, I wrapped him in my own. He was buried near where he fell. Such was the fate of many a good man. May the good Spirits keep watch over his lonely resting place."

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hiram S. Fickle Steals a Horse

According to a brief biography written by his sister-in-law in 1916:
"Ann Flora MacCallum married Mr. Hiram S. Fickle, of Lebanon, Va., a brave and gallant soldier, who served throughout the War between the States, receiving a desparate wound which maimed him for life. Two children were born to these parents - John and Duncan MacCallum Fickle, twin sons of unusual beauty, both of whom died in infancy; and these parents were not blessed with other children."

Mr. H. S. Fickle was a very fine-looking man, and had many noble traits of character. Kind and generous to a fault, he was loved of many, especially the little children, and he was never happier than when bestowing some gifts upon them. He died in Melrose, Fla., several years ago, where he was buried with Masonic honors."

In a 1996 interview with his descendant William C. O'Neal, O'Neal relates this information about Fickle:
"I remember my favorite ancestor was Hiram Fickle in Melrose. Although he lived there, he was really a citizen of North Carolina, so when the war between the states came he went back up to North Carolina and raised a regiment. He lost his left arm, his left hand, in the war but he came back to Melrose and went back into producing citrus....He's famous for having the best bird dogs in the area. he had a general store in Melrose, but he was a wonderful camper. One of the old men told me, 'He could split more kindling with one arm than any man in camp could do.' He didn't have a damned thing to do with running that store because he was a wounded war hero."
Apart from the incorrect military information, this gives us a vivid picture of Hiram S. Fickle.

Fickle was the son of John B. and Polly Fickle (and the brother of Isaac B. Fickle.) Born in 1842, he was a blacksmith like his father when he enlisted in the 37th Virginia Infantry on May 10, 1861. A few months later he was accidentally shot in the arm by a musket ball. He was in the hospital for several months and was eventually discharged because of the loss of use of the arm. At the time of his discharge he was "...19 years of age, 5 feet 11 1/2 inches high, fair complexion, blue eyes, light hair, and by occupation when enlisted a Blacksmith."

The wounded arm did not discourage Fickle, and he soon re-entered Confederate service. On August 4th, 1862 he was elected 1st Lieutenant of the 16th Virginia Cavalry.

Fickle's Compiled Service Record is a bit vague, but it appears he was put under arrest in early July, 1864. Nevertheless, he was with the unit a month later when they were surprised by a Union cavalry force under the command of Brigadier General William W. Averell. The Confederate forces were routed, fleeing in great haste.

Isaac V. Reynolds' letter of August 9th, 1864 records the scene:
"I walked day before yesterday 40 miles from Moorfield to Mt. Jackson. I ran 4 miles early that morning, with the yanks right at our asses, cutting and slashing with sabers right and left.

...Elliott for one got three licks, none fatal, when the yanks surprised our camp early on the morning of the 7th. They charged right into camp cutting and slashing everything before them...

The way I came to be afoot in the stampeede Fickle mounted my horse where it was standing close with the saddle on. He left the saddle (?) his and run off with mine. He never (---) until he reached the valley, just come into camp today. He felt very mean, I know. I call it a d--d mean trick of any man."

On August 29th, 1864 Reynolds adds:
 "I had two fine pair shoes for you, but Fickle lost them on his stampede with several other tricks I had."

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Revolutionary War Service of John Sykes

The Russell County patriarch of the Sykes family was John Sykes, who was born in 1750 in Prince George County, Virginia. He lived in Sussex, Surrey, and Southhampton Counties as well; all are in the Tidewater area of Virginia. John Sykes enlisted in the 7th Regiment of the Continental Army in 1778 and was discharged in 1783. He served in the battle of Gwynn's (Quinn's) Island, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.  In 1815, John Sykes owned 18 acres on the waters of Clinch River, a few miles north of Lebanon; several Sykes graveyards are still in the area. His will was written on January 1, 1841 and probated July 8, 1851.

From the Russell County Law Order Book 6, Page 45
"June 2, 1818
The following persons who reside in the county of Russell wishing to become pensioners under the act of Congress of the 18th of March last, entitled "An Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval services of the United States", declared on oath as follows:
John Sykes declared that he enlisted as a private soldier with Capt. William Avery in the United States' service in the 7th Regiment of the Virginia Line, commanded by Colo. Matthews, whose christian name he did not recollect; that he was at the battle of the Cross roads, and also at Guins Island and assisted in storming a piquet at Elizabeth River. He was at the siege of York at the taking of Cornwallis; that he was discharged at Williamsburg by Capt. Avery under the direction of Colo. Matthews having served 14 months. He also declared that he is now sixty eight years old and in indigent circumstances.

It also appears to the satisfaction of the court that the afforesaid applicants are persons of good credit as witnesses, and that they served in the Revolutionary War against the common enemy; and it was also satisfactorily proven to the court that the said John Ferral, Leonard Pigman, Carlton Keeling, John Sykes, Abraham Childers, James Berry, Charles Sexton and Jacob Hess according to the report of their neighbors previous to the passage of the said Act of Congress had served as soldiers in the Revolutionary War; All which is ordered to be certified to the Secretary of the Department of War."
From the Russell County Law Order Book 9, Page 392.
"September 4, 1832

State of Virginia
Russell County to wit

On this 4th day of September 1832 personally appeared before the County Court of Russell County John Sykes a resident of Russell County in the State of Virginia, aged Eighty two years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed June 7th 1832

That he inlisted in the army of the United States about four or five before the taking of Lord Corn Wallas at little York in Virginia under the following named officers, Captain Hartwell Raines, Lieutenant John Allen, the name of the Ensign not recollected, and was placed under the command of Col Benjamin Ruffin, at a place called Brandon upon James river in Surry County Virginia after being marched from Prince George County where he inlisted as aforesaid.

That the term of service for which he first inlisted was two years, but was discharged at Brandon having served about 18 months, and that during that time he was attached to, and belonged as he now recollects to the Virginia State line. After he was discharged as aforesaid he returned to the county of Prince George, where he remained about three or four months, and then entered the regular Service of the United States, under Captain William H. Avery, and as he now thinks Lieutenant      Epps, the name of the Ensign not recollected, and was marched to a place then called the Groves, near Williamsburg in Virginia, where he was commanded by Col Mathews, where they remained some time, and marched from there to old James Town in Virginia, and after remaining there awhile marched back through Williamsburg in Virginia to an old field called Springfield Camps in Charles City County, where they remained some time, and then marched back through Williamsburg, crossed James river at James Town to Prince George County upon a scouting expedition, and to watch the movements of the brittish fleet which then ascended the said James river up as high as about Westover, and continued their march at the river within sight of the brittish fleet. The fleet then sailed down the river, and the forces under the command of Col Mathews commenced a return march down the said river, and reached a cross roads about three quarters of a mile from Peters Wharf about which place a part of the fleet landed and a battle was fought in the night between the brittish and the forces under the command of Col Mathews in which the said John Sykes took place from where Col Mathews retreated, and marched down the south side of James river to Smithfield in Virginia, from there to a place called Pinnons old fields; from thence to a place called Hobbs Hole lying between Smithfield and Portsmouth in Virginia; from thence returned by the same points to what was called the Burnt Mills; from thence crossing James river at Hog Island marched down to Qwinns Island; from thence back to an old field near Williamsburg; from thence crossing James river marched into Surry County not far from Swanns Point and after remaining there a short time, his term of service of two years expiring, he was regularly discharged, which discharge in writing has been since lost or mislaid so that he cannot now produce it.

From that place he returned to his family in Prince George County and removed to Southhampton County, and during that year in the county of Southhampton he entered the service in the State line again for a tour of three months, under Captain John Mitchell, Lieutenant George Scammin the name of the Ensign not recollected, and marched first through Williamsburg to Springfield Camp lying between the former place and little Your, where they were placed under the command of Col Reddick, and marched from thence down upon the lines of Portsmouth, thence marched back to the said Burnt Mills; thence up to Smithfield; thence to Swanns Point aforesaid when the three months expired. That he then returned home to Southhampton County in Virginia, where he remained a short time, and entered the service again under Captain Samuel Kelloe, the names of the Lieutenant and Ensign not recollected, and marched to Springfield Camp, where they were again placed under the command of Col Reddick; from thence down upon the lines of little York where they joined the main army of General Washington, about which time the second three months tour expired, and the said John Sykes then substituted for one Britton Traverse for another tour of three months under Captain William Boykin, belonging to the main army at little York, and remained with the Army of General Washington untill the surrender of Lord Cornwallas; thence marched in the rear guard with the brittish forces to Williamsburg where he was discharged after having served his country in the whole about four years and eight months.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or an annuity except the present, and he declares that his name is not on the pension role of any agency in any state.

Sworn and subscribed, the day and year aforesaid."
John Sykes' pension application was granted and he was awarded $80 per year until his death.