Langley

AC Reynolds

Arthur Campbell Reynolds

3rd Sergeant Co. D 9th Texas Infantry-Maxey’s Bridgade  Arthur Campbell Reynolds, great-great grandfather of my husband, was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee in the fall of 1832 to Henry Reynolds and Mary Brown Reynolds.  When Arthur was 29, he joined the confederate army at Daingerfield, Texas and was assigned to Co. D 9th Texas Infantry.    Arthur’s experiences as a soldier were included in a compilation of sketches of confederate veterans residing in Texas in 1912, “Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray”   “My first Captain was Beason and first Colonel was Maxey. After the battle of Murfreesboro was transferred to Ector’s Bridgade, French’s Division, and moved back and forth from Mississippi to Tennessee. Was wounded at Chickamauga, in the shoulder on the second day. Was wounded in the hip at Marietta, GA and in the hand at Nashville, Tennessee.  Was promoted on the field for bravery at Murfreesboro on Dec.31 to Second Sergeant, and held this position till the close of the war. Was in the battles of Perryville,  KY; Murfreesboro, Lost Mountain, Jonesboro, Kennesaw Mountain, Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee and a hard fight at Alltoona, GA. The war cheated me out of four years of my life.”  A diary of Arthur’s was found in a trunk, which he wrote in 1916, telling a little more about his military service.  “A.C. Reynolds, Nocona, Texas, September 9, 1916, From an old southern soldier. I will tell my travels, here is my trails during four years of the war. I went from Daingerfield, Titus County, Texas in Captain Beason’s Company close to Bonham where the Regiment was organized under General Maxey as Colonel of the 9th Texas Infantry Regiment. I was in Company D. From there foot to little Rock, Arkansas, from there to DeValls Bluff, took a boat to Memphis; from there to Iuka, Mississippi, then to Corinth; after Battle of Shiloh, back to Tupelo, from there to Mobile, Alabama, from there took a boat up the Alabama River to Montgomery, from there to Atlanta, Georgia, from there to Chattanooga, sent west of the Lookout Mountain and there stood guard on Tennessee River till army was organized. They put us in Smith’s Brigade and Cheatham’s Division, then through Tennessee to Kentucky, after surrender of Munfordville on to Perryville and after the Battle of Perryville to Knoxville, Tennessee, then back to Chattanooga, then to McMinnville, Tennessee, then to Murfreesboro, then to Shelbyville, from there to Jackson, Mississippi and here laid around. (Unfinished) One small occurence Arthur doesn’t mention was he was left behind in Iuka, Mississippi for a brief time due to being sick. It’s unknown what he suffered from, but measles and pneumonia were prevalent among the soldiers of the 9th since leaving Texas. (History of the 9th Texas Infantry by Tim Bell, https://www.davidrreynolds.org/9th_history.php,accessed 3 Mar 2024) The men of the 9th went on from Iuka, to Corinth and prepared for battle. On March 16, 1862, the troops initially camped east of Corinth, the soldiers enjoyed level land with good drainage and good water, but for unknown reasons the camp was moved west of town and located in basically a swampy area with poor water. Already weakened from the measles and/or pneumonia, and adding to the poor conditions, the loss of soldiers amounted to 2 a day since the first of the month.  Arthur is present at muster roll in April 1862, returned to good health just in time for the Battle of Shiloh. The two-day battle fought April 6-7 was the bloodiest battle up to that point in the war, resulting in 23,000 casualties.  Arthur survived the Battle of Shiloh and retreated back to Corinth with the rest of the confederate army.   The Confederate Congress had inacted a conscription law and it led to the reorganization of the 9th. The men were allowed to elect their own officers. The 9th camped at Camp Texas near Tupelo Mississippi until July 1862 and it was reported that the health and morale had greatly improved among the troops.  The regiment went on to fight at Perryville, Kentucky, then to Murfreesboro, Tennessee where he was promoted on the field to 3rd Sergeant on 21 Feb. 1863. Arthur fought at Lost Mountain, Jonesboro, and Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia. In the middle of September 1863, the Texas 9th was placed in Ector’s Brigade and began the attack of a battery of artillery at Chickamauga. The brigade was able to push the union forces back to Chattanooga after two days of fighting. The battle at Chickamauga was the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War with 34,000 casualties, behind Gettysburg with 51,000 casualties Arthur was one of only 145 men from the Texas 9th that fought at Chickamauga. Six men from the regiment were killed, 36 wounded (including Arthur with a wound to the shoulder) and 18 captured or reported missing.  The regiment was then sent to  Mississippi to rest, recoup and prepare for the Atlanta Campaign.      Brave, tenacious or lucky, Arthur survived the war and returned home to Texas. Once home, he didn’t waste time and married Mary Melissia Loving on 24 August 1865 in Titus County, Texas.  Arthur and Melissia lived out their lives in Nocona, Texas. The couple were married for 48 years and had fifteen children. They are buried at the Nocona Cemetery in Nocona, Texas.  Click here for a descendancy chart of Arthur Campbell Reynolds

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Meissen – Saxony, Germany

While staying in Pirna, we made a day trip to Meissen just north of Dresden. Our destination was the Albrechtburg Castle, the first castle to be built in Germany for residential purposes. The original structure was a wooden fortress overlooking the Elbe River built in 929 by Heinrich the Fowler. The late-Gothic castle complex  was built between 1471 and 1524 on behalf of the two brothers, Ernest and Albert of Wettin, who jointly ruled Saxony. The new residence was to become a representative administration center and residential palace at the same time. It did not really serve defense purposes anymore, but was rather meant to be a palace – the first of its kind in German architectural history. The large main staircase to the south, which provides access to the upper floors used for stately purposes, is a masterpiece of stonemasonry with intricately curved steps winding up around an open eye in the centre. Its windows were originally open and allowed a variety of views between those walking on the stairs and spectators in the courtyard.  Meissen-The Cradle of Saxony Meissen porcelain was called “white gold” because of it’s high price. Meissen porcelain has been considered the finest by European aristoracy as well as decorative arts conoisseurs for over 250 years. Meissen was Europe’s first porcelain manufactory and continued producing in the castle for 153 years. In 1863, the manufacturing of porcelain was moved to another site in Meissen. Extensive restoration work was needed after the damage left by the factory. Reparations the French were made to pay to the Germans for the German-French war allowed partially for the funding of the restoration.  Through the use of interactive tablets, visitors get an informative lesson about how the castle was used during the centuries. It included a game for the kids to keep them entertained while learning.  Meissen Cathedral also known as the Church of St. John and St. Donatus, is a Gothic church situated adjacent to the Albrechtsburg Castle in Meissen. The main hall of the church was built between 1260 and 1410, the twin steeples were added in 1909.  If you plan on being in Saxony make sure it’s on your sightseeing list. For more information go to Albrechtburg-Meissen. 

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The Duff Green Mansion in Vicksburg, Mississippi

I’m curious to find out how many of my ancestors fought in the Civil War and which side they chose. I’m a little tentative to find out, being from the south I expect to find quite a lot of confederate soldiers, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised (so far). I’ve found at least 3 ancestors who fought for the Union and one of them was James Lynn my great-great-grandfather. He was part of 131st Illinois Infantry that fought during  the 47 day siege of Vicksburg in 1863.  I already had a trip planned to Atlanta and on my way decided to stay the night in Vicksburg and tour the Vicksburg National Military Park. On a whim, I booked a room at the Duff Green Mansion near downtown Vicksburg just to get a tiny feel for life on the Mississippi. Duff Green Mansion during the Civil War. The residence was used as a hospital for both the Union and Confederate wounded. Duff Green Bed and Breakfast 2023 Duff Green moved to Vicksburg in 1847 and married Mary Lake in 1855. Prior to the Civil war he made a fortune as the owner of Duff Green & Co. Soon after his marriage, Green began building the mansion at the corner of Locust & First East Street. The two lots the mansion would be built on were given to Mary Lake Green by her parents, Mr. & Mrs. W.A. Lake. Before the Civil War, many social gatherings were enjoyed at the large home. The socialites of Vicksburgs, during this time, were avid followers of the royal family in England, and patterned their homes and social life after the British. Dinner at the mansion would include multiple course dinners, beginning late in the evening and lasting several hours. After the lengthy dinner, and after the gentleman escorted the women to the lady’s parlor , the men then gathered for a smoke in the men’s parlor. If only one could eavesdrop on the conversations in both parlors. Talk of war and business, politics and generals, sprinkled in with light hearted subjects of the day.  Occasionally, dances were held in the ballroom, with each young lady given a dance card. Social norms of the day required a young man to approach a young lady and ask to sign her dance card. It was frowned upon for her to decline the invitation, saving the young man’s dignity. I wonder if the lady wall-flowers were given the same consideration?  Duff & Mary enjoyed living in their new home only a short time before the Siege of Vicksburg. Following shelling from the river from gunboats, Duff made an arrangement for the residence to be used as a hospital, with the Union wounded strategically placed in the second floor to discourage enemy bombardment. Duff and Mary reluctantly abandoned their home, as did many others in Vicksburg, and sheltered in a makeshift cave carved out of the hillside near their home. While sheltering in a cave Mary gave birth to her son and named him William Siege.  The couple and the people of Vicksburg suffered through 47 days of heavy shelling until Pemberton and his confederate troops surrendered July 4, 1863.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPSw7Nih-tQ I stayed in the Dixie room, which was downstairs, ground level, it was originally the kitchen and staff quarters. During the Civil War, the kitchen was used as an operating room and became the site of many gruesome surgeries including amputations. According to local historians the pile of  severed arms and legs were as high as the ceiling. One would hope this is an exaggeration. Rumors of a ghost in the Dixie Room include claims of seeing a Confederate soldier, sitting near the fireplace, along with his amputated leg, staring blankly ahead.  The Dixie Room is one of several guest rooms anchored by a large sitting area. It is a lovely room, well appointed with a comfortable antique bed (not an antique mattress), bureau and wardrobe, along with modern amenities of television and wifi. There is a small sitting area near the fireplace. You can share it with the ghost if you dare.  I experienced nothing but a great night’s sleep in the room, it was quiet and comfortable. The next morning I was treated to a wonderful hot breakfast in the dining room upstairs, followed by a guided tour of the house.  I’m glad I decided to stay at Duff Green, it was so much better than a cookie cutter hotel room. I really was able to immerse myself in the history of the area and gained a better understanding of the disruption and hardships caused by the Civil War. If you love history, antiques, gardens and old homes you will love staying there too. 

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Genealogy on the Road – Old Success, Missouri

Lots of people go on road trips. They might drive to a scenic area and picnic, go to the lake or park. Normal-people stuff. Right? Ruby and I love to go on road trips together. Ruby is my first cousin on my mama’s side (gotta read that with a southern twang). We enjoy going on genealogy research road trips together. For fun. As genealogists, our road trips are a bit different. We don’t go to the usual tourist areas. Instead, we will take the back roads, we might have a picnic but it will be in a cemetery, Spending the day at courthouse archives, cemeteries and trudging through cow pastures to find a long-forgotten gravesite, is our idea of entertainment. Not “normal-people” stuff.     Destination: Texas County, Missouri Research Subjects: William Scyler Langley and Myrtle Odessa Stogsdill Langley our grandparents. We wanted to go to Texas County, Missouri as it was home to many of our ancestors for several decades.  Determining our research goals. We began by determining our research goals individually and collaboratively.One of my goals was to document and visit the property of our family members, another was to locate my Great Grandmother Adeline Winn Stogsdill’s burial plot. One of Ruby’s goals was to see and take photos of our 3rd great-grandparents Joseph and Julia Langley’s graves. Number one on both of our lists was to visit and learn more about the old town that our great-great-grandfather, William Braz Langley, helped establish in the late 1890s to early 1900s. Old Success, Missouri. Tag Team Researching Ruby and I are a good research team. Ruby never met a stranger and she will talk to anyone. ANYONE. But me, not so much, I prefer to stand back, watch and listen. My contribution is planning the trip and research priorities, then together we document and organize our discoveries.   We used online tools to plan and organize. To plan the trip, I plotted out the places we wanted to visit on a Google Drive map which allowed Ruby and I to collaborate. We also used the Marco Polo app to make it even easier to plan. Lots more fun than just texting or talking on the phone. Google Drive has so many tools that you can use to organize your genealogy and collaborate and there are many YouTube video tutorials on the subject. Check it out! Research Tip: Search Facebook for a local group focusing on your area of research interest. Through a Facebook group, Ruby found a gentleman that knew a lot about Old Success and was even compiling a book on the old town. He agreed to take us on a personal tour of the area and share his expertise with us. I’m so glad she reached out to him or we would have never known where the old townsite was located. We worked our plans around his schedule as we did not want to miss talking with him. Get a room. While she was making arrangements to meet him, I found a fabulous Air BnB called the Swedish Country Hideaway near Rolla, Missouri. If you need a place to stay in the Rolla or the Ft. Leonard Wood area we highly recommend staying at the Swedish Country Hideaway. We used it as our home base for our daily research outings.   Use common sense when booking an Air BnB. I read all the reviews and the “about me” page about the Swedish Country Hideaway before I made any reservations and made sure we would feel and be safe. We were very safe and felt at home during our visit and will definitely stay there again when we are back in the area. Goal setting is done, now what? My goal of finding where my Great Grandmother Stogsdill was buried, was most likely to be found at the Genealogical Society. She is probably buried in an unmarked grave, as there is no photo of a marker on Find a Grave. If we can locate her grave, we would like to place a headstone in her memory. Based on our goals we decided that the Texas County Genealogical Society was a priority as well as the Texas County Recorder of Deeds at the Texas County Courthouse in downtown Houston.  Research Tip: Always call ahead to local archives and courthouses. However, by calling ahead we discovered that we could only visit the Genealogical Society Friday morning from 10-12. I’m so glad Ruby called ahead because the Society had not updated their Facebook page on the days they were open and we would have missed visiting the Society. We adjusted our schedule to be able to visit the society. So after a few tweaks, we had our plan. Thursday: Drive to Houston, Missouri Texas County Public Library Check-in at the Swedish Country Hideaway Friday: Recorder of Deeds at the courthouse at 8 am Texas County Genealogical Society at 10 am until 12. Lunch Back to the Recorder of Deeds until closing. Saturday: 9 am Meet Rick to go on our tour of the Old Success townsite and visit the cemeteries nearby. Sunday: Depending on what we find at the courthouse on Friday we would spend Sunday visiting the areas where our relatives owned property and cemeteries we’ve located on Find A Grave. We had a plan and headed off to Missouri Part Two coming soon! 

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He died on Mr. Lenhart’s Porch

While researching the death of Eli Langley, who died while a prisoner of war at Andersonville Prison in 1864, I came across his widow’s Rachel McCoy Langley pension application files 1. One hundred and six pages of pension records-a genealogist’s jackpot!2 But this post isn’t about Eli, it’s about Rachel’s second husband, Andrew Hutchison. After the death of Eli, Rachel had a child (William Langley), fathered by Eli’s brother Braz Langley. I have found no record of their every marrying. Rachel went on to marry her second husband, our mystery man, Andrew Hutchison in 1870. It is unknown who his parents were. There are a lot of Hutchisons in Union County, Tennessee as well as McCoys, Langleys, and Loys that all intermarried and created family lines that resemble a plate of spaghetti. Not much is known about Andrew and it seems that his death was a bit of a mystery as well. So what happened to Andrew?  Thanks to military pension records we have insight into the life and death of Andrew Hutchison. In order to receive her widow’s pension benefits, Rachel gave a deposition regarding her second husband’s death. In her deposition, she states: “On July or August 1875, my husband who was working for a neighbor called Stooksbury left my home in this neighborhood on a Monday night to go work for Lewis Stooksbury. I heard no more of him until the following Thursday morning when I heard that he was dead.” “I heard no more of him until…I heard that he was dead.” For almost three days she was unaware of her husband’s demise. Further, she states: “What I know of his death was told me by others and principally by the miller Mr. Lenhart.” Mr. Lenhart in his deposition stated that a man driving Mr. Stooksbury wagon came to the mill. The man was sick and “he had him put to bed. During the night the man went out to the porch and that’s where he died”. He did not recognize the man but did recognize Stooksbury’s wagon.  He had two negros dig the grave and the unknown man was put in a dry-goods box and buried as soon as possible. Witnesses say that owing to the fear surrounding cholera, those who died during this period were buried quickly without ceremony or record. It was noted, by the pension board interviewer, that Mr. Lenhart, a wealthy man, was irritated that he had to “pay” for the unknown man’s burial and was never repaid by the family. Fortunately, before he was buried a neighbor of Andrew’s saw his body on the front porch and recognized him. Otherwise, there would have been no legal witness as to his identification.  His deposition is on record in her widow’s pension application. Throughout the records, witnesses maintained that Andrew Hutchison died from cholera, which was rampant in the area. Mr. Stooksbury, his employer, lost a family member to cholera the same week. It is likely that Andrew contracted cholera when he picked up the grain to take to the mill. After the burial, Mr. Stooksbury retrieved his wagon along with the clothing and boots of Andrew. He held onto the effects for a while for unknown reasons, perhaps out of fear of spreading the disease, eventually returning them to the widow. The Langley’s, McCoy’s, Hutchison’s lived in the area known as Loys Crossroads, Racoon Valley and Warwick’s Crossroads in Union County, Tennessee. The area is now mostly under the waters of Lake Norris at Big Ridge State Park. A few of the cemeteries remain, such as the Langley Cemetery. I’ll be searching for the parents of Andrew Hutchison and as there are many Hutchisons in Union County, Tennessee it may take more than a lifetime, it’s quite a tangled web. National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Index to Pension Applications Files of Remarried Widows Based on Service in the Civil War and Later wars in the Regular Army after the Civil War; NAI Number: 2588478; Record Group Title: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773 – 2007; Record Group Number: 15; Series Number: M1785; Roll Number: 4 [↩]Page 6 – Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War Veterans, ca. 1861 – ca. 1910Web addresshttps://www.fold3.com/image/295539311?xid=1945 [↩]

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