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Examanation of Hardin County, TN. & the 52nd Tennessee Inf., Company B

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I thought that some might find this interesting. I did this study and published it to my blog in 2009. Obviously it is unit specific, and may not interest many.   Please keep in mind that I am not a professional historian, I crawl in to burning buildings for a living.  :)  I also attached the image of my 3rd g-grandfather below. 


I have spent several years researching and studying the service records, census records and general history of my 3rd great grandfather Wm. David Lee. I have often asked myself  several questions.


1. What motivated David serve to serve in the Confederate Army when history tells us that the Eastern half of Hardin county was very pro union?


2. Why did David travel 40 miles to Henderson Station to enlist and were there other men from Hardin County that made the journey to Henderson Station?


I decided to dig into the 1860 U.S. Census records and try to locate others who served in Company B, 52nd Tennessee Infantry from Hardin County. I started running names in District 14 of Hardin County, which carried a Bonnough Post Office address. This is where David Lee was living with his family in 1860. I then took the first and last names of the men living in District 14 and ran them on the NPS Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. Once I had my District 14 soldier prospects, I started going through each mans Individual Compiled Confederate Service Record from the National Archives. Luck was on my side, ages and number of miles traveled to the rendezvous point at Henderson Station had been recorded in all of the original members Compiled Service Records. Many of the ages are off by one or two years, I don’t know if this was their age at enlistment or their age when the the 52nd was consolidated with the 51st Tennessee Inf.


I was very excited with my findings and will now share what I have found. I will start by giving the name of each original member that lived in District 14.I will also share the information contained in each individuals Compiled Service Record.


1.)  Wm. David Lee – David was born in Alabama, 1844. In the 1860 census he is listed as living in District 14  with his parents Joseph C. and Nancy. He enlisted as W.D. Lee on December 4, 1861 at Henderson Station. Miles traveled to the rendezvous was 40, his age is listed as 19. David  was promoted to Corporal on April 22, 1862. He was “slightly wounded” at the battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee on December 31, 1862 and sent to the hospital at Rome, Georgia on January 2, 1863. A notation on his  causality card for the battle lists him as “David”, this is what friends and family called him. He did not return to the regiment but served in Biffle’s 19th (9th)Tennessee Cavalry with his younger brother Samuel, who was a corporal in Company F. According to Nathan Columbus Davis, who lived near Savannah, Hardin County and served in Company F, Biffle’s 19th Cavalry, “Dave Lee and Sam Lee” served in his company during the war.  “Tennessee Civil War Veterans  Questionnaire”, Volume II; page 651.


2.)  B.M. Steward/Stewart -  Listed as Martin Stewart in the 1860 Census, enlisted as B.M. Sterward, but also noted as B. M Stewart several times in his service record. I believe this man to be David Lee’s uncle or cousin through his mother. He was born in 1837; Georgia and was listed as a farmer. He lived four houses away from the Joseph Lee family. I found a marriage certificate for David’s parents; Joseph Lee and Nancy Stewart in Alabama; 1843. David’s mother Nancy was also born in Georgia. B.M. enlisted as a private on December 4, 1861 at Henderson Station, Tennessee. He is listed as 25 years old, number of miles to the rendezvous was 40. B.M. is listed as a 4th sergeant  on the April to December 1862 rolls and is noted as deserting on Jan. 6, 1863. On the March to June muster roll he is listed as present; returned from hospital in Georgia June 1, 1863, no cause for the hospital stay was given. On January 1, 1864 B.M. is promoted to 1st sergeant of Company B. He is listed as dying in a Marrietta, Ga. Confederate hospital from a gunshot wound on May 19, 1864. He is buried in the Confederate Cemetery at Marrietta, Ga.


3.) R. H. Morris – Listed as Robert H. Morris in the 1860 Census. He was born 1845 in Tennessee and was living on his fathers farm in District 14. He was a neighbor on one side to Martin Stewart/Steward and on the other side by another member of the company; Francis Cooley.  R.H. enlisted on December 4, 1861 at Henderson Station, Tennessee. He is listed as 18 years of age, number of miles to the rendezvous listed as 39. He is listed as a 4th Sergeant. R.H. died on April 24, 1862, no cause is given for his death.


4.) F.M. Cooley – Listed in the 1860 Census as Francis M. Cooley. Francis , is listed as a “Common Labor”  and was born in Mississippi; 1839. His mother Edith and brother Malcom were living in District 2 with Edith’s new husband; widower John W. Lindsey. In 1850 the Edith  Cooley family lived in Subdivision 2, Lincoln County, Tennessee. Also in the J.W. Lindsey household was David Lee’s future wife, Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey. There is also a Sarah Stewart/Steward age 50 living in the F.M. Cooley household in 1860. Francis enlisted as a private on December 4, 1861 at Henderson Station, Tennessee. His age is listed as 22 years old. Number of miles to the rendezvous is listed as 38. Francis is listed as deserting on April 18, 1862, by “order of General Chalmers”. On the August to December 1862 muster roll he is listed as rejoining the company on November 1, 1862. After the battle of Murfreesboro he is again listed as deserting on the 6th of January, 1863. He is later found on the rolls of Wilson’s 21st Tennessee Cavalry.


5.) Frederick M. Ray – Also listed as Fred & F.M in the muster rolls. He was born in Tennessee; 1843. Frederick is living on the H.W. Davis farm and is listed as a “common laborer”. The Davis farm is next door to Martin Steward/Stewart’s. Frederick enlisted as a private on December 4, 1861 at Henderson Station, Tennessee. He is listed as 20 years of age and traveled “38 miles” to the rendezvous. Fred is shown as being “wounded at Shiloh and taken prisoner.” His P.O.W. record from Camp Chase, Ohio states he was captured on April 7, 1862. It also says he is 18 Years old, eyes are hazel, complexion is light and has straight brown hair. It notes that his wound is in the thigh, above the right knee. He is listed as present on the July and August 1863 roll.  On the Jan. / Feb. 1864 rolls he is reported as deserting on Feb. 15, 1864. March and April ’64 rolls say that Fred was “furloughed and captured”.


6.)  O.E. Whitlow – Listed as Oscar E. Whitlow in the 1860 Census. He was born in Tennessee; 1844. Oscar was living on the family farm at the time of enlistment. He enrolled as a private on December 4, 1861 at Henderson Station, Tennessee. Oscar stated he traveled 36 miles to the rendezvous and listed his age as 20. On the company muster roll dated June 30, 1862 is a notation, “Died March 4, 1862.” No cause for his death is noted.


7.) Enoch Cupples – Listed as Enoch Couples in the 1860 Census. Enoch was born in North Carolina; 1841. He was living on the family farm before enlistment. Enoch enrolled as a private on December 4, 1861 at Henderson Station, Tennessee. His age is listed as 21. He stated he traveled 38 miles to the rendezvous. He is listed as “present” on the company muster rolls until a notation that he had “returned from the hospital on May 29, 1863″. No reason was given for the hospital stay. He continued with the regiment until his capture at the battle of Nashville, Tennessee on December 16, 1864.  Enoch was sent to Camp Chase, Ohio and was transfered to Point Lookout, Md. on Feb. 17, 1865 for exchange.


8.) J.S. Turner – listed as Josiah in the 1860 Census. He is listed as being born in 1842. He was living on the family farm before enlistment. He enlisted as a private on December 4, 1861 at Henderson Station, Tennessee. He stated he was 18 years old and traveled 38 miles to the rendezvous. On the company muster roll he is a “Reported deserter April 18, 1862 by General Chalmers.” He returns to the muster roll for March and April 1863 as having been “Absent without leave from April 18, 1862 to March 4, 1863. He is listed as being present through March and April 1864. He has a hospital record for June 1, 1864, at the Madison Hospital, Montgomery, Alabama. No reason is given and no other record exists for J.S. Turner’s fate.


9.)  J.W. Mitchell – Listed as John W. Mitchel, born 1841, Alabama, in the 1860 Census. He is living on his mother’s farm before enlistment. John enrolled as a private on December 4, 1861 at Henderson Station, Tennessee. He states he is 21 years old and traveled 37 miles to the rendezvous. On the June 1862 muster roll, it states he was sent to the hospital. A causality card states he was wounded April, 1862 at Shiloh. He is present for the rest of 1862, but is listed as being “slightly wounded” at Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862. John is present for all of the year 1863 and is promoted to 3rd corporal on January 1, 1864. On December 16, 1864 John was taken prisoner at the battle of Nashville, Tennessee. He was sent to Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois.


10.) W.A. Polk – Listed in the 1860 Census as Wm. Polk, born 1839, Tennessee. He is listed as a farmer on his widowed mothers farm. William enrolled as a private on December 4, 1861 at Henderson Station, Tennessee. He states his age as 21 and miles traveled to the rendezvous, 36. William’s muster sheet states that he “Died April 26, 1862.” No cause is given for William’s death.


11.) Joab Alexander (J.A.) Russell – Listed in the 1860 Census as J.A. Rupell. He is listed as a farmer with $ 1000.00 worth of personal estate.  J.A. was born in Tennessee ; 1827. He was also the person that would recruit the men that would become Company B, 52nd Tennessee. Goodspeed’s History of Hardin County, Tennesse gives proof that Russell raised a company within Hardin County -” Numerous other bodies were sent to the service, among them Capt. J. A. Russell’s company and a large number to Capt. J. W. Eldridge’s battery.” Leading his men from Hardin County to Henderson Station, Captain Russell enlisted on December 4, 1861. He stated his age as being 35 years old and that he traveled 40 miles to the rendezvous. He was present with the regiment until early 1863, when he is listed “On detached service.” He went home to recruit a new company (Co. A) for (Wilson’s) 21st Tennessee Cavalry Regiment. A.N. Wilson was formerly a Captain and then Major of the 52nd Tennessee Infantry. Russell’s and Wilson’s companies fought in the ranks of the 5th Mississippi Infantry at Shiloh and gained praise from General Chalmers in his after action report of  Shiloh.  Not only does Captain Russell seem to have been a good leader, it would appear he was also a very good organizer for the Confederate Army on the east side of the Tennessee River in Hardin County.


There were many others from Hardin County that joined Company B. Many of the men who are listed as deserters can later be found on the rolls of Biffle’s (19th) Tenn. Cavalry and Wilson’s (21st) Tenn. Cavalry Regiments.


The following is a listing of known men from other districts of Hardin County who served in Company B, 52nd Tennessee Infantry.


* Men listed as a recruit  were not present at the original organization of company B at Henderson Station.* 


C.B. Arendell, District 4; J.M. Arendell, District 4; John Arendell, District 3; J. Austin, District 14 (recruit); S. Austin, District 14 (recruit); W.H. Baker, District 4; J.W. Baker, District 4; W.N. Barnes, District 4; Elijah Basey, District 3; John Black, District 3; T.A. Booth, District 2; R.J. Bratton, District 5; Jesse G. Carson, District 2; H.L. Dearen, District 8; J.F. Doyle, District 1; J.W. Doyle, District 1; F.W. Edings, District 4; W.T. Garner, district unknown (listed from Hardin County on Oath.) Squire Haggard, District 2; George Hailey, District 2; Robert Hames, District 14 (recruit); J.M. Hampton, District 6; R.L. “Leroy” Hodge, District 4; J.R. Kincannon, District 2; T.J. Kincannon, District 2; James Lackey, District 1; Thomas Love, District 14 (recruit); Marion Love, District 14 (recruit); J.T. Martin, District 6; W.K. Martin, District 6; C.P. Mays, District 1; Elijah Mays, District 1; Jesse Morton, District 14 (recruit); J.T. Motley, District 4; J. Mullins, District 4; Elisha Peacock, District 5; J.N. Peacock, District 2; W.T. Pierce, District 11; Drury Parker, District 2; Marion Polk, District 2; Aaron Pool, District 2; F.M. Pool, District 2; Woodman Stanton, District 1; J. Reed, District 8; James Taylor, District 11; Wiley Waldo, District 5; W.M. West, District 2; Richard A. White, District 8; J.J. Worley, District 8.

I am sure that this is an incomplete listing of Hardin County Men, there are several that I believe were from there, but I cannot prove it in the census or service records. I do believe that there is more than enough proof that Hardin County men were the core of Company B, 52nd Tennessee Infantry. In the future, I hope that any revisions in the two volume set of  “Tennesseans in the Civil War” will reflect Hardin County with Company B, 52nd Tennessee Infantry. It is also no wonder why Russell’s company stayed on the field at Shiloh,  for many in the ranks of Company B it really was their homes they were fighting for.


As to my former questions, I believe I have answers to them.


1.) David enlisted in the Confederate Army because his family and friends close by were enlisting. Also because of the energetic man (J.A. Russell) that was recruiting the company lived close by.


2.) David traveled to Henderson Station to enlist because Capt. Russell organized and lead a large contingent of Hardin County men 40 miles to enlist in the Confederate Army. This is shown by the December 4 , 1861 enlistment date on many of the Hardin County men’s service records.


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Thanks for sharing your information IRT the 52nd Tennessee, Co. B... Was curious, how you would describe your experience with NARA: did you get all the records you were expecting? Any hints for anyone else seeking Confederate records?


My own relatives were with the 12th Iowa, Co. H. I've received, on average, 15-20 pages of documents, per soldier; although, on one occasion, I was rewarded with a tome of 35 pages.


All the best



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Hi Ozzy,


I did this little study a while back and had ordered several of the records from NARA. I never had any problems besides the cost and waiting for snail mail to arrive.Having good dates & unit information on the vet. saves time. In some states like Tennessee, people can order compiled records & Confederate pension records directly from the state. It is cheaper for folks. I found the Fold3 collection online several years back, it contains every Confederate compiled service record from every southern state. That helped me a lot and saved me money in the long run. It's nice having all of the southern states compiled service records at your fingertips. 


The down side to Fold3 is the lack of Union compiled service records. For most of those states it is just index cards, pretty much telling you what the National Park CWS&S site tells you. I do recommend viewing Fold3's Union Army Widows Pensions, they are a wealth of information and being continually updated.





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Hi mona,


I am not sure what district 14 is Called today. The town of Olive Hill sits on the southern boundary of old C.D. 14. Cerro Gordo  was approx. 5 miles from C.D. 14. The district's shape started wide and narrowed, coming to a point. (shaped almost like an arrowhead) It touched Wayne County, Tn. 


In my g-uncle Sam's 1865 surrender paperwork he stated he was from Clifton, Tn. From that statement I assume many from district 14 did most of their business in Clifton and claimed it as their local "big town." Savannah and Clifton would have been about the same distance from C.D. 14. 






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ok really some of olive hill residents -today-live in wayne co.so that makes sense because waynesboro is a little closer to olive hill than savannah


thanks mona

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