Franklin County
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Military Resources:


The Civil War


Noah D Rayburn
   Co. D 1st Alabama Calvary Volunteers



Noah David Rayburn, born on the 10 of May 1827, in Tennessee, was the son of
John Marion Rayburn and Edy (unknown). John and Edith ?Edy? (unknown) were in Marion County, Al in 1850, and Franklin County, Al. in 1860.

In the 1850 Marion County, Alabama census on page 166, in District 14, HH 537-552, Noah is enumunerated in the household with his parents, Along with him is what looks like his 1st wife Perlina ?Patsy? Webb and two children, George Raiborn age 2 and Adah C Raiborn age 2 months. I am not for certain who Patsy?s parents are at this time. Perlina ?Patsy? Webb Raburn died in 1859, and I have not located children, George and Adah.

After the death of Patsy, Noah remarried to Sarah (Rhea) Elliott on the 1st of April 1861, who had been previously married to Robert B. Elliott on 7th of November 1852, who had died on the 17th of July 1855. Noah and Sarah had two children, Enoch Andrew Rayburn born 29 January 1862 and died the 11th of December 1872, and the 2nd child was Noah D Rayburn Jr. born September 1864 and died at age 17 months.

Noah enlisted at Glendale, Mississippi in Co. D 1st Alabama Calvary Volunteers
on the 1st of February 1863. Records show him in April 30/63 sick in Hosp at Jackson, Tenn, since March 4/63.
June 30/63 Aug 31/63 left sick in Hospital
Oct 31/63 absent, supposed to be prisoner of war since Mch 4/63.
Missing Roll from Nov 1863 to Dec 31/64 report him captured
by the enemy since Mch 3/63 absent with Det, at Decatur, Ala
Jun 30/65 dropped from fins of war. P., reported missing in
action. Other records show him missing in action March 20, 1863

Sarah filed for a Widow?s Pension on the 16th day of March 1891, she spent the next 18 years in effort to secure a Widow?s Pension from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions.

Timeline of Sarah?s Submissions to the Bureau of Pensions
March 9, 1891, age 57 years, resident of Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama. Was formerly the widow of Noah D. Rayburn, Noah enlisted October 1862 as a Private in Co., D 1st Alabama Calvary, Noah died in service in March of 1863. She married Noah on April 1, 1861 in Franklin County, Alabama by J. B. Cox, Justice of the Peace.
She had been previously married to Robert B. Elliott who died on July 17, 1855.

July 30, 1891, residence Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama
She was married to Robert B. Elliott under the name of Sarah Rhea on the 7th of November 1852. Robert Elliott died 17 July 1855 and I was married to Noah D Rayburn on the 1st day of April 1861 and he was killed in the service of the Federal Army, as I have been told was killed on Buzzard Roost Creek in Colbert County, Alabama by Confederate Soldiers on or about the 4th day of March 1863. I was married to James W Steward on the 1st day of October 1865. All of her husbands were dead at this time and the courthouse had burned last Fall.
She was raised in Franklin County, and she resides in the neighborhood where she married all three husbands.

June 22, 1892 Sarah writes the Bureau of Pensions, Sir I write you to know what has been done with No 503341 as in your last card you stated that evidence has been received and filed. Please write stating the results and oblige.

December 1, 1898, Residence Burnt Mills, Tishomingo County, Mississippi
Sarah signs Power of Attorney to T. J. Storment, Att

November 4, 1899 age 67, Residence Burnt Mills, Tishomingo County, Mississippi. Noah D. Rayburn, service in the Army of the United States, prior to February 1, 1863, served in the 1st Alabama Calvary, Co. D in the year 1862.
States her name is Sarah Steward, not Stewart and he never mand a claim for
Pension other than that filed March 14, 1891 thought N. W. Fitzgerald, No 503341. Taken by T. J. Storment.

April 6, 1900, age 67, Residence, Highland, Tishomingo County, Mississippi
She was previously married before the married the soldier, Noah D. Rayburn.
Her former husband name was Robert B. Elliott and she lived with him until his death July 17, 1855, and never remarried until she married to Noah D. Rayburn
on 1st of April 1861 and lived with him as his wife up to date of his death on or about March 1863. Noah D. Rayburn was married prior to his marriage to me, date of marriage is unknown, and was not remarried till his marriage to me on date given.

September 11, 1900, age 67, Residence, Highland, Tishomingo County, Mississippi, My Husband never served in the Army before February 1, 1863, but served from that date until his was killed. He never served in the Confederate States Army and was on his way to the US Army when he was caught by Confederate Officers and confined and promised to return to there as soon as he would get a place to move his family, but instead of so doing he went forthwith to U.S. Army and joined them and stayed with the same until his death.

November 1, 1900, age 67, Residence, Highland, Tishomingo County, Mississippi. I can not furnish any further testimony as regards Noah D. Rayburn being in the service of the Confederate Army. I know that he did not serve in the Confederate Army. But the witnesses John Rayburn and wife who was with us at the time conrcipted (sic) by Confederate Officers if they are living I don?t know anything of there whereabouts.
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions
December 27, 1900
J. A. Compton, See my opinion his claim should be specially examined to determine legal widowhood, date of remarriage and if possible the correct date of soldiers death and the circumstances surrounding his death. There is no record of amy of her marriages and witnesses appear illiterate and sign affidavits by mark. The testimony of James M Thorn indicates that soldier was captured and killed while at home, or rather on some kind of furlough.

February 15, 1901, Referred to the Chief of the Special Examination Division for compliance with the recommendation contained in the slip approved by the Chief of the Board of Review, Order 76 complied with, List of Comrades.

Thos. J. Barker, Haleyville, Winston County, Alabama
Geo. M. Bailey, Council Bluff, Pottatamie County, Iowa
Reuben Cantrell, Leadhill, Boone County, Arkansas
James Pell, Fairfield, Wayne County, Illinois
William Post, Tremont, Itawamba County, Mississippi
Samuel M. Reid, Centralia, Marion County, Illinois
Lovic H. Reid, Overbrook, Chickasaw, North Indian Territory
John A Snelling, Wahoo, Saunders County, Nebraska
Jasper S. Stewart, Cedar View, Desoto County, Mississippi
W. T. Shotts, c/o J. W. Kennedy, Hillside, Desoto County, Mississippi
James Walker, Fordton, Franklin County, Alabama
Jonathon Walker, Underwood, Franklin County, Alabama

June 21, 1901, Notice sent to Sarah Steward, notifying her of a Special Examination, signed W. M. Ragsdale

Noah D Rayborn, 1st Alabama Calvary, Company D
Pension Records Case # 503341
Case of Sarah Rayborn, now Steward
Deposition of : Sarah Rayborn now Steward


On this 21 day of June, 1901, at Highland, County of Tishomingo State of Miss, before me,
W. W, Ragdale, as special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Sarah Steward, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pensions, deposes and says :

I am 68 years old ? No occupation, I live here with my son-in-law, H. P. Buchanan, P.O. Highland, Miss.
I claim pension as the former widow of Noah D. Rayburn of Co. D 1st Ala Vol Cav. I can not give the sate of his enlistment. I leave no memory for dates. He had been in the army a few months and had come home ? I suppose he had a furlough or pass ? but I do not know ? to get me to sell out and go to Illinois as he was afraid for me to remain in Ala. I was to go on the train alone while he remained in the Army. He was at home but a day or so and started back a foot and met up with the ?Union Army? and fell in with them. Now I had started with him to Glendale where his regiment was camped when he left it. To
get more provisions ? I was in a wagon and his half witted brother Jeff Rayburn was driving me. My husband footed it, dodging along in and out of the woods ? We met up with the Union Army ? I don?t know who commanded it but there was ever so many and they had cannons and thing and their wagons ? I don?t know whether Noah?s Co was with this army or not but have supposed it was as he fell in right with them and they gave me and Jeff a side of bacon and we turned back home as they told me not to try and get to Glendale as I would be robbed. We met the army at Norman bridge on Bear Creek on the Iuka road.
You see we lived on Bear Creek, near Burleson Ala. Franklin Co ? and Glendale was in Mississippi about 50 miles from there ? and Norman bridge was 10 or 15 miles from Burleson.
So as I said me and Jeff went back home and Noah went on with the army. They went on to Tuscumbia and came on round to Burleson and burned the Burleson bridge over Bear Creek.
When in half a mile of Burleson my husband fell out. Being sick and stayed at the house of Mr Jack Underwood and came home that night. He was sick and thought he was taking the measles but it turned out not to be and the next morning he and his brother in law Hardin Webb who had fallen out with him started on to catslup (catch up) with the army, which was on it way to Glendale. They, Noah and Hardin afoot. ? I don?t not know at whose house it was they stayed but here it was they were betrayed ? The man told them there was no danger and for them to go and stay in and out house on his place that night and while they were here he told on them and the rebel scouts came and got them. I don?t know that they were rebel scouts but have always been told so. They took my husband and Hardin to a Mr. Sides ? I don?t know which Mr. Sides ? never saw him ? that night and kept them under guard and next morning carried them about ten miles back to Buzzard Roost and killed my husband there. This is what Hardin Webb told me when I next saw him. Hardin made is escape but said he heard the shot before he go a hundred yards away and that hey put the blood hounds on his own track, but he managed to gain the Union pickets and escape. Now Mr Webb says that this guard took them down to near Buzzards Roost and leaving one man to guard them in the road went off pretending to search for any Union soldiers who might be around. But in reality preparing to kill them. They realized this and this one man the guard seem to realize it also and taking pity on them put his gun down and says now boys if you ever expect to escape now this your time. Webb asked Noah if he was going. He said he was sick and not able to get away and did not
believe they would kill him. Webb darted into the woods and go away but before he out of hearing he heard the shot and knew that they had killed Noah. Now the only other evidence I ever had of his death was that of an old blind peddler Cal Thorne who in passing there not long after saw Mrs. Sides who told him she saw a man lying dead in the woods, shot through the head so black in the face on one could recognize him but from his size and the blanket by him she knew in reason it was the man they had guarded at her house that
night. They had taken off his boots and his coat and pants off leaving him in his shirt and drawers but left the gray blanket by him and that they rolled him in the blanket and buried him. I suppose she gave the information that was there and the neighbors come and buried him. She was hunting her calf in the woods when she found the body. I do not know whether there was any other prisioners captured with my husband and Webb or not.
I never heard Webb mention any. Hardin Webb went to Texas after the war and I learn died there years ago. Cal Thorn died in Burleson about 10 years ago. I never saw Mrs. Sides I never looked her up. I don?t know her given name or husband?s name or whether she is living or dead. I suppose she had a home near Buzzard Roost at that time is all I can tell you.
My husband when he come home to me that time wore citizens clothes but had on ?northern boots? that they gave him in the army. And he wore a gray blanket around him as a shawl. He got it out of the army. No he had no gun or accouterment with him, and dressed as a citizen to avoid being caught.
Not hearing any word from my husband for a month or so and rumors going around ? and so Many being picked up and killed his father and mother got me to go to Glendale to see if He was there and I do so and here is where I saw Hardin Webb and he them told me that my husband had been killed as I have told you. There is not one else that can tell you any thing else that I know. I do not know who the men were who killed my husband. Rumor said that Wash Humphries ? no Smith Humphries was his name had something to do with it but he is dead. I never asked Humphries about it and never heard whether he admitted it or denied it. It was said he belonged to the southern army. Some said that Huey Cornelison was one of the men but I never saw him. I don?t know here he lived or whether his is living or dead.
My husband has never been seen or heard of since that time and I have no doubt in the world he was killed just as I have related. I have never heard a word no learned a fact to ever change my belief on this point. I cannot account for his death in any other way.
Now my best information has been that the Burleson Bridge was burned by the Union Army Mch 4, 1863 and from this I fix my husbands was killed Mch 6, 1863. He was never in any other service of the US. My husband was never in the Confederate Army. We were married April 1, 1861 and when they commenced pressing them into the Confederate Army he would hide out and dodge around to keep from being caught. Along in the last of the summer or first of the fall of 1862 ? seeing he could not stay at home in peace he and his cousin John
Rayburn started with me and Johns family to Tenn to get out of the country. Expecting to get with the Union Army somewhere up there. But the confederate conscript officers overhauled us and made the men promise to report for service in the confederate army on the 15th of that month, what ever month that was ? at someplace there in Tenn. I cannot recall. So we all turned around and came home to Burleson Ala. Here quite a lot of boys got together and made there way with my husband to the Union Army at Glendale where
they joined. But I do not know the date. Some of those who went with him were Wash Rollins, Johnny Walker, Jimmy Walker ____ Mayfield and others I cant now recall.
I have never talked with any of my husbands comrades about my husbands or his death or what the reports in the company were as to his death except Hardin Webb and I have not seem him since the war.
Both the soldier and myself had been previously married. My first husband Robert B Elliot died about 5 miles from Burleson. I cant give the date. It is in my Bible. I cant read or write and Mrs White a friend gave me this Bible and made a record of Mr. Elliotts death about 8 or 9 months after his death in said Bible. Copy: Robert B Elliott husband of Sarah Elliot departed this life the 17th day of July 1855. Other records bearing on this case show ?Enoch Andrew Rayburn born Jun 29 1862? this was written there by a Mr. Cooper, I think. But I don?t know when Probably after said child died I cant tell. He wrote it from what I told him but he the child died ate eleven years old lacking a month. He died Dec 11, 1872. I had another child by Noah D Rayburn who bore that name born Sept 1863 died age 17 months. I have no record of it. Born the Sept after
my husband was killed.
This record also shows ?Noah D Rayburn and Sarah Elliot was married April the 1st 1861 and Noah D Rayburn was born May the 10th 1827? This is in his own hand writing I think. And my age is recorded herein as born Dec 11th 1832. (Bible printed in 1852, Exr) I remained a widow from the death of Noah D Rayburn in Mch 1863 to Oct 1, 1865 when I married James Wesley Steward. I was married him near Burleson Ala in my brother Henderson Ray?s house, by Rev Carr. There was a record at the Co. seat, Frankfort I think. But it has been burned. Patsy Webb Mr. Rayburns first wife died a year or more before I
Married him but I cannot give the date. I was present at her bedside where she died. She died near Burleson Ala. Of my former witnesses James W Stewart BJ12 is dead. He was my last husband. Nancy Ray (Rea) BJ12. Lives with her son Boo Ray on the ridge 4 miles from Burleson Ala.
The others are all living at the addresses given in their affidavits. I was born and raised in Franklin Co. Ala near Russellville and moved into Burleson settlement in 1852 where I lived till four years ago. The comrades I have named are I suppose still living in and around Burleson. I have heard this and read it and it is correct.
Signed : Sarah (her mark)Steward
Witness: H. P Buchanan, W B Leatherwood




June 1901
, Highland, Tishomingo County, Mississippi
Sarah waived notice to be present at Depostions

June 29, 1901 Return letter concerning W. T. Shotts and J. W. Kennedy
Hillside, Mississippi Postmaster, R. W. Fowler
Mr. Ragsdale, To your inquiry of W. T. Shotts I don not know of anyone by that name he never has received mail from this office. I have made some inquiry but find no one knows anything about him here and J. W. Kennedy I expect is dead. There was on John Kennedy that got some mail here two or three years ago but I don?t remember if he signed his name J. W. Kennedy or not. His name was John and I know get got mail concerning pensions. I think he was sorter of a local agent or something of the kind. But he is dead he lived within the delivery of Burnt Mills PO and didn?t get mail regular here.



June 22, 1901
, Reply from Jasper S. Stewart, Cedar Grove, Mississippi
Q. Do you remember the soldier Noah D. Rayburn ?
A. I only remember that a party named Rayburn belonged to Co. D
Q. Do you know what became of him ?
A. No, Except that he was wounded at Glendale, Mississippi, and I think sent to a hospital. I cannot recall now of ever having heard of him after this.
June 27, 1901 Reply from Postmaster, J. H. Stove,Marion County, Alabama
Dear Sir, The PO address for William Post is Shottsville, Marion County, Alabama

July 3, 1901, Recommendation to Commissioner of Pensions
I have the honor to return herewith the papers in claim # 503341 of
Sarah Steward, widow of Noah D. Rayburn, Co. D 1st Alabama Volunteer Calvary
PO Highland, Tishomingo County, Mississippi. The cause referred to the S.E.D. to determine correct date of Soldiers death and the circumstances surrounding same ?etc asper slip of reference of December 27, 1900?.
This case was taken up when in claimants immediate vicinity on older work and without material loos of time and prejudice to other cases. The usual notice was given, no testimony aside from claimants statements was taken. It seemed unnecessary. I have however disposed of the list comrades of my district, by mail. William Post is at Shottsville, Alabama. W. T. Shotts is supposed to be there. Jasper S Stewart reply is with the papers and affords no information.
I know him personally and he is altogether unreliable. Notice of further examination is waived.
From the claimants statement it is clear trhat no proof of soldiers death can ever be obtained. He is probably dea but can her title under the old law rest on this presumption ? He was home on a pass or furlough ? had fallen in and fallen out with the Union Army, ?a few days and was making his way with a comrade to his regiment when captured and has never been seem since. But the circumstances are such as to reasonably presume alleged and believed by all.
Bur he was absent from his Company on private business at the time. Indulging every presumption favorable to claimant causes tant with the known facts has she any title. I therefore recommend the consideration of the Chief of the Board of Review. If further examination is desired by the B.J. and all state went afford couple data on other points.
Signed Very Respectfully, Wm Ragdale, Special Examiner

July 25, 1901
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions to M.L. Moran, Attorney for Sarah Steward.
You are informed that the above cited claim for pension under the general law is rejected : for the reason that Claimant cannot prove that the soldier, her former husband is dead, as so stated by claimant to a Special Examiner.


October 2, 1902, Dr. W. C. Wheeler of Huntsville wrote a letter to H. P. Buchanan (* this is Sarah?s daughters husband)

H.P. Buchanan, Highland, Mississippi
Dear Sir:
Yours making enquiry about a man named Noah D. Rayburn just received. I was in the C. S. Army from March 1st 1862 till the surrender in April 1865, but I did not get home till August 1865; i-e, to my father?s and mother?s home. On my way from Georgia where I was surrendered I stopped over for a while with my sister and brother in law who then lived on Buzzard Roost Creek, about 2 miles South-east of Cherokee, Ala. While there I was told by my brother in law John Benson, (now dead) that a soldier had been shot in the winter, about a mile or mile and a half from his house near the creek, and that if I wanted a skeleton it would be an easy job to get this one, as the soldier had been dead and buried about six months, and he, my brother in law, knew where the place was. This was in July 1865, and the man they said was killed there in the winter previous. So we went up there and I secured a par of the skeleton. The flesh had decayed and decomposed entirely; the clothing was an ordinary jean suit. I did not see the hat. I kept the bones I had for some fifteen years or more, but moving about from place to place they were lost. The neighbors believed this man to be Rayborn and was killed by a man who then lived on
Rock Creek; but I think went to Texas soon after the war was over, and I heard he died about 1875. I forget this man?s name, but during the war he made a bad character, and committed, I heard, many bloody deeds. I heard he was taking this man Rayborn to Cherokee as a prisoner, but growing tired of him or from some cause made him got down in the woods near the creek bank and shot him and there left him. The neighbors heard of it and a few went there and gave him a hurried burial in a grave just about two feet deep; no coffin, no blanket, no winding sheet; only a hurried soldiers burial. The spot is about three hundred yards below where there Cherokee and Frankfort road crosses the creek, near the creek on the South bank. Having lived with my sister two years before the war, and hunted squirrel in those woods, I believe I could find the spot yet, though I never saw the place but twice.
Two men, now dead, knew the place well. I mean William and Sam Hamilton. Some of the former?s family are living yet at the old home, and they may know the place. It is not much over half-mile North of the spot. But Alex Sides lives about 1 miles away, though he may possibly know the place.
Some of the people mentioned can give you the name of the slayer of Rayborn. He lived as I said before in the Rock Creek country, though I never knew him.
If I can be of any further service to you in the matter you can feel free to command me.
Respectfully, W. C. Wheeler

Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions
December 27, 1905
Mr John Webb, Dandridge Co. Tenn.
In the claim for pension under the General Law # 503 341 of Sarah Stewart formerly widow of Noah D. Rayburn, Co. D, 1st Ala Vol. Cav.. it is asserted that said Rayburn was killed at or near Buzzard Roost Creek, Ala., about March 6, 1863, and that at the time a soldier of your name was present.
You are requested to state on the reverse of this letter whether you were with said Rayburn at the time stated, and add any facts you may know as to the date and circumstances of his death. Your early reply will be appreciated, and should be returned in the enclosed envelope which requires no postage.
Very Respectfully, J. C. Davenport


January 4, 1905, John Webb, Dandridge, Tennessee
To the Commissioner of Pensions
In replying to your letter concerning the death of Noah D. Rayburn killed at Buzzards Roost Creek, I was there but an sorrow to say I I cant say that I no said Rayburn he belonged to Co. D and I to Co. B
Yours Respectly, John Webb



In March of 1905, new sworn affidavit were signed, to prove the death of Noah D. Rayburn. With these affidavits, The Department of the interior, Bureau of Pensions referred to the Chief of Special Examination Division.
     Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions suggested to the Southern Division, Special Examiner, W. R, King of Birmingham, Alabama for a thorough cross-examination of all the witnesses who have testified concerning the death of Noah Rayborn.
Noah had been reported missing in action March 20, 1863 and the evidence as to the time, place and circumstances of his death were such as direct and positive character


That rejection does not appear to be warranted without further inquiry. Witness should be asked to state whether they knew Rayborn personally and if not how is became generally understood that the name they refer to was Noah D Rayborn, and where it became so understood. The special examiner need not limit himself to original affidavits but it does not appear to be necessary to take another statement from claimant as she has probably told all she knows.







Noah D Rayborn, 1st Alabama Calvary, Company D
Pension Records, Case # 503341
Case of Sarah Rayborn, now Steward
Deposition of Dr. D. C. Wheeler

On this 13 day of Dec, 1905 at Huntsville, county of Madison State of Alabama, before me Mr. King, a Special Examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Dr. W C Wheeler, who, being duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him During this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says :

Age 63 years, I am a practicing physician. Residence P.O. address Huntsville, Ala
I remember the fact that a man was killed and buried in the banks of Buzzard Roost near Cherokee, about 3 or 3 1/2 miles distant. I took the bones up and put them together.
I had forgotten about being present at the inquest or burial but since thinking over this matter and hearing you say that others who were present say that I was present I now believe I was present. I remember that the man had been shot right under one eye, the right, I think it was and I either saw the body at the inquest or saw the hole in the bone.
The bone was broken I remember very well and I have had my finger in it many a time but until now I was thinking that I never saw the body until I exhumed it. I had not known the man prior to his death but I remember very well that it was generally talked about and understood in the community there abouts that the name of the dad man was Noah Rayborn. That was the understanding from the time or soon after I first learned of his death. My brother in law was the Justice of the Peace who held the inquest and he made enquiry and learned that the dead man was Noah Rayborn and that he was then living in Tishomingo Co. Miss. Since thinking further about the occurrence I now recall incidents of the inquest. Old man Alex Sides was a member of the jury that enquired
into the death. I don?t think anyone at the enquest (sic) knew the dead mans name but it was only about 18 or 20 miles from his home and his people soon heard of his death and came in there to make further enquiry and they decided fully that the dead man was Noah Rayborn and I suppose I first found out as to this name the next time I came home on furlough. I cant fix the date of his death by reason of my absence from my command. I at that time I belonged to Gen Roddys command which was patrolling that community and I was frequently at the home of my sister, Mrs Benson, and for that reason I cannot fix the date of the killing. I think the body had been buried about 8 months when I disinterred the remains. I remember very well that the flesh had not all fallen off the bones. Yes - I remember that the war was still going on when I took up the bones. I have heretofore made a statement in this case. I made my former statement hurriedly and the dates may not be correct. I have heard you read my former statement and it is correct as to the facts but the dates as given you are I believe correct rather than those given in my former statement and I now remember to have been present and to have taken part in the enquest (sic) which I did not remember when making my former statement.
When I went to disinter the body I recognized it as being the same we formerly buried. The grave had not been interfered with in any way and we found everything just as we Had formerly left it. I am satisfied n my mind that the dead man was Noah Rayborn.
I have understood your questions and my answers are correctly recorded him.
Signed : W.C Wheeler



Noah D Rayborn, 1st Alabama Calvary, Company D
Pension Records, Case # 503341
Case of Sarah Rayborn, now Steward
Deposition of Mrs. Julia N Hamilton

On this 6th day of Dec, 1905, at deponents home, county of Colbert State of Alabama, Before me, Mr King, a Special Examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Mrs. Julia N Hamilton, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, desposes
And says :

Age 83, I live with my son Geo. W Hamilton, P.O. address Cherokee, Ala.
I have lived right here since before the war. I am the widow of Wm G Hamilton.
I remember about a man being killed down there at Buzzard Roost creek during the civil war. There was a shop right closed to this house owned by my father in law and was run by Mr. Alex Sides and three men Mitch Malone, Anse Porter and Ab Woods came by the shop with two prisoners and it was reported that one of the prisoners got away and that they killed the other one right down here at Buzzards Roost Creek. I remember very well seeing them go by the shop with the prisoners but I don?t remember them coming back. But I supposed they did for it was right on their road back home. Several days later
Mrs. Sides when out hunting her calves saw a man lying down there by the creek but she did not go close enough to be convinced that it was a man and came to the shop and told her husband about it but he would not go with her and she came here and told me and asked me to go with her and we went and made Mr. Sides go with us and sure enough it was a dead man and we counted back to when the men passed the shop and it has been 14 days since the man was killed. The man has been gagged and shot right under the right eye and they said the ball had come out the back of his head. He was as black in the face as a negro and I thought at first that he was a negro but soon saw that he was a white man. Nothing had eaten of the body. An inquest was held and the body was buried by my information was that no coffin or box was used but that they just rolled him in a gray yankee blanket and buried him. Dr. Wheeler of Huntsville was present and took part in the inquest. I could not say that the dead man was one of the prisoners carried by the shop but Friday Hamilton and others did recognize the man as one of the prisoners. My information obtained about that time was that the two prisoners were ____Webb and Noah Rayborn and that Webb got away and Rayborn was the man that we found dead.
I don?t know how we came to learn that the dead man was named Noah Rayborn but that was the name that we heard about the time the occurrence happened or while it was being talked about. He was killed in March and I reckon it was about 1864 but I cant say was to the year. The men claimed so it was said that they were taking the prisoners to Roddys Command at Cherokee but it was the talk that there was no Confederate Command at Cherokee at them time. Twas said that Malone and Porter had caught Webb and Rayborn
trying to get through to the Union Army and they caught them. Malone came here and cut up a lot because I was talking about the killing and told my old man that he would kill him if he did not make me stop talking about it. I never heard of any reason why they killed Rayborn. I cannot fix the year when Rayborn was killed nor just how we heard that his name was Rayborn but his name became known to us in some way about that time. I have understood your questions and my answers are correctly recorded herein.
Signed : Julia N. Hamilton
Witness : W. L. Hamilton, Norah Hamilton








Noah D Rayborn, 1st Alabama Calvary, Company D
Pension Records, Case # 503341
Case of Sarah Rayborn, now Steward
Deposition of Thomas Alex Sides

On this 6 day of Dec, 1905, at Deponents home, county of Colbert, State of Ala, before me Mr. King, a Special Examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Thos Alex Sides, who being first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says:

Age 78 years, I used to farm and blacksmith ? P.O. address Cherokee, Ala
During the Civil War I lived right near here and run the blacksmith shop at Mr. Hamiltons. In 1863, I think it was, about the spring of the year three men Anse Porter, Hugh Cornelison and Ab Woods came by my shop about 10 oclock one morning in charge of two prisoners Strangers to me. Porter came in advance of the other and I asked him where he was going And he said ? we have two yankee and we are going to take them to Roddys Command? I dont know where Roddys Command was but they said that they were going to take the Them to Roddys Command at Cherokee 5 miles north of here. They told me that they caught the prisoners over on Bear Creek in a vacant house. They did not tell me who the prisoners were nor did I know either of them either. They spoke of the prisoners as Yankees. I suppose they knew the mens names but I don?t think they had known them personal before they caught them in the vacant house. Porter, Malone and Wood were riding and the prisoners were walking. No- I am not sure that Malone was along it was Porter and Cornelison that I knew personally. I did not know the 3rd man but afterwards learned that he was Ab Woods.
Along in the evening Ab Woods came back to my shop alone and I asked him where the others were and he said that they were behind a piece and would be on in a few minutes and a little later the other two Porter and Cornelison came riding up and I asked Porter what they did with the prisoners and he said that they had gotten away. My recollection is that they said that Roddy was not camped at Cherokee as they had expected. Don?t remember that they told where or how the prisoners got away. No ? they said nothing about having killed the prisoners nor do I remember they said anything to indicate that they had killed them but I suspected that they had for they were bad men who made a
business of running Union Sympathizers off to the Union Army then to take there property. I don?t remember to have heard any gun shot while the men were awat with the prisoners but a week or two later my wife found a dead man on the creek bank about 300 yards from my house. She first saw the man come distance away and told me that she believed it was a man and I hooted at the idea of a man being killed that close to our house and later she ventured closer and came to my shop and told me that it was a man and she and I and Mrs. Hamilton went and saw him and gave the news out and Esq. Jack Benson
held and inquest and we buried the man there on the creek bank. We identified him as one of the men held prisoner by Porter, Wood and Cornelison and the verdict of the jury was that the unknown man came to this death at the hand of some of those men from a gunshot wound. No sir no one knew the mans name at that time but the matter was generally talked of and the talk became general that the dead man was Noah Rayborn. My information was hat the has lived in Franklin Co and seems to me that it was near Bell Green. I never heard of the finding of the other prisoners dead body but just supposed that he too had been killed. I cannot say as to when that man was killed,
whether in 1863 or 64 but I believe it was in the Spring of 1863, for I remember that up to that time I had never saw a federal soldier and I looked at the two prisoners and saw they were just common looking men and I think I had seen plenty of Federal Soldiers in 1864, so I think that must have been in 1863 and not 64. I have heretofore testified in this claim.
I have understood your questions and my answers are correctly recorded herein.
Signed Thomas Alex Sides
Witnesses : Norah Hamilton, Olia Hamilton

Noah D Rayborn, 1st Alabama Calvary, Company D
Pension Records, Case # 503341
Case of Sarah Rayborn, now Steward
Deposition of Mrs. Martha Sofronia Sides

On this 6 day of Dec, 1905, at deponents home, county of Colbert State of Ala, before me Mr. King, a Special Examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Mrs. Martha Safronia Sides, who being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says:

Age 72 years, I am a housekeeper, the wife of T. A. Sides P.O. address Cherokee Ala. We have lived right here near this place since before the war and at this place since after the war. I remember about the dead man who was found down here on Buzzard Roost Creek during the Civil War. I found the man myself. My husband was exempt from serving because he was a blacksmith and did the shop work. He was working in the shop up here at Mr. Hamiltons and three men or four men I forget which came by the shop with two prisoners going toward Cherokee. I knew two of the men Mitch Malone and Anse Porter. Mr Sides knew the others but I did not. I did not see them when they passed
along but Mr. Sides told me of them having passed the shop with the two prisoners. I don?t think Mr. Sides or anyone knew the prisoners. They reported to Mr. Sides that they were going to take the men to head quarters at Cherokee but it was reported that they killed them both. One on Buzzard Roost Creek down here near the creek and the other on Browns Creek about a mile this side of Cherokee. I never heard of the body being found of the man supposed to have been killed on Browns Creek but it was supposed that they had killed him down there. I think they came by the shop on a Wednesday about 10 or 11 oclock and Mr. Sides said that they came back by the shop around 3 oclock
without the prisoners. As well as I remember the men told Mr. Sides that the prisoners got away from them. I heard a gun shot down on Buzzard Roost Creek about 3 oclock of the day when the men passed the shop and it developed that the men came back by the shop a little later and I suppose it was the shot that I heard that killed the man. About five or 6 days later I was looking for my calves and saw what I took to be a man down there on the creek but I did not go close to it. I was afraid to go close. I came back to the shop and told my husband and he hooted at me and 8 or 10 days later I was down there again with my niece Mary Burkhed now Mrs. Joe Mitchell near Hillsboro, Texas
and we saw the man again and knew that it was a man and I went to the shop and told my husband again and a general alarm was given and all the neighbors came in and Esq. Benson (dead) held an inquest and buried the man right there on the creek bank. No box or coffin was used. He was to badly decayed. They just dug a hole and wrapped him in his blanket and buried him. I saw him buried and I know that no box was used. Dr. Wheeler of Huntsville was there at the inquest and burial and I heard that Dr. Wheeler took up his bones up and used them. As well as I remember no one knew the mans here at the date of his burial but it was talked of and within a few weeks it was learned or talked that his name was Noah Rayborn. He was said to have lived over about Bear
Creek somewhere which is about 15 miles from here and people passing back and forth talked about the occurrence and it became the general talk that the dead man was Noah Rayborn and he had left a widow and lot of little children over there wherever he came from. Mr. Sides recognized the dead man as the same one who was carried by the shop a prisoner but he didn?t not know the mans name at that time. Mitch Malone married Mr. Sides niece after the war and my recollection is that Malone told that the mans name was Rayborn. All those men who had the prisoners are reported to be dead and I suppose they are. So Far as I ever heard there was no one in this community who knew the dead man and knew that he was Noah Rayborn but there has never been any doubt for all these years but that the dead man was Noah Rayborn but no one in here knew that for a short time after his death. Word came from down there where he had lived that the dead man was Noah Rayborn and we have always spoken of him as Noah Rayborn since that time.
I am correctly recorded herein as read to me.
Signed : Mrs. Martha Safronia Sides
Witnessess : Narah Hamilton, Olia Hamilton


Noah D Rayborn, 1st Alabama Calvary, Company D
Pension Records, Case # 503341
Case of Sarah Rayborn, now Steward
Deposition of Mr. Friday Hamilton

On this day 5 Dec, 1905 at Cherokee, county of Colbert State of Ala, before me
W. R. King, a Special Examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared
Friday Hamilton, who being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says :

Age 74 years old, I am a carpenter, Residence P.O. address, Cherokee Ala.
During the Civil War I belonged to Mr. Bill Hamilton (deceased) and I lived on his Farm on Buzzard Roost Creek about six miles south of this place.

Q ) Did you ever know of any man being killed out there in that
neighborhood by soldiers or other persons during the Civil War, If so tell
me all you knew of it.

          A)         Yes Sir I knew about it. My Master had a blacksmith shop out there on the Cherokee and Pleasant Site public road about half a mile where said road crosses Buzzard Roost Creek and the Soldiers used to get their horses shad there and I was there at the shop one morning between 10 or 11 oclock I think it was, when Anse Porter, Mitch Malone and another man whose name I have forgotten, Yes I now remember his sur name was Cornelison all came by the shop with a prisoner and someone, Mr Alex Sides I think it was asked them where they were going to do with him and they said that they were going to bring him here and turn him over to Roddys Command. All were riding except the prisoner who was walking. Don?t remember that they had him tied or fastened in anyway. They stopped at the shop for a few minutes then passed on toward the creek and in a little while we heard a gun shot and about half an hour later these three men came back by the shop and someone remarked to them, ? You went to headquarters and back very soon? or something to that effect and some one of them answered, ?Yes we made a quick trip of it? and after a stop of a few minutes passed on. About 3 or 4 days I reckon it was, Mrs. Sides was out looking for her calves and she found a dead man right near the Creek (Buzzard Roost Creek) and about half a mile from the ford of the creek and right in the path that led to a foot log leading across the creek. Mrs Sides told her husband of the man that she had found and it was talked around and Esq. Benson (now dead) held an inquest over body and buried it right there. I was present at the inquest and helped to bury him. No Sir he was not buried in a coffin but in a common plank box made for that purpose. Yes Sir the box was as long as the man and I think Esq. Benson made it. I cant tell the exact date but it was about the first of March and I should say that it was 1863. There is no way by which I can tell the year but I think the war had been going on about two years and I know that it was about the first of March for we rolled logs about that time of year and I had been to a log rolling at Mr. Douthards and came along home after night and if I had been alone I would have come by the foot log and would have walked right over the dead body but in order to have company along home I went the wagon road by the ford and missed the dead man.
    
Q) Did any one at the shop know the man or did they find out at the inquest
who the dead man was ?

          A)         Yes Sir Mr Sides knew who he was and I think it was Noah Rayborn. That is the name that I remember. No Sir I don?t remember that anyone else about there knew the man. No Sir The men who came by the shop with the mane were supposed to have killed him and were not present at the inquest. They were Confederate Soldiers. Yes Sir I recognized the dead mand as the same one who passed the shop in custody of Anse Porter, Mitch Malone and ____ Cornelison and there is no doubt in my mind but they killed him he had been gagged and had been shot right under one eye, the left as well as I can remember and the ball came of the back of his head. A good stick was in his mouth and tied there by a piece of suspender. Dr Wheeler now of Huntsville was a young doctor just home from school and he was present and examined the man. Yes Sir I personally remember that Dr. Wheeler was there, his father owned a farm near there and he was with his father.
    
Q)
Do you know whether the dead mans body was ever removed ?

A)
I don?t know that it was but I heard that Dr. Wheeler took it up and used the skelton. I cant say as to when he took it up.

Q)
Dr. Wheeler testifies that he first knew of this dead man when he returned from the Confederate Army in July 1865.

A)
Well he was there at the inquest. I remember it just was well as I do that I am talking to you now for I remember just was well about him sticking his finger in the hole in the mans face. Others I think will tell you that Dr. Wheeler was there at the Inquest and testified concerning this dead man.

Q)
Well who talked to you about the occurrence and were you then able to remember the dead mans name or did someone them refresh your memory as to his name ?

A) I don?t remember the name of the man who talked to me, Yes I do it was Buchanan, a red whiskered man, who claimed to be some relation of the dead man, and I remembered at that time that Mr. Sides said the mans name was Noah Rayborn. I had remembered the dead mans name ever since he was killed. Esq. Benson who held the inquest was Dr. Wheelers brother in law.

Q) Now it sometimes happens that people forget when they first learned the name of such a victim. Are you positive that you have not heard this mans name the first time within the last few years.

A) Yes Sir I have remembered the mans name ever since the day he was killed. Just as soon as the men passed the shop with the man old man Alex Sides who was there running my masters shop said that is ?Noah Rayborn? and at the inquest he testified that the man was known to him as Noah Rayborn and I have remembered his name ever since. Rayborns home at that time was said to be over about Bear or Rock Creek somewhere and about 10 miles form where he was killed. No Sir now one from that community was present at the inquest. Just the near neighbors nearly everybody there was in the army.
When Rayborn passed the shop he had on a suit of homespun jeans, had on no soldiers clothes at all, had no overcoat, shawl or blanket, had no soldier equipment at all. The understanding there was that the man had deserted his country (the south) and had enlisted in the Yankee Army and claimed to be home on furlough when caught and killed. The only reason I heard assigned for them killing the man was because he had deserted his country and gone over to the Yankees. I cant fix the year of this mans death whether 1863 or 64 as stated in my former statement. I have no interest whatever in this claim.
I have understood your questions and my answers are correctly recorded herein as read to me.
Signed : Friday (his Mark) Hamilton
Witnessess : C. W. Williams, M. C. Williams


November 28, 1905, Sarah Steward sent a letter to her attorney in Washington DC, inquiring on status of her claim.
Hon. M. L. Moran
Dear Sir, As is has been some time since I have heard from you I would ask you to Please write me by return mail advising me how you are progressing with my pension claim. Please write at one, Resp Yours, Sarah Steward


Report to Commissioner of Pensions, by W. R. King
14 Dec 1905
Sir I have the honor to return with report of special examination all the papers in the above cited claim for pension which was referred to the S. E. Division for a Thorough cross examination of all witnesses who have testified concerning the death of the soldier.
In accordance with the suggestion of the reviewer I have not taken an additional statements from the claimant.
The testimony herein shows that a man was killed on the banks of Buzzard Roost Creek and that it became generally talked and accepted that by the people of the community
That it was Noah Rayborn. In addition to those whose depositions are herein I interviewed a number of persons and had heard that the dead man was the said to have been Noah Rayborn. I was unable to find anyone who personally knew that the dead was Rayborn but this report became common very soon after his death and it was never claimed that he was any other person, so it is presumed that he the soldier of record. Anse Porter, one of the men who is said to have killed te soldier is said to have lived at or near Danville,
Yell County, Ark. some years ago and I recommend further examination at that place for his testimony as to the indentity of the dead man, if he can be found.
Signed : Special Examiner, W. R. King


Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions
Notified the Post Master of Danville, Yell County, Arkansas inquiring as to a Anson Porter.
For use in the claim for pension under the General Law #503 341, of Sarah Steward, formerly widow of Noah D. Rayburn, Co. D 1st Ala. Vol. Cav., you are requested to state on the reverse of this letter whether one Anson Porter is, or has been, a resident of your vicinity.
If he now resides in your community, you are requested to state the location of his home, if dead, the date of his death- if removed, his present post office address.
Very respectfully, J. C. Davenport, Pensions Commissioner

Reply, Jan 1, 1906
Dear Sir,
I am wholly unacquainted with any of the partie mentioned in your letter on the reverse side this sheet. Anson Porter does not live here now and if he ever did I can not find it out.
Respectfully, Geo. Leming, PM

The Auditor for the War Department
Sir:
In response to your call of the 3rd, received the 4th instant (IGP. 326-295,719), relative to the claim of Sarah Steward, of Maud, Colbert Co., Ala., formerly widow of Noah D. Rayburn, late of Co. D 1st Ala. Cav., Orig. #503 341. you are advised that the said claim was rejected on January 18, 1906, on the ground that the evidence filed, evidently the best obtainable, fails to show that the soldier was in the line of duty at the time of his capture and death, or that he was absent from this command under proper authority. The evidence shows that he was a straggler in citizen?s clothes at the time of capture by the rebels.
I enclose herewith two Special Examiners? reports had in said case, which you are requested to return to this Bureau when they are no longer required.
Very Respectfully, Commissioner

May 3, 1909 Treasury Department, Washington
Commissioner of Pensions
Sir:
For use in the claim of Sarah Steward widow of Noah D. Rayburn, alledged Pvt. Co. D. 1st Ala Vols (Capt. Kings Co.) please state whether the evidence in the case shows that the special examination made by your office gives the service of the soldier. The claimant alleges her claim for pension was rejected because the soldier was killed while on furlough. No number of claim given.


**** Notes this was the last of the entries in this file, Sarah would have been
85 years old.


Those who filed affidavits in Sarah?s behalf were :
John Haithcock, Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama, June 29, 1891
Sarah Haithcock, Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama, June 29, 1891
Were Present at the death of Robert B Elliott, 17 July, 1855.

Houston McKinney of Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama, June 29, 1891
States : Noah was previously married to Patsy Webb, she died in 1859 and
Noah and Sarah lived together as man and wife till his death.

James P Carr, Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama, July 18, 1891 (age 45 years)
Nancy Rhea, Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama, July 18, 1891 (age 63 years)
States : They were present at the marriage ceremony of Sarah Rayburn and James W. Stewart on the 1st of October 1865.

Albert L Osborn, Franklin County, Alabama, November 13, 1893
States : He was well acquainted with Noah D Rayburn, and he has not been seen or heard from since March 1863, at which time he was reported to have been killed.

James M Thorn, Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama, December 3, 1893
States : He was acquainted with Noah D Rayburn from his boyhood up to the war. He was married to Sarah Elliott and it was reported that he had come home and upon trying to return to his command, he was killed at Buzzard Roost Creek in Colbert County, Alabama.

Thomas E Cooper, Belgreen, Franklin County, Alabama, November 3, 1899
W. J. Ledbetter, Belgreen, Franklin County, Alabama, November 3, 1899
States : Acquainted with both Sarah and Robert B. Elliott since 1849, declares that Sarah was not married prior to her marriage to Robert B. Elliott.

R. J. Moody, Judge of Probate, Franklin County, Alabama December 5, 1899
I, R. J. Moody, Judge of Probate in and for the County and State aforesaid, do hereby certify that there is no record in this office of the marriage of Sarah Steward and Robert B. Elliott. That if the said marriage took place prior to December in the year 1890, a certificate of the same cannot be furnished from this office for the reason that our Court House, together with all the records were destroyed by fire on the night of December 4, 1890, and we have no record of any marriage in this county prior to that date.

James W. Stewart, Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama, March 26, 1900
Nancy Rhea, Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama, March 26, 1900
They were both present at the marriage of Sarah and Noah D. Rayburn on the
1st day of April 1861, and were married by J. B. Cox

Houston McKinney, Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama, May 18, 1900
A. L. Osborne, Burleson, Franklin County, Alabama, May 18, 1900
Neighbors to Noah D. Rayburn and to best of their knowledge, he never served in the Confederate States Army.

J. W. Elliot, age 47 Highland, Tishomingo County, Mississippi, October 29, 1900
I am the son of Sarah Steward, and I was nine years olf at the time that Noah D. Rayburn my step father joined the U. S. Army and to my own personal knowledge Noah D. Rayburn never belonged ot served into any army prior to the time that joined the U. S Army.

Information from Peggy Shaw


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