PICKENS COUNTY, ALABAMA
CIVIL WAR VETERANS



Information on this page comes from several sources, including old microfilm records and a diary written by J. H. Curry of Pickens County, AL. These documents have been transcribed by your host, B. Miller none of these documents may be used for any purpose other than free genealogical and historical research. If you have information that you would like to share with others, you are welcome to submit the information to your hosts, Betty Miller and Betty Phillips.


Captain E. D. Willett (40th. Ala. Inf. Company B)

Captain E. D. Willett was born in Washington County, Tennessee, came to Pickens County, Ala., when a young man, and taught school for a year or two in Carrollton, then began the practice of law, which he continued till the day of his death except while he was in the army.

As a (sic) officer and soldier he made for himself an undying reputation. He was promoted to the rank of Major in 1864, which office he filled with credit to himself and with honor to his regiment until the close of the war. He was brave, cool and fearless in battle.

In the jostling activities of life he rose to the full measure of a man and citizen.

He was the honored head and prop of a large household.

He was a member of the M.E. Church South, and Supt. of the Sunday School.

He died in the Methodist Church, Carrollton, Ala., 10 A.M., March 16, 1890, while delivering the opening prayer for the Sunday School. His last words were, "O Lord fill us with thy truth, fill us with thy Spirit."

(transcribed from "An History of Company B, 40th. Alabama Infantry C.S.A.;" a diary written and kept by J. H. Curry)


Lieut. John T. Terry (40th. Ala. Inf. Company B)

Lieut. John T. Terry was born in Chester Co., S.C., and came with his parents to Ala. when a youth. He began to practice law at Carrollton just before the Confederate was began and followed his chosen profession to the day of his death, which occurred in Birmingham, Ala., about the year 1889. Lieut. Terry was not much in love with the soldier-life.

He was kind to his men, but could never lean military tactics. When he could do so without detection, he would march the squad assigned him to drill, to a shady place, and have them all sit around him and hear him explain and see him mark off the maneuvers on the ground. He left his Company before it was ever engaged in battle.

He was very successful as a lawyer and amassed considerable wealth.

He was a member of the M.E. Church South, butn ever took any active part in Church work, except it be that which pertains to the financial. He was married twice and was the father of several children.

(transcribed from "An History of Company B, 40th. Alabama Infantry C.S.A.;" a diary written and kept by J. H. Curry)


Lieut. James A. Latham (40th. Ala. Inf. Company B)

Lieut. J. A. Latham was born in Pickens Co., Ala., and was reared on the farm near Carrollton. After his majority he came to Carrollton and went into the mercantile business. He was very popular as a merchant.

He was married a short while before the war began. He was never a member of any church, but was inclined to the tenets of the Missionary Baptist. He was a kind and brave officer, but always became excited in battle (His excitement however, was not from fear, for a braver man never went to the field of battle. Generally, in the battle he had his hat in one hand and his sword in the other and would cheer his men until he was almost hoarse.)

He was wounded May 15, 1864, and killed in the battle of Bentonville, N.C., April, 1865.

(transcribed from "An History of Company B, 40th. Alabama Infantry C.S.A.;" a diary written and kept by J. H. Curry)


Lieut. James Harvey Wier (40th. Ala. Inf. Company B)

Lieut. J. H. Wier was born in Abbeville, S.C., and came to Pickens Co., Ala., in his youth.

He was a farmer and lived about six miles south of Carrollton.

He was married and had two children, a son and daughter.

He was quiet, with but little to say. On this account did not make friends very readily. But as he became known was the better appreciated. He was a good man and an efficient officer. He was captured on the picket line at the foot of Lookout Mountain, Nov. 24, 1863.

He was a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church.

He died at his home about the year 1892.

(transcribed from "An History of Company B, 40th. Alabama Infantry C.S.A.;" a diary written and kept by J. H. Curry)

Obituary of J. H. Wier

On the 10th. dayof July, 1885, at 11:30P.M., Mr. J. H. Wier died at his home near Carrollton, Alabama in the sixtieth year of age. Mr. Wier was born in Abbeville District, South Carolina on the 25th. day of August 1825. When he was eleven years of age his parents removed with him to Pickens County, Alabama and where he regarded as his home, with the exception of a few years spent in Mississippi.

In the War Between the States, he served in the Army of the South as a Lieut. in the 40th. Alabama Regiment. At the close of that war he exchanged the sword for the plough.

He married Miss Elizabeth J. Taylor who died in 1881, leaving two adult children. In September 1883, he married Miss Martha B. Archibald who survived him.

In 1858 he made a profession of faith and connected himself with the Presbyterian Church at Enterprise, Mississippi.

As in his secular, so in his church relations, he was modest and unassuming, here as there, he was prompt to know his duty.

His death was a fitting close to such a life, calm and undisturbed, willing to remain if the Lord so willed, but prepared to go without a dread or doubt.

(transcribed from an old microfilm document obtained via inter-library loan)


Obituary of James Alston McKinetry

42nd. Alabama Infantry, C.S.A. Company "D"

Discharged April 1865 - "Ave Et Ale"

To the Editor of the Birmingham News:

James Alston McKinstry, who died a few days ago in Birmingham, Alabama was at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, an ideal exponant of the South, which, in the fashion of miracles, transformed boys into men - inspired with heoic purpose. Among the first of the cadets of LaGrange Military Academy to volunteer in the Army of the Southern Confederacy, it fell to the lot of this regiment to re-enact at the battle of Corinth, Mississippi, a tragedy more fatally misdirected than the "Charge of the Six Hundred at Balaklave." Clad only in shirt and trousers and barefooted, that they might more readily climb up the steep earthwork - of the fourteen who escaped the carnage of the assault and who reached the interior of the Fort, this gallant lad alone survived the finishing volley of the garrison with minnie-ball through his shoulder another through an arm and a third through the muscle of the thigh, refused to surrender; he founr shelter in the trench with his dead comrades, whence with the fall of darkness ne made his escape.

At college, Jim McKinstry was a general favorite and noted as adept in mathmatics. He had not his equal, even in the advance classes and later in life, had he but aspired to fame, he could have found a place in one of our great universities, in this first of the sciences. With that fatal and inexplicable modesty so often characteristic of a genius he chose the path of life.

"Far from the maddening crow's ignoble strife, he trod, ever in sympathy with his fellows and ever true to his convictions. Requiescate in pace." So may he sweetly sleep that death will seem a dream of life which itself is a dream.

Signed: John Allen Wyeth, New York City, March 4.

(transcribed from an old microfilm document obtained via inter-library loan)


Obituary of Rev. James P. McMullen of Gordo, Pickens Co., AL

by Col. Thomas Lanier of Bethesda Presbyterian Church

Copied from an old church record on file in the Presbyterian Historical Foundation, Montreat, North Carolina.

"In January 1864 he entered the Confederate Army as a missionary to General Baker's Brigade and remained as such in the discharge of this duty until the 14th day of May 1864, in the Camp Bivouac on the march. In this charge on the 14th of May, this great and good man fell a martyr to the cause he so earnestly espoused. He fell in the midst of a heavy fire and his Gid-like soul returned to the God who gave it. He was already ready to administer to the wants of the sick and wounded. The wounded soldiers from the battlefield found in him a true friend and many a soldier will bless the day he was sent to the Army. He had the respect and confidence of every man in the Brigade. His preaching was of example as well as precept and never shall the writer forget the manner in which he applied the truths of the gospel during a progracted meeting near Dalton, Georgia in the spring of 1864. Early in May, the spring campaign opened and after some heavy fire our army, gradually falling back, made a stand at Resaca, Georgia. On the 14th of May, our Division was ordered to charge the enemy on our front. Here the many and impulsive nature of the deceased could not be kept out of the charge. When remonstrated with he replied, 'Colnel, my Country is as dear to me as it is to any soldier you have.' He was as true a patriot as he was a Christian Minister. He believed conscientiously that the South was right, and that religion, as well as Civic Liberty was involved in the contest and whether he was right - time will tell. Death is a terrible necessity and a dreadful calamity when such men have been sacrificed in the prime of life - in their days of usefulness. May the good fruit-seeds sown by him during his life, take root, spring up and produce fruit."

He married 1838 Martha Leonora Fulton 1817-1869.

(transcribed from an old microfilm document obtained via inter-library loan)


In Memory of Rev. George M. Lyles

Rev. George M. Lyles of Pickens County, Alabama delivered a message to the Baptist Delegates of the Union Baptist Association, held at Big Creek Church in 1863. This Association was composed of churches in Lamar, Greene, Hale and Pickens Counties in Alabama. In this message he referred to the (then) War Between the States:

"First, in a National Point of View, we were at one time the happiest nation on earth, but not content with our position in life, we have become jealous of each other's rights and interest ... in a Nation sense, we have sinned as a Nation, God has seen proper to lay the chastening rod, by suffering to come upon us -- one of the most bloody wars that American History has ever known."

Rev. Lyles was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1819. He married in South Carolina and came to Alabama about 1840 and bought a farm near the present Liberty High School.

He was twice married and had thirteen children, in two sets. Two of the second set -- Georgia Bullock and B. F. Lyles were living in 1958. He preached all over Pickens County for forth years and in one year was paid only $3.75.

He also was partner with Mr. Stringfellow in a store in Pickensville in 1870. He also worked hard on his farm. He would have his dinner sent to him in the field and read his Bible as he ate.

He trained one negro man to be a great preacher.

Peace to his memory.

(transcribed from an old microfilm document obtained via inter-library loan)


Last Updated on 13 September 2005


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