Showing posts with label Vicksburg Mississippi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vicksburg Mississippi. Show all posts

Friday, May 27, 2011

Alfred and the Experts

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Some of you may remember my series of posts on Alfred T. Darden, along with his many monikers, written for Bill West's Civil War challenge.

For those of you interested in Civil War and Alfred's story, you might want to revisit the threads, there has been quite a bit of activity over there the last few days.  The Civil War experts are debating, some of the debate is going on here at Reflections.

They know their subject, I am still sorta confused by it, but, it has been an interesting exchange, and I suspect they will get to the bottom of this and I will have some fascinating stuff to add to my data base.

So, you just might wanna surf over and see what they are saying.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Alfred Darden, Civil War Solider Mystery, Sometimes Ya Just Cannot Let it Go, New Discoveries

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

After spending a few hours preparing my 3 part (now becoming 4 part) series on Alfred Darden for Bill West's Civil War challenge, and after reading several other bloggers contributions, I just had to revisit part of his story.  Namely, I had to go back and look at the Civil War Prisoner of War Records, 1861-1865.  I have a image, it is huge, I have had a spot of trouble following the lines across.  There are many ditto marks, there are many lines with no dittos, and there are even a few ~ ~ type marks.  I just found the entire document a bit  frustrating to read and try to deciper.  Here is only part of the document, I have cropped off the right hand page and a good portion of the bottom of the left hand page.  You will have to click on the document to open it in a new page which hopefully will be a bit larger and easier (????) to read.

Here are the column headings:  No.; Names;, Rank, Regiment, or County and State;Co.; Where Captured; When Captured;

Now, here is what it says for A.T. Darden,

No 24
A.T. Darden
Hines Co.
for Company it says ~
Captured at Raymond Miss (if you assume he was captured the same place as the previous 2 prisoners - the lack of ditto marks is so frustrating).
Captured on May 12  (not the 17th as is reported on the compiled service record - and again the lack of ditto marks is frustrating, but this time we do have ditto marks for the month and year).

So, after studying this very closely, AGAIN and AGAIN, here are some things I failed to note the first several times I studied it.

1.)  It says he is a citizen.  Well, no wonder there is no company stated!  Citizens do not have company assignments, eh??

2.)  Captured, Raymond Mississippi on the 12th (assuming ditto marks not printed).  And, yes indeedy friends there is a battle on that day in that place, (Google the term "May 12 1863 battles of Civil War" and there are 538,000 hits.  YIKES!  So, take the easy way out and refer to the Wikipedia article.)

And, after finding this, I went right to maps and discovered that Raymond, Hinds County, Mississippi is 12.3 miles from Edwards, Hinds County, Mississippi.  How awful is this, he was captured almost in his own back yard!

Now, here are the disclaimers, I am assuming that he was captured in Raymond Mississippi as were the previous two prisoners, even with the lack of ditto marks.  I am assuming the capture date of May 12, again, noting the lack of ditto marks.

So, my take on this is that A. T. Darden, a citizen, NOT a volunteer nor a draftee into the Confederate Army or other branch of service, from Hines (sic - - Hinds) County Mississippi was captured during the Battle of Raymond on May 12, 1863.

And, this explains why there are only 3 pages of his compiled record, he was NOT a solider.  I don't quite understand why I was unable to find records for him in Fort Delaware, of course, unless I simply missed them, which is so possible!

*Thanks Debbie!!

**Review, works every time!  Just when you think you have found every little tidbit on a document, go back and review it again, something new is likely to jump out at cha!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Alfred Darden, Civil War Solider Mystery, As Best I Can Figure, The Last Chapter

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

(Please refer to Alfred Darden, Civil War Solider Mystery, His Family and Alfred Darden, Civil War Solider Mystery, His War Record for background information that leads to this, the last chapter.)

Back in Isle of Wight County Virginia Alfred's brother Charles H. Darden was busy with his own family (his first wife had died and he had taken a second wife).  Charles built a home there in 1852, the home still stands. There is a family cemetery on the grounds not far from the house.  In that cemetery there are currently only two headstones, one is for Charles H. Darden, the other is for (per the inscription):

 A. F. Darden, born 6 Jan 1817 and died 18 Aug 1863

For some years I wondered who this A.F. Darden was.  When I discovered the biography for his grandson, Alfred S. Darden, I started putting the puzzle together.  As a reminder, this is the portion of Alfred S. Darden's biography that plays a large part in my version of what happened to Alfred Darden.

"Alfred Stephen Darden, a planter of Blanton, Sharkey County, is numbered among Mississippi's native sons, for he was born in Pocahontas, Hinds County, September 13, 1877. The family came from Virginia to this state prior to the Civil War, in which the grandfather of Alfred S. Darden participated. Joining the Confederate Army, he was captured and imprisoned, and after his release died while en route home."

The birth date for the A. F. Darden buried in Isle of Wight does not conflict with estimates of the birth of Alfred Darden as found on the 1850 and 1860 census.  The death date for A.F. Darden buried in that family cemetery is just 19 days after A. T. Darden was released from Fort Delaware.

At Fort Delaware many Confederate soldiers died, most of disease. Per Wikipedia, "Originally prisoners were housed inside the fort and later in wooden barracks that soon covered much of the island. Most of the Confederates captured at Gettysburg were imprisoned there. By August 1863, there were 11,000 prisoners on the island; by war’s end, it had held some 33,000 men. The conditions were decent, but about 2,400 prisoners died at Fort Delaware. Statistically, confederates had a better chance of dying from disease on the battlefield than a prisoner at Fort Delaware."  The fact is, Fort Delaware had it's share of disease, many men were ill.  It is entirely possible, although not provable, that A.T. Darden was in fact ill when he was released.

If you use a modern mapping/trip planning program, it does not take long to discover that it is about 265 miles from Fort Delaware to Isle of Wight County Virginia (via Maryland and by crossing the Chesapeake Bay).  It is about 1115 miles from Fort Delaware to Alfred's home in Hinds County Mississippi (via Washington D.C., Winston-Salem, Chattanooga, and Tuscaloosa) .

With just a little reasoning, along with a dash of guestimation, one can easily come up with the scenario where A.T., or Alfred Darden is released from Fort Delaware.  He may be walking home, he has no horse, I cannot imagine that the Union Army paid for him to ride a train home, would they? He could be ill from the conditions of war and Fort Delaware.  If ill he may have headed for the closest haven he knew, his birthplace, the home of his brother, Charles H. Darden, at Isle of Wight County Virginia.

And, there he died.  And, there he was buried in the little cemetery by his brother's home.  And, there, at some point in time, his widow, Mary, had placed a headstone, that reads, A. F. Darden.  Now, this would not be the first headstone inscribed with an error.  It is my opinion that is exactly what happened, Mary ordered a headstone for her late husband, and somehow, it was inscribed with the wrong middle initial.

In Memory of
A.F. Darden
Born Jan. 6, 1817
Died Aug. 18, 1863
Erected by his Wife
And, that is what I believe happened to Mary's husband, Alfred, (A.T.) Darden.  He went to war, he was captured, transferred to Fort Delaware, became quite ill, was pardoned, somehow found his way to his birth home town, where he died at his brother's home and was buried in the family cemetery.

I would like to remind my readers that Alfred, A.T., or A.F. Darden's story is part fact, and part artful and hopefully logical guestimation.  I believe I have artfully and logically guessed correctly, but, I cannot guarantee that I have done so.

Alfred Darden, a Civil War Confederate solider, with a sparse record of service and a lot of unanswered questions about what happened to him.  A story very much like that of many Civil War soldiers, no matter which side they fought on.

* For further reading on Fort Delaware, you might be interested in The Union prison at Fort Delaware: a Perfect Hell on Earth by Brian Temple, I found it via Google Books, here.

**Alfred Darden has a memorial on Find A Grave, here, said memorial created by this compiler.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Alfred Darden, Civil War Solider Mystery, His War Record

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This is part 2 of a 3 part series about Alfred Darden, a Civil War solider. First we studied his family, parents, wife, children and even grandchildren.

Now, lets see what we can find out about Alfred, his Civil War Service and what I believe happened to Alfred.

Sadly and frustratingly, Alfred created very few Civil War records.  At the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System web site, A. T. Darden of Mississippi is listed in an Unidentified Unit (the record can be found on Film Number M232 roll 10).  No rank for Alfred is listed.

No date of enlistment has been found.  While researching at the Mississippi State Archives, I did locate a list  of Confederate soldiers serving from the state of Mississippi, there is a listing for a A. T. Darden, National archives number: 46359694. A. T. Darden is shown as a Prisoner of War at Fort Delaware, Del. Captured May 17, 1863 in Mississippi, and paroled at Fort Delaware on July 30, 1863.

I also found in Civil War Prisoner of War Records, 1861-1865, a record for A. T. Darden.  Again there is no clue as to what unit he may have served in, only that he was from Hines(sic) County, and the record really does not even clearly indicate where he was captured.  It does say he was captured May 12 (or 17th, hard to read), 1863 and that he was sent for exchange on July 30, 1863 to City Point Virginia.

I have found a Compiled Service record for Alfred.  If you can call 3 cards, (reproduced here thanks to, a compiled service record.

Not much on this card, states there are
no medical cards and no personal papers.
D    Miss
A. T. Darden
Pvt   Miss
Roll of Prisoners of War
paroled at Fort Delaware, Del. July 30, 1863
Roll dated:  not dated  186
Where captured Mississippi
When captured, May 17, 1863
number of record, sheet 17
Ths Broderick
A.G.O. 10 St
Sept 13  07
Mr. Whitcomb
We have a
 card from roll 146, Sheet 17
P of W paroled at Fort
Delaware July 30/63
Card copied
A. T. Darden
Pvt.   Miss.
Captured Mississippi
May 17/63
We can not locate him
Do records of Fort Delaware
furnish any addtl information?
CHU (?)
Mr. Brown:
The Duplicate
of the above roll bears
the signature of
A .T. Darden showing
him as citizen same
capture & ?
Sept 25 '07
x no card found
That is it, the entire compiled service record for A. T. Darden.  One could question, is this the same man as Alfred Darden, husband of Mary S. McClenny Darden?  The honest answer is, I am not positive it is.  Circumstantial evidence tells me, it is.  You have seen one piece of evidence, flimsy as it may be, that being the biography of the grandson, Alfred S. Darden.  I'll show you another piece of the puzzle in my last post on Alfred.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Alfred Darden, Civil War Solider Mystery, His Family

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Bill West of West In New England has issued "THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR GENEALOGY BLOG CHALLENGE", which reads, in part:

"Did you have ancestors in America on 12 Apr 1861? If so, where were they and what were their circumstances? How did the Civil War affect them and their family? Did the men enlist and did they perish in battle or die of illness?  On which side did they fight, or did you have relatives fighting on BOTH sides?  How did the women left at home cope, or did any of them find ways to help the war effort? Were your ancestors living as slaves on Southern plantations and if so when were they freed? Or were they freemen of color who enlisted to fight?  If your ancestors had not emigrated to America as yet, what was their life like around the time of the Civil War?"

This is my entry in Bill's challenge, the story of Alfred T. Darden, some of which we surmise, some of which we know to be true.  Sadly, much of this story has not been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, parts of it are educated guesses and there are a few strong "gut" feelings, despite quite a bit of research.  This is just one of the sad stories that came from the time of the American Civil War, 1861 to 1865.

Alfred T. Darden was born in or around the Isle of Wight County Virginia to Charles Darden and his wife, Ms. Dews, (her maiden name is unknown and her birth surname, is not proven).  Alfred was the first born of three children born to this union, the others were Charles H. Darden, and daughter, Catherine.  From the 1850 and 1860 census enumerations we determine that Alfred was born between 1817 and 1818.

(It so happens that Charles H. Darden is this compiler's g-g-g- grandfather, making, Charles Darden and wife Ms. Dews Darden my g-g-g-g- grandparents.  By the way, Charles H. will play out some more in this story of Alfred.)

In 1849 Alfred married Mary S. McClenny in Isle of Wight County Virginia on or about the 5th of May, according to this Marriage Bond.

Marriage Bond, Isle of Wight County, Virginia
May 5, 1849
Alfred T (?) Darden and Mary S. Mc Clenney
Surety John W. Parr
By the time 1850 U. S. Census was taken, we find Alfred and Mary living in Jackson Township, Hinds County, Mississippi.  Alfred and Mary are also found in Mississippi on the 1860 census, enumerated at the Edwards Post Office, Hinds County, where we find the family household has increased by 4 children born to this couple, and 1 additional Darden male, H. C., age 15, born in Virginia.  It is my belief that H.C. is Alfred's nephew, son of Charles H. Darden.  A.T. Darden is found on the slave census for this locality, he owns at least 6 slaves.

However, by the time the 1870 census is taken, A. T. or Alfred T. is no where to be found.  His wife, Mary, is shown as the head of household, her 4 children still reside with her, as does a John H. Darden (believed to be the same as H.C. from the 1860 census).

So, where did Alfred disappear to?  He went off to war, never to return.  We will cover Alfred's service record and what I believe happened to Alfred in my next posts, but, right now, let's talk about his children and grandchildren.  As it so happens a biography on one of his grandchildren was a major clue that was helpful in figuring out Alfred's story.

Alfred and Mary's first born was Charles Edwin Darden, born September 10, 1852 in Mississippi, died March 8, 1899 in Brownsville, Hinds County, Mississippi.  On November 2, 1876 in Hinds County he married Mary Pamelia Britton.  Charles Edwin and Mary Pamelia Darden had 4 children of their own, Alfred Stephen, Susie, John Britton, and Bessie.

Alfred and Mary's second born was William M. Darden, who was born about 1855 in Mississippi and of whom nothing further is known.

Alfred and Mary's third born was George Thomas Darden, born September 15, 1857 in Mississippi, died December 12, 1923.  About 1902 George married Elizabeth P. (Lizzie) Purdy.  Other than the fact that George was reportedly a doctor, nothing more is known.

Alfred and Mary's last child, the fourth was Henry Alpheus Darden, who was born June 24, 1859 in Queens Hill, Hinds County, Mississippi and who died on December 12, 1915 at Cary, Sharkey County, Mississippi.  In about 1882 Henry married Mamie W. Underhill.  Henry and Mamie had 3 children, James Alfred, John Edward and Allie Mae Darden.

It has been a while since I have done any real serious deep diggin' research on Alfred Darden's family.  However, a few years back, Man and I, in one of our winter get aways, stopped in Jackson Mississippi and visited the Archives there.  As is usual, I found some 'good stuff', some 'stuff' and some 'nothing stuff'.  Since then, on occasion, I have snooped around on the Internet, finding some promising leads.  That said, I have considerable holes in the research, and in the lines, of Alfred's family.

During the research at the Mississippi Archives, I stumbled upon this article, which proved to be one of those discoveries that we dream of and rejoice in when we find them.  If you are still with me, here is the most important part of the biography of Alfred S. Darden, grandson of our subject, Alfred Darden:

Found in the work "Mississippi, a History" by Walter Nesbit Taylor and George H. Ethridge, published 1939, by The Historical Record Association, Volume 4, Page 1606-1609:

"Alfred Stephen Darden, a planter of Blanton, Sharkey County, is numbered among Mississippi's native sons, for he was born in Pocahontas, Hinds County, September 13, 1877. The family came from Virginia to this state prior to the Civil War, in which the grandfather of Alfred S. Darden participated. Joining the Confederate Army, he was captured and imprisoned, and after his release died while en route home."

Even though this one paragraph does not mention the "grandfather" by name, it would eventually lead me to my theory of what happened to Alfred Darden, the Civil War Solider.

Next, we will take a look at Alfred's compiled record and what happened to him during the Civil War.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lets Bury Mabel Twice, Once Was Not Enough

Much of today I have been banging my head against the genie - brick walls and my fingers against the keyboard, challeging my IE to crash (it did, several times), begging the air card to deliver, cursing (oops, yea, well, I did curse a couple of times) at Ancestry for refusing to load full pages of newspaper images and just having a grand day of actually RESEARCHING!!  WOW!

So, lets take stock, I have 3 census reports here to input, I did copy the summary to the individuals text file, but there is more data to record.  I found the maiden name of a couple of my (mnu) chicks (yea, I know, some of you HATE MNU, but, it works for me and hey this is MY data base and MY research!  LOL).  I have several obituaries that I have found, and they are ALL typed in.  I have several more articles of color and interest to work on.

At first the search was dragging, painful, slow.   OUCHIE.  Then, I happened upon a cemetery database for Vicksburg Mississippi.  Wahhoo.  Now we are talking!  I found several of the clan I was searching for, maiden names were there. I even found a gal that I had just today decided probably was not buried there.  They say she is!  Yaaa, good stuff. 

Back to Ancestry, some more snooping.  Because of that census work I now had the given name of a daughter.  Before I had the names of her hubby and son, but, could not find her.  With the new found given name of Mabel, I searched, and was quite surprised to find her listed in a Jewish data base.  I have Catholics, I have Lutherans, I have Methodists, but, up to this evening I don't believe I have any Jewish heritage on my data base.  I welcome all, I find it fascinating.  I know I am gonna learn something from this lady!

There are not a lot of hits on Ancestry for Mabel Mayerhoff.  One of them is that Jewish database.  She is listed in a Jewish Cemetery in Vicksburg, with her husband and some other Mayerhoffs, his siblings, possibly his parents.  BUT, the Vicksburg website has her listed in the Cedar Hill Cemetery.

I guess I should be happy dancing all over Tana, the net held up, Ancestry delivered some of what I wanted, IE is currently allowing me to do this blog post and I now know Mabel Mayerhoff is buried somewhere in Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi.  So, why would I care WHICH cemetery??

AH, tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start.  Me, the computer I love, the web, Ancestry and two cemetery lists that have Mabel Mayerhoff.  Wahhoo, can't wait!

*Graphics found somewhere on the internet several years ago, source data long lost.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.