Miscellaneous Information not found in the W.P.A. Source Documents
Biography of James Monroe Spencer
James Monroe Spencer was born February 7, 1836 in Alabama, to Greene B. and Emelia (Taylor) Spencer. Before 1840, the family moved to Mississippi to join Greene's father Elias Spencer who had moved there earlier from Alabama. The Spencer's settled along what was the boundary between the Chickasaw/Choctaw Tribes and now is the southern Calhoun/northern Webster counties boundary. James married Louisa Caroline Gable b.5/24/1840 abt. 1859 and farmed with his Grandfather, Uncles and Brother's mainly on the Calhoun County side of the county line. A son, James Walter Spencer, was born August 31,1861.
James was mustered in the CSA as a private in Cap't. James M. Hampton's Company, Mississippi Volunteers, March 6, 1862 at Bellfountaine. Another CSA document indicates that he was mustered in at Pittsboro June 30, 1862. By September, 1862, he had been promoted to Seargent.
A letter from Col. Brantly, 29th Miss. Regmt. dated January 29, 1863, states in part:
"Because of what I consider extraordinary valor and skill I take great pleasure in recommending for promotion to the position of Junior 2nd Lieutenant with his company - Sgt. J. M. Spencer. During the engagement near Murfreesboro, Tenn. he was acting 1st Sgt. and constantly at the head of his company urging the men on to the conflict. And ... one occassion on the 31st met when his Captain was wounded and the Company very much confused Sgt. Spencer fearlessly came to the front and led the Company in a charge upon the enemy under a most terriffic fire from both Infantry and Artillery." He was susequently promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.
In the Battle of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, November 24, 1863, he was shot in the chest and captured by the Federal troops. A Federal prisoner list shows him at the General Field Hospital at Bridgeport, Alabama, December 1, 1863. The records show he was "wounded at the Battle of Shell Mound and taken prisoner, admitted Nov. 28" Other records indicate he was transfered December 2, 1863, to the Nashville Prison Hospital where he died December 10,1863. His wife Louisa, later married a Mr. Thomas J. Cooper with whom she had at least 7 more children. James Monroe's son, James Walter, married Jennie Isabelle Wilson, daughter of Rev. T.H. Wilson in Webster County. He became a respected businessman in that County and was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in the early 1900's.
Thanks to Frank Spencer, Great Grandson of James Monroe Spencer for providing this information.
Per your request on infomation on members of Co. F, 4th MS Infantry. John Dorroh is John Brown Dorroh born 1 Jan 1825/1826 near Palmatto, Pickens Co., AL and died 10 Sep 1900 at Cold Springs, San Jacinto Co., TX. He was an M.D. and practiced at Pittsboro, Calhoun Co., MS prior to moving to TX. He was wounded in the Civil War but I don't have details nor do I know if he served as an M.D.
Information provided by James W. Dorroh of Florence, AL
Elwin Arnold has provided the following information. If you have additional information concerning William A. or Dick Turner, please contact either of us.
My great grandfather, James Bradley Turner, and his brother Thompson B. Turner, served in Co F, 4th Miss. Inf. Reg't. James B. Ellard, husband of their sister, Sarah Ellen Turner, also served in that company. I can provide genealogical data on all three if you do not already have it, and so desire.
I am seeking information on Pvt William A. Turner who enlisted in CO F at Ponchatoula, LA, on 24 Nov 1862. After being captured at Vicksburg and paroled, this William A. Turner enlisted in CO C, 19th (Duff's) Miss. Cav. Batt'n (subsequently redesignated as 8th Cav. Reg't) on 17 Aug 1863. He was "transferred by exchange" from the 4th Inf. to the 19th Cav. Batt'n on 1 Nov 1863.
T.B. Turner, J.B. Turner, and J.B. Ellard also served in the 19th/8th Miss. Cav.
I do not find a William A. Turner on your CO F roster at the Calhoun Co. WebPage, but believe he is the "Dick" Turner you have listed (with an asterisk, indicating that he was recruited after Donelson). Your listing is consistent with my belief that this William A. Turner was, in fact, the eldest son of Thompson B. Turner, whose full name was William Richard Turner (listed in the 1850 Yalobusha Co. census as William, age 7, and in the 1860 Calhoun Co. census as Richard, age 17). Information on William A. Turner found in the historic roll for the 8th Miss. Cav. is generally quite consistent with information available on this son of Thompson B. Turner. I believe he was listed on the CO F rolls erroneously as William A. instead of William R., and it was easier to leave it that way than try to change it (for example, my great grandfather, Zachariah George W. Arnold, was listed on the rolls of CO L, 43rd Miss. Inf. Reg't as "Z.A. Arnold", and that was never corrected). Any information you may have which would clarify the identity of this "William A. Turner" or the "Dick" Turner listed on your roster would be greatly appreciated.
I should also mention that Reuben C. Countiss who served in CO F was a brother of my great grandmother, Nancy Jane Countiss Turner (wife of James Bradley Turner), and I can provide complete genealogical data on him if desired.
Ray McGarity has contributed the following:
Please be advised that "Garrity, J.H. pvt, is the same McGarrity, J.H. corp. His real name was John Henry McGarity, brother of my second great grand father, James Madison McGarity. Both were sons of Henry Alexander McGarity from SC.
J.H. was born in Chickasaw Co.in 1842. Henry settled at New Liberty in 1836.
Karen A. Hines has provided this excellent biography:
Private L.T. Chrestman of Company "F" 4th Mississippi Infantry, was my great-great grandfather, Lawrence T. Chrestman. He was born on October 15, 1828 in Alabama, the son of George Chrestman and Rachael Brasher. He married Martha Ann Rickman, the daughter of Fielding B. Rickman and Harriet Elizabeth Bennett, and they had one son, James Alexander Chrestman, who survived to adulthood.
Private L.T. Chrestman was mustered into the "Sons of the South" Company of the Confederate States Army at Grenada, Mississippi on August 31, 1861 under Captain W.A. Sumner. He suffered poor health during much of the time he served and his weakened condition from the war contributed to his untimely death on April 24, 1868. Prior to and after the war he held public office in Calhoun County, twice being elected as Circuit Clerk. In July 1865 he was suspended from the office of Circuit Clerk by Governor Sharkey for refusing to take an oath of allegiance but was reelected in November 1866. He died during his second term as Circuit Clerk and was buried in Mount Moriah Baptist Church Cemetery in Calhoun County, Mississippi. After Lawrence's death, Martha Chrestman married John P. Martin and resided in Calhoun County, Mississippi until her death on December 12, 1916. She was buried in Pittsboro Cemetery in Calhoun County, Mississippi.
Lawrence and Martha's granddaughter, Mae Chrestman Patterson, still resides in Calhoun County, Mississippi to this day. She is 92 years young and has memories of Martha who would tell stories of the war, such as the times she visited Lawrence in Vicksburg during the siege. Indeed, Lawrence was in Vicksburg and signed an oath of parole on July 11, 1863. Perhaps the memories of that day renewed his courage to take a stand some years later when he was once again called upon to be subservient. I like to think so.
Karen A. Hines
If you have additional information concerning the men of this unit, please send it to Jim Taylor