Let us begin with the Henrys. In a general way, the name can be traced backwards in time at least a thousand years to the Normandy area of what is now northwestern France. At that time, the name was Henri, and it was derived from a personal name composed of the elements haim or heim, meaning “home” and ric, meaning “power.” Some Henris are said to have gone to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 and in the years that followed his historic invasion. During the Middle Ages, Henry became an extremely popular name in England, and it was borne by no less than eight English kings. Variant forms of the name appeared in that land such as: Hendrie, Harry, Amery, Henrey, Hendrick, etc.

    Over the centuries, most of the English Henrys appear to have migrated northward into Scotland. It has been reported that many of these immigrants settled around Campbeltown on the Kintyre peninsula on the rugged western coast,1 although there were some who seem to have come to the New World from Aberdeen on the east coast. When the Reformation came along, the Henry clan became largely Presbyterian. To be sure, there are still a few Catholic Henrys in the British Isles, but as recently as the 1920s it was estimated that they constituted less than two percent of all the British Henrys.2

    In addition to the Scottish form of the name, MacHenry, and the Irish forms, McHenry and O’Henry, the Henry surname is said to have been the ultimate origin of a number of unintuitive others such as: Allcock, Hacket, Hall, Hallet, Halse, Harriman, Harris, Harrison, Hawes, Hawkins, Hawson, and Parry.

    In the early 1600s, the English evicted much of the native population from the north of Ireland and encouraged Englishmen and Scots to occupy their vacated lands. Beginning in about 1615, some of the Scottish Henrys immigrated to what would later be called Northern Ireland. Many of them settled around the town of Coleraine just a very few miles from the northern coast, and others are said to have continued on to the new capital of Londonderry. The number of Henrys remaining in England is thought to have been rather small by this time.

    Preliminary results of a genealogical effort to trace the DNA of Horace Henry’s line of modern-day Henrys in eastern Tennessee back to its European roots suggests that his ancestors might have once lingered in (and helped populate) County Derry (Londonderry) on the west bank of the Bann River Valley of Northern Ireland. At some eighty miles in length, the Bann is the longest river in Northern Ireland. It very nearly bisects the province as it flows from southeast to northwest, and one of the larger towns on the downstream part of the river is the aforementioned Coleraine.

    An analysis of my own Y-chromosome DNA sample submitted to the FamilyTree DNA project in 2007–09 confirms that I and all my known direct male (i.e., Henry) ancestors are classified in the R1b haplogroup. Genetic material for this determination is passed exclusively from father to son. This is the most common haplogroup in current western European populations, and it is believed to have expanded at an evolutionarily dramatic rate throughout Europe as humans recolonized that continent after the last ice age which ended approximately 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. R1b includes the Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype which is heavily represented in western Europe, most commonly in Portugal, the Basque region of northern Spain, western Scandinavia, western France, and the British Isles, especially Northern Ireland. My particular branch of this haplogroup is further determined to be R1b1b2a1b5 which resulted–or so the genetic anthropologists tell us–from a mutant gene that appeared about 3500 years ago somewhere in western Europe. The ancient ethnic group in which this mutation is thought to have been most prevalent was the Germanic tribes. Its greatest frequency today is seen in Sweden and Scotland.

    Family researcher John J. Henry, a retired physicist at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, furnished me with a copy of his extensive notes concerning the very early Henrys in North America. Other family historians have warned me that much of John J.’s work is seriously flawed and depends far too heavily on hallucinogenic assumptions or mendacious claims that can not be verified. Regrettably, I must agree. John J. was one of many Henry genealogists who desperately wanted to be directly related to patriot Patrick Henry, even if it involved fudging the data. John J. refused to submit to DNA testing, claiming that it might prove he was not related to Patrick and that if that was the case he was fully prepared to disbelieve it. Accordingly, John J. Henry’s work must be deprecated almost in its entirety.

    Doris Noland Parton, sister-in-law of entertainer Dolly Parton, is not a Henry, but in the early years of the new millennium she undertook an extensive genealogical research project for a friend of hers who was, and she became arguably the most knowledgeable person in North America concerning the DNA data pertaining to the Henry surname. It is upon Mrs. Parton’s work that we can most safely rely for the hard scientific information we need to document our story of Horace Henry’s ancestors.

    Beginning in chronological order, we pick up the DNA trail with an eighteenth century John Henry who married a woman known to us only as Mary. John and Mary Henry, their origins unknown, lived in Berkeley County of the Colony of Virginia in the early- to mid-1700s. This would be consistent with their participation in the fourth and final great wave of British immigration to America that began about 1717 and continued until the outbreak of revolutionary hostilities.3 Those immigrants were mostly Protestants who came from the north of England, the south of Scotland, and Northern Ireland—very nearly the general area of origin that we would expect based upon my DNA analysis. At this point it’s just a guess, but this John Henry may have been Horace’s earliest ancestor to step foot on North America. If not, then John’s father might well have been that man, meaning that our John could have crossed the Atlantic with his parents, or he could have been the first generation of our Henrys to have been born in the New World.

    We first find John and Mary in about 1750 in the northern part of old Frederick County, Virginia, that later became Berkeley County (and is today in the panhandle of West Virginia). At the time, the area was very much a part of the frontier. It had only been inhabited by a few white men beginning in about 1726, and hostile Indians were an everyday hazard. The overwhelming odds are that John was a farmer like everyone else of that time and place. Two of their sons, born circa 1750 and 1753, filed applications for Revolutionary War pensions claiming that their family left Berkeley County and moved to Botetourt County when they were quite small. There is a record of a land sale from a John Henery (sic) to a Nicolas Mercer involving 290 acres on Dry Run near the village of Martinsburg in 1755.4 Martinsburg is the seat of modern-day Berkeley County. Dry Run flows generally southeasterly and enters the north side of that town where it empties into Tuscarora Creek. Tuscarora flows east a mile or two and empties into the much larger Opequon Creek which then meanders north a few miles into the Potomac River. An old map of the area indicates that John Henery’s land was in tract 148B very near the confluence of Dry Run with Tuscarora Creek. In 1755 it was a short distance north of town; today it is well within the city limits. Could this sale have been our old John Henry liquidating his real estate holdings in preparation for a big move?

    Botetourt County was not created out of old Augusta County until 1770, and it has been subsequently broken up into any number of other counties. We think the Henrys settled in the hills of what is now modern-day Craig County.5 John Henry does not show up in the records of Botetourt County until 1784, some twenty-nine years after the land sale back in Frederick County. Then he was mentioned in the county court minutes of 10 August as being exempted from county and parish levies on account of his age and infirmity. Interestingly, he is identified as “John Henry (Baptist)” apparently to distinguish him from another local resident of the same name but different religion. The following year, John and Mary were enumerated on the county tax rolls, but they were not listed as owning their dwelling. Other than that, we know almost nothing about John and Mary for certain: when and where they were born, how they met, who their parents were, when they married, John’s occupation, when they died, or where they are buried. But we do know the names of their children (or at least three of them).

    William was born to them very near the middle of the eighteenth century in Berkeley County. In a Revolutionary War pension application in 1832 William claimed to be eighty-two which, if true, would make his year of birth 1750 or perhaps 1749. His tombstone says 1750. William’s pension application clearly gives Virginia as the colony of his birth, but the scribbled name of the county is not easily decipherable; neither is it reasonably consistent with the names of any counties, extant or otherwise, anywhere in Virginia, West Virginia, or Kentucky. In 1937 a government archive researcher divined the county name on the pension application to be “Berkeley,” which was, and still is, a very real county. In my opinion, the semi-legible county name on William’s pension application could conceivably be interpreted to be “Bartl(e)y,” perhaps a corrupted mispronunciation of “Berkeley.”

    William’s younger brother John was born in May of 1753, and in a sworn statement in 1832, he declared that his birth had occurred in “Bartley” (i.e., Berkeley) County, Virginia, seventy-nine years earlier. The pension document goes on to say that following his birth John was “shortly afterwards removed by his parents into Botetourt County in Virginia.” Botetourt County did not yet exist at the time John was born, but it was subsequently carved out of the extremely large ancestral frontier county of Augusta in 1770. If William and John were testifying to their birthplaces according to the county outlines at the time of their applications (1832), the move from Berkeley County to Botetourt County (actually Augusta) “shortly” after John’s birth would have involved a southwesterly trek of about two hundred miles straight up the Shenandoah Valley.

    The only daughter in John and Mary’s brood was Susannah, born 23 October 1758. We are not sure if she was born in Berkeley or Botetourt County. Susannah married a Thomas Locke6 in Botetourt County in 1777, and they either accompanied or later followed her brothers to what would ultimately become Sevier County in East Tennessee. Thomas Locke was born in England, but when the war came along he joined the Patriot army. He was apparently in the same unit with William Henry, because William later named him as being one of his messmates. Thomas was eventually given a grant of land for his services. That grant for 609 acres was surveyed on Lower Middle Creek in Sevier County, in August of 1807. Locke’s land later passed into the hands of a Fowler family, then became the site of the Sevier County Poor Farm, a graveyard for paupers, a Cherokee Mills textile factory, the Fort Sanders-Sevier Medical Center, and it is today the site of the LeConte Medical Center that serves as the county hospital. Thomas later served as a trustee for Sevier County. He and Susannah are known to have had at least eleven children, and they are believed to be buried in the Locke Family Cemetery somewhere on the old farm.7

    To resume, William Henry was the eldest of the siblings, and he is the most likely to have been Horace’s progenitor. He was not quite twenty-six years old when the Declaration of Independence was signed, and documents in the National Archives show that he was enlisted by a Lieutenant James Thompson not long thereafter on 4 November 1776. William was in Captain William McKee’s company of Colonel Andrew Donnally’s Virginia regiment of the line8 for a two-year enlistment. The year before William enlisted, the Virginia Legislature had issued a proclamation to the effect that:

There shall be appointed and raised…one...company, consisting of one captain, three lieutenants, one ensign, four serjeants [sic], two drummers, and two fifers, and one hundred privates, to be raised in the county of Botetourt, and stationed at Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the great Kanawah.

And be it further ordained, That the commanding-officers to be stationed at Point Pleasant...shall be under the direction of, and subject to, such orders as they may from time to time receive from the commanding officer at Fort Pitt [i.e., modern-day Pittsburg].

    Accordingly, early in 1776, under orders from Brigadier General Edward Hand, a stockade had been erected at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers that was named after Continental Congressman Peyton Randolph. Throughout the colonies, it was a well known outpost and stood to prevent attacks from the west. It also played a significant role in preventing an Indian alliance in that area with the British during the revolution.

    William’s company was in the brigade of General Hand who, based out of Fort Pitt, commanded forces guarding the western frontier. William’s newly formed unit marched westward into adjacent Greenbriar County (now in southeastern West Virginia) where they rendezvoused with other Patriot forces. They then marched to the western edge of Virginia (today, of course, West Virginia) and the newly constructed Fort Randolph at Point Pleasant,9 and that is where he spent the rest of his two-year hitch. William saw no Redcoats that far west, but his unit’s job was to guard the Virginia frontier from Indian attacks, and there was a good deal of native unrest and hostility in the vicinity of Fort Randolph while he was there.

    Shawnee Chief Cornstalk, leader of an Indian army at a 1774 battle with the colonial settlers, came to Fort Randolph in the fall of 1777 to warn the garrison that despite his best efforts at maintaining peace, his tribe was bent on war with Virginia. Rather than being thanked for the warning, Cornstalk was forcibly detained. His son Elinipsico and another Shawnee, Red Hawk, were similarly detained when they came to the fort to see why Cornstalk had been gone from home for so long. The Indians’ mission at the fort was intended to promote peace, but when a Virginia soldier was killed somewhere outside the fort, Cornstalk and his followers were wrongfully implicated. An angry mob pushed past the fort’s commander and murdered the captive Indians. To make matters worse, the governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania held a farcical trial, and the men who who murdered the Indians were acquitted. The Shawnees went ballistic.

    In May of 1778, while William Henry was still there, an army of several hundred Shawnees and Wyandottes besieged Fort Randolph and tested the defensive skills of its commandant, Captain William McKee.10 The Indians attempted to draw the soldiers out of the fort, but to no avail. They then attacked the stockade, but the attacks were repulsed with the help of the deceased Cornstalk’s sister, Nonhelema. She believed in peaceful coexistence so strongly that, despite the fact that her brother and nephew had recently been murdered by the white men, she continued to work for a cessation of hostilities between the two races. Because of the assistance she gave Captain McKee, the Continental forces were able to prevent the Greenbrier County settlers from surprise attack and saved an unknown number of lives.

    The following month, Captain McKee wrote an official report of the confrontation to General Hand thusly:

Fort Randolph, 21st June, 1778.


The Indians attacked this garrison the 16th [of last month]. Wounded Lieut. [James] Gilmore, & killed one private of my Company. When they found they could do us no more damage of [any] sort, they fell to killing the cattle, & left us only one small steer...& only 3 or 4 cows & a few calves, of above 150 cattle belonging to the people of the garrison: Nor have they left one of the country horses. The number of the enemy by the best estimate we have been able to make by their encampments &c. was near 400. Their scheme appears to have been to draw a party out, which they must inevitably have cut off, being very advantageously posted in ambush. For this purpose a small party was sent near the fort by whom Mr Gilmore was wounded & the other killed, at two different attempts. But I having had previous notice of their intention of attacking us about that time with a large party, did not send any out, so their scheme was defeated. They were so engaged killing the cattle the remainder of the day, that only a few kept a scattering fire on the garrison, which we returned. But they kept at too great a distance either to do or receive much damage. We had not the satisfaction of getting any of them, but have the greatest reason for believing that two were mortally wounded, if not killed. When it grew dark one of them came near the garrison, talked as if they wanted peace. I observed to him, he had taken very odd measures to introduce anything of that nature, which he apologized for with their usual kind of sophistry. However, I told him I would let him know the sentiments of Virginia as far as committed to me next morning. He came back in the morning, began to talk, keeping himself under cover. I endeavored persuading him to come nigher, but could not, until I promised if three or four of them would lay aside their arms, they might come near the garrison in safety. I had a speech read to them sent by order of the Governor... They seemed very well pleased with it; promised to put their men over the Ohio that night, bring back the horses, & three or four of their headmen came next Morning; but we have seen no more of them since.

...Got flour sufficient for upwards of 3 months–pork mostly damaged; Have not one grain of salt.

Wm McKee

P. S. Lieut. Gilmore is almost quite well of his wound.

    William Henry advanced to the rank of sergeant (one of only four at Fort Randolph) and was honorably discharged when his time was up on 10 August 1778. In 1779 the soldiers abandoned Fort Randolph and it was promptly burned to the ground by the Indians.

    Returning home to Botetourt County, William married Elizabeth Jones on 15 February 178011—or was it the 24th of June?12 She, having been born at an unknown location on 11 November 1765, was either three months or six months past her fourteenth birthday. Perhaps it means nothing, but William had served in the military with a “Sturdy” (Sturdivant?) Jones from Botetourt County. We can not say for sure, but it is certainly tempting to think that Sturdy might have been the father or, more likely, the brother of William’s bride.

    Elizabeth became pregnant with her first child very near the end of 1780 as the war dragged on into the new year. Lord Cornwallis and his army were only about two hundred miles east of Botetourt County on the York Peninsula that summer, but George Washington’s army was far away in New England, so William volunteered a second time in mid-summer, exact date unknown, for what he later claimed was a term of three months. By this time in the war, the Continental Congress was not allowing the army to accept volunteers for anything less than a term of three years, so William undoubtedly joined a Virginia state militia unit instead of the Continental army. Moreover, Elizabeth swore in her application for a widow’s pension in 1839 that William had been a “Private in the Militia and the Regular service” both.

    If William’s first hitch in the army had been been a bit boring and inconsequential, his second tour of duty soon made him a participant in the most memorable and historic military campaign of the entire eighteenth century. Cornwallis had been ordered to secure a port of his own selection that could be used to disembark British troops and supplies for a campaign in the southern states. He chose the little tobacco-shipping town of York on the south bank of the York River and immediately began throwing up defensive earthworks around the perimeter of the village. “Yorktown,” as it was often called, was not large; it was a thousand yards long at most and about a short par-five in width.

    William Henry, along with his brother John, was in the regiment of a Colonel Lewis13 which was attached to the First Brigade of Marquis de Lafayette’s Light Infantry Division under General Peter Muhlenberg, which was already in Virginia and substantially outnumbered by Lord Cornwallis. George Washington began marching south in August to link up with Lafayette probably about the time William reenlisted. In early September Washington’s army passed through Philadelphia, and by the 29th of that month it had reached Yorktown and surrounded the British while a blockade of Cornwallis’s position on the coast by the French navy prevented his reinforcement and/or escape by sea. William Henry’s pension application in September of 1832 claims that he was there at “the Siege of Little York.”14 That military operation lasted about three weeks, and it was not fun for the Henry boys. Fresh water was in short supply because the British had thrown dead animals down most of the local wells when Washington’s army drew near. Malaria was endemic to the coastal lands of the South, and there was some indication that Cornwallis had done what he could to encourage the local spread of small pox in hopes that the deadly fever would infect Washington’s troops as well.

    William and John were in the Virginia militia, not the regular army. The militia were invariably described as being a shabby lot that compared poorly to the well dressed and disciplined soldiers of the Continental Line. There was very little actual hand-to-hand combat at Yorktown. Most of the siege consisted of artillery duals and the construction and/or repair of fortified positions on both sides. The Henrys almost certainly were called upon to do a great deal of digging and landscaping for General Washington; there was no way of getting out of that. They had to be constantly ready to dodge a British cannon ball or shell, but the danger of serious injury or death was fairly small.

    There was only one brief moment during the siege when William and John might have seen actual combat at Yorktown. It was on the evening of the 14th when Washington ordered assaults on two redoubts, i.e., fortified positions in advance of the main British lines. The redoubts had no names, but the National Park Service has restored them and designated them redoubts numbers nine and ten. Nine was the larger and more formidable of the two, and the French troops in Washington’s army were assigned to carry it. Number ten was somewhat smaller and was assigned to General Lafayette’s Light Infantry Division which included General Muhlenberg and the Henrys. The Virginia militia was held in reserve at first and then hastily thrown in to reenforce Muhlenberg’s forces. Any combat danger to the Henrys was brief, because the struggle for redoubt ten lasted only about ten minutes before the British fled or surrendered or died.15

    Desperately low on food and ammunition, and with his redoubts in possession of the Allies, Cornwallis appealed for surrender terms on October 17th, negotiations were completed on the 18th, and the surrender document was signed and the British laid down their arms on the 19th, at which moment the Revolutionary War was as good as over, although some fighting continued through 1782, and the Treaty of Paris was not signed until September of 1783.

    John Henry’s pension application tells us that he was assigned to guard the several thousand British prisoners who were marched from Yorktown to Winchester, Virginia, via Williamsburg and Fredericksburg. We may presume that William Henry was assigned the same duty. John’s application says he was discharged from the militia at or near Winchester when the POWs were delivered, and it is likely that the same was true for brother William.

    William was almost certainly absent from home when his daughter was born on 12 September 1781, so it is a fairly safe assumption that Elizabeth was living with sympathetic friends or relatives back in Botetourt County, perhaps William’s parents. The baby was called Polly, a common name at the time for a girl whose real name was Mary. William and Elizabeth stayed on in Botetourt County long enough to see most or all of their five children born there. After Polly came John on 24 December 1783;16 then Hugh on 5 May 1786; then William, Jr., on 28 February 1789.

    The first U. S. census was not taken until 1790, but a tax roll of Botetourt County was compiled by local officials in 1785. The census takers found a John Henry and a John “Henery” who were heads of households, one of whom was presumably the husband of Mary, and the other was very likely his twenty-four-year-old son. There was also a William Henry, presumably old John and Mary’s thirty-five-year-old son.

    At this time, we can not say exactly what year the Henry brothers moved to East Tennessee. It is not impossible that, after leaving Botetourt County, one or both of them spent some years farming in a venue about which we know nothing. It was sometime in the two decades after that 1785 tax roll was drawn up when William and Elizabeth bade farewell to their friends and relatives and quit Virginia forever. William’s younger brother John and his family seem to have made the same move at about the same time, so we surmise that they travelled together. In view of their father’s poor health, it seems unlikely that the grown sons would have moved far away and left either one or both of their parents to fend for themselves. It is reasonable to suppose that John and Mary were deceased by the time their sons left Botetourt County for the frontier.

    Depending on the exact time they chose for the big move, the place where they stopped and settled might have been called the State of Franklin (until 1788), the Southwest Territory (1788-1796), or, after that, Tennessee. Most of the land area of the Southwest Territory of the young United States had originally been, at least nominally, the neglected far-western part of the Province (colony) of North Carolina. In 1784 several frontier counties (including the ones where the Henrys later settled) broke away from North Carolina and formed the small independent state of Franklin. Denied admission to statehood by the U. S., the penniless Franklin was forcibly reassimilated by North Carolina in 1788 when it began to negotiate a potentially troublesome alliance with Spain which, at that time, still controlled the lower Mississippi River. When North Carolina became a state in late 1789, it ceded everything between its newly resurveyed western boundary, including the defunct state of Franklin, and the Mississippi River to the federal government which promptly made it a part of the newly organized Southwest Territory the following year. In 1796 part of the Southwest Territory was broken up, and part of it was admitted to the Union as Tennessee, the sixteenth state.

    The pioneer Henrys almost certainly travelled the Great Wagon Road which originated at Philadelphia and conveniently passed right through Botetourt County on its way up the Shennadoah Valley to the frontier. More of a trail than a road, it forked in southwestern Virginia and connected westwardly with Daniel Boone’s Wilderness Road which passed through a small part of what is today extreme northeastern Tennessee before turning north over the mountains into the bluegrass country of Kentucky. In the early 1790s, the Wilderness Road was impassable to wagons, so travel was exclusively by foot or horseback. The trails, which roughly followed ancient routes known to the Indians, were used primarily by settlers of Anglo-Scots-Irish descent; for whatever reason, the Pennsylvanian Dutch/German population often avoided these roads and chose their own routes.

    At first the Wilderness Road was only a crude trail; pack teams could cross the mountains, but wagons and buggies could not. Before the road was improved in 1796, pioneers coming from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas found it necessary to unload their Conestoga Wagons at Sapling Grove (modern-day Bristol on the Virginia/Tennessee state line), and pack their belongings on horses in order to continue their journey. Those pioneers would have lashed large baskets and bundles of clothing, bed furnishings, and household articles upon packhorses. Children perched on top of the load or rode in front and behind their parents on horseback. The older boys and men who did not have mounts had to trudge along on foot. Indian raids were common at various points on the Wilderness Road, so for security the pioneers travelled in caravans that sometimes stretched out as far as three miles along the trail. Professional packhorse men made it a business to hire out to settlers or merchants for transporting goods through the wilderness. They objected to road improvements, saying (correctly) that good roads would drive them out of business.17

    The Henrys of Botetourt County are unlikely to have travelled alone. There was a very substantial migration of colonists, particularly Virginians, including many from old Botetourt County, who packed up and headed for the frontier along about that same time. Many of the men were veterans who were entitled to land grants by virtue of their service in the Revolutionary War, and they were looking for good new farm land to stake their claims. There was, of course, no civilized infrastructure on the frontier, so the large majority of these pioneer immigrants banded together to make the trek into the wilderness.

    William Henry and his family settled somewhere in the eastern part of what is today Sevier County, Tennessee; John’s family settled a few miles away in what is now adjoining Cocke County. Both Cocke and Sevier share a common boundary with North Carolina. Prior to 1794, both of these counties would have been called Jefferson County of the Southwest Territory, and before 1792 they would have been Greene County. Sevier County is a hilly venue of almost six hundred square miles that is a part of the Appalachian Mountain chain. No doubt the topography and vegetation reminded the Henrys very much of their former home(s) in the Botetourt/Augusta County area. Today, as then, small farms and pastures predominate; the county has never been home to ranches or large plantations.

    This part of the frontier was far from being safe and secure at the turn of the nineteenth century. Cherokees, long the dominant tribe in that area, were homicidally opposed to the incursions of the white men which had begun in this area along about 1781. The William Henrys settled near a small community that was, or soon came to be, called Jones Cove. There was a Stephen Jones18 who was farming somewhere nearby in that same vicinity. According to an article in the Knoxville Gazette dated 3 July 1794, Jones was surprised in his cornfield by Cherokees on the 25th of June and was killed and scalped. He was buried in that same field at an unmarked location, and the little hamlet in the far eastern part of what was then Jefferson County was soon named in his memory. Likewise, the small community of Richardson Cove a half dozen miles to the west was named for another hapless pioneer who was a victim of the Cherokees. The Indian threat in East Tennessee was not finally resolved until most of the Cherokees were forcibly relocated (largely at the behest of President Andrew Jackson) to eastern “Indian Territory” (now Oklahoma) in 1838.

    William’s family were apparently the first Henrys to settle close in around Jones Cove, but they were certainly not the first in the area that became Sevier County. There was already a Hugh Henry who, along with his father and brothers, settled on Dumplin Creek near what is today the unincorporated village of Kodak. Hugh’s house was fortified to some degree against Indian attacks, and it was known locally as Henry’s Station. Later, the nearby settlement came to be known as Henry Cross Roads (or Crossroads), and it can still be found on some modern maps. The Henrys of Dumplin Creek were related to William and John’s line somewhere back in Scotland or Ireland several hundred years earlier according to Y-DNA data, but there is no reason to think that they were aware of each other in the New World. Hugh Henry is notable for the locally famous Treaty of Dumplin between the State of Franklin and the Cherokee Indians that was signed at his house on 10 June 1785.19

    William and John Henry and their families had disappeared for more than two decades after their enumeration on the Botetourt County tax rolls of 1785. Their next documented reappearance was in Cocke and Sevier Counties, Tennessee, in early 1807. In March of that year, a surveying party laid out several tracts in Cocke County for men who had received land grants for their service in the Revolutionary War. One of those grants, number 811, was for seventy acres in favor of John Henry on Englishes (sic) Creek somewhere just west of where it flows into the Pigeon River.20 For his service, William Henry received Tennessee land grant number 877 for fifty-six acres near Jones Cove. It was surveyed “on the waters of Little East Fork of Little Pigeon River” on 6 May 1807, although the land was likely located on Dunn Creek, a tributary of the East Fork.21 At the time his land was surveyed, William had no immediately adjacent neighbors; John had several. The two brothers were living in different counties, but as the crow flies they were not more than eight miles from each other, and probably less. 

    William Henry was surely a farmer like almost everyone else in the county. During the first half of the nineteenth century, most local farmers derived the majority of their income from corn and livestock. They also grew wheat and hay, and the area was home to some light cottage industries including small mills and ironworks. Excess corn was very commonly used to make moonshine whiskey, and most farmers had a still.

    In 1832 Congress passed a law making all Revolutionary War veterans eligible for a pension. William promptly applied, as did his brother John, and both pensions were granted.22 Beginning no later than early 1833, William’s pension was equal to his full pay while in the army, that is, eighty dollars per year, payable in two semiannual sums (in March and September) by a pension agent in nearby Knoxville.23

    William may have needed that pension, because it appears that he was in very poor health by that time. Part of the redundant paperwork pertaining to his application is a document dated 3 July 1833 and prepared by a local justice of the peace who declared that William Henry “cannot by reason of a morbid Tumour [sic] and other bodily infirmity appear at a court of Record.”

    The “Tumour” was morbid enough; death found the old Revolutionary War veteran a year and a half later in Jones Cove on 1 February 1835, aged eighty-four, and the pension income stopped. William was buried in what has come to be known as Henry Cemetery Number One, a small plot just on the north side of the Henry Town Road a short distance from Jones Cove.24

    In July of 1838 Congress passed another law making Revolutionary War veterans’ widows eligible for a pension, and Elizabeth’s application is dated 5 August 1839.25 In it she claimed that their marriage occurred while William was still in the army, although we know that he was then actually a civilian in between his two military hitches, the second of which was probably with the state militia and not the Continental Army.26 No matter: The pension was granted, and she drew exactly half what her husband had drawn–forty dollars per year for life.

    Elizabeth outlived William by a dozen years, expiring on 11 May 1847 in Sevier County at the age of eighty-one. As late as 1840 (aged almost seventy-five) she was enumerated as the head of a household that included only another woman twenty to twenty-nine (almost certainly her unmarried granddaughter Martha who stayed behind when her parents and brothers moved to Missouri sometime in the 1830s). Elizabeth was, of course, buried beside her husband in Henry Cemetery Number One near Jones Cove.

    William and Elizabeth Henry are particularly interesting to us because the available DNA evidence suggests that they may well have been Horace’s g-g-g-grandparents via their son John who was born in old Botetourt County, Virginia, on 24 December 1783. John seems to have lived much—but not all—of his adult life in Sevier County, dying there in 1852 at the age of sixty-eight. John married a woman known to us only as Sarah in about 1810. Sarah told the census taker in 1850 that she was sixty-five years old, so we might guess the year of her birth to be circa 1785. Sarah gave birth to at least seven children for whom we have a record: Joseph was born in February of 1811; Martha sometime in 1813; a boy named Alfred in July of 1815; Anderson on 12 September of 1818; Overton on 4 May 1821; Jane (“Jenny”) sometime in 1824; Robert Patrick circa 1827; and Hugh circa 1829.

    John would have been just exactly the right age to have fought in the War of 1812. Indeed, there were at least four John Henrys from Sevier County and/or adjacent Cocke County who joined regiments that were raised in East Tennessee. Alas, the laconic and poorly preserved military records for that war do not give us enough data to prove that our John was any of them. Moreover, the Congressional authorizations establishing pensions for soldiers and sailors in that war were not enacted until 1871 and 1878 by which time very few qualifying veterans or their widows were still conveniently alive to apply. The timing of the births of Martha and Alfred suggest that our John might have stayed close to home during the few years of that conflict.27

    We have no record of John Henry’s occupation at this time, but there is better than a ninety percent chance that he was a farmer like the large majority of his friends and neighbors. The story has been passed down that John owned property at three locations in Sevier County: Jones Cove, Richardson’s Cove, and on Wilhite Creek. All three are only a few miles apart in the east-central part of the county. The property near Jones Cove is believable enough, especially since he was enumerated there in 1830, but Sevier County land records were destroyed in a courthouse fire in 1856, and we have no documentation whatever to corroborate his real estate holdings near Richardson’s Cove and/or Wilhite Creek.

    John’s family was enumerated in Sevier County on the census rolls of 1830, the earliest preserved census for East Tennessee. There was a single boy, undoubtedly nine-year-old Overton, in the 5-to-10 age group. Living nearby was a William Henry, Sr., John’s father, and a Polly Williams, John’s widowed sister who still had two sons living with her. There was also a family headed by a Robert Henry, John’s younger brother.

    But John was missing on the 1840 census rolls of Tennessee. Instead, he was recorded as head of a family in Cole County, Missouri, that year.28 Based upon the names contained in the census records of those decades, it appears that there were at least several different families who left Cocke and Sevier Counties in Tennessee during the 1830s and then showed up on the 1840 census in Missouri, especially Cole County. It did not exactly amount to a mass exodus, but the number of East Tennesseeans who packed up and left for the Midwest during the 1820s and 1830s was significant. All of John and Sarah’s sons accompanied them to Missouri, but neither of their daughters did. Fifteen-year-old daughter Jane “Jenny” Henry married a Noah Hurst on Wilhite Creek in 1839 and stayed behind.29 Older daughter Martha was not found with the Henrys of Cole County in 1840; she stayed behind and was anonymously enumerated with her widowed grandmother, Elizabeth Jones Henry. For one reason or another, Martha never married.

    But why did they go? When the first Henrys came to East Tennessee sometime around the turn of the eighteen century, that area was very much a part of the North American frontier. By the 1830s, that area represented rustic middle-class civilization; the frontier had passed it by. Many of those old Appalachian hill country farmers welcomed the benefits and obligations of civilization, but many did not. The latter were apt to pack up the wife and kids to follow the frontier westward at least once or twice in their lifetimes. And then there was the over-population factor to be considered: Most of those old farmers had eight or ten children, half of whom were boys who took wives and expected to inherit (or at least somehow share in) their father’s farm. After pa’s original forty acres were divided half a dozen ways, it was impossible for any of the heirs of those fragmentary tracts to make a living for their own families. Some of those kids had to pack up and move on to greener (and more westerly) pastures.

    In the four decades between the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and Abe Lincoln’s election in 1860, there was a great influx of pioneer immigrants from Tennessee and Kentucky to Missouri. John Henry and his sons and neighbors were a part of that. His third youngest son, Overton, would have been at least old enough to have some memories of East Tennessee before the move, and he may have almost been an adult when it occurred. Whatever the exact year of the family’s move to Missouri, it was the last time in his life that Overton Henry ever laid eyes on Jones Cove.

    Leaving Sevier County, the Henrys would almost certainly have gone first to nearby Knoxville. From there it made no sense to do anything except get on the Nashville Road and follow it to its eponymous terminus in north-central Tennessee. We don’t know their route from Nashville to the Mississippi River, but we might guess they were hoping to book passage on a riverboat that would take them north to the confluence of the Missouri River and thence westward to their ultimate destination at Jefferson City, the county seat of Cole and the capital of the young state of Missouri since 1826.30 If that were the case, they probably headed to one of the port cities on river; perhaps they went southwest to Memphis or northwest to Cape Girardeau in far southeastern Missouri. Or they might have made the entire trek on foot or horseback except, of course, for a ferry ride across the Mississippi at some point. We shall probably never know.

    These clans from far eastern Tennessee tended to settle together in small rural clusters, no doubt in order to support each other on what was then very nearly the leading edge of the American frontier. When these immigrants wrote enthusiastic letters back home to their friends and relatives, they were soon joined by others. We don’t know exactly when in the 1830s John left Sevier County and moved his family to Missouri, but it will be remembered that John’s father died in 1835, and it may be that he felt his ties to the hills of East Tennessee were no longer quite so binding. There was a male 15-to-20 (Overton was nineteen then) tallied in John’s household in Cole County, Missouri, in 1840. Overton’s younger brother Hugh was there in the 10-to-14 bracket. Also there was a nameless female in the 10-to-14 bracket for whom we can not account.

    John Henry was enumerated next door to a William Henry who was about the right age to be his younger brother on the 1840 census rolls of Cole County. Of special interest were other new settlers in Cole County by the name of Walker, and they too appeared to have come from the Cocke/Sevier/Jefferson County area. One household of Walkers was enumerated about two dozen dwellings down the way from John Henry. The Walker clan is of particular interest to us because a young woman by the name of Sarah Walker gave birth to Overton Henry’s first child the following year, 1841, at some unknown location (probably Cole County) in Missouri.

    But there was something about Missouri that did not sit well with John Henry. Perhaps he had some second thoughts about his widowed mother who was left behind in East Tennessee. (Elizabeth Jones Henry lived on in Jones Cove until May of 1847.) Perhaps he or Sarah became ill or feeble and unable to function on the frontier without the social and/or economic infrastructure they had left behind in Jones Cove. Whatever it was that changed John’s mind about Missouri did not seem to trouble John’s sons or neighbors because few, if any, of them returned with him to East Tennessee. He and Sarah reappeared back in Sevier County on the 1850 census with no one else in their household.

    There is a story that John and Sarah are both said to have died in 1852 at Flat Creek, a tributary of the French Broad River that was inundated by Douglas Lake in the northern part of Sevier County in 1942-1943. The year of their demise may be correct, but the location is probably not. In 1850 John and Sarah were not living where they did near Jones Cove before the abortive move to Missouri, but neither were they particularly close to Flat Creek. Doris Parton believes the census records show that they were living in the general vicinity of Catons Chapel near the geographic center of the county. John had apparently disposed of all his real property before departing for Missouri, so when he returned to Sevier County he had to look elsewhere for a residence.

    The Catons Chapel area lies four or five miles southeast of Sevierville, four or five miles northeast of Gatlinburg, and about ten miles due west of Jones Cove. It is only about a dozen miles north of the boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so the hills are a bit steeper than they are in the northern half of the county, and the streams run somewhat more quickly. John Henry may have chosen this location for a purpose, because the 1850 census schedule is the only document we have that describes his occupation as a “miller.” Perhaps he purchased land and built his own mill when he returned from Missouri, or, more likely, he bought an existing mill from someone else, but, either way, a miller he was.

    We do not know the causes or exact dates of John and Sarah’s deaths. Perhaps it was just a coincidence that they died so close together. Or perhaps they perished simultaneously in a fire or a buggy accident or an epidemic. They are said to be buried in Henry Cemetery Number Two a short distance outside of Jones Cove, but if their graves are marked we have not found them.31

    After John and Sarah died, their unmarried daughter Martha moved in with her uncle Hugh Henry with whom she lived most of her life.32 Upon the demise of their parents, sons Hugh and Robert Patrick became wards of their uncle Hugh, although they were young adults (mid-twenties) at the time and did not live with him.

    Let us go back a generation and briefly mention William Henry’s younger brother John (an uncle of John Henry the miller). We know that John served in the Revolutionary War because he later applied for a veteran’s pension. In that application, dated only “one thousand eight hundred and thirty two,” he swore that he was aged seventy-nine years (no birth date given). That would make the year of his birth 1753 plus or minus a year. He probably accompanied William to East Tennessee sometime between 1785 and 1807, but he is unlikely to have been Overton’s father because his pension application documents refer to him as being “of Cocke County,” and we know for a fact that Overton was born in Sevier County. If John’s reported death in 1846 is correct, he would have lived to be about eighty-three years old.

    Our Overton Henry claimed to have been born somewhere in Sevier County, Tennessee, on 4 May 1821.33 Unfortunately Overton’s name has not been found on any Tennessee records of any kind. The 1880 census of Lamar County, Texas, gives his middle initial as H (conveniently the same as his last), but an inscription in a Bible (not seen by me) that once belonged to one of his grandsons is said to have recorded his middle initial as O (conveniently the same as his first). I think it is highly unlikely that Overton had a middle name. Middle names were just barely coming into vogue when he was born, and so far as we know, none of his older siblings or parents had one.

    No doubt it was as a boy in eastern Tennessee that Overton picked up several quaint colloquialisms that he used the rest of his life. One that his grandchildren heard him use many years later was the preposition fininth, meaning “beneath” or “under.”34

    Overton’s first wife, Sarah Walker was born somewhere in Tennessee35 about 1819, according to what she told the 1850 census taker. We suspect her birth occurred somewhere in the far eastern part of that state, but we can not prove it. The first surviving census of East Tennessee is the one of 1830 when Sarah should have been about ten or eleven. There was no Walker household in Cocke County then that had a young girl in that age group, but there was a single household in Sevier County that year that did. It consisted only of a 50-to-59-year-old woman and a girl 10-to-14. If these two females were Sarah and her mother, then it would seem that her father was probably deceased. We are fairly sure that Sarah’s family made the move to Cole County, Missouri, sometime in 1820s or 1830s.36 There was a John Walker household enumerated in Cole County in 1830 that had two girls in Sarah’s appropriate age group, but we do not know either of their names.

    However it happened, Sarah and Overton’s first child, Wilson Richard Henry, was born out of wedlock somewhere in Missouri, almost certainly Cole County, on 27 March 1841. We suppose that he was named for Overton’s nephew, Wilson D. Henry (son of Joseph).37 It was not until 20 January of the following year that Overton and Sarah Walker were united in matrimony in Cole County,38 by thirty-four-year-old justice of the peace Charles Medlin. Their second child, John A., was born somewhere in Missouri in 1843 or 1844. His birth could have occurred in Cole County, or it could have happened in Newton County, Missouri,39 because that is where their third child, James A., was born in May of 1845.

    Sarah Walker Henry gave birth to a son named Anderson (who was obviously named for his father’s brother)40 sometime in the mid-1840s. He may have been her fourth child and was born within a year or so after James A. But there is a problem. Five-year-old Anderson was listed with his parents in the 1850 census of Platte County, Missouri, but strangely, James A. was nowhere to be found that year. Ten years later, fifteen-year-old James A. was enumerated with his folks on the 1860 census rolls of Washington County, Arkansas, but Anderson’s name was absent therefrom, and he was never heard of again. The most likely explanation seems to be that James A.’s middle initial stood for Anderson. He may have gone by Anderson, or “Andy,” as a youngster and then by James, or more likely, “Jim,” as he grew older. If Anderson was indeed a separate individual, which I very much doubt, then it would seem that he may have died sometime in the 1850s.

    It was sometime between 1844 and 1848 when Overton’s brothers in Cole County, Joseph and Anderson Henry, left Missouri and moved their families to an exotic place called Texas.41 It is probably more than mere chance that their move coincided very closely with Texas’ admission into the Union on 29 December 1845. But things were happening quickly in Texas in the late 1840s. The Mexican-American War broke out in the spring of 1846. The war was over by the fall of 1847, and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago was ratified the following year. There is a record of a Mexican War soldier by the name of Anderson Henry who enrolled in Captain Reuben Hammond’s Company of volunteers on 21 May 1846. Most interesting is the fact that Captain Hammond raised his company in Moniteau County, Missouri, which had been carved out of Cole County only the previous year. Private Anderson Henry was certainly the son of John and Sarah and the brother of Overton.

    And it was also about this same time that Overton and Sarah moved their small family to Newton County, Missouri.42 When Joseph and Anderson packed up and left Cole County, Overton and Sarah may very well have done so too. We can not help wondering if Overton might have been invited to accompany them to Texas. If so, he declined, but he apparently kept in touch with Joseph and Anderson, because when Overton and Sarah’s next child was born in 1847 or 1848, they named him Austin. Then the following year another boy arrived, and they named him Houston (or maybe Isaac, or maybe both; bear with me).43 Perhaps Overton and Sarah started out with Joseph and Anderson bound for Texas but then dropped out of the little caravan when they came upon a place, Newton County, in the far southwestern corner of Missouri, that looked plenty good enough for their purposes, and then they let the other Henry boys continue on southward.

    While Joseph and Anderson were in Texas, Overton left Newton County for some reason and moved his family to Platte County, and that is where he was enumerated for the 1850 census.44 He was listed as a “farmer,” and the land that he was working in the Carroll Township45 is today probably very near (or directly underneath) the Kansas City International Airport. We have found no record of his buying or selling land in Platte County, so we presume that he was renting or sharecropping.

    Missouri was, of course, a slave state, but the 1850 census tells us that Overton was not a slave owner. Coming, as he did, from the hill country of East Tennessee, slavery was a rather foreign and unattractive concept to Overton and his brothers. That same census tells us that Overton could read and write and that Sarah could do neither.

    Joseph and Anderson left Texas and moved to Arkansas in 1850, settling in Benton County in the extreme northwest corner of the state, just across the state line from where Overton had been living a very few years earlier in Newton County, Missouri.46 We know that they arrived by mid-1850, because Anderson was enumerated in Newton County in November of that year with a four-month-old baby whose birthplace was given as Texas.

    Overton and Sarah’s sixth consecutive son, Andrew Jackson Henry, was born on 2 January 1852, probably in Missouri. The names they gave him may tell us something about the family’s politics (or sense of American history).47 We can not say for sure, but politics and current events could well have played a part in Overton’s decision to leave Platte County. It was along about this time that the festering question of the future of slavery in the United States–which had been “solved” by the Missouri Compromise of 1820–was coming to the political fore again. Pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces were noisily squabbling for control of the Kansas Territory (soon to be a state), and violence broke out in several places along the Kansas/Missouri border. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 repealed the Missouri Compromise, and the bloodshed that ensued caused the border area to become known as “bleeding Kansas.” It was sometime during 1852 to 1854 that Overton and Sarah quit the turbulent border area and moved a safe distance south to Benton County, Arkansas.48

    Sarah Walker Henry must have despaired of ever having a daughter by the time one was finally born to her on 20 September 1854. Not knowing if the chance would ever come again to name a girl after herself,49 she called the baby Sarah Clarenda.50 Little Sarah, who went by Sally most of her life, was born “near Bentonville, Arkansas,”51 so we might presume that means Benton County. And there is another document, dated January of 1860,52 that refers to Overton Henry as being “of Benton County,” so we presume that was the first place they settled in Arkansas. The family farm appears to have been located in the south-central part of the county, not far north of the little village of Elm Springs.

    It was undoubtedly there that their next child, Burr Hamilton,53 was born on 24 November 1856. But Burr was not quite the last child born into this family. Sarah Walker Henry was soon pregnant again, and the baby must have been born in about 1858. It was yet another boy, but we do not know his name. Sarah died from complications of childbirth, and the infant is said to have survived for only about a year.54

    Overton probably did not need any more children, but he must have wanted another wife, because on 6 January 1860 he wedded a Mary Ann Porter. The ceremony was held at “the Dewberry (or Denberry) house of John MacKinnon” in Washington County, Arkansas.55 Officiating was Asaph Brown, a semi-literate, self-styled “regler ordained minester” of the Baptist Church.56 We do not know what Overton’s religious affiliation was, but the choice of this minister suggests that he may have been a Baptist–like most of his known ancestors are thought to have been–or at least his new wife was.57 At the time of the wedding, Overton was living in Benton County, and Mary Ann was living in Washington County, so it’s a fair guess that they may have met while attending the same church. Later that year the newlyweds were enumerated on the federal census in the Elm Springs Township of Washington County, so Overton’s marriage may have entailed a short move for his family.58 In August of that same year, when Overton was interviewed by the census taker, he claimed to own $600 worth of real estate and $250 worth of personal property. Neither he nor Mary Ann admitted to being unable to read or write, and, oddly enough,they did not confess to having been married for less than a year.59 Not surprisingly, Overton’s name did not occur on the 1860 census schedules of slave owners in Washington County.

    We know nothing about Mary Ann’s previous life except that she was born somewhere in Tennessee between the years of 1820 and 1824, and both of her parents were born in North Carolina. The record of her marriage says that she was thirty-nine years old at the time,60 so she might have been married before.61 If so, she apparently did not bring any stepchildren into Overton’s home. Moreover, family tradition tells us that all of Overton’s children were by his first wife. If Overton did, in fact, have any children by Mary Ann, they must have died very young, because there is no record of them in the 1870 census or anywhere else.

    The year after Overton’s remarriage, the Civil War broke out. The family’s sentiments lay with the South, and Arkansas seceded on 6 May 1861, two days after Overton’s fortieth birthday. A short period of time elapsed before Arkansas was admitted into the nascent Confederacy, so Arkansas was technically an independent country in the interim. As soon as it became a state in the Confederacy, Arkansas began to raise two separate kinds of military forces: Confederate units to fight for the new nation, and Arkansas State Troops, a militia force intended solely for the defense of the state. The Henry boys would belong only to the former.

    Arkansas was indeed a frontier state at the outbreak of the war. It had only a few miles of railroad tracks leading from Little Rock to a shipping point on the White River. Despite being the state capital, Little Rock was only connected to the outside world via Memphis by a single strand of telegraph wire in January of 1861, and Fort Smith, the closest “big city” to the Henry farm, boasted a population of only 1529 in the census of 1860.

    We know that John Henry and James A.–who was probably called “Jim” by this time–left home in mid-1861 to join the Confederate army. There is a story in the family to the effect that Overton and Jim were both in the Civil War and that they served together in the cavalry. After some considerable research, that story turns out to be true.

    Jim and John and their father enlisted in a group of horse soldiers on 15 July 1861 at Bentonville, Arkansas. That unit was mustered into the Confederate army on 27 July as Company D of the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles Regiment at Osage Prairie which was just a very few miles from Bentonville. The officer in charge of Company D was twenty-four-year-old Captain John A. Arrington. We have the initial roster of that company, and there is no Overton Henry (nor O. Henry) on the list of seventy-two names.62 But we do find the name “Henry Overton” in Company D, and this man just happened to be tallied as “40” years of age. This is undoubtedly an accidental transposition (Last Name/First Name) of “Henry, Overton.” A search of the previous year’s Federal census records yields no Henry Overton in either Benton or Washington Counties nor in any county in the northwest corner of Arkansas where this regiment was raised. “Henry Overton” was, in fact, James and John Henry’s father, Overton Henry.

    The 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles were led by Colonel James M. McIntosh, a capable and promising young officer and an 1857 graduate of West Point who had resigned his commission only two months earlier in Fort Smith to cast his lot with the Confederacy. The companies that comprised McIntosh’s regiment came mostly from northwestern Arkansas, and names that would suggest foreign birth are conspicuously absent from the muster roles. At this very early point in the war, many Confederates brought their own personal weapons from home, and that is probably what Overton did.

    It was the practice of the times for newly formed Confederate units to elect their non-commissioned officers, and Overton was elected to be one of his company’s four sergeants. His rank entitled him to seventeen dollars a month–four dollars more than a private–and he got forty cents a day for the use of his own horse. The army valued his mount at $160; his “horse equipment” (saddle, etc.) was pegged at $12. Overton’s regiment was attached to Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch’s63 division, and it was not long before he and his boys saw combat.

    Things were happening quickly. General McCulloch marched his largely untrained and ill-equipped64 soldiers from Van Buren to Camp Walker65 near Maysville in the extreme northwest corner of the state. He was joined by the untrained and poorly equipped infantry of the Missouri State Guard under General Stirling Price. McCulloch quickly came to dislike Price intensely, and the feelings were entirely mutual. They were joined by a ragtag gaggle of Arkansas Militia foot soldiers, led by Nicholas B. Pearce, who were equally as unprepared for battle as Price’s men. McCulloch was in overall command of this lightly armed mob, but Price felt free to disregard his orders whenever it pleased him to do so.

    At Camp Walker, McCulloch concentrated his ill-coordinated forces and promptly crossed the Arkansas line into the border state of Missouri and began advancing northeastward toward Springfield to liberate it from a small Federal army that was reported to be camped there. It was the very first invasion of the United States by the Confederacy. By 2 August the 2d Arkansas was camped at Cassville, about a dozen miles into Missouri, and the men were subsisting largely on green ears of corn seasoned with salt.

    On the night of 7 August, McCulloch’s men made camp on Wilson Creek, nine miles southwest of the city of Springfield. McCulloch wanted to reconnoiter and collect adequate information about his Federal adversary and spent a second night on Wilson Creek, but Price was anxious to attack at all costs. Goaded and prodded by Price, McCulloch had given in and planned to attack the Federals early on the day of the 9th, but the weather was threatening rain, and he did not want to take a chance on getting what little ammunition his troops had wet.66 An electrical storm did indeed develop that night, and the Henrys got rained on, although the rain was not hard and did not last all night.

    Alert to the presence of the Rebels, the Yankees, commanded by anti-secession zealot Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, left Springfield in two columns during the late evening and advanced on Wilson Creek. Lyon led one column himself, and the other was led by German immigrant Colonel Franz Siegel. Shortly before daylight, they launched a simultaneous two-pronged attack on the Rebels who were camped on either side of Wilson Creek; Lyon attacked with the main force of about 4300 men from the north on both the east and west sides of Wilson Creek, and Siegel attacked with 1100 troops from the southeast. McCulloch’s men were not totally surprised by the early morning attack, but they had only a very few minutes advance warning in which to prepare to receive it.

    The 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles, about four hundred strong, were fixing their meager breakfasts in a grassy meadow on the east side of Wilson Creek when they were interrupted by the booming of Lyon’s guns. They quickly mounted amid “a terrible fire of grape shot and shell,” and headed toward the sound of battle, led by McIntosh’s second-in-command, Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin T. Embry.67 They soon found a wooded area where it was safe to leave their horses and dismounted and advanced on foot. One of every four men was designated to hold the horses a safe distance in the rear, so there is a one-in-sixteen chance that neither John nor Jim Henry was on that front line that morning, and there is a three-in-eight chance that only one of them was. It is virtually certain that Overton, being a sergeant, was not a horse-holder.

    Along with the 3d Louisiana Infantry regiment, the men of the 2d Arkansas pushed and hacked their way through some dense underbrush, scampered down a ravine and up the other side, and found themselves at a rail fence that marked the south side of a corn field owned by local farmer John Ray. It was seven-thirty in the morning, and that’s where Overton came face-to-face with armed Yankees for the very first time. Accounts of the distance from the the fence to Union line range from “fifteen paces” to “a stone’s throw.” The Rebels hunkered down behind the fence and some tall weeds and began to trade shots with the Federals at close range. Although the Confederates seemed to be getting the better of the exchange after half an hour, McIntosh became concerned with the rate at which his men were taking casualties, so he ordered his troops to stand up and charge the enemy. It worked. Led by Captain (later Brigadier General) Joseph Plummer and outnumbered in the corn field by three hundred to nine hundred, the Federals did not totally panic, but after some brief hand-to-hand combat, they abandoned the field to McIntosh in haste and disorder and recrossed Wilson Creek. McIntosh’s men started to follow the Yankees across the creek, but about this time Federal artillery on the far side of the creek opened up on them, and drove them back the way they had come. By this time, it was eight-forty, and although the fight in Ray’s corn field had been fierce and gory, it had been relatively brief, lasting little more than about an hour. Lyon’s surprise attack on this part of McCulloch’s army had officially failed.68

    With the northeast side of the battlefield no longer in danger, McIntosh turned and led his men across the only nearby ford on Wilson Creek, thence northwestward a few hundred yards along the western side of the creek to a position on the extreme right (east) end of his main line which was by then heavily engaged with Lyon’s other attacking forces on a slope that would henceforth be known as “Bloody Hill.”69 The heaviest fighting was on the center and left of the Rebel line, but the 2d Arkansas was very much a part of the action. The Confederates unsuccessfully counter-attacked Lyon’s forces three times that day, and the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles were there for the second of those attempts.

    While this was going on, Sigel had attacked another part of the Confederate army from the southeast. At first, Sigel’s troops overwhelmed the unsuspecting Confederates, but the defenders rallied and routed the entire attacking force. The terrified Sigel abandoned his command, wrapped himself in a blanket, presumably to conceal his rank on this miserably warm morning, and escaped on foot through a corn field. He later commandeered a horse and is believed to have been the first Union soldier to have made it back safely to Springfield. Incredibly, in the coming weeks, the northern press would portray the timorous Sigel as a military hero, and Abe Lincoln promoted him to a generalship.

    Back on Bloody Hill, McCulloch, in response to a false report that enemy cavalry were preparing to attack from the east, ordered the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles to leave the front line and take up a position guarding the east side of the ford on Wilson Creek. This essentially relieved them of any further combat role in the battle. Later in the day, Yankee General Lyon was killed,70 his men were routed and fled pell-mell back to Springfield, and the 10th of August ended in a complete victory for McCulloch’s previously untested Rebel army.

    Something else interesting happened on 10 August; Sergeant Overton Henry resigned his non-com position and became a private again. Why would he have done such a thing? The timing is such that it certainly had something to do with the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. Perhaps he was frustrated with trying to deal with the raw, poorly disciplined troops and did not want to be responsible in any way for them on the battlefield again. Perhaps he was frustrated at being the non-com middleman for the equally raw and inexperienced officers who purported to lead him and his comrades into mortal combat. Or it may very well have had something to do with the battle injuries that his son John sustained that day.

    Although the Battle of Wilson’s Creek71 was a relatively small engagement in the grand scheme of the war, it was, in some ways, one of the most fiercely contested battles of the entire conflict.72 The three Henrys had gotten their baptism of fire less than a month after having enlisted. We do not know what they thought about their first taste of combat, nor how they personally acquitted themselves that day, but we do know that their brigade and regiment played an important part in the final victory. It was only the second real pitched battle of the war (after First Manassas, 21 July 1861–just twenty days earlier), and the South won both of them.

    The panicked Federals spent only a day in Springfield and then hastily retreated farther northeastward to the ultimate safety of their base in Rolla. McCulloch’s army spent a couple of weeks camped outside of Springfield. Then it moved slowly back toward the southwest. By 4 October the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles were camped near Granby, Missouri. On Halloween they were still in southwestern Missouri camped somewhere on Flat Creek. On 9 November they were just a very few miles from the Arkansas line, and on the 10th they arrived back at Camp Stephens about four miles northeast of Bentonville. By this time the defeated Yankee army had screwed its courage to the proverbial sticking-place and reoccupied Springfield.

    The 2d Arkansas reported fifty-five total casualties out of about four hundred troops engaged at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek,73 one of whom was Overton’s son John, who was listed as being “slightly wounded.” Depending on the severity of John’s injury, either his brother and/or father might have abandoned the fight to evacuate him and see that he got medical attention. It is entirely possible that just such a scenario may have had something to do with Overton’s decision to resign as sergeant. Slight as the wound may have been, John was soon listed on “sick leave,” and he was discharged from the army on 14 November of that same year, having served just under four months. John would later reenlist in a different regiment.

    It was probably no coincidence that Overton was discharged on the very same day as John and at the same location, Camp Stephens. Overton was undoubtedly taking his ailing son back to the nearby home place to recover from his injury. As best we can tell, he sat out the rest of the war at home looking after his wife and younger children.

    There was some excitement in northwest Arkansas in February and March of 1862 when a small Union army from Springfield marched across the state line. They were met by a slightly larger Confederate force (which included Overton’s son Jim), and after some maneuvering, a pitched battle ensued about twenty miles northeast of Elm Springs; it has come to be called the Battle of Pea Ridge (though in the South it was known as the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern). It ended in a decisive victory for the North, and the South never regained control of northwestern Arkansas. Pea Ridge is considered the most important Civil War battle fought in Arkansas.74 The second most important battle in that state was fought even closer to Overton’s place than Pea Ridge. The Battle of Prairie Grove occurred on 7 December 1862 not more than fifteen miles south of his farm. It, too, ended in a Northern victory.75 None of the Henrys were involved at Prairie Grove.

    In October of 1862, Jim was discharged from the army, and we are not sure if he returned home immediately to Washington County before reenlisting in a different regiment. Then in the summer of 1863 the family was saddened by the news that his brother John had died of wounds suffered in battle elsewhere in Arkansas.

    Life on the home front was often made more difficult for Confederate sympathizers in northern Arkansas who lived in fear that their wives and children would fall victims to invading Yankee armies and/or local pro-Union militants. At some point in the war, apparently while all the menfolk were away (i.e., possibly mid-July to mid-November 1861), Yankees came to the Henry farm. Mary Ann quickly hid her silverware in the butter churn and seated her small daughter, Sarah Clarenda, on top of it. The Yankees set fire to the house and let it burn to the ground while Mary Ann and her stepchildren watched helplessly. After the soldiers left, they salvaged what they could from the ashes, but that was very little.76 As far as I know, there were no Union troops in northwestern Arkansas this early in the war. The house could have been burned by Union sympathizers, or this incident could have occurred at a later date, although we do not know that Overton was absent from his home for any length of time after he was discharged from the army.

    The war was over in 1865, and Overton is said to have taken his family and left Arkansas in 1866.77 Arkansas was not ravaged by the war as badly as were the states in the deep South, and Texas was under military rule during Reconstruction just as surely as Arkansas. But there is reason to believe that whatever Overton had in the way of material possessions, including his house, when the war began was largely lost during the hostilities. Like so many other Confederates and Southern sympathizers, he may have found himself persona non grata in his own land. We are not sure why Overton chose Texas as the place to start over. The Lone Star State was an attractive option for many burned-out Confederates, and it is just possible that he had some friends or relatives in North Texas, although they have not yet been identified. Overton was just about forty-five years old when he set foot on Texas soil for the first time. Besides Mary Ann and Jim, it appears that Overton brought Wilson, Austin, Isaac, Andrew Jackson, Sarah, and Burr Hamilton with him.

    One undocumented story tells us that Red River County78 was the first place in Texas that Overton and his family settled, but another account says that it was Hunt County.79 It may be that Overton’s family tarried in one or both of those counties for a time, but they must not have stayed long in either, because such evidence as we have indicates that their first real home place in the Lone Star State was probably near Paris in Lamar County. A story passed down from Sarah Clarenda says that the family suffered great hardships after the Yankees burned their house in Arkansas and that they arrived in Texas and settled near Paris in “about 1866.” This story would appear to make sense, because we know for a fact that in 1869 Overton’s son Jim married a Lamar County girl, and their marriage license was purchased earlier the same day in Paris. By that time, Lamar County had been safely conquered from the Indians, but Indian depredations were still occurring periodically about a hundred miles to the west.

    Overton became a grandfather in 1870 (at age forty-nine) when Jim’s first child was born. The census for Lamar County that year shows that he owned no real estate, worked as a “farm hand” (apparently for someone else), and valued all of his personal goods at only $200. This suggests that the man had lost almost everything in the Civil War, and by 1870 he had not begun to recover.

    The only piece of property Overton is on record as owning in Lamar County was a half-acre lot in the little village of Roxton. He certainly did not live on this property, because it was only his for a few days. In a peculiar transaction, he bought the lot on 9 October 1870 for “two and fifty dollars,” and he sold it on the 27th of the same month for two hundred dollars (thus approximately doubling his total assets). Overton signed his name when he sold the lot, although ten years later he told the 1880 census taker that he could neither read or write.80 Mary Ann, his wife, denied being illiterate in 1860, 1870, and again in 1880, but when it came time for her to sign that same deed, she made her mark with an “X.”

    Overton’s only daughter married in the early- to mid-1870s, but by the latter part of the decade she and her two small children were back at home living with her parents. At least one of Overton’s sons, Jim, moved to Fannin County81 in about 1874, but we know that Overton and Mary Ann did not go along, because they were still farming in Lamar County when the census taker came around in 1880. I have found no land or deed transactions in Fannin County to indicate that Overton ever lived there at any time. Unfortunately the census records for 1890 were destroyed in a fire.

    Mary Ann Porter Henry is said to have died in 1895 and been buried somewhere in Red River County.82 If that is true, it might mean that she and Overton were living in Red River County at that time, presumably with (or very near) Wilson and his family. As we shall presently see, it is entirely possible that Mary Ann and Overton could have made the move to Red River County with their daughter Sarah (and her children) sometime before 1885. The exact location of Mary Ann’s grave is unknown.

    Little is known about Overton’s final dozen years as a widower. In December of 1898 or very early 1899 his son Jim moved westward almost a hundred miles to Montague County, and Overton followed him in 1906. He has not been found on any of the census schedules for 1900, so it appears that he may have somehow missed his final chance to be enumerated. We know that he lived for a while around the turn of the century with his daughter, who was, in turn, living with one of her grown sons, John Lorenzo Wyatt Williams, who was renting a farm (known as “the Holt farm”) about three miles northwest of Lone Oak in Hunt County, but Overton was apparently not there when the census taker came to call.83 It was during this same approximate time that he also lived for a while with his son Burr’s family, but he was not there either at census time in 1900. One of Burr’s daughters remembered that Overton used to baby sit with his grandchildren and that he was very strict with them. She also remarked that Overton was very hard of hearing.84

    As Overton grew old and feeble, he apparently started using a cane to get around, because the story has come down to us that Overton helped one of his great-grandsons learn to walk by letting the toddler hold on to his stick. This seemingly trivial piece of information is actually of some interest because we know that the tike was Aubrey Wyatt Williams, a grandson of Sarah Clarenda Henry Williams by her son John L. W. Williams.85 Aubrey was born in or near Lone Oak in June of 1905, and that is undoubtedly where he practiced his first steps with his great-grandfather. This allows us to pin down the date of Overton’s move to Montague County at some time between his efforts with little Aubrey in mid- to late 1906 and his death in the spring of the following year. Moreover, it was in 1906 that one of Overton’s sons, Andrew Jackson Henry, and one of Overton’s grandsons, James Achilles “Bud” Henry, moved their families to the little community of Belcher in Montague County.86 It is a pretty fair guess that Overton accompanied one or the other when they moved. With Mary Ann dead, the old man seems to have been living for a while (several years) with first one of his children (or grown grandchildren) and then another.

    Since the decrepit old man was apparently invited to make the move to Belcher with either Bud or Andrew Jackson, it was no doubt also intended that he would live with one of those families when they arrived at their destination. I have not been able to find any evidence that he ever moved in with Bud’s family, so it seems more likely that he may have lived with Andrew Jackson Henry. And it is just possible that his son Jim might have taken him into his household; after all, Jim was the head of the Henry clan around Belcher, and he might have had room for the old man in the big house that he had bought several years earlier. But regardless of where Overton lived around there, Belcher was not his home for very long, because death came to him in April of 1907–roughly a month before his eighty-sixth birthday.87 The cause of his demise was given as “old age.” He was buried in the Nocona Cemetery the following day.88 If Overton left a will, it was apparently never probated. Probably he did not have enough worldly possessions in his old age to warrant the trouble and expense of drawing up such a document; it appears that Overton Henry never really recovered financially from the devastation of the Civil War.89

    Before we move on to James A. “Jim” Henry, let us briefly review what we know about Overton’s other children.

    Wilson Richard Henry is the eldest of Overton’s children for whom we have a record. He was born out of wedlock somewhere in Missouri, probably Platte or Cole County, on 27 March 1841.90 His name occurs with his parents’ on the 1850 census of Platte County. “Wilse,” as he was often called, was gone from home by the time of the 1860 census in Washington County, Arkansas. He was almost certainly the nineteen-year-old Wilson Henry whom the census taker found living in the household of a Jordan Epperson in the Colville Township in Benton County not far from where his father was living in northernmost Washington County at the time. He probably could have walked home in a morning. It is hard to say what he was doing there, unless he was working for the Eppersons as a farm hand. Or perhaps the Eppersons were related to Wilson’s mother, Sarah Walker, or step-mother, Mary Ann Porter.

    Wilson was just the right age to serve in the Civil War, and so he apparently did. In 1899 he filed an application for a Confederate pension in the state of Texas. In that application he claimed that he enlisted in “Co[mpany] G, Stone’s second Regiment.” The date and location of that enlistment were not given on the pension application, but my research has discovered that Stone’s second regiment was, in fact, organized as the 6th Texas Cavalry regiment at Dallas in September of 1861 with 1150 men led by Colonel B. Warren Stone. His application goes on to say that Wilson served “3 years.” If he enlisted as soon as the war broke out, three years would not have carried him to the end of the conflict in 1865. The pension file tells us that Wilson suffered a “rupture” during the course of his service, and that may have been what put a premature end to his military career.

    The 6th Texas skirmished in Indian Territory, fought at Pea Ridge (as did Wilson’s father and two of his brothers), then moved east of the Mississippi River. It was dismounted during the battles at Corinth and Hatchie Bridge. Assigned to Ross’s brigade, it served with the Army of Tennessee during the Atlanta Campaign, was active in Tennessee, and ended the war in Mississippi. One of the field officers was Major (later Brigadier General) Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross who subsequently became governor of Texas (1887–91) and president of Texas A&M College. We shall have to take Wilson’s word for his military service because I have been unable to find his name on the regiment’s roster. But if he did in fact volunteer in Dallas, he was the very first of his father’s immediate family to go to Texas, and he was a long way from Benton County where he was enumerated just the year before.

    At any rate, Wilson survived the war, and afterwards he went to Texas. He might have gone with his father, stepmother, and siblings, but his pension application, filed in late 1899, claims that he had been living in Texas for thirty-five years; if correct, that would mean that he came to Texas circa 1864 (coincidentally, the year that his claimed three years of service came to an end). Given the fact that the Yankees are known to have burned the Henrys’ house down in Arkansas during the course of the war, his (and his father’s and siblings’) move to Texas could very well have happened while the latter stage of the war was still being played out.

    Whenever it was that he/they got to Texas, Wilson settled in Red River County while Overton and Mary Ann and the rest of his siblings were moving a little farther west and putting down roots in nearby Lamar and Hunt Counties. In 1870 Wilson married a native Arkansan by the name of Sarah Jane Williams.91 Jane, as she was probably called, was about thirteen years Wilson’s junior, and she bore him at least four children by the time of the 1880 census: Sarah B. (born circa 1872),92 John D. “Ox” (August 1876),93 Sarah F. (circa 1879), and a James Williams.94 If there were any other children ever born to Wilson and Sarah, they did not survive. They were still living in Red River County, and getting their mail at the little post office in Fulbright.95 All their children were gone from home, when the census taker came around in 1900.96

    Wilson’s Confederate pension application was filed in late 1899, briefly rejected, then refiled and accepted in February 1900. In it he claimed that he was, at age fifty-eight, disabled by “old age and rupture.” He went on to say that he owned no real property the total value of his personal property, mostly farm animals, was ninety-five dollars, and that he was “indigent.”

    Wilson outlived his father by little more than a year, dying on 9 July 1908. The circumstances of his death and his final resting place are unknown.

    John was the second child listed on the 1850 census of Platte County, Missouri. His middle initial was A, but we do not know what that stood for. His age (six) indicates that he was born in 1843 or 1844.97 He could have been born in Cole County, Missouri, where his parents were married the year before, or he could have been born back in Platte County where they were enumerated in 1850. Or he could have been born in Newton County where we believe his younger brother James was born just a year or so later. For some unknown reason, he did not appear with the family on the 1860 census (at which time he should have been sixteen).

    John is said to have died in the Civil War, and that story turns out to be true. In the National Archives, there is a record of a John A. Henry who joined the Confederate army at a camp near Bentonville, Arkansas, on 15 July 1861–the very same day and place that “Henry Overton” and James A. Henry enlisted. Furthermore, John A. brought his horse with him and was inducted into Company D of the 2d Battalion of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen for a twelve-month hitch (as were his dad and brother).98 Being the elder of these two brothers, John had a little better horse99 and a little nicer (newer?) saddle too.100 His age was given as “18,” so he could have been born as early as 1843.101 On August 10th, less than a month after he enlisted, John was “slightly wounded” in the Confederate victory at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in south-central Missouri near Springfield.102 It seems to have taken him some time to recuperate–perhaps at his father’s home back in far northwestern Arkansas–because he was listed as being “on sick leave” during September and October. Then on 14 November 1861–almost four months from the time he enlisted–John was discharged from the army at Camp Stephens, Arkansas, near Bentonville. The reason for his discharge was not specified, but we might guess that he was disabled in some way by his combat injury. His father was discharged at the same location on the same day, so we might suppose that Overton was taking John home to care for him.

    On 9 August 1862, John A. Henry reenlisted at Bentonville. This time he was a private soldier assigned to Company F of the 34th Arkansas Infantry,103 and his term of service was for “3 years or duration of the war.” His military records tell us that he stayed with his unit until he died eleven months later on 10 July 1863 in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. He had only lived to be nineteen or twenty years old.

    From a study of the Civil War records for Arkansas, we can make a pretty good guess as to what happened to John. In June of 1863, Confederate General Theophilus H. Holmes left his base camp in Little Rock with a small army of about 7600 men which included the 34th Arkansas. He marched eastward to the west bank of the Mississippi River, and at daybreak on 4 July made an ill-advised attack against heavily fortified Union positions at the town of Helena in a futile attempt to relieve Federal pressure on Vicksburg.104 John Henry’s regiment was part of Brigadier General James F. Fagan’s brigade of 1770 men who were assigned to capture the fortifications on Hindman Hill (sometimes euphemistically called “Fort Hindman”) on the south side of the fortified town. The whole attack was poorly coordinated, and Fagan was repulsed with heavy losses. John A. Henry must have been one of the wounded. Cotton Plant, his reported site of death, lies about sixty-five miles back along the line of the Confederates’ retreat, so we may conclude that John died there of his battlefield wounds on the little army’s return trek to Little Rock. He was almost certainly laid to rest somewhere by the road in an unmarked grave.

    Skipping over Horace’s grandfather, James A. Henry, for the moment, the third child on the 1850 census is five-year-old Anderson Henry. If that Anderson in 1850 was not the same child as the James on the 1860 census, then Anderson may have been a son who did not survive childhood, because he does not appear on any subsequent census. His brother James was born in May of 1845, so it doesn’t seen possible that he could have been born in that same calendar year. It seems almost certain to me that Anderson was, in fact, the same child as the James (whose middle initial is known to have been A) on the 1860 census.

    The next child of Overton’s was named Austin. He was presumably named for Texian revolutionary Stephen F. Austin while his uncles Joseph and Anderson, were living there in the late 1840s. Austin was born somewhere in Platte County, Missouri,105 on 7 April 1848.

    Austin was barely too young to fight in the closing days of the Civil War,106 and he probably came to Texas with his father shortly thereafter. He is said to have lived at one time in Ardmore and/or Madill, Oklahoma.107 Lucille Dunaway Huffman (his great niece) remembers that he was called “Uncle Auss” and that he smoked a pipe. We know that he moved to Montague County after his father and brothers, because we find him living in Belcher at the time of the 1910 census. He was listed as an old bachelor (i.e., sixty-two and single–not a widower). He was living with a Smith family and working as a “hired hand.” He is also known to have been a house painter and paper hanger. Austin is said to have been a very kind and gentle person who did good work and was always in demand. Unfortunately Austin was an alcoholic. His problems with the bottle kept him from working much of the time, and for that reason he is remembered as being the proverbial black sheep of the Henry family in Montague County.108 We do not know the date or circumstances of his death, nor do we know where he is buried.109

    Overton’s fifth child on the 1850 census was a two-year-old son named Houston. But we know that Austin was born in April of 1848, so Houston must actually have been born in 1849, presumably in Platte County. Ten years later he was replaced on the 1860 census by a ten-year-old son named Isaac. We have no other records of any kind whatsoever for either of these boys. Two possible explanations come to mind: 1) Houston and Isaac were the two given names of the same child,110 and that child was enumerated under different names on the two censuses,111 or 2) Houston was born about 1848 and died in the 1850s; Sarah was pregnant with Isaac at the time of the 1850 census.

    Nothing is known of Isaac’s early years, and we do not have any documents or vignettes to sketch his life before the 1880 census of Hunt County, Texas. At that time, he was living with his younger brother Andrew Jackson and his family. Isaac was single, claimed to be twenty-nine years old, and he told the census taker (probably incorrectly) that he was born in Arkansas. We know nothing else about him. Isaac does not appear on any subsequent census records, so he may not have survived the turn of the century.112 A story handed down from his baby sister Sarah Clarenda tells of one of her brothers (whose name has not been remembered) who died in Bonham, the seat of Fannin County, Texas. That man was very likely Isaac and/or Houston Henry.

    Our knowledge of the next child, Andrew Jackson Henry, is quite a bit better. He was born on 2 January 1852, along about the time his parents moved from Platt County, Missouri, to northwestern Arkansas, and he seems to have been called Jack or Jake. The 1860, 1870, 1900, and 1920 censuses list Missouri as his state of birth; in 1880 and 1910 he told the census taker that he was born in Arkansas. His mother died in childbirth when he was about six years old, and his father remarried in Arkansas four days after his eighth birthday.

    Jack must have been about fourteen when his family moved to northeast Texas. He married in Hunt County on 9 December 1874, and his first child, Ida A., was born toward the end of 1876. His wife was the former Mary A. Guest. Sarah Belle was probably the second child in this family, and Lora Effie was born in January of 1879. Their final child, Ruth, was born sometime between the 1880 census and her mother’s death (of unknown causes) on 15 December 1882.

    Then in 1885 Jack married a Cynthia M. Moore who was born in Texas in 1866 of Tennessean parents, so she would have been about nineteen at the time. He was thirty-four. They had four known children. James W. was born on 18 March 1886, a girl (we think) named Samuel on 15 October 1887, Ulmant J. on 12 November 1892, and George Eule on 2 October 1896. Jack’s boys all seem to have lived most of their adult lives around the west side of Montague County.

    Jack owned a farm in Kaufman County at census time in 1900 and was working it with his wife and three sons.113 He joined his big brother Jim in Montague County and first bought land there on 15 October 1906; it was an eighty-acre tract near Belcher, and he paid $2400 for it ($30 per acre). Circumstantial evidence suggests that Jack’s father may have accompanied the family to Belcher and perhaps lived with them there for a few months prior to his death in 1907. In 1910 Jack and his wife were farming their land, and Cynthia told the census taker there that she was the mother of six children, only three of whom were living, so Jack and Cynthia apparently lost Samuel in childhood and two other children whose names, birth dates, and grave sites are unknown to us. Jack bought 9.43 acres near Ringgold (a few miles west of Belcher) in November of 1916. He paid $800 for it, so we presume that there must have already been a house on the property.114

    Jack died in or near Ringgold, probably on his farm, on 28 September 1920 at age sixty-eight.115 Cynthia survived him by almost twenty-nine years, passing away on 1 June 1949. They are buried side by side in the Ringgold Cemetery.116

    It was not until 20 September 1854 that Sarah Walker Henry finally gave birth to a girl, whom she named for herself (Sarah Clarenda). Daughter Sarah Clarenda’s obituary in 1946 says that she was born “near Bentonville,” the seat of Benton County. Her mother died when she was so small, Sarah may hardly have remembered her. Her father remarried when she was only five, so Mary Ann Porter Henry was, for all practical purposes, the only mother she ever knew. Sarah is said to have been deeply attached to her stepmother.117

    The Civil War began in earnest about the time Sarah was turning seven. One day when she and a playmate were picking berries, they were “captured” by a passing Yankee soldier who put them on his horse, took them back to the house, and warned them to stay closer to home. But not all the Northern troops in Arkansas were so polite; when Sarah was about ten or eleven, Federal troops burned down her family’s home, and she is said to have nurtured a hatred of Yankees for the rest of her life.

    Sarah was approximately twelve when the family moved to Texas. She was just about sixteen and living at home when the census taker came around in Lamar County in 1870. On 12 January 1875 she and a man by the name of C. W. Williams118 obtained a marriage license at the courthouse in Paris, and they were married by a minister of the Gospel on the following day. The groom is said to have been somewhat older that Sarah, and he seems to have come down to Texas from the northern states.119 Williams, who may have been called “Buck,” claimed to have been born in Scotland, though years later some of the Henrys (and possibly Sarah) had some doubts about many of the things he had told them about himself, including his origins and even his name. Buck is said to have been a Freemason and a mechanic who worked on gins and such. Their first child was born on 30 September, barely eight months after the wedding, and they named him Charles Overton. Another son was born a year or so later, and he was called Alexander Hamilton (known as “Alec”). At some point Sarah and C. W. moved to Limestone County, and a third boy, John Lorenzo Wyatt Williams, was born to them there on 4 February 1880 near the little village of Kosse.

    Something happened to Sarah’s husband about the time little John was born, because she and the two oldest boys were back living with her parents in Lamar County at the time of the 1880 census, and C. W. Williams was not around.120 That is where she is said to have still been living circa 1885 when her small son Alec died at the age of about eight.121

    Several stories were circulated about C. W. Williams’ disappearance.122 We shall probably never know the exact details of the matter, but it appears that Williams deserted his wife and children. It is said that Sarah’s brothers once made an effort, unbeknownst to her, to locate Williams, but they were unsuccessful.123 Many years later, one of Sarah’s granddaughters claimed to have seen an old letter that was still in Sarah’s possession when she was nearing the end of her long life; in it Sarah’s missing husband said that he still loved her and the boys and that he would soon visit or send for them.124 As far as we know, she never saw him again. Nor do we have any evidence that she ever divorced him or had him declared legally dead.

    We are not sure of Sarah’s exact whereabouts between 1885 and the 1900 census, but it is a good bet that she was living with one relative or another. Sometime during this period, possibly around 1889, she went to live with her younger brother Burr who had moved to nearby Hunt County, probably close to the small town of Lone Oak. Sarah is said to have occupied a cabin or shack out behind his house, and she earned her keep by cleaning house, tending the children, and helping out around the farm.

    The census of June 1900 found her living with her oldest child, Charles O. Williams on a rented farm in Hunt County. Charles had a wife, a small child, and his younger brother living with him also. Sarah told the census taker that she was a widow, which may or may not have been a story that the family concocted to cover up the fact that her husband had deserted her and her children.

    In 1903 her son John Lorenzo Wyatt Williams took a wife and settled down near Lone Oak in Hunt County, undoubtedly not far from his brother Charles. Sarah lived with the newlyweds, and they worked a rented farm about three miles north of town. The place was known as the “Holt farm,” and old man Holt, who had been married three times, took a liking to Sarah (who would have been about fifty then). In fact, Mr. Holt had his mind set on matrimony, and he is said to have been a man of some property.125 Sarah’s family would probably have been delighted to see her make such a good catch after all the years of poverty and hardship she had endured, but she was not interested.126

    The object of Mr. Holt’s attentions was a short (about five feet) and stocky woman. Sarah is described as having “luxuriant hair [and a] size 4½ shoe.”127 She favored long, dark print dresses with lace collars and cuffs, hats, and high-top black shoes. On a warm Sunday in summer she was likely to be wearing “a white cotton [dress] with small black figures, [and a] white starched bonnet trimmed with black lace.”128 Her grandson, Grady Williams, remembers her as being a devout Methodist who was extremely strict about observing the Sabbath. Sarah was an industrious woman who was habitually neat and clean. She was reputed to have been an excellent cook, and most of her recipes were fried foods. The younger generations of Henrys and Williams knew her as “Aunt Sally,” and she is said to have been much loved for her humorous disposition.129

    It was on the Holt farm that Sarah’s widower father lived with her and/or her son’s family for a while just after the turn of the century. Overton would have been about eighty, and he probably needed someone to help look after him. Some of the Henry clan who had moved westward to Montague County beginning in 1898 invited Sarah to come and live with them about this time, but she declined, probably because her children and grandchildren were all still in the Hunt and Grayson County area. In 1906 her father accepted a similar invitation, and she probably never saw him again.

    In 1908 John Williams left the Holt place and bought a fifty-acre farm on Dunn’s Creek about a mile and a half northwest of Lone Oak. Sarah moved with John’s family and continued helping with the domestic chores and occasionally picking the cotton. Every summer she would go and spend about a month with her brother Burr’s family near Leonard in Fannin County.

    In 1910, still claiming to be a widow, Sarah was enumerated in her son John’s household in Hunt County, and her son Charles and his family were living immediately next door.130 Ten years later, Sarah was not living with either one of her boys in Hunt County.131 In fact, she has not been found on any census schedule for 1920. Nor have we found her anywhere on the 1930 census.

    After John died of cancer in 1934 and his widow had to take her own invalid mother into the house, Sarah moved out and went to live near Sherman with her last remaining son, Charles, and his wife.132 They had a spinster daughter who looked after Sarah when she became feeble, unresponsive, and virtually bedridden during the last several years of her life. Death took Sarah on 28 June 1946. Her death certificate lists cardiac failure as the cause of death and senility as a contributing factor. When she was buried in the Shannon Cemetery133 in Grayson County, she was about three months short of her ninety-second birthday.

    Overton and Sarah’s last child to survive infancy was listed as “Hamilton” on the 1860 census of Washington County. A decade later he was enumerated as “Bur H.” His correct name was Burr Hamilton Henry, and he was born on 24 November 1856 near Bentonville, Arkansas. His mother died when he was probably not quite two years old. His father remarried a few weeks after his third birthday, and his stepmother, Mary Ann Porter Henry, was the only mother he ever knew. He was a growing boy during the Civil War, and he probably remembered the day the Yankees burned his family’s house down.

    He was around ten when his family moved to Texas, and his age was correctly given as thirteen on the 1870 census of Lamar County. It was probably about 1880 when Burr married an Ella N. V. Latimer at Clarksville, Texas, (the seat of Red River County).134 We know that they had seven children who survived childhood, six of whom (like their mother) had three given names: Lorenzo Wyatt (“Renz”),135 Maudie Vie Della,136 Overton Alexander Hamilton,137 Sally Ruth Ann,138 Ella Marion Augusta,139 Lucy Cordelia Julia (“Cordie”),140 and Vita Vera Una.141 Burr and his family were living in Hunt County near Kingston in 1885, and a few years later they were living in the Porter community near Whitewright. The family moved often, but they never left northeast Texas. When some of his brothers moved to Montague County around the turn of the century, Burr stayed behind. In 1909 he moved for the last time to the area around Leonard in southwestern Fannin County. The family attended the rural Blanton Chapel Methodist Church.

    Burr died of cancer in January of 1916 (at about age sixty) at his home west of Leonard. After Burr’s death, his widow lived a couple of months first with one of her children and then with another. She suffered from heart trouble and asthma, and in approximately 1919 she had a cancerous breast removed. Ella finally died at her son Alexander Hamilton’s farm southeast of Leonard in 1920. Burr and Ella are buried in the East Shady Grove Cemetery near the site of the old Blanton Chapel, a couple of miles west of Leonard.

    Having briefly recapitulated the lives of Overton’s other children, let us turn now to Horace’s grandfather, James A. Henry. The third child of Overton by Sarah, he was probably called “Jim.” The 1850 and 1860 census data suggest that his middle initial probably stood for Anderson, although we can not prove this. The fact is that he went through most of his life identifying himself on documents simply as James A. Henry.

    In any event, he was born on the 17th of May, most probably in 1845. His tombstone gives 1844 as the year of his birth, but information on his death certificate, furnished by his oldest son, puts it a year later. In light of the fact that he was discharged from the Confederate army in 1862 for being underage, 1845 is more likely correct. We think that his birth probably occurred in Newton County, Missouri. I say “probably” because this information is taken solely from his army discharge papers. The handwriting is very poor, but when compared with a list of counties in Missouri at that time, Newton is really the only one it could reasonably be. As mentioned above, his parents moved the family to Platte County, Missouri, near Kansas City by 1850. His mother died when he was about thirteen, and his father remarried when he was fourteen. He was raised on first one farm and then another, and except for his stint as a soldier, he seems to have been a farmer all his life.

    Jim was not quite sixteen when the first shots of the Civil War were fired. He was actually a little too young to be a soldier, but his dad and slightly older brother John were volunteering, so he apparently tagged along and no doubt lied about his age.142 The fact that he volunteered for a cavalry unit and took his own horse with him may have helped his case with the recruiting officer. A Captain James M. McIntosh was organizing a makeshift cavalry regiment at Osage Prairie near Bentonville, and that is where Jim and his father and his older brother John went to enlist on 15 July 1861.143 Along with his father and brother, Jim and his horse soon found themselves in Company D144 of the Battalion of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen for an intended period of twelve months.145 This so-called “Battalion” was a misnomer for what was actually just a single regiment.146 It was soon rechristened the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles Regiment.147 The regiment’s initial strength was 662 men and officers,148 which would have been about two-thirds of a fully populated regiment and only a small fraction of an actual battalion.

    Except for another boy who was only fifteen, Jim Henry, at sixteen, was the youngest soldier in the entire regiment. The eldest was a private who was forty-nine. Jim’s military records tell us that he was light complexioned, had blue eyes, light hair, and stood “5 feet, — inches high.”149 And his “X” on his discharge papers assures us that he had not had enough schooling to learn to read and write.150 As far as we can tell, he was a good soldier and never deserted or went AWOL. Jim’s regiment was attached to Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch’s division, and it was not long before he and his father and brother got their first taste of combat.

    Cavalry sabers were already becoming more decorative than useful when the Civil War broke out. Many of the Northern cavalrymen carried repeating carbines and/or cap-and-ball revolvers. Mounted Southerners used a variety of weapons; one which they favored–but the Yankees almost never used–was the shotgun. Family tradition tells us that Jim carried a shotgun in the war, and there is some reason to believe that the story may be true.151 For several decades now, I have been in possession of a large bore, muzzle-loading, double-barreled shotgun which is said to have been the one that Jim Henry used. (Refer to Appendix C, Jim’s Shotgun.) It must have been an awesome weapon at close range, but it was no good at all when the enemy was more than a few dozen yards away, and it could not be easily reloaded in the heat of battle–and certainly not from the saddle.

    The first four months of Jim’s military career were identical in every way to those of his father and brother John, and that period of time has already been recounted above in the story of Overton Henry’s life. Let us pick up the narrative after Overton and his ailing son John were discharged from the Confederate army and left Jim Henry with his comrades in the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles at Camp Stephens near Bentonville, Arkansas, in mid-November of 1861.

    Winter was on the way, and it proved to be a particularly hard one. Both Northern and Southern armies made it a habit of respecting an uncalled, informal truce during the cold weather months when they would go into winter quarters and suspend offensive operations almost entirely.

    We are not sure exactly where Jim Henry spent the winter of 1861–62. On 4 December Colonel McIntosh took most of his soldiers into winter quarters at Cantonment Bee, near Van Buren, Arkansas, just across the river from Fort Smith. Ordinarily the troops would have wintered in Fort Smith itself, but there had been a serious outbreak of smallpox there, so McIntosh chose the opposite side of the river. At some point the smallpox in Fort Smith crossed the river and got into the army. I suspect that the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles were with McIntosh for most or all of the winter, but there is a credible source152 which claims that by January of 1862 the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles had been dismounted and attached to the infantry command of Colonel Louis Hébert whose troops wintered in Fayetteville some fifty-five miles to the north. It may be that Private Henry spent the latter part of the winter in Fayetteville.

    On 21 December the 2d Arkansas reported 553 men present for duty. By sometime in January of 1862, it was up to 820 men present and accounted for. On 21 January 1862, all Arkansas soldiers who had enlisted for one year (including Jim Henry) were advised that the Confederate government had unilaterally extended their tour of duty for an additional two years.

    In January of 1862 Union forces again advanced on Arkansas, led by Brigadier General Samuel Curtis, and Confederate Generals Stirling Price and Ben McCulloch (including Colonels McIntosh and Hébert) withdrew into the Boston Mountains south of Fayetteville. There their forces were united and placed under the command of Major General Earl Van Dorn. Van Dorn was determined to give battle and had grandiose hopes of leading his small army all the way across Missouri to capture Saint Louis.153 The Rebel army broke camp and headed north on 4 March just as a blizzard hit northwest Arkansas and the weather turned bitterly cold. Van Dorn’s timing could not have been worse.

    For reasons that are unclear, the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles were dismounted for this entire campaign. Jim Henry, if he went along, was for all practical purposes an infantry soldier at this time. While it seems probable that Jim followed General Van Dorn into battle, it is not absolutely and perfectly certain. Snow was already beginning to fall when Van Dorn’s force headed north from its rendezvous point in the Boston Mountains, and the temperature was dropping rapidly. Incredibly, and despite the worsening blizzard, Van Dorn forbade his troops to bring tents and limited them to a single blanket each. The Rebel army never had enough to eat, and when they were on the march the food supply situation was even worse. The men in the recently dismounted cavalry regiments had a particularly difficult time keeping up with the rapid pace that Van Dorn set. As the army marched through Elm Springs, it would not have been difficult for the men of the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles, including Jim Henry, to have fallen out of formation and gone a short distance to the warm comfort of their own homes. Stragglers were always a problem for Van Dorn, and an estimated fifteen to twenty-five percent of the men he started out with never made it to the battlefield. By the time they reached Fayetteville that evening, morale in the ranks was bad and getting worse.

    Snow was still falling on the 5th, and the 16,000-man army’s progress was slow and miserable. They camped twelve miles south of Bentonville after making brief contact with some Union scouts and patrols. To make matters worse, a local Yankee sympathizer alerted the Union commander that the Confederates were now coming and not going.154

    By 6 March, Yankee General Curtis had taken a defensive position on a slight topographic prominence called Pea Ridge northeast of Bentonville and was waiting for the attack he felt was sure to come. Earlier that day he had been reenforced by the same Franz Sigel, now a general, who had attacked Ben McCulloch at Wilson’s Creek the previous August only to flee the battlefield in panic. That night the Confederate army bivouacked at Camp Stevens just outside of Bentonville.

    Friday, March 7th, dawned cold, clear, and windless. The temperature remained below freezing all morning. Van Dorn’s army, which had recently been officially designated as the Confederate Army of the West, approached Curtis’s defenses after having completed their fifty-five-mile trek in a wet, driving snowstorm. Rather than attack the strong Yankee position head on, Van Dorn separated Price’s and McCulloch’s divisions and sent both of them by different routes to try to get around Curtis’s right flank and into his rear. It almost worked. But the Confederates moved too slowly, and Curtis discovered their plans in time to reposition his troops. The Battle of Pea Ridge was actually two related but separate military engagements that have been lumped together under one name. McCulloch’s division, including the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles, fought the left wing of the Federal army on Pea Ridge on 7 March just north of the small rural community of Leetown. Overton may well have heard the rumble of the cannons at his farm twenty miles southwest of where his son Jim was probably fighting.

    It began about midday when McCulloch’s division was unexpectedly attacked by rifle and artillery fire barely a mile north of Leetown as they marched eastward past a Mr. Foster’s farm to rejoin Price and Van Dorn who had already engaged the main body of the Yankee army about two miles away. McCulloch halted and quickly deployed his forces in and around Foster’s farm and returned fire. The dismounted 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles were attached, at least temporarily, to Hébert’s infantry brigade (still in McCulloch’s division) and were positioned near the far right of McCulloch’s south-facing line.

    In preparation for an all-out frontal attack on the Yankee position, McCulloch rode forward into the trees on the south side of Foster’s farm to reconnoiter. As he did so, he was spotted by the 36th Illinois Infantry which loosed a volley in his direction. McCulloch died instantly with a minié ball in his heart. The 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles quickly decided to retreat back to the north and out of the trees. Theirs was the only serious effort by any Confederate regiment to penetrate the belt of timber and challenge the strength of the Yankee line on this part of the battlefield. The time was one-thirty.

    Command of McCulloch’s division passed to James McIntosh, the man who had recruited, organized, and once commanded the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles. McIntosh was advised of McCulloch’s death, but the men in the ranks were not. He immediately ordered the general attack that McCulloch had been preparing and rode to the front of the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles to lead it. With his sword held high, McIntosh led his old regiment forward without waiting for the rest of his attacking regiments to catch up. Bad mistake. Jim Henry and his comrades followed McIntosh across Foster’s farm and into the stand of trees beyond for the second time. When they emerged from the trees a few minutes later, McIntosh found himself facing the same 36th Illinois that had killed McCulloch almost exactly an hour earlier. The Illinois troops fired a heavy volley directly at the 2d Arkansas; McIntosh, like McCulloch, was killed instantly by a minié ball in the heart. Jim Henry could have been killed just as easily by that same volley, for he could not have been standing more than a few dozen yards away when McIntosh fell. Leaderless for the second time that early afternoon, the 2d Arkansas beat a hasty retreat back through the woods to the relative safety of their comrades in arms a few hundred yards to the north. The time was now two-thirty.

    Command of the division then passed to Colonel Hébert, Jim Henry’s nominal commander when this campaign began. Hébert was some distance away in the trees when McCulloch and McIntosh fell, and he had no idea that he had become the division commander. Moreover, Hébert became separated from his troops in the woods and soon blundered into the Yankee line and was captured. For the third time in less than as many hours, division command passed to yet another officer.

    This time it was Brigadier General Albert J. Pike,155 a political appointee who was, at least nominally, in command of a brigade of undisciplined Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Creek Indians from eastern Indian Territory (Oklahoma) who fought savagely for the Confederacy when they occasionally felt like it.156 Pike very briefly pondered his situation, concluded that the Leetown fight was lost, and promptly ordered (and energetically led) a hasty retreat up a road to the north.

    Not all of the division’s regiments left the battlefield with Pike. One artillery battery and eight regiments, including the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles led by Colonel Benjamin T. Embry, ignored Pike’s order to withdraw and kept their units in place. With Pike long gone, command of the division changed hands for the fourth time of the afternoon; this time it went to Colonel Elkanah Greer of the 3d Texas Cavalry who had never before led anything larger than a regiment. Greer described his division’s situation in his official report a few days after the battle:

...most of these regiments went into the engagement with greatly reduced numbers and came out mere skeletons. My effective force could not have exceeded 3,000 men, and they were exhausted with fatigue and the want of good food and water.157

    Greer held his ground as long as he could, but somewhere between 5:00 and 6:00 P.M. he finally ordered his troops to withdraw along the same road Pike had taken. The withdrawal took the Rebels only a couple of miles north to a rural intersection marked by a church, and the equally exhausted Yankees made no effort to pursue. From that intersection most of the defeated Confederates heeded Pike’s order to proceed eastward so as to reinforce Price and Van Dorn before the fighting resumed near Elkhorn Tavern the next morning. But at least a quarter of the troops chose to disregard Pike and headed southwestward to return to the relative comfort and safety of their old Camp Stephens near Bentonville.158 They were physically exhausted, miserably cold, and almost completely out of food and potable water, not to mention being low on ammunition. Their most beloved leaders, McCulloch and McIntosh, were dead, and by this time the incompetent Van Dorn was probably substantially less popular with them than Abe Lincoln. The 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles stayed, and at 1:30 A.M. on another frigidly cold night, they formed up and marched several miles east and then south to rejoin the rear of what was left of Van Dorn’s army before the break of day. About dawn Van Dorn sent a guide to conduct what was left of Greer’s division to a position on the far left of the army which was by this time facing the Yankees to the south and west. They were instructed to hold their position and await further orders.

    The Federals attacked early, and Greer formed his men into line of battle to receive them. As it happened, Greer’s position on the extreme left of the line isolated him (and the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles and Private Henry) from the action. After about two hours of being mercilessly pounded by Union artillery, Van Dorn ordered Greer to take his men and retreat eastward along the Huntsville Road. Before it was over that day, the Yankees had whipped Van Dorn fairly severely and drove most of his forces from the field in confusion. He was lucky to have escaped Pea Ridge with enough of his army to retreat to his quarters in Van Buren and fight another day.

    This battle, known as Pea Ridge159 in the North and Elkhorn Tavern in the South, put an end to Southern military activity in Missouri for at least two years. It also left the Henry family’s farm near Elm Springs in Yankee-controlled territory for the duration of the war.

    On 10 March, the remnants of Van Dorn’s defeated army streamed into Fayetteville as a disorganized mob and kept on going south. Their disorderly retreat took some of them back to their camp in Van Buren no later than the 16th and, a few days later, across the river into Fort Smith.

    Just as the Battle of Pea Ridge was getting under way on 7 March, a communication from General P. G. T. Beauregard arrived at Van Dorn’s vacant headquarters back in Van Buren. Beauregard suggested that Van Dorn bring virtually all of his troops, including the Missouri State Guard under Stirling Price, eastward to reinforce the newly created Confederate Army of Mississippi at Corinth, Mississippi. When Van Dorn finally arrived back at his headquarters and read the invitation, he immediately accepted it. Most of the men in Van Dorn’s command were, like Jim Henry, local Arkansans and Missourians, and they were extremely unhappy about being sent so far away from their homes and families. Discipline was poor, and many of the soldiers talked openly of refusing to go. They well knew that as soon as their modest little army left, the entire state of Arkansas would fall to the Yankees. Generals Van Dorn and Price used what was left of their influence to persuade the men that their help was desperately needed for a great battle that was shaping up in southwestern Tennessee and that just as soon as that victory had been won, they would be sent back to their home states.160 In the end, almost all of the soldiers consented to go, including Jim Henry.161 Little did they know as they began that eastward journey, that the great battle they were going to fight would, in fact, be fought without them.

    As Van Dorn slowly began to move eastward, General Curtis and his Union army did likewise across northern Arkansas. Curtis kept a respectful distance to the north, but he shadowed Van Dorn in the event he should decide to turn north and try to invade Missouri again. When it became apparent that Van Dorn was going to Tennessee, Curtis turned his attention to Little Rock. His attempt to march overland to that city was stymied in the summer of 1862 by a combination of growing Rebel resistance and his own logistical problems. Confederate units were rapidly moved in from Texas to defend the state capital, and Curtis found that his long, vulnerable supply line from Rolla was insufficient to support his army all the way into central Arkansas. In July he abandoned his supply lines and marched across the delta land of eastern Arkansas toward Helena on the west bank of the Mississippi River where his men could be supplied by water. This meant little or nothing to Jim Henry, but the Yankee force that invested Helena was to cost his brother John his life in July of 1863.

    Beauregard’s original plan called for Van Dorn’s Army of the West to travel overland from Fort Smith to Little Rock,162 and from there they would proceed to Jacksonport on the White River. But the Yankees soon captured the undefended Jacksonport, so the army’s river terminal was changed to Des Arc further south on the White River. Then heavy spring rains flooded much of the state, many streams were out of their banks, and the roads leading to Des Arc became impassible quagmires. So the departure point on the White River was again changed downstream, this time to DeValls Bluff. The 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles marched east as far as Ozark where they boarded a steamboat that took them down the Arkansas River to Little Rock. From there they and their horses were transported on the Little Rock and Memphis Railroad to DeValls Bluff where they were met a few days later by a flotilla of twenty steamboats sent by General Beauregard. It was apparently at DeValls Bluff that the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles got the bad news that they were being “dismounted” again.163 That is, they were getting on the steamboats, but their horses were not. They were required to leave their horses and saddles behind and become, in effect, infantry once again.164 The official assurances they got that they would be at some point “remounted” were worthless.

    The big boats took them about one hundred seventy miles down the White River to its junction with the Mississippi and thence back northward on the big river to Memphis. The first of the steamboats began arriving in Memphis on 11 April 1862–four days after the Battle of Shiloh (aka Pittsburg Landing) had been fought and lost. The final part of Van Dorn’s little army appears to have arrived in Memphis on the 13th. Since the Battle of Shiloh had already passed into history and the Federals were not pressing Beauregard’s retreat,165 there was no longer any reason for Van Dorn to hurry. His army dawdled in Memphis for a week or ten days before being transported by rail to join Beauregard in Corinth on April 24th or 25th. Corinth was not a large city, but it was a strategically important rail junction, and Beauregard used it as his base of operations both before and after the Battle of Shiloh.

    Perhaps it is just as well that Jim was not present at Shiloh, because it was a sanguinary defeat for the South, and he could easily have perished there without issue. The Army of the Mississippi had left Corinth, marched a short distance across the state line into Tennessee, and on 6 April attacked General U. S. Grant’s Union army at Pittsburg Landing on the west bank of the Tennessee River. The first day looked for all the world like a tremendous Confederate victory, but Johnston was mortally wounded, and General Beauregard assumed command. Incredibly, Beauregard believed that Van Dorn’s men were well on the way and would arrive overnight to reinforce his gallant but exhausted army, so he halted the attack which he might otherwise have pressed to great advantage. Van Dorn, of course, did not arrive that night–he was still days away in DeValls Bluff waiting on the steamboats to arrive–but reinforcements for Union General Grant did. The second day of fighting was a different story; the Rebels were not completely routed, but they were compelled to break off the engagement and withdraw from the field. In two days of fighting at Shiloh, more Americans were killed than in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, all the various Indian wars, and the Mexican War combined.

    As the victorious Union army laboriously dogged Beauregard back into Mississippi and began to encircle him at Corinth, Van Dorn’s fresh troops (including the 2d Arkansas) were ordered to take part in an attack on Union General John Pope’s corps of Grant’s army on 9 May at Farmington, Mississippi, a village about three miles due east of Corinth. It was a relatively small engagement in which the Confederates succeeded in slowing, but not stopping, the advance of the greatly superior Federal force. Van Dorn’s division encountered “obstructions” and was late getting to the fight, so it is possible that Private Henry saw little or no action at Farmington.166

    While the Army of the Mississippi was licking its wounds in Corinth, Private Henry observed, but probably did not celebrate, his 17th birthday on 17 May.167 It was also during the month of May 1862 that Beauregard’s army was reorganized as a result of the Confederate Conscription Act that had been enacted the previous month. New officers were chosen, and the 2d Arkansas was commanded by Colonel Harris Flanagin. Later that year Flanagin was elected governor of Arkansas, and a J. A. Williamson was promoted to Colonel to lead the regiment.

    Slowly but surely, General Grant’s force of more than 100,000 men almost entirely encircled Corinth. By a clever ruse at the last minute (29–30 May), Beauregard was able to evacuate the town and move his army southward in the direction of Tupelo, fifty miles away. The Mobile & Ohio rail line running south of Corinth was still open. Beauregard brought in empty cars all through the night and ordered Jim and his comrades to let out a loud cheer whenever one of the vacant trains arrived. Men and equipment were quickly loaded onto the cars and taken a safe distance outside of town, and the empty cars were returned to Corinth to another round of cheers. The Yankees heard the noisy trains and the cheers and concluded that massive reinforcements were arriving every few hours. Rather than attack the Confederates, the Union generals feared that the Confederates were preparing to attack them. By the time the next morning they discovered that they had been tricked, Beauregard and his army (and Jim Henry) were long gone. Some smart-ass Confederate soldier left behind a note that read, “These premises to let; inquire of P. G. T. Beauregard.”

    The 2d Arkansas arrived in Tupelo on 9 June 1862. On the 20th, General Braxton Bragg168 was named to replace Beauregard169 as commander of the Army of Tennessee. On that same day, Major General J. P. McCown replaced Major General Earl Van Dorn as commander of the Army of the West, and that so-called army became a part of Bragg’s command.

    By mid-July, Jim’s one-year hitch should have been up, but it will be remembered that the Confederate congress had extended the obligation of all twelve-month volunteers to three full years. Jim was theoretically obligated until July of 1864.

    On 21 July, Bragg began moving his forces to Chattanooga in preparation for a two-pronged advance into Tennessee and Kentucky in conjunction with General Kirby Smith who was already in Knoxville. The Yankees had severed rail communication between Tupelo and Chattanooga, so Bragg sent all but his wagons and cavalry by a circuitous route. The 2d Arkansas was taken on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad from Tupelo south to Meridian and then on down to the coast at Mobile. They were ferried across Mobile Bay to the Alabama & Florida Railroad and taken northeast to Montgomery, Alabama, and then to Atlanta, and finally on to Chattanooga. The advance guard arrived in Chattanooga on 27 July. It appears that the 2d Arkansas arrived on the 28th or 29th. The trip had taken Jim about a week.

    Almost as soon as they arrived in Chattanooga, two brigades of Bragg’s army, including the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles,170 were detached and transferred to Kirby Smith’s command in Knoxville. We are not sure whether they travelled the one hundred ten miles to Knoxville on foot or by rail or perhaps via a bit of both. They camped along the way for the night of 7–8 August at Loudon and arrived at their destination on the 9th. At this point the records become somewhat ambiguous, and it appears that they may have been briefly attached to Preston Smith’s brigade of Major General Patrick R. Cleburne’s division.

    For the first time, Kentucky and eastern Tennessee were to become active venues in the war. Union Major General Don Carlos Buell’s forces were already in control of most of central and western Tennessee.171

    We don’t know how much Jim’s father had told him about his origins in Sevier County, Tennessee, but we have to remark that when Jim was briefly stationed in or near Knoxville, he may have been less than twenty miles from where his dad was born and raised. He almost certainly had uncles, aunts, and first cousins within a day’s ride of where his unit was bivouacked. Did he know how to find them and/or get in touch with them? Did they ever know that he was camped that close to the old home place? Did he ever get to meet any of his long-lost relatives while he was there? Probably not, but we shall never know.

    Jim Henry may or may not have enjoyed his brief respite in eastern Tennessee. The Appalachian Mountains generally made large scale agriculture, hence slavery, economically nonviable; therefore, the conservative mountain folks saw no advantage to secession and remained strongly pro-Union throughout the war.172 The native civilians were often openly hostile, and it was worth a Rebel soldier’s life to wander very far away from his camp and comrades in those lonesome hills and hollows.173

    The invasion commenced at 4:00 P.M. on 14 August 1862 when Kirby Smith left half of his 18,000-man army in Knoxville to keep pressure on the 8700 Federals who were occupying Cumberland Gap about forty miles to the north and marched northward toward south central Kentucky with the other 9000. A day later the bulk of Kirby Smith’s little army filed through Big Creek Gap174 (still in the mountains of eastern Tennessee), and from there they passed through Roger’s Gap and reached Barbourville,175 Kentucky, on the 18th. General Smith spent a few days there and then started to move northward toward Lexington on the 24th.176

    The roads over the mountains were rugged at best, and the soldiers often had to improvise ways of dragging their heavily laden supply wagons and artillery pieces over the rough spots. It was slow going, and many of Kirby Smith’s men had little or nothing in the way of footwear. Oddly enough, morale remained remarkably high.177 As they slowly moved into southern Kentucky, the mountains gave way to the lush pastures of the bluegrass country.

    Rations were short, and the troops were hungry most of the time. In the bluegrass country, they found apples and corn for the taking, and those comprised the bulk of their diet. Some of the hungry soldiers resorted to eating acorns from the oak trees.

    The Yankees at Lexington were expecting Kirby Smith, and they sent two recently recruited brigades of cavalry and infantry to oppose him. One brigade bivouacked at Richmond, about fifteen miles to the southeast of Lexington, and the other at the little hamlet of Rogersville, two miles south of Richmond and directly astride the route that Smith would surely have to take. On 29 August, Smith’s forces made contact with the enemy at the rural Mount Zion Church six miles south of Richmond. Smith’s skirmishers were driven in, but by dark the Federals had fallen back to Rogersville.

    When the sun came up the next morning, 30 August, the Yankees had established a hasty defensive position on a wooded hill about a half mile south of Rogersville. The advance units of Smith’s army skirmished with the Union forces while Churchill’s division was rushed to the front. Churchill and his men were in place by about 7:30 a.m., and he was ordered to move to his left, drive in the enemy’s right, and cut off their retreat toward Richmond. Leaving McNair in reserve, Churchill took another brigade and proceeded into position through a cornfield and a ravine. As he did so, the enemy attempted to turn Smith’s right but was beaten back. Then Churchill began his charge. The enemy fell back along the road and made a stand on a farm about two miles distant.

    Giving the Yankees little time to reorganize, Kirby Smith again ordered Churchill to attack the Federals’ right flank while the 2d Arkansas was still held in reserve. The Yankees stopped, stood their ground momentarily, then broke and ran.

    The advance brigade being exhausted, Churchill ordered McNair’s brigade (including the 2d Arkansas) to give pursuit. McNair’s men chased the retreating Federals for two miles to the outskirts of Richmond just as night was falling. There the Bluecoats made yet a third stand, this time in a cemetery, taking cover behind tombstones and a rock wall. And for the third time that day, Churchill’s men got the order to drive in the enemy’s right. Fighting in the lengthening evening shadows of a graveyard surely must have been the most macabre moment of Jim’s life. The Yankees took three volleys from their attackers then broke and ran for their lives again.

    The Battle of Richmond was a one-sided Southern victory. Out of 6500 Federal soldiers engaged, casualties (killed, wounded, and missing/captured) totaled 5353 (82 percent). Confederate casualties were 451178 out of 6000 engaged (7½ percent).

    On Sunday the 31st, the Confederates gave thanks for their lopsided triumph, buried their dead, tended to the sick and wounded, and paroled about 4000 Yankee prisoners. The next day, 1 September, Kirby Smith (and presumably Jim Henry) entered Lexington, Kentucky, unopposed.179 The mayor officially surrendered the town, and most of the shops were closed.

    On the 3d, Smith’s forces advanced some twenty-five miles and entered Frankfort, the capital city, without incident, but the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles remained behind in Lexington. On the 4th, Jim’s regiment marched about a dozen miles north to Georgetown expecting to encounter a small force of Yankees, but the enemy had already fled the area. They continued on northward via Williamstown to within five miles of Covington, the Kentucky city directly across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, and they made camp there on the night of the 10th. Civil authorities in Cincinnati were thrown into a panic by the unexpected arrival of Confederate soldiers just across the river. On the 12th, the 2d Arkansas headed back towards Lexington and spent two or three days along the way near the town of Walton.

    By mid-September General Bragg’s forces180 had also reached central Kentucky without encountering any significant resistance, and they were camped near Bardstown, about thirty-five miles southeast of Louisville which was held by Buell’s Union forces.181 The two small Confederate armies, acting more or less in concert, now threatened Louisville and even Cincinnati. Kirby Smith’s army was scattered amongst the towns of Lexington, Frankfort, Shelbyville, and Harrodsburg (about thirty miles southwest of Lexington). It appears that the 2d Arkansas was bivouacked at Shelbyville, about halfway between Frankfort and Louisville.

    During the month of September, the greater portion of Smith’s army remained in the Lexington vicinity and received a few thousand reinforcements. On October 4th Bragg and Smith installed a Confederate puppet governor in the statehouse in Frankfort. While the inauguration ceremony was in progress, artillery shots were heard, and word came that a force of Federal troops was advancing from Lexington. The new governor’s first and only official act was to flee the city.

    For the next couple of days, Smith’s forces were stationed somewhat haphazardly in a triangle formed by the towns of Frankfort, Lexington, and Harrodsburg. Surviving records of Smith’s command at this time are not nearly as complete as those for Bragg and Buell, but it appears that on the night of 6 October 1862, McNair’s brigade was camped at the little hamlet of Salvisa which is situated between the Kentucky River two miles to the east and the roughly parallel Salt River one mile to the west.

    On 7 October Buell sent one column to make a diversionary attack against Kirby Smith’s forces, and he sent three other columns to attack Bragg’s main force at Bardstown. Alerted to Buell’s advance, Bragg fell back eastward about thirty-five miles to Perryville182 and concentrated his forces (and part of Smith’s) there as best he could to make a stand. Smith, thinking that Buell’s main force was directed at him instead of Bragg, pulled McNair (and the 2d Arkansas) back to safety on the east side of the Kentucky River at the town of Versailles. On the 8th, they entered Versailles and camped for the night while Bragg was desperately fighting off Buell’s main attacking force about thirty-five miles to the south at Perryville. The next morning, pursuant to Bragg’s orders, Churchill’s division, including the 2d Arkansas, recrossed the Kentucky River and continued westward across the Salt River in search of some part of Buell’s army they could engage. But the Battle of Perryville was over. It had lasted only one day. Churchill returned to his former camping grounds at Salvisa on the evening of the 9th. Jim Henry saw very little action, if any at all, in connection with the Battle of Perryville.

    The badly outnumbered Confederates had held off a part of Buell’s command and then beat a hasty retreat before the rest of the Union army could arrive on the scene. Bragg claimed a victory because the Yankees failed to break his lines; Buell claimed a victory because Bragg had left the field of battle first. In fact, the largest battle ever fought, before or since, on Kentucky soil was for all practical purposes a draw. Generals Bragg and Smith were a long way from home, and they were being dogged by a greatly superior force that they knew was bound to trip them up if they stayed in Kentucky long enough.

    Kirby Smith decided to get back to his base in eastern Tennessee while the gettin’ was still good. While he had been campaigning in Kentucky, the Federal garrison that had been holding Cumberland Gap evacuated it on 17 September, so on the way back south, on 22 October, he left 3000 men there to occupy it. Private Henry and the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles were a part of that detachment.

    Just six days later, on 28 October 1862, Jim Henry’s discharge papers were drawn up at Cumberland Gap. Whether he requested a discharge or was forced out of the army is not clear. His papers say that he was “entitled to discharge by reason of: under age and not being [subject] to conscript.”183 By this time Jim had probably seen enough of how wars were won (and lost) to know that he did not want to make a career of the military, even though the pay ($12 per month) was pretty good. Jim was still a private at the time of his discharge. He was also illiterate, because he signed those papers with an “X.”

    Since he was a soldier no longer, the army declined to furnish him rail transportation back home, claiming that the entire capacity of the railroads was needed to get Bragg’s army back to the safety of Chattanooga as quickly as possible. The army accurately reckoned the distance from Cumberland Gap to Jim’s home in Benton County at eight hundred miles and allowed him ten cents a mile for expenses.184 It appears that he had to stick around until 20 November to get his back pay and travel allowance ($274.55) in Confederate cash. By that time the railroads should have been available to civilians again, and he probably bought himself a ticket. Whatever his mode of travel, at least the last part of his journey was probably through territory partially, if not entirely, controlled by the enemy.

    On 15 November, while the recently discharged Jim Henry was hanging around camp waiting to get paid, his former commander of the 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles, Harris Flanagin, was sworn in as governor of Arkansas. One of his very first official acts was to request the legislature to appropriate $200,000 to be used for relief of destitute families of Arkansas soldiers. We do not know if the Henrys of Benton County ever saw any of that money or not.

    If Jim Henry arrived in Tennessee just a little too late to get in on the big Battle of Shiloh, he also left it just a little too early to get in on the big Battle of Stones River (aka Murfreesboro) on 31 December 1862 to 2 January 1863. About five weeks after Jim headed back to Arkansas as a civilian, the 2d Arkansas was one of the regiments that led the attack on the Federal right on the first morning of the battle. When the fight ended in a tactical Confederate victory three days later, General Bragg’s army of about 35,000 men had suffered almost 12,000 casualties. Perhaps it is just as well that Jim Henry was not there.

    And if Jim was too young to continue to serve in the Confederate army in October of 1862, that handicap did not persist for long. He was quickly coming of age, and the South was already badly outnumbered and looking for warm bodies to fill the ranks. So the question arises: Did Jim reenlist in the army after he was discharged at Cumberland Gap? There are records in the National Archives for several James Henrys who subsequently served in the Confederate army, and at least one of them appears to be our James A. Henry. There was a “James Henry” who joined Company K of the 34th Arkansas Infantry on 18 November 1863 in the town of Camden in Ouachita County.185 Camden is about seventy-five miles southeast of Washington, Arkansas, in the southwestern quadrant of the state, and that is where the Confederate state government moved their capital when Little Rock was occupied by Federal troops in early September of 1863. The 34th Arkansas was undoubtedly acting as a guard unit for the displaced state government, and the regiment spent the winter in or near Camden. The 34th Arkansas was originally raised in 1862 with volunteers who largely came from Washington and Benton Counties. No doubt the men of that temporarily idle unit had plenty of time to write letters home, so everyone in the northwestern corner of the state, including the Henrys, knew where it was going to be stationed for at least several cool-weather months. It will be remembered that when Jim’s brother John died of battle wounds four months previously, he too had been a soldier in the 34th Arkansas Infantry. We should mention that there was a Private Anderson Henry who enlisted in Bentonville in August of 1862 and was also in the 34th Arkansas Infantry.186 From other documentation, we know that Anderson’s middle name was Henderson and that his father was the Joseph Henry who was Overton’s brother, thus making Anderson a cousin of Jim and the late John. If Jim Henry wanted to rejoin the Confederate service, he knew exactly where to find his cousin and the 34th Arkansas Infantry. The town of Camden had been built into a virtual fortress, and most of the regiment resided in cabins built inside the fortifications.187

    All things considered, I believe that the James Henry who enlisted in the 34th Arkansas Infantry in late 1863 was Horace Henry’s grandfather. If so, we have to wonder where he was and what he was doing during that year and three weeks between October 1862 and November 1863 when he was a civilian. We might guess that he was back at the old home place near Bentonville helping his parents and younger siblings scratch out a living during those agonizingly lean times.

    Other than the above-mentioned enlistment data, the details of Jim’s service with the 34th Arkansas are sparse to be the point of being almost nonexistent. He was on Company K’s muster roll as being present from 31 December 1863 to 29 February 1864. We don’t know if he was present or absent after that period or when he was finally discharged.

    The 34th fought in some actions in the North’s unsuccessful Red River Campaign of 1864.188 That campaign began in March of 1864 when Union General Frederick Steele advanced south out of Little Rock intending to link up with General Nathaniel Banks’ army which was moving up the Red River in Louisiana. The 34th was ordered to move out of Camden on April 5th and halted at Shreveport on the 7th. Jim’s regiment participated in the Battle of Pleasant Hill on April 9th where Banks’ forces were turned back, effectively thwarting the entire campaign. Late that same night, the Confederate forces were ordered to move north to intercept Steele’s army advancing southward out of Arkansas. Learning of Banks’ defeat, there was then nothing for Steele to do but retreat northward back to Little Rock. On 26 April Jim Henry’s former commanding general in the Kentucky campaign of 1862, Kirby Smith, assumed command of the small Confederate army that was opposing Steele and began to vigorously pursue the retreating Yankees.

    The Federals evacuated Camden on August 26th, and the chase was on. The first day’s pursuit found the Rebel forces camped sixteen miles north of Camden on the same ground the Yankees had camped the day before. The 34th was awakened at 2:00 A.M. with the rest of Smith’s army and began the second day’s march.Smith continued to move on April 29th until, after a grueling twenty-nine-mile march through a pouring rain, a halt was called at dusk near the little village of Tulip, Arkansas .The Confederates were closing in on the Union army’s rear guard. The Rebels had barely rolled into their wet blankets when they were awakened and ordered to move out. By 1:00 A.M. they were on the march again, and the 34th Arkansas was leading the column out of Tulip.

    The Confederates’ only hope of catching the fast-fleeing Federal force was at the rain-swollen Saline River at Jenkins’ Ferry, a few miles south of Little Rock. As wagons, horses, and mules bogged down in the quagmire, Steele and his men reluctantly made camp at Jenkins’ Ferry hoping that the river would subside before Smith’s army could give battle. Steele spent the night plotting ways to hold off advancing enemy troops while crossing the river at the same time. On the morning of 30 April, the 34th was on the right side of the Confederates’ attacking line advancing through a flooded field owned by a farmer by the name of Cooper. Steele’s men were backed up to the swollen river, but they were well entrenched and protected from flank attacks by an overflowing creek and a flooded swamp. Private W. M. Braley of the 34th Arkansas described the bitter fighting in a letter to his mother:

The battle was a dreadful one...it rained all that day and the day previous...the battle [field] picked was a swampy flooded with watter in some places waste deep. Artillery could not be used with any advantage but for five hours there was a continual roar of musketry which was far ahead of anything of the kind I ever heard before. [sic]189

    Despite the Yankees’ advantageous defensive position, the Confederates launched one unorganized attack after another. Rebel commanders knew that any letup of the pressure would allow Steele’s army to cross the Saline River and escape the last few miles to Little Rock. The 34th was withdrawn about a half mile to a farm belonging to a Mr. Jiles, and it remained there for the rest of the battle. Casualties were relatively high in the regiment, a result of being pinned down in Cooper’s field early in the action.

    Jenkins’ Ferry was the last pitched battle in which the 34th Arkansas ever took part. As was so often the case in the Civil War, the battle was essentially a draw, so both sides claimed a victory, but Steele’s army managed to cross the river and make it back to Little Rock. Casualties were not large; both sides suffered a few dozen killed and a few hundred wounded. Today, the site is a state historical park.

    On May 16th, the 34th was ordered back to Camden for rest and resupply. It remained there until mid-July at which time it was sent to Monticello, Arkansas to take advantage of supplies said to be stockpiled near that town. They found few supplies at Monticello, and the regiment suffered rather severely from illness there. At the end of August, the 34th was transferred back to Camden. During the first week of October, the regiment began to erect winter quarters at Camp Bragg eighteen miles southwest of Camden on the south bank of the Ouachita River.

    The regiment continued to move around Arkansas and northern Louisiana for the last few months of 1864. In mid-November, it left Camp Bragg and moved to Lewisburg in Lafayette County, Arkansas, there it was again necessary to construct barracks for the winter. The 34th moved again in the latter days of January 1865, this time to Bosiuex Parish, Louisiana, near Lake Bistineau twenty-five miles east of Shreveport. All furloughs were cancelled in February in order to preserve dwindling manpower. Mass desertions were getting to be a problem as the Confederacy began to collapse, but the 34th was a patriotic exception. On March 20th, the regiment numbered 250 effectives.

    After Generals Lee and Johnston surrendered in April, the 34th was sent to Marshall, Texas, in early May. The men who were left in the regiment voted overwhelmingly to return to northwest Arkansas to look after their families. We do not know if Jim Henry was still in the ranks or not. They marched to within a few miles of their homes and peacefully surrendered to the Federal garrison at Fort Smith.

    Lieutenant Samuel Pittman led Jim’s company (K) at the end of the war:

...when it did end, what a gloomy future it presented. I will remember when we on this side of the mountain, came in sight of the valley and saw the utter destruction of our houses. How I felt when I looked at the bare stone chimneys, not only my own home, but others in the community.190

    Jim survived the war, but most of Arkansas was impoverished by it and the Yankee occupation. Nearby Texas, on the other hand, was largely untouched by the war. Good farm land was cheap enough there, and if you couldn’t make a go of it, the bankruptcy laws in postbellum Texas were uncommonly lenient.

    In about 1865, plus or minus a year, Jim followed his father’s family when they moved to northeast Texas. He would have been about twenty years old. It was not long after they arrived that the Henrys settled in Lamar County. It is probable that they settled in the southwestern part of the county, because Jim was engaged to Virginia Ellen Womack by 1869, and that is where she is known to have been living with her father.191 The Womacks were Baptists from Virginia, and the Henrys are believed to have been Baptists as far back as their roots in East Tennessee, so it at least seems possible that Jim and Virginia could have met at church.

    Their marriage license was purchased at the Lamar County courthouse in Paris on 17 December 1869, and the ceremony took place later the same day at the home of a Sal Widemon. The knot was tied by D. G. Parkhill, a fifty-two-year-old farmer and part-time preacher from Alabama who lived in the area. Jim, at twenty-four, was probably ready to marry, but Virginia was only sixteen.192 It is possible that their marriage may have been hurried along by the fact that Virginia’s father, Achilles Womack, was moving the family to the far side of Fannin County (a distance of about forty miles), and they knew that they would hardly be seeing each other any more as soon as the move was complete.193

    Once married they did not waste any time starting their family. Their first child, George Allen, was born on 25 September 1870–nine months and eight days after the wedding. Jim was a father at twenty-five; Virginia was a mother three weeks before she turned seventeen. We do not know where they got the name George,194 but the baby’s middle name probably came from Virginia’s uncle, Allen Womack (1822–82).

    Two years later, their second child, William Austin, was born on 17 October 1872. The name Austin obviously came from Jim’s hard-drinking younger brother who was almost certainly still living in Lamar County at that time, possibly with his father, and Virginia had an older brother by the name of William Melton Womack.195 For reasons that no one can seem to remember, William Austin went through life being known as “Orb” Henry.

    Sometime between Orb’s birth and the latter part of 1875–let us just say approximately 1874–Jim and Virginia moved their family westward thirty or forty miles to the west side of Fannin County. It is probably no accident that they ended up in the same general area where Virginia’s father had moved five years earlier. There are no deed records to show that Jim bought any land at this time, so they must have been renting a farm, or perhaps even living on Achilles Womack’s property. In either event, they were living somewhere not far from the small town of Ector and the future site of the little community of Ely. It was here that their third child, James Achilles, was born on Wednesday, 12 January 1876. The new baby, who was destined to be Horace’s father, got his given names from his father and his maternal grandfather. It must have been too confusing to have two Jims under the same roof, so James Achilles was called “Bud” throughout his entire life.

    A couple of years after Bud was born, Virginia Ellen was again pregnant, this time with twins. They were born on 15 August 1878. One twin did not survive the day. The other lived a few months, dying of unknown causes on 21 April 1879. We do not know if the twins were identical or fraternal. Nor do we know their names. We only know that the one who died at birth was a girl. They are buried in the badly overgrown rural Porter Cemetery196 near Bois d’Arc Creek a couple of miles south of the now-defunct Ely community in western Fannin County.

    The sixth child came along in October of 1880. He was obviously named for his father and paternal grandfather. Perhaps Jim was disappointed that James Achilles had not turned out to be called Jim also and wanted to try again by naming another boy after himself. If so, he was in for another disappointment, because Overton James became known as “Buster” Henry.

    After some years of hard work and scrimping and saving, Jim and Virginia finally put together enough cash to purchase their own piece of land. The seller was none other than Jim’s father-in-law. Achilles Womack let the couple have sixty-one acres out of his own farm for $500.197

    The next child came along on 6 March 1883, and they called him John Burr. It is not inconceivable that he could have been named for the John Henry whom we suspect of being his great-grandfather, but it is more likely that he got his first name from Virginia Ellen’s older brother, John Henton Womack and/or his uncle John Henry who was killed in the Civil War. His middle name undoubtedly came from another uncle, his father’s younger brother, Burr Hamilton Henry.

    After John came a boy, Edward, who had only a single name, the origin of which is unknown. He was born on 26 July 1885. By this time, Jim’s farm was doing reasonably well, and the family was probably pulling out of the depression that still gripped much of the post-war South. In the late 1800s, the Texas legislature passed a law granting pensions to needy Confederate veterans, but there is no record of Jim’s ever having applied for one (nor did his father who had served at least briefly). He seems to have cut a good deal in February of 1887 and recouped almost half of the money he had paid his father-in-law for his farm several years earlier when he sold a one-hundred-foot wide right-of-way to the St. Louis, Arkansas, and Texas Railroad Company for $225.

    Walter Henry was born in Fannin County on 4 January 1888, and it was beginning to look like Virginia Ellen was never going to have a daughter to raise. On 11 February of the following year, little Walter died. We do not know what caused his death, but it may have been one of the many life-threatening childhood diseases that have since been conquered by inexpensive medicines and vaccinations. He was buried in the same Porter Cemetery as his twin siblings had been a decade earlier. It appears the Henrys had no family cemetery of their own at the time, and neither did Virginia Ellen’s Womacks.

    About nine months after Walter died, Virginia Ellen gave birth to her first daughter, whom she named Sarah Ann.198 This girl appears to have been named after both of her grandmothers, Sarah Walker Henry and Anna Carney Womack.

    Almost four years passed before the birth of the next child for whom we have a record. Virginia Ellen’s last known child, Virginia Belle, was born on 17 August 1893 in Fannin County. She was named for her mother, and her middle name was apparently for the first wife (Sarah Belle) of her eldest brother, George. Jim was forty-eight when Belle was born; Virginia was not quite forty. Even before their last child arrived, Jim and Virginia’s oldest son, George, had taken a wife. Orb married in late 1895, and Bud was wed in early 1898.

    The farm must have been doing fairly well, because in April of 1895 Jim purchased two more nearby tracts of land totaling about ninety-seven acres, and the price was $1500. We presume that his older boys, if they were farming, were probably working on his land, because they do not seem to have been purchasing land of their own at this time.

    At some unknown point in his life, Jim began wearing a scarf around his neck almost every day. In fact, he wore one so often that it became his veritable trademark. He knotted it in front, and it hung down his breast like a cravat. He is said to have preferred scarves made of silk. And it was while he was still living in Fannin County that a sore developed on the left side of his face between his eye and his ear. It was a strange sore that refused to heal. Jim did not know it at first, but all those years of farming in the Texas sun, combined with his light complexion, had resulted in a skin cancer. He tried to ignore it and hoped that it would eventually go away. It did not.

    Jim and Virginia became grandparents for the first time when Claudia May “Claudie” Henry was born to Orb and his wife on 22 September 1897. Jim was fifty-four; Virginia was almost forty-three.

    Sometime between April of 1895 (when he purchased more land locally) and the latter part of 1898, Jim made up his mind to leave Fannin County. It is entirely possible that he had been thinking about leaving for some time but had stayed on so that Virginia Ellen could look after her elderly father while he was still alive. Achilles Womack died in November of 1897, and on 1 December of the following year Jim closed a deal with a W. J. Lunday and wife for 402.25 acres of farm land199 a couple of miles due south of the village of Belcher200 and about a dozen miles due west of the small town of Nocona in Montague County. The farm was on the west side of the road that led south out of Belcher, and it included a large two-story house that was said to have been built recently by a doctor (Mr. Lunday?). A couple of small pictures of the house survive, and it undoubtedly was a very nice one for its day. Jim had to have been doing reasonably well in order to purchase four hundred acres and a big new house. He gave the Lundays $4400 for the place: $3000 down and $1400 payable in seven installments of $200 a year from 1900 to 1906.201

    Jim Henry was the first of Horace’s direct line of Henrys to move to Montague County, but he was not the first of the collateral Henrys from East Tennessee to live there. Overton’s brother (hence Jim’s uncle) Robert Patrick Henry was documented in Montague County on the rolls of the 1880 census. We do not exactly when he brought his family there, but we think it was sometime in the late 1870s. We have an old photograph, purported to have been made somewhere in Montague County about 1890, showing a group of people who are said to Robert Patrick Henry, his son George, and more than a dozen miscellaneous unidentified family members. Robert Patrick is said to have moved his family from Montague County to Pontotoc County, Indian Territory, in the early 1890s, so he was long gone by the time Jim Henry got there near the end of that same decade. But Robert Patrick had lived not far from Overton and his sons in Benton County before the war, so we can be sure they were well acquainted and probably corresponded with each other in the years after they left Arkansas. Robert Patrick Henry may well have had something to do with the fact that some of Overton’s sons and grandsons left northeast Texas and moved west to Montague County.

    Jim was about fifty-three when he came to Belcher. In retrospect, we can see that his move permanently split the little Henry clan that had come to Texas from Arkansas. At least a couple of his brothers followed him in a few years, as did his elderly father eventually, but the rest stayed behind in northeast Texas, and many of their descendants are still there today. The two groups of Henrys lost touch with each other, and by the time Jim’s generation was dead, the next generation of Henrys had evolved into two geographic subgroups who were mutually unaware of each other’s existence.202 This, of course, raises the question, “Why did Jim leave the good farm land of Fannin County for the dry, mesquite-studded fields of western Montague County?” Frankly, we do not know. Perhaps northeast Texas was getting too crowded for his taste. Or perhaps he had some sort of a falling out with one or more of his brothers. Although Belcher was never a very large village, it was on a major railroad, and in 1900 it was a shipping center of considerable importance for cotton and cattle raised in North Texas and across the Red River in Indian Territory. Moreover, there was an epidemic of tuberculosis going around the country about this time, and people in Fannin County were dying at an alarming rate; perhaps Jim wanted to get his family farther out west to a drier climate. It is an intriguing question, and it represents one of the major turning points in the history of this branch of the Henry family.

    At the time Jim and Virginia Ellen moved to Montague County, George, Orb, and Bud had already taken wives and were working farms around Ely and Ector; the other five children were still living at home. Jim resolved to bring his three grown boys and their families to live near him, and he set about acquiring more land around Belcher for them to farm. But in order to do that, he had to sell off the rest of his holdings in Fannin County. In April of 1902, he sold those first sixty-one acres he had purchased from Virginia Ellen’s father, plus an additional three-acre tract, for $2400–a handsome profit by any standards.203 With that money in hand, in December of 1902 he purchased one hundred sixty acres from a nearby widow for $1700 ($10.62 per acre).204 This farm was intended for Orb, who moved from Fannin County either shortly before or after the deal was consummated. Then in November of 1903, he bought another 48.81 acres,205 and the following month he picked up 80.75 more.206 These last two tracts were probably for George. A few days before Christmas in 1905, Jim made the final land purchase of his life–he paid $5 for a cemetery plot in Nocona.

    The Henry clan’s new venue in Montague County chanced to be in an area that soon came to be known as “Tornado Alley,” a vaguely defined fairway stretching between approximately Oklahoma City and Fort Worth. The area is the scene of an uncommonly large concentration of tornados almost every year, usually during the spring. The tornado that struck Montague County on 5 July 1905 was among the twenty most destructive in Texas since records have been kept. Eighteen people died and about forty were injured, although the Henrys were spared by virtue of the fact that the twister touched down near Nocona, half a dozen miles east of their farmland, and tracked eastward just south of Saint Jo.

    Less than a year later, on 26 April 1906, another windstorm of roughly equivalent magnitude struck the west side of Montague County and the eastern portion of adjacent Clay County. The twister demolished the little village of Bellevue in easternmost Clay County and moved on eastward to destroy most of the hamlet of Stoneburg in Montague County. This storm’s ground track must have taken it just a very few miles south of Belcher, and, of course, that is exactly where the Henrys were living and farming at the time. Some of the Henrys’ small children might have slept through the storm, but few, if any, of the adults did. The men probably dashed outside and looked to the south to see the funnel-shaped cloud silhouetted by lightening, while the womenfolk quickly awakened the children to reposition them under their beds or perhaps under the house itself. More than a century later, this storm too is still on the all-time Texas Top Twenty Terrible Twister list. Seventeen died and some fifty were reported injured. Both Montague County tornados have been assigned an “F-rating” of four (on a scale of one to five) by the National Weather Service.

    Jim’s father moved to the Belcher area in about the latter part of 1906. Overton Henry probably did not have the money to purchase even a small farm, and being eighty-five years old it is unlikely that he was still doing much farm work anyway. We do not know exactly where Overton lived during that final year or so of his life, but he might have moved into the big house with Jim and Virginia.

    In 1906, Bud became the last of the Jim’s sons to leave Fannin County and move to the Belcher area.207 It does not appear that Bud’s father bought him a farm, although after living on several different places, he ended up in a house just across the road from his parents, and he was probably working part of their land. In fact, all the boys were probably working mostly on land that their father had assigned to them. The farm amounted to something more than a square mile, and Jim’s big house was the capitol of his little kingdom. Stories have come down to us about how the men would band together at harvest time to work first one’s fields and then another’s. The women and children would gather at the big house in the morning and prepare a huge lunch and supper for them. Jim had a large barn, and all the boys’ hay for the winter was stored there. It sounds as though the life the Henrys led was as communal as it was rustic.

    In 1907 Jim’s father died, and he became the senior member of the Henry clan in Montague County. Most of the children were gone from the nest by the time of the federal census in 1910. The only ones still at home were Belle and Ann, and the latter was living in the big house with her husband and three-year-old daughter.

    There are a few extant photographs of Virginia Ellen in the last years of her life, but we are aware of only one (for sure) of the elderly Jim. In it, he appears to be about a seventy-year-old man of average size and height. He is wearing baggy trousers, suspenders, his signature silk scarf around his neck, and a tall, wide-brimmed hat. Looking closely, we can see that he had a mustache and probably a short gray beard.

    Over the years, the sore on the side of Jim’s face became progressively worse and showed no sign of trying to heal. It was spreading over the side of his head, and it eventually attacked his left eye and ear. In about 1918, two or more of his sons took him to Dallas for surgery. It was too late to hope for a cure, but the doctors did what they could. They removed as much of the cancer as possible, including Jim’s eyeball and part of his ear. For some reason, he was never fitted with a glass eye; for the rest of his life he lived with a gaping hole on the left side of his face. Every day his wife dressed the wound, packed the hole with cotton, and covered it over with a clean patch.

    Jim lived that way for another two or three years. His last days must have been full of agony as the cancer slowly but surely consumed the side of his head and probably spread into his brain. It finally killed him at his home at 7:40 P.M. on a Wednesday, 23 February 1921. He was buried next to his father in his cemetery plot in Nocona on the following day.208 The old civil warrior was dead at the age of seventy-five years and nine months.209

    Before we move on to Horace’s father, James Achilles Henry, we shall condense most of what we know about Jim’s other seven surviving children into a few sentences for each.

    The eldest of that group was, of course, George Allen Henry. As noted above, he was born in 1870 in Lamar County. When he was about four, his parents moved to Fannin County, and he grew up there. It was in Fannin County that he met and married his first wife sometime during the 1890s. Her maiden name was Sarah Belle Henry, and we believe she was the daughter of his uncle Andrew Jackson Henry (hence his own first cousin). They had one child, a girl named Birdie who was born in January of 1899.210 Belle is said to have died in Fannin County, so the date of her death can be fixed between her appearance on the 1900 census schedule and George’s move to Montague County which occurred sometime between late 1902 and early 1907.211 George’s second wife was a Maude Johnson, and we suspect that he found her in Montague County because they told the census taker in 1910 that they had only been married for one year. They never had any children of their own, and George seems to have spent the rest of his life around Belcher. In January of 1907 he gave $1850 for 67.7 acres,212 and in 1921 he bought nine town lots (in Belcher) from his sister Virginia Belle’s in-laws, the Dunaways. When his younger brother Ed’s first wife died in 1917, George and Maude took one of Ed’s children, Berniece, to raise. She was living with them at the time of the 1930 census. In his later years, George was ill much of the time and unable to work. He died in 1944,213 but Maude lived on with Berniece in Fort Worth until 1950.214 George and Maude are buried together in the Nocona Cemetery.

    William Austin “Orb” Henry was the second, and last, child in the family to be born in Lamar County (1872). The origin of his nickname is unknown. He was about two when his parents moved to Fannin County, so that was the only boyhood place he was ever able to remember. On 8 December 1895, he married Julia Etta Medearis.215 They had five children over the years: Claudia May (1897–1995), Joseph Edward (1898–1982), Zetta Irene (circa 1901–?), Virginia Ellen (1903–circa 1928), and Willie Lavada (1907–98). In 1902 they moved to Montague County and began farming on or near his father’s land south of Belcher. Like most of his brothers and sisters, Orb was a Methodist, and his obituary tells us that he was a teacher and/or superintendent of the Sunday school in Belcher for thirteen years. He died at home near Belcher at 1:45 P.M. on a Sunday, 13 January 1957. Orb lived longer–eighty-four years–than his father or any of his siblings. Julia survived him by five years, dying in April of 1962. They are buried together in the Nocona Cemetery.

    We will finish our discussion of the Henrys with James Achilles, but for the moment we will pass over his name and mention the children who came after him, beginning with Overton James “Buster” Henry. Buster was born in western Fannin County in 1879 and was named for his father and grandfather, but we do not know where or why he got the nickname he went by all his life. He grew up there, and although he was twenty years old when his father moved to Montague County, he may still have been living at home. He was not, however, living with his parents when the census taker came around in 1900. But neither did he yet have a wife. Buster married a Frankie Richie, probably in 1901 according to the 1910 census of Montague County. Having been born somewhere in Texas in July of 1888, Frankie was almost nine years younger than Buster, and at the time they married, she was, at most, thirteen–a bit young even for the standards of that day and age. Frankie was only sixteen years and one month of age when their first child, Opal Jimmie, was born in August of 1904. Herman (1906–07) was their second child. Herman’s death at the age of about four months is said to have occurred when he fell from a high chair into an open fire at their home in Montague County. The tragedy occurred on April 13th, just eight days after his great-grandfather, Overton Henry, had died a short distance away.

    At the time of the 1910 census, they were living and farming in Montague County immediately next door to Buster’s older brother George and his second wife. They had another boy by the name of Louie Leon (1908–93), and when they lost another infant son (whom they had named Overton), it appeared that their family was as large as it was going to get. But in May of 1925 Frankie gave birth to a final–and probably unanticipated–son, Carlton Lavon. She was almost thirty-seven, and Buster was going on forty-six. Buster is said to have been an avid and talented gambler, but he was primarily a farmer all his adult life, and he never took his family away from Belcher. After an illness of only one or two days, Buster died at home at 3:15 P.M. on 7 April 1937 at the age of fifty-seven. His cause of death was listed as “apoplexy,” and “arterial sclerosis” was mentioned as a contributing factor. He was buried the following day in the Nocona Cemetery. Frankie lived on until 1944 and was buried beside him.

    John Burr Henry was born in Fannin County three and a half years after Buster on 6 March 1883. He was not quite sixteen when his father moved the family to Montague County, and he is shown as the oldest of the children who were still living at home at the time of the 1900 census. In August of 1904, he married Mable Stowe. She died in mid-December of the following year, but not before giving birth to a son, Walter Stowe Henry.216 John, a widower at twenty-two, may not have been prepared to raise a child by himself, because little Walter was enumerated with his grandfather, George E. Stowe, in the 1910 census. Six days after Mable died, John bought a tract of land in the Belcher town site for $200, and in 1907 he sold it for a thirty-five-dollar profit. In 1906, John’s older brother Bud and his family arrived in the Belcher area from Fannin County. They brought with them Bud’s wife’s twenty-one-year-old niece, Mary Ellen Ely, who had been orphaned in 1904217 and subsequently had been living with Bud and Nevada. The young widower and the orphan got on well, and in May of 1908 John and Ellen were married. They had three children of their own: Lillian Faye Henry (born in 1910), Lois Ely Henry (1913), and Juanita Henry (1914). When John’s brother Ed’s first wife died in 1917, he and Ellen took one of Ed’s sons, J. C., to raise. In 1912 John paid $1600 for forty acres of land that was adjacent to his father’s farm. He probably did not actually live on that farm, although it would not have been difficult for him to work that land from where he lived. At first John and Ellen lived in the town site of Belcher, and after a few years they moved to a place northeast of town on the old road to Nocona.218 In their later years they moved to Nocona, and that is where John died in 1965. Ellen then went to live near her daughter Lois in Amarillo. She died there a dozen years later in April of 1977 at the age of ninety-two.

    The sixth of Jim and Virginia’s children to survive to maturity was Edward Henry. He was born in Fannin County in 1885, and he had no middle name. Ed, as he was called, was thirteen when his folks moved to Montague County. During his high school years, he is said to have lived for a while with his older brother Orb.219 Ed’s first wife was a delicate young woman by the name of Otie Dunaway from Belcher.220 They had a daughter, Berniece (born in 1913), and two sons, James Edward (“Jamie,” 1906), and J. C. (1916).221 Little J. C. was not quite a year old when Otie died in Nocona on 1 July 1917 from chronic problems associated with childbirth. Ed felt that he could not raise three children without a wife, so he asked his brothers to take two of them off his hands. Four-year-old Berniece went to live with her Uncle George and Aunt Maude, and J. C. went to live with his Uncle John and Aunt Ellen. Ed kept only Jamie. A few years later when Ed remarried, his new wife brought along her child from a previous marriage, and Ed never took Berniece or J. C. back into his home.222

    Ed was the only one of Jim’s boys who forsook Montague County for the big city. He took Jamie and went to Dallas where he worked first as a street car driver and later as a carpenter and housing contractor for many years. According to the 1920 census, Ed was the only boarder in a house without any of his children. The primary occupant of the house was a man named Eugene Ingram223 who had a wife enumerated as “Callie M.” Callie had a fourteen-year-old daughter by the name of Geraldine J. Hillis who was enumerated as Ingram’s “step-daughter.” “Callie M.” was the same Callie Doeline Mansfield whom Ed married just a few years later. The circumstances of their courtship are unclear. Perhaps Mr. Ingram had died; we can only speculate.

    Ed and Callie’s exact marriage date is unknown, but it must have been between 1920 and 1922. They had three children: Edwettia Doeline (born 1923), Edwynia Rowena (1926), and Bonnie Zetha (1929).224 Doeline may have been a Baptist, because Ed was a member of the Hillcrest Baptist Church; this made him the only one of Jim and Virginia’s children who turned out to be anything other than a Methodist. They lived at 2736 Cranfill Street and later a few blocks away at 2814 Medill Street.225 

    Callie’s daughter Geraldine was mentally retarded to some significant degree. In early 1924 her stepbrother Jamie took advantage of her disability and she became pregnant. It appears that Jamie and Geraldine were briefly married, as was the custom of the day in such circumstances, then quickly divorced after the baby arrived. It was a boy named James Edward Henry, Junior.226 Jamie was in no position to function as a parent, and Geraldine certainly wasn’t, so the child was raised by his grandparents, Ed and Doeline. He was apparently not afflicted like his mother because he joined the U. S. Army Air Corps in World War II.

    Ed eventually moved to south Dallas and lived on Peabody Street and later on Maryland Street. Dallas was a long way from Belcher during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, and the rest of the family members did not see nearly as much of Ed as they did of each other.

    Doeline died in 1953 and was buried in Lancaster, a suburb on the south side of Dallas. Ed retired in about 1956 and was living on Fox Hill Lane in South Oak Cliff when death found him in 1966 (at age eighty). He was buried beside Doeline in the Edgewood Cemetery.

    After Edward came little Walter Henry who died at thirteen months. But nine and a half months after his death, Virginia Ellen gave birth to the first of her daughters who was to survive infancy. Sarah Ann Henry was born in Fannin County in 1889 and was named for both of her grandmothers. “Annie” was nine years old when her parents moved to Belcher. On 30 July 1905, when she was still four months shy of her sixteenth birthday, Annie married Porter Turman Harrell in Montague County.227 They had but one child, a daughter, Zetta Coletta. Annie and Porter seemed to have lived around Montague County all their lives. She died in Nocona on 24 January 1961 (aged seventy-one), and Porter lived on until November of 1973. They are buried in the Nocona Cemetery.

    The youngest child of Jim and Virginia Ellen to reach maturity was Virginia Belle. She was born in Fannin County in the summer of 1893, and she was about five when the family came to Montague County. She was seventeen when she married a local boy by the name of Norville Jefferson (“Jeffie”) Dunaway in Belcher on 20 November 1910.228 Belle and Jeffie had three children: Ray Henry Dunaway (1911–?), Annie Lucille Dunaway (1913–98), and Laura Ellen Dunaway (1915–?). In 1924 they moved a few miles down the road to Nocona and joined the Methodist Church. Jeffie took a job there with the Justin Boot Company and later with the Justin Leather Goods Company. In 1927 he went to work for the Nocona Boot Company and stayed there the rest of his life. Jeffie died suddenly in 1944 (at age fifty-two) while visiting his father in California. Belle outlived him by three decades, expiring in a hospital in Wichita Falls on 20 September 1974 at age eighty-one.

    We have saved James Achilles Henry until last, because he was Horace’s father, and the story of his life will finish up the story of his particular generation. “Bud,” as he was called, was born on a Wednesday, 12 January 1876, somewhere on the western side of Fannin County, Texas. He was the third of Jim and Virginia’s children, and he was the first one who was not born in Lamar County. He grew up around the little town of Ector, but the exact location of the family farm is not known.

    When Bud was six, a large family of Elys moved into his area from Georgia and founded the Ely community. They were Methodists, as were the Henrys, and they probably all attended the rural Marvin Methodist Church just west of Ely, so all the Henrys and Elys were undoubtedly well acquainted with each other for years. Bud’s maternal grandfather, Achilles Womack, lived only a few miles away, so he probably knew that old man pretty well.229 And his other grandfather, Overton Henry, lived with other relatives in the general area, so he must have seen that old fellow on many occasions. Bud seems to have inherited a keen sense of humor from someone, because he is often described as being a jovial fellow who was good at making people laugh.230 Otherwise, little is known of the details of Bud’s early life.

    Bud grew to be a slender sinewy man of average height with prominent ears and a good head of close-cropped brown hair.

    By the time he was twenty-one, Bud was looking for a wife. His choice settled on the youngest of the Elys’ fourteen children, Nevada Tennessee. She was a pretty girl, albeit a bit young, and her family, though not wealthy, was locally prominent and well regarded. The Henrys were saddened by the death of Bud’s grandfather Achilles Womack in late November of 1897, but five weeks later, on a Wednesday, 5 January 1898, they celebrated Bud’s wedding and welcomed his young bride into the clan. The ceremony was performed at the Marvin Methodist Church (which, incidentally, was still standing–and in use–as recently as 1990). Bud was one week short of his twenty-second birthday, and Nevada lacked two months being seventeen. We presume that the Elys must have approved of Bud, or they would not have allowed their baby daughter to marry so young. Although the wedding occurred in Fannin County, Nevada later claimed that the record of her marriage was destroyed when the Grayson County courthouse burned a few years later.231

    Bud and Nevada wasted little time starting their family. Their first child, James Levi,232 was born on a farm somewhere near Ector eleven and a half months after the wedding. Little Jim’s birth occurred only about three weeks after his grandfather, Big Jim Henry, had purchased his big house and farm south of Belcher and was closing up his affairs for good in Fannin County. But Bud’s family was not entirely gone; his two older brothers, George and Orb, were also married and farming around Ector.

    On 12 July 1901, Bud and Nevada’s second child, John Vernor, was born near Ector. He might have been named for Bud’s younger brother, John Burr Henry, but we do not know where his middle name, Vernor–the one he went by all his life–came from.

    In about 1902, Orb left Fannin County and moved his family to join his father near Belcher. And in approximately late 1903 or 1904, George moved to Montague County also, leaving Bud as the last of the Henry boys in Fannin County. Bud’s father wanted all his boys to be near him, and Bud was probably anxious to oblige, although his young wife may not have been quite so eager to move away from her parents and most of her siblings.

    In May of 1902, Bud paid his sister-in-law Maude Thompson Ely (wife of Levi Barnett Ely) $25 for a two-and-a-half-acre tract on Bois d’Arc Creek.233 Then in October of that same year, he gave his brother-in-law Bedford Forrest Ely $600 and assumed two notes totaling $500 more for thirty acres of land near Ector and Ely.234 So it is not certain that he was thinking of leaving Fannin County at that time. But a year later, in October of 1903, Bud sold that same land to an S. B. Williams for $1200. Apparently he had made up his mind to follow his father and brothers westward when the time was right.

    Nevada gave birth for the third time on 25 June 1904. It was another boy, and they called him Raymond Edward. He went by Raymond, but we do not know where his parents got that name. His middle name undoubtedly came from his father’s brother, Ed Henry, or from his mother’s cousin, Edward Oliver Ely (1889–1980). Little Raymond’s grandfather, Levi Ely, did not quite get to see his new descendant, for he died six weeks before the baby was born.

    When Raymond was two years old, Bud moved his wife and children to western Montague County, and Horace’s branch of the Henry family was gone from Fannin County forever. We do not know the exact date of their move, but it was probably the latter part of 1906.235 They loaded their worldly goods, including some livestock, onto a train which conveniently passed right through their destination.236 The first place they lived in Montague County was in a small house a short distance south of Belcher. It could not have been far from Jim and Virginia’s big house. At the age of about thirty, Bud was back among his relatives to stay.

    A photographer visited them shortly after they arrived in Montague County, and the family donned their Sunday best for the camera. Two exposures survive. One shows Bud, arms akimbo and sporting a heavy dark mustache, standing by a wagon drawn by two mules, while Nevada sits in a one-horse buggy.

    Before long they moved to a rented farm a few miles northwest of Belcher on Belknap Creek. This farm was known as “the Crenshaw place,” and it was probably here that their fourth child (and first daughter), Ruth Kerene, was born on 11 July 1908. Ruth’s name may have come from either of two of her mother’s nieces,237 but it seems more likely that she was named for Bud’s cousin, Ruth Henry.238

    Whether by choice or otherwise, Bud seems to have moved around the Belcher area quite a lot. He quit the Crenshaw place after a very few years and moved to another rented farm called “the Kidwell place.” It was on Salt Creek a few miles northeast of Belcher and not far from the Red River. After a short stay on the Kidwell place, Bud moved back south of Belcher, not far from his father and brothers.239 By this time, he was undoubtedly working land that belonged to his father. It was probably here that their next child, Ruby Rachel, was born on New Year’s Day of 1911. We do not know where the name Ruby came from, but Rachel was probably for Rachel Gwyn, the wife of Nevada’s favorite brother, Gerome Conyer Ely, who lived, for a time, near her on the north side of Belcher. Ruby grew up disliking her middle name, and she often told people that her name was Ruby Rae.240

    About a year or so later, Bud moved again, this time into a small green house that was about half a mile down the road (and on the east side) from his parents’ big house.241 It was probably here that their last son, Horace Green, was born on a Saturday, 23 August 1913. We do not know where they got his first name, but his middle name came from the country doctor, Green Collins, who attended his birth. Horace did not think much of the name Green, and he frequently represented himself to be Horace Guy Henry. His mother was thirty-two at the time he was born, and his father was thirty-seven.

    Although we are not absolutely certain that Horace was born in the little green house, we know for a fact that the last two children were. Oleta Fay was born on 17 September 1917, and Rowena May–the eighth and last child in this family–was born on 28 February 1920. We do not know for whom–if anyone–Oleta was named,242 but Rowena got her name from Rowena Newman, her older sister Ruth’s music teacher in Nocona. It was very nearly a year after Rowena’s birth that her grandfather Jim Henry died. Her grandmother, Virginia Ellen, could not run the farm alone–and the old woman certainly had no need for such a big house all by herself–so in about 1922 she invited Bud and Nevada to bring their children across the road and move in with her. When they did so, the big house became the sixth place around Belcher that Bud’s family had lived, and it was the last move Bud ever made. Bud and Nevada and their children who were still small enough to be living at home shared the big house with Bud’s widowed mother for about six years.

    For most of his life, Bud Henry was not a particularly religious man. It was probably not long after he moved his family into his mother’s big house that Bud joined the little Methodist congregation in Belcher. Perhaps it was the music that attracted Bud to the little church, for he is said to have been fond of gospel singing, and he is reputed to have had a good voice.

    The Belcher Methodists apparently did not have an actual church house, or, at least, not much of one, because after about three years of attending their services, Bud decided to build them a proper house of worship. It was Bud Henry, more than any other single person, who was responsible for building the Methodist church house in Belcher. He solicited donations and did much of the actual carpenter work on the structure. And it was Bud Henry who purchased the bell that was installed in the steeple.243

    Bud probably did not know it, but he suffered from the same lethal disease that his wife did–chronic hypertension. On Friday, 26 January 1928, he went out to work in the fields, and during the course of the day he suffered a stroke. Nevada got him into bed and sent for the doctor as paralysis spread through his body. The doctor came but the fatal damage to his brain had already been done. At 9:05 that night Bud Henry died at the age of fifty-four years and two weeks. He was buried on the following day about a hundred yards from his father and grandfather in the Nocona Cemetery.

    Bud Henry was the last of Horace’s direct line of Henry ancestors, so we shall have to stop here. But although Horace carried the Henry name, the blood of many other families was in his veins. A few of those families are still remembered, though most have been forgotten. We shall try to recall as many of them as we can in these few pages. The stories of these non-Henry ancestors will be related in the approximate order in which their daughters married into the Henry clan. It is not possible to tell such a story in a strict chronological sequence, but with a basic understanding of the known history of the Henrys from this first chapter, the reader should be able to put the subsequent family stories into some sort of a comprehensible historical framework.