Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Alabama Naramores in the Civil War

In a previous post, I discussed the children of Joseph Naramore (1790's to 1837?), who were the ancestors of most of the Narmores of North Alabama.  Most of these families ended up using the spelling Narmore by the 1900's.  I have tried to spell names as they most commonly were spelled, but don't take my spelling of any particular name as authoritative.

As I said in the earlier post the American Civil War was the most tragic time in our nation's history, and this family was hit especially hard by it.

Here is the family of Joseph, as presented earlier.

1. JOSEPH1 NARAMORE was born about 1795. He died after 1837. He married Delila Reid on 03 Jun 1819 in Jefferson, Alabama, USA. She was born about 1802 in  Alabama.  She died in Aug 1879 in Jefferson County, Alabama. 

Joseph NARAMORE  and Delila Reid had the following children:

1.1. EDITHA2 NARAMORE was born on 29 Mar 1820 in Alabama.  She married Lewis Franklin on 28 Sep 1837 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. He was born on 25 Apr 1813 in Kentucky. 

1.2. JOHN NARAMORE was born about 1822 in Walker Co. AL.. He married Melissa Wray about 1849. She was born in Apr 1832 in Alabama. 

1.3. LEVI NARMORE was born in 1824 in ALABAMA. He married Celia Ann Hopkins on 17 Dec 1848 in Jefferson, Alabama. She was born in 1830 in ALABAMA. 

1.4. ELIZABETH NARAMORE  was born about 1827 in ALABAMA. She married John Brown  on 09 Sep 1849 in Jefferson, Alabama. He was born about 1823 in Tennessee. 

1.5. MARY ANN "POLLY" NARAMORE was born about 1827 in ALABAMA. She married Calvin Johnston, son of Jesse Johnston and Barbara LaGrone in 1855 in Jefferson County, Alabama. He was born on 06 Sep 1817 in Jefferson County, Alabama. 

1.6. REUBEN NARAMORE was born on 14 May 1827 in Walker County, Alabama. He married Mary (Polly) Ann JOHNSTON, daughter of Jesse Johnston and Barbara LaGrone on 09 Oct 1846 in Jefferson County, Alabama. She was born on 17 Jun 1826 in Perry County, Alabama. 

1.7. WILLIAM  NARRIMORE  was born in 1834 in AL.  He married Frances A. M Jarvis, daughter of Braswell Jarvis and Susanna Narramore [This family came from Georgia and probably SC before that.]  on 13 Jul 1858 in Perry, Alabama, USA. She was born on 05 Jul 1840 in GA. 

1.8. JOSEPH NARAMORE was born in 1836 in AL.  He married REBECCA (UNKNOWN). She was born in 1836 in ALABAMA. 

When the war started, Joseph was already dead, or perhaps he had left.  (His exact fate is unknown but Delila remarried and ended up getting special dispensation for her second marriage from the State of Alabama.)  Five sons would go to war for the Confederacy, all leaving wives and children at home.  Only one of the five would return.  Here is the fate of Delilah's sons and sons-in-law in the Civil War.

John Naramore.  Served in the 43rd Alabama Infantry, Co. K.  Captured at Cumberland Gap in Tennessee.  Died of measles as a POW in Knoxville on Jan. 19, 1864.  Buried in the City Cemetery, also known as Old Grey Cemetery, in an unmarked grave.  Left a widow, Melissa (Wray) Naramore.
Levi Naramore.  Served in Company B, 1st Alabama Cavalry volunteers, Davenport's Battalion.  He was the only brother to survive the war.
Reuben, husband of Polly Ann Johnston (sister of Calvin, so siblings married siblings).  Served in the 43rd Infantry, Company K with his brother John.  Died at Cumberland Gap in Tennessee on Mar 5, 1863 in the battle where John was captured.  
William.  Served in 28th Alabama Infantry, Co. A.  Died in 1862.
Joseph.  Served in the same company as William. Died of typhoid fever in the 4th Street Hospital in St. Louis as a POW.  His wife Rebecca (maiden name unknown) was widowed.

This flag was flown by the 43rd Alabama Infantry.  It is now in the Alabama State Archives.
Additionally, of Joseph and Delila's three sons-in-law, one was already dead, one served in the war, and the third one I'm not sure about.

Lewis Franklin, husband of Editha.  Died before the war in 1860.
Calvin Johnston, husband of Polly Naramore.  He was a Private in the "Home Guards under Carson".
John Brown, husband of Elizabeth.  Fate unknown--I have not yet identified which John Brown this is.

Dr. Hewitt Johnston, a nephew of Reuben Naramore and also of Calvin Johnston, in his reminiscences entitled Salmagundi, relates some stories of the men of his community who had been in the Civil War.  Many of them were in the 43rd Alabama Infantry in which John and Reuben served.  Other neighbors who joined Co. K in Tuscaloosa include Bart Rhea [possibly related to Melissa "Wray"?], Larkin Johnston, Con and Jack Davis, Ab Knight, John Richardson, William A. Thompson, John Gilbert, Dick Winchester, Bill and Jack Gilbert, Henry Jackson, and Joe Humber. Dr. Johnston points out that the men were "'mustered' (not inducted)" although I am not sure what the distinction is.

This unit was present (after John and Reuben had died) at the Siege of St. Petersburg, Florida,  Petersburg, Virginia, which included the "Battle of the Crater" where Union forces set off a large quantity of dynamite in a tunnel, creating a large crater 170 feet long and 9 feet deep which can still be seen.

Most interesting to me is his story of the end of the war.  The Siege of St. Petersburg was a nine month long trench warfare affair.  The battle was at a stalemate and with food and ammunition running low, the men on both sides knew it was only a matter of time before the South capitulated.  The sentries got to know each other and would even trade tobacco and other items.  Men began to desert and the some of the Confederate officers even told their men they wouldn't hold it against anyone who wanted to leave.  Several of the Confederate soldiers went over to the other side.  Dr. Johnston's father Allen (brother of Calvin and Polly Ann Johnston who married Naramores) was among those and was given the choice between joining the Union army or working in the mines.  Not wishing to fight his former comrades, he was sent to West Virginia to mine coal.  As tragic as the loss of lives was on both sides, it seems the men mostly just wanted to get back to their lives rather than holding a vendetta against the enemy soldiers.

Here is a regimental history of the 43rd.

The 43rd Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized in May 1862 at Mobile. It was at once ordered to Chattanooga and placed under Gen'l Danville Leadbetter. It moved into Kentucky in Gen'l Edmund Kirby Smith's column but was not actively engaged. having passed the winter at Cumberland Gap, the regiment joined Gen'l Braxton Bragg at Tullahoma, being in a brigade under Gen'l Archibald Gracie. The regiment subsequently went back to East Tennessee and operated there for some months. Rejoining the main army, it participated in the battle of Chickamauga with severe loss. As part of Gen'l James
Longstreet's 1st Corps, the 43rd was shortly after sent towards Knoxville and took part in the investment there, with few losses. It was also in the fight at Bean's Station, also with few casualties. Following the winter campaign in East Tennessee, the regiment reached Gen'l P. G. T. Beauregard at Petersburg in May, 1864. When Union Gen'l Sheridan swooped down toward the outposts of Richmond, the 43rd fought against him. At the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, the regiment was hotly engaged with heavy casualties. Then, it was in the trenches of Petersburg from June 1864 until the close, fighting continually and taking part in most of the battles that occurred by the attempts of the enemy to flank the Confederate lines. At Appomattox, the 43rd, with other portions of the brigade, had just driven back a line of the enemy and taken a battery when the capitulation of the army was announced. It surrendered as part of Moody's Brigade (Col. Stansel of Pickens commanding), Bushrod Johnson's Division, Gordon's Corps, and about 50 men were present for duty. Of the 1123 names on the muster rolls of this regiment, about 100 were killed, about 225 died of disease, and 161 were transferred or discharged.

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