Cocke County TNGenWeb
William H. McGaha

Submitted by Bruce Price

William H. McGaha, my great-great-grandfather, was born in Cocke County about 1818, according to his service record [NARA M395 #114] and the 1850 Cocke County census [Family #972]. He served in the 1st Battalion, Tennessee Light Artillery, Battery E, Union Army. He died on 06/25/1864 in a hospital in Nashville of smallpox and was buried in the hospital cemetery. His body was later moved to the Nashville National Cemetery in Madison.

His widow, Catherine, received a widow's pension [on file in the National Archives in Washington, DC]. This file reveals that William McGaha and Catherine Tittle were married on 04/15/1841 in Cocke County by Jacob Shults, a Justice of the Peace. It also gives the dates of birth of her five youngest children:  Isaac Allen born 11/15/1849, Robert Smith born 02/16/1850, William Elias born 10/24/1851, Jackson born 11/06/1855, and Houston born 02/07/1859 or 1857 or 02/17/1858 (the date appears all three ways; he also appears as Martin McGaha born 02/17/1859!).

William was the son of Samuel and Anna McGaha< [1850 Cocke County #973] as proven by the case of John Ramsey vs Sam'l McGaha on page 53 of Chancery Court records volume 1. Samuel died before the case was resolved, and John Ramsey continued the case against Samuel's heirs. These included the "children of W. McGaha": Allen McGaha, William McGaha, Christina and John Price, Anna and Royal Ball, Jack McGaha, and Houston McGaha. Note that Robert Smith McGaha was not mentioned; this indicates that he died without issue.

This case concerned 12 acres in the Old 12th Civil District deeded to Samuel McGaha by his mother, Elizabeth Miller, on 08/14/1865. She had earlier deeded 50 acres to John Ramsey (whose wife was Mary McGaha) to care for her during her lifetime. Apparently, the 12 acres deeded to Samuel McGaha were part of the 50 acres.

Christina and John Price were my great-great grandparents. Christina was first married to a Townsell or Townsend. She married John Price on 03/18/1865, according to family tradition. John Price was from Haywood County, NC, and served in the Confederate army. After John died, Christina married Joseph Wilson Costner 07/18/1891 [Cocke County marriages volume 5 page 75]. Joseph was also a Confederate veteran. He was a widower, having been married to Jemima Campbell, Christina's first cousin. Jemima's mother was Rhoda McGaha, William's sister. Jemima's first husband was Israel P. Carver, a Union soldier who also died during the war.

Through my great-grandmother Christina, I connect directly or indirectly to numerous Cocke County Civil War soldiers.

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