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I was born near the Red River at a town named Nackatush, Texas, in 1835. When I was four weeks old my father moved to Tishomingo County, now Alcorn County, in Mississippi. At ten years of age I attended my first school, taught by Mr. Eppie White, in the 18th District of McNairy County. I boarded with Bill Phelps. Later I attended school at Burrows School House. I was then 16 years of age, when my father died leaving a widow with 14 children, nine boys and five girls. The last school I attended was taught by Isaac Derryberry at Jones school house in Alcorn County, Mississippi. I was then 19 years of age. Due to my father's untimely death and the care of my mother with a large family of small children, my schooling was very limited. Among the ones whom I remember going to school with me were Rebecca, Calvin and Nancy Young; P. and Sam White; Zeke Wooten, and Mount Nichols. From this time on until I was 26 years of age I worked on the farm assisting my mother with the care of the family.
In 1861 the Civil War began and I enlisted for one year in Co. C, Colonel Pickett's Regiment, at Pocahontas in Hardeman County, Tennessee. On November 5, 1861 I was wounded in the hip in the battle at Belmont, Missouri. I stayed in the hospital in Belmont four weeks, until I was able to return home. I spent two months convalescing at home. At the expiration of this time I rejoined the Company at Columbus, Kentucky, where I was immediately discharged, as my term of enlistment had expired, and I returned home in April.
On August 14, 1861, I married Miss Nicie Ann Hendrix, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Green Lee Hendrix, at Chewalla, Tennessee. To this union were born seven girls and three boys. Six of them at still living. On August 15, 1862, next day after my marriage, I was captured by Reed's Division of the Federal Army. Immediately I was placed in prison for five months on Johnson Island, Sandusky City, Ohio. At the expiration of this time I was exchanged to Vicksburg, Mississippi, from which place I went to Jackson, Mississippi. At Jackson I enlisted in the Cavalry for one year. I stayed from January 'til August at Chesterville, Mississippi, at which place I was joined by my wife. In August I was recaptured at Ripley, Mississippi and was carried to Indianapolis, Indiana, where I served 22 months in prison. At the end of this time I was exchanged to Richmond, Virginia, where I was given a 90-day furlough to go home. I arrived home on the third of April, 1865, and Lee surrendered at Appomattox April 9, 1865. Immediately after the surrender, having a wife and one child, I settled in McNairy County, three miles west of Chewalla, where I am now living.

Courtesy of Vicki Burress Roach

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