This is the text of a document that was found with the personal effects
of Will Ed Coke, son of Henry Thomas Coke, Grandson of R.F. Coke:
A BRIEF SKETCH OF HIS LIFE
Given by the subject of Sketch to the writer May 29th, 1906
Written by Request
Submitted by Ed Coke at email@example.com
The subject of this Sketch was the son of Mr. Spillby and Mrs. Myra
Coke, and is of Irish descent. R.F. Coke was born in the state of Tennessee,
September 12, 1840. At the age of 19 he left Tennessee and went to
Arkansas, where he remained until the war of 1861-65. In 1861 he enlisted
in the Confederate Army under General Price, in Company G, 21st Arkansas
Regiment, and served as a soldier under Captain Herrington, First Lieutenant
Milligan, Second Lieutenant Mathey, Brigadier General Cabble, until the spring
of the year of the surrender.
Was in some noted battles, namely, the Farmington battle, Port Gibson,
Baker’s Creek and Black river Bridge battles; also in one near Selma,
Alabama. Also was in some warm skirmishes at different times and various
places. Was captured at Black River Bridge, but was exchanged at City
Point near Richmond, Virginia and again given the privilege of serving his
country, the noble South-Land he loved so well. He proved his patriotism
and love for his country by his enlistment in the army and constant service
as a soldier to the spring of year of the close of the war, when he came
from Montgomery, Georgia.
It is worthy of note here to state that he walked from Montgomery,
Georgia to North Mississippi.
He has been in and traveled over a part of sixteen states.
His health was seriously injured by exposure during the war; and
now for eight years he has been crippled by afflictions, and unable to work.
In August following his return from the army he professed faith in
Christ, being converted under the preaching of Rev. Rickman, a Baptist minister
at Brush Creek Church; was baptized by Brother Rickman and has been a soldier
for Christ ever since.
On August 2nd, 1866 he was married to Miss Melinda Ann Burrow, a
daughter of the well known W.L. Burrow, and to them were born four children,
two noble hearted boys and two lovely girls. All of them are still living,
are married and have homes and families of their own.
On the 18th day of September, 1905, his heart was severely wounded
by the death of his loving wife, but she being a Christian, he is now looking
forward to a happy day when God shall take him home from this world to live
with that dear one and other loved ones and, above all, to be with the precious
Savior who purchased him with his blood.