Sunday, April 24, 2011

Civil War Ancestors - Mathew Mayberry

My great, great grandmother, Letitia Ann Mayberry, born 18 Sep 1844 in Floyd County, Virginia, married Joseph Christopher Wood just before the Civil War, 3 Feb 1860, Crawford County, Arkansas.  Joe Wood's Civil War story can be found here.  Letitia's parents, Charles and Ellen (Thompson) Mayberry, moved to Franklin County, Arkansas soon after the 1860 census.  Letitia lived out her life in Crawford County; she died 7 Jul 1926.  Letitia was the second child in the family, only her older brother Mathew, born in 1843, was old enough to serve in the Civil War.

Mathew married probably in 1869, but left no children.  He made his home in Logan Co, formed from Franklin Co, Arkansas.  He did get a feature article in Goodspeed's "Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas"; p.367, published 1891.  The name is spelled Maberry in Goodspeed - just one of many versions of the surname which is found often in colonial Virginia as Mabry.  In my family, we spell it Mayberry.  Maybury or Mabury are also favored spellings.

The Goodspeed article states this about Mathew's service:
" 1863 he enlisted in Company K, Eighth Missouri Infantry, C. S. A., and was a participant in the battle of Prairie Grove. On May 10, 1863, during a skirmish in the Indian Territory, he was wounded in the leg and disabled so that he did not enter the service again. He was captured shortly afterward, paroled, and came home."

Mathew's service record from the National Archives, available on by subscription tells a slightly different story.  The truth is likely somewhere in between.

Mathew's record, like so many Confederate records is obviously incomplete. His name is spelled both Maberry and Mayberry on his service cards. He enlisted as a Private, Company K, Hunter's Regiment, Missouri Infantry, on 10 Jun 1862 in Crawford Co, AR, for three years. Capt. Mankin was the enlisting officer.

Hunter's Battalion consisted of seven companies, originally as cavalry, and was organized 31 Aug 1862. Other companies were added and it became known as Hunter's Regiment 15 Sep 1862. Its designation was changed to the 8th Regiment Missouri Infantry, and finally to the 11th Regiment.   I have noted in researching my relatives in the War that apparently the Missouri companies did recruit soldiers quite far south into Arkansas.  I'm not sure why, but the evidence is plain.

Mathew was noted as "Absent, sick, 25 Dec 1862". He was present March & April of 1863. The Muster Roll for April 30 to Aug 31, 1863, states, "Deserted June 10th 1863 from Austin, Ark." Another record card describes officers and soldiers who have ceased to belong to Parsons' Brigade, Mo. Vols. and shows his enlist,emt as 10 Jun 1862 and his departure at Austin on 10 Jun 1863, "Deserted". A List of Absentees, from the 11th Missouri Infantry Brigade, Price's Division, 26 Jan 1864, stated that Mathew Maberry's present company was not known - that he was supposed to be with Cooper's Command. A second record of men of Price's Division who are now absent from their commands in the Cavalry, 16 Feb 1864, list M. Maberry "Supposed to be with Cooper's Command".

It should be noted that "deserted" had little meaning the Confederacy, particularly in the very disorganized Western command. Units were formed, combined, disbanded for the winter. Or the person charged with keeping the muster rolls was unaware when a soldier had been injured or captured, or even had a special assignment - the soldier was simply present or absent and if there was no known cause for his absence, he was assumed to have deserted, because so many of them did just leave. Often without food or proper clothing, or because of troubles at home, the soldiers simply left and went home for a time, later rejoining the first company of soldiers they found.  An injured soldier stood a better chance of recovery if he was able to get home, too.  Chances are reasonably good that the article in Goodspeed is correct regarding the outcome of Mathew's Civil War service.

Mathew Mayberry married Lou Ann Sewell in 1879 in Logan County, Arkansas, according the the article, but the 1870 census suggests it may have been 1869 instead.  The Goodspeed article stated that the Sewells had been pioneer settlers of Logan County.  The article also related that Mathew owned 137 acroes of land - he had been elected constable for the Short Mountain Township in 1886 and was still serving at the time the article was written. 

I have not found Mathew in the 1900 census - there is a Mathew Maberry listed in Short Mountain Township, but not one single bit of the data matches anything else known about this man - not the age, place of birth, wife, years married, nothing.  Unless it was related to the enumerator by a neighbor that didn't know them well at all, or by someone suffering from dementia, it isn't the same person.  By 1910, Lou Ann was a widow living with a sister.  An online database states that Lou Ann Sewell Mayberry died in 1919, but says that Mathew died 1912 - he was already dead in 1910.

I would love to know when Mathew died and where he is buried.  You can find my email addy by clicking on my name to the right, please drop me a note if you know!