Monday, February 9, 2015

Sammons in the Civil War

Kellie Oxley asked me a great question the other day.  To paraphrase her question;   in the Sammons family were there brothers who fought against each other during the Civil War and did it cause the name spelling to change from Salmons to Sammons on our line.  I have never really done this research in full.  However, I have a LOT of various clues to follow up on.  So I will put my clues down here and perhaps Kellie and PJ will help me make a more full report on this question.

Lucinda Hensley and Roland (Bud) Salmons were married in Lawrence County, Kentucky in either 29 Oct 1854.  My old data base had said 9 Oct 1854 in Louisa Kentucky.  I am not sure if I have a copy of their marriage certificate.  If I stop to follow up on that, I'll never get this post written.  I'll try to add that information later.  If you are reading this on down the road, e-mail and ask me!

It is said that the other Sammons brothers joined the army on the Union side.  But Bud was perhaps influenced by his wife and his wife's family to join on the Confederate side.  I am pretty sure that Ruth Salmons Nassar has a story about this in her book that I will share with you that speaks to this.  But for now here is what I have in my own notes:

.... in my notebook is a faded copy of proof that Roland Salmons enlistment in the Confederate ARmy from June 18 to June 30 1862 as a private in Capt. William Straton’s CO of Cavalry.  He is a Pvt.  He must have reenlisted July 1 to Nov 30, 1862 in another group.  Perhaps 1 Batt’n Va. Mtd Rifles.  In both times the place of enlistment is Logan Co. Wv.  At the bottom of the second note is a handwritten note :  “Name appears in column of names present as Roland Sammons.  So he must have changed the spelling of his name sometime during the year of 1862.

And about William Hensley's Confederate service:

William B.Hensley  joined the Confederate ARmy.  Military papers describe him as being 5'3", dark complexioned, blue eyes, dark hair, age 22 in 1863.  Perhaps he had some military training, because he was elected Captain of Company F, 45th Infantry Batalion, Virginia in October 1863 (Later his was designated Company H, same batallion).  He enlisted a namesake, William B. Hensley, into Company H late 1863 or 1864 as private.  I theorize that this was his uncle William, son of Solomon, who was 20 years older than Lucinda's brother William.  The elder Hensley appears as a prisoner of war held by the Union Army at Camp Chase, Ohio, after being captured January 18, 1865.  The older Hensley was described as being 5'10", dark complexion, grey eyes, brown hair, farmer by profession from Wayne County, Virginia (now WV).

Lucinda's brother, Capt. William B. Hensley, evidently served bravely and was seriously wounded and hospitalized near Fisherville, VA. in 1864 and was removed to a hospital at Staunton, Va where he may have remained until the war's end.

I think that I have also researched Byrd Hensley Jr.'s service but it is not close at hand.  

Next the name idea:  Salmons to Sammons:

  I am looking at the marriage certificate between Henry C. Salmonds and Sarah Wooten in 2005 while working on mom’s and my application to the Colonial Dames.  Several things are interesting.  One that Lucinda’s name appears as the person in whose presence the marriage takes place.  She is named as Mrs. Sarah Small (?) Lucinda Salmonds.  This blows up the theory of the change in spelling taking place during the Civll War.  It also adds some names to Lucinda’s list of names.

Lucinda was from Barboursville in what is now WV but was then Virginia.  The story in the family has been that she was the person who believed that the correct way to spell the name was Sammons.

 In a letter from 1431 West Sears Street, Denison, Texas 75020 dated April 26, 1967, there is mention that although Lucinda’s husband could neither read nor write, she was a schoolteacher.  And that she maintained that the correct way to write Salmons was Sammons.

I believe that Lucinda's name was spelled Sammons on her death certificate.  The information at that time was given by her son, William, with whom she was living when she died.

This is a start to the answer to the question that Kellie asked.  Perhaps we can all work on this some more.  

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