Posts Tagged ‘History’


Ole Miss & Charlie Bowdre from Young Guns

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

One of my favorite movies in my youth was “Young Guns” featuring Emilio Estevez as Billy the Kid. This week I learned about a connection between one of the Regulators portrayed in that movie and the University of Mississippi.

Last year while on business in DeSoto County, I took the opportunity to swing by the county archives to do a little digging on an extended branch of my family tree for an interested distant cousin. The ladies at the archives were extremely helpful and when leaving, they asked me if I’d like to become a member of the Genealogical Society of DeSoto County. I did and I now receive their quarterly newsletter “DeSoto Descendants.” This week’s edition included an article: “The Life and Times of Mississippi’s Charles Meriwether Bowdre” by Ralph C. Kennedy.

If you saw Young Guns, you might remember Charlie as “the pugilist” member of John Tunstall’s Lincoln County Regulators. He married a young Mexican girl but died near the end of the movie during the Battle of Lincoln when the Regulators fought their way out of a house under siege by L.G. Murphy’s men and federal troops. Billy (Estevez), Josiah “Doc” Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland) and Chavez y Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips) escaped and appeared in the sequel, Young Guns 2.

"Did you know pigs is as smart as dogs? It's true. I knew this guy in El Capitan who taught his pig to bark at strangers." -Charlie in Young Guns

"Did you know pigs is as smart as dogs? It's true. I knew this guy in El Capitan who taught his pig to bark at strangers." -Charlie in Young Guns

It turns out, Charlie Bowdre was born in Georgia and moved to DeSoto County, Mississippi when he was three years old. The Bowdre family became one of the most prominent families in the area. Per the article:

On February 5, 1866, Charlie Bowdre and his first cousin, Stephen Pettus Bowdre (1848-1930), applied and were admitted to the freshman class at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). They were two of nine Bowdres to attend the University between the classes of 1859 and 1879. University of Mississippi records for the 1867 Sophomore Class indicated the Bowdre cousins took basic courses in Greek, Latin, Math, Logic, Rhetoric, Composition, and Declamation (theatrical style speech). The boys did reasonably well in all their classes; although, Stephen was a slightly better student. Both Charlie and Stephen were listed in the Class of 1870 as “not graduating.” “Not graduating” was a rather common status for young men studying at the University during this time period. Many young men only attended the university for a year or two. A later University of Mississippi survey listed both young men as “cotton factors” (brokers) in Memphis, Tennessee.

Charlie went west and opened a cheese factory in Arizona with his new business partner, Doc Scurlock. One of their employees was Henry “Kid” Antrium, an alias of who would later be known as Billy the Kid. The cheese factory failed and eventually the three made their way to Lincoln County, New Mexico and the events of the movie.

Unlike the movie, Doc also married a young Mexican girl, the half-sister of Charlie’s bride. And Charlie lived on into the events of Young Guns 2. In YG2, Doc is captured out east where he had become a teacher and was brought back to Lincoln for trial. He eventually died in an ambush by gunmen under leadership of Sheriff Pat Garrett. In reality, Doc moved to Texas where he lived until he was 80 and died a prominent member of the community. It was Charlie who died in the ambush, not Doc.

According to Wikipedia (sourced to Robert M. Utley’s “Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life”) “In the last seconds of his life he stumbled and fell towards Pat Garrett repeating the phrase, ‘I wish…I wish…’”

Charlie is buried in the Old Fort Sumner Cemetery along with Tom O’Folliard (also a character in YG2) and Billy the Kid. While the exact locations of the bodies is disputed, the three share a headstone and as told in the epilogue of Young Guns, above their names is chiseled “Pals.” But, according to an article by Mental Floss, it turns out this wasn’t an old Regulator inscribing a tribute. The headstone was likely devised by the local Chamber of Commerce in 1932 to take advantage of tourism following a 1930 movie about Billy the Kid.


Charlie Sullivan campaign songs

Monday, September 9th, 2013

I acquired another campaign album recently, this one from Charles Sullivan’s 1963 gubernatorial campaign.  Sullivan, a district attorney from Clarksdale, first ran for governor in 1959. He ran again in 1963 and lost to Paul B. Johnson, Jr.  In 1967 he ran for and won the office of lieutenant governor. In both those campaigns, he supported a local wet option when it came to liquor in Mississippi.

In 1971, he ran another time for governor and lost to Bill Waller.

He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1978 and lost in that Democratic Primary as well. 

Before all these campaigns, he was on the ballot for President of the United States in 1960 under the banner of the Constitution Party of Texas. It was during 1960 that Sullivan crossed Senator Jim Eastland for his support of the national Democrats and John Kennedy.  For the next two decades, that fight impacted Sullivan’s political campaigns. Sullivan was a general in the U.S. Air National Guard and served in World War II and Korea. He died in a plane crash in 1979.

The Charlie Sullivan for Governor campaign album from 1963 features a personal message on one side, and three songs on the other side: “S-U-L-L-I-V-A-N” by The Cee-Jays, “Sullivan’s The One” by The Mud Creek Three and “Sullivan’s for Me in ‘63″ by The Sullivan Singers.

Sullivan embraced entertainers on the campaign trail. Erle Johnston writes in “Politics: Mississippi Style” about the 1963 campaign and Sullivan:

About ten days before the first primary, Sullivan shocked his opponents and impressed the voters by drawing over 10,000 people to the Mississippi Coliseum at Jackson to hear him speak and enjoy the music of the George Jones band, as well as performances by the top male and female singers of the year. Charter buses brought people from all over the state. A friend of Sullivan’s, producer Lester Varnado of Nashville, arranged the program. Although the musicians performed without compensation, Varnado paid the local musicians union a fee based on what it would have received o nthe existing scale. Sullivan already had made political history with a giant parade that drew thousands of people to his home city of Clarksdale. Former Ole Miss and professional football star Charley Conerly was parade marshal.

Here is a previous post with campaign songs from Ross Barnett, John Bell Williams and Cliff Finch & here is a post with a couple of Jim Eastland songs.


If Lee Had Not Won The Battle of Gettysburg

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Confederate General Robert E. Lee did not win the Battle of Gettysburg. But in what Shelby Foote called the only “What if?” story he ever admired, Winston Chuchill wrote an essay from the historic vantage point of a victorious Lee and what it could have meant, had he not won.

On this 150th anniversary of Pickett’s charge, I re-read Churchill’s “If Lee Had Not Won The Battle of Gettysburg”.  An excerpt for the occasion:

It always amuses historians and philosophers to pick out the tiny things, the sharp agate points, on which the ponderous balance of destiny turns; and certainly the details of the famous Confederate victory of Gettysburg furnish a fertile theme. There can be at this date no conceivable doubt that Pickett’s charge would have been defeated in Stuart with his encircling cavalry had not arrived in the rear of the Union position at the supreme moment. Stuart might have been arrested in his decisive swoop if any one of twenty commonplace incidents had occurred. If, for instance, General Meade had organized his lines of communication with posts for defence against raids, or if he had used his cavalry to scout upon his flanks, he would have received a timely warning. If General Warren had only thought of sending a battalion to hold Little Round Top the rapid advance of the masses of Confederate cavalry must have been detected. If only President Davis’s letter to General Lee, captured by Captain Dahlgren, revealing the Confederacy plans had reached Meade a few hours earlier, he might have escaped Lee’s clutches.

Anything, we repeat, might have prevented Lee’s magnificent combinations from synchronizing and, if so, Pickett’s repulse was sure. Gettysburg would have been a great Northern victory. It might have well been a final victory. Lee might, indeed, have made a successful retreat from the field. The Confederacy, with its skilful generals and fierce armies, might have survived for another year, or even two, but once defeated decisively at Gettysburg, its doom was inevitable. The fall of Vicksburg, which happened only two days after Lee’s immortal triumph, would in itself by opening the Mississippi to river fleets of the Union, have cut the Secessionist States almost in half. Without wishing to dogmatize, we feel we are on solid ground in saying that the Southern States could not have survived the loss of a great battle in Pennsylvania and the almost simultaneous bursting open of the Mississippi.

In Churchill’s alternative history, within three days of his victory at Gettysburg, Lee captured Washington, D.C. (Lincoln flees with the Union government to New York).  Now a Southern hero putting Jefferson Davis and the civil government in his shadow, Lee abolishes slavery in the Confederacy and within a month, no longer impeded by the immorality of slavery, the British Empire signs an alliance with the Confederacy. The British provided the naval advantage lacked by the Southern States to break blockades, reestablish trade, and isolate Union forces in Southern territory (like New Orleans). The United States and Confederate States signed The Treaty of Harpers Ferry on September 6, 1863 with “two fundamental propositions: that the South was independent, and the slaves were free.”

In the coming decades, the South had through military incursions annexed and reorganized much of Mexico. The North, in fear of the Southern military, invested in their armed forces to protect themselves from those south of the Harpers Ferry Treaty line. Two American nations grew in innovation, commerce, wealth and military strength.

In 1905, it appeared Britain and her Southern ally would be pulled into the Russo-Japanese War on the side of Japan while the United States lined up with Russia. Eventually, Prime Minister Balfour, U.S. President Roosevelt and and C.S.A. President Wilson signed the Covenant of the English Speaking Association.

The ESA stepped in to force peace when Europe faced a collision of alliances in 1914, preventing what could have been a world wide war and the lack of stability in the ruling status of many nations.

Who knows what could have happened? There may have been a great European war, leading to a continent in economic ruin, communist upheaval in Russia, fascists coming to power in Germany, more war from an unsettled peace, all if Lee had not won the Battle of Gettysburg.

Churchill’s essay is worth the read. My copy is an epilogue in Churchill’s “The Great Republic: A History of America” - another great read as we approach Independence Day on July 4.


That Jim Eastland watches over like a mother

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Last month I looked at some old campaign songs from John Bell Williams, Cliff Finch and Ross Barnett.

The University of Mississippi has a couple of campaign songs for Senator Jim Eastland posted online that I thought I’d share as well.

This 1954 song, “Cotton State: Roll On Mississippi, Roll On” by the Mississippi Ramblers was a reelection tune from Jim Eastland.

Roll on you Mississippi, roll on.
The world at last is gazing upon,
Not that river but that state,
That Jim Eastland watches over like a mother,
Industry has moved in, the wheels of progress busily spin,
Farmers, too, look to Jim
Now is the time, to vote for him
Let’s send him back to Capitol Hill,
Roll on you Mississippi, roll on.
What once were byways, now are highways,
Up and down and cross the state,
And it’s a fact son, not only Jackson, but Mississippi as a state is great.
Roll on you Mississippi, roll on.
The world at last is gazing upon,
Not that river but that state,
That Jim Eastland guards and guides and watches over,
Schools and colleges too,
Are not the old frame buildings we knew,
This and more, Jim has done (yes sir!)
From his desk (where?!) in Washington,
So send him back to Capitol Hill
Roll on you Mississippi, roll on.

Also, from the Digital Library at Ole Miss is this 1972 campaign commercial song.

It is awful. It sounds like a 1970s coffee commercial.

Let’s all get together and reelect the one who takes pride in Mississippi and serves everyone,
Shows pride in his nation the work that he’s done for Mississippi, Senator Jim Eastland
When Mississippi has a need, Jim Eastland’s there.

My column this week in the Madison County Journal (and other newspapers in the state) will revisit the campaign songs in the previous post.


Campaign Songs: John Bell Williams, Ross Barnett & Cliff Finch

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

I collect political memorabilia: buttons, signs, push cards, bumper stickers and the like.  I cradled a Cliff Finch campaign lunch box I found at a flea market for $4 like it was the Holy Grail. But I’ve been really excited about a handful of campaign albums I’ve acquired including ones from John Bell Williams, Ross Barnett and Cliff Finch.

I uploaded some of these songs to YouTube, so if you enjoy political history like I do, you can listen as well. I sprinkled the songs with images of the men and their campaigns. It should go without saying, but to be clear, I don’t support the campaign issues (Barnett is explicitly segregationist) but I find them interesting as political history and education purposes.

John Bell Williams Is A Fightin’ Man by Jim Hopkins performed by Bob Cates & The Dixie Six (Superior Records) - John Bell Williams Campaign for Governor of Mississippi 1967

Roll With Ross by Houston Davis - Ross Barnett Campaign for Governor of Mississippi 1959

Little Carroll’s Last Stand by Houston Davis performed by the Jerry Lane Orchestra - Ross Barnett Campaign for Governor of Mississippi 1959

Lets Roll Again With Ross by Houston Davis performed by the Magnolia State Quartet with the Jerry Lane Orchestra - Ross Barnett Campaign for Governor of Mississippi 1967

When Good Ol’ Ross Goes Rolling In by Houston Davis performed by the Magnolia State Quartet with the Jerry Lane Orchestra - Ross Barnett Campaign for Governor of Mississippi 1967

Riding on the Cliff Finch Train by Freddie Aycock & The Country Gentlemen - Cliff Finch Campaign for Governor of Mississippi 1975


LBJ’s calls to Eastland & Stennis (audio recordings)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

The Miller Center at the University of Virginia has an extensive archive of presidential recordings.  I ran across it last week and had some fun listening to President Lyndon Johnson speak with various historic figures and I made some notes on his conversations with Mississippi Senators Jim Eastland and John Stennis.  The notes are by no means comprehensive.

Here is a little more about The Miller Center from its web site.

Between 1940 and 1973, six American presidents from both political parties secretly recorded just under 5,000 hours of their meetings and telephone conversations.

Through a combination of historical research and annotated transcripts the Miller Center’s Presidential Recordings Program aims to make these remarkable historical sources more accessible to scholars, teachers, students, and the public.

Sections

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard M. Nixon

Transcripts & Virtual Exhibits
Listen to Secret White House Recordings
Classroom Materials (Presidential Classroom)

Here is a bit about the Johnson Recordings:

Between 1963 and 1969 Lyndon B. Johnson secretly recorded roughly 800 hours of conversations. The collection primarily consists of telephone recordings that Johnson made during his time in office. In 1968, Johnson began recording meeting conversations.

The Johnson Presidential Library hosts a searchable online database that can be used to search the over 6,000 conversations currently available. The database may difficult for first-time users, so we have created a help page with instructions on searching the collection.

And here are my notes (with links to the audio) of various calls between LBJ and Mississippians:

November 28, 1963 - calls Jim Eastland to wish him Happy Birthday, also wishes Mrs. Eastland a Happy Birthday, Jim talks to LBJ about a letter from him and Stennis on returning Congressional patronage to Jamie Whitten

November 28, 1963 - calls Jim Eastland about dropping his committee’s investigation of Kennedy assassination and instead create a joint committee

November 29, 1963 - calls Jim Eastland to tell him about the Kennedy assassination investigative committee he is going to announce the Warren Commission - Eastland suggests using someone other than Earl Warren who will be too political - LBJ says Warren is the Chief so he needs him - LBJ asks Eastland to protect his flank in the Senate

December 2, 1963 - calls John Stennis on reducing military costs (Stennis says to the President, “that’s fine ol boy”)

December 6, 1963 - called by John Stennis (LBJ interrupts a meeting to take his call) about a cotton bill and inaction by Congress to pass it

January 28, 1964 - called by John Stennis because NASA Administrator Jim Webb was supposed to speak to the Jackson Chamber of Commerce that evening but canceled when he found out it was a segregated event - LBJ tells Stennis not to call him about things like that, not to get him involved, that they have a rule not to speak to segregated events and Webb should have checked on that earlier

March 18, 1964 - calls Jim Eastland to get advice on passing cotton & wheat legislation - Eastland tells LBJ to call George McLain, publisher of the Tupelo Journal, to deliver Mississippi Congressman Thomas Abernethy - discussion of the politics of agriculture and food stamps and race - (call continued here) - Eastland tells LBJ the newspapers can handle the Georgia boys but LBJ said he can’t handle the newspapers - LBJ gives a list of Congressmen he needs help with

April 1, 1964 - called by Jim Eastland who wanted to set up a private meeting with him along with John Stennis

May 26, 1964 - talks with Jamie Whitten on appropriations and budget politics

June 23, 1964 - talks with Jim Eastland about missing civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Eastland said that Governor Johnson believes the missing workers is a staged event and there is no violence, LBJ tells Eastland that J. Edgar Hoover just called him and told him they found the burning car

June 23, 1964 - talks with Governor Paul Johnson about missing civil rights workers, tells him Allen Dulles is coming down - Johnson gives LBJ a general update (call continues here)

June 24, 1964 - talks with John Stennis about his conversation with Governor Paul Johnson and tells him he is sending Allen Dulles down as an impartial observer LBJ tells Stennis, “I love ya and I know your heart is bleeding and mine is, too”

June 26, 1964 - LBJ and Allen Dulles talk with Governor Paul Johnson - Dulles refers to “terroristic activities” - Johnson praises the Mississippi National Guard saying they would do their federal duties well and serve the President better than they’d serve himself - Johnson said he has given the state police statewide police powers and they have established a law enforcement training academy

July 3, 1964 - talks with Gov Paul Johnson about the weather and cattle - discuss cooperation between state and federal investigators - general update on search for civil rights workers - Johnson complains about the national news media

August 11, 1964 - garbled but Jim Eastland discusses with someone legislation regarding Catalina Properties that Kennedy and Johnson both vetoed - Eastland mentions he wants Jackson County to be able to purchase an island in the Gulf of Mexico

August 15, 1964 - LBJ asks Eastland if they’re working him too hard and Eastland said no, he had a few drinks.  Then LBJ asks about his nominee Phil Nichols to be Customs Court Judge.  Eastland mentions a FBI file (conversation redacted) then LBJ explains Eastland is talking about the wrong guy. They discuss Bobby Kennedy’s political future and LBJ asks Eastland who he thinks would be a good Vice President.  Eastland said he doesn’t know but he thinks it should be a Catholic.

August 17, 1964 - Eastland calls LBJ and says he and John Stennis are sitting around talking and want to know if Mississippi is going to be seated at the Democratic National Convention.  LBJ says no one knows until the credential committee acts. They discuss the process and the politics and LBJ’s prospects for reelection (conversation continued here).

August 22, 1964 - LBJ updates Eastland on the Credential Committee feelings toward seating the regular Eastland supported delegation at the DNC. The Freedom Democrats would be given tickets and seated in a different part of the convention hall and given a resolution.  LBJ says both sides can claim victory that way but in four years and afterward there would be fully integrated conventions. Eastland tells LBJ he would call Governor Johnson and LBJ asked to hear how the call goes.

August 22, 1964 - A follow up on the previous call, LBJ says Gov. Johnson has handled the missing civil rights workers and burning churches as intelligently as could be expected. More talk about the convention.

August 22, 1964 - Eastland calls LBJ back.  Eastland reads LBJ a statement he prepared for the credential committee but said it didn’t seem to impact it any.  The credential committee is in the process of meeting. LBJ continues to stress that the delegation needs to affirm its intention to support the nominees of the convention. Eastland says he thinks this has gotten out of hand.  LBJ gets frustrated near the end and says to affirm to support the nomination and not get into the history of the past hundred years.

August 22, 1964 - LBJ reads to Eastland the statement he would like the Mississippi Regular Delegation to agree to and sign. They discuss the convention some more.  Eastland says he will call Governor Johnson again.

August 23, 1964 - LBJ: “Jim?” JE: “Yeah, how are you, Mr. President.” LBJ: “You got everything straightened out?” JE: “No. I haven’t gotten anything straightened out.” LBJ: “Well, by God, I turned it over to you, I thought you’d have it fixed.” — They discuss the convention and Alabama was seated and LBJ thinks that’s encouraging for Mississippi. Eastland is calling from “a resort out on Eagle Lake.” LBJ says laughing “I don’t care about carrying Mississippi, I don’t think I’ve got a chance…I’m gonna let Goldwater cut out all your damn subsidies, cut your $6 billion cotton program. I’m gonna balance my budget.”

August 23, 1964 - More talk between LBJ & Eastland about the Convention.  Eastland says if anything happens, “I’m gonna leave this lodge and I’m going to Tumminello Restaurant in Vicksburg.” LBJ gets the spelling of the restaurant and tells him he will be in touch.

August 23, 1964 - More on the Convention between LBJ & Eastland with some talk about then MS Supreme Court Justice Tom P. Brady.

August 25, 1964 - LBJ tells Eastland he wants the Regular Democrats seated on the Floor with all the votes and the Freedom Democrats not on the floor but the delegation has no business demanding who else can or can’t be in the convention. LBJ asks Eastland to help him with this situation.  Eastland says they’re dealing with forces down in Mississippi. LBJ says this is a victory and Eastland gets everything he wants, the Regular Democrats get every vote, every seat, every badge, etc but they don’t need to cause problems if others are seated as a symbolic representative without votes. Eastland says Governor Johnson is the one who is upset.  LBJ: “Well, Mississippi, you and I have got to take care of them.” LBJ talks about John Stennis and Jim Webb and Paul Johnson. (Conversation continues here.) LBJ once again explains the Freedom Democrats will be delegates at large from the country, not from Mississippi, and Governor Johnson doesn’t seem to understand that.  If he fights that it hurts Mississippi. Eastland says he’ll talk to Paul Johnson.  LBJ tells Eastland to call him, Eastland says he will but it will be in the morning, LBJ says hell no, this thing will be over tonight so just call him.

January 22, 1965 - LBJ calls from his bedroom, and tells Eastland he wants his advice on picking an Attorney General. They discuss Nicholas Katzenbac, Clark Clifford and Abe Fortas. LBJ says he wants Fortas. Eastland says he doesn’t think Jewish organizations want a Jewish Attorney General. LBJ says everyone is entitled to their own representation.  Eastland talks about representing the outlaw Kenny Wagner who he says killed 11 men.

April 23, 1965 - Eastland suggests to LBJ that he gets a cotton man to handle his cotton stocks for the government.

August 6, 1965 - LBJ tells John Stennis his Attorney General will call Stennis and Governor Johnson.  LBJ asks about Mrs. Stennis: “Give a little hug to her for me and keep one for yourself.” LBJ talks about the confirmation vote for J.P. Coleman to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and notes he only got 7 votes against him and that Stennis should tell Coleman he runs better in Washington DC than he does in Mississippi.

August 18, 1965 - LBJ jokes to John Stennis that J.P. Coleman snuck into town, got sworn in, got on the payroll, and got out of town without getting a picture with him for every newspaper in Mississippi to ensure he would never get elected in Mississippi again.  LBJ tells Stennis he wants to get out of Vietnam before we get in a war with Russia and China.  LBJ asks Stennis in his public debates to not mention any dollar amounts that the the Vietnamese could use to leverage greater support from Russia and China.

August 6, 1968 - LBJ asks John Stennis to drive over to the White House and meet with him and General Westmoreland over coffee.


Natchez Trace and War of 1812

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Senator Roger Wicker’s column this week discusses the role of the Natchez Trace during the War of 1812, of which we are celebrating the 200th Anniversary beginning this year. You can check it out here: War of 1812 Bicentennial Honors Unique Part of Mississippi History: Natchez Trace Played Important Role in Defending America’s Freedom.

It caught my attention on Twitter for several reasons.

First, I remember as a congressional press secretary sending out columns on tax reform, federal highway funding, energy policy and while those are important they can also be quite boring. From time to time we would do columns or press releases on other topics and from experience, people in Mississippi LOVE the Natchez Trace. A good release on the Trace would generate so many more hits than an update on reforms to Medicaid. So while some may question the importance of the subject, I know, folks in Mississippi enjoy this kind of thing. I enjoyed seeing the release and I hope Wicker’s office gets positive feedback on it like we used to get in my previous career.

Second, I am one of those people I describe above. If I want to know about new Federal Communication Commission licensing, I’ll search that information out. But I enjoy reading about Mississippi history; I love the Natchez Trace; and this column is a brief diversion from routine work.

Third, I have a personal connection to just this topic. (I promise you, there is no need to read further as the rest of this is of interest to only me, my family and random genealogists. You have been warned.)

Two teenagers from Tennessee, John Keith around 19 years old, and John Lock around 17 years old, fought in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 where General Andrew Jackson combined his forces with city citizens, and pirates under the command of French privateer Jean Lafitte.

Keith served in the Second Regiment, Pillow’s West Tennessee Volunteers as a private in Caperton’s Company. Lock served in Major William Russell’s Regiment, Samuel Cowan’s Company of the Volunteer Mounted Gunmen attached to General Coffee’s Brigade.

After the Battle of New Orleans, the two men traveled back to Tennessee together on the Natchez Trace. Both were mustered out at Murfreesboro on June 5, 1815 and each earned $122.23 for their services (Lock got an extra $78 for the services of his horse).

Years later, Lock’s daughter Mary Ann (“Polly”) married Keith’s son Joseph (later called “Ole Mean Joe”). Their son Andrew Harrison Keith is my great-great grandfather. Sometimes traveling the Natchez Trace, I wonder what it was like in 1815 as two of my great-great-great-great grandfathers - today just high school aged - traveled back from the Battle of New Orleans to their homes in Tennessee.

Wicker’s column today brought back those thoughts and likely will spur a trip down the Natchez Trace in the near future.


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