Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sentimental Sunday

Benjamin William Henry Lee

Benjamin was the third known child born to Drucilla Lee wife of Benjamin Lee. Benjamin W. H. Lee was born in Alabama. He is listed on the 1850 Township 24, Tallapoosa County, Alabama census with his father Benjamin who was forty-three at the time of the census, Drucilla age thirty-two, Jordan T. his older brother age ten, and Elizabeth age twelve and the oldest child, Letty L. age seven and Charlotte the youngest child age of two. The census shows that Benjamin W. H. attended school, and his birthplace as Alabama. Things have changed for Benjamin W. H. by the 1860 census taking. He was married.
On the 1860 Youngsville, Western Division, Tallapoosa county census Henry was married to Sarah Ann, and they are living near his mother Drucilla and his siblings. Benjamin William Henry Lee and Sarah Ann Black married on 7 Dec 1859.
Henry and Sarah weren’t married long until he enlisted in the Confederate Army and went off to serve in the War Between the States. He enlisted 4 April 1862 at Loachapoka, Alabama; he served with Company F, 47th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Henry served as a wagon master. He was assigned to Captain E. C. Clowers 47th Alabama Infantry. There first battle was at Cedar Hill in August 1882. He was badly injured in his arm; however, he would not allow them to amputate his arm so he was left alongside of the road and the others moved on. There was no time to waste. By the time someone came along and found him his arm had abscessed. He was later granted a medical discharge 15 October 1862 and he was released at Farmville, Virginia. The War was over in 1865, and the Confederate soldiers and veterans, as well as Henry, had to surrender at the county seat in Talladega County, Alabama. They could apply for citizenship again in five years. Henry appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War at Talladega, Alabama 25 May 1965. Henry description on his discharge certificate states he was 5’9” tall, dark complexion, gray eyes, dark hair, and he was only twenty-one years of age.
William returned to his family in Alabama. Is is listed on the 1870 census with a real estate value of five hundred dollars. In 1870 Henry and Sarah were living in Rage 3, Township 21, Talladega County, Alabama. They had four children by this time and ages ranged from ten years to two years of age. He had two farm laborers listed on the census with his family. Henry was injured in the War, so he needed help on the farm. His children weren’t yet oldest enough to do hard labor on the farm. At this time, he owned forty acres of land and a house on his farm; however, later he acquired more land as well as more children.
In 1880 Benjamin W. H. was living in Childersburg, Talladega County with his wife Sarah and their children. On the 1880 census the family is listed by initials only, and the names of the children aren’t known. By 1900 Henry has died and the children are oldest enough to be on their own and married. Sarah Ann is on the 1900 Childersburg, Talladega Census living with her daughter Minnie Caldonia, her husband and their children, and Caldonia’s eighteen-year-old sister Daisy Ann the youngest of Henry and Sarah Ann’s children. Per the information on the 1910 census Daisy Ann was blind. Daisy could read and write. Sarah Ann had ten children and eight living. Sarah Anne Matilda Lee owned her own home, on a farm, and had her own income. She too read and write. Sarah Anne had a white servant, Missouri Rafield, living with her. She was a wage earner and the housekeeper. Daisy Ann probably needed assistance since she was blind. Henry Doud, Sarah Anne’s son was living nearby with his family. He and his wife Katie had been married twenty-two years.
Benjamin William Henry Lee died 21 January 1881 in Childersburg on his farm. Per a family story Henry was returning to his farm from Talladega in his buggy drawn by a wild, young mule. Something frightened the mule of which it bolted across a newly cleared field filled with stumps. Henry was thrown out and killed at the age of forty-one in Childersburg, Talladega County, Alabama. Sarah Ann was expecting their last child, a daughter, when he was killed. He left eight children and his wife.The death date on the Civil War Pension is 21 Jan 1881. I am going to stay with that death date unless proof otherwise.

This is one of the saddest stories I have written; Benjamin W. H. was injured in the Civil War, survived his injuries, and made it home to his wife and children; only to be killed in a freakish accident. His widow never remarried.

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