Letter from Francis Marion Womack

(excerpted from Womack Genealogy, June 1960, Volume IV, Number 1, pgs 103-116)


GENEALOGICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL FACTS AND SKETCHES OF THE WRITER'S FAMILY.

By F. M. Womack

The writer has often thought that he would leave with his children some facts and accounts regarding our family connection.

The writer has often regretted that he did not obtain from his father during his lifetime something of this kind which would have enabled him to have given more facts than he will be able to give without them, but so far as I may attempt to go " I will try to render unto Caesar the things that belong to Caesar."

To begin - My grandfather's name was William Womack, was born in North Carolina. My grandmother Womack was born in N. Carolina, her name was Lucy Womack and distantly related to Grandfather Womack.

My father's name was Isham Rice Womack, was of Irish descent, was born on Little Pedee River in North Carolina on the 29 day of Sept. 1789, died the 25th day of May 1869. Aged 79 yrs. 7m. 26ds.

My mothers name before marriage was Mary Ann Steward and was of Scotch descent and was born on Great Pedee River in the state of South Carolina on the 22 day of May 1791, died June 18th 1880. Aged 88y. 21m. 26ds.

Father and mother were married in South Carolina on the 5th day of Aug. 1810. They moved to this county ( Coffee county, Tennessee ) which was then a portion of Franklin county at that time, in the Autumn of the same year they were married, and settled near the base of the Cumberland Mountain above J.T. Crocker (?) farm, now in the 11th Civil District of Coffee County, Tenn. They moved from the Carolinas to Tenn. on a pack horse ( a little Grey Mare. ) When they settled down to house keeping they had what they packed on the little grey mare to this state and one dollar in money. My father told me he took the dollar, all the money he had and bought salt with it. He had hired himself out to make rails and for the making of rails he received in compensation one Pork hog - hence you see the necessity for the salt. In moving to this County my father and mother would camp out at nights. They were four weeks on the road. There were other imigrants came across with them. My father and mother lived first in this neighborhood five years. They lived a portion of the time during the five years where F.M. Taylor now live. My father cleared some of the lands of Taylor's, He and mother were the first settlers in the neighborhood of the Taylor Spring. Then moved to Swedens Cove now Marion County, Tenn., lived there about four years, bought a piece of land where Louis Pain now resides, if living, and his house stood within about 60 yards of where the Louis Pain residence now stands. Father and mother told me their reason for leaving Swedens Cove was that Cove was pretty much filled up with relatives and that they were intermarrying among each other. There were many of the Beans, McBees, Pains, and other families connected to fathers family ( all good people however ). Therefore father sold his land, moved back to this neighborhood, now the 11th Civil Dist. of Coffee County, Tenn., bought land and remained on the same until his death, upon which my father and mother reared a large family of children, 8 girls and 6 boys viz: Oldest Sally who married Martin Lowry, an old Baptist preacher & farmer. Him and her both died in Lincoln County, Tenn. & left a large family of children, most of them now in Lincoln County.

The Lowry family were about all of Old Baptist convictions and were always talking Old Baptist doctrine. I met Geo. Lowry ( nephew ) a few years ago. He talked bible a great deal. I asked Geo. if he belonged to the Baptist Church, he said, no he never did jine but one thing in his life and that was the Confederate Army, he said he thought he never would get out of the blamed thing, said he always been afraid to jine anything ever since, for fear if he wanted to get out of it he couldn't do it. Geo. is dead now, a good fellow and has joined better people and country than one he left behind him. The Lowry family are a very fine and a good family of people.

2nd, Nancy, who married Geo. W. Chapman who was a farmer & a fine blacksmith. Both died in this county and were ( buried ) at the grave yard on fathers old home sted. They had several children, Columbus, Jasper, Mary Ann, Sarah, William, Nancy & Geo. All good people, Jasper died in Texas. Mary Ann died in this county. The others are living at this time.

3rd, Sela W., who married Harrison Cornelison ( a farmer ) who moved to Missouri about the year 1837. Both dead and buried in MO., leaving a large family of children mostly living in S.W. Mo.

4th, Lucy, who married Dr. T.P. Stephenson, Both died near here and were buried at Stephenson Institute. They had no children, but raised two children - T.P. Levins and Lucy Melvina Womack. There were few better. Your Aunt Lucy died 1860 and was buried at Stephenson Institute. Your Uncle Dr. Stephenson died 1891 and is buried at Stephenson Institute.

5th, William Berry Womack who went to MO. in 1837 along with the Cornelisons family, remained in Mo. two years - came back home, remained at home 3 or 4 months then left again for Mo. - went to Nashville taking passage on a steamboat, we have no account of him since he left Nashville, as to what became of him is still wrapped in mystery - he had never married.

6th, A.L.J. Womack ( Abner ) was a doctor. He first hung out his shingle in Hillsboro, Tenn., remained there about 1 year, went from there to Sam Kenley ( ? ) farm on the road between Prarie Plains and Decherd, remained there one year or two years - from there to Hawkerville ( Alto ) remained there about two years - from there to Beech Grove, practiced there about 2 years - moved from there to Pine Bluff, Ark. in 1852, there he established a drug store but continued the practice of medicine, accumulated considerable property, a farm, Negroes, &c. The war came uo in 1861. He went into the Confederate command, I think the 9th Ark. Infantry, was a surgeon in his regt., perhaps only assistant surgeon. Whenthe war was ended, his negros freed, the farm and other property gone and devastated, he again engaged in the profession - but his health failed him. So about the year 1875 he came back to Tenn. ( perhaps in the month of April ) thinking he could recuperate his health, went to Laynes Springs on the Cumberland Mountain and died there in July of the same year, died of Asthma and consumption of the bowles, was buried at the grave yard on fathers old homested. Bro. Abner married Elizabeth Corn. She was raised on Elk River near Estill Springs, Franklin County, Tenn. They had three children, Mary Emely, Queen Victoria and Eliza - all three of the girls graduated from Mary Sharp College, Winchester, in June 1861. Their mother is also dead. They have wandered away from Pine Bluff, Ark. so I do not know their whereabouts.

7th, Bro. Levi was a blacksmith and a good fiddler - was a good hearted fellow and a man of fine sense. He married Nancy Pendergraft. They had a large Family of children. All moved to Ozark County, Mo. about 1873. Bro. Levi's wife is dead, he also died last winter, 1904. I think his children are now living mostly in South West Mo. and N.W. Ark.

8th, Sister Martha - An old maid 80 years old living at my house. You all know her.

9th, Sister Mary Melissa - She married an Irishman Michael Levins, father of T.P. and Jasper Levins. He was a tanner by trade and ran a tan yard just across the road in corner of field in front of where your Uncle Speaker ( ? ) Thomas died. Your Aunt Melissa died of fever. Her husband after her death married Sally Cash. Your Uncle Mike Levins either died or was killed in the Rebel Army. I guess your Aunt Melissa was about 25 years old when she died.

10th, Sister Sibella R. married T.J. Lovlace, a widower with four children. Her marriage was very much against the will of fathers family. However Lovlace was a good moral man, was a Seperate Baptist preacher, a farmer and stone mason, but was a very poor man. His wife died during the Civil War in Lincoln County, Tenn. Just where she is buried I do not know - have often thought I would some time make a trip to Lincoln and ascertain where she was buried but have not done so. She died just before the close of the war. Lovelace and her had a family of children, perhaps about six. Don't think I met any of the family after the war closed. Lovelace at the close of the war moved to Ark. - he married after moving to Ark. - but died several years ago. His children, I think are yet in Ark. - one or two of their boys preachers. I do not remember their P.O. John and Alex were the oldest children, don't ( know ) the names of the others. Your Aunt Sibbella, a nice woman.

11th, - Bro. Lewis H. died in Elmyra Prison N.Y. just before the close of the war, he died 28th April 1865. He entered the 44th Tenn. Reg. 1861- - - - was captured at the battle of Gettesburg, Pennsylvania, carried to Elmyra Prison, died from a relaps of Small Pox and was buried at Elmyra. He married Sarah Cargile. They had three children, Mary, James & William, all living in Texas. Sarah died on Sunday the 6th day of Apr. 1862. Bro. Lewis was that day fighting in the battle of Shiloh. The children were small so the care of them devolved upon father & mother after having already raised fourteen children of their own.

12th, The twelfth is the writer F. M. Womack your father who was born within one mile of where he is now living- - -born 26th day of May 1833. A portion of my life is an open book to you all. I regret that it has not been a better and more noble life. Alas I cannot recall it. Perhaps the great majority of people when looking over their past life, behold with a sad & sorrowing heart their failures and think could they only be permitted to live it over again theirs would be a more honorable, worthy and glorious life. Therefore my dear children as you have but one life to live on this earth do your best to make it a good life, an honorable Christian Life. Your mother was born the 24th day of Aug. 1834 in Cannon County, Tenn. Your Grandfather Peter Thomas was born in the state of Va. His father moved to Cannon County at an early day settled near Bradyville. Your Grandfather Peter J. Thomas moved to Coffee County 1852. Your Ma and me were married the 26th day of Feb. 1854. Your Grandmother Thomas was before marriage a Lassiter. Your mother was one of Gods noble women, died Sept. 23, 1883.

13th, My Bro. Wiley C. Womack was a Dr. Went to Pine Bluff, Ark at the age of 18 1/2 years, clerked in a Drug store and studied medicine for two years under my brother Abner Womack, he came back home, went int practice, moved to Jackson County, Ala., in 1860, remained there in his profession until his death 5 or six years ago. Done a large practice. His first wife was Nancy Harris by whom he had three children, Myrtle, Henry, and Wilma all living at Birmingham, Ala, no children. His second wife was Luc Teters who died in one or two years after their marriage. His third wife was a widow Johnson. Her maiden name before marriage was mattie Linsey- - - - She died about one year before my brother Wiley died.

14th. My sister Salina H. was the youngest child, married Wm. J. Thomas a brother to your ma. She died Jan. 1865 at the age of about 28 years. She had one child, her and her baby child were both buried in the same coffin. Your Aunt Salina was a very nice intelligent girl. She had a fairly good education, very few girls of her day that surpassed her in general intelligence.

So you see there were only 14 of Fathers family of children all lived to be grown, all married but two, your Uncle William and your Aunt Martha. Your uncle William was not married when we last heard of him. Your Grandfather Womack always kept a good tably, had a great deal of company, he never charged a man a bill in {his} life for taking care of him, but always fed and lodged every {one} gratis. He had a good farm made plenty, kept out of debt, reared those 14 children, fed, clothed and educated them, in fact he gave his children better opportunities than most of his neighbors gave theirs, he would always see that his children were at school when he had an opportunity to send them, yet his children had to work on the farm in order to have food and raminent. I remember hearing my father say he never bought but one piece of meat in {his} life after the first year he came to Tenn. I remember very well when he bought it. The idea of having to buy a piece of meat seemed to trouble him very much. My father had a very fair education for his day, used to teach school in his young days, acted as Justice of the Peace a great deal, was clerk for a long time of the Pro. Vo. Marshalls court, a court of the Home Malisha. My mother was a very small woman, a nice industrious old lady, had some education, could read and write very well, was a woman of good natural ability, worked hard, made a great deal of flax, cotton and woolen cloth, spun her own thread, wove it into cloth, cut and made it into wearing apparal for the family, sold many webs of cloth of her own make, such as cotton, jeans lincy &c. In my boyhood I wore no kind of clothing only such as was manufactured by my mother. Yet we were deprived of many advantages that the young people have today- - - -but people were generally honest, social, kind, genteel and as intelligent as they could be under surrounding circumstances. If a neighbor told you anything then you could rely upon it as a fact. I can't think there was much fraud, deceit and corruption among the people then as are now, however we have many good people at present. I have diverged somewhat from my work I must get back to it.

Your Grandfather and Grandmother were both members of the Old Primitive Baptist Church, in fact the Womack generations were mostly Baptists. My brothers and sisters were nearly all Baptist. Your Uncle Wiley and me both members of the Christian Church. The Old Primitive Baptist as a people seemed to be closely bound together by their religous ties. Several years ago thay had among them a Baptist preacher, an able, prominent preacher among them, whom resided in county of K town of A, was also a merchant in said. While selling goods he became involved in trouble with a young lady, her people talked of lynching him, so he gathered up & pulled out for the far West. I learned of the trouble soon after it occured, some time after I ask your Aunt Martha what had become of this preacher remarking that I had heard nothing said of him among them for some time. Your Aunt Martha says may be you have not heard about it. I'll tell you all about it he has gone to West, he had to go. Says I why, what was the matter, she says he got into trouble with a girl down about A, her folks talked of killing him and the poor fellow had to go there or somewhere else, the trifling heifer she says ought to have been hung- - -but not a single word had she to say against her brother preacher.

My father was a man of great patience. There used to be a man named Gilliam Brooks who worked with father when he was a young man. There was once a Battalion Muster some where in the neighborhood of where my father lived. Brooks wanted father to let him have a horse to ride to the muster as he had promised to carry a girl that day, father let him have the horse he wanted and took the girl up behind him on the horse rode with him on to the muster. Gilliam Brooks bought ginger cakes from a negro, fed her all the ginger cakes she could eat. In the evening the girl went off home with another man. Brooks came home in a very ill humor as to the manner the girl had treated him. He was telling my mother all about it and in the wind up of the subject he says Aunt Mary there is is one thing about shore as shooten, she's eat the last of my ginger bread she'll ever eat. However Gilliam Brooks courted and married another women soon.

My fathers old neighbors was old Esg., James Cunningham, old Esq. Jesse Reynolds, Old Uncle Jimmy Shield, Old Uncle Johnny Harris, Old Uncle Charley and Jake Rowland, Old Esq. Cowen, Old Uncle Johnny Crockett, Old Uncle Billy Rankin, Old Uncle Jimmy Cargile, Old Dad Stephenson, Old Uncle Henry Gotcher, Old Esq. Jess Gotcher, Old Uncle Gideon Prilley, Old Uncle Johney Dean, Old Esq. Marrow & Dick Price. Some others not mentioned. In speaking of them I was taught to call their names as I have written them. If I had mistreated or failed to treat an old man with respect when I was a boy my father would have Chastised me surely. My father endeavored to bring up his children right, the wayward steps that we may have made has not been according to the training, will or violition of father & mother.

My Grandfathers family of children were oldest, Josiah, I never met him. He raised a large family of children, his wife was named Comfort. Do not know her maiden name. Uncle Josiah had a large family of children. I never knew but little of his family. He had a grand son whose name was Rufus, he has been at my fathers house often - was graduated at Old Irvin College { Irving College in Warren County, Tenn. } about the year 1851. He would always come to my fathers during vacation. He died in Texas several years ago - was a school teacher and Methodist preacher. Uncle Josiahs family is scattered, can't tell any of their whereabouts.

2nd. Aunt Sallie married Jeremiah Blanton, said to be a nice man. Some of his family now living in Texas. Aunt Sallie said to be a very nice women.

3rd. Thomas Womack had a wife and two children. He died. I never knew what became of his wife and children.

4th. Uncle Burton Womack died young.

5th. Isham Womack my father was the 5th child.

6th. Uncle William Womack { Buck ) married a McBee, he moved to Missouri about 1846 or 1847 from Jackson County, Ala. Stopped over with father on his way and remained 2 weeks - had a daughter, Cousin Betty who fell from a wagon as they came { across } the Cumberland Mountain. A wheel ran over her leg and broke it, therefore they rested at fathers two weeks on account of her misfortune. Uncle Buck had a large family of children - seemed to be nice family of children. I think the majority of the boys and girls played the fiddle - they had two fiddles, some would play and some would dance - they seemed to be an inteligent family of children. Uncle Buck was moving through in wagons drawn by oxen. He died in the State of Mo. Some of his children was living in Ozark Co., Mo. a few years ago.

7th. Uncle Abner Womack married Ibby Patton, sister to Alex Patton who died near Pelham Tenn. Uncle Abner was a nice man, a strict baptist. Aunt Ibby was a nice woman. They both died and were buried in Jackson, Ala. They had one daughter, Mary, who married Robert Gill, Father of Lemm Gill who married your Cousin Mary Womack, sister to Jimmy and Billy Womack. All lived in Texas. They had several boys, Wm. Pleasant, John Benton (?), Berry, Alex, Charley and Geo. all living in Jackson Co., Ala. Dr. Charley lives in Spring Hill, Marshall County, Tenn. Berry, a Baptist preacher, can't tell where he lives. Uncle Abner had a nice inteligent family of children.

8th. Uncle Jesse Womack married a Perkins first wife, she died in Jackson County, Ala. Uncle Jess died in Marshall Co., Ala. - he was the father of Cousin Mary Gilliam & Cousin Levi Womack. Uncle Jess Womack sometimes called ( Green eye ) was a pecular man, you could hear him talking in common conversation almost a mile. Soon after his first wife died he visited father, staid few days. He seemed to be greatly grieved on account of loseing his wife. He said he had caught his horse every night after supper, since her death and would ride to the grave yard where she was buried, which was one mile from his home - hoping he might see her - he went back home from fathers and very soon thereafter I learned that Uncle Jess had courted and married another women. Uncle Jess had a large family of children, all respectable. Many years before Uncle Jess died he had his coffin made. The undertaker brought it home to him, he lay down in it to see how he liked, was very well pleased with it, he kept it up stairs, Usually kept shelled corn, peas, or beans in it. I presume he was buried in it.

9th. Uncle Levi Womack married a Bean. He used to teach school in his younger days, seemed to be a man of good intelligence and nice manners. I met him about 22 years ago. He, at that time lived near Col. Coffees store on Boon Creek, Jackson Co., Ala. He was running a little mill belonging to Col. Coffee. C.C. Chapman, John Henley and me were passing near him, went a little off our route to see him. He was living a second wife, his first wife having died. We taken dinner with him. I was very glad to see him again, had not met him for many years. He seemed to be so glad that we had called to see him. We did not stay only for a short time with him. We then bade him farewell and left. He reminded me very much in size and appearance of my father. This was my last time to see Uncle Levi. I think he has been dead about 12 years. He had several children. I have met some of them but can't tell much about them; those I met seemed to be mostly nice people. I think some of them are yet in Jackson Co., Ala.

10th. Uncle Asa Womack married a Patton. They lived and died near Coffeeville, Miss. He seemed to be a real nice man - had several children - have met some of his children, all seemingly nice intelligent children. One if his sons, Cousin John was killed in the Battle of Fishing Creek. Some of his children and grandchildren now living near Coffeeville, Miss.

11th. Aunt Nancy married Jonathan Eaves. I know but little about her. Never met her or Uncle Jonathan. Do not know when or where thay died. I know nothing of their children, if any.

I will now refer back to my Grandfather and Grandmother Womack. They both died long before I was born. I know nothing of Grandfathers brothers, he had one sister ( Chloe ) think there were several brothers & sisters among them. My Grandmother before marriage was a Womack and distantly related to Grandfather Womack, as herein before mentioned. Grandmother Womacks mother was a Rice. She had one brother only that I have been able to learn of; his name was Abner Womack who lived and died in Warren County, Tenn. My father use to visit him when I was a boy, he was very old at the time - has been dead many years. The Warren County Womacks are kin to my fathers family, there are a great many of them but I know but little as to the relationship existing. I remember meeting Bill Womack of McMinnville for the first time about 20 years ago, near Laynes Springs on Cumberland Mountain. I had passed the Springs & taken a right hand road. Bill was coming in on a road to my left, he hailed me, I left my road turning to my left, he turned to his left so we met between the two roads. Bill says hello, I thought you was Hense Winton. Well says I, I thought you was Hense Winton. Bill says no my name is Womack. Well sir says I, my name is Womack. Which one of the Womacks says Bill? I replied Frank Womack. Bill says I have a brother Frank. Says I which one of the Womacks are you? He said Bill Womack. I remarked that I had a brother Bill, so you have none the advantage of me. We laughed over the remarkable introduction. I have met Bill a few ( times ) since and we always have some fun over our introduction. Bill Womack married a Vovel ( Colville ), a real nice lady.

I can tell but little of my mother. Her name before marriage was Mary Ann Steward. I remember seeing a half brother of hers, Lewis Bryan. Some of her people I think are now living near Loudon, East Tenn. I do not remember their names.

Your Grandfather Thomas was born in the State of Va. He was a shrewd inteligent man, was a good trader, accumulated considerable property - was the owner of a large family of negroes when the War between the states came up, his negro property went by the board, leaving him his farm and some personal effects - he made considerable money after the war closed. Your Grandmother Thomas died about 1877. Your Grandfather married 12 or 18 months after ( her ) death - married a widow Sissom living near Bradyville, Cannon County. She owned a fine farm. He resided on the farm with her. Don't think their union was a pleasant one. His health became feeble while living with his second wife - your ma went to see him, came back home, said she did not think he was being treated kindly. So she sent your Uncle Eck after him, he brought him to my house, he remained there until he died, about the year 1882. Your Grandma Womack also died at my house. Your Grandfather Thomas had but one brother, his name was Jack. He was an old batchelor, died in 1864 at your Grandfather Thomas'. Your Grandpa had two or three sisters. One of them married a Bryan, one married a Bynum, perhaps another sister but I do not remember who she married. Your Grandpa and Grandma Thomas had 9 or 10 children. Your Uncle Allen, your ma, your uncles Huse, Will, Joe, Aunt Addie, your Uncles Ek, John, Speaker and your Aunt P. Your Uncle Allen, Joe and Addie now living. Your Grandma Thomas had two brothers, Alex and Hardy Lasiter. She then had five sisters, four of whose families live in Cannon County, Tenn. You know as much of them perhaps as I do. All nice people. She had one sister Nancy who married a Tabor and was living at last account ( in ) Ky. Your Uncle Carol Tabor was a good clever fellow and a good witness in courts. He told me he reckoned he was one of the best witnesses in the world, he said every time there came up a lawsuit in his neighborhood both sides wanted him for a witness and it was nickety tuck with them as to which side would get him, he said he prefered being a witness for the side that could get him up the most money for him.

My dear children I sometimes think I have had a hard time through life, yet I suppose I have had a more pleasant life than many others. My mind often runs back to my youthful days, my happiest days in life, while laboring upon the farm, while attending school at the old log school-house on Beans Creek, near where the Baptist church house now stands, my oposum hunting, my squirel hunting, fishing, old fashioned corn shuckings, log rollings, quiltings, parties, at plays & dances, the company of young folks at camp and protracted meetings with many other gatherings and associations of young people. These were bright and unclouded days of sunshine and real happiness with me. Time rolled on - my youthful days soon flitted away - manhood came on and I married your ma. God bless all such good and noble women. After marriage came the cares and responsibilities of a family, the war soon ( came ) up, soon there was a call for volunteers from Dan to Beersheba. In July 1861 I left a wife and two children, all that were nearest and dearest to me by the ties of nature to battle their way for a living, not knowing what my doom might be. Those were days of trouble and much anxiety but through the mercies of a kind providence I feel that I was permitted to return home. I volunteered in Co. ( G ) of the 24th Tenn. Reg. went into camps at Camp Anderson on the left side of the R. R. where it crosses Stones River 4 miles on this side of Murfreesboro. From there we soon went to Camp Trousdale in Robinson So., Tenn. Thence to Bowlingreen, Ky. in the month of Oct., thence in Nov. to Cave City 7 miles from Mamoth Cave, Ky. Thence to Camp Joe Underwood, Ky. where we had a battle, and came out victorious; thence back to Cave City; thence back in Dec. to Bowlingreen, Ky. Our Co. then guarded Johnson and Hardees headquarters in Bowlingreen until the next Feb. We the evacuated Bowlingreen and fell back to Nashville; then on and on til we reached Corinth, Miss. from there we went twenty miles to Shiloah and the 6 and 7th days if April, 1862 we fought the Battle of Shiloah on Sunday and Monday. It was a hard fought Battle. I was present at the capturing of Gen. Prentice ann his command late Sunday evening. Just after the capture of Gen. Prentice command, I came near being killed by a shell bursting. A piece of shell tearing a hole in the crown of my hat, the same piece of shell hitting my gun cutting the barrel stock and ramer of my gun smoothe off about 1/2 feet from the musel. I never knew what went with the part cut off. We left the battle field Monday evening. I saw no cause why we should have evacuated the battle ground. We left the battle field in good order, then back to Corinth, remained there a few weeks, while there engaged in skirmish fighting. I went out on picket duty evening soon after the battle of Shiloah. I had charge of the advanced picket line, out all night in a rather cold April rain, had just come in in a few days before from the battle field where I had been greatly exposed to heavy marching, fighting, heavy rains, toils, starvation &c. My general health before undergoing all this had not been good for sometime. I therefore became completely broken down in health. Dr. Bridges advised me to go to a hospital at Riensa, Miss. I took the train for Rienza but the train passed Rienza & put me off at Boonville, Miss. I learned while there that William Crockett, brother to Old Uncle Sam and John Crocket was living within two or three miles of Boonville. While lying on the platform at Depot there came a citizen along, seeing that I was in feeble condition, good Samaritan like, conveyed me to the home of Old Uncle Bill Crocket. He had a nice family. They nursed and treated me so nice - sent for a physician to treat me. I remained two weeks, my health recuperated considerably while there. Thomas Patton from Pelham came in to Crockets two or three days after my arrival there. He was in bad health. I was glad to see Tom. I had been there two weeks. One morning just after breakfast we heard heavy cannonading at the town of Boonville in a few minits there came a citizen along under lash on horseback and told us Boonville was full of Yankees. Our Army had evacuated Corinth and was falling back down the line of R. R. and had engaged the Yankees in a fight at Boonville. Tom Patton and me as soon as possible gathered up our belongings which were few, bade the Crocket family good by and dissappeared through the back door, down through the woods lot, interspursed with underbrush, then through a bottom field, crossed the fence, went up Richland Creek, finally arriving at a small village called Richland. We kept a rout paralel with the line of R.R. not knowing we might run into a squad of the enemy, but we managed to miss them entirely. We were in feeble health. Had to travel slowly. The third day, about sunset, we reached Balden, Miss. on the R.R. and found our commands encamped there. We were glad to find our commands. It reminded me of a man being away from home for many days and rejoiceing one time more to be at home with his family. We remained at Balden one or two days and took the train for Tupelo, Miss. where we went into camps. While at Tupelo, Miss. I was examined by the army board of M. D's and discharged from the army service on the 30th day of June 1862 on account of physical disabilities. I was first Lieut. in Co. ( G ) 24th Tenn. Regt. Infantry. I could not stand camp life, and have never gotten over the diseases contracted while in the army. I reached home 1st Aug. 1862. I suffered a great deal more uneasiness after reaching home than I did while in the Army as this county was in the hands of the enemy until the close of the war. This county with the entire South was completely devestated at the close of the war. I want to remark just now that history records no people, or nation who have made such good progress in the development of education, art, science, agriculture, manufacturing and general progress in developing of the resources of the county as the people of the South have done under their surrounding circumstances. Every old Confederate soldier is proud of the Sunny South and its enterprizing people.

 

THE WAWAUGA SETTLEMENT

 

See G. R. McGee's author of History of Tennessee a history which has been adapted for use in the Public Schools of Tenn. From page 53 to 61 inclusive you will find a history of the Watauga and other settlements, where the people met in general convention and elected a committee of thirteen men who were to act as a legislatative body and make laws suited to the needs of the Watauga and other pioneer settlements of Tenn. We find that William Bean and Jacob Womack ( Womac ) were chosen members of the committee of thirteen. We claim that the family to which we belong are connected to the said Bean and Womack, while the letter ( k ) is left off the name Womac as appears in said history we are fully satisfied that this is a typographical error. We find that the first county court embraced the entire boundarys of what is now known as Tennessee was held at Watauga Settlement in the Eastern division of the State in the year 1778, and that said Bean and Womack were members of said County Court. " The very germ of Tenn. was the Watauga Association; the first government established on this continent absolutely free of religious test, class distinction, kingly dictation, or proprietary interference. " " It was a government of the people, by the people, and for the people it served its purpose and has passed to its place of honor in the temple of history."

I will say to the family connection, let us not forget to prepetuate, maintain, diginify, elevate and keep sacred, without spot, blemish or rinkle the name we assume among the many families of the great universe. If we will only live right, we will die right, if we live wrong we will die wrong. " Men generally die as they live." So if we should fail to live right we will have made one of the most lamentable failures of life.

Now the writer will come back to the days of youth, marriage, &c. I was born the 26th day of May 1833 in one mile of where I am now living, in the 11th Civil District of Coffee County, Tenn. Have been living where I now reside for 38 years - I was reared on my fathers farm and worked hard during crop time. Most of my school days were spent in and around an old log school house that stood on the banks of Beans Creek near where there is now standing a Baptist Church. My opportunities for an education were very much limited. In my school boy days we did not have the advantages of good schools as the youth of the county now have. To think of the kind of schools we had would seem very strange to the young people of the present day. Every pupil was allowed to read and spell at the very highest pitch of his or her voice during school hours, the many voices reading, spelling &c. at the same time, could at times have been heard for almost a mile. You could see the teacher sitting in his chair, with switch in hand from 3 to 6 feet long, Oh My; how he would use it some times upon the backs of the bad boys. Well I guess it will be nothing amiss to give you a few sketches of the closing exercises of those schools, which the children looked forward to with proud anticipations of a glorious time comeing, as the teacher would be turned on that day as we called it. When the last day came the boys would gather hold of the school master as we usually called him, drag him out of the house and give him to understand that he must treat the school to whiskey, ginger cakes, cider, candy, &c. or take a ducking by being thrown into the creek. Sometimes the teacher would refuse to treat, the boys would then carry him to the water and when they would be in the act of throwing him in the water he would then agree to treat. He would send off, buy whiskey, ginger cakes, cider, &c. ( More whiskey than anything else ) consequently many of the boys would be drunk. The patrons of the school would gather in to witness the closing exercises and many of them would become drunken. Those are the kind of schools I would sometimes attend during my school boy days. The fathers of the country in those days said we had good schools and good teachers. What would the fathers of the country say of such schools and teachers in this age of the world? I was taught to call the letter ( Z ) Izzard. Everyone having any education knew that was Izzard as soon as he saw it. Just how I struggled through and managed to obtain what little education I have is a mystery to me. Children today are upon a higher plane of educational advantages for which they should be thankful and grasp the opportunities offered.

I was married to Martha Jane Thomas on the 26th day of Feb. 1854 at the age of 20 years and 9 months. She was born near Bradyville in Cannon County, Tenn. on the 24th day of August 1834, being 19 years 6 months and 2 days old when we were married. She died Sept. 20th 1883. Aged 49 years and 26 days. We lived together 34 years 6m - 24 das. Her father moved from Cannon County to where F. M. Taylor Esq. now lives in 1851. I had not known her prior to 1851. She died from measles settling on her lungs when a girl about 16 years old. She was a member of the Christian ( Church ) obeyed the gospel and was baptised Sept. 1859. Had a long spell of sickness not able to turn herself in bed when she was baptised had to be carried to the creek in a vehicle, carried to the creek after night, the night rather cool. At the time she was baptised Dr. Hough and Dr. Stephenson said she was in the last stage of consumption but she recovered and lived 24 years afterword. She was baptised in Beans creek near the crossing of the Prarie Plains and Pelham road. She was baptised by Bro. Thos. Witherspoon and began to amend from the time she was baptised. She was baptised in a litter. If I mistake not Hence Wiliman, Hence Tate, Tobe Harris and Glenmore McGraw are the parties that bore her into the water. They were all young men then. They are all dead now but McGraw. We had 9 children born to ( us ). Two of them died in their infancy. The remaining are yet living. Dr. James B. Womack, living at Bacon, Coffee County, Tenn. is married. Married 6 years ago, has a wife and one child Alline. His is the practice of medicine also runs a farm. He married Pamela Stacy his 2nd cousin. She ia a good women. Thomas H. Womack has been married - his wife died four years ago. She was Martha Blackburn & a good Women. He has eight children. Arthur, Porter, Paul, Norah, Claud, Frank, Burt and Patrick. He runs a farm and follows the business of putting up tombstones and is a very good sculpture in marble rock.

Salina married Sam Daughtry a lawyer and teacher, she lives on Beans Creek, they have 4 children, Edgar, Estella, Sam and Francis.

Norah married Jane B. Dickins who is running a Grocery and Feed store at Mont Eagle, Tenn. He owns two very good farms on Beans Creek. They have two children, Remar and Lillard.

Dr. Edgar L. Womack married Josie Green who was a good women, a school teacher. They have no children. Is now living at Summitville, Coffee County, Tenn. He is practicing medicine. Dr. Almon A. Womack is single, living in Manchester, Tenn. practicing dentistry. Addie G. married Charley Green, they are now living at Mont Eagle, Tenn. engaged in a grocery store & feed stable. They have one child, Blanch. I have spoken of my own children that others of my connection may know of them should they see this in print. I am very thankful that my children are blessed with reasonable health and ordinary minds. I am proud to say for them that they have conducted themselves so as not to have given me but little trouble, and pray God that they may continue to deport themselves in a way that they may never bring ruin or disgrace upon themselves or be guilty of anything that may cast a stigma on themselves, connection or friends.

Now in conclusion I will refer them to one of the wise proverbs of Soloman, 4 chapt. and 23 verse. " " Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. "

After the death of my first wife I lived a widower for nine years. I had a very hard time. I had three children 5 to 12 years to look after. Had two daughters grown at the death of their ma but they married soon after her death. My present wife before marriage was Mary O. Snodgrass, she is of a good family of people. She is related to Judge Snodgrass who has served on the Supreme Court bench of our State; also to Henry Snodgrass who has served as a member of the U. S, Congress. She is much younger than me, being 46 years of age. She was born in this county, lived 20 miles from me, her mother was a Jenkins. My wife was 34 when we were married what I called an old maid, yet she disclaims it. She was a member of the Christian Church when we were married. I think her to be a good women. So I have been blessed with two good wives, one to wait on me in my old days. I have no children by my present wife. I am 72 years of age, have been a member of the Christian Church for neare 40 years. Obeyed the gospel under the preaching of old Bro. Jesse Sewel, was baptised by him in the waters of Beans Creek. I try to live a Christian life but sometimes find myself on the road that leads out into the cold bleak mountains of sin but try to wend my way back into his fold where I can go in and out and find pasture. I have past my three score and ten years and now living on borrowed time. I know my sun of life will soon have disappeared behind the hills of time. All sane persons know the importance of making their calling and election sure, therefore I want to die in the army of the Lord that I may receive a pension not of dollars and cents but of life everlasting. I know there is a rest remaining for the people. " Christ said to his deciples let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God believe in Me, In my Fathers house are Mansions; if it were not so I would have told You."

Now in conclusion I will say that my greatest desire in this life is, to so live, that after I am done with the troubles and turmoils of this world that I may ( be ) permitted to occupy a place in one of those mansions, where the Lord has gone to prepare for his deciples.

F. M. Womack, Author      

For the love and affection I have for the memory of my first wife Martha Jane Womack, I dedicate this to her name and memory. Believing as I do that she was instrumental in bringing me into the body; the Church of Christ. This 27th day of June, 1905.

F. M. Womack      


HTML version Copyright © 1998 Mark Womack. This document may be duplicated or printed for use in personal research as long as this copyright notice is included. It may not be reproduced in any other media form and/or for commercial use without the express written consent of the author. All rights reserved.
Features Home