Born: 1844 -- Died: 1911
Submitted by Mary Ann Copeland-Sitton

John Lewis Copeland was born at the family home in Blount County, Alabama to mother, Jane Robeson NeSmith, daughter of Isaac T. NeSmith, & father, Lewis Copeland, son of David & Esther Williams Copeland, on 28 February 1844 in Blount County, Alabama near what is now the city of Blountsville.

The ninth of thirteen children born to his parents, John Lewis Copeland was their fourth son. In Huntsville, Alabama in August of 1861, at the age of seventeen years, Private Copeland enlisted into the 19th Alabama Infantry, Company 'K', C. S. A., under the service of Captain James H. Skinner, also a native of Blount County, Alabama. John continued serving the Confederacy until he was wounded in the left thigh during battle at Franklin, Tennessee in 1864. His fellow confederates of the 19th Alabama Infantry, Company 'K', are said to have been "...badly cut up in the battles around Atlanta and many were captured at Franklin. Only 76 men were present [of the initial 19th] when it surrendered...." Also of note, "...The 19th Alabama Infantry regiment went with General Hood into Tennessee, and fought with gallantry at Franklin,[Tennessee] on November 30th..." A fellow 19th Alabama Inf. soldier, Pvt. William T. Grigsby, states that"... Franklin was the hardest battle of the war..." Pvt. John L. Copeland eventually healed from his wounds sufficiently to...[according to the 1907 Blount County Confederate Census] "... then re-enlist as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1865 at Blountsville into Stewart’s Artillary Battery under Captain Tillman, and continued in service to the CSA until their surrender at Guntersville, Alabama in 1865...." Following completion of his military service, John returned to live with his parents in Blount County, Alabama.

At the age of 22, Mr. John Lewis Copeland married Miss Amanda 'Mandy' Melvina Gunter on 02 Sep 1866, in Blount County, Alabama by their minister the Rev. James Fields. John Lewis & Amanda Melvina Gunter bore & reared eleven children together. The 1880 U. S. Federal census of Blount County, Alabama reveals the family lived at township #10 with, Mandy, & their eight children & Johns sister-in-law, Lucinda Gunter, on their family farm.

John Lewis Copeland & wife, Mandy, lived together in their same home for over 47 years. It was located near the town of McLarty, on the Bright Star beat, quite near the Marshall & Blount County lines.

John Lewis Copeland was a member of the local Free Masons lodge & the Missionary Baptist Church. [Masonic emblem on headstone] He was employed as a farmer until illness took that chosen activity from him. John became ill with paralysis about 1909. Near to the date of his death he asked his sons to harvest a certain tree from their farm land & to fashion a coffin from it for him. They did as their father asked. His sons cut down & hauled the tree to the local sawmill to be sawed into lumber that they could use to make their daddy's coffin.

John Lewis Copeland died at the age of 73 years on the 17th October 1911. His wife, Mandy, died within eight months, on the 14th of June 1911. They are buried beside each other along with many of their children in Nixon's Chapel Cemetery. Their nice monument is a tall grey stone with masonic emblems carved into the stone sides.

Obituary of Mandy Copeland

Obituary of John Lewis Copeland

[1] Blount Co.,Alabama Censuses including John Lewis Copeland: 1850 [lives with parents], 1866, 1870, 1900 & 1910
[2] Property: Blount Coutny, Alabama- T:10;R:1East
[3] Military: A.D.A.H. Civil war database @
[4] Military: 1907 Confederate Census of Blount County, Alabama [5] Military: Combined Source of Military Records {C.S.M.R.}
[5] Marriage: Blount County Marriages
[6] Family records/documents from the estate of Lewis C. Copeland,son of John Lewis Copeland.
[7] Newspapers: Southern Democrat & The Blount County Journal
[8] Headstone: Nixon's Chapel Cemetery
[9] Substantiated data from additional private Copeland family sources.~~~~~