Nearby County Sites
It was October and Newton had gathered his small crop, putting things away for the winter and hiding them from George Stout's gang and the Homeguards. A large group of Confederate soldiers were combing the area for "mossbacks" and Newton had to run. Mary and the children decided to stay, for safety could not be found for them in the North , according to Margaret Cooper and others. (george is conspicuously missing from census records- whether he recovered from his illness is unknown.)
Newton went back to his old outfit, the First Alabama Cavalry on October 23, 1863. His Company Commander was not happy to see him after being AWOL for four months. A force of about 650 men were about to leave for Columbiana, Alabama to destroy the railroad from line station to Elyton. They left the same day Newton arrived. But now he was riding a horse, robbing and stealing from Union people as well as Rebs, along the way. After crossing part of Winston County they were ordered to turn back to Corinth, Mississippi, about 45 miles from Camp Glendale. At 11 o'clock in the morning, near Pallerson's Store (also called Jones Crossroads, now Vina), they struck the Rebel pickets, fired a few rounds and drove them off. After eating, they moved on to Vincent's Crossroads (Red Bay, Alabama) where they struck the main line of several hundred Rebel infantry forces so strong that the cavalry could not hold them. Nute decided that what he needed was more distance between him and the blood thirsty Rebs, so he and what was left of the men high-tailed it toward Glendale and into the trap the Rebs had set for them.
Upon reaching the Memphis and Charleston Road, they encountered about 400 cavalry and about 800 mounted infantrymen caught in a crossfire. Newton saw his cousin John W. Cross fall from his horse dead. Shooting his pistol, spurring his horse, Newton made a dash for it. Suddenly, his horse fell dead under him. Running and slashing with the 18" long cavalry knife, and with God's help, he made it to the woods nearby (Flatwoods). Soon he discovered more men on foot leaving that place, looking for safety. Among them was a man from his neighborhood, Robert Brown. They talked it over and decided to head for Marion County, Alabama. About October 28, 1863, Newton was back with Mary and the kids.
Mary told him of an incident concerning the wife of Stephen Scott. It seems a gang of Home Guards arrived to burn her out. She put on her bonnet and told the men, "Steve told me you would come to burn our house and he told me to tell you that he would take care of each of you when he returned. I am remembering all your names: Wiby Russel, Stoke Roberts, Joe Roberts, Jim Becknew, Squire Masgrove, George Harris, John O. Kelly, Whit Hulsey, Sam Noiles, Jim Smith, Hugh Logon, Bob South, Sherm Williams, Mike Gasa, Rich Burleson, Cleve Borns and Bobe Reed". The men looked at each other and seemed to be getting cold feet. Knowing that Scott, a First Lieutenant in the 1st Alabama Union Cavalry would revenge the deed, they rode away. "What are you going to do now ?", asked Mary. Nute replied that with his cavalry weapons he planned to stay around home for a while. Cutting wood sounded better than Glendale.
Robert Brown (Little Bob) and Freeman Drake were staying in the woods up around Red Hill, north of Toll Gate. Both had good horses and guns. Mary Jane Mitchell, daughter of James Mitchell Sr. and sister to John Mitchell, invited them to come to her house for a meal. Taking a chance, they accepted. They arrived one morning about daybreak at the Mitchell place at Red Hill. Mary Jane was cooking and the boys were cleaning up. Freeman was hanging a mirror on the wall to shave when he saw Ham Carpenter and his gang in the reflection. He yelled to Robert and they ran out to the horses. Freeman was shot in the arm and fell to the ground- catching some blood in his hand, he wiped his mouth and lay still. Robert was gone when Ham looked at Freeman and said, "This one is dead, there's blood coming from his mouth- get the other one". Robert, running his horse as fast as he could, went down a trail leading to Rideout Falls, but just before he got to the north branch of Williams Creek, his horse stumbled and fell. Robert rolled under a bluff, still holding his gun. He shot two Home Guards, but there were too many. They shot him several times, killing him. They rode back to his home, not far from where he was killed and told his wife. Ham Carpenter said, "If you cry, I'll kill you too ! They'll be a bunch of them Mossbacks at Bob's funeral and we'll be here to get them too !" The next day, a grave was dug at Pleasant Ridge and old Ham and his gang were ready. But no Tories showed up and neither did Robert. The real funeral was held in the woods near Ballard's Mill with friends and family in attendance. Freeman recovered from his wound and lived to tell the story time and time again to his children and friends.
George Stout had gone back to the Yankees and the Home Guards were stepping up their dirty work. Newton told Mary he felt he had to return to the cavalry. On December 25, 1863, he reported back for duty. His captain thought he had been killed in the Flatwoods fight. Newton was sent to Memphis, Tennessee but his records did not keep up with him and he never did get a pay day. On April 27, 1864, he went home again, never to soldier again. This time he had been gone about five months. The big news was that Stoke Roberts and his gang had run into a large force of Tories just across Bull Mountain Creek. About fifty armed men waited for him to cross the creek near the old mill. George Stout had come back with a wagon load of guns and ammunition. The men opened fire and several of Stoke's men were killed, while Stoke escaped, ending up near Fayette. Mary also related to Nute the news that John Mitchell, Russell Palmer, Edward Flury, Marty Akers and William Brown were out looking for Home Guards. John had already killed Doc Mangram. They took him to the spring where John's wife had died and then to the place where Robert Brown was killed and shot him in the back of the head while he prayed for forgiveness of his sins. (T10 R14 S4) They had also killed Hamilton Carpenter near the prison at White Rock. The tide was turning quickly.
After about three months, William Brown's son was hunting cows when he found a pair of boots in the woods. His mother inquired about them when he returned home wearing such nice boots. "I found them on a pile of bones", was his reply. "Take those off ! They are Doc Mangram's", she screamed ! The coroner, Russell Palmer, was sent for to remove the bones and doctors bag. They were carried to the Mangram Cemetery and buried next to Doc's father. Field stones were placed at the head and foot. William Brown, John Howard Palmer and several others assisted.
Captains Stokely and Robert went back to the headquarters in Jasper and took the oath of allegiance in Huntsville in 1865. Roberts returned to his wife, Elizabeth (Spearman) Roberts. Stokely worked as a law enforcement officer in Itawamba County, Mississippi after the war. *
Henry Jasper Ozbirn was honorably discharged on February 27, 1865 from Company A, 16th Alabama Infantry, CSA. He came home and soon moved to Linden, Perry County, Tennessee. With him were his wife, seven children and his brother Chesley's children. He also took the wife and three children of John Cross; his father, Pleasant, and Jane Roby. (Pleasant and Jane were married just before leaving for Tennessee).
Newton and Mary moved to the Daniel Davis place on the Buttahatchee River in 1865. Mary died in childbirth there in 1866. The baby girl was Nancy Ann, my grandmother, wife of John Palmer.
Newton married a neighbor, Sally Glasscock, soon after Mary's death. They had one son named Henry. Newton lived a peaceful life, dying in 1900. John Palmer remembered him as a very good man.
Two of my great grandmothers lived to be in their 90's and I remember listening to them talking about the War. They were Union and they talked of Old Abe Lincoln with hate in their voices. My dad said his father, John H. Palmer, talked about old George Stout the very same way. It seems both sides did a lot of terrible things. I believe the ones like Newton Ozbirn had to pay the higher price. They were exposed to danger every minute, shot at for just sitting by their firesides or walking down the road. They had to leave their families to the abuse of the enemy and sometimes the enemy was difficult to determine. They had to live like animals in the woods and suffered all the hardships the comrades of the North bore.
Most all the people I've written about are my relatives. I am proud of every one of them and their stand in what they believed to be right. Most of this information came from the people mentioned below and records I have researched.
*Stokely was born January 23, 1825. Son of John and Sara (Mullins) Roberts of Georgia. His children were: Sara, Mary, Ophelia, Oda, Jonah, Rubuster, Cleo, F.J., Ella, Elijah and Lafayett. See History of Itawamba County, Mississippi. Soon after the war, Plummer Williams and a Miller man were put in jail in Fulton, Mississippi. A gang of men from Marion County broke them out. Joseph Palmer was among them. Miller was killed but the others escaped, telling of seeing Stokely as a law enforcement officer.
All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins. Any commercial use, or other electronic posting of any files/pages without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited. All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions. All persons contributing material for posting on these pages does so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and further, is responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.
USGENWEB and/or ALGENWEB makes no claims as to the validity of the information contained in this site and visitors are advised that each new piece of information should be researched and proved or disproved by weight of documented evidence. It is always best to consult the original material for verification.
The information posted to this site is the sole work and property of the submitter and/or the transcriber and has not been altered nor verified by the webmaster of this site. An effort has been made to give credit to all submitters and all documents that have been transcribed by the webmaster, other volunteers, or other individuals that submit information for posting to the site.
©2002- 2009 by Allison M. Saxman & J.W. Johnson