John Coleman Reid

SOURCE: pages 167-168, W. Stuart Harris "Heritage of Perry County"

"John Coleman Reid was born on December 6, 1824, in Tuscaloosa County.

"His parents had come to Alabama in 1818 from North Carolina. As a child he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his parents, and it was in that city that he later studied law at the age of 19 years. Admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1843, he practiced law before moving to Marion [Perry Co. AL] in 1841.

"In 1856 ... served as the leader of a company of volunteers who explored the Gadsden Purchase (NM & AZ).... He wrote of this 10 month expedition in a book, "Reid's Tramp", published 1858.

"In April, 1861, he became a 1st Lt. of Company A, 8th AL Regiment. In October of that year, he raised a regiment of infantry, 28th AL, and became its Colonel. In 1864, he became a Brigadier-General.

"After the war, he returned to his law practice in Marion [AL], but moved to Selma in 1871....

"He was married 3 times. His first wife was Alice Caughlin [sic], of Prattville, whom he married in 1850. After her death 18 months later, he married Adelaid O. Reid at Robinson's Springs. His third wife was Mary Frances Erwin of Dallas Co.

"Reid died in Selma February 28, 1896. [end quote]

SOURCE: W. Brewer "Alabama", 1872 - Reid served AL legislature, 1855.

"JOHN COLEMAN REID, attorney at law, Selma, Ala., was born in Tuscaloosa county, Ala., December 6, 1824. His parents were Thomas and Mary (Coleman) Reid, the former of whom was born in 1795 in North Carolina, and came to Alabama in 1818; they intermarried in Bibb county; lived in Tuscaloosa county several years, removed to Memphis, Tenn., in 1830, where he died in 1836, his wife having died before him, in 1833. The Reids were of Irish ancestry, and the branch of the Coleman family to which Mrs. Reid belonged, was of German extraction. John Coleman Reid completed his education at Memphis, Tenn. In 1843 he began the study of the law and was admitted to the bar at Jackson, Madison, county, Tenn., the same year. He established himself in the practice of his chosen profession at Purdy, McNairy county, Tenn., but afterward moved to Kingston, Autauga county, Ala., living in this latter place from 1845 to 1851. He then removed to Prattville, and in 1854 to Marion, where he remained until 1871, except as his residence here was interrupted by his services in the war. In 1856, at the head of twenty-eight men, he started out on a volunteer expedition to explore the Gadsden Purchase, that portion of Arizona and New Mexico lying south of the river Gila, purchased from Mexico for the United States by Gen. James Gadsden by the convention of December 30, 1835, and which caused the banishment of Santa Anna as a traitor. This expedition of Mr. Reid lasted ten months, and a graphic account of it was published in 1858 under the title of Reid's Tramp. Mr. Reid had then been in politics for some years. He had been a know-nothing, and elected as such to the state legislature. He had been a Fillmore elector, and his tramp was undertaken in order to enable him to escape from politics. And he has not been in politics since, though in the presidential campaign of 1860 he supported Bell and Everett and opposed the secession of his state from the Union; but after the election of Abraham Lincoln he then yielded to the south his entire sympathy and support. In April, 1861, he enlisted in company A, Eighth Alabama infantry, and was at once made first lieutenant. In the following October he was commissioned to raise a regiment of infantry, which regiment was known as the Twenty-eighth Alabama infantry, and Lieut. Reid was lieutenant-colonel of this regiment until just previous to the battle of Murfreesboro, when he was promoted to the rank of colonel. In the fall of 1864, and from that time on to the close of the war, he had command of a portion of a brigade in northern Alabama. Murfreesboro and Chickamauga may be mentioned as some of the many hard-fought battles in which he participated. At the final surrender he was in Alabama, sent there by Gen. Beauregard. After the war he resumed the practice of the law at Marion, Ala., remaining there until 1871, when he removed to Selma. He was married at Robinson Springs, in 1850, to Mrs. Alice Coughlin, who lived after her marriage only about eighteen months. He then married Miss Adelaide O. Reid, who died October 22, 1883. In February, 1885, he married Miss Mary Frances Erwin, a daughter of the late Francis Erwin, of Dallas county. Col. Reid is a man of true courage and genuine sympathy for his fellow-man. These qualities of human nature almost invariably co-exist, and they are found in a marked degree in Col. Reid. None would more cheerfully concede this fact than his late comrades in arms. In battle he appeared to be utterly unconscious of fear. The battle of Murfreesboro was fought December 30 and 31, 1862, and January 1, 1863, and in the evening of the last day, while sitting on his horse, he received a severe wound in the thigh, but no movement was made by him, and there was perceptible on his face only a convulsive twitching of the muscles. He sat still on his horse, not taking time even to examine his wound, until the fighting for the day was all over. He always was thus collected and cool in battle, and was always affectionate and tender to his men in the camp or on the march; and it was his courage and his kindness that have made an impression on the hearts of his soldiers which can never be effaced, so long, at least, as any of them remain alive. He has been for more than twenty years a consistent member of the Roman Catholic church, is well preserved, and doing a leading practice in his profession, with the high confidence of his professional brothers and of those who know him."
"Memorial Record of Alabama", Vol. I, p. 912-913 Published by Brant & Fuller (1893), Madison, WI

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Source: - The Times Picayune, 6 Aug 1856

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