CONECUH RIVER DEPOT MILITARY MUSEUM
Historical research, etc.
Historical research and writing have been a hobby of mine for many years.
Located in the museum, I have a library of military history books of various
periods, including many dealing with specific Confederate units from various
States. If I can assist in your research regarding your ancestors,
and other research, feel free to contact me.
In late 2007, I concluded over 20 years of research on the 53rd Regiment Alabama Cavalry and published a book containing over 570 pages of research,
much of which had not previously been published.
Awarded the Henry Timrod Southern History Award
from the Military Order of the Stars & Bars
Awarded the Jefferson Davis Southern Heritage Award
by the Alabama Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy
The 53rd Alabama was a mounted unit from it's origin. During the war, it served with such
legendary cavalry leaders as Frank Armstrong, P. D. Roddey, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joseph
Wheeler, John H. Kelly, Alfred Iverson, P. M. B. Young, and Wade Hampton. They saw perilous
duty throughout the Atlanta Campaign, and was one of the primary cavalry forces opposing William
T. Sherman during his infamous "March to the Sea." They laid down their arms in Columbia, SC,
after engaging in their last fight in Sumter County, SC on April 19, 1865, ten days after the surrender
of Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. Also with the 53rd was the 24th Battalion Alabama Cavalry.
This book contains a full roster, and detailed information on the activities of the 53rd Alabama and the 24th Battalion. Also serving in Hannon's Brigade after November 1864 were the
11th Georgia Cavalry, and the Roswell (Georgia) Battalion.
S & H: $5.00
Alabama residents add $2.88 tax
Send check or money order, to:
Robert G. McLendon, Jr.
1305-A South Brundidge St.
Troy, AL 36081
Note: I am still obtaining additional information on the 53rd Regiment Alabama Cavalry, much of which is new information. As I receive further information on the 53rd Alabama Cavalry, I'll be posting it on this page. Please check back frequently.
Additional info on the
53rd Regiment Alabama Cavalry
Capt. Stephen A. Pilley,
Chaplain, 53rd Alabama Cavalry
Formerly First Sgt., Co. K, 22nd Alabama Inf.
Captured Battle of Shiloh & exchanged, April 1862
Joseph Hannon, first Surgeon (Major) of the 53rd Alabama,
and brother of Col. M. W. Hannon, started a medical clinic
in Montgomery in 1860 for Negroes in the city.
George William Dawson
(Pre-war military school photo)
1st Lt., Co. B, 53rd Alabama
Formerly, Captain, "Perote Guards", 1st Alabama Infantry
& later Captain, Dawson's Independant Cavalry
1849 .31 caliber Colt pocket pistol
& other items belonging to John Edmund Cheney,
First Sgt., Co. K, 53rd Alabama.
Cheney allegedly purchased this pistol prior to the war.
He is the only enlisted man in the 53rd
known to have had a pistol during the war.
Colt .36 caliber revolver belonging to
Lewis Moseley, Co. D, 53rd Alabama. Records list Moseley as an enlisted man, but post-war biography states he was a lieutenant. Since enlisted men commonly did not carry pistols in the 53rd, this pistol lends support to him having been an officer.
John Samuel Law
Co. G, 53rd Alabama
& Co. A, 24th Batt'n
Charles William Law
Co. A, 24th Alabama Cavalry Batt'n
Masonic pin belonging to
Jonathan D. McLendon,
Co. G, 53rd Alabama
William Hugh McDonald
Captured 5/30/64, Dallas, GA
Sent to Rock Island Barracks, IL
Livedin Ozark, Dale County, Alabama
Buried Claybank Cemetery, Ozark, AL
Following are letters from
Morgan G. Stoudenmire, Co. H, 53rd Alabama,
to his wife, Lucy, who is home in
Coffee County, Alabama:
The following letter was written from north Alabama around the time of Forrest's pursuit of Streight.
30 April 1863 In the woods near Decatur
My Own Dear Wife
Thinking perhaps you are uneasy about me, and thinking perhaps you have not received the letters I have written you since we commenced fighting the yankees on the other side of Tuscumbia. I write again not knowing when or where I will have an opportunity of mailing it. Tomorrow will be two weeks since we first commenced the fight and we have been retreating & fighting and Skirmishing with them nearly every day since. We have now about 5000 Cavalry, 11 Pieces of Artillery, Gen Forrest being in command. They have about 10000 infantry, 6000 and 24 Pieces of Artillery Suppose to be Grant’s army attempting to flank Bragg, and whilst they were- at that they concluded they would take us in out of the wet, So that we might Spend a pleasant Summer North, but so far they have been foiled in their efforts, in every fight from Cherokee to this place we have got decideddly the best of it at Leighton our artillery made sad havoc in the Ranks Not with standing all this, knowing their superiority they have continued to press forward, after the fight at Leighton, our forces having fallen back about 2 miles, Adjutant Snodgrass & myself went back to see if we could ascertain Something in regard to their Numbers. We saw a great number of Infantry also of cavalry but could form no idea of their numbers as a good many men in the woods. when we returned our command was no where to be found I thought we would go up sure that time but we fled toward the mountains, crossed a large creek that night, & staed with a mountain ---- till morning, then by taking a circuitous route we got with the command again, feeling considerably relieved. We fought them at Town Creek the day before Yesterday & held them in check for 4 or 5 hours but the flanking game they have been trying to play on caused us to fall back. Flournoy’s Co. were with the command at that fight but not participate as the Yanks, did not attempt to cross at the ford they defended. I do not know whether Forrest intends fighting again with out reinforcements or not. We have halted for the present, but I do not know Program. I know this much our waggons have Crossed the river at Decatur, & the probability is we will follow but whether Forrest intends going to Bragg’s Army or not I can not say. Half hour after writing above, I am in Decatur. They are loading SteamBoats –----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Yanks would be here in a Short time, I think we will skedaddle up the River on this side we have had no news from Braggs Army lately.
Following letter written from northwest Alabama
on July 1, 1863:
Camp Sam place
July 1 1863
My own Dearest
Dr Colquett did not leave today as was expected, and having received a welcome Letter from you to day of 14th --- I thought I would add something to this & mail it not knowing when Colquett will leave. Flournoy’s Co.with 3 others menovdened over the river Last night to await the approach of Gun Boats which ---- supposed to be advancing up the River for this purpose of Burning a Factory which is three fourths of a mile from the river on the opposite side if they should come up opposite the factory they could throw Hot Shot &d burn it but it is thought they will attempt to land a force & go to the Factory for the purpose of burning it with torches. if they make that attempt our boys will be on hand to stop it. I am Surpprised My Dearest that you have received no letters from me since the fighting at & below Florence. I have written at least 6 or 7n I think. You need not be uneasy my Dearest about any reports you may hear concerning my welfare being wounded & some vile Persons will circulate such reports sometimes to harass and fret the Families of Soldiers, but I would Simply Say that You may wholly discredit all rumors of that Sort coming from Citizens at home who have no better opportunity for ascertaining the facts of a fight, than those who are more immediately interested. Flournoy received a letter from Jimmy to day. He wishes to get to Flournoy’s company by making a change of place with some of Jo’s men. I think the arrangement can be effected but you wrote me that Thom has carried him a Substitute, how is that, We certainly knew nothing of his Substitute you Propound some direct Questions in regards to the fighting propensities of Capt Jo, Popularity of Col. Hannon and if you had have received all of the letters I have written you would not have asked those Questions, as I have mentioned the name of Jo in Several letters giving some Pretty Strong hints of his acting cowardly. He has been in no fights of no particular danger was at the Bombardment of Tuscumbia but out of danger after the fighting at Bear Creek, Cherokee, --Station, Leighton in none of which was He or His Co present. They came up with us at Town Creek where we would have participated if the Enemy had have advanced at the force He and Capt. Davis defended, at that place I saw & heard the Col, Lt. Col. & Major & some of the Captains laughing at him how cowardly he acted & Jo at Florence I believe got into a thin skirmish with some of the Yanks but he & Co. only came up after James Warren was shot. He Warren having been in the advance with Col Hannon. A number of the Captains & other officers of the Regt have asked me often why he did not resign. Nearly everyone in the Regt --- excepting his Co officers & men think he has not got the nerve to Stand it. I believe he is a good & honorable man makes a good citizen clever and all but will never do for a Soldier. He & myself are & always have been on the best of terms. He will do anything in the world for me that is in his power. Col. Hannon is very popular indeed with most of the officers & I think the men generally like him pretty well. The officers of Sanderson’s Co. Flournoy & one or 2 other officers I believe dislike him. at present He is on leave of absence leaving Lt. Col Gaines in command.
I have been in some dangerous positions but shall say nothing about it at present. All the clothing and that nice cake has come safely to hence I shall have to send some of the articles back as I can see no use in having so much clothing along. I was too sick to enjoy the cake and candy. But my friends did ------------------------- I gave one piece to the Col and staff. Dr Blue, Lt. Colquett, Dr. Colquett, Flournoy and others had the benefit of it. I also ate some of it. I am now getting alright. My abdomen was exceedingly sore last night and this morning, but I had a mush poultice made which has relieved me.
I shall write by Colquett My love to all but Particularly My own Dear Wife
M G Stodenmire
The following letter was written from Talladega County, Alabama:
Camp Eastaboga, Ala
Dec 7, 1863
My own Dearest & loving Wife
I received your kind & affectionate letter of the 28th ---. Which caused me a great deal of pleasure in the personal. I was truly glad to know that you would make meat enough for the next year. I was fearful You could not exchange corn for meat but I perceive from Your letter You have accomplished that object. I was also much pleased to know of the amt of Corn made, Syrup, Sugar, & -------.
have been anxious to hear Some time Since. I mailed you a Receipt for Parson Albritton’s Paper. did You Receive it or not I think it was 8$I paid for it is the Paper Sent to him. I think there will be no difficulty now in hearing from each other, if you will address Your letters to Eastaboga, Ala as we have a daily mail to this Place, Sundays accepted. Our time will have expired for the recruit of Horses on the 15th Inst. but I think the time will be extended and we may stay here all the winter though there is no Knowing any thing certain about it yet. None of the Boys who were furloughed from the Detachment have yet returned, thought they will be considered Deserters if they do not report by the 15th inst. I would like exceeding my own Darling if I could please You & myself if I by Stating that I would be at home by Christmas, on Some other certain-----------It would be a Source of pleasure – to me to see you all at that time Particularly My own Dearest wife, one whom I love beyond all description, but under the circumstances I can make no promise of that kind as I am placed in a different Position from any that I have been in Since I have been in the Service. I a acting in the capacity of Assistant Surgeon with all the responsibilities of that Position, and in a Short time there will be at least 300 men here & there will be among that number a good deal of Sickness. I was Sent here in that capacity by Col Gaines, and I feel that I would be recreant to the trust if I did not discharge the duties of that position to the best of my ability. So far there has been general satisfaction so far as I know I have been called a few times in consultation with other Physicians in the country, and at times, it is with considerable diffidence that I give my opinion of the Case. I have wished Several times Since I have been here in the Service, that I had graduated in the profession of medicine. at --- this time I think I Should have been among the fore most in the army, as far as Rank concerns I have had a pleasant time Since writing You last, hunting birds, playing chess in camp with Capt Wilson and sometimes in Houses with the ladies, I have found no one who can beat me yet. The Ladies Seem to think I am rather ungallant to defeat them at the game, but I tell them before hand that I will beat them if I can. We had a bird hunt the day before yesterday with Some Refugee ladies from New Orleans. They come into our camp nearly every day to See how we live as Soldiers. I am afraid Sometimes they will catch some of the Boys Lousing their shirts. They are generally the aristocracy who visit us, and You know I use with no other sort. We are invited to a dining at Judge Grace’s next Thursday. it is uncertain whether I Shall attend. I Sent a letter by Flournoy to you, I was much surpprised & chagrined to think that He would meat me in that manner, to Stay at Mr. Lee’s all the while & not give you the Letter when he promised me So faithfully that He would go & See you immediately after arriving at Elba. I would have liked very much that Beall could have reached home with Green’s horse, I think if I were you when Beall returns I would Send for him, I think He will make a good horse, I expect my own Dearest I Shall have to employ You for an overseer the following year if you Should fail in getting Some one I will give you all you make above a Support. Capt Wilson insisted on my ceasing to write longer, in order that we might play chess, I therefore close this morning the 8th No news of any particular interest came by the mail last night We are having a very cold rain this morning . Receive my love My own Dearest for yourself & for all and believe me Your affectionate Husband
The following letter also written from
Jan 15th 1864.
My Own Dearest Wife
I have written a good many letters to you lately, one only yesterday, but as Calvin Carroll is going home, also Dick Cain, I will write you a few lines by one of them, for fear you are like myself, get no letters by mail, I wrote you yesterday that I thought I could get off home in about 10 days or when Col Hannon Should arrive, but if the Detachment Should remain here, I thought it best for me to consume as much of the winter here as possible as Col Gaines promises me that when the Detachment leaves here for the command that I then can go home Col Gaines left yesterday for the command, will make an effort to get Gen Roddy’s consent for the Detachment to remain here through the winter, if He Succeeds I perhaps will not come home until Spring Col Hannon has been reinstated as Col of our Regt. There is also a possibility of his getting a Brigade No war news of any interest Receive my undying love for Yourself & children. Your devoted Husband
Since writing this I learn that M.G. Stoudenmire
Calvin Carroll will not go I send
this by Dick Cain
The following letter written from Varnell's Station, Georgia as the 53rd Alabama was on pickett duty between the Army of Tennessee at Dalton, Georgia, and Sherman's army in Chattanooga.
Camp Near Varnell Station
In the front March 26th 64
My own Dearest
I mailed a letter from Rome Ga which I presume you have received --------------------- Yesterday evening having had a very Cold, wet, Sleety, Snowy Disagreeable time. Also found it very dificult to pass the lines this side and the other side of Dalton on account of my furlough not having the Signature of Gen. Johnson we succeeded however in getting through all right, and now with the command we are on Picket duty between the two large armies, I can form no idea of the Number of Soldiers here Suppose to be about 75000 and Still coming in every day. Some Suppose we will have a General engagement Soon, as it is Supposed that the Yankees are also reinforcing rapidly. There is no ascertaining any thing certain about it.
They want me to go back where I have acting apothecary but I have declined and am now with the Company. The boys generally are well but are being punished Somewhat being fed on Bread and water but I See they get some little poor Beef occasionally. I think I can live Splendidly on what they get myself although there is a considerable amount of Grumbling among men and officers. My Horse appears very much worsted from the trip & Horses are getting no fodder of any consequence & will fare badly. One Regt of one Brigade goes on duty at a time, ours will go on to day, but it is supposed as Flournoy’s Co. was on last week, it will not go on this time. I have not the time write much as the letters written home will be sent to Dalton in a few minutes. Direct your to Dalton 53rd Regt. Roddeys Brigade Care of Capt. Flournoy.
The Boys are getting letters pretty regularly from home now, & I am in hopes I will hear from my own Dearest Wife occasionally.
My love to all.
Your affectionate Husb.
Other books by same author:
Besides the story of the life of George Granberry McLendon, this little book contains information on early Baptist history in Alabama, especially the split in 1839 from the Primitive Baptist Church at Salem Baptist Church in Pike County, to the Missionary Baptist, and later to Southern Baptist.
Published 1992. 50 pages
By Robert G. McLendon, Jr.
Alabama residents add $.90
Contains 66 pages and index
Alan T. Horn
John M. Hutcheson
John Phil McLaney, Jr.
Robert G. McLendon, Jr.
Alabama residents add $1.35
I am currently working on a book about an Alabama family during the years of the War Between the States. The book will center around a number of letters from the wife/mother who writes to her son in the 37th Alabama, and her husband in the 57th Alabama. She describes in detail what is going on in at home. Besides what is going on with the armies, these letters are a goldmine of information about the difficulties on the homefront during the war. Her son and husband write to her about their activities and concerns, and information on those in the war with them. The information contained in the letters, and further research being added, the reader should get a full view of life within a typical Alabama farm family during that turbulent time in our history.