Sunday, November 3, 2013

More About Civil War Captain Francis J. Wood of Crockett County, Tenn.

In a blog post a few weeks ago, I mentioned Captain Francis J. Wood, the grandson of my 4th great-grandfather and my first cousin four times removed.

Oddly enough, he showed up for me again this week when I received a research document I ordered from AZ Arrow, a company that specializes in collecting and copying articles and information from antique and out-of-print books.

The 54-page spiral bound booklet on Crockett County, Tenn., includes excerpts from three vintage publications including an 1887 book “History of Tennessee,” originally published by Goodspeed Publishing Company, in which a bio about Captain Francis J. Wood appeared.

I was glad to get the article because I was curious what happened to Francis since his father died when he was just two and his mother died when he was 19.
“Capt. Francis J. Wood was born January 27, 1839, in this county once Haywood, and is a son of William and Marina (Manning) Wood, both natives of North Carolina. The father was born in 1812, and died in 1841, in this State. The mother died in 1858. Our subject was the only child born to his parents, and was reared in the country merchandise business by his relatives.  
He continued in the merchandising business till the breaking out of the war, when he assisted in organizing Company G, of the Twenty-seventh Tennessee Infantry, and was elected first lieutenant of the same. At the re-organization at Corinth, Miss., he was elected captain, and served in that capacity till the close of the war. He was severely wounded in the leg at Atlanta, Ga., and, on account of disability, was appointed provost-marshal at Macon, Ga., where he was captured.  
He was paroled at the same place, and was presented a mule by the Federal officers, on which to ride home. For the mule he paid a ransom, viz.: the buttons off his uniform. When he reached Chattanooga, Tenn., the commander of the post would not recognize the parole and placed him in prison, but he was soon released. 
After returning home he engaged in the merchandise business at Laynesville, Tenn., and continued in that business almost exclusively till the date of the organization of the county (1872), when he was elected county court clerk of the same. At the end of six years he engaged in farming and in the merchandise business at this place.  
He was married, February 7, 1871, to Fannie R. Gregory, daughter of Richard and Jane Gregory. To this union were born six children: Ora M., Carrie, Jessie, Katie, Lela and Francis J.  
Our subject is a good citizen and a self-made man. He is a member of the Masonic order; is a chapter member, and is now Master of the same. He is a Democrat, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mrs. Wood is a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Wood presided over the last Democratic convention that was held in the Ninth Congressional District, September 8, 1886.”
The bio of Captain Wood in “History of Tennessee” ends in 1886 when he was 47. 

He and his wife, Fannie, went on to have one more child, a daughter named Patti, in 1893. She died when she was just two, in 1895.

His wife Fannie’s given name was actually Francis so I assume she went by Fannie to avoid the confusion of being a couple referred to as Francis and Francis Wood.

Fannie died in 1896 and was buried in the Belleview Cemetery in Bells, Tenn.

On Christmas Eve 1899, 60-year-old Captain Francis Wood married 39-year-old Susan Emma Smothers. According to the 1900 census, the only child still living at home was 16-year-old Francis J. Wood Jr. who went by the name of Frank. (Frank would later marry Margaret Castellaw, a daughter of my second great-grandfather Thomas Jefferson Castellaw's half-brother, James W. Castellaw and his wife Rebecca Thomas Castellaw. Another of James and Rebecca's sons, Sam Castellaw, was the father of Olis Castellaw who married my great-uncle, Ovid Lovelace).

In 1905, Captain Wood and Emma had a daughter, Cora Maie Wood. From pension records we also know they had another child who died. 

Click to Enlarge

Headstone of Captain Francis J. Wood

Captain Francis J. Wood died 17 Apr 1909 at the age of 70 and, like his first wife Fannie, was buried at Belleview Cemetery in Bells.

Emma, Captain Wood’s second wife, would live almost 40 more years.

A quick online search returned the 1907 application by Captain Wood for a Civil War pension and the 1929 indigent pension application by his widow, Emma Wood.

Wood’s application was stamped “Rejected” while Emma’s was stamped “Accepted.”

Follow up on Wood’s application states "he failed to show that he is a pauper, or in indigent circumstances, on the contrary he is in affluence as compared to other old Soldiers and widows of old Soldiers in Tenn.”

His application does include a few additional facts about his war service in the answers he provided.
Question: In what battle or battles were you engaged, and, if not wounded, state what disabilities did you receive, if any?
Answer: I was wounded 22d of July 1864. was in Battles from 20th to 22, Peachtree Creek and others. 

Question: What was the precise nature of your wound or disability, if any?
Answer: I was shot through the right thigh. 

Question: How did you get out of the army, when and where?
Answer: Captured and paroled by Gen. Wilson at Macon Ga 20th April 1865
His wife’s application, submitted 22 years after Wood’s was rejected includes a letter of endorsement from a friend of Emma's that offers a little insight into her life after the death of her husband.
ALAMO, TENN., Mch. 30th 1929

Prof. Claude J. Bell
Nashville, TN

Dear Friend: Am writing you to ask a favor of you for one of our mutual friends. Mrs. Emma Smothers Wood has filed an application for a Pension with the State Pension Board - Confederate, in your city. The application is No. 9338. Said Board will have a meeting in April - do not know the date of meeting. Now the thing I want to ask of you for her is to make it a point to go before this Board during its session and call attention to her application.

Two former Confederate Soldiers - Messrs. Wm. Grant and Thomas J. Evans signed her application, which makes it regular. Capt. Wood willed his property, the most of it at least, to his children, and his youngest daughter, Miss Maie, is now 21 years old so Mrs. Wood is really in need of the Pension. With kindest regards, and thanking you in advance for your interest in this matter, I am your friend,

J. C. W. Nunn
Emma Smothers Wood died 5 Oct 1948 at the age of 87 and her obituary appeared in "The Crockett Times" on Thursday, Oct. 7, 1948.
Mrs. Emma Smothers Woods
Funeral services this Thursday a.m. at the Goosmann Funeral Home in Bells for Mrs. Emma Smothers Woods, who died Tuesday night at a Nursing Home in Memphis, where she had been for several weeks. Rev. J. P. Irion officiating. Burial was in Belleview Cemetery. She leaves her daughter, Mrs. Maie Woods Kerr of Olive Branch, Miss., with whom she had made her home for several years; two grandsons, Billy Woods Kerr and Robert Kerr; two stepdaughters, Mrs. John H. Harris and Mrs. C. J. Montgomery of Bells.
Although this line is a few branches away from me in my family tree, hopefully it will help others in their ancestry research.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to my Haywood County Line Genealogy Website.

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