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The Clopton Chronicles

A Project of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society

 

 

 

DR. THOM

 

 

Regarding

 

Dr. Thomas B. Clopton & His Wives

Martha Harwell, Harriet B. Claiborne & Cornelia A. Harrison Palmer

 

By Suellen Clopton Blanton,[1] bblanton@fast.net

 

 

 

A Distressing Calamity

 

                In the full enjoyment of health,

                In the very prime of life,

                Has thus perished on of the finest

                Ornaments of our society.

 

 

When the Yankees were through making war on Sara Elizabeth,[2] her infants, and the other women, children, and elderly men of Morgan County, Georgia, they bravely marched south into Putnam County to continue their reign of terror, and, on November 24, 1864, [3] landed on the very doorstep of another Clopton, the house and grist mill of Dr. Thomas B. Clopton.[4]

 

 

 

Clopton’s Mill appears on most of the old maps of Georgia, including this Civil War map reproduced from a drawing by Robert M. McDowell showing the approach of the Union Army from Eatonton to Milledgeville.  Milledgeville, which lies due south of Eatonton, was at that time the Capital of Georgia.  Sherman was well prepared.  He had studied the tax maps and the 1860 census reports, aware that the more people living in a region, the more easily soldiers could live off the land.  The Oconee region, at the request of the Confederate government, had shifted from cotton production to growing corn and other vegetable crops to help the Southern war effort.  The bountiful yields fed, instead Sherman’s men as they cut a sixty mile wide swath through Georgia.

 

 

It was the Creeks who first migrated from the Red River Valley to inhabit the Oconee River Valley[5].  One of the original 13 original states, it was sparsely populated.  To attract settlers, generous land allotments were sold for very little money.  Attracted by the prospect of acquiring extensive acreage with its favorable climate and fertile soil, the would-be country-gentlemen moved with their families and took possession of the new territory.  So lush and bountiful was the land that the during the waning years of the Civil War, Yankees marveled at the rich countryside of Putnam County.

 

Resuming the march towards the Capital of the State [Milledgeville], we passed through one of the richest and best farmed districts; and the appearances of many of the houses evidently shows that the occupants have both skill and capital.  The fine old plantations, prolific orchards, and the beauty, richness, and culture of the soil, has altogether a more respectable appearance than the generality of Southern territory.  The citizens show their taste in their handsome dwelling houses, splendid churches, and neat school houses.[6]

 

 

The nineteenth century had been a prosperous time in Georgia and several of our New Kent County Clopton cousins migrated to that state to take advantage of new land and fresh adventure.  Dr. Thomas Clopton[7] was in Putnam County, Georgia by 1820[8]  A native of New Kent County, Virginia, he joined his brothers, James, Miller, and Waldegrave[9] and cousin Alford Clopton[10] in taming the wilderness west of the Oconee River.  A veteran of the Was of 1812, his father had served as a Captain during the American Revolution, and he would live to see all three of his sons[11] serve in the Confederate Army.  But before the country was torn apart, and the “richest and best farmed districts” were plundered and laid to waste, the lives of the Putnam County Cloptons were good.

Dr. Clopton was very prosperous, owning as many as sixteen slaves.[12]  Virginia was the only state with a greater number of slaves than those owned by Georgians.  Slaves had more value than land.  Between 1850 and 1860, an able-bodied field hand sold for twelve hundred dollars.  The total wealth in slaves in Georgia was greater than the value of all her land and cities combined.[13]

He operated a successful grist mill and was a country doctor.  Sometimes he was paid in cash[14] and sometimes in corn.  A bushel of corn equaled $1.00 in cash.  He cared for both the white families and their slaves.  He charged anywhere from $3.00 to a whopping $4.50 for a day visit and medicine, and as much as $5.00 for a nighttime consultation and medication.  A tooth could be extracted for $1.00, and a female pelvic exam fetched $6.00.  A baby was delivered for $10.00, $15.00 if the delivery proved especially difficult.  One dollar was charged for a rectal exam plus $4.00 for the visit.  Two rather fascinating entries note:  “Visit to little Mary and mule  $4.00.”[15]

                Of course, life did bring with it a share of pain.  His first two sons[16] died young, and their mother, Martha Harwell[17] died a horrifying death in 1833.

 

 

DISTRESSING CALAMITY[18]-Died in Putnam county, Ga. on Saturday the 28th September, Mrs. MARTHA CLOPTON, wife of Dr. Thomas Clopton of said county, in the thirty-first year of her age.  On the day of her death, the deceased, in company with her brother & a male friend, started out on a short fishing excursion on the Oconee River.  After having spent sometime in fishing, the party set out to return to the landing, for the purpose of going home.  In passing up the stream in the canoe in which they were fishing, it was necessary to pass through a rapid current of the river; at that critical place, the pole of the poleman broke from its hold, and the canoe was precipitated against a rock, which threw the deceased out, who was sitting in the stern.  She was borne up on the surface of the water for some distance, by the strength of the current. Her friends present were so much alarmed as to be utterly unable to afford her any assistance;  and in this situation she sunk beneath the surface to rise no more to life.  In the full enjoyment of health, in the very prime of life, has thus perished one of the first ornaments of our society.  For several years she had been a strict member of the Methodist Church - Esteemed by all who knew her.  Her loss has not failed to make a lasting wound in the bosom of that society of which she was a member, and of that community in which she resided.  She has left behind her to mourn her loss, a husband and child, an aged father and mother, brothers and sisters, and a large circle of weeping relatives. The body of the deceased was, after great exertions, found on the succeeding day, near where she was seen to sink, after remaining in the water about eighteen hours.

 

 

        A widower with one child to care for, he quickly married again, this time to his kinswoman,[19] Harriet B. Claiborne, who would give birth to four children before her death in 1857.[20]  Following in the footsteps of so many other old Virginia families, the Claibornes sent their own to join the efforts to conquer and tame the wilderness of Georgia.  Travel in those days wasn't for the faint of heart; conditions being at best, uncomfortable, at worst, fraught with danger at every turn.  The families traveled in groups composed of family and friends who had been chosen to expand the family holdings.  According to family tradition the Claibornes and Clopton made the journey together from Virginia to Georgia.[21]

        A glance at Claiborne of Virginia, Descendants of Colonel William Claiborne,[22] listing the descendants of these first Georgia Claibornes, sheds great light on the complex system of intermarriage between the early pioneers of the Oconee region.

 

 

 

Heart Breaker

 

It is a great pleasure to me to have some one amongst

your sex that I can communicate with and pass off my many hours.

It is not only agreeable but (a) pleasant and useful past time ….

               

 

Times were indeed good, and none of Dr. Clopton children enjoyed life more than his daughter, Sarah Elizabeth.  There is little doubt Miss Lizzie was a heart-breaker.  A gentleman from Sparta, Georgia, Edwin, wrote her restrained, painfully polite, elegant little letters.[23]

 

Miss Lizzie

Tis another great pleasure I write these few lines t o you.

And I hope it is with satisfaction you receive them.  I wish to know if it is agreeable to you to hold correspondence with me.  It is a great pleasure to me to have some one amongst your sex that I can communicate with and pass off my many (?) hours.  It is not only agreeable but (a) pleasant and useful past time and one is benefited by it in many respects.  Ever since Camp meeting there has been a great revival going on here in the Methodist Church.

I have something I would tell you but I will defer it until some other time.

                                Yours .. Farewell

                                                                Edwin …..

Sparta Ga Sept 6th 1854

 

                                                                                                                Eatonton Ga.

                                                                                                                April 12th 1856

 

Alas, she gave her hand to another, for no other heart was so inflamed than that which beat in the breast of John Godkin.[24]  He wooed and pursued her in a series of impassioned letters.

 

Miss Lizzie.  Since inevitable circumstances prevented my seeing you before you left for Montgomery I hope that you will pardon the liberty I here take in sending you the enclosed lines.  Times here are about as you left them with the exception of a fishing party occasionally.  All your  friends regret your absence but live in anticipation of seeing you soon home again.  We all hope (nor can one doubt) that you are enjoying yourself.  Believing that you are partial to a city life, Do you expect to spend the summer in Ala some of us would like to know.  The Dennis Springs will be opened in June and we think you should by all means visit them, a pleasant time is contemplated.  You will perceive that the intention of these lines is not such as to claim the  … of a letter, but merely to give you in as few words as possible the state of things in general.  By your permission I would be very happy to correspond with you.  Wishing you a pleasant visit, with all the enjoyment and entertainments a city can bestow.  I am with sentiments of high regard.

                                                                Jno. R. Godkin

Miss S. E. Clopton

Montgomery

Ala

 

 

To Miss Lizzie

Upon her return from Montgomery Ala

With a joyous smile & words sincere,

I gladly welcome thee

Back to thy home to dwell again

Away from the gay and glee.

Not with a shout will I welcome thee

As when a warrior comes,

Nor flying banners raising high,

Nor sound of rumbling drums.

But the rich incense of my hear

I offer at they shrine

I’ve set thy name among the stars

That must forever shine.

 

The Ultimatum

 

Delays are dangerous, and

doubtless you have seen the

evils of long engagements.

               

 

                                                            Belleville

                                                                                Sept 12th 1856

Dear Miss Lizzie,

                No doubt you will think strange of my writing when I have so frequently visited you but I assure you that nothing but the purest motives have prompted me.  My feelings are truly unenviable.  In vain have I breathed to you the feelings of my heart.  Alas, they have not awakened the least responsive emotions, I fear, in your heart.

You have taken your letters and I know not what to think, since you have retained mine, but that your intention was to coquette me, I have imagined, since the Putnam campmeeting when you solicited your letters to see.  I cannot imagine what has become of the last letter I wrote you when you were in Montgomery, if it did not arrive at its destination.  I cannot under such circumstances consider myself engaged for the indefinite time of next fall, twelve months is too far into the future for me to calculate and I do not believe in such long engagements.

I have been honest and honorable with you, I think, since our acquaintance and yet I think you  have doubted my confidence.  Delays are dangerous, and doubtless you have seen the evils of long engagements.  Will you marry me between this and the 12th of October is the questions which I wish you to answer either by letter or verbally when I see you.  I have deliberated long, therefore you cannot think me impulsive.  If your intentions have been serious and if you have considered my situation, position in life, I am sure that you will readily see that much depends on your answer.  I cannot imagine why you have reversed  my proposal, but if you think that you would have to make the least sacrifice or that I cannot afford you the pleasure and happiness in life which you so much deserve, I will be content to know it, for my life would to me be miserable were I to know it, when too late to remedy.

                Although I have hastily written this epistle, yet I have contemplated a great while on its import.  I hope that you will consider this seriously and give me an unalterable answer.  It is not the least pleasure to live in such a state as this when deprived of all hope and happiness.  But “if thou wilt design this heart to bless, life far from thee were wretchedness.”

                                                                                Yours affectionately

                                                                                Jon. R. Godkin

 

Miss S. E. Clopton

at home

 

 

Miss Lizzie succumbed to his ardent plea and they were married November 6, 1856.

 

 

The Calm Before the Storm

 

Give my love to all inquiring friends

and accept a thimble full for yourself.

 

 

Because death was such a frequent visitor in those days, and the families large, widows and widowers seldom let much time elapse before remarrying.  It was also not uncommon for widowers to marry women much younger than themselves.  Possibly older women were too smart to want to marry men with a house full of children!  It was often a case of Yours, Mine, and Ours, and that could add up to eight, ten, and even twelve children or more.  Following the death of second wife Harriet, he married Cornelia A. Harrison Palmer in 1858 when she was 18 years old and he was 60.  In 1860, joining the westerly migration of so many of his Clopton kin, Dr. Clopton moved to Americus, Sumpter County Georgia with Cornelia, their baby, Walter, his sons Tommy Alexander, and Robert Emmett, who was known as “Shug,” went with them.  The plans were for sister, Maria Louisa, to join the family in Americus as soon as the house could be enlarged.  The now happily married Miss Lizzie stayed in Putnam County with her husband.

                And just why would Dr. Clopton move to Sumpter County at such an advanced age, leaving behind his adult children and his many friends?  It must be remembered that the slave system was very inefficient.  It was not unusual for slaves to be the most valuable asset a planter owned, worth far more than any other possession.  Slave labor was essential, but the price of slaves who were physically fit to work in the fields was high, and their owners had to house, feed and clothe them.  He spent considerable amount of time himself, doctoring his neighbor’s slaves, and charging for his service.  It may be that Dr. Clopton simply was not a careful business manager and, like so many of his fellow planters, he went into debt and left to seek new sources of revenue.

Weeks before the start of a war that was to divide his country and change his life forever, young Thomas Alexander wrote a teasing letter.[25]  This gentle boy’s primary concerns were young ladies and homesickness.  There is no hint of concern in Cousin Tommy’s letter regarding the real possibility of war.  This is not surprising.  With communications slow, and Georgia was, after all, an awfully long way from Washington, many Southerners didn’t take the prospect of war too seriously and fully expected to win quickly and easily if the Yankees were so foolish to engage in battle.

                The United States was deeply divided when Tommy wrote his letter, with seven of the 33 states already having seceded from the Union and combined to form the Confederate States of America.  Georgia had voted to secede on January 19, 1861.[26]  Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas soon joined them.  Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, and Kentucky, slave states, were held by armed forces, determined to keep them in the Union.

 

 

Saturday (February) the 2 1861

Cousin Lutie:[27]

 

I received your letter in due time and was glad to hear from old Putnam that all was well.  I believe we are all well except Carolines[28] youngest child.  He is very sick it has been sick ever since we have been down here.

I wrote you word that I had a notion of teaching scool but I joined the artilery Company[29] since we will start to Brunswick in three weeks.  We have a large company in Americus but some to go to Savannah some to Seaports in Florida.

Cousin, I attended a party last night at Mrs. Watts’ and such [a] fine time we had so many varieties of cakes and candies oh!  It was a fine table and I enjoyed myself so well with a young lady her name I will not write but it was a nice lady and she was hansome.  I fell in love with  her and she in love with me.  She told me she loved me.

Oh me I do like the people of Sumpter County but I disdain the place nothing but pinywoods but I am in hopes I will like it better after a while.  We are building some room to the house Sis[30] she will be a Sumpter Lady.

You wrote me word that Sis was taking on about a gentleman in Putnam.  I would like to know his name, and you had a party at your house but didn’t enjoy yourself on account of your sweetheart going off to scool.  I think I know his name I.A.B. [?] he is going to Mount Zion [?],  I wonder if that gum … well on his fingers Ha!  Ha!  Yes I hope it is, poor fellow, he suffered from it.  I will stop this subject.

You wrote me that you had a party at Mrs. Pinkerton’s and it was a dancing party and all that was needed was my presence to make things complete and if I wasn’t there my … was I reckon Sally [?] thought she would carry it there to see if it could dance.

I think of my old home often and think of the enjoyment I have had there never to enjoy no more.  Them happy hours have all past away oh!  How fleet is time just to think a year back and I was in Putnam among my relations and acquaintances but I  have left them all behind perhaps to never see no more.  But providence will provide for me I hope.

You wrote me word that Sally sent me her love and Jennie [?] E. her compliments tell both howdy for me and tell them to look out the 14th for a Valentine tell them I have got two one a monkey and the other a gentell looking man and the one that receives the man I expect to marry.

I expect to marry in old Putnam if ever.  Sis wrote me word she had knit one stocking and started another tell her not to knit so hard.  You wrote me word that Sis said she would bite me if I didn’t write to her tell her I shan’t write to her just to get a bite but I will tell her before hand not to bite too hard.

Cousin Lutie, I will send a letter to Billy[31] … you tell Billy not to get mad at the letter for I was so devilish that day.  I wrote Sis I could not do no better.  I will try and do better the next time tell Aunt Martha[32] she must have a set of teeth put in by the time I come up there.  I don’t expect to come until Christmas and she will have a plenty of time to have them put in.

Cousin Lutie I  must stop writing to you for a while and go and eat dinner.  Nathan[33] is here bothering me and I must stop until after dinner but after dinner I will finish out the other page.

Tell Billy not to take too much trouble with Jerry but to take care of him for me if he pleases.  I reckon Prince[34] will be up there in about two weeks.  Father has hired him out to Mr. Hooks just to cut stocks for the mill he owns a large saw mill.  Lou, she is hired out and I … father gets $43 … for all three.

I was very sorry to here that Cousin Maria had been sick but was getting better.  You must excuse mistakes and blotches - give my love to all and except a thimble full for yourself.  I promised to write to Aunt Mary[35] as soon as I got down here and to write to her the first one but the next letter I write a letter it shall be to her but I don’t know when I will have a chance to write again.  You must write me as soon as you get this letter tell Billy to write to me and write all the news he can think of.  I am going to church Sunday to Americus and if father will loan me the horse and buggy I will take a lady with me to the church if she will go with me which I have no doubt she will go.   Emmett[36] sends his love to all and says he is coming back to Putnam pretty soon if not before.

I will close by saying give my love to all inquiring friends and except a thimble full for yourself.

 

Your cousin

T.A. Clopton

 

 

General Terror

 

(The soup is filled) with white worms, half an inch long …

the soup was took weak to drown the rice worms and pea bugs,

which, however, came to their death by starvation.[37]

 

On April 12, 1861, South Carolina militiamen fired the first shot of the Civil War at Fort Sumpter and the War began.

                The total white population of Georgia according to the 1860 census was 591,550.  Approximately 130,000 Georgians served in the Confederate Army.  By the War’s end, 7,272 had lost their lives in battle, with an additional 3,702 soldiers dying of disease.

                Tommy joined Company K, 9th Regiment, Georgia Volunteers Infantry, “Americus Volunteer Rifles,” as a Private on June 11, 1861.  He was ill and wounded several times and spent many weeks in various hospitals throughout the War, the first at Moore Hospital in Danville, Virginia in December 1861[38].  As war progressed, the conditions at the hastily constructed sites worsened.

On May 25, 1864, Tommy was captured at Spottsylvania, Virginia, and taken to the Old Capitol Prison in Washington.  The British had burned the U. S. Capitol building during the War of 1812.  A building was hastily constructed until the destroyed edifice could be rebuilt.  Pressed into service once again during the Civil War, it was then a dilapidated and run down wreck[39].  But these accommodations were luxurious compared to Tommy’s final destination, the infamous Fort Delaware Prison[40].  Above all others, Fort Delaware was feared by the Confederate soldiers.  The prisoners called the commandant at the Delaware fort, Brig. Gen. Albin F. Schoeph, “General Terror.”

                Both the North and the South thought the War would be short.  The abuse of prisoners on both sides was caused as much by lack of planning as the mad men who slink from beneath rocks during times of war and visit their own personal version of Hell on their unfortunate captives.  Although both sides hurled accusations of abuse of prisoners through the war and for years after, Fort Delaware was deserving of its reputation as the most dreaded of the Federal prisons.  Fort Delaware, which was never intended as a prison, was built on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River, and the winters were damp and cold.  By the time Tommy was imprisoned there on June 17, 1864, the Confederate soldiers arrived at the fort dressed in tattered uniforms, many lacking shoes, their food supply so meager, malnutrition was common.  With the war already taking its toll on their health, their frail bodies were further taxed by the dangerously overcrowded prison built on a marshy site.

 

 

 

Fort Delaware

 

 

Uninsulated shells, the frigid winds blowing across the icy river and poor ventilation trapping the summer heat, combined with the constant dampness, was the cause of much illness and death.  The prison was designed to hold no more than 2,000 men.  After the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863, there were never under 6,000 prisoners, not counting the guards, administrators and support staff.  Tommy was one of 98 prisoners received at the Fort during the month of June, 1864.  By the end of that month, the prison held 9, 272 prisoners, 686 listed as sick, 220 deaths[41], 10 escapes and two releases.[42]

                While the South eventually suffered terrible shortages of food and clothing, there was no excuse for the inadequate died fed the Fort Delaware inmates.  Scurvy accounted for a great number of deaths.  It was well known a diet of vegetables would prevent scurvy, and there was money to buy them, but medical inspections listed scurvy as the top killer at the Fort

 

 

The meat and bacon available to men on both sides was described in letters and journals as “rusty” and “slimy” – and the other fare was no better.  A Confederate declared that the soup at Fort Delaware came filled with “white worms, half an inch long.”  It was a standing joke, he wrote, “that the soup was too weak to drown the rice worms and pea bugs, which, however, came to their death by starvation.”  But to near-starving men, any fare would do:  “Ate it raw,” reads one entry in Private George Hegeman’s diary, presumably referring to his meat ration.  “Could not wait to cook it.”

                In the absence of adequate protein, prison rats were staple fare.  “We traped for Rats and the Prisoners Eat Every one they Could get,” wrote a soldier of the 4th Arkansas at Johnson’s Island.  “I taken a mess of Fried Rats.  They was all right to a hungry man, was like Fried squirrels.”[43]

 

 

Throughout the War there was in place a system of prisoner exchanges, however, on April 17, 1863, Lt. Gen. U. S. Grant rightly believed the exchanges only helped the Confederacy.  He wrote:  “Every man we hold, when released on parole or otherwise, becomes an active soldier against us … If a system of exchange liberates all prisoners taken, we will have to fight on until the whole South is exterminated.”[44]

In February 1865, exchanges of sick prisoners were resumed.  Tommy was exchanged at Fort Delaware on March 7, 1865.  In 1945, 80 years and half a world away, Tommy’s grand nephew, Rufus Terrell Clopton, was released from another prison following 40 months of captivity in the hands of the Japanese.[45]

 

 

All a Devil Could Wish and More

 

 

There is no God in war.  It is merciless, cruel,

vindictive, unChristian, savage, relentless.

It is all that devils could wish for.[46]

               

 

Brother William Henry Harrison Clopton[47] enlisted in Eatonton, Georgia, as a Private in Company B. 3rd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, the “Putnam County Brown Rifles,” Wright’s Brigade Army of Northern Virginia, on June 1, 1861.[48]  Records reveal he was discharged in Portsmouth, Virginia, on August 10, 1861, because of illness, possibly hemorrhage of the lung.  He was at that time being paid $11.00 per month.  He returned to Putnam County to recuperate.  He was at home when his wife, Mattie,[49] gave birth to their first child, Harriet Isabel, in October 1861.

On March 17, 1862, Billy once again enlisted in Eatonton, this time as a Private in Company F of the 44th Georgia Infantry.  Recognizing the growing threat to Richmond, Virginia by McClellan’s troops, the Confederate leaders pulled together as many troops as possible to defend this city so important to the South.  Georgia could furnish only a single fighting body, and Billy was in it.  Lee’s total strength amounted to 86,000, about 20,000 short of McClellan’s in what became known as the Seven Days Campaign.

 

 

A Right Smart Fight

 

I saw several lying with all the meet off thar

bones.  They ware I think Yankeys.

               

 

Billy wrote his sister, Miss Lizzie, the following letter[50] on June 22, 1862.  It is of interest to note the spelling must have reflected his accent.

 

 

Dear Sister,

I received your most welcome letter today. I was very glad to hear from you.  I think you will excuse me when you know what hard times our regiment has seen.  We was ordered to Petersburg (Virginia) from Goldsboro and was stoped at Weldon three or fore days and went to Petersburg and staid five days then was ordered to Richmond and got thar the Sunday of the fight about ten o’clock.  We had to leave all our tents and everything at Petersburg. We started to the battlefield at twelve o’clock and held in reserve should they be reinforced.  We marched six miles part of the time in quick step, the warmest day I ever saw.  The perspiration nearly filled my shoes it was so warm.  We threw away our knapsacks and blankets.  The mud was half leg deep all the way there.  We had to march back five miles that night.

… an old field where we could get nothing to eat nor to make a fire.  We lived on one cracker to the man for three days.  Those that was hear and had thar camps and some of them to cook for them faired a heep better than we did.  We had to leave our Negroes in Petersburg.  I have got a boy with me to cook and wash for me—one of Mr. Lancaster’s—he let me bring him with me.

                Our regiment has seen harder times since we have been here than any other.  We have been on picket ever since we have been here.  That is every other day they put it on our regiment to advance the picket lines.  The other day we had to go through mud and warter wast-deep.  We came on Yankey pickets and had a right smart fight but we drove them back—killed several and took fifteen prisoners.  We lost in our regiment one killed and two wounded and two missing.  We drove them so near thare camps we could hear them talk and laugh.  We were attacked just at sundown by a second attact aded by regiment of infantry.  We fout them some time and our regiment give way a short ways, about fifty yards, what you may call a run but we rallied again—went back and held our position until ordered to fall back … balls fell as fast as rain but we were lying down in the woods and they over shot us but after pulling back we took to the lines again and still hold it.

                They tried to drive us from it the other evening—not our regiment but our pickets and the third regiment was called to thare support.  The fight did not last long.  The third got five men killed, three from Wilkerson Rifles and one from the Confederate Light Guards—very few wounded—we fout over the old battleground that our men fell back from the time of the fight.  I saw several lying with all the meet off thar bones.  They ware I think Yankeys.  We have picket fights every day.

                I have seen Dr. once since I have been here.  He looks well.  He is in camp next to our lines but a soldier can’t get a chance to go no whare but on duty.  Tommy[51] is in Richmond at Winder Hospital.  Our camps are in two miles of him and I have been trying to see him for the twenty days we have been here but can’t get off.  I would steel off and see him but the guards are around town.  Emmet[52] got to my camp a wile ago is in camp about a mile.  He looks very well.  He has a nice Captain John Cowls [?] has been sick at the same hospital that Tommy is at.  He ses Tommy look tolerable well, he ses he looks saller for want of  … I will keep trying to see him if I can.

                I have not hurd a word from home in a month.  I don’t know what Mat[53] is thinking of me.  I am uneasy since I commence this letter.  News has come that the Yankeys has drove our pickets in we expect an attack from one side or the other.  We are at a moments warning … [last page is missing].

 

 

God Our Vindicator

 

All night the moans of the dying and the

shrieks of the wounded reached our ears.

               

 

At two o’clock in the afternoon, Thursday, June 26, 1862, the first shot was fired in the Seven Days Campaign at Mechanicsville, Virginia.  Billy was stationed just outside the main area, at Ellerson’s Mill.  All records agree the day was hot, clear, and beautiful.  Major General Fitzjohn-Porter gave this account of the day’s events:

 

After passing Mechanicsville [the Confederates] were divided, a portion taking the road to the right to Ellerson’s Mill … apparently unaware, or regardless, of the great danger in their front, this force moved on with animation and confidence, as if going to parade, or engaging in a sham battle.  Suddenly, when half-way down the bank of the valley, our men opened up its rapid volleys of artillery and infantry, which strewed the road and hill-side with hundreds of dead and wounded [Confederates], and drove the main body of the survivors back in rapid flight to and beyond Mechanicsville.  So rapid was the fire upon the enemy’s huddled masses clambering back up the hill, that some of Reynolds’s ammunition was exhausted …

The [Union] forces directed against Ellerson’s Mill made little progress … [but the Union’s] flank fire soon arrested them and drove them to shelter, suffering even more disastrously than those who had attacked Reynolds.  Late in the afternoon [the Confederates] renewed the attack with spirit and energy, some reaching the borders of the stream, but only to be repulsed with terrible slaughter, which warned them not to attempt a renewal of the fight.  Little depressions in the ground shielded may from our fire until, when night came on, they all fell back beyond the range of our guns.  Night put an end to the contest.

The Confederates suffered severely.  All night the moans of the dying and the shrieks of the wounded reached our ears.

 

 

According to the official returns the total Union loss at Mechanicsville was 361.  The Confederates lost 1,350 that day, 335 deaths from the 44th Georgia alone.[54]  Five days later, after the Battle of Ellerson’s Mill, Billy had not returned to the back area.  His slave became distraught and began to search the battlefield.  Three days later he found Billy unconscious.[55]

 

 

 

William Henry Harrison Clopton

 

 

                Billy must have gone back to Eatonton to recuperate because his second child, William Thomas,[56] was born April 25, 1863.  There is no further record of his military service until April 13, 1863.  Records show he was admitted to Lynchburg (Virginia) Hospital with a complaint of “Vidmus Sclo,” still in Company F of the 44th Georgia Infantry.  Again, he went back to Eatonton but was conscripted back into the Putnam County Brown Rifles on November 26, 1863, so desperately did the South need fighting men.  But by December 13th, he was discharged for the last time thanks to his determined Commander Reuben B. Nisbet.

 

CERTIFICATE OF DISABILITY

FOR DISCHARGE in the case

Of

William H. Clopton

A private Co. B

3rd Ga. Reg’t of Infantry.

 

Respectfully Forwarded.

This soldier has been

Twice discharged from

Service and sent back

By the conscript Dept of

Georgia.  There has been

six or eight disab led

soldiers & five Idiots –

and not one able bodied

man forwarded by the

same office – all of which

I am compelled to send back.

Cannot this imposition

Upon the government be

Stopped.

               

 

                The United Daughters of the Confederacy bestowed the Southern Cross of Honor[57] on Billy for his loyal, devoted and honorable service to the South.  The medal is a Maltese Cross with a wreath of laurel surrounding the words Deo Vindice[58] 1861-1865 and the inscription, “Southern Cross of Honor,” on the face.  On the reverse side is a Confederate Battle Flag surrounded by a laurel wreath and the words, “United Daughters of the Confederacy to the UCV.”  The name “W. H. Clopton,” is engraved on the face pin.[59]

 

 

 

Personal Misery

 

                We have just begun to feel the war –

                I think the days the Yanks were here

                Were the most miserable I ever felt –

                I never want to witness another such sight[60]

 

 

Throughout the Civil War battles were waged with a vengeance about the heads of Virginians, with the exception of a few skirmishes, Georgia would not feel the full brunt of the carnage until 1864.[61]  The final months brought particular pain to Putnam County.  With Atlanta to the west, Milledgeville to the south, and Savannah to the east, the people of Putnam didn’t have a chance.  General William T. Sherman was determined to cut off the supplies to the Confederate armies which continued to flow unabated from Savannah and to destroy the morale of the civilians while he was at it.  Europe was appalled.  Civilized people simply didn’t wage war on women and children.

                Putnam and Baldwin counties suffered terribly with the entire left wing of more than 27,000 soldiers cutting a path of destruction and visiting terror upon a population made up almost entirely of children, women, seriously injured young men, and the elderly.

 

 

If the march had its rigors, mainly proceeding from the great distance to be covered and the occasional hard work of bridging creeks and corduroy roads, it also had its attendant compensations derived from the fatness of the land and the skylark attitude of the men fanned our across it in two columns, foraging along a front that varied from thirty to sixty miles in width.  “This is probably the most gigantic pleasure excursion even planned,” one of Howard’s veterans declared after swinging eastward on the second day out of Atlanta.  “It already beats everything I ever saw soldiering, and promises to prove much richer yet.”…

[Riding with Slocum] Sherman pulled off on the side of the road to review the passing troops and found them unneglectful of such opportunities as had come their way.  Once marcher who drew his attention had a ham slung from his rifle, a jug of molasses cradled under one arm, and a big piece of honeycomb clutched in the other hand, from which he was eating as he slogged along.  Catching the general’s eye, he quoted him sotto voce to a comrade as they swung past:  “Forage liberally on the country.”[62]

           

           

            Miss Lizzie was living in father’s house on Murder Creek, when the Yankees came to call.  Her husband was serving in the Confederate Army, of course, and, except for some slaves, she was alone.  This was not the first times Yankees had paid a visit to the Cloptons.  On July 31, 1864, the brigades of Colonel Silas Adams and Colonel Horace Capron marched towards Eatonton, and at Murder Creek, the two brigades separated.[63]  The Rev. G. S. Bradley[64] paints a vivid picture of the fate of the unfortunate inhabitants when last the Yankees descended upon Miss Lizzie.

 

 

            Camped for the night within a few miles of Eatonton.  Rained considerable last night thus rendering the road quite muddy . . . . Rained again nearly all night.  This part of Georgia appears to be more productive than any other we have seen.  The well filled corn, wheat, and oats cribs prove it.  The few people we have seen, all say that nearly everyone is in the army who is fit to go. . .

It is quite interesting to see the troops of negroes that press into our lines.  They frequently come bringing with them a lot of mules or horses…. They seem to have the idea that we are down here to set them at liberty, or that the war is on the behalf of the blacks… They very readily tell us where anything is concealed.  No house escapes the general pillage.  The soldiers rush into every one not under guard and pick up what ever suits their fancy.  It is sad to see the work of ruin.  Every house containing cotton is burned by general orders, the boys remarking, “Here goes for King Cotton.”

 

 

Every Southern family worth its salt claims at least one personal encounter with General Sherman as he marched across Georgia.  One must wonder how he managed to oversee so much damage while conducting so many conversations with individual civilians.  The Cloptons, too, have several, one of the most interesting involving Miss Lizzie and the General.  Whether there is a grain of truth in it doesn’t bother us one bit.  Cloptons have never let facts stand in the way of a good story.  One version goes something like this:

 

 

            Waves of soldiers had come through Putnam and had taken off all the livestock and food they could find.  Miss Lizzie went out looking for some greens and herbs growing wild along the road when she chanced upon a chicken which had somehow escaped the marauding Yankees.  Delighted, she scooped it up and started back.

                While still some miles from the house, she heard horses coming down the road, and she quickly stuck the chicken up her dress among her many petticoats.  Some men were riding in a buggy, and when they saw the pretty Miss Lizzie, they stopped.  One man introduced himself as General Sherman and insisted the reluctant Miss Lizzie join him and he would take her to her door.

                Miss Lizzie climbed aboard with as much grace and dignity as a woman with a live chicken struggling in the folds of her undergarments could.

                The drive seemed endless.  Miss Lizzie dazzled the General with her beautiful eyes which became wider by the mile.

Finally they made it home, Miss Lizzie grasping the now thoroughly annoyed bird through her skirts, managed to thank the General for his consideration and ran into the house without her secret cargo being discovered.

 

 

            Another version of the story goes on to say that General Sherman spared the house from the Yankee’s torches because her father was a fellow Mason.  That may be true, but the family is confident Miss Lizzie’s wide eyed beauty had something to do with it.

                According to family tradition,[65] over in east Putnam, Grandpa Billy’s wife, Mattie, hurried her children and some livestock down into a swamp behind the barn.  The Yankee foragers did not find her.

           

 

 

Tread Softly, White Man

 

                Tread softly here, white man,

                For long ere you came strange races

                Lives, fought, and loved.[66]

               

 

The people of Putnam County endured, survived, and overcame the destruction of their land and way of life.  Tommy returned to his beloved Putnam County.  Faced with the terrible aftermath of Sherman’s March to the Sea, he looked for work where he could find it.  He eventually drifted to the western part of Georgia and found work in a cotton mill, which before the Civil War, was considered suitable work only for poor whites and slaves.  Tommy lost his life when he was accidentally caught up in the machinery.  The date of his death is unknown.

It was a happy marriage for Miss Lizzie, although there were no children, and Dr. Godkin was known at times to drink a little too much. According to family tradition,[67] on one occasion Miss Lizzie begged her sister-in-law, Mattie Clopton, to give her one of her children since she had none and they had far more than they could afford.  Martha Isabel agreed, so they went to the bedroom where the children were sleeping.  Holding a lamp, they went from bed to bed and child to child, and for one reason or another she couldn’t part with a single one.

They ran the Oconee Springs Hotel for many years.  It was an important source of entertainment and leisure for several generations.

                In 1969, C. E. Waters wrote[68] of the history of the Springs.

 

 

Oconee Springs has figured in the history of Putnam County since before the county land was ceded by the Indians to Georgia white men.  In those days maps bore the spelling of the Indian name O ko no.  It was here that the Indians came to drink the healing waters.

                Across the river on the Hancock side stood Fort Twiggs.  Troops were stationed here to watch the large Indian assemblies which caused great anxiety for Hancock settlers.  Nearby Ocfuskee Trail made the springs easily accessible to many tribes.

                It was with reluctance that the Indians relinquished the springs when Putnam County was organized in 1807.  The DeJarnette family obtained the land grant which included Oconee Springs.  The Indians told Mr. DeJarnette, “You may have the springs, for they heal many, but you must never sell the water. It must only be given away.”

                As legends grew of the curative powers many invalids came.  Others came too for recreation … More and more people came … heeding the Indians’ advice, the water was never sold, nor ever bottled.

                Near the end of the (19th) century, more accommodations were needed and a two-storied white framed structure with a long verandah was built.  This health resort contained twenty-five rooms.  Privately owned cottages were built on the grounds also. The spring was walled up and a stone arch covering was placed over it and steps led down to the springs.

                The resort’s popularity grew with Putnam and Georgia’s prosperity.  Oconee Springs’ heyday coincided with the “gay nineties,” and the first decade of the new century.  As many guests now came to enjoy the recreational opportunities as for the health benefits.

                Accommodations were still very rustic.  A second natural spring near the hotel was utilized for face washing.  Clothes too were washed with this water because the iron content of the healing waters was so concentrated fabrics would be ruined.

 

 

One or more of Miss Lizzie’s nephews often stayed at Oconee Springs.  James Brown Clopton[69], her nephew, was staying with Aunt Lizzie on another occasion when Dr. Godkin went to Eatonton in a mule-drawn wagon to get a list of supplies given to him by Aunt Lizzie.  Now this was a Saturday, and Saturdays represented the one day everyone who could, came to town to socialize.  He did not return until late that night, roaring drunk and the only supply he had was a dead chicken, plucked but with the head still on.  Of course, Aunt Lizzie tore into him, ending her tirade with:  “and now you come home drunk with nothing but a dead chicken at 11 o’clock at night!”  Uncle Boss swore Dr. Godkin answered, “Eleven?  Great heaven!  I thought it was only seven!”  Not to be undone, Aunt Lizzie grabbed up a butcher knife and said, “I’ll stab you to the heart.  I’ll cut your guts out!”  Of course, she didn’t but they sure produced an exciting evening for a little visiting nephew.

 

 

I Came Here to Kill Him

         

          I came here to kill him,

                And I’m glad of it.

 

 

D

aughter Maria Louisa was 14 years old when her father married his third wife, Cornelia. She lived with her sister, Miss Lizzie, in Putnam County, but often came to visit her father and his young bride.  On one of these visits, she met her future husband there while he was home recuperating from wounds received in the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

                John H. Brake served in Company D, 7th Volunteer Georgia Regiment from August 23, 1861 to February 5, 1862, receiving a discharge due to his health.  He re-enlisted again on May 6, 1862 in Company O, Phillips Georgia Legion.  He was wounded at Fredericksburg in October 1862.

                Following their marriage in 1863, he returned to his company and was again wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness on April 6, 1864.  He was captured at Saylor’s Creek, Virginia on April 6, 1865, only three days prior to the Appomattox surrender.  He was carried to Lookout Point, Maryland where he remained a prisoner until June 24, 1865.[70]

                The couple would only have eighteen years to enjoy their happy marriage.  He was shot dead in a strange encounter.

 

On Tuesday night last John Brake was shot and instantly killed, at his home about 9 miles from Americus by W. R. Stovall.  The particulars, as far as we can gather, are as follows:  Anderson Pickett, colored, who had been employed by Stovall, went to Brake and hired to him for the year ’80 and moved to his place.  Stovall asked Brake to let him have the negro man back.  Brake consented that Stovall should see Anderson and hire him if he would return to Stovall’s farm.  Anderson refused to go, stating that Stovall had not treated him right and that Brake would.  At this Stovall got very angry, cursed the negro and applied some very opprobrious epithets to Brake.  The latter invited him to his house for supper.  Stovall replied that he didn’t want a thing that Brake had, and called him a d----d cowardly s-n of a b----h.  Brake went to his house and after brooding over the words of Stovall and hearing his voice raised in altercation with the negro, took a singletree, went to the negro cabin, and told Stovall he had to retract his words.  Stovall did so and Brake then told him to leave his place, and said  he would do so, turning to leave.  After reaching the porch he turned back and said to Brake, “You must take back what you said to me.”  “I have said nothing to take back and will not do so,” was the reply.  Stovall drew his pistol and fired,  missing Brake and striking a negro named Charles Baty, who rode in the buggy with Stovall to Brake’s.  Brake struck at Stovall, who, in stepping back, put his foot into a hole in the floor and fell.  On getting up and backing out the door he fell again, Brake following and ordering him to leave.  Stovall thrust his pistol close to Brake and fired, the ball striking him in the breast, Brake fell, and a negro John --- said, “There Mr. Stovall, you have killed Mr. Brake.”  “That is what I wanted to do,” said Stovall.  “I came here to kill him and I am glad of it.”  He then got into a buggy with Charles Baty, who drove him to the plantation of A. C. Bell in Webster County, and left him there.  Mr. Stovall was employed by Capt. A. C. Bell on his place four or five miles from Americus.  We have given the facts as stated to us by one of the men who was at the inquest.

 

 

Following the death of her husband,[71] she led a very hard life.  She returned to Putnam County.  Although the family offered her what help they could, the economy was still pretty much in ruin from the Civil War.  The government decided to give the widows of the Civil War veterans $50 a year.  Now $50 a year wasn’t a princely sum even then, but $50 was $50. In order to qualify for this pension, she was required to fill out a lot of paper work every year.  One question asked the widows to state how much money they made that year and how they earned it.  One year she made just $25 by taking in sewing.  Her grandson, John Harper Brake, remembered her very well.[72]

 

 

            When I was a little boy, my grandmother lived with my family and I.  She became extremely ill, lapsing into a coma.  In those days we understood and respected the fact that people got old and died, besides, the nearest hospitals were in Macon and Athens, each some 40 miles from us.

                My grandmother’s sister, Miss Lizzie, had come to help my mother out.  The women were in another part of the house, and I was laying in a bed in the same room with my grandmother, when suddenly, I heard her cry out, “John!”  I thought she was calling me.  I ran to get my mother and told her grandmother was awake!  Everyone rushed into the room.  But she was dead.  It had been some 45 years since her husband had been murdered.  I know in the depth of my soul that as my grandmother passed over, she saw her beloved husband on the other side waiting for her.

 

 

        Third wife Cornelia A. Harrison Palmer was one of the last three women drawing benefits as the widow of a veteran of the War of 1812.

 

 

H. R. 687.  Cornelia H. Clopton, R.F.D., Americus, Ga., is the widow of Thomas Clopton, who served during the War of 1812 in Capt. John Field's company of Virginia Militia, from September 29, 1814, to February 23, 1815, when honorable discharged.  (Wid. Certificate. 20675.)

 

            Claimant was married to the soldier March 11, 1858, and he died December 7, 1874, and she is now pensioned as his widow at $30 per month, the rate provided by law for widows of soldiers of the War of 1812.

                She is 84 years of age and a physician testifies that she suffers from rheumatism, partial paralysis, and almost total blindness.  She states she owns 50 acres of land which she lives on and is not cultivated and that its value is not over $1,000, and witnesses corroborate her.  She has one son who does not contribute to her support.

                In view of the widow's advanced age and physical and pecuniary condition, an increase of her pension to $50 per month is recommended.

 

 

                She was only 34 years old when Dr. Clopton died.  She would live as a widow for 52 more years.  According to the obituary[73] of her son, John Palmer Clopton, “one of the last acts of his life was to help nurse his mother through a spell of typhoid fever.  He contracted the same disease from which he never recovered.”


 

        1.  Thomas B.20 Clopton, M.D.  (Waldegrave19, Waldegrave18, William17, William16, William15, Walter14, William13, Richard12, William11, John10, William9, Thomas8, Walter7, William6, Walter5, William4, Walter3, William2, Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham)1 was born May 7, 1798 at New Kent County, Virginia2, and died December 7, 1874 at Americus, Sumpter County, Georgia and buried Oak Grove Cemetery, Americus3.  He married (1) Martha Harwell Bef. 1820 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, daughter of Anderson Harwell and Mary Reese.  She was born Abt. 18014, and died September 28, 1833 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia by drowning in the Oconee River,  and buried, probably at the Old Clopton Cemetery Kinderhook Dst.5.  He married (2) Harriet B. Claiborne6 March 18, 1834 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia by the Rev. Samuel J. Harwell, a Methodist Minister7, daughter of James Claiborne and Sarah Brooking.  She was born Abt. 1811 at Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia8,9, and died March 25, 1857 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried, probably,  Old Clopton Cemetery Kinderhook Dst.10.  He married (3) Cornelia A. Harrison Palmer11 March 11, 1858 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia by Alexander B. Harrison12, daughter of William Palmer and Rebecca.  She was born November 11, 1840 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, and died October 3, 1926 at Americus, Sumpter County, Georgia, of a fractured right leg, and buried Oak Grove Cemetery, Americus13.

       

Children of Thomas Clopton and Martha Harwell are:

        2                 i.    Mary Ann21 Clopton, of Eatonton, Georgia, born June 30, 1820 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia14.  She married Greenbury Wynn, of Eatonton, Georgia15 October 26, 1837 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia by Augustus C. Horton, Esq.16

        3                ii.    James Thomas Clopton, of Eatonton, Georgia, born August 13, 1822 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia17; died Bef. 1833 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, a buried, probably, Old Clopton Cemetery Kinderhook18.

        4               iii.    Waldegrave Clopton, of Eatonton, Georgia, born October 16, 1824 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia19; died Bef. 1833 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, a buried, probably, Old Clopton Cemetery Kinderhook20.

       

Children of Thomas Clopton and Harriet Claiborne are:

        5                 i.    Sarah Elizabeth "Lizzie"21 Clopton, born September 5, 1837 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia21; died 1924 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried Concord United Methodist Church22.  She married John R. Godkin, M.D., C.S.A.23 November 6, 1856 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia by the Rev. William Arnold24

        6                ii.    William Henry Harrison "Billy" Clopton, C.S.A.25, born March 4, 1839 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia26; died October 14, 1916 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried Concord United Methodist Church27.  He married Martha Isabel Lancaster January 26, 1860 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia by Blumer White, J.P.28; born Bet. 1840 and 1845 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia29; died October 26, 1895 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried Concord United Methodist Church30.

        7               iii.    Thomas Alexander Clopton, C.S.A.31, born August 25, 1841 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia32; died at Georgia and buried at Concord United Methodist Church33.  He married Sarah Fannie Melton December 19, 1867 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia by Blumer White, J.P.34

        8               iv.    Robert Emmett "Shug" Clopton, Sr., C.S.A., born February 10, 1844 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia35; died July 9, 1908 at Eatonton, Putnam County,  Georgia and buried Concord United Methodist Church36.  He married Caroline Corrine Crawford Grimes, of Eatonton November 16, 1889 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia37; born June 22, 1873 at Eatonton, Putnam County,  Georgia; died November 21, 1915 at Eatonton, Putnam County,  Georgia and buried Concord United Methodist Church38.

        9                v.    Maria Louisa "Lou" Clopton, born November 6, 1846 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia39; died April 22, 1922 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried Union Chapel United Methodist Church40.  She married John H. Brake, C.S.A. May 12, 1863 at Americus, Sumpter County, Georgia by the Rev. Jesse Holmes41; born January 2, 1840; died December 28, 1880 at Americus, Sumpter County, Georgia and buried Oak Grove Cemetery, Americus42.

 

Children of Thomas Clopton and Cornelia Palmer are:

        10               i.    James Waldegrave21 Clopton, of Americus, born January 28, 1859 at Americus, Sumpter County, Georgia43.  He married Mrs. N. A. Hooks June 12, 188443; born October 5, 184643; died September 19, 193243.

        11              ii.    John Palmer Clopton, born December 11, 1866 at Americus, Sumpter County, Georgia44; died August 18, 1905 at Americus, Sumpter County, Georgia and buried Oak Grove Cemetery, Americus45.  He married Mattie S. Stallings November 4, 1903 at Americus, Sumpter County, Georgia46

 

Endnotes

 

1.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), The Bible has been rebound.  The pages are in excellent condition.  The Family Record consists of four pages, including a list of "Births of black: Isaac born May 31 1860; William born Sept 16 1860; Emily born April 8 1861; Lucy Ann born May 9, 1863; In 1855 Andrew was ten years old;  Nathan in 1855 was 4 years old; Miles was born 1855 Aug 10; Margaret born Decm 25, 1855; David was born Nov 15, 1855; Morris was born Decm 10 1855; Caroline was born July 6 1835; Frank was born 1857 Jany; Ellick was born Feby 1857; Sarah born 6th March 1858; Celia was born Oct 7 1858; Prince Augustus born March 12 1859."  Dr. Clopton was a physician, first in Putnam County, and in 1861, Sumpter County, Georgia.  The Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Collection includes 52 pages from his medical ledger dating from 1852 through 1860, courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock who possessed the original in 1995.  These records relate to his services and payments for certain families.  Someone used the old ledger as a scrapbook and pasted clippings over many of the pages.

2.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), Also he states his age as 72 in the 1870 Georgia Census, then residing at the City of Americus, having been born in Virginia.

3.  Cornelia A. Harrison Palmer Clopton's Widow's Claim,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), Forty-nine documents, dating from 1814 through 1920, related to her claims for pension includes Dr. Clopton's War Records, Official Documents and Letters.  They were reproduced at the National Archives and are in excellent condition. Death is also listed in the Bible:  died the 7th of Dec 1874, age 76 yrs 7 mo Born 7 May 1798.The Probate Court of Sumpter County was unable to locate his will.  However, a petition dated December 13, 1883, states that John C. Palmer, who was named as Executor of Dr. Clopton's will, had moved away and failed to "offer said will for Probate within a reasonable time," and that Mr. Palmer was renouncing his Executatorship.  This petition was signed by J. W. Clopton.    A statement follows, signed by H. J. Williams,  that he, Williams, had witnessed Dr. Clopton's signing of the will, in the presence of W. J. -?- and L. C. Barrett.  No other information regarding this matter has been found.  A copy of this petition is located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.

4.  Milledgeville, Georgia, Southern Recorder,  (Courtesy of Leia Katherine Eubanks).

5.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), Family Record states:  "She was drowned in the Oconee river by falling out of the canoe in a fishing frollick."

6.  Special thanks to Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk, Probate Court of Putnam County; Martha Bennett, Fort Delaware Society; Alice James & Charlotte Ray, Georgia Department of Archives and History, James Penick Marshall, Jr. President, Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society; Thaddeus Lamar Aycock, Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton, John Brake, The Rev. David Allen Clopton, Frank Campbell Clopton, James Stanley Clopton, Linda Carol (Wright) Clopton, Martha Alice (Bailey) Clopton, Peggy Charlotte (Schleucher) Clopton, Wallace Chandler Clopton, William Purcell Clopton, Ida (Brake) Crane, Jean (Holloman) Daniels, Ann (Corn) Felton, Michael Flanagan, Mildred (Knight) McLeroy, Doris (Clopton) Moody, Ph.D., Annabel (Stanford) Nickel, Henry King Stanford, Ph.D., Morgan Callaway Stanford, Esq., and Isabel Lancaster (Clopton) Steiner, for contributing information regarding Dr. Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. and his descendants, unless otherwise noted.

7.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible.  Also, marriage license dated March 5, 1834, signed by Wm. B. Clark, Clerk and certification dated March 18, 1834, signed by Samuel Harwell, Minister.  Rev. Harwell was the brother of Dr. Clopton's  first wife.  At that time he was assigned as a Methodist circuit rider to Sugar Creek & Little River Mission to slaves, Milledgeville Dist (Morgan County) Special thanks to Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk, Probate Court of Putnam County, for supplying this document July 30, 1998.

8.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

9.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 6, Gives her age as 39.

10.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), The cemetery is now heavily wooded.  In 1995 the tombstones had all sunk deeply into the ground.

11.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 22, She is aged 10.

12.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), Marriage Book F, p. 157, And date is given in her Widow's Claim for Pension.  Also marriage license dated March 2, 1858, signed by Wm. B. Carter, Ordinary.  Certification, dated March 11, 1858, signed by A. B. Harrison, J.P. (Alexander Brown Harrison, husband of Lucy Wright Claiborne, sister of Dr. Clopton's second wife).  Special thanks to Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk, Probate Court of Putnam County, for supplying this document, July 30, 1998.

13.  Georgia Death Certificate, Certified copy located Clopton Family Archives and Resource Library, courtesy Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.  States cause of death "fractured right leg," with" pneumonia as a contributory cause.

14.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

15.  Named in his father's will.

16.  Milledgeville, Georgia, Southern Recorder,  (Courtesy of Leia Katherine Eubanks).  November 7, 1837 issue reports the marriage on page 3:  "On Thursday evening, the 26th., by Augustus C. Horton, Esq., Mr. Green B. Wynn, to Miss Mary Ann Clopton, daughter of Dr. Thos. Clopton, all of Putnam county."  also Bride Index Putnam County, Georgia marriage Records, page No. 00006,  gives his name as Green B. Wynn.  However, his father's will, dated July 9, 1827, proved September 1827 (Will Book B - 1822-1857),  names his children, Robert, Greenbury, John, Martha, William, Mary, James, and Executor, Thomas Johnston."

17.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

18.  Milledgeville, Georgia, Southern Recorder,  (Courtesy of Leia Katherine Eubanks).

19.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

20.  Milledgeville, Georgia, Southern Recorder,  (Courtesy of Leia Katherine Eubanks).

21.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

22.  Hull, Early Records of Putnam County, Georgia, 1807-1860,  (Courtesy of Michael Flanagan), p. 10, Also tombstone, loc. cit., Concord United Methodist Church.

23.  Dorman, Claiborne of Virginia,  (Copy located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 659, States he practiced medicine at Monticello, Georgia.  Cites Jasper County, Georgia, 1860 Census, p. 265 or 31, family 226-227.

24.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

25.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Collection, Contains 26 Civil War Records relating to William Henry Harrison Clopton, courtesy Jean Holloman Daniels, from his enlistment at Eatonton, June 1, 1861 until his final discharge approved by General Robert E. Lee, December 13, 1863.

26.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

27.  Concord United Methodist Church Register,  (Courtesy William Purcell Clopton), Gives year of death as 1916.

28.  Putnam County, Georgia, Marriage Book, Book F, page 177., License dated January 24, 1860, signed by Wm. B. Carter, Ordinary. Certification dated January 26, 1860, signed by Blumer White, J.P.  Blumer White was the husband of Mary Claiborne, "Billy" Clopton's uncle.  Located Clopton Family Archives and Research Library.  Special thanks to Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk, Probate Court of Putnam County, for supplying this document, July 30, 1998.

29.  Clopton Holy Bible (New York, 1823), owned in 1997 by Thad L. Aycock, Evanston, Illinois.  Grandson of Thomas B. Clopton and Cornelia Harrison Palmer Clopton.

30.  Tombstone, loc. cit, His death in 1916 is noted in Concord Church's Register of Members.

31.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Collection, The collection contains 18 documents relating to Thomas Alexander Clopton's service in the Confederate Army from September 1861 through March 1865.  He was a Prisoner of War at Fort Delaware, courtesy Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.  Also included is a four page letter dated 1861, courtesy William Purcell Clopton.  Special thanks to Charlotte Ray, Georgia Department of Archives and History, who supplied copies of his C.S.A. records, November 7, 1995.

32.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

33.  Concord United Methodist Church Register,  (Courtesy William Purcell Clopton).

34.  Georgia Marriage Certificate, Putnam County, Georgia, Marriage Book F, p. 366, License dated December 14, 1867, cannot read the signature of Ordinary.  Certification dated December 19, 1867, signed by Blumer White, J.P.  Blumer White was the husband of Mary Claiborne,  Thomas Alexander Clopton's uncle.  Special thanks to Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk, Probate Court of Putnam County, who provided this document, July 30, 1998.

35.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), The Family Record spells his name Robert Emit Clopton.

36.  Tombstone, loc. cit.

37.  Georgia Marriage Certificate, Marriage License dated November 11, 1889, signed by Frank Leverette, Ordinary.  Certification dated November 16, 1889, signed by J. R. Bagley,  J.P. and recorded by F. Leverette.  Special thanks to Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk, Probate Court of Putnam County, for supplying this document, July 30, 1998.

38.  Concord United Methodist Church Register of Members, 1856-1955,  (Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Collection, courtesy William Purcell Clopton.  Original copy located Eatonton-Putnam County, Georgia).  Notes her death in 1915.  Her name is entered as Corrine Clopton

39.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

40.  Tombstone, loc. cit, Union Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery, Eatonton.  She was a member of Concord Methodist Church before moving with her father and step-mother to Sumpter County, Georgia.  She evidently came back to that church as  Concord's Register of Members notes her death and has her listed as Maria L. Brake.  His personnel and pensions records and his wife’s pension application give his name as John “H” Brake, not John “R” Brake as reported by previously published genealogies.

41.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

42.  Tombstone, loc. cit, Oak Grove Cemetery, Americus.  "The Weekly Republican," Americus, Georgia, January 14, 1881, reported his murder at the hands of his neighbor, W. H. Stovall.

43.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

44.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

45.  Tombstone, loc. cit, Oak Grove Cemetery, Americus.

46.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

 

 

 

        1.  James22 Claiborne, Sr.  (Buller21, Augustine20, Thomas19, Thomas18, Elizabeth 'Boetler'17 Butler, John 'Boetler'16, Cressit15 St. John, of Bletsoe, John14, John13, John12, Margaret11 Beauchamp, Duchess of Somerset, John10, Johane9 Clopton, William8, Walter7, William6, Walter5, William4, Walter3, William2, Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham) was born Abt. 1780 at Dinwiddie County, Virginia1, and died Aft. 1850 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia2.  He married Sarah Brooking3 January 28, 1803 at Virginia4, daughter of Vivion Brooking.  She was born Abt. 1785 at Virginia4, and died Aft. 1850 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia5.

       

Children of James Claiborne and Sarah Brooking are:

        2                 i.    James23 Claiborne, Jr.6.

        3                ii.    Martha Ruffin Claiborne6, born Abt. 18027; died October 2, 1867 at Elmore County, Alabama.  She married Robert N. Brooking May 18, 1820; born Abt. 1792; died October 2, 1867 at Elmore County, Alabama.

        4               iii.    Elizabeth B. Claiborne8, born Abt. 1806 at Virginia9.  She married David W. Hall; died Bef. 1850.

        5               iv.    Lucy Wright Claiborne10, born February 21, 1808 at Georgia11; died February 10, 1868 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried at the Harrison Family Cemetery, Eatonton12.  She married Alexander Brown Harrison13 July 6, 1830 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia; born October 19, 1801 at Brunswick County, Virginia14; died July 6, 1887 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried at the Harrison Family Cemetery, Eatonton15.

        6                v.    Sterling Claiborne16, born Abt. 1810.

        7               vi.    Harriet B. Claiborne17, born Abt. 1811 at Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia18,19; died March 25, 1857 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried, probably,  Old Clopton Cemetery Kinderhook Dst.20.  She married Thomas B. Clopton, M.D.21 March 18, 1834 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia by the Rev. Samuel J. Harwell, a Methodist Minister22; born May 7, 1798 at New Kent County, Virginia23; died December 7, 1874 at Americus, Sumpter County, Georgia and buried Oak Grove Cemetery, Americus24.

        8              vii.    Mary Claiborne25, born Abt. 1816 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia26; died at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia.  She married Blumer White27 July 29, 1840 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia28; born Abt. 1812 at North Carolina29; died 1895 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia30.

        9             viii.    Robert E. Claiborne, C.S.A.31, born Abt. 1819; died Bet. July 16 and September, 1868 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia32.  He married Emily Ann Lanier August 3, 184233; born 1809; died August 1, 1893 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia34.

        10              ix.    Thomas Buller Claiborne, C.S.A.35, born February 26, 1823 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia36,37; died November 16, 1864 at Camp Chase, Ohio38.  He married Louisiana Lanier January 4, 1855 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia; born Abt. 184038.

Enlisted August 22, 1863 as a private at Company F, 66th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, C.S.A., and was captured near Atlanta July 22, 1864 and sent to Camp Chase, Ohio.  Died at Camp Chase November 16, 1864.

        11               x.    Sarah P. Claiborne39, born October 3, 182540; died December 9, 1896 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried Concord United Methodist Church Cemetery40.  She married (1) Alexander Brown Harrison41; born October 19, 1801 at Brunswick County, Virginia42; died July 6, 1887 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried at the Harrison Family Cemetery, Eatonton43.  She married (2) John C. Bearden44 May 3, 1860 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia45; born Abt. 181746; died Aft. 1863 at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia.  Sarah was an early member of Putnam County's historic Concord United Methodist Church and is buried in the cemetery..

 

 

Endnotes

 

1.  Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., MD, Claiborne of Virginia, Descendants of Colonel William Claiborne. Privately Published 1995. Gateway Press, Inc.

2.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 149, Shown living with Thomas Clopton, M.D. and his wife, Harriet.  He is aged 60 and  born in Virginia.  They must have been older.

3.  Amelia County Will Book 7, page 422, contains the will of Vivion Brooking, dated July 8, 1803 and proved December 26, 1808.  He gives to his daughter Sarah Claiborne, the Negroes which he gave to her husband, James Claiborne.

4.  Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., MD, Claiborne of Virginia, Descendants of Colonel William Claiborne. Privately Published 1995. Gateway Press, Inc.

5.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 149, Shown living with Thomas Clopton, M.D. and his wife, Harriet.  She is 55 and born in Virginia.  She must have been older.

6.  George Mason Claiborne Papers, in 1995 in the possession of Dr. Dallas Everette Hudson, Amherst, Virginia.

7.  Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., MD, Claiborne of Virginia, Descendants of Colonel William Claiborne. Privately Published 1995. Gateway Press, Inc.

8.  George Mason Claiborne Papers, in 1995 in the possession of Dr. Dallas Everette Hudson, Amherst, Virginia.

9.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 6, She is aged 44 and living with her sister, Harriet Claiborne and Harriet's husband, Thomas Clopton, M.D.  States she was born in Virginia.  Her husband is not mentioned.

10.  George Mason Claiborne Papers, in 1995 in the possession of Dr. Dallas Everette Hudson, Amherst, Virginia, The 1850 Putnam County, Georgia census states she is aged 42.

11.  Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., MD, Claiborne of Virginia, Descendants of Colonel William Claiborne. Privately Published 1995. Gateway Press, Inc.

12.  Tombstone, loc. cit.

13.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 13, He is aged 48.

14.  Putnam County, Georgia, Will Book, Book B - 1822-1857.

15.  Tombstone, loc. cit.

16.  George Mason Claiborne Papers, in 1995 in the possession of Dr. Dallas Everette Hudson, Amherst, Virginia.

17.  Special thanks to Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk, Probate Court of Putnam County; Martha Bennett, Fort Delaware Society; Alice James & Charlotte Ray, Georgia Department of Archives and History, James Penick Marshall, Jr. President, Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society; Thaddeus Lamar Aycock, Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton, John Brake, The Rev. David Allen Clopton, Frank Campbell Clopton, James Stanley Clopton, Linda Carol (Wright) Clopton, Martha Alice (Bailey) Clopton, Peggy Charlotte (Schleucher) Clopton, Wallace Chandler Clopton, William Purcell Clopton, Ida (Brake) Crane, Jean (Holloman) Daniels, Ann (Corn) Felton, Michael Flanagan, Mildred (Knight) McLeroy, Doris (Clopton) Moody, Ph.D., Annabel (Stanford) Nickel, Henry King Stanford, Ph.D., Morgan Callaway Stanford, Esq., and Isabel Lancaster (Clopton) Steiner, for contributing information regarding Dr. Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. and his descendants, unless otherwise noted.

18.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock).

19.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 6, Gives her age as 39.

20.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), The cemetery is now heavily wooded.  In 1995 the tombstones had all sunk deeply into the ground.

21.  Thomas B. Clopton,  M.D., Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), The Bible has been rebound.  The pages are in excellent condition.  The Family Record consists of four pages, including a list of "Births of black: Isaac born May 31 1860; William born Sept 16 1860; Emily born April 8 1861; Lucy Ann born May 9, 1863; In 1855 Andrew was ten years old;  Nathan in 1855 was 4 years old; Miles was born 1855 Aug 10; Margaret born Decm 25, 1855; David was born Nov 15, 1855; Morris was born Decm 10 1855; Caroline was born July 6 1835; Frank was born 1857 Jany; Ellick was born Feby 1857; Sarah born 6th March 1858; Celia was born Oct 7 1858; Prince Augustus born March 12 1859."  Dr. Clopton was a physician, first in Putnam County, and in 1861, Sumpter County, Georgia.  The Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Collection includes 52 pages from his medical ledger dating from 1852 through 1860, courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock who possessed the original in 1995.  These records relate to his services and payments for certain families.  Someone used the old ledger as a scrapbook and pasted clippings over many of the pages.

22.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible.  Also, marriage license dated March 5, 1834, signed by Wm. B. Clark, Clerk and certification dated March 18, 1834, signed by Samuel Harwell, Minister.  Rev. Harwell was the brother of Dr. Clopton's  first wife.  At that time he was assigned as a Methodist circuit rider to Sugar Creek & Little River Mission to slaves, Milledgeville Dist (Morgan County) Special thanks to Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk, Probate Court of Putnam County, for supplying this document July 30, 1998.

23.  Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. Family Bible,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), Also he states his age as 72 in the 1870 Georgia Census, then residing at the City of Americus, having been born in Virginia.

24.  Cornelia A. Harrison Palmer Clopton's Widow's Claim,  (Courtesy Thaddeus Lamar Aycock), Forty-nine documents, dating from 1814 through 1920, related to her claims for pension includes Dr. Clopton's War Records, Official Documents and Letters.  They were reproduced at the National Archives and are in excellent condition. Death is also listed in the Bible:  died the 7th of Dec 1874, age 76 yrs 7 mo Born 7 May 1798.The Probate Court of Sumpter County was unable to locate his will.  However, a petition dated December 13, 1883, states that John C. Palmer, who was named as Executor of Dr. Clopton's will, had moved away and failed to "offer said will for Probate within a reasonable time," and that Mr. Palmer was renouncing his Executatorship.  This petition was signed by J. W. Clopton.    A statement follows, signed by H. J. Williams,  that he, Williams, had witnessed Dr. Clopton's signing of the will, in the presence of W. J. -?- and L. C. Barrett.  No other information regarding this matter has been found.  A copy of this petition is located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.

25.  George Mason Claiborne Papers, in 1995 in the possession of Dr. Dallas Everette Hudson, Amherst, Virginia.

26.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 6, Her age is 34 and she is living with her brother, Thomas.

27.  Milledgeville, Georgia, Southern Recorder,  (Courtesy of Leia Katherine Eubanks), Tuesday, June 26, 1849 Issue, "Georgia, Putnam County:  Sheriff Ssales - On the first Tuesday in August, next, before the Court House door in the town of Eatonton, Putnam County, within the usual hours of sale, the following property, to wit:"371 acres of land adjoining Thomas Clopton and Blumer White, levied on as the property of Jonathan Winslett, to satisfy executions or fi fas in favor of Francis C. McKinly.".

28.  Hull, Early Records of Putnam County, Georgia, 1807-1860,  (Courtesy of Michael Flanagan), p. 94.

29.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 6, His age is 38.

30.  Probate Court of Putnam County, Georgia, Courtesy of Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk.

31.  George Mason Claiborne Papers, in 1995 in the possession of Dr. Dallas Everette Hudson, Amherst, Virginia.

32.  Probate Court of Putnam County, Georgia, Courtesy of Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk.

33.  Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., MD, Claiborne of Virginia, Descendants of Colonel William Claiborne. Privately Published 1995. Gateway Press, Inc.

34.  Probate Court of Putnam County, Georgia, Courtesy of Pauline S. Carter, Deputy Clerk.

35.  George Mason Claiborne Papers, in 1995 in the possession of Dr. Dallas Everette Hudson, Amherst, Virginia.

36.  Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., MD, Claiborne of Virginia, Descendants of Colonel William Claiborne. Privately Published 1995. Gateway Press, Inc.

37.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 6, He is living in Putnam County aged 28.  He is the head of a household number 421.  Living with him is his sister, Mary, and her husband Blumer White and their  and children.

38.  Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., MD, Claiborne of Virginia, Descendants of Colonel William Claiborne. Privately Published 1995. Gateway Press, Inc.

39.  Jones, "Memoirs of W. Ted Jones," Courtesy of William Purcell Clopton, The 1850 Census of Putnam County states she is living with her sister, Harriet and Harriet's husband, Dr. Thomas B. Clopton.  She is aged 22.

40.  Tombstone, loc. cit.

41.  Otto, 1850 Census of Putnam County, Georgia, p. 13, He is aged 48.

42.  Putnam County, Georgia, Will Book, Book B - 1822-1857.

43.  Tombstone, loc. cit.

44.  Jones, "Memoirs of W. Ted Jones," Courtesy of William Purcell Clopton, States his grandmother was widowed when the children were very young.

45.  Putnam County, Georgia, Marriage Book.

46.  Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., MD, Claiborne of Virginia, Descendants of Colonel William Claiborne. Privately Published 1995. Gateway Press, Inc.

 

 

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[1] Dr. Thom is an excerpt from The Clopton Chronicles, the Ancestors and Descendants of Sir Thomas Clopton, Knt., & Katherine Mylde, and is the property of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society which holds the copyright on this material.  Permission is granted to quote or reprint articles for noncommercial use provided credit is given to the CFGS and to the author.  Prior written permission must be obtained from the Society for commercial use.

Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton is Founder and Executive Director of The Clopton Family Genealogical Society & Clopton Family Archives.  She is the g-g-g granddaughter of Dr. Thomas B. Clopton and his second wife, Harriet B. Claiborne.

The Society wishes to thank Martha Bennett, Fort Delaware Society; Vonnie S. Zullo, The Horse Soldier Research Service; Alice James & Charlotte Ray, Georgia Department of Archives and History; Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.; Linda Carol (Wright) Clopton;  Martha Alice (Bailey) Clopton, Peggy Charlotte (Schleucher) Clopton; Michael Flanagan; Kurt Graham, author of a regimental history of the Phillips Legion; Leonard Alton Wood; and, James Penick Marshall, Jr., President, Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society, for their assistance in preparing this article.  Also special thanks to Clopton descendants Thaddeus Lamar Aycock, John Harper Brake, James Stanley Clopton, William Purcell Clopton, Ida (Brake) Crane, Jean (Holloman) Daniels, Katherine Elizabeth (DeLoach) Eubanks, B.S., R.N., Leia Katherine Eubanks; Carole Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D., Henry King Stanford, Ph.D., Isabel Lancaster (Clopton) Steiner,

[2] See A Tempest In the Briar Patch for the story of Sara Elizabeth (Reid) Saffold.

[3] Katherine Bowman Walters, Oconee River Tales to Tell, Published for the Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society by the Reprint Company, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1955, p. 304.  After breaking camp that morning, the 14th Corps deflected south toward Stanfordville to follow the Monticello-Milledgeville Road in order to avoid congestion with the 20th Corps on the Eatonton-Milledgeville Road.  The camp for the night was approximately halfway between Stanfordville and Cloptons Mills, four miles from the crossing, farther down Murder Creek in Kinderhook.  Mrs. Walters incorrectly states that all of the mills along Murder Creek were owned by a Mr. Vaughn. Until late in the 19th century, Putnam County maps show the location of a Clopton Mill and a Clopton Cemetery near murder creek in that district.  The large stone foundations of the home were visible late into the 20th century.

[4] George B. Davis, Major, U.S. Army, Leslie J. Perry, Civilian Expert, Joseph W. Kirkley, Civilian Expert, Atlas To Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Published under the Direction of the Hons. Redfield Proctor, Stephen B. Elkins, and Daniel S. Lamont, Secretaries of War, Compiled by Captain Calvin D. Cowles, 23rd U.S. Infantry, Government Printing Office, 1891-1895.  Detail of Plate LXXI.

[5] Walters, Oconee River Tales, p. 13.  The Creeks were late comers to the area.  A number of prehistoric and rock effigy mounds have survived in Putnam, Greene, Hancock, and Baldwin Counties.

[6] Walters, Oconee River Tales, p. 296.  Quotes Captain George Pepper’s account in his Personal Recollections of Sherman’s Campaigns

[7] The son of Waldegrave Clopton, Jr., an abbreviated genealogy follows.  For a complete genealogy of this Clopton line, see William Clopton of St. Paul’s Parish & His Wife Joyce Wilkinson of Black Creek.

[8] He served in the war of 1814 until discharged in 1815 and is shown on the 1820 Putnam County census as living in with his family in Captain Thomas Bustin’s District.

[9] James Brown Clopton, Sr., M.D., married Mary R. Reese of Eatonton; Miller  who died at Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia and married Obedience Tesseville at Eatonton; and, Waldegrave Clopton, III., M.D. who died at Wilkinson County, Georgia.  The names of William Clopton and George W. Clopton appear in early records for this area of Georgia, however it has not been established what their relationships were to the others.

[10] Alford Clopton, M.D., the son of David Clopton, Sr., of New Kent County and his wife, Mary Ann Vanderwall.  Dr. Clopton married Sarah Kendrick of Washington County, Georgia at Monticello, Jasper County, Georgia.

[11] William Henry Harrison Clopton, Thomas Alexander Clopton, and Robert Emmett Clopton, Sr.

[12] Names are listed in his Bible which was in 1997 in the possession of Thaddeus Lamar Aycock.  Copy located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of Thaddeus Lamar Aycock.  The 1850 Census of Georgia Slave Owners, compiled by Jack F. Cox, Clearfield Company, Inc., Baltimore, 1999, p. 62, states Thomas Clopton of Putnam County, owned 10 slaves.

[13] Walters, Oconee River Tales, p. 216.

[14] In 1999, his original medical ledger was in the possession of Thaddeus Lamar Aycock of Illinois.  The register dates from 1851 through 1859.  A copy is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of Mr. Aycock.

[15] November 15th and 28th visits to the home of Stephen B. Marshall.

[16] James Thomas Clopton and Waldegrave Clopton

[17] The source of Martha's surname is a typed application dated March 15, 1920, submitted by Thomas Clopton's third wife, Cornelia A. H. Palmer. It spells the first wife's name as Martha "Harvell," and says she and Thomas were married in Putnam County, Georgia, and the second wife's name is spelled "Clayburn."  It is believed she was actually the daughter of Anderson H. Harwell, Sr. and his wife, Mary "Polly" Resse.  The census records of that day have entries with several spelling variations of Harwell, all living in the same district, the same district in which Dr. Thomas Clopton lives with Martha, now known as the Kinderhook District.

[18] Milledgeville’s “The Georgia Journal,” October 8, 1833 issue.  Copy located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.

[19] The descendants of Thomas Claiborne, Sr. of “Sweet Hall,” and his wife, Ann Fox, may, through a complicated line, claim descent from the Clopton patriarch, Guillaume Peche, Lord of Cloptunna and Dalham.  Harriet was the daughter of James Claiborne, of Dinwiddie County, Virginia, and later, Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia and Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, an abbreviated genealogy follows.

[20] Both wives and two children from his first marriage are believed to be buried at the old Clopton Cemetery at Kinderhook District of Putnam County.

[21] The Cloptons and Claibornes intermarried while in Virginia.

[22] Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., M.D. & John Frederick Dorman, Claiborne of Virginia, Descendants of Colonel William Claiborne, The First Eight Generations, Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, 1995.

[23] Copies of all quoted letters located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.  The location of the originals are unknown unless otherwise noted.  Copies were in the possession of Lemuel Thomas Clopton, Mrs. Blanton’s grandfather.

[24] During the Civil War, John Godkin wound up as a patient of Maria Gaitskell (Foster) Clopton’s in Richmond, Virginia and is mentioned in her medical ledger.  See In Praise of Mint Juleps.

[25] The original letter is in the possession of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton, a copy located Clopton Family Archives.  It was found tucked inside a book belonging to her grandfather, Lemuel Thomas Clopton. This epistle is a grand illustration of the Southerner’s insistence on claiming kinship with all acquaintances.  This charming habit, which continues to this day, makes it terribly difficult to identify individuals mentioned in so many of these old letters.  The title “cousin,” and “aunt” or “uncle,” was often conferred on those who were deeply loved and respected but not necessarily blood kin.

[26] Lenz, The Civil War In Georgia, Infinity Press, Watkinsville, Georgia, 1995, p. 6.  Delegates at Georgia’s Secession Convention in Milledgeville vote 208 to 89 to secede from the Union.

[27] Lutie may possibly be Lucy C. Claiborne.  Lucy was the daughter of Mary Claiborne and Blumer White.  The two families were very close. She married William J. Holloman.

[28] The Family Bible has an entry for a  slave named Caroline, born July 6, 1835.

[29] The earliest Civil War record reports he enlisted June 11, 1861 in Americus, Sumpter County, Georgia, so it isn’t clear what “Company” he is referring to.

[30] His sister, Maria Louisa Clopton did move to Sumpter County and married, May 12, 1863, John R. Brake, where they continued to live until his death.

[31]His brother, William Henry Harrison Clopton.

[32] Possibly his mother’s sister, Martha Ruffin Claiborne, wife of Robert N. Brooking.  They lived in Hancock County, Sparta, Georgia, although they may possibly have moved to Tallapoosa County, Alabama by this date.  She died October 2, 1867.

[33] A slave named Nathan, who was born about 1851, is recorded in the Family Bible.

[34] Prince Augustus, a slave, is recorded in the Family Bible with a birth date of March 12, 1854.

[35] Possibly Mary Claiborne, wife of Blumer White.

[36] His brother, Robert Emmett Clopton.

[37] James I. Robertson, Jr., Ph.D. and the Editors of Time-Life Books, Tenting Tonight The Soldier’s Life, Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia, 1984, p. 115

[38] A copy of his Confederate War records located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.

[39] Mark Mayo Boatner, III, The Civil War Dictionary, David McKay Company, Inc., p. 607.

[40] Information regarding Fort Delaware was taken, if not otherwise noted, from Nancy Travis Keen’s Confederate Prisoners of War at Fort Delaware, a booklet available from the Fort Delaware Society.  A copy of this booklet is contained in the Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.  It was reprinted from Delaware History, volume XIII, Number 1 (April, 1968), pages 1-27, in the United States of America by Cedar Tree Press, Wilmington, Delaware, for the Fort Delaware Society by permission of the Historical Society of Delaware, and Dr. Robertson’s Tenting Tonight A Soldier’s Life.

[41] Over 2,436 Confederate Soldiers who died at Fort Delaware while prisoners of war were buried in trenches at Finns Point National Cemetery on the New Jersey shore overlooking the Fort.  A list of these men may be found in To Those Who Wore the Gray, prepared by the Civil War Round Table of Wilmington, Delaware, June, 1960 and available from the Fort Delaware Society.  There are no Clopton surnames listed.  The fort, which is located near Wilmington, is open to the public on a limited schedule.  A copy of this booklet is contained in the Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.

[42] The War of the Rebellion A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Published under the Director of the Honorable Elihu Root, Secretary of Wary, by Brig. General Fred C. Ainsworth and Joseph W. Kirkley, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1899, Series II, Volume VII., p. 438

[43] Robertson, Tenting Tonight, p. 115

[44] Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War, Patricia L. Paust, Editor, Harper & Row, New York, p. 604.

[45] See With Quiet Grace & Dignity

[46] Unknown Confederate soldier.

[47] Photographs of both “Grandpa Billy,” as he is affectionately called by his descendants, and that of his wife are located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Peggy Charlotte (Schleucher) Clopton.

[48] A copy of his Civil War records are located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of Jean Holloman Daniels.

[49] Martha Isabel Lancaster, of Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia.  For more on the family of Grandpa Billy and Mattie, see Of Possums and Land Barons and Wonders of the Sea

[50] A copy of the original letter was in the possession of Lemuel Thomas Clopton.  However, he loaned it to a relative and it was never returned.  A copy of this letter is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of William Purcell Clopton.

[51] His brother.

[52] His brother originally served in Company D, 11 Battalion, Georgia Artillery.  He was later transferred to Company K, 8th Georgia Calvary.  Copy of his Civil War records located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.

[53]Possibly his wife, Mattie.

[54] The War of the Rebellion A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Government Printing Office, Washington, is an invaluable tool for the researcher and can be found in most libraries and on CD.

[55] This story has been passed down through the family for generations.

[56] See Kings, Whiskey & Patriotic Duties for more on William Thomas Clopton and his wife, Minnie Flora King.

[57] In 1999 his Southern Cross of Honor was in the possession of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.  It was given to her by her father, William Purcell Clopton.  It has become the tradition of the family to pass the medal to the eldest child.  Billy’s eldest son, William Thomas “Boo” Clopton, gave the medal to his eldest son, Lemuel Thomas Clopton, who then passed it to William Purcell Clopton.  Suellen’s eldest child, Katherine Elizabeth (DeLoach) Eubanks, will one day posses Billy’s Southern Cross of Honor.

[58] God Our Vindicator

[59] By 1913, 78,761 Crosses had been bestowed on veterans by the UDC.  To determine if your ancestor received the Southern Cross of Honor, contact the U.D.C., 328 North Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia  23220-4057.  Visit their Southern Cross of Honor site at http://www.hqudc.org/southerncrossofhonor.htm for further details.

[60] Walters, Oconee River Tales, p. 304.  Quotes from a letter written by an unnamed Putnam county woman to her brother in the Confederate army.

[61] Lenz, The Civil War In Georgia,p. 6.  On May 7, 1864, Sherman’s Federals advanced through Ringgold Gap, Georgia to begin the Atlanta Campaign.

[62] Shelby Foote, The Civil War A Narrative Red River to Appomattox, Vintage Books, a division of Random House, New York,, 1986, p. 643.

[63] Richard J. Lenz, The Civil War In Georgia, p.7

[64] Walters, Oconee River Tales, p. 297.  Bradley was the author of Notes of an Army Chaplain.

[65] Henry King Stanford gave this account. One detachment passed through Stanfordvills in west Putnam County, named for Leven Stanford, his great-great-grandfather.  “My path was to cross Sherman’s 89 years later, in 1953-1956, when my family and I lived in the old Governor’s Mansion, then the official residence of the President of Georgia State College for Women, now Georgia College.  Sherman spent that night in this magnificent building, but the house had been vacated by Gov. Joseph E. Brown.  He had fled with his family and mansion furnishings to Cordele and then to Montezuma.  So Sherman had to sleep on a field cot!”

[66] Walters, Oconee River Tales, p. 13.  Quotation appearing on the historical marker at the entrance to Rock Eagle Effigy Mound located at the 4-H Center in Putnam County, approximately eight miles north of Eatonton.

[67] Tales of Miss Lizzie have been handed down for generations.  Descendants Isabel Lancaster (Clopton) Steiner and her brother, James Stanley Clopton, each related this story to Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton in 1994.  This story also appeared in the December 1995 issue of the Clopton Family Newsletter. When widowed and elderly, Aunt Lizzie made her home with her nephew, Thomas “Boo” Clopton.  Grand nephews, Cuyler, Frank, and Rufus remembered her well.  They say she always ate her meals with a set of pearl handled eating utensils that she kept in a case in her room. As a child, Betty Clopton Feaster spent summers with her Georgia relatives. She remembers Aunt Lizzie wearing on occasion a lovely garment that she called her “centennial skirt.”  She had purchased it in Philadelphia where she and Dr. Godkin went in 1876 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of our country’s birth.

[68] The Eatonton Messenger, 111 North Jefferson Avenue, Eatonton, Georgia, Putnam Printing Company, Inc.  The clipping located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Peggy Charlotte (Schleucher) Clopton, does not include the date of the article.

[69] James Brown Clopton, son of her brother, William Henry Harrison Clopton, was called “Uncle Boss.”  See Of Possums and Land Barons and Wonders of the Sea

[70] His personnel and personnel records, including all reference to him in his wife’s pension application, refer to him as John “H.” Brake, not, John “R” Brake as previously published genealogies have shown.  The wound he received at Fredericksburg was to the left shoulder.  He was promoted to Sergeant on October 16, 1862.  His release papers from Point Lookout prison state he is %’10” in height, a light complexion,  with brown hair and hazel eyes.

[71]Granddaughter Ida (Brake) Crane related the following:  “On November 13, 1991, my brother John Brake, my sister Virginia Stewart, and I went to Americus and placed a stone in Oak Grove Cemetery where my grandfather was buried in an unmarked grave.  We placed it in the plot where Dr. Thomas B. Clopton was buried.  After placing the gravestone we were treated to lunch at the old Windsor Hotel by our cousin, Dr. Henry King Stanford and his wife, Ruth.  They received us into their home with open arms and helped us so much when we went to Americus to research about my grandfather.  He even canceled an appointment with [former President] Jimmy Carter and carried us out to eat!”

[72] He was interviewed in 1994 by Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.  Both he and his sister, Ida (Brake) Crane, are in possession of his Civil War records and many other documents and letters.

[73] Copy of the obituary is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of Thaddeus Lamar Aycock.  For more on the life of John Palmer Clopton, see Fried Chicken, Sweet Lips & Bad Poetry.”