MARY ANN McRAE

Mary Ann McRae was born in 1829 in North Carolina, her father, Daniel, was 47, and her mother, Martha, was 19. She married Hammet J. Craig on September 24, 1848, in Montgomery, North Carolina. They had five children in 13 years. The family removed to Marengo County, Alabama, near Magnolia between the years 1853 and 1856.  Mary Ann died of Yellow Fever as a young mother on September 10, 1861, at the age of 32.  She is buried at Magnolia Cemetery, Magnolia, Alabama.  Her husband, Hammet J. Craig was born in 1827 at Gullege, Anson County, North Carolina.  Hammett served in the Infantry for the cause with the 6th Alabama Regiment as a 1st Lieutenant. After Mary Ann’s death, He married secondly, Laura Virginia Mask and they had two children together. Hammett died on March 31, 1889, in Manatee County, Florida, at the age of 62, and was buried in Mansion Memorial Park, Ellenton, Manatee County, Florida along with two of his daughters Lollie and Ruth.

                                                                LINE OF DESCENT
MARY ANN McRAE    (1829-1861)
+HAMMETT J. CRAIG    (1827-1889)
          ELLA "LOLLIE" CRAIG    (1849-1878)
          WILLIAM HENRY CRAIG    (1851-1853)    DIED YOUNG
          OSCAR CRAIG    (1852-1856)    DIED YOUNG
          HAMMETT J. CRAIG JR.    (1859-1927) 
          +ELLA FRANCES McINNIS    (1872-1958)  
          MARY ANN CRAIG    (1862-          )

Mary Ann Craig

Birth: Jul. 29, 1829

Death: Sep. 10, 1861

 

 

Burial:
Magnolia Cemetery 
Magnolia
Marengo County
Alabama, USA

North Carolina, Index to Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868

Name:Mary Ann McRae

Gender:Female

Spouse:Harnet J Craig

Spouse Gender:Male

Bond Date:24 Sep 1848

Bond #:000084631

Level Info:North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868

ImageNum:005389

County:Montgomery

Record #:01 008

Bondsman:William S Pembe

H J Craig

Birth: unknown

Death: Mar. 31, 1889

 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Laura Virginia Mask Craig (1845 - 1933)*
 
 Children:
  Lollie Craig (1849 - 1878)*
  Ruth Craig (1868 - 1896)*

 

Burial:
Mansion Memorial Park & Funeral Home 
Ellenton
Manatee County
Florida, USA

Alabama, Civil War Soldiers, 1860-1865

Name:Hamet J Craig

Birth Place:USA, North Carolina

Enlistment Date:11 May 1861

Military Branch:Infantry

Regiment or Unit:6th Alabama Regiment

Enlistment Info:1st Lieutenant

Remarks:Commissioned 1861/02/22. Residence: Alabama.

Author:Record roster, commissioned officers Davis Ford, Va 1861/12/25.

Letter from Louise Burns to her parents, Daniel and Martha McRae.  May, 18th, 1859
                   TRANSCRIBED BELOW
1850 United States Federal Census

 

Name:  Harriet I Craig

Age22

Birth Year:  abt 1828

Birthplace:  North Carolina

Home in 1850:  Gulledge, Anson, North Carolina, USA

Family Number:  280

Household Members

Name  Age

Harriet I Craig  22

Mary A Craig  20

Ellen Crai  g1

1880 United States Federal Census

 

Name:  Hammet Craig

Age:  53

Birth Year:  abt 1827

Birthplace:  North Carolina

Home in 1880:  Palmetto, Manatee, Florida

Race:  White

Gender:  Male

Relation to Head of House:  Self

Marital Status:  Married

Spouse's Name:  Laura V. Craig

Father's Birthplace:  South Carolina

Mother's Birthplace:  North Carolina

Occupation:  Farmer

Household Members

Name  Age

Hammet Craig  53

Laura V. Craig  35

Hammet Craig  23

Mary Ann Craig  18

Ruth Craig  12

James W. Craig  9

1860 United States Federal Census

Name:  H J Craig

Age:  32

Birth Year:  abt 1828

Gender:  Male

Race:  White

Birth Place:  North Carolina

Home in 1860:  Township 14 Range 4 East, Marengo, Alabama

Post Office:  Shiloh

Family Number:  281

Household Members

Name  Age

H J Craig  32

Mary A Craig  30

Ella Craig  10

Harment Craig  3

John Williamson  26

1870 United States Federal Census

 

Name:  Hamett J Cruig

Age in 1870:  42

Birth Year:  abt 1828

Birthplace:  North Carolina

Home in 1870:  Hampden, Marengo, Alabama

Race:  White

Gender:  Male

Post Office:  Shiloh

Household Members

Name  Age

Hamett J Cruig  42

Laura Z Cruig  24

Ella Cruig  20

Hamett Cruig  12

Mary A Cruig  8

Ruth Cruig  1

THE CHILDREN
HAMMETT AND MARY ANN McRAE
1.  Ella "Lollie" Craig     (1849-1878)
2.  William Henry Craig     (1851-1853)
3.  Oscar Craig     (1852-1856)
4.  Hammet Craig Jr.     (1859-1927)
5.  Mary Ann Craig     (1862-        )
HAMMETT AND LAURA VIGINIA MASK
1.  Ruth Craig     (1869-1896)
2. James W. Craig     (1871-1954)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBITUARY:   Laura V. Craig Hendry:

FORT MYERS NEWS-PRESS, Aug. 18, 1933--Mrs. Laura ( Craig) Hendry, 88 years old, a resident of Fort Myers for a quarter century, died yesterday at her home on Royal Palm avenue. Mrs. Hendry came to Fort Myers 25 years ago from Arcadia. She had been ill for several years. Funeral services will be held at 10 o'clock this morning at the Methodist Episcopal church, with the Rev. Joseph F. Bell officiating. The body will lie in state at the home during the morning where it may be viewed by friends until shortly before 10 o'clock. The casket will not be opened at the church, it was announced.

 

Burial will be in Ellenton, Fla., beside her first husband and two daughters. The body will be sent to Ellenton immediately after the funeral services here this morning. Her first husband was Hammit Craig, formerly of Bradenton. Mrs. Hendry had been active in the Methodist church until three years ago, when she was forced to relinquish her many efforts because of poor health. The Laura Hendry circle of the Methodist church is named in her honor.

 

Survivors include a son by her first marriage, James Craig of Arcadia; a brother, Tom Mask of Mobile, Ala., a sister, Mrs. Betty Mendenhall of Magnolia, Ala., and a niece, Miss Laura Mendenhall, who lived with Mrs. Hendry here.

 

Mrs. Hendry was the widow of the late "Uncle Marion" Hendry, who died more than 12 years ago. Pallbeareres will be Dr. W. H. Grace, W. P. Franklin, C. J. Stubbs, John Treadwell of Arcadia, Ben P. King and Capt. J. Fred Menge. Honorary pallbhearers will be J. E. Blount, B. C. Foxworth, C. F. Roberts, F. L. Hough, L. Y. Redwind and R. V. Lee. Members of the Laura Hendry circle have been requested to meet at the church at 9:45 this morning and attend the services in a body. The Van Betten funeral home of Arcadia is in charge of arrangements. Nee Mask

OBITUARY:  William Marion Hendry    (Second husband of Laura Virginia Mask Craig)

WILLIAM MARION HENDRY

William Marion Hendry was born on December 12, 1843, in Thomasville, Georgia. He married Laura Virginia Mask in 1889 in Florida. He died on December 24, 1914, in Fort Myers, Florida, at the age of 71.

William M. Hendry, former Clerk of the Circuit Court and one of the best-known men in South Florida, died at his residence on First street in this City last night at 12 o'clock.

 

Mr. Hendry was born Dec. 12, 1842 in Thomas county, Georgia and came to Florida in January 1851, where he resided up to the time of his death. He had been in failing health for some time and his condition recently became serious.  "Uncle Marion," as he was familiarly known, has always been prominent in public affairs and was a member of the State Legislature from Polk county in 1871 and shortly after moving to this county was appointed by Governor Mitchell as clerk of the Circuit Court to fill the un-expired term caused by the death of the incumbent at that time. After filling his vacancy for two years he was elected Clerk for the fall term and succeeded himself three times, making a total of 13 years as Clerk for Lee county. At the expiration of his last term a year ago last January he declined to run and was succeeded by his son, H. A. Hendry, the present Clerk.

 

Mr. Hendry was one of eight children of James E. Hendry and Lydia Carlton Hendry, and was married twice, his first wife being Susan C. Wall, who died May 16, 1899, and his second wife was Mrs. Laura Craig. The children of the first marriage are E. M. Hendry, Mrs. J. W. Frazier, Mrs. H. T. Linebough, W. W. Hendry, H. A. Hendry and Mrs. R. I. G. Travers.

 

There were no children by the second marriage. Deceased was a veteran of the Civil War and served from its beginning to the end and during the latter part of it was a lieutenant. He was a Mason and has always been active in the Methodist church. In fact, it can almost be said that he was a the founder of the Methodist church in Lee county. The funeral will take place at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning from the residence on First street. (Fort Myers Press, 12/24/14)

WILLIAM M. HENRY BIOGRAPHY

W. Marion Hendry, a pioneer settler of Fort Myers, was a Confederate soldier, cattleman, merchant, and clerk of the circuit court of Lee County.

William Marion Hendry was born December 12, 1842, Thomas County, Georgia. He was a son of James Edward Hendry and Lydia (Carlton) Hendry and a grandson of William Hendry and Nancy (McFail) Hendry and John and Nancy Ann (Alderman) Carlton. With his parents in 1851, he moved to Hillsborough County, Florida where they settled twenty-two miles east of Tampa.

During the Civil War, he enlisted in 1863 in Capt. Francis A. Hendry's Company A, Col. Munnerlyn's Battalion, in which he served until transferred to Capt. John Parson's Company, in which he was commissioned a first lieutenant. He also served in Capt. W. W. Wall's Company. In February 1865 he participated in the unsuccessful attempt to capture Fort Myers, which was held by the Union Army. Lt. Hendry was discharged on May 20, 1865.

In Polk County on December 2, 1865, he married Susan C. Wall, born May 16, 1843, daughter of Judge Perry Green and Nancy (Hunter) Wall of Tampa. They first made their home in Fort Meade where Marion was a cattleman. In 1871-72, Marion represented Polk County in the Florida House of Representatives.

In the summer of 1873, they moved to Fort Myers, Florida where the lived at present-day First and Hendry streets. With his brother-in-law, Major Aaron T. Frierson, as his partner, Marion in 1875 opened a general store on the northeast corner of First and Hendry streets. He also continued as a stockman. He aided much in shaping the political complexion of Fort Myers and Lee County. On August 22, 1876, he was appointed the first postmaster of Myers. (Washington postal officials refused to accept the town as Fort Myers as there was already a Fort Myer, Va. On November 9, 1901, Washington finally accepted Fort Myers as the town's official postal name.) He served until August 2, 1879 and kept the postoffice in his store. Elected as a councilman on August 12, 1885 when Fort Myers was incorporated, he was one of the ten founding fathers of Fort Myers. In 1887 he was again elected to the Town Council. In 1894 he was appointed by Governor Mitchell as Clerk of the Circuit Court of Lee County to fill the unexpired term of the incumbent who had died. He was elected in 1896 as Clerk and was re-elected subsequently for three four-year terms. Upon the expiration of his last term in January 1913, he retired and was succeeded in office by his son, Henry A. Hendry.

W. Marion Hendry was a Mason and member of the Methodist Church, in which he served many years as a steward and member of the Board of Trustees. In 1882, he and his brother and sister-in-law, Francis A. and Ardeline Hendry, gave the property on First Street and Royal Palm Avenue upon which the sanctuary of the First Methodist Church of Fort Myers was built. When a new church was proposed, Marion, acting for the church, purchased a 132-foot lot, which adjoined the church. Construction was begun that winter, and on November 22, 1903 services were performed by Rev. S. W. Lawler.

Susan Wall Hendry died May 16, 1899 and was buried in the Frierson-Hendry Cemetery, Fort Myers. Her brother-in-law, George W. Hendry, had said of her: "She was of a jovial disposition, always viewing life from the bright side, a splendid companion, a true helpmate, a member of the church; she filled her station in life faithfully."

On May 22, 1905 in DeSoto County, Florida, W. Marion Hendry married (2) Mrs. Laura V. Craig, born 1845.

On July 22, 1907, Wm. M. Hendry applied for a Confederate pension. Supporting his claim were Francis A. Hendry and Frank C. Alderman. His pension was approved with pay from August 8, 1907 at the rate of $100 per annum.

William Marion Hendry died December 23, 1914 at his home on First Street in Fort Myers and was buried in the Frierson- Hendry Cemetery. He was recognized as one of Lee County's most worthy citizens, esteemed for his temperate, moral and religious walk in life, and square dealings with his fellow man.

On December 4, 1916, Mrs. Laura V. Hendry applied for a Confederate pension as the widow of W. M. Hendry. James E. Foxworthy and Jehu J. Blount attested to her application. Her claim was approved as pensioner no. 1935 on March 6, 1917 for $150 per annum, with pay from December 5, 1916. Laura V. Hendry's date of death hasn't been learned.

Issue of W. Marion and Susan C. (Wall) Hendry:

1. Samuel Hendry, born September 1866; died in childhood.
2. Edward Marion Hendry, born January 23, 1868; never married.
3. Mary Susan Hendry, born August 2, 1874; died June 6, 1933, Tampa, Fla.; married on May 31, 1894 Henry T. Linebaugh.
4. Henry Asbury Hendry, born August 9, 1876; died on July 28, 1941; married on August 6, 1899 Mrs. Edna Langford Henderson.
5. William Wall Hendry, born August 10, 1878; married Bessie Knight.
6. Julia A. Hendry, born May 17, 1880; married on April 28, 1897 R. Ingram O. Travers.
7. Lydia Cornelia Hendry, born July 10, 1881; married Joseph W. Frazier.

This is adapapted from my John and William Sons of Robert Hendry.

References: George W. Hendry, Family Record of Lydia Moody Nee Hendry Nee Carlton, 1900; Milton D. Wilson, Pioneer Families of Polk County and South Florida, Polk County Historical Commission, 1944; CSA pension applications of W. M. Hendry and Laura V. Hendry, Florida Archives, Tallahassee; Karl Grismer, The Story of Fort Myers, 1949; 1981 Captain Francis Asbury Hendry reunion program. This profile was published in South Florida Pioneers 49/50 (July/Oct. 1986). 

WILLIAM MARION HENDRY - 2ND HUSBAND OF LAURA  V. MASK
L-R: George Washington Hendry, brother to Captain Hendry and County Judge; Mary Jane Hendry Blount, sister of Captain Hendry; William Marion Hendry, brother to Captain Hendry and first postmaster of "Myers" as well as a state representative from Polk County and a clerk of the circuit court of Lee County; James Edward Hendry, Jr.; James Edward Hendry, Sr., son of Captain Hendry and first Lee County treasurer; Captain Francis Asbury Hendry, "Cattle King of South Florida" - He was a state senator, served as one of the first Lee County commissioners and was a state representative for Lee County from 1893 to 1904. In the background is a 1909 Cadillac.

Judge Perry Green Wall's daughter, Susan Catherine Wall b. 1843, marriedWilliam Marion Hendry.  Their son, Edward M. Hendry b. 1868, was the president of the Hendry & Knight Company, an insurance and real estate company largely responsible for the development of the docks at Tampa's harbor, Seddon Island.

At left, Wm. Marion Hendry and wife Catherine Wall Hendry, with their children and servant, ca. 1886.

Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865

Name: William Marion Hendry

Residence:  Ichepuckesassa, Florida

Age at Enlistment:  19

Enlistment Date:  1 Jan 1862

Rank at enlistment:  Private

Enlistment Place: Ichepuckesassa, Florida

State Served:  Florida

Survived the War?:  Yes

Service Record:  Promoted to Full 3rd Lieutenant on 26 May 1862.Enlisted in Company K, Florida 1st Cavalry Regiment on 01 Jan 1862.Mustered out on 15 Feb 1863.

Birth Date:  12 Dec 1842

Death Date:  23 Dec 1914

Sources:Soldiers of Florida in the ...Civil War...Biographical Rosters of Florida's Soldiers 1861-1865

Judge Perry Green Wall, Susan Wall's father, was one of the movers                          and shakers of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

Laura Virginia Mask Craig

Birth: Jun. 21, 1845

Death: Aug. 17, 1933

 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  H J Craig (____ - 1889)
  William Marion Hendry (1842 - 1914)*
 
*Calculated relationship

 

Burial:
Mansion Memorial Park & Funeral Home 
Ellenton
Manatee County
Florida, USA

Hammett J. Craig Married Secondly:

Laura Virginia Mask was born on June 21, 1845, in North Carolina, her father, Philip, was 18, and her mother, Frances, was 21. She married Hammet J. Craig on November 13, 1867 in Marengo County, Alabama and they had two children together. She then married William Marion Hendry in 1889 in Florida. She died on August 17, 1933, in Fort Myers, Florida, at the age of 88, and was buried in Ellenton, Manatee County, Florida at Mansion Memorial Park.  Her grave stone shows her name as Craig as opposed to her new married name of Hendry.

THE CHILDREN
HAMMETT AND MARY ANN McRAE
1.  Ella "Lollie" Craig     (1849-1878)
2.  William Henry Craig     (1851-1853)
3.  Oscar Craig     (1852-1856)
4.  Hammet Craig Jr.     (1859-1927)
5.  Mary Ann Craig     (1862-        )
HAMMETT AND LAURA VIGINIA MASK
6.  Ruth Craig     (1869-1896)
7.  James W. Craig     (1871-1954)
1.  ELLA "LOLLIE" CRAIG
Ella "Lollie" Craig was born in 1849 in North Carolina, her father, Hammet, was 22, and her mother, Mary, was 20. She died on July 5, 1878, in Manatee County, Florida, at the age of 29, and was buried in Mansion Memorial Park, Ellenton, Florida, sharing a grave marker with her father.  She seemed to have never been married.

Lollie Craig

Birth: 1849
North Carolina, USA

Death: Jul. 5, 1878

 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  H J Craig (____ - 1889)
 
 Sibling:
  Lollie Craig (1849 - 1878)
  Ruth Craig (1868 - 1896)*
 
*Calculated relationship

 

Burial:
Mansion Memorial Park & Funeral Home 
Ellenton
Manatee County
Florida, USA

2.  WILLIAM HENRY CRAIG

William Henry Craig was born on June 8, 1851, in Gulllege, Anson County, North Carolina, his father, Hammet, was 24 and his mother, Mary, was 22. He died as a child on July 21, 1853 when he was but a little over two years old and is buried at Old Hebron Methodist Church Cemetery in Mangum, Richmond County, North Carolina.     

William Henry Craig

Birth: unknown

Death: Jul. 1, 1851
Mangum
Richmond County
North Carolina, USA

Burial:
Old Hebron Methodist Church Cemetery 
Mangum
Richmond County
North Carolina, USA

3.  OSCAR CRAIG
 Oscar Craig was born on September 2, 1852, in North Carolina, his father, Hammet, was 25 and his mother, Mary, was 23. He died as a child not quite four years old on June 2, 1856, in Magnolia, Alabama, and was buried at Magnolia Cemetery Marengo County, Alabama.     

Oscar Craig

Birth: Sep. 2, 1852

Death: Jan. 2, 1856

Burial:
Magnolia Cemetery 
Magnolia
Marengo County
Alabama, USA

4. HAMET J. CRAIG Jr.

Hamet Craig  Jr. was born on June 25, 1859, in Marengo County, Alabama, his father, Hammet, was 32 and his mother, Mary, was 30. He married Ella Francis McInnis, the daughter of Alexander Calvin McInnis and Sarah Frances Doggert, on December 29, 1897, in Conecuh County, Alabama. Prior to 1880 the couple had moved to Palmetto, Manatee County, Florida.  By 1900 they had moved back to Alabama where the stayed for a while before moving to Mississippi where he was a former.  Hamet and ella finally ended up in Atmore, Alabama..  He died on June 6, 1927, in Atmore, Escambia County, Alabama, at the age of 67, and was buried  in Atmore at Oak Hill Cemetery.  Ella Francis McInnis was born on April 20, 1872 the daughter of Alexander Calvin McInnis and Sarah Frances Doggert. She died on May 2, 1958, in Mobile, Alabama, at the age of 86, and was buried in Atmore, Alabama next to her husband.  There are no children mentioned.

Alabama, Select Marriages, 1816-1942

Name:Harnet Craig

Gender:Male

Marriage Date:29 Dec 1897

Marriage Place:Bellville, Conecuh, Alabama

Spouse:Ella F Mcinnis

FHL Film Number:1631605

Reference ID:109

Hamet Craig

Birth: Jun. 26, 1857

Death: Jun. 6, 1927

 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Ella Francis Craig (1872 - 1958)

 

Burial:
Oak Hill Cemetery 
Atmore
Escambia County
Alabama, USA

Ella Francis Craig

Birth: Apr. 20, 1872

Death: May 2, 1958

 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Hamet Craig (1857 - 1927)*
 

Burial:
Oak Hill Cemetery 
Atmore
Escambia County
Alabama, USA

5.  MARY ANN CRAIG

 Mary Ann Craig was born in 1862 in Alabama, her father, Hammet, was 35, and her mother, Mary, was 33.  She could have possibly been married to a Mr. Ferell.  No further information.

Hammett married secondly, Laura Virginia Mask
Two Children by Hammet and Laura :

First Child Of Hammet and Laura:

 

Ruth Craig was born in 1869 in Marengo County, Alabama, her father, Hammet, was 42, and her mother, Laura, was 24. She died on June 2, 1896, in Ellenton, Manatee County, Florida, at the age of 27, and was buried at Mansion Memorial Park, Ellenton, Florida.  She appears to have never married.

Ruth Craig

Birth: 1868
Alabama, USA

Death: Jun. 2, 1896

 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  H J Craig (____ - 1889)
 
 Sibling:
  Lollie Craig (1849 - 1878)*
  Ruth Craig (1868 - 1896)
 
Burial:
Mansion Memorial Park & Funeral Home 
Ellenton
Manatee County
Florida, USA

Second Child Of Hammet and Laura::

James W. Craig was born in 1871 in Palmetto, Florida, his father, Hammet, was 44 and his mother, Laura, was 26. James died in 1954 in Arcadia, De Soto, County, Florida,  and was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery next to his wife there in Arcadia.  In 1899 in Arcadia,   James married Alice Ruth _____, who was born on July 11, 1881. Ruth  died on September 30, 1941, at the age of 60.

James W Craig

Birth: 1871

Death: 1954

 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Alice Ruth Craig (1881 - 1941)*
 
*Calculated relationship

 

Burial:
Oak Ridge Cemetery 
Arcadia
DeSoto County
Florida, USA
Plot: Unit 2, block A, lot 16, space 4

 
 

Alice Ruth Craig

Birth: Jul. 11, 1881

Death: Sep. 30, 1941

 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  James W Craig (1871 - 1954)

 

Burial:
Oak Ridge Cemetery 
Arcadia
DeSoto County
Florida, USA
Plot: Unit 2, block A, lot 16, space 3

 

 

Phillip Mask, the father of Laura Virginia Mask
Phillip Mask house, near Magnolia, Marego
County, Alabama
Philip P. Mask was born in 1827 in North Carolina, his father, Dudley, was 47 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 33. He married Frances T. McRae, the daughter of Capt. Duncan McRae and Frances Ledbetter of Montgomery County, North Carolina. About 1851 Philip and family removed from Anson County, North Carolina  to Magnolia, Marengo County, Alabama. They had five children together. After her death about 1858, He then married Mary Frances "Fannie" Bennett, the daughter of Samuel Legrande Bennett and Martha Frances Woolley  on February 8, 1859 in Marengo, County, Alabama.  They had one daughter together. He died in 1916 in Magnolia, Alabama, having lived a long life of 89 years.
U.S.\u002C Civil War Prisoner of War Records\u002C 1861-1865

 

Name:  P Mask

Side:  Confederate

RollM598_3

Roll Title:  Selected Records of the War Department Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865

U.S. Civil War Soldiers\u002C 1861-1865

Name:  Phil Mask

Side:  Confederate

Regiment State/OriginAlabama

Regiment:  21st Regiment, Alabama Infantry

Company:  C

Rank In:  Private

Rank Out:  Private

Alternate Name:  P./Mask

Film Number:  M374 roll 28

Other Records:  21st Regiment, Alabama Infantry

PHILLIP MASK

Excerpted from “Alabama, One Big Front Porch”

 by Kathryn Tucker  Windham

pages 93 through 98

 

     “In those courthouse towns- and others like them there are family stories of those war years, stories of plain people- not wealthy plantation owners or dashing cavalry officers- who fought with valor and stubbornness for a cause their minds rejected but their hearts understood.

 

     Philip mask was one of those people, not rich or important but a man who did what he  believed in his heart was right. The story, actually, is more about Philip Mask’s son, Walter, who took care of the family while his father went off to fight for the Confederacy.

 

     Philip Mask, a North Carolinian, migrated to Marengo County in the 1840s and settled in the little community of Magnolia. He was not a young man when the war began- he was married and had several children- and he could possibly have escaped military service, but Philip Mask loved his Southland with a deep love, and he chose to go and join in her defense.

 

     Before he left for military service, Mask settled his family in a new house he had built for them, a big two-story house on a sloping hill. The house was built of heart pine cut on his own land, and the walls were plastered by the finest craftsmen he could find. There are six fire- places to warm the big rooms, and each of the fireplaces had a handmade mantle cut to fit its dimensions.

 

     There is a double verandah with wide porches upstairs and down providing a splendid place for rocking- if there was ever a time for that luxury.

 

     But the glory of the house was the windows. Mask had long admired the graceful sidelights around the doors of fine southern houses, and it came to him that he would like to have the same kinds of sidelights around the windows of his house. He talked about the idea with Mr. Hall, the man who was in charge of building the house, and Mr. Hall agreed that the sidelights around the windows would indeed be a fine addition.

 

     So the windows across the from the house were flanked with panels of clear glass, and the sun shining through them and patterns of light darting across the white flooring in the big rooms.

 

     It wasn’t long after windows were put in that Philip mask left his family and his new home and went off to join the Confederate Army. His wife may have wept in secret, but she did not let him see her cry and she did not beg him to stay; she knew he was doing what he felt in his heart he had to do. She and the children bade him a dignified farewell.

 

     “Walter can manage things while I am gone,” Mask said, placing his hands on the shoulder of his oldest son. “ He’s nearly 15 now, nearly grown. He’ll know what to do.”

 

     Mask tighten his grip on the boy’s thin shoulder, held it so tightly that even after his father had turned away and disappeared from sight Walter could still feel the touch of his strong fingers.

 

     So Walter tried to manage. Months passed, and times got hard, and they all missed their fat- her, and sometimes Walter didn’t know what he should do. When weariness and discouragement set in and when the burden of managing seemed more than a 15-year-old could bear, Walter felt again the touch of his father’s hand on the shoulder and heard him say, “Walter will manage.”  And he did. Somehow.

 

     Then came word that Philip Mask had been captured by the Yankees and was being held at Ship Island off the Mississippi coast. Walter and his mother  had heard stories of the privations prisoners suffered at Ship Island. It was not that their captors were cruel men: it was just that there was not enough food or medicine or clothing or even fresh water for the prisoners confined on that little island.

 

     “Walter,” his mother said one day,” you must go see about your father. You must take   him some clean clothes and some food. You can ride the horse and go visit him. He will want to know how we are managing.”

 

     Walter didn’t protest though he did wonder how he would find his way to Ship Island, Mississippi, from Magnolia, Marengo County, Alabama, and he wondered what he would say to any Yankee patrols that might stop them, and he wondered how his mother and other children would manage while he was gone. He was afraid, too, though he tried to push the fear out of his mind.

 

    Early one morning Walter rode away toward Ship Island with a bundle of clothing and some food (there was honey from the bee-tree, some dried fruit, tea cakes, a sack of meal, and such) for his father.

 

     It was a lonely, hard journey for a 15-year-old farm boy, and Walter could not have made it without help from folks he met along the way and without thinking hard about the touch of his father’s hand on the shoulder that day so long ago.

 

     Father and son had a happy reunion, there on Ship Island, and Walter tried to tell his father everything that had happened since he had been gone.  He even told him how the baby reached out to catch the sunbeams that skittered through the sidelights of the windows. When he had finished talking, his father put his hand on Walter’s shoulder and said, “I knew you could manage.”

 

     When the visit ended and it came time for Walter to leave, he made a terrible discovery: the Yankees had commandeered his horse.

 

     Walter reported the theft to the authorities, but they laughed at him. It was no concern of theirs, they told him, how he would get home, and they certainly did not care about that the missing horses was the only one the family had and was needed on a Rebel farm in Magnolia, Alabama. Some of the blue-clad men found the name Magnolia and the way Walter said it hilariously funny, and they kept asking Walter where he lived so that he would have to repeat it.

 

     Maybe that humiliation is what made Walter decide to do what he did. He knew it was wrong to steal, and he had never in his whole life taken anything that did not belong to him, but he had to have a way to get back home, and he had to have a critter of some kind. His family could not manage without him, and he could not manage without a horse or mule.

 

     So when night came, Walter stole a mule, a United States Army mule. A combination of fear and guilt made Walter miserable, but as soon as he led the mule into the welcome darkness and away from the sight and hearing of Yankee soldiers, he leapt on the animal’s back and headed toward Magnolia Alabama.

 

     It was after dark, days later, that the boy and the mule reached home. As a rounded the familiar curve at the foot of the hill, Walter saw the big house and he shouted, “AAAeeow!” A sort of plantation holler, and in a minute his mother came out on the front porch with a lamp. Walter slid from the mule and ran toward the blessed circle of light.

 

     “Father is all right!  He’s all right!”  Walter called.

 

     When he got to that porch, Walter added, “Father sends his love. He was glad to get the things. And he says not to worry. He said he’ll be home soon.”  Then he paused.

 

     “Mama,” he said.  “I reckon I’ve done a bad thing. I stole a mule. A Yankee mule. But I had to. The soldiers took my horse. I had to have a critter to ride back home, and we had to have one on the farm, and I didn’t know how else to manage. So I took one of the Yankee mules. I know is wrong, but…..”

 

     “You managed fine, son,” his mother said.  “You manage just fine.”  She gripped his shoulder just the way his father had done. And then she hugged him.

Detail from above: