Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Lineage of John Booth of Indiana and Harrison County, West Virginia

I have been working on my Booth family for some 15 years and I have been fortunate to have come across many generous distant cousins that have shared what they have found. I know I have tried to thank each and every one of them, but I just want to put it in writing "Thanks so much to my Booth cousins." It's fortunate to have an historical figure in the family, Captain James Booth, because so many records and historical accounts have been left about him. Unfortunately though, it's been a little harder to find anything on his children and wife. When I posted on Captain James Booth's letter of 1777 on the August 2013 post that was my small part that I could share what I had found at the time.

My 4th great grandfather, John Booth was born about 1768, although there are other dates that have been given. He was the son of Captain James Booth and Nancy Stalnaker. Captain James Booth was killed by Indians in 1778. His story can be found in the book, History of Harrison County, West Virginia from the Early Days of Northwestern Virginia to the Present, Morgantown, WV: Acme Publishing Co, 1910, page 71. This book can now be seen on Google books. On page 20-21: "In the year 1771 Captain James Booth and John Thomas settled on Booth's Creek on land that was afterwards owned by the Martin family and others shortly followed. Captain Booth was afterwards killed by the Indians and his loss was severely felt by the inhabitants in his neighbor-hood." On page 35: "John Booth, heir of James Booth, in the forks of the Monongahela River, to include his settlement made in 1771." And these entries go on and on in this book as well as other books that we have come across detailing the history of this area.

John and James went to Shelby County, Kentucky sometime after the death of their father. Sarah Booth married Evan Thomas and they went to Jennings County, Indiana. Bathsheba Booth married Alexander McClelland and they settled in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Little is known of their mother. There supposedly were other older children of Captain James Booth, but little documentation can be found on them. When John went to Kentucky he married Sarah Kinder, the daughter of Peter Kinder and Dolly See. They finally settled in Jefferson County, Indiana where John applied for a pension for service in the Revolutionary War but was rejected. All of these documents along with the Court case back in Loudoun County, Virginia involving his grandfather, Robert Booth, gives us good genealogical material. As I make each following post I will be putting these documents on the blog for all Booth descendants to share.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

The Civil War Journal of John M. Laurie, Part 2

This is a continuation of John Laurie's Journal.

Near Chapmanville, May 3rd
Today we passed along the old route and are now near the scene of the first engagement our Regt. had with the Rebles Sept. 26th 1861. I hope we may be as successful on this expedition.

Logan Court House, May 4th
Our Brigade camped on an island in the Wyandotte River. This evening some of the boys found a dead Rebel Lieut. Half burried in the sand near the Ford. The citizens say that he was shot by our men while escaping across the river sometime last March. He had on a blue overcoat. One fellow took his revolver, another took his commission and about fifty dollar Reble script. Another robber of the dead, meaner than the others, took a ring off the dead man’s finger. I don’t mind the taking of the revolver, but I say God Damn the man that searches the dead. He is worse than the dogs and wolfes that eat them. We haven’t got a “hard tack” among us and will have to draw rations and forage before we leave.

Near Wyoming Court House, May 5th
Left Logan about noon after drawing rations and forage. We have had a very fatiguing march over mountains arriving here about 11 oclock tonight.

Foot of Indian Ridge, May 6th
The 5th and 7th Va. Cav. Left us at Wyoming C.H. to join the infantry under Genl. Crook. We are camped on Tug River. Some say this is Indian Ridge and others say the Backbone Mountains. We have been climbing mountains all day. Very hard on both men and horses. Arrived here about nine oclock this evening.

Abbs Valley, May 7th
Arrived here this afternoon. Surprised and captured the pickets without any alarm and succeeded in capturing a company of forty-five men and officers belonging to the 8th Reble Cavalry. This is the same place where we captured a company of Infantry when going to Wytheville with Toland. The roads that we came over today had been blockaded last July to keep us from retreating on them. The blockade had not been cut out yet. We went around them. It seems that we are again bound for Whytheville.

Near Jeffersonville, May 8th
We were in line of battle at daylight this morning expecting the Rebs to attack us. They were reported to be fifteen hundred strong and about five miles from us. While we were in line our old Chaplain preached a short sermon and had prayers. We left camp about six oclock and about ten oclock my Regt. Was dismounted and we began with the enemy. We drove them about three miles keeping up a desultory fire. We could do but little as we were skirmishing with Cavalry. And they would retreat after emptying their carbines and revolvers. Some wouldn’t take time to do even that. A squadron of the 2nd Va. Cav. Charged them at last and scattered them. My Regt. Had one killed and two wounded. I hear that the first Va. Cav. Had two killed wile on reconnaissance towards Jeffersonville, the County Seat of Fayewell County. We camped within three miles of the place.

Rocky Gap, May 9th
We left the vicinity of Jeffersonville last night about eleven oclock. Rode allnight and today on the Princeton Road. When about eight miles from the Cross Roads we captured a Reble train of five or six wagons, an Army Forge and traps. An old Darky showed our boys a cave where there was about two thousand dollars worth of Q.M. stores. We destroyed both train and stores. After getting to the Cross Roads, we took the road to the right and crossed East River Mountain. Cross Roads is the place where our Co. wagon was captured by the Rebs in May 1862. All of our knapsacks and Co. property was lost. We had some consolation by capturing the Staff wagons of the 51st Va. Reble Inf. Col. Pendleton lost all that he had in the way of traps. We are now camped on the Wytheville Road 30 miles from that place. The citizens say that Genl Crook’s Division of Infantry passed here yesterday evening and is now on the March for Dublin Station 20 miles from Wytheville on the railroad. I hear that a Lieut. And fifteen men belonging to the 14th Penn. Cav. Were captured while on picket last night. Also, that the enemy was in force at Jeffersonville where we left. Now it appears that the fastest wins the prize as it is as near to Wytheville this way as by way of Jeffersonville. Neither Averill or Duffie make as rapid movements as Jack Toland made.

On Guard at Ferry Over New River, May 11th
Well, we have got a thrashing. Thank the God of Battles that so many got away with their “Nappers” myself included in the lucky number. Now for a detail of what happened yesterday. Left Rocky Gap early yesterday morning. The first squadron of the 34th Reg. O.V.M. composed of Co’s E, F, and I having the advance for the first part of the day. In the afternoon we were relieved by a squadron of the 3rd Va. Cav. And our squadron was ordered to support them. We drove in the pickets at Wytheville about three oclock in the afternoon we followed them on the charge untill we run into a complete trap. The road was blockaded where it ran through a gap between two steep hills or mountains, the ridges forming an acute angle with the road. The tops or crests of the ridges were filled with the enemy and as we galloped round a sharp turn in the road. The Rebs pitched into us with a will. The foremost ranks of horses and men down at the first fire and those immediately behind falling on them completely blocked up the road. Added to this two pieces of artillery began sending in their compliments in shape of grape and cannister. Thank god they were very poor gunners.
(This ends Memorandum No. 1 in his Journal entries)

Monday, February 08, 2016

The Civil War Journal of John M. Laurie - Part 1

John M. Laurie an ordinary citizen that was put in extraordinary circumstances. He was born about 1839 in Pennsylvania. As with many of our immigrants from Ohio he arrived here in Brown County after the Civil War. John served in the Ohio Volunteers - Sept 28, 1861 to Oct. 12, 1864 Company F 34th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteers Infantry - Chapmanville, West Virginia. From his obituary it says that he served three years in the Civil War, marched with Sherman from Atlanta to the sea, and for a number of months endured horrors as a prisoner of war at Libby and Belle Isle. He was discharged at Columbus, Ohio.
After his service, he moved to Booneville, Missouri. John had a land-grant application for 40 acres in Booneville, Missouri dated 8 July 1885. Signed by Rutherford B. Hayes, President; William H. Crook, Secretary. He moved his family to Indiana about 1875 and resided at RR1, Mt. Liberty, Indiana near the Brown and Bartholomew county line.

John Laurie married Elizabeth Little in Missouri in 1867 and they had six children: Albert “Bert”, Maud, Frank, Clyde, Mary, and Annie. Some of you may remember Bert Laurie who was the animal caretaker at the Brown County State Park. Albert Laurie was the recipient of the following document written by his father. Known as “Bert” Laurie, he farmed and lived on Spearsville Road outside of Beanblossom for many years until his death in 1962.
The following document was given to his son, Paul, and after his death, since there are no children, his wife, Juanita M. (Pat) Laurie is in possession of the original document detailing a fascinating historical report about the Civil War and the engagements that John Laurie encountered. Since her father-in-law, Bert Laurie, was well-known in Brown County, she wanted to make a gift of this document to the Brown County Historical Society. Please note, the memoranda is copied verbatim (misspellings, etc.) as taken from the original hand-written copy. This is a transcription of his journal kept while on the march by John M. Laurie.


Camp Piatt, May 1, 1864
We left Camp Toland this morning about ten o’clock and arrived here about eight o’clock. Altho the distance between here and Charleston is but ten miles. Yet we, that is Duffies Brigade, had to be ferried over the river. A tedious operation lasting over four hours. Whiskey seems to be very plenty and not a few of the boys are mighty inebriated. We are in the first Brigade composed of the 2nd & 3rd Virginia Cavalry and 34th O.V., General Duffie commanding.

Peytona, May 2nd
Arrived here in good time. Had supper cooked before dark. I was one of a detail to remain at Piatt and get cartridges. The Q.M. wouldn’t let us have them. We got soaking wet while waiting for them. Then started to rejoin our Regt., and didn’t catch up untill well within two miles of this place. The Column didn’t leave Piatt untill late in the day and they rode fast to make up lost time. Rained last night, all day today and drizzling rain now. Very comfortable, it is.
Near Chapmanville, May 3rd
Today we passed along the old route and are now near the scene of the first engagement our Regt. had with the Rebles Sept. 26th 1861. I hope we may be as successful on this expedition.
(John M. Laurie’s journals go on for many more pages. More to come in later blogs.)