BIOGRAPHY OF PRIVATE OBEDIAH JOSEPH SYFRETT
Captain James F. Izlar’s Company (Edisto Rifles),
Co. G, 25th Regiment South Carolina Volunteers
Born February 16, 1846, Died February 19, 1925
Obediah Joseph Syfrett born Feb 16, 1846 was the great grandson of German immigrants who first came to America in 1752. These new Americans received large land grants in return for clearing 3 acres a year for every 100 acres of land to settle the frontier area along the Edisto River near Orangeburg, South Carolina to provide a buffer zone between the Indians and the Charleston port area. These Swiss and German immigrants were very desirable to the newly formed government of South Carolina. They were hard working, industrious, very skilled in their trades and sturdy enough for frontier life.
Obediah’s father, Allen Alexander Syfrett b.1810, son of Frederick Syfrett b.1783 and Elizabeth Dukes settled in the river area near Rowesville, Orangeburg County, South Carolina. Alexander married Harriet Goodwin who was also born in South Carolina. They had a family of 9 children all born at Rowesville. Alexander died suddenly in 1857 at Bull Swamp, South Carolina and his brother Abraham Hazelwood Syfrett was killed in the War a few years later.
Obediah’s brothers Andrew Jackson and Cebron Wade were both Confederate Veterans enlisting 22 Aug 1861 and were still serving in 1864. Other siblings were John Newton Calhoun, Jasper Alexander, Harriet Margaret, Rachel Martha, Mary M. and Janie.
After the War Between the States was over, Obediah, Jasper, and Cebron brought their wives to Texas to be near their sister Janie who had married Josh King and was living near Marquez They all walked the still dangerous route to Texas from South Carolina with bandits and Indian problems along the way.
Obediah Joseph Syfrett was an intelligent, stern, hard working businessman and accumulated a lot of land, cattle and other property. If you knew him, you would never suspect that he was a man of means as he always wore clothes made of duck which is a coarse, rough cloth. He wore a mustache, always rode a roan mule and his curly hair stuck out of a hole in his straw hat making him quite a colorful character.
In 1865 Obediah married Mary Frances Scott who was born in South Carolina. Their first child was born 16 years later. They must have wanted a boy because they named her Luther Elizabeth or because of their Lutheran German heritage.
Luther married James Marion Winn, grandson of Whited Wilkes Winn and their children were daughters Melissa, who died as an infant, Eula Mae Winn who married Lee Copeland and Obie Syfrett Winn who married Bernard Arleigh Haynie.
Luther died suddenly from complications with her fourth pregnancy. Obie and Eula Mae lived with their grandparents Obediah and Mollie Scott after their mother had died. Their father James Marion Winn remarried and had four more children.
- J. Syfrett’s official Confederate military service record is as follows:
April 15, 1862 O. J. Syfrett enlisted in the Confederate Army. Captain John V. Glover took his enlistment in Orangeburg, South Carolina. O. J. enlisted for a period of three years, or for the duration of the war.
He served in Captain James F. Izlar’s Company (called the Edisto Rifles), 25th Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, as a private in Company G. Company G was designated as Captain Izlar’s Company on July 22, 1862.
November and December 1862 Muster Rolls show he was present but sick.
August 20 to September 6, 1863, O.J. appeared on a list of killed, wounded, or missing for a slight concussion obtained while fighting at Morris Island, South Carolina.
Spring 1864, the regiment moved to Virginia.
May 15, 1864, he was wounded at Drewry’s Bluff. He was sent to the Jackson Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. The Jackson Hospital reported in O.J.’s service record that his injury was from a U.S. Minnie ball to his Left hip.
September 19, 1864, Private Syfrett returned to duty.
January 15, 1865, during the battle at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, Private Syfrett was captured.
January 30, 1865 records show that he was received at Elmira, New York’s Prisoner of War Camp. He was imprisoned there until June 23, 1865, when he took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and was released from service.
The 25th South Carolina Infantry Regiment (also called Eutaw Regiment) was organized and mustered into service in July 1862. It was formed with men of the 11th Battalion who were from Charleston and the middle region of the state. It served in the Charleston area assigned to the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and in September 1863, it was placed in General Hagood’s Brigade.
During the spring of 1864, when the unit moved to Virginia, they fought at Drewry’s Bluff and Cold Harbor.
On May 6-9 1864 after the siege of Petersburg south and north of the James River in the North Carolina Campaign it reported 47 casualties
The regiment lost 4 killed and 14 wounded at Secessionville.
On Morris Island from July 10 to September 6, 1863 there were 16 killed, 124 wounded and 3 missing.. At this time, it contained 36 officers and 491 men.
In the fight at the Weldon Railroad, there were 2 killed, 29 wounded, and 70 missing.
At Fort Fisher, all the men present were captured, and the few who later served in the regiment surrendered in April 1865. The field officers were Colonel Charles H. Simonton, Lieutenant Colonel John G. Pressley, and Major John V. Glover.
O.J. Syfrett Biography by Fonsein Haynie Gresham (Great-grand daughter of O. J. Syfrett)
The Book of Syfretts by Harold Syfrett
National Archives, Confederate Military service record
National Park Service, www.civilwar.nps.gov/
Compiled by Charles Marc Robinson, Great-Great-Great grandson of O. J. Syfrett.