Rank: Sergeant

Company: E

Unit Served: 6th Alabama Calvalry

Cemetery and Address: Judson Baptist Church Cemetery 187 Co Rd 93 Abbeville, AL 36310

8-169. John Martin Boatwright (Edwin7, Edmund6, Williams5, Thomas4, John3, John2, John1) was born 13 Mar 1826 in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, and died 09 Jan 1910 in Henry County, Alabama. He married Eunica Atkinson on 28 Jun 1846 in Henry County, Alabama, the daughter of John Atkinson and Jane Gamble. She was born 30 May 1828 in Henry County, Alabama, and died 30 Sep 1907 in Henry County, Alabama.
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John Martin Boatwright (1826-1910) was born in Chesterfield District, South Carolina on March 13, 1826. He came to Henry County, Alabama in 1845 at the age of 19 with a relative, Mr. Michael Holmes, who was age 18 at the time. They settled near Franklin in the Northeastern part of Henry County. The community where they lived was sometimes called Wesley and sometimes Hilliardsville. At the present time, it is called Screamer. Kyle A. Boatwright, the grandson of John Martin Boatwright, often remarked that his grandfather, whom he called “Old Pap”, came to Henry County as a young man with his cousin, Mr. Holmes. In the Abbeville Times dated September 24, 1886, there is an article giving the account of the death of Mr. Mike or Michael Holmes. The article stated that he (Mike) came to Henry County in 1845 with only $2.50 in his pocket bringing his widowed mother, five sisters, and one brother, Ned, who was killed near Atlanta, Georgia in 1864. Mr. Holmes died on September 20, 1886, at his home in Wesley and is buried in the Judson Cemetery. He was born on July 22, 1827, as shown on his tombstone.

As shown in the Family Record in the Family Bible of John Martin Boatwright and his wife, Eunica Atkinson, they were married on June 28, 1846, by William Gamble. John M. Boatwright was in his 83rd year when he died on January 9, 1910. He spent his entire life in the Judson Community in Henry County, except for the first nineteen years when he lived in South Carolina where he was born, and the time he spent in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He was in the 6th Alabama Cavalry, CSA, Clariton Brigade and was discharged at Vicksburg, Mississippi at the close of the Civil War in April 1865. The circumstances leading to his migration to Henry County, Alabama are not known, whether he was an orphan joining relatives to come to this new place, or whether he was just an adventuresome youth leaving his family and home in South Carolina to seek his fortune on the new frontier.

After their marriage in 1846, John and Eunica established their home in Henry County. They built a house of logs and, as was the custom in those days, it was built in two units. The front house was for living and sleeping and a separate room at the back was for cooking and eating. There was bedroom space in the loft of the front house. The hall separating the two parts of the house was known as the dog run. It was a modest farm home and was built on land they owned located less than a mile from the Judson Church. The Judson Church was established in 1850. Some land was deeded to the Church for the cemetery by John Boatwright. (Deed Book H, p. 453 and 455, Henry County Deed Records).

John Boatwright was a farmer and derived his living from the land. The amount of land he owned and cultivated is not known. Some of his lands must have been homesteaded. He was only twenty years of age when he married and started his family, so his farming operation was not on a large scale like some of his neighbors. The number of slaves he owned is not known, although he must have had a few. There are some black Boatwrights living in Henry County now who are descendants of his slaves. The Henry County Deed Records indicate that he bought 98 acres of land from the Thurman Estate for $1,463 on March 7, 1864 (Deed Book K, p. 716), but this was years later during the Civil War. Source: Boatwright History in Henry County, Alabama by Willie Mae Boatwright Grandberry, daughter of Kyle and Rosa Boatwright.
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The 6th Alabama Cavalry was organized near Pine Level, early in 1863, as part of Brig. Gen’l James H. Clanton’s brigade. Recruits were gathered from Barour, Coffee, Coosa, Henry, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, and Tallapoosa counties. It was first engaged near Pollard with a column of the enemy that moved out from Pensacola. Ordered then to North Alabama, the 6th was concerned in several skirmishes near Decatur, with small loss. During the Atlanta-Dalton campaign, the regiment served for several weeks as part of Brig. Gen’l Samuel W. Ferguson’s and Brig. General Frank C. Armstrong’s brigades, losing quite a number. A portion of the regiment resisted Maj. Gen’l Lovel H. Rousseau at Ten Islands, losing a number killed and captured. Transferred to West Florida, the 6th fought Maj. General Frederick Steele’s column at Bluff Springs, under orders from Col Armstead, and its loss was severe, especially in prisoners. The remnant fought Maj. Gen’l James H. Wilson’s column, and laid down their arms at Gainesville, fewer than 200 men.

Field officers: Col. Charles H. Colvin, Lt. Col. Washington T. Lary (captured at Ten Islands); Major Eliphalet Ariel McWhorter (captured at Ten Islands, Bluff Springs); and Adjutant Joseph A. Robertson.
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Letter from John Martin to cousin Michael Holmes, Henry County Ala August 4th 1861

Mr. Michael Holmes,
Der Cosin I take this opportunity of righting you a few lines to let you know that we are all well at this time and also I saw your Mother and wife last night. They were all well and getting along very well. They are in as good spirits as coed be expected under the exiting circumstances. They are getting along very well with their business. Their corn crop is cut short by the droutt but I think they will make unuff to doo them. The prospects for peas and potatos is the best I ever seen in this country. Mike you have got the sweetest little babe I ever saw. I want you to come home as soon as you can and see it. We will all be glad to see you and here you tell all the ups and downs you and your company has past through since you left Old Henry.

Mike, everything seems to move in smoothly in this country as yet. Both Negros and white people have behaved themselves very well up to this time. The war spirit yet prevails in Old Henry yet, Irwin has nearly made his company up. [Irwin’s Invincibles, Co.E,25th Georgia Infantry Regiment, this unit was assigned to the Army of Tennessee CSA] Mr Stokes and Mr Teague is mulling up another in Abbeville. They have some 25 or 30 in it at this time. Mike I want you to rite to me as soon as you get the chance.

I — be glad to see you all the connections of all the boys is well at this time so far as I no, health is very good in this country up to this time. Cotton crops is very good tho it has bin almost too wet for it. Mike taking all things in consideration an there will be as much made in Henry as ever has bin urey year since I have bin here tho the drauth cut the corn in some places honte the peas and potatos will make up for that. Mike, rite as soon as you can and give me the news. The letters we git from you all is all the reliable news that we git. There is but very little atention paid to newspapers here now. Perty nere evry paper givs a differant statement in regards to battles that has bin fout. Mike you must excus me for not riting to you before. I have riten to nerly all the boys and intend to rite to the ballance of them as soon as I can.

Mike our election coms off tomorrow and Parrish will be elected by a large majority, it will be a hard pull between Reynolds and Price. George Roweberts will beete wavely bad at peucoles. John is badly busted sertin and not many that cares, more glad than sorry. Mike give my best respects to my South Carolina relations and all the rest of my friends that is in camp with you. Nothing more at present, only Remains your affectinate cosin tell both.  Excuse my mistakes.  John M. Boatwright

John Martin Boatwright came to Henry County with Mike and settled near Wesley. He is buried at Judson Cemetery and his tombstone indicates he was a Sergeant in the 6th Ala. Cavalry, C.S.A. a unit of which Mike was later a member. His Great Granddaughter is Willie Mae Boatwright Grandberry who has assisted greatly in this transcription

Source: Letters from or to Michael and Edward Holmes, C.S.A, 1861- 1865 edited by Gordon W Holmes, Jr. January 1995, Revised August 2000 http://www.rootsweb.com/~alcwroot/6th_alabama_inf/letters/holmes.htm#july6_61

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1850 Census:
Name: John Boatright
Date: October 23, 1850
Age: 24 – birth year: abt 1826
Birthplace: South Carolina
Gender: Male
Home in 1850: Southern District, Henry, Alabama
Occupation: Farmer
Value of Real Estate: $600
Household Members: Name Age
John Boatright 24
Erusa Boatright 26
Adwin W Boatright 3
Hiram Boatright 1
Page: 433 – Roll: M432_6
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August 7, 1860, United States Federal Census
Name: John M Boatright
Age in 1860: 34 – Birth Year: abt 1826
Birthplace: South Carolina
Home in 1860: Hilliardsville, Henry, Alabama
Gender: Male  Post Office: Hilliardville
Value of real estate: $1,200
Household Members: Name Age
John M Boatright 34
Eunisa Boatright 32
Edwin Boatright 13
Hiram G Boatright 11
Drewry Boatright 8
Mary J Boatright 3
Age in 1860: 34
Occupation: Farmer
Roll: M653_11 Page: 112
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August 10, 1870, United States Federal Census
Name: J M Boatwright
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1825
Age in 1870: 45
Birthplace: South Carolina
Home in 1870: Precinct 12, Henry, Alabama
Value of real estate: $960
Post Office: Abbeville
*Household Members: Name Age
J M Boatwright 45
May Boatwright 42
Gilmore Boatwright 21
Mary Boatwright 12
Arcania Boatwright 9
Occupation: Farmer
Roll: M593_19 Page: 433 Image: 322
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1880 Census: Name: John Boatright
Date: June 16, 1880
Age: 54 – Estimated birth year: <1826>
Birthplace: South Carolina
Occupation: Farmer
Relationship to head-of-household: Self
Home in 1880: Hilliardsville, Henry, Alabama
Spouse’s name: Eunice
*Household Members: Name Age
John Boatright 54
Eunice Boatright 52
Gillmor H. Boatright 31
Lsabeth Boatright 15
Arcanna Boatright 18
Roll: T9_16; Family History Film: 1254016; Page: 696A;
Enumeration District: 86; Image: 0073.
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1900 Census:
Name: J M Boatright
Date: June 5, 1900
Home in 1900: Centerville, Henry, Alabama
Age: 74  Estimated birth year: abt 1826
Birthplace: South Carolina
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Spouse’s name: Munsey
Occupation: Farmer
Household Members: Name Age
J M Boatright 74
Mirnicy Boatright 72
Roll: T623 19; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 95.