Saturday, December 17, 2016

1836 Creek War…A Campbell County Connection

In 1836, men from Campbell County answered the Governor William Schley’s call for volunteers to head to South Georgia when various Creek Indian bands began attacks to drive white settlers from their lands. Whole families were killed, mail stages were disrupted, and the town of Roanoke, Georgia was burned to the ground.

The governor initially called for 3500 volunteers from militia groups around the state. Men from Morgan, Putnam, Hancock and Monroe Counties volunteered and saw action including the Battle of Shepherd’s Plantation in Stewart County. Other men from counties such as Coweta, Carroll, Fayette, and DeKalb volunteered, organized, and made preparations to leave.

It appears the men serving with the Fayette Dragoons actually made it to Fort Twigg on the Ocmulgee River on June 14, 1836, while men serving with the Carroll Rangers reached Camp Thomas on July 11, 1836.

At some point, however, the Governor gave an order to stand down. Currently, I have no records that tell me the men from Campbell County actually served away from home. In fact, some of their own words tell me they didn’t.  

The fact that they never left home didn’t stop the people of Campbell County from celebrating their brave volunteers, and in October, 1836, the people of Campbell County gave the group a dinner.  I ran across a newspaper article from the “Federal Union”, a paper published in Milledgeville, dated October 4, 1836 which discusses the dinner and records all of the toasts that were made.

The dinner as well as some historical context regarding the Creek Indian War of 1836 is the subject of my Douglas County Sentinel history column presented in the December 18, 2016 issue.

I decided to post a transcribed copy of the article here along with some biographical information regarding the men since I have space limitations with the Sentinel.

So, why are men from Campbell County important to Douglas County history?  Please remember that prior to 1870 Douglas County was actually a part of Campbell County.  Many of the men discussed in this 1836 article are the patriarchs of many Douglas County families.

Also, it is important to note I have no formal roster of men from the Campbell County Blues of 1836.  Some of the men mentioned in the article are noted as volunteers while others are not.

The article text is presented in italics while the biographical information is presented in regular type.

From the “Federal Union” (Milledgeville), October 4, 1836....

On Saturday, the third instant, the Campbell County Volunteers assembled in Campbellton according to previous arrangements and partook of a public dinner tendered them by the citizens of the county. At three o’clock they sat down to a dinner handsomely prepared for them. Thomas M’Kay, esq. (I’m fairly certain this is a misspelling and should be McKoy) presiding as president, Edmund Randle, Henry Paulett, Joseph Jay, E.B. Thompson, and Richard Moore assisted as vice-presidents. After the removal of the cloth, the following sentiments were offered; and about four o’clock the festivities of the day closed, having been conducted with good order throughout the day.

Regular Toasts

1. The President of the United States

2.  George Washington, the father of his country; may all festivals and celebrations be adorned by the memory of his distinguished services

3. Thomas Jefferson, the enlightened statesman – he prayed that his life might be prolonged till the 50th anniversary and his prayer was granted.

4. The Signers of the Declaration of Independence – their names will be as immortal as their services have been invaluable.

5. The American Union – embracing in its bosom 26 independent states united by a written compact the work of the illustrious dead – esto perpetua.

6. Our Army and Navy – the bulwark of our liberties and the terror of our enemies.

7. The Soldiers of the American Revolution – their services will be remembered by the American people with gratitude.

8. The Battle of Bunker Hill – a splendid achievement of American bravery

9. General LaFayette, the friend of national liberty his name will ever be dear to American freemen.

10. James Madison – the devoted patriot, the distinguished republican for sure and unsullied politician

11. The memory of James Monroe – the scientific statesmen and benevolent patriot

12. The Campbell Volunteers – you cheerfully obeyed your call of your country – we bid you a welcome return to your families and friends

13. Females of Georgia – they approve by their smiles the chivalry of her volunteers

Volunteer Toasts

Thomas McKay, Esq. – President Martin Van Buren, May he be our next president.

This could be McKoy, not McKay.

Based on the Thomas McKoy (October 15, 1770 to September 27, 1846) name he came south from Campbell County, Virginia to Campbell County, Georgia by 1830. His first wife was Catherine Strong. His second wife was Martha “Patsey” Harvey. McKoy represented Campbell County in the 1835 state legislature. McKoy’s son was Thomas McKoy, Jr. (1804 to 1865) who is buried in the McKoy Cemetery located on Highway 166 opposite Smith Ferry Road.

I’m not certain at this point if the person making the toast is the Sr. or Jr.

Edmund Randle, First Vice President – Captain Camp and his brave volunteers, ever ready to march to the field of battle to rescue innocent women and children from the merciless savages’ tomahawk and scalping knife, may be supreme power be with them

Edmund Randle was of the first settlers in Campbell County. He born in 1793 in Brunswick, Virginia. During the War of 1812, Edmund Randle was a lieutenant under General Andrew Jackson fighting Indians. He was the postmaster at Rivertown, Campbell County in 1834, and was married to Sarah Hines Colquitt. The Randles moved to Alabama in 1846.

Joseph Jay, Second Vice President – May party spirit throughout the Union never give rise to any other than Republican principles.

Jay also served in the militia that did see action in 1838 with the rank of sergeant. He was also a Justice of the Inferior Court in Campbell County in 1839.

Col. Richard Moore, Third Vice President – Our guest Captain Camp and his gallant comrades – if not favored with an opportunity to gain victory over the savages their wish to do so has secured to them a triumph equally important and gratifying

He was born in 1794…Wife’s name was Olive.  Also, the Col. with his name is not a military ranking, but notes that he was an attorney.  I’ve run across some newspaper articles where he’s mentioned, and I’d like to expand his bio information out a little at a later date.

Henry Paulett, Fourth Vice President – Those of Campbell County Volunteers  who refused to be mastered into the United States service; they are not of the description of Hudibras’ men who fighting fell and falling fought when on the ground fought all about

Henry Paulett was the son of Richard Paulett, a Revolutionary soldier who also ended up in Campbell County by 1830 and died in 1835. Paulett moved from Clark County to Campbell in the late 1820s. In fact, you can find the Paulett name listed in George White’s “Historical Collections of Georgia” as one of the earliest settlers in Campbell County.

A Lewis M. Paulett is listed as part of the Campbell County volunteers in 1838, but I’m not sure how he and Henry are related.

E.B. Thompson – Welcome to the return of our volunteers – the officers have served without censure and the soldiers without disgrace.

E.B. Thompson is another Campbell County citizen I’d like to expand a bit. I see him mentioned in early newspaper articles.  He served the county as an Inferior Court judge in 1834

P.J. Abbott – Andrew Jackson, President of the United States, the mover of the Indian tribes out of the limits of the states, the restorer of the West India trade, the successful French negotiator, the destroyer of the United States Bank and the hero of New Orleans real southern presidents have served with more censure none with more merit.

I believe his full name was Peter J. Abbott (Abbett), son of Simeon W. Abbott.

Thomas J. Bomar – John A. Cuthbert and Dr. Tomlinson Fort – may these men quit quarrelling themselves, reconcile their friends, and quarrel with their enemies
In my limited time I didn’t make a connection with him….

E.P. Bomar – success to all true-hearted Americans hoping they may never let party spirit divide the Union

This might possibly Edward P. Bomar, son of Barbery and William Bomar who married Sophia White in 1838. This might also be Elisha Pinckney Bomar.   I need a Bomar family expert for this one.

William H. England – General Houston  - the brave soldier and skillful commander may be in all future engagements with the enemies of Texas, prove a successful as he did at the capture of San Jacinto

I’m wondering if this could be William English. He purchased land in 1830 and is buried in the old Baptist Church cemetery in Campbellton. He was born in Ireland in 1771 and died in 1850. 

If this is William English his name was not only misprinted in the 1836 article, but the 1838 militia roster as well, as a William England served then, too.  Hmmm….

A.G. Yates – May Jernigan of the Stewart Volunteers, the rescue of Captain Germany’s company at Shepherd’s plantation and his successful continuation of re-counters during that time with the enemy, entitle him to the grateful recollection of his countrymen

Alfred G. Yates (1817-1840), a son of Joel Yates. He married Amanda Sheats in 1836. His son was Alfred G. H. Yates who was a town marshall in Villa Rica in the 1880s

James Ward – The Campbell County Blues – living proof that the blood of ’76 has descended to the present generation, uncontaminated. We greet them with good cheer and a hearty welcome to the bosom of their family and friends

This gentleman could possibly James Word, not Ward. James Word led the milita group during the 1838 Indian War.

Wade White – The railroad system – may it continue to prosper till all kinds of goods and groceries become as cheap in Campbell County as it is selling now in the city of Savannah

Wade White settled in the Salt Springs/Lithia Springs area of Campbell County, now Douglas County. He was born in North Carolina in 1791 and served in the militia in Clarke County in 1815.  In 1816, he married Sarah Traylor. After moving to Campbell County he served as state representative in 1835, 1836, 1838, and Inferior Judge 1841-45, and 1849-51. He also served as the first postmaster of Salt Springs/Lithia Springs in 1849 to 1859, succeeded by John C. Bowden.

William M. Britt – The memory of Major Dade and his men

After looking around a little I’m almost certain this is William M. Butt, not Britt. If so, the M. initial stood for Martin. He was a native of Warren County and arrived in Campbell County in 1830. He was the son of Clary Butt Gibson (widow of John Gibson, Revolutionary Soldier). It’s important to note that Gibson was not Butt’s father. He served as an Interior Court judge from 1831 to 1849, moved to Atlanta in 1850 where he served on the city council and was elected mayor of Atlanta in 1854.

D.D. Smith – The immortal Washington, the father of his country his name will go down with increasing splendor to all republican men

His full name was David D. Smith and married Sarah Ginnings (Jennings) in 1840. He served as a Campbell County Inferior Court judge in 1841.

P. Brooks, a volunteer – Gentlemen, here is union to the US, and prosperity to the republican world.

I haven’t found any information to date.

Job Smith – Governor Lumpkin; prosperity and happiness in his retirement and success to his friend Andrew Jackson

Could this be J.B. Smith?

William Hill, a volunteer – Our members of Congress, firm enlightened and patriotic; may they all be again returned to their seats at our next election

I haven’t found any information regarding William Hill, to date.

James E. Dickens, a volunteer – General Jesup: Judas like he has endeavored to betray his master - like Judas may he meet with reward

Married Flora Berthenia Wharton January, 1838

James Danforth – General Scott: Though his character has been traduced by Jesup, we still have confidence in his abilities as a general

Shows up in the 1840 census (1804-1871) and died living in Palmetto   Born 1804 in North Carolina.  Married Martha (Johnson) Danforth in 1838

John B. Smith, First Lieutenant of the volunteers – May Van Buren be our next president, believing he will pursue the same course marked out by our revolutionary patriot now at the head of the government.

Could this be J.B. Smith?   So many Smiths to sift through…..

W.A. Maxwell, a visitor from Lee County – The ladies, our arms shall be their protection, their arms our reward.

I haven’t found any information to date

E.W. Polk of North Carolina – May the volunteers of the state and all others praise General Houston for his bravery of Texas, and that he may gain as great a victory at the next contemplated battle as Jackson did at New Orleans.

I haven’t found any information to date

Adam R. Bomar – The memory of the volunteers of Georgia will last as long as the name of General Washington.

I haven’t found any information to date

Merrel Humphries, a volunteer – To my officers with whom I have served, I tender them by best respects for their good conduct towards the soldiers during their service.
I haven’t found any information to date

J.F. Nelson, a volunteer, Orderly Sergeant – To the patriotic citizens of Campbell County for their aid to the Campbell Blues, when about to march for service, ad for the present repast in honor of our return; may the smiles of heaven ever be over them, and may the volunteers never forget them.

I haven’t found any information to date.

Wesley Camp – The memory of our worthy friend and deceased fellow soldier – he is dead, but he yet lives in the hearts of his countrymen.

I haven’t found any information to date.

Benjamin Camp, Captain of the volunteers – Here is to the volunteers of Campbell County, both cavalry and infantry, may they ever stand up to the rack, fodder or no fodder, and never be affrighted or bolt at the sight of a United States’ officer, may they always act the part of good soldiers and be esteemed by every warm and true hearted patriot.

Benjamin Camp, per his obituary he was born in Walton County and settled in Campbell County in the 1830s. He was “an officer in the U.S. Army and participated in all the wars with the Indians in this section of the country…..During his long life he was prominent in all walks of life.”   More on him later….

Henry Paulett – The name of Martin Van Buren, together with his votes upon the Missouri question and free negro suffrage that Congress has the right to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, with that of Mr. Benton of Missouri and his vote upon the distribution of the surplus funds among the states: may they be inscribed within a circle as black as the family of Richard M. Johnson, and across them, may it be written in plain and indelible characters expunged by order of the democracy of the United States. General welfare, the good of the whole and not part……The memory of brave Garmony and his brave little band – never be forgotten by the friends of American freedom.

I’m not sure why Henry Paulett has two mentions in the toasts.  Maybe he didn’t like his first one and decided to give another…..Look up above for his bio information.

Check out my column in the Douglas County Sentinel dated December 17, 2016 for more information, and follow this link to my website where I discuss the men who volunteered in 1838 during the round-up of Cherokee natives.

If you what to add something more about these gentlemen feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email at

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