Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Dennis Edward Lindsey (1836-1863)

In 1860, Dennis was enumerated on the federal census in the household of his brother John Wesley Lindsey at Mooreville in Itawamba County, Mississippi, with his age given as 25.[3] This census was taken on 4 August; on 13 July 1860, Dennis had married Sarah Jane Barnes in Itawamba County.[4] She appears with her husband Dennis in John Wesley Lindsey’s household. 

Dennis’s Confederate service packet contains a pay voucher for his service as a first sergeant in Company E of the 41st Mississippi Infantry (see above for a digital image).[5] This document states that he was aged 26 when he died on 14 April 1863. The voucher was compiled by W.B. Long, first lieutenant of Company E, at Chickamauga on 17 October 1863. 

Dennis appears as a minor heir of his father Dennis Lindsey in other of his father’s estate documents in Lawrence County, Alabama. When a final settlement of the estate was made on 9 May 1846, he is named as one of the heirs receiving his portion of the estate, which was placed in the hands of his guardian (and brother-in-law) James B. Speake, since Dennis was still a minor.[6] When the court called on James B. Speake to make a final settlement of his guardianship of the estate’s minor heirs in October 1852, Dennis is again named — as Dennis Lindsey; these documents do not ever give him a middle name — in the list of minor heirs.[7] On 10 December 1852, James B. Speake filed his account of the final settlement of the estate for the minors under his guardianship, naming Dennis again as one of those heirs.[8]

At some point between 1850 and 1860, perhaps following the final disbursal of their share of their father’s estate to the minor heirs in December 1852, Dennis joined his oldest brother John Wesley in Itawamba County, Mississippi, and launched a career as a merchant in association with his brother. The 1860 federal census cited above lists Dennis’s occupation as merchant, and the 17 October 1863 pay voucher in his CSA service file, also cited above, states as well that Dennis was a merchant.

Dennis and Jane Brooks Lindsey’s son Dennis has been confused in some family records with his first cousin James Dennis Lindsey, son of Fielding Wesley Lindsey and Clarissa Brooks, who was born 17 January 1838 in Lawrence County, Alabama. For example, in the family group sheet for the family of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks published in Henry C. Lindsey’s The Mark Lindsey Heritage, Dennis and Jane’s son Dennis is given the middle name James.[9] The chart also states that Dennis married a Kitchens. But it was James Dennis Lindsey, son of Fielding Wesley Lindsey and Clarissa Brooks, who married Martha W. Kitchens in Lawrence County in 1872.

James Dennis Lindsey appears to be the James Lindsey noted as a visitor to her family in a diary entry Frances Jarvis Torrence wrote on 14 September 1855. On this diary, which Frances kept while she was a schoolgirl at the Moulton Female Academy, see this previous posting.[10] Various documents show James Dennis Lindsey going by the name James rather than Dennis, while Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks’s son Dennis Edward went by the name Dennis.[11]

 Itawamba County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 14, p. 488-9

A 25 June 1859 document in Itawamba County deed books shows that Dennis was living at Mooreville in Itawamba County by that date, and had apparently launched his mercantile career, or was preparing to do so. On that date, N.J. Skaggs of Talladega County, Alabama, sold to Dennis Lindsey and A.C. Tatum, both of Mooreville, a patent that had been issued to him on 3 November 1857 for a tire tightening device.[12] The contract restricts the Mississippi counties in which the patent could be applied. Skaggs sold the patent to Lindsey and Tatom for $2,000, signing the deed with J.M. Skaggs as his attorney. W.G. Gibson and G.M. Campbell witnessed the deed, and it was recorded on the 25th. The next deed in this deed book is for a land sale by William and Elizabeth Mills to Dennis’s brother John Wesley Lindsey.

This 1859 document is another indicator that Dennis had joined his brother John Wesley, since John had moved his family in the late 1850s from Van Buren to Mooreville, where he continued his mercantile business at nearby Guntown, and where he’s listed on the 1860 federal census with brother Dennis and Dennis’s wife Sarah Jane in his household.[13] A.C. Tatum, Dennis’s partner in the 1859 patent purchase from Skaggs, is  Abner Curran Tatum, whose daughter Mary Elizabeth married John Wesley Lindsey’s son William Oscar in 1861.

Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 5, p. 307

As I noted above, on 13 July 1860, Dennis Edward Lindsey married Sarah Jane Barnes in Itawamba County.[14] Sarah Jane was the daughter of Richard Barnes and wife Elizabeth Ann Robinson, who are buried at the Mooreville Methodist cemetery in Lee County, Mississippi. The marriage record of Dennis and Sarah Jane shows E.L. Hankins returning the marriage to the county court. This is Edward Locke Hankins, who appears on the 1850 federal census in Itawamba County as a Methodist clergyman.[15]

NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Mississippi, M269, RG 109

On 13 February 1862, Dennis enlisted at Verona, Mississippi, in Company E of the 41st Mississippi Infantry (CSA).[16] The unit, under Captain T.C. Ashcraft, was known as the Verona Rifles, and spent much of the war serving in Tennessee, from which it marched to Gettysburg when that battle occurred in July 1863. Dennis’s service packet states that he died of erisypelas and pneumonia on 14 April 1863. The place of his death is not recorded in the service packet, nor is there any information about his place of burial, but as we’ll see in a moment, a remembrance of Dennis and his wife Jennie written by Col. W.L. Clayton in the Tupelo Journal newspaper on 15 November 1907, shortly after Jennie died, states that Dennis became sick while in service and came home and died.[17]

Dunbar Rowland, Official and Statistical Register of the State of Mississippi (Nashville: Brandon, 1908), p. 731

At another point in the service packet, it’s stated that he died on 14 April 1862, but the final pay voucher issued to him makes clear that he was paid up to February 1863 and that pay was due to him up to the date 14 April 1863. It’s possible that Dunbar Rowland had seen only the slip in the service packet listing Dennis’s year of death as 1862 when he recorded in his Official and Statistical Register of the State of Mississippi that D. Lindsay [sic] of the Verona Rifles died in 1862.[18]

NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Mississippi, M269, RG 109
W.L. Clayton, “Look on This Picture, Then on That,” Tupelo Journal (15 November 1907), p. 1, col. 4-6

The set of unit information cards held for Company E by the National Archives states that in April 1863, the Verona Rifles were stationed near Shelbyville, Tennessee, where they were not in active combat.[19] According to Robert P. Daniel, on 1 April 1863, the Verona Rifles were stationed with P. Anderson’s Brigade of Withers’ Division, Polk’s Corps, Army of Tennessee.[20] W.L. Clayton’s 15 November 1907 remembrance of the Dennis and his wife Jennie suggests that this “fine and dashing young man” came home from his service sick and died at Mooreville in what was then Itawamba County, and is now Lee County.[21] It’s likely this is where Dennis is buried.

Robert W. Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches (Dallas, 1972), pp. 86-90

A biography of Dennis’s son Dennis Edward Lindsey in Robert W. Stephens’s book Texas Ranger gives a different account of what happened to Dennis in the final days of his life, however.[22] According to Stephens, who would likely have had this information from Dennis’s son Dennis Edward, Dennis (identified in this account as D.E. Lindsey, implying that he was Dennis Edward Lindsey Sr.) was killed as a Confederate soldier at the battle of Gettysburg. His service papers are clear, however, about the fact that he died of erysipelas and pneumonia on 14 April 1863 — several months before the battle of Gettysburg took place.

This same biography of Dennis Edward Lindsey states that he left home (Tupelo, Mississippi) in 1880 after his mother remarried. Sarah Jane had actually remarried on 16 October 1869 in Lee County, Mississippi, to William B. Fulton.[23] This couple is found on the 1870 and 1880 federal census in Tupelo, Lee County, with the census reporting in 1870 that Jennie C. Fulton was 28 and born in Alabama, and in 1880 that S. Jane Fulton was 39 and born in Mississippi.[24] The 1870 census shows Jennie’s son Dennis Edward, listed as Edward and presumably with surname Fulton, living in his step-father’s household in Tupelo in that year. He is aged 8 and was born in Mississippi.

In 1880, William B. Fulton is listed as a grocer, and living in the household of the couple is Jane’s nephew Dennis T. Fulton, son of Charles W. Fulton and Josie Barnes, Jane’s sister, who died in June 1879. I do not find Dennis Edward on the 1880 census. If, as his biography in Stephens’s Texas Rangers implies, he left home in 1880, then he might well have been en route to Texas when the census was taken that year.

As I have stated in a previous posting, I think that when Dennis Edward’s aunt Sarah Lindsey Speake wrote her sister Margaret Lindsey Hunter on 1 May 1877 with news that B. Dennis was only 18 but wanting to go to Texas and take Billy with him, I think it’s very likely that Sarah was speaking of her nephew Dennis Edward Lindsey and not her nephew Benjamin Dennis Lindsey, son of Mark Jefferson Lindsey and Mary Ann Harrison, who had left Louisiana for Texas in 1873. Sarah would not have been sending Margaret news of Benjamin Dennis, since Margaret and her brother Mark J. Lindsey lived in close proximity to each other in Red River Parish, Louisiana. Though she has Dennis Edward’s age off by a few years, it’s clear to me she’s referring to Dennis Edward, who was evidently already making plans to leave home for Texas — and I think the Billy he wanted to take to Texas with him was his nephew William Oscar Lindsey, son of John Wesley Lindsey, who did go west in the same period in which Dennis Edward made his move to Texas.

By 1900, William B. Fulton had died and Sarah J. Fulton was heading her household in Tupelo, listed as a dressmaker.[25] By 1900, William B. Fulton had died and Sarah J. was heading her household in Tupelo, listed as a dressmaker. This census gives Sarah Jane a birthdate of January 1840. 

“Mrs. Jennie Fulton,” Tupelo Journal (15 November 1907), p. 1, col. 1

On 15 November 1907, Tupelo Journal published an obituary for Jennie Fulton, stating that she had died in Corinth on the 8th at the home of Josie Lyons and that her funeral had been held at the Methodist church (in Tupelo, the obituary implies), with burial following.[26] The obituary also states that she was née Barnes and had been reared at Mooresville (the contemporary spelling of the town is Mooreville), and had first married D.E. Lindsey, “who died many years ago,” and then William Fulton, who predeceased her by ten years. The obituary does not mention her son Dennis Edward Lindsey. Note that the obituary gives Dennis Lindsey, father of Dennis Edward, the same initials — D.E. — as the Stephens Texas Rangers biography does. Both sources appear to imply that the son Dennis Edward was named for his father, and that Dennis, son of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks, was named Dennis Edward Lindsey — not Dennis James Lindsey, as has been suggested.

The same page of the paper carries W.L. Clayton’s remembrance of Jennie Barnes (Lindsey) (Fulton) and her husband Dennis Lindsey. Clayton tells his readers that he had grown up with Jennie, whose family lived near Mooreville, and that her father Richard Barnes was a doctor who did not practice medicine because he was “too timid to follow his profession.” The remembrance goes on to note, as I’ve previously stated, that she was first married to Dennis Lindsey, a “fine and dashing young man” who enlisted when war broke out and came home from his service sick, dying at home. Clayton states, “One son was the product of this union, who still lives somewhere in the West.” 

After the war, Jennie married the widower W.B. Fulton, Clayton tells his readers, and raised his two daughters, spending time at the end of her life with her niece Josie (Fulton) Lyons in Corinth, where she died. Clayton states that Jennie was buried at the “old cemetery” in Tupelo. This is evidently Glenwood cemetery, where her sister Josie and husband Charles W. Fulton, a brother of William B. Fulton, are also buried, as are the parents of William B. and Charles Fulton, Thomas and Annie Ewing Fulton.

In my next posting, I’ll provide information about Dennis Edward Lindsey, son of Dennis Edward Lindsey Sr. and Sarah Jane Barnes, who left home in Tupelo in 1880 to join his uncle Thomas Madison Lindsey in McLennan County, Texas, and then went to west Texas, where he served in the Texas Rangers with his first cousin Benjamin Dennis Lindsey, son of Mark Jefferson Lindsey and Mary Ann Harrison.

[1] Lawrence County, Alabama, Inventory and Will Bk. 1835-1841, p. 235.

[2] 1850 federal census, Lawrence County, Alabama, district 8, p. 383 (dwelling and family 265, 6 November).

[3] 1860 federal census, Itawamba County, Mississippi, Mooreville post office, p. 65 (dwelling and family 421; 4 August).

[4] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 5, p. 307.

[5] NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State ofMississippi, M26, RG 109.

[6] Lawrence County, Alabama, Orphans Court Bk. F, pp. 62-71.

[7] Lawrence County, Alabama, Probate Minutes Bk. A, p. 368.

[8] Ibid., pp. 413-7.

[9] Henry C. Lindsey, The Mark Lindsey Heritage (Brownwood, Texas; 1983), p. 10. 

[10] Frances Jarvis Torrence’s diary is transcribed in Mary Novella Gibson-Brittain, Marie Brittain-Craig, and Marjorie Craig Churchill, The History and Genealogy of Some Pioneer North Alabama Families (Flagstaff, Arizona: Northland, 1969), pp. 97-113.

[11] I think that the “late J.D. Lindsey” mentioned as a grandson of Mark Lindsey by A.G. Copeland in his 17 October 1889 Alabama Enquirer article about Mark is also James Dennis, son of Fielding Wesley Lindsey: see A.G. Copeland, “Reminiscences of Morgan County, No. 3,” Alabama Enquirer (Hartselle) (17 October 1889), p. 3, col. 4.

[12] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 14, p. 488-9.

[13] See supra, n. 3.

[14] See supra, n. 4. 

[15] 1850 federal census, Itawamba County, Mississippi, district 7, p. 379A (dwelling and family 17, 3 September).

[16] See supra, n. 5.

[17] W.L. Clayton, “Look on This Picture, Then on That,” Tupelo Journal (15 November 1907), p. 1, col. 4-6.

[18] Dunbar Rowland, Official and Statistical Register of the State of Mississippi (Nashville: Brandon, 1908), p. 731.

[19] See supra, n. 5.

[20] See Robert C. Daniel, “41st Mississippi Infantry,” at the USGenweb site for Pontotoc County, Mississippi.

[21] See supra, n. 17.

[22] Robert W. Stephens, Texas Ranger Sketches (Dallas, 1972), pp. 86-90.

[23] Lee County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 1, p. 496.

[24] 1870 federal census, Lee County, Mississippi, Tupelo, p. 474B (dwelling and household 11, August 1870); 1880 federal census, Lee County, Mississippi, Tupelo, p. 125B (ED 90; dwelling 144, family 179; 7 June). 

[25] 1900 federal census, Lee County, Mississippi, Tupelo, p. 12 (ED 48; dwelling and family 246; 13 June). 

[26] “Mrs. Jennie Fulton,” Tupelo Journal (15 November 1907), p. 1, col. 1.

One thought on “Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Dennis Edward Lindsey (1836-1863)

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