Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Milton Stanfill & Rachel Baird

Milton and Rachel Stanfill
Milton, my 2nd great-grandfather, was born on March 27, 1820 in Whitley County, Kentucky, and died on April 11, 1887 in Campbell County, Tennessee.  He was married to Rachel Baird, the daughter of Lewis Millard Baird and Elizabeth Woosley, born in 1825 in Whitley County and died in 1910 in Madison County, Arkansas.

Milton appears to have been a farmer all  his life, living mostly across the state line in Campbell County, Tennessee.  He served with 32nd Kentucky Infantry, Company E, Union, during the Civil War.  The Stanfills and Bairds all seem to have been committed to the Union cause during the War.  Rachel's father, Lewis Millard Baird, who moved from North Carolina to Kentucky as a child, and set up a homestead in Campbell County, Tennessee when he was a young man, was especially devoted to the Union.  Four of his sons served as Union soldiers and in October of 1862, he was arrested by Confederate soldiers at his home and taken to the prison at Salisbury, North Carolina.   He was offered a release if he would sign an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, but he refused.  It is said that Jefferson Davis called on him and urged him to take the oath, but Lewis would not.

Salisbury Prison was an empty cotton factory that was hastily turned into a prison when the War began in 1861.  By 1864, the prisoner population was about 10,000, four times the 2,500 it was supposed to hold.  The Naval Blockade caused a shortage of medicine and supplies, and food was in short supply throughout the South.  Disease began to spread among the prisoners and by the autumn, the entire building was taken over for use as a hospital and the prisoners who were not ill were forced to live outdoors; under buildings, in tents or in burrows.  By October, the death rate among the prisoners went from 2% to 28%.  A mass burial system was initiated and the dead were counted and loaded into a wagon every day and taken to an abandoned cornfield about a mile away, where they were buried.

Lewis Baird was among those who died in 1864, although he passed away in May, before the conditions had deteriorated even further.  By then he was 68 years old.  A letter dated April 29, 1864 was sent from Salisbury Prison addressed to the Hon. S.C. Baird in Campbell County, Tennessee.  The letter was intended for Lewis's sons.

To the sons of Lewis M. Baird:
I, as comrade of your father in prison, deem it my duty to write to you at this time to let you know his present condition. He is in the hospital and to all human appearance must soon be numbered with those who have been taken from the evils of this world. There is no particular disease apparent but old age and confinement have done the work. Having become acquainted with him soon after his arrest, and have been with him ever since, he now seems like a father to me. I can truly sympathize, We have slept together and I have been able to obtain many little necessaries from him. He has stood it very well until lately. I have often heard him say that he would like to know how you all were and let you all know how he was but he never got to hear from any of you at home.

I have talked to the old man upon the subject of religion. He always expressed himself. as being prepared, which is a great consolation. I assure you that all that is possible for me to do shall be done for your father. Pray that God in his great mercies may spare him yet to return home. He wishes for me to say if he does not live to see you in this world; that you will strive to so live as to meet him above where parting will be no more. Very truly yours, Thomas Cayton

In 1898, S.C. Baird went to Salisbury in search of his grave but failed to identify it in the row of the cemetery. At the head of the row in the cemetery where he laid, stood a monument with this inscription: " REST ON EMBALMED SAINTS DEEDS DEAR AS THE BLOOD YE GAVE NO IMPIOUS FOOTSTEPS SHALL TREAD THE HERBAGE OF YOUR GRAVES".

Milton and Rachel seem to have lived a quiet life on their farm.  They had eight children:  James, Susan Anna, Lechter, William, Louisa, Elizabeth, Lechter and Jesse Carl.  
Jesse Carl Stanfill

Lewis J. Stanfill

Milton died on April 11, 1887 at the age of 67.  He is buried at the Jacksboro Cemetery in Campbell County, Tennessee.

Rachel moved to Madison County, Arkansas, along with several of her children, including Jesse.  She died there in 1910 at the age of 85.

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