The Campbells, Part V

Tracking William Campbell b. 1818-1820 in Tennessee

His Name:

Most Ancestry.com family trees for William Campbell give his middle name as “Peter.” This is almost certainly an error. The only evidence that “Peter” was his middle name is the death certificate of his son John Randolph. On that certificate, which was informed by John’s 80-year-old wife Sally, she stated William’s name was Peter. The problem is that 1) William’s wife’s father’s name was Peter Lamberson, and this suggests Sally was just confused at that moment, and 2) there is not one other document that shows “Peter” as his middle name. Not census records (1840, 1850), not his military records, not his divorce records or marriage record. Therefore I think we should remove Peter from the record. The only other name found is in the letter from Abel Lamberson calling him “Uncle Bill.”

His date/place of birth:

Both census records are clear that he was born in Tennessee. In 1850, he said he was 32 (born 1818). In 1860, he said he was 40 (born 1820).

His first marriage:

One record finds a marriage record of William Campbell to Sarah Graves on April 21, 1842 by J. C. Petree, J.P. in Campbell Co., TN. This is the same “Sarah” he divorced three years later, as shown in the divorce record from Independence Co., AR Chancery Court Record A, pgs 100 and 102. The record makes clear that William was represented by his solicitor and did not show up in person, while Sarah was present “in her own proper person” and “admits the charges in said bill.” Apparently William and Sarah traveled from TN to AR together and came to Independence Co before February 1845. Divorces were extremely rare in those times, filed by only the husband in cases of adultery. The information contained here suggests he originated in Campbell County, TN.

This marriage record links to a death certificate of a male named Manuel Hickey Campbell born January 31, 1843 at Knox Co., TN, as the son of Sarah Graves and William Campbell. Tennessee State Library and Archives; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1958; Roll Number: 74

The 1850 census for Campbell Co., TN finds Sarah Graves age 27 living in the household of Ashley and Elizabeth Miller with their four children not including Sarah’s son Manuel. Elizabeth age 25 was the sister of Sarah.  Year: 1850; Census Place: Subdivision 17, Campbell, Tennessee; Roll: 872; Page: 309b   This brings up the possibility that upon the divorce, William took Manuel into his household for some unknown period of time. This would be rare for a single man.

1860 census for Glenwood, Mills, IA finds Sarah Campbell age 31, b TN with personal estate of $200 as head of household with Manuel Campbell age 16 and William Campbell age 8. In this record, Sarah states no livelihood and cannot read or write. This record assigns a birth year for William at 1852. Year: 1860; Census Place: Glenwood, Mills, Iowa; Roll: M653_336; Page: 82; Family History Library Film: 803336

Military records for Manuel H. Campbell show he filed for a disability in 1906, and that he served in the Louisiana 4th Infantry Regiment, Company A, spouse Martha E. Campbell. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; NAI Title: U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934; NAI Number: T288; Record Group Title: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773-2007; Record Group Number: 15; Series Title: U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934; Series Number: T288; Roll: 70

The 4th Louisiana Infantry organized at New Orleans, Louisiana in April, 1861. The 4th was included in the surrender on May 4, 1865. Additional military records show he entered the military on 20 Oct 1861. Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917-1940

1870 census found for Emmanuel Campbell, age 27, born TN, living at Haynie Post office, Lyons, Mills Co., IA where he works at farm labor. He has married to Mary Campbell and cannot read or write.

Marriage records for M H Campbell shows marriage to Martha Leeky on Nov 8, 1886, at Roane Co., TN.

The 1900 census for William Campbell is taken at Rock Bluff, Cass Co., NE. He’s marked as single age 44, born Feb 1856. Sarah “Burchard” resides with him, age 75, born Dec 1824, widowed, b. TN, parents b TN. Year: 1900; Census Place: Rock Bluffs, Cass, Nebraska; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0016; FHL microfilm: 1240919

The 1910 census finds Sarah B. Campbell as head of household, age 86 living with William Campbell age 61, born 1849, at Rock Bluff, Cass Co Nebraska. Sarah is still illiterate. Year: 1910; Census Place: Rock Bluff, Cass, Nebraska; Roll: T624_840; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0016; FHL microfilm: 1374853

1920 census at Rock Bluff finds William alone, age 68, same data. Next door to two Campbell families apparently not related.

Clearly William (the son) loses track of his age/birth year. The 1900 census that gives Feb 1856 as his birthdate conflicts with the 1860 census when his mother states he was eight years old, i.e. born in 1852. Either way, either he is not the son of William (the older) or William was slipping out on Melinda (not likely).

Manuel Campbell’s Find a Grave records shows a birth day of Jan 31, 1843, at Knoxville, TN. His wife was named Martha Elizabeth and they had 13 children with Campbell sons named Clyde J., William Franklin, Manuel Howard, and James Lafayette. He died Mar 25, 1917 at Johnson City, Wash. Co., TN and is buried at Monte Vista Memorial Park.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74447834/manuel-hickey-campbell

Were Manuel and William actually the children of our William? Did Sarah name her second son William out of spite, or because he was actually William’s son? If so, that means he slipped around on Melinda and if so, why divorce Sarah in the first place? If the divorce was over infidelity, then can we assume that William was William Sr.’s son in name only?

More searching for info on Sarah led to a probate record for William Campbell in Tipton Co, TN, in the December 1835 term. His brother-in-law was Carter Allen, leading to the assumption that his unnamed wife’s maiden name was Allen. His five children included William Campbell. Searches for further info go nowhere.

William’s second marriage:

On April 10, 1851, William age 32 married Lina Lamberson age 17, at Independence County, AR Arkansas, U.S., County Marriages Index, 1837-1957

His children:

Four children with his second wife Melinda Lamberson as follows:

William and Melinda’s children were John Randolph b. Dec 12, 1853 Howell Co. d. July 28, 1930, Richwoods Twp, Jackson Co., AR;  Mary Molly Campbell, b 1855, Howell Co., married Willis Payne; James William Campbell b Jan 1858, Howell Co., d Mar 3, 1928, Woodruff Co., AR, married Nancy Jane Bell September 24, 1882 Newton Co AR, then her half-sister Liza Lawson, then married Nancy Kathryn Walls; Sarah E. Campbell, b June 1860.

The Original Story

A story passed down through William’s great grandson John Carl Campbell is that four Campbell brothers stowed away on a ship leaving Liverpool circa 1760 for passage to the American colonies. Upon landing at the Eastern seaboard, the brothers separated and lost contact with each other. One of the brothers, John Campbell, or his son, made his way to Tennessee or eastern Arkansas by the early 1800s.[1]

As stated earlier and by our relative David Dale Combs, another family historian, “After the war in Scotland of the 1700s, Scots came to America by the thousands. Among them were hundreds of Campbell families, and many of them had numerous children. To make matters worse, some of the most common given names in these Campbell families were William, John, and James. …The search for the parents of our William Campbell is equivalent to looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.”

In researching this history, we have found no proof of the Atlantic crossing story. Known historical facts, however, support Dale’s statement.

William’s First Marriage

William’s name appears in public records in Independence County, Arkansas in 1845 when filed for a divorce from his wife Sarah.

A marriage record of William Campbell to Sarah Graves is found in Campbell County, Tennessee, stating that on April 21, 1842 by J. C. Petree, J.P. joined the couple in matrimony. He would have been 22-24 years old at this time, and Sarah 19.

On Thursday, February 6, 1845: PETITION FOR DIVORCE:[2]

William Campbell, complainant vs Sarah Campbell, defendant

William Campbell vs Sarah Campbell: BILL FOR DIVORCE

As now on this day comes the said complainant by his solicitor, and also comes the said defendant in her own proper person, and waives all process, and the service thereof, and files her answer to the complainant’s bill of complaint whereby she admits the charges in said bill. And it appearing to the satisfaction of the court here that the bond of matrimony here-to-fore entered into and none existing, between the said William Campbell and Sarah Campbell be and the same are hereby dissolved, set aside and held for naught, and the said parties and each of them, are hereby restored to all the rights, privileges and immunities of single and unmarried persons.

And it is further ordered and decreed by the court that the said complainant pay all the costs of this suit. Therefore, it is considered by the court that the said defendant do have and recover of and from said plaintiff all the costs in and about this suit expended.

DIVORCE GRANTED: February 19, 1845[3]

The record makes clear that William was represented by his solicitor and did not show up in person, while Sarah was present “in her own proper person” and “admits the charges in said bill.” Apparently William and Sarah traveled from TN to AR together and came to Independence Co before February 1845. Divorces were extremely rare in those times, generally filed by only the husband in cases of adultery. The information contained here suggests he originated in Campbell County, TN. No further evidence of his place of origins has been found.

This marriage record linked to a death certificate of a male named Manuel Hickey Campbell born January 31, 1843 at Knox Co., TN, as the son of Sarah Graves and William Campbell.[4]

The 1850 census for Campbell Co., TN finds Sarah Graves age 27 living in the household of Ashley and Elizabeth Miller with their four children not including Sarah’s son Manuel. Elizabeth age 25 was the sister of Sarah.[5] This brings up the possibility that upon the divorce, William took Manuel into his household for some unknown period of time. This would be rare for a single man.

1860 census for Glenwood, Mills, IA finds Sarah Campbell age 31, b TN with personal estate of $200 as head of household with Manuel Campbell age 16 and William Campbell age 8. In this record, Sarah states no livelihood and cannot read or write. This record assigns a birth year for William at 1852.[6]

Military records for Manuel H. Campbell show he filed for a disability in 1906, and that he served in the Louisiana 4th Infantry Regiment, Company A, Confederate States of America.[7] The 4th Louisiana Infantry organized at New Orleans, Louisiana in April, 1861. The 4th was included in the surrender on May 4, 1865. Additional military records show he entered the military on 20 Oct 1861.[8]

1870 census found for Emmanuel Campbell, age 27, born TN, living at Haynie Post office, Lyons, Mills Co., IA where he works at farm labor. He has married to Mary Campbell and cannot read or write.

Marriage records for M H Campbell shows marriage to Martha Leeky on Nov 8, 1886, at Roane Co., TN.

The 1900 census for William Campbell is taken at Rock Bluff, Cass Co., NE. He’s marked as single age 44, born Feb 1856. Sarah “Burchard” resides with him, age 75, born Dec 1824, widowed, b. TN, parents b TN.[9]

The 1910 census finds Sarah B. Campbell as head of household, age 86 living with William Campbell age 61, born 1849, at Rock Bluff, Cass Co Nebraska. Sarah is still illiterate.[10]

1920 census at Rock Bluff finds William alone, age 68, same data. Next door to two Campbell families apparently not related. Sarah’s death records have not been found. Clearly William (the son) loses track of his age/birth year. The 1900 census that gives Feb 1856 as his birthdate conflicts with the 1860 census when his mother states he was eight years old, i.e. born in 1852. Either way, either he is not the son of William (the older) or William was slipping out on Melinda (not likely).

Manuel’s Find a Grave records shows a birth day of Jan 31, 1843, at Knoxville, TN. His wife was named Martha Elizabeth and they had 13 children with Campbell sons named Clyde J., William Franklin, Manuel Howard, and James Lafayette. He died Mar 25, 1917 at Johnson City, Wash. Co., TN and is buried at Monte Vista Memorial Park.[11]

Were Manuel and William actually the children of our William? Did Sarah name her second son William out of spite, or because he was actually William’s son? If so, that means he slipped around on his new bride Melinda.

William’s Land

Deed records for Independence County show a December 22, 1848 deed (Book G-625) by John L. Waggoner conveying title to William Campbell, both of the county, for the amount of $100 for land described as SE quarter of SW quarter Section 13, and NE quarter of NW quarter Section 24, both Township 12, Range 6 West. Witnessed by Thomas S. Coiles (?) and E. Morgan.

On November 30, 1849, Independence County Deed Book G-624 shows the transfer of land from John Agnew to William Campbell for $55, described as NW quarter of the NE quarter of Sect 24, Township 24, 12 N of Range 6 W, containing 40 acres. Wit. Wm. S. McGuire, Ringgold.

William’s Second Wife

William’s name appeared in the 1850 Arkansas census for Independence County, where he gave his age as 32, residing in Green Briar Township, working as a stone mason, and having real estate assets of $360. The following spring, on April 10, 1851, William married Melinda “Lennie, Lina” Lamberson at her father’s home in Independence County in services performed by Henry Powell, Minister of the Gospel, Methodist Episcopal Church, South. William was 32 and Lennie was 17.

Miss Lamberson was born February 13, 1832, in Gallatin County, Illinois. Her father, Peter Lamberson, was a farmer born 1799 in Pennsylvania. His wife Elizabeth (Knight), also born in 1799, was from North Carolina. According to the 1850 Arkansas census, their children besides Melinda were Leonard D. b. 1824, William Sira Norris “WSN” b. 1827, Catherine, Elizabeth b. 1831, and Eliza, age fourteen born Illinois. Living at an adjacent property was Peter and Elizabeth’s oldest child, Leonard Lamberson, age 26 and born in Tennessee, his wife Elizabeth age 22 born TN, and three children born in Arkansas: Nancy age four, James K. P. age three, and Thomas J., age one.

His Losses

Unfortunately, in December 1851, William lost a suit filed against him by Thomas E. Hughs [Hughes] for a debt of $19.25. Some time passed, perhaps in negotiation, before the final outcome would be decided. The following is shown in the Independence County Court Record M-170:

On October 29, 1857, Sheriff George W. Daugherty deeded to James B. Kimbro certain lands belonging to William Campbell in satisfaction of a writ Fiera Facias[12] in the name of Thomas E. Hughs presented to the sheriff July 29, 1857,

“that whereas the aforesaid Thomas B. Hughs on the 16th day of December AD 1851 did file in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the County of Independence a certified copy of a certain judgement rendered by Fleming Pate, Esq, a justice of the peace in and for the township of Round Pond, in the said County of Independence whereby it appears that the said Justice of the Peace did on the 15th day of November 1851 render judgment in his favor against William Campbell for nineteen dollars and forty cents”[13] with court costs of one dollar and eighty-five cents. Further, “an execution was issued thereon and the said execution has been returned that the defendant has no goods or chattels whereof to levy the same. And whereas the clerk of said circuit court did at the same time of filing such transcript as aforesaid enter such judgement in the docks of said circuit court for judgements and decrees in the manner and provided by law to the end that the same might have like effect and be carried into execution in the same manner as the judgements of said circuit court. You are therefore commanded that of the goods and chattels lands and tenements of the said William Campbell you cause to be made the debt damages and costs aforesaid together with the sum of – dollars and fifty cents additional cots for entering transcript and have the said debt damages and costs and additional costs before our said circuit court on the 7th day of September AD 1857 and then and there certify how you have executed this writ. And in obedience to the commands of said writ and in order that the same might be executed and satisfied, I did afterwards to wit: on the 30th day of July AD1857 in said county then and there levy upon and seize the following described property as the property of said William Campbell, to wit: The SE ¼ of the SW ¼ of Section 13 and the NE ¼ of the NW ¼ of Section 24 in Town 12 N, of Range 6 West containing in the aggregate 80 acres more or less.”

The record goes on to describe the sale of these lands at the courthouse door on Monday the 7th day of September 1857. The highest bidder was James B. Kimbro for $81.25 and the property was conveyed to Kimbro by the sheriff’s deed.[14]

This was not the first loss of land for William in his hopeful new start in Arkansas. The forty acres purchased in 1849 was sold just four years later on October 4, 1853, to J. H. Ringgold, the same man who had served as witness to the original sale and perhaps a neighbor to William.[15]

Ten years later, according to the 1860 Howell Co. Missouri census, William Campbell, his wife, and three children lived in Spring Creek Township, where he was a stone mason with $200 in assets. His wife Lennie was 28 at the time, John R. was three (this age must be an error because later records give an 1853 birthdate for John), James William was two, and Sarah E. was one month. Their second child, Mary Molly, born 1855, was probably next door at the home of her grandparents, Peter and Elizabeth Lamberson, aged sixty.

Efforts to determine when both families moved to Missouri have been fruitless. Howell County deed records went up in flames when the courthouse burned during the war, and nothing in the deed records of Independence County determine clearly when William moved away. It may be presumed that the 1853 sale of the forty acres was the point at which the family moved, and that the judgement rendered in 1851 against him lingered unattended to be finally decided in 1857 with William absent.

His Family

Determination of birthplaces for the three oldest children has been in question with many census records showing Arkansas as the place of birth. However, given that the 1860 census information was given by the parents rather than based on childhood memories, we accept the Howell County place of birth as the correct one. That would mean that William’s young wife was six months pregnant with their first child when they moved from Arkansas unless he had previously taken her to a new home in Missouri before returning to Arkansas to sell the land.

Arrow points to Pottersville, Missouri

Howell County, Missouri, is situated just north of the Arkansas state line above Fulton County, Arkansas, a distance of about one hundred miles from William’s previous home in Arkansas. The place of Campbell’s Missouri residency, Spring Creek Township, is in the central-western part of the county. The community of Pottersville is located in the center of the township, approximately ten miles west of West Plains and the site of an early village and post office some of which may have been the product of Campbell’s masonry work. Seven miles west of the village, an early water grist mill operated on Spring Creek. The mill and village pre-dated the Civil War. Early settlers arriving in this area by 1832 found plentiful game; cured hides were among items traded at the nearest post at Rolla, about 110 miles away.

Howell County was decimated by guerilla warfare before, during and after the Civil War. Factional gangs roamed the countryside taking what they found and killing anyone who got in their way. A small, wooden courthouse built on the square in West Plains in 1859 was burned in 1862. In the fall of 1863, guerrillas burned all of West Plains, devastating the community; historians state not one person remained. The county was reorganized three years later.

William Campbell enlisted September 25, 1862, in Oregon County, Missouri. He served in Company E, 8th Battalion, Missouri Infantry of the Confederate States of America. According to various histories of the Civil War, the 8th was a re-organized unit originally formed in 1861 by Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson in a last-ditch effort to keep Missouri neutral in the looming conflict. Placed under the command of former Missouri Governor Sterling Price, the unit fought in the “Bull Run of the West,” the Battle of Wilson’s Creek on August 10, 1861. Subsequent battles included Dry Woods Creek. The unit disbanded in the summer of 1862, although several of its members participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge in Northwest Arkansas. The unit reformed as the 8th in late summer 1862, which was the time William joined.

After a four-day march in early fall 1862, the unit arrived at Spring River in Northwest Arkansas. Recruits were pressured to join other units. The commander, Colonel Mitchell, moved his unit to Camp Bragg near Batesville, and then traveled to Little Rock in an effort to improve his troops’ situation. Upon his return, he moved the unit to the camp of Col. William Coleman. Later in the fall, the unit joined with massed Confederate troops under the command of General T. C. Hindman. Among 9,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry, and 22 pieces of artillery, Company E’s men marched from Van Buren north for a major engagement with Union forces in early December 1862. On the morning of December 7th, they broke camp at 4 a.m. and marched fifteen miles to pasture land at Prairie Grove, Arkansas. In the massive conflict that ensued there, the Missouri 8th reported none killed and twenty wounded. After the Battle of Prairie Grove, the 8th was assigned garrison duty at Ft. Pleasant, Arkansas for five months.

Few soldiers enjoyed garrison duty, monotonous in the best of times. Discipline and morale deteriorated with drinking, gambling, and fighting. It was during the garrison duty of the 8th Missouri Infantry that William last appears present in the official military record, April 30, 1863.

What Happened to William?

A story passed down by the descendants of John Randolph is that once the war ended, William was mustered out of the Army with a mule, his bedroll, and a little money. As he approached his house (location not named), he saw his wife standing on the porch with an infant in her arms. Without dismounting, he inquired as to the paternity of the child, to which she replied “Wes Wallace.” (It is not clear whether Mr. Wallace had taken up residence.) After a pause, William nodded his head, spat over the mule’s withers, and rode off. The story is that he went to Texas and was never heard from again.[16]

Another oral tradition regarding his subsequent whereabouts, passed down through the family of William’s son James William, asserted that he deserted his Army post and fled to Scotland, where he married and raised another family.

Neither story is true. According to subsequent research and documentation, it is known that upon abandoning his service in the 8th Missouri, William did in fact go to Texas but not in the circumstance of departure as described in the family story. Whether in some official capacity with the Confederate forces or on his own, after April 30, 1863, he went to Red River County, Texas, where he joined his brother-in-law William Sira Norris “WSN” Lamberson. WSN operated a stagecoach stop for a stage line that ran to Missouri, likely along the old Southwest Trail. WSN was a blacksmith and driver and had enlisted in a Red River Volunteer Unit, the William B. Stout Company, on June 29, 1861, as a private.[17] It is believed that WSN and William “ran guns” for the Confederacy. This may also have included a return trip south with cotton for French blockage runners.[18]

In a letter written late in his life, WSN’s oldest son, Peter Abel Lamberson, states that “Wm. S. N. Lamberson died Jan 13 1864 (in south TX) in the confederate servis [sic] as a teamster.”

There is a historical marker at Clarksville, Red River County, TX which states:

“Across the street from this site and facing the county courthouse which was later (1885) torn down, the

Running from St. Louis to the Red River Valley, the Southwest Trail became a major immigration route in the 1820s. By the 1830s more than 80 percent of the Arkansas territory’s population had entered through the Southwest Trail. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Trail

Donoho Hotel and Stage Stand operated during the Civil War. Travel in those years was heavy. Soldiers arriving in Texas from Arkansas, Indian Territory, or elsewhere would catch the stage here for home. Many called by to give news to the Clarksville Standard, one of fewer than 20 Texas papers to be published throughout the war. The Standard’s emphasis on personal news from camps was valued by soldiers’ families… 31 stage lines in Confederate Texas hauled mail, soldiers, civilians. 26 made connections with railroads or steamships, expediting travel.”[19]

Was this location part of WSN’s route? We don’t know. WSN Lamberson’s place of death and burial has not been confirmed, but it is believed that he died within the vast area called Kings Ranch. During the Civil War, this wealthy landowner controlled a large portion of southernmost Texas, an area was known as Kings Ranch. This landowner allowed supplies and guns to flow from Mexico and Gulf ports into the hands of rebel forces. When Union soldiers eventually raided the ranch, they killed most of the men there. It is believed that WSN died in this raid.[20]

The so-called “Cotton Road” from Red River County south. https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/stagecoach-lines

William Campbell survived this particular battle and lived until early the next year before suffering injuries somewhere south of Red River County. Injured, William became ill (reportedly measles) and tried to get home. He got as far as WSN’s house, where WSN’s widow Martha Jones Lamberson was dying of “brain fever.”[21] She died February 26, 1865. Within a few days or maybe weeks, William also died.

WSN’s oldest son, Peter Abel Lamberson, was fifteen years old and would have been the one, perhaps assisted by neighbors, responsible for caring for and then burying his mother and uncle. He and the rest of Martha and WSN’s orphaned children were taken by the Jones family, none of whom knew how to get in touch with the Campbell family and so the information of William’s end did not get back to Melinda or their children.[22]

According to Peter Lamberson’s later account, “…Uncal Bill discharged as Confederate soldier on acct bad health. Couldn’t get to his home in Mo, came to our hous in Red R. County and died in 1865.”[23]

It may have been intentional on William’s part that he did not inform his wife Melinda of his whereabouts or military activity. The southern counties of Missouri and the northern counties of Arkansas where Malinda and four young children lived were the site of continuous conflict throughout the Civil War with both armies vying for control and conducting a scorched earth policy. In the region of Arkansas where William and Melinda had married, military activity centered on navigable portions of the White River. Eighteen officially-documented war engagements occurred in Independence County beginning with a skirmish at Batesville May 3, 1862. Two skirmishes occurred at Oil Trough Bottom. Expeditions, skirmishes, scouting, and attacks occurred throughout the area, including an attack at Jacksonport April 20, 1864. Likewise, farms and settlements in Howell County, Missouri were repeatedly burned and raided by both sides. Knowledge of William’s whereabouts would have been a liability for Melinda.

Other family historians disagree that once William went off to war, Lennie and the children were left to their own devices. The likelihood is good that he took time to help her set up an alternative place to reside and periodically visited at the new location with whatever resources he could manage. The idea that WSN’s stage route ventured as far north as the Missouri line lends credence to this idea.

According to family history (through descendants of William’s son James William), Lennie and the children hitchhiked to Newton County, Arkansas after William enlisted or, in some version, after the end of the war. At this point she would have been around 30 years old.

She was now the head of the household and had to make a home and provide for her family … Most of the country had been devastated by the Civil War … carpetbaggers often stole what little the people had left. The price of most things had skyrocketed and Confederate money held no value. She had a two-wheel cart for horse or ox. She had no house and no money with which to buy or build one, so she constructed a lean-to on (under) a cliff near a stream, probably using small logs, stones, and bark.”

Here the family had shelter from the winter’s cold. According to her grandson Dale Comb’s account, “she grew a garden and gathered what she could from the land. She was a good herbalist, knowing every flower, berry, green leaves, that were edible …  She also shot squirrels and rabbits, and fished … She was a very resourceful person, not only provided for the physical needs of her children, but also their medical needs. She was a midwife or ‘granny woman.’”[24]  Her children would have been important helpers, especially oldest son John Randolph who would have been twelve by 1865.

Following the apparent disappearance of William, Melinda produced a child named Wesley Wallace /Wallis, but the exact date of birth is unknown. The assumption is that she married Wallace since she took that name, as shown in her record of marriage to her third husband John Briggs.  

On December 29, 1873, “Lenny” Wallis age 40 married John Briggs age 52 in Independence County, Arkansas, joined by Justice of the Peace W. H. Palmer.[25] In the 1880 census, the family is shown at Ash Grove, Green County, Missouri with John Brigg age 67, occupied as ‘miner,’ Malinda Brigg age 45, and stepson Wesley Wallace age eleven (yielding a birth year of 1869).[26] The household also included two boarders. Briggs died in 1911.

The 1900 census for Independence County Arkansas lists Wes Wallace as age 35, with a birth date of April 1865. He was shown as a day laborer owning his own home, married 14 years, with a current wife of age 25, and with seven children but only three living. Wallace’s birth year has been recorded in various documents as 1862, 1865, and 1869.

Melinda lived later years of her life with her son James William and family in Woodruff County Arkansas, where she died March 3, 1922, age 94. She was buried in Pumpkin Bend Cemetery outside McCrory, Woodruff County, Arkansas in an unmarked grave.


[1]Interview with John Carl Campbell 1988, at his home in Winslow Arkansas

[2]Independence County, AR, Chancery Court Record A, Pgs 100 & 102

[3]https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Campbell-3140

[4] Tennessee State Library and Archives; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1958; Roll Number: 74

[5]Year: 1850; Census Place: Subdivision 17, Campbell, Tennessee; Roll: 872; Page: 309b   

[6]Year: 1860; Census Place: Glenwood, Mills, Iowa; Roll: M653_336; Page: 82; Family History Library Film: 803336

[7]The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; NAI Title: U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934; NAI Number: T288; Record Group Title: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773-2007; Record Group Number: 15; Series Title: U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934; Series Number: T288; Roll: 70 The

[8]Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917-1940

[9]Year: 1900; Census Place: Rock Bluffs, Cass, Nebraska; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0016; FHL microfilm: 1240919

[10]Year: 1910; Census Place: Rock Bluff, Cass, Nebraska; Roll: T624_840; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0016; FHL microfilm: 1374853

[11] https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74447834/manuel-hickey-campbell

[12] A fieri facias is a writ of execution after judgment obtained in a legal action for debt or damages for the sheriff to levy on goods of the judgment debtor. 

[13] About $600 in today’s currency

[14] Lookup courtesy of “Bill” at Independence County Abstract Co., Jan 10, 2022

[15]Deed Record J-82, Independence County, Arkansas.

[16] J. C. Campbell interview, 1988

[17]https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/stout-william-b The roster for this company includes W.S.N. Lamberson See http://txgenwebcounties.org/redriver/volunteers/stout.htm

[18] “Texas was the only Confederate state to border a foreign country. Trade with Mexico made more materials available to Texas than to other states. Confederates managed to smuggle 320,000 bales or 144 million pounds of cotton through Mexican ports and past the Union blockade. In return for cotton, Texans received military supplies, medicines, dry goods, food, iron goods, liquor, coffee, and tobacco.” https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/civil-war

[19] https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=96651 Accessed January 11, 2022

[20]See https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/king-richard for more information about this raid.

[21]Brain fever is generally understood to have been encephalitis.

[22] Information in this paragraph from Judy Benson Nov 13 2003 email

[23]The letter revealing the nature and place of his death was from WSN’s son Peter Abel Lamberson who was fifteen at the time of William’s death. “In 1980, Virgie Campbell Combs was corresponding with Wilma Benson, a descendant of Peter and Elizabeth Lamberson. Their grandson [Peter Abel], and a nephew of Melinda Lamberson Campbell, had written a couple of letters detailing some family history. These were found in an old trunk belonging to Wilma’s aunt.” This material provided by Harriet Brantley Lane, a descendant of William Campbell, in an email to this author dated Jan 13, 2005.

[24]See “The Campbell Clan” by David Dale Combs later in this collection. (not included here)

[25] Independence Co, AR Marriage Book D, pg 80

[26] Ash Grove, located northwest of Springfield, was the site of lead mines.

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