1st Alabama Cavalry - Est. 1862
Home | Original 1st | Reenactors | Links | Contact Us | What's New
Southern Unionists | History of the First | Unit Stories | Official Records | Colored Troops
Searchable Roster | Individual Stories | Obituaries | Pictures | Tombstone Photos

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Glenda McWhirter Todd. She passed away on September 3, 2017 surrounded by her family. She was a historian, genealogist, and author who prided herself on being a descendant of Andrew Ferrier McWhirter of the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USV. Her work over the past two decades and her dedication to the 1st Alabama Cavalry has created a legacy that will last for years to come.

Her life's work has touched thousands of people through the years, and I am glad that I had the pleasure to work with her as long as I did. My hope is that her work will live on for years to come to educate and inspire a new generation.

Stories about Troopers from the 1st Alabama

Picture Tombstone Combined Service Record

George W Jaggers
Submitted by Kirleen Hiett

George Washington Jaggers was born January 7, 1833 in Marion County, Alabama. He was the only child from the union of Daniel Duncan Jaggers from Chester District, South Carolina, and Sarah (Bell) Sanderson, widow of John G. Sanderson of Madison County, Alabama. George used to make a riddle of this situation by telling his playmates that his father had eight children and his mother had eight children, yet there were fifteen children in the family. George's father left his family between 1838 and 1844, when George was five to eleven years old. The family heard Daniel had died in Little Rock, Arkansas or that he'd gone off to the California Gold Rush. In fact, he had re-married in Bradley County, Arkansas by 1846. He did make a trip to California, evidenced by his appearance on the 1852 Mariposa County, California census records.

George Jaggers' half brothers and sisters born to Daniel Duncan and Hephgabel Jaggers were: Joseph C. b. 30 Mar 1816 d. 8 Apr 1862 CSA; James Minnis b. 6 Sep 1817, Alfred Jaggers b. abt 1818 d. 17 Apr 1863; Margaret Caroline b. 1824 d. 1889 [Circumstantial Evidence-No Documentation]; Nathan b. abt 1826 [Circumstantial Evidence-No Documentation]; Amos F. b. 15 Dec 1830 d. 8 May 1861. According to George's riddle here was one more unknown child.

George's recollection of his mother's Sanderson children was that they were an “ornery lot and made his life miserable during childhood". George's half brothers and sisters born to Sarah Bell and John Sanderson were: Daniel b. 1819, Eliza b abt 1820, James Madison b. 29 Jun 1821 d. 3 Jul 1901, Jessee b. abt 1825, Mary Elizabeth b. 19 Mar 1827 d. 24 Aug 1879, William K., Jasper b. 10 Oct 1830 [tombstone date] born after his father died. He died 10 Sep 1898. In his adult years in Marion County, Alabama, George kept a business journal in which he wrote: "Jasper Sanderson, men of men of my meny lived sorry men." Jasper and George were close in age and there are indications of an emotional closeness between the two men. A memorial plaque on the Hamilton, Marion County, Alabama Court House shows George and Jasper in the First Alabama U. S. Cavalry in the Civil War from Marion County, Alabama. Marion County Alabama land certificates show that George purchased a lot near Jasper, (and Daniel and John M. Sanderson) in 1856. Marion County Alabama Map of Sections, Townships and Ranges and Marion County Census Records for 1870 show George and Jasper Sanderson living near each other and George's business journal indicates that Jasper worked with George in a leather works and tan-yard business before the Civil War.

George repaired boots and shoes and made leather items as an occupation. He was a fiddle player and must have been an able fiddler, for his Confederate Army record gave his occupation as musician. He was a member of the Methodist Church. His war records list him as 5' 7" to 5' 9" tall with dark hair, gray or hazel eyes and dark/fair complexion.

On August 14, 1851, at age 18 1/2, in Fulton, Itawamba County, Mississippi, George Washington Jaggers married Mary Eleaner Clark, age 21. She was born on November 22, 1830. Their first child, Jessie M. Jaggers was born near Tupelo, Mississippi September 3, 1852. They moved to Hamilton, Marion County, Alabama by 1854 where six more children were born to them: Martha C.-July 2, 1854; Mary Elizabeth-February 24, 1856; John Marian (He didn't like Marian, so he went by John J. or J. J.)-February 7, 1858; Sarah Ann-June 10, 1860; Rebecca Lucendia-April 4, 1862; and Melviney Jenora-May 22, 1864. They are shown in Marion County, Alabama on the 1860 census and after the Civil War on the 1870 census.

In Civil War times, young men were drafted to serve in both Confederate and Union armies, but there are conflicting stories about George's Civil War activities. There is a muster record and POW File documenting his enlistment May 13, 1862 at Aberdeen, Mississippi in the 42nd Regiment Alabama Confederate Infantry. However, family tradition is that George evaded military duty in the Confederate Army by hiding out, but was finally captured by the Rebels. Then he escaped and became a fugitive. They trailed him with bloodhounds, which he was able to evade by putting cayenne pepper in his tracks when he heard the hounds coming. Then, to keep from being recaptured by the Rebels, he joined the Union Army, where he was assigned to the position of Saddler Sergeant.

George had to pass through Rebel camps and pickets whenever he got a furlough to go home. On one of these trips, an old man and his son accompanied him and they traveled at night to evade Confederate troops. They came upon a small Rebel outfit camped near a bridge they had to cross. George stole a Rebel horse, which turned out to be blind, right out from under the nose of a Rebel picket. To get across the bridge, George took the blind horse, and the old man and his son took a heavy stick in each hand. They crossed the bridge banging the sticks and making as much noise as they could while George yelled out commands as though a large Union outfit were crossing the bridge. The Rebels, being a small outfit, didn't challenge them and they crossed the bridge unmolested.

Later they stopped at an old abandoned sawmill shed to get out of a rainstorm. The old man decided to build a fire to get warm and dry out his clothes. George advised against it because they were still in Rebel territory, but the old man did it anyway. George feared the fire would attract the Rebels so he would not stay by the fire, but moved off to a dark section of the shed. There he found a herd of sleeping hogs and decided they would be his cover if the Rebels came. He found himself a sill near the hogs. He thought that if the Rebels came he would jump among the hogs, causing them to scamper away and he planned to scamper away on all fours with them.

According to a prisoner of war record, George was captured in Vicksburg, Mississippi and was paroled according to the terms of capitulation entered into by the commanding generals of the Union and Confederate forces. On July 4, 1863, George W. Jaggers signed a statement "declaring he was a prisoner of war and agreed not to take up arms against the Union nor serve the Confederate Cause, nor discharge any military duties until duly exchanged by the proper authorities."

There are complete records for George's service in the Union army. According to the records, he enlisted in the First Cavalry of Alabama at Camp Davis, MS on December 10, 1863 for three years "or the duration of the war". He was mustered in at Memphis, Tennessee on February 5, 1864 and his occupation was listed as saddler. He was appointed Sergeant September 1, 1864 and promoted to Saddler Sergeant August 1, 1865. His discharge was dated October 20, 1865 at Huntsville, AL.

After the war George Washington Jaggers feared his Southern neighbors would not appreciate his having deflected to the North, but he did return to his family in Alabama. Then for some reason he deserted his family there in 1872 after twenty years together. All of the children were still at home then except Jesse, who was already married to Sarah Jane Pollard. George's daughter, Mary Elizabeth, told her mother she was going to spend the night at Uncle Jesse’s house and she and George left. For years, the family didn't know where they had gone. They did know George had another family though. Mary Elizabeth went to see her mother after George died at least three times.

All George's war records spelled his last name-Jaggers. His name was spelled both ways, Jaggers and Jagears, in the business journal he kept from 1852-1860 while he was married to Mary Eleaner Clark. It is spelled Jagears on his marriage license to Martha Degurnett in 1874. On tombstones of two of their children and on his tombstone it is also spelled Jagears. George and Martha's children who lived to adulthood spelled their name Jagears.

George went to Mississippi, where on September 20, 1874 in Lafayette County, he married Martha L. Degurnett, of French ancestry, whose birthplace was Cabarrus County, North Carolina. They had six children, four of whom died in infancy. The two who lived to adulthood were Robert Edwin Jagears-born August 24, 1878 and James Leslie Jagears-born July 11, 1890.

According to a letter from Jim's wife, Clara, to Zack Jaggers, his parents (George W. and Martha) moved around a lot. He remembered his mother saying they had lived in Pontotoc County, Mississippi and at Toccopola, Mississippi for a time. The Degurnetts lived at Tupelo, Mississippi, so it is likely George and Martha lived there early in their marriage. They were shown in 1880 on the Richland Township, Pulaski County, Missouri census records with Robert and Rosa as children. Their first two children were buried in Richland, Missouri in 1887 and 1889. Robert Edwin was likely born there too in 1887, even though his obituary from the Monett, Missouri newspaper states he was born in Okolona, Mississippi. His infant sister died in Richland August 22, 1878 and he was born August 24, 1878. James Leslie was born in Richland in 1890. 1900 census records show George and Martha with both sons at Monett Township, Barry County, Missouri. George and Martha also lived at Frisco near Van Buren, Crawford County, Arkansas for at least three months in 1903 according to his pension record. Before 1907, they had moved to a log cabin in Munsey community near Seligman, Missouri.

George Washington Jagears died September 3, 1907 in Munsey Community, Barry County, Missouri at the age of 74 with 'dropsy'. He was buried at Munsey Cemetery near Seligman, a small community near Monett, Barry County, Missouri.

George’s grave is marked with a stone monument in the third row, about the middle of the cemetery, near the north fence. His wife, Martha Lawrence Degurnett, who was born August 14, 1851 in Cabarrus County, N. C. died on March 28, 1915 with tuberculosis. She is buried by George's side in Munsey Cemetery, even though there is only one marker with George's name on it.

Database created and maintained by Ryan Dupree.

Service records compiled by Glenda Todd and used with her permission. This and other information about the history of the First and the men who fought with the unit can be found in her book, First Alabama Cavalry, USA: Homage to Patriotism.

If you would like to contribute to our collection, please feel free to contact us.

Click here to go back to the search page

© 2002-2024 www.1stalabamacavalryusv.com