1st Alabama Cavalry - Est. 1862
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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

Elisha R Lawrence/Laurence
Descendants of Elisha state the name is spelled 'Laurence'. The Book, Progressive Men of Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Fremont and Oneida Counties, Idaho", by Andrew Jenson, states the following:

"Elisha R. Laurence - A gallant soldier when the integrity of the Union was in danger and fighting valiantly in its defense, enduring the hardships of the march, the heat of the battle and the terrible sufferings of prison life, and bearing all with fortitude and manly courage, and an enterprising man of productive industry when war smoothed its wrinkled front, boldly challenging the frontier to oppose his energy all its difficulties, Elisha R. Laurence of Whitney, typifies in his character and career the best elements of American citizenship, and is justly esteemed as one of the leading men in his section of the country. He is a native of Morgan Co., Ala., where he was born on September 19, 1837, the son of Orson and Arabella (Allen) Laurence, natives of North Carolina. His father was a planter in Alabama and remained there until a short time before his death, when, on account of failing health, he went to make his home with a daughter in Arkansas where he died in 1883. His wife died in Alabama some years before his removal from the state. Their son, Elisha grew to manhood and was educated in his native county, and in July, 1862, being opposed to disunion, he made his way through the Confederate lines and joined the Federal army at Huntsville, Ala., as a member of the First Alabama Infantry, which was afterward changed into a cavalry regiment. It was assigned to the command of General Buell and saw hard service under him. Mr. Laurence was captured a number of times and was confined in a number of Southern prisons. He rejoined his regiment after each exchange and was transferred to the Army of the Potomac under General Grant. In the concluding campaigns of that organization he took an active part. In July, 1865, he was mustered out of the service at Nashville, Tenn., and returned to his Alabama home, where he engaged in farming until 1872. In 1869 he was baptized into the Mormon communion, and in the spring of 1872 came to Utah. After a short residence at Ogden he came north to where Whitney now stands and settled on land two miles south of Preston, where there was only one other family, there being also but two at the site of Whitney. For four years he farmed his land, and in 1876 he sold it and homsteaded on the ranch he now occupies, which is in Whitney precinct and located three miles southeast of Preston..... He is a stanch Republican in political faith and is deeply and earnestly interested in the success of his party, but steadfastly refuses all efforts to get him to accept public office..... Mr. Laurence was married, in 1857 in Blount County, Ala. to Miss Sarah Williford and has three children as the fruit of the union, (James) Orson, William and Mary. She died in 1865 and was buried in Morgan County, Ala., and in 1868 he married a second wife in Blount County, that state, Miss Mary Ann Ratliff, by whom also he had three children, Sarah, N. Abby and Caroline. The second Mrs. Laurence passed away in 1878 and was buried at Franklin, Idaho. Subsequently he contracted a third marriage, his choice this time being Miss Mary Jane Wall, also a native of Alabama. They have eleven children, Ruth, Elisha, Henry, Francis, Violet, Hartwell, Myrtle, Orla, Vane, Uriel and Delva, all bright and interesting children and popular members of their social circles."

Subsequent to the publishing of the above biography, E. R. Laurence moved to Mesa Arizona in 1902 and lived there for one and one half years. Following that he moved his family to the Stockton area of California. E.R. Laurence died on 16 December 1916 in Bellota, San Jauquin Co., CA aged 79 years.

Elisha Randolph Laurence
By Christie Laurence Ingham

Elisha Randolph Laurence was born in Morgan County, Alabama 19 Sepember 1837 to Orson and Arabella (Allen) Laurence, natives of North Carolina.

He married Sarah E. Williford 29 July 1856, Blount County, Alabama.



From a family portrait with his
third wife Mary Jane Walls and family

He enlisted in Company I of the 1st Alabama Cavalry on 18 August 1862 in Huntsville, Alabama.

Elisha's wife Sarah died in 1865 and was buried in Morgan County, Alabama.

He then married Mary Ann Ratliff Walls on 29 Mar 1868 in Blount County, Alabama. She was the daughter of Ezekiel Ratliff and Mary Ann Simmons. Mary Ann first husband was Drury Walls who served as a private in Company F of the 48th Alabama Infantry (Confederate). He died of typhoid fever in Petersburg, Virginia on 7 April 1863.

Elisha became a Morman and moved to Utah in 1872.

Mary Ann died in 1878 and was buried at Franklin, Idaho.

Elisha's third wife was Mary Jane Walls.

He moved his family to Mesa, Arizona in 1902 and finally to Stockton, California.

He died 16 December 1916 in Bellota, San Jauquin, County, California. Elisha and Mary Jane are buried in the Stockton Rural Cemetery in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California.

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.

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