Amos McKinney was born a slave on 10 Mar 1834, near Charleston, South Carolina. He stated because of being born a slave, there was no record of his birth or baptism, and he had no way of getting in touch with the family who owned him who might have such a record. In an affidavit in his request for an increase in pension, he made this statement: “That he did have in his possession about twenty or twenty five years ago an affidavit from Mrs. Vicey McKinney, wife of William McKinney of Marshall County, Alabama, who was his mistress and owner, and who acted as midwife at the time of his birth; that the said affidavit was sent to the bureau of pensions about twenty of twenty-five years ago as evidence in a claim he was then prosecuting for pension; that in the said affidavit of the said Mrs. Vicey McKinney, she stated that she had acted as midwife at the time of his birth, that he was born on the 10th day of March 1836, to her personal knowledge. That the said Mrs. Vicey McKinney is now dead, and has been dead for about twelve or thirteen years; That when he enlisted in the army of the United States he was thirty-six years of age when he was mustered into the service of the United States as stated, and that according to his information and belief has discharge gave his age at enlistment at thirty-six years; That his said discharge from the army of the United States has been lost or destroyed and although he has diligently searched for it he has not been able to find it. For the reasons given herein he is unable to furnish any public, baptismal or family record of his birth. It was witnessed by L.P. Jacobs and J.B. Cashen and Amos made his mark with an "X". His Post Office Address at the time of this request was Decatur, Alabama.
On 15 December 1863, he enlisted as Undercook in Company C of the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USV in Corinth, Mississippi, and Mustered In at Rome, Georgia. He states that during his term of service, while they were advancing on the enemy, he was shot below the left knee and had several wounds to the chest. During his term of service he served as Teamster with the Regimental Quartermaster and Mustered Out of service in Huntsville, Alabama on 20 October 1865, with the rest of the regiment, as Regimental Teamster.
On 28 Nov 1865, Amos married Malissa Ann McAfee Pearson in Decatur, AL by Raif Milam and they had the following children: Charles, born 08 Dec 1872; Martha, 07 Dec 1873; Lula, 16 Dec 1877; Henry, 17 Feb 1879; Alvin, 10 May 1881; Amos, Jr. 30 Sep 1886; Mary, 19 Oct 1888; Kirk; 13 Mar 1892, and Annie, 20 Dec 1896 in Morgan County, Alabama. According to one of the affidavits in the pension records, a record of Amos and Malissa McKinney’s marriage is in the Recorder’s Office in Florence, Alabama. Amos McKinney, Sr. died 24 August 1910 in Moulton, Lawrence County, Alabama and is buried in the Sykes Cemetery in Morgan County, Alabama, near Decatur. According to an Affidavit for Reimbursement filed by Amos’ son, Kirk, he and Malissa left a small house and 2 acres of land which was willed to their children. He also had some life insurance policies. Kirk McKinney was the executor of Malissa McKinney’s Will.
Melissa McKinney died 13 Feb 1929 in Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama.
Researched and written by Glenda McWhirter Todd
Information from pension records filed by Amos and Malissa McKinney
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.