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

John J Prince

By: Judith Ann Prince Shine

John Jefferson Prince was born, in Randolph County, Alabama, February 3, 1848. He was the son of Jonathan Prince and Martha Smith Prince. They were married in Meriwether County, GA 1843. Indian raids continued in that area so shortly after their marriage, they moved to Weedowee, Randolph Co., AL. John Jefferson’s sisters included: Mary born 1845; Martha F. born 1852; Nancy C. born 1855 and Sarah born 1865. Brothers included: William T. born 1850 (died Sept. 1860 of bilious (yellow) fever), and James born 1863.

John Jefferson enlisted in the Union Army, Co. B, 1st AL Cav. 1 Aug. 1864 in Weedowee, Randolph Co., AL. The roll was dated The Roll was dated and was commanded by Capt. E. B. West. His stated age was 18; he was 5’ 8" tall, had blue eyes, a light complexion and had light colored hair. He was paid $300.00. His occupation was that of a farmer. (According to the 1850 census, John was 16 in 1864.) He was present on the Sept. /Oct. 1864 muster roll, and present on the Nov./Dec.1864 muster roll.

November 1864 - General William Tecumseh Sherman, along with the 1st AL Cav., continued their march through Georgia to the sea. In the course of the march; Sherman cut himself off from his source of supplies, planning for his troops to live off the land. His men cut a path 300 miles in length and 60 miles wide, burning Atlanta on the way, as they passed through Georgia, destroying factories, bridges, railroads, and public buildings. When he arrived in Savannah on Christmas, Sherman called President Lincoln and told him he was giving him Savannah for Christmas. John Jefferson fell ill during this time and the March/April 1865 shows he was absent on the company Muster Roll. John had been left sick in the hospital in Savannah, GA since Jan. 15, 1865. General Tecumseh Sherman had made a quick advance through Georgia and South Carolina and his army was approaching Charlotte, NC.

"By March 1865, the Confederacy had been split asunder. Union troops had driven wedges of men and destruction through the Deep South. General William T. Sherman had marched north from Savannah, Georgia through the Carolinas toward Virginia where he was eventually to join General U.S. Grant, U.S.A. in the siege of Petersburg.

During Sherman's march through the Carolinas, he burned Columbia, South Carolina, pushed on into North Carolina and, by early March and was nearing Fayetteville. Sherman divided his veteran army of 70,000 men into two wings. Cavalry was used to screen the infantry's march as the army moved relentlessly north."

March 10, 1865 - The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads, NC, was not a planned engagement, but one of happenstance for both combatant groups.

"As the Confederates made their charge through the camp very early in the morning, many Federal troops were caught unaware, but many also rolled over in their blankets to grab their weapons and returned fire. Others were hacked by sabers before they could rise from their slumber. The Union soldiers near the front of the assault were caught totally by surprise, and many surrendered. Many other Federals seized their weapons and fell back to the swamp. Others apparently stayed their ground because wild hand-to-hand combat ensued. Some Union troops fled to the south and southwest into swampy areas where they reformed and directed fire toward the Confederates in the camp."

Pvt. John Jefferson’s injury in the battle of Monroe’s Crossroads was cited in his pension application, by personal letter, war department papers and testimony. William M.Woodham, Co. B, 1st AL Cav., and Benjamin Tidwell, Co. A, 1st AL Cav. provided Officer’s or Comrade’s Testimony stating:

"On the 10th day of March at a crossroads in North Carolina, the 1st AL Cav. was charged by the rebels at daybreak and stampeeded them and in the stampeed John J. Prince was running with his gun slung around his back. He fell and fell with his breast on the breach of his gun and the muzzle stuck in the ground. He went over it & hurt himself in his back & breast; was with him & waited on him frequently from then until he was mustered out of service."

Monroe’s Crossroads is located totally within the confines of Ft. Bragg, NC, home of the elite 82nd Airborne Division. The battlefield and area have been left totally as they were in 1865 and if one came back from that battle today, they would be able to recognize the area. The Charles Monroe homestead is gone and a monument now stands in that place. John Jefferson’s grandson, my brother, Howard T. Prince II and his great grandson, my son, Robert Lee Shine, both served at Fort Bragg in the 82nd Airborne Division during the Cold War in the second half of the 20th century.

May/June 1865 - July/August 1865 Company Muster Rolls. John was present. October 20, 1865 - Company Muster Roll – dated Oct. 20, 1865, Huntsville, AL. His age was listed as 18. John Jefferson Prince was given an Honorable Discharge on Oct. 20, 1865 at Huntsville, Alabama. The company Muster-out Roll states he was due $53.65 from enlistment and due $100.00 for a bounty. Remarks made included being left in the hospital since July 1, 1865. There was a stop for a saddle, halter, bridle and blanket costing $23.97 with an additional stop for $9.80. Height was now listed as 5’11".

John married Amanda M. F. Pollard (born 16 May 1848) shortly after the war ended. J. R. was born October 4th, 1867 in Harrisonville, Troup Co., GA. They moved to Randolph Co. (Roanoke P.O.), AL in 1868 for a short time and then moved to Texas, Heard Co., GA later that same year.

In the spring of 1870, John Jefferson’s horse fell down, falling on his right ankle, dislocating the ankle joint. That injury made him a cripple in that leg for the rest of his life. In a letter he states, "

It is a great disadvantage to my back in walking and I sometimes pull and strain my back and then the right side of my back swells up with a heavy bearing over my right hip and down my right thigh. The later part of my urine is nearly always white like milk especially for a while after I get it hurt and the swelling begins to leave. The doctor says I have a floating kidney."

John states in a personal letter that, “During these moves I did some farming, taught school and did some peddling,” at least as much as he was physically able to as his breast and back, along with the dislocated ankle continued to be a problem. On December 25, 1869, J.W. (John Washington) was born. Other children born to John and Amanda were: Luvenia born 18 Dec. 1876, Sarah Jane, Fannie V. born 24 Nov. 1882, Millie, Leonard F. born 3 Feb. 1886, and Walter Orlando born 29 March 1887. John also states in his letter places where he lived after the war. They included: Harrisonville, Troup Co., GA; Roanoke, Randolph Co., AL; Texas, Heard Co., GA; Victory, Carroll Co., GA; Bowden, Carroll Co., GA; and Warrenton, Marshall Co., AL. He would later settle in Bear Creek, Marion Co., AL.

On Jan. 17, 1890, John applied for a government pension, and on March 1, 1890 - H. M. Baker filled out a General Affidavit stating;

"They had been friends for 14 years and that John had hardly been able to do any kind of work; stated he complained often of his back hurting and always stated it was from injuries received in the war. October 28, 1891. J. E. Smith, Pres., S. E. York, Sec’y. of Board and W. E. Buckley, Treas. sign Surgeon’s Certificate and upon examination they note, his pulse rate is 102; respiration 18; temperature 98.4, height 5’11”; weight 189; age 46. A complete examination was given and at the end it was stated, “He is, in our opinion, entitled to a 7/18 rating for the disability caused by rheumatism, 3/18 for that by injury to right ankle.

Amanda was born 16 May 1848 and died May 25, 1894; Bear Creek, AL. She was buried in the County Line Cemetery, Winston Co., AL. Death records state she died from "change of life". The local newspaper states: "3 October 1895. Married at the M.E. Church at this place last Tuesday Mr. JOHN J. PRINCE to LAVINA McDOWELL of near Haleyville by Rev. A. L. OWENS. " This marriage ended in divorce in the fall of 1898.

October 23, 1898, Haleyville, Winston Co., AL., John married Miss Louisa M. McEachern. Three of their 5 children were born in AL. A daughter’s husband supposedly shot and killed a man and John Jefferson advised them to head for Indian Territory to keep from being arrested. Thus the family’s migration west. John, Louie (as she preferred to be called), Millard E., Eugene, and Howell H. also headed west. From 1903 to 1905 they lived in Ben Franklin, TX. Then they moved to Boswell, Indian Territory (Oklahoma) where Ethel G. was born in 1905 and in 1907, they moved to Jackson, Indian Territory (Oklahoma) where Howard T. was born in 1909.

On July 12, 1907, John Jefferson was appointed Post Master of the Jackson Post Office, Indian Territory, and held that position until his death July 11, 1909 at age 61. He was buried in the Jackson Cemetery, Bryan Co., OK. Louisa received John’s pension until her death in 1949. She was buried in the Bradley Cemetery, Bradley, OK.

About the Author: Judith Ann Prince Shine is the granddaughter of John Jefferson and Louisa M. McEachern Prince. Her father, Howard, was the last child born to John and Louisa Prince. Howard served 29 ½ years in the United States Army.

This narrative is based on information contained in the National Archives, AL Census Records, 1860 AL Mortality Records, Winston County Records, Federal Pension Application, NC Civil War Battle Monroe’s Crossroads, U.S. Postal Service, OK Death Certificate, Meriwether Co., GA, "Book of Early Marriages" by: Peggy McNair Lewis, personal family pictures, letters and stories.

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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