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

Combined Service Record

David C Spears
David C. Spears was born on 10 June 1841 in Randolph Co., AL to Joshua and Mary “Polly” Meacham Spears. Joshua was born 17 Aug 1812 in SC and died after 04 March 1891 in Randolph Co., AL. Mary “Polly” Spears was born about 1810 in NC and died 16 Dec 1890 in Haywood, Randolph County, Alabama. They had been married in Bethel Church 15 Feb 1834. Other children of Joshua and Mary were: John M., born about 1834; Parilee, 1836; Dill Dallas, 1838, William Columbus, 24 Sep 1839, died 21 Jan 1917 in Pototoc Co., MS; and Francis Marion, 6 Jul 1840, died 01 Apr 1909 in Randolph Co., AL. All children were born in Randolph Co., AL. Joshua Spears was the son of Mercer Spears, born 1785 in 96 District of South Carolina, died 24 Jun 1876 in Leesville, Clay Co., AL and his wife, Elizabeth “Betsy” Dodd, born 1785 in SC and died 1854 in Randolph Co., AL. Elizabeth Dodd was the son of John Dodd, born 28 Mar 1764 in Amelia Co., VA, died 11 Sep 1840 in Brazil, Gibson Co., TN and his wife, Elizabeth Scales, born 06 Jan 1769 in Rockingham Co. NC and died 28 Mar 1825 in Spartanburg, SC. John was the son of Allen Dodd, born 1740 in Culpepper Co., VA, died Feb 1801 in Rockingham Co., NC and his wife, Mary, last name unknown, born 1744 in Faquier Co., VA. John was the son of Nathaniel Dodd, born 1714 in Westmoreland Co., VA and died 24 May 1784 in Faquier Co., VA. Nathaniel was the son of John Dodd, born 02 Jul 1666 in Charles Co., MD and died 26 Mar 1745 in Washington Precinct in Westmoreland Co., VA and his wife, Jane, last name unknown, born 1670 and died 1721. John was the son of Richard Dodd, born 1633 in MD, died 06 Aug 1679 in Charles Co., MD, and Mary Dynes, born 1637 and died in MD. Richard was the son of a John Dodd, but no further information is known about him. (Joshua Dodd’s ancestors were submitted by Deborah S. Yarbrough)

On August 1, 1864, David enlisted and mustered in the 1st AL Cav. US as a Private in Co. B in Rome, GA at age 23. He was reported to have deserted on March 30th near Faison’s Station, NC, however, he had gone out on his horse foraging and was captured and taken prisoner of war by the enemy, not far from Faison’s Station. His military records state he was supposed to have been killed or to have died while in the hands of the enemy on or about March 30th 1865. However, there will be more about this in the below documents.

Joshua Spears, David’s father, first filed a claim for pension early in 1872 but it was disallowed 24 April 1872 “on account of desertion”. However, on 12 June 1889, the War Department issued a statement to the family stating the charge of desertion was removed because “He is supposed to have been killed and to have died while in the hands of the enemy on or about March 30, 1865.”

01 Nov 1883 - Mary Spears filed a Declaration for an Original Pension of a Mother stating she was 78 years old and she and her husband had been wholly dependant on their son, David C. Spears. She went on to say David had been “crippled by a spand of mules and wagon and has had ? for thirty two years”. She stated David had one sibling, a sister, Nicy M. Spears, who was under 16 years old and was born 02 Jan 1845. The declaration was witnessed by J.H. Laton and F.M. Spears (David’s brother).

21 Feb 1890 - Thomas M. Linley, who was a Corporal in the 1st AL signed an affidavit stating he knew David, Joshua and Mary Spears and he knew of David being killed near Faison’s Station, NC. The affidavit was witnessed by Joel J. Poole, Sarah Lindley, Thomas M. Lindlay and Isaac Mize.

21 Feb 1890 - Joel J. Poole submitted an affidavit stating he was a Private in Co. E of the 1st Regiment of AL Cav. and was well acquainted with David C. “Spears. He stated David was not married and had no children and lived with his parents. It was witnessed by T.M. Linley and Sarah Linley. (These documents are very difficult to decipher)gt

01 April 1890 - Mary C. Spears submitted an affidavit stating she was 84 years old and that in 1865, her Post Office address was Haywood, AL but the office of Haywood was abandoned for a time and her address was Wedowee, AL. She stated she had resided in the immediate area from 1852 to the present time and that in 1865, the members of her family were as follows: Joshua Spears, husband of Claimant and Nicey Spears, her daughter who was born in 1845. She went on to tell about having to sell their small farm and they were living with their son, Francis M. Spears. The rest of the affidavit is almost impossible to read. It was witnessed by John C. Barton and Hezekiah T. Barton

11 Aug 1890 – Mary Spears wrote a four (4) page letter to the Commissioner of Pensions stating she had had a pension claim, No. 310-527, pending “near six years”. She stated she was born 25 Dec 1805 and her husband was born 17 Aug 1812 and that neither she nor her husband, Joshua, had any means of support, no land of any kind, no home nor abiding place and only by the generosity and kindness of their son, Francis M. Spears, who was a poor man with an afflicted family and he himself, was a confirmed invalid from injuries received in the US Navy. She went on to say that she, herself, “was badly afflicted with the heart troubles and her left hand is paralyzed and had been for seven or eight years.” She stated she had four sons and advised them never to fight against the United States and they all went north and three of them joined the Union Army and Navy and they had gone north to keep from being conscripted by the Confederate or Rebel Army. She asked the Commissioner to make her claim a special claim and work on it. She stated her son gave his life for his country and the financial embarrassment of her son, Francis M. Spears, with whom they lived, demanded of them the claim be approved. The letter was witnessed by G.W. Tripp and J.W. Smith and Mary made her mark.

08 May 1890 – William F. Morgan submitted an affidavit stating that in 1865, he had lived with Joshua and Mary Spears several years, when they had a farm worth a few hundred dollars but were considerably in debt. He went on to say he knew Joshua and Mary had had to sell their farm in order to survive and had spent the proceeds for their support.

12 May 1890 – W.C. Robertson of Randolph Co., AL submitted an affidavit saying he had known Joshua and Mary Spears for 30 years and they had always been poor people and that in 1865, their farm was not worth more than $350 and that Joshua had been an invalid for many years. He stated he knew that David C. Spears was a single man and worked on his parent’s farm for their support.

05 Jan 1891 – Joshua Spears submitted a Declaration for Dependent Father’s Pension stating his son, David C. Spears, died on 30 March 1865 near Faison’s Station NC. He stated he and his wife, Mary, had been married 15 February 1834, and that she died16 Dec 1890 near Haywood, Alabama.

28 Feb 1891 – Joshua Spears submitted a Declaration for an Original Pension of a Father or Mother stating the following: “David C. Spears was at Faison’s Station with his company and on or about the 30th day of March 1865, went out in the country foraging and never returned. He was eventually killed and has been so certified by the Department. He went on to say he had been wholly dependant on his son, David, and that he and his late wife had been married 15 February 1834 at Bethel Church by Goulds?, J.P. The declaration was witnessed by H.T. Barton and J.E. Thomason.

4 March 1891 - John C. Barton submitted an affidavit stating he was 44 years old, a resident of near Haywood, AL and a Justice of the Peace in Randolph Co., AL. He stated he was a neighbor of Joshua Spears and had known them since 1850. He also stated that David’s mother, Mary, had died the 16th day of December 1890, and that Joshua had no property of any value, no real estate and depended on his support from his son, F.M. Spears. The affidavit was signed by John C. Barton and William Baldwin.

Several General Affidavits were submitted by different people but had no dates. They were stating they knew the Spears family and attested to what had been stated in previous documents. Names of people submitted affidavits for the Spears were: Robert A. Boyd, 55 years old; William J. Stallings, Sr., aged 64; Benjamin P. Dobson, aged 62; Hezekiah T. Barton, aged 41 and John C. Barton, aged 43; Hezekiah Meachum, aged 79; (Mary Spears’ brother); Joel J. Poole, aged 63; and Robert A. Boyd, aged 55 & Elizabeth C. Boyd, aged 48.

(Researched and written by Glenda McWhirterTodd using military and pension records and census records.) Please advise if you have additions or corrections.

Pension records for David C. Spears filed first by his father, Joshua Spears at age 79 and then Joshua's widow, Mary Spears, at age 78. Mary stated David C. Spears was killed by two of his comrades on 30 Mar 1865 when he went out from Faison's Station, NC to forage. According to the War Dept. he was killed while in the hands of the enemy and the charges of desertion against him were dismissed 6 June 1889

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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