Collected by Billy Bob Bert Brazell
Great Grandson of William Monroe Brazell & Sarah Jane Cunningham.
WILLIAM MONROE BRAZELL
1846-1888 (his tombstone has 1844-1888)
William Monroe(Bill) and Henry Floyd (Dale) Brazell were twin sons of Merrill B. Brazell and his wife Alamariah S. Mizell. They were born in 1846 near Birmingham, AL. They were the oldest of nine children born to Merrill B. Brazell & Alamariah S. Mizell.
The 1850 Marshall County census lists these other names; Elizabeth, b. 1847, Eason, b. 1849, Martha, b. 1854, Thomas J. b. 1856, Jonathan Franklin, b. 1858, Samantha (Fannie), b. 1861, and Sarah J. , b. 1864.
Bill was 15 years old when the War of the Northern Aggression broke out. He enlisted in the Confederate Army at age 17 and was later assigned to the re-organized unit, 8th (Livingstons) Cavalry Regiment. The unit completed its organization at Gadsden, AL, during the spring of 1864. In July it reported to General Pillow at Blue Mountain with about 250 men. Later the unit was assigned to General Clanton’s Brigade, Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. It was engaged at Ten Islands, served in Western Florida, then sustained heavy losses in the conflict at Bluff Spring. By February 1865, its strength had grown to 600, but after skirmishing in Alabama, few were present when the regiment surrendered at Gainesville 4 May 1865. Colonel Henry J. Livingston, Lieutenant Colonel T. L. Faulkner and Major Sidney A. Moses were in Command.
The following was taken from a copy of his parole:
A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER, OF CO. F, REGIMENT 8 ALA. CALVARY, CONFEDERATE STATES ARMY, COMMANDED BY CAPT. SAM’L HENRY, SURRENDERED AT CITRONELLE, ALA., BY LIEUT. GEN. R. TAYLOR, C.S.A. TO MAJ. GEN. E.R.S. CANBY, U.S.A. MAY 4, 1865 AND PAROLED AT GAINESVILLE, ALA., MAY 14, 1865 SERVED FROM AUG 1863 TO MAY 1865. ENTERED AT AGE 17, WAS A PRIVATE.
The war was over and the South was left in ruins. The Reconstruction began and the economy was bad. Alabama had been ravaged and plundered during the War and the carpetbaggers from the North were in control.
Bill stayed in the Aurora, Marshall County, AL area and married a neighbor girl, Sarah Jane Susan Abigail Lenora Katherene Cunningham in 1869. She was the daughter of Robert and Martha Cunningham. Bill’s twin brother Henry Floyd (Dale) also married a daughter of the Cunninghams, Mary.
Bill and Sarah, Henry and Mary and the Robert Cunningham families moved to Texas in 1880. There probably were several families who left Alabama at the same time. In 1880 Texas had a great population growth. One of the reasons was that the Indians were subdued. This had hindered the westward settlement of Texas. It must have taken the Brazells and Cunninghams several months to make the trip. At twenty miles a day, five hundred miles per month would have been quite a pace. But at whatever rate, the Hood County census shows them living near Tolar, TX in 1880.
Bill and Sarah had 5 small children at the time of this trip, 4 boys and a girl, and Henry and Mary had 4 little girls. Elisha Johnson Brazell was the first of Bill and Sarah’s children to be born in Texas.
Bill and Henry Brazell’s sister Samantha married J. W. Cunningham in 1883, making the third Brazell-Cunningham couple. Hood County had a lot of Double Cousins running around!
Sometime after 1880 Bill & Henry’s younger brother Jonathan and his family moved to Hood County, Texas to join their families. A study of the 1878 Hood County Brands Records shows a N. W. Brazell having a cattle brand registered two years before Bill and Henry moved to Texas. Perhaps he was a cousin?
Henry and Mary had a son named Elijah about the same time that Bill and Sarah had a daughter, Jessie (Jettie), b. 11 Nov 1884. Bill & Sarah’s last child Robert Monroe Brazell was born 13 Jan 1888.
Bill died 16 Dec 1888. He was buried at the Rock Church Cemetery near Tolar, TX. His death left Sarah Jane with nine children at home. The older boys took on the responsibility of helping to do the farming and the other chores.
Sarah Jane decided to get married again….. But THAT is another story.