William A. Flanagan

sumitted by Melanie Flanagan Elliott



William A. Flanagan was the son of Ambrose and Dianah Chewning Flanagan.  Ambrose and Dianah moved to Madison County, AL from Louisa County, Virginia in 1815 and became one of the “First Families of the Tennessee Valley.”  The area was still part of the Mississippi Territory.   Alabama didn’t become a state until 1819.  William was born in Madison County, AL in 1822.  He married Rachel Elizabeth Wilbourn, daughter of Aquilla and Elizabeth Wilson Wilbourn in 1849 and they lived in Jackson County, AL in the Paint Rock Valley.  They had 3 sons: Andrew born 1853, William born 1855 and Ambrose born 1857.  William worked as a farmer and was an overseer of 20 slaves in both Paint Rock Valley and on the family farm on what is now Brock Rd. in Brownsboro, AL.   On August 29, 1863 William volunteered to join the 1st Tennessee and Alabama Independent Vidette Cavalry Company A in Larkinsville, AL under the command of Captain Ephraim Latham.  He was 42 years old.  The regiment was stationed at Ft. Harker in Stevenson, AL.  Company A left Stevenson, AL on September 21, 1863 and arrived in Hunts Mill, near Larkinsville, AL a distance of 23 miles on September 24.  Hunts Mill was the location of a sawmill that was producing lumber for use by the Union army.  They were attacked on September 26th by the Confederates 5th Company Cavalry which resulted in the capture of 18 of the men from Company A.  The skirmish was called the “Mill Fight”.   The Company was ordered to Bridgeport, AL in October 20, 1863.  After arriving in Bridgeport, they were ordered to escort Generals Hooker and Howard to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  They arrived back at Ft. Harker in Stevenson, AL on October 31, 1863.  Sometime between the skirmish in September 1863 and November 1863, William was promoted to 1st Sergeant.  Company muster rolls from November to December 1863 show Company A at Mud Creek, AL.  Company muster rolls from January through April 1864 show the Company stationed at Larkinsville, AL.  Company A was mustered out of service on June 16, 1864.   It is unknown if William was injured in the Hunts Mill skirmish.  He died in Stevenson, AL from smallpox on Dec 1, 1864 at the age of 43.   It is unknown why he was in Stevenson in December of 1864.  There is no record of him joining another Union regiment after he was mustered out of service with the 1st Tenn and AL Independent Vidette Calvary on June 16, 1864.  It is possible that he was serving as a scout in the area.  Although, personal affidavits from his pension file given by Ephraim W. Williams from Trenton, AL state that William had been with the Union Army in Huntsville, AL and was encamped in Stevenson, AL when he fell ill with smallpox.  Alexander Burl, a nurse at the Union Army hospital in Stevenson, AL stated that he attended to William and that he died at the hospital in the first days of Dec 1864.  His burial location is currently unknown. 


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