Morris Thompson ~ Confederate Body Servant

Remembering Morris Thompson
Body Servant to Elijah Miller
by Linda Durr Rudd

Morris Thompson who was born about 1843 lived in Caseyville, then Copiah County, Mississippi. Morris was the slave of Seth Granberry. He may be the son of Rachel Thompson. A Rachel Thompson and her three unnamed children were given via Seth Granberry's 1853 will to his daughter Sarah "Sally" Granberry Mullins. Sarah married William Norvell Mullins, and their daughter Anna Jane Mullins married Elijah Miller, the man Morris Thompson served as a body servant.

Secondly, I (Seth Granberry) give to my daughter Sally Mullins five slaves to wit RACHAEL and HER THREE CHILDREN that are now in possession of the said Sally Mullins also a girl named ANN which said negroes my daughter Sally Mullins shall have the use of so long as she shall live and at her death to be divided between the legal heirs of her body.
From 1853 Will of Seth Grandberry

Thirty three slaves were named on Seth Granberry's 1853 inventory and appraisement list. Four slaves of interest to this research were appraised as follows: RACHEL age 40 @ $400 - MORRIS age 14 @ $700 - ADISON age 11 or 16 @ $800 - and LUCY, no age available, @ $200.

Morris Thompson served as a body servant to Elijah C. Miller of Company E, 4th Regiment, Mississippi Cavalry. The 4th Regiment saw action in Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Elijah enrolled July 22, 1862 in Copiah County, MS, and remained until the end of the War. The body servant was often a loyal member of the plantation family who had close affilation with the slave owning family, working near the family as a house servant, the family driver, gardener, etc., and would have considered it an honor to serve.

After the Civil War, Morris Thompson returned to Caseyville living near Elijah Miller. Per census records and family oral history, Morris' wife was Eliza, surname unknown. The couple had two children; Amelia born about 1864 and Neal born about 1875 . Amelia married James Levi son of Charles Levi and Hannah Smith. Amelia died shortly after the birth of her last child who was born in 1899. Amelia's youngest children were raised by their grandmother Eliza Thompson. Neal married Hattie Benson, daughter of James and Laura Benson. Neal and Hattie disappear from Mississippi records after 1900.

By 1870, Morris' probable mother Rachel Thompson had left Caseyville and lived near neighboring town of Hazlehurst, Copiah County, Mississippi. Rachel, Adison and his family, and Lucy re-united with Henry Thompson who may be Rachel's husband or brother. Below is the 1870 Copiah County household of the Thompson family.

1870 Federal Census - Copiah County, Hazlehurst, MS - Page 300
ADISON Thompson, 30, MS
Catherine Thompson 28, Harriet Thompson 10, Rachael Thompson 7, Abe Thompson 5, Lewis Thompson 3 months, Henry Thompson 65, RACHAEL Thompson 60, LUCY Miles 17, and Lucy Flowers 12.

Morris and his family remained in Caseyville, Lincoln County, MS near Elijah Miller.

Records for Morris Thompson

1870 Federal Census - Lincoln County, Caseyville, MS - Page 96
Morris Thompson, 27, MS Liza, 27, MS Amelia, 3, MS

1880 Federal Census - Lincoln County, Caseyville, MS - Page 126
Morris Thompson, 37, Farmer
Eliza, 30, wife
Amelia, 14, daughter
Buddy (Neal), 5, son

1880 Agriculture Schedule - Lincoln County, Caseyville, MS
Morris Thompson rented 20 acres of land for shares from Mr. Snider.

1892 Educable Children Lists - Lincoln County, Caseyville, MS
Morris Thompson
Neal, 17 male

1900 Federal Census - Lincoln County, Beat 5 (Caseyville), MS - Page 178
Morris Thompson, 59
Liza, 50, wife
Neal, son, 25
Hattie, wife, 23
William Levy, 5, grandson
Mary Levy, 7 months, granddaughter (Lilly Mae Levy)

1910 Federal Census - Franklin County, Beat 4, MS - Page 138
Monroe Thompson, 58, head
Ollie, 36, wife
Eliza Thompson, sister, widow (Morris' widow)
Lillie Mae Levy, 10, granddaughter

Based on the census records, Morris died between 1900 and 1910, Eliza died between 1910 and 1920. Members of Morris and Eliza's descendants remain in Mississippi.


Morris Thompson Confederate Pension Application - Microfilm Number: 1375
Elijah C. Miller's Complied Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Mississippi -
4th Regiment, Mississippi Cavalry - Microfilm Number: 1247
Anderson Mitchell's United States Federal Military Pension Records
Inventory and Appraisement of Seth Grandberry's Slaves - 1853
Seth Grandberry's Will - 1853
The Roots and Offshoots of William Levi and Byneter Markham, by Mary Levi Smith
1860 Slave Schedule - Copiah County, MS
1860 Federal Census - Copiah County, MS
1870 Federal Census - Copiah County, MS
1870 Federal Census - Lincoln County, MS
1880 Agriculture Schedule - Lincoln County, MS
1880 Federal Census - Lincoln County, MS
1900 Federal Census - Lincoln County, MS
1910 Federal Census - Franklin County, MS
Granberry Genealogy

Anderson Mitchell of the 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry

Remembering Their Names