Eli Herring of the 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry

Researched by Linda Durr Rudd

The white building in center is the David and Mary Leggett Herring House
Photograph Courtesy of Freddie Johnson

ELI HERRING was born about 1835 to parents whose names are unknown, raised in Eddiceton, Franklin County, Mississippi. When he left to enlist with the army, John Wesley Herring described him about 34 or 35 years old, low and chunky, a little over five feet, complexion, hair and eyes black. He was at least a second generation slave property of Mary Legette Herring of Eddiceton, Franklin County, Mississippi.

Eli married Annis, another slave associated with the Herring family. Annis' slave owner was William Holloway who was the husband of Sarah Jane Herring, daughter of David and Mary Leggett Herring. Eli and Annis married about 1851 with the consent of their owners. The ceremony was performed by an elderly slave. Living on separate farms, Eli was allowed to visit Annis on Wednesday and Saturday.

Eli and Annis' children were:
Missouri Herring born January 1855. She was first married to Mr. Armstrong and their children were: Emma, Tom, Ida, and Eula. Henry Stewart was Missouri's second husband and their children were William, Allie, Cora, Clara, Ben, Pearly, Ardella, and Missouri. The families lived in Franklin and Lincoln Counties, Mississippi. Henry died in 1924 and Missouri died in 1941, both in Brookhaven, Lincoln County, Mississippi. They were buried at Crump Chapel Cemetery in Brookhaven, MS.
Hardie Leggett born March 1858. Hardie decided to use the surname of his grandfather. Hardie first married Lucy Sanders 23 March 1879 in Franklin County, MS. Hardie and Lucy were seen in the 1880 census with no children. The couple were divorced June 1885. In 1910, Lincoln County, MS, he was found with second wife Virginia and they were married for seven years. The children listed in that household were Carnelia, Allie, Hugh, Leo, William, and Janie. Annis, Hardy's mother was also listed in the household.
Hubbard Herring born February 1860, died March 1873.
Laura Herring aka Laura Legett born 1864. She married Samuel Sanders 29 Jan 1878 in Franklin County, MS. The couple was found in one census, 1880, in Franklin County. They had one daughter, Lula.

Natchez became a Union occupied town by mid-summer of 1863. Once the enslaved learned of the occupation, many rushed to Natchez including the men from the Herring farms. The military and government was overwhelmed with so many people crowding the area. How to shelter, feed, provide employment for the freedmen was problematic. Some worked for the military in non-military capacities, others worked on experimental farm projects, many joined the military.

When the opportunity came, Eli enlisted with Company G, 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry. He died 05 Apr 1865 at City Hospital in Natchez of disease. Minor Applewhite told Annis about her husband's death. Minor did not serve with the military but went to Natchez and cooked for the troops. Minor, also, was a slave of the Herring family.

Annis received a pension until she married Martin Erwin, her second husband. The couple married in 1872, lived together over 20 years before separating. Early in the marriage, Annis learned that Martin had a wife whom he had not divorced, Kansas/Candice Brown, who was still alive.

Kansas was the slave of John Cupit. Her first husband was Josh O'Neal who was owned by Ahab O'Neal. They were married during slavery. The marriage ended when Kansas went to her master and told him she did not want to remain married to Josh "because he had too many women." John Cupit ceased allowing Josh to visit, thus ending the marriage. She remained single until she married Martin Erwin on the Cupit place shortly after the War. Two years into the marriage, Martin left Kansas. She testified in her deposition that "he left me on a Saturday morning and told me to have his dinner ready but he did not come back and I have not seen him since." A record of a marriage between Martin and Kansas was not found.

The reason the marriage between Martin and Kansas became important is because Annis decided to refile for a pension as the widow of Eli Herring because she felt her marriage to Martin was invalid since Martin was a married man who had not divorced. The pension board rejected her claim because she knew early in the marriage that Martin had a living wife but remained living with him for many years.

Annis died sometime between 1910 and 1920.

1870 - Franklin County, Mississippi - Meadville - Page 24
Hardy Herring 13, Herbert Herring, 10, Laura Herring, 5, Cora McNair, 2 months
Scott Wade, 27, Nathan Pickering, 60, Patsey Pickering, 18

Annis married Martin Van Ervin 06 Nov 1872 in Franklin County, Mississippi. J. H. McDaniel, justice of the peace in Franklin County, married the couple.

1880 - Franklin County, Mississippi - Beat 4 - Page 99
Martin Ervin, 40
Cora Ervin, 10, Fredonia Ervin, 8, Jacob Ervin, 6

1900 - Not Found

1910 - Lincoln County, Mississippi - Beat 5 (Caseyville) - Page 306
Hardy Leggette, 46, married twice, married 7 years
Virginia, 43, married once, married 7 years, given birth to 11 children, 7? living
Carnelia Leggette, dau, 14 - Allie Leggette, dau, 13 - Hugh Leggette, son, 12
Leo Leggette, son, 10 - William Leggette, son, 9
ANNIE LEGGETTE, mother, 71 - Janie Leggette, dau, 6

Kansas Brown - She testified about her marriage to Martin Van Erwin. She was a slave of John Cubit.

Robert Culver - He served in the same regiment with Eli Herring. He testified about his death. He knew Eli before the War. They lived six miles apart and often met at church.

John Wesley Herring - Son of David and Mary Herring - John knew both Eli and Annis. He said they were married in 1851.

Tom Herring - He was a slave of the Herring family and knew Eli and Annis as man and wife.

Alex Hilliard - He knew Annis since he was a small boy. He witness Annis marriage with Eli.

Scott Jones - He testified about Martin Ervin and his marriages to Kansas and Annis, and about the death of Annis' son Hubbard.

Hardie Leggett - He was the son of Eli and Annis. He testified about his mother, siblings and why he chose the Leggett surname.

F N Rodroquiz - He was acquainted with Martin Ervin and his first wife Candice/Kansas Brown.

Laura Sanders - She was the daughter of Eli and Annis. She testified about her mother and siblings.

R K Scott - He became acquainted with Annis and her second husband Martin after the War. She lived on his mother's place, cooked and made a crop.

Missouri Stewart - She was the daughter of Eli and Annis. She testified about her mother and siblings.

George Thomas aka George Washington - He served in the same regiment with Eli. He testified that Eli died in the hospital in Natchez. George knew Eli before the War. They attended Christmas and other parties together. George was owned by William Brown of Copiah County, Mississippi.

(ELI'S)MARY LEGGETT married DAVID HERRING who was born 28 Sep 1794 in South Carolina; died 18 Apr 1842 in Franklin County, Mississippi, leaving small children, slaves and farm to the charge of his wife. Mary was born in South Carolina on 20 Feb 1800 to Absalom and Hester Leggett; died 09 Mar 1882 in Mississippi. Per the 1860 Franklin County slave schedule, Mary owned 12 slaves.

(ELI'S)SAMUEL O HERRING was the son of David and Mary Leggett Herring of Franklin County, Mississippi. He was born 27 Feb 1829 in Alabama, died 10 Feb 1876. He married Clifford J Chism 06 May 1855 in Franklin County, MS. In 1860, Sam owned 3 slaves in Franklin County, MS.

(ANNIS')WILLIAM LEE HOLLOWAY was a son-in-law to David and Mary Herring. He may be the son of George Holloway and Jane Porter. William married SARAH JANE HERRING 13 May 1850, in Franklin County, MS. She was the daughter of David and Mary Leggett Herring. In 1860, William owned 23 slaves in Franklin County.

Eli Herring Federal Military Pension Records
RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project Global Search
Franklin County Chancery Court Case #159 - 1883-1887
Microfilm Number: 9368
Microfilm found at Mississippi Deptartment of Archives and History
The Black Experience in Natchez 1720-1880 by Ronald L. F. Davis
Henry Stewart's Death Certificate - MS1924-9520
Missouri Stewart's Death Certificate - MS1941-10586
1860 Franklin County Slave Schedule
Will of George Holloway - 1846
Research Notes of Lela Coleman, Direct Descendant of Henry Stewart
Research Notes of Freddie Johnson
1870 Franklin County Federal Census - MS
1880 Franklin County Federal Census - MS
1900 Lincoln County Federal Census - MS
1910 Lincoln County Federal Census - MS
1920 Lincoln County Federal Census - MS