Michael M. Gilbreath

information submitted by T.C. McFearin

    Michael M. Gilbreath was born on February 27, 1842 in Sulphur Springs, DeKalb County, Alabama. He died March 27, 1915 in Wainwright, Muskogee County, Oklahoma and was buried on March 28, 1915 in the Middleton Chapel Cemetery, Wainwright, Muskogee County, Oklahoma.

    Michael M. Gilbreath served as Chief of Scouts under the command of General Logan from 1 January 1864 until 1 April 1864 and then in the First Alabama Vidette Cavalry, a Union organization, until the last of May 1864. On 27 July 1864 he enrolled at Larkinsville, Jackson County, Alabama as Captain of an Independent Company of U.S. Alabama Scouts and Guides and was discharged on 15 May 1865 in Larkinsville, Alabama. He was 5’ 10" tall, fair complexion, blue eyes and had black hair. He had a three inch scar on is right temple.

    Together he and a number of relatives and neighbors from this Jackson County area fought for the Union. Among those serving in Captain Michael M. Gilbreath’s Company were his brothers, Josiah R. Gilbreath, George D. Gilbreath, John T. Gilbreath, Andrew M. Gilbreath, Peter H. Gilbreath, and his brothers-in-law, James A. Cox, husband of Frances A. Gilbreath, and James H. Armstrong, husband of Mary Ann Gilbreath.

    Around the turn of the century, these men and later their widows filed for Civil War pensions from the Federal Government. As captain of this company, Michael M. Gilbreath wrote many letters to the War Department documenting the service of the above individuals. Their pension files are still in existence and copies are available through the National Archives in Washington D.C. These files are an unbelievable source of genealogical and historical information.

    After the Civil War, Michael M. Gilbreath was in charge of distributing rations to the civilian populous in Jackson County, Alabama where he met and married a young Confederate widow, Mary Elizabeth Sublett Rains. Her husband John W. Rains had died fighting for the South. Later Michael and his wife Mary would testify on behalf of Mary’s grandfather, Elias Welborn, about supplies Michael had confiscated from Elias Welborn during the Civil War. Michael’s testimony and that of his wife are recorded in the Southern Claims records under the claimant’s name of Elias Welborn Estate.

    About 1900, Michael M. and Mary Elizabeth Sublett Rains Gilbreath moved to Omaha, Morris County, Texas with their family and daughter, Emma Gilbreath Vaught, w/o James Wiley Vaught. James Wiley Vaught’s siblings, their families, and other close Jackson County neighbors moved to Morris County, Texas also. Later, according to the 1910 Oklahoma I.T. Census, some of the Vaught families along with Michael’s family migrated to Wainwright, Muskogee County, Oklahoma.

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