Civil War & Stephens County, OK (16)

Edward James Legg (1834-1930)

Edward James Legg was born in Athens, Alabama, the first of four children born to James Thomas & Celia (McKinney) Legg. He had likely already married Solina Ann (“Annie”) Smith (b.1847; d.1918) before the Civil War began for at least two of their ten children were born during the war.

During the war, Edward had served as a Private in Co. B of the CSA, 50th Alabama Infantry Regiment. According to one of his youngest daughters (Dezzie), Edward served as the “drummer” for his company. The record of Edward’s service, like that of a great many Confederate soldiers, is rather incomplete. However, from his Confederate pension application to the state of Oklahoma (#4309; approved in 1920) we know he served throughout all the years of the war (1861-1865). That knowledge, coupled with the fact the 50th Alabama saw repeated, bloody combat through the war, makes us wonder just what all Edward experienced throughout the course of the conflict. What we do know is that the experience of those who followed the flag of the 50th Alabama was nothing short of horrific as related in the following brief summary

“The 50th Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized at Corinth, Mississippi, in March, 1862, by consolidating the 2nd and 5th (Golladay’s) Alabama Infantry Battalions which were recently recruited. Originally mustered into Confederate service as the 26th (Coltart’s) Regiment, its designation was changed to 50th in June, 1863. The men were raised in the counties of Calhoun, Jackson, Lauderdale, Blount, Limestone, Walker, Fayette, and Tuscaloosa. Ordered to Tennessee the unit fought at Shiloh, saw light action in Kentucky, then was placed in Deas’, G.D. Johnston’s, and Brantley’s Brigade, Army of Tennessee, and was active in North Carolina. At Shiloh the regiment had 440 effectives, but because of casualties, sickness, and exhaustion, the number was less than 150 by the second day. It lost 4 killed and 76 wounded at Murfreesboro [aka: Stones River], 16 killed and 81 wounded at Chickamauga, and totaled 289 men and 180 arms in December, 1863. The unit sustained 33 casualties in the Battle of Atlanta and was badly cut up at Franklin. Few surrendered in April, 1865. Its commanders were Colonel John C. Coltart, Lieutenant Colonels G.W. Arnold and William D. Chadick, and Majors T.H. Gilbert and John C. Hutto.” (Source: NPS Soldiers & Sailors site)

Those who are familiar with the development of the battle of Shiloh will take special note of the following report:

“The Twenty-sixth was hotly engaged, contributing a full share to the driving back of the enemy. When the charge was made upon the lines and into the camp of the enemy, the Twenty-sixth was among the first to penetrate them.” (Lt. Col. William D. Chadick)

At some point during the 1880’s, Edward, Annie and their family moved from Alabama to Texas and then at some point after early 1892, they moved from Texas to Oklahoma. Three years after Annie’s death in 1918, Edward listed his address as 517 Mulberry St. in Duncan, OK. Finally, on May 6, 1930, the local newspaper for Comanche, Oklahoma, The Comanche Reflex, ran Edward’s obituary, which read:

E. J. Legg Buried Here

Funeral service for E.J. Legg, Confederate soldier, 97 years old, was held at the Church of Christ Monday afternoon by Rev. Roy Harp of Duncan. Mr. Legg passed away Sunday night at the home of his son who lives in Randlett. Mr. Legg lived at one time in Comanche and is the grandfather of our townsman Homer Green. He was born in Alabama and served in the Civil War with the Confederate Army. He is survived by nine children, forty-four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. The deceased has been a consistent member of the Church of Christ for more than forty years. Burial was made at the [Old] Fairlawn Cemetery [section K4].”

questions and answers (2)

Q. “There is a good, faithful brother belonging to a church in this section. He is about forty-five or fifty years of age. It was proposed to appoint him a deacon of the church, but another brother objected on the ground that he had no wife. He is a bachelor. Is the objecting brother right?”

A. “We do not think that language [1 Timothy 3:8-13] intended to require they should be married and have children; but as that was the common state of man, directions were given as to what kind of wives and children they should have. If it was prohibitory, Paul was unfit for a deacon, and he recommended that those who could restrain their passions should refrain from marriage that they devote themselves exclusively to the service of God. That construction would present the case that Paul (1 Cor. 7:30-35) recommended them to pursue a course to fit them for service of God; yet the course that he recommended prohibited their doing the service in some important functions and positions.”

Questions Answered by Lipscomb and Sewell edited by M.C. Kurfees (McQuiddy Printing Co, 1921); p.164

Note: “Lipscomb” is “David Lipscomb” and “Sewell” is “Jesse P. Sewell,” prominent leaders in the Restoration Heritage, particularly Churches of Christ, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in the United States.