Tuesday, January 31, 2017




Levi Annisom Adams
          When Levi Annison Adams was born on Nov. 11, 1826, John Quincy Adams was President of the United States; when Levi died in 1917, Woodrow Wilson was in the White House.  In 1826, a patent was granted for the combustible engine; in 1917, the first Ford Model TT sold for $600 (and one of Levi’s sons owned one).  Levi’s grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War; his grandsons fought in World War I; and Levi was a hero of the American Civil War.

  To Their Descendants --          

Nancy Ann Hobbs Adams
           As I write this, the Century Anniversary of Levi’s death is approaching.  On this Feb. 2, one hundred years and 7 generations after his death, Levi’s great, great, great, great, great grandson, John Christian Mueller, Jr. will celebrate his first birthday.  This is written for JR and for the hundreds of other descendants of Levi and Nancy Adams.  It is meant to be the “first” but not the “last” story about the Adams Family of of Red Cross, Louisiana.  Indeed, this report concludes with a listing of information needed to extend our knowledge.  Everyone reading this is encouraged to research, comment, question, rewrite, and expand on these preliminary efforts.

A Bit of Speculation -- 

            In studying a life, there is always a desire to understand the essence of the person, to find clues to their motivations and character through studying their actions.  In seeking the facts in the life of Levi Annison Adams, I could not avoid forming impressions about this man.   In Levi, I see a “protector,” a man, who from his childhood, took care of others.  As the oldest child, he took care of his younger siblings -- his sisters and much younger brother.  His father’s death made him the “man” of the family, taking on even greater responsibilities.  He married a much younger woman, an orphan, with only aging grandparents to care for her.  Further, the photographs of Nancy reveal a petite woman with childlike features, even in her later years.  Toward the end of her life, Nancy was blind, and she may have had some lesser visual impairment in her youth.  I think Levi may have fallen in love with Nancy because she seemed in need of a protector.

Privates in 1st Texas
 During his four years in the Confederate Infantry, Levi was almost always the “senior” -- oldest and often most experienced -- soldier in his unit.  The younger men depended on him.  I believe their injuries and deaths haunted him.  The repeated loss of his comrades in the bloodiest battles of the goriest War in our country’s history must have been traumatic.  Returning home to face the widows, orphans, and aging parents of his fallen comrades must have been doubly devastating.  The odds that he suffered survivor’s guilt are high.  The probability of PTSD is equally elevated.

On a negative side, I see Levi as placing expectations on those he protected.  I suspect he may have been autocratic; thinking those under his protection should follow his directives.  Finally, I think he sometimes walked away from responsibility, especially if he felt rejected by those he protected.  I believe that his failure to accept military promotions and feuds with his loved ones are consequences of these characteristics.

By most measures, Levi can be considered “lucky.”  He survived a war in which 1 in 5 of his comrades died.  He prospered by luck or ability over a period of history marked by extreme poverty.  He established a family and lived to see grown grandchildren and great grandchildren.  He also suffered the loss of many close to him.  Levi was a complex man who lived in a turbulent era.

Levi A. and Nancy Hobbs Adams
            While the above observations are speculation we can derive some more reliable information about Levi.  First, he was a good-looking, possibly a strikingly handsome man.  His photographs, even though taken in his later years demonstrate this fact.  He was not a large man, neither very tall nor heavy.  He had a strong constitution, with a good autoimmune system.  The greatest killer of Civil War soldiers was dysentery; Levi escaped.  He suffered and recovered from a bullet or shrapnel wound, and did not succumb to the infectious diseases that 19th Century medicine couldn’t treat.  An infant born in 1826 had a life expectancy of 37 to 40 years.  Even when infant mortality rates are removed from the equation, life expectancy for Levi was only 50 years.  He lived to be 90, a truly ripe old age, even with modern medicine. 

I have never felt that I knew or understood Nancy.  She was clearly a survivor.  I believe she was strong, tough, and resilient or she wouldn't have made it.  She suffered many losses, including her Mother when she was only 5.  Her father apparently abandoned her, and she lost at least one son and one daughter.   In her later years she was blind.   I wish I knew stories that might add insight.


Levi's Tombstone With Birth and Death Dates
Until working on genealogy, I never realized the differences between today and years past with respect to our ages. With birth certificates, SS#’s, Driver’s Licenses, Diplomas, and Passports (not to mention Face Book) we are limited in the extent to which we can successfully lie about our ages.  This was FAR less true in years gone by, and Levi is a good example of flexibility in age.  In this report we have accepted as accurate the birthdate entered on Levi’s tombstone --  Nov. 11, 1826.  This date is in keeping with his parents’ marriage date (1825) and the birthdates and birth order of his sisters.  However, his age shows a number of fluctuations over the course of his life.  For example in the 1850 census, his mother reported he was 21 not 24, and his sisters’ ages were similarly adjusted.  I suspect that the Widow Adams preferred to have younger children. 

When he enlisted in the Confederate infantry in 1862, Levi gave his age as 30, not 34.  Again, I suspect that his preference for being a younger soldier influenced his age.  Most of the early volunteers were unmarried men in their 20’s. 

On the 1870 census, we see adjustments in both Levi and Nancy’s ages.  Levi’s age was reported as 40 rather than 44, while Nancy is said to be 30 instead of 28.  I suspect these ages were deemed appropriate as they decreased the age difference between husband and wife (i.e.10 rather than 16 years).  This age difference is repeated in the 1910 Census in which Levi’s age is given as 80 and Nancy’s is given as 70.  However, seven years later, at his death, Levi’s birthdate was recorded as 1826, and his age as 90.  At her death less than a year later, Nancy’s recorded birthdate makes her 76.
Writing on the Back of Photo of Levi and Nancy with Essential Dates


         Levi was the first child of Samuel G. B. Adams and Rachel Cole Adams.  Rachel and Samuel were married in Lexington, Tennessee, in 1825, the year before Levi’s birth.  Rachel was born about 1798 in South Carolina, but I have not been able to find her family.  Samuel was born about 1798 in Anson, North Carolina.  We believe his grandfather was Levi Adams who was born in 1736 in Dorchester, Maryland, and died in 1819 in Anson, North Carolina, but I do not have essential evidence for linking Levi to his parents.  The only solution to this roadblock may be through DNA.

Logan County Kentucky
         Samuel G. B. Adams migrated from Anson, North Carolina to Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky, where the 1820 census locates him.  Five years later, Samuel is in Lexington, Tennessee, where he marries Rachel.  However, Samuel apparently had some ties to Kentucky, either family or property or both, because he purportedly returned to Kentucky several times (or maintained a residence there for at least 2 decades).

Henderson County Tennessee
            When Levi Annison Adams was 2, his sister Susan Louise was born (1828) and a year later his second sister, Mary Jane was born (1829), both in Lexington, TN.  However, the 1830 census shows Samuel as a resident of Russellville, KY.   A third daughter daughter, Nancy N. Adams was born (1832) in Lexington, Henderson, Tennessee.  The 4th and last daughter Martha Frances was born in 1835, also in Lexington.  However, the 1840 census again shows Samuel Adams living in Logan County, KY.

Marshall County Mississippi
            The mystery of Samuel Adams’s movements becomes even more complicated.  We believe he died in 1842.  We are certain he died before 1850 because Rachel is shown in the 1850 census as a widow.  Some family genealogies show Samuel as dying in 1847 in Mississippi while others show his death in 1842 in Lexington, TN.  One important piece of evidence on this point is the birthplace of the youngest, second son, John Quincy Adams.  John Quincy was born on Aug. 3, 1843, in Lexington, Henderson, TN.  Some references in family records suggest John Quincy was born posthumously.
1850 Census Record for Rachael Adams' Family in Mississippi


            We believe Levi Annison was 15 when his father died and 16 when his fatherless baby brother John Quincy was born.  The 1850 Census gives his age as 21, which is at least two years younger than his birthdate on his tombstone (1826) which would make him 23 or 24.  Most important for our story, the 1850 Census shows Rachael Cole Adams and her children as residents of Marshall, Mississippi.  It identifies her 21 year-old son Levi as a farmer born in Tennessee.  Four daughters are listed -- Mary age 18. Susan, age 17, Nancy, age 15, and Martha age 12.   John Quincy is shown as age 8.  All of the children are listed as being born in Tennessee.  The ages of the children do not match other records, and suggest errors were recorded.

            Not long after the 1850 census, Rachael and her children moved from Marshall, Mississippi to the Texas frontier (Texas became a state in 1846), arriving in Nacogdoches, Texas, by 1853.  One reference says that Rachael died in Texas on Oct. 9, 1870, at the age of 72 (but we have not been able to verify this source or its connection to our Rachel).  I have been unable to find any records for Rachel after 1853 and before 1870 (17 years).  I have also failed to find records for any of the girls.  I don’t know who or when or where they married, or what happened to them or their children.  Though it is speculation, I believe Rachael remarried and that her relationship with her grown son, Levi, was ruptured.  Levi’s apparent disassociation with his mother and younger siblings after the mid 1850’s may be related to such an estrangement. If Rachael died and any of the children survived, I believe Levi would have cared for them. Further, Levi eventually fathered two daughters, neither was named Rachel.  I am currently pursuing the hypothesis that Rachel remarried by searching marriage records in Texas for women with the last name Adams.  I may need to expand this search to Louisiana.  Some of his siblings or even his Mother could have made their homes in the Natchitoches/Red River area.  Help is appreciated.  


            What we do know is that on June 18, 1856, Levi Adams married Nancy Ann Hobbs in Palestine, Anderson County, Texas.  At the time of their marriage, the groom was almost 30, and the bride was between 13 and 14 years of age. 
Anderson County Texas


Nancy Ann was orphaned, having lost her Mother, Carissa Parker Hobbs, in 1847 when she was only 5 years old.  Nancy Ann ‘s father, Spencer Hobbs was a Texas Ranger, and at the time of Crissie’s death, Spencer was with the Rangers, engaged in the Mexican-American War. Carissa and Nancy Ann lived with Crissie’s parents (Parkers).  While Spencer owned land in several counties, there is no evidence that he and Crissie established a home after their marriage.  Rather, he appears to have been almost continuously involved in “Rangering” while Crissie stayed in her parents’ home.  Indeed there are some suggestions that the couple was estranged before Crissie’s
A Group of Texas Rangers
death.  Spencer was wounded in the Mexican-American War, and was apparently at least partially disabled.  In his later years, he was in a Veteran’s medical facility in California receiving care for his War injuries.  He eventually returned to Texas where he lived in Navarro and died there in 1911. at the age of 90. 

There is an additional factor in the marriage of Spencer and Carissa -- their ages.  According to the marriage records, Spencer was 20 and Carissa was 21 when they married, but there is good reason to suspect that Spencer added a few years to his age. When he came to Texas and he claimed head rights to land.  In order to claim land he had to be at least 18.  When he told the courts he was 18, it is probable that he was only 16.  Two years later when he married Crissie, he was probably only 18.

Sissie Parker, Kidnapped by Comanches
Quanah Parker
In any event, Nancy Ann was a virtual orphan in her childhood, living with her maternal, Parker grandparents in Anderson County. But who were her grandparents, what were their circumstances, and when did they die?  For a genealogist, the problem is too many Parkers in Anderson County.  A large group of Parkers moved from Illinois and Missouri to Texas to establish a church.  Some others were apparently from Alabama, and the two sets may, or may not, have been related.  One famous Parker from Anderson County was Sissie Parker who was kidnapped by Comanches and became the mother of Quanah Parker. Sissie was almost the same age as our Crissie, and they lived very near one another.  I believe the girls were related. I have not been able to discover the names or fates of Nancy's Parker grandparents.  It is possible that they died before or about the time of Nancy’s marriage to Levi. 

Marriage License for Levi Adams and Nancy Ann Hobbs
Nancy was 16 when her first son, John Henry Adams was born on October 8, 1858, and almost 17 when her second son, Francis Marion Adams was born just 13 months later on Nov. 5, 1859.  The 1860 census shows a family of three living on “Beat 6” Anderson, Texas.  Nancy Ann was given as 18 but Levi’s age is given as 36 rather than 34.  John Henry is shown as being two, but Francis Marion (who was supposedly born in 1859) is not enumerated.

Two years later, when Nancy was barely 20, Levi would leave her alone to care for their 4 and 5 year old sons.  At every other point in his life, I find Levi’s actions to be entirely admirable; but at this juncture I can only feel what Nancy must have felt.  Her father left his family to fight for his Country, and never really returned to his daughter. Now her husband was leaving her, much as her father left her mother.  We don’t know if her grandparents were still living, or if she had other relatives to lean on.  No matter how brave she was, she must have had feelings of loss or abandonment. 

A cousin has recently told me that in their branch of the Adams Family, they were told that Levi volunteered for military service because of marital difficulties.  It doesn’t seem farfetched to me to believe that a teenage bride who has had two babies in less than 2 years, might not always be sweet and attentive to her husband’s needs.  This might be especially true if the bride was an only child raised by doting grandparents.  Further, I have a hard time imagining that a thoroughly happy and contented 36-year-old father of two would rush off across the country with a bunch of mostly 20 year olds, to fight in faraway battles.  Whatever the circumstances of his departure for the War, the four-year separation did not destroy Levi and Nancy’s marriage.  Perhaps all that they experienced during the War years helped them develop more mature perspectives, priorities and values.


Recruitment Poster
The state of Texas succeeded from the Union on Feb. 1, 1861, and joined the Confederacy one month later on March 1.  The original Texas Brigade was organized 7 months later on October 22, 1861.  The Brigade was composed of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Texas Infantry regiments.  It was the only Texas unit to fight in the Eastern Theatre with the Army of Virginia under direct command of Gen. Robert E. Lee.  Brig. General Louis T. Wigfall was the original commander, but he resigned on Feb. 20, 1862, and on March 2, Col. John Bell Hood was promoted to Brig. Gen. and placed in command.  The unit came to be known as Hood’s Texas Brigade In the beginning the Texas troops numbered about 3,500, which increased to almost 4,400.  At the surrender at Appomattox, there were just over 600 remaining.  The Brigade sustained a 60% casualty rate, fighting in the bloodiest battles of the War.  Between April 7, 1862, and April 7, 1865 (Appomattox Court House), the Texas Brigade fought in 38 engagements.  The total was actually 40 if two of the most interesting, The Roasting Ears Fight (Aug. 23, 1862) and The Great Snowball Fight (Jan. 9, 1863) are included.
The Flags of Hood's Texas Brigade with Portrait of Gen. Hood

1862 --  From Palestine to Fredericksburg   (Pages 1-7 of Levi’s military Records)

Levi Adams joined the Confederate Army on April 11, 1862, in Palestine Texas.  The others

Flag of the 1st Texas Infantry
enlisting that day were friends and neighbors from Anderson County.  He volunteered as part of the 1st Texas Regiment and was assigned to Company G (the Reagan Guards) composed of men from Anderson County.  Company H, also composed of men from Anderson County was called the Anderson Guards.  Levi enlisted for the duration of the War.  Interestingly, Levi’s military papers list his age as 30 even though he was 36 when he volunteered.  Levi was older than most of the other volunteers.  (Pages 1-3 of Levi’s military Records)

Of the men who left East Texas to fight in Hoods Brigade, 17% would die in battle while 9% would die of sickness for a total mortality rate of 28%.  36% were wounded, and 9% were listed as captured or missing at the end of the War.

Winter Quarters 1862 Before Levi Joined the 1st Texas
It is clear from the military records that the new Texas volunteers were rapidly moved from Texas to Virginia.  As I gather, they marched overland by rail to Alexandria where they took a boat to New Orleans and then traveled by railroad to Virginia. In New Orleans they received uniforms and equipment.  Page 4 of Levi’s records is dated June 27, 1862, the day of the Battle of Gaines Mill.  The report says that Levi is absent from muster on a Surgeon’s certificate.  It is not clear if he became ill before or during the battle, or if he was injured. 

In the following portion of this report, information from the 1st Texad Regimental Diary  are taken from:, and are set apart from the rest of the text.  Hopefully these sidelights help us understand more about what is happening to Levi and his comrades from Anderson County.

August 23, 1862  -- From the regimental diary 1st Texas
The regiment was involved in the incident of the "Roasting Ears Fight". A number of the brigade entered the cornfield to secure breakfast. Unknown to the Texans, a large Federal scouting party had camped on the northern edge of the same cornfield. The inevitable encounter between the opposing forces in the middle of the cornfield resulted in fist fighting, wrestling, and volleys of roasting ears. Outnumbered, the Federals soon withdrew, leaving the Texans in sole possession of the field.  Gen. Lee ordered Texas Brigade Quartermaster J. H. Littlefield to purchase the entire 100-acre cornfield.

Page 1
Page 2

Page 5
Page 5 of Levi’s military records, cover July-Aug, 1862 and indicate that Levi was with the 1st Texas at the Second Battle of Manassas (Also called Bull Run) on Aug. 28-30.  The brigade overran two Union regiments and nearly annihilated the 5th New York Zouaves.

August 31, 1862 – From the regimental diary 1st Texas
Camped at the Manasas battle field. Tended to the dead and wounded. Bivouacs near Henery House Hill Relieved the dead Federal soldiers of their socks, shoes and clothing.
September 12, 1862 – From the regimental diary 1st Texas
Marched through Turner's Gap in South Mountain to Boonsboro.  The brigade has become quite ragged. No clothing or shoes have been furnished since Richmond. Many are barefoot. Lack of provisions have forced men to subsist on green apples and corn. But the men are in high spirits ready for battle.

Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg
However, it was on Sept. 17, 1864 that the “Ragged Old First” as the 1st Texas Infantry was called, and the Texas Brigade won their reputation.  Levi’s participation in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) is documented on page 6 of his military record (Sept. –Oct. 1862).  Levi’s unit had 477 men at the beginning of the Battle and lost 186, a casualty rate of 82%, the highest rate suffered by any unit on either side on any one day during the war.  The horror is intensified by the fact that most of the casualties occurred during a single hour of battle.   In total, 550 of the Texas Brigade were killed or wounded that day.

Levi’s introduction to War constituted the 83-day period that Col. Harold Simpson has called the, “The 83 Bloody Days.” Between June 27 and Sept. 17, in the summer of 1862, the Texas Brigade fought in 3 major battles and suffered over 1,780 casualties.  In terms of numbers, the Brigade would never recover from these losses.

After Antietam, Lee wrote the following about the Texas Brigade:
They have fought grandly and nobly and we must have more of them. With a few more regiments such as Hood has now, as an example of daring and bravery, I would feel more confident of the coming campaigns.

September 27, 1862 – From the regimental diary 1st Texas
Moved to a location five miles northeast of Winchester. The brigade rested, recuperated, and reorganized for the remainder of the month for occasional drill and new uniforms and equipment. Pvt. McGee paroled from the Federals Still short of shoes. Food was ample.. Received mail for the first time since leaving Richmond.

November 5, 1862 – From the regimental diary 1st Texas
The brigade moved to a new camp.  At this time, the shortage of shoes in the Confederacy's quartermaster depots had become critical. Shoes smuggled through the Union blockade from England were shoddily made and soon wore out. General Longstreet attempted to remedy the situation by ordering that green hides be used, hairy side in, for moccasin-type footwear. These ``Longstreet Moccasins'' were found to be impractical in the mud and slush of the Virginia roads.

November 7, 1862
The Inspector General of the Army of Northern Virginia, Col. Edwin J. Harvie, inspected the Texas Brigade.  Harvie noted that all five regiments of the Texas Brigade were badly clothed and shod, and 440 men (roughly one-third of the brigade at the time) were barefooted. The First Texas was the worst clothed.

Historian Col. Harold B. Simpson retold this anecdote: “While reviewing his army in the presence of Col. Wolseley, an observer from the British Anny, who chanced to remark how t'agged were seats of the pants of the Texas Brigade, Lee quickly retorted, ‘Never mind their raggedness, Colonel, the enemy never sees the backs of my Texans.’ "

December 1, 1862 --  From the regimental diary 1st Texas
Spent the early part of December drilling, picketing the Rappahannock, and building breastworks along its position near Fredericksburg. The weather was cold, and picket duty -- without adequate clothing and footwear -- was miserable.

Page 7 of Levi’s records covers Nov.-Dec. of 1862, and includes the Battle of Fredericksburg, Dec. 11-15, 1862. 

December 14, 1862 -- From the regimental diary 1st Texas
Shortly after the Federal withdrawal from Fredericksburg, the Confederates reoccupied the pillaged and desolate town. The fields and streets were filled with dead and wounded Federals. Burial parties hastily interred the Federal dead after taking from them those items no longer needed. As the dead were being buried, the citizens of Fredericksburg slowly returned to their ruined town. Many were destitute, and the soldiers of Lee's army generously contributed what food, clothing, and money they could spare to alleviate the civilians' suffering. The Texas Brigade alone contributed $5945 in return for the kindnesses the people of Virginia had bestowed upon them.

1863 -- Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and the Tennessee Sieges

March 10, 1863  -- From the regimental diary 1st Texas
The Ladies Aid Society of Austin donated their $925.30 profit from a recent tableaux to the brigade. With the inflated prices of goods in the Richmond area, that sum hardly bought a cup of coffee per man.

April 30-May 6, 1863, Levi was engaged in the Battle of Chancellorsville, where Stonewall
Jackson was killed (documented on Page 10 of his military records).  Lee’s Gettysburg Campaign began in June and culminated in the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1-3, ending with Lee’s retreat on July 4.  Pages 10 and 11 of Levi’s military records cover this period. 

The most dramatic and courageous action seen by the 1st Texas Infantry (and our Levi) took place on July 2, 1863, and began around 9:00 a.m. when they took their position on Seminary Ridge.  On that day they achieved their main objectives in taking the Devil’s Den and Houck’s Ridge.  Photographers Alexander Gardner and Timothy O’Sullivan , who called it the “Valley of Death”, immortalized the legendary battle in the Devil’s Den through their moving photographs.  Levi descended into the Valley of Death, the Devil’s very Den and lived to return.

July 14, 1863  -- From the regimental diary 1st Texas
At dawn on the 14th the brigade crossed the Potomac under the eye of General Lee. Each soldier bared his head. There was no salute, no cheer and no word was spoken as the men marched silently by General Lee.

September - November, 1863 -- From the regimental diary 1st Texas
Assigned Texas Brigade, Hoods Division, Longstreet's Corps, Army of Tennessee

After Gettysburg, John Bell Hood and his Texans were temporally detached from the Army of Virginia and participated in the Battle of Chickamauga in southeastern Tennessee on Sept. 18-20, 1863 (covered in Page 12 of his military records).  There were 18,454 Confederate casualties, including 2,312 killed.  These were the highest of any battle in the Western Theatre and second only to Gettysburg in the entire War.  Gen. John Bell Hood, commander of the Texas Brigade, who had already lost the use of his left arm at Gettysburg, suffered a bullet wound in his leg that required amputation.  While the Confederates won, their losses were more than they could afford.

October 15, 1863 -- From the regimental diary 1st Texas
Entrenched a mile and a half of the Northern side of Lookout Mountain. Short of food. The men are receiving an unvarying diet of musty corn, blue beef, and contaminated water, which left many of the men sick with diarrhea.
                  After the Battle of Chickamauga, the 1st Texas was part of two major sieges – Chattanooga (September-November 1863), and Knoxville (November-December 1863).

November 15, 1863 -- From the regimental diary 1st Texas 
Sharp skirmishes were fought at Lenoir's Station. Captured sixty wagons at Lenior and large quantities of ammunition and medical stores. Along with 500 to 600 winter cabins better furnished than homes in Texas.

December 10, 1863 -- From the regimental diary 1st Texas
The regiment bivouacked at Bean's Station for 10 days. Gen. Robertson wrote to Gen. Hood that the brigade carried on its rolls only 784 men ``present for duty,'' of which ``many'' were ``not fit to march.'' Thus, the brigade now has the effective strength of an undersized regiment. Gen. Robertson proposed to Hood that the Texas Brigade be sent back to Texas for the winter to recuperate and recruit, and then rejoin Longstreet west of the Mississippi on or about April 1, 1864.

                    The Brigade’s reputation as fighters was surpassed only by their reputation as foragers. 

When asked about the unit’s fighting capabilities, General Longstreet replied, “The Texas boys are great fighters – non better.  But they are purely hell on chickens and shoats.”  When confronted with complaints of his men’s “moonlight requisitioning,” Gen. Hood protested their innocence, but Lee responded, “Ah, General Hood, when your Texans come about the chickens have to roost might high.”

1864 --  The Wilderness, Spotsylvania,  Cold Harbor,
Cleaning the Battlefield at Cold Harbor
In the Spring of 1864, the 1st Texas was back with Lee as Grant began his invasion of the South.  The Battle of the Wilderness was fought May 5-7, 1864, near Spotsylvania in central Virginia.   As documented on Page 17 of his military record, Levi was wounded in the thigh.  He had little opportunity to rest or recover in the following days.

May 5 - 6, 1864 -- From the regimental diary 1st Texas
The Battle of the Wilderness. Lieut Col Harding Commanding?
May 7, 1864
The regiment buried their dead, and that night moved towards Spotsylvania Court House.
May 8 - 21, 1864
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
May 21 - 22, 1864
Moved towards the North Anna River
May 23 - 26, 1864
The Battle of North Anna
May 27, 1864
Moved south towards Ashland Station
May 29, 1864
The regiment entrenched in vicinity of Gaines' Mill and New Cold Harbor.
June 1 - 3, 1864
The Battle of Cold Harbor

Battle of the Wilderness 
While the Wilderness was technically a Confederate victory, Grant setup the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, which took place on May 8.  Levi’s wound almost certainly kept him out of this battle.  It is not clear whether Levi was fit for action in the Battle of Cold Harbor (June 1-3, 1864), but there are indications that he fought in what is remembered as one of American history’s bloodiest, most lopsided battles.  It was an impressive defensive victory for Lee.  The same can be said for the Petersburg Siege, June 15-18.  Levi participated in the lengthy Richmond Siege (July 1864-April 1865), while taking part in Battles at Chaffin’s Farm (Sept. 29, 1864) and Williamsburg Rd. (October 27, 1865) before moving into position for the Battle of Appomattox Court House (April 9, 1865).

Surrender at Appomattox
1865 – Petersburg, Five Forks, and Appomattox

The Texas Brigade was with Lee during the fall of 1864 and into the winter of 1865.  In March and April they fought at Petersburg and Five Forks before the April 8- 9th Battle of Appomattox Court House.  The low point of the War for the 1st Texas Infantry came on April 8th, when 1st Lt. Morton A. Read of the 8th New York Calvary captured their battle flag.  Read was awarded the Medal of Honor for this deed.   
Pg. 18

Page 18 of Levi’s military records documents his presence among the Prisoners of War of the Army of Northern Virginia, as surrendered by General Lee.  Of the estimated 5,353 men who enlisted in the three Texas and one Arkansas regiments of the Texas Brigade, only 617 remained to surrender.  Levi was among these. Of the 1st Texas Infantry Regiment, only 149 men remained to surrender their Enfields.  One company of the 1sthad no survivors.

While many songs were written and sung in praise of Hoods Texas Brigade, this verse summarizes best the spirit of the unit:
We led the charge on many a field,
Were first in many a fray,
And turned the bloody battle tide,

On many a gloomy day.

On April 12, three days after his surrender, Levi was paroled by the United States, and released to return home.  His entire War service is summarized by the historians of Company G of the 1st Texas Infantry as follows: ADAMS, LEVI A. - Recruited in Tex., Apr.11, 1862, Age 30: W., Wilderness (May 6, 1864): Paroled, Appomattox (Apr.12, 1865).

April 12, 1865 -- From the regimental diary 1st Texas
The troops surrendered their weapons and received their paroles.
April 14, 1865
Sergeant Thomas Macon Mullens of Co. E is last man in the regiment to surrender.

Hoods Brigade Monument at Texas Capitol

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Hoods Texas Brigade became one of the most celebrated units.  Hoods Texas Brigade Association was formed in Houston on May 24, 1872, only 10 years after Levi’s enlistment. Sixty-five veterans were present.  The Association held annual reunions for 62 years (1872-1933) excepting the war years of 1899 and 1918. They published histories and erected monuments.  The Association literally died out, in 1934, with death of the last surviving veteran.  I only wish we knew whether Levi ever participated in the Association, contributed to its causes, or attended any of the reunions or events.

Monument to Hoods Brigade at Gettysburg
In 1967, Hoods Texas Brigade Association was re-activated by descendants and admirers.  This group and the Sons of Confederate Veterans’, especially those Camps dedicated to the Brigade, promote reenactments, research, and publications.  They maintain a prominent presence on the Internet.

The greatest scholars of the Civil War, including Bruce Catton, Ben Williams and Southall Freeman, have written about the men and exploits of Hoods Texas Brigade. Catton called them, “The Grenadier Guard of the Confederacy;” Williams said they were the “hardest fighters in the Confederate Army;” while Freeman said,” they were, man for man, perhaps the best combat troops in the Army.” (as cited by Col. Harold Simpson).

            In discussing the reasons for the high esteem rendered the Brigade, one Col. Simpson concluded:  Hood's Texas Brigade compiled a fantastic war record -- successes that were accomplished under the most adverse conditions -- so, to the Texans back home, every man in this Brigade was a hero.”


Confederate Soldiers Walking Home
All the Adams family legends agree that Levi walked home from Virginia. It is recorded that members of the Brigade traveled in small groups and in large parties.  They walked, went by small boats, and rode the rails when possible. 

 I believe Levi’s long walk led him through central Louisiana.  This was almost certainly his third trip through this area.  First, he followed this route in 1852 with his Mother, sisters and brother when they moved from Mississippi to Texas.  Then, with the other Anderson County volunteers. he passed through this area headed for New Orleans in 1862.  
Natchitoches Parish, LA

He must have been shocked at the devastation wrought by two years war and enemy occupation.  In an area known for game, livestock, and agriculture, people were starving.  I have wondered whether Levi tarried awhile in the Natchitoches-Red River area, maybe staying a day or two with a Louisiana soldier that he met on the long walk home. Did he have friends or family there that we don't know about; or did he simply like the area and see its potential?  We will probably never know what motivated him to eventually settle in this particular location.

            Arriving home in Anderson County, Levi found that his neighbors were not suffering the shortages he had seen across the rest of the South.  There were excesses of many crops and livestock, especially hogs.  It was missing men that left Anderson County devastated. One newspaper account suggested that of those who left Anderson County, less than 1 in 4 returned at War’s end. 

Idolized Portrait of Returning Confederate Soldier
No matter their problems at parting, Nancy must have missed her absent husband, as she struggled to run a farm and care for the boys by herself for over the long years.  In those days, wives and families waited months to years to learn the fates of their loved ones.  All news was slow, and most of the War news that came to Anderson County brought lists of dead and wounded.  We don’t know if any earlier arrivals from Appomattox brought Nancy news that Levi had survived.  We can only imagine the emotions she experienced when she saw him coming down the dusty road to their home.
 Likewise we can imagine Levi’s mixed emotions.  His joy at being home was damped by the grief of the widows, orphans and aged parents of his dead comrades. It could not have been an easy homecoming.  Levi must have tired quickly of answering questions and reliving the deaths of his friends.
Logan's Ferry and Bridge on Sabine River at Logansport
Shortly after his homecoming, Levi gathered up a herd of Anderson county hogs, and drove these across East Texas to sell in hungry central Louisiana.  When we first moved to Logansport, my Father, Levi’s great grandson, told me that his great grandfather Levi crossed the Sabine River at Logansport driving a herd of hogs to Natchitoches.  I recently heard a tradition among others of Levi’s descendants that the hogs were scattered while crossing of the Red River.  If the hogs scattered, I am pretty sure that Levi managed to gather and sell many of them, because he was able to purchase land in the Red Cross Community on the border of Natchitoches and Red River Parishes.

Field Raised Hogs

After selling the hogs, Levi returned to Texas and moved Nancy and his two sons John Henry and Francis Marion to Red Cross, outside the town of Coushatta.  While Coushatta is in Red River Parish, the Adams home was located in Ward 3 of Natchitoches Parish.  In so many ways, Levi and Nancy were starting not just a new home, but a new life together.  It was in this new home that the couple’s third son, Thomas Edmund was born on March 2, 1868.  At this time, Levi was 42 and Nancy was 26.

The 1870 Census shows the Adams family living in Ward 3 of Natchitoches Parish.  It says Levi, who is listed by his initials, was 40 years old, and a farmer.  By our accounts, he should have been 44.  Nancy, who should have been only 28, is listed as being 30, so their age difference was growing smaller.  John Henry, who is listed as J. H. is listed as age 11, and Francis M. as age 9.  Thomas Ed. is listed as age 2.  Then there is a surprise; another male child is listed as being ½ year old.  The initials are L.A. From this record, we would surmise that Levi had a third son named for his father.  Evidently Levi, Jr. died young because I have no other knowledge of his existence.  If anyone knows more, I would be grateful for additional information.

If Levi and Nancy had marital problems these must have been resolved because their family continued to grow.  Their first daughter, Laura Bell was born on Sept 22, 1872; and a second daughter, Louise (Louiza) joined her on July 2, 1876.  Their fourth son, Walter Augustus was born Nov. 26, 1876.

The 1880 census shows the family with the four sons (Henry, 21; Frank, 19; Edward 11; Walter 3) and two daughters (Laura 10 and Liga 1) living in Ward 3 of Natchitoches Parish.  This census is difficult to impossible to read.  We assume that the final entry should have been for Louiza, age 4, and that both name and age were not legible.

Three years after this census, on Nov. 11, 1883, Levi and Nancy’s last child, Robert L. Adams was born.   It is not clear when Nancy began losing her sight, but she apparently was blind by 1890.

I have been unable to find the 1890 or the 1900 census reports, however we know that Thomas Edmund Adams died on Dec. 8, 1908, in Mira, Louisiana, at the age of 40.  Two years later, Levi and Nancy’s oldest daughter, Laura Bell, wife of Marion Augustus Layfield, died on Dec. 18, 1910.

The 1910 census is difficult to read, and someone has copied Levi’s name as “Lissa.”  Levi gives his age as 80 and Nancy’s age as 70.  Robert still lives with his parents, and is listed as age 26.  Robert’s wife Ola is given as age 21, and their daughter Shelby is listed as being one year old.

Levi Annison Adams and Nancy Ann Hobbs Adams in their Last Years

On Oct. 27, 1914, Levi’s younger brother John Quincy Adams died at the age of 71 in Oklahoma City, OK.  There is no evidence that Levi and his brother were still communicating.  In 1911, Spencer Hobbs, the father Nancy never really knew, died in Navarro, Texas, at the age of 90.

Levi A. Annison in his 80's
Tombstone of Levi Anison nAdams

As the clouds of War gathered across the globe, Levi A. Adams, died on Feb. 2, 1917.  He was 90 years old.  He was laid to rest in the Cumberland Presbyterian Cemetery in what is now Red River Parish, Louisiana.  Nancy survived her husband by less than a year, living long enough to see her grandsons leave to fight in WWI.  She died on Jan. 12, 1918, at the age of 76.  She is buried beside Levi.

Entrance to Bethany Cemetery

Plaque Dedicated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans




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