October Ancestry Challenge – William Lafayette Brown Jr

oct ancestry challenge-001The October Ancestry Challenge 2013 

23 posts/23 days/23 ancestors.

Ancestor #13 – William Lafayette Brown Jr




brown william lafayett bibleMy 3rd great grandfather was William Lafayette Brown Jr. He was born in 1836 in Lauderdale County, Mississippi to William Sr and Martha Hamrick Brown. He only had one brother, John Henry, and six sisters. Poor boy.  The document to the left is the transcribed family bible.

William Jr (24) and John Henry (29) both signed up for the 37th Mississippi Infantry during the Civil War in May 1862. They were in Company D under Lt H. G. Hamrick. As close as everyone was in Lauderdale County at the time, I’m sure Lt Hamrick was a relative. In November of 1862, William Jr was promoted to Corporal. In November of 1863, he was sent to work with the Calvary, and in February of 1864, he was promoted to 3rd Sargent.

7872_561759593863541_1656188250_nFor you Civil War buffs, here are the details of his company

Officers of Company D (Enterprise Tigers)
Whitman C. Turner, Capt., r. January 3, 1863
F. S. Pickle], Capt., r. August 29, 1864
Allen C. Carter, 2nd Lt., died August 23, 1862
H. G. Hamrick, 2nd Lt., r. July 27, 1862
Ira J. Williams, 1st Lt., died April 9, 1862
J. L. Peters, 1st Lt.
D. Lindsey, 2nd Lt.
N. R. Sumrall, 2nd Lt.

Stationed at Enterprise, Mississippi, March 7, 1862.
March 7. Muster-in roll of Captain Whitman C. Turner’s Company, the Enterprise Tigers, of Mississippi Volunteers . . .
called into the service of the Confederate States of America by virtue of a proclamation of the Governor of the state of Mississippi January 1862 from March 7, 1862 for the term of three years or for the war, unless sooner discharged. . . .
ROBERT McLAIN, Mustering Officer.

Stationed at Columbus, Mississippi, March 7-June 30, 1862.
Stationed at Saltillo, Mississippi, July-August 1862.
Stationed near Lumpkin’s Mill, September-October 1862.
September 10. Left for Iuka from Baldwyn.
September 14. Took possession of Iuka.
September 19-20. Had battle on the evening of September 19 and evacuated the place on the morning of September 20 and retreated back to Baldwyn, traveling about 100 miles.
September 25. Left Baldwyn for Corinth via Ripley.
October 3-4. Gave the enemy battle at Corinth and began our retreat from Corinth on the evening of October 4 and came back to Ripley and thence to this place, traveling about 140 miles on that march.
Stationed in barracks, Yazoo County, Mississippi, November-December 1862.
Stationed at Snyder’s Mill, Mississippi, January-February 1863.
Stationed at Enterprise, Mississippi, April 30-October 31, 1863.
Stationed near Enterprise, Mississippi, November-December1863.
Stationed near Pollard, Alabama, January-February 1864.
Stationed at Atlanta, Georgia, February 29-August 31, 1864.


Okay, let’s back up just a moment, and then we’ll fast forward to the good part.


william lafayette brown and sarah dollar marriage licenseBefore joining the Infantry, William Jr married Sarah Ann Dollar on October 6, 1854. The document to the left is their marriage license. They had three boys and a girl. While he was running around fighting, his wife gave birth to my 2nd great grandmother Sarah Elizabeth “Bettie” Brown on November 19, 1862 (100 years to the day before I was born). Once he returned from the war, they had five more children: four more boys and another girl.

He was obviously a viral young man, and while he was away from home from 62 to 65, he needed to find a way to burn off all that testosterone. The story is: he was a sniper and guarded the railroad bridges at the Chunky River in Mississippi, and was captured by Federal forces. He dug a hole out of the stockade and escaped. Later, he allowed himself to be captured a second time to help others escape. He/they did. He had a bounty on his head by the Union for the remainder of the war.



brown william L and Sarah A at goodwater cemeteryWilliam Lafayette Brown Jr, the father, the Rebel, and the war hero, died at the age of 52 on September 23, 1889 and is buried at Goodwater Cemetery in Enterprise, Mississippi.



10 responses to “October Ancestry Challenge – William Lafayette Brown Jr

  1. Ms. Crane – Great job! I appreciate the info on William Lafayette being a sniper. His son, John Ambus, was my great grandfather. His and Ida’s son, Miller, was my paternal grandfather. He passed in 1994 at the age 96.

  2. Well, hi cousin! I got that sniper information from Jerry Brown who lives in Meridian, MS. His grandfather was William Harrison Brown, brother to our John Ambus and Sarah Elizabeth. Jerry also told me a cousin (in Florida, I believe, can’t remember) has a large framed photo of William Lafayette in uniform and is in possession of his leather wallet (more like a pouch) that he used during the war, but no one can reach this cousin to get copies of the photograph made. Stay in touch. If we ever reach this elusive cousin, I’ll make sure to get a copy for you also. 🙂

    • Lori. Hi. I would LOVE to have a copy of the picture! It’s always great to run across family. Each year there is a Brown reunion here in Agricola, MS where John Ambus and his family moved to from Meehan, Chunky, MS. A cousin in the family has the original wagon they moved here in and it’s in very good condition. It’s all so fascinating!

    • Lori. I am connected as I said via William Jr. -John Ambus – Miller – Doyce – me! I failed to ask you which branch are you? Please PM me so I can share more info.

      • Michele, I’m so sorry for the delay in responding. I’ve been out of the country for a couple months. My line is William Jr – Sarah Elizabeth Brown Keene (John Ambus’s sister) – Eula Keene Pickett – Azalea Pickett Crane – Andy Crane – Me. It’s all the women on my dad’s side.

  3. Pingback: A to Z Challenge – U is for U.S. Military | a day in the life of patootie

  4. Pingback: 52 Ancestors #4 Bettie Brown | a day in the life of patootie

  5. Filled in a few blanks on the Tree from you notes on Brown, Jr. Eula Keene married into my Picketts. Email me so I can tell you the latest on the Picketts.

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