|Wesley Newell Freeman
(1832-1891) and David Bailey Freeman (1851-1928) were
brothers. Their father Major Bevery Allen Freeman
(1806-1855) served in the Georgia
Militia during the Creek Indian War of 1836. His company
was commanded by
Capt. Gilbert D. Greer, under Julius C. Alford. After the
war, he became a lawyer and
lived in Ellijay in Gilmer County GA, where he raised his
children. He married Mary
Ann Reynolds Murray, of Virginia, daughter of Alexander
Murray Jr of Halifax Nova Scotia
and Rhonda Melton.
David B. Freeman, CSA 6th Georgia Cavalry at age
10. He served two years; the last two
years of the war. He was proclaimed to be youngest
confederate soldier. He later became a
prominant editor and publisher of several different
Georgia newspapers. In 1923 he
co-authored a pamplet (14 pages) called "Gen. Nathan
Bedford Forrest, The Wizard of the
Saddle". A copy of the pamplet is in my possession
and will be published later to my web site. There is a
chapter dedicated to David elsewhere on this web site.
David's older brother
Jasper Henry Freeman (1838-1862) was killed at the 2nd
at the young age of 24. Little more is known of him as of
Wesley Newell Freeman
was a merchant and met his first wife Mary Lucinda Welch
business trip to Waynesville, North Carolina. She was the
daughter of William Welch and
Mary Ann Love. Her grand-father was Colonel Robert Love,
a Revolutionary War soldier,
and a founder of Waynesville, North Carolina. His story
appears in several other histories
of the state of North Carolina.
Drastic events were
occurring in 1860 that would upset the history of the US
and alter the
lives of the Freeman family.
Seven southern states
had seceded from the United States from December 1860 to
1861. The secession was based upon the cause of states
right and sovereignty, with several
grievences, the major one being the U.S. abolition of
slavery. North Carolina had voted in
February 1861 to remain in the United States. The firing
on Fort Sumpter on April 12, 1861,
and the beginning of the Civil War altered the N.C.
resolve. President Lincoln issued a call for
troops to retake Fort Sumpter. On May 20, 1861, N.C.
seceded, mobilized the militia, and
issued a call for troops to repel the Union Army's
impending invasion of the South and their
Wesley responded and
volunteered for service in Capt. Bryson's company and
commission as Lieutenant in the army of the Confederate
States of America. His effective duty
date was May 31, 1861. His pay was $80 a month.
Lt Freeman reported for
duty at Camp Davis, Wilmington N.C. on Oct 22, 1861. He
transferred to Camp Lee in S.C. where he was promoted to
regiment adjutant with a pay
increase to $90 per month.
Wesley was promoted to
Captain on April 30, 1862, which increased his pay to
$130 a month.
The 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment was commanded
by Col. H.M. Rutledge. The 25th
was attached to the 2nd Brigade of the Army of North
Virginia under command of Brig. Gen.
Robert Ransom, Jr.
Wesley saw his first
action against the Union Army with the 2nd in the Seven
between June 25th and July 1, 1862 near Richmond V.A. In
Richmond 1100 men engaged the
enemy, 22 were killed and 106 were wounded.
On Jan. 25, 1863 he was
assigned temporary duty as recruiting officer in Haywood
N.C., for 30 days. He returned to the regiment until
assigned to a special court martial board
session board in Weldon, N.C.
Company C's next major
engagement was Frayser's Farm near Petersburg W.V. The
commander, Samuel C. Bryson, now a Lt. Col. was wounded
on June 17th, 1864. He was
forced to retire because of his wounds, and Wesley was
promoted to commander of Company C.
In April 1865, the
Confederate States of America capitulated. The South
lacked the industries
to sustain war. Blockaded and besieged, they were plagued
by lack of supplies. In some battles
they were out-numbered 20-to-1. Courage was not enough.
General Lee signed the surrender
of the Army of North Virginia at the Appommatox
courthouse on April 9, 1865.
The 25th North Carolina
Infantry Regiment had served the Confederacy well in
battles at Seven
Pines, Malvern Hill, Loudon Heights, Sharpsburg, Drewry's
Bluff, Petersburg, Fort Stedman and
Five Forks. Their casualty list was 220 killed in action,
280 died of disease, and 400 wounded
Wesley returned home to
Waynesville, N.C. The community leaders had been killed
impoverished by war. Law and order had been replaced with
disorder and martial law imposed
by the "carpet-baggers".
Shortly after returning
home, his former Color Sergeant presented him with the
of the 25th N.C. Infantry. The sergeant had disobeyed
orders at the surrender and concealed
the flag. He presented it to Capt. W.N. Freeman as a
token of esteem from the men who had
served in the regiment. Within six months, another
tragedy struck. Wesley and Mary's home
burned; allegedly the work of arsonist. Wesley sold their
remaining property and moved back to
An old friend, Lt. Col.
Willie A. Hawkins encourage Wesley and Mary to move to
Georgia to resettle. Mary had a child about that time and
they named him after Wesley's friends,
Col. Walter H. Taylor and Gen. Robert E. Lee. Walter Lee
Freeman only lived four months.
Wesley was appointed
Marshall of Americus in 1870. Wesley resigned in 1872 and
presented with a gold-headed walking stick engraved with
a pattern of roses and "Captain W.N.
Freeman from the Americus City Police". The city
council gave him a silver serving set of pitcher,
goblets engraved "W.N.F.", and a tray engraved,
"W.N. Freeman from the city of Americus
Georgia, December 4th 1872". The Sumpter Replublican
newspaper published a glazing
tribute signed by N.A. Smith and G.S. Foster. The cane
remains a family heirloom to this day.
Wesley moved on west to
Texas, with only three surviving sons and his wife. They
and settled land in Erath and Hood Counties near the
settlement of Bluff Springs. Wesley
opened the first general store there. He purchased a
large track of land in the town, to keep the
town "dry" from the sales of "alcoholic
By 1877 the settlement
of Bluff Springs had grown fairly large and needed a post
application they were notified that the Bluff Springs
name was already taken. After a town
meeting, they selected the name of Bluff Dale. It was
accepted. Wesley was appointed first
postmaster of Bluff Dale Texas on Dec. 12, 1877 (Hood
County Records). He served the
position for 8 1/2 years until July 26, 1886.
His wife Mary L. Welch
Freeman died in 1878, only to be survived by Wesley and
sons William Beverly Freeman and Robert Vance Freeman and
his daughter Pearl (who later
became a school teacher). She had bore 11 children, to be
survived by only three.
Wesley married Julia
Emma Gordon in 1881. He was 48 and she was 26. She was
of William Gordon and Mary Elizabeth Peden of Pine Log,
Wesley and Julia were
married in Granbury, Hood County, Texas. The had two
Wesley Newell Jr., who died at 5 mos. old, and Olin
Knight Freeman, my great-grandfather.
Wesley was a community
leader in Bluff Dale from its beginning. He was a driving
force in the
development of the town's business community. He helped
convince the Frisco Railroad to build
a water and way station there. He was a founding father
of the Methodist church and Masonic
lodge in the area.
Wesley Newell Freeman
died on January 26th, 1891. He was 58. He was buried at
Church Cemetery, east of Bluff Dale, beside his first
loving wife, Mary Lucinda Welch Freeman.
The Masonic lodge and the family erected a monolith at
his grave site inscribed "Capt. W. N.
Freeman". Everyone had called him "Capt.
Freeman" since 1862. An honorable title for an
His Last Will and
Testament closed with these words to his wife:
"And now I
bequeath to you all the richest gift
that can be mortal man given, viz., the honest
love and affection of the honest heart of a
husband and father. May the great God of the
Universe take you, and each of yours, under his
protecting power, and that no evil ever befall
you is my prayer. "
and father, (signed) W. N. Freeman."
Julia and Wesley
had been married 10 years. She remained in Bluff Dale the
rest of her life,
living in their old home and operating "Orin
Farm". She saw to it that her son Olin, and her
step daughter, Pearle, were well educated, well
principled, and had successfully begun their
careers. She lived to see her son married and to know her
grand-children in their youth. She
died on Dec. 10th, 1915 at age sixty in Bluff Dale. She
was buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery,
a few miles west of town.
Newell Freeman and Julia Emma Gordon were my
Cole Freeman and Kenneth Allen Freeman
Special thanks to Clyde Newell Freeman for research and
Backup Web site for Descendants of Gabriel Freeman: