James's grandparents, James and Lydia Redus, moved to what is today the Lamar County area from Grainger County, Tennessee probably sometime in the 1820's along with their children. Lamar County was created after the Civil War from portions of Marion and Fayette Counties.
Their sons William (1796 - 1878) and George (1817 - 1866) later owned land in the Moscow community just south of the present day Sulligent. This was in Marion County at that time. There is a graveyard in that area known as either "Old Moscow", "Armstrong", or "Redus Cemetery", or a combination or any of those names. Although there are no marked 'Redus' graves there, that Reduses lived in the area is how the cemetery received one of its names. George and William later moved about 60 miles away to the Tupelo area of Mississippi.
William C. Redus married Leminder Brown April 2nd, 1818 and to this union were born the following:
Mary Ann Redus Birth: 25 Feb 1819
John Wesley Redus Birth: 15 Nov 1820
Lydia Matilda Redus Birth: 22 Dec 1822
Mahala Clementine Redus Birth: 21 Nov 1824
Jennet Catherine Redus Birth: 14 Dec 1826
Elizabeth Adaline Redus Birth: 16 Apr 1829
William de la Fletcher Redus Birth: 5 Jul 1831
Amelia Caroline Redus Birth: 19 Oct 1833
Washington J. Redus Birth: 25 Dec 1835
George Franklin Redus Birth: 7 Aug 1838
Isabella Minerva Redus Birth: 6 Jul 1840
All of William and Leminder's children either moved away from Lamar County or it is not known what became of them with one exception. Lydia Matlda Redus married Newton Morton and their daughter, Talitha, married Thomas Harvey Finch in 1865. Talitha is buried in a small cemetery just east of Vernon, Alabama.
George Washington Redus married Julia Hill in 1842 in Alabama. They had the following children:
Lydia Catherine Redus Birth: 20 Sep 1843
James Adams Redus Birth: 5 Apr 1845
Sarah Redus Birth: 4 Jul 1847
Mary Francis Redus Birth: 25 Jul 1851
Henryetta Redus Birth: 2 Aug 1854
Robert Redus Birth: 17 Apr 1858
Willie Bell (Elivina) Redus Birth: 18 May 1860
All of Washington and Julia's children either moved away from Lamar County or it is not known what became of them.
James and Lydia's daughter, Mahala (1806 - 1886), married Dickerson Faulkner while still living in Tennessee. She and her husband also moved to Lamar County and were farmers in the Fernbank area of southern Lamar County. They later moved to Arkansas but some of their children remained and many Faulkner desendents still live in the area. Dickerson and Mahala's son, B.L. Faulkner, was the first Probate Judge of Lamar County when it was first formed from land taken from Marion and Fayette Counties in 1867 and known as Jones County. He was later again appointed to that position to serve out the term of the second Probate Judge who had passed away while in office.
James and Lydia's son James F. (1801 - 1864) owned land southwest of Vernon and Miller (1810 - 1864) owned land in eastern Fayette County. Both were killed when raiders came through the area looking for money and valuables. There were gangs of raiders who supported the Union who conducted these types of raids to support their cause or punish the "traitors" and there were gangs of Confederate supporters who did the same thing to support their cause and to punish anyone who wasn't also supporting the southern seperation. And there were also gangs who were just criminals looking to exploit the chaous of the time. It is not known which type of raider killed James F. and Miller, but both were hung at their homes in front of their families. James F. Redus was buried at Old Mount Nebo but there is no marker, as most were too poor at the time to afford one.
Wesley Reed Redus was born in 1813 in Tennessee. He was probably living with his parents in Lamar County later, but there is no concrete proof. Wesley Reed married Elizabeth Craig Astin February 28th, 1827 and in 1850 was living in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. In 1860 they were living in Lowndes County and in 1870 living in Grayson County, Texas. It is believed none of their family remained in Lamar County.
Wesley Reed and Elizabeth Redus's children were:
Martha Melinda Redus Birth: 26 Dec 1838, Marion County, Alabama
James Bloucher Redus Birth: 11 Jul 1840, Monroe County, Mississippi
Blewett Sanders Redus Birth: 26 Sep 1843, Monroe County, Mississippi
Samuel Gerard Redus Birth: 11 Jul 1844
Silbernia Louisiana Redus Birth: 7 Jan 1847, Monroe County, Mississippi
Hugh La Vega Redus Birth: 21 Oct 1849, Mississippi
Elisha Redus Birth: 25 Oct 1851
Obbie Redus Birth: 1853
John Charles Redus Birth: 1854
Betty Ann California Redus Birth: 21 Apr 1857, Oktibbeha County, Mississippi
Arizona Parillee Redus Birth: 20 Nov 1858, Mississippi
Henry Morgan Redus owned land southwest of Vernon and married Abbie Elizabeth Molloy, a local girl, in 1833 and to this union James Franklin Redus was born August 5th, 1834 in the Crossville Community of Lamar County, Alabama. Although there is an area called Crossville today in central Lamar County, this Crossville was in the western part of the county, probably near the present day Molloy community. Henry never quite got along with his inlaws as they were Democrats and the Reduses were stout Republicans. After Abbie's death in 1849, Henry moved to Arkansas with his living children following except for James Franklin Redus. By the end of the Civil War, James F.'s family was the only ones with that name still living in Lamar County.
James Franklin Redus married Huldia Elizabeth Ferguson, born June 18, 1838 whose father was unknown and mother was Jane Ferguson, on December 20th, 1855. Their son, James Henry Redus, was born December 28th, 1856 and son Willian Gan Redus (Gan) on August 25th, 1859.
James F. Redus was conscripted into service of the Confederate Army in the spring of 1862. Hattie Redus, wrote this about Mr. Redus, her father-in-law:
"The Civil War came and southern men called "Tories" brought terror and death forcing men off to war claiming they had authority. They came in the night and at gun point carried Father Redus. They didn't want to give time for him to put his shoes on, but Mother Redus told them he was going to put on his shoes. He was not heard from for twelve days, and they feared that he was dead. He was in jail at Fayette. From there he was taken to war, leaving Mother Redus and small sons, Jim Henry and Gan. She had to plant and plow corn, made enough for bread. She said they often had just buttermilk and cornbread."
Little is known of his C.S.A. service. Later U.S. Military documents after his capture by Union forces show him as serving in Company I of the 18th Alabama Infantry. No record of his service in this regiment or any other has been found. There does exist a record for receipt of rations in December of
1862 for a "J. F. Redus" at a Confederate training station located in Talladega, Alabama. This training station is known to have trained Confederate conscripts for the 18th Alabama Infantry and was located near land owned by a certain Curry family. Since the 18th Alabama Infantry's I Company's nickname was the "Curry Guards", it is probable that the record for "J. F. Redus" is for our subject, James F. Redus. The ration receipt was initially issued with the name "J. F. Reeder", which was marked through and the name "J. F. Redus" written next to it so perhaps Mr. Redus is listed on muster rolls under a different name. The 18th Alabama Infantry Regiment is also known to have fought at the "Battle of Resaca" near Resaca, Georgia, in May 1864 which is where and when Mr. Redus is known to have been captured.
James F. Redus's wife, Elizabeth Ferguson Redus, in a sworn statement to support her claim to a widow's pension, stated that Mr. Redus was conscripted and forced to join the Confederate Army sometime during the year 1862. While she couldn't recall the company, she believed he was a member of the 18th Alabama Infantry.
James F. Redus was captured by forces commanded by Major General George H. Thomas at the Battle of Resaca in Georgia on May 16th, 1864. As a prisoner, he was transferred to Nashville and on the 20th of May moved to Louisville, Kentucky, arriving on the 21st. On May 23, 1864, Mr. Redus was transferred to the military prison at Alton, Illinois, arriving May 25th. Mr. Redus then enlisted in the U. S. Navy on June 2, 1864.
James F. Redus wrote in a sworn statement that he enlisted in the U. S. Navy at Alton, Illinois onboard the U.S.S. Susquehanna. However, this ship was sitting in the New York Naval Yard as it had been decommissioned in May 1863 and was not re-commissioned until July 1864. As records show he was first assigned to the U.S.S. North Carolina, this writer believes that Mr. Redus enlisted in Alton, Illinois and was taken to New York, perhaps by way of Rock Island (which housed confederate prisoners, and is probably the place Hattie Redus in her memoirs was referring to when she said Mr. Redus was taken to "Long Island, New York"). There he might have been placed on the U.S.S. North Carolina which was a receiving station known to have been anchored in New York Naval Yard at that time. Naval receiving ships were permanently moored ships for the in-processing of sailors, especially those that might be considered a flight risk, such as former prisoners of war. And at some point Mr. Redus was assigned to the U.S.S. Susquehanna. The above is only conjecture, but is what I consider to be the most likely course of events.
James F. Redus, at the rank of Landsman (the lowest enlisted rank, usually for those with little or no previous experience at sea), served on the U.S.S. Susquehanna until his discharge on May 11th, 1865, after the end of the war. The Susquehanna was a side paddle steamer sloop launched in 1850. The U.S.S. Susquehanna, after she was commissioned again in July 1864, took part in battles at Fort Fisher and the Port of Wilmington, both in North Carolina. In later pension applications, Mr. Redus claimed he suffered joint pain while in service and was frequently relieved of duty for that ailment. Hattie Redus wrote that Mr. Redus's "feet froze" on the ship and this caused him discomfort the rest of his life.
Military records describe James F. Redus as 5 feet, 6½ inches tall with brown hair and eyes and a dark complexion. A later medical report by a civilian doctor to support Mr. Redus's claim for his pension describes him as 5 feet, 7½ inches tall and weighing 130 pounds. (See Source Documents below)
Upon his discharge, James F. Redus returned to Alabama and resumed farming with his wife Elizabeth and sons James and Gan. A son, George Robert, had died at birth in 1862 as had son John Wesley in 1866. Lydia L. J. was born September 30th, 1867;
Charles Clark March 31st, 1870; Daniel Dale November 3rd, 1872; Thomas Ezra September 26th, 1876; and Edward Bently December 15th, 1880. All were born in Vernon, Alabama.
In the year 1890, Mr. Redus applied for a military pension as an invalid due to "rheumatism or neuralgia or age". The pension was approved the next year, certificate 13805.
James Franklin Redus died August 14th, 1903. Hattie Taylor Redus wrote of his passing:
One day in April 1903, Father Redus came before breakfast and told me that he had a vision that he was ill and we were all around his bed. With tears in his eyes he said if that vision was like death he didn't mind dying. He didn't want to eat, but I begged him to eat a little and drink some coffee. On June 14, 1903, he had a stroke and didn't live long. He told his sons, "don't cry boys, let me go easy and happy." He was then living at the Rube Burrow's place. He was laid to rest in Mt. Nebo Cemetery near our little Lola D. Bro. R. H. Jones held the service. How we all missed him.
On August 5th, 1903, James's Sunday School Class published a memoriam in "The Lamar Democrat":
Resolutions of Respect
Again the Angel of Death has visited our community. Our venerable and beloved brother, J. F. Redus was the one carried away. In his death the church has lost a faithful worker, the Sunday School a worthy member, and the state a loyal citizen.
Brother Redus, or as he was familiarly known by his friends as Uncle Frank, was born Aug. 5th, 1834 in Fayette County Ala. He joined the Methodist church at Mount Nebo, Aug. 21st 1847. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Ferguson, Dec. 20, 1855, to which union were born nine children, eight boys and one girl. The daughter and six boys all of whom with their mother live to mourn his death. He died on Sunday evening at 9 o'clock, June 14 1903. He was a consistent Christian, always ready to extend words of encouragement for the despondent and ever ready to counsel the young. He was an optimist, in the highest sense of the word, always striving to see the good in everything. When prosperity bloomed around him he rejoiced; praising God for the sunshine of His lve, often singing, "Palms of Victory I shall wear." When adversity compassed him; when sadness and disappointment hung like a cloud before him, he peered through its darkness to catch a glimpse of the bright morning star, that he might thereby be guided into the perfect day. He labored to make the world better for having lived, and himself for having lived therein. Our community enjoyed a grand privilege in feeling the influence of his kind disposition, and it should cherish his name and Christian character, therefore be it resolved,
1st That we, as a church and as a Sunday School, while we deeply deplore the loss of our valueable brother and co-laborer, thank God for the worthy example he set for us, and trust that its purifying influence may long be felt in our comunity and among our citizens.
2nd; That we extend our tenderest sympathies to the bereaved family of the deceased, and trust that the Holy Spirit will comfort them in their grief.
3rd; That we humbly submit to the will of God who doeth all things well, and knoweth what is best.
4th. That a copy of these expressions of love, sympathy and regret, be sent to the family of the deceased, and a copy to the Christian Advocate, Birmingham, Ala, also to the Vernon Courier and the Lamar Democrat for publication.
E. L. Boyd
W. O. Pennington
J. T. McManus
Mr. Redus was buried at Old Mt. Nebo Cemetery, west of Vernon.
After her husband's death, Elizabeth received a widow's pension, certificate 16850 dated December 22, 1904, at the rate of eight dollars a month.
James and Elizabeth's son, James Henry Redus, married Nancy Clementine Gartman. They ran a store in Vernon for a while and then one in Columbus, Mississippi. They are buried at Shiloh (Pinhook) Methodist Cemetery south of Vernon.
William Gan Redus married Bertie Denman, the daughter of Moses Denman, the person Hattie Taylor Redus says is the person who let down the hanged body of James's uncle of the same name during the War. Gan and Bertie moved south to Pickens County, Alabama and are buried at Andrews Chapel Cemetery.
Lydia Redus married Benjamin Franklin Wright and they are also buried at Andrews Chapel Cemetery in Pickens County.
Charles Clark Redus married Hattie Ellen Taylor November 6th, 1889. Charles and Hattie moved their family to Pickens County in late 1906 and are buried at Andrews Chapel Cemetery. In her later years, Hattie wrote down many of her memories
of her early life and of the stories told her by her father-in-law James F. Redus.
Daniel Dale Redus married Pearl Shelton October 13, 1895. D. D. Redus was a rural postman around Vernon for many years. D. D. and Pearl are buried in Vernon City Cemetery. Photo below comes from Carole Ann Redus of Birmingham, Alabama, a granddaughter of D. D. and Pearl Redus.
Thomas Ezra married Maud Taylor, sister to Hattie Taylor, April 3rd, 1898. They moved to Pickens County and are buried at Andrews Chapel Cemetery.
Edward Bently Redus married Della Marchbanks March 5th, 1903. E. B. was a Methodist minister and served many congregations around north Alabama. He and Della are buried in Vernon City Cemetery.