Monday, June 6, 2011

My Spurlock Family in the Civil War

At the start of the Civil War in 1861, Ransom and Ellender (Vickers) Spurlock were likely living in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.[1]

In his 50s[2], Ransom was a bit on the old side to be going off to war and there is no record that he served. However, his three oldest sons–William G., Marcus D.L., and George M.[3]–were of an age to join the military within the first year or two of the conflict. His eldest daughter, Frances, had married John Miller in 1858, and he also was able to take up the fight. The next three daughters, Sarah Jane, Mary Ann, and Elizabeth Rebecca, did not marry until after the war but their husbands–William Duncan, William Kilpatrick, and S. P. Kimbrell–all were veterans of the Civil War. The two youngest Spurlock boys, John Fredrick (my great-grandfather) and James Joshua, were too young too serve.

William, Marcus and George, as well as William Kilpatrick, joined Company B of the 12th Louisiana Infantry, nicknamed the “Arcadia Invincibles.”[4] John Miller and S. P. Kimbrell enlisted in Company H of Gray’s 28th Louisiana Infantry.[5] William Duncan enlisted in Company K of the 9th Louisiana Infantry, which was later reorganized as Company M of the 12th Louisiana.[6] More on their service will be presented in later posts.

John Fedrick was only about 15 years old when the war ended in 1865. There is a family legend that he walked to Vicksburg, Mississippi, to enlist, but because of his age and the imminent end of the war, the Confederate army would not accept him as a soldier. It is said he worked as a cook for a short time before making his way home. I have been unable to find any documentation to support this legend.

Although Ransom did not fight in the war, on 7 October 1868, he swore an Amnesty Oath which is on file in the courthouse in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana[7].

[1] The family is not found on the 1860 U.S. census in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana; the Bienville Parish census for the same year has been lost or destroyed.
[2] Kelly Christian Priestly, "Hurricane Cemetery, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana," transcription, USGenWeb Archives ( : accessed 21 Apr 2010), entry for Hanson Spurlock.
[3] 1850 U.S. census population schedule, Western District, Bienville, Louisiana, p. 287B, dwelling 553, family 553, household of Ramsun Spurlock; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 13 Feb 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 230.
[4] R. Hugh Simmons, The 12th Louisiana Infantry ( : accessed 6 June 2011); citing Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr., Guide to Louisiana Confederate Military Units 1861-1865 [LSU Press, 1989].
[5] Steve Pipes, “Gray’s 28th Infantry Muster Roll – M,” Henry Gray’s 28th Infantry Regiment C.S.A. Louisiana ( : accessed 6 June 2011).
[6] R. Hugh Simmons, The 12th Louisiana Infantry ( : accessed 6 June 2011); citing Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr., Guide to Louisiana Confederate Military Units 1861-1865 [LSU Press, 1989].
[7] Elinor McCalman Seward and John Calvin Head, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana Amnesty Oaths (Shreveport, LA; J&W Enterprises), page 4.

© 2011 Denise Spurlock

1 comment:

  1. Hey Denise,
    I saw you were consulting re La. at Jamboree & recognized your last name as being from N. La. so I found your blog. I have Kilpatricks in my tree--we should compare notes. From glancing at your pages that may be our only connection, though. But happy to see someone else w/Bienville Parish ties-I also have Pates, Cotters, Stevensons & more from Bien. & Claiborne Parishes. --Liz (hallroots **at** sbcglobal [dot] net) -- also in SoCalif. :)