Military Service

Obtaining copies of actual service records is not an easy task, particularly for conflicts in the distant past. Much of this information is anecdotal, being for the most part handed down in oral tradition and in personal family records. There seems to be no reason to doubt these accounts, however, unless evidence someday appears to contradict them. I very likely had other ancestors who served in various conflicts, but these are the only ones about whom I know.

Revolutionary War

ADAIR, William (ca. 1740-1804) served as a soldier in the Battalion of Minutemen from Georgia under Col. Elijah Clark.

BROWN, John Meredith (1740-1832) is believed to have been an officer in the Continental Army and was thereafter referred to as “Capt. John Brown.”

CAMP, Benjamin Alston (1757-1832) served as a private soldier in Capt. Nathaniel Welch’s Co., Col. William Brent’s 2nd Reg., Virginia.

CAMP, Thomas IV (1747-1811) was a private in the Continental Army and is known to have fought in the Battle of King's Mountain (NC) on 7 October 1780 along with at least two other relatives. Tom was wounded in this battle (the story I was told was that a cannonball splintered a tree near where he was standing and sent wood fragments into his face), and he thereafter was nicknamed “Scarry Tom.”

War of 1812

CRATON, Thomas Howell (1784-1870). There is some evidence that Thomas Howell served in the 8th Reg., 3rd Co. detached from Wilkes’ Reg., under Capt. Walter R. Lanoir during the War of 1812. While this may have been our Thomas Howell Craton, the evidence is inconclusive.
War Between the States

ADAMS, Albert (1836-1901), like all my male ancestors from that generation, served as a private in Co. F., 31st Reg., Alabama Infantry, C.S.A. throughout the conflict. Albert was taken prisoner following the Battle of Vicksburg and was held captive in Camp Chase, Ohio, for the final days of the war.

CLARK, Jesse Franklin (1841-1913) also served as a private in Co. F., 31st Reg., Alabama Infantry, C.S.A., during the War Between the States.

DEMPSEY, Jesse Jackson (1817-1869) served as a private in Hurst’s Company, Alabama Reserves, during the War Between the States.

PARNELL, James Edward (1841-1920) served as a private in Co. F., 31st Reg., Alabama Infantry, C.S.A., during the War Between the States. His obituary revealed that he was a brave and courageous soldier.

World War II

CRATON, Joseph Arthur “Buck” (1920-2003) served as a sergeant in the U.S. Third Army, 65th Infanty Div., 869th Field Artillery Battalion, Headquarters Battery. Sgt. Craton was a cook and holds the distinction of being probably the only cook in the U.S. Army ever to shoot down an enemy plane. The section of his autobiography in which he talks about his war years can be found here.

Return to genealogy homepage.