Anderson Blair, Appalachia, genealogy, Harrison Stafford, history, James Brewster, Logan County, logging, Mingo County, Thomas McCoy, Thomas Runyon, Valentine Hatfield, West Virginia, William A. Dempsey, William Staton, William Vinson
05 Monday Dec 2022
Posted Big Sandy Valley, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Timberin
07 Thursday Feb 2019
Posted Big Sandy Valley, Loganin
18 Tuesday Feb 2014
Posted Big Sandy Valley, Civil War, Ed Haleyin
Andersonville Prison, Arthur I. Boreman, Ben Haley, Ben Haley Branch, Bessie Fraley, Bill Smith, Brandon Kirk, Cabell County, Cabell County Scouts, Cain Adkins, Catherine Haley, civil war, Ed Haley, history, Independent Company of Scouts, James H. Ferguson, James Haley, Jane McCoy, Kentucky, Kiahsville, Lick Creek, Lincoln County, Martha Spence, Peter McCoy, Quincy, Thomas McCoy, Wayne County, West Virginia, William A. Haley, writing
On March 20, 1865, Captain Benjamin R. Haley wrote West Virginia Governor Arthur I. Boreman about his capture the previous fall, the disbanding of his independent company of scouts and of his desire to join Captain James H. Ferguson’s Cabell County Scouts.
I have the Honor to Report the condition of my company of Ind. Scouts for Wayn County W.Va on the night of the 15th of Sept./64 we were Surrounded by 115 Rebells under command of Bill Smith in person I having only my Self and Seven of my men on duty when we were captured together with nine citizens whom I had cald in and armed to assist us in case we should be attacked we were all gobbled up with our armes and accouterments making in all Seventeen gunes with there accouterments. on my Return after Being parroled I Lernd that Senator Bowen had Recivd orders from you Excellency to take up the Remainder of the armes and accouterments and to Disband the men that was not captured. I have been bound to keep the parole they gave me for Life Sake not that I hold them a Legal Ware power yet for that and personal Safety I have kept it till now. I ernistly Desire an exchange as I wish to participate in defending my country with James H. Ferguson of Cabell County on whose List my name Shall Shortly appear.
On March 25, 44-year-old Haley enlisted in Ferguson’s Company of Cabell County Scouts at Guyandotte for one year, along with his sons William and 18-year-old James. Ben was appointed 2nd Sergeant on April 1, while William was appointed corporal. James was listed as a private in a muster roll dated May 25. The war, of course, wound down in the spring of 1865 and with it the military career of Ben Haley.
After the war, Haley settled in the headwaters of Ben Haley Branch, a tributary located at a small post office known as Kiahsville near the Wayne-Lincoln county line. In 1870, 50-year-old “Benjamin Hale” was listed with his family in the Sheridan District of newly created Lincoln County with $315 worth of real estate and $200 worth of personal property. His son William was also still in the area, having married Catherine O’Neil of Ireland in 1869. By 1880, 66-year-old Ben was back in Wayne County with 30-year-old Martha Deeryfield Spence and her children. His wife and younger children were no longer in the county.
During the 1880s, Ben Haley relocated to Quincy, Kentucky, perhaps around the time of Ed Haley’s birth in 1885. According to locals, nothing remains of his home on Ben Haley Branch except an old well. Just down the hill is Lick Creek, where Cain Adkins had been born in 1833.
In 1890, Catherine Haley was listed in the Special Union Veterans Census as a resident of the Laurel Hill District of Lincoln County. She gave John’s military information as follows: 9th West Virginia Infantry (Company G) from October 1862 until October 1864 and 1st West Virginia Infantry (Company F) from 1864 until June 1865. He suffered from consumption and was held in prison for nine months and fourteen days in Andersonville and Florence, South Carolina.
By 1900, there were no Haleys living in the Grant District of Wayne County.
Of Ben’s children, only Jane Haley currently has any descendants in the WayneCounty area. Jane married Thomas McCoy, Jr. (no relation to Green) and was the mother of Peter McCoy — the preacher who gave Milt and Green money for their escape in 1889. Peter died in 1963 but his daughter Bessie Fraley lives at the old homeplace on Route 37 near the family cemetery at the Wayne-Lincoln county line. When Brandon called her, she said her grandma Jane McCoy (Milt’s half-sister) was a “great big fat lady” who died before her birth in 1920. She had never heard of Milt Haley or even Ben Haley and had no idea that a Ben Haley Branch was only a few miles from her home.
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