Edwards is of Welsh origin. One John Edwards, born in Wales, and married to Hannah Aperby, was the apparent
immigrant of our Edwards line. He came to Virginia about 1750.
His son, Charles Edwards, was born in Virginia about 1768 and married on Feb 6, 1790 in
Orange County, North Carolina to Sarah Dugger. Shortly afterward Charles and Sarah migrated to Tennessee and
remained there a few years then moved on to Illinois.
|Children of Charles Edwards and Sarah Dugger
||9 Oct 1790, VA
||abt 1792, VA
|Leonard A. Edwards
|Lorenzo R. Edwards
||abt 1805, TN
||Eliza Green Broughton
||Thomas James Shain
Their son, Lorenzo Edwards, was born about 1805, in Sumter County, Tennessee. He married
Eliza Green Broughton, with the permission of her father, Jeremiah
Broughton, April 1, 1829 in Gallatin County, Illinois. Lorenzo
was a farmer and died in Gallatin County on May 31, 1849. About
five years later, May 11, 1854, Eliza married, James Yates.
|Children of Lorenzo Edwards and Elsey Green Broughton
||abt 1833, IL
||Louisa J. Vineyard
Sarah A. Bellah
||10 Oct 1841, Gallatin Co., IL
|Sarah J. Edwards
||1846, Gallatin Co., IL
||1848, Gallatin Co., IL
||John S. Skelton
Other descendants of John Edwards relocated to Illinois about
1830. Some of these Edwards were possibly Revolutionary soldiers
and settled in Illinois on military tracts, or bought parcels
of the cheap "government" land there.
Our Edwards settled in Gallatin County, Illinois, around Shawneetown,
and framed and raised their families. Shortly before the turn
of the century Great Grandfather, Milton Edwards, son of Lorenzo Edwards and great grandson of John Edwards, immigrant
from Wales, removed to Success, Clay County, Arkansas. There he
lived the remainder of his days.
John Edwards, youngest son of Lorenzo and Eliza, during the Civil War enlisted
in Co. G, 29th Regiment Illinois Infantry Aug 15, 1864 at the
rank of Pvt. for a period of 2 years. He was 18 years of age,
a farmer, eyes black; hair dark; complexion dark; height 5 ft
10 1/2 inches.
John S. Skelton, brother of Mary Skelton, Milton's wife, married Milton's baby
sister, Harriet. She was probably John's second wife as there are two marriages
to John S. Skelton in Gallatin County records. He was probably
named after his mother's father, John S. Patillo.
During the Civil War John S. Skelton joined Co. K, 6th Ill Cavalry
and served about a year in 1865. He was discharged in Selma, Alabama.
His bounty was credited at Troy Town, Will Co., IL.
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Milton Edwards was born October 10, 1841 about twelve miles west of Shawneetown,
Gallatin County, possibly near Equality, Illinois. He died June
10, 1939 at Success, Clay County, Arkansas, four months before
his 98th birthday, and was buried in Hitt Cemetery June 12.
Milton married his sweetheart, Miss Elizabeth Harget, on February
14, 1866, but she died March 1867, with no heirs, probably from
child birth. He married again October 10, 1869 to Miss Sarah J.
Norris, in Batchtown, Calhoun County, Illinois (by William J.
Batchelder, J.P.). Sarah was born in Calhoun County, Illinois
in 1854 and died in Gallatin County January 1872, also probably
from child birth complications. Her parents were J. C. Norris,
born in Ohio and Louisa born in North Carolina.
Milton married a third time on December 14, 1874 to Miss Mary Skelton, at Omaha, Gallatin County, Illinois (Benj. Kinsall, J.P. officiated).
She was born February 19, 1851 in Gallatin County, Illinois and
died December 22, 1934 Success, Clay County, Arkansas. She was
buried December 23, in Hitt Cemetery Success, Clay County, Arkansas.
Her parents were Barnabas G. Skelton, born about 1816 in South
Carolina, and Martha A. Patillo, born about 1817 in Illinois,
probably Pope County.
CIVIL WAR RECORDS
Shortly after war began, Milton joined Co G, 29th Ill. Vol. Inf
of the Union Army on August 6, 1861. According to Army records
he had dark eyes, dark hair, and dark complexion. He was five
feet six and three-quarter inches tall, and by occupation a farmer.
Pvt Milton Edwards became an ambulance driver and remained with
the 29th for about two years. In 1864 & 65 he was a member of
Co. H US Heavy Artillery Colored, at first as a Sergeant and later
2nd Lieutenant. He was discharged December 6, 1865 at Natchez,
"The newly organized soldiers", the Gallatin County Buffalos,"
were sent down the Ohio River toward Cairo, at that time the border
line between the states. They saw service in that territory, and
also did much in Southeastern Missouri and Northeastern Arkansas.
Crossing over into Tennessee, with his regiment, he [Milton] arrived
just in time to get into that awful battle of Shiloh or Pittsburg
Landing . . . After that, he was with the Union Army in the various
campaigns along the Mississippi River, and was one of those present
when Gen. Grant's Army captured Vicksburg.
He was taken from the 29th Regiment and given a place in Co. H
U.S. Colored Artillery, Heavy. He was also promoted to Second
Lieutenant, and continued with this unit of the army till Lee's
surrender, which occurred while they were encamped at Natchez."
(Interview, Clay County Courier, July 28, 1933.)
Prisoner of war records reveal Pvt. Milton Edwards was captured
at Holly Springs, Mississippi and also paroled there December
20, 1862. Holly Springs was one of the battle fields of the Illinois
29th, and in 1863 a Union supply base.
He was a patient at U.S.A. General Hospital, Benton Barracks,
St. Louis, Missouri April 24, 1863. The reason was not specified
and he was returned to duty May 9.
The remainder of 1863 Milton was on detached service to the 5th
Reg't U.S. Col'd Art'y at Natchez, Mississippi (Which subsequently
became Co. "L" 6 Reg't U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery). First as
2nd Sergeant and by March 1, 1865 as 2nd Lieutenant and transferred
to Company "H" of the same Regiment. (The Regiment in September
1865 had a strength of 40 officers and 1,316 enlisted men.) In
October 1865 Milton was Assistant Provost Marshal at Natchez,
Milton tendered his resignation October 14, 1865: "I have been
in the Service Since the 6th of August 1861: during all of which
time I have not had an opportunity of Settling my business at
home, which I left in a very unsettled State upon entering the
Service. A longer delay in the settlement of my business may occasion
the loss of all I have." His resignation was approved and he was
discharged December 6, 1865.
After leaving the Army Milton returned home to Gallatin County,
Illinois and married his Sweetheart, Elizabeth Harget, a couple
months later. She died in March the following year.
He departed Gallatin County and drifted to Calhoun County in the
southwestern part of the state. There, about a year and half later,
he married Sarah Norris. She also died after about three years
marriage. He returned to Gallatin County and a couple of years
later married Mary Skelton. They settled down to farming and raising
a family in the Omaha vicinity.
From Omaha, Gallatin County, Illinois, January 16, 1890, Milton
affirms: "When discharged Dec 6th 1865 I came to Gall. Co. remained
there till 1867. Then went to Batchtown [Calhoun County] remained
in that part of the country till 1870. Then came to the vicinity
of Omaha and have remained the most of the time ever since."
About 1895 he migrated to Success, Clay County, Arkansas and settled
on a 40 acre farm about a mile and a half west of Success. Sometime
later he moved into Success where he lived until his death. (In
1925 Milton said he lived after the war about 15 years in Gallatin
County, about 8 years in Calhoun County, and again 8 years in
Gallatin County, and about 25 years in Success, Clay County, Arkansas.)
His petition for a pension from Omaha, Illinois, seems to have
been in 1889 when he was forty-seven. The reasons in an affidavit
were..."he contracted rheumatism in hips and shoulders and deafness
of right ear, and he has suffered therefrom ever since." In a
letter to the Pension Office Milton wrote: "I contracted Rheumatism
and deafness in wright ear in the fall of 1864 as well as I remember
now as my memory is not very good while on a trip through La after
cattle, nown as the Black River expedition we marched through
Louisiana swamps in mud and water, very severe."
He was treated for rheumatism by doctors, but for his deafness
he declared: "I was not treated by anyone for deafness since I
was discharged as it does not pain me only when takes severe cold
or exposed to rain etc. then I doctor it myself."
At age 61 an affidavit to the Pension Offices says, "he is partially
unable to support himself because of rhumatism, deafness, lumbago,
disease of heart, general debility, and debility from age." By
November 7, 1921, his disabilities were "rheumatism, high blood
pressure and vertigo." His last declaration, at age 84, lists
his disabilities as "Rheumatism and General disability."
A family tradition has it that Milton at one time rowed the notorious
outlaw, Jesse James, across the Mississippi River. If that is
true it must have been while he lived in Calhoun County. The county
is in the southwestern part of the state of Illinois and borders
the Mississippi River the length of its western side.
He was also patriotic, a staunch Republican, and at political
rallies or at voting time in Success, he would be up and around
yelling, "Hear ye, hear ye..." Milton was of the Baptist faith,
but later on, probably after he arrived in Success, Arkansas,
embraced the Pentecostal Movement and became a devout member of
the Pentecost Church.
Children of Milton Edwards and Sarah Norris
|C. C. "Charles" Edwards
||4 Dec 1871, Calhoun Co., IL
Children of Milton Edwards and Mary Skelton
||19 Jun 1877, Gallatin Co., IL
||Jacob "Jake" Henry Willis
|Marion Monroe "Dick" Edwards
||3 Oct 1879; Gallatin Co., IL
||Emma Elizabeth Philour
|Walter "Walt" Edwards Edwards
||22 Jun 1882, Gallatin Co., IL
||10 Nov 1886, Gallatin Co., IL
|Felix "Feek" Edwards
||13 June 1889, Gallatin Co., IL
The National Park Service dedicated a memorial to U. S. Colored Troops who served in the Armed Forces during the Civil War. Their names
and the names of their White Officers are inscribed in plaques
as part of the memorial.