COTTON FAMILY HONORS CIVIL WAR ANCESTOR
Members of the Cotton family had a special and memorable reunion on May 30, 2009, and paid homage to an ancestor whose grave had previously been unmarked.
King M. Cotton and his wife, Malinda Jane Robertson Cotton, moved to Perry County in 1860 with their two young children, John L. and Jared Nathaniel. They later had four more children, Alvin M., Mosella J., W.E. (Ed), and Idela J.
Cotton became a private in the Confederate Army, volunteering in Linden to Major Cox, on October 8, 1862, to serve a three-year stint with DeMoss’ Second Company A, 10th Regiment, Tennessee Calvary. He was captured by Union soldiers in Jackson on November 26, 1863, and sent to Louisville, Kentucky, as a prisoner on December 7 that same year.
From Louisville, Private Cotton was transferred to Rock Island Prison Barracks, in Illinois, on New Year’s Day, 1864, where he remained for more than four months. Under a May 9, 1865, order of the Union, Private Cotton was freed on May 23, after signing a sworn allegiance to the Constitution of the United States.
The present day Cotton family has a copy of that document. Described on the agreement as dark-haired, and grey-eyed, Private Cotton was five feet, eight inches tall, and 33 years old at the time of his release.
The document stated that King Cotton of Perry County would “henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution…and the Union of the States” and “abide by and support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves” and “abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves.”
Private King passed away at his Toms Creek home on September 10, 1914, at age 84. His obituary in the local newspaper described him as an elder in the Christian Church, and a “gentleman in the truest sense, being honest, kind-hearted, and industrious.”
On May 30 the descendants of King M. Cotton held a graveside memorial service at Bell-Robertson Cemetery in Pineview, their ancestor’s final resting place. His descendants also went to Hickman County to the old Modley Farm in the Blue Buck Creek area to see the graves of Private Cotton’s parents, Jared and Dorcas Modley Cotton, and visit the family cabin that was built in 1830 and still stands.
The family would like to especially thank Ms. Dorotha R. Hudson of Perry County, and Wayne and Nina Cotton of Paris, for their years of ancestry research and for helping the Cotton family locate Private Cotton’s grave and securing a government marker for placement there.
The material for this article was provided by Michael N. Averett, Private Cotton’s great, great, great grandson.