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From: "Don E. Schaefer" <>
Subject: [SANDERS-L] Joseph Sanders
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 13:50:35 -0600

>Could you give me a list of Joseph Sanders children?

Here is some information about the Joseph Sanders (1793-1863) often
referred to as Joseph, Jr.


Concerning the murder of Joseph Sanders, this is what I have picked
up from several sources. From notes in the Scottsboro library,
"Joseph Sanders was taken from his home during the Civil War and was
shot while on his knees by a rock because his boys were in the Union
Army. Everyone called him Uncle Joe. He was shot by Jeff Barbee,
Thomps Houston, and John Teeters on his farm near Mud Creek, these
men were tories never served on either side during the Civil War.
Ann Barbee Chambless of Scottsboro told me that she has been
searching for the real story of what happened. A brother of her
great-grandfather was one of the "whippersnappers" and she can find
no record of a trial. Her ancestor had a record of an estate
settlement about that time. Possibly some vigilante justice or Union
troops took care of things, without leaving a record. With the lack
of a trial or record, I guess many versions of what happened cropped
up, slanted to whatever a person's sympathies were during and after
the war. Glenn (Chick) Sanders of Huntsville says that there was no
marker for Joe Sanders and he and some other relatives had one put up
on his grave. He also said he has been told that two of Joseph
Sanders' sons, Henry A. and John G., killed two of the men who
murdered their father.

According to information received from Glenn H. (Chick) Sanders,
Joseph was born in 1799. If this is true, he could not possibly be
the Joseph Sanders (age 10?) who married Martha in Randolph County in
1809. However, Joseph is listed as being 67 in the 1860 census.
This would make him about 17 in 1809, not an unlikely age to be
married. Furthermore, C.J. Brewer had this to say in the Southern
Claims file of John Sanders: " . . . I know that Thomas Houston and
others searched for him (referring to John Sanders) often and did
take out his uncle Joe Sanders who was seventy years old. They taken
him out of the field where he was at work and shot him on the side of
the mountain. . ." Since Joseph was killed April 10, 1863, the 1793
year of birth seems more likely than 1799. In Deed Book "D" of
Jackson County, page 130: Joseph Sanders and wife, Martha Sanders to
Caleb B. Hudson, 16 Sept. 1831.

Found in the Huntsville "Confederate," 23 Apr 1863:
"DISLOYAL MEN SHOT.-- We are reliably informed that a man, named
Pleas. Hickman, who lived in the Sinks, near the boundary line of
Jackson and Madison counties, and was a Union man and a bad
character, generally, had been conscribed and taken into the Army of
Tennessee, deserted, and, coming home, laid out in the mountains, and
turned to robbing soldiers' families, and others, of their scanty
provisions- and, on Sunday last, some unknown person shot and killed
him, in the Mountain four miles North-East of Maysville. He was
found with his abdomen perforated by a ball.
"On the same day, we learn, an old man, named Saunders, who
affiliated with the Abolition Army, when they occupied Jackson
county, and went off with them, but returned to depredate on the
neighborhood, was shot and killed by some unknown person, on Mud
Creek in that county."
The latter killing appears to fit the description of the murder of
Joseph Sanders, in time and place.

From a July 24, 1974 letter to Leola, Eunice and Hazel Matthews of
Scottsboro, Alabama --- from Louie Davis of Weatherford, Texas:
"I know you have some information on the Sanders that was killed by
busnwhackers. I have heard a story here in Texas passed down through
generations (may have changed some) One of the Sanders, close
relation to Phoebe [daughter of Francis and Rachel Sanders] was
caught off guard while plowing a field by bushwhackers. They took
him and his horse to the top of a hill and made the Sanders dig a
grave. Then the Bushwhackers killed both man and his horse and
burried both in the grave with the legs of the horse sticking up out
of the grave. (This is some tale and may not be exactly true but is
what I have heard) I think you may have a more accurate account of
the event."

"I keep hoping you will unearth the real story about the murder of
Uncle Joe Sanders, even though my greatgrandfather's brother was one
of the three culprits. One of the older men in this county has told
me the "hanging tree" still stands at the head of Mud Creek where
justice was administered. I still do not know if it would be labeled
"roadside justice" or as you suggested Federal troop intervention. I
do know that a group of Federal troops stationed in this area took
over the Barbee home for their winter quarters one year. My
great-great uncle was a very young boy at the time. He lived until I
was about 6 or 7 years old, so I remember hearing him repeat stories
from that time period. Of course, he never told about his brother
being hung. His stories were about his father's death just before the
Civil War (died in 1860) and how another brother died of measles
after enlisting in the CSA. That brother was buried at Corinth, MS.
My own greatgrandfather was a CSA Scout and was in the Federal prison
at Rock Island. Uncle Lewis told what a difficult winter he, his
Mother, and his older sisters had the winter they were forced to live
in what had been slave quarters. That is one reason I have always
been so interested in learning more about the murder of Uncle Joe
Sanders and what happened to the culprits. If your Madison County
contact provides you with any part of the story, please be sure to
share with me."
from Ann Barbee Chambless, the Jackson County (Ala.) Historical Association.

Don E. Schaefer, 1297 Deane St., Fayetteville, AR 72703
phone: (479) 521-1229 e-mail: <>


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