Wednesday, April 30, 2008

List of Men who died during the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862

The Great Hanging at Gainesville

Arresting the men
The following is a list of those who died during the Great Hanging at Gainesville.  We are trying to find information concerning the immediate families of these men.  To find a list of the victims of the hanging and their spouses, go to the "Weeping Wives" post.
Any corrections or additions to this list are welcome!
At least 42 men were tried and convicted by a Confederate Citizens Court.
At least 40 men were hanged, several more were shot while trying to escape.
1. C. F. Anderson > E. F. Anderson > Edward Frost Anderson
2. George W. Anderson
3. Richard J. Anderson
4. William B. Anderson
5. Thomas O. Baker
6. Bennet C. Barnes
7. Barnibus Burch
8. Samuel Carmichael
9. Ephraim Chiles
10. Henry Chiles
11. Nathaniel M. Clark
12. Henry Cockrum
13. John Mansil Crisp
14. Arphaxton R. Dawson
15. Rama Dye
16. Hudson John Esman
17. Henry S. Field
18. Thomas B. Floyd (shot)
19. James T. Foster (shot)
20. Curd Goss
21. Edward D. Hampton
22. M. D. Harper > Manadier D. Harper
23. William W. Johnson
24. C. A. Jones
25. David Miller Leffel
26. J. W. P. Lock
27. Abraham McNeese
28. Richard N. Martin
29. John M. Miller
30. John A. Morris
31. John W. Morris > This may be Wash Morris, brother of Wesley Morris
32. M. W. Morris > Michael Wesley Morris
33. William W. Morris
34. James A. Powers
35. William R. Rhodes
36. Alexander D. Scott
37. Eli M. Scott
38 Gilbert Smith (?)
39. William B. Taylor
40. Eli Sigler Thomas
41. James A. Ward
42. William Wilson Wornell
43. William Boyles (not arrested but  shot and later died from wounds)
44. Hiram Kilborn (shot) not claimed as one of the Citizen Court victims
Other victims that were killed or sentenced during that time:
James Young hanged the following:
   William A. McCool
   John M. Cottrell
   A.N. Johnson
E. Junius Foster, editor of the Sherman Patriot, was shot as he was closing up his newspaper office.
Joel Francis DeLamirande was tried and sentenced to life in prison for helping the wives of the victims.

John Wiley is on Clark's list as one of the men who was hanged.  He is also mentioned in the 1880 newspaper article as one of the men hanged.  His descendants claim he was hanged, but McCaslin does not include him in his list of men hanged and his list is basically the same as Diamond's account.

The illustration above is from the Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 20 Feb 1864. Several smaller illustrations comprised a double-page centerfold, about 22X16 in size and entitled "Rebel Barbarities in Texas."  The illustration can be found at Fold3.


Anonymous said...

I believe Arphaxton's true name was "Arphaxad."

His descendant's info is in this article:

Michael Oakley said...

#36 Alexander Dudley Scott

Alexander was the son of William B. Scott Jr. and Lydia Metcalf ( neice of Gov. Metcalf of Kentucky ) of Callaway, Missouri.

Alexander moved to Texas abt 1858. He first married Laura Simes and after Luara passed away he married Mary Ann Woolsey.

Alexander and Mary had two children William Walter b. 12 Aug 1860 d. 5 May 1948 and Mary Alexander Scott b. 2 Jan 1863 d. 12 July 1954.

Alexander Dudley Scott was my GG grandfather.

Anonymous said...

What is the setting of The great hanging in Gainesville. In Much description

Anonymous said...

JOHN M. WILEY was also hung . The took his body back To Collinsville <Texas and thrown into the yard . He was also a member of The Knights of the Golden Circle .We have his head stone here for repair .
3rd Greatgrandson Of John M. Wiley

HistoryBuffs said...

Wiley is on Clark's list of men who were hanged and he is mentioned in the 1880 Galveston Newspaper article, which can be found on this blog. McCaslin does not include him in his list of men hanged and his list is basically the same as Diamond's account.
Are there family stories about John Wiley and the hanging that have been passed down in the family?

Anonymous said...

John M. Wiley was married to Eliza Ann McCullough, daughter was Maria Louisa Wiley, who married Joseph Reeves (b.1842) whose daughter was Mary Elizabeth Reeves, married to James Henry Ross (b.1859) whose son Joseph Reeves Ross married to Grace Craig. No one in my family would talk about the Ross, Wiley history. I know only what I have read in Diamond's account. I would very much like to learn about this ancestor of mine.

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of the Knights of Golden Circle until you mentioned it here. I did a little INTERNET research and do not believe that it is the type of organization that John M Wiley would have been a member of in 1862. It appears to be the exact opposite of the society that the Union supporters belonged to. This secret society which was influenced somewhat by the Masons had its beginning in the formation of southern rights in various southern cities in the mid 1830's and was inspired by John C Calhoun's philosophies. It wanted to re-establish the slave trade. It was reorganized in Kentucky in 1854 and supposedly became the most powerful secret and subversive organization in the history of the US before the end of the Civil War. It had a goal to create a slave holding southern empire including Mexico, Central American etc. In the early 1860's it wanted to invade Mexico and was probably stopped by the coming of the civil war. It had a convention in North Carolina in 1860 and established itself as a military type society. It was an ally of secession, and John Wilkes Booth may have been a member.

Anonymous said...

I have been seeking more information relating to John M Wiley [1812-1862]. I found one unverified source that indicated that his middle name was Malcolm. He was married to Elizabeth "Eliza" "Lizzie" Ann McCulloch [1820-1877] and there were six known children, five girls and one boy. Avaline [B1837], Mary Jane [B1840], Eliza [B1841], Isaac [B1843], Sarah Ann [B1845] and Maria Louisa [B1849] All the children were born in Missouri. The family was living in Jefferson County, Missouri in the 1850 census. They moved to Grayson County in 1854 and were in the Grayson County census in 1860. He is not on Diamond or McCaslin's hanged lists, but is mentioned by Clark and in the article by the Galveston News Weekly in 1880 as being hanged. The widow, Eliza was living in the 1870 Grayson County census with her son Isaac and a 8 years old child named James M Wiley who may be the child of Isaac and the grandchild of Eliza. None of the girls are in the home. It appears that the family did not flee the area after the hanging but stayed in Grayson County. Isaac was born 1843 and died in 1924. He was married to Margaret Ellen Hutton and they had several children. They apparently lived near Collinsville in Grayson County and are both buried in the Collinsville Cemetery. Eliza Wiley died in 1877 and was buried in Wiley Cemetery near Collinsville near her husband, J M Wiley. This cemetery is small with maybe 5 or 6 graves and located about 2 miles SE of Collinsville. None of the graves there appear to be on Find-A-Grave website. Not sure if they are marked or not. Clark calls him "old man Wiley-landowner" in his account. The only reference I can find about John M Wiley in Diamond's account is that he was present at the Dye meeting on the night of 1 October 1862. This was mentioned in testimony in one of the first seven trials. There is no evidence that Wiley had a trial, but he was hanged on the 12th, so would likely have been one of the 14 men that was selected from a list by a representative of the citizens mob provided to them by the jury for lynching. It does appear however, that he was picked up by his family or friends and buried in a traditional manner by his family and not in the mass grave on the banks of Pecan Creek.

Anonymous said...

Unknown Man taken from city jail: During the mob unrest likely Friday night, 10 October 1862 right after the assassination of Col. Young, the Gainesville mob tried to overpower the jailer at the makeshift county jail to hang all the prisoners, however this was thwarted, so they went instead to the less secure city jail and took its sole inmate [not identified] accused of being an army deserter and horse thief, from his cell and lynched him. That seemed to satisfy them temporarily. This was cited by Ragsdale, Incident of the Civil War. Per McCaslin, p. 81.

We should add one more unnamed person to the list of those hanged during this episode. Maybe someday we will know what his name was?

Anonymous said...

All of the men who lost their lives because they remained loyal to the Constitution and to the Union should be given some sort of medal.

Anonymous said...

My great great grandmother was Elizabeth Tucker Woolsey. Her daughter, Mary Anne Woolsey married Alexander D. Scott in Cooke Co. Texas Aug. 28, 1859. They had two children. Alexander D. Scott was one of the men hung in the great hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862. Elizabeth Woolsey went before the court pleading for the life of her son who was accused, they sent him free. If you have any information regarding this, please let me know.

USAFA MOM said...

Does anyone have any information on James A Ward? I know he had a wife and family. I have not found him in any census report for the area. There is some information on his wife but nothing on him. Thanks in advance.

USAFA MOM said...

I made a trip to Gainesville to the Morton Museum to find out information on one of those hung. It is a beautiful facility. But I was disappointed that the only thing in the museum was 2 books on a shelf and a couple of others behind glass. A museum in a small town with no knowledge of such a huge event that was less than one mile. I understand that it was a "black" mark on the city. What if San Antonio hide the Alamo because of the amount of people killed there.What if Dallas torn down the grassy knoll because they was embarrassed. It is a part of Texas history. In some of the material it is stated that some of the ones hung were really thought to be innocent afterwards. One needs to only listen to the speech on Richard McCaslin to know there is still a huge amount of interest in this topic. They want to learn how it happened so it wouldn't be repeated. Why is Gainesville putting their heads in the sand? The least that can be done is clean up around the 'tree'. Put a bench, plant some grass, pull a weed, etc. Show some respect for both sides of the issue. Something could be put together to be respectful for all those concerned. One thing always learned when doing genealogy is you will find something dark in every family. Its family and its history! Gainesville needs to step up to its family and history. A view from the outside looking in.

Jan Ross Deetjen said...

My name is Janette Elizabeth Ross Deetjen. My father was Joseph Reeves Ross 1896-1979 my mother was Grace Craig Ross 1898-1992, my paternal grandparents were James Henry Ross who married Mary Elizabeth Reeves whose parents were Joseph Reeves who married Maria Louisa Wiley, daughter of Eliza Ann McCullough and John M. Wiley who was hanged in Gainesville, 1862.

Chris Gibbons said...

My name is Chris Gibbons. Although not part of the Gainesville Hangings, my family believes that James (Fitz?)Gibbons, a cobbler from London who moved to Sherman TX, was ambushed and lynched by Confederate sympathizers in 1861. He was my gggrandfather. According to a story told by his daughter to her granddaughter, the family had left Sherman to go stay with his wife's family near Dallas during the Civil War and a band of drunken men came into camp the first night out and took him away and lynched him. The family buried him beneath the tree but was never able to locate the grave later on. James Gibbons is mentioned several times in Sherman newspaper articles and directories. His second wife, Elizabeth Sevier Holt Gibbons, was related to the first governor of Tennessee (Sevier).

Donna Eaks said...

My 3x great grandfather was Henry V. Smith. He narrowly escaped being killed in The Great Hanging. Henry and his family moved from Iowa to the Gainesville area around 1860. As such he was a Northern sympathizer during the Civil War. He was sentenced to be hung; however, he was able to escape only thru the influence of a family friend Joshua Gotham. He escaped to Loredo, Texas. His wife, Caroline, and five children (Chastina, Ada Rose, Edward Jones, Elvira, and Henry Alvah) remained in Cooke County. Henry was subsequently killed by Indians on May 8, 1866 on The Sauce Ranch 5 miles from Loredo towards Eagle Pass.

Donna Eaks said...

My 3x great grandfather Henry V Smith narrowing escaped The Great Hanging. About 1860, Henry and his family moved from Iowa to the Cooke County area. As such, he was a Northern sympathizer during the Civil War. Henry was sentenced to be hung; however, he was able to escape only thru the influence of a family friend, Joshua Gorham. He escaped to Laredo, Texas. His wife Carolyn and five children (Chasten, Ada Rose, Edward Jones, Elvira, and Henry Alvah) remained in Cooke County. Henry was subsequently killed by Indians on May 8, 1866 in the Sauce Ranch 5 miles from Loredo towards Eagle Pass while shearing sheep.

Bonnie Beach Mangan said...

I too have the story told by Chris Gibbons about the hanging of my ggrandfather James Fitz Gibbons. His daughter Charlotte Amelia Gibbons Beach said that drunken confederates took her father who was unarmed away. A man came along and said he had found him hanging in a big old tree. He buried him and told the family where they could find the grave, but they were unable to find the grave. James was taking his son, daughter and his wife Elizabeth S. Holt Gibbons and her daughter to stay with her family while he went to war. He was Captain of the Militia, had been the Justice of Piece of Sherman. I have a copy of the story as told by his daughter Charlotte Amelia.
I would like to get in touch with Chris Gibbons.
Bonnie Beach Mangan

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this blog is still active, but just wanted to say "thanks" for all of the links and sources.