Atoka County, Oklahoma Genealogy
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Assistant Adjutant General
of the Oklahoma division of United Confederate Veterans


Benjamin Franklin, was born during the brief time Wilson and Nancy lived in Mississippi, near Corinth. He grew up in Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Benjamin joined the Confederate Army on Feb. 22, 1862 and went to join his two brothers, George and John.

They all served in the 9th Alabama Infantry, Co. I, under Capt. Edward Asbury O'NEAL, (see below). The nickname for this unit was 'Calhoun Guards'.

George was killed at the Battle of Frayser's Farm near Richmond.

Benjamin later served under Col. (later General) WILCOX.

Benjamin was captured April 6, 1865 at the battle of Amelia Court House in Virginia and was held until Jun 6, 1865, when he was released after taking an oath of allegiance to the United States.

He appears on the roll of sick prisoners. It is not known what was wrong with him. When captured he weighed 165 lbs. When he was released he weighed 110 lbs.

When the war was over he returned to Lauderdale County. He arrived back home on Jun 27, 1865. After he and Mary married they continued to live there until approximately 1883 when they loaded a wagon and moved to Franklin County Arkansas. Their youngest son, Kirby was born in the wagon on the trip.

While they lived in Arkansas, they had as neighbors, the NESBITTS and the McCREAS. Benjamin's son, Jim became acquainted with Maggie McCREA.

About 1882 the family moved again, this time to Indian Territory, settling in Pottawatomie County near Benjamin's cousin William A. TROUSDALE.

William's son, Billy would become the first sheriff of Pott. County in 1894.

The small town that was to become Wanette, OK would become their permanent home.

Jim and Maggie corresponded and finally Jim took a wagon and went to Arkansas and married Maggie. He brought her back to OK where their first child, Mary, was born.

When Mary was just an infant, Jim and Maggie returned to Arkansas. They rented or sharecropped a farm on Arbuckle's Island near Vesta, AR. It is a very large island in the Arkansas River. Their second child, Hartwell was born there.

A couple years later, Jim took his small family and went back to Pottawatomie County OK. Benjamin and Mary are buried in the Wanette cemetery.

Mary always called her husband Mr. PHILLIPS and he called her Stumpy.

Their son Sam, told his children a story about Benjamin buying one of the first cars in Pott. County. He drove it home and was putting it in the barn. He drove it right through the back wall of the barn while shouting WHOA! Thereafter Sam did the driving.

Benjamin was very proud of his Confederate service and was photographed in his uniform several times. He attended the Confederate reunions and most of the photos were taken then, when he was older. He became Assistant Adjutant General of the Oklahoma division of United Confederate Veterans.

The town of Wanette probably has had more locations and more names than any other settlement in the state.

First, in 1874, it became Clardyville, or Pleasant Prairie near the present site of the Wanette Cemetery.

In 1876 the town was moved two miles north and four miles west of the present site and was named Wagoza.

Then in 1877 the town was moved back to the cemetery site and called Oberlin.

Later, when a more adequate water supply was needed for the cotton gin, the town was moved two miles south and one mile west to become Wanette.

Construction of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1903 meant another move for the settlement. The town moved one mile north to its present location and the sale of lots began.

The Pottawatomie Indian name, Wanette, means beautiful valley.

When the town became Wagoza and obtained a post office, Mary TROUSDALE, wife of William A. TROUSDALE became its first postmaster (mistress).

Their son, William Bell 'Billy' TROUSDALE was elected sheriff of Pottawatomie County in 1894 and served two terms.

About three or four miles north of Wanette is where the TROUSDALES settled. William A. donated the land for a post office and TROUSDALE became a town. There is only one building left there now but it still appears on some maps. The town withered when the railroad passed it by.

Benjamin was a farmer and raised his family in the Trousdale-Wanette area.

Edward A. O'NEAL was a prominent lawyer in Florence, Alabama and performed some legal services for Jack PHILLIPS, Benjamin's grandfather.

When the Confederacy formed, he was appointed or elected captain of I Company , 9th Alabama Infantry. He served throughout the war and was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines and again at Boonesboro. He attained the rank of Colonel and was Brevet Brigadier General. After the war he resumed his law practice and was elected governor of Alabama in 1882 and served one term.

Benjamin was my G-grandfather.

Submitted by Carl Phillips.


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