Amos McLemore

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Amos McLemore (August 23, 1823 – October 5, 1863) of Jones County, Mississippi, was a schoolteacher, Methodist Episcopal minister, merchant and Confederate States Army soldier. He was killed at Deason Home.

Introduction and ancestry[edit]

McLemore was born on August 23, 1823, probably in Simpson or Copiah County, Mississippi.[1] He was the oldest son of John and Anna Maria McLemore. The McLemore family had been established in the South for nearly two hundred years. The patriarchs and matriarchs of the American McLemore family were James and Abraham McLemore, who probably were brothers, and Fortune (Gilliam) McLemore, James's wife. James arrived in America, probably from Scotland, not later than March 1, 1691.[2] The name McLemore derives from the Gaelic patronymic Macghillemhuire (the spelling of which has varied from writer to writer and from time to time in Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and North America).[3] The name means "son of a servant or devotee of the Virgin Mary" and originated among the Celto-Norse people (Norse-Gaels) who populated the lands bordering the Irish and Hebridean seas.[4]

Life[edit]

McLemore opposed Southern secession from the Union though his business partner, Dr. J.M. Bayliss, supported it. Nevertheless once invasion from the North seemed inevitable McLemore volunteered to raise a company for the Confederate States Army. It was mustered into Confederate service in Ellisville as Company B, 7th Battalion, 27th Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiment, on September 10, 1861 with Mclemore as its Captain. Company B, known as the Rosin Heels, was "the second [company] among eight raised in the area that consisted of all, or significant numbers of Jones County men."[5] On March 16, 1863, McLemore was promoted to Major and placed third in command of the Regiment. In spite of pre-War opposition to secession and the number of "transient deserters", the activities of such formerly anti-secessionist individuals as McLemore, according to historian (and descendant of McLemore) Rudy H. Leverett, along with the facts "that virtually every able-bodied man in the county was on active duty in organizations such as those commanded by McLemore … and that the Union raiding party entering the county in June 1863 was captured by civilians, and the Union prisoners had to be protected from the local citizens" present undeniable evidence that the citizens of Jones County were loyal to the Confederacy.[5]

Death[edit]

One of these deserters and his followers murdered Major McLemore October 5, 1863 while McLemore was dispatched temporarily from the Atlanta, GA area back to Jones County to round up deserters who had returned there and to recruit any new individuals he could. McLemore, a guest of state Representative Amos Deason at his home on the outskirts of Ellisville, spent the afternoon and evening of that cold, rainy, October day in conversation with Deason and others in the parlor of the small 4-room house.[6] The leader of a number of the resident deserters, Newton Knight, reputedly shot McLemore in the back as he prepared for bed, killing him. Popular lore has it that the Deason home has been haunted ever since. According to legend, the door to the small bedroom in which Maj. McLemore was shot opens violently on the eve of his murder. A mysterious stain of blood near the fireplace, that repeatedly was cleaned, nevertheless reappears on the eve of his murder. Today the stain is no longer visible since the family laid a new floor on top of the old many years ago.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ole Rosinheels: A Genealogical Sketch of the Family of Major Amos McLemore, 27th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, C.S.A., by Rudy Leverett., University of Southern Mississippi, page 69.
  2. ^ Ole Rosinheels: A Genealogical Sketch of the Family of Major Amos McLemore, 27th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, C.S.A., by Rudy Leverett, University of Southern Mississippi, page 37.
  3. ^ Ole Rosinheels: A Genealogical Sketch of the Family of Major Amos McLemore, 27th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, C.S.A., by Rudy Leverett, University of Southern Mississippi, page 1.
  4. ^ Ole Rosinheels: A Genealogical Sketch of the Family of Major Amos McLemore, 27th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, C.S.A., by Rudy Leverett, University of Southern Mississippi, pages 1, 15.
  5. ^ a b Leverett, Rudy H., Legend of the Free State of Jones, University Press of Mississippi, 1984, pages 65–68.
  6. ^ Leverett, Rudy H., Legend of the Free State of Jones, University Press of Mississippi, 1984, page 64.