Mount Mitchell State Park

Monday, May 29, 2017

Harris H. Brantley

Harris H. Brantley

I found your blog regarding Lazarus Solomon.  Lazarus is my ggggreat grandfather. His daughter Mary married Green Brantley.  Their son Harris H. Brantley was my gggreat grandfather.  I just wanted to reach out and say hello. I have attached an image of Harris H. Brantley.  Lazarus served in the American Revolution and his grandson Harris served in the War Between the States.  Harris served in the 38th Alabama Infantry Company ”E”, known as the Miller Guard.  He joined at the age of 41 after his son Eli died in Courtland, Alabama while serving. I suppose he felt compelled to join. Harris fought at Missionary Ridge and Chickamauga.  After wintering in North Georgia he fought at the Battle of Resaca, where he was taken captive.  He served the remainder of the war in Camp Morton in Indanapolis, IN.  I am not certain any of this will even interest you, but I thought I would share it all the same.
I write because I am interested in anything I can learn about the Solomon family line and your blog gave me information I did not previously have.  I live outside of Atlanta, GA and welcome any information and conversation you might share regarding the Solomon family.

Regards,

Steven Wallace

Eli Brantley
oldest son of Harris

Frank Brantley
youngest son of Harris

Martha Isabel Brantley
daughter of Harris

Green Brantley and Mary Solomon Brantley Headstones
parents of Harris H. Brantley

Mary Solomon Brantley

Green Brantley

Little is known about Mary Solomon Brantley other than she was healthy woman with the stamina to birth 14 children, including two sets of twins.  All 14 survived birth.  Both Green and Mary are buried in a once forgotten cemetery in Conecuh County, Alabama.  This cemetery was located on the church grounds of a small community or crossroad called Breckenridge.  The only evidence that the church and community existed is in diaries, and the headstones were found about a half mile off a county road.  I have visited this cemetery only once and at the time did not know they were buried there.  The headstones were toppled and over grown and given that the area (south Alabama) is known for its abundance of Diamondbacks, I was a bit careful about moving about the old place.  

Harris, his wife Sarah and their son Eli/Ely are buried in another cemetery about 5 minutes from the Breckenridge cemetery.  We do not know what the “H” stood for in Harris H Brantley’s middle name.  Oral history recounts that after the war he moved to the little town of Evergreen, Alabama, and the move required the use of 14 wagons to carry the family belongings.  Harris made several purchases of land. Records show that Harris purchased a total of 440 acres of land prior to the war.  We also know that on August the 8, 1868 his estate was advertised in the Mobile Press Register as bankrupt. The move to Evergreen may have been due to the loss of his land.

I met with a Park Ranger at Chickamauga and told him Harris’ story.  He asked if we had a photo and I told him we did.  He said if we were inclined to share the photo they were interested in collecting images of soldiers who fought.  The idea was to include the images in a display they were considering.  I sent the photo but I am not sure if anything every came of their plans.

Eli’s death in Courtland was not a result of wounds received in battle, but an illness.  His death obviously pushed Harris to join.  Eli served in the 16th Alabama Regiment, Company D, mustering in at the age of 17.  He made the rank of Corporal.  He died on March 21, 1863.  Harris took a train to Courtland to retrieve Eli’s body and bring him home for burial.

Harris and Sarah had three children: Frank, the oldest, Martha Isabel (my great grandmother) and Eli.  Sarah died two months after the bankruptcy.  Harris died prior to 1881, putting his death around 60 years of age.

The only odd piece of information is found in a letter to my grandmother, Harris’ granddaughter, written by a Lera Nette Sturdivant, Frank Brantley’s granddaughter was told that Green Brantley was a full blooded Creek Indian.  I am not certain of this and have no documentation to support such a claim.  Everyone wants to believe they have native American ancestry, but I don’t put much stock in such claims without proof.

Steven Wallace

Steven Wallace (left) with his late brother, Jim, at the grave of their great-grandmother, Martha Isabel Brantley.  Steven has been very active in restoring and replacing family headstones over the years.  

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