Thursday, February 3, 2005


City Personals
By Mary Clay Brooks

Cupp family celebrates January birthdays

Nancy Smith of Oxford was the Saturday afternoon guest of Claiborne Thompson.

Christopher and Jenny Cupp and daughter, Emma Grace, of Olive Branch and Beverly Fitch and children, Trey and Shelby, of Collierville, Tenn., joined Billy and Tammy Cupp and Becky Cupp Thursday night to celebrate the “Cupp January Birthdays.” In honor of the occasion, they went out to eat fish.

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Miss Ejeera Selmer and Tracy Joiner will exchange vows Feb. 12 at Asbury UMC

Saundra Hearn Ben-Isreal of Chicago, Ill., announces the engagement and forthcoming marriage of her daughter, Ejeera Y. Selmer to Tracy A. Joiner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Joiner of Oxford.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Landry Hearn and the late Wilkerson Hearn Jr. and Mary Selmer of Ripley and the late Drake Selmer.

She is a 1993 graduate of Holly Springs High School and received a bachelor of social work degree in 1997 and a master’s degree in health promotion in 2001, both from the University of Mississippi. This summer she will receive the master of education degree in counselor education, also from Ole Miss. She is employed at Family Crisis Services of Northwest MS, Inc. as a therapist and forensic interviewer.

The prospective groom is a 1992 graduate of Lafayette High School in Oxford and received his associate’s degree in business administration from Northwest Community College in Senatobia in 1994. He is currently employed as a foreman for Joiner Concrete Finishing Co. in Oxford.

The couple will exchange vows at 4 p.m. on Feb. 12, 2005 at Asbury United Methodist Church.

By Lois Swanee
Museum Curator

Horses in the War Between the States

Horses were an integral part in the Civil War. Without horses, the War could not have been fought, as the horse is what made the movement possible. Horses pulled the artillery, they carried the men and they carried or pulled the supplies. At the beginning of the War, the Northern Army probably had three million plus horses and the South had nearly two million.

The people in the South had always had horses of which riding and horsemanship were major sports and part of the Southern way of life. Most people had traveled on horse back since early childhood. Large draft horses were used in the North on the farm and weren’t good saddle horses. Most larger cities in the South had horse races and they developed a pure breed of horse for speed, as speed was the passion for many people.

Tennessee Walkers and the American Saddle breed of horses were the most important breed as they were bred for their smaller size and smooth gait. When setting in the saddle it was like sitting in a rocking chair as it was so easy and smooth. Both sides used Morgan horses. In the Battle of Gettysburg over 1500 horses and mules were killed.

Training the horse was critical, as they had to be taught to obey commands. In time of war that was imperative. Soldiers on both sides realized how important the horse was. If the horses were disabled, so was the unit. On both sides, generals and officers rode the horse. This made it easier to see what was going on and commands could be heard more clearly from the high position. Also the sight of the command so close inspired the men to fight more gallantly.

My great-grandfather, William Tecumseh Williams, was a teamster in the War. His job was to see to it there was enough food for the horses every night. Imagine having to scrounge feed for an army of horses every night. Horses had to eat! My ancestor was born in Erie, Penn., a decade after William Tecumseh Sherman was born in the same place. I have often wondered why their mothers would name them after a wild Indian chief, but I will probably never know. This was an urgent job and very important. Soldiers always tried to camp close to water so the horses and they could have a drink.

All of the horses had names. Belle Boyd had a horse named “Fleeter!” You remember that Belle was a famous Confederate lady spy! General Cleburne’s horse, “Dixie,” was killed in battle right out from under him. General J.E.B. Stuart named his horse “Virginia” and she saved him from being captured by jumping a very wide ditch. “Fire-Eater” was then ridden by his owner, General Albert Sidney Johnston, who was killed at Shiloh.

General Nathan Bedford Forrest had eight horses shot out from under him. General Forrest was in the Battle of Okolona and was shot in the foot. He recuperated in the home of Mr. Billups in Columbus. His bed was near a window and he looked out of the window and saw a beautiful horse hitched at the gate; he asked, “What’s his name?” “King Philip” was the answer. While Forrest was recuperating he carved a crutch for himself, which I wanted for the Museum, but I don’t have it so far. When Forrest was well enough to leave he walked out of the house and Mr. Billups presented him with a gift of “King Philip,” who became Forrest’s favorite horse of all time.

After the War, “King Philip” was in a pasture and two Yankee soldiers in uniform were walking down the road. “King Philip” had all that war training and he ran down to the fence at the road and tried to paw the soldiers. He recognized their uniforms.

One of the most famous horses of the War belonged to General Stonewall Jackson. His name was “Little Sorrell” and he was 11 years old. Jackson had bought him for his wife because he was small. Jackson wasn’t the horseman the other generals were so the horse suited him well. The horse had unlimited energy and wasn’t easily spooked. Jackson was riding “Little Sorrell” when the general was mortally wounded. At the funeral the veterans paid tribute to the fallen general and his mount by saluting the animal and funeral train as it passed by. When the War was over, “Little Sorrell” was returned to Mrs. Jackson. She gave him to the Virginia Military Institute and he became mascot of the school and died at the old age of 36.

General Robert E. Lee had many horses: “Brown-Roan,” “Richmond,” “Ajax,” “Lucy Long” and “Traveler.” “Traveler” was only four when the War began. He was strong, quick and had endurance and he was 17 hands high. Everybody wanted a hair from his tail. It was a wonder he had a tail left at the end of the War. “Traveler” marched in front of the funeral procession when Lee died in 1870 with reversed boots in his stirrups.

Many statues of horses have been erected in the noble animals’ memories. All through Vicksburg Military Park are statues of horses.

The information for this article came from the Museum files and an article written by Sarah Council for the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Set your name in history

For many years, the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum has shared African and African-American art, history and culture with Marshall County and surrounding areas.

Renovations to the museum began Dec. 6, 2004, to bring the Bolling-Gatewood House back to its original splendor and adding modern engineering to make it last another century.

Now, the community can be part of the new Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum by purchasing one of 300 limited edition bricks designed for the “Building On The Past, Focusing On The Future” walk into history.

Each brick can be inscribed with your name, the name of a loved one, a special date or commemoration of a special occasion. Your brick will come with a beautiful certificate and a ticket for admission to the birthday celebration banquet July 16, 2005 and a one-year membership to the museum.

The brick will be an unforgettable gift, whether for you, a friend, a loved one or family member. You’ll be a part of the renovated Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum and you’ll see a concrete reminder of your best memories every time you visit the museum.

Please contact Mary Milan or Leona Harris at 252-3232 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Bricks for individuals are $120 each; churches and organizations, $150. The bricks are limited to 300 and the deadline is March 3.

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