GEORGE WILLOUGHBY HAILS
BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
George Willoughby Hails was born Jan. 20, 1847 near Montgomery, Alabama. His father, George Willoughby Hails, Sr. was born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1811 and moved. in 1835 to Montgomery county, where he located and became a large planter. “He bought a magnificent plantation and became on of the most successful planters in Montgomery County. He introduced the first two-horse plough and took pleasure and pride in calling the attention of his neighbors and friends to the good work it performed.
Mr. Hails was a good citizen, neighbor, and friend. When he died he left a rich legacy; besides his property, he left a splendid family of sons and daughters” He married Sarah Bozier, of Huguenot descent, who also was born in Columbia, S. C.
They had nine children, of whom seven grew to adulthood:
- SALLIE HAIL, wife of GEORGE O. JANNEY
- MARY HAIL, wife of DR. C. K. DUNCAN
- REBECCA HAIL, wife of MAJOR V. ELMORE;
- ROBERT HAIL
- GEORGE W. HAIL;
- THOMAS J. HAIL
- CHARLES E. HAILS.
All lived in Montgomery, Alabama. The father died in 1865, and the mother died in 1882. The grandfather was Robert Hails, a native of South Carolina.” He was one of the charter members of the Montgomery True Blues and went with the company to the Seminole war in 1836.
His father, Captain Robert Hails, a planter near the Santee river in South Carolina, and an earnest supporter of Colonial forces raised for the Revolutionary war a company of partisan rangers at his own expense and was afterward attached to Lee’s legion. His widow lived to be ninety-four years old and told her descendants many of the stirring events of the early days of the republic. She had a son in the War of 1812, descendants in the Seminole and Mexican wars, and many grandsons in the Confederate army. She was a zealous Confederate and often expressed the wish that she might never live to see one of the enemy. Her wish was granted as she died when the Federals were within four miles of Montgomery.
George Willoughby Hails entered the Confederate army early in the spring of 1863, joined the Cadet Company Seventh Alabama cavalry and served for a time upon the coast but was afterward transferred to North Mississippi, and placed in the command of General Forrest, Chalmers division, Rucker’s brigade. The company was detailed for escort duty to General Rucker and took an active part not only as couriers, but as sharpshooters, and on the line of the fight at Paris Landing, with river gunboats, Johnsonville, Henryville, Columbia. Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville.
On the retreat of Hood’s army, it surrendered with Forrest’s command at Gainesville, Ala. This company was held as reserve by General Rucker and late on the evening of the second day’s fight at Nashville when General Hood ordered Rucker to save the wagon train at the sacrifice of his brigade, it was badly cut to pieces by the enemy but it protected the wagon trains. It had honorable mention in general orders and also in Gen. Jordan’s history of Forrest’s command.
After the war, Mr. Hails engaged in planting and took great interest in politics, especially in overthrowing the radical Republican party. He was a candidate for tax collector in 1892 but was defeated. He was subsequently elected in 1900 by a large majority vote.
He married December 10, 1874, Susan Tyler Nesbitt who was of South Carolina and Virginia parentage and also settled in Montgomery in the forties. Her grandfather, Col. Wilson Nesbit represented a district from South Carolina in Congress in 1819. His wife was Susan Tyler Duval, sister to Judge Gabriel Duval of the United States Supreme court. Her mother, Mary Virginia Scott was the granddaughter of Gen. John Scott, one of the founders of Montgomery.
- Robertson, W. G.. Recollections of the early settlers of Montgomery County, Alabama. Montgomery, Ala.: Society of Pioneers of Montgomery, 1961.
- Memorial record of Alabama : a concise account of the state’s political, military, professional and industrial progress, together with the personal memoirs of many of its people.” by Hannis Taylor; pub. Madison, Wis.: Brant & Fuller, 1893, 2216 pgs Vol II, pg. 676-677.
- Notable men of Alabama: personal and genealogical, Volume 1 By Joel Campbell DuBose
- Find A Grave Memorial# 90838900 #90838801 93528872 # 93528916
ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1) is a collection of lost and forgotten stories about the people who discovered and initially settled in Alabama.
Some stories include:
- The true story of the first Mardi Gras in America and where it took place
- The Mississippi Bubble Burst – how it affected the settlers
- Did you know that many people devoted to the Crown settled in Alabama –
- Sophia McGillivray- what she did when she was nine months pregnant
- Alabama had its first Interstate in the early days of settlement
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