ISAAC BALL FEAGIN
BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
Barbour County, Alabama
Isaac Ball Feagin (deceased May 2, 1900) was born in Jones county, Ga., on July 17, 1833. He was the son of Samuel Feagin and his wife, Mary Ball, daughter of Isaac Ball, of Warren county, Ga. Isaac Ball Feagin received his education in the “old field schools” of Barbour county, Alabama.
His school days were limited, however, for on the death of his father he assumed the responsibilities of the head of the family, being at the time but fourteen years of age. Though a mere boy, he responded nobly to the call of duty in the new and unusual responsibilities put upon him, and successfully reared and educated a younger brother and two sisters. At the age of twenty-one he was the chief deputy sheriff of Barbour county. After this he entered the mercantile business at Midway, Alabama.
At the outbreak of the war he was one of the organizers of the Midway Guards, Capt. John W. L. Daniel, one of the companies of the Fifteenth Alabama infantry, and was elected its first lieutenant. On July 3, 1861, the regiment was mustered into the service of the Confederate States at Fort Mitchell, Ala. Captain Daniel being elected major of the regiment, Lieutenant Feagin was elected the captain of his company, which was designated as B, with Captain Feagin ranking second in the list of captains, Capt. A. A. Lowther, of Company A, ranking first. Immediately after its enrollment the regiment was sent to Virginia, becoming a part of General Trimble’s brigade of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s corps. He participated in nearly every battle fought by that noble body of men, “The Army of Northern Virginia.” Captain Feagin was very popular with the men, not only of his own company, but of the entire regiment. He was known by them all as a brave, efficient officer, who shirked no duties and was always at his post. After the seven days’ battles around Richmond, Colonel Cantey and Lieutenant Colonel Trentlen, of the regiment, being absent on furlough, the command of the regiment devolved on Major Lowther (Major Daniel having previously resigned and Captain Lowther having been promoted to his place), with Captain Feagin acting as lieutenant colonel.
During the remainder of the year, and during the hard-fought battles of second Manassas, Aug. 28, 29 and 30, 1862; Chantilly, Sept. 1, 1862, and Sharpsburg, Va., Major Lowther was absent and Captain Feagin commanded the regiment, displaying qualities of a commander which added greatly to his reputation and further endeared him to his men. Near the close of 1862 Colonel Cantey was promoted to brigadier general and Captain Feagin was commissioned lieutenant colonel, Lieutenant Colonel Trentlen having resigned. At the battle of Sharpsburg, Captain Feagin was wounded by the bursting of a shell, having three ribs fractured, the wound necessitating his absence from the succeeding battles of Shepardstown and Fredericksburg. He rejoined his regiment in January, 1863, and commanded it at the battle of Suffolk, May 3, 1863, and in the campaign of Pennsylvania. At the battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, he was severely wounded, losing his right leg and being captured. He was confined in a Federal prison for eleven months before his exchange, and was then invalided home on leave of absence.
Colonel Feagin was of a genial, cheerful disposition, approachable at all times by any man in his regiment, calm and cool in the face of danger, never allowing himself to be carried away by excitement. An apt illustration of this characteristic was shown at the battle of Sharpsburg. The Fifteenth Alabama had been hotly engaged, being a portion of the thin line on the left with which Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson was checking the terrific onslaughts of Hooker’s, Sumner’s and Franklin’s grand army corps of the Federal army. Their ammunition being exhausted, they were relieved by a portion of Gen. D. H. Hill’s command, but had barely retired to the ordnance wagons when a portion of Hill’s men gave way temporarily before the enemy. Seeing this, General Hill ordered what was left of the Fifteenth to fill the breach. Captain Feagin explained that their cartridges were exhausted and refused to order his men to charge with bayonets, whereupon General Hill placed him under arrest and preferred the charge of disobedience of orders against him. He was tried by court-martial, but the court not only discharged him, but complimented him for his coolness and discretion.
Although Colonel Feagin would carry his men as far as anyone and hold them to the fight as long as necessary, he was exceedingly careful of their lives and comfort, and performed his duty because it was his duty. He was as free from any desire for promotion as any brave and conscientious officer could be, and his men loved and honored him for it. On his return home, at the close of the war, Colonel Feagin was elected sheriff of Barbour county in 1866. In 1876, having become a resident of Bullock county, Ala., he was elected sheriff of that county, serving four years, until 1880, when he was elected probate judge of the county, filling both offices with great distinction and ability. Colonel (now Judge) Feagin was a Democrat, staunch and true; was a member of the Royal Arch Masons, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and of the Baptist church. On Dec. 17, 1862, while home on furlough, recuperating from the wound received at the battle of Sharpsburg, he married Sallie Hall, the daughter of Joel and Elvira (McKinney) Hall. Joel Hall was a leading planter and a large slave owner of Warren county, Ga., and county judge of that county. He was a son of Samuel Hall, whose father, a native of Ireland, came to Georgia with General Oglethorpe. Elvira McKinney, his wife, was a daughter of Moses and Harriet (Burkhalter) McKinney, who lived near Warren, Ga.
Judge and Mrs. Feagin were parents of the following children:
- Minnie Lee Feagin, deceased, a graduate of Wesleyan college, of Macon, Ga., and the wife of Sterling Price Rainer, who was a most successful merchant of Union Springs, Ala., and was a leading capitalist of that place; they were married March 12, 1884. From this union the following children have been born: Sterling Price, Jr., James Walton, Minnie Lee, Isaac Feagin, Joel Herron.
- Harriet Zenobia Feagin, a graduate of Judson institute, wife of Ernest Lee Blue, an eminent attorney of Union Springs, Ala., to whom she was married Feb. 26, 1896. They have the following children: Sarah, Ernest Lee, Jr., Isaac Feagin and Harriet.
- Jeff Davis Feagin, a graduate of the University of Alabama, class of 1891, who was superintendent of the Kirby Lumber company, located at Silsbee, Tex.
- Joel Daniel Feagin, a prosperous merchant of the firm of Feagin Bros., of Union Springs. On the 26th of October, 1898, he married Mabel Lightner and they have two children, Joel Lightner and Ruth.
- Lucy Harris Feagin, a graduate of Hollins institute, Va.
- Arthur Henry Feagin, who graduated with highest honors from the Alabama Polytechnic institute in 1898, with the degree of civil engineer. He was a civil engineer for all the mines of the Tutwiler Mining company, of Birmingham, Ala.
- Clarence Feagin, a graduate from the same institute as electrical engineer in 1900, and employed by the government at Beaumont, Tex.
- Isaac Ball Feagin, member of the firm of Feagin Bros, at Union Springs. He was married Jan. 6, 1904, his wife being Maggie Lou Hanson, of Union Springs.
Isaac Ball Feagin, Sr. died May 2, 1900 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Union Springs, Bullock County, Alabama. His wife, Sarah, died Jan 5, 1937 and is also buried at Oak Hill.
- Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 1 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose
- Find A Grave Memorial# 53762958 # 96636232 # 96637886 # 96637904 # 107547188 # 106413274 # 96636383 # 106200243 # 107547226
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