Query: Eason family of Sand Mountain, Alabama




Dale Henson

My great-grandmother, Celia Delwoth Eason (born 1848) moved to Sand Mountain, Alabama from Newton County, Georgia with her parents, Abraham Eason, Jr and Mary Granville, in 1857. They settled on a farm in the old “Sockfoot” area, now Hustleville near Short Creek.

Her future husband, James Leonard Henson, was born 1842 in Tennessee, moved to Cicero, ILL with his parents and in 1861 joined the Union Army in Williamson County, Illinois. He fought at Fort Donelson in west Tennessee, a short distance from Clarkesville, TN.

Now, to cut this short, James Leonard and Celia (17 years old) were married July 28, 1865 in Clarkesville, TN. In 1860 she was living with her parents on Sand Mountain, and there is no record of her leaving home. At the time of their marriage James was apparently on his way back to Ill to be discharged from the Union army.



Tap to see how to Become a Patron!

My question: How did little Celia on Sand Mountain living with her family during the Civil War meet the Union soldier, James? And if she met him during the war (there were Union Army raids across Sand Mountain foraging for food along with the famous raid of Union Colonel Straight across a portion of Sand Mountain), was he able to come back to her farm and take her to be married in Tennessee?  If not, how did she know to meet him at Clarkesville? And if so, how did she get there?

Members of the Eason family still living in the Hustleville area, and some avid Eason genealogists, do not have anwers to this question.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but it takes it to tell the story !! What a miracle if this question gets answered by some of the Alabama Pioneers !!!!

As a family historian, do you have friends and family ask you how to get started in family research? This is a hard question to answer in a few minutes. Refer them to the book below to help them get started in this fun hobby. Purchase several – Books make great gifts!

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources



  1. Bobby Gene Rice, Dana Biddle

    1. Melissa Rice I’m presently trying to research the Civil War in northeast Alabama but the information is hard to find. The area was much more active than most realize. The page that you shared about your Blancett ancestor being murdered by tories got me into this. Hundreds in the area, especially Jackson and upper Marshall Co. joined Union units. A Willis C. Rains joined the 1st Tenn. Cav., USA, in Stevenson but I’m not sure if its the same family. The hills of NE Ala. were full of Union loyalists, gangs of deserters, and Union companies that stole, burned, and foraged making life literally hell for the inhabitants. Murders in retribution between Confederate or Union loyalists were common after the war. I will look into Celia Eason and her Union hubby.

    2. Charles Moore Willis Rains (if the same one, not sure of middle name) was from Mother’s daddy’s side. The Blancett family was Mother’s mother’s side. Grandmother wrote out a short story of her grandfather, William Calvin Blancett, being murdered by Torries.

    3. There were 3 Willis Rains that I’m familiar with. A Willis C. Rains enlisted with the Union 1st Tenn. Cav. Ignatius Rains had a son named Willis C. Rains. You shared the story of Blancett being murdered by tories. From what I have since read, that type of murder was rampant after the war until about 1867 in NE Ala.

    4. Our Willis had H middle initial.

    5. Willis Homer Rains was the brother of Ignatius Rains.

  2. wow, interesting. I lived on Sand Mountain for a bit in my younger days., and my maiden name is Henson and my folks originally came from up around the Tenn area. .

  3. The answers to several of the questions posed by this story will probably not be known- especially the whys- unless Miss Celia or her offspring left stories themselves. How she likely got to Clarkesville from Sand Mountain isn’t that difficult. Both Sand Mountain and Clarkesville, TN, are near the Tennessee River and steamboat travel was very common at that time. At age 17, people at that time were far more ready to take on responsibilities of adulthood than people of today. Also, the Sand Mountain region was very divided in its loyalties during the Civil War between secessionists, Union loyalists, and those finding it impossible to remain neutral. “Foraging for food” for both armies means simply taking what they wanted from undefended farms.

    1. James and Celia Henson lived near Albertville on Sand Mountain, her home, in 1880. I don’t know about the time in between their marriage and 1880 since they, along with many others, aren’t found on the 1870 census.

  4. It wouldn’t be hard for a young lady to meet a Union soldier since that area was so divided between the Union and Confederacy. They were literally fighting among family and friends… I have tons of ancestors from the Sand Mountain area. My mother and both of her parents were born and raised there. Well, I have a something for y’all. My ancestor and his wife was also from Jackson co. Alabama. Before Alabama he was a Revolutionary War soldier ,he met and married a Cherokee woman while in Virginia. I have had genealogists say how did a white man marry a Cherokee woman when the Cherokees were from Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, North Georgia and North Alabama? Well, little did they know her family were also Shawnee and Powhatans and they lived in Virginia. My ancestors also lived in Kentucky before North Alabama. Kentucky was also a part of Virginia before it broke off and became it’s own state. The Cherokees were forced to move to North Georgia and North Alabama and Tennessee around 1790. I am not enrolled in the Cherokee Nation. My ancestor’s brother and his family were the only ones in my family that went on the Trail of Tears. He also helped write the The Treaty of New Echota that sent the Cherokees out West and was with The Ridges Party. The reason why my ancestor didn’t go was that she married a White man and he had land and she became a US citizen. Her 4 sisters did the same thing. It says in the Treaty of Echota that a Cherokee in the states of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia that became a Citizen of the United States didn’t have to remove to the West. Thanks for listening to me.

  5. Lots of research on the Easton’s,and Perry’s go way back

    1. Jeff Crane I need to get with you on your Perry and Crane research.

    2. Melanie Prater Doss happy to share

Leave a Reply