My Union Ancestor
Co. F, 1st Arkansas Cavalry
3 x great-grandfather of Tad D. Campbell, PCinC
Alexander Oakes was born on April 6, 1847 in Fentress Co., Tennessee, one of eight children of William and Malinda (Wright) Oakes. In 1854 he moved with his parents to Benton County, Arkansas, the northwestern most county in the state.
His mother died during childbirth in 1859 and shortly thereafter Alexander's father married Amanda Nichols, by whom he had two more children.
Arkansas seceded from the Union to join the Confederacy on May 6, 1861. At the age of sixteen, Alexander Oakes enlisted in the Union Army, being mustered August 31, 1863 as a Private in Company F, 1st Arkansas Cavalry. He was mustered in at Springfield, Missouri, although his enlistment was credited to Osage Township, Benton County, Arkansas. His age was given as eighteen years old, so he must have lied a little to be accepted.
The records of the company describe him as being five feet six inches tall, fair complexion, with hazel eyes and dark hair.
In August 1863 Alexander was listed as being "on extra or daily duty; Police duty." He was then noted to be on detached duty several times, namely, at Cassville, Missouri in March and April 1864; again at Cassville in September and October 1864; at Springfield, Missouri in November and December 1864; and at Huntsville, Arkansas from January to June 1865.
In July or August 1864, Alexander was serving as a guard to escort a train from Cassville, Missouri to Fayetteville, Arkansas. About four miles out, he was stricken down with sunstroke. He received permanent disabilities as a result of the sunstroke, for which he received a pension from the U.S. Government.
Alexander Oakes was mustered out with the rest of the company at Fayetteville, Arkansas on August 23, 1865.
The Union sympathies of the Oakes family were further proven in 1868, when Alexander's half-brother was born and christened Abraham Lincoln Oakes.
On June 7, 1868 in McDonald County, Missouri (just across the state line), Alexander Oakes married Rebecca E. (Hammons) Jackson, a widow.
Rebecca, born in Missouri in 1840, was one of eight children of James and Mary (Foster) Hammons. She moved with her parents to Denton County, Texas in the 1850's. The Hammons were originally from Tennessee where they were large landowners. Rebecca's grandfather, Leroy Hammons, had been a Lieutenant Colonel in the War of 1812 and at one point owned at least fifteen slaves.
On October 22, 1857, Rebecca Hammons married John M. Jackson, and by December 1861 they had two sons.
Just eighteen days after the birth of their second son, Rebecca's husband, along with two of her brothers and a brother-in-law, joined Capt. J. S. W. Merchant's Company, Johnson's Regiment Texas Cavalry, CSA (subsequently Co. H, 14th TX Cavalry, CSA). Rebecca's brother-in-law was captured and remained a prisoner for the rest of the war. Both of her brothers would die during the war and her husband, John Jackson, died at Corinth, Mississippi in 1862.
Knowing this, Rebecca must have possessed an amazing amount of love and forgiveness to be able to wed a veteran of the Union Army in 1868. Alexander Oakes raised the two Jackson boys as his own, and the couple had five more children together.
Rebecca died in Benton County, Arkansas in 1902. Alexander Oakes survived her until March 2, 1934, having married twice more and fathering another son in 1906.
During the Civil War Alexander's father William Oakes fled Arkansas and settled in a pro-Union section of Missouri. He served in the 60th Enrolled Missouri Militia and 5th Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia before returning to Arkansas in 1866.
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