WILLIAM J. SEALE, Danville Mounted Riflemen


© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

William J. Seale was born in Sumter County, Alabama, in 1844 or 1845, the son of John A. Seale and Margaret Caroline Knox, according to Seale descendants. He moved to Mississippi with his parents in about 1850, where his family was enumerated in Neshoba County, and then to Texas in about 1855. His family was enumerated in Walker County, Texas in 1860, and he was fifteen and a farmer. They were living next door to John Lindley and wife Eliza and family.

William J. Seale joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen in 1861 when he was just sixteen. The Riflemen was a group of mounted militiamen formed in Danville, Montgomery County, under Captain S. D. Wooldridge.

This image of the Texas Archives muster card extract was accessed on Ancestry.com.

Later that year, in October 1861, William enrolled in Company G, Captain H. W. Fisher's Company of Mounted Volunteers, 3rd Regiment, Sibley's Brigade. He enlisted in Walker County and gave his age as eighteen.

He took his own horse into the war, a horse of the value of $150.00. His equipment was valued at $30.

William fought with the Seventh Cavalry until September, 1863, when he was discharged by a surgeon's Certificate of Disability and was discharged to go home to Danville, Montgomery County, Texas.

His discharge certificate is included in his file. It shows that he was furloughed from Morgan's Ferry, Louisiana and that he received his pay to the date of discharge. The certificate gives William's age as nineteen, and his description as follows: five feet ten inches high, fair complexion, hazel eyes.

Meanwhile, William's father had died, leaving an estate and land in the Tong Survey near Danville in Montgomery County. We know that William returned home about that time and, when well enough, reported to the local unit of the 17th Brigade, Texas State Troops.

The last record we have of William is on a Report of the Board of Surgeons, Montgomery County, on Feb. 4, 1864, by the colonel commanding the 17th Brigade TST and signed by Texas State Troops physicians. William Seale was discharged due to sore legs.

There does not seem to be a census enumeration for William J. Seale in 1870 or 1880, and we can assume that he likely died soon after.

There is a Findagrave memorial for a William J. (Joshua W.) Seale in Sansom Cemetery, Limestone County, with a gravestone that has the service record for our William J. Seale.

However, it is clear that the man in Sansom is buried with the wrong service information. That Mr. Seale was ten years older than ours and was married in Mississippi when our William was only ten years old. Also, the older man did not arrive in Texas until well after the war (see census, Limestone County 1870). The marker application, giving the wrong service information, can be found on Ancestry.com.

Thank you to Seale researcher Lew Bruce for clearing up this mystery.

Sources include Roster of the Danville Mounted Riflemen, Texas census records, and Compiled Service Records of William's service in the Seventh Texas Cavalry. Also consulted were Ancestry Public Trees and Find-A-Grave.

For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. Contact Frank at fjohnson@wt.net.

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© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014
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Counter June 24, 2007