Privations of a soldier's widow


By Mrs. M. M. Hendrix, of Big Fork

My husband Benjamin Franklin Hendrix entered the Southern army in the beginning of the war, joining Captain Edwin's company, Fourth Arkansas infantry, in June, 1861. He was killed in battle December 15, 1863, leaving me with four little children, to live the hard life of many a Confederate widow. My oldest child, George Washington, was seven years old; the next, Samuel Enoch, was five; the third was Benjamin Franklin, three years old, and the youngest, Sarah Elizabeth, was only ten months old.

I felt all these things the more because I was an adopted citizen of Arkansas. My native home was in Pickens county, South Carolina, where I was born October 17, 1832. My parents moved to Cherokee county, Ga., when I was about one year old. At the age of 12, I came with my parents to Montgomery county, Arkansas, and September 4, 1852, married Benjamin F Hendrix, who was the same age as myself, 22 years.


With four little ones to provide for, I found life a hard problem. Many times when night came and I lay down, I could not sleep on account of my destitute condition, and being forced to see my children suffer from cold and hunger without power or prospect of helping them. I could have managed to live fairly well, as I could work in the field and chop wood and I had some provisions laid by and the house was comfortably furnished, but federal soldiers came and robbed me of everything, not leaving a mouthful at the times for myself and little ones.

They were frequently brutal and once when I seemed slow about cooking something for them, they began cursing and pointed a gun at me, so that I was terribly frightened. But God was good to me in keeping me in a Christian spirit, and I succeeded in raising all my children. My son, G W Hendrix lives at Black Springs, Ark.; Samuel E Hendrix, lives at Ultimathule, Ark.; B F Hendrix lives at Maxwell, I.T., and my daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, lives at Big Fork, Ark., and is happily married to Mr. Liles.