Joel Mason Miller Rivers

Joel Mason Miller Rivers

Captain Cleveland's Clarke County Cavalry
Army of the Mississippi, CSA
1861 - 1862
Wounded at Battle of Shiloh
Father Mother
Hinchey Petway Rivers Rhoda Adaline Rivers

From about 1871 until 1877, Joel and family lived in Marion, Mississippi, where Joel was employed as a bookeeper at a general store.

Property Records - 1879

Most if not all of this land originally belonged to William and Andrew Buckalew in 1860.
(80 acres) - The East 1/2 of the North West 1/4
(80 acres) - The West 1/2 of the North East 1/4
(40 acres) - The North 1/2 of the North 1/2 of the South West 1/4
(30 acres) - And all that part of the South West 1/4 lying East of Bassets Creek
- in Section 26 Township 11 Range 3 East
Containing in all 230 Acres.

Photo Album

Joel's Portrait

Joel (tintype from 1850s)

Joel's Ambroughtype

Ira Davis - Virginia - Nile - Elizabeth Davis
Adele - Joel - Ann - Ann Elizabeth (Aunt Lizzie)

The War Between the States

Joel served with Capt. Cleveland's Clarke County Calvary from September 1861 through December 1862.

The following is from A Glance into The Great South-East or, Clarke County, Alabama, And Its Surroundings, From 1540 to 1877 by T. H. Ball -

p. 272, 273.

Roll of Captain Cleveland's Clarke County Cavalry.

S. B. Cleveland, Captain.
J. Y. Kilpatrick, 1st Leut.
T. B. Creagh, 3rd Leut.
J. C. Chapman, Orderly Serg't.
R. J. Allen, W. M. Bell, T. J. Booth, R. R. Bryars, Jerrold Byrne, J. T. Clark, of Clarke, J. T. Clark, of Baldwin, G. T. Cox, G. W. Creagh, Hiram Creighton, J. A. Culpepper, Martin Casey, W. D. Campbell, J. M. Davis, J. A. Davis, L. W. Davis, J. K. Davidson, W. H. Doyle, A. J. Drury, U. L. Durant, W. J. Fanning, R. E. German, J. E. Griffin, W. H. Grayson, D. P. Gregory, Daniel Gilmore, Henry Hammond, G. P. Herbot, O. S. Holmes, R. R. Horn, J. L. Howell, James Kennison, J. W. Litchfield, Henry Lovet, E. G. Masters, Elijah Mathews, B. H. McMillan, R. D. McMillan, J. A. Mckinney, D. T. Moseley, W. K. Mosely, W. M. Nelson, John Newton, William Painter, Columbus Painter, William Porterfield, T. T. Presnall, E. H. Ritchie, J. M. Rivers, Lee Roberts, J. A. Robinson, G. W. Robinson, E. Rodgers, W. F. Sibley, A. S. Sibley, N. B. Singletacy, E. C. Smith, J. H. Smith, E. M. Stapleton, W. W. Summers, Frank Taylor, John Tyree, G. A. Wade, R. M. Wainright, M. V. B. Wainright, J. M. Williams, John S. Wood.
Joel's calvary was run out of Huntsville, Alabama, fought at the battle of Shiloh, and took refuge at Corinth, Mississippi. He often wrote letters home.

Joel was honorably discharged from the Confederate Army, December 21, 1862.

Stephen Henry Rivers

from "Memoirs of Adele Rivers"

My uncle Henry RIVERS had moved to Shanks Texas sometime before, maybe a couple of years or so, and he sold his land to my father. My father found it hard getting work during the winter; he was a carpenter. In the spring and sumner he farmed but in the winter he worked at whatever work he could find. It was always pretty rough when he didn't have any work besides farming. You didn't get much for cotton then. My Uncle Henry kept writing him to come to Texas, that he could easily get a job there. My father decided to go. He sold our furniture even though my grandparents told him to store it in their upstairs rooms, but he sold it all. We all went to Texas.

When we got out there Uncle Henry, who was not married then, didn't even know where we would live because there was no house on the place where he was boarding with the man he worked with. The man said my father could build a house on his land, my father being a carpenter soon got a house built for us. We stayed with some neighbors while he built the house. It was just a two room house, but anyway it was all right, except he had never done any masonry work. The flue that he built was a little bit out of line, but it served the purpose all right. The flue was in the middle so we could put in a stove; we had one room for a kitchen and dining room and one for a bedroom. I can remember seeing my father on the roof as he built that flue and I was so scared he was going to fall. It looked dangerous to me. He built it as fast as he could, of course, and we moved in. The neighbors were real good to us; they helped us get settled and helped us to get some furniture. They gave us some and we bought some. We bought a stove. We didn't have much because we didn't have room to put much.

We were getting along pretty well, but I didn't like it a bit because didn't like the water out there. It was from a reservoir out on the prairie, near Dallas, TX. They would dig big ponds, they called them reservoirs, and catch the rain water. We would have to go out there and get all our water. That was what we used to drink. My mother boiled the water so it would be safe for us, but I didn't like it. I begged her to send our dipper back to Alabama and get me a drink of water. In those days you had a water bucket and one dipper and everyone drank from it, in the family. She asked me, "Who will take the dipper back to Alabama? How can I get it back there?" I told her the conductor on the train might take it and get me a drink of water.

The wind blew so much all the time it kept me frightened. We lived on the prairie near Dallas. There were no trees to break the wind. I thought we were fixing to have a storm all the time the way that wind blew. When we washed clothes we would hang them on a barbed wire fence, because they wouldn't stay on any other kind of line or anything, the wind was blowing so hard. There was a great big pasture there that was fenced with barbed wire that came right up to our house that we hung our clothes on. The wind just kept me frightened about all the time, but I had some good times too.

Our Aunt Mary, who was my father's sister, came to live with us. Papa built a room on the side when Aunt Mary, who was living out there and unmarried, decided she wanted to come live with us. She was a seamstress and had a lot of sewing to do. She made such a pretty dress for me for my birthday. It was a blue serge dress and she trimmed it with white soutache braid. I thought it was so pretty. That was my fourth birthday. Then for Christmas she gave me a great big doll, it must have been 15 inches tall or more, and a little doll carriage. That was just about the nicest thing I had ever had, I thought. She gave me the dress for my birthday and the doll for Christmas. I really loved that doll and enjoyed riding it around in the little carriage that came with it.

In March 1901 a baby sister was born. She was named Ruby Ione. She was a very pretty, attractive baby. After she grew up she bragged about being the tallest of all of us and that was because she was born in Texas. One of the neighbors loaned Mama a little cradle for her to sleep in and for me to rock her in after she was a little bit bigger. I didn't like to rock that cradle; that was an awful job for me it seemed. There was a little neighbor boy, (Mrs. Moreland, his mother, was the one that loaned the cradle to my mother), who liked to come over there. He loved Ruby and would rock her by the hour. I was always glad when he came to rock her, because then I didn't have to. She grew so fast and was fat; she weighed 19 pounds when she was six weeks old. After Ruby got big enough to stay in I rolled her around in the doll carriage. My mother put a little pillow in the carriage and I would ride Ruby around. It is a wonder that we didn't break it down, as heavy as Ruby was.

By that time my father had decided that he did not like to live in Texas and my mother didn't like it either, so they decided they would go back to Alabama. My father was working at the time for 50 cents a day. It was hard for him to save enough money to make the trip back to Alabama. He finally got enough for my mother to make the trip and he said for her to come on and he would come as soon as he could. Uncle Henry didn't seem to realize what a predicament he had put us in. I don't know if he ever helped Papa any about saving money or lending him money.

My mother packed up the few things that she thought she could manage to take back to Alabama. Aunt Mary had married by that time. I think she married shortly after Christmas. She married a hotel chef; his name was Jim CHESHIRE. He said he would fix the lunch for us to take on the way back home. He baked a big cake that my mother packed in a basket that she had bought from the Indians. (They would make these baskets and sell them for whatever you put in them to fill them. She filled that basket with sweet potatoes and gave them to the Indians and they gave her the basket then. The basket was about a foot and a half in diameter, without a handle. She had gotten that in Alabama and carried it to Texas with her.)

Shanks Texas was named for Matthew and Robert Shanks of Alabama, who settled in the area with their families in 1859. The town lasted until about 1935 or so. There is nothing there now except the Shanks Cemetery.
from the "Fairfield Recorder", August 3, 1939
S. H. Rivers, aged 74, long time resident of Freestone County, living in the Shanks community, died Monday a short time after a young horse he was riding, breaking, reared and fell on him.

Burial was in the Cotton Gin cemetery the following day.

Near surviving relatives are his widow, and stepdaughter, Mrs. Otis King of Houston.