Karen McCann Hett All Rights Reserved 2003-2014
William Whitfield Forrest was born in Montgomery County, North Carolina, in January, 1834. He stated on his application for Confederate pension that he had resided in Montgomery County, Texas, since the 30th of December 1859.
According to descendants, he was the son of John Gresham Forrest and Nancy Ingram, and is enumerated in their household in Stanley County, North Carolina, in 1850.
We do not know why he immigrated to Montgomery County, Texas, but doubtless he had relatives there.
He married Tabitha J. Steed in Montgomery County on December 28, 1860. On the census of 1860, she is probably the T. Steed age 15, enumerated with the family of W. H. and E. Steed. Tabitha was born in South Carolina according to that census, and was sixteen years old at the time of the marriage.
In the tax list of 1861, William rendered no land but paid taxes on one horse valued at $75.00 and on one poll (himself).
In the spring of 1862, William enlisted in Carter's Brigade, Company B, Second Texas Lancers, CSA, under Captain Samuel D. Wooldridge. By that time, he and Tabitha had one son, Thomas. He rode his horse to Arkansas with his regiment, and there he was dismounted with the other men.
He then was assigned to Garland's Brigade and sent to Ft. Hindman at Arkansas Post. There he was engaged in building fortifications and winter cabins.
He was captured by Union forces in the Battle of Arkansas Post on January 11, 1863, and was sent to prison at Camp Butler, Illinois, arriving there on January 29th.
He was exchanged along with the other men in April of 1863.
The men traveled by rail to Virginia for exchange. Upon being exchanged, he was put into the hospital at Petersburg, Virginia, due to acute diarrhea.
He was then assigned to Company I, Granbury's Brigade.
William seems to have been sick for quite a bit of the war after being exchanged. Prior to the surrender, William last appeared on a muster roll in March and April of 1864, at which time he was sick in the hospital.
He surrendered with his company at Greensboro, N. C., in 1865.
Note that there were only nine men from the original company of approximately a hundred who were in North Carolina with their company for the final surrender.
William returned to Montgomery County, where he and Tabitha were emerated on the census of 1870. They were living in Danville with their four children, and William was a farmer.
Tabitha apparently died shortly after the census year, as he married Miss Louisa Martin on July 12, 1874. Louisa was born in Butler County, Alabama on July 15, 1847.
William stated on his Texas Confederate pension application (No. 18157) in February, 1910, that his occupation was farming. He was a resident of Dacus, Montgomery County. His witnesses were James McIntyre of Roans Prairie, G. R. Bobbitt, and W. C. Moore, former companions in the service. William testified that he remained in service until the surrender at Greensborough, N. C., on May 6, 1865.
His service records were located by the War Department, and his pension was approved.
Thank you to George Hill for permission to use the photo he posted on Findagrave.
William died on July 16, 1914, and was buried in Bethel Cemetery near Dacus, Montgomery County.
After his death, Louisa applied for and received a widow's pension, No. 28924. It was approved September 1, 1914. Louisa gave William's middle name as Whitstone on the pension application, but this name has not been verified. Louisa died September 22, 1932 at the home of her son, William Forrest, in Houston, Harris County.
The burial places for William's wives, Tabitha and Louisa, have not been located. However, Louisa's death certificate shows that her body was removed to Montgomery, Texas, for burial. It is thus assumed that she is buried next to William.
Revised June 2013
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. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at frankmjohnson.net or by contacting Frank at [email protected]
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