Ken, I'm not sure how our Cruce lines might intersect but I want to share some information with you and other Cruce relatives in the hopes that something in here may ring a bell.I am particularly interested to your naming of a John Cruce in Arkansas.
Recently, I have begun a search for the parents, family, and ancestors of my gg-grandfather Steven "Oliver" Cruce who married Sarah Ellenor Neil on December 14, 1854 in Coweta Co., GA.Steven Oliver Cruce was b-13 Jan 1832 near Senoia, Coweta Co., Ga.I have read that the father of Steven Oliver was a John Cruce and that he and his family started to Arkansas just before the Civil War and were never heard of again.Steven Oliver and Sarah Neill had 3 Children: Mary Frances "Molly" Cruce (b-9 Mar 1856 d-11 Jan 1926), Elizabeth Alice Cruce (b-23 Apr 1859 d-13 Oct 1937), and my great-grandmother, Martha Ellen "Ella" Cruce (b-20 Mar 1862 d-28 June 1927).
Steven Oliver Cruce joined the southern army on May 6, 1862, enlisting as a private in Co D, 53rd Reg't Ga Vol. Inf. at Newnan, Ga.He was later killed at the Battle of Sharpsburg, Maryland (Antietam) on September 17, 1862 and there are several accounts of this tragic incident recorded by other family members who fought beside him.
In the search for Steven's father, John, and his family, my Georgia relatives have always believed that they started out toward Arkansas just prior to the Civil War but never reached there.Family legend says that they were killed by Indians on their way.
Other members of the family later moved into Mississippi and Texas, and letters from Mary Frances (Cruce) Waltom of Stephensville, Texas mentions "Uncle John and his good looking family".Another letter in the collection comes from Attalla, Miss.Some Cruce's stayed in Coweta County, GA., but probably changed the spelling to "Crews".
Some hints to possible relatives of the John Cruce that I am seeking may be contained in the letter below which is dated the last day of September, 1816.
"Loving Brother and Sister, We have received your leter and rejoice to hear of your welfare but with the joy of the sorrow that fills my heart when to hear of the death of my brother and sister and friends in Canetucke (Kentucky) but when I consider that death is the fate of us all and God gives and taketh away I bless the name of the Lord and all my comfort in this world is that they died in the Lord and I intend thru grace to bear hardness as a good soldier.Dear Brother let us live faithful til death that we may die happy and meet with our Godly friend that is gone before us where parting will be no more.Where there will be no more dying or sorrowing and all tears will be wiped from our eyes. Our welfare in this life is much as yourself.We thank God for a reasonable portion of health that we enjoy and a support for the poor body.All our friends is in a reasonable state of health for which we give God the Glory.Sister Ciatses (Kate's)? children all has had the measels but I got over it.Brother Richard (Cruce?) family is well and he had it not in his power to write you.So gab no more but remains your loving brother and sister.Til death Thos(?) and Melly Ramey To Steven and Haner Cruse"
"No Brother Richard and Ciats and ourselves and all of our friends is making good crops and crops in this country is generally just good. "
(The letter was folded and addressed on the back.)
"To Steven Cruse Sparkenburg Dstryk on tha waters of Fare Forest"
My great-grandmother, Martha Ellen "Ella" (Cruce) Banks used to read this and other old letters and ponder over them for hours and wonder what happened to her people.The Fair Forest mentioned above is near Spartenburg, S. C.There are land grants (dated 1774) to a Richard Cruce on the south west side of Broad River, just across the Little Saluda, to the big Saluda and Broad River, but I have been unable to determine whether this is the Brother Richard mentioned in the letter.The other grant is located on the northeast side of Forest Creek (the waters of Fair Forest?).
I hope something in here may ring a bell to you.I would love to share additional information if you are interested