Ancestors of Samuel J. Davis & Sherry L. Kirk:Information about George Byrd
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George Byrd (b. 1763, d. October 1826)George Byrd (son of Abraham Byrd and Rachel Zeigler) was born 1763 in Smith Creek, Augusta, Rockingham County, Virginia, and died October 1826 in Virginia.He married Hannah Allen on January 22, 1788 in Shenandoah, Virginia, daughter of Reuben Allen and Lydia Moore.
Notes for George Byrd:
The History of George Bird
The eldest son of Abraham and Rachel Bird was Captain George Bird (1763-1826), who resided near Mt. Jackson, Virginia which is about three miles south of Red Banks. He was an Ensign in Captain Downey's Company during the last year of the Revolutionary War. George Bird married Hannah Allen, the daughter of Reuben Allen, Sr. and Lydia Moore, on January 22, 1788. They had one daughter, Lydia Catherine, who married James Wells Conn on May 19, 1834, and they moved to Missouri, and five sons: (1) George William, who married first Elizabeth Sigler on February 2, 1824, and had a son Fayette who died at a young age and married second, Mary Preston Bird, daughter of Mounce Bird, Jr. on May 28, 1829; (2) Abraham, who died at a young age; (3) Andrew; (4) Reuben Allen, who married Hester Sigler on June 12, 1826; (5) Mark, who married Sarah C. M. Hite. The children of Reuben and Hester Bird were: Malvina Virginia, Caroline (Carrie) Rose, Mary, Emma, Henry Clay, William Wirt and Preston M.S. Bird. All three sons served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War.
Henry Clay enlisted as a private in Captain Greenlee Davidson's Company of Virginia Light Artillery (Letcher Artillery). He enlisted for the duration of the war. This company subsequently became Captain Brander's Company Virginia Light Artillery (Pegram's Battalion). The battalion served in various field battalions of reserve artillery which were composed of independent batteries from various states. When the confederate army moved into Maryland in 1862, and just prior to the battle of Antietam, Henry was injured and left in Maryland where he was captured at Frederick City on September 12, 1862. He was confined at Fort Delaware, Delaware and sent for exchange on November 10, 1862. He was then at various hospitals in Richmond, Virginia until his death in late 1863.
William Wirt Bird enlisted June 3, 1861, as a private in Company B, 135th Regiment of Virginia Militia. No additional information on his service is available. He delivered the dedication address "Our Soldiers' Cemetery" at Mt. Jackson on June 27, 1868. William was a lawyer who died unmarried in 1873.
Preston M. S. Bird enlisted on April 5, 1862, as a private in Company K, 7th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Laurel Brigade) for 3 years or the duration of the war. The organization was later known as Turner Ashby's Cavalry. It was very active in the Shenandoah Valley and acted as the eyes of Stonewall Jackson's army in many battles. Preston married Carrie Rice Moore on April 30, 1873, and resided at "Rose Lawn" in Mt. Jackson, Virginia.He was involved in the tragic Narrow Passage bridge disaster of 1876, when a railroad train crashed down a hundred feet into the narrow ravine below the bridge. The following is an account from the Shenandoah Valley newspaper of March 10, 1876:
SAD ACCIDENT! !
NARROW PASSAGE BRIDGE ! !
ELEVEN KILLED ! !
SEVEN WOUNDED ! !
One Hundred Feet of the Bridge Falls, Precipitating a Train of
About Twenty-Five Cars Loaded with Stock and Other
Articles of Freight a Perpendicular Height of
More Than a Hundred Feet
The most horrible catastrophe this section of the country ever witnessed occurred on last Monday night at about 12 o'clock, at the Narrow Passage Bridge, about 3 miles south of Woodstock, Shenandoah County, Va. The freight train going east, heavily laden with stock and mixed freight ran on the bridge at Narrow Passage; the engine reached the center of the bridge which is near 300 ft. wide and 114 ft. high, when the trestle work gave way, precipitating the whole train of cars in a mass of shattered ruins. A span of about 100 ft. between two pillars of rock was all swept down, piling its huge timbers in the vast wreck of living and dead freight, and the cars which were shattered into splinters. There were eighteen men aboard, eleven of which were killed, and the remaining seven wounded. It was almost a miracle that any lives at all were saved. The cattle, about seventy in number, were all killed except one or two, and these were wounded so that they had to be killed.
On Wednesday morning we went to see the ruins. The engineer was gotten out of the wreck just before our arrival, and though 200 hands were employed all day Tuesday and Wednesday they had not at a late hour succeeded in getting out the body of a brakeman still buried in the ruins. The sight was horrible. Hundreds of tons of debris-the altar upon which eleven innocent lives had been sacrificed and baptized by the bleeding wounds of a few survivors-the spectacle was one of the most heart-rending character.
The timber of which the bridge was constructed had been exposed to the weather for a number of years and for the last two years has generally been considered unsafe. A considerable quantity of the timber was almost entirely rotten, and a number of hands having been engaged in repairing the bridge they could not help seeing that it was altogether unsafe. The statement made by the Baltimore Sun that two new spans had been put in by the B. & O. R. R. Co. is a mistake. Some pieces of new timber have been put in, and a number of planks nailed up to support other pieces, but that the bridge had been greatly strengthened is plainly a mistake. It is plain that somebody is at fault, and it is to be hoped that due effort will be made to find out where the fault lies.
The most fortunate was Mr. P. M. S. Bird of Mt. Jackson, who was but slightly injured about the head. He says he felt several jars as if the cars were running on the cross ties, when suddenly he became conscious of the fact that the train was going down. In a few seconds there was a terrible crash of the falling timbers. He assisted some of the wounded in their efforts to extricate themselves from the wreck. The two men sitting on the same seat were killed. His was truly a wonderful escape.
George and Hannah's son Mark (1810-1883) resided at "Bird's Nest" in Woodstock, Virginia. He no doubt was the most distinguished son of the family. Mark was the Commonwealth's Attorney, served as a member of the House of Delegates and Convention of 1850, was a Judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit between 1876 and 1883. He married Sarah C. M. Hite of "Belle Grove" and they had five daughters: Elizabeth Green (Bettie), Ann Hite, Mary Louisa, Sally Madison, Cornelia and five sons: Mark, Isaac Hite, William Maury, Eltinge Fontaine (who all served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War), and George.
Mark enlisted as a 2nd Corporal in Company F of the 10th Infantry Regiment of Virginia for 12 months on April 18, 1861, at Woodstock, Virginia. The 10th Regiment was accepted into the service of the Confederate States on July 1, 1861, with ten companies, A to K. The company was reorganized in April 1862 and Mark enlisted for three years and received a 30 day furlough. He contacted typhoid fever in July 1861 and was hospitalized and did not return to the unit until September of that year. During his absence the unit fought in the first battle of Manassas. This unit was involved in many of the battles fought on the eastern front of which the more important ones were: 1st Manassas, July 21, 1861; The Seven Days Battles, June 25-July 1, 1862; 2nd Manassas, August 29-30, 1862; Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862; Chancellorsville, May 1-4, 1862; Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864; Spotslvania, May 8-19, 1864; Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864; Petersburg (Fort Stedman), March 9, 1865; and finally surrendering at Appotmattox, April 12, 1865, where less than 10 members of the unit survived. Mark was promoted to 3rd Sergeant on May 21, 1863, and was later wounded in the battle of Gettysburg and did not return to the unit until January of 1864. He was also wounded at the battle of the Wilderness. He was transferred from Company F to B on October 31, 1864. Mark was captured in the battle for Fort Stedman near Petersburg on March 25, 1865, and was a prisoner of war and held a Point Lookout, Maryland until June 23, 1865. He was released after taking the oath of allegiance to the United States and was then furnished transportation to Winchester, Virginia. His records indicate he had a fair complexion, dark brown hair with gray eyes and was 5 feet 6 and 3/4 inches tall. A third cousin, Captain Abraham S. Byrd, was the Regiment Quartermaster. Mark died unmarried.
Isaac Hite was a private in Company C, 7th Virginia Cavalry (Laurel Brigade). It cannot be determined when he enlisted. He was captured on January 11, 1865, at Woodstock, Virginia. He was considered a "guerrilla" and by order of Maj. Gen. Phillip Sheridan he was not to be exchanged during the war. He was confined at Ft. McHenry, Maryland until the war was over. He took the oath of allegiance on May 1, 1865, then returned home.
William Maury was a member of Captain Stowers company of militia. No record of his rank or enlistment date is available. A roster list of this organization shows him as a member on September 5, 1863.
No information exists in the National Archives relating to the service record of Eltinge Fontaine.
Sarah's homestead of "Belle Grove," had a unique and interesting history. The home was designed by Thomas Jefferson and built by Major Isaac Hite, Jr. for his young bride Nelly Conway Madison, the sister of President James Madison. Here James and his wife Dolly Payne spent part of their honeymoon. The site was well chosen, commanding a perfect view of all the mountain scenery fringing the border of the Lower Valley. The mansion was located among virgin oaks of wonderful size. It was a dream to the happy young couple. In the spring of 1793, they announced to friends far and near, that the dream had been fulfilled, and all must come and see the belle in a grove of her choice; and from that announcement, the name of the princely establishment was forever settled; and since that eventful day, the regal home has known no other name than "Belle Grove." The structure of pure limestone hewn with minute precision was 160 feet in length and forty feet in breadth, had four porticoes, with pillars of such pattern and size as to excite wonder over their origin. The many ornamental blocks of marble filling their respective positions were curious. Major Hite had drawn upon every quarry in the area to supply stone. Belle Grove was handsomely furnished. The furniture was mahogany inlaid with satin wood imported from England; the "sideboards" and sofas were heavy with hand-carving in exquisite style and figure; solid mahogany "tableboards," as the great dining tables were called, were large enough to seat sixty guests; the rare oil paintings were hung profusely on the walls. Several paintings were of Major Hite and various members of his family. He prized highly those of Thomas Jefferson, and Dolly Madison the wife of President Madison who had been a frequent visitor to Belle Grove. Major Hite died in 1836; his wife survived him until 1851. After her death, the famous furnishings of this noted place were distributed among her descendants.
The celebrated Civil War battle of Cedar Creek which occurred on October 19, 1864, centered around this place and Union General Sheridan had his headquarters here for a few hours during the battle and here CSA General Stephen D. Ramseur died from his wounds received in the battle.
More About George Byrd:
Military service: Captain in Revolutionary War..
More About George Byrd and Hannah Allen:
Marriage: January 22, 1788, Shenandoah, Virginia.
Children of George Byrd and Hannah Allen are:
- +Andrew Bird, b. 1809, Shenandoah, Virginia, d. November 03, 1873, Allen County, Ohio.
- George William Bird, b. 1792, Shenandoah, Virginia, d. Aft. 1829.
- Abraham Bird, b. Bet. 1793 - 1812, Shenandoah, Virginia, d. date unknown.
- Lydia Catherine Bird, b. Bet. 1809 - 1814, Shenandoah, Virginia, d. 1909.
- Reuben Allen Bird, b. August 14, 1804, Shenandoah, Virginia, d. November 02, 1872, Shenandoah, Virginia.
- Mark Bird, b. December 23, 1810, Belle Grove, Middleton, Fredrick County, Virginia, d. January 02, 1883, Shenandoah, Virginia.