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COTTON William Madison

Male 1826 - 1883  (57 years)


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  • Name COTTON William Madison  [1
    Born 3 Jun 1826  Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • William Madison Cotton was bom June 3, 1826, according to the inscription on his tombstone, in Sussex County, Virgina. His parents were William Henry Cotton and Sarah "Sally" Weathers Parsons. The other children in the family were Albert R. Cotton, Caroline Cotton and Gary Cotton.
    Gender Male 
    Lived(s) In 1860  Cabin Point, Surry County, VA. Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Cabin Point 
    • William and Valeria began their life together on the tract which makes up the western half of the Marl Spring Farm, known as the Mill Tract, and later as the Grubbs place. It consisted of nearly 200 acres of woods and fields, most of which had probably become overgrown through years of neglect. It is not clear how they came to own the land. One story is that it had belonged to William's brother, Dr. Gary Cotton, who removed to Texas after the War and left the property to his brother. There were no dwellings remaining on the land, and William and Valeria built a log cabin, which was to serve them as a home for many years.

      We know that William Cotton and his young wife Valeria settled on the Mill Tract on the New Design Road as reported earlier. In 1870 the value of their farm is given as a very modest $400 and their personal estate as $100. From the sequence of visitations shown in the report of the Census of 1870, it appears that Eldridge Maddera, his wife Mary, and five children: Mary 18, Eldridge 15, Adelia 13, George 9 and an infant 2 lived next door, perhaps on The Marl Spring Farm. Eldridge's occupation is listed as "lumber dealer". This is confirmed by Valeria's recollection many years later that her father operated a sawmill. No value of land and personal estate is given.
    Military 1861-1865  Dendron, Surry, Virginia, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Civil War Veteran 
    • Sgt. in the Calvary
      William Madison Cotton, like Eldridge Maddera, had been a member of Captain Travis W. Taylor's Surry Cavaly company since long before the Civil War. I have a book which belonged to William Cotton, The Army and Navy of America: Containing a View of the Heroic Adventure, Battles, Naval Engagements, Remarkable Incidents, and Glorious Achievements in the Cause of Freedom, from the Period of the French and Indian Wars to the Close of the Florida War; Independant of an Account of Warlike Operations on Land and Sea; Enlivened by a Variety of the Most Interesting Anecdotes; and Splendidly Embellished with Numerous Engravements. By Jacob K. Neff, M.D. Published by J. K Pearsall & Co. 1845. In the front is written,'William M. Cotton, Born Aug.
      6(26?), 1826. On the second page is written, Win. M. Cotton's Book.......Price $1.00.......sold by J. D. Thornton who is agent for.................June 1,1847. William Cotton would have been 19 years
      old when he bought this book, and there is little reason to doubt that his acquisition of it coincided with his initiation into the prestigious ranks of the Surry Cavalry.
      As noted earlier, when the Civil War broke out, William Cotton and Eldridge Maddera had both enlisted as privates in the Surry Cavalry on April 20 1861, only eight days after the beginning of the bombardment of Fort Sumpter. The Surry Cavalry was designated as Company E, 5th Regiment Virginia Cavalry, attached to the 3rd Regiment Virginia Infantry. Together they saw bloody action on many a field of battle. In Sept./Oct. 1862, Company K, 13 Regiment Virginia Cavalry was formed up under Captain Samuel H. Burt and assigned to dashing Gen. J. E. B. Stuart's famed Cavalry Division of the Army of Northern Virginia. William Cotton was appointed 2nd Sergeant of the new Company K and Eldridge Maddera its 2nd Lieutenant. They participated in nearly every major battle in the eastern theater of the War from then until the end of the War. They were at "the greatest cavalry battle of the War, which took place on June 9,1863, at Brandy Station, seven miles north of Culpepper Court House. The battle lasted , without let-up, for twelve hours, as Rebel cavalrymen under Stuart and Union cavalrymen under Pleasanton, slashed at each other with sabers and fired their pistols at point blank range." (Story County at War 1861 -1865; Willis W. Bohannan; p. 41)
      Sgt Cotton had his horse shot out from under him in a skirmish with the enemy at Brandy Ford on April 15,1863, and lost all his equipment as well He was reimbursed $300 for his horse and $50 to replace his equipment.
      On March 28, 1864 Sgt Cotton was admitted to Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond, VA suffering from 'Rubeola'. On April 22, 1864 he was transferred to the Episcopal Church Hospital at Williamsburg, VA suffering from 'debilitas'. From there he was transferred May 7,1864 to General Hospital in Petersburg still suffering from 'debilitas'. He did not return to duty until September 12,1864, at which time he assumed his old position as Sgt. of Company K for the long struggle to defend Petersburg. On April 2, 1865 Lee finally abandoned Petersburg and began the retreat to Appomattox, where he surrendered to Grant eight days later.
      Sgt. Cotton's name appears as a signature to a "Parole of Prisoners of War, given in accordance with the terms of capitulation agreed upon between General Grant and General Lee, on the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, April 9,1865. He was paroled at Southamton, VA on April 30, 1865. Under the terms of surrender, cavalrymen who owned their own horses were permitted to keep them and return home. We have no record, but we have no reason to believe William Cotton did not return home with his horse.
    Occupation Teacher  [1
    • William Madison Cotton is said to have been a teacher, but where and of what we do not know.
    Died 13 Jun 1883  Surry, Surry County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I3019  Booth Family
    Last Modified 28 Mar 2014 

    Father COTTON William Henry,   b. Abt 1795, Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1842  (Age ~ 47 years) 
    Mother PARSONS Sarah (Sally) Weathers,   b. 1795-1796, Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1860  (Age 65 years) 
    Married 7 Mar 1816  Sussex County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • He married Sarah "Sally" Weathers Parsons on 3/7/1816. They were both about 21 years old. She was the daughter of Henry Parsons (1749-? ) and his second wife Hannah Stacy (1769-1826), whom he married in 1793. Her half brother was Col. William Parsons, who had been a captain in the Continental Cavalry and was a prominent figure in Sussex County. The Parsons were also very early settlers in the Virginia Colony

      William Henry and Sally seem to have had no children in the early years after they were married. William Madison Cotton, who is believed to be the oldest child was not born until after they had been married ten years. Unfortunately, like his father Gary before him, William Henry Cotton died at the relativelyyoung age of 47, in 1842, while all his children were still under age.

      On March 7,1816, at age 20, she married William Henry Cotton, also aged 20 or 21 [1]
    Family ID F1055  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family MADDERA Valeria Ann,   b. 5 Oct 1848, Spring Grove, Surry County, Va Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jun 1950, Surry, Surry County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 101 years) 
    Married 19 Dec 1866  Dendron, Surry, Virginia, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • His daughter, Valeria Ann, barely 18, a year after the war ended, married his first sergeant in Company K, William M. Cotton, whose story we have already told. [1]
    Children 
     1. COTTON Eugenia,   bur. Cabin Point, Surry County, VA. Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. COTTON Sarah Virginia,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. COTTON Cornelia Ann,   d. 1918, Dendron, Surry, Virginia, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. COTTON Richard
     5. COTTON Mary Etta,   b. 30 May 1871,   d. 11 May 1909  (Age 37 years)
    Last Modified 11 Mar 2014 
    Family ID F1039  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 3 Jun 1826 - Sussex County, VA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLived(s) In - Cabin Point - 1860 - Cabin Point, Surry County, VA. Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 13 Jun 1883 - Surry, Surry County, VA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S1212] Cotton family tree, Owner: Pat Reynolds, (Compiled and Supplied by Robert L. Bartlett of Juno Beach, FL to Pat Johnson Reynolds) (Reliability: 3).