Autauga Genealogical Society Autauga County Heritage Association
Post Office Box 668 Post Office Box 178
Prattville, Alabama 36067-0668 Prattville, Alabama 36067-0178
Entries matching "shoemake"
If no names are listed below here, then none were found.
NAME SPOUSE DATE BK PAGE
SHOEMAKE, LAURA, Spouse: OATS, A. J. 1 MAY 1870 6 260
SHOEMAKE, MARY ANN REBECC, Spouse: COOK, JAMES T. 17 MAR 1846 1 316
SHOEMAKE, TOBETHA, Spouse: MIMS, J. J. 18 APR 1850 2 240
It has been some time since we corresponded about Shoemake/Shuemake families.
I have continued along the lines of proving that Samuel Shoemake who appears
in the 1830 census of Bledsoe County, TN between ages 90-100 is the father
of John Shumak who first appears in 1807 in Roane County, and that his
son was John Shoemake, born 1795 in SC. Part of Roane became Bledsoe Co.
John Shumak of Roane County apparently died about 1813 in Bledsoe County.
I have established that his likely son, John, purchased land in 1825,
1831 and 1834. The location of this land was in District 7 in 1836. I
have collected and studied maps of the area and can almost pin point where
in Bledsoe County the family lived. The 1840 census shows John Shoemake,
white, with a family of free colored persons. This family corresponds
exactly with the John Shoemake family in 1850 in Marion County.
Ken Shuemake's line comes from Sampson Shoemake, a son of John Shoemake
of Marion County. He was born in Bledsoe County.
So, as I believe, the Shoemake line is as follows:
Jean de la Chaumette
Samuel, born about 1710 married Lucy Blackley
Samuel, Jr. born about 1730/40 (was in Bledsoe County in 1830)
John, died about 1813 in Bledsoe County
John, born 1795 in SC and in Bledsoe County 1840 and Marion Co. 1850
Samuel Senior's son John's line went to Alabama
I have found no trace of Samuel III since he appeared in the 1810 census
My book, on page 21, notes that David Shoemake was in Anderson County,
TN in 1804. He may have traveled with my Blackley Shoemake. There was
a David Shoemake in the 1800 census of Chesterfield County, SC living
near Blackley's siblings, Samuel, Moses and John.
I was not able to bring up Ronald D. Shumate's webpage.
The Lynching of William Shuemake
Lonely Grave and Sentinel Oak Mark Grim Tragedy of Bandera Hills
Men Who Remember Incident Still Alive, but No Punishment Ever
Meted Out to Those Indicted More Than Half Century Ago.
By J. M. Hunter
San Antonio Express, January 29, 1922
During the days of the Civil War, Bandera County was the scene of several
tragedies the most prominent of which was the execution of eight men one
night in the summer of 1863, on Julian Creek, four miles east of this
town. There are no living witnesses to this tragedy -- at least, if they
are living, they have kept silent for many, many years. But living in
Bandera County today are two or three men who remember the circumstances,
and who asisted in giving the victims decent burial, and it is from these
men that I get the information from which to weave the story of a crime
for which the perpetrators were never brought to justice.
When Texas seceded from the Union, old Camp Verde, 12 miles north of Bandera,
was occupied by the Confederate forces. First a frontier battalion was
organized for protection against the Indians,, and this was directed from
Camp Verde. Later, Confederate soldiers were stationed at this well known
post, where Gen. Lee, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston and other notables had
at previous times been in command. While Lawhorn's company was stationed
at Camp Verde in 1863, it became known that a small party of supposed
"bushwhackers" were passing through the country en route to
Mexico to avoid conscription. There were eight men and one boy in the
party, and it became known that they were from Florence, Williamson County.
Why they were termed "bushwhackers" has never been explained,
but it is presumed that they had taken part in certain bushwhacking operations
and had been forced to leave that section. But be that as it may, the
word was carried to Camp Verde and a troop of 25 men under command of
Maj. W. J. Alexander immediately started in pursuit. In the pursuing party
were a number of men who were well known to the early settlers of Bandera
County, but after the close of the war they all disappeared, some making
haste to get out of the country.
The small band of nine men passed through Bandera several days before
the soldiers took up their pursuit. They were well mounted, well armed
and well provisioned and made no secret of their destination, saying they
were leaving the country because they did not care to become involved
in the strife between the Sates, and when it was over they expected to
return and take up their residence in Williamson County again, where some
of them had families and homes. They seemed quiet and peaceable and paid
for everything they secured in Bandera, and went on their way.
Soldiers Take Trail.
Several days afterward Maj. Alexander and his men came through Bandera
on trail of the men, and went from here to Hondo. Picking up the trail
there, they followed it to Squirrel Creek, some 10 miles beyond Hondo,
where they discovered the men they were seeking in camp. They had finished
their noonday meal, and were quietly resting, some lounging around and
talking, others attending to the stock, not suspecting that they were
being pursued and at that very moment in danger of being captured. Approaching
under cover to within a very short distance of where the men were camped,
Maj. Alexander stepped out into an opening and, swinging his saber over
his head, called upon them to surrender, telling them he had them surrounded
and there was no chance for escape, and if they would quietly submit he
would pledge his word that they would have a fair trial by court-martial
in Camp Verde.
The little party of nine promptly yielded up their arms, and were then
forced to saddle their horses and immediately start back to Camp Verde.
All went eventually enough until the second night on the return trip,
when, in camp on the Julian some of Alexander's men wanted to hang the
Some of the party refused to have anything to do with the execution, but
some were determined to put the prisoners out of the way, and accordingly
marched them out some distance from camp and hung them one by one. A hair
rope was used in hanging these men, and each one died by strangulation,
being drawn up until choked to death. When life was extinct, the victim
was let down, and the rope cut, leaving the noose still about his neck.
Bill Sawyer, one of the victims, begged to be shot, saying he preferred
that manner of death to being hung. His wish was granted, and some one
in the party fired a rifle at him which only produced a flesh wound on
his arm. Sawyer fell, but when it was found that he had not been fatally
shot, another man placed the muzzle of his gun against the body of the
fallen man and shot him through the body with a full charge, leaving the
ramrod in the gun, which went through him and into the ground. He was
thus found the next day. The boy in the party, a lad about 16 years old,
is supposed to have escaped, but he, too, may haven been murdered, as
he was never heard of again.
After completing their work, the men who had participated in this crime
(those who refused to have a hand in it having passed on) came to Bandera
the next morning and proceeded on to Camp Verde without delay, some of
this party hinting to citizens that they had rid the country of some more
bushwhackers. Alexander's men had their victims' horses, saddles, bedding,
clothing and shoes.
Holding of Inquest.
Joseph H. Poor, who lived on the West Verde, was camped near the place
of execution, and the next morning he went out to look for his horses
and came upon the bodies just as Alexander's men left them. He hastened
to Bandera and notified the authorities and Justice of the Peace O. B.
Miles, Robert Ballentyne, George Hay, Amasa Clark, John Pyka and a number
of others went down there to investigate. They found seven of the men
had been hanged until dead, and the eighth had been shot through with
a ramrod, as stated. George Hay says he pulled the ramrod out of the body.
An inquest was held, and the verdict rendered as follows: "We, the
jury, find that these men (giving their names) were killed by Maj. W.
J. Alexander's company. A grave was opened and the bodies of the eight
unfortunate men were rolled into it and covered up. Many years later a
tombstone was erected over the grave, and on this tombstone appears the
names of the men who were murdered while prisoners, who had been given
a sacred pledge that they would be given just treatment if they surrendered.
How do we know these things? There were men in Maj. Alexander's party
who refused to countenance the execution of helpless prisoners, and months
afterward they talked freely of the occurrence, telling all particulars,
and even giving the names of the men who had participated. This tragedy
occurred in 1863, but retribution usually follows such crimes, and after
the war ended and while E. J. Davis was Governor of Texas, district judges
all over the State were instructed to charge their respective grand juries
to investigate such matters. G. H. Noonan, a good man and true, was judge
of this district at that time, and he directed the grand jury of this
county to thoroughly investigate the hanging of these men, with the result
that as soon as it became known that the strong arm of the law was reaching
out, there was a hasty departure by some for a more congenial climate.
This was in 1866.
The grand jury indicted W. J. Alexander et al for murder and highway robbery,
and for want of service the case was continued on the docket from term
to term, so the records show. Maj. Alexander had disappeared. Not one
of the men charged in the indictment was ever arrested. One of them, Dan
Malone, was killed in New Braunfels by officers while resisting arrest.
More than half a century has passed since that stain was placed on Bandera
County's history, and all who took part in it are supposed to be dead.
But be it said that the men who urged the execution of those prisoners
and carried it out were not citizens of the county. The court records
may reveal their names, if search is made, for they were indicted by the
grand jury in 1866. The names of their victims are: C. J. Sawyer, W. M.
Sawyer, George Thayre, William Shumake, Jack Whitmire, Jake Kyle, John
Smart and a Mr. Vanwinkle.
George Hay's Account.
George Hay, who is now in his 80th year, and still quite active, in discussing
this crime, said:
"I have seen many foul crimes in my time, but this was the most revolting
that I ever knew. A party of is went out from Bandera as soon as we learned
of the occurrence, and found the bodies of those unfortunate men lying
just as they had been cut down, pieces of the horsehair rope around each
man's neck. They had all been strangled to death by the rope being placed
over a limb and drawn up, possibly by someone on horseback. One man, Bill
Sawyer, was lying face down, shot through with a wooden ramrod, which
had passed entirely through his body and penetrated into the ground for
at least 10 or 12 inches. It was with great difficulty that I drew out
this ramrod. Alexander's party passed through Bandera about 8 o'clock
one Sunday morning, and in just a little while Joseph poor came with the
news that he had found some murdered men down on the Julian. We buried
them as best we could, and in giving our verdict at the inquest we definitely
placed the blame on Alexander's men, some of whom I knew, but they are
all dead now."
Amasa Clark, one of the first settlers here, and who is now in his 94th
year, active and full of life, clearly remembers the time when this tragedy
was enacted, and when questioned about it a few days ago was very emphatic
in his denunciation of the perpetrators. His statement follows:
"Oh, yes, I remember the hanging of the Sawyers and those other men.
It was an outrage. They were murdered -- yes, murdered in cold blood.
Deliberately murdered without being given a chance for their lives. I
knew all of the circumstances, and when Mr. Poor brought word to Bandera
that he had found their bodies Mr. Daniel Hugh asked me to go with him
down there. When we arrived there a grewsome sight met our gaze. Some
had been partly stripped. I heard afterward that some of the men who took
part in the hanging had worn the clothes of their victims while passing
through Bandera. There was a report that some of them gambled for the
clothing the night of the murder, but I cannot vouch for this statement.
The crime created a great deal of indignation here, but the citizens were
powerless to do anything. The murdered men were strangers, peaceably passing
through the country. They had committed no crime that I know of and should
not have been molested. After the war diligent efforts were made to apprehend
the guilty ones and bring them to justice, but without success. I knew
several of them, but as soon as they were mustered out of the Confederate
service, and before the civil courts were in good running order, they
left the country. An attempt was made in New Braunfels officers to arrest
one of these men on warrant from Bandera County, but he resisted arrest
and was killed. Now, I do not charge this crime to Confederate soldiers.
I do not believe that a true Confederate would be guilty of such a heinous
offense as deliberately putting to death an enemy without giving him every
chance the law gives a man. I have lived in the South ever since I returned
from my service in the Mexican War, in 1848, and I loved the South and
the cause she fought for. I know the rules of warfare and how prisoners
should be treated. Sawyer and his men were not treated like prisoners
of war. They were hung without a trial, and it seems to me that robbery
was the sole motive that prompted their execution. This all happened 59
years ago, but it made such a lasting impression on me that I will never
forget it, and have many times wished to see the guilty ones brought before
the courts and made to pay the penalty for their crime."
Buried in Shallow Grave.
John Pike, another highly respected citizen of Bandera, gave his version
of this sad affair as follows:
"At that time I was just a lad, large enough, however, to think I
was about grown, and I distinctly remember when Mr. Joseph Poor came and
notified us that he had seen the body of a man on the Julian with arrows
sticking in him, and he thought Indians were in the country. Mr. Poor
lived on the West Verde, but was camped near the scene of the crime, and
was out looking for his horses that had strayed off from camp when he
came upon the bodies. He did not take time to investigate, but came right
on to Bandera and notified the authorities. I went out with the crowd
to the place, and we found seven of the men had been hung, and one had
been shot through with a ramrod. It was an awful spectacle. No, I do not
think these men had been stripped of their clothing, because I remember
seeing that the cattle had chewed the sleeve of the coat on one of the
dead men, and if I remember rightly they were all in full attire. Their
pockets were empty, showing that they had been robbed. A 16-year-old boy
that was captured with the men was spared for the time being, I understand,
and was taken up about Fredericksburg, but as he was never heard of again,
it is supposed that he, too, was killed. I knew some of the men who had
a hand in this hanging, but they left the country when investigation started.
I think all of the participants are dead now, for it has been a long time
ago since all this happened.
"We dug a shallow grave, laid the dead men into it, spread blankets
over them, and covered them up the best we could, with dirt and stones
to keep the wolves from getting to the bodies. I do not know of any persons
now living who was present at the time except myself, George Hay and Amasa
Clark. There may be others, but I do not remember."
The spreading oak to which these men were hung is still standing, a grim
sentinel on a hillside, gnarled and knotted with age, a silent witness
on the scene. Nearby, in a beautiful glade, is the shallow grave which
contains the bones of the strangers who were the victims of a hellish
plot. Over the grave stands a tombstone placed there by citizens of the
country who were familiar with the details of the murders. On this tombstone
is inscribed the following: "C. J. Sawyer, W. M. Sawyer, George Thayre,
William Shumake, Jack Whitmire, Jake Kyle, John Smart, Mr. Van Winkle.
Died July 25, 1863. Remember, friends, as you pass by; as you are now,
so once was I. As I am now, you soon will be; prepare for death and follow
me." Mutely this monument stands as the years roll by, in an out-of-the-way
place, on land belonging to Frank Pyke. In its seclusion the grave is
never disturbed, while in the springtime wild flowers grow and bloom over
the mound, song birds make melody in nearby trees and the soft breezes
that blow through the branches chant a requiem to the departed souls.
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