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Hightowers in the Union Army

Alexander Hightower, Pvt, 8th Missouri Cavalry

Arland Hightower, Pvt, Company F, 1 20th Indiana Infantry
Berry Hightower, Pvt, Company K, 21st Kentucky Infantry
Caleb Hightower, Pvt, 148th Indiana infantry
Campbell Hightower, Pvt, Company H, Ist Tennessee Mounted Infantry
Charles Hightower, Pvt, Company B, 99th 111inois Infantry
Daniel Hightower, Sgt, Company F, 60th 111inois Infantry
David Hightower, Pvt, Webster Co. Batallion, Missouri Volunteers
David Hightower, Pvt, Sgt, Company 1, 81st 111inois Infantry
Elijah Hightower, Pvt, Company L, 1 7th Indiana Infantry
George Hightower, Pvt, I Ith Kentucky Cavalry
George W. Hightower, Pvt, Company G, 7th Indiana Infantry
James Hightower, Cpl, Company 1, 18th 111inois Infantry
James Hightower, Cpl, Company 1, 18th 111inois Infantry
James R. Hightower, Pvt, 32nd Kentucky Infantry
Jesse Hightower, Pvt, 3rd Missouri S.M. Cavalry
Jesse Hightower, Pvt, 6th Missouri S.M. Cavalry
John D. Hightower, Pvt, Ist USA Alabama Cavalry
John G. Hightower, Cpl, 14th 111inois Infantry
John H. Hightower, Bugler, 6th Missouri Cavalry
John H. Hightower, Pvt, Company B, 3rd Missouri Cavalry
John Hightower, Pvt, 40th 111inois Infantry
John Hightower, Sgt, 32 Kentucky Infantry
John K. Hightower, Pvt, 81st 111inois Infantry
Marion Hightower, Ist USA Alabama Cavalry
Marcelles Hightower, Pvt, 143rd Indiana Infantry
Monroe Hightower, I st USA Alabama Cavalry
Noel Hightower, Pvt, Company D, 63rd Regiment, Missouri Infantry
Richard Hightower, Pvt, 11 th Kentucky Cavairy
Robert H. Hightower, Pvt, 12th Kentucky Cavalry
Smith Hightower, Pvt, 63rd Regiment, Missouri Infantry
Smith W. Hightower, Pvt, Company G, 48th Missouri Infantry
Solomon Hightower, Pvt, Company E, 149th Indiana Infantry
Thomas Hightower, Maj, Company B, 81st 111inois Infantry
William A.Hightower, Pvt, 6th Missouri Cavalry
Wilburn Hightower, I st USA Alabama Cavalry

Hugh MacHightower

Mac Hightower was the first son of Sterling Hightower and Beersheba Davis. His father was from Buncombe County, North Carolina and the date of his parents marriage is unknown at this time. Hugh Mac Hightower, the second child of his parents, was born 9 December, 1803. His parents moved to Franklin County, TN where they are listed in the 1820 census. Hugh Mac would have been about 17 years of age.

Hugh Mac married Delia Hicks in Wilson County, TN, 3 February, 1824. Alfred M, their first child, was born 8 January, 1825 in Franlkin County, TN. We f nd the family in Lincoln City, TN, in 1827 where two children were born_ Martha Jane, 15 April 1827 and Elizabeth 12 February 1829. Hugh M. is listed in the 1829 Lincoln County Tax List.

He appears next in the 1830 census of Montgomery County, IL. Children born in Montgomery County included Alexander Jackson (15 April 1832), George (19 August, 1834), Margaret Melsena (19 September 1836), Sterling Sylvester(4 February 1840), Henretta Carolina (20 May 1841), James Richard ( 1 1 April 1843), John Henry (23 June 1845), and Sarah Melvina Catharine (29 March 1848). Hugh Mac's sister, Nancy Hightower King, lived in nearby Coles County, Illinois.

Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois - Bateman and Selby, pg. 912_Hugh Hightower settled in 1843, Section 33, built first house ever erected within the boundaries of Nokomis township- pg 907~ames Kelly and a Hightower landed in Hillsboro in 1829 without a penny. p. 715. Hugh Hightower in 1843 made a settlement in section 33 and for some years was the only resident in this section of this county. Apparently he was slow paying his land taxes in 1858, 1861 and 1865_he was listed in the delinquent land list in the Montgomery County Herald for those years. Montgomery County Herald - 13 January 1 860_Sheriff's sale in favor of William Brewer against George W. and Hugh Mac Hightower (Note: George Washington Hightower was a younger brother of Hugh).

Copy of a deed dated 10 August 1833 and recorded August 15, 1833, reflects Hugh McHightower purchasing a parcel of land in the Cresses addition, Town of Hillsboro, Lot No. 4, Montgomery County, Illinois forthe sum of $14.00 lawful money of the United States, together with all and singular the appurtenances and advantages thereto. This is where Hugh Mc Hightower settled and where several of his children were born on these premises. Hugh Mac Hightower's wife, Delia Hightower, was accepted on certificate as a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Hillsboro, Illinois on the 1 8th day of April 1831.

Hugh Mac Hightower died 1 1 February 1879 in Powsheik County, lowa (Deep River) and is buried in the Light Cemetery in Powsheik County, lowa.

Although some think that Hugh used the last name of Mac Hightower as is the case on his tombstone, we fnd it listed that way in only one other place_an obituary. But in all court documents, tax rolls and census records it is Hugh M. Hightower or Hugh M. C. Hightower. And all the kids go by the name Hightower. Robert Thurman says, "I can recall Grandad Bob Hightower calling him Hugh Mac.

James Wilson Hightower

I was born the 1 6th of February, 1908 to Louvina Kirkdoffer and William Hightower, only six months before my father's seventieth birthday. On touring over his 208 acre farm with me at his heels running to keep up with his swift pace, he would sometimes sit for a few minutes on a log, or a stone, to rest and reminisce. These were memorable occasions. They always brought out accounts of adventures in his exciting life: hunting, fishing, trapping, making a home, and making a living in the wilderness.

He was a wonderful story teller, making the Ozark pioneer wilderness

life so real that I lived through his childhood memories; the Civil War days; the carving of the farm out of
the virgin hardwood forest; building the home and farming the rich dark soil. I felt my roots
securely anchored here in this, the most beautiful place in the world to me. There were stories of his
parents, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, some strangers from the Indian tribes, not yet moved to
reservations, and new comers to the territory, some of whom were large plantation and slave owners.
He said that his father, James Wilson Hightower, and his father's brother, John Andrew, came
from Bowling Green, Kentucky. Their father had disappeared down the Mississippi
River on a raft of cedar logs for sale in the ship yards of New Orleans (see story of Jim
Hightower-Cherokee Indian in HighLowerlYews 1990). No one ever heard of him again. When they were little boys, they were obliged to go to work while quite young. As they were working on a keel boat taking a load of slaves up the White River they tied up the boat overnight at Walls Ferry. The ferryman,
William Tosh, was from Virginia. His wife, Elizabeth born in Tennessee had lived there long enough to
have several children, the oldest of whom was Margaret Tosh. James Wilson and she fell in love and became engaged.

The two Hightower boys hated their jobs because they didn't believe in slavery. They said the slaves were tied to the deck and had to push the boat up river in rain and storm, heat or cold up to the Saltpeter mines further up the river. There was a big demand for saltpeter for use in making nitroglycerin. When they went back to Bowling Green they planned a family reunion with their mother in five years. James Wilson returned to Walls Ferry and married Margaret Tosh in Batesville, Arkansas_the county seat of Independence county. There he became a farmer. Before the five years were up his mother had died and he never returned to Kentucky.

My father, William, was their first child, born July, 1859. We as children to celebrate his birthday, always enjoyed a family campout at Walls Ferry where he was born. We children and mother enjoyed a campfire and were bedded down at night in a wagon bed of clean wheat straw while father and the boys fished on the river. The big drums took the bait better at night my dad always said.

Our farm was five miles from Walls Ferry on the White River. Father's favorite way to fish was standing in a boat spearing the fish with a harpoon. He told of harpooning a catfish so big that when he tied it's head with willow switches to carry it over his shoulder, its tail dragged the ground. He could relate adventures with such detail we kids would listen with big eyed wonder and suspense like we were standing up in the little boat with him as he relived his boyhood fishing adventures.

He told us of clearing one field with his father saying, "pappy, let's leave this little one" every time a young saplin took his fancy. Finally, right in the middle of what was to become a cornfield he said, "Willie you may have this one." The tree became the famous Chiquipin tree that grew to be so large that all five of us children in the second family holding hands could not reach around it. Though it was struck regularly by lightening it produced bushels of nuts every year through my childhood and its spreading branches sheltered the sorghum mill each summer where hundreds of gallons of sweet sorghum syrup were made from cane that grew right on the spot.

About the time father was born William and Elizabeth Tosh had another little girl, they named Sarina. She and father grew up together and were inseparable friends, though being his mother's sister she was really his aunt. He taught us to love and respect her like a saint and everyone respectfully called her Aunt Rean. She married William Barnes who died in Missouri in the Union Army during the Civil War. She was instrumental in keeping the family together and getting them all to Missouri when they had been run out of their homes by the bushwackers and the Confederate Army. William had carried his sick father, James Wilson, on his back for much of the way until it was safe to buy a horse and continue their journey to what they thought would be safety.

William was a friendly, likable lad and made friends with plantation owner, John Glenn, his children and slaves. Mr. Glenn had built a log school house at Glenn's Gin where the Lafferty Creek flows into the White River. Steam boats landed there at the cotton gin to ship cotton down river and for delivering goods and news from New Orleans. He hired the Methodist circuit rider preacher to teach his children and slaves. William was invited to attend the first integrated school in the area, which was an eight mile walk through dangerous woods, but he never missed a day. He attended four, four-month sessions and had memorized the bluebook speller words, and stories word for word. He loved repeating these stories as I sat on his knee before the fireplace until I could repeat them too. He boasted that he could cypher any sum the teacher would put on his slate. I always thought of him as a well educated person. He read widely: books, news fliers, and especially the Holy Bible. He seemed endowed with good common sense and wisdom. I never heard him use a bad word and he never chewed or smoked tobacco or drank whiskey.

He was a lover of nature and perhaps his best school was the wilderness itself which he knew and loved well. One day a little motherless fawn followed him to school. Like Mary's Lamb it lingered on the playground during school and ran after him in the games in the clearing during recess. All children loved it and young Johnny Glenn's sister wanted her brother to buy it for her. Father said he would take five dollars. Mr. Glenn told me about the deer deal once when I was going to Arkansas College and Uncle Johnny was old and white-haired. I asked father about it and his countenance fell. That was one story he had intentionally missed. He said he thought he had put the price so high no one would buy it. Next morning when Johnny came running to him waving a big green five dollar bill his heart sank to the bottom of his stomach. But he said his father, James Wilson, had taught him that his word was his honor. He had not wanted to part with his devoted little friend but there was no way out of the deal.

William was strong and tall and often walked miles for any necessary purpose or maybe just to explore with his muzzle loading rifle. Once when Christmas was coming and there was no turkey for the dinner he set out walking at 4 a.m. on his way to Bates Landing 12 miles away for a keg of gun powder. In Grooms Holler he heard the rumbling noise of an ox cart meeting him, they exchanged greetings. Next morning before daybreak when the wild turkeys began to come down from the roost, father was there under the big trees to bring one home for Christmas dinner.

While he was still a youth, James Wilson became sick with what they called dropsey. Much of the responsibility of providing for the family and managing the farm fell to William, with the help of his sisters and Aunt Rean. They cut trees, split rails, fenced the fields and made crops. He told of cutting his knee with the sharp axe once while he and Rean were splitting rails, she tore a piece from her petticoat, bound up the wound and threw him over her shoulder and carried him to the house. Margaret, his mother was an industrious woman and housewife. He said she spun the thread and wove the cloth for a new pair of britches for him to put on each fall. The ones he discarded, already too small, had rotted off at the knees from being rolled up to avoid the dew while plowing.

In spite of all the work and the responsibility he found time for recreation and fun often walking miles to a pioneer party to play his fiddle for dancing. William was a self-taught musician. I never had the pleasure of hearing father play the violin though he loved to tell about it. He had been bitten by both a diamond-back rattler and a copperhead snake at different times on the same hand and some of this finger joints were stiff as a result.

About the time he was approaching voting age, rumors of Civil War and politics began to filter into this peaceful wilderness country west of the Mississippi and south of the Ozarks. Father was hopeful that the Missouri Compromise introduced by Stephen A. Douglass might possibly prevent war. So for his big day of casting his first vote for president, he voted for Douglass. Nothing but heartache and disappointment followed. Afterwards he proudly supported his new hero and voted for Abraham Lincoln for President of the United States.

As the dangers of war came over the Mississippi, rumors of the Confederate Army confiscating the struggling frontier families' food, supplies and horses, and pressing men into the army_even those who opposed slavery. One old man whose family had hidden him under the porch was coughing with TB when the soldiers dragged him out and killed him and pressed his teenage son into the army. These people were father's neighbors. Two of Margaret's brothers were forced to join the Confederate Army and both died and were buried on Papa Island in the Mississippi River.

The southern soldiers were aided by a band of renegades who for their own greedy reasons stole and plundered the natives' homes and barns for food, cattle, oxen and horses. But the men in the gray uniforms, who were on leave, hunted down the bushwhackers and killed many of them.

While plowing one summer day, William had removed his shoes to cool his feet in a little spring of water on the hillside when he looked down in the field where his horse was still tied to the plow and saw men stealing his horse. The horse was expendable but his sick father was at home. He ran home without taking time to put on his shoes. He carried his father to a limestone sinkhole covered with vines and leaves to hide temporarily.

The soldiers hung around for several days pestering Margaret and the younger children. They hung the young twin boys Robert and Henry by the toes until they were unconscious trying to make them tell where James Wilson and William were. But the little fellows didn't know. Then Aunt Rean came onto the scene she cut the children down and threatened the soldiers with her anger and famous vocabulary of cuss words.

Her home was about two and a half miles away by Lafferty Creek and they hit her home next. They took all her smoked bacon and sausage and hams from her smokehouse and everything they could use. Then one of the ruffians piled all their bedding; feather beds, quilts and pillows in a heap in the middle of the floor. Then he lit a torch at her fireplace and started to set the pile on fire. Aunt Rean picked up a home-made hickory chair and warned him with strong language that if he did that he'd regret it. So as he stuck the torch to the bedding she let him have it and stomped out the fire. When he recovered enough to get up he ran outside to the soldiers who had been supervising the raid and yelled "She hit me! Shoot her! Shoot her!" The young Confederate Lieutenant became angry and ordered him to let these people alone and get going. He must have come from one of the better southern families in the south. He said, "We have taken their food and supplies with winter coming on, leaving these people to starve. Would you burn down their shelter and everything left? This is not the purpose of this war."

After they rode away she went into the woods, rounded up an oxen, hitched him to the cart and went out and shot a hog. She some how got it onto the cart and headed home. On the little wooded trail she met 6 soldiers on horseback she sat on top of the hog, waving a huge butcher knife and threatened anyone who tried to take her food. They meekly cut out of the trail and gave her the right of way.

William, William Barnes and James Wilson were hiding in the cedar breaks and Aunt Rean was slipping food to them pretending to be gathering greens or one pretext or another. William Barnes slipped away to Missouri and joined the Federal Army.

As soon as father's foot was well enough to travel he had hurt it when he ran barefoot to rescue his father_they started walking north by the stars. As soon as they thought they were in neutral territory they approached a man who was gathering fresh corn from a field. On asking about buying food they were invited in for breakfast. On the table was a large platter of cooked roasting ears. The food was blessed and they were invited to help themselves. He said that was all they had. Fresh corn never tasted so good. They found a farm that would sell them a horse and that helped them get to Rolla, Missouri. They went around the town to a high spot from which they could look down on the town and found the streets filled with Confederate Soldiers.

When his father was safely located William found a warehouse that needed teamsters and hired on with some other loyal men. They were told to take loads of food and supplies to a battalion of Federal soldiers some distance away who were pinned down by the Confederates. They were told the direction and instructed to cut out though the woods separately. He had not gone far until he came upon one of the wagons on fire and the driver hanging by the neck from a tree. But father and one other load got through. Father joined the army and his name was on the roll. When the troops found out he could cook he became the official biscuit maker. They had been on hardtack too long. He described hardtack as something like a dehydrated bagel.

He said night after night the guard in a certain place was killed. Finally the culprit was caught by a clever trick of putting a dummy in place of the guard. The assassin was caught hiding behind a log. He had been posing as the preacher of their own outfit. I remember a scar as big as a dollar on father's arm_he had a smallpox vaccination and almost lost the arm. He and a friend were very sick with measles. They went to a house they had past while coming to camp. The lady said, "You poor boys come in." She gave them some food and put them to sleep in a warm room. Next morning they were broken out with the red measles. The lady was angry that her children had been exposed but she knew if she sent them out so sick they would die so they became a part of the family.

By the time they were well enough, their outfit had either died of measles or had been wiped out by the confederate troops. The records were destroyed and there was never an official record of William Hightower ever having been a member of the United States Army.

Aunt Rean and grandmother Margaret managed to get all the family to Rolla where they cared for Grandfather James Wilson Hightower until he died. While they were in Missouri, father's lovely sister, Margaret, died of diphtheria. After the war, the whole family returned to Independence County, Ark., without grandpa James Wilson and little Margaret. They were buried in unmarked graves in Rolla, Missouri.

Bill Barnes, Aunt Rean's husband had died in the U.S. Army. William was engaged to Mary Gillispe Wilson. He returned with the family to Arkansas to make their home and when the house was finished and the crop laid by, he returned to Missouri for her. They were married in Rolla, 13 December, 1866 and returned to Arkansas. In the aftermath of Civil War the couple had 5 boys and 3 girls and reared them in the peace of their little Arkansas farmstead.


John D. Hightower of Effingham, IL, Civil War Veteran

From a History of Effingham County, by Bateman & Shelby, Chicago, 111., published

John D. Hightower received his education in the subscription schools of Georgia and Alabama. At the outbreak of the Civil War John and his four brothers joined the I st Middle Tennessee Cavalry, United States Troops, in which he served until the battle of Stone's River, when they were transferred to the 1 st Alabama.

John was captured by the Confederates and taken to Tupelo, Miss. But after two months of confinement he managed to escape and hid in the woods, escaping from the scouts of the Confederate army. In October, 1863, he rejoined his regiment in which his three brothers, Marion, Monroe and Wilburn were serving.

The 1st Alabama took part in the hard fought campaigns around Atlanta. When this company served as escort to General Sherman, John D. Hightower was his orderly during the March to the Sea (ea. note. though we genealogists are most unhappy with all the courthouse records pillaged by the invading General Sherman).

In 1864 Mr. Hightower spent five months in scouting service. After the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox, Hightower's company was mustered out at Nashville, Tl1., 21 July, 1865.

Two of his brothers, Monroe and Wilburn, died in the war and Marion was discharged and migrated to Arkansas. In 1865 Mr. Ilightower came to Effingham County and bought a small farm on section 20, Watson Township. His wife, whom he had married after his escape from the Confederates in 1863, had come to Effingham County in 1864. The couple had seven children: George, Wilburn, Martha, John, Sadie, Lota and Lee.

Mr. Hightower has voted for every Republican president since Lincoln. He was for a number of years Republican County Chairman. His religious affiliations are with the Methodist Episcopal Church of which he is a liberal supporter.

Early Tennessee Hightowers

In each issue of the Hightower News we feature a particular state and the contributions of early Hightower settlers in that state's history. Tennessee not only holds a great deal of Hightower family history, but it is through the Volunteer State that many of our ancestors came on their way west.

In 1776 the settlers in a few isolated centers in Tennessee organized themselves into the Watauga Association for protection and administration of justice. Two now famous leaders of this association were John Sevier, who would become the first governor of the state and James Robertson, who founded (1779) a community near present-day Nashville.

A less prominent signer of the Watauga Petition was Oldham Hightower (see story of Oldham Hightower page 8). Oldham's son, Richard Hightower (b. 25 May, 1764) lived in Caswell County, NC in 1790. In 1791 Richard Hlightower marned Nancy Smith. The couple settled in Williamson County Tennessee on Wilson Pike at Old Smyrna Rd., in what is now the city of Nashville. This Richard Hightower should not be confused with the Capt. Richard Hightower of Jessamine County, Kentucky whose father was George Hightower (some researchers have made this mistake simply due to proximity and the fact that they lived at nearly the same time). Richard and Nancy had nine children: John, Robert Smith, Asenath, Lucinda, Sarah Clemmons, Mary Smith, Joseph B. and Richard R._all born at the Hightower homestead pictured here. The home was purchased by Buck Davis about 1865 and burned almost one hundred years later in 1964.

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