Benjamin Allen (1 Jan. 1838-12 Dec. 1895)

Benjamin Allen was born in Benton County, Alabama, the son of Dr. Elijah Allen (1802-1856) and his wife, Acenith Louisa Hollingsworth (1811-after 1859). The family moved from Alabama to Nacogdoches, Texas, between March 1836 and Oct 1837, when Elijah Allen claimed land in that area. Dr. Allen served as physician in the 3rd brigade of Texas Militia, Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, for one month in 1841. (Sparks)

Benjamin studied at McKenzie College, Clarksville, TX, and taught high school at Mt. Enterprise from 1858 until 1859.[1] He attended the University of Virginia in session 36 (1859-1860), and studied Chemistry, Medicine, Anatomy & Surgery, and Anatomy. He later taught at McKenzie College and in several other Texas schools. (Sparks)

Benjamin Allen married first Monnie Margaret “Mattie” Ross (1842-1862) on 12 Dec. 1861. The couple had one daughter, Monnie Mary Allen (1862-1875). Between 1862 and 1870, Allen married secondly Mary M. “Mattie” Lawler (1848-1915). He and his second wife had 6 children, Walter Payne, Laura, Benjamin, Blanch, George Marion, and Albert Earl Allen.

Benjamin Allen has two tombstones, one in Allen City Cemetery in Athens, Henderson County, Texas, and the other in Oakland Memorial Park, in Terrell, Kaufman County, TX, so it is unclear exactly where he is actually buried. (; Sparks)

[1] According to Sparks, the book History of Kaufman County, Texas, vol. 2, states that Benjamin Allen taught at the high school in Mt. Enterprise from 1858-1861. However, according to the U.Va. Matriculation Books, he was in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the University of Virginia for part of that time.


Allen, Benjamin tombstones, Allen City Cemetery in Athens, Henderson County, Texas  and Oakland Memorial Park, Terrell, Kaufman County, TX.

[Benjamin Allen obituary.] Terrell Times Star (Texas), 20 Dec 1895.

Kaufman County Historical Commission, Kaufman, TX. History of Kaufman County, Texas, vol. 2. The Commission, 1978.

Sparks, Sadie Greening. The family of Dr. Elijah Allen & wife, Acenith Louisa Hollingsworth of Nacogdoches County, Texas. [website] 18 Oct 2000.


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James Clark Allen (4 Sep. 1845-19 Feb. 1861)

James C. Allen was the son of Charles Henry Allen and his wife, Catherine Linnington Clark. (Groves, p. 240) He was born in Abbeville, South Carolina. Charles Henry Allen and a partner, Henry S. Kerr, started the Abbeville Banner newspaper in 1844. After the Civil War the Banner was merged with the Abbeville Press to become the Abbeville Press and Banner. (

James attended the University of Virginia in session 37 (1860-1861), during which he studied Latin and Moral philosophy. In the months before the Civil War began, the students at U.Va. began to form military companies, and drill on grounds. Many of the students withdrew from the university, and went home to participate in their local militias.

James was one of these students. In January or February 1861, James went home to Abbeville and enlisted as a private in the McDuffie Guards (later Company B of the 1st South Carolina Rifles or “Orr’s Rifles”). The company was sent to Sullivan’s Island, SC, to join the seige of Fort Sumter.

On 19 February, 1861, James Allen was accidentally killed by a comrade with a bayonet while at the Moultrie House [Hotel] on Sullivan’s Island, thus becoming one of the earliest casualties of the Civil War. He is buried in Upper Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC. (; Kirkland; Upper Long Cane Cemetery NRHP Registration Form)

[Note: James Allen’s birthdate of 4 Sept. 1845 is taken from the U.Va. Matriculation Books, and was written by the student himself.—JLC]


  • “Abbeville Banner, Independent Press, Abbeville Press, Abbeville Press and Banner.” In [database online]
  • Allen, James Clark tombstone, Upper Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC.
  • Charleston Daily Courier (Charleston, SC).
  • Groves, Joseph Asbury. The Alstons and Allstons of North and South Carolina.Atlanta, GA, 1901. Accessed via
  • Kirkland, Randolph W., Jr. Broken fortunes. Columbia, SC, 1995.
  • “Pvt. James Clark Allen,” Upper Long Cane Cemetery. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, p. 8.
  • University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
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Edward Dudley Alfriend (6 Dec. 1842-18 Jul. 1887)

Edward D. Alfriend[1] was the son of Dr. William L. Alfriend (1811-1880?[2]) of Sparta, Georgia, and his wife, Sarah Frances Dunn (1825-1900). Note that there are several Alfriend families in Virginia and Georgia at this time, including Dr. Edward Walter Alfriend (1822-1887) of Athens, Georgia, and playwright Edward M. Alfriend (1837-1901) of Richmond, Virginia, which complicates research on the U.Va. student.

When the Civil War began, Edward enlisted as a private on 15 July 1861 in Company E, 15th Regiment, Georgia Infantry—“the Hancock Volunteers.” In 1862, he was wounded in the battle of Malvern Hill. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 26 Oct. 1863, and was with Lee at the surrender on 9 April 1865 at Appomattox Court House, VA.

He attended the University of Virginia in session 43 (1866-1867) and took classes in Chemistry, Medicine, Physiology & Surgery, Anatomy, and “Demonstration” (probably demonstrations in the Anatomical Theatre).

Edward D. Alfriend practiced as a doctor in Sparta, GA, “a very popular and skilled physician.” (Atlanta Constitution, 1887) He married Mary Susan Pierce (b. 1845) on 14 Dec. 1869, but their only child died at a year old. (“Georgia, Marriages, 1808-1967”).

“Dr. E. D. Alfriend died very suddenly at Sparta, Ga. [on 18 Jul., 1887]. He had been sick only about 24 hours. His death was caused by congestion of the lungs and brain.… At the time of his death [he] had been a widow[er] for some years.” (Calhoun Times)

He was buried in Sparta Cemetery, in Sparta, GA.


[1] Though E. D. Alfriend’s birth date is given as Mar. 11, 1842 on his tombstone, the information in the U.Va. Matriculation Book gives his birth date as in December 1842, possibly the 6th. I will note that this information was written in the Matriculation Books by the student himself, therefore the information is as correct as possible.


[2] Dr. W. L. Alfriend’s tombstone gives his year of death as 1879. However, he is recorded as living in Sparta, GA, on 1 June, 1880 in the 1880 U.S. Census.


  • Alfriend tombstones, Oakview Cemetery, Albany, GA & Sparta Cemetery, Sparta, GA.
  • Alfriend, E. D., Confederate service folder.
  • 1850-1900 U.S. Census. [database on-line].
  • “Death of Dr. Alfriend; A Prominent Physician of Sparta Passes Away.” Atlanta Constitution, July 20, 1887.
  • [“Dr. E. D. Alfriend”]. Calhoun Times, 28 Jul. 1887. Calhoun-Gordon County Library Obituary File, Calhoun-Gordon County Library, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.
  • “Georgia, Marriages, 1808-1967,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 May 2013), E. Dudley Alfriend and Mary S. Pierce, 14 Dec 1869.
  • “Georgia, Marriages, 1808-1967,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 May 2013), William L. Alfriend and Sarah Frances Dunn, 22 Feb 1842.
  • Historical Data Systems, comp. American Civil War Soldiers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999.
  • “[Marriage announcement]” The Southern Christian Advocate, March 11, 1870.
  • National Park Service. U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.
  • University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
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William Lewis Arnell (27 Dec.  1837-7 Dec. 1863)

William L. Arnell was the son of James Morrison Arnell (1808-1850) of Maury County, Tennessee, and his wife Jane Frierson Mayes (1805-1854). Rev. Arnell was born in Goshen, New York, and served as the pastor of Zion Presbyterian Church in Maury County from 1832 to 1850.

Upon his father’s death, William’s older brother, Samuel Mayes Arnell (1833-1903) became his guardian, and thus is recorded as “parent or guardian” in the U.Va. Matriculation Books. Samuel M. Arnell was a leading Union supporter in Columbia, Tennessee, during the Civil War, and later served in the Tennessee legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives. (Zebley)

William attended the University of Virginia in session 33 (1856-1857), and studied Latin, Greek, Chemistry, and Moral Philosophy. He began a career as a lawyer, and is listed as such in the 1860 U.S. census, but on 5 Jul. 1861, volunteered to join the “Maury County Braves” at the behest of Andrew Jackson Polk. (Polk; U.S. Census) The Braves became Company F of the 1st Tennessee Cavalry Regiment of the CSA. (Garrett, 1970, p. 17; Thomas) He was a 3rd Lieutenant before he became ill of disease “and died at the home of his brother Samuel Mayes [Arnell].” (Garrett, 1970, p.17)

William never married. He is buried in the Zion Presbyterian Church Cemetery, in Maury County, Tennessee. (

(Note:  W. L. Arnell’s birth date is from the U.Va. Matriculation Books and his death date is from Schele de Vere. I find it odd that there seems to be no military record of William L. Arnell in the official sources, and hope to spend more time researching this man.—Editor)


  • Alexander, Virginia Wood & Rose Harris Priest. Maury County Tennessee marriage records, 1807-1837. The authors, 1962.
  • Arnell tombstones, Zion Presbyterian Church Cemetery, in Zion, Maury County, Tennessee.
  • Garrett, Jill K. & Marise P. Lightfoot, compilers. Maury County Chancery Court Records, 1810-1860. V.1, p. 6. 1965.
  • Garrett, Jill K., editor. Confederate soldiers and patriots Of Maury County, Tennessee.  1970.
  • Lightfoot, Marise P. & Evelyn B. Shackelford. They passed this way; Maury County, Tennessee, cemetery records. Published by the authors, 1964.
  • “Maury County Court Minutes.” Historic Maury. Published by the Maury County Historical Society, Columbia, TN.  v. 7, no. 2 (1971).
  • Polk, William R. Polk’s folly ; an American family history. New York, Random House, 2000, p.270.
  • Schele de Vere, Maximilian. Students of the University of Virginia; a semi-centennial catalogue. Baltimore, MD, 1878.
  • Thomas, Frank D., ed. Maury County Tennessee, Confederate units formed in Maury County. (1998)
  • “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016), Samuel M Arnell in household of Jane Arnell, Maury county, part of, Maury, Tennessee, United States; citing family 982, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 26 July 2017), W L Arnell in entry for O H P Bennett, 1860.
  • University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
  • Zebley, Kathleen R. “Unconditional Unionist: Samuel Mayes Arnell and Reconstruction in Tennessee. Tennessee Historical Quarterly v.53, no.4 (Winter 1994), p. 246-259.
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Thomas Gorsuch (2 Sep. 1836-24 Jul. 1897)

Thomas Gorsuch was the son of Edward Gorsuch (1795-1851) and his first wife, Sarah Bowen Stansbury (d. 1846). ( Thomas was the youngest son of five children. Edward Gorsuch was a planter and slave owner in Maryland. He died at the Riot of Christiana, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, while attempting to reclaim four escaped slaves under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. Edward’s eldest son, John Stansbury Gorsuch, became the guardian of his younger brother, Thomas, until his own death a year later. The guardianship was then taken over by Edward’s brother, Thomas Talbott Gorsuch (1802-1879) of Philopolis, Maryland. This is reflected in the Matriculation Book entry for Thomas’s “parent or guardian.” (U.Va. Matriculation Books; Sharkey)

The Milton Academy Boarding School for Young Gentlemen, was located in Philopolis. (The Milton Academy building is now the Milton Inn.) Eleven-year-old John Wilkes Booth entered the Milton Academy in 1849, and studied there for three years. One of Booth’s friends during his school years was fellow student Tom Gorsuch, who lived on the farm next door to the school. It was in 1851 that Tom’s father was killed during the riots. (Pitts)

Thomas Gorsuch attended the University of Virginia in sessions 30-33 (1853-1857). He studied Ancient Languages (especially Latin and Greek), Modern Languages, Mathematics, and Natural Philosophy during his four years at U.Va. He became a teacher, but at the time of his death Gorsuch had retired from teaching. He died of a stroke. (Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 31 Jul. 1897)

Prof. Thomas Gorsuch, a passenger on the steamer St. Paul, which arrived this morning from Southampton, died at sea, on July 24. He was a professor of languages and a native of Baltimore, Md. but for the last seven or eight years had lived in England. His body will be taken to Baltimore for burial. (Alexandria Gazette and Virginia Advertiser (Virginia), 31 Jul. 1897)

The July 31st date of the Alexandria newspaper article indicates that the date given on his monument (August 2nd) is incorrect. He is buried in Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland. ( He died unmarried and without children.


  • [Advertisement for Milton Academy.] The Baltimore Sun, Sept 1, 1881, p. 2.
  • “Died at sea.” Alexandria Gazette and Virginia Advertiser (Virginia), 31 Jul. 1897, p. 2.
  • Gorsuch tombstone, Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, MD.
  • Kauffman, Michael W. American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies. New York: Random House, 2004, p. 88.
  • Lamb’s School/Milton Academy. Maryland Historical Trust State Historic Sites Inventory Form. June 2, 2000.
  • Pitts, Jonathan M. “Road to Lincoln’s end ran through Baltimore.” Baltimore Sun, 8 April 2015.
  • Sharkey, Jennifer A. Register of the Gorsuch-Mitchell Papers 1698-1921, MS. 2733. Baltimore, MD, Maryland Historical Society.
  • “Thomas Gorsuch Dead.” Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 31 Jul. 1897, p.2.
  • “Thomas Gorsuch’s Death.” Sun (New York), 8 Aug. 1897, p.2.
  • “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch( : 13 August 2016), Thomas Gorsuch in household of Dickinson Gorsuch, District 8, Baltimore, Maryland, United States; citing enumeration district ED 241, sheet 122D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0496; FHL microfilm 1,254,496.
  • University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
  • Williams, Jeffrey S. “Another take on President Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination.” (April 15, 2015) This Week In the Civil War. [weblog]
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