Samuel Register and the East Florida Militia

According to Folks Huxford, Samuel Register came from Appling County to Lowndes County, GA about 1826 and settled in the 10th Land District near Possum Branch, not too far from the homestead of Levi J. Knight and the future site of Ray City, GA. Samuel Register’s place later became the farm of Jesse Shelby “Dock” Shaw.

Samuel Register was born in Sampson County, North Carolina on December 1, 1786, almost three years before that state would ratify the U.S. Constitution. He was a son of Dorcas and John Register.

Some time before 1804 Samuel Register came with his family to Bulloch County, GA where he apparently made his home for some 20 years, although there is no records to show that he ever owned land there. In  April of 1806 he married Elizabeth Skinner, a native of South Carolina.

When the U.S. went to war with Britain from 1812-1815 in response to British actions against American expansion and trade, it appears that  Samuel Register, like other Wiregrass pioneers (see Dryden Newbern)  joined the  Georgia Militia.   In the War of 1812 the Georgia Militia was occupied with three main theaters of operation: the Creek War of 1813-14, the British blockade, and the British occupation of St. Marys and Cumberland Island in 1814-15.  British  control of St. Marys, GA disturbed the economy of the entire Wiregrass region, interrupting trade on the Alachua Trail which ran from the Altamaha River through Centerville, GA, then across the St. Marys River and into  East Florida. The resistance of the Georgia Militia against the British incursions is described  in the New Georgia Encyclopedia  article on the War of 1812.

After the War of 1812, Samuel and Elizabeth remained in Bulloch county. GA until about 1824 when they moved to Appling County, and then on to Lowndes county in 1826.  In 1827,  Samuel Register  received a draw in the land lotteries for his service as a soldier in the War of 1812.

The land lotteries, legitimized by questionable and coercive treaties, continued the encroachment by settlers on the ancestral lands of Native Americans in Georgia, inevitably leading to conflict.  In Florida, hostilities were greatly escalated in December 1835 by the Dade Massacre, where Seminole Indians resisting forced removal to the West   wiped out a force of 110 regular army troops under the command of Major Francis Langhorn Dade.  When conflict between the Wiregrass pioneers and the resistant Indians erupted in 1836, local militia fought engagements in Berrien county.

In the summer of 1836, a company of militia under Capt. Levi J. Knight of near Ray City was sent to protect the settlers from marauding Indians on their way to join the Seminoles in Florida.  When a party of Indians plundered the plantation of William Parker, near Milltown, the militia pursued them N. E. across the county overtaking them near Gaskins Pond not far from the Alapaha River.  Several were killed and some injured as the Indians fled across the river.  A few days later the militia encountered more Indians at Brushy Creek and ran them off.  That was the last real battle with the Indians in this section.

Across the state line in Florida,  actions against Indians were being fought by militia on a regular basis. The Battle of San Felasco Hammock was fought  September 18, 1836, when a force of 25 US Army Regulars and 100 horse-mounted militia from Fort Gilleland, with 25 armed residents of Newnansville, FL engaged and routed about 300 Indians led by Seminole Chief John Jumper. Fort Gilleland, a picketed fortification located south of the Santa Fe River at Newnansville in present day Alachua County, FL, was one of a string of forts stretching from Jacksonville, FL to Clay’s Landing, at the mouth of the Suwanee River.  Newnansville,  the largest inland town in East Florida, was strategically located at the junction of the Jacksonville road and the Bellamy Road which ran from St. Augustine west to Tallahassee and Pensacola. Newnansville was about about 80 miles southeast of Troupville,  in Lowndes County, GA.

In the spring of 1837 militia troops from Lowndes county were sent across the state line to join the forces at Fort Gilleland:

Jacksonville Courier
Jacksonville, May 11, 1837

—Extract of a letter from Col. Mills, to the Editor, dated Fort Gilliland, May 8.

“Major Staniford, with two companies of the 2d Infantry, arrived here yesterday in obedience to orders from Maj. Gen. Jesup, from Lowndes county, Georgia, and are here encamped, awaiting orders.” 

The following summer, in 1837, Samuel Register and other Lowndes county men went south to join the East Florida Volunteer militia to fight against the Indians on the Florida frontier. According to the records of the Florida Department of Military Affairs, Register traveled first to Fort Palmetto, on the Suwanee River at Fanning Springs, FL.

Samuel Register and his sons, David and John,   served with “Captain John J. Johnson’s Company of the 2nd Regiment, East Florida Mounted Volunteers, commanded by Colonel William J. Mills, ordered into the service of the United States by Major General Thomas J. Jessup under the Act of Congress approved May 23d 1836, for six months from the 16th day of June 1837 to the 18th day of December 1837.  Company enrolled at Fort Palmetto, Florida, and marched sixty miles to place of rendezvous at Fort Gilliland, Fla. Company mustered in by Lieutenant W. Wall, 3d Artillery.”

His son-in-law, John Tomlinson, and two other Registers in this same service and company: Samuel Register Jr and John Register, Jr..  Seaborn Lastinger, of Lowndes County, served as a private; he would be shot for desertion during the Civil War. James B. Johnson and Young Johnson , grand uncles of JHP Johnson of Ray City, served in the Florida Drafted Mounted Militia.

Muster Roll of East Florida Volunteers

Muster Roll of East Florida Volunteers

http://archive.org/stream/floridamilitiamu05morr#page/n71/mode/1up

Muster Roll of Captain John J. Johnson's Mounted Company of the 2d Regiment of East Florida Volunteers, 2d Brigade of Florida Militia, Commanded by Colonel William J. Mills.

Muster Roll of Captain John J. Johnson’s Mounted Company of the 2d Regiment of East Florida Volunteers, 2d Brigade of Florida Militia, Commanded by Colonel William J. Mills.

http://archive.org/stream/floridamilitiamu05morr#page/n72/mode/1up

Muster Roll of Captain John J. Johnson's Mounted Company of the 2d Regiment of East Florida Volunteers, 2d Brigade of Florida Militia, Commanded by Colonel William J. Mills.

Muster Roll of Captain John J. Johnson’s Mounted Company of the 2d Regiment of East Florida Volunteers, 2d Brigade of Florida Militia, Commanded by Colonel William J. Mills.

Samuel Register was honorably discharged at Newnansville in December, 1837. He subsequently “served another enlistment in the Indian War under the same Capt Johnson (April 1, 1838-July 31, 1838). He also served a third term under this same Capt Johnson in the Georgia mounted Militia (Aug 25, 1840-Oct 18, 1840). On his Bounty Land application dated Nov 23, 1850, he was granted 160 acres of land for this service. His son-in-law John Tomlinson (husband of Zilpha) who served in the same military unit was granted 80 acres of land for his services”

Between 1840 and 1842, Samuel Register sold out his home-place in the 10th District, and moved from Possum Branch to the 11th Land District where he acquired Land Lot 500.   This lot was in that part of Lowndes county that was cut into the new county of Clinch in 1850, and in 1920 was cut out of Clinch into Lanier County.

In 1856, it was a great boon to Register when the Atlantic & Gulf railroad was charted  to run   from a connection with the Savannah, Albany & Gulf railroad at Screven, by way of his land to Thomasville. But when the surveyors for the new railroad  selected a route through Valdosta bypassing Troupville, that old town was doomed.   Register had a portion of Lot 500 platted into town lots and founded the town of “Registerville.” Although when the railroad people came through, they changed the name to “Stockton”, in honor of one of their contractors, a Mr. Stockton, who had charge of the road construction.

Children of Samuel Register and Elizabeth Skinner:

  1. Zilpha Register, born Feb. 4, 1807, married her first cousin John Tomlinson.
  2. Eady (Edith) Register, born Mar. 1, 1809, married Thomas Mathis Nov. 1, 1826 in Lowndes County.
  3. Guilford Register, born Jan. 7, 1811, married Priscilla Ann DeVane.
  4. David Register, born Apr. 10, 1813, married Matilda McDaniel of Bulloch County.
  5. William Register, born Sept. 24, 1814, married Luraney Harnage from Liberty County.
  6. John Register,  born June 10, 1819, married 1st Elizabeth Cowart, 2nd. Mary Ann Fiveash; served in Captain Levi J. Knight’s Independent Militia Company in 1838.
  7. Rebecca Register, born Apr. 5, 1821, married Reverend Hillery Cowart of Echols County.
  8. Phoebe Register, born Aug. 15, 1823, married Zachariah Lee of Clinch County.
  9. Jincy Register, born June 15, 1824, married Moses C. Lee of Berrien County.
  10. Ivy Register, born Apr. 22, 1825, married 1st Leta Lee, married 2nd Lavinia Arnold
  11. Samuel E. Register, born Sept. 16, 1826, married 1st Seneth Lee, married 2nd Mary Hutto, married 3rd Josephine Guthrie, lived in Berrien County.
  12. Elizabeth Register, born Aug. 21, 1828, married William Patten of present Lanier County.
  13. Reubin Register, born Nov. 25, 1830, married Harriet Brown, lived in present Berrien co.
  14. Martha Register, born Dec. 18, 1831, married Hillery P. Mathis of present Lanier co.

Related Posts:

George Calhoun Mikell

An old clipping from the Clinch County News, dated November 8, 1929 gives a brief history of the Mikell family, beginning with George Mikell who was a pioneer settler of Clinch County.  Three of his grandsons, Rufus Lane Mikell, George Calhoun Mikell and Otis Willie Mikell (subject of earlier post – see Ola Crews and Otis Mikell) became residents of Ray City, GA.  The news clipping, which provided in part the  following information , is transcribed below.

George Calhoun Mikell, Ray City, Georgia

George Calhoun Mikell made Ray City his home some time before 1920.  He was a Primitive Baptist and is buried at New Ramah Cemetery in Ray City.

Grave marker of George Calhoun Mikell (1896-1960), New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, Berrien County, GA.

Grave marker of George Calhoun Mikell (1876-1960), New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, Berrien County, GA.

George Calhoun Mikell was born March 4, 1876, a son of Rebecca Lee and John A. Mikell.  His paternal grandparents,  Rachel Roberts and George Mikell (1818-1880), are buried at Wayfare Primitive Baptist church in unmarked graves.

His father, John A. Mikell (abt 1846 – 1889), was a respected Clinch County citizen who lived near Dupont, GA. “John A. Mikell was baptized July 5 1883 into the membership of the Primitive Baptist church, and on Dec 1, 1883 was dismissed by letter and united with Olive Leaf church near Dupont. Mr. Mikell served as deputy sheriff under Sheriff J. M. Jeffords who sheriff from 1881 to 1887.  He was elected justice of the peace of the 1280 district, commissioned January 24, 1881, serving two terms of four years each”

When George was thirteen years old, he lost his father. John A. Mikell died April 9, 1889 and was buried at North Cemetery, Clinch County, GA.

George’s mother, Rebecca Lee, was a daughter of Phoebe Register and Zachariah Lee. She was born November 5th, 1845 in what is now Clinch county, GA. She  married John A. Mikell about 1868.  Following the death of her husband in 1889 she continued to live in Clinch county where she farmed, with the help of her children, in the 1280th district .    After her sister, Elizabeth Lee Fiveash, died on May 05, 1912, Rebecca Lee Mikell married her brother-in-law George Appling Fiveash (1842-1927).   On the death of George Fiveash in 1927, the twice-widowed Rebecca Lee Mikell Fiveash went to live with her son, George Calhoun Mikell, at Ray City, GA. She died December 08, 1932 in Lowndes Co GA.  She was buried at North Cemetery, DuPont, Clinch County, GA.

George C. Mikell married Mary Hughes on January 31, 1904, in Clinch County.  She was  a daughter of James H. Hughes.

George C. Mikell and his brother John P. Mikell both became “leading members of the Primitive Baptist denomination in this section, one a layman and the other a minister; one adhering to the ‘old line’ association and the other to what is called the ‘Peace Movement’ association of the old Union Association.  Elder John P. Mikell as a preacher is known far and wide for his gifts and influence as a Christian worker, and his brother George is making his association a capable clerk and as a layman is known and loved for his upright, Christian life.”

George C. Mikell, Nov 1, 1929, Clinch County News

George C. Mikell, Nov 1, 1929, Clinch County News

In the census of 1910, George C. Mikell was enumerated with his wife and son, Ollie, in the 1280 district of Clinch County. Some time after 1910 he brought his family from Clinch to Berrien County. On September 12, 1918 he registered for the draft for World War I in Nashville, GA.  At age 42, he was tall and slender with blue eyes and black hair. He was a self-employed farmer with a home on Rural Free Delivery route #2 out of Nashville.   By the time of the 1920 census, the Mikells were living on a farm near Ray City on the Nashville Road.

The 1930 census shows George and Mary still farming at Ray City, George’s mother living in their household. His mother died in 1932, and was buried with her first husband at Wayfare Primitive Baptist Church in Clinch County.

George’s wife, Mary Mikell died April 25, 1939 and was buried at New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA.  Later he remarried, taking Nellie Hughes, daughter of John Jasper Hughes, as his second wife.  When George C. Mikell passed in 1960, he was buried at New Ramah Cemetery next to his first wife.

Clinch County News
Friday Morning, November 8, 1929

Our Column in History

GEORGE MIKELL

    George Mikell, an old pioneer citizen of Clinch county, came to this section from Bulloch county, and settled in what is now Echols county where he married. Later he moved to a point near Dupont and spent the remainder of his life there. He was born in Bulloch county in 1816, and died about 1880. His wife was Rachel Roberts; she was born in 1830, but we have not learned who her parents were but we infer she was a daughter of John  Roberts who also came to this section from Bulloch county.
    To them were born only three children, viz:

    1. John A. Mikell who married Rebecca Lee.
    2. Sarah who married Mark or S. M. Bennet.
    3. Bettie or Elizabeth who married Samuel Tomlinson.

    George Mikell and his wife were members of Wayfare Primitive Baptist church, and are buried there.  Their graves are not marked. George Mikell had two brothers, Bob and Charles.  The former lived in Wayne county and the latter moved to Florida.

John A. Mikell

    John A. Mikell was born in this county about 1846, and as above stated, the only son of George and Rachel Mikell.  He lived near Dupont, where he was a respected citizen.  He married Rebecca, a daughter of Zachariah Lee, and a sister to the late P. M. Lee of Dupont.  She was born Nov. 5th 1845 in this county, and is now living with her son Mr. G. C. Mikell at Ray City, having just past her 84th birthday this week.  Her husband had been dead forty years having died April 9th, 1889.   He is buried at the North cemetery. To Mr. and Mrs. Mikell were born ten children, viz:
    1.  Ardelia who married Moses Pittman, living at Arcadia, Fla.
    2. Alice who married Roland Zeigler.
    3. Rufus L. who married ollie Morgan, daughter of Granville Morgan.
    4. Charlton Z. who married Mrs. Lula Crews.
    5. George C. who married Mary, daughter of James H. Hughes.
    6. Perry C. who married Bessie Powell; living at Quitman.
    7. Phoebe who married R. A. Dasher and lived near Bemiss.
    8. John P. who married Sallie, daughter of George Corbitt of Echols county.
    9. Otis W. who married Ola Crews.
    10. Augustus T. married Annie Wilkerson of Berrien county.  He is the only one of the ten children not living.
    John A. Mikell was baptized July 5, 1883 into the membership of the Primitive Baptist church, and on Dec 1, 1883 was dismissed by letter and united with Olive Leaf church near Dupont.
    Mr. Mikell served as deputy sheriff under Sheriff J. M. Jeffords who sheriff from 1881 to 1887.  He was elected justice of the peace of the 1280 district, commissioned January 24, 1881, serving two terms of four years each, his last term expiring just before his death.
    John P. Mikell and his brother Geo. C. have both become leading members of the Primitive Baptist denomination in this section, one a layman and the other a minister; one adhering to the “old-line” association and the other to what is called the “Peace Movement” association of the the old Union Association.  Elder John P. Mikell as a preacher is known far and wide for his gifts and influence as a Christian worker, and his brother George is making his association a capable clerk and as a layman is known and loved for his upright Christian life.

Some Other Data

    The writer would like to find out more about the older Mikells or the forefathers of George Mikell.  Back up in Bulloch county where they lived we find a number of references to them on the county records but of course we cannot identify them.  The following Mikell marriages are of record there:
     Alexander Mikell and Rebecca Hollingsworth, Dec 7, 1804.
    Charles Mikell and Dicy Lee, Dec 17, 1804.
    Thomas Mikell and Mary Row, April 3l 1805.
    John Mikell and Hannah Stuart, Aug. 6, 1805.
    Thomas Mikell and Mary Woodcock, Nov. 10, 1807.
    William Mikell and Mary Anderson, Nov 21, 1809.
    John Mikell and Catherine Lowther, Feb. 8, 1826.
    John Mikell, an old citizen of Bulloch county, died in 1799, and his estate was administered by his widow Elizabeth, and Edward Mikell.  They were appointed administrators Feb. 10, 1800. Their bond was for $20,000 and signed by Sherod McCall and James Mikell. The estate was appraised in 1800 by Stephen Denmark and John Rawls and Jesse Mixon, and valued at $8099.75.  Among the property enumerated were 13 slaves and $3500 worth of cattle. A petition for division of the estate was filed by the widow in May, 1803, and the Court granted partitioners to divide the land, and among these were George Mikell, James Mikell, Sr., and James Mikell, Jr.  In a sales account filed by the administrators in May 1803, Sarah Mikell, Francis Mikell and James Mikell were mentioned as younger heirs.  In March, 1807, the administrators were required to show cause why they had not made any return. Further than this we did not find out about this estate. It seemed to be the only Mikell estate administered in Bulloch prior to 1820.