As I dug deeper into my ancestry I grew more and more frustrated at my inability to make a generational jump beyond my great-great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Baggett (Born 1816). According to family stories, he was known as A.J., or “Andy” Baggett. And it almost seemed as if he appeared out of thin air in the 1850 U.S. Census in Marion County, Alabama. (He actually lived in Franklin County, but right on the Marion County line, plus, I visited the area recently and there aren’t any good landmarks or signs along the roads out there … it’s understandable that the census taker got his county boundaries mixed up.)
But who were his parents?!!
So I started to look for other Baggetts in the area. And they weren’t hard to find. I researched the land records and located the land homesteaded and purchased by Andrew Jackson Baggett. His land was located in Township 8, Range 13 West of the Huntsville Meridian. Within that township I found two other Baggetts … Abraham and Needhom. Interestingly, Needom Baggett’s farm was adjacent to Andrew Baggett’s. Here is a period land map of this township in Franklin County. I have outlined the land of Andrew and Needom near the lower right corner of this township map.
Township 8, Range 13 – Franklin County, Alabama ca. 1860
One township south and east, in Township 9, Range 12, in Marion County, near the town of Hackleburg, was the home of a Drury Baggett. This turned out to be a Drury Blake Baggett. He and Andrew Jackson Baggett filed for their land purchases on the exact same day. That means that they traveled all the way to the land office in Huntsville, Alabama, filed their claims, and paid for their land on the very same day. There had to be a connection!
As I cross-referenced these names online, I kept finding myself on the Burl Baggett page at baggetthistory.com. It listed the names of the children of a Burl (Burrell) Baggett (see this post). Of the five sons listed there, three of them were in the immediate vicinity of Andrew Jackson Baggett.
This was my first clue … and I began to suspect that Andrew was a brother of these men. But he wasn’t listed as such on any internet site or public family tree on Ancestry.com, and I had no proof. Ultimately, I ended up with little more than additional frustration.
But my next clue in this mystery came in my research of the First Alabama Cavalry (USA … Union) during the civil war. The 1st Cav web site lists some Baggetts who served in that very unique unit of Southern Unionists. It included an Andrew J. Baggett, a James W. Baggett, and a Drury B. Baggett. Andrew J. and James W. were both conscripted into the 5th Confederate Cavalry, but deserted and later joined the Union Cavalry. I have located their muster rolls from when they were conscripted into the CSA cavalry. Here is James W. Baggett’s sheet … it shows him at age 24 in 1862.
JW Baggett – 5th Alabama Cavalry (USA) Muster-in Roll
A.J. Baggett’s muster-in roll shows similar information, and that he was 19 years old in November 1862. His date of birth would have been around 1843.
AJ Baggett – 5th Alabama Cavalry (CSA) Muster-in Roll
My suspicions about a family connection began to grow. I discovered that, because of some incorrect information. this Andrew J. and James W. Baggett were wrongly identified as sons of Abraham Baggett. Abraham Baggett did, indeed, have a son named Andrew J., and he is found on the 1870 census at age 11. That means he was born in 1859. He could hardly have enlisted in the Union Cavalry at age 4! Furthermore, Abraham Baggett shows no evidence of a son named James W. Baggett. This incorrect attribution can, I believe, be explained by the omission of Andrew Jackson Baggett from the LDS records of Burrell Baggett’s children. More about that later …
However … Andrew J. Baggett (1816) DID have two sons named James W. and Andrew J. Baggett. They are both found on the 1850 U.S. Census. Here is a screen capture of that census report:
AJ Baggett 1850 U.S. Census
James W. Baggett has been wrongly identified as being “79” years of age. The digit that appears to be a “7” is, in fact, a “1.” And the supposed “9” is a “3.” He was thirteen years of age, placing his date of birth around 1837-38. (The second column at right with a tick mark indicates people who were in school within the last year … clearly, a 73-year-old wasn’t in school!) Andrew J. (Jr.) was born in 1843. This census coincides perfectly with the two men who served in the First Alabama Union Cavalry. Clearly, these two Union Cavalry soldiers were the sons of Andrew J. and Catherine Baggett, my great-great grandparents!
Oh! And the Thomas J. Baggett, age 4 in this census, was my very own Great-Grandfather!
So a couple of months ago I hired a researcher in the National Archives in Washington to locate all available military and pension files he could find for Andrew J. Baggett, James W. Baggett, and Drury B. Baggett, who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. I received two sets of pension records, since Andrew J. and Drury B. both applied for invalid (disability) pensions in later years. James W. Baggett never applied for such a pension, but I did receive his military documents.
And it was within the pension file of Drury Blake Baggett that I located my genealogical “smoking gun.” His file contains an affidavit from Andrew J. Baggett, giving testimony to his illnesses and records during the war. And it’s on that affidavit that I have hard evidence of the family connection. Here is the document. Take note of declaration number 3.
Affidavit from Andrew J. Baggett, Jr. in Drury B. Baggett’s Civil War Pension File
“Drury B Baggett is my uncle.” Andrew J. Baggett, Civil War Cavalryman in the 1st Alabama Union Cavalry, and son of Andrew J. Baggett (1816) verified that Drury Blake Baggett was his uncle.
So, finally, the connection is made! I have my evidence. Assuming that the LDS list of Burrell and Elizabeth Baggett’s other children is correct, then Andrew Jackson Baggett (sr. – 1816) was a previously unmentioned and “forgotten” son. Now I must find documentation, no small task, since there seems to be no actual documentation connecting any children to Burrell Baggett and Elizabeth McLemore. Still, I must keep digging.
But if you think about it … it makes all the sense in the world that Burrell Baggett named his son Andrew Jackson. Colonel (future General and President) Jackson was Burrell Baggett’s top commander during the end of the Creek Indian campaign in the War of 1812. Jackson commanded the American forces at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in March 1814. Burrell Baggett finished his year of service in the Army On October 19, 1814, and returned home to Tennessee in late 1814 or early 1815, around the time when General Jackson went on to even greater glory at the Battle of New Orleans. And upon his return home, Burrell Baggett fathered a son, born in 1816, and named him (most appropriately) Andrew Jackson Baggett.
So the mystery is solved. Andrew J. Baggett (1816) is, indeed, a son of Burrell Baggett. Until now, he was the forgotten son …