David Bailey Freeman 1915, age 64.
Photo compliments of Don R Freeman
Freeman joined the 6th Georgia Calvary CSA at age 11.
He has been proclaimed the "Youngest Confederate Soldier."
His career included Newspaper Publisher, Editor, and Writer.
He was Mayor of Calhoun, Georgia;
Mayor of Cedartown, Georgia;
and Mayor of Cartersville, Georgia.
He co-authored: "General Nathan Bedford Forest - The Wizard of the Saddle"
David B Freeman
in the Spring 2001 Cartersville Magazine
He will be honored at Cassville Cemetery on Saturday April 21, 2001 in
a confederate memorial by the Sons of the Confederacy.
David B Freeman - Personal writings about the Civil War and Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest
Stop The Reunions - A Poem by David B Freeman
|David Bailey Freeman,
the son of Beverly Allen Freeman, a lawyer, and Mary Ann
Reynold Murray, was born May 1st, 1851, in Ellijay,
Gilmer County, Georgia and was reared in middle Georgia
and Gordon County. His mother Mary was the daughter of
Alexander Green Murray, Sr. and Rhoda Melton. Alexander
was born at Halifax Nova Scotia and was a sea captain, as
was his father. Alexander's mother Betty Clay was first
cousin once removed to Henry Clay, the Whig, Speaker of
the House, Secretary of State, and contender who ran
three times against Thomas Jefferson for President. Henry
Clay even had a gun duel with Senator John Randolph of
Virginia Apr 8, 1826. Neither man was hurt.
David's brother Madison Montgomery Freeman (1840-1869) was crippled with White Swelling (now known as Pleabytis), but was a member of the Fulton Blues and full of military spirit. He was elected Lieutenant and was uncertain if he could serve due to his disease. He asked his mother to allow David to go to camp with him as his aid. David was the tender age of 10 years old, one month before his 11th birthday. So they headed into Camp Felton, near Cartersville. There, was organized Smith's Legion, comprised of an infantry battalion and a cavary battalion. David was offered position as a "Marker" for the calvary, and with his mother's and brother's consent, he enlisted in the 6th Georgia Calvary Company D. David's father had passed away when David was only four years old.
David served two years; and then the last two years of the Civil War. He was self-proclaimed to be youngest confederate soldier, but with no other contenders, was given the title. Incidently, a 12 year old boy was declared the youngest Union soldier.
David had a brother, Captain Wesley Newell Freeman (1832-1891) who was Commander of the 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment Company C. Wesley is detailed in another chapter of my genealogy work, as he was my 2nd great-grandfather. Wesley married Mary Lucinda Welch, the daughter of William Welch and Mary Ann Love. Her grand-father was Colonel Robert Love, a Revolutionary War soldier, and a founder of Waynesville, North Carolina. He married second, Julia Emma Gordon, daughter of William Gordon and Mary Elizabeth Peden. Wesley had fought along-side Mary's brother in the war. William's father was Thomas Gordon, a Revolutionary War soldier. Thomas is buried in the town of Snellville, near Stone Mountain Georgia, behind the farm of David Mickey Clower on Old Church Road.
David's older brother, Jasper Henry Freeman (1838-1862) was a seargent in the First Georgia Regulars. He was killed at the 2nd Manassas on August 30, 1862, at the young age of 24. Little more is known of him. In a letter written by David to his neice Annie LaCotts, in 1915, David quoted 1836 as his birth, but that would make him a twin to Newton Gabriel Freeman, and David made no mention of that, so I think the 1838 date is correct.
David's brother Madison died of Pleabytis or Yellow Fever, in November of 1869, at the age of 29 in City of Nassau, New Providence Island. Pleabytis is the problem he had in the war, hardening and struting of the blood vessels and vains in the lower extremities. It is believed that Madison never married and had no children.
In 1872, at about the age of 21, David began his career as a journalist, following in the footsteps of two of his brothers, Samuel Rutherford Freeman and William Cantrell Freeman. He purchased part interest in the Calhoun Times. Two years later he was the sole owner!
In 1875, he met his wife Callie Dudley Goodwyne, daughter of Coleman G. Goodwyne and Caroline Fryer. Her great-grandfather was Lt. John Fryer (1759-1818), who served as a minute man and as lieutenant of Georgia militia. He received bounty land for his service. He was born in North Carolina; died in Burke County, Georgia. Callie was born in 1857 in Forsyth, Monroe County, Georgia and she and David married on December 8th, 1875, in Rome, Floyd County, Georgia. Callie later was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
In 1876, at the age of 25, David was elected Mayor of Calhoun Georgia. That same year, on October 27, his first son was born in Cedartown, Clifford Anderson Freeman. Clifford later married Jessie Corrine Hanleiter in 1903, and they had two children Jessie Victoria Freeman and Callie Catherine Freeman.
David's foster brother Oscar Alexander Cantrell (born 1836), suddenly disappeared mysteriously in 1876, and was never been heard of since. Oscar incidently was a 2nd Lieutenant in 36th Georgia Infantry then held the same position in 56th Georgia Infantry.
In 1878, at the age of 27, David and Callie had their second son, David Bailey Freeman (Jr). It is believed he died either in infancy or childhood. Nothing more is known of him.
In 1879, at the age of 28, David purchased the Cedartown Advertiser, in Cedartown Georgia.
That same year, tragedy struck, David's mother died. David wrote an incredible eulogy and obit that was published in the Calhoun Times on April 3, 1879. Also published was a "Tribute To A Friend", a eulogy written by a friend of the family. David's brother William Cantrell Freeman, editor of Arkansas County Democrat of DeWitt, Arkansas County, Arkansas, published an obit on April 16th 1879. It included the two obit stories from DB's paper plus one of his own. Mary's grave was marked with a stele type (upright cement) marker that has "Mary A. Freeman, wife of Bevery A. Freeman, born Oct. 25, 1812, died, Mar. 27, 1879, The Memory of the Just is blessed." (a quote from Prov 10:7). During the years since her death that marker had been vandalized, broken into several pieces, which still remain over the grave. Since then, one of her great-great grandsons had a flush gray granite marker set at the head of her grave which shows "Mary Freeman 1812-1879".
In 1886, at the age of 35, David was elected Mayor of Cedartown. That same year, his third son Robert Coleman Freeman, was born in April. Robert grew to adulthood, and lived in Lakeland, Georgia, and was 43 at the time of David's death. Nothing more is known of him.
In 1888, David sold the Cedartown Advertiser and bought part interest in the Cartersville Courant American, in Cartersville, Georgia.
In 1889, David's brother, William Cantrell (born 1843) died. William had enlisted July 3, 1961 at Atlanta, Fulton County, Georiga, in the 11th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, as Sergeant. He was appointed 2nd Lt. on Aug 4, 1862, until resignation on Feb 11, 1864. He was later listed as deserter on Apr 30, 1864. Obviously this was cleared up later at the end of the Civil War, as he was able to receive a pension. William was a Newspaper Editor of the Arkansas County Democrat, in Dewitt, Arkansas. He had four sons and two daughters. All grew to be adults, married, and had children, except on son who died 17 days after birth. David had profiled William as: Eyes: Grey, Hair: Light, Complexion: Fair, Height: 5'8". Occupation: Clerk.
In 1891, David's brother Wesley Newell Freeman died at the age of 59. Wesley had moved to Texas in 1872 and was postmaster and founder of a town called Bluff Dale.
In 1893, David's sister Martha (Mattie) Juliet Freeman (born in 1845) died at the age of 48. She had married Christopher Columbus Harlan. They had no children.
In 1902, David's sister Mary Catherine (Molly) Freeman (born in 1849) died at the age of 53. Mary had married Gabriel Moore Hunt. They had two daughters that died young, and a son, Charles Wells Hunt. It is not known if Charles and his wife Georgia Finch Jones had any children.
In 1903, at the age of 52, he acquired full ownership of the Cartersville Courant American and renamed it the Cartersville News.
In 1905, at the age of 54, David became the Mayor of Cartersville.
In 1915, at age 64, he wrote a letter to his niece Anna (Annie) Lee Freeman LaCotts. This letter contained a genealogical accounting of the Freeman ancestory as best he could remember. Annie was the daughter of David's brother William Cantrell Freeman (1843-1889). William died when Annie was about 9 years old. I have a transcript of this letter.
That year David's brother Newton Gabriel Freeman (1836-1915) passed away at the age of 79. He had been a member of the Missouri Command during the Civil War.
In 1919, at the age of 68, David retired from the Cartersville News.
In 1922, Callie Dudley Goodwyne, David's loving wife, passed away at the age of 65.
In 1923 he co-authored a pamplet with Lt. Colonel George W. Wells, CSA, called "Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, The Wizard of the Saddle". David and Lt.Col. Wells related some of their war experiences in the 14 page pamplet. Included is the story David joining the war at age 10. A copy of the pamplet is in my possession and will be published later to my web site.
1928, David's brother Samuel Rutherford Freeman (born 1854) died at the age of 73. Samuel had married Josephine Frances Pullium. They had 10 children, the last of which was finally a boy. It is said that Samuel wanted a boy so bad, that he eventually named his girls after boys. This is not entirely true, but there is some evidence of it, as three of the girls, Willie, Nellie, and Sammie, might appear to be boys names. In May 31, 1876, Samuel became Editor of Courier newspaper for NW Georgia. Samuel, as with many of David's brothers and relatives are buried at the Typographic Union Lot of the Forest Hill Cemetery, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama.
In his later years, David was active in his newpaper, he was a politician, and was active in the United Confederate Veterans, and a friend to other veterans, helping them with their veteran affairs and their pension problems. He had been awarded rank of Leutinent in the Civil War, however with the U.C.V., he earned the title and rank of "General."
Late on the evening of June 18th, 1929, at the age of 77, General David Bailey Freeman, the Civil War's youngest confederate soldier, quietly and peacefully died of a heart attack in his apartment in Atlanta, Georgia. He had been ill for several days, and had just returned from a Confederate Veterans Reunion in North Carolina just 10 days earlier. His wife had proceeded him in death seven years earlier. He was survived by several grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Several obituaries and eulogies were published in area newspapers around Calhoun, Atlanta, and Cartersville, as many of David's family were in the newspaper business. Many of the obituaries named David as "General Freeman", and all pointed to his youthful service to the Confederate States of America.
His body was tranferred to Cartersville, Georgia, and the train was met by a number of his Cartersville friends and the pall-bearers. Graveside services at the Typographical Lot of Oak Hill Cemetery, Cartersville, Georgia, were conducted by Rev. Walter Robinson of the Cartersville Methodist Church, and at the conclusion of the service, Mrs. A.B. Cunyus sang sweetly, "When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder", David's last muster call to his heavenly home.
David Bailey Freeman was my 2nd-great-granduncle, or the brother of my 2nd great-grandfather.
and ©2000 Alan Cole Freeman