Commander Wesley Newell Freeman

Commander 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment Co "C" CSA
Marshall of Americus Georgia 1870-1872
1st Postmaster General and Founding father of Bluff Dale, Texas 1877

Wesley Newell Freeman (1832-1891) and David Bailey Freeman (1851-1928) were
brothers. Their father Major Bevery Allen Freeman (1806-1855) served in the Georgia
Militia during the Creek Indian War of 1836. His company was commanded by
Capt. Gilbert D. Greer, under Julius C. Alford. After the war, he became a lawyer and
lived in Ellijay in Gilmer County GA, where he raised his children. He married Mary
Ann Reynolds Murray, of Virginia, daughter of Alexander Murray Jr of Halifax Nova Scotia
and Rhonda Melton.

David B. Freeman, CSA 6th Georgia Cavalry at age 10. He served two years; the last two
years of the war. He was proclaimed to be youngest confederate soldier. He later became a
prominant editor and publisher of several different Georgia newspapers. In 1923 he
co-authored a pamplet (14 pages) called "Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, The Wizard of the
Saddle". A copy of the pamplet is in my possession and will be published later to my web site. There is a chapter dedicated to David elsewhere on this web site.

David's older brother Jasper Henry Freeman (1838-1862) was killed at the 2nd Manassas
at the young age of 24. Little more is known of him as of yet.

Wesley Newell Freeman was a merchant and met his first wife Mary Lucinda Welch on a
business trip to Waynesville, North Carolina. She was 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. His story appears in several other histories
of the state of North Carolina.

Drastic events were occurring in 1860 that would upset the history of the US and alter the
lives of the Freeman family.

Seven southern states had seceded from the United States from December 1860 to February
1861. The secession was based upon the cause of states right and sovereignty, with several
grievences, the major one being the U.S. abolition of slavery. North Carolina had voted in
February 1861 to remain in the United States. The firing on Fort Sumpter on April 12, 1861,
and the beginning of the Civil War altered the N.C. resolve. President Lincoln issued a call for
troops to retake Fort Sumpter. On May 20, 1861, N.C. seceded, mobilized the militia, and
issued a call for troops to repel the Union Army's impending invasion of the South and their

Wesley responded and volunteered for service in Capt. Bryson's company and accepted
commission as Lieutenant in the army of the Confederate States of America. His effective duty
date was May 31, 1861. His pay was $80 a month.

Lt Freeman reported for duty at Camp Davis, Wilmington N.C. on Oct 22, 1861. He was
transferred to Camp Lee in S.C. where he was promoted to regiment adjutant with a pay
increase to $90 per month.

Wesley was promoted to Captain on April 30, 1862, which increased his pay to $130 a month.
The 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment was commanded by Col. H.M. Rutledge. The 25th
was attached to the 2nd Brigade of the Army of North Virginia under command of Brig. Gen.
Robert Ransom, Jr.

Wesley saw his first action against the Union Army with the 2nd in the Seven Days Battle
between June 25th and July 1, 1862 near Richmond V.A. In Richmond 1100 men engaged the
enemy, 22 were killed and 106 were wounded.

On Jan. 25, 1863 he was assigned temporary duty as recruiting officer in Haywood County,
N.C., for 30 days. He returned to the regiment until assigned to a special court martial board
session board in Weldon, N.C.

Company C's next major engagement was Frayser's Farm near Petersburg W.V. The company
commander, Samuel C. Bryson, now a Lt. Col. was wounded on June 17th, 1864. He was
forced to retire because of his wounds, and Wesley was promoted to commander of Company C.

In April 1865, the Confederate States of America capitulated. The South lacked the industries
to sustain war. Blockaded and besieged, they were plagued by lack of supplies. In some battles
they were out-numbered 20-to-1. Courage was not enough. General Lee signed the surrender
of the Army of North Virginia at the Appommatox courthouse on April 9, 1865.

The 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment had served the Confederacy well in battles at Seven
Pines, Malvern Hill, Loudon Heights, Sharpsburg, Drewry's Bluff, Petersburg, Fort Stedman and
Five Forks. Their casualty list was 220 killed in action, 280 died of disease, and 400 wounded
in action.

Wesley returned home to Waynesville, N.C. The community leaders had been killed or
impoverished by war. Law and order had been replaced with disorder and martial law imposed
by the "carpet-baggers".

Shortly after returning home, his former Color Sergeant presented him with the regiment flag
of the 25th N.C. Infantry. The sergeant had disobeyed orders at the surrender and concealed
the flag. He presented it to Capt. W.N. Freeman as a token of esteem from the men who had
served in the regiment. Within six months, another tragedy struck. Wesley and Mary's home
burned; allegedly the work of arsonist. Wesley sold their remaining property and moved back to
Ellijay, Georgia.

An old friend, Lt. Col. Willie A. Hawkins encourage Wesley and Mary to move to Americus,
Georgia to resettle. Mary had a child about that time and they named him after Wesley's friends,
Col. Walter H. Taylor and Gen. Robert E. Lee. Walter Lee Freeman only lived four months.

Wesley was appointed Marshall of Americus in 1870. Wesley resigned in 1872 and was
presented with a gold-headed walking stick engraved with a pattern of roses and "Captain W.N.
Freeman from the Americus City Police". The city council gave him a silver serving set of pitcher,
goblets engraved "W.N.F.", and a tray engraved, "W.N. Freeman from the city of Americus
Georgia, December 4th 1872". The Sumpter Replublican newspaper published a glazing
tribute signed by N.A. Smith and G.S. Foster. The cane remains a family heirloom to this day.

Wesley moved on west to Texas, with only three surviving sons and his wife. They purchased
and settled land in Erath and Hood Counties near the settlement of Bluff Springs. Wesley
opened the first general store there. He purchased a large track of land in the town, to keep the
town "dry" from the sales of "alcoholic beverages".

By 1877 the settlement of Bluff Springs had grown fairly large and needed a post office. Upon
application they were notified that the Bluff Springs name was already taken. After a town
meeting, they selected the name of Bluff Dale. It was accepted. Wesley was appointed first
postmaster of Bluff Dale Texas on Dec. 12, 1877 (Hood County Records). He served the
position for 8 1/2 years until July 26, 1886.

His wife Mary L. Welch Freeman died in 1878, only to be survived by Wesley and his two
sons William Beverly Freeman and Robert Vance Freeman and his daughter Pearl (who later
became a school teacher). She had bore 11 children, to be survived by only three.

Wesley married Julia Emma Gordon in 1881. He was 48 and she was 26. She was the daughter
of William Gordon and Mary Elizabeth Peden of Pine Log, Georgia.

Wesley and Julia were married in Granbury, Hood County, Texas. The had two children,
Wesley Newell Jr., who died at 5 mos. old, and Olin Knight Freeman, my great-grandfather.

Wesley was a community leader in Bluff Dale from its beginning. He was a driving force in the
development of the town's business community. He helped convince the Frisco Railroad to build
a water and way station there. He was a founding father of the Methodist church and Masonic
lodge in the area.

Wesley Newell Freeman died on January 26th, 1891. He was 58. He was buried at Rock
Church Cemetery, east of Bluff Dale, beside his first loving wife, Mary Lucinda Welch Freeman.
The Masonic lodge and the family erected a monolith at his grave site inscribed "Capt. W. N.
Freeman". Everyone had called him "Capt. Freeman" since 1862. An honorable title for an
honorable man.

His Last Will and Testament closed with these words to his wife:

"And now I bequeath to you all the richest gift
that can be mortal man given, viz., the honest
love and affection of the honest heart of a
husband and father. May the great God of the
Universe take you, and each of yours, under his
protecting power, and that no evil ever befall
you is my prayer. "

"Your husband and father, (signed) W. N. Freeman."

Julia and Wesley had been married 10 years. She remained in Bluff Dale the rest of her life,
living in their old home and operating "Orin Farm". She saw to it that her son Olin, and her
step daughter, Pearle, were well educated, well principled, and had successfully begun their
careers. She lived to see her son married and to know her grand-children in their youth. She
died on Dec. 10th, 1915 at age sixty in Bluff Dale. She was buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery,
a few miles west of town.

Wesley Newell Freeman and Julia Emma Gordon were my great-great-grandparents.

1999-2000 Alan Cole Freeman and Kenneth Allen Freeman
Special thanks to Clyde Newell Freeman for research and notes.

Backup Web site for Descendants of Gabriel Freeman:

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