Post Offices, 1860

Post Offices and Postmasters in Marshall County in 1860
By William S. Parks

In conjunction with an interest in the Confederate postal history of Holly Springs and Marshall County, Mississippi, I have compiled a list of post offices and postmasters for the county in 1860. The U. S. Post Office Department records indicate that 20 post offices were operating in Marshall County at that time. After the secession of Mississippi from the Union, the post offices continued to operate in the Independent State of Mississippi from January 9 to February 3, 1861, and as a Confederate State from February 4 to May 31, 1861. The Confederates States Post Office Department assumed operation of the postal system on June 1, 1861. Most former U. S. postmasters were continued in the service of the Confederacy.

Post Offices and Postmasters in Marshall County in 1860

Post Office Location Postmaster Appointment Date Age Occupation
Bethlehem NW 8 6S 1W Harris Jernigan 13 Jun1850 -- Not found in census
Byhalia NE 35 2S 5W Thomas B. Webber 28 Apr 1857 -- Not found in census
Chulahoma NW 16 5S 4W Drayton M. Davis 14 Apr 1855 60 Postmaster
Cold Water ---25? 1S 5W William Boyd 15 Jul 1857 -- Not found in census
Cornersville SE 24 6S 1W William D. Wright 18 Feb1854 32 Merchant
Early Grove SW 23 1S 2W William H. Bailey 7 Oct 1856 39 Merchant
Holly Springs NW 6 4S 2W Elias S. Brackin 18 Feb 1854 52 Postmaster
Hudsonville SE 35 2S 2W Thomas N. Guntharp 5 May 1857 -- Not found in census
Lamar NE 17 2S 1W John M. Redus 7 Jun 1860 40 Agent Depot MCRR
Moody ---26? 5S 2W James M. McFadden 12 Jan 1858 57 Farmer
N. Mt. Pleasant NE 33 1S 3W Eli McNabb 18 Jul 1854 70 Farmer
Oak Grove SE 26 1S 5W Oliver F. Eddins 23 Nov 1860 23 Merchant
Scales Cen. 33 2S 2W Peter Scales 8 Nov 1859 69 Farmer
Snow Creek ---10? 4S 1W William S. Holbrook 31 Dec 1859 33 Physician
Tacaluche ---16? 5S 1W Edmund M. Fewell 12 Jun 1860 35 Farmer
Tallaloosa ----6? 4S 3W Thomas R. Geers 24 Aug 1860 48 Millwright
Tyro NE 10 6S 5W Robert Huie 22 Dec 1857 48 Merchant
Wall Hill SE 22 4S 5W William Wall 3 Apr 1860 59 Planter
Waterford SE 13 5S 3W Louis Falkenburg 4 May 1859 42 Merchant
Watson NE 34 3S 5W Thomas W. Stevens 28 Jan 1859 44 Mechanic

The post offices and postmasters were taken from the National Archives Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-Sept. 30, 1871 (Microfilm roll 68 - Mississippi). These records give the names of post offices, when they were established (and discontinued), and the appointment dates of the postmasters.

Many locations of post offices were taken from the Post Office Department Report of Site Locations, 1837-1950 (Microfilm roll 312 - Mississippi). Unfortunately, site locations for Marshall County post offices postdate the War For Southern Independence - the first record was dated 1867. Locations of some earlier post offices were estimated from various sources, including E. W. Hilgard's 1860 geologic map of Mississippi. When the township and range were known, I have estimated the section location for some early post offices as indicated by the question marks. The section, township, and range for the Cold Water post office is that of the Coldwater Baptist Church and Cemetery.

Age and occupation of the postmasters were taken from the U. S. 1860 census schedules. I was not able to find Harris Jernigan, Thomas B.Webber, William Boyd, or Thomas N. Guntharp. William Boyd (1798-1876) is buried in the Mt. Carmel (Associate Reformed Presbyterian Cemetery) located in Section 32, Township 1 South, Range 4 West, which is about 2½ miles southeast of the Coldwater Baptist Church. He was about 62 years old in 1860 and probably was the postmaster at the Cold Water post office, wherever it was located. Thomas N. Guntharp (1821-1906) is buried in the Hudsonville Presbyterian Cemetery, and Thomas N. Webber has a marker in Hill Crest Cemetery at Holly Springs.

Ages of the postmasters shown by the U. S. 1860 census ranged from 23 to 70-years old. Elias S. Brackin and Drayton M. Davis were the only persons who gave their occupation as "Post Master." Five were listed as merchants and five as farmers (or planter). Other occupations included Agent Depot MCRR (Mississippi Central Railroad), physician, millwright, and mechanic. Based on the post office locations given in the census, James M. McFadden (listed as farmer) must have operated McFadden's Store at Moody.

Many of the postmasters were too old for military service at the beginning of the war. However, the rolls of the 17th Mississippi Regiment indicate that W. H. Bailey (age 39 in 1860) was mustered into service as a private in The Home Guards, and Thomas Webber as a private in The Jefferson Davis Rifles. Oliver F. Eddins (age 23 in 1860) was mustered into State service as 2nd Lieutenant of Company A, Walker Reserves, at Byhalia in early May 1861. He later served as 1st Lieutenant of Company A in the 1st Mississippi Infantry Regiment. E. M. Fewell, (age 35 in 1860) first served in State service as 1st Sergeant in the 3rd Mississippi Infantry Regiment, and later as 1st Lieutenant of Company A (later K) of the 3rd Mississippi Cavalry. Cemetery records for Hill Crest Cemetery show that Thomas A. Webber also served as Major of the 2nd Kentucky Regiment.

How many of the 20 Marshall County post offices operated during the war is not known. From the collections of Confederate Stamp Alliance members and auction catalogs, I have recorded covers (envelopes with postal markings and postage) postmarked during the war from Byhalia, Chulahoma, Holly Springs, and North Mount Pleasant. Covers with Holly Springs postmarks range in date from January 9, 1861, to December 31, 1862. A soldier's cover was postmarked at Chulahoma on October 17, 1861, and was endorsed by A. V. Connor, Company F, 11th Mississippi Regiment. A cover was postmarked at North Mount Pleasant on April 8, 1862.

William H. Crittenden was appointed U.S postmaster at Holly Springs on January 7, 1861, two days before Mississippi seceded from the Union (he had been postmaster by a previous appointment from May 26, 1853, to February 17, 1854). After Mississippi joined the Confederacy, Crittenden continued in service as postmaster at Holly Springs. His appointments were confirmed by the Confederate Senate on July 29, 1861, and April 19,1862. I am trying to find information as to the fate of Postmaster Crittenden after Holly Springs was occupied by Federal troops on November 13, 1862. He survived the war inasmuch as W. H. Crittenden was listed in the U.S. 1870 census living with his father-in-law, James Harper, at Chulahoma.

This article is primarily about postal history. However, it contains the basic data sought by genealogists - names, dates, and places. Any help in refining the locations of the post offices will be greatly appreciated. In addition, if one of these postmasters is your ancestor, any family lore related to the operation of his post office during the War For Southern Independence will be greatly appreciated. Please email information to William S. Parks at


Brieger, James F., Hometown, Mississippi: Town Square Books, Inc. Jackson, Mississippi, 1980.

Gallagher, John S., and Alan H. Patera, Mississippi Post Offices: The Depot, Lake Grove, Oregon, 1996.

Hamilton, William B., Holly Springs to the Year 1878: Written in 1931 as a thesis for a M. A. degree in history from the University of Mississippi; published by The Marshall County Historical Society, Holly Springs, Mississippi, 1984.

Howell, H. Grady, For Dixie Land I'll Take My Stand, Volume I, A-F: Chickasaw Bayou Press, Madison, Mississippi, 1998.

Mitchell, Bobby, Cemeteries of Marshall County, Mississippi: Old Timer Press, Ripley, Mississippi, 1983.

Oakley, Bruce C. Jr., A Postal History of Mississippi, Stampless Period, 1799-1860: Magnolia Publishers, Baldwyn, Mississippi, 1969.

Copyright © 1999-2006 William S. Parks. All rights reserved.

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