James K. P. Newton
Union County Confederate
The Gray Ghost, Vol. XVIX, No. 1, Jan-Feb 2000, Page 5
By Bobby J. Mitchell

Rev. Milton Winter, of the First Presbyterian Church in Holly Springs, recently sent me an interesting article. The source of the article is not noted in the text, although the title of the article is given, THE LIFE OF REV. JAMES K. P. NEWTON. The Newton's came to the New Albany area in the 1840s. After the usual topics about churches and schools in the pioneer settlement, the author approaches the “breaking out of the great civil war in 1861. The whole country was speedily thrown in great commotion.”

Because of his age, James Newton was, for a time, kept from enlisting by his mother. Two older brothers did enlist in 1861. Charles W. Newton, Pvt. Co. B, 23rd Miss. Inf. and Thomas A. Newton, Co. E, 7th Inf. Batt. Both of the older brothers, one serving in Virginia and one in Tennessee, became ill and died in October 1861. Charles died on Oct. 25th, and Thomas died on Oct. 26th. Both brothers were brought home and buried in the family burying ground, both in the same grave.

With assistance from Neva Jones and Milton Winter the name and location of the cemetery has been identified. I have not yet been to the cemetery, but the Union County Cemetery book, published by the DAR in 1980, gives their names and dates of birth and death, along with their parentage. In a parenthesis is a notation, (CSA). Because of the way this was noted, it is probable that the two men do not have confederate monuments. After further research, it may be possible that we, along with the New Albany Grays, may contact surviving members of the two about the placing of government markers on their common grave.

James Newton did eventually enlist in the 10th Regiment, MS Infantry, and rendezvoused with his company at Holly Springs. He reported for the Battle in Corinth, and was with the withdrawal to Tupelo. Becoming ill on the retreat, he was sent home to recover. After 40 days in bed, he gradually regained his strength and returned to service. At Christmas time, 1862, he was captured by a group of Yankees and sent to Holly Springs where, after a short imprisonment, he was paroled and sent home.

In April of 1863, General Ginson (as Newton called him, probably was Grierson) made a raid through Mississippi. Stopping at the Newton home, the Yankees stole all the provisions that the family had. The next day, Newton says, “I tore up my parole and set out to join Forrest's Cavalry.” His cavalry regiment was consolidated with the 15th TN Cavalry, with which he served until March 1, 1865, when he was assigned to the 2nd MS Cavalry.

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