I vaguely remember from my childhood a family legend that the beginning of the Burgin land holdings in Mississippi consisted of 500 acres, which Thomas bought for one dollar an acre in gold. The land is said to have paid for itself with the first yearís crop of cotton. Thomasí son Gus (Daniel Augustus) was a close friend of Thomasí nephew, also named Daniel Augustus Burgin, the son of Thomasí brother Jesse B. W. Burgin (see the preceding chapter.) The two first cousins with the same name rode together, over roads that were not always safe, to deliver the $500 in gold coins in Mississippi.
I have not checked the actual land records, and I vouch for none of this. It is presented not as fact, but as family folklore.
Aunt Duck was generally a little hazy in her reporting of military matters. Thomas was not drafted into service; the draft did not yet exist, on either side of the Mason-Dixon line. A 1931 history of Oktibbeha County written by Thomas B. Carroll, a judge of the Mississippi Circuit Court, provides background information:
At the outbreak of the War between the States, practically all the able- bodied young men of Oktibbeha County volunteered for service in the Confederate army; and as the boys reached military age, they too enlisted. Most of our youth served the Southern government through the four years of struggle.Thomas was 48 when he enrolled in the Oktibbeha County militia and volunteered for service; he was not drafted. Judge Carroll continues:
Some of our older men, also, engaged in the active fighting.
At the beginning of the struggle, the Oktibbeha boys joined one or another of several companies.Company E became part of a newly-formed Third Battalion, Minute Men, Mississippi State Troops. According to a Military History of Mississippi by Dunbar Rowland,
Four of these companies were in the Fourteenth regiment. . .
Company E, styled Minute Men, formally entered the service on August 6, 1862. It became part of the second battalion. Its officers were Captain, James Ervin; First Lieutenant, T. A. Burgin . . . .
The Minute Men were organized under the order of Maj.- Gen. H. C. Tupper, commanding State Troops, dated May, 1862, in accordance with which the Colonels of Militia in each county made up the companies required of them severally from the militia companies. The [intended] term of enlistment was six months. The troops were not mustered into the Confederate States service, but were subject to the orders of Confederate officers.
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