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Loami Grandberry McLendon
Company E, 59th Alabama Infantry

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Loami Grandberry McLendon (firstborn son of Martin Maxwell McLENDON and Catherine Carolina CAMPBELL) was born 15 June 1835 at Cuthbert, Randolph County, Georgia. Shortly thereafter, the family removed to Barbour County, Alabama, near Louisville, where Loami grew to manhood and received his education, both scholastically and as a carpenter.

Loami answered the call to defend his country in early June 1862, when he enlisted in Dale County, Alabama. He was made a private in Hilliard's Legion, which was mustered in as light artillery but served as infantry. Before the month was out, he was discharged for defective vision.

On 15 February 1863, he re-enlisted at Clopton, Dale County, Alabama, again as a private in Hilliard's Legion, attached to Gracie's Brigade. Hilliard's Legion was later divided into the 59th and 60th Alabama Infantry Regiments, and Loami was made a private in Company E of the 59th Regiment.

About July 1863, Loami (still ranked a private) was made the Regimental Ordnance Sergeant.

In late January 1864, Loami was furloughed home to Dale County where, on 4 February, he married Lydia Ann Damaris BRIDGES (daughter of Nathan S. BRIDGES and Nancy HARDIE). A few days after the wedding, he rejoined his command.

In the early days of 1865, the 59th Alabama Infantry was made a part of Gordon's Corps, Bushrod Johnston's Division, and was engaged in battles around Appomattox County, Virginia.

On Palm Sunday 1865 (9 April), while Generals LEE and GRANT sat in Wilmer McLEAN's parlor in the town of Appomattox Court House and did the paperwork whereby General LEE and the Army of Northern Virginia ceased resistance, Loami and the 59th Alabama Infantry were camped on the outskirts of the town. Some days later, Loami made his way back to Dale County.

Sometime before March of 1867, Loami and his family moved to Troy, Pike County, Alabama, where for a time Loami served as the County Superintendent of Schools. About 1885, Loami moved his family to Texas, stopping for a time at Marshall, Harrison County, with his brother George Hamilton McLENDON and at Clayton, Panola County, with his brother John Franklin McLENDON. Loami and his family settled at Center, in Shelby County, in 1889, where he spent the rest of his days farming and serving as a pillar of the local Baptist community.

On 19 November 1923, Loami died at the home of his son Martin Bartow McLENDON. His obituary called him "one of Center's most beloved citizens." He was buried in Center's Fairview Cemetery.

When his country was invaded, and his State was threatened, Loami volunteered his services -- not once, but twice. Not content to take his medical discharge in June 1862 as final, he offered himself for service again the following February. From what is known of his later life, his vision -- far from having improved -- had most probably further worsened.

Of the twelve cards in Loami's file at the National Archives, six of them show him sick or in hospital. The life of a soldier is never easy. Besides being shot at, there is the endless round of mud, weather, poor rations, foul drinking water, and sickness. Loami endured all these things and more, bravely and cheerfully, in the hope that his family might live free. I am richly-blessed to be his great-grandson. Through me he speaks, though he be silent.

  • The File of Loami Grandberry McLENDON at the National Archives
  • Confederate Pension Applications 22751 (Loami Grandberry McLENDON) and 39596 (Lydia Ann Damaris BRIDGES McLENDON) at the Texas State Library and Archives
  • The Family Bible of Loami Grandberry McLENDON in possession of Clifton Palmer McLENDON at Gilmer, Upshur, Texas
  • The Diary of Loami Grandberry McLENDON for 1914 (noting his 50th wedding anniversary on 4 February and his 79th birthday on 15 June) in possession of Clifton Palmer McLENDON at Gilmer, Upshur, Texas
  • The Scrapbook of Will Clifton McLENDON in possession of Clifton Palmer McLENDON at Gilmer, Upshur, Texas
  • A History of the 59th Alabama Infantry Regiment at
Loami Grandberry McLENDON 15 June 1835 -- 19 November 1923
Loami Grandberry McLendon Loami Grandberry McLendon Footstone

12 February 1914; Center, Shelby, Texas
The family are celebrating newlyweds Walker and Lena (married 8 February 1914 at Klein, Harris County, Texas).

McLendon Family

Standing, from left:
Mrs. Martin Bartow McLENDON (nee Carrie Elizabeth SMITHSON), Martin Bartow McLENDON, Maud GARRETT [family friend], Mrs. Walker Matt SMITHSON (nee Caroline HILDEBRANDT; known as Lena), Walker Matt SMITHSON [brother of Carrie], Mrs. Loami Grandberry McLENDON (nee Lydia Ann Damaris BRIDGES), Will Clifton McLENDON, Loami Grandberry McLENDON and Robert Hardie McLENDON
Seated, front to back:
Mattie Imelda McLENDON and Lucy Lee McLENDON [daughters of Bartow and Carrie], Bartow, Robert, and Will are sons of Loami and Lydia.