Flournoy honored with memorial

Published 12:29 am Saturday, January 7, 2017

Today’s story is a further look at the military service and a memorial held for Elisha Kindred Flournoy who was featured in last week’s column. Elisha was a prominent early settler in the Rose Hill/Burnout community of Covington County. In addition to his military service, he contributed significantly to the well-being of his community and has many descendants in the area who have done the same.

Very little is known of Elisha Flournoy’s early years, but he grew to manhood in Russell and Pike Counties of Alabama. He was married on December 12, 1860, in Pike County to Martha Charlotte Haygood, daughter of Methodist Minister Appleton Haygood and his wife, Mary Ramsey Lovelace. Martha descends from Benjamin Haygood, an established Revolutionary War Veteran. Although Martha was only 16 years of age at the time they wed, the couple remained devoted to each other until his death. His love and concern for her was clearly outlined in the letters he wrote during the War Between the State, which were reviewed in last week’s column.

Elisha and Martha’s years together and family were put on hold when he enlisted in the Confederate Army on February 7, 1863, in Brundidge, Ala. He was assigned to Company H, 46th Alabama Infantry Regiment and was soon sent to serve in the Vicksburg, Miss., Campaign according to the letters he wrote to his wife, Martha.

There was a special occasion several years earlier on Saturday, May 25, 2002, when Private Elisha K. Flournoy was honored and remembered with a memorial ceremony and dedication of a grave marker signifying his Confederate service. The event was coordinated and sponsored by the local Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans based in Andalusia, Ala. The organization enjoys assisting families in bringing appropriate honor and remembrance for the service of their ancestor.

A small crowd of descendants of Elisha, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy, those who appreciate Confederate heritage, and friends gathered at the Rose Hill Cemetery, located near the old, abandoned Masonic hall. The program was begun with a Call to Attention by Private Allan Grooms, member of the 15th Alabama Reenactors. The audience was welcomed by Curtis H. Thomasson, commander of the Covington Rifles Camp of the S.C.V.

After an invocation voiced by Private Perry Dillard, member Covington Rifles Honor Guard, all joined Commander Thomasson in pledging allegiance to the American Flag and then the Alabama Flag and saluting the Confederate Flag. Next the group sang the Southern favorite, “Dixie.” Marcel Bane, a descendant of the veteran read a tribute to Private Elisha K. Flournoy. He was assisted by other descendants in unveiling the marker, which had been placed at the grave site.

Charles “Chuck” Simon, a Confederate reenactor and piper, played the hymn, Amazing Grace,” on his bag pipes. This was followed by a three-round rifle salute fired by an honor guard composed of members of the 15th Alabama Company of Reenactors led by Captain Randy “Irish” Hunter. Two of those men, Dallas Hudson and Perry Dillard, performed a ritual of furling the Confederate Battle Flag, which was followed by Private Allan Grooms, a young teenager, playing “Taps” on his bugle. This concluded the ceremony, which was followed by visiting and reminiscing of memories of the veteran and the local area.

The following is a brief sketch of Private Flournoy, which was printed on the program for the event: “Elisha Kindred Flournoy was born June 10, 1838, in Georgia as the son of Jonathon and Elizabeth Flournoy. A farmer by trade, he wed Charlotte Haygood while residing in Pike County, Ala. On February 7, 1863, he enlisted in an infantry company forming in Brundidge, Ala., which was later designated as Company H., 46th Alabama Infantry. After the War, Elisha applied for a homestead deed in Covington Count, Ala. Elisha and Charlotte had eight children together. He passed away on January 24, 1889, and is buried beside his wife, Charlotte, in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Rose Hill, Ala.”

It was soon after his return from the War that Elisha and Martha moved to the Burnout community in the northeastern area of Covington County. The land he homesteaded was a tract of 80 acres there with another tract located southeast of Rose Hill. They lived here and reared the following children: Katie Clyde, b. 1868, d. 1899, m. Richard Henry Wyatt Jr.; Mattie, b. 1872, d. 1954, m. Jasper Penwood Blocker, Ida Bell, b. 1873, d. 1891, m. ? Railey; Atticus Kindred, b. 1875, d. 1958, m. Augusta Eliza Taylor; Charles Haygood, b. 1877, d. 1928, m. (1) Mollie Ellison (2) Hazel Adele Moak; James Emory, b. ca 1880, m. (1) Lena E. Chesser (2) Bessie ?; John William, b. 1882, m. Elizabeth Caton; and Lillie Mae, b. 1885, d. ca 1957, m. J. Hance Radford.

The Flournoy family fared well in their home in the Burnout/Rose Hill community. Records reveal that the oldest daughter, Katie, was sent to a girls’ finishing school in Eufaula. Family memories include area citizens claiming the Flournoys were “good neighbors.” Elisha was known as one “who minded his own business,” but was helpful to others. Martha, being the daughter of a Methodist minister, was probably a member of the Hopewell Methodist Church in her community and devoted herself to teaching her children.

Elisha Flournoy was the son of Jonathan C. and Elizabeth Flournoy, natives of Virginia and North Carolina respectively. This family descends from Jacob Fleurnois, a French Huguenot from Geneva, Switzerland. Jacob migrated from Switzerland to Berlin, Germany, and then to London, England, before sailing to America circa 1770 and settling in Virginia. Elisha was a grandson to James Flournoy II, a native of Virginia and Margaret “Peggy” Cundiff. James Flournoy II was the son of James Flournoy I.

There are still many descendants of Elisha and Martha Flournoy living in Covington County as well as many other states who treasure this family heritage. Several of these have done genealogical research over the years and have shared that with others. This writer is reminded of one, Idalyn McGill Stinson, who worked so faithfully in preserving her Flournoy family’s history. Another is Marcel Bane who copied by hand all 46 of Elisha’s letters to Martha during the War for Southern Independence as well as conducting other family research.

Anyone who may find an error in the above story is requested to contact the writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Confederate Veterans is hosting a special meeting to honor General Robert E. Lee, on his actual birthday, January 19. It is to be on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library, and Retired District Judge Trippy McGuire will speak on General Lee. Members of the United Daughter of the Confederacy and SCV members’ wives will be special guests. Members are asked to bring finger foods for a refreshment period. Anyone interested in Confederate Heritage is encouraged to attend.