Attala County, Mississippi


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Seabren/Seaborn Busby
Attala County, Mississippi


Seabren/Seaborn Busby was born about 1815 in South Carolina and was married in the early 1840's to Rachel Sturkey/Sturkie. To this couple were born three children; William Jasper busby, Mary Elizabeth Busby, and Nancy Luamy Busby. All of the children of this union were born in South Carolina.

In 1851 Seabren Busby, with his family, had removed to Mississippi. In 1860 he is residing in attala County and at this time his wife is listed as Mary Thomas Busby, who was born in Georgia about 1830. According to the 1860 Federal census the family was living in Township 14 Range 8 East and there were seven children in the household as follows:

William Jasper Busby, born March 9, 1845 S.C.
Mary Elizabeth Busby, born about 1847 S.C.
Nancy Luamy Busby, born March 23, 1849 S. C.
Frances R. Busby, born about 1851 Miss
Jacob N. Busby, born about 1853 Miss
John E. Busby, born about 1857/58 Miss
Sarah F. Busby, born about 1859 Miss

Additional children born to Seabren and Mary Busby are:

Martha H. Busby, born about 1861 Miss
Mary Ellen Busby, born June 11, 1862 Miss
Seabren Marion Busby, born Jan 9, 1864 Miss
Benjami Franklin Busby, born May 8, 1867 Miss
Miles Lewis Busby, born Feb 25, 1868 Miss
Christopher C. Busby, born about 1870 Miss

Note: In many of the various records, census images and diaries, Seabren Busby is listed as Seaborn Buzbee or Buzzbee. The same holds true for William Jasper Busby, who went by the familiar name, 'Bill'. He is variously shown as Busby, Busbee and Buzbee. For the purpose of this presentation, we will generally use Busby unless the information is an extract from an official document, then we will use the spelling used by the individual that created the document.

With the outbreak of the Civil War in April, 1860 pressure was brought to bear for all male citizens of enlistment age to volunteer to serve in the Confederate States Army. Seabren Busby's oldest child, William Jasper Busby was just 15 years of age when the shelling of Ft. Sumpter signaled war between the states.

By the spring of 1862 it was obvious to all that the war would drag on for some time and there was a need for additional recruits to fill the ranks of the Confederate States Army. On August 16, 1862, William Jasper Busby was 17 years old and still not yet compelled to serve. However, it appears that a deal, struck between Seabren Busby and Jason Niles, would require William J. Busby to enlist in the service of the 1st Mississippi Infantry (State Troops) as a "substitute in place of Jason Niles." Jason Niles did not record the details of this event in his diary, which he maintained for most of his life, but the official Roll Call records for Company H. of the 1st Mississippi Infantry clearly indicate that William J. Busby had enlisted on August 16, 1862 "as a replacement for Jason Niles."

View several records of W. J. Busby's military service with the 1st Mississippi Infantry.

(Three records will open in a new window.)

If you viewed the records, although they are difficult to decipher, you no doubt concluded that one record shows a notation that W. J. Busby was a substitue in place of Jason Niles. The use of substitutes was not an unusual event during the Civil War. It was quite common for men of means to hire someone to fulfill their obligation to the Confederate States Army. More often than not, it was a boy under the age of 18 who did not have an obligation to serve, being underage. The usual fee for one year of service was $300. In Bill Busby's case, it appears that his father arranged the details and received the benefit of the monies exchanged. In later years and through out his life, Bill Busby would lament the fact that his father had sold him to Jason Niles. And in a sense, this would be correct, providing he was an unwilling participant and did not share in the proceeds. But at age 17, Bill was an obediant son and followed his farther's wishes and enlisted in the service of the 1st Mississippi Infantry, which at the time was listed as State Troops, similar to a militia unit or sometimes referred to as the 'Home Guard'. The 1st Mississippi never saw service outside of Attala or Carroll County and never engaged in any battle against Union forces.

During the period that William J. Busby served with the 1st Mississippi Infantry, he returned home on a number of occassions, never being further away from home than the camp at Vaiden, Carroll County, Mississippi.

Several entries appear in Jason Niles diary during the period that Bill Busby was in the service of the 1st Mississippi Infantry and these entries make it abundantly clear that Jason Niles and Seabren and William Busby were well acquainted with one another:

September 19, 1862, Friday - In the "P.M. Wm. Buzbee from militia came home sick, and established himself here--he is down with measles."

September 21, 1862, Sunday - ..."got Lewis to come up and see Buzbee..."

September 30, 1862, Tuesday - "Very pleasant. Wm. Buzbee left this P.M. Fred Harman died today."

October 17, 1862, Friday - "A lovely day--militia gathering--town full of people--Mid. (Middleton) Pool and Henry Fancher called in, and imbibed a small quantity of "tafia." Bill Buzbee here at dinner."

November 6, 1862, Thursday - "Clear, cold and windy today--walked after breakfast over to Alston's through the woods. Jim Anderson et uxor arrived about 1 o'clock. After dinner I left for town on "Bob", the sorrel pony obtained from Campbell--stirrup-leather pestered me no little--met Jeff Reynolds, Ship, Busby (Bill) and a considerable crowd bound homewards--reach home after dark."

March 19, 1863, Thursday - Children under the influence of vaccination. Bill Buzbee came home from Militia camp at Vaiden & there seems to be a general scatterlophistication of "milish"--Old man Allen, Frank Jennings & myself at Riley's, upstairs, looking at last remnants of clothing-- At night was at Lucas's where was "Meredy Sweatt"--L. read a little in Cooper."

Bill Busby completed his obligation to the 1st Mississippi Infantry and was discharged on May 4, 1863. With William Busby's discharge, Jason Niles obligation to the Confederate States Army had been satisfied. But Bill Busby had turned 18 on March 9,1863 and was now under obligation to serve with the Confederate States Army and fulfill his own obligation.

It appears from the records available that William J. Busby, upon being discharged from the 1st Mississippi Infantry, enlisted immediately with Co. B of the 3rd Regiment, Mississippi Cavalry (State Troops) and served from May 4, 1863 to May 3, 1864, fulfilling his one-year obligation.

The regiment was reorganized at Oxford in the latter part of April, 1864. And on May 1, 1864, all members of the unit that had re-enlisted were mustered into the Confederate States Army. They had not been paid for at least six months and upon entering the service of the CSA, they were awarded full back pay. The brigade to which the 3rd Regiment was attached was under the command of Nathan Bedford Forrest, and then transferred to the command of Wirt Adams before Vicksburg.

Although Bill Busby's enlistment would be up on May 3, on April 25, 1864, he re-enlisted with Captain T. M. Griffin's Company, Co. B, 3rd Mississippi Cavalry Regiment at Oxford, Mississippi. He was entered on the official rolls for this company on May 1, 1864 and was mustered into the service of the Confederate States Army on May 3, 1864 at Tupelo, Mississippi. The records show that this time he enlisted for the War. It is presumed that this infers that he had enlisted for the duration.

Meanwhile, on May 3, 1864, Jason Niles was elected Mayor of Kosciusko, Attala County, Mississippi. It has been stated that one consideration in his decision to run for Mayor was his belief that as a City Official he could avoid service with the Confederate Army. Just prior to his election, in the spring of 1864 the Legislature had passed a new military bill and suspended the writ of habeas corpus for ninty days. Conscription was ordered for those between the ages 17 and 50. More and more men were seeking exemption from military service, and deserters and bushwhackers were posing a serious threat to law and order on the home front.

In May, 1864, Bill Busby was listed as W. J. Buzbee, age 18, height 5 feet 10 inches, eyes blue, hair light, complexion floried. His occupation is shown as farmer.

View three records of W. J. Busby's military service with Company B, 3rd Mississippi Cavalry Regiment.

(The records will open in a new window.)

The 3rd Regiment, Mississippi Cavalry, surrendered at Citronelle, Alabama on May 4, 1865.

View a detailed history of the 3rd Regiment, Mississippi Cavalry:  Click Here!

After the war, Bill Busby returned to Attala County where he married Mary Elizabeth Osborne, born about 1844 in Georgia. Bill and Mary would have ten children as shown below:

William G. Busby, born about 1867 Miss
James S. Busby, born about 1870 Miss
Charles N. Busby,born about 1871 Miss
Joseph H. Busby, born in April 1873Miss
Greek N., born Mar 1875 Miss
Magdaline D, born about 1876
Marcus, born July 1878 Miss
Thomas, born July 1882 Miss
Virgie, born June 1883
Emma, born Jan 1885 Miss

Seabren Busby sold his land in Attala County in 1871 and at some point, the family removed to Aplin in Perry County, Arkansas. Seabren passed away in 1873. It is not clear whether he passed away before or after the move to Arkansas.

At some point prior to 1880, William J. Busby relocated his family to Panola County, Mississippi near Batesville. Mary Elizabeth Osborne Busby died in 1903 and is buried in the Shiloh Cemetery in Panola County. William then married Susie Doyle Daniels. Susan Daniels Busby died on September 14, 1928 and is also buried in shiloh Cemetery.

In 1914, William applied for a military pension but the application was rejected. He applied again in 1916 and the second application was approved and he received a government pension from then until his death. On his application, in responding to the query about service related injuries, William indicated that..."owing to exposure during war eye sight was affected. Now blind in left eye."

View a photograph of William J. Busby taken just a few years prior to his death. (Close the window to return.)

William lived until 1932 and died in St. Francis County, Arkansas while living with his son, Thomas Busby. William was brought back to Mississippi and buried with both his wives in the Shiloh Cemetery South of Batesville, Panola County, Mississippi.

The photograph of William Busby and information for Seabren Busby and William Jasper Busby were submitted by Marilyn Busby Dickson. Thomas Busby was Marilyn's grandfather; William J. Busby, her great grandfather; and Seabren W. Busby was her great great grandfather.