Private, Co. I, 7th Arkansas Infantry, CSA, July 26, 1861 - Nov. 15, 1864
Private Alfred L. Simmons (or "Simons") was born May 31, 1838 in Walton County, Florida. He was the youngest son of Peter (b. 1793 in South Carolina) and Eliza (b. 1807 in Georgia) Simmons. Alfred married Martha Carolina Bailey (b. June 7, 1844 in Alabama) sometime shortly before July 9, 1860 in or near Pilot Hill, Fulton County, Arkansas. Both Alfred's and Martha's families moved to Fulton County in the late 1850s. Alfred and Martha Simmons had one child, Mary Elizabeth (b. January 15, 1862).
Alfred Simmons was a farmer near Pilot Hill (now Salem) in Fulton County, Arkansas and had recently obtained 80 acres from the Batesville Land Office in May of 1860. Both his father, Peter Simmons, and older brother, James J. Simmons (b. 1826 in Alabama) were farmers and also owned land there in Fulton County. According to information listed in the 1860 federal census for Benton Township, Pilot Hill P.O. in Fulton County, Alfred's father-in-law, John Bailey (b. 1813 in South Carolina) , and brother - in - law , William Bailey (b. 1834 in Georgia), were both blacksmiths there in the Pilot Hill area of Fulton County just before the Civil War.
On July 26, 1861, Alfred L. Simmons enlisted as a Private in Company I (Captain Shaver's), 7th Arkansas Infantry, C.S.A. by Captain Cameron at Camp Shaver, near Pocahontas in Randolph County. Alfred's older brother, James, may have also enlisted in the 7th Arkansas Infantry at the same time and place, but this has not been confirmed by the time of this writing.
According to his CSA service records, Private A.L. Simmons participated in the occupation of Hickman and Columbus, Kentucky by the 7th Arkansas Infantry during September of 1861. A company muster roll dated December 31, 1861 lists him as being "sick at Nashville". To date, no further documentation for Pvt. Alfred L. Simmons' CSA service has been found.
Family history recorded by his great-granddaughter, Mildred M. Byrd Jenkins (b. 1913 in Birdell, Randolph County, Arkansas) of Arlington. Texas, asserts that Private Alfred Simmons was seriously ill or wounded during the Civil War; his family (possibly his Bailey in-laws) then went to get him and brought him back home where he died on November 15, 1864. Alfred's grandson, Rev. James E. Byrd, Sr. (b. 1886 in Ravenden Springs, Randolph County, Arkansas) of Phoenix Arizona wrote the following concerning his grandparents and mother: "Mother's father died in the Civil War, leaving his wife and one child pennyless. Grandmother and Mother chopped and picked cotton for their very existence." The hardship endured by Alfred's wife and daughter was no doubt exacerbated by the death of his father, Peter Simmons, sometime in or just prior to 1867 as indicated by Fulton County tax records.
At this time, the burial place of Private Alfred L. Simmons, Company I, 7th Arkansas Infantry is not known to any of his descendants who helped write this biography.
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