Sunday, October 4, 2015

52 Ancestors #40: Gone to Texas

Ancestor Name: Leroy P. Jennings (1841-1919)

I wrote a little bit about Leroy (Peter or Powhatan) Jennings a few weeks ago in my post, Three Brothers Married Three Sisters. Leroy was a first cousin of my great grandfather, Charles Edward Jennings. He was born on 23 November 1841 to John William Jennings, Jr., and Elizabeth "Eliza" Ann Vernon in Appomattox County, Virginia. By the age of 9, his father had moved the family to Amherst County. Leroy was a Civil War veteran, who served in the 19th Virginia Infantry Regiment and was wounded several times. During the well known charge of Pickett's brigade, he was wounded and taken prisoner. Shortly before General Robert E. Lee surrendered, he was wounded for the last time and returned to Amherst County. He married Isabella M. White on 10 August 1865. They had eleven known children before Isabella died in 1883. (Those children are listed in my previous post.)

Muster roll for Leroy P. Jennings after Gettysburg;
courtesy of

The next year, Leroy married Sarah Ellen Clements, daughter of James P. Clements and Eliza Jane Allen, on 29 October 1884. Sarah was born and raised in Amherst County. Soon after their marriage, they and several children from Leroy's first marriage, moved to Texas, where the couple had ten children, though one child had died by 1910:
  • James Henly Jennings, born 1886, died 1981, married Mary Hanna Tellaro
  • Leroy Carrington Jennings, born 1888, died 1931, married Alafair "Fairie" Elizabeth Stevens
  • Hilda Lillian Jennings, born 1890, died 1977, married 1) Eldridge Gibbens Stevens, brother of Alafair Stevens, and 2) William Elmer Graham
  • Henry Meriwether Jennings, born 1893, died 1986, married Jennye Lynn Condray
  • Jennie Eliza Jennings, born 1895, died 1977, never married
  • Clarence Jennings, born 1897, died 1980, married 1) Jestine Hunt and 2) Mattie Ladonia "Donie" Webb
  • Bernadine Jennings, born 1899, died 1976, married Lee Summerfield Henry
  • Lucille Jennings, born 1901, died 1987, married 1) Porter Preston Pollard and 2) Angelo Fortuna
  • Leona Velma Jennings, born 1904, died 2003, married Vedder Burdett Watson*
Leroy's younger brother George also moved to Texas sometime before the turn of the century and an uncle, Pleasant Jefferson Jennings, had removed to Walker County, Texas, by 1850. I have been unable to find a 1900 census record for Leroy's family. In 1910, the family lived in Cherokee County off Jacksonville public road on a truck farm he owned free and clear. His sons Henry and Clarence helped with the farm work.

Leroy P. Jennings; photo courtesy of
member buffalo4me

Sometime before Leroy's death on 18 May 1919, he moved his family to Wood County, Texas. He was interred at Cedars Memorial Gardens in Mineola. His widow remained on the family dairy farm until some time before 1930 when she moved to the town of Mineola with her daughter Jennie, who never married. Sarah died on 27 December 1951 and is buried along side her husband.

Leroy P. Jennings veteran headstone; photograph courtesy of Find A Grave
volunteer Cherie J.

Find a Grave volunteer, Zoe, shared Leroy's obituary, which was published in The Tulia Herald on 4 July 1919:

"L. P. Jennings, who died here May 18, was born in Appomattox County, Virginia, November 23, 1841.

He united with the Baptist Church when quite a young man. He fought four years in the Civil War and was wounded five times. He was first married to Isabell M. White on August 10, 1865. To that union, 11 children were born. Two died in infancy and one daughter at the age of 24 years. The first wife died April 12, 1883.

He was married to Miss Sarah E. Clements October 29, 1884 in Amherst, VA and moved to Texas that same year. To this union, ten children were born. Nine are living and were able to be present during his last hours.

The funeral services were held at the residence by Revs. Mr. Gill and Power, after which he was laid to rest in the Mineola Cemetery. The floral tributes were many and beautiful.

He is survived by his widow and 17 children all except three were at his bedside when the end came. They are as follows O. W. [Oscar William] Jennings, Peoria, Ariz.; Mrs. M. E. [Minnie Etta] Henry, Broaddus, Texas; E. W. [Edgar Willis] Jennings, Lufkin, Texas; H. L. [Harry Lee] Jennings, Ontario, Cal.; C. M. [Charles Marion] Jennings, Palestine, Texas; Mrs. R. B. [Rosa Bell] Key, Tulia, Texas; A. H. [Archie Herbert] Jennings, Louisville, Colo.; Mrs. E. H. [Cora Jane] Jennings, Jacksonville, Texas; J. H. [James Henly] Jennings, United States cruiser North Carolina; Mrs. H. L. [Hilda Lillian] Stevens, H. M. [Henry Meriwether] Jennings, Jennie, Clarence, Bernardine, Lucille, and Leona Jennings, all of this city. Several grandchildren.

Mr. Jennings was a member of the Ninth [sic] Virginia Regiment. He enlisted in 1861 in Co. S [sic], 19th Virginia Hunting Brigade, Pickett's Division, Longstreet's Corps. His company was organized at Buffalo Springs, Amherst County, Virginia in the spring of 1861, with Richard Taliferro as captain. From there, he went on to Charlottesville, and on to Centreville, and the Battle of Bull Run was the first he participated in. This was his first fight of the Civil War. Next was the Battle of Williamsburg May 1862, then the Seven Pines. The next fight he was in was the seven days fight around Richmond on July 27. He was at Gaines Mill and in that battle was wounded in the left hip. After being wounded, he was sent home, where he remained for some time. As soon as he sufficiently recovered he went back into the war and his next battle was at Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862. He was also in the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the next battle he participated in was the battle that everyone remembers, the bloody fight of three days at Gettysburg. In this battle, Mr. Jennings was wounded in the right chest. He does not remember how long he lay wounded in the field but a long time. He was taken to the hospital where he remained about ten days, and, having been taken prisoner, was carried from there to Baltimore where he stayed for three months. Mr. Jennings came near dying from the wound, the bullet having been cut out of his back.

When he recovered so that he could travel, he was paroled and sent to his home. Mr. Jennings should never have gone back as a prisoner of war, but he did. He joined his command at Gordonsville, and his next fight was the Wilderness. He was there when Grant tried to blow up the Confederates at Petersburg but instead of getting the Confederates he got his own soldiers. He was in the battle of Five Forks and was wounded in the left foot and went home and was home just a few days when Lee surrendered."

I will be writing a more detailed post about Leroy Jennings' Civil War service in the future but the basics of his war service from 19th Virginia Infantry by Ervin L. Jordan, Jr., and Herbert A. Thomas, Jr., are as follows:

Jennings, Leroy P.: age 19, farmer, enlisted at Buffalo Springs on 2 April 1861; promoted from private to 3rd corporal by August 1863; promoted from 3rd corporal to 2nd corporal by October 1863; present until wounded at Gaines Mill on 27 June 1863; returned and was wounded in action and taken prisoner at Gettysburg on 3 July 1863; gun shot wound in right lung; paroled at General Hospital West's Building, Baltimore, Maryland, on  25 September 1863; returned to duty in February 1864; present through August 1864.

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge optional theme October Birthday or Anniversary.

*Much of the information that has been published about Leroy P. Jennings ancestors and descendants originally came from Leona (Jennings) Watson.


  1. Nice photo of Leroy. So kind of people to share.

    1. I love genealogists who are also collaborators. It makes the entire experience so much more rewarding.

  2. Leroy is my great great grandfather through his son Harry Lee Jennings and his daughter Irene Mizelle Barker (Jennings). I have, from my grandmother, copies of the medical records of Leroy's treatment at the Baltimore Hospital following Gettysburg. I recently went to Gettysburg for the first time and after speaking with a park ranger, am sending copies of those records to the park historian. Thank you for all of your posts, they are extremely helpful to me as I begin to journey into our, apparently shared, family past.

    1. Dave, those medical records must be wonderful artifacts! You are so lucky to have them. I hope you found the posts about the 19th Infantry Regiment. Leroy Jennings had quite a war. We go to Gettysburg frequently and it is impossible for me to imagine anyone being brave enough to participate in Pickett's charge when standing at the tree line where the attack began. Thank you for contacting me.