A Brief Biography of Van Buren Brindley
by Alton David Brindley

Van Buren Brindley was born November 14, 1840 at Simcoe Alabama, where he was reared. His father, Mace Thomas Brindley, was a well known public figure for whom Brindley Mountain was named.

In September 1862, just two months before his 21st birthday, Van Buren joined the 54th Alabama Infantry Regiment. His older brother, Gabriel Lafayette Brindley was an officer in that regiment, which must have eased his separation from home.

During April 1862, his regiment was captured when island No. 10 fell. He was not captured, however, because he was in the hospital at Fort Pillow with the measles. His oldest brother was captured.

In April 1862, anxious to rejoin the struggle to defend his homeland, and without even a visit home, he went to Memphis Tennessee where he joined the 25th Louisiana Infantry Regiment.
By July 1862 the confederate invasion of Kentucky began and in September 1862 Munfordville, Kentucky was captured and a 3,546 man Union Garrison. In October 1862, he fought in the battle of Perryville, Kentucky and then in December 1862 he fought at the battle of Stones River in Murpheesboro, Tennessee.

In May 1863, the 25th Louisiana was sent to Jackson Mississippi, to join General Joseph Johnston's army being assembled to relieve the Union siege of Vicksburg. In July 1863, Van Buren was wounded during the Union attack on Jackson, Mississippi and for the next year he lay in the army hospital at Point Clear, Alabama. He suffered two attacks of gangrene which left him unable to rejoin his regiment for the duration of the war. Refusing recommendations of amputation, he suffered for 30 years with his wound which never properly healed.

In July 1866, he married Anna Louisa Donaldson. Their children were: Albert Sidney Brindley, Lovert Brindley Russell, Emma Brindley Stedham, Carroll Bethae Brindley, George Lafayette Brindley, Sr., Winfrey Brindley, Leonidas Polk Brindley.

On October 11, 1893, he finally succumbed to his wounds received at the siege of Jackson.

Here are a few words of tribute from someone who know him personally:

"In justice to a brave soldier, who has poured out his blood freely in defense of the Confederate States, I will state that Van Buren Brindley joined my company as a private but his good conduct and soldierly deportment he was promoted to Sergeant. Let his soldierly qualities, and his wounds, recommend him to the kindness of all lovers of liberty."
--W. R. C. Lyons, Captain of Co. K. 25th Louisiana Volunteers.


Service Record of Van Buren Brindley (detailed version)

Van Buren Brindley was born on November 14, 1840, during the administration of President Martin Van Buren. He was the fifth child of Mace Thomas Payne Brindley and Nancy Stuart (Hanby) Brindley.

Early in 1861, Alabama seceded from the Union and Joined the fledgling Confederacy in hopes of a peaceful separation from the United States. In April of that year these hopes were dashed when the Confederate Artillery fires on Fort Sumpter to force the United States troops out of Confederate territory.

His homeland at war and his countrymen dying on the battlefield, Van Buren felt compelled to join the struggle. On September 25, 1861 at Moorsville, Alabama he was enlisted by G.W. Whitfield for one year in Company I of the 54th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He then accompanied the 54th to Memphis, Tennessee. From Memphis his company was sent to aid in the defense of Island No.10 on the Mississippi River.

When Island No.10 fell to the Federal forces on April 7, 1862, most of Van Buren's Company was captured. However, he was at the time in the hospital for Fort Pillow sick with the measles. After recovering from the measles, he reported to Memphis where he was enlisted by Captain McLean on April 28, in Company K of the 25th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry regiment, Daniel W. Adams brigade, James P. Anderson's division, William J. Hardee's Wing, Army of the Mississippi, C.S.A.

Van Buren Brindley was promoted to Corporal in January or February 1863 and later promoted to Sargent between September 1, 1863 and June 5, 1864. The Captain of Company K was W.R.C. Lyons. The Army of the Mississippi was commanded by P.T. Beauregard.

On June 27, 1862, Braxton Bragg replaced Beauregard as commander of the Army of the Mississippi.


Invasion of Kentucky

Bragg's infantry left Tupelo, Mississippi by rail on July 23rd and moved through Meridian to Mobile. At Mobile the army crossed Mobile Bay on ferry boats, then boarded trains and moved through Pollard, Montgomery, West Point and Atlanta. They began arriving in Chattanooga on July 27, completing one of the great flanking movements of the Civil War.

On August 27, the Army of the Mississippi began crossing the Tennessee River from Chattanooga, moving over Walden's Ridge. They reached Pikeville, Tennessee on September 1 and moved on to Sparta.

Anderson's division of Hardee's wing moved out of Sparta and marched through Milledgeville and Pekin and headed for Carthage, Tennessee on the Cumberland River. Hardee's wing crossed the river at Carthage on September 9, and moved through Pleasant Shade, Wichers Cross Roads and Red Sulfur Springs toward Thompkinsville, Kentucky, (Through Peter's Creek or Paces?) They arrived at Glasgow, Kentucky on September 14, footsore and tired, but cheerful.

On September 16, Hardee's wing approached Munfordville, Kentucky from the South. Polk's wing of the Army of the Mississippi was on the North side of the town. The next day the 3,546-man Union garrison of Munfordville surrendered at Rowletts Station. General Bragg set aside September 18, as a day of thanksgiving for the army.

The army was running low of supplies and the soldiers were complaining of hunger. Learning that Union General Buell was approaching from the South, Bragg decided to move his army to Bardstown, Kentucky in order to receive supplies from Confederate General Kirby Smith.

On September 19, the Army of the Mississippi marched north out of Munfordville, passing through Nolin on the 20th. On September 21, they camped near Hoodgenville, Kentucky. On September 22, they marched out toward New Haven, crossed Muldraugh Hill and rested at New Haven that evening. On September 23, they marched from New Haven to Bardstown where they camped until October 4.

Union General Buel had moved his army north to Louisville and joined forces with the army there. Buell then moved his forces toward Bragg's Army in Bardstown. Bragg moved his army westward in order to join with Kirby Smith.

On October 4, Hardee's left wing, consisting of Anderson's and Buckner's divisions, marched from Bardstown to Glenville over a hilly and rocky road made slippery by recent rains. They made very little progress that day. They camped around Glenville that night along the banks of the Beech Fork River. On October 5, they marched from Glenville through Springfield and on to where they camped that night at Cedar Grove about 5 and 1/2 miles outside Springfield on the Perryville Road. The day was extremely hot. On October 6, Anderson's division marched from Cedar Grove to Perryville and on toward Harrodsburg, leaving only Buckner's division with Hardee at Perryville. Anderson's division marched back down the Harrodburg Pike to Perryville on October 7. Adams brigade was positioned on the high ground behind Perryville along and South of the Danville Road.

More to follow..........

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