J. S. Lawrence, who died at Barlow, Ky., November 1, 1919, was born in Robertson County, Tenn., in 1844. In January, 1866 he was married to Miss Martha Elizabeth Adams, and to them were born seven children. In 1878 he removed to Ballard County, Ky., and settled on a farm, where he led and active life until compelled by ill health to retire. He had been a faithful member of the Baptist Church for fifty years and had also been a member of the Masonic fraternity for half a century, both of which were his ideals. In his death the community lost one of its most esteemed citizens. He is survived by his aged wife, two daughters, and a son.
Of his war service, the following has been contributed by J. E. Ruffin, lieutenant of Company E, 50th Tennessee Infantry:
"Comrade J. S. Lawrence enlisted in a company recruited in Robertson and Montgomery Counties, Tenn., in the summer of 1861. Organized in August, it was sent to Fort Donelson in November and became part of the 50th Tennessee Infantry as Company E. We were assigned a position in the rear of the batteries and got our first taste of shell fire from the gunboats there. In the surrender some of the company escaped up the river and got home safe, and among them, I think, was Lawrence, who rejoined the company, with others, soon after we were exchanged at Vicksburg.
"The history of the regiment is the record of Lawrence's service in the army, for he never missed a roll call, never shirked a duty, and was always at the right place at the right time.
"After the reorganization at Vicksburg, our first service was to oppose the enemy marching south from Corinth, Miss.; we then encamped at Canton in December and spent Christmas week at Vicksburg fighting Sherman's army in the river bottom above the town. At Port Hudson we had our second experience of shell fire from the Federal fleet attempting to pass up the river. About the 1st of May were were ordered to Jackson, went out to Raymond and fought Sherman's Corps all afternoon, with one small brigade, fell back to Jackson, retreated north, and encamped at New Hope Church. When Vicksburg was surrendered we retreated to Jackson and defended that city for a week; left Jackson one night and camped near Enterprise until we were ordered to Chickamauga. On the way from Atlanta our train was run into and a third of the regiment killed or wounded. The rest of the regiment went through the battle of Chickamauga, in which our lieutenant colonel, major, and several men were killed. We camped mear Lookout Mountain until November 24, when we took our place on the right of Bragg's line on Missionary Ridge; the next afternoon we held back Sherman's New Englanders till after dark. In this fighting we lost our colonel and several other officers and men. The little remnant of our regiment took part in the many battles from Dalton to and around Atlanta.
"Comrade Lawrence was severely wounded at New Hope Church but later followed Hood into Tennessee and through the battles of Franklin and Nashville. He was captured on the retreat.
"When Company E, of the 50th Tennessee, stacked arms for the last time in North Carolina, there were just three guns in the stack. Of one hundred and ten men who left Clarksville for Fort Donelson in November, 1861, three were left to see the end, John L. W. Power, John Willoughby, and Billy Boisseau."
SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, March, 1920.
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