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Cox Ferguson Lyles Martin Williams

Obituary Of John J. Cox, Memphis, Tennessee.

Capt. John J. Cox, a member of the Confederate Historical Association, Camp 28, U. C. V., of Memphis, Tenn., died suddenly, the victim of an automobile accident, at Memphis on December 24, 1914.

John J. Cox was born in Washington County, Miss., on his fathers's plantation March 1, 1848, and was there when the war began. He tried to enlist at once, but was rejected on account of his youth. On June 22, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, 28th Mississippi Cavalry, and served with this command until discharged in November, 1863. As a member of this company he was frequently complimented by his officers and mentioned in general reports. Gens. S. W. Ferguson and W. T. Martin requested that he be commissioned as assistant to duty on their staffs, but he was again refused in account of his age. He then reentered the army and was assigned to the secret service. He made a trip into Vicksburg, staying a week at the headquarters of Gen. James B. McPherson. Later he went into Memphis, where he was arrested and ordered to prison in the old Irving Block, on Second Street, near Court Square; but he escaped and ran to the old Worsham House, where the Arlington now stands, and was three secreted by a young lady until he could get away from the city.

Crossing the river, he served one year on the staff of Gen. O. P. Lyles and was promoted to first lieutenant after a desperate charge, later being assigned to duty as acting adjutant of the 23d Arkansas Infantry. In January, 1865, he resigned and was apponited master's mate in the Navy by Commodore Robinson at Mobile. Finding the blockade there impassable he rejoined his old company in the 28th Mississippi Cavalry; but when General Forrest was about to surrender he ran away to avoid being paroled and returned home.

Soon after the war young Cox finished his education at the Frankfort (Ky.) Military Institute and then engaged in cotton-planting on his father's plantation in Mississippi. He went to Dallas, Tex., in 1874, when he joined the Texas State Guard as a private in the 1st Infantry. He was promoted to first lieutenant, then to captain, and in 1878 he was appointed by Governor Hubbard as colonel of the 3d Infantry, State Troops. Obtaining leave of absence, he joined the Mexican revolution against Diaz, holding the rank of colonel of cavalry. While in Mexico his wife died of yellow fever at Greenville, Miss. Resigning his commission in Texas, he returned to the plantation in Mississippi.

In 1885 Captain Cox became editor of the Marion Reform at Marion, Ark., and then joined the Arkansas National Guard as first lieutenant and was promoted to captain in 1891. In 1897 he was made captain of Company E, 2d Arkansas Infantry, though then a resident of Memphis. He was a member of the Confederate Historical Association at Memphis, and in 1913 he was elected captain of Company A, Confederate Veterans.

Throughout his varied career Captain Cox retained his quiet, gentle manner and lovable character. Truly it could be said of him: "The bravest are the tenderest." He was never known to speak unkindly. His second wife was Mrs. Effe M. Williams, who, with her daughter, whom he reared and loved as his own, survives him.

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, March, 1915.

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