Submitted by Ruth B Davidson

Joshua Lester (Lister) came to Alabama about 1825 and settled on a tract of land about six miles northwest of Louisville, Alabama near Pea Creek.  The land was in Pike County that became Barbour County in 1832.  Joshua married Martha Beasley about 1827 and they had four sons and three daughters.  Martha died shortly after their daughter, Martha Ann, was born on December 25, 1835.  Joshua married Diana Simpkins and they had four sons and six daughters

 When the War Between the States began in 1861, the sons of Joshua Lester answered the call to serve the Confederacy.  Before the War ended in 1865, seven of his sons had enlisted and five had died while serving in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia.

 1.                  Thomas B. Lester (1828-1886) enlisted October 5, 1861 in Montgomery and served as a Private in Company G, 23rd Alabama Infantry.  He was in the Siege of Vicksburg and taken prisoner July 4, 1863.  He was paroled July 6 and went with his company to Tennessee.  He saw his brother die on the battlefield near Nashville and was captured on December 16, 1864.  He was on a Roll of Prisoners at Camp Chase, Ohio that was paroled May 2, 1865.  After the war he married Malissa Burke, daughter of Abraham Burke in Barbour County and had five children: Thomas, Mary, Loyd Alto, Walter and Jennie Lester. He died in Rocky Head in Coffee County.  Malissa Burke Lester received a Confederate Widow’s Pension.

2.                  M. Crawford Lister (1831-1864) enlisted on October 5, 1861 in Montgomery and served as a Private in Company G, 23rd Alabama Infantry. He was in the Siege of Vicksburg and taken prisoner July 4, 1863.  Paroled July 6, 1863 and continued with his Company to Tennessee. A Report of the Dead of the 23rd Ala.  Regt. For the Quarter ending December 31, 1864 shows that M. C. Lister of Barbour Co. Alabama was killed in battle on November 2, 1864 and his effects turned over to his brother. The 23rd was in engagements near Nashville, Tennessee in November and December.  Crawford Lister was never married.

3.                  William P. Lister (1830-1862) enlisted April 1, 1862 in Mobile and served as a Private in Company F, 32nd Alabama Infantry. The 32nd was organized in April 1862 and by July was under heavy fire near Stevenson, Tennessee.  A Muster Roll dated Dec. 1862 records that W. P. Lister died September 22nd at Chattanooga, Tenn. This was probably from injuries received on August 31 when the 32nd Alabama Infantry captured Stevenson, Tennessee.  William P. Lister married Mary Jane Dansby in 1852 in Barbour County and moved to Choctaw County with the Dansby Family. His daughter, Cleo born 1861, was named in the Estate of Joshua Lester who died 1868 in Barbour County. His widow, Mary Jane Lister, was suffering from paralysis in 1895 and awarded a pension in Choctaw County.  The 1870 Census Record of Choctaw County showed Mary J Lister and Cleo Lister living with her brother Isaac Dansby.

4.                  Samuel K. Lister (1829-1862) enlisted April 8, 1862 in Greenville, Alabama as a Private in Company H, 33rd Alabama Infantry. The 33rd Alabama Infantry was organized in April 1862 and sent immediately to Corinth, Mississippi. His record shows that he was born in Barbour County and was discharged on July 6, 1862 at Tupelo, Mississippi.  He died August 18, 1862 at his home in Greenville from Pulmonary Tuberculosis. His widow, Nelly Lister, received $25.00, less $2.00 for Clothing he got at Corinth, after she wrote a letter September 12, 1862 requesting payment for his service. Samuel and Nelly Lister were the parents of three children, William Thomas, Joshua H. and Martha H. Lister.  In 1870 Nelly Lister and her three children were recorded living with William and Hester Lester Hartley in Butler County.  Hester was a sister of Joshua Lester.

5.                  Kader David Lester (1840-1864) enlisted August 10, 1861 at Clayton, Alabama.  He served as a Private in Company G, 29th Alabama Infantry. The 29th was engaged in several major battles in Georgia.  The Battle of Peachtree Creek began on July 9, 1864 and continued to July 20th.  Quoting William A. Zorn from his book, HOLD AT ALL HAZARDS, “As day broke on the morning of July 20th, it promised to be a hot, clear day.  It would also be a day of great significance for the men of the 29th Alabama.”  David Lester died August 2, 1864 at Ocmulgee Hospital in Macon, Georgia from injuries sustained on July 20, at Peachtree Creek. He was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Row 10, No. 447.  David Lester was never married.

6.                  George Washington Lester (1842-1864) enlisted January 23, 1863 at Clayton, Alabama.  He served as Private in Company G, 29th Alabama Infantry. The 29th was engaged in battle at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia during the month of June 1864.  From the book, HOLD AT ALL HAZARDS, “A heavy barrage on the 24th of June resulted in the death of John Alexander . . .Several others were wounded.”  G. W. Lester was wounded in the head and side and died on June 27, 1864.  Casualty List in The Selma Morning Times, July 12, 1864 listed G. W. Lester.  Place of burial is unknown.  George Washington Lester was never married.

7.                  Francis Marion Lester (1846-1930) enlisted February 1863 at the age of sixteen in Clayton, Alabama in the Alabama Reserves.  He was assigned to Montgomery for training and later served as a Private in Company E, 63rd Alabama Infantry.  Frank Lester was severely wounded in March 1865 in the Battle of Spanish Fort and was later captured.  He was exchanged and discharged April 26, 1865.  His leg wound left him crippled. He married Barbara Catherine McRae in 1869 in Barbour County and they had four children. He died in 1930 and was buried at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Dale County.  F. M. Lester drew a pension for his service in the Confederate States Army.


Sources:  Confederate Military Records.  HOLD AT ALL HAZARDS by William A Zorn.  CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY, EXTENDED EDITION. Lester Family History.

Written by Ruth Brimner Davidson, 111 Kenilworth Road, Hueytown, AL 35023-2240, phone 205-491-4785, Email


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11/04/2009 Last updated