Callaway Family Association Blog

The Callaway Family Association was formed in 1975 to study the genealogy of the Callaway Surname (all spellings). Members can be found from Australia to England to Canada to the United States and number almost 600 strong. Discussions related to Callaway Genealogy are welcome here and this Blog was created for that purpose. The Callaway Family Tree Branches May Reach Out, But the Roots Run Deep.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Study of Morgan Callaway

Morgan Callaway was born on April 16, 1831, in Washington, Wilkes Co., GA. According to Mrs. Bessie Hoffmyer, author of The Callaway Clan, his full name was Joseph Morgan Callaway, but no other source gives him the first name of Joseph - not even the family Bible record. He was the son of Jesse Callaway and his second wife, Mrs. Mary Ann Wooten Sherman. He was a full brother of Thomas Wooten Callaway, the maker of the Wilkes County map we have all now seen.

Morgan probably lived as a youth in the Wingfield-Cade-Saunders house, now called "Peacewood", which we saw on yesterday's tour. He attended the Academy in Washington and after graduation there, he came over here to Athens and attended the University of Georgia. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1849 and the Master of Arts degree in 1852.


1. Historic American Buildings Survey L.D. Andrew - Photographer. May 17, 1936. FRONT ELEVATION
HABS GA,159-WASH,2-1


2. Historic American Buildings Survey L.D. Andrew - Photographer May, 17, 1936 SIDE ELEVATION
HABS GA,159-WASH,2-2


3. Historic American Buildings Survey L.D. Andrews - Photographer. May 17, 1936. VIEW OF OUTBUILDINGS East of House
HABS GA,159-WASH,2-3


4. Historic American Buildings Survey L.D. Andrew - Photographer May 17. 1936. VIEW OF OUTBUILDINGS Back of House
HABS GA,159-WASH,2-4

After receiving his degrees from the university, he went to Augusta and read law with Judge Toombs. He was admitted to the bar in 1852. Morgan fully intended to follow his ambition of becoming a lawyer. However, his father was so opposed to this profession that he gave it up.

Morgan had married on April 8, 1851, Miss Eliza Mary (called "Leila") Hinton of Greenville, Ga. After his marriage, he followed the teaching profession for a time.

Morgan Callaway had joined the Baptist Church during a revival while he was here in Athens. For some reason he was later "excluded" from membership. Later, while living in north Georgia, he applied for membership in a local Baptist church. They refused admission to him unless he were properly restored to membership in the church he had originally joined and then transfer by letter. Morgan refused to consider this approach to church membership and exercised an alternative. He joined a Methodist congregation. It seems that the Baptists' loss became the Methodists' gain!

In 1860, he was licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal Church South and became a member of the Georgia Conference at the same time. At this time he was appointed President of Andrew Female College in Cuthbert, Randolph Co., GA. After serving in that capacity for a little more than a year, the Civil War erupted and he volunteered for Confederate service. He became a lieutenant in Cutt's Battalion and was afterwards made a captain of artillery.

In the book Four Years Under Marse Robert, the author, Robert Stiles, Major of Artillery in the Army of Northern Virginia, relates several incidents involving Capt. Calloway (Stiles spelled the name "Calloway" with an "O").

This book, as the author himself says, was only designed "to state clearly and truthfully what he saw and experienced as a private soldier and subordinate officer in the military service of the Confederate States in Virginia from 1861 to 1865." "Marse Robert" was, of course, General Robert E. Lee.

Stiles first introduces us to Capt. Calloway in the following way, and I quote (pp. 229-231):

"One of the Georgia batteries of our battalion - 'Frazier's,' as it was called - was composed largely of Irishmen from Savannah - gallant fellows, but wild and reckless. The captaincy becoming vacant, a Georgia Methodist preacher, Morgan Calloway, was sent to command them. He proved to be, all in all, such a man as one seldom sees - a combination of Praise God Barebone and Sir Philip Sidney, with a dash of Hedley Vicars about him. He had all the stern grit of the Puritan, with much of the chivalry of the Cavalier and the zeal of the Apostle. No man ever gave himself such a 'send-off' as Calloway did with his battery. He gripped their very souls at the first pass.

"Not long after he took command, the battalion spent a few days in these Poison Fields of Spottsylvania. The very evening we arrived, before we had gotten fixed for the night, a woman came to battalion headquarters and complained that one of the men in 'that company over yonder' - pointing to where Calloway's guns were parked - had gone right into her pen, before her very eyes, and killed and carried off her pig.

"The Colonel directed me to look after the matter, and the woman and I walked over to the battery and laid the complaint before Calloway, who asked her whether she thought she could point out the man. She said she could, and he ordered his bugler to blow 'an assembly.'

When the line was formed he gave the command, 'To the rear, open order, march!' the rear rank stepping back two paces further to the rear, and he and I and the woman started to walk down the front rank: he, as was his wont when on duty, having his coat buttoned to the chin and his sabre belted about his waist.

"When we had gotten a little more than half way down the line some lewd fellow of the baser sort, sotto voce, made some improper remark about the woman, and his comrades began to titter. With a single sweep of his right arm, Calloway drew his sabre and delivered his blow. The weapon flashed past my face and laid open the scalp of the chief offender, who dropped in his tracks, bleeding like a stricken bullock. There was a shuffle of feet moving to his aid.

"'Stand fast in ranks! Eyes front!' cried Calloway, the sabre dripping with blood still in his sword hand. Needless to say they did stand, as if carved out of stone, while in absolute silence Calloway, the woman and I, completed our inspection of the front, and when about midway of the rear rank she, without hesitation, confidently identified the thief. His manner and bearing under the charge convicted him, and Calloway had him bucked and gagged and sequestered his pay to reimburse the woman. He then gave the order, 'break ranks!' and sent the surgeon to attend the wounded man.

"I never saw a company of men more impressed. Indeed, I was myself as much impressed as any of them, and was at considerable pains to catch the feelings and comments of the men. 'Whew!' said a beg fellow, who had been a leader in all the lawlessness of the battery, "what sort of a preacher do you call this? Be-dad! and if he hits the Yankees half as hard as he hit Dan, it'll be all right. We'll have to watch him about that, boys. We'll get his gait before long."

At another point, when Stiles was questioning and protesting the wisdom of their march to Beulah Church, as Col. Cabell was doing per his orders from his commanding general, he solicited the opinions of other officers. Of Morgan Calloway he said, (p. 270) "My reserves were the officers and men of the battalion, all of whom I think were fond of me. If I mistake not, Frazier's battery led the column. I am certain it did a little later. Calloway, its commanding officer, to whom we have already been introduced, was one of the very best of soldiers, as the reader will soon be prepared to admit. He was the first man I fell in with as I fell back, Colonel Cabell and little Barrett, his courier, being ahead of the column. Calloway asked me if I didn't think we were running some risk, entirely unsupported as we seemed to be, and outside our lines. I told him what had occurred (with Col. Cabell), and he smiled grimly."

And referring to an incident that occurred as that day wore on, Stiles wrote (pp. 271-273), "As the morning wore on and we were leaving our infantry further behind, my uneasiness returned; and besides, I had been away long enough from the colonel, so I remounted and rode forward to the head of the column. He had been very emphatic in repelling my suggestions, but I thought it my duty to renew them, and I did. He was even more emphatic than before, saying he had been ordered to take the battalion to Beulah Church, and he proposed to do it, and he even added that when he wanted any advice from me he would ask for it. I felt a nearer approach to heat than ever before, or after, in all my intercourse with my friend and commander, and I assured him I would not obtrude my advice again.

"I reined in my horse, waiting for Calloway, and rode with him at the head of his battery. I had scarcely joined him when Colonels Fairfax and Latrobe, of Longstreet's staff, and Captain Simonton of Pickett's, dashed by, splendidly mounted, and disappeared in a body of woods but a few hundred yards ahead. Hardly had they done so, when pop! pop! pop! went a half dozen carbines and revolvers; and a moment later the three officers galloped back out of the forest, driving before them two or three Federal cavalrymen on foot - Simonton leaning over his horse's head and striking at them with his riding whip. On the instant I took my revenge, riding up to Colonel Cabell, taking off my hat with a profound bow, and asking whether it was still his intention to push right on to Beulah Church? Meanwhile, minie balls began to drop in on us, evidently fired by sharpshooters from a house a short distance to our left and front. The Colonel turned toward me with a smile, and said, in a tone that took all the sting out of his former words, if any was ever intended to be in them; 'Yes, you impudent fellow, it is my intention, but let's see how quickly you can drive those sharpshooters out of the house!'"

In writing of events that occurred during the battle of Cold Harbor in 1864, Stiles told this of Morgan Calloway: "There was a gunner in Calloway's battery named Allen Moore, a backwoods Georgian and a simple-hearted fellow, but a noble, enthusiastic man and a soldier. The only other living member of Moore's family was with him, a lad of not more than twelve or thirteen years; and the devotion of the elder brother to the younger was tender as a mother's. We had all day been shelling a suspicious looking working party of the enemy, and about sunset I was visiting the batteries to see that the guns were properly arranged for night fighting. As I approached Calloway's position the sharpshooting had almost ceased, and down the line I could see the figures of the cannoneers standing out boldly against the sky. Moore was at the trail adjusting his piece for the night's work. His gunnery had been superb during the evening and his blood was up.

"I descended into a little valley and lost sight of the group, but heard Calloway's stern voice; 'Sit down, Moore! Your gun is well enough, the sharpshooting is not over yet. Get down!' I rose the hill. 'One moment, Captain! My trail's a hair's breadth too much to the right,' and the gunner bent eagerly over the hand spike. A sharp report and that unmistakable crash of a bullet against a man's head. It was the last rifle shot on the lines that night.

"'The rushing together of the detachment obstructed my view; but as I came up, the sergeant stepped aside and said, 'See there, Adjutant!' Moore had fallen on the trail, the blood flowing from the wound all over his face. His little brother was at his side instantly. No wildness, no tumult of grief. He knelt on the earth, and lifting Allen's head on his knees, wiped the blood from his forehead with the cuff of his own tattered shirt sleeve and kissed the pale face again and again, but very quietly. Moore was evidently dead, and none of us cared to disturb the child.

"Presently he rose - quite still, tearless still - gazed down at his dead brother and then around at us, and breathing the saddest sigh I ever heard, said: 'Well I am alone in the world!'

"The preacher-captain sprang to his side, and placing his hand on the poor lad's shoulder, said confidently: 'No, my child; you are not alone, for the Bible says: "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up:" and Allen was both father and mother to you; besides, I am going to take you up too, you shall sleep under my blanket to-night.'

"There was not a dry eye in the group; and when, months afterwards, the whole battalion gathered on a quiet sabbath evening, on the banks of Swift Creek, to witness a baptism, and Calloway, at the water's edge, tenderly handed this child to the officiating minister, and receiving him again when the ceremony was over, threw a blanket about the little shivering form, carried him into a thicket, changed his clothing, and then reappeared, carrying the bundle of wet clothes, and he and child walked away, hand in hand, to camp - then there were more tears, manly, ennobling tears, and the sergeant laid his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Faith, Adjutant, the Captain has fulfilled his pledge to that boy!'"

There were other references to Morgan Callaway regarding military action, but these few given above serve to exemplify his character as seen by Major Robert Stiles.

After the war, Morgan returned to Washington, Georgia where, according to Mrs. Hoffmyer, he taught at the "young Ladies Seminary." He was also pastor of the Washington Methodist Church from 1866 to 1868, and again for about a year in 1869. During this time, his first wife died. She is buried at Resthaven Cemetery in Washington. There are apparently no dates on her tombstone, but she is given the dates 1828 to 1867 in the lineage of Morgan Callaway, Jr. in Vol. III of First Families in America.

On June 24, 1868, in Washington, Ga., Morgan married his second wife, Miss Georgia Frances Ficklin. She became well-known and revered in her own right. She served for 18 years as corresponding secretary for the East Georgia Missions Society. Born in 1832, she died in 1897 and is also buried at Resthaven Cemetery in Washington. From 1868 to 1871, they resided in La Grange, Ga., where Morgan served as President of La Grange Female College.

In 1871, Morgan Callaway was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity by Emory College (now University) which was then located at Oxford, Ga. He was thereafter connected with Emory as Vice-President and professor of Law and English for 20 years (1871-1889) except for an interim of two years (1882-1884) when he served as President of Paine Institute in Augusta.

Dr. Morgan Callaway was the author of a number of published works, mostly on the subjects of English and religion.

I have been told that there are today no living descendants of Morgan Callaway and his two wives. If anyone wishes to take issue with this statement, please do so. There may be some descendants of an adopted grandson, but these would not be of the blood line. The children of Morgan and Leila Hinton Callaway were:
1. Thomas Carlyle (Carl) - called Charlie on the 1870 census), born 1852; died 1890; married Achsah Harlan of Tunnel Hill, Ga. They had no children.
2. Maude - born 1854; died 1945; married Rev. James Meriwether Lovett. They had no children, but adopted Charles Edward Bulloch.
3. Wootie Mary - born 1856; died 1857.
4. Jesse Hinton - born 1858; died 1894; married Ella Mallory of Albany, Ga.
5. Leila Sallie - born 1860; died 1862.
6. Morgan, Jr. - born 1862; died 1936; married Loru Hamah Smith. Morgan, Jr. became a distinguished and well known professor in his own right. He was professor of English at the University of Texas for 46 years and became widely known as an authority on the English language. He had received both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Emory before he was 22 years old. He became adjunct professor of English at Emory, leaving to accept a position at Southwestern University. After two years he entered John Hopkins University as a university scholar where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After receiving the Doctor of Philosophy degree he returned to Southwestern University. In 1890 he was called to a position at the University of Texas where he was located during the remainder of his career.
7. Cabell - born 1865; died 1866 at the age of three months.

Morgan and his second wife, Georgia Frances Ficklen, were parents of one daughter:
8. Hattie Vason - born 1872; died 1882.

Perhaps an appropriate final tribute to Morgan Callaway is this, from a column in "The Atlanta Journal" of December 4, 1931, entitled "A Candlelit Column," by Corra Harris and as quoted by Mrs. Hoffmyer in The Callaway Clan:

"Here the Methodism of me knelt in tears. For the Oxford I knew was so thoroughly tinctured with Methodism that the whole life of the town flowed in and out the doors of this church. How well I remember the men who used to stand in the pulpit . . . Dr. Moore, the ascetic old Isaiah whose ministry put the fear of God into many a wanton youth. Dr. Morgan Callaway, with his elegance and sword-clashing salute to the Commander-in-Chief of all mankind. A fearless old soldier of the cross with a back so straight and a manner so proud one could not escape the impression that the Lord had decorated him for distinguished service . . ."

~ This paper was prepared and read by CFA Genealogist, Sherrill Williams at the annual (1983) Callaway Family Association meeting in Athens, Ga. and published in the Callaway Family Association Journal Vol. IX, 1984, pp. 18-22.

Dr. Morgan Callaway's line of descent is as follows:
Peter Callaway
John Callaway
Edward Callaway
Joseph Callaway
Jesse M. Callaway and 3rd wife Mary Ann Wooten Sharman
Dr. Morgan Callaway

~ pictures of Wingfield-Cade-Saunders House, 120 Tignall Road, Washington, Wilkes County, GA from:
The Library of Congress American Memory web site.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - Copyright © 2008 Callaway Family Association

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