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Wilkes County Veterans History Project: Bryan Family Soldiers

Alfred Ledbetter

June 16, 1836

August 1892 

Abraham C. Bryan

Sept 13, 1839

Aug 14, 1920

Gen J. Q. A. Bryan 

Born Oct 10, 1833

Died Oct 11, 1905

Cap. Co. H 10th Reg. Tenn.

Vol. Cav. Apl 15, 1862 

First Lieut. Feb 10, 1864

Major Gen. NC Militia

August 27. 1868

Inspector General of NC

Aug 24, 1876

Portrait of John Quincy Adams Bryan

Portrait of Martha Bryan

Bryan Family's Story Submitted by John Freas


Most people in the Bryan family know John Quincy Adams Bryan recruited a lot of men to fight for the Union and he also joined the Union forces and served as Captain of Company H in the Tennessee 10th Cavalry and is buried in the Bryan Family Cemetery in Traphill, North Carolina.  So many things have been written about him I will not try to summarize them here, but I want to provide some information concerning two other people who also served in Company H with him and also are buried in the Bryan Family Cemetery.

Abraham C. Bryan, brother of John Q. A. Bryan was born September 13, 1839.  He enlisted in the union army on November 8, 1863, which is the same day John Q.A. Bryan enlisted. He served as a lieutenant in the same company. When the war was over, he failed to be discharged, but he returned to his home in Traphill and continued to serve his country in a variety of ways.

After the Civil War Abraham C. Bryan ran a store in Traphill, served as postmaster, deputy marshal, and was a leader in the Republican Party.  He represented Wilkes County in the legislature in the 1870's.  He donated land for the Traphill Academy and was a trustee of Fairview College.  He entertained great crowds such as school commencements at his home.  Until the mid-1870's he lived in the house built by Joseph Bryan, who was an early settler in Traphill.  This was a two-story house which Joseph Bryan had built in the early 1800's.  According to legend, this house was moved across an acre field by 200 men after they had eaten four wash pots full of chicken and squirrel stew and drunk twelve wooden water buckets full of apple brandy. 

 Abraham C. Bryan was appointed Captain of the revenue raiders who were responsible for making sure distillers operated lawfully and paid the required taxes.  In 1873 he reported that several lawful distilleries were operating in his district.  However, when the government proposed raising the tax from seventy cents per gallon to ninety cents per gallon, he predicted that would cause problems, and he was right.  In 1878 he and his raiders confiscated 1,000 gallons of whiskey and destroyed 4,000 gallons of mash in Burke County and neighboring counties.  These raiders wore uniforms, rode horseback, carried guns, and some traveled in groups of 18 or more men. 

Abraham C. Bryan married Margaret Carson, and their children included Dr. Charles Bryan, Alice Bryan, Carrie Bryan, and William A. Bryan.  He died August 14, 1920.

Alfred Ledbetter Was born June 16, 1836, in Guilford County.  The 1850 census shows him as a boy, the age of thirteen, living with his mother and eight sisters ages twenty-four years through three months. This census indicated no one in this family had a profession or occupation or trade, and no one over twenty could read or write. It must have been hard to provide for a family like this. He enlisted in the Union army on November 8, 1863, which is the same day John Q. A. Bryan enlisted, and Alfred served as a private in Company H along with John Q. A. Bryan.  He was discharged on July 17, 1865, and John Q. A. Bryan was discharged August 1 the same year along with the remaining soldiers in the 10th Cavalry.

Alfred Ledbetter married Mary Ann E. Atkins on November 17, 1866, and John Q. A. Bryan was the bondsman and witness for their wedding. Mary Ann E. Atkins was a niece of John Q. A. Bryan.  Her mother, Cinderella Bryan was a sister of John Q. A. Bryan, and Mary's father was Jonathan Greenberry Atkins, who was also the father of Thomas A. Atkins, whose wife Martha fell off Stone Mountain and is buried in the Bryan Family Cemetery. 

Alfred and Mary Ledbetter had the following children as recorded in the 1880 census: James M, age 12, Nancy B. age 10, Phoebe age 8, Margaret age 6, and Cinderella age 2.

 On October 15, 1881, Alfred Ledbetter filed for disability, and on May 28, 1894, his wife filed for widow's benefits.  His original tomb stone listed the date of death as August 1892 with no day of the month indicated, and I could find no record of his day of death.   Since his original tomb stone was damaged beyond repair, I had a new tomb stone made showing the same month and year of death with room for the day to be indicated if it can be found.

The Tennessee 10th Cavalry was mustered October 26, 1863, and served in a variety of battles including Nashville and Pulaski, and various companies were sent to several locations to maintain order.  Finally, the 10th cavalry was sent to Natchez, Mississippi.  There, on May 3, 1865, the general in charge reported he "had no cavalry fit for patrol and scouting duty, as the 10th Tennessee was practically dismounted, with over 100 unserviceable horses."