Henry Poindexter Lovill
First child (son) of William Radford Lovill (1813-1908) and Eliza Green Reeves(1820-1883).
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A Short Biographical Sketch of Henry Poindexter 'Harry' Lovill/Lovell
1838 | North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma
Henry Poindexter 'Harry' Lovill/Lovell was the first child (son) of William Radford Lovill (1813-1908) and Eliza Green Reeves [Lovill] (1820-1883). Henry was born on August 5, 1838 in Siloam, Surry County, NC.
His siblings were: Sarah Elizabeth Lovill [Jenkins] (Abt. 1840-1920); Edward Francis 'Frank' Lovill (1842-1925); Micajah Reeves Lovill (1843-1917); Nancy Jane Lovill [Howard] (1848-1905); James Rufus Lovill (1850-1875); Thomas William Lovill (1851-1855); Eliza Dix Lovill (1856-1868); Hanna Minerva Lovill (1855-1855); Charles Puryear Lovill (1857-????); Jeremiah Archie Lovill (1861-1917); Robert E. Lee Lovill (1863-1937); Mary Rebecca Carmichael Lovill [Freeman] [Marion] (1845-1941); and Rachel Lovill [Pennel] (1870-????).
Henry grew up in Surry County, North Carolina. Family legend says his mother was a 'doctor' or 'healer' and that she taught her skills to Henry.
Henry enlisted into the Confederate Army in Surry County on May 4, 1861 as a Sergeant in Company 'A' of the NC 28th Infantry Regiment. He was reduced to ranks prior to November 1, 1861. He was present or accounted for until appointed 2nd Lieutenant of Company 'A' 54th Regiment North Carolina Troops on March 20, 1862. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on September 7, 1862 at Fredericksburg. He was present at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862.
My 'speculations' are that: 1) the Lovill family followed the English pattern of the first son inheriting all his father's properties; 2) that Henry's 'liberal' education did not predispose him as a military leader; and 3) that his reading/writing/math skills became important assets to the Confederate Army that allowed him to write reports, order supplies, & etc. …so they promoted him to Lieutenant.
After the Battle of Fredericksburg the fighting between the Union and Confederate forces subsided through the winter. Nearing spring, on March 29, 1863, 'Harry' wrote a letter home to 'Sweet Nellie' (Ellen Roby) in North Carolina. That letter was first descriptive of the town of Fredericksburg and his fellow officers; but also soulful of the great devastation and human suffering from the battle; and speculations on what the Army would do as spring arrived; and last,…… after receiving a letter from 'Sweet Nellie' scolding him for his previous 'impersonal' letters…. The letter became romantic expression of his love for Miss Ellen Roby. There is a family legend that asserts that there were three letters from Henry that were handed down to the three daughters of Henry's first marriage. I have never been able to confirm that.
As Henry had suspected, the Union and Confederate Armies were soon on the move again marching west on opposite sides of the Rappahannock River trying to out maneuver each other. On November 7, 1863 Lees forces arrived a crossing point on the river at Rappahannock Station, Virginia ahead of the Union forces. Hoping to gain an advantage, Lee sent a small force (including Company 'A' of the NC 54th Infantry) across the river to occupy a series of fortifications that had been built and abandoned by previous Union forces. Lee counted on the previous lack of will of the Union forces to mount a night attack.
After having been thoroughly beaten at Fredericksburg, Abe Lincoln had made changes in the command of the Union armies. General Ulysses S. Grant was now in command to the Army of the Potomac, and had a much more aggressive disposition than General Ambrose Burnside that Lee had faced at Fredericksburg. Unfortunately, the fortifications positions on the north side of the Rappahannock that the Confederates occupied had been intended to protect against attacks from south of the river.
Under cover of darkness, the Union forces followed the path of a railroad track toward its pre-war crossing at Rappahannock Station. The Union forces caught the Confederates by surprise and captured most their forward forces, including 1st Lieutenant HP Lovill. After a short stay in Washington, DC, all captured officers were transferred by train to Ohio, where they were held in a Union Prisoner of War camp located on Johnson's Island in Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio. HP Lovill spent the rest of the war on Johnson's Island and was released on May 19, 1865. An article in the Confederate Magazine lists Henry among others captured at Rappahannock Station living in Block Eight. Block Eight was one of thirteen one-hundred-foot-long, two story wooden buildings with one story messes at each end. Each floor was divided into three rooms. Each floor held about 125 men.
Henry returned to Yadkin County, NC (formerly the portion of Surry County south of the Yadkin River) and married Ellen Roby on September 17, 1865. Henry P and Ellen C [Roby] Lovell had three daughters born in NC: Annie Laurie Lovell [Rogers] (abt. 1866-xxxx); Ellen Eliza Lovell [Hauser] (1870-1952); and Elizabeth Cornelia Lovell [Cushman] (1873-Bef. 1920). Annie Laurie Lovell appears with Henry and Ellen in the 1870 census of Yadkin, NC. Ellen Eliza is not listed. The census taker probably missed counting her by days.
Family legend says that Ellen C [Roby] Lovell became ill (perhaps a result of the birth of their 3rd daughter) and was taken to Hot Springs, Arkansas by Henry P to try find a cure her in the hot sulfur springs. She is thought to have died in Arkansas about 1874, but I find no records indicating a date or place of death for Ellen. I have never confirmed the whereabouts of HP Lovell in the 1880 census. His three children are listed as living with their grandparents (Wm R & Eliza G Lovill) in the 1880 census of Vernon County, Missouri.
During his stay in Arkansas, Doctor Henry P Lovell is said to have delivered two children (Claude & ?) to the family of Enoch Rufus Mosier (1849-1922) and Lydia Lunette Baker Mosier (1856-1927). The dates seem to be consistent. This is interesting because two later children of this Mosier family (Idolene Mosier [Hauser] & Cassie Lee Mosier [Hauser]) marry sons (Leslie Leo Hauser & Marion Earl Hauser) of Henry's 2nd daughter (Ellen Eliza 'Nelle' Lovell [Hauser]) by his first wife (Ellen Cornelia Roby [Lovell]).
On May 1, 1881, Henry P Lovell married Ala Anne Williams (1861-1939) in Bentonville, Arkansas. HP & 'Allie' had three daughters: Carrie L Lovell [Reeves](abt. 1884-aft. 1923); Leila Lovell [Brooks] (abt. 1885- aft. 1915); and Minnie Lovell [Bejars] (abt. 1886-????). In 1890, HP Lovell was listed in the Tax records of Decatur, Benton County, AR. About that same time he was the Postmaster of Decatur, AR. In 1891, he was listed as attending a CSA Reunion in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The family of HP and 'Allie' moved to Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) sometime around the turn-of-the-century. In the 1900 census of Davis Twp, Murray County, Oklahoma, HP Lovell (62) is listed as living with Ale (38), Leila (18), Carrie (17), and Minnie (16). HP Lovell is listed in the 1903-1904 'Standard Medical Dictionary' of Davis Township, Chickasaw Nation, I. T. as a doctor. No medical school was listed for HP Lovell. In 1904 and 1907 Henry's father (Wm R Lovill) had birthday parties in Missouri which Henry was unable to attend, but he did send greetings via letters which were later published in a newspaper along with those of other siblings who were also unable to attend. . In 1909, HP Lovell was listed as the 'adjutant' in a CSA Reunion held in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. In the 1910 census of Pauls Valley, Garvin County, Oklahoma, HP Lovell (70) is listed living with wife Ala (49); daughter Leila (25) and four boarders. In the 1920 census of Lindsay Twp, Garvin County, Oklahoma, HP Lovell (70) and wife Allie (58) are listed as living in the household of son-in-law Snow R Reeves (40) with Carrie L (36), Mary E (12), Virginia (11), Ruth Lee (5), and Bertie Rogers (21).
Henry Poindexter 'Harry' Lovell of 311 North Pine Street, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma died on June 29, 1926 at the age of 87 years, 10 months, and 24 days. The funeral was held at 4:30 on that day at the home. HP Lovell was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.
TO BE CONTINUED. Gary Elmlund, 2009