Known CSA Veterans at Cedar Hill
Vicksburg, Mississippi

Not Forgotten


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James T. Billett
Co. C
1 Tenn. H. A. [Heavy Arty]

James Billett was initially in the
1st La Hvy Arty, Co. C
Record at
No further information here.


Record at

He took the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S.

James Billett enlisted 20 Jan 1863 at Vicksburg by Col. Starling. His compiled service record shows him in (2d) Co. C, 1 Regt Tenn Hvy Arty.

He had initially enrolled in the 1st La Heavy Arty, Co. C (see image at left).

On the surrender of Vicksburg 4 Jul 1863, he was captured, but he refused to sign the parole.

On 20 Jul 1863, he was sent as a POW to Memphis, Tenn., along with other prisoners who also refused to sign.

He was "paroled and forwarded from Gratiot Street Prison, St. Louis, Mo., to Camp Douglas, Ill., Sept.  24, 1863" and was "received at Camp Douglas, Ill., during Sept. 1863."

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was rejected because of physical disability. (CSR undated.)

He shows up on a 15 Dec 1863 list of Camp Douglas prisoners "desiring to take the oath of allegiance." Under remarks is, "Conscripted. Desires to take the oath."

His name "appears as signature to an Oath of Allegiance to the United States, subscribed and sworn to at Camp Douglas, Ill., December 28, 1864." He was released from Camp Douglas, Ill., 28 Dec 1864. Despite this, his widow was allowed to claim widow's pension because he had been a CSA soldier. His wife M. A. Billet's name shows up on a "List of old Pensioners" of Vicksburg of 1903.

He is described as residing in Warren County, Miss., having a light complexion, "mixed" hair, hazel eyes, and being 5 ft 11 in tall. A further note is added that he enlisted 20 Jan 1863 and was captured at Vicksburg, Miss., July 4, 1863.

A U.S. Naturalization Record Index lists a James Billet living in Vicksburg,  Warren Co., Miss., showing him as having country of birth or allegiance as "England - Great Britain," and giving a naturalization date of 28 Oct 1840.

On the Vicksburg, Warren Co., Miss., census of 15 Aug 1850, James Billett, 45 years old, lists his occupation as stone mason and his place of birth as England. His wife is listed as Maria 29 and children Emily 8 and Charlotte 5.

"Mississippi Marriages" gives the date of marriage for Mary A. Dredge and James Billett as 1851 -- typo? -- note that daughters Emily and Charlotte were born about 1842 and 1845. Were they perhaps small kin of James or his wife? See below where the two young girls, along with rest of the children, are referred to as "minor heirs" and not children or issue.

Emily (age 8) and Charlotte (age 5) show up on the census of Vicksburg, Warren Co., Miss., 15 Aug 1850, with Maria (age 29, born in England), probably wife, and James Billet (age 45, also born in England). He is listed as a stone mason from England. Both girls are noted as born in Mississippi.

On the 10th March 1868, James Billett's wife signed her name to a petition to the Probate Court of Warren County as Marian Agnes Billett.

He died 6 Sep 1866 according to the date given on the application to the War Department for a headstone for his grave.

The Fisher Funeral Home Records, pg. 217, states, "James Billett, 6 Sep 1866; Cholera; Coffin, Case, Grave, Drayage, Use of Hearse & Servises $65.00; Use of 2 Hacks $10.00 -- $75.00; F[red] Load Dr [debtor] (Load seen elsewhere spelled as Loid and found in legal records as Fred Loyd).

A pension application  was made 14 Jul 1900 by Marian A. Billett, 72 years old, living in Vicksburg, and the widow of James Billett of the 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery, serving under Capt. Norman. She writes on the application that her husband served from 1862 till the end of the war when he was discharged from Camp Douglas, that he died in 1866, that she has not remarried but has been living with her children.

As a matter of curiosity, the Mr. Fred Load mentioned above  paid the funeral expenses just two weeks later for a child, J. M. Billet, two-years eight-months old, who died of inflammation of the brain.

When James Billett died intestate, Mr. F. Loyd became administrator of his estate. This is shown in Mississippi, Wills and Probate Records at Ancestry. Among the legal papers was a slip of paper with what is most likely the names of the Billett children -- Charlotte, Genevieve, Frances, Thomas James, Harold, and Mary. (See below)



On another document at Ancestry of 11 Sep 1867, the same children are described as "minor heirs" of said deceased.


James T. Billett is interred with Ernwine relations Cedar Hill Cemetery, his grave being actually in the Officers' Lot of Soldiers' Rest. Another CSA soldier, George Ernwine rests nearby.

In Apr 1929, a relative, Clive Clarence Ernwine, who was the owner of the cemetery lot next to the Officers' Lot, ordered from the War Department grave markers for both James T. Billett and George Ernwine.

The application for James T. Billett is shown here.



Simply as an aside -- 

While researching this soldier, your compiler came across this form from the U.S. Department of Labor, Immigration and Naturalization Service. Do not know if this is our soldier, but it does show a recent family connection to England. The date of naturalization was 28 Oct 1840.


(Photo by Wayne McMaster)

Recent visitors to the grave of James T. Billet include (L to R) Bryan Skipworth, Wayne McMaster, and Josh Edwards, all of Lt. G. J. C. Pemberton Camp 1354 Sons of Confederate Veterans.




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