Rebecca Ann (Ashcraft) Chambers Haynes
Daughter of Joel and Martha “Patsey” Ferguson
Rebecca Ann was born in September of 1831 in York County, South Carolina, the second daughter and eighth child of Joel and Patsey Ashcraft.
At the age of eighteen she married Andrew Jackson Chambers, left the family farm and moved to the town of York. Jackson, who was thirteen years older than Rebecca, was born about 1818, also in York County. Employed as a farm manager, he dreamed of having his own land. In the mid-1850s, Jackson’s opportunity came to be. He and Rebecca, together with other fellow Carolinians – many of them relatives, loaded their wagon and moved to Cleveland County, Arkansas. Here, Jackson took advantage of the low-cost lands offered for sale by the government.
The couple settled near present-day Herbine at the head of the creek called Mill Branch on the north side of Vint’s Bluff Road. Jackson paid off his first 80-acre tract of land and received his patent in June of 1859. By October the next year, his payment for an adjacent 80-acre section had been satisfied.
Two daughters were born to Jackson and Rebecca on the Chambers homestead - Mary Emily on May 15, 1856 and Maggie Jane on August 15, 1860. While Jackson’s fate is unknown, he probably died sometime during the Civil War years, although there’s no record of him having enlisted in either army. Probably widowed, Rebecca soon remarried.
Eldridge L. Haynes was born February 21, 1835 in Tennessee and served with the Confederacy in Company D of the 26th Arkansas Infantry along with four of Rebecca’s brothers and one of her first cousins. Eldridge enlisted in May of 1862 as a 3rd Corporal, and was promoted that September to 5th Sergeant. By August of 1863, he was serving as 3rd Sergeant. Eldridge was released from the Confederate Army at the war’s end in May of 1865. Shortly after the war, Rebecca and Eldridge were married.
Eldridge was a respectable farmer and together he and Rebecca had two children - a daughter Olive, born April 13, 1867 and a son Eldridge Conway, born in August of 1869. Olive, who had married James E. Shelby, died giving birth to her second son, Fred Byron, in 1890. Rebecca and Eldridge raised Fred. Buford, Ollie’s older son remained with his father who eventually remarried.
Rebecca’s daughter, Mary Emily Chambers, married Stephen F. Crook in 1873. Daughter Maggie Jane Chambers and Reuben R. Rauls were wed in 1879. Son Eldridge Conway Haynes never married.
Eldridge L. Haynes died June 8, 1903 at the age of 68. Rebecca filed for her Civil War widow’s pension in July that year and was granted benefits of fifty dollars per month. She never remarried and by 1910, had moved to Gum Woods in Lonoke County where she lived with her son and two grandsons. Rebecca died four years later at the age of eighty-three. She and Eldridge Haynes are both buried near Pansy in Prosperity Cemetery.
Rebecca’s gravestone and the 1910 census enumeration give the year of her birth as 1829. However, all other known records indicate she was born in 1831.
WIDOW'S APPLICATION FOR PENSION
COUNTY OF Cleveland
I, R. A. Haynes, do solemnly swear that I am the widow of E. L. Haynes who served as a soldier in the army of the Confederate States, being a member of Capt. A. H. Haliday's Co. D, 26th Regiment of Infantry from the State of Arkansas ~ or a member of the crew of the ship called ______________; that he was honorably released from such service on or about the 22nd of May and did not desert the same; that I am now, and for the past twelve months have been, a bona fide resident of this State; that I do not own property, real or personal, or both, or money of choses in action, in excess of the value of $400.00 (exclusive of household goods and wearing apparel), nor have I conveyed title to any property to enable me to draw a pension, and that I am not in receipt of any income, annuity, pension or wages for any services, the emoluments of an office, in excess of $150.00 per year; that my said husband died on the 8th of June 1903 in Cleveland County Arkansas and that I have not since remarried, so help me God.
(Signature) Mrs. R. A. Haynes Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 13th day of July, 1903
Pitt Holmes, Clk.
By F. Sanders, D.C.
PROOF OF SERVICE
(By Comrades of Husband if Possible) STATE OF ARKANSAS} County of Cleveland On this day personally came before the undersigned, a Clerk of Circuit Court within and for the County of Cleveland and State of Arkansas, Nathan Smith and J. R. Reed, citizens of _____________whom I certify to be creditable persons and worthy of confidence, who being duly sworn, state: That they were each, personally, well acquainted with applicant’s husband E. L. Haynes and knew him 44 years, respectively. That he was a Confederate soldier. Belonging to Company Capt. A.H. Halidays Co. D, 26th Regiment of Arkansas Infantry. That as such soldier he served from the 12th day [May] 1862 to the 22nd day of May 1865. That he was honorably released from such service and did not desert the same. That he is now dead and that his widow has been for the past twelve months a bona fide resident of Arkansas. That to the best of our knowledge, all property now owned by his widow is not worth exceeding $400 (exclusive of household goods and wearing apparel). That his widow is not in receipt of any income, annuity, pension or wages for any services, or the emoluments of an office, in excess of $150 per year, and that she has not since remarried. That we have no interest in this claim.
J. R. Reed Subscribed and sworn to before me this 13th day of July 1903.
Pitt Holmes, Clk.
By F. Sanders, D.C.
STATE OF ARKANSAS
County of Cleveland
We, the undersigned, sitting as a Pension Board for ___________County, do certify that we have examined the application of the within named R. E. Haynes for pension, under Act of the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas, as approved March 11, 1901, and the proof in support of same, and find that said applicant is the widow of a Confederate soldier, is in indigent circumstances and that her claim is just, and that she should be allowed $50 pension.
J.R. Reed (SEAL]
W. I. Carter (SEAL)
? J. Harrison (Seal)
Reference: Federal Census Records; United States Bureau of Land Management; National Archives and Records Administration; Arkansas History Commission; Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas, Copyright 1890 published by The Goodspeed Publishing Col; Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis; copies of U.S. War Department's transcribed Confederate service records of E.L. Haynes; copies of Widow's Pension Application No. 15848.)
Submitted by Sharon (Spielman) Ashcraft