Hodge Kimzey

Taken from Central Arkansas Counties Biographical and Historical Memoirs 1899,
Hot Spring County

Pg 345

Hodge Kimzey was born in Walker County, Ga., January 10, 1850, and is the son of Joshua T. and Louisiana D. (Thompson) Kimzey, the former of whom was born in Buncombe County, N.C., June 3, 1818. Moving to Alabama at the age of twenty-five years, he was married at Oakville, January 28, 1842, and engaged in merchandising, doing a prosperous business; and although a young man at that time he held various offices, both civil and military, having received a good military training. The issue of this union was as follows, all living in South Arkansas: Vallient, Ann Rebecca, Hodge, William J., James Oscar, Mary L., Josephine R., Laura Lee, Robert Lee and Alice. In 1852, Col. J.T. Kimzey removed to Itawamba County, Miss, and thence to Van Buren County, Ark., in August, 1858, at the age of forty-five years. Here he engaged in farming, owning good property in land and slaves. At the commencement of the late war he commanded the Twenty-second Regiment of Arkansas Militia, doing some active service as a confederate officer. He held with credit many county offices during his long residence there. After the war he did much to help mitigate the ill feelings which of necessity were engendered during the trying ordeal through which our country passed, and thereby made many friends of both parties, who never failed to bestow upon him the honors of office whenever he desired their suffrages. In 1874 he removed to Magnet cove, Hot spring County, where he died one year later at the age of sixty-two. He was the son of William and Rebecca (Williamson) Kimzey. Louisiana D. Thompson, his wife, was born in Lawrence county, Ala., as the daughter of William and Ann (Wood) Thompson. She is still living at Magnet Cove, Hot Spring County, with her three unmarried children: Ann Rebecca, Robert Lee and Alice Kimzey. At the age of eight years, Hodge Kimzey removed with his parents to Van Buren County, Ark., where he was reared and educated in the country schools, receiving a fair education. He was for years correspondent for several Arkansas and other papers, and gained some celebrity as a humorous writer. In 1874 he removed with his father to Magnet Cove, where he engaged in farming to some extent, and extensively in mineral collection, selling rare cab8net specimens to Eastern dealers. He owns a good farm in Magnet Cove. December 15,1875, he was married to Hattie Mitchell, daughter of Melmoth C. and Alabama O. (Robinson) Mitchell. Melmoth Mitchell was born in Memphis, Tenn., July 28, 1827, and died in Magnet cove in July, 1861. Mrs. A.O. Mitchell now resided in Magnet Cove. She was born July 16, 1830, was reared and educated near Athens, Ala., and married Mr. Mitchell November 9, 1851. Mr. Kimzey has two children living. The eldest son in Oscar Robert (who was born June 14, 1883), and the younger, Fleming Thornton (born March 22, 1887. Mr. Kimzey enlisted in the Confederate army in June, 1864, at the early age of fourteen years. He first joined Capt. Christopher’s company of partisans, and in a few days thereafter they were led into an ambuscade, and under a galling fire this gallant leader and several of his men were slain. Then Capt. John Bradley assumed command. Under his daring leadership a few days after, on a bright July morning, a dash was made upon a battalion of Federals at Ashley Station on Grand Prairie. It was a superb cavalry charge, and perhaps none bloodier in the annals of this State during those tempestuous days. Several of the enemy were captured, and many men and horses went down in a few brief moments, as the enemy used the railroad embankments to shield them from the Confederate fire. Here Mr. Kimzey had his horse shot from under him. Scare a week passed in 1864 that did not mark a bloody chapter in the wild mountain passes of Little red River, where both parties had well-nigh discarded the rules of civilized warfare with a blind and fiery zeal, born of hate and revenge, sparing none whom they deemed able to shoulder a musket. At this juncture Gen. Price made the memorable raid with 25,000 cavalry, fighting his way through Missouri and Kansas. Hodge Kimzey, with Capt. Bradley’s company, Col. A.R. Witt’s regiment, took part in the perilous scenes incident to this last unfortunate, nevertheless heroic effort, to reclaim Arkansas and his own native State from the hand of the enemy. Although history proclaims it a signal failure, it was fraught with many grand achievements, such as tried men’s souls. At Lexington, Pilot Know, Kansas city and more than a dozen other engagements he took part. The last desperate engagement occurred at Newtonia, Mo., near the Arkansas line. After this Mr. Kimzey returned home, and a few days later, in a skirmish with a detachment of Illinois troops, was captured and taken to Little Rock, from which place, after undergoing some thrilling experience, he made his escape and returned home, and in a short time, in company with many others, surrendered at Searcy to a Dutch captain, who held that post with Minnesota troops. His wife is an active member of the Methodist Church a Magnet Cove. He is a member of the Masonic order, and an active worker in all judicious enterprises.