James was the s/o Rev. James MATHIS & Rhoda MONK of GA.
The Mathis/Matthews family moved to S. FL in the late 1850's, along with the Rowland WILLIAMS family, settling in Manatee Co., in the vicinity of Brownsville. James returned to Columbia Co. apparently due to family troubles. Mary Ann filed for divorce and a legal ad appeared on 30 Jun 1860 issue of the Florida Peninsular of Tampa. Mary Ann remarried, as did James (M.A.'s sister Sally). James MATHEWS filed charges of adultry against Mary Ann Sept. 1866. James joined the GA Conf. Army on 1 Aug. 1861, Savannah. A Pvt. in Camp. Levi J. KNIGHT's Co. C (Berrien Minute Men). This Co. was later designated as Capt. Thos. S. WYLLY's Co. & also as G, 29th Reg. of GA Inf. In 1862 he was a Cpl. At the time he was sick in hospital or convalescent camp. His name of on a clothing receipt roll at Buckner & Gamble Hosp. at Fort Valley Ga. 6'2" tall, black hair, grey eyes. After the Civil War James returned to S. FL. Sworn statement by Sally about their birth dates and the date of James' death, signed as Sarah Matthews Morgan with her dgt.'s signature, Henrietta Sloan, dated 27 Apr.1937. According to papers found in the DeSoto County Court, James was convicted of counterfieting coin in the fall term of 1892, and sentences to three years hard labor.
According to Gene HARN (s/o Willie Agnes MATHIS s/o James) the hunting trip story told in SFP was a cover-up by Henrietta SLOAN, James' oldest dgt. There were two other men involved in the case, and it is said that they were the ones who contacted James to make the counterfiet plates for them. After James was sent to prison their trials were coming up there were two witnesses and one, a black man, they murdered and were acquitted for "lack of evidence". However, when the second witness turned up dead they ran out of luck. They were both convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison._____________ ________________.
MY ADDED NOTE: There is some confusion as to James's final resting place. James Washington Mathis is said to have died in prison, ( what prison is unknown), on July 6, 1895 of pneumonia, and is buried at Center Hill Cemetery in Sumter Co., but if he is, his grave is unmarked and the cemetery can find no record for James. The date of death may be different also, July 6,1895. Since I do not wish to change Carrie's original information here, and I cannot prove which place of death, burial place or date is actually correct, my only logical option is to leave both versions on this memorial. MO