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 Samuel S. “Sam” Berry

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Samuel S. “Sam” Berry

  • Birth 1830 Tennessee, USA
  • Death 30 Nov 1864 Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee, USA
  • Burial Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee, USA
  • Plot Section 66 - Tenn - Grave 229
  • Memorial ID 6536035

Samuel S. Berry, the son of William L. Berry and Lucinda Ballard Berry, joined the 55th TN Infantry, Company B in October 1861. His brother, Isaac Galloway Berry, joined this company at the same time. Samuel was 31 and had a family of four children and was married to Elizabeth (Lizzie) Melton.

He was older than most who joined up, was a non Slave holder (according to the 1860 census) and was probably heavily influenced by very strong family ties to (and perhaps pressure from) Captain Pritcher Melton, and the desire to defend their state of Tennessee. Several younger sons and brothers were left at home to care for the farm and the families. Some of the other Berrys listed as members of Company were also family members. It is known that Samuel (Sam), Isaac (Ike), William W. (Willie), James A., and Moses P. (Mosey), a cousin, all enlisted in the 55th regiment at the same time. Another Berry has been mentioned, Henry H. Berry, but his enlistment has not been verified.

Samuel, along with Isaac, William and Moses P. were captured on Island 10, in the Mississippi River in April 1862 and spent months in deprivation in Camp Douglas, the Union prison camp near Chicago. In 1862 they were paroled during a prisoner exchange arranged by then Governor of Tennessee, Andrew Johnson, (soon to be Vice President under Abraham Lincoln). Prisoners who were paroled were required to take an oath that they would not bear arms again against the United States.

Samuel had received a head wound during the battle for Island 10 by looking up over a sandbag wall. Samuel returned home in 1862 and at some point rejoined the regiment, and apparently was placed in Company A, of the reorganized unit. He was attached to Company A, 55th Tenn. Infantry Regiment, Quarles Brigade, on November 30, 1864 when it was advanced across an open field upon the Union breastworks at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee. The company advanced on the cotton gin area of the Carnton Plantation before being repulsed by heavy fire and canister from Union artillery. By the end of the battle, four hours later, every officer in the brigade was dead or wounded and the only senior officer still standing was a captain. The dead were so heaped together in places that dead men stood up right where they died simply because there was nowhere to fall.

A family story, handed down from Hosea L. Wheatley, describes the wounding of the two Berry "boys" that were marching ahead of Wheatley in the battle. One of them definitely was Samuel S. Berry, who died on the field that day. It is unknown who the other Berry soldier was, but he may have well be Moses P. Berry, who was not heard from after 1864. Samuel is buried in Section 66 of the Franklin Confederate Cemetery near Carnton Plantation, Franklin, Tennessee, with the rest of the over 270 Tennessee men who died that day. Overall, over 1770 Confederate dead lie in the battlefield cemetery. He is listed on his headstone as S.S. Berry, Pvt, Co A, 55th TN Inf.

Samuel's children, Phrigen (Pridge) 1856-1921: Isabella, b. 1859; Martha, b. 1854, were raised by James A. Berry and Elizabeth Melton Berry, and settled in 1864 in Randolph County, Arkansas. Another daughter, Mary Clementine "Fannie" Berry (Davis), born in 1861, was raised by her aunt, Phoebe Melton. Fannie married James Anderson Davis and was the mother to Mattie (Davis) Weed. Mattie was the mother of Maskell (Weed) Stone. Maskell was the mother of The Old Chief.

Family Members

Gravesite Details Company A - 55th Tennessee Infantry - CSA
  • Maintained by: TheOldChief
  • Originally Created by: Randy Adams
  • Added: 21 Jun 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6536035
  • TheOldChief
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Samuel S. “Sam” Berry (1830–30 Nov 1864), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6536035, citing Confederate Cemetery, Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by TheOldChief (contributor 47544507) .