John Wesley Hockersmith was born February 13, 1837 in Franklin County, TN. He was the son of George M. Hockersmith and Lucinda Simmons Hockersmith. On January 21, 1856 he married Delphia Jane Ragan (Reagin). They had one daughter, Nancy Jane Hockersmith Howard born July 14, 1858 in Stevenson, AL. In the fall of 1861, John Wesley enlisted with Co. C, 31st AL Infantry. ("Jackson Lions" from Jackson County, AL.) Which later became Co. C, 49th AL.
Sometime after 1860 (probably in late 1861), John Wesley's wife died. The story passed down through the family was that Delphia Jane Hockersmith died from complications of the measles brought to town by the Yankee soldiers. Nancy Jane, their small daughter, went to live with her grandfather, George Hockersmith, since her father was away fighting for the Confederacy.
John Wesley was captured in the Battle of Port Hudson on July 9, 1863 after being shot through the right shoulder joint and shoulder blade. He was paroled on July 12, 1863 and sent home with a permanent and debilitating injury. He was thereafter unable to use his right arm. He returned to Franklin County, TN with his young daughter.
On September 20, 1863 John Wesley Hockersmith married Barbara Catherine Hice. They had 10 children. In 1876 John Wesley's daughter, Nancy Jane went to Texas with her grandfather, George Hockersmith.
In 1898 John Wesley applied for a Confederate Pension. His attorney, Boone Denton had the following to say of him. "Applicant is old and worn out. He is able to walk about some but is frequently confined to his bed with sickness which Dr. Drake certifies is the result of wounds received in the war. He is a man of good character, sober, honest and industrious. But in the course of Nature he cannot remain much longer among his comrades in Gray. If your honorable Board grants him this pension, it will not have to be paid many quarters before he will be numbered on the honored roll of departed Confederates. Not a taxpayer in the State would regret the few hours of comfort which a pension would afford John Hockersmith."
John Wesley Hockersmith joined the "honored roll of departed Confederates" on October 10, 1908 in Franklin County, TN. He is buried in Winchester, TN.
Submitted by Georgia Wright Head, great-great-great granddaughter of John Wesley Hockersmith (through Nancy Jane Hockersmith).
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