Fayette Co., AL: Barzilla S. Dobbs Grave
Fayette County, Alabama
~ Barzilla S. Dobbs Grave ~

Location: About "eight miles north of Bankston, Alabama just off Highway 102" (T14S-R11W or T15S-R11W)
Contributed by: Frances Lowrey Brasher - 01 Apr 2006
"I went into the woods this past weekend and cleaned the graves
of Barzilla S. DOBBS and Hugh Lansing BOLTON.  The simple stones [upper right] are BOLTON,
just about 6 feet to the right of DOBBS [foreground]."
~ Contributed by Robert (Cherokee) Brasher, 28 Mar 2007 ~

Barzilla S. Dobbs Grave
and the Story of His Death in 1864

(According to tales passed down)

For more than a hundred years a flat rock has marked the grave of Barzilla S. DOBBS, who was hanged by a group of men believed to be either Northern Sympathizers or the ruthless “Home Guard.”  The vigilantes actually were seeking an elderly man named DOBBINS when they encountered Mr. DOBBS and another soldier named BOLTON.  Mr. DOBBS had recently left the CSA army and returned to Fayette County due to the illness of his wife and newborn child.

Despite his pleas of innocence, Barzilla DOBBS was seized by the mob and carried into the woods.  There, he and the other man — thought to be Hugh Lansing BOLTON — were hanged from a tree and left there.  The family of DOBBS came and cut down the deteriorated bodies of the two men.  They buried their father and BOLTON near the hanging tree.  They marked the DOBBS grave with a large flat rock.

Barzilla S. DOBBS died on April 5, 1864, a year before the end of the War Between the States.  He left nine children, one of them only a few months old.

The graves are located west of James “Ike” FLYNN's place (345 Flynn Road), just off Highway 102 (about eight miles north of Bankston and west of Fowlers Crossroads).  A marble tombstone has been placed beside the flat rock to identify the final resting place of an innocent man killed in the hysteria of war.  On this stone his birth date is shown as June 4, 1814, but census records indicate the year as 1828.


Mr. DOBBS resided only about three miles east of where he was killed.  His widow and other family members were buried at Dobbs Family Cemetery, probably on the old homestead.

Little is known about the other individual buried beside Mr. DOBBS.  If he were a Confederate soldier, as tradition says, he may be the H.L. BOLTON who was medically discharged from the 26th Alabama Infantry, O'Neal's Regiment, Co. C, CSA, on 16 Jan 1863.  It is interesting to note, however, that a Hugh L. BOLTON enlisted 25 Sep 1863 in Fayette County in the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USA.  This man claimed to have been born about 1841 in neighboring Pickens Co., AL.  He almost certainly was the Hugh L.W. BOLTON (b. 1842, AL) recorded in Pickens County on the 1860 U.S. census.  The similarity of names and the timeline suggest that these two soldiers could have been the same man.  However, the Union BOLTON was promoted to 2nd lieutenant nearly three months after the tragic hangings in Fayette County.  More research is needed to prove the identity of the second grave's occupant.

Mr. DOBBS's grave was desecrated by vandals in 1993; the other grave was desecrated in 2006.

~ Photographs courtesy of Frances Lowrey Brasher & Robert (Cherokee) Brasher ~

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02 Apr 2006  |  07 Apr 2007