James Terry Diary

This diary was transcribed by Hugh Corrigan, IV , a relative of James S. Terry.
A special thanks goes to him for sharing his work.

Special Dates and Letters


        James Stacy Terry was born in the Greenville District of  South Carolina in 1834.  His parents, Asbury and Winniford E. Graydon Terry, moved the family to Tippah County in 1842.  They lived on Oak Lawn Plantation near the town of Salem.  His father died when James was 16, and he vowed to help his mother raise the family.  At age 21 James moved to La Grange, Tennessee and worked as a clerk in a store owned by Major Cossett who built and endowed the Memphis library.

        In 1861, James enlisted in the Southern Guards, Company A, and spent 12 months in the artillery division, his command being stationed respectively at Cape Girardeau, Belmont, Colombus, Island No. 10 and New Madrid in the defensive operations of the Confederates along the Mississippi River.  With a number of his comrades, James swam the river to the Arkansas side, rejoined the Confederate forces at Fort Pillow.  In 1862 he was assigned to Company A of the Fourth Tennessee Infantry, and with that command participated in the invasion of Kentucky.  He fought in the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Chickamauga and Nashville.  At the last named place he was captured and spent some time in Federal prison at Camp Douglas in Chicago.  He rejoined his command in time to take part in the defense of Atlanta, where he was wounded.  During his career as a solider he was wounded several other times, and took part in thirty-seven pitched battles.   At Richmond, Virginia in 1865, he received his parole, returned across country on foot to Mississippi where he worked on the family farm in Tippah County.

        James moved to Dallas in 1872.  He made good on his promise to help his mother raise the family, and did not marry until he was 42.  He Married Callie Hicks of DeSoto County, Mississippi.  He joined his brothers in business, and made his fortune in the flour mill and woolen mill business and eventually the real estate business.  His descendants still live in Dallas.  James is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery, 3020 Oak Grove Avenue, Dallas, Texas.

Charles Terry Diary
A diary written by James' younger brother.

© 2000  by Melissa McCoy-Bell.  All rights reserved.