Mariam Beck Forrest #5 Sponsored by Jeffrey Forrest Camp #323 Chartered 23 October 2005
Mariam Beck was born in South
Carolina in 1802 of Scot-Irish descent with unusual
gray eyes.Her family moved to Tennessee
where she met William Forrest, a blacksmith.They married in 1820 at Gallatin, TN.Later, they were able to buy 180 acres near Chapel
Hill, TN where most of their
children were born.
William and Mariam had eight sons,
Nathan Bedford, John, William (Bill), Aaron, Jesse, Isaac, Jeffrey and one
still born son.Five of these men would
serve valiantly in the Civil War.They
also had 3 daughters, Nathan Bedfordís twin sister, Fannie, Mary, and Malinda.
In 1833, they sold their farm to
Stephen Rainey and moved to the wilderness in northern Mississippi.They were able to move on this land because
of the removal of the Chickasaw Nation to Indian Territory.
In 1837, William died and was
buried in Ripley, MS.At the time of Williamís death Mariam was
pregnant with their last son, Jesse who was born 6 months later.She was left to raise 10 children in the
wilderness by herself.Life during this
time was very hard for her.Bedford
was only 16 at the time but became the head of the house.
One day Mariam and two of her
daughters were riding back home from a neighborís house with some chicks that
she had been given and a panther began stalking them.When they slowed down to cross a stream, the
panther jumped from the bank on to Mariamís back.She managed to hold on to the chicks and shake
the panther off.Bedford
took care of the wounds on his motherís back then grabbed his fatherís rifle
and the family dogs to track the panther.After the dogs treed the panther, Bedford
waited until daylight so he would be able to see better and killed the panther.
In 1842, Mariam lost all three
daughters and one son to typhoid while in MS.In 1843, she married Joseph Luxton, a sheriff, and had 3 more sons and a
On June 14 1861, Bedford
joined the Confederacy along with his younger brother, Jesse and his son
William who was 14.Bedford
sold her a 42 acre farm about 7 miles north of Memphis
for $5.00 to insure that his mother would be taken care of while he was
Mariam saw eight of nine sons fight
during the Civil War.Nathan Bedford
enlisted at the age of 40 as a private and in four years rose to Lieutenant
General.He is recognized as one of the
greatest generals of the war and his campaigns are still studied in military
institutes around the world.Her second
son, John, served in the Mexican War and was shot and paralyzed.He resided in Memphis,
TN at the Worsham House in 1862.William was an important part of Bedfordís
Escort and rode his horse up the Gayoso Hotel during a raid in Memphis.
Aaron caught pneumonia while riding on maneuvers and died near Dresden
in 1864.Jesse served in the Army of
Tennessee and helped protect the rear guard during the escape from Nashville.Jeffrey died in the battle of Okolona,
MS in 1864.The three boys by Joseph Luxton also served during the Civil War.
Mariam moved to Navasota,
TX in 1867 to be near one of her sons.She died of blood poisoning after stepping on
a nail.Her last words were reported to
have been asking when Bedford was
coming to take care of her.
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