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Captain John Rayburn

J. Rayburn.jpg

John Rayburn


John Rayburn was born in Guntersville, Alabama December 30th, 1838 to Samuel King and Sarah Davenport Rayburn.  Sarah pasted away in January of 1860, Samuel remarried in May of 1861 to Evergreen Rainney who was killed in 1862 during the Federal shelling of Guntersville.  In the fall of 1862 Samuel Rayburn raised a company of volunteers and was commissioned captain of Co. B, 48th Alabama infantry but was compelled by sickness to resign and returned home in the early part of 1863. 
    May 25, 1861  John received his orders to march.  On May 29th he along with the rest of the “Marshall Boys” and an Irish company, “The Railroad Guard” boarded the river boat Paint Rock at Guntersville their final destination being Richmond, Virginia.  Several thousand folks from all over the county gathered for the send off, amongst shrieks and tears the ladies of Guntersville presented the “Marshall Boys” with a beautiful flag by Miss Mary Elliot and received by Mr. Eubanks.  The old men of the county opened their purses for the benefit of the volunteers and the wives of the needy, with Mr John H. Harris heading the list with the sum of five hundred dollars.  
     The 9th Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized in Richmond  under Col. Cadmus Wilcox.  After an address by President Davis, on  July 12, 1861, they were sent to Winchester and brigaded under General Kirby Smith.  On July 21st, the 9th Alabama missed the battle of Manassas due to a railroad accident.  In October of 1861, Col. Wilcox was promoted to Brigadier General and in January 1862 assumed the command of the brigade.  The regiment laid up at Manassas and Centerville until March 1862, then on April 5th it marched to Yorktown which after Federal shelling, sustained slight losses.  May 5th and 6th found the 9th at the battle of Williamsburg where it suffered 10 killed and 45 wounded, while helping capture an 8 gun battery and taking 70 prisoners.  The 9th, now brigaded with 8th, 10th, 11th and 14th Alabama under Gen. Wilcox, engaged the enemy on June 27th at Gaines‘ Mill resulting in 34 killed 96 wounded, then again at Fraiser’s Farm on June 30th with 31 killed 95 wounded.  On August 30th the 9th Alabama Infantry suffered 30 casualties at the second battle of Manassas.  September 14th and 15th the 9th was part of the investing force at Harper’s Ferry after which it was hurried to the field at Sharpsburg where on September 17th 1862, young Capt. John Rayburn along with seven others lost their lives with 42 wounded and 9 missing.  John’s body was never recovered.

“It was Napoleon Bonaparte’s habit to emblazon on the flags 
          of his veteran regiments in large letters the names of the great        
          battles in which they had taken part.  But the battle flag of the
          Ninth Alabama could not have contained the names of the 
          engagements in which they gathered laurels and shed their 
          blood.  The material of the regiment, both men and officers 
          was of the very best which North Alabama could furnish” 
                                             “Early Settlers of Alabama”
                                           Recollections of North Alabama
                                          by Col. James Edmonds Saunders

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