Asking questions unfolds McManmie story

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Fayette County History

By Linda Hanabarger

Sometimes it just helps to ask.
That is how I learned what I now know about Pvt. Isaac McManmie of Company G, 21st Arkansas Infantry, Confederate States of America (C.S.A.)

As often happens, while looking for something else, I discovered that this Confederate soldier was buried in Antioch Cemetery, located east of Herrick in Section 22, Bowling Green Township.
Over the past several years, I have been working with Gale Red, project coordinator for the Illinois Confederate Graves Project, to compile a list of Southern soldiers buried in Fayette County cemeteries. Starting with four names, the list has now grown to 15. No,  make that 16. For now we add to the list the name of Isaac McManmie.
The “honor roll,” published by the Illinois Veterans Commission in 1857, carried Isaac’s name on their list of soldiers buried in Antioch Cemetery, although listing him as James McMannie, Co. G, 21st Arkansas Infantry. The year of his death, 1928, and the fact that he had a government headstone, was all that was known.
It was during a recent conversation with Gale that I mentioned finding a new name to add to our list of Confederate veterans for Fayette County. I asked whether he had come across Isaac’s name in his research. As luck would have it, he had.
According to the Graves Project database, Isaac was buried in Shelby County, cemetery not known. Some family information about Isaac had been shared with Gale, and he was kind enough to share it with me.
From military records, we learn that at age 18, Isaac enlisted for a 12-month stint at Des Arc, Ark., in Co. H of LeMoyne’s 17th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry, under Capt.  W.W. Wait. They were involved in the Battle of Pea Ridge at Bentonville, Ark., and on March 6–8 at Elkorn Tavern, Ark. Shortly after, Isaac fell ill and was admitted to the hospital at Memphis, Tenn.
On April 17, 1862, one day before his 19th birthday, Isaac was discharged from the hospital and rejoined his unit, which had become Co. G of the 21st Arkansas Infantry.
From April 29 through May 30, they were "involved in the operations against the advance on and the Siege of Corinth, Miss."  Following these operations, they returned to Booneville, Mo. The rest of the summer was quiet.
On Sept. 15, Isaac became ill again and was admitted to the Iuka hospital. The story gets a little hazy here, but it seems that while he was a patient, the hospital was overtaken by Union troops and he became a prisoner of war.
He was held for about a month before he was paroled, which, in the eyes of the 21st Arkansas, made him a deserter. Not long after, he "hightailed it for Herrick," where on March 27, 1864, he married Mary Sarver.  This is where we pick up his story.
Mary was the daughter of Jeremiah and Mollie Frailey Sarver, and her family is counted among the old settlers of this area of Fayette County.
Following their marriage, Isaac began to farm, and he and Mary were parents of 13 children: Smith Ann, born on Nov. 23, 1869,  who married Tinker Jim Burrus; William Clinton, who married Harriet Davis; Ida,  who married Edward McDaniel; James C., who married Eliza Sarver; Phoebe Jane, who married Charles Clarence Barrow; and Beve McManmie, born June 21, 1890, who married Edna Walker in 1914. Seven children died in infancy.
It is through the research of Beve McManmie’s wife, Edna, that we learn of Isaac’s birth on April 28, 1843, in Prairie County, Ark. He was a son of Hiram and Effie McManmie. Both the 1840 and 1850 federal census of Lawrence County, Ark., list the family living at that place.
Isaac was the fourth of six children of this couple, which included, Elpidy, Elizabeth, Margaret, Martha and Mary McManmie. It is believed that Hiram McManmie was a son of Isaac McManmie, a native of Virginia.
Starting with little more than his name, I was able to learn a lot about Pvt. Isaac McManmie.
Sometimes it just helps to ask.