Did General Longstreet Sue His Mother?

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Eleanor Rose

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
5,791
Location
central NC
08a4b4783057a278512bd5fa160d9b9d.jpg

General James Longstreet's mother.
Apparently he did. The old Chancery Court record books of Madison County document (Record Book R, pages 496 – 511) the Chancery Case Number 374 involving Dent family members and the family of James Longstreet of Richmond County, Georgia. This James Longstreet died in 1833, leaving a very detailed Last Will and Testament drawn up in 1830. His son James, who later became General Longstreet was one of the Complainants in the case against his mother, Mary Ann Dent Longstreet, and co-defendant Edmund Toney of Triana.

The case was first filed in the 32nd District of the Northern Alabama Chancery Division in Huntsville on December 29, 1852. It was resolved with a judgment in favor of the defendants on June 2, 1854, with the complainants having to pay all court costs in the case. The case concerned the possible violation of the terms of the will in respect to the inheritances of the children of James and Mary Ann Dent Longstreet. The executors of the will were the widow (co-defendant) Mary Ann Dent Longstreet and her oldest son William plus her brother-in-law Augustus Longstreet. The Longstreet children (complainants) were William D. (one of the executors of the will), James (CSA general-to-be), Henrietta (wife of Archibald Mills Clemens, son of James Clemens, who was Founder of Madison), Rebecca (wife of Reuben Ruff), Julia (wife of William E. Murphy), Eliza B. (wife of Walter B. Lucas), Maria N. (wife of Elisha Dismukes) and Sarah Jane (unmarried). The registered complainants also included Mary Ann Dent (only child of Anna Longstreet Dent, who had died), “an infant, under the age of twenty-one.” Mary Ann Dent was represented in the case by her “next friend, Hutchinson Dent.”

The dispute centered around the distribution of the numerous slaves of the Longstreet estate, two of whom had been sold to Edmund Toney, thereby involving him in the case as a defendant. Distribution of the elements of the estate among the senior James Longstreet heirs was to have been done by 1847, but the distribution had not been done as of 1854. The case was adjudicated in northern Alabama not only because of Edmund Toney, but also because after the passing of the senior James Longstreet in Georgia, the family had moved to Somerville in Morgan County, Alabama. Somerville is just across the Tennessee River from the Toney family holdings in Madison County, which was the location of the Chancery Court for the area including Morgan County as well as several other counties in northern Alabama at the time. By the time of prosecution of the case, James Longstreet's widow and most of his children and slaves had again relocated to Noxubee County, Mississippi. However, the Toney involvement and the fact that the questionable and delayed division of estate property had occurred while the family resided in Somerville kept jurisdiction there.

I have seen vague references to this case in various books and articles written about General Longstreet. I have also read that General Longstreet no longer spoke to his mother after this lawsuit. I have had little luck finding information about this. @War Horse, @GELongstreet[USER=9326], @FarawayFriend, @lelliott19, @novushomus, and @Zella, do you have any knowledge of this? My interested got piqued again tonight when I discovered this information while reading about the Dent family.[/USER]
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,871
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Oh no! Don't you hate reading of family quarrels like this? How awful for her, poor thing. I mean, when my kids are mad at me it'll be because I threw water on them that time they were fighting and breaking furniture. Or turn off the hot water when one was in the shower for 40 minutes. ( stirs them up a little ). These permanent splits are upsetting.

Ok and now distracted by ' Dent '. If I spend an hour on Ancestry because of this thread, tracking that down, Eleanor Rose it's on your conscience. Coming to turn off your hot water. :angel:
 

War Horse

Captain
Forum Host
Member of the Year
Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Messages
6,629
Location
Lexington, SC
08a4b4783057a278512bd5fa160d9b9d.jpg

General James Longstreet's mother.
Apparently he did. The old Chancery Court record books of Madison County document (Record Book R, pages 496 – 511) the Chancery Case Number 374 involving Dent family members and the family of James Longstreet of Richmond County, Georgia. This James Longstreet died in 1833, leaving a very detailed Last Will and Testament drawn up in 1830. His son James, who later became General Longstreet was one of the Complainants in the case against his mother, Mary Ann Dent Longstreet, and co-defendant Edmund Toney of Triana.

The case was first filed in the 32nd District of the Northern Alabama Chancery Division in Huntsville on December 29, 1852. It was resolved with a judgment in favor of the defendants on June 2, 1854, with the complainants having to pay all court costs in the case. The case concerned the possible violation of the terms of the will in respect to the inheritances of the children of James and Mary Ann Dent Longstreet. The executors of the will were the widow (co-defendant) Mary Ann Dent Longstreet and her oldest son William plus her brother-in-law Augustus Longstreet. The Longstreet children (complainants) were William D. (one of the executors of the will), James (CSA general-to-be), Henrietta (wife of Archibald Mills Clemens, son of James Clemens, who was Founder of Madison), Rebecca (wife of Reuben Ruff), Julia (wife of William E. Murphy), Eliza B. (wife of Walter B. Lucas), Maria N. (wife of Elisha Dismukes) and Sarah Jane (unmarried). The registered complainants also included Mary Ann Dent (only child of Anna Longstreet Dent, who had died), “an infant, under the age of twenty-one.” Mary Ann Dent was represented in the case by her “next friend, Hutchinson Dent.”

The dispute centered around the distribution of the numerous slaves of the Longstreet estate, two of whom had been sold to Edmund Toney, thereby involving him in the case as a defendant. Distribution of the elements of the estate among the senior James Longstreet heirs was to have been done by 1847, but the distribution had not been done as of 1854. The case was adjudicated in northern Alabama not only because of Edmund Toney, but also because after the passing of the senior James Longstreet in Georgia, the family had moved to Somerville in Morgan County, Alabama. Somerville is just across the Tennessee River from the Toney family holdings in Madison County, which was the location of the Chancery Court for the area including Morgan County as well as several other counties in northern Alabama at the time. By the time of prosecution of the case, James Longstreet's widow and most of his children and slaves had again relocated to Noxubee County, Mississippi. However, the Toney involvement and the fact that the questionable and delayed division of estate property had occurred while the family resided in Somerville kept jurisdiction there.

I have seen vague references to this case in various books and articles written about General Longstreet. I have also read that General Longstreet no longer spoke to his mother after this lawsuit. I have had little luck finding information about this. @War Horse, @GELongstreet[USER=9326], @FarawayFriend, @lelliott19, @novushomus, and @Zella, do you have any knowledge if this? My interested got piqued again tonight when I discovered this information while reading about the Dent family.[/USER]
Yes, there was a lawsuit. It’s an interesting story. I have it in one of my books. I’ll see if I can track it down and share it with everyone.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Messages
8,666
Location
Hannover, Germany
Yes, there was a lawsuit. It’s an interesting story. I have it in one of my books. I’ll see if I can track it down and share it with everyone.
Looking forward to hearing what is behind this story.I think it's no easy thing to openly "fight" one's parents, it sure is not done easily. So I guess there must be a severe reason and some sordid details.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Eleanor Rose

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
5,791
Location
central NC
Yes, there was a lawsuit. It’s an interesting story. I have it in one of my books. I’ll see if I can track it down and share it with everyone.
I figured you would know about it! Please share any info. you can find. I would think this would have been unusual during that time period.

@JPK Huson 1863, it will be worth losing my hot water if you dig up any good information on the Dents. :giggle: Hey I should post that in the "You Know You're Preoccupied By the Civil War When" thread over in The Ladies Tea.
 

Zella

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
2,764
I was not aware of this but am intrigued! Would also like to know how common these sorts of lawsuits were at this time.

From what I can gather, one of my ancestors from around this time period was involved in numerous family lawsuits. Like, that whole crowd just loved to sue each other. And write each other out of wills. And rant in their wills about how much they hated each other. And find sneaky ways to get around being disinherited. And did I mention they liked to sue each other? :roflmao:

I just thought they were abnormally litigious--and could well be--but maybe it wasn't as uncommon as I had assumed?
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2017
Messages
9,900
Location
Chicagoland
08a4b4783057a278512bd5fa160d9b9d.jpg

General James Longstreet's mother.
Apparently he did. The old Chancery Court record books of Madison County document (Record Book R, pages 496 – 511) the Chancery Case Number 374 involving Dent family members and the family of James Longstreet of Richmond County, Georgia. This James Longstreet died in 1833, leaving a very detailed Last Will and Testament drawn up in 1830. His son James, who later became General Longstreet was one of the Complainants in the case against his mother, Mary Ann Dent Longstreet, and co-defendant Edmund Toney of Triana.

The case was first filed in the 32nd District of the Northern Alabama Chancery Division in Huntsville on December 29, 1852. It was resolved with a judgment in favor of the defendants on June 2, 1854, with the complainants having to pay all court costs in the case. The case concerned the possible violation of the terms of the will in respect to the inheritances of the children of James and Mary Ann Dent Longstreet. The executors of the will were the widow (co-defendant) Mary Ann Dent Longstreet and her oldest son William plus her brother-in-law Augustus Longstreet. The Longstreet children (complainants) were William D. (one of the executors of the will), James (CSA general-to-be), Henrietta (wife of Archibald Mills Clemens, son of James Clemens, who was Founder of Madison), Rebecca (wife of Reuben Ruff), Julia (wife of William E. Murphy), Eliza B. (wife of Walter B. Lucas), Maria N. (wife of Elisha Dismukes) and Sarah Jane (unmarried). The registered complainants also included Mary Ann Dent (only child of Anna Longstreet Dent, who had died), “an infant, under the age of twenty-one.” Mary Ann Dent was represented in the case by her “next friend, Hutchinson Dent.”

The dispute centered around the distribution of the numerous slaves of the Longstreet estate, two of whom had been sold to Edmund Toney, thereby involving him in the case as a defendant. Distribution of the elements of the estate among the senior James Longstreet heirs was to have been done by 1847, but the distribution had not been done as of 1854. The case was adjudicated in northern Alabama not only because of Edmund Toney, but also because after the passing of the senior James Longstreet in Georgia, the family had moved to Somerville in Morgan County, Alabama. Somerville is just across the Tennessee River from the Toney family holdings in Madison County, which was the location of the Chancery Court for the area including Morgan County as well as several other counties in northern Alabama at the time. By the time of prosecution of the case, James Longstreet's widow and most of his children and slaves had again relocated to Noxubee County, Mississippi. However, the Toney involvement and the fact that the questionable and delayed division of estate property had occurred while the family resided in Somerville kept jurisdiction there.

I have seen vague references to this case in various books and articles written about General Longstreet. I have also read that General Longstreet no longer spoke to his mother after this lawsuit. I have had little luck finding information about this. @War Horse, @GELongstreet[USER=9326], @FarawayFriend, @lelliott19, @novushomus, and @Zella, do you have any knowledge of this? My interested got piqued again tonight when I discovered this information while reading about the Dent family.[/USER]
Her resemblance to her son is scary.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,871
Location
Central Pennsylvania
it will be worth losing my hot water if you dig up any good information on the Dents. :giggle: Hey I should post that in the "You Know You're Preoccupied By the Civil War When" thread over in The Ladies Tea

Just knowing who were the Dents, much less being involved in a thread on Longstreet's mother makes geeks of both of us.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

War Horse

Captain
Forum Host
Member of the Year
Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Messages
6,629
Location
Lexington, SC
I'm looking. Haven't found it yet.

LONGSTREET, JAMES-Page 367-Several minor children not named. Wife, Mary Ann, brother Augustus and son William, Exers. Signed Mar. 4, 1830. Probated July 1, 1833. Wit: James T. Dent, John Millen, James Primrose

If memory serves me correctly, I believe it was Jame's siblings who contested the will. I don't believe James participated in the suit. Now where on earth did I read about it. I'm down to searching through a bag of newspaper clipping I dug up in Edgefield.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Eleanor Rose

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
5,791
Location
central NC
I'm looking. Haven't found it yet.

LONGSTREET, JAMES-Page 367-Several minor children not named. Wife, Mary Ann, brother Augustus and son William, Exers. Signed Mar. 4, 1830. Probated July 1, 1833. Wit: James T. Dent, John Millen, James Primrose

If memory serves me correctly, I believe it was Jame's siblings who contested the will. I don't believe James participated in the suit. Now where on earth did I read about it. I'm down to searching through a bag of newspaper clipping I dug up in Edgefield.
It occurred to me that General Longstreet would have only been 12 in 1833 so his participation as a "complainant" did seem odd to me at first. However, based on what I found the lawsuit wasn't filed until December 29, 1852. The general's father had died in 1833, but his Last Will and Testament still had not been resolved. General Longstreet would have been 31 in 1852.

The case is indeed baffling. Thanks for seeing what you can find.
 

O' Be Joyful

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 6, 2015
Messages
3,255
Location
Use-ta be: Zinn-zä-nätti o-HI-o The BIG city.
If memory serves me correctly, I believe it was Jame's siblings who contested the will. I don't believe James participated in the suit. Now where on earth did I read about it. I'm down to searching through a bag of newspaper clipping I dug up in Edgefield.
This was driving me crazy as well because I recalled reading about it here on CWT. I finally found it in a thread that included discussion about the legitimacy of Longstreet's appointment from an Alabama congressman--despite being a Georgia resident--to West Point. Here is the post w/ the info link.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/was-longstreet-made-a-scapegoat.135348/page-15#post-1694343

The info from the linked source:

These connections of the Dent family to Ulysses S. Grant stuck in my mind for years, while I did no further research to investigate the relationships. Things changed in December of 2013 while I was photographing the old Chancery Court record books of Madison County. In Record Book R, pages 496 – 511, is documented Chancery Case Number 374, involving Dent family members and the family of James Longstreet of Richmond County, Georgia. This James Longstreet died in 1833, leaving a very detailed Last Will and Testament drawn up in 1830. His son James, who later became a primary Confederate Army corps general and “right-hand man” of Robert E. Lee, was one of the Complainants in the case against his mother, Mary Ann Dent Longstreet, and co-defendant Edmund Toney of Triana.

The case was first filed in the 32nd District of the Northern Alabama Chancery Division in Huntsville on 29 December 1852. It was resolved with a judgment in favor of the defendants on 2 June 1854, with the complainants having to pay all court costs in the case. The case concerned the possible violation of the terms of the will in respect to the inheritances of the children of James and Mary Ann Dent Longstreet. The executors of the will were the widow (co-defendant) Mary Ann Dent Longstreet and her son William plus her brother-in-law Augustus Longstreet. The Longstreet children (complainants) were William D. (executor), James (CSA general-to-be), Henrietta (wife of Archibald Mills Clemens, son of James Clemens, who was Founder of Madison), Rebecca (wife of Reuben Ruff), Julia (wife of William E. Murphy), Eliza B. (wife of Walter B. Lucas), Maria N. (wife of Elisha Dismukes), and Sarah Jane (unmarried). The registered complainants included Mary Ann Dent (only child of Anna Longstreet Dent, who had died), “an infant, under the age of twenty-one”. Mary Ann Dent was represented in the case by her “next friend, Hutchinson Dent.” The dispute centered around the distribution of the numerous slaves of the Longstreet estate, two of whom had been sold to Edmund Toney, thereby involving him in the case as a defendant. Distribution of the elements of the estate among the senior James Longstreet heirs was to have been done by 1847, but the distribution had not been done as of 1854. The case was adjudicated in northern Alabama not only because of Edmund Toney, but also because after the passing of the senior James Longstreet in Georgia, the family had moved to Somerville in Morgan County, Alabama. Somerville is just across the Tennessee River from the Toney family holdings in Madison County, which was the location of the Chancery Court for the area including Morgan County as well as several other counties in northern Alabama at the time. By the time of prosecution of the case, James Longstreet's widow and most of the children and slaves had again relocated to Noxubee County, Mississippi. However, the Toney involvement and the fact that the questionable and delayed division of estate property had occurred while the family resided in Somerville kept jurisdiction here.

http://huntsvillehistorycollection.org/hh/index.php?title=Connections_of_Grant_&_Longstreet,_A_Vintage_Vignette
 
Top