Gordon A. Cotton 1936-2021

Vicksburger

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Location
Saint Joseph
Just got word of Gordon A. Cotton's passing. He was a historian and author from Vicksburg who was featured in some documentaries on Vicksburg. Here is his obituary:


Gordon A. Cotton





1936 – 2021​





YOKENA – Funeral services for Gordon A. Cotton, who died Sunday, March 7 in Vicksburg, will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Glenwood Funeral Home with burial at Jordan’s Chapel Cemetery on Campbell’s Swamp Road.





Cotton, 84, was a former teacher, journalist and a retired curator/director of the Old Court House Museum-Eva W. Davis Memorial. He also authored books on local history.





He was a 13th generation southerner and a seventh generation Mississippian. His Perkins ancestors arrived in Spanish Mississippi in 1780, and helped to establish the first church in the territory, Salem, which was Primitive Baptist, a denomination he joined when he was 19.





He loved genealogy and traced many branches of his family to Europe. his mother’s people were basically French (which he said was why he liked good wine) and on his father’s family his eighth great grandfather was the second Anglican minister in America. The Cottons came from North Carolina to Adams County in about 1820 and then to Warren County in 1837.





His love of local history was evident not just in his writing and research but also in his work in helping to restore Asbury and Old Hopewell cemeteries and was sexton of Antioch Cemetery.





He had a penchant for cats and also for politics, consistently supporting Ronald Reagan, Ron Paul and Donald Trump. In history, his first love, he most admired Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest.





He attended local schools, Jefferson Davis Academy and Jett High School. He graduated from Southwest Mississippi Junior College, attended Harding College, and earned a BA and MA degree from Mississippi College. he left school for a year and lived in Alaska (“Because I just thought I was tired of hot weather.”)





Cotton taught at Jett, Redwood, Holmes Junior College and Warren Central. He got his start in journalism working for Mary D. Cain at The Summit Sun, worked for Keiths at The Hinds County Gazette, and was a reporter and feature writer for The Vicksburg Evening Post when the Cashmans owned it and Charlie Faulk was editor. He later wrote features for Vicksburg Daily News. He was associated with the Post full time or part time for 48 years. He was curator/director of the Old Court House Museum-Eva W. Davis Memorial for 30 years and returned there on a part-time basis.





He was a member and deacon of Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church and also attended Yokena Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the First Families of Mississippi, the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society, the Mississippi Historical Society and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.





He was born April 4, 1936 at 20 minutes past midnight at the family home on Campbell’s Swamp Road near Yokena. He was the son of George Alfred and Eva Morgan Cotton, who preceded him in death, as did his two sisters, Marguerite Jean Cotton Forbes and Sallie Cotton and also two nephews and a niece, Pat and Michael Forbes and Karla Forbes McDaniel.





Survivors include two nephews, Tommy and Jeff Forbes of Yokena, and a godson, Lane Berg, and his wife Chessie and son Micah of Mountain View, Arkansas. He was related to Batchelor, Blackburn, Hullum, Lee, Luckett, Mendrop, Stevens and other families.





The service will be held under the direction of Glenwood Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 9 2021, at 2 p.m.with visitation from noon until the service. Charlie Mitchell will deliver the eulogy, assisted by Dr. Reid Bishop, pastor of Little Flock Primitive Baptist Church, and Rev. Michael Herrin, pastor of Yokena Presbyterian Church. Pallbearers will be David Browman, Cole Bishop, Joe Gay, Jim Watt, John McHan, and Tommy Lofton.





Honarary palllbearers will be Dr. Ian Brown, Pat Cashman, Lisa Anglin Counts, Jan Hyland Daigre, Karen Gamble, Lenore Barkley, Leon Pantenburg, Randy McCollum, Sandra Melsheimer, Charles Riles, Dee Hyland, and Patricia Simrall.





Memorials should be made to Antioch Cemetery Association, c/o Jim Hullum, 8369 Campbell’s Swamp Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180.




--
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
That is sad news as he was a great man and was always will to share his knowledge. His work at the Old Courthouse museum was what made it what it is today. I will always remember the day that Grady introduced me to him. RIP Mr. Cotton
 

Tompre

Corporal
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Location
Vicksburg Miss.
Just got word of Gordon A. Cotton's passing. He was a historian and author from Vicksburg who was featured in some documentaries on Vicksburg. Here is his obituary:


Gordon A. Cotton





1936 – 2021​





YOKENA – Funeral services for Gordon A. Cotton, who died Sunday, March 7 in Vicksburg, will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Glenwood Funeral Home with burial at Jordan’s Chapel Cemetery on Campbell’s Swamp Road.





Cotton, 84, was a former teacher, journalist and a retired curator/director of the Old Court House Museum-Eva W. Davis Memorial. He also authored books on local history.





He was a 13th generation southerner and a seventh generation Mississippian. His Perkins ancestors arrived in Spanish Mississippi in 1780, and helped to establish the first church in the territory, Salem, which was Primitive Baptist, a denomination he joined when he was 19.





He loved genealogy and traced many branches of his family to Europe. his mother’s people were basically French (which he said was why he liked good wine) and on his father’s family his eighth great grandfather was the second Anglican minister in America. The Cottons came from North Carolina to Adams County in about 1820 and then to Warren County in 1837.





His love of local history was evident not just in his writing and research but also in his work in helping to restore Asbury and Old Hopewell cemeteries and was sexton of Antioch Cemetery.





He had a penchant for cats and also for politics, consistently supporting Ronald Reagan, Ron Paul and Donald Trump. In history, his first love, he most admired Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest.





He attended local schools, Jefferson Davis Academy and Jett High School. He graduated from Southwest Mississippi Junior College, attended Harding College, and earned a BA and MA degree from Mississippi College. he left school for a year and lived in Alaska (“Because I just thought I was tired of hot weather.”)





Cotton taught at Jett, Redwood, Holmes Junior College and Warren Central. He got his start in journalism working for Mary D. Cain at The Summit Sun, worked for Keiths at The Hinds County Gazette, and was a reporter and feature writer for The Vicksburg Evening Post when the Cashmans owned it and Charlie Faulk was editor. He later wrote features for Vicksburg Daily News. He was associated with the Post full time or part time for 48 years. He was curator/director of the Old Court House Museum-Eva W. Davis Memorial for 30 years and returned there on a part-time basis.





He was a member and deacon of Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church and also attended Yokena Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the First Families of Mississippi, the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society, the Mississippi Historical Society and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.





He was born April 4, 1936 at 20 minutes past midnight at the family home on Campbell’s Swamp Road near Yokena. He was the son of George Alfred and Eva Morgan Cotton, who preceded him in death, as did his two sisters, Marguerite Jean Cotton Forbes and Sallie Cotton and also two nephews and a niece, Pat and Michael Forbes and Karla Forbes McDaniel.





Survivors include two nephews, Tommy and Jeff Forbes of Yokena, and a godson, Lane Berg, and his wife Chessie and son Micah of Mountain View, Arkansas. He was related to Batchelor, Blackburn, Hullum, Lee, Luckett, Mendrop, Stevens and other families.





The service will be held under the direction of Glenwood Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 9 2021, at 2 p.m.with visitation from noon until the service. Charlie Mitchell will deliver the eulogy, assisted by Dr. Reid Bishop, pastor of Little Flock Primitive Baptist Church, and Rev. Michael Herrin, pastor of Yokena Presbyterian Church. Pallbearers will be David Browman, Cole Bishop, Joe Gay, Jim Watt, John McHan, and Tommy Lofton.





Honarary palllbearers will be Dr. Ian Brown, Pat Cashman, Lisa Anglin Counts, Jan Hyland Daigre, Karen Gamble, Lenore Barkley, Leon Pantenburg, Randy McCollum, Sandra Melsheimer, Charles Riles, Dee Hyland, and Patricia Simrall.





Memorials should be made to Antioch Cemetery Association, c/o Jim Hullum, 8369 Campbell’s Swamp Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180.




-Gordon wrote this himself, and there was a P.S. that was at the end, when it was first posted. I wish that I had copied it, because it was pure gold, and filled with his southern humor, and insulting Yankees.
 

Tompre

Corporal
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Location
Vicksburg Miss.
This touching tribute is from the Old Courthouse Museum.
It brings me so much sorrow to say the things I must today. As many have already been informed, our dearest and closest friend, Gordon Cotton, passed away last night. Everyone that knew him personally knows about his love for the Old Court House Museum. Some would even say it was his second home although I, personally, think it was his first. He had a passion for history like none I’ve ever witnessed. A passion unrivaled by even the greatest students of the past, present, and most likely the future. He had a way of bringing history to life with his stories in such an enthralling way I can only describe as poetry. He made people not just hungry for it but starved for more. I was blessed to get to witness this. If he could get you into the museum once, then he was going to get you to come back again and again. He was our mentor, our leader, a living legend among us, but more than anything, he was our friend. We will miss you, Gordon, and we will make you proud. Thank you so much for everything you have done for us. I would say to rest in peace, but having been to many of your parties, I know the reunion you are having with old friends right now is magnificent to say the least. You always said Southerners have trouble saying goodbye. The goodbyes always get interrupted by another story and more laughs. Well, you’ve told me enough stories to laugh for a lifetime, so until we meet again: goodbye, old friend.
 

Booklady

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Location
New England
@Tompre "-Gordon wrote this himself, and there was a P.S. that was at the end, when it was first posted. I wish that I had copied it, because it was pure gold, and filled with his southern humor, and insulting Yankees."

I once told Gordon my favorite book of all time is "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant." Without missing a beat he said, "I wish there was one called 'The Year the Yankees Lost the War"!" He was always kind to this Yankee, and a one-of-a-kind character. I'm blessed to have known him. May his memory be eternal.
 

Vicksburger

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Location
Saint Joseph
I remember he did a scene in the Balfour House (for the Unknown Civil War - Siege of Vicksburg documentary), about the ball that was interrupted by the passage of the Federal fleet.
Also he edited a nice book of letters by Emma Balfour, leading up to the war.
And I remember the funny story he told in his book of Southern Stories from the War, about a sweet little old woman in his family who loved to tell about an incident she had been told about in her youth, about the ambush of a (deserving) Yankee along side the road, and she was telling Gordon about it when he was a boy, and how the expression on her face was one of satisfaction, that the Yankee had gotten just what he deserved.
 

Biscoitos

Corporal
Joined
May 14, 2020
Just got word of Gordon A. Cotton's passing. He was a historian and author from Vicksburg who was featured in some documentaries on Vicksburg. Here is his obituary:


Gordon A. Cotton





1936 – 2021​





YOKENA – Funeral services for Gordon A. Cotton, who died Sunday, March 7 in Vicksburg, will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Glenwood Funeral Home with burial at Jordan’s Chapel Cemetery on Campbell’s Swamp Road.





Cotton, 84, was a former teacher, journalist and a retired curator/director of the Old Court House Museum-Eva W. Davis Memorial. He also authored books on local history.





He was a 13th generation southerner and a seventh generation Mississippian. His Perkins ancestors arrived in Spanish Mississippi in 1780, and helped to establish the first church in the territory, Salem, which was Primitive Baptist, a denomination he joined when he was 19.





He loved genealogy and traced many branches of his family to Europe. his mother’s people were basically French (which he said was why he liked good wine) and on his father’s family his eighth great grandfather was the second Anglican minister in America. The Cottons came from North Carolina to Adams County in about 1820 and then to Warren County in 1837.





His love of local history was evident not just in his writing and research but also in his work in helping to restore Asbury and Old Hopewell cemeteries and was sexton of Antioch Cemetery.





He had a penchant for cats and also for politics, consistently supporting Ronald Reagan, Ron Paul and Donald Trump. In history, his first love, he most admired Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest.





He attended local schools, Jefferson Davis Academy and Jett High School. He graduated from Southwest Mississippi Junior College, attended Harding College, and earned a BA and MA degree from Mississippi College. he left school for a year and lived in Alaska (“Because I just thought I was tired of hot weather.”)





Cotton taught at Jett, Redwood, Holmes Junior College and Warren Central. He got his start in journalism working for Mary D. Cain at The Summit Sun, worked for Keiths at The Hinds County Gazette, and was a reporter and feature writer for The Vicksburg Evening Post when the Cashmans owned it and Charlie Faulk was editor. He later wrote features for Vicksburg Daily News. He was associated with the Post full time or part time for 48 years. He was curator/director of the Old Court House Museum-Eva W. Davis Memorial for 30 years and returned there on a part-time basis.





He was a member and deacon of Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church and also attended Yokena Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the First Families of Mississippi, the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society, the Mississippi Historical Society and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.





He was born April 4, 1936 at 20 minutes past midnight at the family home on Campbell’s Swamp Road near Yokena. He was the son of George Alfred and Eva Morgan Cotton, who preceded him in death, as did his two sisters, Marguerite Jean Cotton Forbes and Sallie Cotton and also two nephews and a niece, Pat and Michael Forbes and Karla Forbes McDaniel.





Survivors include two nephews, Tommy and Jeff Forbes of Yokena, and a godson, Lane Berg, and his wife Chessie and son Micah of Mountain View, Arkansas. He was related to Batchelor, Blackburn, Hullum, Lee, Luckett, Mendrop, Stevens and other families.





The service will be held under the direction of Glenwood Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 9 2021, at 2 p.m.with visitation from noon until the service. Charlie Mitchell will deliver the eulogy, assisted by Dr. Reid Bishop, pastor of Little Flock Primitive Baptist Church, and Rev. Michael Herrin, pastor of Yokena Presbyterian Church. Pallbearers will be David Browman, Cole Bishop, Joe Gay, Jim Watt, John McHan, and Tommy Lofton.





Honarary palllbearers will be Dr. Ian Brown, Pat Cashman, Lisa Anglin Counts, Jan Hyland Daigre, Karen Gamble, Lenore Barkley, Leon Pantenburg, Randy McCollum, Sandra Melsheimer, Charles Riles, Dee Hyland, and Patricia Simrall.





Memorials should be made to Antioch Cemetery Association, c/o Jim Hullum, 8369 Campbell’s Swamp Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180.




--
So long old friend and compatriot.
I will miss all our conversations.
It's a shame that we never did connect our Cotton families.

Rest in Peace
 

Tompre

Corporal
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Location
Vicksburg Miss.
One of the best jobs I had was working at the Old Courthouse with Gordon and Blanche Terry. There was never a dull or serious moment with those two.
One day I happened to tell Gordon about a place where I knew some Confederate soldiers were hastily buried, some relic hunters had stripped the bodies and told me the location. Gordon suggested that we go exhume them and give them a good burial. Alas there wasn’t much left of the bones, we got a skull fragment,which a skull was all that was required when bodies were moved to the National Cemetery and Soldiers Rest, and some various other parts, and dirt from the graves.
Gordon decided that we would bury them at his family home, an undertaker had to be present, so the help of Charles Riles was requested.
One Sunday afternoon in 1987 a few of my Reenacting buddies from the 6th Ms,I had to promise them that there would be pretty girls and beer there to get them to come,and people that Gordon invited, got together at Gordon’s house to honor and bury the soldiers.
Since that time Hobbs Freeman has been interred there, and Gordon will be interred there in a handmade coffin. What a fitting spot for a lover of Southern history to be buried in.
 

Booklady

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Location
New England
I remember he did a scene in the Balfour House (for the Unknown Civil War - Siege of Vicksburg documentary), about the ball that was interrupted by the passage of the Federal fleet.
Also he edited a nice book of letters by Emma Balfour, leading up to the war.
And I remember the funny story he told in his book of Southern Stories from the War, about a sweet little old woman in his family who loved to tell about an incident she had been told about in her youth, about the ambush of a (deserving) Yankee along side the road, and she was telling Gordon about it when he was a boy, and how the expression on her face was one of satisfaction, that the Yankee had gotten just what he deserved.
His book with Jeff Giambrone, Vicksburg and the War, was the first book I bought when I moved to Vicksburg in 2008. And he signed copies of Like a Hideous Nightmare and The Past...and Repast for me (and to me). I do love his cookbook, for the stories and photos as well as the old-timey recipes. "Easy as...", anyone? I may make that this week.

I would give a lot to have been able to hear Charlie Mitchell's eulogy this morning. If anyone hears it, or hears about it, would you please post some details, if you can?
 

Tompre

Corporal
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Location
Vicksburg Miss.
His book with Jeff Giambrone, Vicksburg and the War, was the first book I bought when I moved to Vicksburg in 2008. And he signed copies of Like a Hideous Nightmare and The Past...and Repast for me (and to me). I do love his cookbook, for the stories and photos as well as the old-timey recipes. "Easy as...", anyone? I may make that this week.

I would give a lot to have been able to hear Charlie Mitchell's eulogy this morning. If anyone hears it, or hears about it, would you please post some details, if you can?
I would have liked to have heard it also. I went to visitation but had to leave before the service. I was expecting a period style coffin, but to my surprise the coffin was yellow with a checkerboard top, just like his Mini Cooper.
 

Biscoitos

Corporal
Joined
May 14, 2020
One of the best jobs I had was working at the Old Courthouse with Gordon and Blanche Terry. There was never a dull or serious moment with those two.
One day I happened to tell Gordon about a place where I knew some Confederate soldiers were hastily buried, some relic hunters had stripped the bodies and told me the location. Gordon suggested that we go exhume them and give them a good burial. Alas there wasn’t much left of the bones, we got a skull fragment,which a skull was all that was required when bodies were moved to the National Cemetery and Soldiers Rest, and some various other parts, and dirt from the graves.
Gordon decided that we would bury them at his family home, an undertaker had to be present, so the help of Charles Riles was requested.
One Sunday afternoon in 1987 a few of my Reenacting buddies from the 6th Ms,I had to promise them that there would be pretty girls and beer there to get them to come,and people that Gordon invited, got together at Gordon’s house to honor and bury the soldiers.
Since that time Hobbs Freeman has been interred there, and Gordon will be interred there in a handmade coffin. What a fitting spot for a lover of Southern history to be buried in.
Tommy,
My wife said, "Don't you know that 5 minutes after Gordon got to the Pearly Gates, Blanche was telling him which line to stand in and reminding him there was something he was supposed to be doing later."
 

Championhilz

First Sergeant
Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Location
Clinton, Mississippi
I worked with Gordon at the Old Court House for 9 years, and I remember those days with great fondness. I learned so much from Gordon, and I am truly grateful for the time I spent with him. This is one of my favorite stories about Gordon: One day during the summer we had the steamboats in town, and we always got a good many tourists from them. This one couple came in and the wife immediately started complaining about Vicksburg; it was too hot, everything cost too much, etc. Gordon was standing next to me listening to this lady and I could tell he was getting mad, because Gordon lived and breathed Vicksburg and truly loved the town. When he finally had enough he interrupted the lady in mid-sentence and said, "Ma'am., where are you from?" She was taken aback, but then said, 'Minneapolis." Gordon looked her straight in the eye and said "Been there, DIDN'T like it." He then turned around and walked back to his office. The lady left soon thereafter.
 

Tompre

Corporal
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Location
Vicksburg Miss.
This wonderful part of the obituary was deleted, but a friend sent me a copy.

E15072D1-5FB4-41A4-8717-2F2919BE014D.jpeg
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
I think that says it all about Gordon. I wish I could have been there. When they did the dedication my GGG Grandfathers library he was so nice to my Dad and Brother and told the story about him getting arrested by Gen Ord. It was a very special day.
 

Bradley

Private
Joined
Apr 5, 2018
Location
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
I did not have the privilege of knowing Gordon, although I think he was at the Courthouse on the day I was there working on some of my Masters research. Thanks so much everyone for sharing your stories.
 

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
So sorry to hear of Gordon's passing. I know he lived a good long life, but it's always a hard pill to swallow when reading about the passing of such a giant in the field of history.
 
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