Emma Sansom - Confederate Heroine LbNA # 46752
|Placed Date||Apr 10 2009|
Emma Sansom (June 2, 1847 – August 9, 1900) was an Alabama farmgirl noted for her bravery during the American Civil War.
In April 1863, Confederate Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest was ordered into northern Alabama to pursue Union Colonel Abel Streight, who had orders to cut off the Confederate railroad near Chattanooga, Tennessee. On May 2, 1863, Streight arrived just outside of Gadsden and prepared to cross Black Creek. Because the creek was swollen due to rain, Streight realized that if he destroyed the bridge he could get a few hours respite from the pursuit of Forrest. Seeing the nearby Sansom farmhouse, he rode upon it and demanded some smoldering coal, which he could use to burn the bridge. When Forrest's men arrived at the site, they found the burned out bridge and came under fire from Streight's men. Forrest rode to the Sansom house and asked whether there was another bridge across the creek. Emma Sansom, then 15 years old, told him that the nearest bridge was in Gadsden, 2 miles away. Forrest then asked if there was a place where he could get across the creek. Emma told him that if one of his men would help saddle her horse, she would show him a place that she had seen cows cross the creek, and that he might be able to cross there. He replied that there was no time to saddle a horse and asked her to get on his horse behind him. As they started to leave, Emma's mother objected, but relented when Forrest assured her that he would bring the girl back safely. Emma then directed Forrest to the spot where he could cross the creek. Some accounts of the skirmish indicate that the two came under fire from Union soldiers, who subsequently ceased fire when they realized that a young girl was showing them the way. After taking Emma back to her home, Forrest continued his pursuit of Streight.
Sansom married Christopher B. Johnson on October 29, 1864, and moved to Texas in late 1876 or early 1877. She died August 9, 1900 in Upshur County, Texas, and is buried in Little Mound Cemetery.
Little Mound Cemetery is perhaps one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever visited. Unmarked burials in this cemetery may have begun in the late 1860s, predating the founding of the church. The oldest marked grave is that of E. Hoggue, who died in 1877. One year later, in 1878, residents of the thriving pioneer village of Calloway organized Little Mound Baptist Church and met for worship in a structure near the burial ground. Situated on a steep hill called Little Mound, the one room building had previously served as a union church and schoolhouse. It stood on land owned by W. C. Bradshaw who gave the cemetery and church site to the congregation in 1881.
By 1897 the original church building had become too small. Lumber from the structure was used to build another meetinghouse across the road on property donated by J. S. & Sophronia Wallis in 1902. The second structure was torn down and 1925 and again all the usable lumber was incorporated in a new church building, erected on the site of the original.
From FM 14 and US 80 in Hawkins, go north to FM 1795 (it will be just past the Brookshire's on your right) and turn right. Travel about 6.5 miles. Turn left on FM 1002 for approximately 3.7 miles. Turn right on FM 49 (there will be a sign pointing to Little Mound) and go approximately 0.4 miles. Little Mound will be on your left.
Park in the lot and enter the gate to the left of the church (not the one behind the church building). Follow the path toward the covered pavillion to the headstone on the left that says Choate. Ralph Choate was a World War I veteran and my grandfather's uncle. Return on the path to the gate. Turn left and go up the hill. At the first rise you will begin seeing many members of the Johnson family. From the first corner of the Johnson plot on the left, go 16 steps. There you will find a plot on the left for Emma Sansom Johnson and her husband, C. B. Johnson. Read the stone monument erected for her. Continue up the mound. At the top of the mound, find a large plot for Miles (W. Howard & Irene M.). Circle around to the back of it, turn around and face the church. Enjoy the view - quaint country church, final resing sites of veterans (including Civil War, Spanish American, and World War I), rolling hills, lush trees. Listen to the quiet.
Behind the Miles plot are some stones marked Hammock. Directly behind the stone for the infant son of the Hammocks, there is a dead tree stump. The box is behind the stump under the usual. Enjoy for me.