Thursday, November 20, 2008

I. C. A. Northington - murdered by Tories?

Among the Cofield gravemarkers in the Cofield-Cockrell Cemetery are three tombstones that belong to the Northington family. It is good that they rest in such a peaceful place since they supposedly died a violent death.

Buried here with I.C.A. Northington are his wife, Arminda, and daughters Mary and Cederah.

I.C.A. Northington was born in 1821 in North Carolina. His family came to Alabama around 1836, settling around Sipsey Creek in present-day Lamar County. This is where I.C.A. and his wife, Arminda C. Lockridge, were living when the War Between the States broke out. The Northingtons supported the Confederancy and somehow incurred the wrath of Union sympathizers. The family of Andrew Jackson Northington had their home and livestock destroyed. I.C.A. Northington took his family and fled north to the secluded Bull Mountain hills near Shottsville, hoping to escape the hostilities. Unfortunately, a band of Tories found the family and murdered them.

True story or not? I found the story in a couple of different publications, most notably Lamar County, Alabama, A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith. The date of death on I.C.A.'s tombstone is January 19, 1863 while the date of death on his wife and daughters' tombstones is August 8, 1863. So if the tombstones are correct, the family did not die together. Of course, we've all seen instances were tombstones were wrong. What is true, however, is that the people of Marion and Fayette counties (Lamar was not yet a county) were sharply divided over the war, and these sentiments often led to violence. It truly was a civil war, brother against brother.

I.C.A.'s tombstone has the following inscription: "God in his wisdom has recalled, though the body moulders here, the soul is safely in heaven." Arminda's tombstone appears to read the same. Three surviving children were raised by family members, including a son Henry who is buried at Mt. Pleasant Methodist Cemetery in Itawamba County.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A most interesting story Mona. I have always wanted to visit this old cemetery as some of my Cockrell lines are buried here. As to the story of the Northington family, it could well have happened as this area was a divided country during the Civil War. Many such stories have been documented. Keep up the great work with Itawamba Connections. Most interesting reading indeed.!

Bob Franks