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MURRAY COUNTRY FAMILIES

Colonel James A. McKamy


Col. James A. McKamy is one of Murray county's prosperous agriculturists and representative citizens. He was born at Maryville, Blount Co., Term., on Oct. 29, 1825, the son of William McKamy and his wife, Nancy Caldwell, who were married on Jan. 20, 1820, in Blount county. William Avas born in that county in 1790, and was reared among the hardy pioneers of those days. His wife was born in Hawkins county, Tenn., and was the daughter of David Caldwell. Col. McKamy was brought up on his father's farm, and was educated in the schools of his neighborhood.

At the commencement of the Mexican war he entered the service of the United States and was commissioned first lieutenant of Company F, Fifth regiment, Tennessee infantry. His regiment served under Gen. Twiggs, and saw active service on the line between Vera Cruz and the city of Mexico, and was engaged at the battles of La Soladad and Palverda. He continued in the service until the close of the war, and in 1848 returned with his regiment to the United States. He was honorably discharged at Memphis, Tenn.

After the war he was engaged as bookkeeper and accountant for a mercantile house in his native county and later conducted a mercantile business on his own account. During the administration of President Buchanan he served as postmaster at Maryville.

At the commencement of hostilities between the states he entered the Confederate service as captain of Company E, Third Tennessee infantry, and later was- commissioned major and lieutenant-colonel of his regiment respectively. He was engaged with his regiment at the first battle of Manassas. His regiment was next ordered to Tennessee, where he participated in the campaign in east Tennessee, and for a time served as member of court-martial at Knoxville.

Returning with his regiment to Virginia he remained engaged in active service in the valley during the greater part of the war. While fighting under Early at the battle of Winchester, Sept. 19, 1864, he was made prisoner of war, and sent to Fort Delaware, where he was confined until July 24, 1865.

Returning- to his home after valiant service rendered in behalf of the south, and for the maintenance of her rights under the constitution, he found it necessary for his personal safety to depart from his native state, then overrun with Federal troops and lawless mobs. He accordingly settled in Murray county, this state, where he has since resided, and engaged successfully in agricultural pursuits.

He became one of the leading citizens of his adopted county, and has taken an active interest in the management of her affairs. From 1871 to the present time he has been a member of the board of education of Murray county, and has served as a commissioner of roads and revenues. In 1886 he became the candidate of the democratic party for the office of senator from the Forty-third senatorial district, comprising the counties of Gordon, Whitfield and Murray. He was elected and served as senator during the years 1886-87. In the legislature he was assigned to the committees on agriculture, public property, privileges and elections, mines and mining, and immigration. In committee work he soon demonstrated his efficiency as a valuable legislator, and also took an active part in the deliberations on the floor of the senate. At the close of his legislative term it was generally conceded that he had made one of the best representatives ever returned from the Forty-third district.

By their marriage the parents of Col. McKamy had seven children: David; James A.; John; William; Margaret, who married George Maxwell; Nancy; and Mary, who married S. W. Eldridge.

The paternal grandfather of Col. McKamy was James McKamy, born in Rockbridge county, Va., about 1752. He served in the patriot army during the war of the revolution, and settled in Tennessee in 1787, married Nancy Telford, reared a family, and died in Blount county, that state, in 1845. His son William served in the War of 1812.

Col. McKamy is a member of the Presbyterian church and belongs to the masonic fraternity.

Note this was written in 1895 from Memoirs of Georgia, 1895.

 



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