My name is Brant Beene and I am from Birmingham, AL. As are others, I am trying to determine the parents of James Madison Bean, Sr., b 1802. Any correspondence on this matter will be greatly appreciated. I am going to participate in the DNA study, hoping that this will help solve the puzzle.
I am also trying to find out any information or family stories concerning the seven Bean boys who fought in the 4th Confederate (TN Reg't) in George Maney's Brigade, under Frank Cheatham in Leonidas Polk's corp. Here's what I have heard:
My G/GF was James Madison Bean, Jr. b. 1834. He and his six brothers fought alongside Pvt Sam Watkins of the 1st TN. Sam's writings about his experiences can be found in the book - "Co. Aytch," one of the best diaries/remembrances of the war. I have been told that my GGF lost an arm, his brother Allen Young Bean lost a leg, and brother Carleton Crawford Bean came home scarred quite a bit from hand-to-hand combat. Another brother, Anderson Kelly Bean, who was the only officer (2nd Lt.), was captured and came home from a yankee prison a year or so later. The story goes that his mother died from the shock and surprise of seeing him when he found his way home.
I have seen many documents at the National Archives in Washington, DC., with the signatures of these men as they received pay, purchased pants or other items during the war. One document even has the signature of Colonle Hume Feild, a character made famous by Sam Watkins in his book. Another story relates that the women living in Big Coon Creek, AL, could hear the cannons during Chickamauga and at Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga. They were very concerned because they knew the boys were there and were worried about them. Most of the Bean brothers have gaps in their service records as they seemed to have gone home and them come back for more at various times. Some served in other outfits such as the 18th Alabama Inf at times. Most signed "4 Conf" on their pension papers when they applied so I assume that's where their allegiance was. Later the 4th Conf was assigned a new number - the 34th TN by historians and others as there was already a 4th Confederate somewhere else. If you look for the company history you'll find it as the 34th TN. However, if you visit the Natiional Parks and Battlefields you'll see them on the battlefirld maps as the 4th Conf, right alongside the 1st and 27th TNs. Eventually, as numbers dwindled, the 1st and 27th merged with the 4th Conf and others before suurender. I would imagine that hey knew of Sam or he knew of them since there were seven of them. A sister, Sarah Margaret Bean (Aunt Sack) threw rocks at the yankees and sent them riding from her front yard. Please send me what you know, what's been passed down or even hearsay concerning Civil War service for:
4th Conf Regt of the TN Infantry
James Madison "Matt" Bean, Jr., b. 1834 (lost arm)
Eli Branceford "Brance" Bean, B.1835
Carleton Crawford "Dutch" Bean, b. 1836 (multiple scars)
Anderson Kelly "Poss" Bean, b. 1838 (2nd Lt, captured)
Allen Young "Al" Bean, b. 1839 (lost leg)
John Bender "Bender" Bean, b. 1842
Henry Harrison "Henry" Bean, b. 1844