Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"He said his father had lived so far up in the North Carolina mountains, HE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT SLAVERY when he joined the Confederate Army."

Posted: November 13, 2012 - 8:59am
Beilue: Last one in Texas and one of 32 in US
By Matthew Hutchison

A former ASARCO worker and one of the last links to the American Civil War died Sunday in Amarillo.

Marion Wilson, 99, was the youngest of 16 children fathered by Confederate soldier Hamilton “Ham” Wilson, a young private from the Smoky Mountains who served in the 29th North Carolina Infantry, according to a news release from the Sons of Confederate Veterans. 

The brigade comprised four Texas Regiments and two regiments from North Carolina and was led by Gen. Matt Ector, an attorney and judge from Texas. The brigade fought in the battle of Chickamauga, Ga., and was part of the Atlanta and Nashville campaigns.

Ham Wilson was a farmer and served as a justice of the peace in eastern Oklahoma. He had eight children with his first wife. After she died, he remarried at age 44 and fathered eight more children. He spent his twilight years in Rose, Okla., and died in 1938.

Marion Wilson was born in Oklahoma on Feb. 8, 1913, and moved to Amarillo in 1929. He worked at the ASARCO plant refining copper and other metals and was ordered to stay there when he tried to join the Army after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1944. He was a founder and 40-year deacon at Cliffside Baptist Church in Amarillo and was most recently a member and deacon at South Georgia Baptist Church. His wife of 67 years, Virginia Lee Henard, died in 2005.
Marion Wilson was one of two sons of confederate soldiers to attend a reunion in 2009 in Hot Springs, Ark. He said his father had lived so far up in the North Carolina mountains, he knew nothing about slavery when he joined the Confederate Army.

Marion Wilson’s grandfather, Paul Wilson, also served in the Confederate Army. He fought with the 14th North Carolina Calvary and served 10 months in the Rock Island Prisoner of War Camp in Illinois. He returned home to a devastated farm and moved his family to Wester Arkansas.
Marion Wilson is survived by his daughter, Sandra Kinser of Amarillo, a son, Larry Wilson and wife Sue of Denton, five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

A memorial service is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at South Georgia Baptist Church, 5209 S. Georgia St. He will be buried at Memorial Park Cemetery, 6969 E. Interstate 40. A uniformed honor guard of Confederate re-enactors will fire a 21-gun salute at the cemetery in Marion Wilson’s honor.

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