Marcus DeLafayette Burton

Private, Co. D

9th Texas Infantry, CSA

By Gail T. Burton

My great grandfather, Marcus DeLafayette Burton, was born April 10, 1840 in Mercer County Kentucky. Sometimes listed as M. D. L. Burton, and usually called “Fayt.” It's obvious that he was named in honor of marquis de La Faytte, but I imagine translating French into rural Kentucky dialect was a bit difficult. Sometime between 1850 and 1860 the family relocated to Titus County Texas.

Marcus was the son of John H. Burton born 1803 in Kentucky, a farmer who died about 1872 and was buried in Morse County, Texas. John married Mary Harriet Winfrey 10 Sep 1835. She was born in 1805 in Virginia, and died in 1858 and is buried Mason County, KY. Children of John and Mary Burton were:


1. Lucy Burton

2. John N. Burton, believed to be in the 9th TX Infantry, CSA and may have died of measles.

3. Moses Burton

4. Marcus DeLafayette Burton (my great grandfather) (Co. D, 9th TX Infantry, CSA.)

5. Napoleon Bonaparte Burton (19th TX Infantry, CSA)

6. Francis Marion Burton

7. Dorinda Burton

Marcus DeLafayette Burton (my great grandfather) was born April 10, 1840, probably in Washington County, KY. He married Hannah King (born 30 Oct 1845, died 24 Jul 1892 in Somerville Co. TX.) Children of Marcus and Hannah Burton were:

1. Harriett Dorinda Burton

2. Henry Travis Burton (my grandfather)

3. James Shepherd Burton

4. Cloa Mahalia Burton

5. Martin Luther Burton

6. Oscar Lamb Burton

7. Cassie Ellen Burton

8. William Bevlyh Burton

9. Mary Burton

Fayt enlisted in the 9th Texas Infantry, Sam Bell Maxey's Regiment, and served from October 5, 1861 until May of 1865. This unit was sometimes known as the 8th Texas Regiment and was mustered into the service of the Confederate States December 1, 1861 for a period of twelve months. Fayt's older and younger brothers also served in the Infantry.

In 1914, when my father was in his teens, Fayt came to live with them. My grandfather's second wife, Fronie, related that Fayt was a good man, but serious and quite. He got along well with the children and liked to be around them. She remembered him best sitting and holding one of the babies.

During the war John, Fayt's older brother, was suffering with measles and Fayt had been nursing him. John died during the night and later Fayt came down with the same disease. He survived, but continued to have "lung problems" the remainder of his life.

As he grew older he began to be bothered by his Civil War experiences. Sometimes he would sit up in bed yelling and acting like he was shooting at someone. My grandfather would talk to him and he would "get right in his mind" and go back to sleep. He lived with grandfather until his death February 13, 1921.

I'd heard my father talk about his grandfather and him being in the Civil War, but really had no detailed information until 1995 when I began to look into the history of his unit. The Ninth Texas had participated in over forty engagements, including at least seven major battles. They saw action at Shiloh, Perryville, Murfreesboro, Peach Tree Creek, Ezra Church, Nashville, Franklin and Chickamauga.

Colonel Young was in command of the regiment at Murfreesboro. Finding himself in a dangerous position where he lost in killed and wounded more than 100 men, including nearly all the commissioned officers, Young seized the regimental colors and led a gallant charge. In telling of the event he said, " ... I ordered the regiment to move forward with a shout, both of which they did a la Texas," and the enemy fled before them.

At Perryville, Kentucky Federal reports mentioned the Ninth regiment and spoke of their "terrific yell" as well as their "irresistible charges."

Fayt was wounded in the hip by a "ball" at Murfreesboro, Tennessee and he dislocated a shoulder (probably in the defense of Mobile) in the spring of 1865. He served in the army three and a half years, and a summary of his Civil War Pension Claim states that he "is over 60 years and never deserted in battle." After living through 43 months as a CSA Infantryman I'd think it a miracle to be only a bit confused with bad dreams.

Fayt died February 13, 1921 Randlett, OK and is buried in the Randlett Cemetery there.

In the summer of 1995 I was at the Shiloh battlefield. One of the park rangers was kind enough to make a map for me with notations directing me to the markers which gave information about my Great Grandfather's unit and their activity during the battle.

I spent the day walking and driving through the battlefield. Not all of the markers are surrounded by manicured lawns and none are adjacent to the roadways. Some are back in uncleared wooded areas where it was necessary to fight the briars, deadfall and ticks. I followed the footsteps of those men of the Ninth as they shifted positions, as they rested or were held in reserve. And with hesitation, I traced their steps as they charged into battle. It was a day I will remember, a day filled with sensations impossible to relate. It was an emotional day, and I had an indescribable feeling of companionship with an old soldier I'd never met.

Parts of the above were published in REFLECTIONS ... by G. T. Burton (MDL Burton) The Tombstone Epitaph, August, 1997.

Contributed in 2005 by Gail T. Burton, 14 Azalea Circle Benton, AR 72015-2500

22 Feb 2005

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