Joseph David Hurt (1822-1864)

Martha Marshall and James Mann Hurt's "departed son David" (as mentioned in Article 11 of his father's will) was born on May 4, 1822. Joseph David Hurt, known by his middle name, was a shoe maker and ran a tan yard that his father had started.

He married Louisa Ellen Jordan (1827-1876), daughter of Dr. Fay Jordan, on March 6, 1845 in Gibson County, Tennessee. Their children were: Joseph David Hurt, Jr., Albert Hurt, Martha Tennessee (Tee) Hurt, Philemon Hurt, William B. Hurt, and Sarah Elizabeth Hurt. The couple lived in McLemoresville, on a little farm near Joe's father. In the 1850 Schedule of Free Inhabitants of Carroll County, taken when he was 28 years of age, he gives 'tanning' as his occupation or profession. His wife's name is given as 'Louisa E', 23 years of age, and one child is listed, Albert W, three years old.

Other information that can be gleaned from the 1850 census is that both Joseph David and his wife, Louisa Ellen, were literate. Column number 12, headed, "Persons over 20 y'rs of age who cannot read & write," is not checked.

The life of a tanner was a hard smelly one. Durable leather was in great demand for use as shoes, harnesses, gloves, caps. Every village had a tannery and Joseph David took over the one started by his father. Tanneries required great start-up cost. It required much equipment and buildings, such as tan vats, bark mills, tools, fleshing knives. Tanneries were strong-smelling with the bats of tanning agent, manure, and decaying animal flesh. Presumably the tanner and his family became used to this odor. Skins were soaked in vats with lime to loosen the hair, then were scraped, then the hide was tanned in a bath of oak bark, and dried. Cows and oxen hides were tanned as were the hides of sheep and hogs.

Joseph David joined the State army on October 25, 1861, in Trenton, Tennessee, for a term of one year. He was mustered in to the Confederate Army on December 28, 1861 in G Company of the 55th Tennessee Infantry. He apparently joined as a Third Lieutenant having been elected to that rank. Known as Brown's Regiment, it was formed on February 14, 1862. Robert Bailey Hurt, Jr., the son of his cousin, fought with him and died at the Battle of Franklin.

The regiment was captured at Island No. 10 on April 8, 1862. He appears on a list of commissioned officers who arrived at Camp Chase, Ohio from Island No. 10, dated April 13, 1862. He was transferred to Johnson's Island on April 26, 1862. He was sent to Vicksburg, Mississippi, on September 1, 1862, then released there on September 20, 1862. The prisoners were exchanged. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant on September 25, 1862. Soon after, on October 26, 1862, the 55th Tennessee was ordered to report for duty at Meridian. The 55th Tennessee was part of General Maury's division at this time.

He appears on a company muster roll on October 21, 1863 at Camp Cummings near Mobile, Alabama. He was 41 years old. He was in Company B in October 1863. He was paid $80 per month. He appears on a roster dated April 7, 1864. He died in the Battle of Peach Tree Creek in Atlanta on July 24, 1864. Fighting for the Union side that day was Isham Hurt, Joseph's nephew. Isham Hurt died that day also.

"According to Hurt family oral history, the battle of Peach Tree Creek is particularly costly for the family. During the fighting, A. B. Hurt's older brother, Joseph David Hurt, a 2nd Lieutenant in the TN Infantry, is killed by a mini ball to the head as he rises from behind a cotton bail. A 1st cousin, Isham Hurt, is also killed. (Isham is a son of Robert Hurt, James Mann Hurt Sr.'s brother. Robert is buried in Hurt Cemetery, outside McLemoresville, TN)." (Mike Parsons)

Upon Louisa's death, children who still needed care were taken in as follows: girls with Elisha A. Collins and Sarah Hurt Collins (Joe David's sister) and boys with Anthony Bennezette Hurt (his brother) and Sophie (Monie) Collins Hurt.