Missouri was one of those states which supplied soldiers to both sides of the Civil War. Did William C. McBee serve? If he did serve, which side did he support?
There are records of a William C. McBee serving Union Army in Company K, 5th Kentucky Infantry. There is another William C. McBee serving in the Confederate Army in Company E, 7th Missouri Infantry (later known as the 16th Missouri Infantry). There is another William C McBee in the 27th Arkansas Infantry. Additional William C. McBees show up in North Carolina and Alabama. Could one of these men be the William C. McBee who was the Great-Grandfather of Garna McBee?
Up to this point I have suspected that our William McBee would have sided with the Confederacy. He was born in Tennessee before moving with his father to Arkansas and then to Missouri. He named one son, Henry Claydean McBee and another, Robert E. Lee McBee. (Henry Clay Dean was a know opponent of the Lincoln administration who lived in Iowa and later Missouri.) The William C. McBee in Arkansas is too young. Alabama and North Carolina would seem to be too far away.
But if the records for the William C, McBee in the 7th Missouri Infantry are correct then this can’t be our William McBee. This William McBee was wounded and captured at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas. Our William was married in Schuyler County, Missouri on 15 December 1863. Records show that that this William McBee was a prisoner in Delaware in December 1863.
At this time the evidence would seem to support the case for the William C. McBee who enlisted in Kentucky and fought for the Union as being our William McBee.
But, why would he have traveled 400+ miles from Schuyler County, Missouri to Louisville, Kentucky? Was it the 160 acres promised to all men who enlisted in the Louisville Legion? And why would he name his sons Henry Claydean and Robert E. Lee?