Green Berry WARD

(Contributed by his great great great grandson, Tom William COTTON Jr.)

Green Berry WARD was a farmer in Polk County Arkansas as early as 1851. A native of Virginia, he started a family with his first wife, Elizabeth McDANIEL, in Pontotoc, Mississippi. His first son, Hugh Nelson WARD, was born there in 1837. Sometime between 1845 and 1846 Green B. WARD moved to Kentucky. Whether because of wanting a better life for his family, or because of the need of a young man to move on to greener pastures, he began his trek toward Arkansas.

He first went to Graves County, Kentucky, where his son, Jonathan WARD, was born in 1846. He joined up with Johnson McDANIEL, his wife's brother, and headed for Polk Co. While enroute they were delayed in Caddo Township, Clark County, Arkansas, for the birth of daughter, Permilia Jane WARD, in November 1850. He and his family finally arrived in Polk County in 1851. G. B. WARD purchased forty acres approximately one mile south southwest of the present day town of Hatfield on 01 March 1855, and another adjoining forty acres on 01 May 1856.

His closest neighbor to the west was the Moses COX family. To the south were Phillip JACKSON and Hardiman BARTON. To the east was Thomas ADAMS and southeast was his brother-in-law, Johnson McDANIEL with wife Permilia. To the north there were Nathaniel NOBLES and Edward REED. There were not a great many people living in the immediate area at the time.

When the Civil War came, Green B. WARD, now age 46, and his oldest son, Hugh Nelson, age 23, answered the call of their fellow Southerners and joined Company H, SouthArkansas Regiment, also known as the Fourth Arkansas Infantry, C.S.A. The unit was also called the Polk County Invincivles. They soon learned they were not invincible. Disentary and the measles were rampant in the units. Many died and many others were too ill to fight. This unit was involved in the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Springfield MO; Pea Ridge, Bentonville, Leetown, and Elkhorn Arkansas. The unit also served in the advance and siege of Corinth, Mississippi. Green Berry WARD and several others were too ill to continue and stayed behind when the unit left Arkansas to defend their families and property.

Green Berry WARD returned to his farm where Elizabeth, daughters Nancy and Permilia, and younger sons William, Johnathan, and Phinias (Finnis) E. WARD were meagerly existing. The war years were not kind to the average farmer in Polk Co., and the carpetbaggers that came after the war did not improve living conditions. By 1870 only G. B. WARD and his wife, Elizabeth, and their two youngest children remained on the land. Green Berry's youngest son, Phinias, and his wife, Luminta Jane WILSON died in September of 1877. Green Berry took in their three children, Henry Lee WARD, age 5; Evie J. WARD, age 3; and Minerva WARD into his home. He lost his first wife, Elizabeth, prior to 1880 as he is with a second wife, Mary. It is believed that Green Berry WARD died in 1882. No known record exists but his wife sold some of their land in December 1882. Green Berry WARD and others like him were the true pioneers of Polk County. While his final resting place is unknown, his legacy remains even today in the memories of his descendants.