Captain William S. Ray
William Stephen Ray was born in Orange county North Carolina
May 5, 1844. When he was sixteen
years of age his father, with his family, moved to west Tennessee and settled in
McNairy county on Owl creek, seven miles above the old Shiloh Church, afterward
made famous by one of the hardest fought and bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
Ray left McNairy county Tennessee with the first company to
leave there for the Confederate service, leaving home before he was yet 17 years
old, being the 30th. man or boy to offer for service from McNairy county.
His command, the 154th. Sen. Regiment, Tennessee Infantry.
He served the first year of the war in Tennessee, Missouri
and Kentucky; was in the battle of Belmont, Missouri November 7th. 1861, and was
in the battle of Shiloh April 6th. and 7th. 1862.
In the Confederate Veteran of March 1908 inquiry was made for
a boy belonging to Cheatham's Division, who, during a short halt of the command,
ran forward about thirty yards and pulled a large Confederate flag from the
front of a tent, waved it at the Federals just across an old field, and fell
back to his place in line. This boy was
William Stephen Ray.
After Shiloh, when the Confederate Army was falling back from
Corinth, he was left behind, sick of pneumonia.
It was late in the summer before he was able to resume service again, at
which time he was selected to be placed under a Captain Smith, as a scout, and
was with Captain Smith for more than a year; much of that time in west
Tennessee, in the Federal rear.
In the fall of 1863, when Forrest was given command of all
Confederate forces in west Tennessee, Smith was relieved by the Kizer Scouts,
and made Captain of Company A, 16th. Tennessee Cavalry.
In the early part of 1864, Smith was killed in a skirmish in Tennessee, and Joab
Russell was made Captain of the company.
While William Stephen Ray was serving in this Company he was in the
battles of Okolona, Mississippi, Paducah, Kentucky and Fort Pillow.
The first of May 1864 all soldiers who had served in the
infantry and were then with Forrest, and who had never been discharged, were
returned to their old commands. Ray,
being one of that number, reached Johnson's Army near Dalton, Georgia and
participated in all the battles of the Georgia Campaign from Dalton to Lovejoy
On Hood's raid into Tennessee he was left sick on the way, and
when he was able made his way to his home in west Tennessee.
After Hood's return from Tennessee, Ray rejoined the army, identifying
himself with the 16th. Tennessee Cavalry, where he served until he was paroled.
He was paroled at Corinth, Mississippi May 15, 1865, having served four years
and twelve days.
On December 24, 1868 Ray married Narcissa Carolina Hubbard of
McNairy county Tennessee at Ramer, Tennessee.
The Reverend Robert Young performed the ceremony.
Incidentally Narcissa Carolina Hubbard's grandfather's name was Samuel
Clemens Jones, who was a second cousin of Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark
Cpt. Ray was a member of long standing and recipient of
high honors in the following organizations: Presbyterian Church, Masonic Lodge,
Oddfellows, Red Man and the United Confederate Veterans.
The Ray's first child Laura Frances was born at Purdy, Tennessee November 6,
1869. Their second child Ida Leona
was born at Gravel Hill, Tennessee October 6, 1871.
In 1872 the family moved to Sevier county, Arkansas and settled on a farm near
DeQueen, Arkansas. On this farm were
born the following children
- Frank Cheatham Ray, Born September 3, 1873
- John Loving Ray, Born August 3, 1875
- Walter Lee Ray, Born March 25, 1877
- Bedford Forrest Ray, Born June 25, 1879
- Edna V. Ray, Born July 25, 1882
- William Theodore Ray, Born October 30, 1883
- Mary Ann (Mamie) Ray, Born March 31, 1886
- Demma Ray, Born September 3, 1888
- Unnamed infant, Born September 2, 1890
- Jessie Maude Ray. Born October 30, 1891
From DeQueen, Arkansas Cpt. Ray and his family moved to
Idabel, Oklahoma in 1907 where they lived on a forty three acre tract of land
adjoining the town.
Narcissa Carolina Ray, wife of the principal character of
this account passed away January 13, 1913 and "Captain" Ray followed his
affectionate and loyal mate on October 14, 1919, and both rest side by side in
the cemetery at Idabel, Oklahoma.
William S. Ray's memoirs (which he titled "Reminiscences")
of the war give an
account of the experiences and observations of a Confederate veteran, written in
his own words; from the day of a sixteen year old volunteer into the Confederate
Army through the four years of war, in his Reminiscences of the Late War, and on
into the difficult days of Reconstruction in his Early Days In Sevier County,
and then as a Delegate to the various Confederate Reunions when he was a
reporter for the McCurtain Gazette at Idabel, Oklahoma, and submitted his copy
under the title of Wandering Willie.
His memoirs are available
Walter L. & Grace Ray
The Children of Walter & Grace Ray (Idabel, OK)
From left to right clockwise: Walter (Pat Sr.), Billy,
Ruth, Swan, James (Jimmy), Burton and (seated) Grace Ray
L. "Pat" Ray, Sr.
Pat Ray, Sr. married Eileen King and settled into the small but growing county
seat community of Ada, Oklahoma. There Pat became involved in politics
(including a run for office in Oklahoma as the secretary of state), real estate
(founding Ray Real Estate), auto sales (founding a small, independent dealership
that operated until the early 1970's) and numerous community and civic
activities (Rotary, Kiwanis, Liopns Club, et al). TPat and Eileen raised two
children -- Walter L. "Pat" Ray, Jr. and Wanda Ray.
("Pat, Jr.) Ray
"Pat" Ray, Jr. married Betty Louise McCurley (Romper Room's "Miss Betty")
and together they had four children: Patricia Louise Ray, Bradley Stephen Ray, Brent Stuart Ray and Penny
Brent Stuart Ray & Mary Elaine Lackey
(pic link) first met in a chapel service at Baylor
University (as freshmen) in 1976. They were married on December 29, 1980 -- the
last wedding ceremony to take place in the old sanctuary of the 1st Baptist
Church of Robert Lee, TX. Brent & Elaine have three children: Jared Thomas Ray,
Ariel Nichole Ray & Jordan Tyler Ray.
December 1987 - 4 Generations
Clockwise from the left: Walter L. ("Pat, Sr.") Ray, Brent S. Ray, Walter L.
("Pat, Jr.) Ray and 2-year old Jared Ray.
1989 - The Ray Threesome
Left to right: Jared ("10 fingers!") Ray, Ariel ("What did you say") Ray, and
Jordan ("Just prop me up and pass the milk...") Ray.
Easter 2011 - 1st Lt. Jared Ray, Ariel Ray, Jordan Ray
Jared is currently stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He has completed IOBC and
is currently finishing Airborne school, hoping to get into Army Ranger school
before deployment with his unit later this year.
Ariel will graduate this August with her Masters in Counseling from Dallas
Baptist University. She began a counseling practicum working for Christian
Counseling Associates in Plano, TX and hopes to continue her counseling practice
in the N Dallas / Plano area for the foreseeable future. She is a member of
Watermark Community Church of Dallas and is actively involved in numerous
church, social and community groups.
Jordan will finish his coursework at Baylor (BS in Geology) in May, spend a
month in China on the Baylor Geology Field Trip and then graduate in August. He
hopes to join a Texas company as a geo-tech (or similar role) and work his way
up the ladder to earn his role as a geologist and exploration specialist.
Brent and Elaine have recently determined that the time is right to return to
their first love and calling, that of pastoral ministry in the local church.