The Latty’s of Cross Hollows

This blog post is about Matilda WALLS DUNHAM LATTY, sister/sister-in-law to my maternal 3rd great grandparents, Irena WALLS LATTY and Jefferson LATTY (and his brother Ellis LATTY).  For reference, the line of ascent goes from my mom’s mom to her mom (Laura BULLOCK RITER) to Laura’s mom (Druziller LATTY BULLOCK) to Druziller’s mom (Irena WALLS LATTY) AND Irena’s sister, Matilda WALLS DUNHAM LATTY.  I’ve talked about Irena and Jefferson in these blog posts over on the old section of the blog at Livejournal:

You Got a Document for That?

Speling- Hoo Neds It??

Matilda Latty of Cross Hollows

My Dad needed to get out of the house today so my husband and I planned a little road trip and picked up my parents after lunch.  We took an hour drive over into Northeast Arkansas.  Our first stop: Cross Hollows, Arkansas.  This is a very interesting place and has so many layers of history to it.  See the historical marker below:

Cross Hollow AR pic

Cross Hollows, Arkansas historical sign #1- Cherokee Trail of Tears, Civil War (Confederate & Union), Butterfield Stage Coach Route.  It was also the Butterfield mail route although it isn’t listed on the sign here.

Here is another Cross Hollows sign sitting right next to the sign above:

Cross Hollow AR 2

Second Cross Hollows sign.

For a more detailed history about Cross Hollows, I recommend going to The Civil War Muse.  Although I love the history of Cross Hollows, I had a more personal reason for bringing my parents here.  My maternal 4th great aunt, Matilda J. WALLS (DUNHAM)(LATTY), lived in Cross Hollows in 1870 when she filed a claim with the US Southern Claims Commission.

Latty US Souther Claims Commission file

Matilda Latty’s claim filed with the US Southern Claims Commission via Ancestry.

Matilda was the sister to my maternal 4th great grandmother, Irena WALLS (and sister-in-law to my 4th great grandfather and Irena’s husband, Jefferson LATTY).  Not only that, but Matilda’s second husband was Jefferson’s brother, Ellis LATTY.  Matilda appears at the Cross Hollows location in only two records that I’ve found.  One is the 1870 census (Cross Hollows, White River Township, Benton County, Arkansas on 5 September 1870) where she appears with the LATTY name, LATTY children, and her mother (Delilah WALLS), but her husband (Ellis LATTY) is not listed in the household.  She likely moved to Cross Hollows around 1862 as best I can tell based on dates from various records that also list locations.

The second document is her claim filed with the US Southern Claims Commission where she filed for $156 for corn and fodder taken by “Colonel Phillips Cherokee Regiment Indian Troops”, better known as the 3rd Regiment Indian Home Guards.


Colonel Phillips, 3rd Regiment Indian Home Guards.  Photo found at Northeaster State University.

In compliance with the government procedure for filing claims, Matilda named witnesses.  Her witnesses regarding the truthfulness of her claim included Charles T. DUNHAM (probably her son who would have been old enough to remember the incident), and Delily WOOLS (my best guess is this is actually Delilah WALLS- Matilda’s mother).  Matilda also had to provide witnesses as to her loyalty to the US Government and those witnesses were Samuel RAMSEY (Matilda’s niece’s husband), Charles WALLS (most likely Matilda’s brother and the father of Martha who was the wife of Samuel RAMSEY), and John GORDON (most likely Matilda’s brother-in-law who was married to Matilda’s sister, Elizabeth).  Matilda’s claim was ultimately denied, but I never found any explanation as to whether it was ‘barred’ or ‘disallowed’ nor the reason why.  I’m guessing Matilda’s claim was barred rather than disallowed.  I’m basing that on information I found at North Carolina GenWeb’s site which explains why claims might be barred versus disallowed.  My best guess is they considered her a Confederate sympathizer since her brother-in-law, Jefferson LATTY, fought for the Confederacy.  But again, that’s just a guess.

All of this information put together tells me that Matilda was in the bustling Cross Hollows area when Union troops were quartered there (and possibly early enough to have seen the end of Confederate troops quartered there as well).  If she was present to witness the Butterfield Overland Mail service in Cross Hollows, she only witnessed the very end of it as the Butterfield Overland Mail service ended in 1861 (which is also when the Confederate troops moved out of Cross Hollows).  Wikipedia has an image of the Butterfield Overland Mail service schedule:


By Overland Mail Company – California Department of Parks and Recreation. This time schedule, No. 1, Sep. 16th, 1858, can be downloaded by the public on the California Parks and Recreation internet site in the “Stagecoach History: Stage Lines to California,” by choosing at the bottom of their page “View and download Overland Mail Company timetable.” The link for this site is here..  Or you can do like I did and go to Wikipedia.

She would have witnessed the Butterfield Stage Line, though.  It discontinued service during the war (1861-1865) but resumed service in 1865 and it followed the newly-created Old Wire Road.  (Information from White River Valley Historical Quarterly).  Wordpress blogger Myra H. Mcilvain has two photos worth looking at.  One is of a beautifully restored Butterfield Stagecoach and the other (at the same link) is a map of the Butterfield Stage Line route.

Crossing the Hollows of History

It’s so hard to stand in 2019 Cross Hollows (a very peaceful, rural area) and envision 12,000+ Civil War soldiers quartered there for the winter or envision the Overland Mail or Butterfield Stagecoach barreling through the middle of it.  It doesn’t seem to take long for nature to reclaim land once trampled barren by humans.  I’m glad for that.  It was a lovely drive today and this is only part one of the drive.  Stay tuned for part two in which I discuss my dad’s MITCHELL line.

Until then,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

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