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Thomas Jefferson McMullan

Born: July 3, 1813 Elbert Co., GA
Died: July 5, 1885 Newton Co., MS
Married: June 19, 1845 to Rachel Reynolds

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Thomas Jefferson McMullan moved to Mississippi about 1835 and settled on about 3500 acres of land on what is now the Oakland community of Newton County. He owned lots of slaves and was a large cotton planter.

Thomas Jefferson McMullan's grave in the Decatur Cemetery, Decatur, MS
N32 26.608 W89 06.448

Thomas Jefferson McMullan was a large blonde man. He was always prosperous and left plenty to his children. About 1863 during the Civil War, highwaymen were bad in this part of the country. The Confederates had opened a woolen cloth factory at Lake Oneida near Enterprise. They used water for power and slaves for labor. Thomas Jefferson McMullan put ten thousand dollars of gold in a leather pouch and set off walking down Chunky Creek to Lake Onieda to escape the would be robbers and bought stock in the woolen mill with the gold. The plant was destroyed by the Union army soon thereafter and he lost his investment. Gen. William T. Sherman marched east through Decatur in February 1864, on his way to Meridian, Mississppi. Sherman's troops burned homes along the way and took all the people's livestock and winter stores of food leaving the people of Newton County in bad shape. Sherman's troops burned Thomas Jefferson's home, barns, all out buildings and slaves quarters to the ground. Click Here to learn more about Sherman's Meridian Expedition.

To see maps of land that Thomas Jefferson McMullan owned in 1846 and a map of Sherman's Meridian Campaign Click Here.

Rachel Reynold McMullan's grave beside her husband in the Decatur Cemetery

Just before the Civil War, Thomas bought extra slaves at a bargain price hoping to make a profit at the end of the war. He lost all of his investment when the slaves were freed at the end of the war.

Excerpts from History of Newton County, Mississippi from 1834 to 1894.

Page 63: It has been shown that the increase of population from the decade from 1840 to 1850 nearly doubled, and from 1855 to 1860 was a period in which was a greater increase proportionately than at any other period of the county's history. About this time and a little previous, came many Alabama and Georgia people. J.P.N. Huddleston, a prominent lawyer and Congregational Methodist preacher, with large family, came to the county from Georgia; also the McCune family, the Todds, McMullens (sic), Stampers, Quattlebaums, Edmunds, Hoye, Hunters Abneys, McElhaneys, Freemans, Watsons, Flints, Portiss', Barrets, Carletons, Keiths, Nimmocks, Gardners, Daniel's, Cleavlands (sic), and others whose names are not recollected.

Page 191: Other prominent men in the county - some for wealth, some for influence, good character, citizenship, etc., energetic and otherwise - among whom are Mint Blelack and his sons, Samuel, M.E. and J.C. Blelack - the former, Mint Blelack, was one of the wealthiest men ever in the county; W.R. Norman and sons, James and Wm. Thames, Wm. Price, Bird Saffold and sons, E.S. Loper and sons, Samuel Hurd, J.M. Trussell, T.J. McMullen (sic) and sons, Wm. Reynolds and sons Hugh, Lock and Daniel.

Page 212 speaking of "County Granges" or farm councils: Assistant Steward; Wm. Graham, Chaplain; E. Carleton, Secretary; T.J. McMullen (sic), G.K.: Mrs. S.C. Allen, Ceres; Mrs. McMullen (sic), Pomona; Mrs. M.E. Hardy, Flora: Mrs. C.C. Stamper, L.A.S.

Page 299:

The kind of stock bread in our county as the good work and saddle horses and the best of mules. Also some of the best of cattle have been brought into our county in recent years, such as Jersey, Holstein, Gurnsey and Durham, which cross the border common stock common stock, make excellent milk cows. At the close of the war there was not a good stallion or Jack in the county, and the Jersey cow was not known only as they were read of. About twenty years ago, Dr. G. E. Longmire, a physician and practical man, saw the necessity of good mules and introduced a very tine jack into the county. There are many of these mules yet in the county, all showing the blood of the sire. About that time Mr. W. M. Martin, of Decatur, placed his tine horse before the people, but not with the success which he deserved. About twelve years ago Mr. J.V. Knight brought one of the finest jacks that has ever been in the county, and placed him on his stock form, seven miles southwest from Newton. Mr. Isham H. Brown, about the same time, placed a fine jack on his farm in the eastern part of the county, and the products of these to fine animals may now be counted by the hundreds, fine, large, well formed, quick growth young mules that have filled our county. Dr. G. L. Doolittle, about this time, or a little later, introduced his fine horse on his farm, 3 miles north of Newton, and his colts are probably the best in the county. Dr. G. H. McNeill, a physician at Newton, and Farmer and stock raiser, brought to Newton as fine a thoroughbred stallion as has been in the county, and his colts show some of the best saddle stock that has ever been in the county. He also, at the same time, had a jack, which did valuable service. These have been followed in rapid succession by different men in the county – McMullen (sic), Holliday, Wedgeworth and others – until, at the present writing, there are at least ten fine stallions and as many jacks in Newton County.


He is buried beside his wife Rachel, in the old part of the Decatur cemetary in Decatur, Mississippi along with his son Henry Clay McMullan and his wife Francis Davis McMullan.

Click to View a Larger Map
This map shows the land that was owned by Thomas J. McMullan in 1846. This information comes from Mr. Melvin Tingle of Decatur, Ms. Included on the same page is a topographical map of the same area and a map showing Sherman's march through Newton County, MS.

Thomas Jefferson McMullan married Rachel Reynolds on June 19, 1845. In February 1864 General William T. Sherman launched his Meridian Campaign. His troops marched east from Vicksburg, MS all the way to Meridian, MS. A four mile wide swath was burned and pillaged by his soldiers. The troops went right through Decatur and down the road that Thomas McMullan and his family lived on. Also, his in-laws lived in the same area. I found a photo from a newspaper from that era that shows that Sherman stayed in the Reynolds' home. All of Thomas Jefferson McMullan's property was destroyed and burned, including barns, home, slaves quarters, etc.

This is a photo of Rachel Reynolds' mother, father and family. Are Thomas Jefferson McMullan and his wife, Rachel in this photo? We may never know.

The photo above says that General William T. Sherman stayed in Reynolds' home on his Meridian Campaign which was a precursor to his March to the Sea. For a long time, I was unable to come up with any proof that this actually happened until today (10/21/2019). Melvin Tingle (who passed away the day before I wrote this) was a great help to me in 2003 looking up information on my 2x Great Grandfather Thomas Jefferson McMullan. Mr. Tingle had a book reprinted, History of Newton County, Mississippi from 1834 to 1894. On page 117, second paragraph, the following is quoted,

"From Decatur he went directly east on the Meridian road and made his headquarters at Mr. Reynolds, and remained in that portion of the county two days;"

Click this link to read History of Newton County, Mississippi from 1834 to 1894.

Tracking Sherman Through Newton County from the Newton County Historical Society.

Sherman's March through the South by Capt. David P. Conyngham

Thomas Jefferson Reynolds - Father of Rachel Reynolds McMullan

Type: Census
Title: 1860: US census, Newton Co, MS
Location: page 144; Decatur
Text: Farmer; real estate $12500; personal estate $20000
Type: Census
Title: 1870: US census Newton Co, MS
Location: page 187
Text: Farmer; real estate $1500, personal property $1470
Type: Web Site
URL: www.rootsweb.com/~msnewton/mcmullan.html
Date: 25 May 2001

1860 Slave records show that Thomas J. McMullan owned the following slaves:
Black Male 47
Black Male 35
Black Male 32
Black Female 28
Black Female 28
Black Male 20
Black Male 14
Black Male 16
Black Male 14
Black Female 10
Black Female 9
Black Male 11
Black Female 7
Black Female 6
Black Female 2

2. i. HENRY CLAY MCMULLAN, b. July 13, 1846; d. 1935.
4. iii. THOMAS NEWTON MCMULLAN, b. December 27, 1850; d. September 23, 1937.
5. iv. REV. WILLIAM RUFUS MCMULLAN, b. January 12, 1853, Mississippi; d. June 13, 1906, Henderson Co., Texas.
6. v. MARY ELLA MCMULLAN, b. March 29, 1863; d. August 01, 1965.

All Information, Photographs, Images, etc., are © 2003 to Present by Jay S. McMullan - All Rights Reserved