Elberton Star (GA)
April 25, 1911
JOHN T. WILLIS ANSWERS SUMMONS
Honors in Peace and War—Only One of Six Boys Left
John T. Willis, a former citizen of Elbert county, son
of Thomas F. and Mildred T. Willis, has gone to the great beyond. Dr. Willis left Elbert county
in 1856, went to Arkansas and located in Lincoln county near Star City,
and practiced medicine until the Civil War.
In 1861 he enlisted in the Confederate army, and filled the office of
first lieutenant through the war; he was wounded twice during the war, at the
battle of Shiloh, and also at the battle of Corinth.
had five brothers who responded to their country’s call, four of which left
Elbert county on June the 15th, 1861. Their names are W. J. Willis, James A. Willis,
T. B. F. Willis, Richard Madison Willis. Robert M. Willis, being under age, went later
W. J. Willis died in the hospital at Atlanta, Ga., from wounds received at the battle of Chickamauga. James A. Willis died of typhoid fever at Richmond, Va. Robert M. Willis died of brain fever at
Culpepper [sic] Va. Richard Madison Willis lost his right leg at
North Anna, Va. James A. Willis and Robert M. Willis, now
sleep beneath the silent sod on Virginia
soil. The remains of Capt. W. J. Willis
were brought back to Elberton, and interred at the old Baptist church.
of the six Willis boys that responded to their country’s call, only three lived
to return to their homes, viz. Dr. John T. Willis, R. M. Willis and T. B. F.
Willis, and T. B. F. Willis is the only surviving member of his father’s
the close of the war Dr. John T. Willis returned to Lincoln
and resumed his practice of medicine and continued to practice until a few
years before his death.
county several terms in the Legislature.
He only liked two weeks of being eighty-six years of age at his
death. He was buried at the cemetery
near his home. About the last letter he
wrote to me, he stated that he went out and viewed the spot he selected for his
last resting place, at the cemetery; after returning he penned me these lines:
the grave yard just ahead, almost in sight, I am tottering on its brink, but I
feel reconciled to God’s will. Of course
the dread of death is implanted in every human breast. Christ, himself
dreaded the sting of death, but he did not fear its consequences. But I trust in God. I know He has been with me in the past, He is
with me now, I hope and believe in His mercy to the
dear brother, thou are gone. No more
will I ever hear thy gentle voice, or behold thy loving face. Peace to thy ashes. At rest be thy soul.
B. F Willis
April 19th, 1911
[Transcribed by Sharon Strout]