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William M. Rakes

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Posted: Date Tuesday, April 17th 2007, 8:44 PM Icon 9811 Date 0

1843 -1931
Co. B, 36th Va. Infantry

William M. Rakes was born on 3 December 1843 in Franklin County near the Patrick County line. His parents were Charles and Mary Ann (Griffith) Rakes and he was the second of thirteen children born to this union. The family lived on a farm in the Endicott area of Franklin County.

William enlisted in Franklin County on 15 October 1863 as a Private in Co. B, 36th Virginia Infantry. He was present throughout the war. His brother, Sparrell enlisted on 21 June 1861 in Co. C, 57th Virginia Infantry as a Private.

The 36th Va. Infantry was organized in what is now West Virginia under the command of Colonel John McCausland until his promotion to Brigadere General in May 1864. It was later assigned to General Early’s command.

During William’s term of enlistment, the 36th Va. Infantry participated in the following engagements:

Cloyd’s Mt., Va. - May 9,1864
Piedmont, Va. - June 5,1864
Lynchburg, Va. - June 17-18,1864
Monocracy, Md. - July 9,1864
Fort Stevens, Washington, DC - July 11-12, 1864
Snickers’ Gap, Va. - July 17,1864
Berryville, Va. - July 19,1864
Stephens Depot, Va. - July 20,1864
Fishers Hill, Va. - July 23,1864
Winchester, Va. - August 10,1864
Winchester, Va. - August 17-19,1864
Opequon Creek, Va. - September 19,1864
Fishers Hill, Va. - September 22,1864
Cedar Creek, Va. - October 19,1864
Fishers Hill, Va. - December 19,1864
Waynesboro, Va. - March 2,1865

In 1866, William married Malinda Janney, daughter of Isaac and Martha (Radford) Janney. She was born in Patrick County. To this union two children were born: Cephus M., born 1869 and Martha Ann, born 24 May 1863. Malinda died of dropsy on 13 November 1873 and William married on 10 January 1876 to Martha Ann Thompson. She was born 3 October 1858, the daughter of Alexander Jennings and Charlotte Adeline (Cannady) Thompson. There were at least twelve children from this marriage: Charles A., born 1876 and died 1901; Lillie Alberta, born 1878, married Luther Smith and died 1968; Delia, born blind on 20 December 1880 and died unmarried on 20 April 1943; Peter Jennings, born 1883 and died in 1974; Mary Elvia, born 1885, married Thomas Whitlock and died in 1953; Flora and Cora were twins, born on 26 January 1888. Cora died on 2 March 1888 and Flora died 9 June 1889; Bettie, born 1889 and died in 1891; Lonnie May, born 1890 and married Joel Thomas. She died in 1971; William Eldee, born 1892, married Sallie Hudson and died in 1985; Ollie Catherine, born 1895, married John Ingram and died in 1986; Linnie Clarilla, born in 1898 and died in 1990.

In 1910, William would apply for and recieve a Confederate Pension in the amount of $36.00. He was also a member of the Jubal Early Camp of the SCV in Franklin County.

William suffered from a broken hip and died of pneumonia on 20 September 1931. His tombstone reads, “His toils are past, his work is done, he fought the fight, the victory won.” Martha applied for and received a widow’s pension until her death on 27 April 1936. They are buried with their daughter, Delia in the Rakes Family Cemetery near their home.

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