William married Feriba Ann Darnell on December
15, 1866. This was 2-1/2 years after he was shot and 1-1/2 years
after he was discharged from the Army. The Williams and Darnell
families had known each other by living close and going to school
together in Marrs Township. For all we know Feriba was the one he
wrote to during the war. They may have been very good friends
before the war. They had plenty of time to do so. And he served
with her uncle William Harry "Doc" Darnell in the war.
They must have compared notes from home being neighbors.
Their first child was Andrew Jackson Williams born June 1, 1868
in Posey county, presumably on the family farm in Marrs Township.
Andrew was, of course, named for the American president who was
immensely popular with the huge farming population of the day and
all the "common man". Feribaís brother also had the
same name. Feriba and William also had a second son William Albert
Williams born February 22, 1870. We know little about him.
Feriba and William had two sons; 12 grandchildren and 22 great
grandchildren. A quick count of the great great grand children
shows 27. We have lost track after that but know at least that one
great great great grandchild is getting married as this is
written. And the Confederate gun could have been off the width of
a human hair and it all would have changed for these 61 people and
But on Christmas Day 1870 William suddenly died of a heart
attack. It seems to have occurred in Henderson Kentucky while
visiting relatives for Christmas. The Ohio River was frozen over
enough to walk on and apparently there was a family celebration of
some kind. William was 36 years old. The crossing was certainly an
exertion in that the river usually doesnít freeze flat like a
lake but rather with lots of ridges to be climbed over. Nothing
like as bad as the least exertions during the war. But there were
two young children to care for. It would seem likely that he would
have gone across the river to the Kentucky side on Christmas Eve
and not tried to come back on Christmas. But, maybe it had nothing
to do with the crossing. Maybe something to do with his arm wound.
We will probably never know.
The widow Feriba was only 34 at the time. Andrew was a 2-1/2
year toddler and William was a baby at 10 months. Likely the baby
was being taken to see elderly Kentucky relatives that couldnít
come to Posey County. William couldnít have carried Andrew
easily with the war wound and perhaps he over exerted himself. The
river doesnít freeze over often This was a rare opportunity. The
grandparents were all dead by this time. Feriba must have been in
a terrible state with two young ones and a small farm to take care
of. We know that she also married a W.H. Heuring after William
died, but donít know anything about him. As mentioned in the
early part of this piece, in late 1938 Walter Williams took his
infant son (now 63 years old) to the celebration of the 50th
wedding anniversary of Feribaís sister (Pvt. William Williamsís
sister-in-law). Thus a Civil War contemporary in her later years
meets a child who now works on the Space Shuttle program and fully
expects to live well into the 21st century.
Winna Martin Williams had a sister Ursula who married a
minister John Benoni Stinson. We have read of him in history of
the area as a church founder in Posey County. He always uses his
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