R.L. Richardson Biography

Jerry Herd
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Known variously as R.L., L.R., Ranz., and Lorenzo D. Richardson he was born in Benton County, Tennessee on 30 April in 1840 or 44. The earliest record found of him is the 1860 Federal Census of St. James township, Mississippi County, Missouri. At this time he was living with William A. SWEANEY and his wife Lewellen. The names of his parents and his relationship to the Sweaneys is not known at this time, family lore has it that he was orphaned.

Lorenzo traveled the 12 miles from St. James to New Madrid, Missouri, where Confederate forces had landed, along with six other young men from his county to join Cpt. Bankhead's Tennessee Flying Artillery on 31 July 1861. Two of the boys who joined that day were his close neighbors Andrew and Marion OLIVER, whose brother in law he would later become.

He was with the battery when it moved to Columbus, KY and is shown on the muster roll of 31 December 1861. He was almost certainly present during the fighting at New Madrid, MO in February-March 1862.

The family stories about Lorenzo state that he was wounded and this probably took place during the Shiloh campaign. On his Texas Confederate Pension Application he states "I was captured by the enemy at Corinth, Mississippi. As I now remember in 1863 (this would have to have been in 1862). I was in hospital there at the time of capture. Held by the enemy for many months, was turned out of prison at Alton, IL but never recovered."

L.R. Richardson along with Andrew OLIVER and many others are listed in the report ob absentees without leave from 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Mississippi dated 24 June 1862.

Lorenzo's claim to have been captured while in hospital and to have eventually been sent to Alton, IL can not, at this time, be substantiated by U.S. government prisoner of war records. These records are incomplete and the record of his incarceration may have been lost.

In an affidavit for his pension, a prewar friend, James E. GULLION of Co. E, 1st Missouri Infantry Regiment states that he and Lorenzo were released in 1864 on the Mississippi River. They were reunited in Red River County, Texas sometime after the turn of the century.

Lorenzo's exact date of return to Mississippi County is uncertain. He made a claim for 4 months labor 1863-64 in William A. SWEANEY's probate record which would have put him back in the county about September 1863.

After his release he, and his friend James GULLION were inducted into the Enrolled Missouri Militia Co. H, 79th Regiment. This was mandatory service and they had no choice except to go back to prison or go into hiding. The E.M.M. was a state organization not recognized by the Federal government and not considered Federal service. It was non unlike the "minutemen" in that they remained at home until needed. They were called up in August 1864 for the emergency arising from General Sterling Price's raid into Missouri and relieved of duty 28 November 1864

For almost 20 years after the war Lorenzo continued to live in Mississippi County. He married Andrew OLIVER's sister Elizabeth on 18 February 1869. They had three children, Charlotte (Lottie)who would marry John S. HILL, James, and Lewellen Tennessee Voila (Dora) who would marry Robert S. WEDDLE.

The family removed to Red River County, Texas in 1883 and settled near Midway. The county tax records for the period show him for the first time in 1884 with virtually no property worth taxing. He continued to be quite poor in all the tax records that I have located. His grand-daughter Julia Weddle SZENASI claimed that he was addicted to opium as a result of his wound.

Elizabeth died 15 March 1894.

R.L. Richardson is listed as one of the founding members of United Confederate Veterans Camp #656 John C. Burks in Clarksville, TX. He received a pension from the state #32774.

Paap or Grandpaap, as he was known to his family, died of Brights Disease on 8 May 1918 while living with his daughter Lottie and her husband in Detroit, TX. He was buried in Bluff Cemetery near that town next to his wife, his son in law Robert S. WEDDLE was buried to his left in the 1920's.

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