John Gardner Culpepper

Male, #9539, (Mar 1842 - 22 Jul 1864)
Father*Gardner Culpepper of Thomas Co., GA (11 Dec 1810 - 22 May 1868)
Mother*Caroline Jones (28 Apr 1815 - 18 Nov 1885)
Birth*Mar 1842 John was born at Talbot Co., Georgia, in Mar 1842.1 
Relocationcirca 1847 He, as a family member, accompanied Gardner Culpepper of Thomas Co., GA in relocating circa 1847 at Lee Co., Georgia; Historical background explaining the possible rationale for Gardner's move into and out of Lee County:
     In addition to fertile lands around Palmyra, the hammock lands northward along Kinchafooa and Muckalee Creeks were found to be rich. With increasing settlement and cultivation the pine high lands, on both sides of the territory drained by the Kinchafoona, Muckaloochee, and Muckalee Creeks, were found to be also almost equal to the hummocks in fertility. The soil of the county came to be considered as mostly fertile. Only the western part, having a reddish, thirsty, sandy soil, and a belt along the Flint River in the eastern part were found to be of inferior quality.
     Prospects of ready transportation by railroad through Macon and by steamboat from Albany to cotton markets throughout the world caused rapid transfer of the cotton-planting interests from the upper counties to Lee. Although the first steamboat reached Albany in 1837, the river was not used for much commercial navigation until after 1847 with the elimination of the worst shoal on the Flint River between Albany and Apalachicola. In 1848, the proposed railroad from Macon through Lee County to Albany had been legalized by sufficient subscriptions, including some from Lee County. The newspapers, the Southwestern Georgian (later the Albany Courier), founded in 1841, and the Albany Patriot, founded in 1845, also had some influence in publicizing the section for settlers." The June 30, 1847, issue of the Patriot had the following items:
     "We were shown on Monday last, two stalks of cotton from the plantation of Mr. Robert Thompson, of Lee County. One stalk was of the Grand Gulf Cotton... about six feet high, and had some eight or ten full grown bolls on it. We were assured that there were several bolls opened in the field from which this was taken. The other stalk was nearly six feet high, and had on it upwards of one hundred bolls and forms. It was not quite so forward on the other stalk. There is said to be two hundred acres of cotton on the same plantation as good as these specimens..."
     With such inducements large numbers of settlers came in from Liberty, Burk, Baldwin, and Putnam Counties. Rich plantations of hammock land grew up along the Kinchafoona and Muckalee Creeks. By 1849, the distribution of cultivated farming lands was shown by agricultural settlements to the north of Palmyra: Cotton Bluff (probably so named as a collection point for shipping cotton to Albany), Starkville with new settlers, Oceola and Chenuba, to the northwest, and Sumterville, to the northeast.
     Despite the transfer of a strip of this county's lands to Dooly County in 1842, population increased from 2,370 white and 2,706 black in 1840 to 3,025 white and 3,634 black, including 7 free black, in 1850. The white population was the largest the county has ever had. There were 387 farms, averaging seven whites with nine slaves to the farm, and 550 dwellings. Since the county contained 506 square miles or 323,841 acres, the landholdings in and adjacent to each farm average 837 acres. The major portion of the land was the unpeopled pine and swampy land surrounding the plantations. Real estate in the county had a tax valuation of $l,148,224, and an average sale value of $10 per acre. Personal estates, largely slaves, were valued at $2,207,702. Since there were 3,626 slaves, the average value per slave was about $600. The ordinary crop of a county planter was 100 to 2,000 bales of cotton. Average yield of the land per acre was 800 pounds of cotton, 20 bushels of corn, and 10 bushels of wheat. Little attention was paid to orchards.
     The history of farming in Lee County was probably similar to that generally of the cotton belt in southwestern Georgia. There was an influx of small farmers interested in growing cotton. Some chanced upon rich lands, others upon poor; some were near navigation, others were far; some were expert, vigorous, frugal and farsighted, others were slack, spendthrift or merely perhaps unlucky. Profits from efficiency and good fortune enabled some to buy slaves and then to buy neighboring lands and attain eventually the scale and rank of planters. For their added lands they, raid prices acceptable to those who heard the loud call of the West; but they could force no man to sell who was not so minded. There were several farmers to every planter, throughout the best cotton zone, each producing cotton in sturdy competition with his neighbor, great or small. "Divergencies were of continuous gradation from the wealthy to paupers." In the last instance only does Lee County differ. There is little record of poverty among the white people in Lee County before the War.
     Lee County's comparative wealth was due to early climatic conditions. The swampy lands interspersed in the county and the drinking water produced fevers among white people. The blacks, however, were immune to the fevers and thrived in the semi-tropical climate. The large white population of 1850 dwindled. Many sold their lands to those who had the financial resources to consolidate the lands into large plantations and to buy slaves to work them. Many of the owners lived away from their plantations, in Starkville, Palmyra, and in cities outside the county, such as Albany, Americus, and Macon. Agriculture was the county's only source of income, and slaves did this work. There were no possible opportunities to induce poor people to remain. By 1860, the white poulation was only 2,242, but the black had increased to 4,954.2 
1850 Census1 Jun 1850 Caroline, Nancy, Amanda, John, William and Mary was listed as a household member living with Gardner Culpepper of Thomas Co., GA on the 1850 Census at Lee Co., Georgia.3 
Relocationcirca 1853 He was an accompanying familiy member in the relocation of Gardner Culpepper of Thomas Co., GA circa 1853 at Boston, Thomas Co., Georgia.4 
1860 Census1 Jun 1860 Caroline, John, William, Mary, Sterling, James and Sterling was listed as a household member living with Gardner Culpepper of Thomas Co., GA in the 1860 Census at Thomas Co., Georgia.5 
Civil War*between 1861 and 1864 He served in the War Between the States between 1861 and 1864. 
Death*22 Jul 1864 He died at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia, on 22 Jul 1864 at age 22.1 
Biography* There were John G. Culpeppers who served in the following three units from Georgia: Company A, 3rd GA Cavalry, Company G, 26th GA Infantry, and Company E, 29th GA Infantry. His brother William H. served in Company B, 29th GA Infantry, so the 29th GA Infantry is the most likely possibility for John Gardner Culpepper's unit. John was killed in the Battle of Atlanta.

ChartsHenry Culpeper of Lower Norfolk: DNA Status Chart (Male only, 8 generations)
Benjamin (son of Robert) Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC: Descendant Chart
Last Edited18 Oct 2008


  1. Correspondence from Ruth Allison Waldron Hill, (Collection of Letters between Hill and Hopkins), to Elizabeth Hopkins, 1950-1952, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. Film 164,482.
  2. Gardner appeared in the 1840 census inTalbot County and in the 1850 census in Lee County. He is presumed to have relocated coincident with the Lee County boom.
  3. 1850 Federal Census, United States.
    Page 282, Family 175, District 50, Lee Co., GA
    Gardner Culpepper, 38, M, Manager, RE=$200, GA
    Caroline Culpepper, 34, F, GA
    Nancy F. Culpepper, 12, F, GA
    Amanda Culpepper, 9, F, GA
    John G. Culpepper, 7, M, GA
    Wm H Culpepper, 5, M, GA
    Mary A. M. Culpepper, 2, F, GA.
  4. 1853 relocation is based on the fact that in that year, Gardner and Caroline had only moved to Lee County in 1848, were still there at the time of the 1850 census, and then in 1853 they became founding members of a church in Thomas Co.
  5. 1860 Federal Census, United States.
    Page 24, Boston, Thomas Co., GA
    Gardner Culpepper, 49, M, GA, Farmer, $4,000/$11,000
    Caroline Culpepper, 45, F, GA
    J. G. Culpepper, 17, M, GA
    W. H. Culpepper, 15, M, GA
    M. N. Culpepper, 13, F, GA
    S. G. Culpepper, 9, M, GA
    J. S. Culpepper, 4, M, GA.
    S. Brinkley, 12, M, GA.