J. Bruce Evans*
Grave of John Cloud with two of his descendants, Walter Lee
Cloud and John Owen Evans, in 1968
John Cloud, my ggggrandfather, is the only know Revolutionary War soldier buried in Winn Parish, Louisiana. Born in 1740, he was, according to family tradition, 6' 2" tall, weighed 200 pounds, and had one black and one blue eye. He never wore glasses, but was said to be able to shoot a cat squirrel out of the tallest pine tree when he was nearly 100 years old.
Near the end of his life he lived with his son, Noah Cloud, near Cloud Crossing (now a
National Preserve, named after his son) on Saline Bayou, and died four days before his 100th
birthday. He is buried a mile southwest of Gansville, Louisiana, on the old Cloud
homesite.(1) The Shreveport Chapter of the
Daughters of the American Revolution later erected a marker at his grave honoring him as a
North Carolina Private with the Georgia Troops in the Revolutionary War.
The family asserts that John Cloud fought in the Revolutionary War as an English soldier under General Wolfe at the siege of Quebec and kept as a souvenir a piece of the rock on which the general died after his victory over the French. They also say he fought at Bunker Hill and that he was a commissioned officer, with his commission signed by General George Washington. After John died it is said that his commission passed to his son, Noah, who eventually gave it to the heirs of his sister, Annie Cloud Villars, then living in Robeline, Louisiana.
Unfortunately these glowing traditions are not supported by facts available now. What we know about his war record comes from affidavits which he gave and signed (with his X) in 1833, when he was 93 years old, applying for a veteran's pension in Natchitoches Parish (File No. S-30935, V.A. Bureau, Washington, D.C.). In these documents he recalls his war record as follows:
He volunteered, he asserted, in the Militia of South Carolina under General Williams. At this time he was residing in Wilkes County, Georgia. This tour of duty lasted about one month. Then he went on another tour of duty from White Hall in South Carolina to Rayborn's Creek. Colonel Thompson and Colonel Richardson served in this unit.
In the same winter or early next spring he enlisted under Captain Lenn Marbary for 18 months. The Lieutenant of this Company was Hatton Middleton. He served out this enlistment and received a discharge from Captain Marbary, which he left in his father's house in Georgia. The house, he said, was later burned by the Tories. During this tour he was stationed in a Fort on the Aquechee River. After discharge he returned home where all were warned to protect themselves from Tories and Indians.
Soon after he returned from this tour he was drafted in the Militia of Georgia and served under Captain Dooley. This tour lasted two weeks, during which he marched from Wilkes County, Georgia, to the Cherokee towns. The party killed some Indians and burned two Indian towns.
After this tour he enlisted under Captain John Steward of the Calvary to scout against Indians in the upper part of Georgia. He served 18 months under this enlistment. He believed Captain Steward was commissioned by Congress or General Washington. He was stationed on Broad River in Georgia for nearly the whole time, but was sent to Fort Barrington on the Uttanabald River. At 'Cat Head,' about 3 miles from Fort Barrington, Colonel Scriven joined the command and they marched up the Uttanabald River on a scout against the Tories. He was discharged and this paper was burned with the others at his father's house.
He then went over into South Carolina and volunteered under Captain Wilson. General Williamson was the Commander. This tour lasted the whole summer or six months. The command marched to St. Mary's to attack St. Augustin. They lay for sometime and returned and were dismissed.
His next tour, which only lasted a few days, was in the Militia of Georgia as a
volunteer under General Clark. He marched from South Carolina to Carr's Fort in Wilkes
County, Georgia. The troops had to run off in the night and come back in the night. During
his next tour which was also under General Clark, he marched from Wilkes County to Auyes?
County. This tour lasted one week, when a Colonel Cruger of the British Army came with
reinforcements and drove off the Americans. He remained in the service until the surrender
of Lord Cornwallis. He served, he attested, as a Private the whole time and in no other
Following these affidavits, which were also accompanied by other supporting statements
from persons who knew him, the pension was granted. Records show that on a Certificate of
Pension issued Nov. 15, 1833, he received $240.
AFTER THE WAR
After the Revolutionary War, John Cloud and his two younger brothers are said to have left Georgia where their father lived. "When they got to the line of Tennessee they separated. William and Noah went to North Carolina while John went to South Carolina where he entered 400 acres of land on Brier Creek, what is known as Cherokee Pond, South Carolina. He married Elizabeth (Betsy) Lacey, a Cherokee Indian, by the Cumberland River in Kentucky."(2)
Their first child, William, was born about 1798, followed by a second son, Noah, born April 28, 1800. Another son, Ruben was born in 1804; a daughter Minerva, in 1806; followed by sons, Frank, Lee, and Jeremiah, and another daughter, Annie, on February 7, 1824. The oldest of the children were born in Livingston County, Kentucky. The family apparently left Kentucky around 1815 and moved, in time, to Louisiana.
My grandmother, Delilah Cloud (John's great granddaughter) wrote: they "lived on the Cumberland Mts., came by river to Vixburg, (Vicksburg) did not like there, came on to Natches (Natchez), from there to Alexandria, La., did not like there, on to Texas, did not like there, on to Ark (Arkansas) did not like, down to Monroe, La., lived there a no. of years." She also wrote, "there were 4 boys and 4 girls of the Clouds, vast heards of cattle all over the woods, made a cheese each day. The Negro Cris would hitch a wagon and go to Alexandria to sell cheese, hides, etc."
It was also said that the Cloud's, along with members of his wife's family (Lacy's) and a Folsom family (His son, Noah, later married Delilah Folsom), followed a nephew of Edward M. Breckinridge (famous for Breckinridge Park in San Antonio, Texas) on their trek which ended in the northwest part of what is now Winn Parish.
Whatever their path, the Cloud family eventually settled in Ward Ten above the Drake Salt Licks, then in Natchitoches Parish, but later carved into Winn Parish in 1852.
The 1830 Louisiana Census lists: "Cloud, John; Natchitoches Parish." The age bracket is "90-100."
In December, 1835, according to family tradition, John Cloud was visited by some of his Kentucky friends who later became famous. As Barry W. Zander told the story in the Winn Parish Enterprise (March 19, 1970): "Davy Crockett from Tennessee and Ben Milam of Kentucky heard the call of Sam Houston for troops to defend the Alamo against Mexican General Santa Anna. They set out to meet Houston at the Prothro Mansion near St. Maurice in Winn Parish.
"The two fighters stopped off to visit with their friend John Cloud, for a week of hunting raccoons to be used for, among other things, coon skin caps.
"Cloud had more than just friends fighting for Texas' independence, according to local historian Harley B. Bozeman." He also had a young nephew who was a lawyer in Natchitoches who volunteered.
Bozeman had previously written (1965) about this visit and quoted from a recently published book, HEROES OF TEXAS: "At Natchitoches, Louisiana, Daniel Cloud (believed to be a son of John's younger brother, Noah Cloud), reacting to Houston's appeal to 'come with a good rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition-- and soon,' gave up his promising law practice and joined Davy Crockett's Mounted Volunteer Sharpshooters."
Zander noted: Daniel Cloud "is believed to have died with Crockett, Milam, Jim
Bowie, William B. Travis, and James Bonham at the Alamo on March 6, 1836. The last contact
between John Cloud and Davy Crockett was a letter mailed by Crockett from St. Augustine,
Texas, dated January 9, 1836, while they were on the march from Natchitoches Parish into
Texas just two months before he and all his men died in defense of the Alamo."
John Cloud died four years later on February 1, 1840, while living with his son, Noah
Cloud, near Cloud's Crossing on Saline Bayou, just four days before his 100th
CLOUD FAMILY HISTORY
John Cloud was a fifth generation American. His ggggrandfather, William Cloud, born CA 1625 in Wiltshire, England, purchased 500 acres of land in Pennsylvania from William Penn and came to America in 1662. He had five sons and one daughter, all born in England. His five sons came to America with him, but his daughter, who married in England, remained there.
His second son, Jeremiah Cloud, born 1645 in England, inherited 200 acres from his father and married Elizabeth Bailey; they had eight children. Their third son, William Cloud, born 1681 in Pennsylvania, married Elizabeth Hayes; they had nine children. According to the Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy (Vol I, p 556) three of their sons are recorded as soldiers in the American Revolution. Their fourth son, named William after his father and great grandfather, was a minor child at the time his father died in 1747.
William is said to have later returned to England, then on to France where he married a French girl. According to family tradition, they lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, where their first son, John Cloud (our subject) was born. (This family information was contradicted by John Cloud, who declared when he applied for a pension at age 93, that he was born at New Light Creek in North Carolina.)
Mollie Cloud Elkin, a great granddaughter of John Cloud, wrote in 1950: "I am the oldest of our father Noah Cloud's children and I know of our ancestors on the Cloud side told to me by our grandmother, Delilah Folsom Cloud, who was our father's mother. She was born in 1808 and died the latter part of September, 1883. I was 16 years old then and remember well the things grandmother told me, beginning when I was a little girl and many times through the years up to the time of her passing away. She said she wanted me to know about our older Cloud people."
Mollie Cloud goes on to write that William Cloud and his French wife, with their young John Cloud came back to America, landed at Jamestown, Virginia, and moved to North Carolina. There they had two more sons, William and Noah, and "then they moved by way of ox wagon over into Kentucky. In going over the mountains it was very cold and they stopped and made a fire. A girl named Mary sat down by a tree while the fire was being made and when they called her she did not move; she had frozen to death. They settled on the Cumberland River. John married there to Elizabeth Lacy, a Cherokee girl."
If this information is correct, John Cloud would have been English and French. His children would then be Cherokee Indian, 1/4 English, and 1/4 French.
CLOUDS IN AMERICA
William Cloud and wife (name unknown) had six children:
1. William Cloud, married Grace Willis, had six children, died in 1719.
2. Jeremiah Cloud, married Elizabeth Bailey, had eight children (see Second Generation).
3. Sussanna Cloud, married a Mr. Lukens in England and resided there.
4. Joseph Cloud, died in 1739, had married Mary Moore (nee Greene) and had 3 children.
5. John Cloud, married Ann Beeson, had four children, and died in 1744.
6. Robert Cloud, wife unknown, had three children.
Jeremiah Cloud married Elizabeth Bailey and had eight children:
1. Jeremiah Cloud, married Ann Bailey.
2. Daniel Cloud
3. William Cloud, married Elizabeth Hayes (Third Generation).
4. John Cloud
5. Hannah Cloud, married Caleb Pew, and later John Baldwin.
6. Sarah Cloud, married John Baldwin, her widowed brother-in-law.
7. Elizabeth Cloud, married Joseph Hayes.
8. Mordecia Cloud, married Sarah Chads, then Abigail Bailey (nee Johnson).
William Cloud married Elizabeth Hayes and had nine children:
1. Henry Cloud
2. Jeremiah Cloud
3. Daniel Cloud, served in Revolutionary War from June 8, 1776 to 1778.
4. William Cloud (Fourth Generation).
5. Mordecia Cloud, 1727-1789.
6. Joseph Cloud
7. Margaret Cloud, married Samuel Tally.
8. Mabel Cloud, married Lazarus Askew.
9. Elizabeth Cloud, married Robert Booth.
William Cloud married a French girl (possibly Ruth Buckingham) and had
1. John Cloud, 1740-1840 (our subject).
2. William Cloud, born September 17, 1750; married Adeline Martin, Mary Morgan, and Nancy Vaughn; lived in Georgia during the Revolutionary War; went to North Carolina after 1776 and later visited his brother John in Louisiana; is said to have died at the age of 114.
3. Noah Cloud, born 1752 in North Carolina or Virginia; fought in the Revolutionary War
and received a pension on November 4, 1832 (Claim W-9369, V.A. Bureau, Washington, D.C.).
Noah died August 15, 1838. His wife, Unity, born CA 1755, whom he married several years
before the close of the war was allowed a pension as a widow of a Revolutionary soldier.
At the time of her application, executed October 18, 1838, she was 83 years old, residing
in Edgefield, South Carolina.
John Cloud married Elizabeth Lacy and had eight children:
1. William Cloud, born CA 1798, married twice; first, Rebecca Roe; they had Samuel Noah, Malissa, and Mary Cloud; then, he married Elizabeth (Betsy) Johnson, and they had Newton, Henry, Frank, Nancy, and Elizabeth Cloud. U.S. Land records show that William Cloud was granted a land patent in Section 1, Township 13 North, Range 4 West, East of Dugdemona Bayou, Louisiana, in 1839. In 1854 he was living in Bienville Parish, where he died during the Civil War of typhoid fever along with his second wife and other members of his family.
2. Noah Cloud, born April 28, 1800 (the author's great great great grandfather).
3. Ruben Cloud, born in 1804.
4. Minerva Cloud, born 1806.
5. Frank Cloud
6. Lee Cloud, never married, died of pneumonia.
7. Jeremiah Cloud, said to have moved to Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.(3)
8. Annie Cloud, born February 7, 1824, married Valentine McDaniel, a U.S. soldier
stationed at Fort Natchitoches, then married John Anders, and later, Marshall Villars. She
died August 3, 1899.
Brewton, James Perry; Compilation from Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy, Vol I, p 556.
Bozeman, Harley B.; Article in Winn Parish Enterprise; January 14, 1965.
Cloud, Philip William; The Descendants of John Cloud; 1058 E. Morningside St. Springfield, MO; January 12, 1976.
Cloud, Walter Lee; Family correspondence (in author's possession).
Cloud, Manie; Family correspondence (in author's possession).
Elkin, Mollie Cloud; Family correspondence (in author's possession).
Evans, Constance Coker; Correspondence and research records (in author's possession).
Evans, Delilah Cloud; Family records (in author's possession).
Evans, J. Bruce; History of the Cloud Family; 1976.
Kernion, George C.H.; (Ex-Chancellor-General Natl. Society S.A.P. and Louisiana Genealogist) Genealogy of the Cloud Family in America.
Price, John; Winn Parish Historical Collection; John Cloud; Colvin, LA; October, 1976.
Zander, Barry W.; Article in Winn Parish Enterprise; March 19, 1970.
*Author invites feedback, additional information, or corrections:
J. Bruce Evans; 1674 Glenmore, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Web Page: www.intersurf.com/~bevans
1. This property in Section 10; Township 13 North, Range 4 West, originally owned by John Cloud, was purchased by John Maxwell in 1965, from Cornelius Rushing, a great-grandson of John Cloud, who bought the site from the McGinty family.
2. From correspondence with Mollie Cloud Elkin, his great granddaughter.
3. Jeremiah may have been born in 1782 in Georgia and married Elizabeth? about 1817. This family is listed in the 1850 Census of Austin County, Texas, being 68 and 60 years old, with property valued at $2,000; the 1860 Census of Travis Precinct lists them with real estate valued at $20,000 and personal property valued at $11,410.
Return to MY ANCESTORS