Margaret Dillard was born Sep 30, 1836 in Newberry, SC, the daughter of James Major Dillard and Martha Lofton Dalrymple. Before her second birthday, Margaret's father was dead.
When Margaret was about eight years old, her mother married Major Lemuel Dillard, a well-to-do farmer in Newberry, SC with a lot of children. He was also a widower twice over, having buried his second wife just the year before. Though he wasn't her father, Lemuel Dillard was the only father our grandmother, Margaret, would ever know. He was also a distant cousin.
About 1844, shortly after Martha and Lemuel married, the combined family left South Carolina and moved to property four miles northeast of Cassville, Cass (later Bartow) County GA known as the Gibbons place. The 1850 Cass County census lists Margaret as 14 and attending school. Margaret was probably privately tutored along with Lemuel's school-aged children.
Margaret's step-sister, Laura Dillard, died Jun 6, 1853 at age nine and was buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery near the family's home. Our grandmother, Martha Lofton Dalrymple Dillard, would join her there 16 years later.
In 1854, Cassville Female College opened and awarded but a single diploma at that year's commencement. It's not known exactly when she attended, but our grandmother, Margaret, also graduated from Cassville Female College.
On Nov 10, 1858, Margaret married Samuel Lafayette Pittard, the son of William Pittard and Curacy Louisa Meadows. The Pittards moved from Oglethrope County GA in the early 1850s to property three miles south of the Dillard farm.
According to her Widow's Pension application for Samuel's service during the Civil War, they exchanged vows "near Cassville." The following certified copy of the couple's marriage license, filed as part of the Widow's Pension official documentation, shows Rev. Alfred W. Buford performed the ceremony. Rev. Buford was a Baptist minister and neighbor of the Pittards.
State of Georgia, Cass County
To any ordained minister of the Gospel, Judge of the Superior Court, Justice of the Inferior Court, or Justice of the Peace. You are hereby authorized to join Samuel L. Pittard and Miss M.J. Dillard, in Lawful Bonds of Matrimony agreeable to the Laws and Constitution of this State. Given under my hand and seal of office this the 8th day of November 1858.
James W. Watts, Ordinary.
Georgia, Cass County. I hereby certify that the marriage of the persons named in the above license actually took place and was duly solemnized before me the 10th day of November, 1858.
A.W. Buford, M.G.
Recorded November 12th, 1858.
James W. Watts, Ordinary.
(The following is handwritten and filed with Margaret's Widow's Pension Application.)
I certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of Marriage Record Book E page 148 now on file in this office. This Oct. 9th, 1919. G.W. Hendricks, Ordinary, Bartow County, GA
By the time Samuel volunteered for military service in the spring of 1862, their young family included two children, Mattie, 18 months, and Dave, just four months.
Samuel and his older brother, Thomas, were among 6,769 young farmers from the northwest part of the state to volunteer for the Georgia Infantry Brigade, which would become part of the Army of Tennessee for the Confederacy. They joined other Bartow County men of the 40th Regiment, were assigned to Company I, and mustered in at Camp McDonald located at Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) GA Mar 4, 1862.
After the war, Samuel and Margaret lived and farmed in the Grassdale Community of Bartow County GA and had four more children including our grandmother, Elizabeth Frances, whom they called Bettie.
Tragically, during a Christmas gathering in 1890, Margaret and Samuel's first child, Mattie, contracted measles and died Jan 3, 1891. She was only 31 years old and the wife of Edward P. Crenshaw.
- The Courant-American
Thursday, Jan 8, 1891, Cartersville, GA
Mrs. Mattie Crenshaw died at the home of her father, Mr. Sam Pittard, near Grassdale, Saturday morning. Her remains were interred in the Cassville cemetery Sunday afternoon, Rev. B.B. Quillian conducting the services. A very large number of sorrowing relatives and friends witnessed the last sad rites. Mrs. Crenshaw had been married about four years. Her home was in Griffin, where her husband holds a government position.
The Pittard family had a family reunion Christmas and Mr. and Mrs. Crenshaw came up to participate. She contracted a case of measles and her condition grew worse, and on Saturday morning her spirit passed from this world into the sweet rest beyond.
She was a member of the Baptist church and was beloved by many for her kind and sunny disposition. The grief stricken husband and other relatives have the profound sympathy of all.
As graphically depicted on the headstone of Mattie Pittard Crenshaw, one of the largest and most elaborate in Cassville Cemetery, the very hand of God reached down and plucked a link from the Pittard family chain.
Later that same year, Bettie Pittard and George Montgomery Sarrett would name their first child Martha Crenshaw Sarrett in memory of her late aunt. She would become known as Aunt Mattie.
After Samuel died in 1900, Bettie and George M. Sarrett and their children lived with Margaret on the old Grassdale homestead.
In 1919, Margaret applied for a Widow's Pension in Bartow County GA for Sam's service in both the 40th Georgia Infantry Regiment and Turner's Battery, Mississippi Light Artillery, during the Civil War. The application required that Margaret go before the County Ordinary to prove her identity and right to apply for the pension through a lengthy list of questions about her husband's military service and whereabouts during the war. Sworn statements by Charles M. Culver, a life-long Bartow County resident and fellow infantryman in the 40th Georgia, and W. R. Ward, who served in Turner's Battery, were also included in the application.
Margaret died Dec 14, 1922 at home, and is buried in Cassville Cemetery, Bartow County GA.
Obituary for Margaret Dillard Pittard
The Tribune News
Cartersville, GA, Thursday, Dec 21, 1922
Mrs. Pittard Beloved
Woman is Laid to Rest. Mother One Of County's Most Prominent Families
Succumbed After Months Of Illness.
The funeral of Mrs. Margaret Dillard Pittard, 86 years of age, was held last Saturday morning at the Cassville Baptist church, with Rev. J. G. Hunt of Decatur, her pastor, preaching an impressive funeral. Mrs. Paul Crawford and Mrs. Will Chunn sang, "I am so glad that Jesus Loves me," a hymn that was always a favorite with Mrs. Pittard. After the service at the church, the body was gently borne to the Cassville cemetery for interment, the pallbearers being Messrs. J. C. McTier, J. L. Milhollin, Willard Bagwell, Milton Denman, W. D. Davidson and Blake Rutland.
A large concourse of sorrowing relatives and friends gathered to pay a tribute of respect to her memory, the floral offerings offering mute testimony of the love and affection in which the good woman was held. The funeral arrangements were in charge of G. M. Jackson & Sons, of Cartersville.
Mrs. Pittard had for the past several years been in feeble health, but was able to be around the home, where she lived with her daughter, Mrs. G.M. Sarrett, on the old homestead, in the Grassdale community. A few days before the end came, she suffered a fall, and was hurt internally. Medical attention was promptly given her, but due to her advanced age she declined rapidly, and for two days before the end she lost consciousness entirely, her gentle spirit passing to the better land last Thursday night about ten thirty o'clock.
She was the widow of the late Samuel L. Pittard, and daughter of Martha Loftin, and James Dillard. Her father dying when she was a little girl, her mother later married the late Lemuel Dillard, and they moved to Georgia from Newberry, S. C., where Mrs. Pittard was born September 30th, 1836. They reached this section in the early fifties, locating on lands now known as the Gibbons place.
As a young woman, Mrs. Pittard attended Cassville Female College, and was in a graduating class composed among others, of Mrs. W. A. Chunn, of Cassville, and Miss Sallie Hooper, who was the mother of Hooper Alexander, of Atlanta. She revered till the end the happy memories connected with this famous old institution. Early in life she united with the Baptist Church at Cassville, and Dr. Hunt, while preaching her funeral sermon remarked on the fact that she was possibly the oldest member of that church, having been a communicant for 71 years.
She was married November 18, 1858, to the late Samuel L. Pittard, and to this union were born six children, three daughters and three sons. They are W. D. Pittard, of Cassville, Mr. J. D. Pittard, of Cassville, county tax collector, Mr. Connor H. Pittard, of Cartersville, Mrs. G. M. Sarrett, of Grassdale, and Mrs. Robert E. Wilson, of Cartersville. Another daughter, Mattie, married Mr. Edward Crenshaw, and died in 1891, at the age of thirty-two.
Her husband was a gallant Confederate soldier, serving with the army of Kentucky, as well as at Vicksburg, and in the retreat from Chattanooga. He passed through Cassville and had only time enough to see his little family before marching on southward. Mrs. Pittard stayed behind, and was treated with the utmost courtesy by the invaders. Naturally, she had many thrilling experiences, but through them all, she exemplified the bravery and chivalry of a wife and mother of the 60's.
She was a life-long Bible student, and even in her hours of unconsciousness just before the end came, was able to repeat many verses of Scripture which had proven a comfort and consolation to her throughout her long and useful life. She lived to see her children grown and taking responsible places in life, and when the time came for her summons was ready to answer her Master's call to come up higher. Truly, her life was one worthy of emulation, for she lived daily in the fear of her Lord, and never once faltered. Her children have been left a rich heritage, and her example has been a beacon light to many who have come in contact with her during the passing years.
A Card of Thanks.
We take this method of expressing our gratitude and appreciation to the many friends, who stood by us during the illness and death of our beloved mother, Mrs. Margaret Dillard Pittard. For every kind word spoken, and deed done, you who have ministered unto us have the lasting thanks of all of us. We shall always pray that God, in his infinite bounty, will reward each of you richly.