David Monroe McCaa

By Danella Dickson

David Monroe McCaa was born October 30, 1845 in Franklin County, Mississippi, the son of Elihu and Nancy M. Miller McCaa. The McCaa family migrated from South Carolina to Mississippi in the early 1800’s. Elihu was a Baptist minister in Franklin County in 1850. Elihu and Nancy were the parents of five sons, all of which fought for the Confederacy, and survived the war to return home.

David enlisted September 1, 1863 as a Private in Company B, 14th Mississippi Cavalry. He was captured by the enemy near Rodney, Jefferson County, Mississippi December 23, 1863 and sent to the newly opened Rock Island Barracks Prisoner of War Camp. Rock Island Barracks was located on the Mississippi River between the cities of Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois. The makeshift prison construction was not complete when the first prisoners arrived. The first prisoners arrived at a time when the temperature was reported to be below zero, and almost immediately suffered an outbreak of smallpox. David was diagnosed with smallpox and sent to the Smallpox Hospital at Fort Monroe, Virginia. The transfer may well have saved his life as the death rate at Rock Island was reported to be 600 within three months.

David spent the remainder of the war at Rock Island Barracks, on his pension application filed many years later he stated he served four months with his command and nineteen months in prison. He was released in June 1865 and returned home, most likely suffering from the long confinement and lack of proper food.

On December 17, 1868 David married Mary T. Jones. They were the parents of nine children and made their home in Franklin County, Mississippi where David farmed.

David applied for a Confederate pension from the state of Mississippi on August 7, 1916. He stated that he was no longer able to earn support by his own hand, the pension was approved. At that time he had property valued at eighty dollars.

David died at the age of seventy six on January 17, 1922. His widow Mary applied for a Confederate widow’s pension July 1, 1926 which was approved for an unspecified amount. She continued to draw this pension until her death February 11, 1928. David and Mary are buried in the New Hope Baptist Cemetery, Franklin County, Mississippi.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts