Lemuel P. “Cruse” Bonds

By Danella Dickson

Lemuel P. “Cruse” Bonds was born September 5, 1828, possibly in Lawrence County, Alabama. He was the son of Wright W. and Priscilla Eley Bonds. The family moved from Alabama to Tishomingo County, Mississippi about 1837. Lemuel married Sarah Frances Scruggs on August 28, 1849 and they were the parents of nine children.

On March 1, 1863, at Warren Mills, Mississippi, Lemuel P. Bonds enlisted as a First Sergeant in Company D, Moreland’s Alabama Cavalry. The regiment was attached to Johnson’s and Roddey’s Brigades and saw service in North Alabama and Tennessee during the winter and spring of 1863-1864. The regiment later moved to Mississippi and took part in battles at Brice’s Crossroads (June 10, 1864) and against Wilson’s Raid (March 22-24 1865). They were surrendered with the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana at Citronelle, Alabama on May 4, 1865.

Lemuel lived the remainder of his life in Tishomingo County, Mississippi where he farmed. According to family records Sarah died about 1887, probably she is buried in the Bonds Cemetery. On September 4, 1902 Lemuel applied for a Confederate pension from the State of Mississippi. On the application he stated he enlisted in the fall of 1862 in the 7th Alabama Cavalry and served about 2 ½ years, that he was never absent and surrendered at Iuka, Mississippi. He stated he was the father of seven living children, two sons and five daughters, and was living with one of the daughters. The pension was approved and he drew it until his death on June 5, 1909.

According to family historian R. Biggs, Lemuel was converted at a campground in 1855 by minister H.D. Howell. Later in life a church was built near his home called Bethel where he placed his membership. An obituary published in the June 10, 1909 issue of the Vidette Newspaper, Iuka, Mississippi relates the following, “Mr. L.P. Bonds, Supervisor of the 1st District and one of the best known men in this section, died at his home seven miles north of Iuka on Saturday, June 5th, ages over 80 years. The genial Christian gentleman, whose kindly face and friendly smile greeted all he met, has passed to rest after a long and useful life. In life he had many friends because he was gentle, true, and loyal. The Vidette tenders sympathy to the bereaved family and friends. His son James, from Gibson County, Tennessee, reached home a few hours after his father passed away. The burial took place Sunday afternoon at the family burying ground, near the home of the deceased, under the auspices of the Masonic fraternity.”

Lemuel P. Bonds was buried in the Bonds Cemetery, Tishomingo County, Mississippi. In 2010 his was the only marked grave in the cemetery.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts