A Family History
Mark Cole (1835-1898)
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Born: 1835 Tennessee.
Married: (1) Nancy Pheriby Cox (1836-1870) the daughter of Hiram Cox (1795-1843) and Elizabeth Chishenhall (1805-1850) on 4 Sep 1853 in Benton County Tennessee. 1
Married: (2) Mary Elizabeth (Polly) Mitchell (1847-1919) the daughter of Carney C. Mitchell (1822-1914) and Malinda Strickland (1820-1858) on 3 Apr 1870 in Benton County Tennessee. 2
Died: Feb 1898 Tennessee.
Buried: Billy Cole Grave Yard Benton County Tennessee.

William Cole
1795-Aft 1880

Mark Cole
1835-Feb 1898
Civil War - Confederate
Sarah Ann (Fanny)
1807-Aft 1880

Spouse and Children

      Nancy Pheriby Cox

      Mary Elizabeth (Polly) Mi..

Brothers and Sisters

Mark fought with the 49th Tennessee Infantry, Company C, CSA. He enlisted 7 Nov 1861 in Benton County, Tennessee. He was captured at Fort Donelson and sent to Camp Douglas Illinois. Mark surrendered May 19, 1865 and sign his oath of allegiance May 20, 1865 at Johnsonville Tennessee.

History of Camp Douglas

Founded in the fall of 1861 as a training camp and staging center for Union forces, Camp Douglas was named after Stephen A. Douglas, whose property south of the city provided its site. In 1862 the camp was hastily adapted to serve as a prison for rebel soldiers captured by Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson. Due to occasional prisoner exchanges during the first two years of the Civil War, the number of prisoners in the camp fluctuated, although for a time it was the largest military prison in the North. By the end of the war a total of 26,060 men had been incarcerated there.

Escapes were frequent from the camp, but only the abortive November 1864 "Chicago Conspiracy" roused broad concern. Federal informants foiled an ill-conceived attempt by local antiwar activists and die-hard prisoners to disrupt the 1864 election with a mass prison break.

Like all Civil War prisons, Camp Douglas had a high mortality rate: one prisoner in seven died in Chicago. Poor sanitation, hastily constructed buildings, and harsh weather conditions were to blame. In June 1862 a U.S. Sanitary Commission agent decried the camp's "foul sinks," "unventilated and crowded barracks," and "soil reeking with miasmatic accretions" as "enough to drive a sanitarian to despair." By the end of the war more than 4,000 rebels had died in the camp.

Mark and his son married sisters. It was Mark's second marriage and William's first. Mark married Mary E. Mitchell and William married Delinda L. Mitchell. Mark and the sister's father were in the same unit during the Civil War.3 4


  1. Benton County Marriage record, pg 26 Mark Cole-Pheraby Cox
  2. Benton County Tennessee Marriage License, #80, Mark Cole & Mary E. Mitchell
  3. Civil War Service Record for Mark Cole, Fold3.com
  4. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, National Park Service

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