In many ways, this man is responsible for 30 years worth of genealogical pondering. When Mom started researching the Riffle family, he immediately became the major “brick wall” ancestor. She talked about him, speculated about him (and Amanda) and that triggered my fascination with the entire field of genealogy.
This little story is a summary of what I know or speculate at this point, full details will be added to the family tree at some point.
- Samuel Scott Riffle was the son of Lafayette Riffle and Amanda ________.
- Lafayette Riffle fought for the South in the Civil War and died in a Yankee Prison Camp.
- Amanda remarried, had a daughter, then her 2nd husband died while she was pregnant again, she had a son, and both she and her son died shortly thereafter.
The Brick Wall
- Amanda never got old enough to apply for a War Widow’s pension, so no records there
- No idea which Prison Camp he died in, and records are scarce anyway, though Mom wrote letter after letter looking for some record of him – military, birth, death, marriage, anything – no joy
- There it stopped, for many years.
Extended family and The Internet to the Rescue
- Barbara Riffle tracked down a marriage license between Amanda Dugger and MDL Tribble. The location was right, the date was plausible, the groom’s name was a plausible variant of Lafayette Riffle. Is it possible that Lafayette Riffle was actually Marquis de Lafayette Tribble????
- Amanda’s daughter was known to have talked about Grandpa Dugger, so that could answer the maiden name question
- If you say Lafayette Tribble out loud, you can understand how it could be heard as Lafayette Riffle.
- Samuel Scott Riffle had pretty much no one to tell him about his family, no one who would have corrected his understanding of his last name. I don’t know when he became literate, it’s possible that by the time he figured out his last name had gotten changed, it just wasn’t important enough to change it back
- Scott Riffle went out on the trail of this elusive ancestor, finding more information, even hiring a professional genealogist to track information down. Bits and pieces have been found, but still nothing that we can call totally conclusive
- Internet searches of soldiers records finally gave me a clue. Still not conclusive, but it’s something:
CO D, 40TH TN INF REGT
(CO B 15TH (JOHNSON’S) AR INF
TREBBELL, M.D.L. Pvt – Enl 11 Feb 1862 at Ft Pillow, TN. Died at Island #10 9 Apr 1862.
This regiment was organized in October 1861 and was composed of one Florida, one Kentucky, four Alabama and four Arkansas Companies. It was Captured at Island #10 8 Apr 1862, released at Vicksburg, MS in September 1862 and declared exchanged at Aikens Landing, VA 10 Nov 1862. The regiment was called the 40th Tennessee Regiment and Walker’s Regiment of Volunteers but was officially designated the 5th Regiment Confeddrate Infantry.
The story/speculation at this point
Lafayette Tribble married Amanda Dugger in Itawamba County Mississippi. They had a son, Samuel Scott. War came and Lafayette signed up, leaving Amanda and her 6 year old son. Less than two months later, Lafayette was stationed at Island 10 and died the day after his regiment was captured. Was he injured in the fighting and died of his wounds? One report says that many of the soldiers in that regiment were already sick, so perhaps he was already sick and died of illness, we may never know.
It’s not certain that this is the guy, but it seems pretty plausible. There’s never 100% certainty. Family legend gets changed, documents aren’t always right, we could be totally off base with this, it certainly merits further investigation.