Born: 5 January 1832 in Overton County, Tennessee
Died: 19 March 1913 in Putnam County, Tennessee
Buried: Double Springs Cemetery, Putnam County, Tennessee
Parents: Richard and Ann (Brown) Rayburn

1st Married: Nancy Ann Chisam on 19 Jul 1855 in Tennessee
Born: 13 Feb 1834 in Tennessee
Died: 3 Jan 1912 in Ada, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma
Buried: Rosedale Cemetery, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma
Parents: Richard and Edna Adeline (Conway) Chisam
There is evidence that John and Nancy may have divorced between 1891 and 1894. See Below.


  1. Sarah Jane Rayburn
  2. Mary Tennessee Rayburn
  3. William Houston Rayburn
  4. Martha Adelia Rayburn
  5. Lurany Rayburn
  6. Ella R. Rayburn

2nd Married: Alice Freeman Kirby about 1896 in Putnam County, Tennessee
Born: 13 January 1853 in Wise County, Virginia
Died: 17 April 1924 in Putnam County, Tennessee
Buried: Crest Lawn Cemetery, Putnam County, Tennessee
Widow of Albert Burton Kirby
Married: W. Campbell Smith after the death of John Rayburn


  1. Marvin E. Kirby
  2. Charlie E. Kirby


  • Brother-in-law: William Cantrell Chisam - 25th Tennessee Infantry Regiment
  • Brother-in-law: John Chisam - 22nd Tennessee (Murray's) Infantry Battalion
  • Brother-in-law: Edward "Ned" Ramsey - 25th Tennessee Infantry Regiment


25 thTennessee Infantry Regiment
Company F


  • Enlisted as a Private and left as 2nd Corporal
  • Age: 30 years
  • Enlisted 31 July 1861 at Livingston
  • 1 Oct 1861: Sick at home
  • Sep & Oct 1862: On detached service in Chattanooga
  • Jun 30 - Nov 1862: On detached service in Chattanooga
  • Nov & Dec 1862: Present
  • Jan & Aug 1863: Present
  • 26 Sep 1863: Wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga and sent to hospital by Surgeon Fryar
  • Stayed at hospital in Marietta, GA
  • Leg was amputated
  • 9 Sep 1864: Retired by Secretary of War
  • Age: 34 years (dated 6 Apr 1864)
  • Residence: Putnam County, Stevens PO
  • Operation 19 Sep 1863 by Surgeon F. Jackson
  • Requested an artificial leg



( Download Full Pension Application)


  • Filed: 3 Jun 1891
  • Accepted: 6 Jun 1891
  • Residence: Cookeville, Putnam County
  • Member: Company F, 25th Tennessee Infantry Regiment; Capt. G. W. Kanard's Company
  • Wounded: Chickamauga
  • Born: Overton County, 1832
  • Enlisted: 25 Jul 1861; Joseph Shaw's Company; Sidney Stanton's Regiment; 25th Infantry; Capt. G. W. Kanard
  • Wounds: Shot through left leg; Leg was cut off; Discharged because of wound
  • Widower for 8 years
  • Children: Sarah Slagle - 38; Tennessee White - 36; William Rayburn - 29; Della Willmouth - 25; Ella Rayburn - 23;
  • Attest: C. J. Davis and C. Bradford

Supporting Documents:

  • Furlough Papers (27 Jan 1864)
  • Capt. S. J. Johnson (1 Apr 1864) - Furlough for JMR
  • Form for Soldier's Return (20 Sep 1864)
  • Discharge Papers (10 Apr 1865) - Honorable discharge from CSA
  • H. H. Dillard, A. A. Reagan, J. H. Cumby (19 Mar 1894) - Support Claim
  • Dr. J. B. S. Martin (2 Apr 1894) - Reports his Medical Condition
  • Columbus Jackson Davis and A. A. Reagan (19 Oct 1907) - Support Claim
  • O. D. Holladay (7 Apr 1913) - Send pension check to Mrs. Alice S. Rayburn


  • 1850 Census: Overton County, TN, Page 94 (listed as Riddle Rayburn)
  • 1860 Census: Putnam County, TN, Page 10
  • 1870 Census: Putnam County, TN, Page 105
  • 1880 Census: Putnam County, TN, Page 80C
  • 1891 Enumberation of Male Citizens: District 1
  • 1900 Census: Putnam County, TN, Page 11A
  • 1910 Census: Putnam County, TN Page 38A

Cookeville, Putnam County
Pat Cleburne Bivouac No. 27
Membership Applications

( Download Application)

  • Born on 5 January 1832 in Obion County
  • Enlisted 31 July 1861 in Company F 25th TN Infantry Regiment
  • Wounded at Chickamauga; Left leg was amputated below knee
  • Paroled 8 May 1865
  • Rank: 2nd Corporal
  • Address: Cookeville
  • Occupation: Farmer
  • Admitted 18 June 1891


  • Cookeville Press, 18 July 1901, Vol. XV, No. 29, Page 5: John Rayburn and Willis Dow left last Saturday for Oklahoma territory where expect to try for some of the public land that is to be given away some time in the near future.
  • Comprehensive Pictorial History of Putnam County, TN: John Madison Rayburn, who lost a leg at the battle of Chickamauga in the Civil War, drove the mail stagecoach from Cookeville to Nashville. He was the son of Sylvania Rayburn, Revolutionary War Veteran. John Madison Rayburn and his wife Nancy Ann Chism, were the parents of Mrs. John W. Slagle, grandparents of Hillis Slagle McBroom, and great-grandparents of Bessie McBroom. (Page 67)
  • Putnam County, Tennessee 1850 - 1970 by Mary Jean DeLozier: Another crime, famous in the region, was the last recorded stagecoach holdup up in Tennessee, which took place in Putnam County in 1882. Near midnight on October 11, "Big" Hunt and "the two Edwards boys" stopped the Cookeville-Nashville stage driven by John Rayburn, at Pekin, a post office sixteen miles west of Cookeville. There were five passengers on board, and according to one, a Miss Z. Martin, the masked robbers ordered them out of the coach, relieved the men of their pocket books, and search the mail pouches, splitting them with a long, sharp knife. The driver tried to hide $2.50 in his mouth, and one passenger stood on two twenty dollar gold pieces, but the thieves were not fooled and seized the money. Ett Martin's brother, however, managed successfully to conceal most of his coins inn his shoe, and the robbers missed the registered mail pouch, the principal target of the robbery. After the thieves had disappeared into the darkness the stage rumbled on to Chestnut Mound, where word of the robbery was sent back to Cookeville, and Sheriff Henry J. Brown immediately organized a posse and started in pursuit of the outlaws. Several days later Jeff Lea, Bob Maddux, and David Haynes apprehended Hunt, who was tried and sent to prison. The Edwards boys escaped. (Pages 90-91).
  • Putnam County Herald
    03 July 1930
    Vol. XXVIII, No. 27, Page 1
    DO YOU REMEMBER -- ... THE old Stage Coaches which operated between Cookeville and Lebanon during the years prior to the building of the N. & K. Railroad to Cookeville in 1890. These old stage coaches, as they were called, carried passengers to and from Nashville. John M. Rayburn, a one-legged Confederate soldier who lost his leg in the battle of Murfreesboro, was one of the best known of these old stage drivers. Commencing soon after the close of the Civil War, he continued as a stage coach driver from Cookeville to Lebanon until the coming of the railroad put an end to his avocation. Other well known old time stage coach drivers were tow colored men, Henry Cannon and Ike Burgess. All of these old time stage drivers are now dead but their memory lingers with all of our older citizens. In hot weather and in cold, with patience, endurance and uniform kindness, they proved the means of passenger transportation from Cookeville to the railroad at Lebanon for all who desired to make the trip from Cookeville to Nashville and return, in the days when Cookeville and the Upper Country were without railroads.


John Rayburn on his mail wagon.


Nancy (Chisam) Rayburn

Photo Source: Submitted by g-g-granddaughter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



  • Located on Hwy 70 about 2.5 miles East of the Smith-Putnam County line.


John Rayburn



  • There is evidence that John and Nancy Rayburn divorced between 1891 and 1896. No divorce records have been found yet.
    • 1880 Putnam County Census: John and Nancy are listed with daughter Ella living in the household.
    • Confederate Pension Application dated 1 June 1891: John stated that he was married. His wife was 58 years old. He has six children. All are married but one girl who is about 18 years old.
    • Confederate Pension Application dated 2 April 1894: John states that he has no wife and that he has been a widower for 8 years. Daughter Ella is about 23 years old, is ill and is living with her brother William Rayburn.
    • 1900 Putnam County Census: John and Alice are together with Marvin E. and Charley B. last name listed as Rayburn. John and Alice have been married for 4 years. Alice has had 11 children of which 5 are living. Also listed in this census is Nancy Rayburn and Ella Rayburn. Nancy says that she is a widow.
    • 1910 Putnam County Census, John and Alice are listed. Nancy Rayburn is living in Ada Oklahoma. Ella and her son are living with her. Delia Wilmoth are living next door.