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Elijah Moses Sayers, s/o Joel P. & Martha Ann (Phillips) Sayers
ELIJAH MOSES SAYERS was born June 12, 1847, in Meriwether County, GA., to Joel P. and Martha Ann Phillips Sayers. Elijah left home at the age of 13, perhaps because of animosity between him and his brother, Tom. In November, 1864, at the age of 17, Elijah joined Co. A., 1st AL. Cav. Regt., Joe Wheeler’s Cav. Co., CSA, near the river at Savannah, GA. The 1st Regt., participated in more engagements of one type or another than any other unit, North or South. On March 20, 1865, in Montgomery, AL., he was paroled and signed the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America. Records of that parole describe him as being five feet, four inches tall with red hair, black eyes and a florid complexion.
Elijah married Martina Domarious Rutland, daughter of Watson and Mary Jane Estes Rutland, on Dec. 13, 1870, in Coosa County, AL. They had two sons, John Repus and William Preston, and nine daughters: Martha Jane (Mattie), Matilda Emaline (Emma), Martina Domarious (Tiney), Cassa Imogene, Dovie Eulala, Ada Lucinda, Mary Odessa, Effie Dee and Ruby. The family lived in a one-room log cabin until 1881, when they moved to a two-story log house. The Sayers’ home was on Lake Road, northwest of Tallassee, approximately l-l/2 miles off Hwy. 229 on the left, in a hollow. Elijah worked as a night watchman at the cotton mill in Tallassee. He would come in from work and kneel down to get a hug and kiss from each child. He had but little formal education but loved to read. He had a garden and kept bees. Elijah and Martina managed to send all their children to school. Dovie and Ruby graduated from college. A granddaughter, Domarious LeCroy Varn, described Elijah as a short, plumb man whose face bore a strong resemblance to Gen. Robert E. Lee. He was said to have been always cheerful, jolly and optimistic. She recalled the following, “I remember Mother (Ada Sayers LeCroy Williamson) telling a story of a group of men standing around talking about being sorry for a widow who had just lost her husband. Grandfather put a $5 bill in hat ($5 was a lot of money back then) and said, “This is how sorry I am for her. What about you?” Another granddaughter, Alma LaCroy Fischer, had this to say about her grandparents, “This confident outspoken Irishman was married to a gentle, steadfast, fragile-looking English woman who mothered nine daughters and two sons. She loved to read.”
Elijah Moses Sayers died Feb. 7, 1935, at the age of 87. His obituary in the Tallassee (AL.) Tribune, read in part, “Elmore County lost one of her oldest and best known citizens. Mr. E.M. Sayers, better known as “Uncle Mose.” We must commemorate a life that we consider a model by which we all might attempt to live. Though he was far past his eightieth year and was almost blind, Uncle Mose still found joy in performing whatever task that he could about his home. He always spoke with an air of an optimist. His confidence in the future was undying. He never spoke of death but prepared for life. Success is the accomplishment of the purpose of life, which is happiness and contentment for ourselves and contribution toward the happiness of our fellow fellows. Uncle Mose accomplished this purpose through his willingness to help all who were downfallen and distressed…….We mourn the loss of this friend, not with a few, but with almost the entire population of this and surrounding counties.”
-Submitted by Nancy Smith Alexander (GGD).
Source: United Daughters of the Confederacy, Patriot Ancestry Album, by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, published by Turner Publishing Company, 1999; Pgs. 171-172