When Graves company veteran Jesse W. Ellis applied for a pension in 1927 and 1928, in his affidavit he (as well as S.M. Foust in supporting documentation) said Graves Company was not attached to any regiment. Because of the lack of service records for Ellis, the State rejected his application on the assumption Graves' Company was a Home Guard, State Troops, or State Militia outfit. The Pension Bureau wrote to Mr. Ellis in 1928: "...you say that you belonged to a company commanded by Captain Wm. Graves, but that your company did not belong to any regiment and was not attached to any regular organization. This would indicate that this company was a company organized for local defense and what records are available show that Captain Graves did command a company organized for local defense and that this company was not attached to any regiment or any regular Confederate organization..." I found where Ellis later amended his application and submitted two affidavits from comrades and pensioners, Arch Hudson and James P. Culwell who testified Graves' Command was indeed a part of the regular Confederate army. After reviewing the subsequent documentation, the State approved his pension. My error was in reading that the State of Alabama Pension Bureau in one instance at one time considered Graves' command part of the Home Guard. That was an error on the part of the State and I inadvertently perpetuated the error.
I have been trying to figure out Graves' roll and participation in the Civil War for some time.
The following statements are quoted from actual pension application affidavits from men who claimed they served in Grave' Command. They often associated Graves' command service with Stuart's Battalion. Their association with Colonel Lea is confirmed. A couple of them mentioned Barbiere's Battalion:
Elisha Cox: "...served in the Confederate Service in the Company known as Captain Graves' Company which was organized at Blountsville in 1863 and that affiant joined said Company in 1864 and served until the surrender. It is the reccollection that this Company was connected with Gen. Stuarts Battalion."
Dilmus L. Duncan and William Tidwell: "...served in the Confederate Service...were members of what was known as Captain Graves Company which was organized at Blountsville in 1863 and served for about two years together and were part of Stuart's Battalion and of Roddy's command."
James P. Culwell: "...I volunteered in the Confederate service in Blountsville, Ala. in the month of August 1863 with William Graves Capt. in Cavalry service and that our company properly belonged to Stewart's Bat. 48th Alabama Cavalry but our Co., Grave's, was kept on detached [service] transferring prisoners from Gen. Forrest and Roddy from Blountsville to Gadsden, Ala." "Capt. William Graves...company was attached to and a part of the regular Confederate organization, and [Culwell and Jesse W. Ellis were] actually in the service of the confederacy as a soldier[s] in the Army of the Confederacy, having served with him as such at Elyton, and at various other places, Company B. Stuart's Battalion; at Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Selma, Wheeler's Station, and Blountsville, Alabama."
L.B. Graves: "S.M. Foust enlisted in the service of the State of Alabama or the Confederate States at Blountsville, Ala., in August, 1863, in Capt. Wm. Graves Company and was sworn into service by a man by the name of Col. Lee, and remained with said Company up to sometime in the early part of 1864 when he served in Capt. McKensie's Co.,'C', Stuart's Battalion, Alabama Cavalry, Roddy's command; that a great deal of the time he was on detached service, Courier line, at Mt. Hope, down below Tuscumbia, and at the last he was on detached service courier line on Mulberry River, down below Blount Springs, which leads to Montgomery..."
S.M. Foust: "...enlisted at Blountsville, Blount County, Ala., in Aug. 1863 as a Private in Capt. Wm. Grave's Co. Cavalry, which was under a Col. Lee and served in said Company for about a year and until the fall of 1864 when he was transferred to Co. 'C', Stuart's Battalion of Cavalry, Roddy's Command..."
Marion Nation: "...in Captain William Grave's Company (Company 'B') Barbee's [Barbiere's] Battalion..."
Baz B. Horton: "...volunteered on Sunday following his arrival at the age of 18 years on Friday next before. He enlisted at Brooksville in Blount County, under Capt. Jess Alldredge, recruiting officer. He was sent to Capt. Jim Stewart's battalion, in John Rody's command. Stewart was at that time Major. When he was later made Colonel Mr. Horton's battalion was attached to Genl. Forrest's command. The Captain of Mr. Horton's company was John McKenzie, of Coosa county, 1st Lieutenant Richard Stevens, 2nd Lieutenant J.B. Dines, both of whom lived in Blount county."
William W. Self: "...enlisted at Blountsville, in Blount County, Ala., Aug. 1863 in a Capt. Wm. Graves Co. of Cavalry and under a Col. Lee; that they remained at Blountsville for about 1 year and were then mustered into Capt. McKenzie's Co. 'C' Stuart's Battalion, Roddy's command; this was in 1864; that he served in said Co. 'C' until the surrender..."
Samuel R. Smith: "...served as a private in Graves' Company, Barbiere's Battalion, Confederate Cavalry, having enlisted at Blountsville, Alabama, on April 15, 1863, and that he was wounded in the battle at Selma, Alabama, and discharged Jun 16, 1865."
William Tidwell: "...was a member of Captain Graves Company organized at Blountsville in 1863 and served with said company for about two years..."