Robert, I have also done some Attala County research.
I tend to think what you experienced is a transcription error, but must share with you what might be another explanation. It has to do with the custom of conscription eligible men being able to purchase "substitutes" to perform their obligatory service for them. There is an interesting example of this right in Attala County. It concerns Judge Jason Niles and his substitute, one Seabren Busby.
Take a look at,
... then go to,
for further details.
Therein, I think you may see the potential for alias or substitute names being used. Perhaps this Attala County example might help explain your situation?
If you don't mind my asking, what Attala County surnames are you researching? Feel free to contact me at my email address if you wish. It is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nice to make your acquaintance,Robert