Find., Int., TNG., Anc., Gen., Putnam.
John "Riddle"Madison Rayburn (Rayborn, Raybron)
Born in June 1832, in Obion (Overton) County, TN, the son of Richard and his first wife, Ann (Brown) Rayburn, one of five siblings, with more from his fathers second wife, Nally Ann (Powell) Rayburn.
He had very little schooling and was illiterate to the end of his days, unable to write even his own name.
He made his living as a farmer before the war.
He enlisted on the 25 July 1861, at Livingston, in the 25th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, F Company.
At some time he was promoted from Private to 2nd Corporal.
From his muster roll cards, he is listed as being sick at home on July 31, 1861. For the bulk of the remainder of his service he is simply listed as present
In September-October 1861 he is listed as absent due to being on detached service in Chattanooga.
From 30 June until November 1862 he is listed as being on detached service in Chattanooga.
Wounded in the foot, 'with a large ball or shot which nearly cut my leg off', during the 19 September 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga. This was amputated at Merietta, GA. On the muster roll cards from Sept. 1863 through Aug. 1864 he is listed as absent due to being wounded. He was fitted with an artificial leg, this leg was somewhat shaped like a paddle. 1864 muster roll cards list him as being retired by order of the Secretary of War although his pension application for Tennessee (1891) states that he was discharged 16 April 1865.
He took up driving a stagecoach, travelling between Cookeville, TN, and Nashville, TN. On the 1880 census he is listed as a 'Mail Carryer' on the 1880 census. He had the unwanted distinction of being the driver of the last stage coach to be robbed in Putnam County, TN.
Marrying Nancy Ann Chisum on 19 July 1855 in Tennessee, born 14 February 1834 died 3 January 1912, Ada, OK, they had six children: Sarah Jane, Mary Tennessee, William Houston, Lurana (Delia?), Martha (Mary?) Adelia and Ella R. Rayburn. She was the daughter of Richard and Adaline Chisam.
Some time about 1886 he divorced Nancy originally claiming he no longer had one and then later that he was a widower. She was living with her daughter Ella at one time in Putnam Co and later at Ada, Pontotoc Co., OK.
He next married an Alice K. (surname unknown) born about 1853, VA, died after 1913, Putnam Co, TN. Possibly divorced.
In late 1895 or early 1896 he again married this time to Alice Freeman Kirby, born 13 January 1853, in VA, died 17 April 1924 in Putnam Co, TN. The widow of Albert Burton Kirby. (There is some evidence to suggest Alice's maiden name was Masters.) She is buried in the Crest Lawn Cemetery, Putnam County, TN.
On the 1900 census, when they are residing in Cookeville, they are listed as living with Marvin E, aged 11, and Charley B, aged 10, Rayburn. These are presumably from Alice's previous marriage.
On his pension application for Tennessee, 1 June 1891, he states that he was discharged 16 April 1865.
He relied entirely upon his pension to support him due to his wartime injury being unable to perform even the simplest of physical activities without becoming tired. (By 1894 his weight had dropped to 114 pounds.)
Died at some time in 1932 and was buried in buried in Burnstand Cemetery, Putnam Co, TN. Graves there were relocated during the mid to late 1960s to other cemeteries to make room for the TN Tech Football field he now resides in Double Springs Cemetery Putnam County, TN. (This man is listed in Putnam County as a member of the Regiment so its possible that he was with the 16th when he was detached or between August1864 and when he was discharged on the 16 April 1865, although this would seem unlikely).