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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Samuel Langley Black, planter, Indian Bay, Ark. Of that sturdy and independent class, the planters of Arkansas, none are possessed of more genuine merit and a stronger character than he, whose name stands at the head of this sketch; he has risen to a more than ordinary degree of success in his calling of an agriculturist, and wherever known he is conceded to be an energetic and progressive tiller of the soil, imbued with all these qualities of go-aheadativeness which have characterized his ancestors. Mr. Black is the son of John D. and Susan (Langley) Black, the father a native of Virginia and of English descent, and the mother a native of Kentucky. Samuel L. Black owes his nativity to Fayette County, Tenn., where his birth occurred March 22, 1842, and received his education in the high schools of that county, finishing at Bethel College, McLemoresvilie, Tenn. At the age of eighteen years he commenced the study of law at Clarendon, Ark., in the office of Oates, Cocke & Wilburn, there remaining until 1861, when he enlisted in Capt. James T. Harris’ company, organized at Clarendon, this being the first company organized in this county, and served in the capacity of junior lieutenant in Patrick R. Cleburne’s regiment. This regiment was the first one organized in the State for the War of the Rebellion, but through error of the officer, the services of the regiment were tendered to the State service instead of the Confederate State Government, thereby losing the opportunity of being credited with being the first regiment of Arkansas organized in that State, Gen. Fagan’s regiment securing that distinction. At Bowling Green, Ky., Mr. Black was made captain of his company in 1861, and his first battle was the famous battle of Shiloh, where, by his bravery and meritorious conduct, he won his spurs. He was immediately elected to the office of lieutenant-colonel of the regiment, and was appointed to the staff of Lieut.-Col. Hardee as inspector-general of his corps, in which capacity he served the balance of the war. He participated in Gen. Bragg’s invasion in Kentucky, which culminated in his retreat to Knoxville, Tenn.; was at the surrender of the Federal force at Munfordsville and the battle of Perryville. He took a leading part in the battle of Murfreesboro, and was with the Army of Tennessee until its retreat to Chattanooga. He went from there to Enterprise and Meridian, Miss., and served for a time upon the staff of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. He was ordered back to the Army of Tennessee after the battle of Chickamauga, participated in the battle of Missionary Ridge and the retreat to Dalton, and was in all the fights and skirmishes of the Army of Tennessee from Dalton to Atlanta, including the battles around Atlanta and Jonestown. After Hood took command of the Army of Tennessee, he was released with Gen. Hardee and went with him to Charleston, S. C. He was in front of Gen. Sherman in his march from Savannah through the Carolinas; was captured by a squad of his cavalry, but escaped after a few hours by a bold ride. He participated in the battle of Bentonville and soon after surrendered with the balance of the army at Greensboro, N. C, in May, 1865. He returned home on July 4 of the same year, went to work for a firm in Memphis, Tenn., and subsequently was united in marriage to Miss Rosa E. Beasley, daughter of John P. and Eveline T. Beasley. Only one child, John S., was the result of this union, his birth occurring on September 28, 1866. Mr. Black has been constantly engaged in agricultural pursuits since, and was also a member of the firm of Martin & Black from February 1, 1882, to February 1, 1889, when he sold out. Mrs. Black died on June 1, 1886. He has never held any civil office, but at one time was a candidate for the office of secretary of State.

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This family biography is one of 86 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Monroe County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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