Michael Jackson Ragsdale was born on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1830 in Banks County, Georgia (Actually still Franklin County at the time of his birth); the youngest son of Michael Ragsdale and Milly Bond Ragsdale. On December 29, 1859 he married Lucinda Caroline Kay. Just over two years later he joined with other young men from Northeastern Banks County to form the "Middle River Volunteers" which was activated on March 4, 1862 as Company 'D' of the 43rd Georgia Infantry. While the company was in Chattanooga, shortly after their enlistment, the original captain died of illness, and the men elected Michael Ragsdale as their captain. He served as their captain throughout the war. After fighting all across the Tennessee-Kentucky campaigns, he was among the defenders of Vicksburg who finally surrendered on July 4, 1863. Even after being paroled, M. J.. was still active in the defense of Atlanta, a city much nearer his home. After the war, and following the death of his mother, M. J.. with his wife, Lucinda Caroline (Kay), and 4 children led a group of neighbor families to new homes in Coffeeville, Texas. Seven more children were born after the move to Texas. Following Reconstruction, he served in the Texas House of Representatives in the early 1880s. After surviving through many bloody battles of the Civil War, Captain "Jack" died from a small cut which he received while harvesting "ribbon cane" which was made into syrup for the table. Modern drugs would have easily cured the infection which claimed his life on September 17, 1896. He is buried near his East Texas home in Coffeeville, Texas. submitted by David Williamson ([email protected])