Mannasa S(udderth) Hennessee

Male 1838 - 1865  (~ 27 years)

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  • Name Mannasa S(udderth) Hennessee 
    Born 0___ 1838  Burke County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Residence 0___ 1850  Burke County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Military 25 Apr 1861  [2
    Died ~ 1865  Salem, Salem County, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1205  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 4 Jan 2016 

    Father Patrick Hennessa,   b. ~1793, Burke County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Aug 1845, Chesterfield, Burke County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 52 years) 
    Mother Nancy Sudderth,   b. 4 Apr 1799, Burke County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Sep 1889, McDowell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Married 8 Feb 1824  Burke County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    • , Jacob Johnson, Bondsman
    Family ID F354  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 0___ 1838 - Burke County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 0___ 1850 - Burke County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - ~ 1865 - Salem, Salem County, New Jersey Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 

      Lieutenant Manassa S. Hennessee

      Among the soldiers honored by the Confederate monument on Courthouse Square in Morganton, NC are Lt. Manassa S. Hennessee of the North Carolina Cavalry and four of his brothers.

      Monument to dead Confederate soldiers at Finn's Point national Cemetery.

      Among the Confederate dead memorialized in the Finns Point National Cemetery in New Jersey is Private Manassa Hennesey of the North Carolina Cavalry. He died a prisoner of war at nearby Fort Delaware.

      When Manassa rode into his last military engagement, at Irvine, Kentucky, July 30, 1863, he was Private Hennesey, Company B, 5th Battalion, North Carolina Cavalry. That rank and affiliation followed him as Yankee prisoner and to his Yankee-land grave.

      Neither he nor his captors knew that he advanced to lieutenant after his capture. When Company B returned to the battalion’s Tennessee base, it became Company K in the new 65th North Carolina Regiment, and Private Hennessey was advanced to 3rd Lieutenant -- even though he was then “Absent Prisoner of War.”

      The promotion followed a disastrous rear guard action during a retreat that left the commissioned officers of Company B captured or censured. The 25-year-old Manassa advanced in rank ahead of survivors who before the raid were corporals and sergeants.

      The Company K muster rolls carried Lt. Hennessey for a year until word came confirming his death April 8, 1864. Two conclusions come from reading between the lines in the Official Records and other accounts of the retreat:

      1. Decisive action by Private Hennessey saved comrades from capture or death at Irvine and led to his extraordinary promotion.

      2. He was the “disciplined example” that General S. B. Buckner sought, found and rewarded after “proper investigation (into) reprehensible … conduct of some … subordinate commanders … in the partial disaster.”

      The North Carolinians had been at Winchester, KY, on a raid July 29, 1863, when their commander, Brigade Colonel John Scott, learned that Union “troops were pouring into Lexington (17 miles northeast) … and were rapidly being mounted.

      “…I moved (my) command toward Irvine,” 25 miles south and assigned the 5th Battalion (with Pvt. Hennessey) to stall the Union troops, Colonel Scott wrote in his report. “It rained … all night, and the road was very rough.”

      As rearguard, “the (5th) battalion suffered heavy casualties,” reports North Carolina Troops 1861-1865. “…The battalion was cut off. (It) charged a superior force of Federal cavalry in a desperate attempt to rejoin the main body. The results were disastrous. Those who managed to escape capture found they had to run a gauntlet of Yankee soldiers before they reached Colonel Scott’s command.”

      In “column of fours,” reported Captain Virgil S. Lusk of Company A, “down that narrow gorge dashed the Fifth North Carolina…Cavalry, riding at full speed to attack an enemy ten to one, riding right into the jaws of death.”

      After the disaster, General Buckner ordered an investigation. Lt. James Newton Anderson of Company B was arrested. Later he resigned. Pvt. Hennessey was named 3rd Lieutenant. Lost between the lines in the Official Records is a description of exactly what Pvt. Hennessey did to earn this advancement.

      When Manassa had joined the cavalry in 1862, he and brother Thomas were already veterans of infantry action. They had fought with Company G (Burke Rifles), 1st Regiment North Carolina Infantry, in the first land battle of the war. It was at Big Bethel Church near Yorktown, VA, June 10, 1861. Company G took part in the repulse of the enemy’s first advance. The Confederates won. Even the Richmond, VA, newspapers reported the North Carolinians were the best on the field.

      Manassa was 23 and Thomas 26 when they answered a call to resist “this War of Northern Aggression.” They enlisted April 25, 1861, after Fort Sumter but before North Carolina seceded from the Union. Joining the regiment later in the year were two of their brothers, Robert Jones (RJ), 20, and Patrick Waightstill, 28, bachelors as were Manassa and Thomas.

      At the end of their enlistments in November 1861, all four accepted their discharges. By March 1862, RJ, Waightstill and Thomas had re-enlisted -- and an older brother, cabinetmaker and gold miner Emanuel Augustus (Manuel), 30, had enlisted -- in the infantry. Before following his brothers to training, Manuel waited for the birth of a son on April 16. The name chosen for the boy was Manassa. He was not -- as custom dictated for the first son -- named after the father or a grandfather. He was named for his young Uncle Manassa. That break with tradition supports that Manassa S. Hennessey was revered – from a role in the Battle at Big Bethel or at least in his family -- and that he had the attributes (charisma or character or courage) that could win him a nephew namesake and battlefield honors.

      Having earlier walked with the infantry, Manassa preferred a cavalry mount for his remaining service. He rode up the Blue Ridge to neighboring Mitchell County and re-enlisted. He joined Captain Samuel English’s Mitchell Cavalry July 17, 1862. They guarded the Tennessee-Kentucky border until the raid into Kentucky in 1863.

      Born in 1838, Manassa S. Hennessey was the seventh son (ninth child) of Patrick and Nancy Sudderth Hennessa. Their farm was on the south side of the Catawba River near Hunting Creek and the Hennessee-Sudderth Ferry on the road from Morganton to Wilkes. Patrick’s death at age 52 in 1845 had left Nancy a widow with 11 children (ages 5 to 20) and the farm, a mix of river bottomlands and forested hills topped by rolling crop and pastureland. Her four youngest sons were too young at mid-century to follow two older brothers for the California Gold Rush, but they were in their 20s and bachelors as the war approached.

      Complicating this history is a lack of family records. Blame the Flood of 1916. It ravaged a Hennessee home and scattered the family Bible, records, photographs and other memorabilia down the Catawba River. Also complicating the history are the various spellings of the family name. Army records show that RJ and Thomas spelled it “Hennessa,” and the other four sons of Patrick and Nancy Hennessa in the Army spelled it “Hennessey.” By the 1880s, the spelling was changing to “Hennessee,” and it is “Hennessee” on the Burke monument for all five men in the Confederate Army from this Burke family.

      ** Reprinted with permission from The Heritage of Burke County, NC Volume II published by the Burke County Historical Society

      Manassa Nixon (Nick) Hennessee III is a grandson and namesake of Manassa Nixon (Nas) Hennessee, a Burke County, NC merchant and political leader who was a nephew of Lt. Manassa S. Hennessee. Family lore was that Nas (born in 1862) was named for the Battle of Manassas, but the subsequent discovery Uncle Manassa challenged Nick to learn more about Lt. Manassa Hennessee.

      Nick is a former bank vice president and newspaper editor. Retired since 1993, Nick has been a family fiduciary and caregiver, free-lance writer and economic development consultant. Nick is a member of the North Carolina Civil War Roundtable, Burke County Historical Society, Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg, Muttenz Descendants Inc., the Bethania and Wachovia historical societies, Twin City Kiwanis and the Torch Club.

      Nick and his wife Betty have numerous Confederate ancestors, including soldiers who were killed at Gettysburg and Petersburg.

      The Bivouac Banner

      end of message [2]
    • A lieutenant, in Civil War, Co. "K".

      According to Nick Hennessee, Manasa died as a Prisoner-of-War, Salem, NJ.

      end of note
    • Manassa S Hennessee: <>

      Manassa S Hennessee Probate File... he died intestate but his brother Robert became the administrator of his estate. This file lists the siblings of Manassa.

      end of message [6]

  • Sources 
    1. [S46594] "United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed.

    2. [S53196]

    3. [S51104] "United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed.

    4. [S35] Nita Raye Hennessee Shephard (1913-2003) | major contributor for the JOHN HENNESSEE Family.

    5. [S14546] "Patrick Hennessa (1793-1845)", Cemetery Profile,, This p.

    6. [S10967] Stefani Hennessee,, contributor, message received Sunday, March 2nd, 2017 and retrieved, recorde.