The Warrenton Boys
Warrenton has furnished more than its share of military personnel.
Patriotism has always run deep in the small community of Warrenton. For some unknown reason, this nearby area just southwest of Guntersville has furnished a disproportionate number of military troops dating back to before it was established as a town.
When Andrew Jackson came through the area in 1813, a number of Cherokees enlisted in his army to fight the Creeks. Those Cherokee braves helped Jackson defeat the Creeks at Horseshoe Bend. Ironically, in 1838 Warrenton raised an entire company of men for the State Militia to remove the Cherokee.
During the Civil War, Colonel James L. Sheffield raised a regiment of men, the 48th Alabama Infantry, primarily from the Warrenton area.
World War I saw several of its sons enlist and serve gallantly, but World War II found one hundred thirty-three of its young men serving in the military.
During the war there was discussion as to which area was furnishing the most personnel according to its size. The Advertiser-Gleam ran a story about the debate and stated:
“Warrenton seems to hold first place in Marshall County….Warrenton had 10 families with 30 boys in service; 16 families with 3 or more each for a total of 56 from those 16; 14 more families with 2 boys each; 49 more with 1 each; making a total for Warrenton, which is not a large community, of at least 133 men in uniform, or discharged since Pearl Harbor. Eleven of these 133 are fathers. All of these men either live in Warrenton now or grew to manhood within the Warrenton beat.
Four Warrenton men have given their lives in this war, T.J. Wood, Carl McClendon, Mason Martin and Clarence Rice, the latter the father of 2 children. Two others, Wallace Sparks and Tom Milligan have been wounded and awarded the Purple Heart. Some of the 133 are seeing action in the very theatre in which U.S. troops are fighting. P.H. Alexander of Warrenton has 2 sons, 9 grandsons, 24 nephews, 41 cousins and one brother-in-law in the war.
Here is the list of Warrenton families with three or more boys in service or discharged since Pearl Harbor:
Sam Wood 6, J. Leroy Smith 4, M.E. Sparks 4, Mrs. Wyatt Smith 4, Will Johnson 4, Oliver Cooley 4, Shirley Brown 3, Henry Cooley 3, John Gross 3, Homer McClendon 3, Pat Douglas 3, Mrs. Hudgins 3, Mrs. G.W. Wood 3, Will Gross 3, Mrs. Nathaniel Cowart 3, and Mr. Shelton 3.”