Robert Payne Byrd was married to Mary Catherine Callaway on September 25, 1857 in Arcadia, Iron County, Missouri. The Byrd family suffered at the hands of the invading Yankees. Robert's brother, William Carroll Byrd, who reside near Brunot, Iron County, lost all his livestock to foraging blue-coats under the command of then Colonel U. S. Grant.
According to his Confederate States Army compiled service record, Robert P. Byrd enlisted in Oregon County in Company F of Colonel James Whites 3rd (later 9th) Missouri Infantry, CSA on August 2, 1862.
His service record also indicates that Private Byrd was captured in Oregon County on
January 28, 1863. He was sent to the infamous Gratiot Street Prison in St. Louis as
a Prisoner-of-War. The last notation on his CSA service records states
that Pvt. Robert P. Boyd (sic), Co. F, Whites Regt. appears on a monthly report of
Gratiot Prison from March 1 to 31, 1863. The last notation reads: Where
captured -- Oregon Co. MO. When captured -- Jan. 28, 1863. Received -- Feb. 8, 1863.
Discharged -- Mar. 6, 1863. Remarks -- Small Pox Hospital. As best as
can be determined, Payne Byrd contracted smallpox and was removed to Small Pox Island
(McPikes Island) in the middle of the Mississippi River and offshore from the Alton,
Illinois POW camp. It is assumed he died there and was buried in a mass grave with other
Confederates who died from smallpox at that time. No records indicate exactly when or
where he died and the exact date and place of Pvt. Robert Payne Byrds death is still
unknown to any of his current relatives. Interestingly, the Bible belonging to his
father, John Wesley Jack Byrd, records his death as being on April 7, 1864.
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