Biography of Dr. Groves Caldwell

Dr. Groves Caldwell, one of the oldest practitioners of Bullock County, Ala., and a resident of Midway, was born in Greene County, Ga., in 1825, a son of Joshua and Charlotte (Beasley) Caldwell, natives, respectively, of Maryland and Georgia. Joshua Caldwell was a youth when he went with his father from Maryland to Georgia, where he became a mechanic, married, then went to planting and made a fortune. He passed the last years of his life in Macon County, Ga., and died about 1868. He had been twice married, his first wife, the mother of Groves Caldwell, having died when the latter was about ten years of age. John Caldwell, the father of Joshua, was an American by nativity but of Scotch parentage; he located in Georgia about 1836, but later came to Alabama and here died, having followed planting all his life.

Dr. Groves Caldwell was the third born in a family of four sons and four daughters. He was educated at Oak Bowery Academy in Chambers County, Ala., and at La Grange, Ga., and read medicine at La Fayette, Ala., with Drs. Hudson and Bacon for one year. He then went to Philadelphia, and at the Pennsylvania University was under the private tutelage of Dr. William H. Hoener, then professor of anatomy. Graduating in 1845, he practiced at Oak Bowery until 1849 when he removed to Barbour County, Ala., where he practiced and farmed for a few years and then removed to Enon, where he continued practicing and farming until 1881, since which time he has lived at Midway, where he has secured a large practice and is still engaged in planting to a limited extent.

In 1845 he married Mary Ann Flournoy, who was born in Sandersville, Ga., and who died in 1889, the mother of seven children, of whom five are living, viz.: Mary A., Clarence P., a planter, Lula, Anna, and Roberta. Early in 1862, Dr. Caldwell raised a company of volunteers in Macon and Barbour counties, of which he was commissioned captain. This company was attached to the Forty-fifth Alabama Regiment at Auburn, Ala., and went to Tupelo, Miss., from thence with Bragg on his raid through Kentucky, their first engagement taking place at Perryville. They afterward went through Cumberland Gap, and on to Knoxville, Tenn.; fought at Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and in all the battles from Dalton to Atlanta and back with Hood, fighting at Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville, retreating to Corinth, Miss.

The regiment was soon afterward ordered to join Johnston in North Carolina; but on its reaching Hamburg, S. C., Capt. Caldwell was sent back to Columbus, Ga., for recruits, and on his way back again to his command with his new men he heard, when near Hamburg, the news of the surrender and immediately started for home, reaching Eufaula just after the Federals had evacuated that town. The doctor, during his war service, was thrice wounded in the thigh, in the breast, and in the shoulder. A brother of the doctor, named Joshua, now deceased, also lent his aid to his state as a soldier for a short time, but his failing health forced him to withdraw.

Dr. Caldwell resumed the practice of medicine after his return to Midway and is now one of the most popular physicians in the county. As a citizen, he is equally popular and in 1876 was elected to the state legislature as the first Democratic representative from Bullock County; in 1878 he was re-elected but after that time declined further political honors. The doctor has been a Mason for many years, was once Worshipful Master of Social Lodge at Enon, and also of Felix Lodge at Midway. He has filled the position of president of the Bullock County Medical Society, is now a member of the American Medical Association, and is held in as high esteem by his professional brethren as he is by the general public.

M. J. Caldwell, his eldest son, when sixteen years old, enlisted in the militia service of Alabama, was taken prisoner near Mobile, sent to Ship Island, and kept for a time under guards.


Memorial record of Alabama : a concise account of the state’s political, military, professional and industrial progress, together with the personal memoirs of many of its people.. Madison, Wis.: Brant & Fuller, 1893.

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