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"I Found My Great, Great, Grand fathers ACW unit." Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo reeves lk Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2007 7:34 a.m. PST

On my mother's side of the family my Great Great Grandfather Wiley F Ray served with Battery B (Heron Battery) of the First Mississippi Light Artillery. Captured at Port Hudson La. He and his brother were part of the battery defending Fort Desperate. They both were paroled and rejoined the fight as infantry men with Woffers battalion and later capture at Mobile Alabama.I found this info eight years ago.

On my fathers side I could not find any until this week when I decided to look at the geneology records my has been putting together the past 20 ys.

I looked and saw that my Great, Great,Grand father was from North Carolina. Up to this point I knew names but assumed they were also from Mississippi. So I put his name into a search site and found that he served with the 5th North Carolina from 1861 until the first day of Gettysburg where he was wonded and captured. He was exchange later and rejoined the fight and was captured again at St. Peterburg. This time he was a POW for the remaining of the war. I understand that some of the info could be wrong but glad I found what I did.

You all know here in the South we Southerner are a little crazy about our Civil War. Some up north thinks that we are still fighting it in our minds.grin

But two things.

One. I'm glad I found a Veteren on my Dads side. Heck my Grand father served during WWII and my father was a Marine during Vietnam and I served in the Marines.

Two. I had an ancestor who served at Bull Run one and two and one that served at Gettysburg.

I now have a connection to that great battle.


Jovian1 Inactive Member29 Nov 2007 8:11 a.m. PST

Nice! My great great grandfather served in the 1863-5 campaigns with the Army of the Potomac for the North – he missed the start of the war as he didn't get to enlist because he was 14 at the start. I have his rifle passed down to me. My other great great grandfather fought for the Army of Northern Virginia. I have relatives on both sides.

adub74 Inactive Member29 Nov 2007 8:46 a.m. PST

You guys do realize that you have 8 great great grandfathers when you count from 'both sides'.

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2007 8:47 a.m. PST

Thats really cool. I have several that fought with the Irish Brigade, the Civil War is another era I will wargame but not right now.

Personal logo reeves lk Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2007 8:52 a.m. PST

["8 great great grandfathers when you count from 'both sides'."]

But I can't count to eight.*Grin*

I do have one other who served with the 10th Miss. Don't know much about him. He is also on my mother's side.

sneakgun29 Nov 2007 9:10 a.m. PST

My Great Gandfather Charles Lake served with the 5th NY Dragoons, was captured at Brandy Station and spent the rest of the war in Andersonville Prison. His health never did recover even though he lived into his 80's. Had a grand cousin that was killed at the Little Big Horn, cavalryman. Also had an ancestor that was in the colonial militia in the French and Indian War. Some more ancestors served during the Revolution, not sure if they were in the military.


ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Nov 2007 10:44 a.m. PST


Your G-G-Grandfather and mine might have actually seen each other :) Mine was wounded at Antietam while major of the 16th Connecticut. After partially recovering from his wounds he joined the Veterans Reserve Corps (Invalid Corps) and I have a copy of an order placing him in charge of delivering a group of 600 Confederate prisoners, captured at Gettysburg, to Fort Delaware which was the major exchange center before the sytem was shut down.

Scott Washburn

Personal logo reeves lk Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2007 11:06 a.m. PST

If he was one of the prisoners that would be pretty cool to come across each other like this.

I remember a comercial from the 80's but I can't remember for what. It showed an American grand father in some village in France with grand child showing step by step what he did during a battle. At the same time there was a German Grand father doing the same thing.

At the end of the commercial they meet on some steps of a church I think.

Great Commercial. Off topic but it amazing how two world can come together.


Major Mike29 Nov 2007 11:23 a.m. PST

That sounds more like part of the movie, "If it's Tuesday it must be Belgium" where a WWII veteran upon arriving at Bastogne is recounting how he advanced down a street while coming the other direction is a German tourist doing the same thing.

On Topic,
I have a GGGfather that I believe served in the 150th PA Volunteers, who may have served at Gettysburg, but I have found very little in records of the unit to even show he served.
On my wife's side, she had a GGmother from Louisana who married a Yankee Scotsman from NY, after the war, who was a sea captain. Her family disowned her for doing it. No doubt she has some relatives on that side that served the CSA, but no proof yet.

aercdr Inactive Member29 Nov 2007 11:36 a.m. PST

My great great grand father was in the 5th Indiana volunteer cav. I also have relatives who fought on both sides of Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and Monocacy Junctoin.

Personal logo reeves lk Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2007 1:08 p.m. PST

Major Mike:

I believe you are correct about the movie. It was a long time ago so I can't remember. I said 80's but it could have been in the 70's.


Personal logo T Callahan Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2007 2:09 p.m. PST

My great, great, great grandfather was the commander of the 97th Illinois Vol. Infantry. It was mustered out in September 1862 at Camp Butler. Col. Friend S. Rutherford commanded the Illinois 97th before and during the Vicksburg Campaign. He fought at, Chickasaw Bluffs, Champion Hill, Big Black River, and at Vicksburg. His regiment briefly occupied some of the Confederate works during the early assaults. He picked up dysentery between Chickasaw Bluffs and the Vicksburg Campaign. He had several medical leaves of 60 and 90 days due to "chronic diarrhea" and at one point was discharged for being AWOL when he didn't return after one of the leaves. He was reinstated shortly afterwards. He died of dysentery in July 1864 at his home in Alton Illinois. A week after his death he was promoted to Brigadier General by an act of Congress.

He and his three brothers were all Brigadier Generals in the Civil War.

I have a copy of the muster roll sheet for the Regiment which I got from Illinois Archives and his service records from the National Archives


BigJoeDuke29 Nov 2007 5:45 p.m. PST

Larry, your G-G-G-Grandfather may have known mine. He was on the Fire Brigade in Mobile. He was serving in Fort Gaines during the Battle of Mobile Bay, then into Mobile proper after that. His two brothers both served with Rodes' Brigade (Alabama 9th I'm pretty sure)

Jim McDaniel Inactive Member29 Nov 2007 7:25 p.m. PST

Congratulations on your research success Larry. So far the best I've done is to disprove the family tradition that a great uncle did serve during the Spanish American War with the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry, Roosevelt's Rough Riders. But I did manage to confirm a garbled tale about another relative being an honest-to-gosh Bermuda Triangle disappearee. So far I've never been able to trace back any ancestors to the civil War, as genealogy isn't a very high priority.

However I live at a Sun City development and have noticed many folks using the computers at our activity center for research and see there's even a genealogy activity group.

If you can't find any ancstors, I guess the next best thing is anything that gives you kind of a connection to somebody long dead from history. I was once doing research by reading the "London Times" on microfiche for 1815 about the kingship of George III. If you're like me, one's mind kind of splits while doing tasks like this, so one part is searching for the evidence you're official hunting for while the rest is happily looking for "neat but totally irrelevant stuff." Then I struck paydirt, in an item about the future George IV investing several infantry colonels with some award. Alarm bells went off because I knew of one lt colonel Adam MacCara (sp?) who had only a couple of months to enjoy his award because he died June of that year at Quatre Bras commanding 1/Black Watch the day before Waterloo. It was a great discovery I thought even though I only got a "c" on the paper and in that class.

pphalen Inactive Member29 Nov 2007 8:00 p.m. PST

I had an ancestor who served at Bull Run…

You *sure* you're a Reb?
Bull Run is what "we" call it, versus Manassass…

Captain Crunch Inactive Member29 Nov 2007 9:36 p.m. PST

I've done some genealogy work as well. Found my Great (5 times) Grandfather and his 2 brothers were in the Mass. and Vermont Militias during the Revolutionary War. My great-great Grandfather was in Birge's Western Shapshooters. I posted about this unit earlier and have the book that was recommended to me on hold at the library. Gonna get it tomorrow.

McKinstry Fezian29 Nov 2007 9:47 p.m. PST

The nice thing about living on the same Pennsylvania farm since 1796 and the same house since 1821 is that the family history stays pretty compact and available to all as they grow up. I've a great great grandfather wounded in the Wilderness and lucky enough to be in hospital when his unit got butchered at Cold Harbor. U.S. Grant's wife was a relative but that was merely collateral, not blood although he is greatly admired.

On my fathers side we have both Union and Rebel which comes from settling in MD and VA.

highlandcatfrog Inactive Member29 Nov 2007 10:31 p.m. PST

So far I've found 12 relatives who fought in the ACW, all for the Union. 6 KIA, 2 died at Andersonville, 1 died a month after Fredricksburg but not sure if it was from wounds or disease, 2 maimed but survived, 1 survived unscathed. Neither side of my family did real well!

10 of these relatives fought at Gettysburg, which is why my miniature armies are built around that battle. One of my G-G-G grandfathers fought against the G-G-G grandfather of my best friend's wife at Little Round Top. We get a good chuckle out of it.

docdennis1968 Inactive Member30 Nov 2007 6:50 a.m. PST

Great Grandpa, 20th Indiana Vols, was involved in everything thru Gettysburg. Then got arrested for "overstaying" his re enlistment furlough , got ill and missed the entire Overland Campaign of 1864! If he had not, I guess my chances of writing this thread would be diminished. He finally did get back for the Petersburg siege, got wounded at Fort Hell, and came home! Lived to a ripe 84 years, and a big supporter of "Old Dan Sickles"!! A shout out for the old III Corps!!!

RudyNelson30 Nov 2007 8:33 a.m. PST

I was just in our county's archive looking at some local unit histories and a 50 year anniversary book printed with all the ACW veterans buried in the local counties (Clay-Cleburne-Randolph).

Easy to ID the units from that data. I did have one great uncle who failed to return home after the war. It appears that he joined the Federal army. This is easy to determine. If a family or widow received a pension from the US government then he was Union. If the pension came later and from the State, then he was CSA. over 255 of Alabama soldiers fought for the Union.

Jim McDaniel Inactive Member30 Nov 2007 11:56 a.m. PST

Rudy you raised an interesting question for me about the ACW, why did some native southerners go North rather than stay south? In that regard General George Thomas absolutely fascinates me. Given so many southerners couldn't ignore the fact of their birth, why did he stay with the Union army? I'll bet there's a very simple explanation which one evening he probably told his aide and I'm just too lazy/scattered brained to research.

Years ago I had a friend who was a descendant of an old Texas family, infact their ranch was where Louis Rose the man who slipped over the walls of the Alamo because he declined to die with the rest of the garrison. Growing up in an Antonio, Texas I mean the Alamo was like the local "Iliad." I'd often heard the story of the line in the dust and everyone except Rose stepping over it or being carried in his sick bed over it like Jim Bowie but never heard what happened to him afterwards. Frankly I had images of his being lynched by rathful fellow Texicans after the battle of San Jacinto.

According to my friend Shannon, not a bit of it. After the TWI, he became a butcher and a well-regarded citizen locally: infact it was considered quite an honor to shake hands with the last defender of the Alamo to leave the post! The logic of this was really causing me a headache, but it seems by the Texas way of thinking Rose was offered a choice and he took it. The fact he declined martyrdom at the Alamo was irrelevant, he had been a legitimate defender until that choice and entitled to the due respect of being one. Of course if he'd crossed the line drawn by Colonel Travis and then deserted then the no good SOB'd richly have merited lynching.

RudyNelson30 Nov 2007 12:52 p.m. PST

Jim, its gets to be a touchy issue in the South. In Alabamaa almost all Alabamians currently 'THINK' that their ancestors all fought for the South.

In Alabama Winston county attempted to secede from CSA because Union support was so high as it was in a lot of the State. The Seccession Bill barely passed in the State Legislature. As I pointed out 1/4 of all Alabamians fought for the Union. Due to marriages by now one researcher estimated that 50% of all Albamians today has now ancestor who has fought for the Union.

AsI pointed out for someone researching ancestors of the war, needs to check out pension payments from the local county records as a first step.

Another source are the volumes of local material published for the 50 year celebration of 1910-15 and later the 100 years celebration. many of these if you can find the title can be found in local archives, libraries and in some cases through the libary loan program.

pphalen Inactive Member30 Nov 2007 7:37 p.m. PST


Interesting stuff Rudy!

Jeff Boz Inactive Member01 Dec 2007 12:15 p.m. PST

When my grandmother died about 15 years ago, we found the discharge papers of her grandfather. He was in battery G, 2nd US arty. The papers show a list of all the battles he was in, from 1st Bull Run to Appomatix, and numerous ones in between. A few years back I was able to go to Gettysberg and walk where he walked so to speak.
The best part, under character it said "good."

Zinkala10 Dec 2007 11:23 a.m. PST

I always knew I had ancestors and relatives involved in the civil war but only recently started trying to research it. 2 of my dad's great grandpa's served in Minnesota regiments. The one was in the 7th Minnesota Volunteer Regiment for the entire war. The other was in Co A 1st Battalion ? Minnesota Regiment for a year and ended up at Andersonville prison. On my mom's side I know there were some in Illinois and maybe elswhere but I haven't traced that yet. I'm trying to figure out what regiments and where they fought. First I have to sort throught the pile of family histories and documents that we have here.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jan 2008 11:28 a.m. PST

GG Grandpaw was discharged from CS Army in 1863 for "old age", and brought back in in '65. His son (my G Grandpaw) also "went along for the ride". He was 16 years old.

Company C 22nd Virginia
3rd Virgnina Reserves
"The Buckingham Rifles"

The never surrendered, merely hid out in the woods after having the High Bridge at Farmville taken from them, and seperated from the rearguard of the ANV. They disbanded and made their way home around April 11-12 1865 after learning of Lee's surrender.

I've got copies of his pension (21 dollars a month). He never learned to write his name, just merely signed an "X" with witnesses.

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