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January 2014

Little Dave: Our Youngest Confederate Soldier


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The American Civil War is full of outstanding heroes, remarkable tales, and unforgettable legends. Many people may not know, however, that a large number of these forgotten heroes were only teen-agers; some were even pre-teens. “I hadn’t lost any war and wasn’t hunting any, but it rather came to me through circumstances not of my ordering” David Bailey Freeman wrote in 1923 in an address to the Atlanta chapter of the United Confederate Veterans, nearly 60 years after his service in the War Between the States.

David was not much different from the thousands of other young southerners enlisting in 1861 who were full of the “military spirit” except in one regard: he was barely 11 years old! Yet, he did indeed enlist, and he served 3 years in Company D of the 6th Georgia Cavalry, CSA. Known affectionately by members of his company as “Little Dave,” his fellow comrades would later recall that although “he was quite young, [he] made a good soldier

D.B. Freeman was editor of the Cartersville Express/Daily Tribune Newspaper\

Grand Army of the Republic

The Last Civil War Veteran-  War Veterans by - Maurice Bower-June 1, 1935

The first Memorial Day—then called Decoration Day—was celebrated on May 30, 1868, three years after the last battle of the Civil War (April 1865). It was established, by the largest Union veterans’ organization: the Grand Army of the Republic

Membership to the GAR was restricted to those who served in the military during the Civil War. And although the veterans in the 1935 cover may appear elderly and even frail, the group had powerful political influence as one of the first organized advocacy groups in the United States. The group dissolved in 1956 when the last surviving veteran died. His name was Albert Woolson, and he was 109.

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

Elizabeth Temms


by Renee Murphy

Originally Posted on September 5, 2012 

(WHAS11) -- A national landmark divided.  On one side the Civil War's Union soldiers and on the other, the Confederate soldiers and one civilian, a woman by the name of Elizabeth Temms.

“This cemetery is simply an outdoor museum, a time capsule. Everyone in here has a unique story. Elizabeth Temms story is just a little bit more unique,” said J. Michael Higgs, with the Cave Hill Heritage Foundation.

At Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville sits a tombstone with barely visible markings.  It’s the site of Temms burial.

Temms helped Confederate soldiers avoid a Union ambush on her plantation in Georgia.

“She alerted the confederacy that the union was sitting there and waiting for them so they were able to thwart their attempt and she was then thrown in jail by the Union forces,” said Higgs.

Temms was taken to a prison for the Confederates at 12th and Broadway in Louisville.  

“General Sherman had no compassion when it came to sympathizers to the South. They were all cast in jail and Elizabeth Temms was thrown in an ice house on the prison grounds.” Said Higgs.

The Cemetery wants to restore Temms grave marker, and they explained why it's important to preserve a piece of history that is still divisive to this day.

“History is history and some of it is good and some of it is bad. We simply cannot neglect the fact that the civil war happened. There was a Union, there was a confederacy, this is just a simple part of history.”

This week in the Civil War for January 5, 1864

Photo source:

Many soldiers 150 years ago in the Civil War returned to homes on winter furloughs, finding rest after battles and months away from loved ones.

In January 1864, authorities on both sides were seeking to recruit new fighters as the conflict dragged on inexorably. The Springfield Republican in Massachusetts reported on Jan. 1, 1864, of much going on despite a lull in the fighting. Quoting dispatches from The Associated Press in part, the paper said Union Gen. William Sherman's forces had returned from Knoxville, Tenn., to a base in Chattanooga, tired, dirtied and clothes shredded after recent fighting. "While Gen. Sherman's men were returning ... they encountered a furious storm, and when they reached Chattanooga many of them were barefooted, and not a few of them wore pantaloons, the legs of which had been torn into shreds to the knees."

A dispatch from Philadelphia reported the court-martial of a Union private found guilty of desertion. He was sentenced to be shot and, the report said, the sentence would be carried out in February 1864. Elsewhere, divers scrubbed the bottoms of warships off South Carolina of grit and grime. Reports said divers with special helmets worked "five or six hours at a time under water," gasping for air as they surfaced.

from ABC News Go and the Associated Press

Henry Clay Thurston: Tallest Confederate


Henry Clay Thruston was born on 4 May 1830 in Greenville, S.C.. He grew to 7 feet, 2 inches. Although often a height of up to 7 foot 7 and a half inches is attributed to him, photographic evidence  indicates a peek height of 7 foot and 2 inches.

Thruston and his family, which included four brothers who all over 6 foot tall, moved to Missouri, where he spent his early years. In 1850 he went to California for a while, coming home to Missouri via the Isthmus of Panama. At 23 he married Mary Thruston, a distant cousin. They would have four children.

When the Civil War broke out, Thruston joined the Confederate Army, serving as a private under Col. John Q. Burbridge in the 4th Missouri Cavalry. Thruston became a prisoner of war late in the conflict, but did not spend long in confinement, gaining parole at Shreveport, LA in June 1865.

After the war, Thruston reunited with his family in Missouri and migrated southwest to Texas, stopping when he got to Titus County. He bought 100 acres east of Mount Vernon and spent most of the rest of his life farming. He also toured with Barnum and Bailey circus at this time.

Thruston died on Friday, July 2 1909, 79 years old. His gravestone lists his year of death as 1911, but this is seen as an ingraver's mistake.

Source: The Tallest

Return from Rock Island

Grave of John W. Hodges in the Old Hardin Cemetery, Ripley, Mississippi


Editor Sentinel: - 

Perhaps it would interest some of my old comrades and certainly the young people of our county to know something of the route I was forced to travel and the number of miles covered in reaching my home from Rock Island prison during the war between the states. I left Rock Island for exchange on the 13th day of March, 1865, and passed through the following named cities. From Rock Island to _____ Junction, 180 miles; Toledo, 203; Cleveland, Ohio, 60; Pittsburg, Pa., 249; Harrisburg, 150; Philadelphia, 113; Baltimore, Md., 90; Ft. Henry, 5; Point Lookout, 135; James River, 144; City Point, 60; Akins Landing, 86; Confederate boat, 4; Richmond, 20; Camp Lee, 8; Danville, 142; Jonesboro, 48; Saulsbury, N.C., 52; Charlotte, 45; Blackstock, S.C., 57; Ashford Ferry, 29; Newberry, 16; Abeville, 45; Washington, G.A., 42; Covington, 90; Atlanta, 42; West Point, 86; Montgomery, 85; Randolph, 62; Backs Ferry, 16; Tuscaloosa, 35; Columbus, Miss., 58; to my home south of Ripley, 100. Total 2,557 miles of which distance I walked at least 500 miles. On the trip I paid $4.00 for one sweet potato and 50c for one boiled egg. Reached home April 19.

Yours truly,

Jno. W. Hodges, Sr.
Clarysville, Miss.

John Weatherall Hodges enlisted in the "Tippah Farmers," Company H, 34th Mississippi Infantry, on March 18, 1862. In July 1862 there was a notation on the regimental muster roll that he was entitled to pay as a musician. He was captured at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, on November 24, 1863. 

From Civil War Talk