Monthly Archives: May 2015

Military Men of Our Family: The Civil War Part Four

Obit for Mose Estes, my great grandfather

This is the obituary for my great grandfather on my mother’s side, Mose Estes, of Madison County, Kentucky. The story has always been that he served in the Confederate Army, either as a waggoner or a water boy, probably late in the war. The obit states that he did serve in the Confederate Army, and that he lived to be 103 years old. That would have made him born in 1836. However, that appears to be the same year his parents were married. Now stranger things have happened, I know, but census records seem to indicate that he was more than likely born about 1844. My mother remembers him telling stories about the war to her and her cousins, who corroborated this when I met them after we moved to Kentucky in 1974. However, I have never been able to find any record of his service in the Confederate records listed on Fold 3. As the obituary states, he refused to take a pension, so there is no record of that either. It was his story, told to me by my mother, that got me interested in the family history at the Civil War at a very young age. I suppose we will never know the true story.

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Military Men of Our Family: The Civil War, Part Three

On my mother’s side of the family I know of only one Civil War veteran, her great grandfather, Alfred Yeager. Alfred’s origins remain obscure, but I do know that he married the widow Sarah Bennett Griffith/Griffy, in Fayette County, Kentucky, in 1852, and they had several children together to add to her one by her her first husband, George Washington Griffy, a daughter named Georgia Ann. Their daughter Sallie Yeager was my great grandmother, and mother of my grandmother Lillie Belle Emmett Estes. Alfred’s Civil War papers show that he served in Company A of the 6th Kentucky Union Cavalry and was absent without leave for several months in 1863-64, believed to have been captured. He showed up again and served until the end of the war. Don’t know where he was, but I do know that his wife had a child in 1864 whose birth date coincided with the his time away, so perhaps he took some of that time to be with her. Alfred survived the war but died in 1869 of complications from lung problems he contracted from exposure to the out of doors, sleeping on the ground, etc. during the war. I have Sarah’s pension application from the late 1870’s and it is so detailed. It was granted to her in 1880 at the whopping amount of eight dollars a month. Of course, in those days, that probably seemed like a fortune to a family who had lost their chief provider. She is listed as his widow on the 1890 Veterans Census, and she received the money until she died in the 1890’s sometime. I would love to know more about him, but so far haven’t been able to find out much.

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Military Men of Our Family: The Civil War, Part Two

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

This is a picture of my great great grandfather, Charles Henry Martin. He was the father of my great grandmother, Martha (Mattie) Martin Cayse, my dad’s maternal grandmother. I don’t know much about his background, except that census records show he was New Hampshire, and his Civil War Records show he enlisted at Paducah, Ky., for one year as a waggoner with the 6th Kentucky Union Cavalry for one year. I don’t know how he got from New Hampshire from Kentucky, but I do know that after the war he married Lucinda Walden and they settled first in Rockcastle County, Ky., then in Garrard County, Kentucky, where he died in 1892. He is listed in the 1890 Pension census of Union Civil War veterans. This picture was sent to me by a family member of his grandson, James Morris Martin, and it has his name written on the back as indentification.

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Military Men of Our Family History: The Civil War, Part One

JGShoup's tombstone

The picture in this article is of the tombstone at the “grave” of Jacob G. Shoup, located in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. It is in the Confederate Section, near the base of the large Confederate rock pyramid dedicated to the Confederate soldiers who died at Gettysburg, and whose remains were brought back from their burial places in Pennsylvania to be reburied among their own in a mass grave, in the early 1870’s. The picture was taken in 2005 or 2006, by a worker at the cemetery. The marker was free and the cemetery orders it and sets it for $100, a price I split with another more direct descendant of Jacob. You see, Jacob is one of my Middletown letter writers, and I have discovered that his 2nd great grandmother, Dorcas Moore, was sister to my 7th great grandfather, Dr. James Moore. (I did not put the flag there, the cemetery did, but if I lived closer I would do so.) The tombstone does not sit on his grave, rather is placed with others of its kind in a row over the mass grave.

Why did I help have it erected in his memory? Because I felt that he deserved no less. I know much more about his family history than I did when my mother found the letters in 1958. I know his brother, Cal, was Captain of Company H, and that he and Cal were both shot while leading a charge to rally their troops at the Battle of Fairfield, a smaller action on the third day at Gettysburg. I know he died instantly from a bullet to the head. Cal was severely wounded in the leg, survived the long trek back to the Valley with Lee’s caravan of wounded, healed, and lived to fight another day, only to be killed himself in action during The Burning of the Valley in Oct. of 1864. Their mother, Caroline, lost two sons to the war. North or South, that was a tragedy. One I can’t imagine.

A long time ago, I made a promise to one of the letter writers, Caroline Lincoln, that I would do what I could to see that she and her letter, and those of the others I called the Middletown Letter Writers, would not be forgotten by future generations. This is the first of such attempts on my part.

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