.

Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Great Uncles and the Civil War (Williamson Lines)

A Young Confederate Soldier

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamsons One and All,
It’s a warm day here in Pleasant Grove. Temperatures are in the mid 90’s. The wind is blowing and a storm looks to be peaking its head above the mountains on the opposite side of Utah Lake.

Our fireside chats have been far and few between this summer. I’m afraid the necessities of making a living occupied much of my time, a situation that I hope remedies itself in the near future as the school year starts and things return to a semblance of normalcy.

Tonight I’d like to tell you about our Fighting Uncles! Let’s begin with the relationship chart (Click to Enlarge)

Relationship Chart


As you already know, we are descended from Jonathan Willis and Anabella Phlegar through our 3rd Great Grandmother, Margaret Ann Willis - their eldest child. Tonight I'd like to talk briefly about our 4th Great Uncles David, Hamilton, Bennet, Thomas, Simon and Samuel.

David: b. 13 April 1836. d. 1925 (Age at the start of the Civil War: 25 years old)
Hamilton: b. 1839
(Age at the start of the Civil War: 22 years old)
Bennet: b. 1841 (Age at the start of the Civil War: 20 years old)
Thomas: b. 1843 (Age at the start of the Civil War: 18 years old)
Simon: b. 2 June 1845. d. 17 Feb. 1915 (Age at the start of the Civil War: 16 years old)
Samuel: b. 1847. d. During the Civil War on a Union Prison Ship. (Age at the start of the Civil War: 14 years old)

David, Bennet, Thomas, Simon and Samuel all fought side by side during the Civil War on the Confederate Side in the Fifty-fourth Virginia
Infantry, Company D. Please pay close attention to the boy's ages at the start of the Civil War. I wonder at the story behind Great Uncles Simon and Samuel, Simon at 16 and Samuel at 14 years old at the start of the war! Think of someone you know who's 14 and 16 years old leaving home to fight in this nation's bloodiest war! I wonder at the thoughts passing through their parent's minds seeing five of their sons march away to battle together. The following information is available from the war records on each of our great uncles. (A Caution. I'm not 100% sure about the record of Thomas Willis. You'll notice that his enlistment occurs at Jacksonville instead of Floyd County).





I believe they all survived the war except for Samuel. According to our family history, he died aboard a Union prison ship as a prisoner of war.

There is one exception in this family. Our Great Uncle Hamilton and his cousin Abraham Wade rode on horseback to our Great Great Grandmother's home (Margaret Williamson), at Schuyler County, Illinois in 1857. The trip took 3 weeks. During the Civil War the two, still in Illinois, being within Union Territory, traveled to Oregon Territory to keep from being drafted to fight against the South.

I'd like to post the following history of the 54th Infantry Regiment of Virginia so you can read the story of our Great Uncles in the Civil War.

Simply,
Victor


Regimental History


Chickamagua after battle report:

Report of Lieut. Col. John J. Wade, Fifty-fourth Virginia
Infantry.

HDQRS. FIFTY-FOURTH VIRGINIA REGT.,
Camp near Chattanooga, Tenn., September 25, 1863.
CAPT.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the
part my regiment took in the battles of the 19th and 20th instant,
near Chickamauga Creek:

On the evening of the 18th, as we approached the creek from La
Fayette the enemy was discovered in a large corn-field on the
opposite side. Our battery was put in position, and the brigade
formed in line of battle to the left on a rocky ridge. A brisk
skirmish was kept up until after dark, in which a portion of Gen.
Gracie's brigade was engaged. My regiment was afterward
moved down near the creek and put into position below Col.
Kelly's brigade, in order to support him in the event of an attack
during the night.

On the morning of the 19th, at an early hour, I crossed the creek
and rejoined the brigade, which I found forming in line on the
north side and not far from the creek. After remaining in line for
an hour or more, we were moved across a ridge in our front and
a new line established, the left resting nearly on the creek. While
there the enemy opened with a battery in our front and threw a
few shells, which passed beyond my right an did some damage
to the Sixth Florida. The brigade was next moved by the right
flank nearly half a mile and a new line formed on the comb of
the ridge parallel with the road, where we remained for several
hours, during which time the heavy firing which began on our
right had gradually approached our front, and about 12 m. the
enemy opened on us with a battery located above the corn-field
immediately in our front, and at intervals during the afternoon
threw shell and shot all around us, without doing any damage to
my regiment except a slight wound to the color bearer from a
fragment of a shell.

About 3 p. m. we were ordered to engage the enemy, and Col.
Trigg advanced the brigade in line through the woods to the
cornfield fence, on reaching which a volley was fired by the
brigade, which drove the enemy from the cleared land in our
front. In my
regiment an irregular fire was kept up for several minutes
afterward, which prevented my order to advance from being
heard, and when I crossed the fence I discovered that the Sixth
Florida was a short distance in advance of my regiment. I
hurried forward t close the line, and had crossed the open field
under a most galling fire of the enemy, and was in the act
crossing the second fence when I was met by Gen. Robertson, of
Gen. Hodd's division, who said he had been sent to conduct the
brigade into the fight, we were going wrong, and that our
formation should be made on his (Texas) brigade, in the woods
to the right of the field. Knowing that we were to be subject to
Gen. Hood's orders, I suffered my regiment to be conducted by
him and moved by the right flank along the crossfence to the
woods, where I remained until joined by the brigade commander
and the rest of the brigade.

I lost in this movement 3 killed and 35 wounded, 1 mortally.
Capt. J. R. Hammet, of Company I, I regret to report, received
here a dangerous wound, and was borne off the field. Three of
the number reported wounded received their injuries by the fall
of a tree, which was struck by a shell. We bivouacked that night
in front on the battle-field and without fire.

On the morning of the 20th, we were formed in line in rear of
Gen. Hindman's left, and about 10 a. m. were double-quicked to
the front to repel a flanking column of the enemy, but our
moment had been anticipated and the enemy driven back before
we reached the field. A heavy battery was nevertheless put into
position and our brigade formed in its support. After remaining
in this position a short time, we were moved up the Chattanooga
road and formed in line in near of a battalion of artillery which
was planted on the crest of the ridge to the left of the road.
While here Col. Trigg moved back with two regiment (the
Seventh and First Florida) to resist and anticipated movement of
the enemy's cavalry, and during the absence of our brigade
commander an urgent order came for the brigade to advance.
Col. Finley, of the Sixth Florida, taking the command of the two
remaining regiments (the Sixth Florida and Fifty-fourth Virginia
Volunteers) moved rapidly toward some high wooded ridges on
which the enemy had marched a most obstinate stand. We
approached the woodland under fire of a battery on the ridge,
and, moving up a spur of the ridge to the left of his battery, the
two regiment charged up the slope in admirable order, driving
the enemy before them. On reaching the top of the ridge, we
were joined by Col. Trigg and the other portion of our brigade,
and finding that the enemy was concealed in the bushes on a
ridge to our right, the brigade was wheeled and advanced up the
side of the ridge until in full view of the enemy. Upon demand
of surrender and after some delay, some 500 of them laid down
their arms. It was now dark, and while Col. Trigg was in the act
of diving the prisoners between the Sixth Florida and my
regiment for the purpose of taking them off the field, a party of
the enemy who lay concealed in a short distance from my
regiment poured a volley us, evidently with the intention of
producing some confusion in order two effect the escape of the
prisoners. Only 1 man was injured by this fire, and he was a
mounted orderly of the brigade commander.

My regiment captured here four flags, which have been turned
over with the names of the captors.

I lost on this day but 1 man killed and 7 wounded, besides the
orderly, who was from my regiment.

Recapitulation: Killed on the 19th, 3; wounded on the
19th, 35. Killed on the 20th, 1; wounded on the 20th, 8. Total
casualties on both days, 47.

Respectfully submitted.

JNo. J. WADE,
Lieut.-Col., Comdg.

Capt. JAMES BENAGH,
Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

Source: Official Records
CHAP. XLII.] THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN. PAGE 439-51
[Series I. Vol. 30. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 51.]

Battles Fought
Fought on 25 Dec 1861 at Floyd County, VA.
Fought on 25 Dec 1861.
Fought on 10 Jan 1862 at Middle Creek, KY.
Fought on 30 Jan 1862 at Suffolk, VA.
Fought on 15 Apr 1862 at Bourbon County, KY.
Fought on 16 May 1862 at Princeton, WV.
Fought on 9 Aug 1862 at Cedar Mountain, VA.
Fought on 30 Aug 1862 at Rocky Gap, VA.
Fought on 20 Sep 1862 at Kentucky.
Fought on 13 Oct 1862 at Lexington, KY.
Fought on 14 Oct 1862 at Kentucky.
Fought on 14 Oct 1862.
Fought on 15 Oct 1862 at Lancaster, KY.
Fought on 25 Oct 1862.
Fought on 26 Oct 1862 at Kentucky.
Fought on 28 Oct 1862.
Fought on 29 Oct 1862 at Camp Dick Robinson, KY.
Fought on 30 Jan 1863 at Kelly's Store, VA.
Fought on 30 Jan 1863 at Blackwater, VA.
Fought on 19 Jun 1863 at Lenoir Station, TN.
Fought on 1 Jul 1863 at Tullahoma, TN.
Fought on 1 Jul 1863 at Elk River, TN.
Fought on 2 Jul 1863 at Tullahoma, TN.
Fought on 2 Jul 1863 at Elk River, TN.
Fought on 3 Jul 1863 at Winchester, VA.
Fought on 3 Jul 1863 at Elk River, TN.
Fought on 14 Jul 1863.
Fought on 15 Aug 1863 at Bell's Bridge, TN.
Fought on 20 Aug 1863 at East Tennessee.
Fought on 8 Sep 1863.
Fought on 11 Sep 1863 at Perryville, TN.
Fought on 19 Sep 1863 at Chickamauga, GA.
Fought on 20 Sep 1863 at Chickamauga, GA.
Fought on 31 Oct 1863 at Meridian, MS.
Fought on 31 Oct 1863.
Fought on 25 Nov 1863 at Missionary Ridge, TN.
Fought on 26 Nov 1863.
Fought on 27 Nov 1863 at Ringgold, GA.
Fought on 4 Dec 1863.
Fought on 13 Dec 1863 at Greenbrier River, WV.
Fought on 13 Dec 1863 at Greenbrier County, WV.
Fought on 31 Dec 1863.
Fought on 25 Feb 1864 at Rocky Face Ridge, GA.
Fought on 25 Feb 1864 at Dalton, GA.
Fought on 1 May 1864 at Mt. Zion Church, Marietta, GA.
Fought on 9 May 1864 at Dalton, GA.
Fought on 14 May 1864 at Dalton, GA.
Fought on 15 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
Fought on 16 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
Fought on 17 May 1864 at Dalton, GA.
Fought on 19 May 1864 at New Hope Church, GA.
Fought on 19 May 1864 at Cassville, GA.
Fought on 19 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
Fought on 20 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
Fought on 20 May 1864 at Cassville, GA.
Fought on 24 May 1864 at Dallas, GA.
Fought on 25 May 1864 at Dallas, GA.
Fought on 26 May 1864 at Nashville, TN.
Fought on 26 May 1864 at Dalton, GA.
Fought on 26 May 1864 at Dallas, GA.
Fought on 27 May 1864 at Dallas, GA.
Fought on 28 May 1864 at New Hope Church, GA.
Fought on 28 May 1864 at Dallas, GA.
Fought on 1 Jun 1864.
Fought on 3 Jun 1864 at Chattanooga, TN.
Fought on 15 Jun 1864.
Fought on 17 Jun 1864 at Lynchburg, VA.
Fought on 19 Jun 1864 at Marietta, GA.
Fought on 19 Jun 1864 at Lost Mountain, GA.
Fought on 19 Jun 1864.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Mt. Zion Church, GA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Powder Springs, GA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Zion Church, GA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Mt Zion Church, Marietta, GA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Marietta, GA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Mount Zion Church, GA.
Fought on 22 Jun 1864 at Mount Zion Church, Marietta, GA.
Fought on 23 Jun 1864 at Powder Springs, GA.
Fought on 23 Jun 1864 at Marietta, GA.
Fought on 25 Jun 1864 at Marietta, GA.
Fought on 25 Jun 1864 at Lost Mountain, GA.
Fought on 1 Jul 1864 at Roanoke, VA.
Fought on 2 Jul 1864 at Marietta, GA.
Fought on 3 Jul 1864 at Marietta, GA.
Fought on 3 Jul 1864 at Chattahoochee River, GA.
Fought on 3 Jul 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
Fought on 4 Jul 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
Fought on 6 Jul 1864 at Union Station, GA.
Fought on 9 Jul 1864 at Monocacy, MD.
Fought on 14 Jul 1864 at Marietta, GA.
Fought on 14 Jul 1864 at Macon, GA.
Fought on 18 Jul 1864 at Resaca, GA.
Fought on 18 Jul 1864.
Fought on 19 Jul 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
Fought on 20 Jul 1864 at Peach Tree Creek, GA.
Fought on 20 Jul 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
Fought on 22 Jul 1864 at Peach Tree Creek, GA.
Fought on 16 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
Fought on 18 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
Fought on 19 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
Fought on 2 Oct 1864 at Saltville, VA.
Fought on 10 Oct 1864 at Nashville, TN.
Fought on 30 Nov 1864 at Franklin, TN.
Fought on 7 Dec 1864 at Murfreesboro, TN.
Fought on 8 Dec 1864 at Murfreesboro, TN.
Fought on 17 Dec 1864 at Franklin, TN.
Fought on 22 Dec 1864 at Augusta, GA.
Fought on 28 Dec 1864 at Egypt Station, MS.
Fought on 1 Jan 1865 at Itawambia, MS.
Fought on 1 Jan 1865 at Cassville, GA.
Fought on 8 Jan 1865 at Nolensville, TN.
Fought on 3 Mar 1865 at Stony Creek, NC.
Fought on 4 Mar 1865 at Waynesboro, VA.
Fought on 19 Mar 1865 at Bentonville, NC.
Fought on 20 Mar 1865 at Bentonville, NC.
Fought on 12 Apr 1865 at Salisbury, NC.