Civil War autrocities

December 8, 2007 at 1:25 am (Uncategorized)

Have any of you seen the movie “Cold Mountain“? I really like this movie but it was disturbing in so many ways. You know the evil, idiots that served as town sheriff’s as far as getting people to serve in the war and if anyone deserted, they were convicted of treason and killed or not even tried, just shot on the spot? I just realized that my ggg grandfather might have been one of these people and this movie made me think more about it.

I know he served in the Dover Township home guard of minute men in the County of Pope, and the State of Arkansas in 1861. There are genealogy mailing lists for every county and every state in the U.S. that I belong to. I posed the question “what were their duties” and this is a response that I got back:

See the movie “Cold Mountain.” The home Guard was usually made of older men with clout who made certain that every man of fighting age served. Problem, as the war went on, the age of eligibility climbed to the forties. Back here in North Carolina, a member of the same Reed Family that moved to Pope County published an article in the local paper complaining about the guard. He petitioned the Governor of NC and the deposition can be found at:

I’m going to assume, for now, that he served in the home guard because he didn’t want to leave his young family with no adult men to take care of them. My research on him has proved that he never owned slaves but I don’t know how he felt about the War. I know that his brother served in the War and eventually went to the other side, the Union. His one son, who was of age, served in the War and eventually changed sides as well. His brother and son eventually altered their last names as well. Probably so they couldn’t be found and tried for treason.



  1. coffeypot said,

    Many who served in the Civil War on the Southern side never owned slaves – couldn’t afford them. But they fought for many reasons. State pride, for the adventure (to start with); then for their lives and their friends’ lives. There are many reasons, but they should not be judged by today’s standards. They were a produce of their time and, thus, should not be judged good or bad now. Just enjoy the journey of knowing your family.

  2. Teri said,

    Coffeypot – I try not to judge my ancestors. I do try to say the same thing “they were a product of their time”. Sometimes newly acquired information jolts me but it’s just added information that I can add to their name.

    I always hope that my ancestors were good people and left a good legacy behind them.

    Although, the stories of my grandfather and great uncle don’t help, sometimes. My grandfather tried to kill someone and I think my great uncle succeeded in killing someone. I laugh about it but my mother and her siblings try not to speak about it.

  3. SkylersDad said,

    About that time gold was discovered in my home town of Idaho Springs Colorado. My distant ancestors came over from Cornwall England to mine since nobody here in the states had hard rock mining experience. So, we missed the whole civil war thing, just trying to scratch out a living up in the mountains.

  4. Just Dave said,

    If you want to get a good view of the Civil War as well as find out a lot about Abraham Lincoln, I suggest “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize winner. She gives a fairly balanced view and the book, though long, is pretty entertaining.

  5. Dick Small said,

    Well, I don’t like to talk about it, but my ggg grandfather was dishonorably discharged from the service. Apparantly, he offered to give the general a pedicure, and well, you just didn’t do that back then…

  6. Teri said,

    I’m surprised, Dick. Everyone knows how friendly and helpful your family are.

  7. Dick Small said,

    Well, apparantly he had a “foot fetish”. I really can’t go further into detail at this time.

  8. metalmom said,

    It’s interesting to learn things about your family.I prefer knowing the dirty secrets too. I don’t want my kids to have the wrong idea about who they are. They are no better or worse than anyone else out there and no matter what income, or background-there are skeletons EVERYWHERE!

  9. Cayman said,

    Teri – don’t beat yourself up over your ancestors. You have no idea what they were going through or why they made the choices they made. Never judge a man until you’ve walkd a mile in his shoes.

  10. Dick Small said,

    Yes, don’t beat yourself over your ancestors. Just take a look at mine.
    You know, actually, the only reason I “aired my dirty laundry” is knowing that hardly anybody reads this site..

  11. Special K said,

    Well, my geneology research turned up many less than flattering things about my family: suicide, murder, bootlegging, and arson…but it also let me to my sister.

    It can help us understand where we came from, but does not determine who we are….or at least that’s what I tell myself.

  12. Dick Small said,

    Yes, keep telling yourself.

  13. Dick Small said,

    Did I also mention, that my ggg grandmother was court-martialed?? True. She was an army nurse that was selling morphine to the local teenagers in the area. It was a real black spot on our family tree from which we never really recovered from..

  14. Teri said,

    are you still here, dick?

    this doesn’t surprise me about your crazy family. they’re nuts!

  15. Dick Small said,

    Hey! Watch it.

  16. Dick Small said,

    Btw, I believe it’s: “Atrocities”, not “autrocities”.

    “Autrocities”… hahaHAHAAaa

  17. Teri said,

    whatever, dick.

    my spell checker didn’t pick that up. that’s right, it’s the spell checker’s fault.

  18. WILLIAM said,

    I too enjoyed Cold Mountain and I find it interesting that you have that info on your GGG G.

    And Dick Small is funny.

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