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16 February 2007


With the annual Olustee battle re-enactment going on this weekend, it seems the perfect time to make mention of my great-great grandfather who fought there.

In October of 1861 - 3 different records, 3 different dates; this one seems to be the most likely - Thomas J Mitchell enlisted at Blounts Ferry in Company D, 9th Regiment of the state of Florida. He served in Finegan's Brigade under Captain John Bryant and later under Captain J. F. (?) Tucker. On or about the 20th day of February, 1864, he was 'wounded by a gun shot, on the top of my skull' at Olustee and was sent home on furlough. He later returned to his Company and was honourably discharged at Appomattox Court House at the end of the invasion.

As a result of his service, Thomas suffered chronic rheumatism in his right hip and chronic dysentery 'from exposure and having to eat unholdsome food during the war in Virginia.' The doctor who signed one of his pension applications wrote 'that he is suffering from Chronic Dysentery and from the effects of a gunshot wound of the head. Ball striking on top of head, at the union of the parietal & accipital Bones, Fracturing the skull, resulting in partial paralisis of right hip & leg, rendering him unable to Earn a livelihood by manual Labor.' I really admire this man, who returned to duty for another year, in spite of his 'partial paralysis'.

Another great great grandfather, who was born in Jackson County, FL, in 1837, enlisted on 17 March, 1862, at Marianna, FL, in Company D, 6th Regiment. He was discharged near Chesterfield, SC on 5 May 1865. In 1906, he was granted a pension of $96 per year. This was increased in 1909 to $120 per year.

Some of the old writing is hard to read. Very frustrating, as this is all totally fascinating for me. And I was never very good at sorting out all the Company, Regiment, Brigade stuff, so I may have gotten things out of order. Feel free to correct me if that's the case.

Hurricane Teen, stay warm out there this weekend... and keep your powder dry! 8-]


Anonymous said...

My age-old progenitors (on my Dad's side) served in a volunteer company from NC. As I'm still looking into my genealogy, My mother's ancestors just may have served in the Union Army. It'll be interesting to find out - and it would speak volumes to what I refer to as my "duality".

But that's fodder for my 'blog, not here!

Thanks for sharing this piece of your family's history, Sm.

SophieMae said...

Genealogy really brought history to life for me. I'll be looking forward to reading about the thingfish tree.

Floridacracker said...

With a Pennsylvanian Mom, I have a similar duality as Thingfish.
I did a records request from the state of Florida and got my great-great grandmother's petition for pension benefits as a confederate soldier's widow. It seems he served as a substitute for some one with more money.
Fascinating stuff.

ImagineMel said...

Hi sophiemae, family histories are amazing! I am a native but both parents were born and raised in Tennessee. I try not to tell anyone. :) Oh, and I love Jesus too!

SophieMae said...

FC, it IS fascinating! I have the pension records for both my g-g-grandfathers. I haven't been able to find out as much about the other side of my family, but they're definitely all from the South.

Hey, Mel! Thanks for stopping by! I see you like Billie Holiday, as well. I've collected quite a few of her records over the past... well, let's just say quite a few years. 8-]

Scott said...

See we have Jackson Cty in Common. My Great Great Great Grandfather settled the eastern part of Jackson County now Grand Ridge in the 1820's.

Yours in the Bond.

Baker Watson said...

I know this is a super old post but the Civil War tag caught my eye as I was scrolling down the page. I can't believe the coincidence here considering this was not a large battle as Civil War battles go. Of course the war had thousands of engagements from large to very small.

Two of my ancestors also fought at Olustee. They were brothers. One died of wounds suffered in the battle.