Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Deep South . . . Deep Roots, Part 1

We have just returned from a trip to Papa's ancestral home of Skipperville, Alabama. In addition to family matters and family history, we also made a few other stops.

On the way down we stopped at the Alabama Confederate Memorial Park. This is the site of the Alabama Old Soldiers Home for Confederate Veterans. Today they have a really nice historical museum pertaining to Alabama in the Civil War. This was a fitting stop for us, as we have just recently discovered that one of Dr. J and Dudeboy's ancestors fought with the 3rd Alabama Infantry.

And here is William E. Blocker (3rd Alabama Infantry, Co. K.). The 3rd Alabama saw major action during the war. They sustained the heaviest casualties of any Confederate unit at Malvern Hill (207 of 345 men and officers). They were at the center of the line in the Sunken Road at Antietam. The 3rd fought at Gettysburg, and the last 40 members remaining surrendered at Appomattox Court House. William's record reflects these intense actions, as he was "wounded slight" at Chancellorsville. Wounded slight in William's case meant he had a MiniƩ ball hit his left shoulder and he had to have "two pieces of bone taken out." He also appears on a prisoners of war roll in 1864 after he was captured at Fishers Hill.

Here is the resting place for Malcolm Mathison, the patriarch of the Mathison family (he is Dudeboy's great-great-great grandfather). Unfortunately, the grave (and others there) has been desecrated. The stone has been broken in two places. Apparently, this was fairly recent.

On the stairs of the Traveler's Rest Bed & Breakfast in Montezuma, Georgia. Dudeboy was quite taken with our Civil War themed room.

Andersonville Prison . . . Dudeboy is standing within the 26 acres that contained at one time around 32,000 prisoners. While it only existed for only 14 months, almost 13,000 prisoners died out of the total of over 45,000 Union soldiers confined there.

Recreation of the North Gate with Providence Spring in the background.

The prisoners had to provide their own shelters. In the background (just visible in front of the stockade wall) was "the dead line." Anyone crossing into this no-man's land was shot.

The Andersonville National Cemetery. The stones are so close together because the prisoners were buried shoulder to shoulder in trenches.

The Andersonville Tuttle Dove mystery.

U.D.C. revisionist monument to Captain Henry Wirz, who was executed for his role as commandant at the prison. While Wirz was partly complicit and part scapegoat, he and Kentuckian Champ Ferguson were the only two Confederates executed for war crimes.


Anonymous said...

I am sure that I am exposing my ignorance and myself to ridicule, but what about Sue Mundy? I'm guessing it wasn't war crimes.

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

Well, Sue Mundy was captured and executed before the war had ended. Champ Ferguson was arrested after the war had ended. Interestingly, Henry C. Magruder (another Kentuckian) was captured with Sue Mundy, but was severely wounded. Union authorities kept him alive so they could put him on trial, which they did and he was executed in October of 1865. So, I guess what separates Magruder from Ferguson was that he was captured during the war. The war was over when they went after Ferguson.