Three Brothers in the Civil War

1851 Virginia Map

Both Willis ARTHUR (1791-1856) and Emily “Millie” Jane FREEMEN (1796-1880) were born in Bedford County, Virginia and are my paternal 4th great-grandparents. Willis’ father, John ARTHUR, Sr. (abt. 1858-1850) was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and lived and died on his beloved land in Goose Creek, Bedford County, Virginia. Like his father before him, Willis followed his father’s example of patriotism and became a veteran of the War of 1812, having served in the 4th Regiment of the Virginia Militia.

Willis and Millie had seven children. There were four boys, James P., Caleb, Meredith and William, and three girls, Mary Ellen, Sarah Jane and Emily. Willis and Millie had moved around quite a bit early on living in Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois at various times during their marriage. But by 1850, the family was all living back in Lawrence County, Ohio. Sometime after 1850 and before 1856, Willis and Millie moved to Clark County, Illinois where Willis passed away in 1856. After Willis died, Millie once again returned to Lawrence County where she resided with her youngest son, William.

Events Leading to the Civil War

In the first half of the 19th Century, there was a lot of discord among the States. Prior to the Civil War, the country was becoming increasingly divided between the north and the south. There had been talk for years by the southern states of cessation from the Union. Willis had been greatly influenced by his father, his grandfather and his grand-uncle Barnabus ARTHUR.

The-coming-Civil-War

Barnabus ARTHUR (1735-1815), was living in Goose Creek, Bedford County, Virginia, and had granted freedom to his slaves in his Will upon his death in 1815.

An excerpt to his Will reads:

* *  *

Item: In consequence of long and faithful service of my negro man George and my negro Betty, it is my desire that they be emancipated, whenever the laws of this state will allow it and they have the tract of land I purchased of Benjamin Williamson for and during the term of their natural lives; to live upon and maintain their idiot daughter Amy and until they can be so emancipated it is my will that they shall live upon said land and maintain their said daughter and have all the profits of their labor, under the direction of my son Lewis and moreover that they be furnished with one year provision out of my estate whenever they leave it in consequence of this article and the said negroes are not to be considered or appraised as part of my estate.

Item: The residue of my estate both real and personal, after executing the above bequests together with the part left my wife, after her decease and that left to  my negroes George and Betty, after their decease, I give and bequeath in equal shares to my children . . . .

So, according to his Will, Barnabus made sure that certain of his faithful slaves were to be provided land and sustenance for the remainder of their lives. Barnabus’ then controversial actions drew both anger and affirmations among his neighbors. Willis would have been witness to this and would have shared these ideals with his own children. Eventually they could not escape involvement of the national debate over State’s rights and slavery.

http://www.mikelynaugh.com/VirtualCivilWar/

Lincoln’s First Inauguration

One of the primary reasons the southern states were considering cessation was over the issue of slavery. Slavery was prominent in the south but was becoming increasingly banned by the northern states. When Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860, he had run his campaign on a message of anti-slavery. After his election, the South felt it was just a matter of time before slavery was completely outlawed which led to cessation. Click here for some further discussion of events leading up to the Civil War.

In 1859 the abolitionist, John Brown, unsuccessfully attacked the Federal Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, where he was captured. Brown’s trial ended with a conviction and a sentence of hanging for treason. Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tensions that, a year later, led to secession and the American Civil War.

President Lincoln Issues a Call to Arms

It couldn’t have been easy for Millie to send three of her four boys to serve for the Union in the Civil War. Their oldest son, James P. ARTHUR (1823-1897), was pushing 40 years and already had five children and another one on the way. There is some evidence that James served as a Pastor of the Solida Creek Missionary Baptist Church but confirmation of this is now impossible as all of the records of the church were destroyed in a fire in 1972. But the timing and location indicate it as a strong possibility. That may be another reason why he chose to stay home.

His three younger brothers heeded the call and left families and loved ones behind to fight for the cause.

CALEB ARTHUR

Caleb ARTHUR (1829-1903). At the time of the 1860 Census, Caleb was married to Sarah HICKS (1830-1875) and they were living in Lawrence County, Ohio with their three young children, Willis, Joseph and Urania. A fourth child, Lynn, would be born in 1861, the same year Caleb was mustered into service 8 November1861). Caleb served in the Civil War with Company G, 2nd West Virginia Calvary. His rank in was Corporal and rank out was Quartermaster Sgt. (29 November 1864).WV2dCalvary

To All Whom It May Concern:

Know Ye that Caleb Arthur a Quartermaster Sergeant of Captain Joseph Ankrom’s Company G, 2nd Regiment of WV Calvary Volunteers who was enrolled on the twenty-eighth day of August, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty One, to serve three years or during the war, is hereby discharged from the service of the United States, this twenty-ninth day of November 1864 at Wheeling, WV by reason of expiration of term of service. (No objection to his being re-enlisted is known to exist.)

Said Caleb Arthur was born in Wayne County in the State of Tennessee, is 31 years of age, 5 feet 11 1/2″ high.  Rudd Complexion, Blue Eyes, dark hair and by occupation when enrolled, a laborer.

By the 1870 Census, Caleb and Sarah were living in Fayette, Lawrence County, Ohio with their now five children, Willis, Joseph, Lynn, Urania and Jesse. Caleb is now a lawyer and has also been serving as a Justice of the Peace.

MEREDITH “MED” ARTHUR

Meredith “Med” ARTHUR (abt 1835-1900) was married to Roxey BALLARD (1841-1926) and they were living in Fayette, Lawrence County, Ohio on the 1860 Census. At that time they had one son, William H. Arthur. He was a farmer by trade.188th ohio vol inf

Meredith served in the Civil War with Company A, 188th Ohio Voluntary Infantry. He was 32 when he joined on Feb. 15, 1865 to serve 1 year. He was promoted from 1st Sgt.  to 2nd Lieutenant on July 10, 1865.  He mustered out with Company A at Nashville, Tennessee on September 21, 1865.

By the 1870 Census, Meredith and Roxey were living in Lemoine, McDonough, Illinois with their son William, now age 11. Meredith is back to farming with the help of his son.

WILLIAM HARVEY ARTHUR

William Harvey ARTHUR (1838-1895). William was still single when he decided to join the Union soldiers. He enlisted in November 1861 in the Ohio 6th Cavalry and served through Gettysburg in July 1863. In December of 1863 he was discharged at Warrenton, Virginia. He then enlisted as a volunteer in the 14th KY Infantry. He served until January 1865. The 14th KY Infantry saw service from 1862 through Sherman’s March to the Sea and garrison duty recalled home by the Kentucky Governor. It was mustered out January 31, 1865.

There were several times during his service that he was absent from duty due to illness. Twice he was hospitalized and once recuperated at home. The same year he returned from the

Meredith Arthur/Roxey Ballard Marriage Record
Meredith Arthur/Roxey Ballard Marriage Record

War, he married Margaret Elizabeth Hanna FULLERTON on September 3, 1865 in Lawrence County, Ohio. The wedding took place in her parents’ home and was officiated by William’s older brother, Caleb, a Justice of the Peace. William was listed as a laborer on the 1870 Census of Lawrence County, Ohio.

The photograph below is from the Reunion of the 14th and 22nd Kentucky Regiments held September 23 and 24, 1884 in Ashland, Kentucky. For whatever reason, William is not listed as one of the attendees.

14th KY Infantry Reunion-Ashland, KY

14th KY Infantry Reunion-Ashland, KY

Conclusion

This family was so lucky. All of Millie’s sons returned home safely from War. Although I don’t have copies of their records, I have not found any reports of injuries other than William’s recorded sickness and hospitalizations. They were all able to come home and resume their lives.

I know there are other men from my different family lines who also served in the Civil War. As I progress with my research, I hope to determine that they were all fighting on the same side and not family against family as in many instances.

The Civil War remains the deadliest war in American history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 750,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilian casualties. Historians estimate the death toll at ten percent of all Northern males 20–45 years old, and 30 percent of all Southern white males aged 18–40.

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My Very First Blog Award!

Nominated April 26, 2013 by SwittersB & Fly Fishing

Nominated April 26, 2013 by SwittersB & Fly Fishing

I was completely taken by surprise and honored when I learned that Gary at SwittersB & Fly Fishing nominated my efforts for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you, Gary! Please take a moment and visit  his fabulous blog. The Rules of the Award are:

1.  Obviously, thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog

2.  Nominate 15 blogs/bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award, link to their page and leave a comment that they have been nominated

3.  Share 7 things about yourself

So, without further ado, I nominate the following 15 blogs in random order for your viewing entertainment and enjoyment. This is in no way a full and complete list of the blogs I enjoy!

The World’s Top 10 of Anything and Everything

Genealogy Lady

RumpyDog

A Hundred Years Ago

Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY

Rosemarie in Europe 2013

sethsnap

Robyn Graham Photography

PACIFICPARATROOPER

Brandy Heineman

retirediary

rachelmankowitz

andrei plimbarici

The Armchair Genealogist

Dear Myrtle

And lastly, 7 things about me!

1.  I’ve been retired for just about one year and I’m still trying to figure it out

2.  I currently have 2 dogs and 5 cats, all rescues (I don’t claim the neighborhood strays that eat here!)

3.  I love my God, my family, and my country and would defend them all to the death

4.  I have become obsessed with tracing my ancestors

5.  I love the beach and I love the mountains (I am a closet snowbird!)

6.  I love music, dancing and laughter. If I had to choose between, I’d choose laughter

7.  I love to write. If it’s fiction, I have trouble getting it from my head to the page

Thank You!

MARY HARTLINE

Hartline 001

DOES anyone else remember Mary Hartline from the 1950’s television show Super Circus? Well, I do. Except that when I was a kid, I always thought it was called The Mary Hartline Show! If you want more information about her and/or her show, just Google “Mary Hartline”. I liked everything about her – her beautiful long blonde hair, her costume, her boots, and her baton. As a child, I was the proud owner of a Mary Hartline doll, a Mary HartlineDoll dress and her paper dolls. I do still have my doll.

In the early 1950’s, I modeled children’s clothing for a number of the major department stores in Columbus (Lazarus, The Union, etc.). It was loads of fun. In 1952, Mary Hartline came to town to introduce her new line of girls’ clothing. I was lucky enough to be a part of it. Now if I could just actually remember the whole thing! If it wasn’t for having the pictures, it would have been a missing memory.

Hartline paper

Hartline paper2

Well, if Mary Hartline had any influence on me it would have to be the following:

1.  White majorette boots with tassels (came later in my junior and senior years!);

2.  Baton (ditto!);

3.  Long, wavy blonde hair; and

4.  Loving elephants!

OPERATION PLUTO (Pipe-Lines Under the Ocean) 1944

Sometimes when I take too long to put together a blog post, I get sidetracked. That’s just what happened. I was looking up things completely unrelated to this particular post but, when I saw this video, I just had to share. World War II is such a dynamic part of our history. I’m not naïve enough to think that very many young people today are interested in, understand, or really know much about this devastating war. But everyone should know what was done and what was sacrificed so that people could remain free.

Some of you may already know about this but for those of you who don’t (like me) take a look at this video and be amazed.

I guess it is true what they say — necessity is the mother of invention!

A PROCLAMATION

civilwar-flags

In searching old newspaper articles for possible references to my Kentucky ancestors who served in the Civil War, I ran across this interesting insert on the first page of the Sandy Valley Advocate. Click here to see the digital image.

THE SANDY VALLEY ADVOCATE

Catlettsburg, Boyd County, KY
Wednesday, August 28, 1861

A PROCLAMATION

By the President of the United States of America

Whereas, a Joint Committee of both Houses of Congress have waited on the President of the United States and requested him to recommend a day of Public Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting, to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnities and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States. His blessings upon their arms, and a speedy restoration to peace:

And whereas, It is fit and becoming in all people at all times to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God, to bow in humble submission to His chastisements, to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray with all fervency and contrition for the pardon of their past offences, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action:

And whereas, When our beloved country, once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him, and to pray for His mercy—to pray that we may be spared further punishment, though justly deserved; that our army may be blessed and made effectual for the re-establishment of law, order, and peace throughout our country, and that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned, under His guidance and blessings by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its original excellence. Therefore, I ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting for all the people of the Nation, and I do earnestly recommend to all the people, and especially to all Ministers and teachers of religions of all denominations, and to all heads of families—to observe and keep that day according to their several creeds and modes of worship in all humility, and with all religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayer of the Nation may ascend to the Throne of Grace, and bring down plentiful blessings upon our own country.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the great seal of the United States to be affixed, this 12th day of August, A.D. 1861, and of the Independence of the United States of America, eighty sixth.

By the President:        ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State

Abraham Lincoln

Source: Part of
The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
Repository
Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division