Civil War

Georgia Confederate Pensions: Follow-up

After returning home to Upson County, Georgia, after 17 years in Texas, George Preston (“Pres”)  Birdsong applied for, and was denied, a pension for his four years of service in the Confederate Army.  His brother, Albert Hamill Birdsong, who had gone to Texas with Pres in 1884, returned to Upson County in 1903.  Albert had served two years in the …Continue reading →


Georgia Confederate Pensions on Ancestry Put to Use

George Preston Birdsong (1841-1905), known as “Pres” to family and friends, is my presumptive great-great-grandfather.  He was the scion of a prominent Upson County, Georgia, family.  Pres’s father, George Lawrence Forsyth Birdsong (“Larry”), was a sportsman and land owner.  Larry also served for a time as Upson County Sheriff. When the Civil War began, Pres enlisted in  Company K, 5th …Continue reading →

OFF Adds Lincoln & Civil War Docs

This announcement on the 24/7 Family History Circle blog today: PROVO, UTAH – Feb. 12, 2009 –, the world’s largest online resource for family history, announced today it will commemorate the 200th birthday of one of the nation’s greatest Presidents – Abraham Lincoln – with the addition of five new databases to its Civil War Collection. This historically significant …Continue reading →


Two Heroes: Wilson and Shadrach of Andrews’ Raiders

Note: This is the last in a series of four posts about heroic soldiers who were denied or overlooked for the Medal of Honor at the time of their extraordinary acts. Less than ten days ago, Congress authorized the award of the Medal to five of these men. One of the most daring events of the Civil War took place …Continue reading →


Revealing Heroes

Like most people, I spent some time at the end of last week perusing recently passed congressional legislation. (What? You don’t?!) Anyway, one piece of legislation that came to my attention last week was HR 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. (For those of you who really are paying attention, HR 1583 was vetoed by the …Continue reading →


More Minnesota News: Soldier Identified After 144 Years? Maybe . . . .

I like stories of this sort. Nearly a century and a half after the Battle of Gettysburg, the body of a Minnesota soldier killed there may have been discovered in a Confederate cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina. The body may have been mis-identified in 1863. The man buried as Private John O. Dobson of the 2d North Carolina Infantry apparently …Continue reading →


Page 161

So I’ve been tagged by Chery at Nordic Blue for the “161” meme. In this meme, one dislcoses the contents of the sixth sentence on page 161 of one’s current read. I’ve read a lot lately, but when the tag came in, I was in the midst of Dudley Taylor Cornish‘s The Sable Arm, which tells the story of black …Continue reading →


Rise Above the Noise and Confusion . . .The Civil War Starts in the Heartland

Our Story So Far: In 1820, the United States Congress decided to link what had been several separate measures to admit Missouri (a slave state) and Maine (a free state) to the Union and to prohibit slavery in the territories north and west of Missouri. This legislative package was known as the Missouri Compromise. The idea was to maintain a …Continue reading →


Access to Rare Photos Wanted: 18th, 62nd & 65th U.S. Colored Troops

Among the stories I’m seeking to tell is that of Zeke Johnson (1847-1933), my great-great-grandfather. Grandpa Zeke “left” his master, one Wilhite, in Clay County, Missouri, in 1864 and enlisted in the 18th Regiment, U.S. Colored Infantry. He served until 1866. I’m looking for access of any sort (loan, copy, purchase, or view) of the 18th Regiment. I don’t know …Continue reading →


Today is "Zeke Johnson" Day

A week from this Thursday, which would be June 14, 2007, is the 160th anniversary of the birth of my great-great-grandfather, Ezekiel Johnson. I’ve written about him before (here, here, and here). For awhile, he was one of my very difficult brickwalls. And then one day, a sudden breakthrough gave me some special insight into his origins and at the …Continue reading →

August 2015
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