"Damn Yankee?" by Joel R. Stegall


Manage episode 305033993 series 2647250
By Randell Jones. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

When I researched my family’s history, I confirmed that all my grandparents were born during or soon after the Civil War. The documents I found supported stories I had heard from my parents.

When I was a child, Mother and Daddy told me that when the young men who became their grandfathers volunteered in 1861 for the Confederate army, their families assumed that whipping the Yankees would be easy. After all, they reasoned, farm boys in the South were toughened to hard work and outdoor life while the city boys in the North were soft. Southern parents believed their sons would be home in time for the fall harvest.

From family stories and corroborating historical documents, I know a bit about what happened during the Civil War to three of my great-grandfathers. One of Mothers’ grandfathers died in June 1864 of wounds suffered in combat near Petersburg, VA. I still have an original note he wrote home two months earlier complaining that the men of the village who had “feigned illness” to avoid the draft were not doing their part to look after the women and children left behind by those who agreed to serve. Another of Mother’s grandfathers spent most of the war at Fort Fisher, near the North Carolina town of Wilmington. When Fort Fisher fell in January 1865, he became a POW at Point Lookout, MD. Daddy’s paternal grandfather, drafted in the summer of 1864 at age 48, was assigned guard duty at the infamous Salisbury (NC) Prison. He was one of the fatalities in November 1864 when harshly treated prisoners rioted. However, I recall no family lore, and have found no records, of Daddy’s other grandfather.

“Damn Yankee?” describes my search for who my fourth great-grandfather may have been.

238 episodes