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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Brothers in arms...Some Butlers in the Civil War

My gggrand father William H. Butler left Georgia and headed for the first conflicts of the Civil War, but was home again with a fatal case of Typhoid Fever. His younger brothers would soon follow.

In 1860 Nathan D. Butler b 1834, lived a few doors down from his brother-in-law William Fergurson. Both listed their occupation as Potter.  Married to Sarah Fergurson, November 16, 1854 and living in Jackson County, Nathan would leave his new family and join thousands of other men in the great conflict.
July 1, 1861 The Georgia 16th Company B was formed. Nathan joined July 17th and was in Richmond in September.
By April 16, 1862 he was in a Hospital in Greenboro N.C. with pneumonia. He died there and was buried along with many others who sucummed to disease and wounds.
He left one daughter Celia Josephine Butler b 1860. In 1891 Sarah Elizabeth Butler applied and received a widows pension of $100.00 per/year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Captain Matthew Talbot Nunnally..Company H, Walton Co. Volunteers

Captain Matthew T. Nunally was the Commanding Officer of the Walton Co Volunteers. He entered the U. S. Military Academy in 1859 and resigned effective 2/2/1861. At the age of 24 he was 10 years younger than William Butler. He took a commission in the Confederate Army on 7/3/1861. He was killed at Gettysburg, Pa. 7/2/1863. Here is a picture of Matthew and his brother, Josiah who was 1st Sergeant, along with Lt. Henry McDaniel,  led the Walton Co Volunteers and  my gggrandfather William H. Butler to war.
After reaching Va., the company waited at Manassas Junction for orders.
July 18,1861 " I think I have heard 9/10 of our Company coughing violently in a single night. This morning at reveille , I saw scarcely a man who was not more or less sick. Several have gone to the hospital. Many more will be sent tomorrow unless they get better." Lt Henry McDaniel
August 10th, William received his discharge papers. Here is a copy. The original is treasured by one of his ggranddaughters, Mrs. Edith Moon. Across the document it says "Transportation Furnished".

After his death at home, Mary received a widows pension. She was pregnant with their 4th child. Here she is at a family reunion in 1915. She lived to be 92 years old.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Civil War Grandparents..William(Will) H. & Mary(Polly) M. Whitley Butler

Henry McDaniel

June, 1861 Monroe Ga. The crowd was silent as Lt. Henry McDaniel accepted the hand made flag from Hester Felker on the courthouse steps. The 11th Georgia Walton Co. Volunteers stood at attention and swelled with pride as the folded banner was unfurled. Later in July 1861, it was carried with the group of farmer soldiers to the row of wagons waiting to take the group to Atlanta to catch the train that would carry them to war.
Riding the train to Virginia, the Walton Home Guard arrived at the battlefield too late. Their train had been delayed and the First Battle of Bull Run was already over as they stepped of the train and stood in the rain without tents or blankets. They had eaten all the food packed by their wives and sweethearts on the trip and found the Fair Grounds in Richmond to be crowded with thousands of men that made up the Confederate army.
Bull Run

Barracks at Manassas Va.

House at Bull Run
Soon the July heat and rain would make their beds a muddy bog. Thousands of men trying to live out in the open would cause the drinking water to"look like lye". Those who could tried not to drink too much. Others soon started to get sick. Diseases spread rapidly through the camp and the families of Richmond opened their homes to the sick. Makeshift hospitals were opened in churches and hotels to take in the hundreds who came down with measles, typhoid, pneumonia, and dysentery.
William H. Butler was sent to Richmond to one of the "hospitals" and was soon found to be disabled with the dreaded Typhoid fever. Caused by the Salmonella germ Typhoid can lay dormant and after feeling a little better for awhile come back with a vengeance. Having a fever and dysentery with weakness and unable to eat, 20% of those who contracted this disease died eventually from complications. On August 10th, Will was discharged disabled. His discharge papers were signed by  Brig. General J.H.Winder. Winder would later be put in charge of prisons and would have been tried for the conditions at Andersonville Ga., if he had not died from a heart attack before the war was over.
William died at home a few weeks after he made it back from Virginia. He would be one of many of Zachariah Butler's grandsons who would die in the Civil War.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Son Of Zachariah Butler...

Joel Butler was born in 1764 in Hanover Co Va. He like James, Patrick and Nathan joined Zachariah and Mary Butler in settling in Wilkes then Elbert Co Ga.
There may be other sons that either stayed in Va. or did not travel all the way to Ga., but stopped along the way to live in states along the route.
Joel Butler married Leticia Haley b1765 and in 1830 and 1840 they are living in Madison Co. Ga.Some of their children are Clemontyne b 1792 mWilliam Dudley, Haley b1793 mNancy Ward, Frederick b1800, Nancy b1804, Lucinda b1808, Patrick R. b1813, Piety b1814.
The Dudleys made it all the way to Texas.
I have found that many of the families who came from Va. are related by marriage. Many married second cousins and 2 brothers would marry 2 sisters making their children double first cousins. William Hansford married Sarah Fannin and Patrick Butler married her sister Elizabeth..then later Jane and Elizabeth Hansard daughters of William and Sarah married cousins Patrick Butler b1799 and James B. Butler b1799. Two Snellings siblings married 2 Butler siblings. As I researched , this happened over and over. Many belonged to the same churches and lived close to each other. Later the men folk would serve together in the Civil War and die on the battlefields or in the hospitals together.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Final Resting Place.......

Nestled in a group of trees a few miles below Elberton Ga is the location of what is believed to be the final resting place of our colonial grandfather Zachariah Butler. Located on what was the Dye family homeplace in Fortsonia Ga a small marker bears his name. If you get on Dr. George Ward Road the small cemetery is off the road a ways in a clearing. Patrick Butler b1760 is there also.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nathan(iel) Butler B 1769

Nathan Butler b1769 was a veteran of the Indian Wars. He came to Elbert Co Ga with Zachariah and the rest of the family. Nathan and his wife Mary Ann sold some land in Elbert Co in 1805. They are in Elbert Co in the 1820 Census. In 1830 they are in Walton Co Ga. With the Land Lottery they moved to Paulding Co Ga along with son Daniel Butler b 1794 and his wife Martha Naish Butler. After all my research I have some circumstantial evidence that my gggrand father Patrick Butler b 1799 is also a son of Nathan and Mary Ann.
Patrick and Jane Butler Named their 2nd son Nathan. Since their first son was William ( Jane's father's name) its possible that Nathan was named after Patrick's father.
Also in the 1820 census their is a son listed in Nathan's household that is in the right age range for Patrick.
Patrick married Jane Hansard sister of Elizabeth Hansard who married James B. Butler , son of James M. Butler.
The Creek Indians and our colonial grandfathers were in conflict. What had started as a peaceful but shaky coexistence erupted into war. What disease and deceptive treaties did not finish, the fighting did. Land was divided and the Lotteries held with veterans, widows and orphans of veterans receiving tracts that they settled on or sold. The land in Elbert Co Ga was just the beginning of the great migration of colonists after the Revolution. The Butler's and many others continued on their journey West from Georgia and Alabama, all the way to Texas and eventually to California and the Pacific.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rev. Peter Patrick Butler 1807-1870

After Thomas Maxwell was imprisoned, Patrick Henry came to his defense. Tradition says that he converted a jailer and his whole family. His prominent nose was partially scared from pressing against the bars as he preached. Rev. Maxwell founded Falling Creek Baptist Church in 1788.
Located three miles South of Elberton Ga. It was the spiritual home of many Virginia settlers including members of the Butler family. Other members there were the Dye, Fannin, and Bell families.
All were related by blood or marriage to Butlers in Elbert Co. James Butler, Zachs oldest son was a member and in 1829 Peter Patrick Butler grandson of Patrick Butler, joined the fellowship. He later became a deacon and in 1832 he was licensed to preach. Falling Creek authorized his ordination March 6,1833. While leading churches in Oglethorpe Co. Ga. , he baptised 345 people.
Farming to provide for his family, he did not take full payment for his preaching. He was married twice. Millie Bell was his first wife. They had several children including Joseph B. Butler a minister who lived in Tennessee, Harriet, Louisa Martha, Sylareus, Sally, Elizabeth, and Letichia. Later he married Rebecca Glenn. In Jackson Co. where some of his Butler cousins lived he married Nathan Butler and Nancy Adams Oct 7, 1835.
After serving for over 39 years he died at his home in Oglethorpe Co. Ga. April 30, 1870 at 63.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Patrick Butler..Perhaps you are one of his.

There are many Patricks in the Butler lineage. Zachariah named one of his older sons this name. Patrick Butler was born March 1,1760 in Hanover Co Va. Perhaps he was named for the lawyer Patrick Henry. Henry was an avid hunter and in his youth spent much of his time in the woods. His father set him up as the bartender in the local tavern and many men in Hanover Co met there to discuss politics and business. After finding his calling in the law and defending cases such as the Parsons Cause, his oratory inspired many against English rule. You will probably will find a Patrick or two in your line if you are descended from Zachariah. Patrick Butler served more than one enlistment in the Revolution. The first was referred to in the pension application of Edward Clark from Elbert Co Ga. Patrick and his brother James declared that they were acquainted with Edward Clark while in the company of Captain Robert Ballard and the regiment of Col. Stephens. Edwards said he served beginning Nov. 12, 1777-1778. In the History of Elbert Co it states that Patrick resided in Mecklenburg Co Va and enlisted in service as a substitute for William Allgood, in Capt. James Anderson's Co. Col. Nelson's regiment, stationed at Portsmouth 3 months.
He served 15 months under Captain Brown in 1781. He then served under General Gates at the Battle of Camden. After fighting with General Nathaniel Greene in the Battle of Guilford Court House, he was captured twice by Tories as he made his way back home. After the war he remained in Va two years and then moved to Wilkes Co Ga to settle on land he received for his service. He married Elizabeth Rebecca Fannin in 1780. Zachariah and most of his sons and family all moved to land in Georgia and their gggrandchildren are spread all over the Southern States and beyond. Perhaps you are one of them......

Monday, September 27, 2010

Zachariah Butler & Sons..

In Sept 1780, at the age of 44, Zachariah Butler and his son James ,age 22, are listed on the "size roll" of the VA Continental Line. Drafted together, they both gave their occupation as "Planter"

With dark hair and blue eyes and 5'4" and 5'7" , we have a physical description of our colonial grandfathers. James Butler was born in St Pauls Parish,Hanover Co Va June 5, 1758. According to records he had been drafted in 1778 for two months, serving in Capt James Anderson's Co., Col. John Burton's Regiment. Then drafted with his father in 1780 for 18 months in Capt Richard Swepson's Co, and Capt Scott of Col Daris's Reg. He was reported to be in the engagement at Wood's Point on the James River. Before 1782 he married Sarah "Sally" Christopher. They had several children.Some lists include: Zachariah b1782,Christopher b1786,Sarah b1787, Martha b1791, Nancy b 1796, James b1800. Most were born in Elbert Co Ga where James moved after the war on land he received for his military service. Later he married Candice Dicey and they had several children also. Some sources say he was the father of at least 21 children. James lived in Elbert Co Ga for 46 years. By an Act of Congress, Revolutionary War Veterans were awarded a pension. In Feb. 1833 he applied for this pension and got an allowance of $73.33. James was a member of Bethel E Baptist Church and later Falling Creek Baptist Church on Old Post Road in Elberton Ga.

In 1836 along with neighbors and relatives James moved to Shelby Co Al. They went by wagon train led by Jordan Jones, a long time friend and neighbor. When changing the address for his pension James stated that since he had 10 children living in Al , he was moving there to spend what time he had left with them. He died Sept 11,1841 and was buried in the Jones-Bailey Cemetery on land that belonged to his friend Jordan Jones. A collection of stones in a built up rectangle with sloping sides and flattened top was placed over his grave site. Such mounds of stone were also used back in Ga. to mark other Butler graves. On Oct 16,1983 a new marker was dedicated by the DAR. Descendants of James were there, including Gary and Brandon Butler of Tenn. James Butler, son of an American patriot and a patriot himself was honored that day.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Our Story Is The Story Of America....

Our story is one of the many family stories of America. Aren't we still adventurers and explorers, risk takers and seekers? As our lives and individual stories continue to unfold, we play a small part in the history of this nation and the world just as our forefathers did. This story, our story is written every day by each of us as we live our lives, raise our children, solve our difficulties and pursue our version of the American Dream.
A dream is just a dream until a person takes some action to bring it to life. Part of that dream was religious freedom and freedom of expression of that faith and belief. Our Butler family expressed this freedom by going to worship, speaking about faith freely and allowing all others to do the same.

Part of that expression was the singing of hymns in the Sacred Harp style. Shape note singing was a part of the worship experience. It was music that ordinary folks could learn and share to show their reverence for God.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

History Came Alive....

History came alive for me when I found that our ggggrandfather Zachariah Butler was in Hanover Co Va at the same time as Patrick Henry one of the founding fathers. They were the same age and were both born in Hanover county. Thomas Partridge's general store served the people of Hanover and there they could buy goods that they could not produce themselves. In 1756 the store ledger records that Christopher Butler paid the account of his son Zachariah. A couple of pages later the ledger records that Patrick Henry purchased some nails, some ginger, a harness and several other items. The call to arms by Patrick Henry and his opposition to the Stamp Act thrust our ggggrandfather into the revolution and changed the future of his life. At the very least Zachariah probably passed Patrick Henry on the road. We can speculate that he heard him speak and certainly knew the war was coming. In Hanover Courthouse , Patrick Henry stirred the people to revolt against England and the Stamp Act. Ordinary citizens like Zachariah Butler and his sons James and Patrick took up arms and started the great American Experiment....