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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.