When I was a student at Sedge-Garden High School we played in the finals of the state basketball championship. The game ended in a tie. In the overtime period I received the ball under the basket with only a little time remaining. The score was tied. I looked up and knew that we had played a hard game. The end was in sight. I just needed to make that little extra effort and the championship was ours. I shot the basket. Would I make it or not?
The same question is before our organization right now. We have come a long way toward restoring John Jacob's cabin. The goal is in sight. Now if we all put a portion of our resources into the accomplishment of this goal it can happen.
During the next few months we will all receive more appeals for funds than we can meet. All of us will have to make choices. In considering the choices which come before us, we should know that the restoration of John Jacob's cabin also needs our support. It is the last effort to accomplish this goal. There are few opportunities we have to preserve the past for those who will follow after us.
Let us not fail to make this goal, but rather to win the game. Make your contribution to Muttenz Descendants, Inc. and send it to our Treasurer:
We are in the early stages of planning our Family Reunion trip to Muttenz. in the year 2000. To save on costs, we will create a special mailing list for the detailed information regarding the Reunion trip -- therefore:
IF YOU WANT FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE REUNION 2000 PLANS YOU MUST RESPOND TO THIS REQUEST NOW!!
To respond, send the information requested on the extra page at the end of this newsletter. Send your information:
-----via mail to:
-----or via E-mail to:
Charles Clifton Spainhower was born February 13, 1999 to Todd Steven and Margaret McDuff Spainhower of West St. Paul, MN. Charles Clifton has two older sisters Emily Mariah and Sarah Elizabeth Spainhower.
Verna Spainhour Brewer of Barbousville, West Virginia, writes of the visit she and hubby Walter made to Zimbabwe in May. The Brewer's son, Brent, wife Johdra, and their three children live and serve as missionaries in Zimbabwe. Brent teaches at Zimbabwe Christian College. The visit was both a family get-together and an opportunity for Walter -- also a minister -- and Brent to preach at a number of locations in the area. Verna writes that leaving was sad, but they had wonderful memories to bring back home.
Donald Ray Spainhower passed away on March 3rd at his home in Hayward, Wisconsin. He was born April 11, 1930 in Minneapolis, MN to Clifton and Luella Spainhower. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, served in the Army Signal Corp. during the Korean War and was a co-owner, with his father, of Ajax Transfer Company. After his retirement, he volunteered for numerous charities and became an accomplished stained glass artist. He is survived by his wife of 47 years. Joanne May Moberg Spainhower and their 5 children and their spouses: Laurie Lee Spainhower Anderson (Ronald), Scott Donald Spainhower (Carol Dischinger), Leanne Rae Spainhower Maczko (John); Todd Steven Spainhower (Margaret McDuff); six grandsons and 7 granddaughters.
Virginia P. Atkins writes of the death of her mother, Margaret Spainhour Patton of High Point, and formerly of Morganton, NC. Mrs. Patton passed away April 17, at the age of 90. She was born on February 2, 1909 in Lenoir, NC, to Hattie Macon Wills and Ralph Harrington Spainhour. She was educated in Burke County Schools, Asheville Normal School and later Lenoir-Rhyne College. She taught for 28 years in the Burke County School System. After her retirement, she was very active in the community and traveled extensively over the US and in Europe. She was married in 1934 to R. L. Patton, Jr., Superintendent of Burke County Schools -- a widower with eight children aged 2-19. Mrs. Patton is described as "a strong, determined woman and great advocate of education". Surviving in addition to her daughter Virginia Patton Atkins and her husband, D.L of Colfax, NC, are grandsons Stephen Wagner of Berkley, CA, and David Eric Wagner and wife Colleen of Columbia, SC; stepdaughters Martha Patton Waters and Betty Patton Hyland of Morganton, NC; Billie Patton Harvey and Margaret Patton Messina of Dallas, TX; and stepson R. L. Patton, III, of Morganton. Also surviving are three sisters and one brother: Frances S. Hardee of Winston-Salem, Ruby S. Mills of Concord, NC, Mary S. Lambert of St. Paul, MN, and David Spainhour of Kingsport, TN.
Mr. Calvin Roberson Spainhour, 78, of 4016 Granby Street, Winston-Salem died Saturday afternoon, June 5, at the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home. Mr. Spainhour was born in Forsyth County on December 27, 1920, the son of Leroy James and Glennie Bell Roberson Spainhour. He served with the 3rd Marine Division during WWII, was a member of the Baptist Church, and was for many years a self-employed welder. Mr. Spainhour was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma Cotrell Spainhour. Surviving are one daughter, Rena Lou Spainhour of the home; two sons, Ronald B. Spainhour and wife Kathy, of Advance, NC and Neil Spainhour and wife, Janice of Winston-Salem; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; one sister, Pauline Smith of Kernersville; and one brother, Wendel R. Spainhour of Winston-Salem.
It is with special sadness that I write of the passing of Walter Winfred"Winkie" Thomas of King, NC. He died on July 9 after a 3 month battle with cancer. He was born on May 14, 1930 to Pearl Wilson and Walter A. Thomas in Stokes County, NC. He retired from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Northwest Farmers Mutual Insurance Company and spent much of his life farming and raising cows on his farm in Stokes County. He leaves his wife of 49 years, Willie Frances Spainhour Thomas and their daughter, Mitzi Yvonne Thomas of the home; one sister, Julia Nance and husband James of Pfafftown, NC; one brother, Jason Thomas and wife Betty of King, NC; and a number of nieces and nephews. The farm Mr. Thomas owned was originally owned by Johann Jacob Spaenhauer. It was through the generosity of "Winkie", his wife and daughter, that MDI obtained Johann Jacob's cabin, which has been moved and reassembled at Central Park in King.
We almost finished the roof the weekend of September 18, but we were too "chicken" to finish the last little bit because we didn't have a way off of the roof when we finished. Francis and David will try to arrange use of a bucket truck and finish it up yet later in September. It looks really good.
The final item in this first part of our project is to disassemble and move the tobacco barn which has been donated to us. These logs will be very valuable to use in construction of the separate kitchen at the cabin provided we can get enough support for that part of our project
We continue making additions to our family tree with most new contacts coming from visitors to our web site. Chester Rose added 15 families with 65 new individuals to our Strupe tree. In addition to Strupe, Chet also descends from Doub and Spainhour with connections to Conrad & Grabs. Thank you Chet --- and Kathy Spainhower added new members to one family and added 7 new families with 34 new individuals. Thank you Kathy.
We also continue to document the sources of the information in our family group records. We are developing our web site as a primary means for making these materials available to interested family members. Our web master, Stephen Spainhour reports below on that effort.
We will in the next few weeks reach a major turning point which will allow us to support many new researchers who wish to participate in our programs, and we are very excited by this development. Because space is limited in this issue, however, a much more detailed report will be provided in the next newsletter.
In the last newsletter we described the events that lead up to the creation of the MUTTENZ DESCENDANTS web site. In this article we will describe features that are currently available as well as a few thoughts for the future. If you have not yet had a chance to see the site, please visit! As was mentioned last time, if you have the old Geocities site bookmarked, please change your bookmark to reflect the URL shown above.
Elizabeth Harris is hard at work on the Genealogy Section, organizing and posting Descendancy lists and Family Group Sheets for the Spaenhauer surname, as well as others. This will be an involved task that will take a while, and lots of work to complete. From the descendancy lists that she is preparing, one will be able to easily see the lineage involved, as well as reference it to the appropriate Family Group Sheet. If you are not familiar with the Family Group Sheet, it is a page for each family, referenced to parents and offspring, as well as other pertinent facts. We hope to ultimately have Descendancy Lists and FGS's available at least through the first six generations of Spaenhauers, as well as other significantly interconnected family groups. To address privacy concerns, we do not intend to post information containing any forward or backward references to any living individuals. For those more interested in the 'nitty gritty' of genealogical research, this section will also contain a list of pertinent reference materials, as well as points needing further research. This is where the power of the web really shines! We have already received several communications from people who found the website, and have contributed invaluable information. We hope this trend will continue! We owe Elizabeth a debt of gratitude for her tireless efforts on behalf of MDI.
The History Section will contain a number of interesting items. Currently, Edith Spaenhauer's History of Muttenz is available. In the future we will also have documents concerning migrations, anecdotes, stories, facts, figures, etc. for individuals and groups. If you enjoy history and just reading, you will like this section. But give us some time to get it going!
For the researchers out there, you will find a bulletin board facility in both the Genealogy and History sections. Here you may post comments, read others' comments, and contribute to the knowledge pool. Thanks go out to Ron Spainhour for setting up this facility for us.
You have heard about the Johann Jacob Spaenhauer Cabin Relocation project. Now you can SEE IT! In the Cabin Section, you will find several photographs of cabin and grounds during various stages of work. Along with each photo is a brief explanation. Click on the small photo and you will get a large (640x480) image. What is posted now is but a smattering of the images that we hope to have soon. We also plan to add much more detailed explanations in the future. Charlie Spainhour, chairman of the cabin project, took most of these photos. James Spainhour, your Newsletter editor, also took some of them. Looking at these photos will give some idea as to the hard work that all of the volunteers on this project have contributed!
The Family News Section will contain current items of family interest. Here you will find notices of births, deaths, marriages, reunions, etc. If you have items of interest, you may send them to Anne Hood, who takes care of this material for the website. Her address is listed there. Because Anne handles this for the website and Christine Whicker handles the same information for the Newsletter, a primary goal for the near future is to ensure that a good link exists to coordinate the information received by either Christine or Anne. This will ensure maximum exposure for information received either by mail, phone or Internet.
Until now, our site has not been 'officially' indexed with numerous web search engines such as Yahoo and Lycos. The site has been picked up by a few of them, but now we intend to actively submit our site for indexing. Once this is done, anyone searching any of MDI's names of interest, as well as certain other keywords, will direct visitors to us. This we hope will also greatly increase our exposure.
You will see other headings on the Table of Contents page, but they are mostly undeveloped at this point. We hope to add to these sections steadily. Please visit the site frequently to check for changes. Above all, please feel free to contact us with any comments or suggestions to improve what we are doing. Our work is primarily a reflection of your input. Let us know what you want to see - it's YOUR site!
There are books upon books relating to the American Civil War and what caused it. Before the war, national policy was dominated by southern Democrats. The southern part of the country had a booming agricultural economy based primarily exporting of tobacco and cotton. The northern part of the country had an expanding industrial economy. Their viewpoints with respect to international trade controls were in direct conflict with each other, and the industrial expansion was of major importance to the settlers in the western states -- so the Republicans were gaining and the Democrats were losing their grip on political power. If the northern Republicans take over, they will ruin the southern economy using trade barriers to support their manufacturing enterprises.
This seems to be a reasonable explanation for why the southern states decided to secede from the union, but why were the northern states so strongly opposed to this? If the southern states were an independent nation, they could form international alliances which could seriously threaten the economy of its northern neighbor. It was economics and the rebalancing of political power that got the war started --- not slavery. Economics and politics can start a war, but a more compelling emotional cause is needed to inspire it's continuance.
During the initial years of the war, some argue, the northern armies did not fight with much inspiration. As a result, the southern armies won the initial battles. King Cotton, however, had created in the states along the Gulf of Mexico, especially Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina a radically different institution of slavery than that within Virginia and western North Carolina. There was a growing world public opinion which condemned the gross human abuses almost inherent to the giant cotton plantations. As the war moved into its later years this emotional cause became the major motivation for the northern armies so that their major industrial advantages were applied more effectively. The southern soldier was motivated from the start to the bitter end because he was defending his homeland against an invading enemy. These are the major factors those many books discuss in great detail.
Would any of these causes inspire you to walk headlong into a virtual flood of flying lead? Cousins fought cousins, even brothers fought brothers, and many army units fought to the last man! I have read several of those books on the war, but the fierce intensity of the conflict and the dedication of its participants still seems to defy modern-day reason. The more I read about the story of the American Frontier and this, its final chapter, I am more and more impressed with the insight in Margaret Mitchell's description of these years -- it was an era which now is "gone with the wind"!
On the Union side there were about 2,000,000 soldiers. Of these about 110,000 were killed in battle and another 225,000 died as a result of diseases (dysentery, typhus, malaria, pneumonia, smallpox, measles, and tuberculosis) or mishaps out of combat (murder, suicide, drowning, sunstroke, execution, etc.). Adding another 275,000 wounded brings the Union casualties to more than one in four. On the Confederate side, there were about 750,000 total soldiers, of whom 94,000 were killed in battle, another 162,000 died of disease and mishaps, and 194,000 wounded for a total of 450,000 casualties -- well over half!
What follows are three stories which I believe give unique "snapshots" into the Civil War period of the American experience. The first of these stories takes place early in the War, the second takes place late in the War, and the third covers the War period from beginning to end. These three stories are drawn from experiences of family members who were on the Southern or Confederate side of the conflict.
The following story is condensed from Randy Hooser's book: "Burned Into Memory" -- Chapter 4. This chapter of Randy's book also contains an interesting description of conflicts between the Methodist Church and some of its pastors in regard to the slavery issue. The pastors were required to choose between obeying church directives and obeying state law. There was no way to obey both! I recommend its reading to anyone interested in the subject.
Imagine yourself in western Kentucky (near the town of Guthrie, KY) in February of 1862. You are in the home of John Hill "Jack" Hooser and his wife, Martha G. Ring. Living in this home also at this time, is Jack's widowed mother, Mary Godwin Hauser. Jack's parents, David Hauser & Mary Godwin, were married in Bethania, NC.
David was a son of Jacob Hauser and Eleanore Margaretha Fiscus and one of his aunts was Maria Elizabeth Spoenhauer, daughter of Johann Heinrich Spoenhauer & Elizabeth Lum, who married Jacob's brother, George Peter Hauser. We can, then, clearly regard these folks as "family".
John Hill, or "Jack" Hooser was a successful farmer. His farm had grown to a little more than 1,000 acres. His large home was built on high ground allowing a fine view in all directions. Nearby was a vineyard, a garden, a large barn, an overseer's house, and quarters for a hundred slaves.
Jack knew that the Union & Confederate Armies were nearby and were preparing for a battle -- the battle which took place at Dover, Tennessee. He also knew that Union Army scouts were already in the area, looking for farmhouses for use by the general staff.
Jack and his family did not want to choose either side in this conflict, but particularly not the Union side. So they made preparations. Jack instructed all his slaves to leave and not come back --- they were free.
When he saw the house, General Shackelford decided it was perfect for his purposes and sent Major Wiley R. Senne to advise the owners that the General was coming and that the house was commandeered. By the time the General arrived, Jack had moved his family into the overseer's house, and the slaves were gone.
The women members of the family were ordered to perform the cooking, cleaning, and other chores as needed for the new occupants of the house. The male members were ordered to tend to the livestock and to chores outside the house. Things were okay for the first two days.
A problem arose on the evening of the third day when one of the Union Officers demanded that someone play the piano for him. Martha was reluctant but finally admitted that her daughter, Martha Tennessee, could play a little bit. The officer ordered that Martha be brought forth. Jack escorted his daughter up to the main house and introduced her to the officer, who then demanded that she "play something for me". Martha whispered into her father's ear, whereupon he vigorously shook his head "NO" . Martha whispered again. Jack explained to the officer that his daugthter's piano knowledge was not suitable for his entertainment. The officer insisted again that she play. Jack again explained that Martha's piano knowledge was very limited, that she did not know a suitable song . The officer now drew his sword, ordered Jack to leave -- and directed Martha to play "whatever you know." With tears in her eyes, Martha sat down at the piano and started to play the only song she knew: "Dixie". The officer stopped her immediately and angrily asked her if she could play anything else. She shook her head "no", whereupon he ordered her to "be gone".
Some hours later, army sentries discovered a black woman with her small son in the family cemetery. The woman explained that her son was very sick and that she had come to ask Mrs. Polly (Jack's mother, Mary Godwin Hauser) for her help with the boy. They were taken to the main house where General Shackelford had gathered together his colonels for a conference. Jack Hooser was ordered to appear before them. "Do you know these people?", he was asked. Jack acknowledged that they were previously his slaves but that he had set them free five days ago. The conference then ordered that all the slaves should be located and brought before them. The soldiers were told to "Raze the fields if you have to", but find them, and "bring them here". Many of the slaves were found -- and the fields burned for hours. It was during the early hours of the morning when the slaves were assembled and told (again) that they were free and should go away. The problem was, they were hungry. The army provided neither food nor medical assistance for the sick child. Mary did what she could.
As the army was leaving, the home was set afire. It burned completely, and the Hooser family was left with only the clothes they were wearing. Mary, died in August of that year and Jack's family lost the land when they were unable to pay the state taxes. Jack's oldest son, John Nick Hooser, was 22 years old in 1862 . Guess which side he was fighting for in 1863!
The following story is condensed from Leo Jane Shore's book "The Frederick Shore Family". Leo Jane's story was based on an article written by James Henry Shore, which appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel on February 23, 1930.
Imagine yourself at a picnic lunch under some trees at the edge of the yard on a farm in western North Carolina. The farm is about halfway between Boonville and Yadkinville, and today is February 20, 1930. You are one of a group gathered here today to celebrate together the 83rd birthday of James Henry Shore. In the group are James Henry (his wife died some 16 years ago) and his three surviving children -- Dr. T.W. (Thaddeus Warsaw) Shore of Boonville, J.W. (John Wade) Shore, cashier at the Boonville Bank, and (Annie Pearl) Mrs. Egbert Davis of Winston Salem -- and their families.
James Henry Shore was the son of John Benjamin Shore & Eunice Reece. John Benjamin was a son of John Shore & Susanna Arney. Susanna was a daughter of Johann Heinrich Arney & Mary Magdalena Volck. Mary Magdalena was a sister to Anna Catherine Volck, who married Johann Jacob Spaenhauer. Okay, we may be distant cousins, but multiple marriage linkages still make us "family".
After the lunch, everyone sits quietly as James Henry tells us about his experience during the Civil War. "In June of 1864, I joined a company of 17-year-old boys from this area (I had turned 17 in February) under Captain Sid Conrad. Sid Conrad, by the way, is still living. His home is in Morganton, NC. There are only three of us from the company still alive: Sid Conrad, myself, and a Cornelius man (I forget his first name) who lives in Santiago, California."
"We were sent to Camp Vance, about five miles from Morganton where we were put in training but also used for guarding some Federal prisoners. While there, we were attacked by a group of about 500 Federal soldiers. We were caught completely by surprise and almost all of us were captured. During the attack Captain Contrad was hurt and fell to the ground. I left him laying there, but threw some bushes over him so the Federals wouldn't see him; so Sid wasn't captured."
"We were marched through the mountains with nothing to eat for three days, but on the third night we came across a herd of cattle. The Federals shot them, we cleaned and cooked them, and finally had something to eat. I put a chunk of meat in my knapsack to help me through the next day. The fourth night they killed some sheep and let us share in the mutton. We were on the march for eight days, in all kinds of weather, with no change of clothes. We had to wade several waist-deep streams and only a few of us still had skin on our feet when we finally reached a place called Strawberry Plains, (about half way on a line drawn on the map between Knoxville and Jefferson City, TN). Here we were put aboard a train and taken to Knoxville, and then put on another train and taken to Chicago. We were marched to Camp Douglas. There were about 20,000 soldiers stationed there. The camp covered 20 acres and was surrounded by a high wooden fence with a strand of wire at the top. At Camp Douglas we were given one ration a day. We could eat it all at once, or save some for later in the day if we wished."
"One day I met a fellow who had smallpox. I scratched myself on my arm with a needle and took some discharge from his sores and put it on the scratches, to vaccinate myself. Later when the disease broke out across the camp, I was lucky to have only a very light case. We had been in Camp Douglas about 12 months when General Lee surrendered at Appomattox and we were released. I weighed 80 pounds. "
"We were put into a cattle car in Chicago and taken to Baltimore. At the Soldiers Home in Baltimore, I had my first good meal since leaving home. From Baltimore we were to go by boat to City Point, VA (near Norfolk). After moving some distance South, the captain got drunk and dropped anchor on the boat. It was very hot, so many of us stripped off our clothes and swam around in the water for several hours until the captain sobered up. Finally we got to City Point and were piled into boxcars headed toward Greensboro. The train was so crowded that I could not get inside one of the cars, so I climbed up onto the roof of one of them. It rained that night, but I had to stay up there. We reached Greensboro the next day about 5 o'clock. We got off the train and started walking toward home.
With me in the group was Sam Speas, whose family lived in East Bend. Sam gave out and had to stop, so I stayed with him to rest as the group moved on ahead. We stopped the next day at every house to beg for food but were told that the group ahead of us had already eaten everything. We slept near Kernerxville that night and walked on to Winston the next day. I know Mr. Butler who ran the old Salem Inn, so we went there hoping for breakfast. I told Mr. Butler that we had no money but were very hungry. After eating the nice warm breakfast he made for us, we walked to the courthouse, where we hoped to find someone from Yadkin County who might give us a ride home. We found no one, so we again started walking. We got to my grandfather's farm near East Bend and spent the night. The next day, my uncle drove us home. No one had heard from me since I left, and everyone thought I was dead, so we had a big celebration."
The following is from a diary kept by Rufus A. Spainhour during his service in the Civil War. In 1919, Rufus loaned his diary to Finley Patterson Curtis, Jr. of Butler, Tennessee, who produced a typewritten copy of it together with the diary of his father, Finley Patterson Curtis, Sr. Rufus and F.P. Curtis, Sr. served in the First and Second North Carolina Regiments in the Virginia theater. Curtis Jr.'s transcription of Rufus' diary is "almost complete, with the exception of an occasional strictly personal reference here and there." What follows is almost all of what appears in Curtis Jr.'s typewritten transcript.
Before we get to that, however, let me first introduce Rufus and his family.
Rufus Adkins Spainhour was a great grandson of Wernhard Spänhauer & Elisabeth Lohner, a grandson of Peter Spoenhauer & Catherine Elizabeth Rider, and a son of Michael Spainhour & Letty Estes. Michael & Letty had ten children, eight of which were living when this diary starts; five boys and three girls.
June 19, 1861 -- Brother James (James Henry Spainhour, older brother to Rufus) received his appointment as Chaplain of the regiment, which is the first of the state (North Carolina) troops to be organized. On the 4th of July, we marched into Warrenton and fired a salute, and then received an excellent dinner from the citizens, after which we listened to many stirring speeches. While at Warrenton, J.B. Gordon was promoted to Major of the First North Carolina Regiment of Cavalry and H.A. Brown to Captain of our company.
July 27, 1861 -- We left Warrenton and landed in Petersburg late at night. The trip has been quite pleasant. Next morning we moved on to Richmond and pitched our tents in the fair-grounds. I spent a few days sight-seeing. In a few days we moved from the fair-grounds to Rockets, out on the east side of the city.
August 14, 1861 -- We have orders to move to Acquia Creek, on the Potomac. Next day we moved to Brooks Station, four miles above Acquia Creek. I learned how persons of honor are buried in the army. When the military procession reaches the grave, a salute is fired, and the ceremony is attended with music, all of which is very solemn. We are now under the command of Stokes as colonel and Holmes as Brigadier-General. Our company is now being drilled in the manual of heavy artillery.
October 11 to October 17, 1861 -- during this period brother James was very ill and suffered extensively, but "he bore it all with Christian meekness". James Henry died on October 17. Mr. Curtis omits the entries in Rufus' diary between October 11 and January 31, 1862, noting that these pages describe in some detail the sickness and suffering which James endured; how much Rufus was saddened to lose him; James' burial; Rufus' subsequent sickness; Rufus' rest at home on furlough; and the blessedness of friendship. Through other sources I am told that these pages also describe the packing of James Henry's body in charcoal to allow shipment back home for burial.
February to April, 1862 -- I started back to the regiment; landed at camp three days later and found the health of the company much better. February brought nothing new. We have been working on our cabins for winter quarters and gathering wood. March brought considerable excitement Troops from the evacuation of Ivinsport (Evansport, VA) are in our camps tonight. In the latter part of March we were ordered to Goldsboro, NC -- which was joyful news to us. We landed there on the 28th after a cold and unpleasant ride, but in a few days moved down near Wilmington. My brother John (John Cornelius Spainhour) and I.L. Hemphill (Israel LaFayette Hemphill, husband of Rufus' sister Martha Elizabeth) joined the company in April.
May 26, 1862 -- Today we were ordered back to Virginia. Stopped at Petersburg and camped, but we had not been there long when we were ordered back to North Carolina! We were just about to get on the train when that order was countermanded.
June 1, 1862 -- Before day the long roll told a doleful tale: we were summoned to an engagement. We moved to Richmond and then marched out on the Williamsburg Road, where the battle of Seven Pines had just been fought. The day was exceedingly hot and many of our boys came near fainting. We met many wounded, and I was particularly struck with the spectacle of a pile of arms and legs lying beside the road.
June 15, 1862 -- We have been doing picket and other duty since we came here. This morning we were ordered on picket duty, and at 12 o'clock were ordered to advance. We moved forward about two miles and met the Yankees. After skirmishing sometime with the enemy and being nearly surrounded by them, we fell back, having lost the rest of our command. We got lost in the swamp and did not get out until 9 o'clock that night. We lost some men taken prisoners today. June 26, 1862 -- For several days we have been doing picket and other duty. This morning before daylight we were moving in the direction of Mechanisville Pike, where we stayed in line of battle till late that evening, when we marched forward and crossed the Chicahominy under fire of the enemy's artillery. We moved forward under a heavy fire for near a mile, where we engaged them for sometime at a desperate rate. We lost our colonel, our major, and several other officers, and about half the regiment. The scene was one I cannot describe, the missiles of death snatching men from all around us. My good old friend J.C. Webb was killed suddenly. Poor fellow! He little thought of death so soon! This morning's sun rose on many a blooming young life, who are now lying on this bloody battlefield cold and lifeless bodies. Why should I be preserved?
June 27, 1862 -- This morning the Yankees are gone from our front. We followed, and after marching over a large scope of country occupied by the enemy for twelve miles, encountered them again. The fight was long and desperate; the musketry fire was the heaviest I have ever heard. It lasted till after dark. We held the field. Many were killed on both sides. Few fields are so bloody as that of Cold Harbor. We followed the Yankees till Tuesday, the first of July, when we again overtook them at Malvern Hill, where another desperate engagement took place. I, being in the commissary department, was ordered to remain out and take charge of some stores. We lost some good men from our company: Hurley, Hendren, Johnson, and several others killed, besides many wounded. Brother John was not hurt.
We then moved back near Richmond, where we remained encamped for some time. We had a great deal of sickness. Brother John was taken sick with brain fever and lived but a few days. He bore his sickness and suffering well. He suffered a great deal, and was not in his senses for a day or two before he died. He was buried below the city, near the York River Railroad, near the three mile post. He was the last of two brothers who have been in the army with me. His death occurred on the 9th of August. Rufus' original diary contains here a poem of 36 lines which he composed about the sad death of his two brothers. Only four lines of the poem are included in the transcript.
September 16, 1862 -- Soon after the death of my brother John, we moved by train to Orange Court House, where we waited several days for our wagon-trains. We then moved by way of Culpepper Court House, Warrenton, etc. We passed over the battlefield two days after the second battle at that place. I have never witnessed such a sight in my life; the dead Yankees were thicker that I ever saw before. From this point we moved to Leesburg, where we crossed the Potomac River. If one is unaccustomed to seeing an army march had seen us crossing that river by moonlight, he would have been filled with laughter, tho we were not inclined to laugh, except when some of us should get our center of gravity beyond our base and fall into the water.
About 11 o'clock at night, we landed on the Maryland shore without resistance. The first thing that attracted my attention was some boats which had been captured on the Washington and Ohio canal. We moved on to Frederick Town, where we camped several days, then on to Boonesboro and to Haggerstown, where we encamped a few days. On the 14th our troops (D.H. Hill's division) -- the remainder of the army having gone to Harper's Ferry, which they captured -- moved back to the Gap in the South Mountains to occupy it and thus keep the Yankees from moving suddenly upon us. On the same day (Sunday) the Yankees under McClellan attacked our troops and a desperate fight ensued, which lasted till night, when we fell back to Sharpsburg, near the river. I remained up near Haggerstown until near midday Monday in charge of four stores, when I was compelled to make my way as best I could to the army at Sharpsburg. I found my regiment there in line of battle and the Yankees moving down on the other side of a small stream. Heavy cannonading commenced, which lasted till dark last night. The cannonading was kept up all day today. We cooked for our command on rocks and barbecued beef. The firing tonight is frequent and heavy.
September 17, 1862 -- The engagement commenced quite early, and by 10 o'clock many, very many had fallen to rise no more. The fight continued till late and night found the enemy occupying the same ground they had occupied that morning, tho several times both armies had driven each other back and forth over the same ground. the battle was perhaps the bloodiest that has yet occurred on this continent. We lost many good men from our company and both the officers who were present.
September 18 to December 31, 1862 -- A calm generally follows a storm, so today we have a calm. An armistice was agreed upon in order to bury the dead. The day was spent removing and burying the dead, but soon after night we commenced to retreat and were all night moving back across the river. We crossed at Shepherdstown. I did not cross till next morning.
On the 20th, while the Yankees were following up our forces, we turned on them and destroyed a great many while they were crossing the river. We then moved to Bunkerhill, where we rested for about two weeks. Then we went to Charlestown and tore up the railroad near there. Then on to Berryville, crossing the Shenandoah at Berry'sFord and the Blue Ridge at Paris, to Upperville, where the Yankees followed, and then back to Front Royal, where we remained several days in line of battle. But they did not come on, so we moved up to Staunton and camped there about a week.
We then took up our duds and moved on up the Valley as far as New Market, where we struck the Gordonsville Pike and landed safely at Gordonsville after some very hard marching. The men suffered much for want of clothing, many being without shoes. We got only one or two days' rest till we reached Port Royal, below Fredericksburg. About the 11th of December we reached Fredericksburg. Our regiment marched nearly all night, and on the morning of the 13th went into line of battle, and were exposed to shell-fire all day. Many of our men were wounded. Lt. Vancy had one eye shot out. This was a bright day for the South; we won a great victory, tho our joy was mingled with sadness. We mourned the loss of many officers and men. Fredericksburg was almost demolished by fire and shell. Soon after the battle we went into camp near the city. We served on picket duty till the close of the year.
January 1863 -- Another year has passed and no peace yet. The monster War seems to be still active in his preparations to destroy more lives before he allows Peace to take his place. He seems to be strengthening every nerve and doing all he can to promote his cause, but I hope he will be disappointed and that Sweet Peace will reign in his stead. On New Year's morning our regiment was relieved of picket duty and moved camp a half mile. The army commenced fortifying Fredericksburg, which was well done. During this time a good number of our force was sent to North Carolina. About the 24th we were transferred to Talliaferro's brigade, of Jackson's division. We then moved down the river several miles.
February 1863 -- This has been a month of perfect quietitude, with the exception of many sham snowball battles, which were hard-fought and interesting. We have had some Revival interest. Our Chaplain is Rev. W.R. Gaultney, who is a very fine little man. I am tenting with him this winter. We are camped near what is called "Skinner's Neck". The month closed quite, cold, and wet.
March 1863 -- This has been another month of rain, snow, and mud. On the 3rd day of last month, Lee whipped the Yankees at Fredericksburg, on the Upper Rappahannock. The health of the troops is good, and religious interest is high.
April 1863 -- A heavy snow fell on the 5th. Religious interest still increases. On the 18th brother William R. Spainhour (William Robert) came to join our regiment. Father came out with him, but went back soon. On the 23rd our regiment went to Port Royal, but the Yankees were gone when we arrived. Our troops moved up to Fredericksburg on the 29th as the Yankees were crossing. The troops remained in line of battle all next day.
May 1863 -- Today our troops moved to the left of the United States Ford and by a flank movement struck the enemy in the rear, driving them many miles by dark and capturing many prisoners. On the next day a general engagement occurred, which was quite bloody. Many men in our company were killed on the field and several others were mortally wounded. John Estes and George Johnson each lost an arm, and brother William was wounded severely in wrist and arm, which has incapacitated him for life. During this engagement General Jackson was fired upon by his own men and died of his wound later. The Yankees were drawn back across the river.
Rufus at this point includes a poem of 36 lines describing this battle of Chancellorsville. Mr. Curtis includes only a few lines in the transcript.
After the battle, things became quiet, and after remaining near the United States Ford for nearly a week, we moved to Hamilton's Crossing, where we spend the remainder of the month.
June 1863 -- Early in the month we moved off in the direction of the Valley of Virginia. After several days' hard marching, Ewell's Corps landed near Winchester and in front of Milroy's forces there. He was surrounded and nearly all his army captured. Milroy escaped with a few men. We got nearly everything he had. Captain John Miller of our company was killed. We immediately moved forward, entering the State of Maryland at Shepherdstown and camped one night on the Sharpsburg battlefield. We passed thru Haggerstown and entered Pennsylvania, moving thru New Castle, Mercersburg, McConnelsburg, Chambersburg, and near the town of Charlsie.
July 1863 -- On the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of the month our troops engaged the enemy at Gettysburg. The Yankees were fortified on a mountain in the rear of the town, and after many attempts to drive them out, our troops were compelled to desist, tho not until the hardiest fighting I have ever heard tell of had taken place. The third day of the battle was one continuous roar of cannon and musket. I suppose that more than two hundred pieces of artillery were engaged in the duel at the same time and the slaughter was terrible on both sides. We remained on the field on the fourth day, and that night commenced a retreat. At length we landed at Williamsport, but found the river too swollen to cross. There we remained in line of battle for several days, until pontoons could be constructed. We then crossed the river, moved on up the Valley and crossed the Blue Ridge without molestation.
August 1863 -- We moved near Orange Courthouse, where we spent several weeks in camp, resting, recruiting, etc. Brother William came back to the regiment, but was not fit for service.
September 1863 -- We remained in camp at Orange Courthouse until Sept. 14th. Brother William received his discharge from the service and started home. About that time we moved camp and after several days' hard marching to different points, went into camp again about 12 miles below Orange Court House. There is evidence of deep religious interest in the regiment.
October 1863 -- This month has been noted for its hard marches. On the 8th we left camp and marched by way of Maddison Court House to Culpepper, but failing to cut off the Yankees there, we marched forward again to Warrenton, where we encountered them. We moved around to their rear and aimed to cut them off there, but some misunderstanding on the part of an officer caused a mistake. We then retired to the Rappanhannock and stationed ourselves near Brandy Station.
November 1863 -- We stayed but a short time at Brandy Station, when the Yankees made some demonstration at or near the Rappanhannock Bridge. Hayes's and Hoke's brigades were sent over the river to meet them, but the enemy came upon them in such overpowering force that the two brigades were nearly destroyed. Some were killed, some were drowned, and many were captured. The army then moved south of the Rapidan River, where we remained quietly till near the close of the month, when we were moved to Germania Ford to meet the Yankees crossing there. On the 27th we engaged them in battle. Lee's cavalry attacked them and drove them back across the river.
December 1863 -- The month commenced cold, and our men were in a bad way to endure it, being unprotected in line of battle; but after a few days the Yankees retired to the north side of the river and we to our former camps, where we had nothing to disturb our quietitude during the remainder of the month.
A bloody year has just closed; scenes the bloodiest our country had ever witnessed, had transpired during the year. It has furnished the historian with a large store of material for future history.
January 1864 -- Nothing of great interest has transpired during this month. We had plenty of snow and cold weather, which made our picket duty very hard.
February 1864 -- Early in the month our brigade, now under Brig. Gen. George Steuart, went on picket duty, but just as we were about to relieve the troops then on picket, the Yankees crossed the river and attacked us. Considerable skirmishing was required before we could drive them back.
We have completed a church house for worship, also a school for the instruction of those who cannot read and write, and we are having some interesting meetings.
March 1864 --In the first part of this month a cavalry force of Yankees crossed the river and moved in the direction of Richmond. They were near the city when they were attacked by our troops and driven back with some loss. Their object was to take the city, but it failed.
On the 22nd a deep snow fell and we had a sham snowball battle, the 1st and 3rd North Carolina Regiments against the 10th, 23rd and 37th Virginia Regiments. It was as stubbornly contested as any fight. Such sham battles were in progress in nearly all the Confederate winter camps.
Mr. Curtis notes that Rufus now describes an interesting personal account of a furlough home, during which he visited his family, relatives, and friends, and rested from the hardships of camp and battlefield. He returned to the regiment about April 15th.
May 4, 1864 -- Our troops moved from our former picket lines to Locust Grove.
May 5, 1864 -- About 12 o'clock our troops (Ewell's Corps) engaged the Yankees near the turnpike above the old Wilderness Tavern. We repulsed them with heavy loss in prisoners and took two pieces of artillery. We also lost considerably. Faw, Jennings, and Hackett and several others in the company were wounded .
May 6, 1864 -- There was heavy fighting all along the line today. Our troops fought behind breastworks and repulsed the enemy with heavy losses. Our losses were not very great, but the slaughter among the Yankees was terrible. We lost General Longstreet wounded, and Brig. Gens. Jones and Jenkins both killed. Our victory was complete.
May 7, 1864 -- We remained in line of battle nearly all day, but there was little fighting. Tonight the enemy are moving off to our right, extending their lines in the direction of Fredericksburg.
Sunday, May 8, 1864 -- We moved about twenty miles off in the direction of Fredericksburg, with our right wing resting near Spottsylvania Court House and our front facing Chancellorsville. During the night we fortified our position. This has been a very hot and dusty day, and the whole wilderness was on fire, so the fire, dust, smoke and the intense heat of the sun, all added to a very hard day's marching, served to make our condition almost unendurable. Many gave completely out, but most of them came up during the night.
May 9, 1864 -- We strengthened our breastworks today; there was very little fighting.
May 10, 1864 -- Our lines were assaulted at many different points, but the attackers failed to accomplish much, save getting their men killed. They did drive Dole's Georgia brigade back, but our brigade was sent to their relief and we soon repulsed them and reestablished the line. In this relief sally Lt. Larkin Junius Curtis was instantly killed, while leading the company. He was the only officer left in the company. He was a kind and indulgent officer, always at his post of duty, diligent and brave in battle. He was a pious Christian. Dying on the field of battle in the bloom of manhood, he lived to witness few of the sorrows of life. (Larkin Junius Curtis was a brother to Finley Patterson Curtis, Sr., who was the father of F.P. Curtis, Jr., who created this transcript of Rufus Spainhour's diary)
May 11, 1864 -- Both lines have remained quiet today. There was little fighting. I have been visiting some of the troops. The boys seem to be quite lively, in spite of everything. Fate Hemphill is as lively and fill of mischief as ever. (This is Israel LaFayette Hemphill, husband of Rufus's sister Martha Elizabeth).
May 12, 1864 -- Day had scarcely dawned upon us when the Yankees threw a heavy force against the second brigade, which, after desperate fighting, was compelled to give way. The Yankees rushed upon our rear and at the same time put a terrible pressure on our front. Nearly all our men were captured. My brother-in-law was killed instantly, struck by a ball in the head. He could have been honorably freed from battle by the doctors, but he would not. Colonel H.A. Brown was again wounded badly, this time in three places. Sgt. D.M. Carlton attempted to make his escape from the enemy, but was mortally wounded and died on the 14th. He was a brave, noble-hearted, intelligent man and officer. Few nobler men have fallen than the three who fell in my company on that day. General Daniels died of a wound received in the conflict. The fighting was most terrific, but out troops finally drive the Yankees back with heavy losses.
Sunday May 15, 1864 -- The remnants of the First and Second North Carolina Regiments were consolidated and placed in command of Brig. Gen. Ramseur. Three days later the enemy attempted to charge our lines, but he was repulsed by our skirmish lines in front and artillery fire from the rear. On the next day Gen. Ewell took his corps on a reconnaissance to the left and ran upon the Yankees. A sharp fight ensued, in which we lost considerably and captured three pieces of artillery. The troops and trains are moving off down toward Fredericksburg.
May 23 to May 31, 1864 -- We left Spottsylvania Court House on Saturday and on Sunday landed at Hanover Junction, where we camped. Here we remained until about the first of June, with very little fighting.
June 1, 1864 -- We moved down to a point about nine miles from Richmond, with our left resting near the Central Railroad and our right near Gaines' Mills. On the 3rd the enemy assaulted our works at various points, be we repulsed them all along the line with severe losses.
June 6, 1864 -- My brother William has been sent back to my company, as the regiment has been joined to the 2nd North Carolina. The Yankees have disappeared from our front and are moving away to the right. We are now near the Mechanisville Pike.
June 7, 1864 -- Today General Thurston came down and took command of our two broken regiments, and ordered that the company sergent of his regiment and myself should draw lots as to who should act as Commissary Sergent for the two consolidated regiments. The lot fell to me.
June 12, 1864 -- Our corps is not now in the works. We were ordered off very early this morning from our camp and marched in a north easterly direction by the Three Chop Road. I formed the acquaintance of the DuVall family today.
June 17-22, 1864 -- Today we landed at Charlottsville, having passed thru a country remarkable for its scenic beauty and pretty women. It was well watered and ideal for grazing and farming. At Charlottesville I met again with Dr. Broadhurst, who treated me with such royal kindness in 1861, having taken splendid care of me in his own house at Fredericksburg while I was very sick. I also visited the University of Virginia, which is a magnificence building, tho there was no school in progress. Thence we marched to North Gander Station, where we boarded the train and went to Lynchburg the same night.
On the next day, June 18, we set out in pursuit of Hunter on the pike leading to Salem. We passed thru New London and Liberty, and camped near the Blue Ridge on the night of the 21st. Early next morning crossing the mountain still in pursuit of Hunter's troops. His route was literally strewn with dead horses and broken wagons. Our cavalry blocked his way near Salem, but he succeeded in cutting a way thru our horsemen, and escaped across the Allegany Mountains. In his headlong flight he lost six pieces of artillery.
June 22, 1864 -- Today we rested, cooked rations, washed clothes, etc. This is the garden spot of the world so far as I have seen!
June 23, 1864 -- I heard with regret of the death of my old friend, Capt. Jacob Hayes. He belonged to the 59th Tennessee Cavalry, and was killed at Piedmont (?), Virginia. He was a brilliant student, a fine orator, and a gentleman in every sense of the word. We moved today in the direction of Buttotott (?) Springs.
June 25, 1864 -- We passed thru Lexington today, where we visited the grave of General Jackson. The flag sent from England was floating over his grave. The Country in this section is particularly wonderful. I visited the ruins of the Military Institute at this place, which was destroyed by the Yankees.
June 27, 1864 -- We landed at Staunton today and camped there till Tuesday, when we began moving off down the Valley in the direction of the Potomac. We moved down the road leading by Cross Keys. There were many interesting scenes for us as we marched down the beautiful Valley. The fields were loaded with luxuriant crops of wheat, which were owned by a people marked for their liberality. We passed thru many nice little towns, the principal ones of which were Mt. Jackson, Strausburg, and Winchester.
July 1864 -- On the fourth of July, we landed at Harpers Ferry, drove the Yankees out and took their fortifications. Early then left them and moved his principal forces across the Potomac at Shepherdstown. He made as if to descend upon the rear of the enemy at Harpers Ferry, then moved swiftly in the direction of Frederickstown, in Maryland, where on Saturday, July 9, our troops under General Gordon had a sharp encounter with a portion of Lew Wallace's corps and whipped them soundly. They retreated in bad order on the Baltimore Road, and we marched rapidly all day toward Washington.
That night we camped within about twenty miles of the Capital City. Next day we passed thru Rockville and reached the outer breastworks about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Immediately we commenced skirmishing with the enemy on the outskirts of the city. The troops remained in line of battle near the breastworks surrounding the city and skirmished with the enemy nearly all day. About dark the fighting and firing was exceedingly heavy, and soon after dark General Early began withdrawing the army, without having made an attempt to take the city. We marched nearly all night on the retreat, moving backward over the Rollville Ferry Road, and crossed the Potomac within about seven miles of Leesburg. On the 15th we rested at the Big Spring near Leesburg and on the next day crossed the mountain at Snicker's Gap. Just before we crossed the mountain the Yankee cavalry ran into our train and carried off a few wagons. On the 17th we crossed the Shenandoah at Snicker's Ferry and made our camp below a short distance.
About 3 o'clock on the afternoon of the 18th our forces encountered the Yankees crossing the river at Snicker's Ferry and a hot fight occurred between our division and the Yankee troops. We lost two colonels from our brigade -- Col Stallings of the Second and Col. Wood of the Fourth North Carolina Regiments. On the 19th I received orders to act as brigade commissary sergent. On the 20th we moved to Newton. Ramseur's division was badly cut up today, having suffered a surprise attack of the Yankees. Then we moved from Newton down to Fisher Hill, near Strausburg, where we remained till the 24th. We broke camp, met the Yankees at Kernstown, routed them, and drove them helter-skelter beyond Bunker's Hill, causing them to burn about 75 of their wagons to accelerate their flight. We then moved to Martinsburg and encamped.
August 1864 -- On August 1st we crossed over to Williamsport and secured the stores there. We returned to Bunker's Hill and made camp, where we remained a few days. Retracing our steps, we marched back to Williamsport and six miles beyond on the Boonesboro Road, stayed there one night, and recrossed the river next day and returned to Bunker Hill. The Yankees retreated before us constantly, burning wheat, barns, houses, and other property. Our troops moved out toward Wythfield, where they engaged the enemy in skirmish fighting nearly all day, driving him toward Harper's Ferry. Retiring to Martinsburg, we went into camp.
September 1864 -- Since the 30th ultimo nothing has happened of interest. We moved to Berryville to reinforce Anderson, but there was no fighting. A few days ago I received a letter from my little sister Mary (Mary Selena, who married John L. Sisk) saying she had become a Christian and united with the Baptist Church. I hope she is now prepared to realize Eternity when called for. What a blessing it is to be prepared to meet God in early youth! O that I had spent my early days in His service! Mary is only about 13 years old, but she is a bright, intelligent girl and has womanly ways even now.
This morning we were moved to Winchester, and soon after our arrival there our division engaged the Yankees hotly. Early in the day brave Generals Rhodes and Goodwin were killed. The battle raged furiously. We fought our battle with a fair measure of success until late in the afternoon, when the Yankee cavalry charged our flanks, broke our lines, and created a complete stampede. The utmost confusion prevailed among our troops, and every man seemed to be using his legs to the best personal advantage! Those of us who had fortunately escaped, fell back to Fishers's Hill near Strausburg, where we had formerly thrown up breastworks. Here we prepared to make a last stand.
The Yankees followed us. On the evening of the 22nd, they began making demonstrations in our front Again our flanks protected by our cavalry were charged and turned. Soon the enemy in overpowering force was upon our rear, and another utter stampede similar to the one created on the 19th ensued. But with complete victory in their hands, the enemy paused to plunder our camps. We managed to escape again, with considerable loss, of course, but if the enemy had pushed home their chance, they could doubtless have utterly ruined us. Altho we had been seriously damaged in two successive encounters, the Old Army of the Valley rallied and prepared to face new battlegrounds.
On September 24th we left our line of battle at Mount Jackson and retreated thru New Market in the direction of Harrisburg, but turned off our course and went into Brown's Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountain, near Port Republic. Six days later, we recrossed the river above Port Republic and pitched camp near Wier's (Weyer's) Cave. That night large crowds of our division went into the Cave sightseeing. We went in to a depth of a half-mile. The Cave contained several fine rooms, beautifully adorned with tags (stalactites?) formed by drips from the ceiling. The Washington Hall, Ball Room, Ladies Dressing Room, and The Drum (?) Room, were particularly fine. We had two good brass bands with us and enjoyed some excellent music. [Mr. Curtis adds a note here explaining that this cave is in Augusta County, VA, opening onto a western spur of the Blue Ridge 11 miles northeast of Staunton. It ranks in importance next to Mammoth and Wyandotte Caves. It's largest chamber is Washington's Hall -- 250 feet long and 90 feet high] The following Monday we moved up the river to Waynesboro and camped near the Richmond-Staunton Railroad.
October 1864 -- We moved down to Mount Sidney and camped there a day or two. About the 7th we landed at New Market, but the Yankees had gone on, having left nothing for the farmers save their land and a few dwellings. Scarcely a barn or mill was left and the amount of wheat and other grain which they had destroyed and carried off was beyond calculation. After remaining there for a few days, we moved on down the Valley to Fisher's Hill, where we encamped about the 15th.
On the night of the 18th, General Gordon, of Georgia, took three divisions of our troops, crossed the Shenandoah above Strausburg, passed around the end of the Masinut (?) Mountain, and just before daybreak crossed the river again in the rear of the Yankees. At daybreak he fell suddenly upon their rear and flanks, completely surprising them, and captured many prisoners, arms, etc., and routed them from their Cedar Creek Hill camp, well beyond Newton. If General Gordon had not permitted his exultant soldiers to stop and plunder the Yankee camps, as the enemy had done ours on a similar occasion, he might have pursued the beaten enemy and completely demoralized him. But late in the day, he returned and the fortune of war was reversed. We were caught napping, and in spite of the heroic resistance of our troops, we were driven from the field in great disorder. We retreated in the direction of New Market. During this engagement General Ramseur, a brave little officer, was killed in the thick of the fight. But in my opinion General Gordon carried away the laurel of the day. We remained in camp at New Market several days resting.
November 1864 -- We are still in the vicinity of New Market. Little of interest has happened during the month. We made another trip to Newton, but had no fighting except with cavalry. The remainder of the month passed quietly. We gathered up some wheat from the country. I formed many acquaintances.
December 1864 -- We remained quietly in camp until the 10th. A deep snow fell, catching us in rather a bad condition, being without quarters. On the morning of the 14th we moved in the direction of Staunton. The roads were in desperate condition. We reached Staunton on the evening of the next day, got aboard the train and arrived at Richmond next morning at about 8 o'clock, where we remained until evening, then went down to Swift Run, near Petersburg. There we made our camp and built winter quarters. With the exception of an occasional call from camp to picket line, we were inactive during the rest of the month. The month closed with a ray of hope for the future, and I trust the ensuing year will bring good tidings of great joy to the Southland.
January 1865 -- Tho the new year has just dawned upon us in infancy, yet we are prone to speculate upon its future history, whether its garments are to be stained with blood or whether it is to bring our deliverance. These are problems that cannot be easily solved. On January 3rd, we received a Christmas dinner from the loyal people of Richmond, Petersburg, and the surrounding country, for which we were very grateful. The remainder of the month passed without much of interest.
February 1865 -- This month also has passed away without much of interest. Now and then we were called to serve our time on picket duty.
March 1865 -- Early in the month our brigade was separated from the division and placed on a line to the left of Petersburg. Later we were moved down on the Peninsula, between Appomattax (River) and Swift Run. Again, on about the 31st, we moved to a position at the West end of Halifax Street, near Butterworth Bridge.
April 1, 1865 -- Nothing much of interest occurred today, with the exception of a heavy cannonading which commenced today about 10 PM and continued thruout the night. It seems that something important is about to occur.
April 2, 1865 -- As day dawned, fighting became general and continued in fury all along the line. Finally our lines were broken in front of Petersburg and soon the lines on the right of the city were broken asunder and taken. About 2 PM the Yankees succeeded in reaching the South Side Railroad. This movement struck great fear into the heart of the people. It was not long then before the large tobacco warehouses began to smoke and great tongues of flame licked the sky from different parts of the city. The enemy had at last entered the Southern Capital, and General Lee was now certain the noble old bulwark would have to be evacuated. The following scene was one which I shall never forget, on account of its ineffable sadness. Beautiful and proud ladies weeping, some for their sons, some for their husbands, and many, many for the dear homes which they knew must soon fall into the hands of the enemy. Crowds of citizens could be seen hurrying from the place most dear of all to them. To see those lovely ladies weeping as if their hearts would break was too much for even hard-hearted soldiers to endure. It was a calamity which brought tears and sadness to all of us. About dark our government, all of it which could be transported, our stores, arms, ammunition, etc. commenced moving and proceeded slowly toward the north bank of the Appamattax River. This day has cost us the life of many a brave, noble and able man. Among the number is Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill, who was killed to the right or west of Petersburg.
April 3, 1865 -- We continued our retreat all day, moving in the direction of Amelia Court House, which place we reached late on Tuesday evening, tired and worn, having traveled without sleep and very little to eat since we left Petersburg.
April 5, 1865 -- Our trains began moving quite early this morning, and they had not proceeded far when the Yankee cavalry charged in among it and burned about one mile of wagons.
April 6, 1865 -- This morning the Yankees made a desperate effort to capture our trains, but they did not succeed. They were driven back by our artillery fire, but late in the evening they pressed very heavily upon our rear and we had to abandon many wagons. We moved to High Bridge, near Farmville, thru which we passed about midnight, where the Yankees again pressed us very heavily and we were forced to destroy a large portion of our train in order to facilitate our movement. Late in the same evening the enemy cavalry made another desperate attempt to completely destroy our supplies, but the final heroic resistance of our troops once again caused their failure. On the retreat we had to pass thru a very difficult swamp and this detained us considerably. On Saturday we proceeded without molestation and marched within about four miles of Appomattax Court House, where we stopped and got some much-needed rest.
April 9, 1865 -- Long before daybreak our troops began moving in the direction of the Courthouse, and then severe fighting commenced. Gordon's troops in front attacked the enemy in front and drove him about a mile beyond the Court House, but on account of the lack of support on our flanks, the heavy columns of the enemy swung around upon our flanks and forced our corps back to the Court House. The enemy during this maneuver was continually moving heavy bodies of troops to our flanks, which, with the pressure of his heavy masses of soldiers upon our rear, rendered the condition of our entire army exceedingly critical. Aware of our hopeless condition and desiring to escape further bloodshed, General Lee, at about 11 o'clock, on the 9th day of April, surrendered the incomparable Army of Northern Virginia to General U.S. Grant, and thereafter all fighting ceased. It was indeed a trying and unutterably sad time for all of us, unaccustomed to shedding tears as we were, but the very idea of giving up the hope of our Country and our Cause filled us with emotion that must find outlet in tears. It seemed more than we could bear to have sacrificed so much loyal blood and then to have to surrender all and find ourselves in worse condition than when we set out gaily from home!
We spent the remainder of the day near the place of surrender. The gallant General James B. Gordon delivered to his corps as fine an address as I have ever heard, in which he advised his soldiers to put aside all feelings of hatred and enmity and go back to their homes and help build back the beautiful Southland.
Monday and Tuesday, the 10th and 11th , we spent in and about the camps. The Yankees were ever constantly amonst us and permitted us to do as we pleased.
April 12 to April 25, 1865 -- On the morning of the 12th, three days after the surrender of General Lee, we marched in front of the Yankees and stacked our arms, and as soon as we were paroled, we started for home, each man or each company of men taking their respective courses.
A part of my company and myself went home by way of Camel Court House and Osler (?) Bridge, crossing the Ssaunton at Toless (?) Ferry. From Toless Ferry, we proceeded thru portions of Pittsylvania, Henry, and Patrick Counties of Virginia and thence into Surry County, North Carolina, passing near the Pilot mountain and crossing the Yadkin River at Rockford. I stopped near there to see Sexton Jones, an old schoolmate of mine, with whom I chatted for a few hours. Then I proceeded to the home of Mrs. Jennings, eight miles further on toward Jonesville, whose two sons had served honorably thruout the war in my company. I enjoyed my visit there very much, Mollie (Mrs. Jennings) having been an old schoolmate of mine. On Saturday I went to Wilkesboro, and spent Sunday, the 23rd, at Mr. Hezikiah Curtis's. Next day I went to Lenoir and on the 25th I landed at home and found all well. The remainder of the month of April I spent at home, with the exception of a trip to Wilkesboro to a celebration on May 27th, which was just four years from the day we left there to go to war.
While the American Civil War and its aftermath are important elements of our historical heritage: that conflict in itself is but one of many elements within that heritage. It is nevertheless, central to our historical heritage to recognize that the time period during which this bitter war occurred produced dramatic changes in the country physically and in its people emotionally.
Of major physical importance was the laying of many miles of iron rails and telegraph wires. This is important to our historical interests because these developments soon eliminated the last regions of frontier living.
Of major emotional importance was a changing outlook on life. After that wilderness was mostly conquered and settled -- frontier life disappeared. As a result, the attitudes of Americans, especially regarding the role of their government, might be expected to change. But the whole world was changing!
The Frontier Life Experience, however, remained a strong and an almost unique influence on American attitudes for a few more generations; and that experience continues to influence us; it is an indelible part of who we are.
The following was taken from a booklet of John Doub's Family Genealogy by Ella Holder Doub.
John Doub, the ancestor of all the Doubs in North Carolina, and many in other states, was born in Kreuztal, Germany in 1743 (Kreuztal is a village about 20 miles east of Cologne). He immigrated to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1763 and soon after came to North Carolina and settled in what is now Forsyth County, then Stokes. He was a farmer and tanner by trade, main occupation, tanning. He established the first tan-yard in this part of NC, if not the first in the state. In 1780 he married Mary Eve Spoenhauer, daughter of Werner & Elisabeth Lohner Spoenhauer.
John Doub was raised in the German Reformed Church and communed with Moravians at Bethania for many years. In 1789 he heard a Methodist preacher by the name of Yeargin at the home of Martin Hauser, and was so pleased with him that he invited him to come preach at his house. After the sermon the first regular Methodist Class was formed in NC, John and Eve first, then Elizabeth Teague, Martin Hauser, and wife Elizabeth, and William Jeans; six members which increased to about twenty at the next appointment. Regular service was continued here for 56 years and about 150 different persons preached in this house. From here, Methodism spread over the State.
The congregation kept increasing and in 1802 John, with the help of his neighbors, built a large shed not far from his house to be used for a preaching place in the summer time. Around this shed many small houses were well-built for people who came from a distance to live in when the meeting would continue several days. Here in 1802 was the first regular Camp Meeting in NC. It commenced about the middle of September and continued near two weeks. Camp meetings were held here regularly until 1827 and after. John Doub, before he died, set apart a piece of land for a burying ground. The stipulation was it must be a free graveyard and this has so far been carried out to the letter.
In 1958-60 this old graveyard was restored, stones lined and reset permanently, a strong metal fence erected and a road into the graveyard graded and sanded. The land, then owned by Austin Doub, was deeded to the Trustees of Doub's Methodist Church and the plot was made a memorial to the early Doub Family in care of the Church forever. There are seven Doub preachers buried here and three in the cemetery in Greensboro.
John Doub died the 20th October, 1814. There were nine children by the union of John Doub and Mary Eve Spainhour.
This Family Newsletter is supported by donations to and is provided to interested parties without charge by MUTTENZ DESCENDANTS, INC., a tax-exempt organization honoring the frontier heritage of Muttenz descendants and their neighbors. Our mailing list now numbers more than 550 families across the United States and in Switzerland.
James D. Spainhour
1210 Francis Drive
Arlington Heights, IL 60005-2208
Family News Editor:
P.O. Box 122
King, NC 27021-0122
For changes of address and for additions to the mailing list, please contact:
Catherine Canter, Secretary
MUTTENZ DESCENDANTS, INC.
4321 Transou Road
Pfafftown, NC 27040
We are in the early stages of planning our Family Reunion trip to Muttenz. in the year 2000. To save on costs, we will create a special mailing list for the detailed information regarding the Reunion trip -- therefore:
IF YOU WANT FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE REUNION 2000 PLANS YOU MUST RESPOND TO THIS REQUEST NOW!!
In order to proceed with the Reunion plans, we need first an estimate of how many of our American cousins MIGHT be going with us.
1. How many in your family group might attend? --- assuming the Reunion is held during the month of:
July__________ August__________ September__________ October__________
2. Which month would be preferred by your family group? Rank the months 1-4 with 1 being the most preferred. Please be aware that the time chosen will depend most heavily on the availability of the needed facilities in Muttenz, but your preferences will be considered if alternative times are possible.
July__________ August__________ September__________ October__________
3. What is the mailing address & telephone number, (plus E-mail address if available) for your family group member who should receive further information on the Reunion plans as they are developed?