Civil War Ancestors: Farm Boys to Soldiers, Part II

Our Great-great-grandfather, Andrew J. “Frank” McCune, spent about three years in the Confederate Army and fought in two major battles, according to his Confederate pension application[1] filed in 1894 in Russell County, AL. We know that he was in the Battle of Chickamauga in Tennessee and north Georgia and the Battle of Jonesboro in Georgia. Did he walk away from both with no injuries?

According to the pension application, Andrew was in the 30th Georgia Regiment, Company G, and enlisted on 10 Aug 1860 in Savannah, GA. An article titled “30th Georgia Volunteer Infantry” on Wikipedia.org states that the 30th was formed in August 1861 of 10 companies and was known as the 25th until April 1862 when it was named the 30th Regiment[2]. So probably the enlistment date of 1860 in the pension is incorrect. My research told me that the company originated in Fairburn, GA, and went to Savannah, GA, in January 1862. That’s possibly when Andrew joined. We can presume he enlisted voluntarily, since he joined the ‘volunteer’ infantry, although we don’t really know the motivation behind it. Was it a heartfelt call to service or political and civic pressure?

Confederate private infantry uniform, public domain image, Commons.wikimedia.org accessed 17 May 2016
Confederate private infantry uniform, public domain image, Commons.wikimedia.org, accessed 17 May 2016

From Savannah, GA, the 30th marched to Florida, back to Georgia, then to South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee and back to Georgia. In the online book Historical Sketch & Roster: The Ga 30th Infantry Regiment by John Rigdon, the 30th is said to have fought in skirmishes near Jackson, MS, in June 1863.  There is a monument marker in honor of the Georgia 30th Regiment at Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, MS[3]. Rigdon’s book states that the company saw action in Dalton, Chickamauga, Lovejoy Station, Hightower River, Resaca, Calhoun, Pine Mountain, Kennesaw, Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesboro and Nashville.[4]

In September 1863, the 30th joined Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee, led by Lt. Gen John Bell Hood, as they maneuvered to stop Union troops, led by Major General William S. Rosecrans, from advancing into Georgia after capturing Chattanooga. The ensuing Battle of Chickamauga on 18-20 Sept 1863[5] involved about 68,000 Confederate troops. It was one of the largest Confederate victories and the second deadliest in the war.

The 30th was part of Wilson’s Brigade under Claudius Charles Wilson. The brigade joined with the Right Wing under Major General William H.T. Walker. On 19 Sept 1863, reinforcements from Bragg and Walker were ordered forward to hit Col. John Croxton’s right flank near Alexander’s Bridge. The heavily wooded, rolling terrain created difficulties for the commanders who were unable to fully see their troops[6]. On that fateful day, Andrew, age 18, caught a Minie Ball in the left side of his neck. Check out this site for a photo of this deadly bullet: http://civilwarsubjects.weebly.com/minie-ball-bullet.html. He was one of 18,545 Confederate soldiers wounded or killed during the two-day engagement. Union troops suffered about 16,000 casualties. The Confederate victory in this battle delayed the Union troops from overtaking Georgia for another year.

According to “Civil War in Georgia: Overview,” in New Georgia Encyclopedia online, Georgia soldiers faced chronic shortages of food, clothing and medicine and were ravaged by illnesses and injuries[7]. I can’t imagine that Andrew’s medical care after being wounded was safe, sanitary, or pain-free. However, Andrew returned to the ranks of fighting men after a period of recovery. Less than a year later, he found himself in another major Civil War battle trying to protect Atlanta, the Battle of Jonesboro.

My research revealed some discrepancies in regiment movements and Andrew’s company assignment, or maybe it’s just reader error on my part. Regiment names and assignments changed following casualties which adds to the confusion. According to Familysearch.org, he was in the 30th Infantry in 1862 and in the 12th Infantry in 1864[8]. However, I could not find Andrew’s name on the list of the 12th Georgia Infantry in the Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865, Vol. II.[9]   From what I read, I suspect there was another Andrew J. McCune who served in the 12th Georgia Regiment and fought in Virginia.

In Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865, Vol. III, there are two entries, one for Andrew J. McCune and another for Frank McCune, both as members of the 30th Regiment, Company H, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Army of Tennessee, C.S.A., Fayette County Volunteers[10]. I believe both entries to be Andrew. The entries state that Andrew was wounded in Chickamauga, GA, on 19 Sept 1863 and that Frank was wounded at Chickamauga, GA, on 19 Sept 1863 and at Jonesboro, GA, on 31 Aug 1864. This matches his pension application.

Atlanta campaign (Civil War), Creative Commons Attribution - Andrei nacu@en.wikipedia, Commons.wikimedia.org, accessed 17 May 2016
Atlanta campaign (Civil War), Creative Commons Attribution – Andrei nacu@en.wikipedia, Commons.wikimedia.org, accessed 17 May 2016

The Battle of Jonesboro in August 1864 turned the tide for the Union. According to an article, “Jonesborough: Confederate Order of Battle” on Wikipedia.org., the 30th Georgia Regiment was in Brigadier General Henry R. Jackson’s Brigade, which was under Major General John C. Brown’s Bates Division[11]. Atlanta was a key railroad center for the South and the Confederate Army. About 20 miles south of Atlanta, Jonesboro had the one remaining railroad supply line still open in Georgia.

The article “Civil War in Georgia: An Overview” describes the Union’s final assault to crush Southern strongholds[12]. General William T. Sherman led 110,000 Union troops into Georgia to capture Atlanta. The Confederate Army of Tennessee was now under the leadership of General Joseph E. Johnston, Bragg’s replacement. Sherman used flanking maneuvers to get past Johnston’s positions and reach Peachtree Creek. Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced Johnston with Gen. John B. Hood who aggressively began attacking Sherman’s troops.

However, Sherman successfully defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Jonesboro in August 1864 destroying the city and the rail line. Once again, Andrew saw fierce fighting and was shot in the left side and left thigh, one of six men in his company wounded or killed. Hood evacuated his army north hoping to lure Sherman away from Atlanta. Sherman, however, sent only part of his troops after Hood and began his march across Georgia to Savannah with 60,000 men destroying, burning and looting. Hood’s army was defeated in Nashville, TN, near the end of 1864.

I wonder if Sarah wore a fancy wedding dress like this? (image in public domain)
I wonder if Sarah wore a fancy wedding dress like this?
(image in public domain)

I found it curious, but I imagine it wasn’t a novelty for the time period and circumstances, that on 4 Dec 1864, Andrew married Sarah Ann Davis in Muscogee County, GA. He was officially still a Confederate soldier when he married because he wasn’t discharged until 15 Apr 1865. I guess a little wedding bliss was in order! He was wounded twice, took a wife, and apparently marched off to fight again.

Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia, on 9 Apr 1865. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured in Irwin County, GA, 10 May 1865, and the Civil War officially ended. Andrew returned home to a war-ravaged state. How did he support his young family during Reconstruction days following the war? How did his war injuries affect his health?

 

Andrew survived the war after being shot twice. What happened after he returned to civilian life? Stay tuned!

 

[1] Confederate Pension Applications, 1880-1940, Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama; Microfilm Roll Description: McCulloch, Calvin H. – McDonald, Phillip, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 2015).

[2] Wikipedia.org., (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30th_Georgia_Volunteer_Infantry: accessed March 2016), “30th Georgia Volunteer Infantry,” rev.19:12, 11 May 2016.

[3] “30th Georgia Regiment,” Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi, National Park Service (https://www.nps.gov/vick/learn/historyculture/30th-georgia-infantry.htm: accessed 16 May 2016).

[4] Rigdon, John, Historical Sketch & Roster: The Ga 30th Infantry Regiment, (Eastern Digital, 2004), http://www.researchonline.net/ebooks/crhga30i.pdf: accessed 16 May 2016.

[5] New Georgia Encyclopedia, (http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/battle-chickamauga: accessed March 2016), “Battle of Chickamauga.”

[6] Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chickamauga), “Battle of Chickamauga,” rev. 19:12, 11 May 2016.

[7] New Georgia Encyclopedia (http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/civil-war-georgia-overview, accessed March 2016), “Civil War in Georgia: Overview.”

[8] Familysearch.org (http://www.familysearch.org: accessed April 2016).

[9] Henderson, Lillian, Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865, Vol. II, (1960), (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89059402263;view=1up;seq=572: accessed 9 May 2016).

[10] Henderson, Lillian, Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865, Vol. III, (1960) p. 556, (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89059402263;view=1up;seq=572, accessed 9 May 2016).

[11] Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonesborough_Confederate_order_of_battle),”Jonesborouh: Confederate Order of Battle,” rev. 22:17, 29 Apr 2016.

[12] New Georgia Encyclopedia, (http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/civil-war-georgia-overview, accessed March 2016), “Civil War in Georgia: Overview.”

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