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Recently on a Genealogy Forum my ancestors were referred to as barbaric. You can view the posted messages and my response here.
This web site originally started as a tribute to my Great Great Grandfather, John Leonard Weeks, with a brief history of his Civil War record. I was able to locate three pictures of him, one in his Civil War uniform. However, as I continued my genealogy research I have discovered over fifty more of my ancestors who fought in the Civil War, some on both sides. Several were killed, some were wounded, and quite a few were taken to prisons.
Below is my Great Great Grandfather, John Leonard Weeks; my Great Grandfather, Jeremiah Alexander Heatherly; and my Great Great Grandfather, William Page. The brief Civil War history of John Leonard Weeks follows immediately. Click on Jeremiah Alexander Heatherly and William Page to view their Civil War histories. I also have a listing of my known Ancestors who fought in the Civil War. More will follow.
John Leonard Weeks Jeremiah Alexander Heatherly William Page
Brief History of Civil War Record
John Leonard Weeks
At the age of 23, my Great Great Grandfather, John Leonard Weeks enlisted in the 16th Alabama Infantry at Moscow, Alabama as a Private. He was enrolled by Captain J.B. Powers in Company K. Also enlisted in the 16th Alabama Infantry were his uncle, Samuel Weeks (killed at Shiloh), and his cousin, William Burton Weeks (Samuel's son). Seven other of my ancestors were also in the 16th Alabama Infantry. They were Joshua J. Weeks (killed two weeks before Shiloh), William Henry Weeks, Martin Taylor, James H. Butler, Bisha W. Tarwater (wounded at Shiloh), James Bussey, and Zachariah Bussey. Look here to see the muster site at Moscow, AL where the Lamar Co. volunteers bivouaced before joining the 16th Alabama Infantry. The site is located on the old Andrew Jackson Military Trail.
John Leonard Weeks name appeared on muster rolls for 15-31 August 1861 dated 23 Oct 1861. In some other records he was listed as James Leonard Weeks, John Weeks, J. Weeks, and J. Wickes.
On 13 Aug 1861, the 16th Alabama Infantry was in Tuscumbia, Alabama where they were ordered to Russellville, Tennessee for duty with General F.K Zollicoffer under the command of Col. W.B. Wood. The unit left Courtland, Alabama on 20 Aug 1861. On 15 Sep 1861 the unit was in Knoxville, Tennessee with Col. Wood with 354 men present. On 18 Sep the unit was left to guard the magazine while Gen. Zollicoffer marched to the ford of the Cumberland River in Kentucky. On 19 Sep the unit was in Barboursville, Kentucky where they joined back with Gen. Zollicoffer. On 5 Nov the unit was in Cumberland Gap, Kentucky with Lt. Col. Harris guarding the roads to Barboursville and Manchester, Kentucky and the Harlon courthouse.
On 11 Nov 1861 the unit was back in Knoxville. They left Knoxville on 17 Nov moving toward Monticello, Kentucky by way of Wartburg and Jamestown, Tennessee. On 9 Dec the unit went back to Knoxville with 800 men armed mostly with flint lock muskets.
On 10 Dec the unit was in Beech Grove, Kentucky. On 8 Jan 1862 they were still in Beech Grove with Col. Wood and had 22 officers and 356 men in reserve.
On 19 Jan 1862 the unit saw their first real action at Mill Springs (also called Fishing Creek and Logan's Crossroads), Kentucky (Pulaski Co.) where they occupied a beech grove on the north bank of the river opposite Mill Springs. Major Gen. G.B. Crittenden mentioned them for their heroic valor for protecting the flanks of the 15th Mississippi and the 20th Tennessee. The 16th Alabama was the last to leave the line fighting and presented pursuit. They had about 330 men there with 9 killed, 5 wounded, and 12 missing. General Zollicoffer was killed in this battle located in eastern Kentucky southwest of Perryville.
The next action was at Shiloh, Tennessee. The 16th Alabama was in the 3rd Brigade of Gen. S.A.M. Wood from Lauderdale, Co., Alabama, along with the 33rd Alabama, 44th Tennessee, 32nd Mississippi, and the 33rd Mississippi. On the night of 5 Apr 1862 the 16th Alabama was located just north of the present location of the intersection of Tennessee highways 22 and 142 in Woods Field. Also positioned in this area were Generals Gladden, Shaver, and Cleburne. The battle started at 4:55 a.m. on Sunday 6 Apr 1862 near this intersection in Fraley Field. The 16th Alabama fought during the day advancing to a location near the Hornet's Nest where the most intense and fierce action took place. From a position located west of the current intersection of Federal Road and McClernand Road, Woods Brigade charged and captured Burrow's Battery of six guns (cannons) at 11 a.m. The 16th Alabama, with the 9th Arkansas, 8th Arkansas, and the 27th Tennessee located to its left, and the 44th Tennessee, 55th Tennessee, and 3rd Mississippi located to its right, came directly on the battery. At the close of the day they took prisoners back to Fraley Field to guard.
On Monday 7 Apr 1862, the 16th Alabama saw action at the current location of Cavalry Road and McClernand Road. Most of the same regiments from the day before were present and consisted of about 650 men. From 12 noon until 2 p.m. they fought at approximately the same location as the day before at the current location of the intersection of Federal Road and McClernand Road. As night fell, all the Southern troops were retreating toward Corinth, Mississippi. The 16th Alabama lost a total of 162 men during this two day battle at Shiloh, including my Great Great Great Grand Uncle, Samuel Weeks who was a 4th Sgt.
John Leonard Weeks became separated from the 16th Alabama during the hasty retreat to Corinth. He joined Company A, Ferguson's Scouts,(1st Mississippi Cavalry) on 01 Oct 1863 at New Albany, Mississippi. This unit was also known as Capt. Morphis' Independent Company of Scouts. He was listed under the name of J. Wicks on enlistment papers (he could not read or write) however, later official papers listed him as John Weeks.
On 14 Oct 1863, John Leonard Weeks was wounded in the right arm and leg and captured in Tippah Co., Mississippi (at or near Ripley). He was received at a prisoner of war camp at Alton, Illinois on 24 Oct 1863. The prison was an old civilian penitentiary. He was received in the Alton Prison Hospital on 29 Nov 1863 and diagnosed with Small Pox. He was returned to quarters on 23 Dec 1863. On 02 Jan 1864 he was again received in the Alton Prison Hospital and discharged on 18 Jan 1864 at which time he was returned to duty. He was transferred to a prison camp at Fort Delaware on 4 Apr 1864. Fort Delaware was located in the Del River, about 48 miles from Philadelphia, and was best known as a place of confinement for private soldiers. Small Pox was reported to be high at Ft. Delaware and the transfer of prisoners had been halted 26 Oct 1863. By 1 Mar 1864 (one month before John Leonard Weeks was transferred there) there were no cases reported. Barracks were constructed within a wall surrounding the fort and the number of prisoners was large. The ground was several feet below the level of high water, which was kept out by means of dikes. Barracks were poorly constructed in the shape of a "T" and were often damp and cold during the winter. The commander of the fort was a Hungarian refugee named Gen. A.A. Schoepf and it was the most dreaded northern prison. After more than a year of being held as a Prisoner of War, on 28 Sep 1864 he was listed to be delivered by John E. Mulford, Major and Asst. Agt. for Exchange to Varina, Virginia for exchange on 05 Oct 1864. He was transported to Aiken's Landing, Virginia on 30 Sep 1864. On 09 Oct 1864 he signed (his mark) for clothing. On 10 Oct 1864 he was listed with a detachment of paroled and exchanged prisoners at Camp Lee, near Richmond, Virginia. It was noted that he was last paid by Lt. Malden on 30 Sep 1863. One document listed him as paroled on 14 Oct 1864 due to bad health. Copies of his special orders dated 8 Oct 1864 were obtained from the Alabama Archieves in Montgomery by myself. Also obtained was a furlough for 40 days with instructions to report to Camp of Instruction at Macon, Georgia. A copy of his pass for the Danville Railroad dated 11 Oct 1864 was also obtained. It listed permission to visit Moscow, Alabama.
The next record of service in the Civil War shows he next joined Loy's Company, Alabama 4th (Roddy's) Cavalry, as a Private in Jan 1865 at Henson Springs, Alabama. He fought in Wilson's Raid from 22 Mar 1865 to 24 Apr 1865 while assigned to Roddy's Brigade, Forrest's Cavalry Corps, Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. He next fought various conflicts from Montevallo, Alabama to Selma, Alabama, ending with the Battle of Selma on 02 Apr 1865. He was either captured at Selma on 02 Apr 1865 or surrendered at Pond Spring. The remainder of the unit surrendered at Meridian, Mississippi on 04 May 1865. He was paroled in May 1865 at Henson Springs, Alabama.
I have uploaded some of the official documents referring to John Leonard Weeks' service in the Confederacy. First are three documents concerning his treatment for small pox while a prisoner at Alton Prison in Illinois. They are dated from Nov 1863 to Jan 1864.
I have several documents indicating his parole from Fort Delaware Prison dated 28 Sep 1864 and his transfer for exchange to Aiken's Landing, VA dated 30 Sep 1864.
I also have two other documents related to his release from Fort Delaware. One is a receipt roll for clothing issued dated 9 Oct 1864. The other is a Muster Roll at Camp Lee, VA for paroled and exchanged prisoners.
There are several documents including a 40 day furlough for paroled prisoners and permission to visit Moscow, AL with a pass for the Danville Railroad.
Next are three documents including the Lamar Co., AL Tax Collector's 1907-08 Census of Confederate Soldiers (one showing his service with the 16th Alabama Infantry and one with Loy's Co., Roddy's Cavalry) and the Lamar Co., AL 1921 Census of Confederate Soldiers.
Next is a letter dated Jul 1914 from Senator John Bankhead helping John Leonard Weeks in his application for a Civil War pension. John Bankhead had been the Captain of Co., K, 16th Alabama Infantry. He had joined the same unit as a Private. At the time he wrote the letter he was a U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Committee on Post Offices and Roads.
And last is a record placing John L. Weeks on the Alabama Pension Roll in Class 2 filed on 16 May 1916 and granted Jun 1916.
I have dozens of other records (not uploaded here) including the original three page application, property appraisals, witness statements, different times when his pension was moved from one county to another, letters from the State Board of Pension Examiners, letters from John L. Weeks supporting his application, application to move from class 2 to class 3 (eligible at age 70), affidavits of witnesses, letters from Tax Assessor, letters from State Auditor, letters from the Pension Bureau, letters from the Adjutant General at the War Department, Muster Rolls for the 1st Mississippi Cavalry, and many more records of his treatment in the Prison Hospital at Alton, IL for small pox.
The flag of the 16th Alabama Infantry (see below) is located on display at the Alabama Archieves Building, Montgomery, Alabama. It is also included on a poster with other Alabama unit flags on display and can be purchased there.
Look here for an online history of the 5th Alabama Cavalry Regiment. This unit was recruited in the same area as the 16th Alabama Infantry Regiment and also served with Roddy. This history was written by Gene Cantrell. He also has written a history of the 16th Alabama Infantry. This book can be purchased directly from the author. For information you can contact
1114 W. Brockett St.
Sherman, Texas 75092
This excellent new site has comprehensive information about the battle at Mill Springs/Fishing Creek. It is of particular interest to those researching ancestors who fought there since it contains names and pictures of soldiers, casualties, etc. Many other related links are provided. I recommend that you check it out.
Another site I was lucky enough to find is the 16th Alabama Regiment, Company A Reenactor Unit. You will enjoy this!
I have a beautiful Raphael Tuck postcard view from the "Memorial Day" Series of Ft. Sumpter with the Confederate Flag in the foreground. Click here to see it.
Look here to review and order civil war books from Amazon.com.
My Great Great Grandfather, John Leonard Weeks (1838-1926)
John Leonard Weeks in his early 20's in Civil War uniform
John Leonard Weeks in his 80's
16th Alabama Infantry Unit Flag
This flag of the 16th Alabama Infantry Regiment is one of 87 located at the Alabama Archieves. It was captured by Pvt. Abraham Greenwalt of the 104th Ohio Infantry on Nov. 30, 1864 at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor by the U.S.
John Wesley Weeks - Co. B "Sabine Rebels" 17th LA Inf. Regt.
My First Cousin Four Times Removed
Photo Courtesy of the Confederate Calendar Works
Links to Civil War Sites
The Civil War Home Page * Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System * U.S. Civil War Center-Over 2,100 Civil War Links * Regiment 16th Alabama C.S.A. Rosters * Randy's Civil War Site -Sandlin Soldiers for both sides * Confederate Calendar Works * Confederate Regimental Histories * Fort Delaware Society * Online History of the 5th Alabama Cavalry Regiment * Andersonville National Historic Site * Andersonville And Other Civil War Prisons-Guidon Books * Sons of Confederate Veterans Home Page * More Civil War Sites * 4th Alabama Roddy's Cavalry
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