Friday, January 31, 2014

Nashville Mystery

I’ve already written about the Civil War experiences of my paternal grandfather’s father, Lt. William T. Mitchell of the 3rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment.  He joined that unit in April of 1861 and resigned his commission September 4, 1864 (Getting to Know My Great Grandfather).  I’ve never been able to find his letter of resignation, but it turned out to be a good career move.  The next seven months were not good ones for the men of the army of Tennessee.  Last year I read a book about the 3rd Tennessee regimen and learned that by mid-December of 1864, that unit which originally consisted of almost 900 men was down to 21 men and 3 “colored servants.” Even that late in the war, more than 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, the confederate army still had black men attached to that unit as servants.  I’ve often regretted that my great grandfather did not keep a diary.  I also wish those “colored servants” had left some record behind.  It would be fascinating to learn what they were thinking.

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