Saturday, December 25, 2010

G.W. Askew and Winter 1863-1864 at Dalton, Georgia

After being released from Parole Camp at Demopolis, Alabama; First Lieutenant G. W. Askew and the 42nd Alabama moved to join Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee near Chattanooga. Although the regiment didn’t arrive in time to participate in the Battle of Chickamauga, the unit joined the siege forces around Chattanooga during October 1863, fully participating in the Battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. For more on the 42nd Alabama’s participation in these battles, please feel free to read my recently published article by clicking this link … The 42nd Alabama at Chattanooga

After these two disasters … Braxton Bragg was replaced with Joe Johnston and the Army of Tennessee went into Winter Camp at Dalton, Georgia. Joe Johnston immediately began repairing and refitting his new command.

Railroad Depot at Dalton, Georgia

A Confederate soldier, John S. Jackman, recorded on 18 January 1864 the state of the Army of Tennessee while at Dalton, Georgia, “The old year closed down upon us with defeat, disaster. May the present year bring us victory and success. The hour is dark and full of gloom, but such generally comes before the dawning of a beautiful day.” He continues with, “The winter is wearing away, and soon our battle flags will have to be unfurled to the breezes of spring, and the lines of gray will have to be drawn up---a living wall, against which the tide of invasion, it is hoped, will beat in vain.” (John S. Jackman, Diary of a Confederate Soldier, edited by William C. Davis, University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, 1990)

While in Winter Camp, not only did Joe Johnston refit his army materially, he also refit his army spiritually; sponsoring a ‘great revival’. Bibles were distributed, Chapels constructed, and sermons prepared. Most 42nd Alabama soldiers participated in the revivals, a common occurrence within the Army of Tennessee.

“Preaching was kept up in Dalton every night except four for nearly four months, and in the camps all around the city preaching and prayer meetings occurred every night. The soldiers erected stands, improvised seats, and even built log churches, where they worshipped God in spirit and in truth. The result was glorious; thousands were happily converted and were prepared for the future that awaited them. Officers and men alike were brought under religious influence.” (Virginia Wood Alexander, Religious Life In The Army Of Tennessee. The United Daughters Of The Confederacy Magazine. May 1988. Page 52)

During this revival the Reverend James P. McMullen, minister of the Pleasant Ridge Church of Greene County, Alabama and acquaintance of Lieutenant Colonel Lanier joined the 42nd Alabama at Dalton. His son, William F. McMullen, was a member of the 36th Alabama Infantry, one of the 42nd Alabama’s sister regiments in the same brigade. Reverend McMullen continued as the Chaplain of the 42nd Alabama until he became a fatality during the Battle of Resaca on May 15, 1864. While in Winter Camp, my GGGrandfather probably participated in these revivals and attended the services conducted by Reverend McMullen.

G.W. Askew's Pay Voucher for October and November 1863

G.W. Askew's Pay Voucher for December 1863
G.W. Askew was paid $180 dollars on December 22, 1863 for the period of October 1 through November 30, 1863; certainly a very difficult period, in which I am sure he more than earned his $90 dollars a month. He must have also had the rare opportunity to spend some time back home in Mississippi; his payroll receipt for December 1863 lists him as ‘On Furlough’ when the payroll was distributed on January 15, 1864. In March 1864, G.W. Askew served as a character witness for 1LT E. A. Portis of Company K, 42nd Alabama, who was seeking a discharge due to medical disabilities after nearly three years of continuous hardship. My GGGrandfather testified:

“I have known Lieutenant E. A. Portis Co K 42nd Alabama Regiment as an officer since June 1862 and have never known him to avoid duty or fail to carry out orders when in health. He has suffered a great-deal from his disease. And I have known him to do duty and have been on duty with him when suffering from his disease, and when excused by the surgeon. He is in my opinion, in every way efficient and capable of performing the duties of an officer when not suffering with his disease. Lieutenant Portis has never been court-martialed or reprimanded by a superior officer for anything.”

G.W. Askew's testimony
E.A. Portis was discharged in May 1864 … G.W. Askew remained in Dalton until the Spring of 1864, when William T. Sherman began his opening moves of what would become known as the Campaign for Atlanta. The tranquility of Winter was broken as the 42nd Alabama once again faced combat at Mill Creek Gap during the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge on 7-12 May 1864.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

G.W. Askew and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Class of 1860

George W. Askew was a graduate of the Class of 1860 from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Of the 93 graduates, 92 served in the Confederate States Army.  This number provides a great testimonial to the capacious impact of the American Civil War to our society.  We were fortunate to discover a program from the Reunion of the Class of 1860 at Chapel Hill dated June 15, 1920. 

My ggrandfather must have cherished his memories of Chapel Hill and his classmates.  He maintained an autograph album of his fellow classmates and would include an entry of any information that he obtained on each individual.  Displayed is G.W. Askew's autograph album with an entry on George S. Martrie, Classmate Di Society, who was killed in action on September 21st, 1863 ‘in North Alabama by bush whackers’.    

It is interesting to note that the reunion program lists G.W. Askew as a Captain of a Mississippi Regiment.  G.W. Askew originally enlisted with the 44th Mississippi in 1861, prior to serving in the 42nd Alabama.  It is possible that he may have returned to a Mississippi Regiment toward the end of the war.   I will need to do some additional research or 'chasing the family ghosts' to track this down. 

Just a little additional history on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:

Charted by the North Carolina General Assembly on December 11, 1789, the university's cornerstone was laid on October 12, 1793, near the ruins of a chapel, chosen because of its central location within the state. It was originally known as simply the University of North Carolina. Beginning instruction of undergraduates in 1795, UNC is the oldest public university in the United States and the only such institution to confer degrees in the eighteenth century. During the Civil War, North Carolina Governor David Lowry Swain persuaded Confederate President Jefferson Davis to exempt some students from the draft, so the university was among few in the Confederacy that managed to stay open. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

1LT G.W. Askew's Vicksburg Parole Certificate

As my father, brother, and I began our initial research into our family history … we didn’t have a lot of information. My father visited a distant cousin and was able to obtain access to several original documents. One of which was the original Vicksburg Parole certificate for 1st Lieutenant George Washington Askew of the 42nd Alabama dated July 10, 1863 and signed by a paroling officer from an Illinois Regiment. These were issued to Southern soldiers shortly following the July 4, 1863 Confederate surrender. Initially both the U.S. and Confederate governments relied on the traditional European system of parole and prisoner exchange. The terms called for prisoners to give their word not to take up arms against their captors until they were formally exchanged for an enemy captive of equal rank. These exchanges were completed on paper … while the soldiers remained in their unit Parole camp until formally exchanged. Later the parole system was abolished and the Prison Camp system was established by both sides during the War. On the back side is a note providing transportation and an approved 30 day leave of absence for my GGGrandfather at the end of which he will report to the Parole Camp at Demopolis, Alabama. The approved leave of absence is signed by his Regimental Commander, LTC Thomas Lanier on July 20, 1863.

Of course, my GGGrandfather’s Parole Certificate captured our curiosity as to the actions of the 42nd Alabama during the campaign and siege of Vicksburg. We conducted quite a bit of research which included several trips to Vicksburg National Battlefield Park. The positions for the 42nd Alabama are clearly marked and located just behind the Visitors center near the old city cemetery. During the siege the cemetery was the approximate location of the 2nd Texas lunette. The 2nd Texas was a sister regiment of the 42nd Alabama under the brigade command of General John C. Moore. The 42nd Alabama covered the right flank portion of entrenchments for the Brigade. The road in front of the Visitors Center cuts perpendicular through the 42nd Alabama positions. Their position of entrenchments ran from the current cemetery across the road and overlooked the railroad cut of the Southern Railroad of Mississippi.

The 42nd Alabama held this position from the beginning of May through the surrender on July 4th 1863. During the period of the siege the 42nd Alabama assisted in repelling two direct assaults on 19 and 22 May. It is difficult to imagine the conditions in which these soldiers lived for the remaining time until the surrender … little food, crowding, constant bombardment, and terrible sanitary conditions. I have included a telling quote from General Moore describing the worsening conditions, "From this time to the close of the siege (forty-seven days) our men were confined to the trenches night and day under a fire of musketry and artillery, which was often kept up during the whole night as well as the day. Only those who were a near witness of the siege of Vicksburg will ever have a true conception of the endurance and suffering of these men, who stood at their post until overpowered, not by the enemy, but by the wants of nature. Those who only think and read of the siege, and those who witnessed and shared its trials, may perhaps form widely different conceptions of its nature. Some idea may be formed of the artillery fire to which we were exposed, when I state that a small party sent out for that purpose collected some two thousand shells near and in rear of the trenches occupied by our brigade."

For more information of the 42nd Alabama’s participation in the campaign and siege of Vicksburg please feel free to read my web published articles.

The 42nd Alabama and the Campaigns for Vicksburg

The 42nd Alabama and the Siege of Vicksburg

Sunday, July 25, 2010

2LT G.W. Askew, the 42nd Alabama, and the Battle of Corinth

                A few years ago as I was working on my thesis involving the 42nd Alabama, I had the opportunity to visit the Battlefield at Corinth, Mississippi.  My father made the visit with me as we rediscovered the past.  Corinth was the first experience of combat for the 42nd Alabama.  The 42nd Alabama participated in the heaviest portions of the battle from 3-5 October 1862.  The regiment’s first combat occurred near Battery F on 3 October, the heaviest action occurred on 4 October during the attack on Battery Robinette and the unit saw its final fighting on 5 October at Davis Bridge during the retreat from Corinth.  The regiment suffered horrendous casualties over the course of these three days of constant fighting.  The severest killed-in-action rates occurred in companies A, B, and D.  Overall, the 42nd Alabama suffered 57 percent casualties, reducing the regiment from 700 to approximately 304 effectives.  The 42nd Alabama suffered the second highest casualty rate within its assigned Brigade, Commanded by General John C. Moore.  The 42nd Alabama incurred rates of 5.8 percent killed-in-action, 9.6 percent wounded-in-action, and 41 percent missing-in-action or captured.  Many of the regiment’s leaders were wounded-in-action, including the Regimental Commander, Colonel Portis and his deputy, Lieutenant Colonel Lanier.  Of the ten company commanders, Captain Foster was killed-in-action and Captain Knox died of wounds, this equated to a 20 percent killed in action rate for company commanders.  One other company commander, Captain Condry, was wounded-in-action and survived his wounds.  One First Sergeant was killed-in-action and two of ten First Sergeants were wounded-in-action.  In addition, one lieutenant was killed-in-action and six were wounded-in-action, one of these wounded was my GGGrandfather, G. W. Askew of F Company.  I have included a few eye witness accounts of the bloody action experienced by the 42nd Alabama.

Charles R. Labruzan, acting commander of F Company, a former Mobile Merchant, husband and father of four, described the scene near Battery Robinette: 

We were met by a perfect storm of grape, canister, cannon balls and minnie balls.  Oh God! I have never seen the like! The men fell like grass even here.  Giving one tremendous cheer, we dashed to the brow of the hill on which the fortifications are situated…I saw men, running at full speed, stop suddenly and fall upon their faces, with their brains scattered all around; others, with legs and arms cut off, shrieking with agony.  They fell behind, beside, and within a few feet of me.  (Oscar L. Jackson, The Colonel’s Diary. Sharon, PA, 1922, p. 71)

Lieutenant Jefferson R. Stockdale described the actions of G company, “We went over the breastworks into Corinth and fought in the streets, grappling with the foe, in many instances hand to hand but overwhelming numbers forced us to retire, the killed and wounded on both sides was very great.” (The Democratic Watchtower Vol. 23, No. 40 October 28, 1862)

The 42nd Alabama culminated in the town of Corinth at the railroad junction near the Tishomingo Hotel.  At their high tide, General Moore reported that they were “overwhelmed” by “massive reserves” and “melted under their fire like snow in thaw.” (OR, 17.1, Washington, D.C.:  U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, p. 396)

For more information on the 42nd Alabama’s actions during these three days of combat, feel free to read my articles:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sergeant Sam Snow of the 8th Mississippi Infantry, A Letter from his First Sergeant, and an Unknown Mississippi Soldier’s Grave

As my father and I began our research into our family history, my father discovered a letter of condolence which began an interesting bit of fact finding on Sergeant Sam Snow.   The Letter of Condolence is as follows:

Company G 8th Mississippi Regiment Near Cassville Georgia May 18th 1864
Miss Mary,  It is my very painful necessity to communicate to you the news.  The very sad news of the death of your Brother Sam; he fell gallantly fighting for the liberties we are all striving, he was killed at Resaca on Saturday the 14th May. Just as the sun was sinking beneath the western hills.  The Confederacy has lost one of her bravest and best boys, a more gallant boy never lived.  I have fought by his side in four battles, but alas; he is done with the trials, trouble, and tribulations of this world and I hope is now a shining angel in Heaven.  I cannot speak in tones high enough to [illegible] his courage as a soldier; it is the fate of war.  He was left on the battlefield as we were not able to hold it.  Lt. Clark also fell a victim to that  “sad monster death”.  I do indeed sympathize with you and the family in your loss; as He was to me almost as a Brother, and I consider I have lost one of my best friends.  You have my sympathy.  I am Miss Mary Yours Respectfully Frank E. Hough 

During the course of our research we discovered that Samuel N. Snow was born on October 24, 1839 and was the older brother of my GGGrandmother Rachel Henritta (Snow) Askew.  He was the oldest sibling of a very large family.  He had a younger sister Mary F. Snow, who was the oldest of seven sisters and only two years younger than Sam.  

Sam volunteered on July 13, 1861 and mustered into Company G “Tolson Guard” of the 8th Mississippi Regiment at the age of 21.  He was later promoted to 4th Sergeant on April 20th, 1863.  Company G was first organized at Fellowship Church and mustered into state service at Buckley's Store in the Fellowship Community of Jasper County, Mississippi on July 17, 1861.  The 8th Regiment was subsequently mustered into Confederate service in early October and immediately sent to Pensacola, Florida where it defended against the Union held Fort Pickens through the remainder of 1861.   In May, 1862 the regiment was ordered to Mobile, Alabama and during December, 1862 participated in the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee where it suffered its first battlefield casualties of the war.  The regiment remained stationed at Bridgeport, Alabama until July 1863.  In September, the regiment was engaged in some of the heaviest fighting of the Battle of Chickamauga during which it 'liberated' three pieces of artillery and five horses from the Union Army.  The unit participated in the Siege of Chattanooga and the battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge during November 1863, sustaining heavy casualties.  Following these engagements, the regiment went into winter quarters at Dalton, Georgia with the Army of Tennessee under the command of General Joe Johnston.  As Sherman began his advance toward Atlanta and flanked Joe Johnston out of Dalton; Johnston attempted to confront Sherman at Resaca.  The Battle of Resaca began on May 13th 1864; the 8th Mississippi was assigned to W. H. T. Walkers Division of 1st Corps and participated in some of the most severe fighting of the battle. Sam Snow was killed in action on May 14th.  The only two casualties for Company G at Resaca were Lieutenant Lewis M. Clark and Sergeant Samuel N. Snow. 

A few years ago my brother had the opportunity to visit the Resaca Cemetery … he discovered Lieutenant Clark’s headstone and only a few yards from Lieutenant Clark’s headstone, near the back wall of the cemetery, was the headstone of an unknown Mississippi Soldier.  Could this be the final resting place of Sergeant Samuel N. Snow? 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Railroads and Reconstruction

Railroads made a large contribution to the reconstruction of the Southern economy after the American Civil War.  During the Reconstruction Era, Northern money financed the rebuilding and dramatic expansion of railroads throughout the South.  The Southern rail network expanded from 11,000 miles in 1870 to 29,000 miles in 1890. These Railroads helped create a mechanically skilled group of craftsmen from the depressed post Civil War agricultural economy of the South.  These conditions greatly contributed to the geographic location in which my 19th Century ancestors chose to settle.  After my GGGrandfather, George Washington Askew, departed from his venture with the Hashuqua Cotton Factory, he married Rachel Henrietta Snow of Stonewall, Mississippi and settled in Fulisavay a railroad community in Meridian, Mississippi.  He went to work for the New Orleans & North Eastern Railroad as a watchman.  The New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad was completed in 1883 and extended 196 miles from New Orleans to Meridian, Mississippi.  In 1916, the line was acquired by the Southern Railway, which eventually formed part of the Queen and Crescent Route.  He remained employed by the railroad until his death in 1916.

George and Henrietta had three sons, the first born was my GGrandfather William David Askew, 13 July 1873.  He began to work for the railroad at the age of 16, probably around 1889 and retired from the Illinois Central Railroad after 40 years of service.  He was a member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.  The Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen, founded in 1883, became the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen in 1899 and served as a Labor Union for railroad employees. In 1916, using his railroad proceeds, William David Askew purchased from Henrietta's brother, approximately 160 acres of land at Arundel Springs in Lauderdale County Mississippi, in order to establish a family farm, this land remains in our family to this day.

George Washington Askew’s younger brother, born in 1846, was Joseph Holly Askew, who married Willie Sharp, the daughter of Confederate General Jacob H. Sharp of Columbus, Mississippi.  During the Reconstruction Era, Jacob Sharp served as a Speaker in the Mississippi State House of Representatives in 1886.  Railroads, Employment, and Politics were well connected in Mississippi during the Reconstruction Era.  Probably through his father in law, Joe Askew became involved in State politics.  Joe was a member of the Mississippi State Legislature as the representative for Oktibbeha County in 1886 and 1888.  He also served as the Railroad Commissioner for the Mississippi Third District from 1890 to 1894.  In both positions, Joe was influential in key decisions which impacted the economy of Northeast Mississippi.  The January 6, 1888 Clarion Ledger Newspaper reported, “A lengthy running debate took place in the House on Tuesday, on a bill to pay disabled Confederate soldiers and sailors the small gratuity of $30 per annum, in cases where they are totally disabled and have not property to the amount of $500, or are not receiving salaries from any source. …. The remarks of Mr. Askew were forcible and a strong appeal to the House to grant the small pittance asked.”  Upon his election as Railroad Commissioner, the January 1890 edition of the Clarion Ledger stated, “Mr. Askew was chosen on the third ballot, receiving 86 votes.  He has served two terms in the House and was among its leading members.  He is a man of fine sense, and will prove a worthy successor of one of the best Railroad Commissioners the State has ever had.”  In 1893, Joe testified at a Board hearing to reinstate a questionable penitentiary warden that was favored by the Governor.  The September Biloxi Herald may have captured a bit of Joe’s temperament when it reported, “The meeting has been somewhat warm … Mr. Askew arose and said that he would not sign it under any circumstances, whereupon the governor replied that he (Askew) was on the other side.  Mr. Askew responded with some heat; ‘Governor Stone, you cannot bulldoze me into signing against my convictions.’” He remained at the original family estate near Starkville, Mississippi until his death in 1896.

As a continuation of our family history, my first cousin, a direct descendant of G. W. and David Askew, Jim Askew, is currently employed by the Norfolk Southern Railroad in Meridian, Mississippi at the same junction worked by his ancestors over a century ago.  He is also a member of the Queen and Crescent Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society and the Meridian Railroad Museum.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Origin of the Family Name

Thought I would cite a reference which explains the origin of our family name. The name ‘Askew’ appears to originate from the name of a location in Northern England.

“ The property in Cumbria, England listed in the Doomsday Book (dating from the time of William the Conqueror) as ECHESCOL was a grove of ash trees, as such a grove was called ASKOOG in that region where Norse (Old English) was spoken. The word ask means ash in Norse and the word esk means ash in Saxon (Askew and Eskew) … This property always referred to as the Ash Grove (askoog) was given to a man named Thurston in the time of King John, c. 1198, by the Boyvills, Lords of Kirksantons, ‘within the lordship of Millom.’ … most likely Thurston (a Norman name) was given this property which made him a yeoman (land owner) in return for his accompanying Boyhill on the Crusade. … The Askew name was given to those people who lived in the now extinct village of Ayskeugh which evidently was formed as the family of Thurston grew into a community in that same ash grove which he had received as a feoffment. Thurston was later called Thurston de Bosco (forest) translated Thurston of the wood (forest), the forest being the same ash grove (askoog). Evidently his children became John of the askoog, Mary of the askoog, later John Aiscough, Ayscough, Aiskeughe, Ascue on to Askew.” (Some Askew Family History by Earl Scott Glover)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Askew Codex

As I researched Anne Askew, I discovered another tidbit of information in relation to the English branch of the Askew family tree. Dr. A. Askew of London, England had acquired a lost gospel inscribed on its binding as "Piste Sophiea Cotice" which has been interpreted to mean “Books of the Savior”. The British Museum purchased the lost gospel from Dr. Askew in 1795. It is still not known how Dr. Askew originally acquired the document but, it is believed that he purchased it in a London book shop. This gospel became known as The Askew Codex and is still maintained by the British Library. The Askew Codex

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anne Askew – Protestant Martyr

As I have continued exploring our family history … one of the most intriguing personalities that I have stumbled across is Anne Askew. She was born in 1521, the daughter of an English nobleman, Sir William Askew. Unfortunately she was forced into an unhappy marriage to Thomas Kyme at the tender age of fifteen but, remained defiant to all unjust authority. She came of age at a time when the Church of England under King Henry VIII was of the Catholic faith but, the English Protestant Reform movement was gaining popularity. Anne was a well educated and devout Protestant. She would visit homes and conduct study groups based on Protestant beliefs. These study groups were considered illegal at the time. Her beliefs were not condoned by her husband so Anne traveled to London in order to obtain a divorce. While in London, Anne continued her Protestant study groups which were believed to be attended by Katherine Parr, King Henry the VIII’s last wife and Queen of England. Katherine Parr was a known reformist and a threat to the Catholic clergy within the Church of England. The Catholic clergy had declared some Protestant practices and beliefs as heresy. Stephen Gardiner, who served as the Bishop of Winchester, determined to stop the Protestant Reform movement, desired to prove that the Queen had engaged in heretic practices against the crown by having Anne confess to the Katherine Parr’s attendance at her study groups. Anne was arrested and endured several ‘examinations’ by the Church of England clergy to determine ‘heretical’ practices and beliefs. While confined at the Tower of London, Anne was tortured on the rack but, she never confessed even under great duress. She was finally condemned and burned at the stake at Smithfield on July 16, 1546 at the age of 25. Although, I cannot draw a direct lineage to Anne as she did have two children with Thomas Kyme, I am positive she is from the same family, as my family originated from England. Recently, I completed Only Glory Awaits by Leslie S. Nuernberg which does a fantastic job of capturing her mortal life and indomitable spirit. Anne wrote of her beliefs and the tribulations of her trails in Examinations. John Foxe, who was married to Margaret Askew (1614-1702) a descendant of Anne and reformist as well, also wrote of her in his Book of Martyrs. Anne has impressed me as a strong young lady with a deep commitment to her faith. I have also had the opportunity to visit the Tower of London a few years ago and could have possibly walked the same grounds as Anne. I truly believe that Anne was a steadfast force of Faith … and a great representation of how Faith can change unjust societal constraints.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

42nd Alabama at Kennesaw Mountain

Last week I visited the Kennesaw National Battlefield Park.  The 42nd Alabama participated in the attempt to check Sherman's march toward Atlanta.  At the time of the campaign George Washington Askew served as a First Lieutenant in F Company of the 42nd Alabama.  His unit was part of Baker's Brigade, Stewart's Division of Hood's Corps.  Below is 1LT G. W. Askew's payroll receipt for March 1864.

On June 4, 1864, Sherman's army had reached Allatoona and flanked Confederate General Johnston out of his position near New Hope Church. Johnston fell back to Kennesaw Mountain in order to block Sherman’s advance. Hood’s corps was placed on the right flank of Johnston's Army.  The Battle of Kenesaw Mountain occurred on 27 June, when Sherman ordered a general assault against the Confederate positions which ended in failure within a few hours. After the battle, Sherman again chose to maneuver around Johnston's position, crossing the Chattahoochee on 9 July. This manuever forced Johnston to abandon his defense on Kennesaw Mountain and fall back to the city of Atlanta.  Private Lambert, assigned to the same regiment as G.W. Askew, described Sherman’s flanking maneuvers, "We held our line some two weeks or more, as best I remember now, without any further desperate attempts on General Sherman’s part, but he finally started getting around in our rear again, causing us to again fall back to a defensible position, which was Kennesaw mountain, Marietta, and Powder Springs, where we locked horns, more or less, for a number of days; and the same performance was again forced on us. This time we fell back across the Chattahoochee River to Atlanta, but Sherman dropped down the river, and his army crossed on pontoon bridges." (R. A. Lambert, “In the Georgia Campaign” Confederate Veteran, (1930) 38: 21.)

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, displeased with Johnston's performance, replaced him with General Hood on 18 July. Lambert described the affect on the 42nd Alabama soldiers upon hearing the news of Hood replacing Johnston, “The effect of this change . . . can best be compared to a very warm man wearing a suit of thin underclothing and having a very cold, wet blanket thrown over him.”

After visiting the park it is easy to understand why Johnston chose this terrain for his attempt to stop Sherman's advance.  It is clearly the key geographic feature with a commanding view of the approaches to Atlanta.  Sherman was indeed wise to manuever around this formidable obstacle after his initial attempt failed.  Below is a photo of Kennesaw Mountain from the Union position, photo was taken shortly after the Civil War.
The below photos were taken from the Confederate positions atop Kennesaw Mountain during last week's trip.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Hashuqua Cotton Factory

Had the recent opportunity to chase some ghosts of our family history.  My great, great, grandfather, George Wahington Askew had joined in with several other local farmers and confederate veterans to establish the Hashuqua Cotton Factory in 1866.  My father and I had conducted significant research and located a lengthy article produced by an ancestor of one of the owners, some industrial census records, several newspaper articles, and a possible photo of the factory.  We were recently able to visit the site of the old Factory located in Noxubee County, Mississippi.  All that remains is the abutments for the dam along the Hashuqua stream, a small portion of the wooden structure of the water gates, and the foot pillers or piers that supported the floor of the factory structure. 
A few facts on the factory:
- Operated from 1866 to approximately 1890.  Unfortunately the company was forced into foreclosure and the property went back to its creditors.
- The machinery was imported from Liverpool, England through the port of Mobile, Albama.  The import tax cost as much as the machinery.
- 1870 Mississippi Manufactoring Census of Noxubee County lists the Capital Stock at $70,000, employed 10 males and 14 females, and produced domestic yarn.  By 1880, the factory employed seven males, eight females, and three children.
George W. Askew's initial investment was five thousand dollars, he was the acting secretary and treasurer for the company, and managed the general store on the site.  By 1868, the company was at 'low ebb' through several misfortunes which included high water damage to the factory structure, machinery, and the deaths of three of the original owners, leaving only my GGGrandfather and one other.  My GGGrandfather is described as "a young man of about 30 years of age, who was a graduate of Chapel Hill College, N.C.  He came among us as active secretary and treasurer of the company; being a stockholder of five thousand dollars, he put his shoulder to the wheel right at the start.  By this time the company had established a general store, and Askew was in charge of this and put in all his time, accepting such fare and eating at the same table with all the others.  He remained at Hashuqua for several years until his health gave way from the effects of malaria." (Historical Notes of Noxubee County Mississippi by John Anderson Tyson)