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My Ancestors Who Fought in the War Between the States

The Stars and Bars (1st Confederate Flag)

The "First Confederate Flag" - The "Stars & Bars"

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Col. Willis Cox Holt,
10th Ga. Infantry, C.S.A.

Col. W.C. Holt, my 3rd great grandfather on my maternal side was born in ~1830 in Georgia.  He was a lawyer in Georgia before the war practicing in Chattahoochee County Courthouse.  At the start of the war, he joined the 10th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, starting out as Captain of Company C.  He rose up the ranks from Captain to Major, then Lt. Colonel (he served as Lt. Colonel at Gettysburg) and finally as Colonel commanding the regiment when he was mortally wounded in 1864 at the Battle of Cedar Creek in Virginia (Battle of the Valley).  The 10th Georgia Infantry was part of the Army of Northern Virginia, and was assigned to Longstreet's 1st Corps for most of the war, save for a brief stint in East Tennessee.  Col. Holt is buried in a memorial Cemetery at the Masanutten Military Academy near Woodstock, Va.  There is quite a bit of documentation about him in literature I have about the Army of Northern Virginia during the War, tantamount to "decoration" in the C.S.A.  His daughter, Lucy Ann Holt, born in 1860, was left fatherless by the war, but she grew up through reconstruction, married J.M. White and moved to Texas.  Lucy Ann "Lou" (Holt) White was my 2nd great grandmother, and mother to my great-grandmother Susie White London, who I knew as a child.  Susie London's son, Harry London was my beloved maternal grandfather who passed away in 1991.

Col. Holt was 2nd cousins with Gen. John B. Gordon, (they both descend from the same Cox ancestor.)  Gen. Gordon was certainly a more famous and storied Confederate leader and later became Governor of Georgia after the War.  I am 2nd cousins 5 times removed with Gen. Gordon based on this genealogy!

Headstone of Col. W.C. Holt

George W. Griggs
Regimental Surgeon,
5th Alabama Cavalry, C.S.A.

Dr. George Washington Griggs was my 2nd great grandfather, and I descend through his daughter Hester Chappell Griggs who married E.V. Altman.  Their child, Earline Altman (London) was my maternal grandmother.  Dr. Griggs' C.S.A. service is mentioned in a book by his son, R.S. Griggs on page 6.  G.W. Griggs was born in Alabama, and is on the 1860 Federal Census as living in Sumter, Co., AL.  He was trained as a Dentist (his occupation on the 1860 census) but served as a surgeon in the War.  His exploits during the war are not well documented, and perhaps what he told his son about the war is not altogether factual (he mentions being injured at Shiloh, and serving the rest of the War as an 'interne'), but the 5th Alabama Cavalry wasn't AT Shiloh, and so it's not exactly clear what Dr. Griggs did during the war.  However, recent evidence in the form of a parole card (see below) is ample evidence that this soldier was indeed Dr. G.W. Griggs as he was paroled out of the C.S.A. in Washington County, Texas where he met and married Celeste Eugenia Jackson, and married her in September 1865.

Dr. GW Griggs CSA Parole Card
Click for larger image in new window

A differing history of Dr. G.W. Griggs service in the Civil War has surfaced from information found by Carlian Pittman, a historian/genealogist with the Hamilton County, Texas Genealogical Society.  This story puts Dr. Griggs in the 9th Mississippi Infantry, and thus is at odds with the story told above to a good degree:

History for McLennan, Falls, Bell and Coryell Counties.
(the parts alluding to his Civil War service are in red)

"Dr. G. W. Griggs, of Evant, Coryell County, Texas, was born in Madison County, Alabama, August 2, 1819.  He is a son of James Griggs, a Tennessee farmer, who moved to Alabama in time to be known as one of the pioneers of that State.  James Griggs was married first at the age of nineteen years to Sarah Landers, by whom he had seven children, the Doctor being the oldest.  Of the others be it recorded that Andrew Jackson, a soldier in the Confederate army, was killed battle.  Isaac died during the war; Thomas Madison died since the war, but of wounds received in that struggle; Nannie, who became the wife of Michael Obarr, is now deceased; Elisabeth died at the age of eighteen years; and one died in infancy.
     The subject of our sketch attended the old field schools when a boy, and there got a smattering of an English education.  In 1846, he emigrated to Noxubee county, Mississippi, where he began the study of the profession which made his life a success.  He graduated in dentistry at the Baltimore Dental College, and subsequently in medicine at the Philadelphia Medical College.  He then located for practice in Pickensville, Alabama, and soon afterward began to travel and do dental work, stopping at different places, and finally locating at Port Gibson, Mississippi, where he remained two years.   His next location was in Bicksburg, one year.  He then became a traveling dental surgeon and physician, traveling extensively through various Eastern and Southern States, and some of the States west of the Mississippi.
     When the rupture between the North and South was completed, the Doctor enlisted in the Ninth Mississippi Infantry, where he served one year, after which he was commissioned Surgeon.  He finished his service for the Confederacy in this capacity.  He was stationed at Fort McCree nine months.  At the battle of Shiloh he received a wound, and was then transferred to hospital service, from which he resigned in 1864, at Marion Station, Mississippi.
     Dr. Griggs then came to Texas, making the journey to this State on horseback, and being "flat broke."  He married and located in Washington county, where he farmed and practiced dentistry seven years.  he then moved to Waco, and lived there two years.  Not being satisfied there, his stay was brief, and in 1876 went back to Washington county, purchased land, and lived three years there.  he now resides in Coryell.  Of late he has almost ceased practice, having no desire to follow his profession for a livelihood.  He, however, relieves an occasional toothache for some friend or neighbor.  The Doctor owns a fine farm of 640 acres splendidly improved, 200 acres of which are under cultivation.
     In September, 1865, Dr. Griggs married Eugenie, daughter of T. J. Jackson.  Mrs. Griggs was born in Alabama, and reared in Texas.  The children born to this worthy couple are: T. Lee Griggs, who married Della Green; George E., Julia, Robert S. Mollie P., Heater [sic - this is Hester] C. and John J.
     The Griggs family originated in Scotland, but emigrated to the United States before the Revolutionary War.  Grandfather Griggs and his two brothers participated in that struggle.  The Grogginess [sic - I assume they mean to say Griggses] first settled in Virginia, and from there scattered into Tennessee and Alabama.  They have been farmers, and a thrifty and progressive people."

Willis Casey
Private, Co. G
17th Texas Infantry, C.S.A.

Willis Casey, my 2nd great grandfather, along with 3 of his brothers and an uncle (Andrew Jackson Turnbow) were in Co. G of the 17th Texas Infantry.  The other brothers were Hugh, Allen, and John Wesley, although John Wesley had to retire from the Infantry, and tried to get into a Cavalry unit, but it appears he instead was assigned to 'home guard' with the 27th Texas Militia, serving as a 2nd Lieutenant (per his footstone).

I recently uncovered the Regimental Banner (flag) of the 17th Texas Infantry in a book entitled "Battle Flags of Texas in the Confederacy" by Alan K. Sumrall (1995), which I found at the Denton (Texas)Public Library.  The image below is a scanned copy of his photograph:

17th Texas Infantry Banner

Click the image to open the full page scan to read Mr. Sumrall's description of the unit and the flag.

Also, See link to Randy Howald's excellent site.

For additional information:

This unit was attached to Brig. Gen. Henry E. McCulloch's 1st Brigade of Maj. Gen. John G. Walker's Division ("Walker's Texas Division" - the only Division comprised entirely of men from a single state), Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor's District of Western Louisiana in Lt. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith's Trans-Mississippi Department and was commanded by Col. Robert T. Allen. [Refer to Edwin Bearss' The Vicksburg Campaign, Volume III, page 1204.]

Joshua Fisher
Private, Co. D
30th Texas Cavalry, C.S.A.
(More to come)

Note: this notation formerly read 20th Texas Infantry--a mistake on my part.


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Site initially created 11/11/2002
(Veteran's Day 2002)

Last updated on 4/25/2004

Do you know there are Confederate Memorial Days to honor the fallen soldiers of the South?

This is from HistoryChannel.com, so display your Stars & Bars depending on your location and/or the home state of your ancestor or kin who fought in the War Between the States.

I fly my Stars & Bars on Jan. 19, for the Texas Confederate Heroes Day, and on April 26 to honor Col. W.C. Holt, of Georgia.  The 1st Confederate Flag (displayed above) is a sign of remembrance and honor to my ancestors, and in no way is to be construed as a symbol of hate, prejudice, or a desire to reinstitute the oppression that did occur in the old South.  This website is not about debating the Civil War or its causes or issues, but it should always be remembered that the conflict was not solely over slavery, but rather was a complex event during a complex time in American history, and was as much about deciding how centralized our government would be as opposed to government by localities (i.e. States' Rights).  In any event, I am saluting MEN who fought in the War, regardless of why they fought.  It is possible that some in my lineage may have been Union soldiers, but I have yet to find any, but if so, I will honor them in the same way, and on the same footing.

From the HistoryChannel.com:

Several Southern states continue to set aside a special day for honoring the Confederate dead, which is usually called Confederate Memorial Day:

Mississippi: Last Monday in April
Alabama: Fourth Monday in April
Georgia: April 26
North Carolina: May 10
South Carolina: May 10
Louisiana: June 3
Tennessee (Confederate Decoration Day): June 3
Texas (Confederate Heroes Day): January 19
Virginia: Last Monday in May

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