Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Gen. Horatio Gates' Letter to Continental Congress Announcing Victory at Saratoga

After the battles at Saratoga, New York, General Horatio Gates, wrote a letter to John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress announcing the victories. By rights the letter should have been sent to General George Washington, Gates' commanding officer. Many historians believe Gates was playing politics and angling to replace Washington as the supreme commander of the Continental Army. What is interesting about this letter to me, as an ancestor of a private in Morgan's Riflemen, is that Col. Morgan is mentioned in the letter. That private, who interests me so much was Benjamin Jennings, my four times great grandfather.

Page 1 of Gen. Gates' letter to the Continental Congress announcing his army's
victory at Saratoga; courtesy of the Library of Congress

Camp at Saratoga, Oct. 12th 1777


I have the satisfaction to acquaint your Excellency with the great successes of the arms of the United States in this department. On the 7th instant the enemy attacked our advanced Picket upon the left which drew on an action about the same hour of the day and was near the same spot of ground where that of the 19th of Sept. was fought. From three o'clock in the afternoon until almost night the conflict was very warm and bloody, when the enemy by a precipitate retreat, determined the fate of the day leaving in our hands eight pieces of brass cannon, and the tents and baggage of their fleeing[?] army, a large quantity of fixed ammunition, a considerable number of wounded and prisoners, among whom are the following principal officers -- Major Williams who commanded the artillery, Major Ackland who commanded the corps of grenadier, Capt. Money L. McGeneral[?], and Sir Francis Clark, principal aide de camp to his Excellency Gen. Burgoyne. The loss upon our side is not more than _____ killed

Pages 2 and 3 of Gen. Gates' letter to the Continental Congress announcing
his army's victory at Saratoga; courtesy of the Library of Congress

Killed and wounded, amongst the latter is the gallant Major Gen. Arnold, whose leg was fractured by a musket ball as he was forcing the enemy's breastwork. Too much praise cannot be given to the Corps commanded by Col. Morgan consisting of his rifle regiment, and the light infantry of the army under Maj. Dearborn. But it would be injustice not to say that the whole body engaged deserve the honor and applause due to such exalted [illegible]. The night after action, the enemy took position in the strong entrenched camp upon their left. Gen. Lincoln, whose division was opposite to the enemy, going in the afternoon to fired[?] a cannonade to annoy their camp, received a musket ball in his leg, which shattered the bone. This has deprived me of the assistance of one of the best officers as well as men. His loss at this time cannot be too much regretted. I am in hopes his leg may be saved.

The 9th at midnight the enemy quitted their entrenchment and retired to Saratoga. Early in the morning of the 9th I received the enclosed letter from Gen. Burgoyne acquainting me that he left his whole hospital to my protection, in which are 300 wounded officers and soldiers. Brigadier Gen. Fraser, who commanded the flying army of the enemy was killed the 7th instant. At one o'clock in the morning of the 10th I received the enclosed letter from Gen. Burgoyne with Lady Harriet Ackland. That morning as soon as the army could be properly put in motion, I marched in pursuit of the enemy and arrived on the evening, and found the enemy had taken position upon the opposite side of the Fish Kill in an entrenched camp which they occupied upon their advancing down the country. The enemy have burned all the houses before them as they retreated. The extensive buildings and mills, etc., belonging to Maj. Gen. Schuyler are also laid to ashes.

This shameful behavior occasioned my sending a Drum with the enclosed letter to Gen. Burgoyne.

I am happy to acquaint your Excellency that desertion has taken a deep root in the Royal army, particularly among the Germans who come to us in shoals.

I am so much possessed on every side with business that it is impossible for me to be more particular now, but I hope in a few days to have license to acquaint your Excellency with every circumstance at present omitted.

I am with great respect your Excellency's most obedient and humble servant,

Horatio Gates

[1] Excellency John Hancock, Esq.

Van Schaick Mansion: Planning the Defense of Albany
Morgan's Rifle Corps Travel North to Saratoga
Morgan's Rifle Corps Established and the Fog of War
Benjamin Jennings (c1740-1815): A Morgan's Rifleman
British Surrender at Saratoga
Revolutionary War Soldier

Monday, February 26, 2018

Van Schaick Mansion: Planning the Defense of Albany

In 1777 the British strategy to win the war known on this side of the Atlantic as the Revolutionary War was to capture Albany, New York, and split the New England colonies from the rest of the American seaboard. They thought this divide-and conquer strategy would end the revolt before the French decided to enter the war. The British estimated that 40 percent of the people in the colony of New York supported the British and they would be easy to control.

John Burgoyne would launch the campaign from Quebec, Canada, and drive down the Hudson River valley. Barry St. Leger would lead the western offensive, advancing from Fort Oswego on Lake Ontario to Fort Stanwix and then along the Mohawk River Valley. William Howe would sail his troops up the Hudson River from New York City. The three British Generals would converge at the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers, drive a few miles south to Albany, and capture the city.

British strategy for 1777 versus what actually happened; created
using Google Maps and Microsoft Powerpoint

The Americans did not have good intelligence as to what the British plans were. Gen. Washington was at Morristown, New Jersey, in an attempt to watch the wily Howe. Would he support Burgoyne or attack Philadelphia? In Washington: A Life,  Ron Chernow describes Washington's dilemma:

"General Howe commanded an army double or treble the size of his own, keeping him in an agony of suspense. Would the British general suddenly lunge north to hook up with General Burgoyne, who was then marching south from Canada? Or would he head for Philadelphia by sea or land to exploit the propaganda triumph of expelling the Continental Congress from the city?"[1]

To combat the Howe threat, Washington stationed a part of his army in Middlebrook, New Jersey, while the the rest of his troops remained in Morristown. After Ticonderoga fell to Burgoyne, Washington felt sure sure Howe would indeed sail up the Hudson in support of Burgoyne. Instead Howe's troops sailed from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean. Washington began concentrating on protecting Philadelphia. As a result he played little part in the ensuing defense of Albany except providing help in the planning and sorting out the differences between officers of the Northern Department and soothing the ill will a planned change in leadership would engender.

After Buygoyne captured forts Ticonderoga and William Henry, Philip Schuyler, commanding officer of the Northern Department, retreated to Van Schaick Island with 5,000 hungry and poorly equipped men. The island sat at the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers. The Mohawk was the main route for east-west travel and the Hudson, the primary route for north-south travel. The island was in a superior strategic position. Schuyler established his headquarters at Van Schaick mansion, a large house built by Goosen Geritge Van Schaick in 1735.

Schuyler was respected by his peers but had a difficult relationship with his enlisted men. His Dutch surname held no appeal for colonists of English descent. As a result, he was ordered to turn over command of the Northern Department to Gen. Horatio Gates. The public, enlisted troops and militia men loved Gates. He caroused with his troops and was not as aloof as many other generals. Like many other officers, Schuyler did not approve of his authority or management style, but accepted the change of command.

At the Van Schaick Mansion, George Washington[1], Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold developed the plans to defend Albany from Burgoyne. The initial plan was to engage Burgoyne at the first ford of the Mohawk on Van Hoever's (Havers) Island, now known as Peebles Island), and fortifications were constructed there. After St. Leger, commanding officer of the British western force lifted the siege at Fort Stanwix and a portion of Burgoyne's troops were defeated at Bennington, Vermont, the American prospects changed. Gen. Stark, the hero of Bennington traveled to Van Schaick Island to file his report. When he learned Gates was in charged of the Northern Department, he refused to serve under him.

Washington sent George Clinton, the governor of New York and a brigadier general who outranked the other officers, to Van Schaick Island to calm the factious generals. He stayed at the mansion for four days -- from 22 to 27 August and plans were finalized to move the Continental troops north.

Van Schaick Mansion, Green Island, New York; personal collection

As Burgoyne troops continued marching south and spreading a path of destruction along the Hudson River, word spread there would be a great battle north of Albany. More Continental Army troops, including Morgan's Riflemen, with which my four times great grandfather, Benjamin Jennings, served as well as militia men from neighboring colonies came to Van Schaick Island. Soon there was upwards of 6,000 to 8,000 American men preparing to fight Burgoyne. American morale was boosted by the battles at Oriskany and Bennington. Gates marched his troops north and meet Burgoyne in Stillwater where the Americans won the battles of Saratoga and turned the tide of the war.

The mansion where the war plans were developed was built in 1735 by Goosen Gertige Van Schaick. The location of the island at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers on which the house was located made it an ideal military stronghold. It served as headquarters during the French and Indian Wars in 1755 and in the American Revolution beginning in 1777.

The Van Schaick Mansion is now owned by the Peter Gansevoort Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). DAR conducts open houses once a month on Sundays in June through October. I cannot wait to tour the mansion.

[1] Legend has it that Washington, during one of his visits to the mansion, carved his initials in an upstairs window. 

Morgan's Rifle Corps Travel North to Saratoga
Morgan's Rifle Corps Established and the Fog of War
Benjamin Jennings (c1740-1815): A Morgan's Rifleman
British Surrender at Saratoga
Revolutionary War Soldier

Friday, February 23, 2018

52 Ancestors #8: Marvin Edward Jennings, Sr. (1901-1961): A Railroadman

Ancestor Name: Marvin Edward Jennings, Sr., grandfather
DNA Haplogroup: I-M253

Marvin Edward Jennings was born on 15 November 1901 or 1902 (though he used 1901 throughout his life) to 58-year-old Charles Edward Jennings, a Civil War veteran, and his second wife, Effie Beard, in Roanoke, Virginia, likely at their home, 1201 Loudon Avenue, NW. His father co-owned a grocery store located at the corner of Wells Avenue and 12th Street, NW. He was their third child, though his father had seven children, six still living by his first wife. A month after Marvin turned four years old, his mother had another son. She died on 4 May 1906 and her youngest son died five weeks later.

In 1910, Marvin, his father and full siblings lived at 1211 Loudon Avenue, but his father no longer owned the grocery. Instead, he worked as a carpenter for a building contractor. Family lore indicated Charles' partner in the grocery business absconded with the all the money, leaving Charles with no business and no way to support his children who still remained at home.

In 1911 he decided he could no longer care for his children. We learn from the orphanage application Marvin's half brother completed and the correspondence with the Lutheran Orphanage in Salem that his father placed Marvin's brother Leo, with a married half-sister, who lived in Erwin, Tennessee, and his sister with her maternal aunt, Sarah (Beard) Mays, who also lived in Roanoke. Her husband was also a carpenter, so perhaps he got Charles his job after he lost the grocery.

The letter Daniel Jennings wrote Superintendent Crabtree, who ran the orphanage was obtained by my father when he was still actively researching his family history:

Aug. 9th, 1911

Prof. J. T. Crabtree, Supt.,
Lutheran Orphanage
Salem, Va.

Dir Sir:

Referring to our conversation with you on last Monday concerning the admission of my brother into your institute, beg to enclose herewith formal application, his Father being well pleased with the conditions under which he will be admitted, provided, of course, your Board of Trustees consider the application favorably.

Concerning Marvin, would say his is of amiable disposition, easily controlled, and a bright and studious child. He has been attending the Roanoke public school since old enough, and has successfully passed all examinations which places him in the second "A", Primary grade at the beginning of the next school term.

You will note from application sheet that he has had most of the diseases of children, but his general health is good; his slight lameness is not a deformity, but due to the effect of measles which he had when quite a small child.[1]

He has one own brother and sister who are minors. His brother, Leo, resides with a half-sister in Tennessee, the sister with her aunt, Mrs. Mays, Roanoke. He has three half brothers residing in Roanoke, one half-sister residing in Roanoke, and, and one half-sister, above mentioned, residing in Erwin, Tenn.

His father is 68 years old, has fairly good health and was for many years engaged in the mercantile business in Roanoke, but for the past four or five years has been a building contractor.

You will also find enclosed herewith letter addressed to you from Hon. H. B. Trout concerning the application form.

The writer is especially anxious that the child be placed under your care, and sincerely trusts that the matter may receive favorable consideration by your Board of Trustees.

Yours very truly,

D. M. Jennings

Lutheran Orphanage Application for Marvin Edward Jennings; personal collection

The orphanages had been established in the 1890s when accidents and diseases like tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid, and malaria frequently robbed children of their parents. In those post Civil War years, according to one report, the number of orphans grew to "unthinkable levels" and "across Virginia, frightened children roamed the streets and countryside begging for handouts and mercy." The Lutheran Orphanage was originally known as the Lutheran Orphan Home of the South it moved to Salem, Virginia, in 1896, and was housed in an elegant five-story building, formerly the Hotel Salem on College Avenue. This building served as the orphanage until 1927, an imposing 80-room, red-brick structure, almost castle-like in appearance, with its tower, turrets, dormers and arched windows. Rev. John T. Crabtree became the superintendent in 1904. He was a Confederate veteran, former Salem High School principal and Roanoke College professor. He served the orphanage until 1922.

Marvin Edward Jennings at the Lutheran Orphanage, back row fourth from left;
personal collection

In 1916 Marvin's brother, Leo, enlisted in the Army. It's not known whether Marvin ever saw his brother again. Marvin's father died in 1917 at the home of his daughter, Leta Jennings Womack, in Erwin, Tennessee. By 1920 Marvin had been released from the orphanage and lived with his half-brother, Daniel Jennings, who worked as a manager at a wholesale shoe company. Marvin worked as a clerk for Norfolk & Western (N&W) in Roanoke. His duties included calculating the freight rates charged to the railroad's commercial clients. This included figuring weight of the freight, miles traveled and over which railroad company's tracks.

He was transferred to War, West Virginia, deep in coal country and met Alice Muir at a silent movie. She worked as a maid in home and had taken her employer's son to the movies. Since he was too young to read, Alice read the dialogue to him. Marvin went to the picture with some friends and sat nearby. They began "walking out," as dating was then called. Not long afterwards Alice moved back to East St. Louis, Illinois, where her father owned a home. When she learned she was pregnant, she wrote to Marvin, who quit his job, moved to Illinois and married Alice on 13 May 1924 in East St. Louis. Their daughter, Pear Marie, was born on 19 September 1924 in East St. Louis and died in the same city on 30 December of the same year.

After moving to East St. Louis, Marvin worked for the Illinois Central railroad, sometimes called the main line of mid-America, where he again worked as a rate clerk. Marvin and Alice began their marriage living in the home owned by Alice's father, a coal miner and union organizer who was then working in West Virginia. In 1927 they had a son and lived at 8305 State Street in East St. Louis. Their youngest child was born in 1931.

The Marvin Edward Jennings family; personal collection

As the Depression deepened its awful grip on the country, Marvin lost his job with the railroad. He went on relief, as government aid to needy families was then called, mowed lawns, and did whatever work he could find. When their youngest child was still an infant, Alice's aunt Janie and her husband, Herbert Beck, invited Marvin and Alice to Montana, to live on the land they had homesteaded in the 1920s near Roy, in Fergus County. When the train pulled into the station, there were several feet of snow on the ground, Alice was not impressed, and they soon returned to Illinois.

In 1941, Marvin got a job with the federal government and worked for the General Accounting Office (GAO), a legislative branch agency, established in 1921 and responsible for investigating all matters related to public funds and make recommendation for greater efficiency and economy of expenditures. He worked in the Transportation division on railroad matters. The family rented a row house in Washington, DC, before buying a home in the Spout Run area of Arlington County. This was to be their home until Marvin's death.

They also bought a 4-room fishing shack on Carrs Creek, a tidal creek of the Chesapeake Bay in Deale Beach, Maryland. Fishing was one of Marvin's greatest pastimes and he and his family enjoyed many weekends at the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Their son, Ted, bought a fishing boat, which added to his father's enjoyment.

Marvin Edward Jennings, his son (right) and a friend on his son's boat; personal

Marvin was rushed to Northern Virginia Doctors hospital in Arlington County, on 1 May 1961. He died seven hours later of an abdominal aorta aneurysm and was interred at National Memorial Park in Falls Church, Virginia. At the time of his death, I was almost three years old. My memories of Grandpa Jennings are few. Perhaps, the only real one I have is playing the "lighter game." He would stretch out on the sofa after dinner and I would sit on his chest and search his pockets for his lighter. Why this filled me with so much glee I can still remember it, I have no idea. The lighter was always in his shirt pocket.

Marvin Edward Jennings at Beverly Beach Pavillion, Maryland; personal

Like all good railroad men, Grandpa owned a pocket watch. My brother, John, used it during his summer job, driving the tractor for tobacco pickers. It was important to drive the tractor slow enough so they were always picking in front of them and he used the watch to time his speed up and down the rows. My brother, Ted, owns the watch now and we all wish we knew more about it.

My grandfather's pocket watch; photograph by Ted Jennings

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. The theme for this week was "Heirloom."

Using the Ancestral Reference Numbering System, Marvin Edward Jennings, Sr., is Ancestor number  4 on my family tree:

4.0 Marvin Edward Jennings, Sr., born 16 November 1901 in Roanoke, Virginia, to Charles Edward Jennings and second wife, Effie Beard. He was their youngest child, who lived to adulthood. His mother died when he was 5 years old and his 68-year-old father placed him in an orphanage in 1911 while his siblings were placed with other family members. He met Alice Muir in War, West Virginia, when he worked for Norfolk & Western (N&W) railroad. They married on 13 May 1924 in East St. Louis, Illinois, and made their residence there. Marvin worked for the Illinois Central (IC) railroad. He lost his job during the Depression and eventually was offered a job at the General Accounting Office, in Washington, DC. They moved in 1941 and lived in Washington and Arlington County, Virginia. Marvin died on 1 May 1961 at Northern Virginia Doctors' Hospital in Arlington of abdominal aorta aneurysm and was interred at National Memorial Park in Falls Church, Virginia.

4.1 Pearl Marie Jennings born 19 September 1924 in East St. Louis, Illinois; died 30 December 1924 in East St. Louis.

4.2 Marvin Edward Jennings, Sr., born 23 July 1927 in East St. Louis; married Rachel Mildred Lange, daughter of Gustav Lange and Wilhelmina Schalin, on 5 April 1952 in Arlington, Virginia. She died on 16 October 2006 in South Boston, Virginia. Two children.

4.3 Charles Theodore Jennings, born 14 December 1931 in Centreville, Illinois, married Dorothy Ailein Lange, daughter Gustav Lange and Wilhelmina Schalin on 15 November 1957 in Arlington, Virginia. She died on 9 September 2014 in New Bern, North Carolina. Three children.

[1] According to my grandmother, Marvin Jennings did not become lame from contracting measles but rather polio. One leg was shorter than the other and he wore leg braces the remainder of his life.

1910 US Federal Census, (database and images), FamilySearch, Marvin E Jennings in household of Charles E Jennings, Roanoke Melrose Ward, Roanoke (Independent City), Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 125, sheet 8A, family 128, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982); FHL Microfilm 1375659 (accessed 12 Feb 2018)
1920 US Federal Census, (database and images), Family Search, Marvin E Jennings in household of Daniel M Jiminys, Roanoke Highland War 2, Roanoke (Independent City), Virginia, United States; citing ED 31, sheet 15B, line 64, family 335, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington: DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1912; FHL microfilm 1821912 (accessed 12 Feb 2018)
1930 US Federal Census, (database and images), FamilySearch, Marvin Jennings, East St Louis, St Clair, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 61, sheet 13A, line 35, family 397, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002) roll 557, FHL microfilm 2340292 (accessed 12 Feb 2018)
1940 US Federal Census, (database and images), FamilySearch, Marvin Jennings, Centreville Township, St Clair, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 82-35, sheet 19B, line 74, family 164, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007, RG 29, (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 879 (accessed 18 Feb 2018
Find A Grave Index, (database), FamilySearch, Marvin Edward Jennings, 1961; Burial, Falls Church, Fairfax, Virginia, United States of America, National Memorial Park; citing record ID 17662909, Find a Grave
Draft Registration Card for Virginia, (database and images), Fold3, Marvin Edward Jennings, 16 Nov 1902, Virginia, Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II, NARA, 2012, No. 12-029 (accessed 30 Nov 2017)
Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947, (database), FamilySearch, Marvin Jennings in entry for Pear Marie Jennings, 30 Dec 1924; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1493150 (access 27 Dec 2014)
Illinois, St Clair County, Marriage License, No. 11915, Marvin Edward Jennings and Alice Muir, 13 May 1924
International Order of Odd Fellows, Grand Encampment, Washington, DC, 8 Feb 1962
International Order of Odd Fellows, Mount Pleasant Rebekah Lodge No. 9, Resolutions and Memorial on the Death of Brother Marvin Jennings, 18 May 1961
International Order of Odd Fellows, Grand Encampment, Washington, DC, Official Bulletin No. 5, 1 May 1961
Jennings, Alice Muir, Genealogy Notebook, page 10
Jennings, Daniel, Letter and application to Lutheran Orphanage, Salem, Virginia, 12 Aug 1911
Lutheran Orphanage in Salem, Virginia, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 12 Feb 2018)
Marvin Edward Jennings (1901-1961), Robert Muir Family Blog (accessed 12 Feb 2018)
My Grandfather and the Orphanage, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 12 Feb 2018)
US City Directories, 1822-1995, (database with images), Ancestry, Marvin E Jennings, East St Louis, Illinois, 1926 (accessed 3 Jan 2015)
US City Directories, 1822-1995, (database with images), Ancestry, Marvin E Jennings, East St Louis, Illinois, 1928 (accessed 3 Jan 2015)
US City Directories, 1822-1995, (database with images), Ancestry, Marvin E Jennings, East St Louis, Illinois, 1930 (accessed 3 Jan 2015)
US World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1942-1947, (database), Ancestry, Marvin Edward Jennings, Arlington, Virginia, United States, National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 387 (accessed 20 Nov 2017)
Virginia Birth Records, 1864-1999, (database and images), Ancestry, Marvin Edward Jennings, Roanoke, Virginia, 1902 (accessed 30 Jun 2016)
Virginia Death Certificate No. 106-285, Marvin E Jennings, Sr., 1961
Virginia Death Records, 1912-2014, (database and images), Ancestry, Marvin E Jennings, Sr, Arlington, Arlington, VA, 1961 (accessed 30 Jun 2016)
Virginia Marriage Records, 1936-2014, (database and images), Ancestry, Marvin E Jennings in entry for Marvin Edward Jennings, Jr and Rachel Mildred Lange, 1952 (accessed 30 Jun 2016)
Virginia Marriage Records, 1936-2014, (database and images), Ancestry, Marvin E Jennings in entry for Charles Theodore Jennings and Dorothy Ailein Lange, 1957 (accessed 30 Jun 2016)

Morgan's Rifle Corps Travel North to Saratoga
Charles Edward Jennings (1843-1917): 19th Virginia Infantry Regiment
Morgan's Rifle Corps Established and the Fog of War
Charles Edward Jennings (1843-1917): First to Leave the Farm
Powhatan Perrow Jennings (1812-1858): A Life Cut Short
John W. Jennings (1776-1858): War of 1812 Veteran
Benjamin Jennings (c1740-1815): Last Will and Testament
Benjamin Jennings (c1740-1815): Morgan's Riflemen
Benjamin Jennings (c1740-1815): Beginnings and Endings
Who Was the Original Jennings Immigrant?
Did John W. Jennings, Sr. (c1777-1858) Marry His Niece?
Discovering my Local History Center
British Surrender at Saratoga
The Great Jennens Case

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Charles Edward Jennings' Civil War Pension Application

At the age of 70 my great grandfather, Charles Edward Jennings, moved from Roanoke, Virginia, to Erwin, Tennessee and lived with his daughter Leta Vernon (Jennings) Womack and her family. Two years previously, in 1911, he had placed his three living children by his second wife with relatives and in an orphanage.

After living in Tennessee for a few years, he applied for a pension from the State of Tennessee for his service in the Confederate States of America (CSA) Army. He would qualify for a pension after providing information about his service, how he got out of the Army, his disability or indigency, and a doctor or a trustee of a county had to provide information about his character. He completed his application on 24 March 1917, five months before he died.

Charles Edward Jennings; courtesy of Janie Darby

Soldier's Application for Pension

I, Charles Edward Jennings, native of the State of Virginia and now a citizen of Tennessee, resident at Erwin, in the County of Unicoi, in the State of Tennessee, and who was a soldier from the State of Virginia, in the war between the United States and the Confederate States, do hereby apply for aid under the Act of the General Assembly of Tennessee, entitled "An Act for the benefit of the indigent and disabled soldiers of the late war between the States, and to fix the fees of attorneys or agents for procuring such pensions and fixing a penalty for violation of the same." And I do solemnly swear that I was a member of Company H, 19th Virginia Infantry, in the service of the Confederate or United States, and that by reason of disability or indigence I am now entitled to receive the benefit of this Act. I further swear that I do not hold any National, State or county office, nor do I receive aid or pension from any other State, or from the United States, and that I am not an inmate of any soldier's home, and that I am unable to earn reasonable support for myself or my family. I do further swear that the answers given to the following questions are true:

In what County, State, and year were you born? Amherst Co., Va. 1843

When did you enlist and in what command? Give the names of the regimental and company officers under whom you served? March 1, 1862. J. T. Ellis, Captain Taylor Berry and Ben Brown, Captain. Col. Struggs, Regimental Commander.

In what battles were you engaged, and, if not wounded, state what disabilities did you receive, if any? Williamsburg and Seven Pines.

What was the precise nature of your wound or disability, if any? X

Were you incapacitated from service by reason of said wound or disability incurred? X

Were you discharged from the army by reason of said wound or disability? X

If discharged from the army, where were you and what did you do until the close of the war? X

What was the name of the surgeon who attended you? X

How did you get out of the Army, when and where? Appomattox, at end of war.

Were you ever in prison? If so, state what prison and when released? No.

Were you paroled? If so, when and where? No.

Did you take an oath of allegiance to the United States Government? No.

If so, when and under what circumstances? X

Have you applied for a pension before this? If so, about when? No.

Are you married or have you been married? Widower.

If so, what is the size of your family living together? None.

What are the respective ages of your wife and the children living with you? None living with me, but support one 15-year-old.[1]

To what sex do your children belong? Both, 5 males and 3 females.

In what business are you now engaged, if any, and what do your earn? None.

What estate do you have in your own right, real and personal, and what is its actual cash value? Real estate about $2,500.

What estate has your wife in her own right, real and personal, and what is its actual cash value? X

State the gross income of you and your wife from all sources for the past year. This must included all money received either from wages, rents or interest on loaned money, if any. Also family supplies raised or received from rents and used by your family. $432.

How have you derived support for yourself and your family for the past five years? Rent from property.

How long and since when have you been an actual resident of Tennessee? About three years, since Dec. 1913.

Have you an attorney to look after this application? No.

Give his name and address? C. E. Jennings, Erwin, Tenn.

Witness my hand this 24 day of March 1917.


W. T. Woodward
Erwin, Tennessee

T. C. Payne
Clifford, Virginia

E. B. McGinnis
Amherst, Virginia

24 March 1917 doctor's assessment of the health of Charles Edward Jennings;
courtesy of Tennessee State Library and Archives

The trustee of Unicoi County certified that Charles Edward Jennings had no property and W. S. Erwin, clerk of the county, certified that the answers provided on the application were true on 24 March 1917. His doctor appeared before a notary public and provided an assessment of Charles' health:

Bronchial asthma, rheumatism, and valvular lesion of the heart. This man is entirely or totally incapacitated from performing any manual labor whatever. As a result of his heart lesion, he has swollen feet, tires easily, has shortness of breath on exertion, etc. This man needs an attendant most of the time.

W. H. Carter, clerk of the Unicoi County Circuit Court, certified that E. B. McGinnis and T. C. Payne were good, upstanding citizens of the community and personally appeared before him to witness Charles' application and verify it was truthful. They also swore he had good habits and was "free from dishonor." E. B. McGinnis also swore he served with Charles Co. H, 19th Virginia Infantry for three years and he was a "true and loyal soldier."

10 Apr 1917 response from the War Department;
courtesy of Tennessee State Library and Archives

The Board of Examiners queried the War Department on 7 April 1917 regarding the service particulars of Charles Edward Jennings. The War Department responded on 10 April with the following information:

Charles E. Jennings enlisted 1 Mar 1862 as a pvt. in Co. H, 19th Regt. Va. Inf., C.S.A. Roll for July, Aug. 1864, last on file, shows him absent, detailed in hospital Lynchburg, Va. No prisoner of war record found.

15 Jun 1917 letter to Charles Edward Jennings in response to
his pension application; courtesy of Tennessee State Library
and Archives

On 15 June 1917, two months before Charles died, the Tennessee Board of Pension Examiners, wrote to him:

Mr. C. E. Jennings
Erwin, Tennessee

Dear Sir:

In examining your application for pension, the last record I can find of you reports your "absent, detailed in hospital at Lynchburg, Va." It will be necessary for you to prove that you remained in service until the close of the war by someone who was with you, and who can speak from personal knowledge."

In reply, Charles had W. D. McDaniel certify before a notary public that he served with Charles in Company H, 19th Virginia Infantry until the close of the war.

It did little good. Charles Edward Jennings' pension application was rejected by the State of Tennessee.

The War Department was correct. He was detailed to work in a hospital in Lynchburg per a surgeon's certificate due to curvature of the spine. A board of medical examiners declared him fit to return to his regiment on 21 October 1864 and there his service records ended. So I am left with the same question I had after finding his military records, did Charles return to his unit, which was captured en masse at Saylor's Creek on 6 April 1865? Or did he simply go home to Amherst County?

I also have some new questions. Why did he not state on his application he had been detailed by special order[2] to serve in hospitals in Lynchburg? And how did he find witnesses who swore he served with the regiment during the entire course of the war when he obviously did not.

[1] The 15-year-old child was my grandfather, Marvin Edward Jennings, Sr., who was placed in an orphanage in Salem, Virginia. His father paid a fee for his care.
[2] The special order was signed by Gen. Robert E. Lee and commanding the following on 18 May 1863: "Private Chas. E. Jennings of Co. H, 19th Virginia detailed for duty in Genl. Hosptl. at Lynchburg, Va. and will report to Sargt. W. O. Owen in charge for assignment."

Monday, February 19, 2018

Morgan's Rifle Corps Travel North to Saratoga

Continued from Morgan's Rifle Corps Established and the Fog of War 

The following information is from The Life of General Daniel Morgan by James Graham, published in 1859:

The terror which Burgoyne's Indian auxiliaries had spread among the people, by the murder and rapine which marked their path, required counteraction; and it was not, without reason, believed by the commander-in-chief, that in Daniel Morgan and his corps, such a counteraction would be found. He felt assured that they would prove more than a match for the Indians, and soon reassure the affrighted people. Still, the valuable services which they had performed, made him extremely reluctant to part with them. Nothing but the appeal to his benevolent impulses, which was coupled with the desire for the aid of this corps -- that an inhuman and merciless system of warfare might meet with merited chastisement -- induced him to detach them on this service. Orders were accordingly issued, as follows:

Neshamini Camp, August 16, 1777. [To] Col. Morgan, Sir: After you receive this, you will march, as soon as possible, with the corps under your command, to Peekskill, taking with you all baggage belonging to it. When you arrive there, you will take directions from General Putnam, who, I expect, will have vessels provided to carry you to Albany. The approach of the enemy in that quarter has made a further reinforcement necessary, and I know of no corps so likely to check their progress, in proportion to its number, as that under your command. I have great dependence on you, your officers and men, and I am persuaded you will do honor to yourselves, and essential services to your country.

Typical Hudson River sloops (based on Dutch design) near Anthony's nose,
a geological feature near Cortlandt Manor, New York; courtesy of the Hudson
River Maritime Museum

I expect that your corps has been paid to the last of June; but, as you are going on this command, and they may have occasion for more money, you will make out an estimate, as well as you can, for the sum due them for the month of July, and send an officer with it, to whom the amount shall be paid. I do not mean to exclude the corps from their pay in June. If that has not been paid, include it in the estimate.

I have nothing more to add, than my wishes for your success.

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

George Washington

In obedience to these orders, Morgan put his corps in motion for the North, where he was destined to add so greatly to the laurels he had already won. The corps was in high spirits at the prospect of being speedily in a quarter where their fighting propensities might find full exercise.

While on the march, they were overtaken by further orders[1], not on this occasion countermanding those preceding, but supplementary to them. In obedience of these orders the march was hastened in the direction of Peekskill.

About a week after Morgan's departure for the North, and when he had proceeded too far to be recalled, intelligence was received that the British fleet had arrived in Chesapeake Bay, and that Howe, with sixteen thousand men, had landed, and was marching towards Philadelphia.

Washington, in the meantime, had advised General Gates of Morgan's advance to join him. "From various representations made to me," he observes, "of the disadvantages the army lay under, particularly the militia, from an apprehension of the Indian mode of fighting, I have dispatched Colonel Morgan, with his corps of riflemen, to your assistance, and expect that they will be with you in eight or ten days from this date. This corps I have great dependence on, and have no doubt but they will be exceedingly useful to you; as a check given to the savages, and keeping them within proper bounds, will prevent General Burgoyne from getting intelligence as formerly, and animate your other troops from a sense of their being more on an equality with the enemy."

On the same subject, the commander-in-chief wrote to General Putnam on the 16th:

"The people in the Northern army seem so intimidated by the Indians, that I have determined to send up Colonel Morgan's corps of riflemen, who will fight them in their own way. They will march from Trenton to-morrow morning, and reach Peekskill with all expedition. You will please to have sloops ready to transport them, and provisions laid in, that they may not wait a moment. The corps consists of five hundred men."

To Governor Clinton[2], in a letter of the same date, he observes:

"In addition to the two regiments which are gone from Peekskill, I am forwarding as fast as possible, to join the Northern army, Colonel Morgan's corps of riflemen, amounting to about five hundred. These are all chosen men, selected from the army at large well acquainted with the use of rifles, and with that mode of fighting, which is necessary to make them a good counterpoise to the Indians; and they have distinguished themselves on a variety of occasions, since the formation of the corps, in skirmishes with the enemy. I expect the most eminent services from them, and I shall be mistaken if their presence does not go far towards producing a general desertion among the savages."

Morgan, at the head of his corps, proceeded without delay to Peekskill. Here, having embarked his troops in the vessels which had been prepared for their reception, he started by a more expeditious method of traveling to Albany, leaving Lieutenant Colonel Butler to command during the passage.

Until a short time previous to this date, the operations in this quarter had resulted in a succession of disasters to the American cause. The conquest of Canada was followed by the fall of Ticonderoga, and all the other American posts on that frontier. Burgoyne, at the head of a powerful army and an auxiliary force of Indians and Canadians, had penetrated deep into the country, spreading death and desolation among its inhabitants, and was now encamped near the Hudson. Here his career was destined to terminate. Those severe reverses which he experienced at Bennington and in Tryon county[3], must have warned him of the fate which awaited him, even before the arrival of Gates and a large reinforcement. This officer succeeded General Schuyler in the command of the Northern army on the 19th of August. In reply to the letter of the commander-in-chief, Gates took in review the state of affairs in the North at that time. He likewise expressed his thanks for being permitted to obtain the valuable aid of Morgan and his corps...

Morgan, upon his arrival at Albany, found that preparations had already been made for the reception of his troops, and the transportation of their baggage to the scene of the action. As may be inferred from the annexed letter which awaited his arrival, General Gates was anxious to avail himself of his services at as early an hour as possible:

Headquarters, August 29, 1777. [To] Colonel Morgan, Commanding rifle corps, Albany. Dear Sir: I had much satisfaction in being acquainted by General Washington of your marching for this department. I have by this conveyance ordered Colonel Lewis, D. Q. M. General at Albany, to provide you, immediately upon your landing, with carriages for your baggage, and whatever may be necessary; tents, and a camp equipage, I conclude you have brought with you. I could wish you to march as soon as possible to Loudon's Ferry, where ground is marked for your present encampment. I have draughted one subaltern, one sergeant, one corporal, and fifteen picked men from each regiment of this army to serve with your corps and to be under your command. When you have seen your regiment to their ground, I desire you will come to headquarters. I am, sir, Your affectionate, Humble servant, Horatio Gates."

Historical marker indicating the spot near Loudon's Ferry where Col. Morgan
and General Poor's men camped before marching north to meet British General
Burgoyne's forces; photograph by Howard Ohlhous

Upon arriving at headquarters, Morgan met with a cordial greeting from General Gates. Among other tokens of the regard in which he was held, his corps was designated as the advance of the army, and he was directed to receive orders only from the general-in-chief. So flattering a reception could not fail to make a due impression on Morgan, who now longed for a speedy opportunity of justifying the general in his favorable impression.

In a few days his men arrived, and soon afterwards took post at the position assigned to them. They were joined at that place by the promised reinforcement of their numbers, which was organized into a battalion of light infantry under Major (afterwards General) Dearborn. The men of this battalion number two hundred and fifty were selected from the line of the army, with careful reference to their bodily vigor and their acquaintance with bush fighting. Their commander was a gallant a soldier as ever wore a sword. He was doubly acceptable to Morgan, inasmuch as they had together shared in the toils, misfortunes, and glories of Arnold's expedition against Quebec, during which a warm friendship had been cemented between them.

Morgan was not destined to remain long inactive. The events of the preceding month had produced a great change in the prospects of the contending armies. The confidence which animated the British during the early stages of the campaign, had been transferred to the Americans, and the terror and despondency which the latter had experienced, had taken possession of the enemy. The withdrawal of Schuyler from the command, and the appointment thereto of Gates, had produced a favorable influence upon the militia, who now turned out with alacrity. The large reinforcements which had been sent forward were on the ground, ready for action. The time had at length arrived, when the American arms in this quarter might safely count on a triumph.

On the 8th of September, the army under General Gates, numbered at that time about six thousand, struck their tents at the encampment at Sunset, and advanced towards Stillwater. The day previous, Morgan was advised of the intended movement, and received instructions by which his conduct was to be guided.[4] It was thought, at the time, that the enemy would certainly produce an action. The rifle corps was in high spirits at the prospect. But, these expectations were, however, disappointed, as nothing of the moment occurred during the march to Bemis Heights, which place, having been selected for an encampment, was occupied by the American army on the 12th.

[1] Headquarters, Aug. 18, 1777. [To] Colonel Morgan, Colonel of rifle corps on the march for Albany, Dear Sir: In addition to the orders already sent to you by his Excellency, I have it in orders from him to request, that you will march your corps with all possible dispatch to join the army under command of Major General Gates, and when there, you will take orders from him and act accordingly. I am, for his Excellency, Your most obedient servant, John Fitzgerald, Aide-de-Camp
[2] George Clinton, Governor of New York from 1777 to 1795 and 1801 to 1805.
[3] Raising of the siege of Fort Stanwix, along the Mohawk River, and British retreat back to Canada. Fort Stanwix was in modern-day Rome, Oneida County, New York.
[4] Headquarters, sunset, Sept. 7, 1777. [To] Colonel Morgan, Sir: You are to assemble the corps under your command upon the heights above Half Moon, to-morrow morning, at gun firing; you will direct the officer of your rearguard to be attentive to the march of the columns upon the right and left of your corps; and you will dispatch intelligence to me and to General Arnold, of all extraordinary motions of the enemy; and everything you think it is necessary we should be informed of. You cannot be too careful in reconnoitering your front, and gaining every possible knowledge of the ground, and the surrounding country. Reposing especial trust and confidence in your experience and capacity, I rest satisfied you will exert all your endeavors for the good of the public services. You will hear from me frequently in the course of the day's operations, which makes it unnecessary to add more at present, than that I am, with affection and esteem, Dear sir, your most obedient and humbled Servant, Horatio Gates

Morgan's Rifle Corps Established and the Fog of War
Benjamin Jennings (c1740-1815): A Morgan's Rifleman
British Surrender at Saratoga
Revolutionary War Soldier

Friday, February 16, 2018

52 Ancestors #7: Charles Edward Jennings: Veteran of the 19th Virginia Regiment

Ancestor Name: Charles Edward Jennings (1843-1917), great grandfather
DNA Haplogroup: I-M253

Continued from Charles Edward Jennings (1843-1917): First to Leave the Farm

I wrote extensively about the Civil War history of the 19th Virginia regiment as so many of my Jennings ancestors served in that regiment. The links are in listed in the sources at the bottom of this post.

During the winter of 1861 the 19th Virginia Regiment had been assigned to Brigadier General George Pickett. The brigade was part Second Division commanded by Major General James Longstreet. On 7 March 1862 the men of the 19th received orders to "cook three days" rations. After a long march from their winter camp near the scene of the first Battle of Bull Run, the regiment arrived at the Orange County courthouse. There must have been a reunion among brothers and cousins as new recruit Charles Edward Jennings joined his elder brother John Thomas and two first cousins, Leroy and Daniel Jennings.

Charles had enlisted at the courthouse in Amherst County and was ordered to the assembly point for the 19th regiment at the Orange County courthouse before the veterans of the regiment marched south from their winter camp. The entire unit drilled for two weeks. Soon they received orders to march to Richmond, where they boarded three schooners and sailed down the James River to King's Mill Wharf near Williamsburg. The peninsula was wet and sloppy and men fell prey to disease, and suffering sore legs, swollen feet and aching backs.

I imagine the soldiers stopped thinking about personal discomfort and disease when they were attacked by the Union army of General George McClellan on 26 April near Yorktown. Union forces were trying to capture Richmond, the Confederate capital, by sending ships up the James River and troops along its banks. One of those ships was the USS Galena, an ironclad, had been launched in Connecticut on Valentine's Day. The battle for Yorktown became an artillery duel and the Confederates were outclassed by the Union's 13-inch seacoast mortars. During the night of 3 May, Longstreet's division retreated towards Williamsburg. Companies H and I as well as the 28th Virginia regiment covered the retreat. The next afternoon, the 19th Virginia camped near the College of William & Mary.

Union artillery and their 13-inch "sea monsters;" photograph by James F. Gibson
and held by the Library of Congress

The Union army caught up with the Confederates the next day. General Johnston ordered his army to deploy with Pickett's brigade along the right side of his line. His orders were to turn the enemy's left flank. This was the first large engagement of what became known as the Peninsula Campaign. Pickett's counterattacks along the enemy's left flank were almost successful until Union troops reinforced the line. The Union army was able to destabilize the Confederate's left flank but were unable to exploit this advantage. The Confederates were able to withdraw again during the night.

As the Confederate army retreated up the peninsula towards Richmond, Longstreet's division followed the Chickahominy River. They moved mostly at night and progress was slow due to rain-soaked roads with forced soldiers into swamps. They arrived several miles from Richmond on 17 May and camped along the James River where they stayed until receiving orders to cook three days' rations and prepare to march. The Battle of Seven Pines began on 31 May 1862.

The Confederate objective was to overwhelm the Union corps that were isolated south of the Chickahominy River. Neither side made much headway and generals continued feeding soldiers into the battle. Little was achieved though both sides claimed victory. Up to that time it was the largest battle in the Eastern theater. General Pickett's brigade of which the 19th Virginia was a part bore the brunt of the attack.

The 19th was stationed along the Confederate army's left flank when a contingent of Union troops appeared. The officer wanted to know what soldiers he had encountered. The 19th responded with a fierce, "Virginians!" and promptly began to attack. The fight did not last long but the regiment suffered 20 percent casualties. Pickett withdrew his men about 1:00 p.m. The four Jennings men, including Charles, were unwounded and ready to fight another day.

The Seven Days Battles were a series of six engagements over seven days from 25 June until 1 July 1862, ending with Confederate forces driving Union soldiers back down the peninsula from where they came. These battles marked the end of the Peninsula Campaign, a defeat for the Union Army. General Robert E. Lee had taken over the Army of Northern Virginia a month before, relieving General Johnston, who had been wounded.

The 19th was camped two miles northeast of Richmond on the Mechanicsville Turnpike where the Seven Days Battles began. A small battle at Oak Grove that day was a tactical victory for the Union. They gained ground and were several hundred yards closer to Richmond, but lost over 1,000 men. The next day at Beaver Dam Creek, near Mechanicsville, the Union again won a tactical victory. However, their general severely overestimated the number of Confederate forces he was facing and began withdrawing his army to the southeast, away from Richmond. McClellan never again gained the initiative.

Mechanicsville Turnpike Bridge where more than half Lee's Army crossed the
Chickahominy River on 26 June 1862; courtesy National Park Service

The 19th Regiment marched to Mechanicsville the day of the battle and could hear it in the distance. They were supposed to support General A. P. Hill's division which was engaged with the enemy. However, due to delays they were unable to do so and camped that night near Mechanicsville under arms.

On the morning of 27 June the men of the 19th spent some time repairing bridges at the scene of the Beaver Dam Creek battle. Before noon, however, they were at Gaines' Mill where they found Union forces strongly entrenched.

General A. P. Hill was supposed to be positioned in the center of the Union line with Jackson in support to his left and Longstreet's division to his right (south). However, Jackson's division were late arriving so Longstreet was ordered to create a diversion. Pickett's brigade, including the 19th Virginia, attempted a frontal assault over a hill and down into a ravine but were beaten back under heavy fire, taking significant losses. It was at this time that two of Charles' cousins, Daniel and Leroy Jennings, were wounded.

After Jackson's men arrived, the battle commenced in earnest and the Union army was forced back across the Chickahominy River. It was the only true tactical victory for the Confederate forces of the entire Peninsula Campaign. McClellan began a general retreat south towards the James River during the night of 27 June. Lee ordered Longstreet to pursue the enemy.

The battle of Frayser's Farm, or Glendale, began by accident when Longstreet mistook enemy artillery fire for a prearranged signal. As a result his division and that of A. P. Hill began an unsupported attack against the retreating Union army. The 19th Regiment was commanded by Colonel Hunton as their previous commanding officer had been wounded at Gaines' Mill. They charged the enemy over broken ground and marsh. As they entered an area of woods, they encountered an enemy brigade in full retreat, forcing its way among their ranks. They reformed and turned slightly left to avoid artillery fire. As they advanced they captured an enemy artillery battery, which they turned on the retreating Union forces. At nightfall the battle of Frayser's Farm ended.

There was another battle at Malvern Hill the next day but the 19th Regiment did not take part. They had lost 21 men killed, 115 wounded and one missing during the battles at Gaines' Mill and Frayser's Farm.

For the next six weeks the regiment camped near Richmond, resting and receiving new recruits. Charles became ill and left the regiment and was at home during July and August 1862. His Army records are silent about his whereabouts until 13 May 1863. (My assumption is he rejoined his regiment sometime before it returned to Richmond after fighting at Suffolk.) On 13 May he appeared on the register of the Receiving and Wayside Hospital, or General Hospital No. 9, in Richmond. The hospital was also called Seabrook's Hospital and had been a warehouse before the war. It functioned as a receiving hospital for incoming wounded due to its being located near the Virginia Central Railroad Depot.

General Hospital No. 9, Richmond, Virginia; photograph taken shortly after
the war and courtesy of Civil War Richmond

Two days later, Charles Jennings was admitted to Chimborazo Hospital, which was an extremely large facility constructed in Richmond at the outbreak of the war. He complained of dropsy, which was an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or body cavities. He was transferred on 18 May 1863 to the Confederate hospital in Danville, Virginia, he complained of debilitas, a general weakness, lameness, or infirmity.

Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond, Virginia; photograph by Levy & Cohen, 1865

Charles was the subject of Special Order 134 issued by General Lee on 18 May 1863: "Private Chas. E. Jennings of Co. H, 19th Virginia detailed for duty in Genl. Hosptl. at Lynchburg Va. and will report to Sargt. W. O. Owen in charge for assignment."

On 29 May 1863 he returned to the 19th Regiment where I assumed he learned he had been detailed to work in Lynchburg. On 10 Jun 1863 he was attached to General Hospital in Lynchburg.

Lynchburg sat at the intersection of two railway lines. As a result several Confederate hospitals were located in the city. In May and June of 1864 the hospitals were filled with 10,000 patients. Hospitals were organized differently than today. They consisted of several buildings in a complex, each with their own staffs of doctors, surgeons, nurses, cooks, stewards and guards. Throughout the war, the city assigned different purposes and specialties to the buildings, such as surgery, general care, convalescence or quarantine.

Assisting the doctors and surgeons would be male nurses, primarily convalescent or invalid soldiers, female nurses, primarily volunteers and maybe a couple of Sisters from religious orders. Orderlies helped nurses at civil war era hospitals. It is likely Charles either served as an orderly or nurse.

Private Charles Jennings returned to the 19th Virginia regiment in March 1864. The men were in winter camp and the month of March brought extreme hunger. The men lived on cornmeal and later cats, which were skinned, boiled and then roasted. Their taste was compared to rabbits. Charles likely had enough. On 31 March he was examined by the regiment's surgeon, James D. Galt:

"Private C. E. Jennings having applied for a certificate upon which to ground an application for detail to light duty. I certify that I have carefully examined this private and found him incapable of performing infantry duty on account of curvature of the spine which seriously impairs his activity and capacity for labor. I further recommend that he be detailed as a nurse in a military hospital at Lynchburg because in my opinion he is competent to perform such duty."

Letter from 19th Virginia Regimental Surgeon recommending
Private Charles E. Jennings be detailed to a hospital and
placed on light duty; courtesy of

So Charles went back to Lynchburg where he was assigned to work in Pratt Hospital. On 21 October 1864 a Board of Medical Examiners declared him fit for duty and ordered him to return to his regiment. And there his Civil War records end.

Perhaps he simply went home instead. If he did return to his regiment, the brigade to which it was assigned was ordered to Hatcher's Run on 31 March 1865. Elements of the Union army had been sent near there to destroy as many Confederate supply wagons as they could find. Confederate soldiers attacked but were repulsed and the 19th retired from the field.

They joined the slow retreat to Appomattox in a hungry, tired and weak condition without sufficient rations. On 6 April 1865 they stopped to rest on a hill overlooking Sailor's Creek near Farmville. They made fires and were preparing to eat what little food remained when they were quickly surround by the forces of General George Armstrong Custer. The 29 men remaining in the 19th Virginia regiment surrendered. Most were sent to Point Lookout prison in Maryland and remained there until after the war when they were paroled after taking an oath of allegiance.

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. The theme for this week was "Valentine." I couldn't in good conscience contrive a connection between the theme and the bloody war history of my great grandfather.

Using the Ancestral Reference Numbering System, Charles Edward Jennings is Ancestor number 8 on my family tree:

8.0 Charles Edward Jennings, son of Powhatan Perrow Jennings and Catherine Jewell, born 23 September 1843 in Amherst County, Virginia; died 10 August 1917 in Erwin, Tennessee; married 1) Nancy "Nannie" Jane Johnson, daughter of William Marshall Johnson and Martha Ann Jennings and 2) Effie Beard, daughter of David Fleming Beard, Sr., and Barbara Ann Mitchell.

Children of Charles Edward Jennings and first wife, Nannie Johnson:

8.1 William Powhatan Jennings born 28 May 1875 in Amherst County; died 2 November 1899.

8.2 Daniel Melvin Jennings born 15 September 1877 in Amherst County; died 23 August 1940; married Myrtle Patti Fitzgerald, daughter of David Crawley Fitzgerald and Pattie Ferguson, on 16 June 1909 in Roanoke.

8.3 Charles Albert Jennings born 27 June 1879 in Amherst County; died 28 April 1947 in Bedford County, Virginia; married Margaret "Maggie" Susan Pifer, daughter of James Edward Pifer and Margaret Loop before 1901.

8.4 Viola "Ola" Jennings born 5 December 1881 in Amherst County; died 15 March 1959 in Roanoke, Virginia; married James Solomon Raike, son of William Jasper Raike and Martha Ann Powell, between 1900 and 1902.

8.5 Leta Vernon Jennings born 5 March 1884 in Amherst County; died 15 October 1958 in Alexandria, Virginia; married Edmund Lenwood Womack, son of Jesse Womack and Elizabeth Pedigo, on 15 September 1906 in Roanoke.

8.6 Harry Lee Jennings born 29 June 1886 in Amherst County; died 22 October 1945 in San Francisco; married Nancy "Nannie" Gay Clayton, daughter of Walker W. Clayton and Josephine Mary Taylor, between 1910 and 1913.

8.7 Johnson Jennings born 11 April 1892 in Amherst County; died 9 August 1892 in Amherst County.

9.0 Effie Beard born 1 October 1871 in Bedford County, Virginia, daughter of David Fleming Beard, Sr., and his second wife, Barbara Ann Mitchell; died 4 May 1906 in Roanoke, Virginia; married 1895 to Charles Edward Jennings. 

Children of Charles Edward Jennings and second wife, Effie Beard:

8.8 Daisy Birdelle Jennings born 14 November 1896 in Roanoke, Virginia; died 28 April 1947 in Statesville, North Carolina; married William Luckey Moore, son of Jay Luckey Moore and Jane Elizabeth Steele, on 20 September 1916 in Johnson City, Tennessee.

8.9 Leo James Jennings born 31 October 1898 in Roanoke, Virginia; died 3 October 1973 in Pacific Palisades, California; married 1) Bonnie Sue Wolfe, daughter of James H. and Mollie Wolfe, on 27 November 1919 in Iredell County, North Carolina, (divorced), 2) Kathleen O'Gorman, daughter of William and Margaret O'Gorman, on 14 March 1933 in Yuma County, Arizona,  (divorced), and 3) Marcella G. (maiden name unknown).

4.0 Marvin Edward Jennings born 16 November 1901 in Roanoke, Virginia; died 1 May 1961 in Arlington County, Virginia; married Alice Muir, daughter of Robert Muir and Ida Mae Riggin on 13 May 1924 in East St. Louis, Illinois.

8.10 Clyde Graham Jennings born 29 December 1905; died 12 June 1906.

19th Virginia Infantry: After the War, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
19th Virginia Infantry: Battle of Second Manassas, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
19th Virginia Infantry: Battles of South Mountain and Sharpsburg, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
19th Virginia Infantry: Defending Richmond, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
19th Virginia Infantry: First Blood at Manassas, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
19th Virginia Infantry: First Winter Camp, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
19th Virginia Infantry: Fredericksburg and North Carolina, Tangled Roots and Trees  (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
19th Virginia Infantry: Gettysburg and Pickett's Charge, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
19th Virginia Infantry: Peninsula Campaign, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
19th Virginia Infantry: Seven Days Battles, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
A Lover Not a Fighter, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
Battle of Seven Pines, Tangled Roots and Trees (access 29 Jan 2018).
Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Virginia, database and images, Fold3, Jennings, Charles E, Co. H, 19th Virginia Infantry, Private, 27 pages (accessed 16 Feb 2014).
Index to Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Virginia, database and images, Fold3, Jennings, Charles E., Co. H, 19th Virginia Infantry, Private, Fold3 Job: 13-020 (accessed 16 Feb 2014).
Jordan, Ervin, L. 19th Virginia Infantry, (Lynchburg, VA: H. E. Howard, Inc., 1987) .
Lynchburg served as the site of many Civil War hospitals, News & Advance, The (accessed 2 Feb 2018).
Mapping the 19th Virginia Infantry Regiment: 1861, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 2 Feb 2018).
Mapping the 19th Virginia Infantry Regiment: August-September 1862, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 2 Feb 2018).
Mapping the 19th Virginia Infantry Regiment: Jan-Aug 1862, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 2 Feb 2018).
Mapping the 19th Virginia Infantry Regiment: June 1863-April 1865, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 2 Feb 2018).
Mapping the 19th Virginia Infantry Regiment: September 1862-May 1863, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 2 Feb 2018).
Meet the Hospital Steward, National Museum of Civil War Medicine (accessed 2 Feb 2018)
Tennessee, Civil War Confederate Pension Application Index, database, Ancestry, Charles E. Jennings, 19th Virginia Infantry, Application No. S15175 (accessed 4 Dec 2014).
Pierce Street Historic District National Register of Historic Places Application Form, National Park Service (accessed 2 Jan 2018).
Powhatan Perrow Jennings (1812-1858): A Life Cut Short, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 2 Feb 2018).
The First KIA of the Civil War, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 29 Jan 2018).
US Civil War Soldiers Index, 1861-1865, database, FamilySearch, Charles E. Jennings, Private, Company H, 19th Regiment, Virginia Infantry, Confederate; citing NARA microfilm publication M382 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records administration), roll 29; FHL microfilm 881423 (accessed 4 Dec 2014).

Morgan's Rifle Corps Established and the Fog of War
Charles Edward Jennings (1843-1917): First to Leave the Farm
Powhatan Perrow Jennings (1812-1858): A Life Cut Short
John W. Jennings (1776-1858): War of 1812 Veteran
Benjamin Jennings (c1740-1815): Last Will and Testament
Benjamin Jennings (c1740-1815): Morgan's Riflemen
Benjamin Jennings (c1740-1815): Beginnings and Endings
Who Was the Original Jennings Immigrant?
Did John W. Jennings, Sr. (c1777-1858) Marry His Niece?
Discovering my Local History Center
British Surrender at Saratoga
The Great Jennens Case