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Southern Ancestors in the Civil War

Clicking on the circular family tree again reveals that three quarters of my mother's ancestors were from the South.


Two of her great grandfathers served in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. They were William Wilson Matthews (1824-1895) and John Smiley Seabrook (1842- 1918). Matthews was commissioned a captain in the West Feliciana Regiment in 1861 and in 1864 was appointed an adjutant in the 3rd Louisiana Cavalry with the rank of 1st lieutenant. He was paroled at Gainesville, Alabama in May 1865. Seabrook was a private in the 2nd and 16th Alabama Infantry, who in 1863 is listed as a commissary sergeant

In a letter to his nephew many years ago, my grandfather recounted this story about his grandfather John Smiley Seabrook:

"Mother's father whom we called dad, lived with us in Pine Bluff for quite a while but told us little of the family. Perhaps there wasn't much to tell and what little he did tell I thought were tall tales. For example, he said that the reason for his bow legs was that during the civil war a cannon ball passed between his knees. As ridiculous as that sounds today it could have been true in the early 1860s. His first job in the army, he said, was company cook but that his cooking was so bad that "they" promoted him to captain with the understanding that he would never again go into the kitchen. At least four of my mother's distant cousins also fought in the war.

Two were sons of her great great grandfather Thomas Shamburger, Sr. (ab1800-1838): Thomas Shamburger, Jr. (ab1835-1862), a private in the 1st Texas Infantry, and Augustus E. Shamburger (ab1833-?), a corporal in the 13th Texas Cavalry. Thomas' regiment served on the Virginia Peninsula in 1862. He died in a Richmond hospital in June 1862 either of a battle wound or of disease. At the start of the war he was a farmer in Palestine, Texas, with a young wife and an infant daughter.  


Brantley Shamburger (1819-1864) was a brother of Thomas Shamburger, Sr. He was a private in the 37th Mississippi Infantry and was killed in action at Decatur, Georgia in July 1864.​ At the start of the war he was a farmer and slaveowner in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, with a wife and 7 children.

John Christopher Chesnutt (1842-1882), a son of my mother's great great grandfather, John C. Chesnutt, was a 2nd lieutenant in the 1st Arkansas Infantry. He was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862 and captured at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee in November 1864.

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