Seeking info on great grandfather

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Tom Carter

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My great grandfather, Benjamin J. Gaston was a private in Co. G, 10th Regiment, Alabama Infantry operating in Limestone,Alabama when captured
at Poplar Hill on Sept.21,1863. I know that his unit went into southern Tennessee , and some friends were captured in Giles County. I am seeking specific
information about the regiment's activities especially relating to Gaston's capture. He spent the remainder of the war at Rock Island, Illinois. I have read several
books about the prisoners' experiences, and the latest even cites letters that he wrote home. However, there is no accounting of how he and his colleagues got home. I would like information on that,also.
 
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luinrina

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Greetings from Germany and welcome aboard from The Traveler's Companion and Soldiers, Politicians, & Other Men forum! :smile:

I'm sorry I can't help with your question. Someone who can will probably be along soon, though.
 
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captaindrew

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Welcome from South Florida and the Reenactors Forum. You may want to post your question in either the ancestry forum or regimental histories forum. I'm sure you'll get some good info here before long and enjoy the forum.
 
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My great grandfather, Benjamin J. Gaston was a private in Co. G, 10th Regiment, Alabama Infantry operating in Limestone,Alabama when captured
at Poplar Hill on Sept.21,1863. I know that his unit went into southern Tennessee , and some friends were captured in Giles County. I am seeking specific
information about the regiment's activities especially relating to Gaston's capture. He spent the remainder of the war at Rock Island, Illinois. I have read several
books about the prisoners' experiences, and the latest even cites letters that he wrote home. However, there is no accounting of how he and his colleagues got home. I would like information on that,also.
Welcome! I actually see two separate Alabama records for a Benjamin J. Gaston. There was a good deal of consolidating of Alabama units. I'm assuming it's the same man? If your ancestor was captured in Tennessee, 9/21/1863, one day after Chickamauga, I'm guessing he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Alabama 50th Infantry at the time. The Alabama 10th served in the east with Lee's Army in Virginia. The 50th in the west with the Army of Tennessee. He was probably provided rail ( or water) transportation as close to his home, (or the nearest railway), as they could get him. My 2 x great-grandfather from Wilkes County, NC; was provided such from Hart's Island in NY. He rode the train as far as Wilkesboro. He lived in the mountains and still had a pretty good hike to get home.

Here's the 50th Alabama's after-action report on Chickamauga.


Chickamagua after battle report:

Report of Col. J. G. Coltart, Fiftieth Alabama Infantry.

HDQRS. FIFTIETH ALABAMA REGT.,
Missionary Ridge, October 6, 1863.
CAPT.:In obedience to orders from brigade headquarters, I
herewith transmit a report of the part taken by this regiment in
the battle of Chickamauga, on September 19 and 20.

On September 17, we left La Fayette, Ga., at sunset, and
marched in the direction of Lee and Gordon's Mills until about
midnight, when we bivouacked for the remainder of the night.

On the morning of September 18, the march was resumed at
sunrise and continued until we were near the mills. Here line of
battle was formed and the Fiftieth Alabama Regt. ordered to
support Dent's battery which was put in position some distance
in front. The battery was placed near a house on the left of the
road, the regiment in rear slightly protected by the brow of the
hill. After exchanging a few rounds with our battery the enemy
retired. I had 1 man slightly wounded in the hand by a fragment
of shell from the
enemy's guns. The brigade was now advanced to the hill
immediately upon Chickamauga Creek, where I rejoined it with
my regiment.

We remained in line of battle Friday night and Saturday morning,
September 19. In the afternoon of this day (the 19th) we were
moved by the right flank and crossed the creek (Chickamauga)
at a ford (name unknown). We now arrived upon a part of the
field where the firing was very heavy, and were moved forward
to the support of our troops, but we did not become engaged. At
this point I had 1 man killed and several wounded. We were
finally moved into position and stacked arms for the night. At
daylight the line was again moved forward 200 or 300 yards and
halted.

About 11 a. m. Sunday (20th), we were ordered to advance,
which was done in gallant style. The enemy were discovered
strongly posted behind breastworks, but were driven out, without
a moment's check, in great confusion. The Fiftieth Alabama
Regt., in the excitement of the charge, found itself in advance of
the remainder of the brigade, and our right flank exposed to the
fire of the next regiment on our right (Thirty-ninth Alabama).
This caused some confusion and checked for the time our
advance. The men were soon rallied and the charge continued.
Upon a hill in the rear of the enemy's breastworks we
encountered the Sixth Ohio Battery. Its support was driven off
and the battery captured. The guidon of this battery was taken by
Private Amos Chaffin, of Company F, and is now in my
possession.

My regiment now became entangled with the brigade of Gen.
Anderson, which joined us, and the pursuit of the enemy
continued for more than a mile. The troops being much scattered
and no enemy near, I asked permission of Gen. Hindman to halt
and rejoin my command which was granted.

The brigade being reformed, occupied several positions, but was
not again engaged until about 3 p. m., when we were ordered to
charge a battery placed in a commanding position and very
difficult of approach. The attack was made, but upon reaching
the brow of the hill, we met with such a terrible fire of musketry
and grape that we were compelled to fall back. Again we made
the effort, and again were we repulsed; nor was it possible to
rally the men to a third charge. This battery was afterward taken
by a charge in a new direction by other troops. Night coming on
closed the contest and we camped where we were.

My loss was: Killed, 16; wounded, 81; missing, 8. Total, 105.

The officers and men behaved with great gallantry and I am
proud to say that there was less straggling than I have ever
known.

I have the honor to mention the names of the following
non-commissioned officers and privates who have been reported
to me as deserving much credit for their conduct, viz: Sergt. L.
Coker, Company F; Privates J. B. Stewart, W. L. Bridges, P.
M. Light, and M. Roberts, of Company G; W. N. Pitts,
Company H; Sergt. J. M. Pitts, Company I; E. H. Stinnett,
Company B, and Rudy Ward, of Company D.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. COLTART,
Col., Fiftieth Regt. Alabama Volunteers.

Capt. E. F. TRAVIS,
Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

Source: Official Records
PAGE 338-51 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. [CHAP. XLII.
[Series I. Vol. 30. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 51.]

***************************************************************************************
 
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Tom Carter

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Welcome! I actually see two separate Alabama records for a Benjamin J. Gaston. There was a good deal of consolidating of Alabama units. I'm assuming it's the same man? If your ancestor was captured in Tennessee, 9/21/1863, one day after Chickamauga, I'm guessing he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Alabama 50th Infantry at the time. The Alabama 10th served in the east with Lee's Army in Virginia. The 50th in the west with the Army of Tennessee. He was probably provided rail ( or water) transportation as close to his home, (or the nearest railway), as they could get him. My 2 x great-grandfather from Wilkes County, NC; was provided such from Hart's Island in NY. He rode the train as far as Wilkesboro. He lived in the mountains and still had a pretty good hike to get home.

Here's the 50th Alabama's after-action report on Chickamauga.


Chickamagua after battle report:

Report of Col. J. G. Coltart, Fiftieth Alabama Infantry.

HDQRS. FIFTIETH ALABAMA REGT.,
Missionary Ridge, October 6, 1863.
CAPT.:In obedience to orders from brigade headquarters, I
herewith transmit a report of the part taken by this regiment in
the battle of Chickamauga, on September 19 and 20.

On September 17, we left La Fayette, Ga., at sunset, and
marched in the direction of Lee and Gordon's Mills until about
midnight, when we bivouacked for the remainder of the night.

On the morning of September 18, the march was resumed at
sunrise and continued until we were near the mills. Here line of
battle was formed and the Fiftieth Alabama Regt. ordered to
support Dent's battery which was put in position some distance
in front. The battery was placed near a house on the left of the
road, the regiment in rear slightly protected by the brow of the
hill. After exchanging a few rounds with our battery the enemy
retired. I had 1 man slightly wounded in the hand by a fragment
of shell from the
enemy's guns. The brigade was now advanced to the hill
immediately upon Chickamauga Creek, where I rejoined it with
my regiment.

We remained in line of battle Friday night and Saturday morning,
September 19. In the afternoon of this day (the 19th) we were
moved by the right flank and crossed the creek (Chickamauga)
at a ford (name unknown). We now arrived upon a part of the
field where the firing was very heavy, and were moved forward
to the support of our troops, but we did not become engaged. At
this point I had 1 man killed and several wounded. We were
finally moved into position and stacked arms for the night. At
daylight the line was again moved forward 200 or 300 yards and
halted.

About 11 a. m. Sunday (20th), we were ordered to advance,
which was done in gallant style. The enemy were discovered
strongly posted behind breastworks, but were driven out, without
a moment's check, in great confusion. The Fiftieth Alabama
Regt., in the excitement of the charge, found itself in advance of
the remainder of the brigade, and our right flank exposed to the
fire of the next regiment on our right (Thirty-ninth Alabama).
This caused some confusion and checked for the time our
advance. The men were soon rallied and the charge continued.
Upon a hill in the rear of the enemy's breastworks we
encountered the Sixth Ohio Battery. Its support was driven off
and the battery captured. The guidon of this battery was taken by
Private Amos Chaffin, of Company F, and is now in my
possession.

My regiment now became entangled with the brigade of Gen.
Anderson, which joined us, and the pursuit of the enemy
continued for more than a mile. The troops being much scattered
and no enemy near, I asked permission of Gen. Hindman to halt
and rejoin my command which was granted.

The brigade being reformed, occupied several positions, but was
not again engaged until about 3 p. m., when we were ordered to
charge a battery placed in a commanding position and very
difficult of approach. The attack was made, but upon reaching
the brow of the hill, we met with such a terrible fire of musketry
and grape that we were compelled to fall back. Again we made
the effort, and again were we repulsed; nor was it possible to
rally the men to a third charge. This battery was afterward taken
by a charge in a new direction by other troops. Night coming on
closed the contest and we camped where we were.

My loss was: Killed, 16; wounded, 81; missing, 8. Total, 105.

The officers and men behaved with great gallantry and I am
proud to say that there was less straggling than I have ever
known.

I have the honor to mention the names of the following
non-commissioned officers and privates who have been reported
to me as deserving much credit for their conduct, viz: Sergt. L.
Coker, Company F; Privates J. B. Stewart, W. L. Bridges, P.
M. Light, and M. Roberts, of Company G; W. N. Pitts,
Company H; Sergt. J. M. Pitts, Company I; E. H. Stinnett,
Company B, and Rudy Ward, of Company D.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. COLTART,
Col., Fiftieth Regt. Alabama Volunteers.

Capt. E. F. TRAVIS,
Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

Source: Official Records
PAGE 338-51 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. [CHAP. XLII.
[Series I. Vol. 30. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 51.]

***************************************************************************************
Thanks for your reply. At the time of his capture, Lt. Gaston was demoted to a pvt. due to a court martial. His home was in Limestone
Co.,Al.; I think that he was in some type of home guard unit. The capture site was listed as Poplar Hill,Tn ,but I can not locate it. However, in his letters home from Rock Island Prison,he noted reuniting with home town friends captured in Giles Co., Tn which borders
Limestone.
 
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The capture site was listed as Poplar Hill,Tn ,but I can not locate it.

One of my relatives held at Rock Island.

One of my relatives held at Rock Island. The 1st post in this thread has a colorized photo of Confederate Prisoners at Rock Island.
 
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Tom Carter

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Joined
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Messages
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One of my relatives held at Rock Island.

One of my relatives held at Rock Island. The 1st post in this thread has a colorized photo of Confederate Prisoners at Rock Island.
Thanks for the info on Poplar Hill; I was not aware of the website. Very helpful.
 
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