Monday, December 7, 2009
Madness Monday - December 7, 2009
I suppose there is but one “Mad” item I have to write about today… and that is over incomplete military records!
Recently I was working on some extended family records, namely one Sylvester Bradley, born 1830 [I think] in Giles County, Virginia. [I won’t even get into how Bradley is tied into my family tree… it’s a very distant relationship, but one which my cousin is more closely tied, and I have been assisting her in that search.]
Sylvester Bradley married Elizabeth Crosier in Monroe County, Virginia [now West Virginia] on 31 May 1855. The couple had four known children: Christopher, James, Washington, and Ella.
On April 25th 1862 Sylvester enlisted in the Confederate States Army in Lewisburg, West Virginia. He enlisted as a Private in Captain Chapman’s Company of the Virginia Light Artillery. However, just one short month later, on May 31st, 1862 at the Giles Court House in Giles County, Virginia, [just a few short miles from his home], Sylvester lay dead.
Just 2 years later Elizabeth filed for funds due Sylvester, through her attorney, Col. Rowan, in Monroe County, and did in fact receive $74.
However, at no time in the 15 pages of military documentation, does it mention how Sylvester died.
To make matters worse, the tombstone, which one would believe marked his grave, is rather cryptic and leads one to believe that Sylvester may be buried elsewhere, for it states: “Buried in a soldiers grave, Place unknown, CSA”.
In searching for battles [unless he died of natural causes] in Giles County, Virginia for the period in which Sylvester died, one finds that there was a skirmish with the Union army between May 6-10th of 1862, just a scant few days before Sylvester died. And where did that battle take place? Pearisburg, Virginia, where the Giles Court House is located. And guess what? Following that battle is the one and only time that the Giles Court House was used as a field hospital.
2 Union soldiers were killed in the battle. 2 Confederate soldiers were killed in the battle, and 3 more wounded, who later died. All were buried in the Angel Rest Cemetery, overlooked by Angel Rest Mountain, in Pearisburg. None of the graves, however, are marked.
So, it is easy to presume that Sylvester was among the 3 wounded who died after the battle and was buried at Angel Rest. However, this is only speculation, and there has been no proof located thusfar.
And so, it is Sylvester Bradley who has driven me “Mad” this Monday morning! Where, oh where, is proof of your cause of death and burial, Sylvester????