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 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 11:01 pm
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tcurrier
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I'm new to this board, so I'm not sure where to post this question, but here goes anyway.

I had a great-great uncle who was killed in the Civil War on April 7, 1865.  An article in his hometown newpaper reads as follows:

The funeral sermon of Cayton D. Grist, who was killed April 7th, 1865, on the Weldon rail-road in the Battle of Petersburg on the 3rd day of the engagement, will be
preached ....

However, I can find no record of a 'Battle of Petersburg' on April 7, 1865, only the Battle of Farmville (65 miles from Petersburg).

Could this be a mistake in the reporting, or possibly a separate skirmish that did occur on the Weldon Railroad below Petersburg on the same date ?

I'm confused and am wondering if anyone has any ideas ...

Thanks.

  



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 11:10 pm
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Johan Steele
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THe battle of Petersburg involved almost constant sharpshooting & skirmishing as well as intermitent and arty fire. Petersburg was a seige w/ casualties almost daily.



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 11:22 pm
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Texas Defender
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tcurrier-

  Petersburg fell on April 2, 1865. Its my guess that he was killed on that day. It would have been easy for the folks at the newspaper to confuse a :"2" with a "7."



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 11:28 pm
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javal1
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Welcome to the board,

My guess is that your ancestor was a member of the 81st Pa. Infantry, which had a Clayton D. Grist in their unit. Your guess on Farmville is probably correct, as the 81st had an engagement there on the date of his death....

Continuing its pursuit westward on April 7, the brigade encountered the temporarily entrenched enemy at Farmville (50 miles west of Petersburg). Ordered to force the Confederate position here, division commander General Miles sent the 81st PA, 2nd NYHA, and part of the 5th NH to envelop the enemy’s left. The attack, however, became suicidal. Made against superior numbers and over broken ground, it was repulsed severely, although counterattacks were beaten off. The Confederates abandoned this position at midnight, and the next day the brigade reached Holliday Creek (10 miles east of Appomattox/60 miles west of Petersburg) by late afternoon.

Welcome again, and good luck on your search.



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 11:44 pm
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tcurrier
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You are correct. Clayton (I misspelled his name previously) was a member of the 81st PA infantry.

In previous genealogies, it was mentioned that he was killed in the Battle of Farmville, so when I obtained the newspaper article, I was confused to see 'Battle of Petersburg' and the 'Weldon Railroad' mentioned.

I have also recently obtained records from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington that contains a 'Casualty Sheet'. In it, it does state that the date of his death was in fact April 7, 1865.  Under 'battle of', it says 'not stated', but under 'remarks', it says 'killed in action April 7th 1865, near Farmville, VA.

It's becoming apparent that it was in fact the Battle of Farmville that resulted in his death, despite what the newspaper article reported.

 

 

 



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 11:56 pm
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tcurrier
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Here are the newspaper articles if anyone is interested:





 



 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2007 12:02 am
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Texas Defender
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  Ah- no wonder I couldn't find: "Cayton Grist" in the Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System. :? The NARA information makes it clear that Javal's theory was the correct one.



 Posted: Tue Mar 25th, 2008 11:04 pm
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Dadsongs
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Hello:

To find this information about Clayton is a stroke of luck. As it turns out, he's an ancestor of mine, which makes you a distant relative. I won't burden this board with the genealogical details, but PLEASE get in touch with me and we'll share notes as to how we are related.

I'm very pleased to see that newspaper clipping! That will go into my family research archive. Speaking of which, my record of Clayton's service always said, "Died in the Battle of the Wilderness." I'm happy now I can be more specific. I also believe I know where his grave is! Take care!

Bruce




 Posted: Tue Mar 25th, 2008 11:50 pm
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tcurrier
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Bruce,

Clayton was my Great Great Grandmother Ida Grist's brother.  I moved here from NY State 35 years ago, without even realizing that I had ancestors that lived close by here.

I know where Clayton's grave stone is.  It is located in Poplar Grove National Cemetery in Petersburg, VA.   I have a photo of the grave stone, but the inscription isn't really legible.

You may email me at TCURRIER4@JUNO.COM

I'll be glad to share the genealogical details....

Tom Currier

 

 

 



 Posted: Thu Mar 27th, 2008 07:20 pm
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HankC
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It is quite possible that he was wounded earlier and lingered until the 7th.

At that time of the war, hospital folks were not too picky over noting the deceased's day of wounding.

I have a relative whose death date is different on at least 3 documents...


HankC



 Posted: Thu Mar 27th, 2008 08:13 pm
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tcurrier
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True, but the newspaper does specifically say ".. mortaly (sic) wounded, so that he died the same night, ..."



 Posted: Thu Mar 27th, 2008 11:02 pm
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tcurrier-

   Being mortally wounded does not necessarily mean that you will die on that day. It simply means that you have received a wound  that it is recognized will be the cause of your death. For example, being shot through the intestines was recognizable as a mortal wound because the surgeons of the day were unable to do anything effective about it.

  General Stuart received a mortal wound on June 11, 1864 and died the next day.

James Ewell Brown "J.E.B." Stuart (1833 - 1864) - Find A Grave Memorial

   Likewise, General Barksdale received a mortal wound on July 2, 1863 and died the next day.

 

William Barksdale (1821 - 1863) - Find A Grave Memorial

   General Armistead lingered for two days in a field hospital after receiving a mortal wound.

Lewis Addison Armistead (1817 - 1863) - Find A Grave Memorial

   All of this aside, I agree with you that it is more likely that the person who died on April 7, 1865 received his wound on the 7th, rather than on the 2nd. But that is not a certainty from the information available.

 

 



 Posted: Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 02:29 pm
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ole
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You've noticed, tcurrier, all the guessing. There never was a "Battle of Petersburg." I'm figurting that your ancestor fell at Farmville. The date works.



 Posted: Wed Jul 1st, 2009 01:20 am
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tcurrier
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No, not in 1865.... But there definitely was one in June of 1864 :

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_petersburg.html

 



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