Jun 28

Tombstone Tuesday: Gail O. Lance

“She was an angel unto us & now in heaven” is the inscription on the grave marker of Gail O. Lance. She was buried in Bethel (former Shoal Creek) Baptist Church Cemetery in Dawson County, Georgia.

Bethel Baptist Church is located on Georgia Highway 136 near the intersection of Ga. 136 and and Shoal Creek Road about 2.7 miles north of Dawsonville.

These photographs were taken16 April 1999.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All rights Reserved.

Jun 27

Breaking the Heartland: The Civil War in Georgia

Press Release courtesy of Robert Scott Davis, Jr.

The Confederate flag of Pickens County's Company E "€œTate's Guards,"€ 23rd Georgia Confederate Infantry, is now in the Chicago Historical Society


One of Georgia’s most popular legends has been the story of how a group of citizens in Jasper raised a United States flag in front of the courthouse in 1860 in protest to Georgia seceding from the Union. That incident begins the first chapter of John D. Fowler and David B. Parker, eds., Breaking the Heartland: The Civil War in Georgia, published this month by Mercer University Press in Macon. That essay, “War on the Edge: Civil War Politics and Its Legacy in an Appalachian County,” is by Robert S. Davis, a former resident of Pickens County with deep in roots and many ancestors in the area’s Confederate and Union Civil War past. Professor Davis teaches History and operates a genealogy program at Wallace State College in Hanceville, Alabama. He has recently appeared on the History Channel concerning lost Confederate gold and interviewed on Georgia News Network concerning his books on Civil War Atlanta and Andersonville Confederate prison. His mother Elizabeth Holbert Forrester lives in Hickory Flat.

Davis begins his story with the documented facts of the flag incident to illustrate how the county rigidly divided. Pickens County eventually gave 500 volunteers and conscripts to the Confederate army, 100 men to three Union companies, and other citizens to local home defense units. A Pickens County doctor helped men to escape the draft by falsely declaring them unfit. During the last years of the Civil War and afterwards, differences became deadly and men walked the streets of Jasper with guns and others fled to the West. In 1864, Sheriff David S. McCravey even formed a permanent posse to protect the citizens from Captain Benjamin Jordan’s Confederate Conscript Bureau Company.

Opposition to the secession or to the war or to both could be found in many parts of Georgia but Pickens County’s dissention became the most famous, perhaps because it remained to modern times. Until recently, the funeral home for a local resident would depend upon the politics of the deceased and politicians ran as independents so as not to offend voter sensibilities. Pickens County has the oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration in Georgia. This history of local remembrance received notice in numerous histories and television shows.

Breaking the Heartland: The Civil War in Georgia, published in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, stands as a landmark work because so many prominent scholars contributed chapters to it. Much of the book deals with North Georgia including Keith S. Hébert, “`The Bottomless Pit of Hell’: The Confederate Home Front in Bartow County, Georgia 1864-1865.”


Jun 27

Military Monday: David Caylor

David Caylor and family were enumerated in the Grassy Knob District of Pickens County, Georgia. He at age 35, born in North Carolina, was head of house. Other household members included Permelia, age 31, born in North Carolina and six children all born in Georgia: Martha, age 13; George, age 12; Lucinda, age 8; Minerva, age 7; William W., age 5; and Amanda, age 4.[1]

On the 25th of July 1870, David and his family were residing in Pickens County.[2] The family consisted of David, age 45, b. North Carolina; Mary, age 41, b. North Carolina; Martha, age 23; George, age 22; Elija L., age 19; Nancy M, age 18; William W, age 16; Amanda, age 14; and John, age 4. The later seven were all born in Georgia, and all but John were assisting on the farm.

At the age of 78, Mrs. Mary P Caylor applied for a Confederate pension as the widow of David Caylor who served in Company D of the 23rd Regiment, Georgia, Volunteer Infantry. Mary provided vital data: She was a resident of Pickens County, Georgia, and received mail through the Talking Rock Post Office.  Mary stated that she was born 4 March 1825 in North Carolina, and that David Caylor was born 1 March 1820 in North Carolina. The couple was married in 1844 in Pickens County (Pickens County, Georgia, was created in 1854 from Cherokee and Gilmer counties).

Mary reported that David Caylor’s died in 1896. [3]

David was buried at the Hinton Cemetery. The dates on his tombstone differ from those given by his widow in her pension application—the military grave marker state that he was born 9 March 1807 and died 9 December 1877.  Mary is buried beside him and again the vital information differs from that she supplies in her pension application. Her tombstone indicates she was born 11 April 1811 and died 9 Aug 1901. [4]

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


[1] 1860 U.S. Census, Free Population Schedule, Grassy Knob District, Pickens County, Georgia, page 967, dwelling 745, family 632; National Archives micropublication M653, reel 133, viewed at the National Archives-Southeast Region, East Point, Georgia.

[2] 1870 U.S. Census, Population Schedule, Pickens County Georgia, Page 54A, dwelling 851, family 851, lines 17–25; National Archives micropublication M593, reel 169; viewed on ancestry.com, 10 October 2010.

[3] Mary P. Caylor’s Application, Pension Applications of Confederate Soldiers and Widow’s Who Applied from Georgia, Pickens County; Georgia Archives micropublication GCP 372.

[4] Grave markers of David and Mary Caylor, Hinton Community Cemetery, located on Georgia 136 Connector near the intersection of Georgia  53 in Hinton; viewed and photographed by Linda Woodward Geiger,


Jun 21

Tombstone Tuesday: Private William W. Dilbeck

Private William W. Dilbeck served in Co. C of the 11th Georgia Infantry, C.S.A. According the the National Park Service website, “Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System,” Dilbeck served the 11th Battalion, Georgia Infantry (State Guards. The solitary grave of Dilbeck  is located on Cantrell Rd., a dirt road near the Dawson-Pickens County line.

To locate the grave site, travel north on Steve Tate Highway (intersects with Georgia Highway 53 in Pickens County at the shopping area called Foothills. In about 5 miles turn right onto Afton Rd. (located just north of Big Canoe’s North Gate). From that intersection the Dawson County line is two tenths of a mile. Go another two tenths of a mile and turn right onto Cantrell Rd., a dirt road. The single Confederate grave marker of William W. Dilbeck is on the right about four tenths of a mile down Cantrell Rd.

These photographs were taken on 10 November 1999.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Jun 14

Indexes to Forsyth Co. Obits and More

Let me introduce you to Ted O Brooke’s website. For many years Ted has been an asset to Georgia’s genealogical community, publishing several books, including the popular book, In the Name of God Amen: Georgia Wills, 1733–1860 (Atlanta: Pilgrim Press, 1976) as well as numerous county cemetery inventories.

During the years Ted has accumulated a wealth of genealogical data, much of which is not available free of charge on his websites, TedOBrooke.com and UpshawFamilyJournal.com.

Most recently, Ted has completed and posted indexes to Forsyth County, Georgia, obituaries and death notices. The partial screen shot immediately below illustrates a few of the Georgia finding aids that Ted has made available.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


Jun 12

Obituary of John Bennett Medlin, 1933

Obituary of John Bennett Medlin, Confederate soldier, as reported in the Pickens County Progress, 2 March 1933.

Mr. J. Bennett Medlin, for many years one of the most prominent citizens of Pickens county, died on February 21st at the home of his son, Dr. W. B. Medlin, in Miami, Fla., where he had resided for the for the last few years.

Mr. Medlin took an active interest in community and religious affairs and discharged every duty entrusted to him in a conscientious way. At the age of 16 he felt the call of duty and volunteered for the defense of Dixie, serving throughout the Civil War under Lee in Virginia. No higher proof of his patriotism is needed.

He still has a number of relatives living in Pickens county and a host of friends, not only at Talmadge his old home, but throughout the county, who will be interested in the following account of his death taken from the Miami Herald of February 22nd:

“Funeral services for John Bennett Medlin, 89, veteran of the War between the States, who died yesterday at the home of his son, Dr. W. B. Medlin, following a long illness, will be conducted at 3 p. m. today in the Joseph P. McGhan Funeral Home. The Rev. H. S. Hardin, pastor of Riverside Methodist church, and the Rev J. C. Sims, pastor of Riverside Baptist church, will officiate. Burial will be in Miami Memorial Park.

“Pallbearers will be D. C. Coleman, L. D. Pearce, Dr. H. B. Keene, Dr. W. F. Cross and Dixon Pearce.

“Mr. Medlin was born in Greenville S.C., and joined the Confederate army at the age of 16, serving throughout the war under General Robert E. Lee. Following the war he settled in Jasper, Ga., where he farmed until 1918, when he retired.

“He had been a winter visitor to Miami for several years and was a member of the Riverside Baptist church. He leaves six sons, Dr. Medlin, W.L., L. W., and R. L., of Miami; P. L., of Sycamore, Ga.; I. E., Fairmount, Ga., and four daughters, Mrs. W. L. Garrett, Eaton, Ga.; Mrs. John Sanford, San Bonita, Texas; Mrs. S. R. Hamrick, Ludville, Ga., and Mrs. Maude Anderson, Fairmount. His wife, Mary Medlin, died last September.”

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Jun 07

Military Monday

William C. Redden

Cornith Baptist Church Cemetery in Pickens County, Georgia, contains the Confederate tombstone of William C. Redden served with Co. D, 34th Georgia Infantry, C.S.A.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

May 30

Military Monday: Widow Pension for Jane C. Bozeman

Jane C. Bozeman, widow of Henry B Bozeman applied for a widow’s pension from the federal government based on Henry’s service in the 5th Tennessee Mounted Infantry.[1]

Jane resided in Jasper, Pickens County, Ga. On 17 May 1886, Lemuel J. Allred and Agnus Allred [her mark] testified that they were  present about the 25th day of August 1842 when Henry B. Bozeman and Jane C. McCutchen were married at the home of S.K. McCutchen’s (then in Cherokee County, Ga.). The couple was married by John Bibbs a JP of Cherokee County. Their children were: William A., born 9 March 1844; Cyntha C., born 10 October 1845; Nancy E[lizabeth]. born 25 September 1847; Martha E., born 26 July 1849, died June 1880; Mary Jane born 9 Feb 1852, died July 1853; David E, born 30 May 1855, died Jun 1864; Samuel A., born 27 April 1857, died June 1864; Rufus M, born 18 May 1859,  died July 1860; Julia E., born 9 July 1862; John  Sherman., born 19 April 1865; and Henry B., born 30 May 1867.

In addition the pension application contained a copy of Henry and Jane’s marriage record from Cherokee County indicating they were married on 23 August 1842; and an affidavit of Dr. C. Pickett, age 35 of Jasper, state that Henry B. Bozeman died 2 Dec 1883 of consumption.

Henry B. Bozeman did not apply for Back Pay due Union soldiers in January 1870.[2]

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

[1] Widow’s pension application for Jane C. Bozeman (widow of Henry B. Bozeman), file no. 314724, Widow’s Certificate 224842, Records of Veterans Affairs, RG 15, National Archives, Washington, D.C., photographed 23 March 2006.

[2] Applications by Former Union Soldiers for Back Pay, Pickens County Inferior Court Record in the possession of Jewell Kelly Burnett of Talking Rock; Marble Valley Historical Society microcopy viewed 1 June 2001.


May 25

Wordless Wednesday: Woodbridge Inn

The Woodbridge Inn

Located on Chamberlain Street (use the wood bridge on the east side of North Main Street), Jasper, Georgia

May 23

Military Monday: John T. Chapman

While studying the soldiers of Pickens County Georgia during the “Late Unpleasantness,” I’m finding that it is not unusual for men from Pickens County and other North Georgia counties to have served at some time with Union Troops. Several enlisted with the federal troops in the 1st Georgia while others first in Confederate units and later (frequently late 1864) journeying up to Cleveland, Tennessee, to join with Union troops. Several enlisted with the 5th Tennessee Mounted Infantry.

John T. Chapman enlisted 17 December 1864 in Cleveland, Tennessee, with the 5th Tennessee Mounted Regiment. Chapman was mustered into Company K as a private on the 22nd of December 1864.

John T. Chapman applied for a federal pension, but the papers indicate that the Adjutant General, U.S. Army recorded that he had a charge of desertion pending.  However, Chapman counteracted the charges by claiming  (in an affidavit dated 14 March 1883) that he had received two separate wounds from balls— one in his left shoulder and the other in his right leg— on or about the 28th of March, 1865, during an “engagement with the enemy some 10 miles west of Ellijay, Gilmer County,” Georgia. Chapman further indicated that after his wounds he had been concealed in a private home and that he was not treated by any physician or treated in any hospital. In that same affidavit Chapman claimed that prior to his enlistment with the 5th Tennessee Mounted in December 1864, he had seen Confederate service in the fall of 1863 I Capt. Loveless’ Company, Philips Battalion, State Troops.[1]

Following the war John T. Chapman and his family moved relatively frequently. In 1870 the family was residing in Shake Rag, Cherokee County, Georgia. The family consisted of John, age  24, with Malinda C. [later census records indicates that Malinda C. Chapman was John’s wife] and two children: Mary C, and James Chapman.[2]

1880 residing in Jerusalem, Pickens County, Georgia, with his wife, Malinda, and five children: James M., Lisa V., Martha J., Malinda A., and Victory O. Chapman. His mother, Mary Chapman, age 54 was also residing with the family.[3]

20 June 1900 residing in Cassville, Bartow County. He was born May 1846 in Georgia, and his wife, Malinda was born July 1844.[4]

[1] Federal Pension Application of John T. Chapman, file #482462,; National Archives at Washington.

[2] 1870 U.S. Census, Cherokee County, Georgia, page 206A, dwelling 343, family 343; National Archives micropublication M593, reel 143.

[3] 1880 U.S. Census, Pickens County, Georgia, page 521A, Enumeration District 163, sheet 14, dwelling 122, family 122; National Archives micropublication T9, reel 161.

[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Bartow County, Georgia, page 229A, Enumeration District 7, sheet 18, dwelling 339, family 345; National Archives micropublication T623, reel 179.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

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