Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sentimental Sunday - Steel Magnolias : Those Who Stayed Behind

Magnolia, photo by Alan on Flickr

In researching my and my husband’s Cherokee County, Georgia roots, I’ve learned that a number of them served in several companies of the Georgia Infantry.  There are a number of good resources available for gathering this information, free resources such as The Roster of Confederate Soldiers in Georgia available on HaitiTrust and the National Parks Service Soldiers and Sailors database, as well as subscription services such as and

But what about the women whose family members where fighting in the war?  Nancy Mauldin Hillhouse, the 2 Great Grandmother of my husband, was one of those ancestors about whom I had not been able to find much information.  She was easy to find in the 1840-1880 federal census records, always in Cherokee County, Georgia.  Later in The History of Cherokee County, I found a brief mention of her quilting ability.(1)
She became more real to me as I was looking at The Roster of Confederate Soldiers in Georgia.  My intent was to see which of my relatives might have been serving in the Confederate States Army in a unit with my husband’s relatives.  As I was taking notes of names and regiments to check within our family trees, I noticed my growing list of Hillhouse men serving in the Confederate Army. 

Below is a table showing the soldiers along with their units.  Looking through the family tree, I saw they all had a relationship with Nancy Hillhouse.

NameMilitary UnitRelationship to Nancy
Elijah Hillhouse Co D, 28th Regiment, Georgia Infantryhusband
Samuel W HillhouseCo D, 28th Regiment, Georgia Infantrybrother-in-law
John Floyd HillhouseCo B, 34th Regiment, Georgia Infantryson
George HaynesCo B, 34th Regiment, Georgia Infantryson-in-law
Robert W HillhouseCo B, 34th Regiment, then ransferred to Co D, 28th Regiment, Georgia Infantryson
Thomas NelsonCo B, 34th Regiment, Georgia Infantryson-in-law

It was sobering to think of that many people so closely related were involved in the war at the same time.  It was numbing to realize that when Nancy’s husband died at the Battle of Richmond in 1862, she still had two sons fighting in the war as well as two sons-in-law and a brother-in-law.  Nancy was one of so many in this same situation.  Life still had to go on, there were children to raise, the farm to manage, maybe even find a little time to quilt.  In my mind, Nancy and these other women had to be “steel magnolias”.

(1)   Marlin, Lloyd G. The History of Cherokee County. Florida: Wolfe Publishing Co. 1997. 

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