Monday, October 28, 2013

Military Monday: Private Jesse Padgett

Jesse Padget, Company Muster Roll
Last week I spent some time at the Bell Research Center in Cumming, Georgia, using their extensive collection of Civil War resources.  I was trying to find more information about Jesse Padgett, my husband's Great Grandfather.  While I didn't find all the information I was seeking, I came home with a lot of new information, more questions, and some insight into researching our ancestors who were in the Civil War.

Company H, 7th Georgia Infantry, :Roswell Guards"
Roster of Confederate Soldiers in Georgia (1)

Prior to my visit to the Bell Research Center, based on his wife's application for a widow's pension, I already knew that Jesse Padgett had been a member of Company H, the 7th Georgia Infantry, known as the "Roswell Guards".(2)  I had been concerned, however, because I could not find Jesse listed in the Roster of Confederate Soldiers in Georgia.  Seeing Jesse's enlistment and death dates written on the company muster roll pictured above caused me to take a closer look at his widow's application for a Georgia Widow's Pension and the Roster of Confederate Soldiers in Georgia.  The enlistment and the death information from the muster roll is the same as that of the Roster's entry for Jesse Parker.  In addition, from the application for a widow's pension, the original three witnesses providing affidavits concerning Jesse Padgett's death (F. A. Hargrove, J. L. Gantt, and J. S. Pickens) are all listed in the Henderson roster for Company H.  I ended up feeling that Parker is just another variation of the Padget / Padgett / Paget  / Paggett name, perhaps based on the transcription of records containing Jesse Padgett's name.

With all the newly found information from the Center's Fold3 access, I knew I needed to put it into a timeline so I had a clearer idea of Jesse's life as a soldier.  Below is Jesse's Civil War timeline.  Events of historical significance are shown in red; events relating to Jesse and his wife/widow Parthenia Thomason Padgett are in black.

Aug 1860Jesse Padgett, Parthenia, and children residing in Atlanta area1860 census,
19 Jan 1861Georgia secedes from the
9 Feb 1861Confederate States of America
12 Apr 1861Attack of Fort
21 Jul 1861Battle of Bull Run (or 1st Manassas)
23 Aug 1861Jesse Padgett enlists in Co H, 7th Georgia, in Richmond,
31 Aug 1861Jesse Padgett, Company Muster
28 Dec 1861Jesse Padgett admitted to hospital, Danville, VA, then transferred to hospital, Richmond,
Dec 1861Jesse Padgett, Company Muster
2 Jan 1861Jesse Padgett dies in hospital, Richmond, VA
3 Mar 1862Beginning of claim process for Jesse's widow, affidavit of
1 Jul 1862Payment of claim to attorney for widow, $
1864Payment of claim to widow, $
9 Apr 1865Lee surrenders to
22 Sep 1891Widow files for Georgia Widows' PensionGeorgia Virtual Vault

The National Park Service Soldiers and Sailors Database provides a short history of the 7th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, the regiment in which Jesse enlisted.  It was interesting to note that Jesse was not part of the original regiment when it was organized in the Atlanta area in May of 1861.  Instead, according to the Company Muster Roll, Jesse apparently traveled to Richmond  to enlist a few months later on 23 August 1861.

Some stories suggested that Jesse had been wounded in the Battle of Manassas, but putting verifiable information into a timeline showed that Jesse had not enlisted at the time of 1st Manassas.  The 7th Georgia was involved in this battle, so I can't help but wonder if perhaps news of this battle prompted Jesse to get to Richmond and join other family or neighbors in the Confederate effort.

Jesse's widow, Parthenia Thomason Padgett, filed for a Widow's Pension from the state of Georgia in 1891.  Her application affidavit stated that Jesse caught typhoid fever while serving in the Confederate Army and had died of that disease in a Richmond, Virginia hospital.(2)  Research has shown that over two thirds of deaths in the Civil War were due to disease or poor sanitation rather than from battlefield wounds.(3)  Jesse was one more part of these grim statistics.

My biggest question involving Jesse concerns where he was buried.  Previously I had not found any mention of Jesse using either and  It is logical to assume that following his death in Richmond, he would have been buried with other Confederate soldiers somewhere in the Richmond area.  The Bell Research Center contains an impressive number of cemetery registers both for Georgia soldiers and for Georgians buried in other states as well as registers developed by organizations and societies.  I spent close to 45 minutes going through a number of these registers but was not able to find any listing for Jesse Padgett (or any variation of the spelling of his name).  

Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond, VA, 1865
photo: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

The Confederate burials in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery have been well documented while the approximately 7000 burials in Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond, are not as easy to verify.  It may require a trip to Richmond and talking with cemetery officials to determine whether or not Jesse was interred in the Confederate area of this cemetery.  Although present day photos of Oakwood Cemetery show small numbered marble blocks as grave markers, this photo of Oakwood taken in 1865 provides a different view of the cemetery.  This image is enough for me to want to try and answer this final question about Jesse. 

(1) Henderson, Lillian. Roster of Confederate Soldiers in Georgia, vol. 1. Hapeville, GA:  Longine & Porter, 1959-1964. Digital images. : 2013.

(2) "Padgett, Parthene, Mrs." in "Confederate Pension Applications." Database and images. : 2013.

(3) Fause, Drew Gilpin, "Death and Dying." : 2013

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