Confederate or Yankee? Family History Skeletons

Sometimes when we search for our ancestry, we find little skeltons in the closet.

My great great grandfather, James Eiland, always sticks in my mind as one of my more interesting ancestors. He was the son of Frances Marion Eiland and Elmina Jones. Born in Alabama on 23 August 1840, James was the third of possibly eight children. James and his older brother, Absalom, both served in the 29th Alabama Infantry during the Civil War. James was captured by Union forces as Sherman marched toward Atlanta. I can only assume as a measure of self-preservation, James accepted an enlistment in the Union Navy and was stationed aboard the USS Susquehanna until the end of the war, becoming my "galvanized Yankee" ancestor.

When he returned to Alabama, he married Rebecca Hayes on 11 June 1865. Their children were: William, John, Enoch, James, Basil, Arthur, Ed and Anna Rebecca. He died of a spider bite in 1908 in San Angelo, Texas.

When searching your ancestry, be willing to embrace all the information you find, even the stories that may not set well with other family members.


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