Friday, October 28, 2005

Today in Family History:
death of John H. Brown, Andersonville prisoner

On the 28th of October 1864, after 3 months of imprisonment at Andersonville, my ancestor John H. Brown died.

John H. Brown, memorandum Posted by Picasa

Several of his records say that he died at Andersonville Prison, but apparently he actually died while being transferred from Andersonville to the prison at Florence, SC. It is not known where he is buried.

He and several men from his unit, including his cousin Sgt. Oliver M. Brown, were captured at the Battle of Utoy Creek, Georgia on the 6th of August 1864. Another cousin, Sgt. Jotham Brown, was killed that day. They had all three mustered for service out of Greene County, Tennessee into Company D, 8th Tennessee Infantry Regiment on 15 May 1863.

The battle itself was not an important battle, just a small part of Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.
Battle of Utoy Creek, Georgia: After failing to envelop Hood’s left flank at Ezra Church, Sherman still wanted to extend his right flank to hit the railroad between East Point and Atlanta. He transferred John M. Schofield’ s Army of the Ohio from his left to his right flank and sent him to the north bank of Utoy Creek. Although Schofield’s troops were at Utoy Creek on August 2, they, along with the XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland, did not cross until the 4th. Schofield’s force began its movement to exploit this situation on the morning of the 5th, which was initially successful. Schofield then had to regroup his forces, which took the rest of the day. The delay allowed the Rebels to strengthen their defenses with abatis, which slowed the Union attack when it restarted on the morning of the 6th. The Federals were repulsed with heavy losses by Bate’s Division and failed in an attempt to break the railroad. On the 7th, the Union troops moved toward the Confederate main line and entrenched. Here they remained until late August.

Result(s): Inconclusive

[Emphasis mine. -tkp]

Oliver Brown is listed as having "survived Andersonville", but he, too, had simply been transferred to Florence, SC Prison and he died there.

To quote from the diary of Samuel Elliot who was also among the majority of prisoners being transferred out of Andersonville because of the proximity of General Sherman:
Monday [October] 31.-While at Andersonville I did not suppose the rebels had a worse prison in the South, but I have now found out that they have. This den is ten times worse than that at Andersonville. Our rations are smaller and of poorer quality, wood more scarce, lice plentier, shelters worn out, and cold weather coming on. I have stood my prison life wonderfully, but now I am commencing to feel it more sensibly, and am getting too weak to move about. To add to my misery I have the scurvy in the gums.

John H. Brown's first wife, Sarah W. Hendry, had passed away in 1861 and he had remarried Eliza Starnes. At his death he left 8 children, 5 of them minors (though the other 3 were just 13, 15 and 17, they were all over 16 when the pension was created).
children by Sarah W. Hendry:

Nancy C. Brown
Joseph Henry "Henry" Brown
William Amos Brown
Massey Jane Brown
Sarah Ann Brown
John Emerson Brown
Alfred Wilkerson Brown

child by Eliza Starnes:

James Leonard Brown

The pension received by John E. Hendry was $2.00 per child per month, ending when they turned 16. Eliza Brown, as widow, received $8.00 for herself as long as she remained a widow and $2.00 additional for James. Some of Eliza's documents give also a Dec. 1864/Jan. 1865 death date for her husband, but the rest of the documents say that he died the 28th of October.

You can search a database of 32,000 Andersonville prisoners at the Macon County, Georgia website. They can be quite detailed. John H. Brown's entry looks like this:
Andersonville Prisoner Profile
Code No: 37321
Last Name: BROWN
First Name: JOHN H
Company: D
Regiment: 8
State: TN
Branch of Service: INFANTRY
Date of Death: 10/28/1864
Cause of Death:
Reference*: PG145[105]
Place Captured: UTOY CREEK, GA
Date Captured: 8/6/1864
Alternate Names:
More Information
Available: YES