Thomas Putman – Grave #7, Confederate Lot, Lexington Cemetery

Thomas Putman
Corporal
12th Regiment Tennessee Infantry (Consolidated)
Company I

Confederate monument list

Life is very short for some of us, and then we are gone and very much forgotten.

This seems to be the fate of this young man.

Firstly, I must admit that he was difficult to find, and much of the information that I have used to identify the soldier identified as burial #7 in the Confederate Lot (Lexington Cemetery) is circumstantial. I do believe, however, that I have identified the correct person, although his name appears to have been muddled throughout his short military career.

The Lexington Cemetery website (http://www.lexcem.org) identifies a person named Thomas O Putman, who was buried on September 15, 1862 in the National Lot (this should not be confused with the Lexington National Cemetery; no Confederate soldiers are buried in the National Cemetery, as I understand).

This information is similar to the name T. O. Putman of the 12th Tenn. who is identified on the Confederate monument as being burial number seven in the Confederate Lot.

The military record, Register of Confederate Soldiers, Sailors, and Citizens who died in Federal Prisons and Military Hospitals in the North, 1861-1865, identifies a T. O. Putnam of the 12th Tenn. as having died on September 15, 1862 and buried in the Confederate Lot. Notice that the surname in this record is “Putnam”, rather than “Putman”, a simple enough error, but important given that it too is an actual surname.

Thus far, the records seem to indicate that this soldier’s name is likely Thomas O. Putman.

The Confederate Service records for the person likely this same soldier differ in that the Corporal who enlisted into the 12th Tennessee Infantry is identified as T. S. Putman. There are few pages of records, I have found six pages, but they are consistent with the name.

This leaves open the possibility that T. O. Putman and T. S. Putman are different individuals. I do not believe this is so, however. I believe it is likely that the soldier’s name is likely T. S Putman, as he would have given his name at enlistment. I believe that “Thomas O.” is a miscommunication that occurred after he had died and his middle initial was misremembered or misread by the cemetery administrators who were attempting to keep records of the soldiers being interred during this chaotic time in the city’s history.

This is where I take a slightly bigger leap and attempt to link this young man to his family in the community prior to enlisting in the Confederate army.

The record indicates that at least some part of the 12th Tennessee Infantry Regiment was indeed in Lexington at the time this soldier’s death.
The 12th Tennessee was one of a number of regiments who joined with Major General Kirby Smith to participate in the Kentucky Campaign, including the Battle of Richmond (KY) on August 30th, 1862.

The 12th Tennessee Infantry organized in May 1861, enlisting men largely from the Gibson County, Tennessee area. The young man whom I believe to be this Thomas Putman was living in Carroll County, Tennessee adjacent to Gibson County. Thomas Putman (or T. S. Putman) enlisted into the 12th Tennessee on May 30, 1861 in Jackson, Madison County, Tennessee, adjacent to Gibson and Carroll Counties, Tennessee. He was 18 years old as per the service records.

In 1850, there is a four year old boy named Thomas Putman who is living with his mother, Mary Putman and two younger brothers, William and John. This family may be difficult to find on Ancestry.com because their surname is misspelled in the index as “Tulman”! In 1850, they are living in the household of 70 year old Adam Little and some other adults named “Little”.

I believe they are living in this household because Thomas’ father, John Putman had just died in May 1850, and Mary had moved in with family, as marriage records indicate that she was probably Mary Little, prior to marriage to john Putman on July 21, 1842 in Carroll County, Tennessee.

In 1860, Thomas Putman is 16 years old, and is still living with his mother and two younger brothers in Carroll County. He is identified as a farm laborer. There is another female living in the household, her relationship not identified at this time.

On May 30, 1861, T. S. Putman enlists into the 12th Tennessee. I cannot identify another person whom this might be. The age is a little off, but he would not have been the first young man to advance his age a bit to be of age to enlist.

In one year, three months and seventeen days, he would be dead and buried far from home. Nearly 152 years later, he still will not have had a proper headstone and it appears likely that no one who might consider him family knows where he lies (as per a quick sweep through Ancestry.com family trees).

Sources:

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.com

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.com

Fold3.com. Confederate Civil War Service Records (fold3.com)

Kenneth A. Hafendorfer, Battle of Richmond Kentucky, August 30, 1862 (Louisville, Kentucky: KH Press, 2006).

Lexington Cemetery Website (Lexcem.org)

The National Park Service (nps.gov). Civil War Regiment Details.

Register of Confederate Soldiers, Sailors, and Citizens who Died in Federal Prisons and Military Hospitals in the North, 1861-1865; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M918, 1 roll); Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group 92; National Archives, Washington, D.C. Ancestry.com

Note: I am aware that I need to improve my referencing of material. This is something I will work on as I move along with this project.

Andrew P. Smith – Grave #6, Confederate Lot, Lexington Cemetery

Andrew P. Smith
Sergeant
54th Georgia Infantry
Company G

Confederate monument list

Born: 1836-1837 in Washington County, Georgia
Died:  September 12, 1862 in Hospital, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Buried: September 12, 1862 Confederate Lot, Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Andrew P Smith was born in Washington County, Georgia in 1836 or 1837, according to the documentation I have reviewed thus far. Based upon the 1850 Federal Census for Washington County, Georgia, Andrew appears to be the son of Allen B. and Susan Smith of Washington County. In 1850, Andrew is 13 years old. As I have not yet found any record of birth or other links to this family, I do not feel entirely confident I have the correct family, although it is very likely.

In 1860, the Federal Census for Washington County, Georgia lists Andrew P. Smith as being a 24 year old farmer living with Mary Smith, aged 22 years old (apparently his wife), two year old Elizabeth Smith, and two other females, Caroline E. Smith, age 40 and Pensia G. Smith, age 35. Andrew’s real estate is valued at $1000, personal estate valued at $1000. Caroline also has real estate valued at $1200, personal estate at $1000; Pensia’s real estate valued at $1400, personal estate at $1000. The 1860 Slave Schedule indicates that he owns two slaves, a 70 year old man and an 11 year old female. The Slave Schedule also indicates that Miss C. E Smith and P. G. Smith each own slaves, bringing the household total to six.

Smith enlisted into the 54th Georgia Infantry (later renamed the 57th), Company G on May 6, 1862 in Savannah Georgia.  He was 26 years old at that time. He was enlisted by Col. Henry Cleveland for a period of “3 years or war”.  This soldier’s records differ for the previous soldiers addressed in this blog in that his military records provide some additional detail of his life and death.

Documents include a Register of Claims of Deceased Officers and Soldiers from Georgia in which M. E. Smith, Admin and John P. Smith, Admin filed claim for settlement on May 16, 1863. The document reports that Andrew P. Smith died in hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Military records also report Smith was born in Washington County, Georgia, and died on September 12, 1862 in Lexington, Kentucky from Brain Fever.

The Register of Confederate Soldiers, Sailors, and Citizens who Died in Federal Prisons and Military Hospitals in the North, 1861-1865 support the claim that Smith died on September 12, 1863 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Lexington Cemetery records also indicate that A.P. Smith was buried in the National Lot on September 12, 1862.

Smith’s military records also include a letter signed by Captain James P. Jordan stating that Andrew P Smith died in hospital at Lexington, Kentucky on the “13th day of September 1862”.

Andrew P. Smith lived four months and six days from enlistment to death and burial.

Risdon D. Nichols – Grave #5, Confederate Lot, Lexington Cemetery

Risdon D. Nichols
Corporal
Company A, 56 Georgia Infantry

Born: about 1833 in Georgia
Died: September 12, 1862 in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Buried: September 12, 1862 in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Image

Risdon was born around 1833 to E. R. and Sally Nichols and was living with his parents and siblings in Henry County, Georgia at the time of the 1850 Federal Census. He was 17 years old at that time. He married Amanda M Swinney in Spalding County Georgia on 26 September 1855. The 1860 Federal Census shows Risdon, Amanda and their son and daughter residing in Clayton County, Georgia. I am not certain if this indicates a move in residence, as Clayton County was established in 1858 and it is possible that the area they were living in merely changed name.

Risdon D Nichols enlisted as a Corporal into Company A of the 56 Georgia Infantry on April 28, 1862 at Campbellton, Campbell County, Georgia (now consolidated into Fulton County). By September 12, 1862, 4 ½ months after enlistment, Risdon would be dead.

Risdon’s military records, represented by three documents, give little indication of what he experienced or where he was located during that time.  A payroll indicates that he was on the Roll on June 13, 1862 and had enlisted for a period of three years by Captain Brewster. According to this document, Risdon received $50 payment.

The 56 Georgia Infantry had been involved in the recapture of Cumberland Gap by the summer of 1862. Sometime before late August of that year, the 56th had been assigned to Daniel Leadbetter’s Brigade and would eventually head north into Kentucky. Although the 56 Georgia Infantry does not appear to have been directly involved in the Battle of Richmond (August 29-30, 1862), they did enter Richmond on September 3rd and were involved in the parole of the Federal Prisoners.

The Register of Confederate Soldiers, Sailors, and Citizens who Died in Federal Prisons and Military Hospitals in the North, 1861-1865 reports that Risdon D. Nichols died in Lexington, Kentucky on September 12th and was buried in the National Lot. Lexington Cemetery Records also indicate that Risdon was buried on September 12, 1862. Because the Federals had left Lexington immediately after the Confederate win at Richmond, and the movement of the Confederate troops into Lexington by September 2, 1862, I think it is possible that Risdon was not actually a POW, but instead had been brought into Lexington with the advancing troops following the Battle of Richmond.  This is not something I can claim with certainty, but it does seem very likely.

The final military document, dated January 16, 1863 indicates that Risdon D. Nichols’ name “appears on a register of claims of deceased officers and soldiers from Georgia which were filed for settlement in the Office of the Confederate States Auditor for the War Department.”; this was presented by Risdon’s widow, Amanda M. Nichols.

By 1870, Amanda Nichols has moved to Texas with her children, Henry (who is identified as R. D. in 1860) and Amanda, and lives adjacent to her parents, Henry and Martha Swinney, in Upshur County, Texas.

Sources:

Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.com

Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.com

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.com

Kenneth A. Hafendorfer, Battle of Richmond Kentucky, August 30, 1862 (Louisville, Kentucky: KH Press, 2006).

Register of Confederate Soldiers, Sailors, and Citizens who Died in Federal Prisons and Military Hospitals in the North, 1861-1865; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M918, 1 roll); Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group 92; National Archives, Washington, D.C. Ancestry.com