Friday, July 4, 2014


In January 2014, Amy Johnson Crow of the Ancestry blog No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.
The premise: write once a week about a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, a research problem — any that focuses on that one ancestor. The next week, write about a different ancestor. In 52 weeks, you’ll have taken a closer look at 52 people in your family tree… and maybe learned a little bit more about them in the process

JOHN W. COUNTS was born in Georgia about 1840 and married Martha Pardue in January, 1864. John W. Counts was my maternal 2nd great grandfather.


JOHN W. COUNTS married right in the middle of the Civil War so I wondered if he fought in the war and where those battles would have been. I found his muster records on the web site  He belonged to the 1st Regiment (Olmstead's) Georgia Volunteer Infantry.  This regiment was organized prior to the war with militia companies from Savannah.  Other members were from Oglethorpe, Washington and Tattnall all in Georgia.  After entering Confederate service the regiment was involved in both heavy artillery and infantry.  The regiment served on the coast with a detachment at Savannah and another at Charleston until May 1864.  It was then assigned to General Mercer's Brigade.  They also fought with J.A. Smith in Tennessee.  Later the command saw action at Bentonville, Tennessee and surrendered on April 26,18651.


The Muster Roll records indicate that John W. Counts was present with the regiment from August 6, 1861 when he enlisted until November/December 1862 when he was absent on special messenger service.  John is then reported AWOL on January 15 1863 and placed back on the roll on March 3, 1863 and he was sick in a hospital.  He is on the muster roll in November/December 1863 but deserted and was captured near Atlanta and put in a POW camp.  The next document in his Muster Roll account is that he is on the Roll of Rebel Deserters who have taken the Oath of Amnesty at Chattanooga, Tennessee on August 24, 1864.


This is the cover page for John W. Counts Record


This is one of 24 pages in John W. Counts Record



I have a lot of research to do.  I am not sure what the Oath of Amnesty was or what POW camp he was in.  I also would like to read about the battles his regiment fought in to get a better view of his life during the Civil War. I do know that it was very common for men to desert their companies during the war to get back home to do the farming and take care of their families.





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