Thursday, December 18, 2014

Too Poor For Public Life

Charles Edward Broyles’ money woes followed him from the last days of the Civil War to the early days of Reconstruction.

At first, that lack of funds didn’t seem to curb his determination to follow his perceived lifelong mandate from his father to pursue “the glories of victories won upon the arena of public life.”

Given his endeavors up to this point hardly qualified as victories, perhaps Charles keenly felt the need of something to balance the tally. Not long after his return home to Dalton, Georgia, Charles was back in that public arena, according to a news report issued on September 26, 1866, in the Macon, Georgia, Telegraph. You may notice a couple familiar names in this excerpt.
            …a large and respectable portion of the citizens of North Georgia, assembled at Dalton on Saturday the 15th instant, for the purpose of taking action upon the proceedings of the late Constitutional Union Convention, held in Philadelphia on the 12th of August.
            On motion of Col. J. A Glenn, Col. H. L. Sims was chosen President of the day…
            On motion of the Rev. J. M. Richardson, a committee of five, consisting of the Rev. J. M. Richardson, Col. C. E. Broyles, Col. R. W. Jones, Rev. H. C. Carter and H. McHan, were appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting.
            The committee retired and during a portion of their absence the meeting was addressed by Cols. J. A Glenn and C. E. Broyles, upon the political issues of the day, strongly denouncing all hostility to the President as dangerous to our Republican institutions, sectional in their character, and in the end calculated to widen, instead of healing, the wounds of the Union.

Given the indefatigable political drive of our subject, it is no surprise to learn that, penniless though he may have been after the war, he would not let that lack present any barrier to his continued participation in the political process. I’ll let Charles explain his involvement of the next few years in his own words below and in tomorrow’s post. Then we’ll go back and revisit this episode from the lens of newspaper reports around the state of Georgia from that same time period. You know there will always be at least two sides to every story.
In 1868 I borrowed money to go as a delegate to the reconstruction convention in Atlanta. I made the 2nd ratification speech in favor of R. B. Bullock for Governor and he came up to me at the time and promised me that if he was elected Governor “he would remember me.” That fall the Republican Convention to nominate a candidate for Congress was unanimously for me. I had the nomination but declined it because I was too poor to make the canvas. I was then appointed Solicitor General of the Circuit. I preferred it to the Judgeship. And with this office which I filled four years, I relieved my family of much of their want and suffering. My term ended in 1872. And I assumed my profession.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Money Woes

…I was disabled and had neither horse nor money to regain my command.

When examining the timeline and narrative of Charles Edward Broyles in his service to the Confederate Army during the Civil War, there are a few places where we need to stop and take a long, hard look between the lines of his narrative. I believe examining those unexplained blank spots will ultimately help us discern the reasons behind his abrupt move from his home in Dalton, Georgia, to the apparent second life he lived, once he arrived in Colorado territory.

Going back to the entries in Charles’ journal that I had mentioned yesterday, there were a couple sentences we need to look at another time.

The first one, above, mentions how the loss of his horse and money hampered him from returning to service in the Confederate army. While I can’t find any confirmation of this online—and if you are well versed in Civil War era military requirements, please add to the conversation in the comments below—there were apparently requirements beyond that of military skill or leadership qualities, in becoming a person of rank. I had seen hints of that when researching my second great grandfather, Charles’ younger brother Thomas, who had obtained a horse so he could serve in the cavalry rather than as a foot soldier in the infantry. The newly-formed Confederate government was apparently unable to provide mounts for these men; they had to obtain their own.

Again, though I haven’t been able to find confirmation of this, Charles’ journal entry seems to indicate that it was incumbent upon the officer himself to provide financial backing in order to “raise a regiment,” as Charles did along with Colonel Jesse A. Glenn of the 36th Georgia Infantry.

While I am not familiar with the aspects of achieving a rank of command in that era of military history, it seems Charles’ journal entries are implying such requirements. Because of his prior injury to his feet during his first tour of duty (as “a foot”), and also possibly because of his history of having had typhoid fever in his youth (“that so crippled my limbs”), his only possibility of continued service may well have been mounted upon a horse.

Then on its way to North Carolina I was paroled at Anderson Court House S. C. and in the fall of 1865 returned with my family to Dalton Ga.

The journal narrative here enters a murky phase in Charles’ description of his final days of service. He was “furloughed…on the 5th day of February 1865, on account of rheumatism” in Augusta, Georgia, yet not paroled until the unit reached “Anderson Court House S. C.” And while the war officially ended on April 9, 1865, with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee in Virginia, conclusions of hostilities were obtained more as a rolling date, as department after department of the fallen Confederacy yielded to the reality of their losses.

It is hard, from the overview of history, to determine exactly where Charles Broyles might have been during this range of surrender dates. He likely was still considered part of the armies of General Joseph E. Johnston and, due to the rolling dates of surrender even within these companies, may have been—since Charles mentions “on its way to North Carolina”—released as the company made its way to Greensboro by May 4, 1865.

Granted, it seems as if there is an unexplained gap between the date of surrender—wherever and whenever it was for Charles’ company—and his return to his home in Dalton, Georgia in “the fall of 1865.”

This, however, is another example of the gaps in narrative for which we’ve got to read between the lines. Notice he says “returned with my family to Dalton.” This brings up another question: while he was away from home, serving in the Confederate army, where was his family? By the start of the war, he and his wife, Lucy, had had five children. This is a difficult position in which to put a family of such size, especially considering the long absence of the family’s traditional breadwinner.

Not to mention, what about their safety while the Union army was ravaging a significant swath of land across the state of Georgia? We need to remember that neither Charles nor Lucy had close relatives in the area; both had been born and raised in South Carolina.

It is interesting to note that Charles was paroled at “Anderson Court House S. C.” A little geography lesson is in order here. If you remember, Charles’ childhood home was in a place in South Carolina that had once been called Pendleton District. The term “district,” if you follow a geo-political timeline, had been used alternately with that of “county” in South Carolina.

Up until 1826, the Pendleton District included a large area of land in upstate South Carolina which claimed as its county seat the town—logically—of Pendleton. However, in 1826, it was determined that the area needed to be subdivided, and two new districts were formed: one named Pickens, the other named Anderson. Because the town of Pendleton was considered to be too close to the border of the new Pickens District, a courthouse was established at the center of the new Anderson District—named, appropriately, Anderson Courthouse.

If you’ve been following the saga of Charles Broyles for the past several days, you are probably realizing that Anderson Courthouse was simply the new digs for the county seat of what once was considered the home district of the Broyles household. In other words, though the boundaries had changed, for Charles to head to Anderson Courthouse was for him to return to the area of his old family home.

Why would Charles return to South Carolina instead of his own home in Dalton, Georgia? It is likely that his wife and children rode out the turmoil of war, living either with Lucy’s own family in Barnwell or with Charles’ family in the old Pendleton District of South Carolina.

Keep in mind that the overarching purpose of exploring this line of my second great grandfather’s brother is to explore the possible network and connections that led my own ancestor to meet his bride, who was also a Georgia resident, at least before and after the war. The question of where these women and children went to avoid becoming casualties of battles—or at least to mitigate their suffering during the hardship of war times—may help lead us to explanations of how future familial connections were made.

Above: Dalton looking east to Cohutta Mountains; pencil, Chinese white and black ink wash on green paper by Alfred Rudolph Waud, labeled "Battle of Dalton" and dated October 13, 1864; courtesy Library of Congress; in the public domain.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Horrors of War

I don’t think I could do the narrative justice for the action seen during the Civil War as well as could the brief comments Charles Edward Broyles entered in his journal years later. So much was packed into those few years; Charles repeatedly mentioned “the horrors of war” and “the destruction of human life.” While he endured some personal suffering as well, the totality of the scenes his eyes took in, during those few years, left an indelible impact upon him.

As his narrative so briefly touched on so many battles, and included so many names mentioned, for as many as I could find, I’ve hyperlinked to further explanations in entries found at Wikipedia, if you’d like further details on the events mentioned in Charles’ notes. Other than that, I’ve left much of Charles’ spelling variations as I found it in the typewritten transcription of his original document.
In 1861 I went to Virginia a private in the 11th Ga. regiment commanded by Col. G. T. Anderson. And was with the army of General Joseph E. Johnson at Winchester Va. that made the great march to reinforce Beauregard at Bull Run. I was a foot [soldier] and not being accustomed to walking I suffered much while my feet bled freely. We did not get to the Bull Run fight. As being new troops the older was shipped from Piedmont Franquier Co. Va. in advance of us. We got there after the battle was over, but in time to witness the destruction of life and property with the horrors of war.

In the fall I returned home and commenced to help raise a regiment with Col. J. A. Glenn. We succeeded and I was commissioned Major of it in 1862. I served under Kirby Smith in Kentucky in that year and in the winter came out Braggs Army. We were then soon sent to Middle Tenn. and remained there until the day before Christmas 1863 when our regiment with Stepenson’s division was ordered to Vicksburg Miss. We garrisoned this place until the Federal fleet passed Vicksburg and we then moved out on Big Black. And fought the battle of Champion Hill or Bakers Creek. This was a hard battle, I was holding my horse in the thickest of it when he was shot. I let him go to die and suppose he did. We fell back to Vicksburg and the seige commenced. It was not in my front Grant made his attack but in the Brigade to my left. I stood and witnessed the whole battle and the destruction of human life.

We surrendered after 48 days and nights. During which time we suffered for food and ate mule meat. And anything we could get. We surrendered on the 4th of July 1863. Was paroled on the 9th and left on the 12th. The troops all went home. And in October of was Chichamauga. We followed General Burnside to London and after the battle of Chickymauga we were relieved by Longstreet and occupied missionary Ridge, while Sherman was in Chattanooga.

I was commissioned Colonel of my regiment in Spring of 1864. I was in front of Sherman to Atlanta in the battles of Resacca, New Hope Church, Luss Mountain, Kennesaw, Pouder Springs, Chattahooche, and many skirmishes, and all around Atlanta I turned back with Hood and was in...Nashville Tennessee, In the two days fighting there and returned on his retreat with him to Augusta Ga.

At this place I was furloughed by General Beauregard on the 5th day of February 1865, on account of rheumatism. This ended my service of the Confederacy as I was disabled and had neither horse nor money to regain my command. Then on its way to North Carolina I was paroled at Anderson Court House S. C. and in the fall of 1865 returned with my family to Dalton Ga. poor moneyless and I may say, half clothed. We worked hard and our troubles were great and many. But bourn as best we could.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pulling Up Stakes

…And not satisfied, on the 18th day of December 1849 I pulled up stakes and moved to Spring Place Murray Co. Georgia.
Young and ambitious, Charles Edward Broyles was understandably impatient with his paternally-imposed agricultural lot in life. After all, he had devoted his time to the study of law, not farming. The bucolic ambience of northeastern Tennessee was not the scene where his preferred type of action was happening. Thus, in his journal, he noted the challenge of moving from Washington County, Tennessee, to a new beginning in a place called Murray County in Georgia.
Most of my effects was boated down the river in tide water to Chattanooga Tenn. This Before a Rail Road ever reached that now flourishing city. In 1850 I commenced the practice of law. But unfortunately I had a…farm which made me careless of my profession. And independent of it for support.

Why, though, would Charles have chosen the destination he did: the northwestern corner of the state of Georgia—a place seemingly as remote as the one he so gladly was forsaking?

At first, I had wondered if the Georgia Land Lotteries played a role in enticing Charles to move farther south. The time frame, however, did not lend itself well to that theory. Not even the last of the lotteries—in 1833—could have been stretched out long enough to play a part in Charles’ 1849 decision to move.

Why, also, did Charles select Murray County? There, too, I was clueless—until I located information that reported that Spring Place had, at that time and until a 1912 referendum, served as the county seat. In this region—then a jurisdiction of approximately six hundred square miles—of the twelve to fourteen thousand residents of the county, eleven served as attorneys, including Charles E. Broyles. Also practicing law in the county seat was one J. A. W. Johnson—causing me to wonder if this Johnson might have been a brother-in-law as well as a colleague. In addition, exploring relationships from previous generations helped, as I believe I found some Taliaferro relatives (brother of Charles’ mother Sarah Ann Taliaferro Broyles) also in the area.

Shortly after Charles and Lucy Ann Johnson Broyles arrival in Murray County, the expansive jurisdiction was subdivided, carving from it the newly-created Whitfield County and establishing the new county’s seat at Dalton. Though Murray County had been growing in population, perhaps the new county’s opportunities were more appealing to Charles, for he soon left a promising position in Murray County to re-establish himself in Dalton.
I stayed in Murray Co. Georgia three years and was elected County Judge over a good man John Bell. I resigned the office and moved twelve miles west to Dalton Georgia. Here I practiced my profession with success but impeded by the same causes that injured me at Spring Place….

Though Charles and his wife Lucy were catalogued in the 1850 census in Murray County—along with their firstborn, also named Charles, who arrived on the first of May in that same year—by the time their second child, Laura, arrived in November of 1852, the family had already moved to Dalton.

Since the 1860 census also showed the Broyles family residing in Dalton, it might seem from that documentation that Charles had finally found his niche and had settled down. What might at first have appeared to be youthful ambition, however, now seemed to indicate a permanent restless spirit, for while he kept up his law practice, new opportunities had presented themselves. 1858 I was appointed on the staff of Governor [Joseph E.] Brown one of his aids with the rank of Colonel. And the same fall was elected to the Legislature from Whitfield Co. Ga. I served on the judiciary and other important committees and was one of five from the House with three from the Senate to revise and report the present Code of laws for the State of Georgia. I was a member in the stormy days of Secession and opposed separate State action.

...I continued the practice until the war.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Made Up Man

Having completed his education—if, indeed, it can ever be said that anyone has finished his education—young Charles Edward Broyles must have felt as if he were on the top of the world. His journal entry certainly makes him seem so.
I soon fell in with the belief that I was a made up man, only wanted a wife. In this my selection was incomparable good as I got one if not the best woman of her day. And beloved by every one. I married Miss Lucy A. Johnson of Barnwell, S. C. and lived together some thirty years

The big day, as noted by some, was June 28, 1848, though I’ve yet to find anything officially documenting that date. An announcement in a local Pendleton newspaper and reports in published genealogies provided that news. Lucy Ann Johnson, coming from Barnwell “district” southeast of Pendleton, was never mentioned as “daughter of” anyone. Marrying before that useful 1850 census—the first to name each member of the household—Lucy could have been daughter of any of several Johnson men living in the Barnwell District.

A comment in Charles’ journal about his early married life caught my attention at this point. It opened my eyes to the possibility of just why some of these Broyles descendants left their hometown and moved to other states. In this particular case, I had already been aware that some members of the Broyles family had owned land in Tennessee—one, eventually, being my own second great grandfather, whose home was established near a small village there called Embreeville. I had seen mention of some Tennessee property in subsequent wills, alerting me to the fact that it had been passed down through the family.

Embreeville, nestled in a bend in Tennessee’s Nolichucky River, was not exactly a convenient location for a landholder living in Pendleton, South Carolina. The journey between the two properties involved a route north through Asheville, North Carolina, and then across the Appalachian Mountains to the northeastern part of Tennessee, a trip—depending on how circuitous the route chosen—of about one hundred forty miles.

With Charles’ journal entry, it seems likely he had headed to Embreeville—although much sooner than his younger brother, my second great grandfather Thomas T. Broyles, who by that point was only a boy of seven. Unlike Thomas, though, this previous move by the newlyweds, Charles and Lucy, to Tennessee was doomed to be short lived. Though he might have gained some success at farming, that was not the life Charles Edward Broyles had envisioned for himself.
In 1849 I settled at the [insistence] of my father on Nolichucky River in East Tennessee to farm very much against my will. For I felt it was a surrender of all my life long hopes and aspirations. I had but little experience in farming and for fear of a failure, I worked hard and faithful. The result was I made a big crop, and had all the comforts of life around me. I have often thought and believe now if I had been content to farm, and remained on the place, I would have done much better in life in a worldly sense. But not so. Such was not the bent of my mind. Bright hopes of fame and fortune, shown forth upon my reason in the field of my ambition. And not satisfied, on the 18th day of December 1849 I pulled up stakes and moved to Spring Place Murray Co. Georgia.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Not the Meanest, By No Means the Best

“If I was ever a student, it was of law.”

As Charles Edward Broyles continued reminiscing about his earlier days back at the South Carolina home of his parents, let’s take a few moments to sketch in some details. As Charles himself mentioned in his journal, he grew up in Anderson County, part of the “upstate” region of South Carolina.

Although the O. R. Broyles family lived near what is now the town of Pendleton, from the time Charles was eleven years of age until just a few years after his marriage to Lucy Johnson, his parents actually lived on a plantation which they called Ashtabula. Now known as the Ashtabula Historic House, it has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972, and is preserved as a museum by the Pendleton Historic Foundation. (If you are ever driving through the area, stop by, tour the place and think of me.)

As seen by the public now, the “large clapboard mansion” was not the original building on the property. The Pendleton Historic Foundation website provides a house history, detailing the property’s 1790 origin with a brick building which served as a tavern and stagecoach stop on the road from Pendleton to Pickensville and Greenville. A previous owner of the property began building the clapboard house in 1828, but died before being able to complete it. His children finished the building project, then advertised it as “the most beautiful farm in the up-country,” according to the Historic Foundation. The property was sold in 1837 to Dr. O. R. Broyles.

Ozey Broyles, described as “an agriculturalist and inventor,” devised a form of sub-surface plow and realized a good deal of success in his farming endeavors. It was reported in the Pendleton Farmers’ Society that by 1843, his land was producing a record harvest in rice.

It was in the midst of this time that Ozey’s older sons were working their way through the early years of their education. A few passages from Charles’ journal give a flavor of what those early studies were like.
My first schooling was on the Beaver Dam S. C. old field style…. From boyhood I took in a large field of fun and frolic, and while not the meanest boy in school was by no means the best. I was full of fun, and always kept the little ones crying and the girls sighing.

I procured a good English Education, prepared myself for college and the law. I was not eighteen years old having been born at Anderson Co. South Carolina on the twenty sixth day of March 1826.

Charles’ biography at this point seems somewhat confusing about the timeline of his college studies. He mentioned attending “the S. C. college,” which, at that time, was what the University of South Carolina was called. However, he mentioned its location as Pendleton, not the centrally-located campus in Columbia, where the state assembly had deliberately intended it to be.
I then went to Pendleton S. C. and entered the S. C. college. At this place I completed a course of studies and left it in the fall of 1845.

Whatever that “course of studies” at this other location might have been, his narrative later mentions Columbia—though whether that is meant to indicate more schooling at the college, or possibly an oblique way to indicate he was admitted to the bar at the state’s capital, I can’t tell.
At the end of two more studies I was admitted at Columbia S.C. and my professional rostrum was higher that day to look from than it has ever been since.

Yet, in the midst of those earnest studies, he encountered an unexpected personal difficulty, the telling of which somewhat confuses me as to the timeline of his academic progress. No matter what the order, though, you can sense the intense regard he had for the focus of his studies, despite his physical set-backs.
I was cut off one year by sickness. A spell of Typhoid fever that so crippled my limbs that I did not walk for years and I [feel] the effects to this day. I left College in 1845 and in 1846 commenced the study of Blackston [renowned British jurist, Sir William Blackstone]. With this abstruse work the greatest of all books, I wrestled for two years diligently. Only to find out by this that it would be laid on the shelf as a spark would be seen from the mighty volume of the day’s Luminary. So many books have been written on the law, that I even I would not attempt...but rather incline to the opinion that if hundreds were destroyed and the old laws left in force and the rulings of good sense made our guide the world would be better off than we are [now]. Suffice it to say. The heart leaped with joy as I gazed  upon the beauties of legal planes wealth and character that stood before me. I entered the study with more than ordinary zeal. The fact is if I was ever a student it was of law.

Above: undated black and white photograph of the south front and west side of Ashtabula near Pendleton in Anderson County, South Carolina, once the property of the O. R. Broyles family from 1837 through 1851; courtesy the United States Library of Congress; in the public domain. A more recent color photograph, presenting the other side of the main building, may be viewed here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Beginning of a Grand Detour

How Charles Edward Broyles—son of respected resident of Anderson County, South Carolina, Ozey Robert Broyles—ended up in Colorado is a long story. In order to tell it fully, I’ll have to take a detour from the dates of the 1880 and 1900 census records in Colorado, back beyond the 1870 census records with his wife Lucy Ann Johnson Broyles and family in Dalton, Georgia, to another era of both his and our country’s history.

Before we visit even that part of the tale, though, we need to visit some recollections provided by the man himself in a self-styled “autobiography” written, apparently, from his home in Colorado, beginning in 1887.

I first found this gem in a typewritten form on The subscriber who included it in her list of source documents had noted that it was transcribed, but never provided the original source. You know me—I was instantly concerned that I get not only the source, but the original version, to check against the transcript. After all, people can make a mistake, as we’ve already discussed.

I wrote to that member, hoping to receive the answer to my question. It’s been about a week now—not a long time, true, but too long for someone as impatient as I am—with, so far, no answer. Remembering what Wendy had said a while back about liking to find her distant cousins actively working on their genealogical research, I took a peek to see how recently this member had been online: a month ago. This may take a while.

What to do next? I really wanted to talk about this discovery! I tried my hand at that oft-used simple check for plagiarism: cut and paste a large chunk of the text right into Google, adorned by quote marks flanking each end of the passage. VoilĂ ! A freely-accessible, albeit still typewritten, copy was found online—which you can read in its entirety here if you, too, get impatient and want to cut to the chase.

Since this resource didn’t provide me an original source for these “transcribed” notes, either, I decided to look in one more place. I returned to the genealogy published by the distant cousin of my grandmother: The Broyles, Laffitte and Boyd Relatives and Ancestors of Montague Laffitte Boyd, Jr., M.D. There, on page 22 of the online version at Hathi Trust, was a copy of a small section of the same document. This time, the author included the source:
The excerpt below is from his [Charles Edward Broyles] diary; it was sent to me by his daughter, my aunt, Sarah Ann Taliaferro Broyles…[which is] now, 1959, in my possession.

So how does Charles Edward Broyles explain himself? Like many others, in telling his own story, he started from the beginning. He must have had the genealogy gene, himself, for that “beginning” began with a brief outline of his family.
My father Dr. O. R. Broyles of South Carolina was a poor young man, but studied medicine, greatly to his chagrin in after life for being ambitious and high spirited

That, of course, agreed thoroughly with the records we’ve already seen from elsewhere—confirming that this Charles Edward Broyles in Colorado was likely one and the same as the Charles Edward Broyles who came from South Carolina and had lived in Georgia.

To insure that we didn’t doubt that, he continued with a brief mention of his mother.
My father Dr. O. R. Broyles was born raised married and died in Anderson Co. South Carolina. My mother was a Toliaferro [sic] called Toliver was a Virginian and now at this writing is alive and well in her 85 year.

With Sarah Taliaferro Broyles having been born in June of 1803, and with this “autobiography” having been composed beginning in 1887, that would be correct. While several sources give her place of birth as South Carolina, she did indeed come from a Virginia family.

In reviewing his own life, Charles’ remembrances drifted from reciting the facts, to story-telling, to waxing almost unbearably eloquent. He would get mired in the mundane, yet turn around suddenly and drop an insightful sentence into the midst of the narrative. While mentioning his father’s “chagrin in after life” for having chosen the profession of medicine, he provided the predictable explanation, detailing
…the filth and stench of a [physicans’] life, [t]o say nothing of the labors of a [physician] ever ready to be called from his bed by patients, whether responsible or not.

The good doctor, Ozey R. Broyles, must have been somewhat of a storyteller, for his son observed, “He was naturally fluent in conversation.” He must have coupled his abhorrence for his selected profession with his oratory skill in seeking to influence his sons’ choice of future profession. Charles recounted,
And to avoid his sons falling into the same error, he spent hours at a time extolling to his boys the glories of victories won upon the arena of public life.

That the more one learns the more he sees the broad field of ignorance spread out before him.

With that re-direction away from medicine and toward “public life,” it was no surprise that at least two of O. R. Broyles’ sons—one of them being Charles—“commenced the study of law.”

That discipline, coupled with the tumultuous timeline fast approaching the young college student, did indeed put him in “the arena of public life.”
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