Climbing Family Trees: Personal Notice by Jean Childress

Climbing Family Trees

More great stories, poems, and helpful hints about genealogy and searching for your family's roots from the twin authors of "Climbing Family Trees: Whispers In The Leaves"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Personal Notice by Jean Childress

“Personal Notice”
Jean Childress
Upshur County, West Virginia

My husband's grandfather's sister, Julia Childress, was married to Henry Eagle. Henry was the assumed turncoat who betrayed the Union Troops at Centerville, (now Rock Cave) (W)VA early in the Civil War.

The pattern was for the Union troops (home guards) to practice their drills each Saturday morning on the parade grounds at the Fort at Centerville, while the wives and children did their weekly shopping. The men would stack their rifles on the edge of the field while doing their drills. On this particular Saturday morning in 1862, Henry, his brother and father were missing from drill practice. The Confederate troops captured the Union troops without a shot being fired and marched them down the Beveraly Pike to prison. Many of they died in Andersonville.

Later, Henry joined the Confederate Army and was subsequently captured and taken to prison at Camp Chase, OH. I have copies of the letters he wrote to Julia in 1864 from prison, which give no sign but that he expected to be released from prison and hoped to return home to take his wife and children west to escape further danger or involvement in the War.

Just a few days after the letters were written, Julia is said to have heard a noise at her door. She went to the door to answer the knock and "saw" Henry laying dead on the door step. A few days later she received word that it was the exact time that Henry actually died in prison.

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