THROUGH MOUNTAIN MISTS
Early Settlers of Union County, Georgia
Lifting the Mists of History on
Ethelene Dyer Jones
connections (part 5)
Serving in the War Between the States
Before I launch on this week's
topic of Nix men (and boys) who served in the War Between the States, I
want to clarify items from last week's article on Aunt Jane Nix Wilson
Shuler called my attention to the caption under the picture.
Thanks to her keen observations, the caption should have identified the
picture as taken in 1905 (the year Jane's husband Isaac Thornton Wilson
died). The baby Sophronia Jane Nix Wilson holds on her lap is
Estelle, last born of her children, not Garnie, who lived only about
two years and died in 1900.
Seven children of Jane Nix Wilson and Isaac Thornton
Wilson are shown in the picture. The second girl from the left,
standing, is a neighbor and friend who was visiting in the Wilson home
and wanted to "get in" on the picture (Callie Clark?).
identify the Wilson children in the 1905 photograph, they are Tom
(1902), Estelle (1904) in Jane's lap, Benjamin (1894), Granny Evaline
Duckworth Nix, James Isaac "Jim" (1896); second row: Verdie (1887),
friend (Callie Clark ?), Hattie (1889) and Gertrude (1892). Who
would know better how to identify these than history buff Betty Jane
Shuler? Sophronia Jane Nix Wilson Hood was her grandmother, and
the one for whom she was given her middle name, Jane.
Another item to
clarify is the statement about Jane Wilson not joining Union Church
when it was constituted in October, 1897, although she gave the land on
which the church building was erected. She wished to remain a
member of the New Liberty Baptist Church where she was a member from
her youth. This was not uncommon in those days, to keep one's
membership with relatives and friends in the church where one had grown
With those items
clarified, we move to today's topic in the Nix saga. We trace
briefly six sons of James "Jimmy" Nix and Elizabeth "Betsy" Collins Nix
who served in the War Between the States. Five of them enlisted
in the 23rd Georgia Regiment, Infantry, enlisting at Camp
McDonald. The sixth, Jasper, enlisted in Ben Ledford's
Regiment. Their father, James, himself enlisted on December 14,
1863 in the Georgia State Militia, Company 2. Betsy Nix therefore
had six sons and a husband to be concerned about as they actively
upheld the Confederate cause. What happened to these Nix men?
Jimmy Nix may
not have left Union County for his service, as the Georgia Militia was
charged with protection of home territory. Not much that I can
find was written about his service other than his date of enlistment,
December 14, 1863.
The sons, in
order of age, served as follows: Thompson Nix was born in 1838
and named for his grandfather, Thompson Collins. He married Mary
C. Hix in 1860 and they had one son, James Bly Nix, born June 1,
1861. This son was given the same name as Thompson Nix's
brother. Thompson was a private in Company K of the 23rd
Regiment, Georgia Infantry, enrolling on November 9, 1861. He
became ill with a fever and was hospitalized in the "New Hospital" in
Yorktown, Virginia, where he died March 4, 1862. It is reported
that his body was returned home to Choestoe by W. L. Howard. I
found no gravestone for him listed in the Cemeteries
of Union County book.
John Nix, the
fourth child of Jimmy and Betsy Collins Nix was born in 1840. He,
too, was in the 23rd Georgia Regiment, enlisting August 31,
Camp McDonald. He was killed in battle at Sharpsburg, Maryland in
September, 1862. His father filed for death benefits, but it is
not known whether his applications were rewarded.
James Bly Nix was the
fifth son and seventh child of Jimmy and Betsy Collins. Born June
2, 1844, he was a twin to Isabella, who may have died as an
infant. At the age of 17, James Bly Nix joined Company K, 23
Georgia Regiment on August 31, 1861 at Camp McDonald. He was in
the Battle of Frericksburg, VA, where he was wounded. He was
treated at the Jackson Hospital in Richmond for a wound in his right
leg on October 1, 1864. He saw much action during the war and was
captured by the enemy and exchanged for a Union prisoner. James
Bly returned from the war and married Millie J. "Polly" Henson on
November 5, 1865. He was a farmer in the Owltown District.
He also had gold mining rights on Coosa Creek and pursued mining with a
passion. He and Mollie had nine children.
Jeffie Nix was born
in 1846. It has been hard to trace his history, but it is
believed that he also enlisted in Company K when his brothers
did. Since he is not shown in subsequent census records after
1860, he may have died in the Civil War.
Jasper "Grancer" Nix,
ninth child of Jimmy and Betsy Collins Nix, was born in 1847, a twin to
Newton. He departed the tradition his older brothers had set and
joined Colonel Ben Ledford's Regiment, John Souther's Company, from
September, 1864 through May, 1865. His enlistment and discharge
papers are not in the National or Atlanta Archives, but a soldier's
pension application was found in the Atlanta Archives. He married
Harriet Carolina "Tina" Duckworth and they had twelve children.
After "Tina's" death, Jasper married Margaret Ballew.
Newton Nix, twin to
Jasper, and tenth child of Jimmy and Betsy Collins Nix, joined Company
K, 23rd Georgia Regiment at Camp McDonald on August 31,
1861. At the age of fifteen, he died of erysipelas and fever in
From the military records
of these six sons of Jimmy and Betsy Collins Nix, we can imagine the
impact of enlistment practices to get young men to join the Confederacy.
Of the six, we know that
Thompson, John, and Newton died in the War. It may be that
Jeffrie also lost his life during the war, for no further record has
been found of him. Six sons fighting, and four lost is a heavy
price to pay for war. What grief that mother bore.
by Ethelene Dyer Jones. Published August 23,
2007 in The Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.)
Dyer Jones is a retired educator,
freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA
Updated January 11, 2009
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