Ancestors in the War
Carol VanOrnum - Roswell Battalion, 7th Georgia, Catham County Artillery, Cobb County Artillery
1) My great, great, great uncle, Captain Thomas Edward King (1829-1863), enlisted in the Roswell Battalion, Cavalry division but moved to the 7th Georgia Infantry under the Brigade command of Colonel F. S. Bartow. During the battle of 1st Manassas, Thomas was shot in the ankle, one of 153 casualties. He was sent home to recover.
Captain Thomas was unable to resume the command of his company, but when his native state was threatened, he felt that he must “join the struggle to drive the invader from his altar and his home.” He volunteered as the Aide-de-camp for Brigadier General Preston Smith who led the 11th, 12th, 13th, 29th, 47th, and 154th Tennessee, and Dawson’s Battalion Sharpshooters in the battle of Chickamauga. All were under Major General Benjamin F. Cheatham’s Division.
For sheer poignancy, nothing matched the struggled that ensued on the Confederate left, where contact was not made until after nightfall. Portending the chaos to come, nearly all of Deshler’s skirmishers stumbled into Dodge’s Federal brigade and were swiftly and quietly captured. Uncertain of both his own location and that of Wood, and troubled by Goodspeed’s Federal battery, which has begun shelling his right flank, Deshler called a halt a good two hundred yards shy of the Federal lines. Although no one had fired on them, many of Deshler’s men lost their nerve and stole back toward the brigade of Preston Smith. The burly Tennessee attorney ordered his own command forward to catch them. The skulkers returned to the front, and for a few minutes Deshler’s line held. When it wavered a second time, Smith rode forward and personally urged the men back into their ranks. Again the line steadied, and Smith returned to his own brigade. Unbeknownst to Smith, however, Deshler, in an effort to evade the fire of Goodspeed’s battery, now led his command toward the left, which unmasked the two right regiments of Smith’s brigade as they moved forward.
My other great, great, great uncles are as follows:
2) Captain James Roswell King (1827-1897) organized a Cavalry company called the Roswell Battalion. After Sherman burned the mills in 1864, the Roswell Battalion engaged the enemy for a few months of fighting. Captain James took charge of railroad construction work.
3) Colonel Barrington Simerall King (1833-1865) of Company C and E of the Cobb County Georgia Legion fought throughout most of the war and was killed while leading the charge on Kilpatrick’s Camp at Averasboro, North Carolina.
4) Ralph Browne King (1835-1900) was a member of the Chatham County Artillery under General W. J. Hardee. He was seriously injured during the war and never completely recovered.
6) Captain Clifford Alonzo King (1842-1911) served under General W. J. Hardee (his father-in-law). He went into mining in Colorado Springs and when exploring a mine and being lowered into a mine shaft, the rope broke and he plunged to his death.