IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Putting perspective on the real "cold mountain"
Shanifaye
post Mar 16 2007, 01:18 PM
Post #1


Administrator
***

Group: Root Admin
From: Lilburn, GA
Surnames:
Inman, Bradley, Byers, Derreberry, Owensby and all various spellings thereof




People close to me will recognize the following as it was my blog for new years 2007, but I feel I wrote it so well that it couldn't be improved on tongue.gif

New Years and Family History

(I realize that there are not many people besides my mama and my husband that will TRULY know what this means to me, but I'm going to put it down just cause I can lol)

LONG before there was a movie, and even longer before there was a book, way back to when I had a school project (and possibly before, but I use this as my mental touchstone) I grew up hearing the real story of "Cold Mountain".

I grew up hearing how WP Inman and his best friend John Swanger left the civil war and walked home only to be shot by the Home Guard not far from WP's father's house in Haywood County, North Carolina, causing his father to have to walk up Big Stomp Mountain to drag the bodies and get them buried in the cemetery he and his wife would eventually end up buried in. WP and John, both wearing union uniforms, were buried together high on a hill, seemingly forgotten but for the story handed down in the family for the next 133 years.

Mama and I had been to Haywood County to do research over the years but for some reason she and I never took the time to find the cemetery where he was buried, we spent our precious time combing the records at the courthouse and library. 4 new years weekends ago Dave and I drove up for the weekend and did just that. Our side of the family said he was buried in one place (to the left of where his fathers grave is), WP's 3rd great grand daughter said they were buried in between his mother and father, where we actually believe a young child of theirs is buried. This weekend we found out from my cousin Darrell that they are actually at the feet of Joshua and Mary. No tombstone to mark the place just a white stone that looks a little like quartz submerged into the groud, that this weekend was marked with a confederate flag.

I have talked on the phone many times with my cousin Darrell (who is about 67 years old now) but never got to actually meet him. Every time Dave and I would go to Waynesville he was always too busy with things on that particular day to meet us.

For this trip, I called him 2 weeks in advance to find out if he could make times with us to talk with me and show me some of his research, let us in our family chapel etc.

Darrell gave many interviews when Charles Frazier's book came out, most of them saying "The truth in that book would fit on a penny postcard with room for the address". Lots of the family was very put out with our cousin Charles for what he wrote, while the world adored him for it. I knew from our phone conversations he knew exactly where WP and John were shot and that the "foundation" of the house his father built when he moved to Haywood County in 1825 was still there. It became my mission in life to see those places and I was really hoping this weekend would be when it would happen.

I was not disappointed in many ways. This has been a very emotional and satisfying weekend (even if it has raised more questions for me).

I called Darrell when we were 20 miles from Waynesville to find out if indeed he would not be off bear hunting, or cleaning a cemetery or attending a funeral or something. Much to my surprise, he had time for me!! He said at some point he'd have to leave me to go load a dump truck with river rock but he would talk with me all he could.

He met Dave and I at Inman Chapel (much like the church built in the movie only it was built in 1902, not during the civil war and it was built by one of WP's brothers) and talked and talked and talked and then talked some more. Eventually I had a "duh" moment and got Dave to get our brand new digital voice recorder that we'd gotten for ghost hunting out of the car so we could record him.

Here are a few pics of Darrell and the church. He still has the original door key for the church lol







He then took me up one mountain to where my 4th great grandfather raised his family







the big mossy rocks are the cornerstones and chimney place of the homestead.

He has many letters written by one of WP's 7 siblings (the man who built the church) and from another brother he has "the story".

All 6 Inman boys...James (who built the church), Daniel Logan (my 3rd great grandfather), Joshua, William Pinkney (WP), Lewis Hezekiah (Hezzie, the man the story is told by), and Joseph were in the war. Joshua died of wounds suffered in battle in VA. James, Logan, WP, Hezekiah and Joseph, all ended up in a POW camp named Camp Douglas in Illinois. WP deserted the war many times, but from service records I can find he stopped doing that after November of 1862 until he switched sides in November of 1864 and became a union soldier. The story goes that the brothers were in Camp Douglas together, as evidenced from a letter written by James to his wife. Two signed the oath of allegiance to the North and were released (along with John Swanger). Logan did not and died Christmas day of 1864 of Erysipelas: Contagious skin disease due to Streptococci with vesicular and bulbous lesions (which would be curable when penicillan was invented). Hezzie walked north while WP and John, in their new Federal uniforms walked home to NC (from Illinois).

Sometime in December, WP and John arrived on Big Stomp mountain and were shot and killed by a home guarder named Teague, their bodies left in the snow at the home guards "hide out". Three families lived on that mountain and one of the women that lived there, found them and sent word to WP's father they were there. Joshua walked 3 miles in the snow with a horse and a sled to retrieve the bodies and get them buried. One only knows how long that trip took, but once he reached them, he loaded them on the sled and dragged them 1 mile to the Bethel Cemetery and dug the grave to bury them together. It took a very long time and its said he returned home "very late in the night".

Darrell told me he would take me there, but that we could only go so far in my own car, I would have to stop driving at one point and get in his 4 wheel drive and ride with him. Unfortunately this vehicle only had enough room for me, which meant I had to leave Dave with my car while Darrell and I trudged up Big Stomp. Its about a mile and a half from where I had to leave my car. Along the way Darrell and I talked of what it must have been like for Joshua to have to do what he did that night and tried to imagine what the mountain looked like in 1864, in the snow at night.

We rounded a bend in on the mountain (please keep in mind, this is not some traveled mountain road, this is a "road" made by a four wheel drive and VERY bouncy) and there it was. I got out of the car and walked to it, my mind reeling with what I was seeing.





After all these years, I was finally standing in the place my ancestor was killed. WP's and John's bodies were left in the place between the two big boulders in the front. I wanted to savor the moment, I wanted to stay there forever and soak it in. I immediately felt connected to this stand of rocks and it broke my heart to have to leave, but it was getting dark and Dave was alone with the car on property that belonged to someone else.

This is the view of Cold Mountain from the actual place of their death on Big Stomp



Darrell drove me back down and that was pretty much the anti climatic end of it for that day at least......

Darrell told me I'm one of a 1/2 dozen living relatives he's taken up there since he found it. It took him 20 years to find the spot described by Hezzie. Not even the "great" Charles Frazier himself has been there.

Dave is as into genealogy as I am and is such a tremendous help with research. He's learning as he goes and I'm having to teach him how to look for things and know what he's looking at etc. He enjoys our graveyard trips and loves looking at the graves. It absolutely broke my heart to be standing at their place of death without him because he's been into the history of it as much as me, and I had to leave him behind.

Darrell had told me that if in the future I wanted to hike it just tell anyone that might question me that Darrell had taken me there and what I was doing, so I kept that in the back of my mind Saturday while Dave and I did other research and drove to historic Cataloochee to hike around it and look at it (thats not family related, just historical) (continued below)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Shanifaye
post Mar 16 2007, 01:22 PM
Post #2


Administrator
***

Group: Root Admin
From: Lilburn, GA
Surnames:
Inman, Bradley, Byers, Derreberry, Owensby and all various spellings thereof




Sunday morning we had planned to visit WP's grave and search some other cemeteries for burial places of relatives we had not been able to find. Standing on that big hill at WP's grave with Dave, I knew I could not leave Waynesville without taking him to Big Stomp. It would mean about a mile and a half hike straight up and the weather was not co operating, but fortunately was not as bad as it would get later in the day. We knew it wouldn't be an easy hike, and would be the most physical energy I had exerted since the surgery.

We left the cemetery and drove as far as we could, just like the day before. This time when we got to the gate of the property we needed to start our hike at, there were people there. That had purchased the property where we needed to start as a surprise wedding present for their daughter. We explained why we were there and got their permission to at least be on their part of the property.

We left them behind and started up, Rain was coming in as we started up the "road", it wasn't long before we were huffing and puffing and sweating, but we trudged onward and upward knowing we were doing something special. Along the way we found, what I thought, was a most awesome OLD tree





About 1/2 way up it dawned on us, we were in black bear country, and hunters were active that weekend. We had no "orange vests" and nothing to protect us should we run into a bear. It did not deter us though we kept going. It took awhile because we had to keep stopping every 50 yards or so to catch our breath. I kept telling Dave we could turn around if he wanted, but he being the man I love and admire kept telling me no, it was important for him to see it too, and if I could manage, he could too.

After what seemed forever and the rain really starting to come down we rounded the last bend to arrive at the place. It was obvious we were going to not be able to stay long because of the rain, there was no place to get any kind of shelter at all, but I did at least have longer than I did the day before.











I will never really be able to put into words the emotions I feel at that place, or the significance it has for me. Just like I can never really explain how my blood seems to come alive anytime we go to the moutains of Haywood Co. The "pull" of the area makes me ache sometimes when Im not there.

I think the writer Sharyn McCrumb but it best when she, who's father's family were highlanders like mine and who's mother's family were flatlanders like mine, said “I always was interested in the songs and the legends. Those from my father's side of the family always seemed to have so much substance. Mother was from the flatlands of North Carolina around New Bern; that was, I suppose, the Plantation South. Her stories didn't resonate with me. I guess I wasn't meant to be a Southern writer in the Pat Conroy sense of the word.”

“Hollywood doesn't seem to pick up on this, but it's pretty obvious to everyone else that the South has more than one culture. The Flatland South is very different from the Mountain South. The Flatland South was settled primarily by the English, by people who didn't mind neighbors, who liked living in community. I've always joked that the mountain people don't work and play very well with others.”


I don't know that I will ever get back there and that truly saddens me. The property on the mountain is being sold piece by piece and roads are being cut through. I wish with all my heart there was something I could do to make that area some kind of historical place that cant be destroyed with "progress". I want so much for my mother who has done so much research on this side of the family...which is actually my father's side, to be able to be there just once. I feel guilty I got to be there and she didn't. I feel sick that very few people understand the "sanctity" I feel the place deserves. If I could win the lottery tomorrow I would pay whatever it took to make that area mine and preserve it for future generations of interested Inmans.

While sitting at breakfast at the bed and breakfast with the other guests and trying to explain the significance of what I'd seen I felt disgusted that all they could do was go on and on about the book/movie and not see these people as the real people they were.

To not understand the real devestation of Joshua Inman that cold December day when he had to retrieve his son and bury him and tell his wife what had happened. I guess I am an old soul who was raised to respect my family heritage, and even though it causes me great disconcertion as far as other people are concerned, I will always thank my mother for instilling that in me and I will live my life knowing that I have the depth of understanding that so many others dont.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Wally McCollum
post Mar 21 2007, 06:31 AM
Post #3


Newbie
*

Group: Members
Surnames:
McCollum Chastain




Your article about the real "Cold Mountain" struck a chord, because my ancestors lived in the hills of western North Carolina, upcountry Sourh Carolina and north Georgia from the late 1700s until well into the20th century. During the waning days of the Civil War several of them who were too old or too young to serve in regular military units, served in Home Guard units along Sherman's march route in north central and northwest Georgia. This was an area with large pockets of Union sympathizers. History has not treated these Home Guardsmen well. Most were honorable men protecting their homes and families; some were unprincipled thugs. I think James Webb in his book, "Born Fighting: How the Scots Irish Shaped America" described these "highland" people very well when he said:
"We ourselves are those who remained...along the mountain ridges that stretch from Pennsylvania to Georgia and Alabama...Who are we? We are the molten core at the very center of the unbridled, raw, rebellious spirit of America. We helped build this nation from the bottom up. We face the world on our feet and not on our knees. We were born fighting. And if the cause is right, we will never retreat."
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Carissa
post Mar 21 2007, 05:00 PM
Post #4


Huh?
***

Group: Members
From: Haysville, Kansas
Surnames:
Anderson, Chowning, Crabb, Eckels, Eddings, Fain, Fateley, Hill, Klimper, Lee, Moody, Moses, Nichols, Piercy, Piles, Slaten, Tallent, Weaver....




That's such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing that experience with us. I recently visited a place that was near and dear to my ancestors. I felt the connection that you spoke about. Sometimes, you can even feel that type of connection just meeting distant relatives for the first time. Those moments are irreplacable.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
SouthernBranches
post Mar 22 2007, 09:44 AM
Post #5


Newbie
*

Group: Members
Surnames:
Gilbert, Crawford, McClure, Perry, Davidson, Tubb




Thank you for your story and pictures of "the real cold mountain". What a wonderful experience and one that you will treasure. I hope your mother will get to take the same trip. We have to record our memories and experiences for our future family. You have inspired me to put some memories on paper for my granddaughter.

I'm trying to locate my great-grandfather's beginnings. James Lamar Gilbert was born in 1827 in Putnam County Georgia. I'm trying to locate his parents. We have his marriage records and Civil War records. It's as though he was born and then appeared in Alabama on the day of his marriage.

Sue
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Shawn
post Mar 22 2007, 01:28 PM
Post #6


Advanced Member
***

Group: Members
From: East Texas
Surnames:
Johnson, Stowell, Wagener, Calvin, Burgess, Sweet, Livingstone, Porter, Butterfield, Root, Lewis, Bagwell, Waters, Lattin, Bourbon, Boisdore dit Bourbon, Horner, Hotchkiss, Hickernell, Stull, Mitchell, Bayless, Lucas, Lake, Fancher, Haggard, Randolph, Lindsey, etc.




Thanks for sharing! Great story! smile.gif I saw the movie and I wasn't all that impressed w/ it. It seemed kinda slow and uninteresting as were the characters. It's good that you go to go see where the family lived and such. I'm sure it was a great moment for you. smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Rev. Laura
post May 7 2007, 01:11 PM
Post #7


Advanced Member
***

Group: Members
From: Georgia, USA
Surnames:
Bedsole, Bledsoe, Goff, Spear, Spurlock, Culbreth




I so enjoyed the story of your trip.

Shani set me down and made me watch the movie at her house one day. Then she told me the "Real Story". Even though I enjoyed the movie before, I now enjoy it in a totally different way
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
margaretann
post Aug 11 2007, 09:24 AM
Post #8


Advanced Member
***

Group: Members
From: Tennessee
Surnames:
James; Tull; Woods, McIntire; McIntyre; Cox, Day; Johnson; Rogers; Morton; Huggins;Cooper; Ruff; Cooksey; Randolph; Poe, Brown; McMillian; Taylor; Myers; Neff; Pennywitt; Will; Sherman; Scherman...; Longernecker; Harpine; Coffman; Kauffman...; Horn; Stiles; Styles; Riddle; Ruddel; Ruddle; Bowman; Hite; Meredith, Walker, Scott, Spence, Hall, Davis, Edge, Pugh, Quick, Dandridge, Giles- all I can think of off the top of my head- will add more later.




I really enjoyed your story of "Cold Mountain". Thanks for sharing it with your readers. It is a very powerful story. As much as I absolutely love research my favorite thing with genealogy is going to an ancestoral home or place and actually "being there" trying to image what life (or death) was like for the individual. I cried for your Joshua- can't imagine what that man went through and how he lived the rest of his days.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
grandbaiter
post Mar 8 2008, 03:27 PM
Post #9


Newbie
*

Group: Members
From: Pelham, AL
Surnames:
Chism, Whatley, Cooper, Freeman, Hamner of AL; Barber, Barbour,Greenwell, Taylor of KY. Jones, King, Rimes, Woodcock of Bulloch/SW GA; Jackson, Henderson, Moseley, Ewing, Whitworth of Coweta/Heard/Haralson/Carroll/Gwinnett Co. GA.




Shanifaye, I have just had a few minutes to look over some of the postings on your site, after being a member for almost a year.
I loved your story of 'Cold Mountain' and your connection. I have done a little research for a friend of mine, descended from the Inmans, who came on to AL. I will show him your article, he isn't too swift on a computer, though his wife has one and is Online. I understand your passion for visiting the area. I have that same feeling about the few visits I have made to SW GA. I have Joneses in SW GA, along with many other family names there, but cannot get back further than my great great grandfather, Green Frank Jones of Randolph/Calhoun Cos., GA. There were many Joneses in the counties, but which are his, cannot be determined. But, going to that area and remembering the sweet, quiet beauty of the area, back in the 50's and 60's, made me feel close to my ancestors. I felt like I belonged there, though I've never lived the least bit close. I would like to go there and stay for a month or two, to see if I can somehow tie up the connection to my Jones branch of my famly. My Dad passed without knowing the name of his great grandfather, that I know of, but. I never heard him speak of his grandfather, even.
Anyway, I loved your article. Betty Jones Nesmith in Pelham, AL.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Shanifaye
post Mar 8 2008, 04:22 PM
Post #10


Administrator
***

Group: Root Admin
From: Lilburn, GA
Surnames:
Inman, Bradley, Byers, Derreberry, Owensby and all various spellings thereof




Thank you Betty!!! you live in Pelham huh? We lived there when I was little, mama (Steph) could better give you the area but if I remember right it was the at the bottom of Kings Mtn? We lived in Helena for a time too
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
grandbaiter
post Mar 8 2008, 05:35 PM
Post #11


Newbie
*

Group: Members
From: Pelham, AL
Surnames:
Chism, Whatley, Cooper, Freeman, Hamner of AL; Barber, Barbour,Greenwell, Taylor of KY. Jones, King, Rimes, Woodcock of Bulloch/SW GA; Jackson, Henderson, Moseley, Ewing, Whitworth of Coweta/Heard/Haralson/Carroll/Gwinnett Co. GA.




QUOTE(Shanifaye @ Mar 8 2008, 05:22 PM) *
Thank you Betty!!! you live in Pelham huh? We lived there when I was little, mama (Steph) could better give you the area but if I remember right it was the at the bottom of Kings Mtn? We lived in Helena for a time too


That's interesting. I live overlooking Pelham, on a hill above Hwy. 31. If you go through the light at the bottom of my street, you are in Alabaster. My daughter lives on Kala Street in Helena, close to the Methodist Church.
Where are you now?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Shanifaye
post Mar 8 2008, 05:54 PM
Post #12


Administrator
***

Group: Root Admin
From: Lilburn, GA
Surnames:
Inman, Bradley, Byers, Derreberry, Owensby and all various spellings thereof




Mama could tell you way better exactly where we were....I know the train tracks ran and the end of our backyard lol

We live in GA now, after we lived in Alabama, we lived in TX for awhile and moved to GA in 1976, we live right outside Atlanta
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
grandbaiter
post Mar 8 2008, 06:03 PM
Post #13


Newbie
*

Group: Members
From: Pelham, AL
Surnames:
Chism, Whatley, Cooper, Freeman, Hamner of AL; Barber, Barbour,Greenwell, Taylor of KY. Jones, King, Rimes, Woodcock of Bulloch/SW GA; Jackson, Henderson, Moseley, Ewing, Whitworth of Coweta/Heard/Haralson/Carroll/Gwinnett Co. GA.




QUOTE(Shanifaye @ Mar 8 2008, 06:54 PM) *
Mama could tell you way better exactly where we were....I know the train tracks ran and the end of our backyard lol

We live in GA now, after we lived in Alabama, we lived in TX for awhile and moved to GA in 1976, we live right outside Atlanta


You have really moved around..that's great..you get to see a lot. As for TX, I love every inch of that state. Only lived there a couple years, but it was like being at home, where the people were concerned. So many of their roots were from back in our AL/MS/GA area.
Married in Ft. Worth, lived in Wichita Falls and San Antonio.
Love your site..will try to get on more..
Betty
















Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Steph
post Mar 13 2008, 08:08 AM
Post #14


Advanced Member
***

Group: Shoutbox
Surnames:
Tolbert,Seagraves, Adams, McElroy, Bowden, Thrasher, O'Dillon, Downing, Bradley, Inman, Swanger, Barnett, Morrow




Shani told me I needed to get online to see your post. We actually lived in Siluria, Maylene and Pelham. To get to us in Pelham you turned of HWY 31 there between the MEthodist Church and the post office (probably neither is still there) and crossed over the tracks down to King Valley Rd. That's where we lived. Had you not turned into the neighborhood you would have gone on down that road and passed a tank farm and then into Helena. Does that sort of place it at all? I have been told the entire area has changed so much there is no way I would even find the turn off old Hwy 31 anymore.

Steph
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic

 

Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 31st October 2014 - 11:50 AM
Skin By: atsaunier Winxperts.net