BW Maddox of GA

BW Maddux Civil War - Maddox genealogy

Life as a civilian

  Although people were pushing westward to settle new unchallenged territorry in increasing numbers before the war among the states, the Civil War seemed a catalyst to the rapid western settlement.  Fighting covered a tremendous area of the Eastern US leaving in its wake varying degrees of physical and emotional devastation.

  After the silencing of the guns and the burial of unbelievable numbers of fellow citizens, what next?  Looking back tempted feelings of bitterness and  looking about ones surroundings brought  despair.  The solution to the problems at hand lay in looking forward.

No family was untouched by the war.  Some began where they were and determined to make the most of rebuilding what was lost  while some chose to go to a new place for a fresh start.

  During the Civil War, Benjamin Wills Maddux, son of Zachariah Maddox), was an old man  lived in northwest Georgia within hearing distance of the fighting a few miles to the north.

What his family could hear became known as the battles of Lookout Mt. and Chickamauga.   Although BW was too old for battle, he was well represented by descendants in the war.

   The very young, the old, the sick, and the women attempted to take care of the necessities at home while the men were away.   Soldiers of both sides marched and rode through the area going someplace to fight.  Bandits were to be contended with as they roamed the area stealing and killing.

  One of BW's grandsons,Thomas Cicero Poe, (son of Sa(i)vility and Alfred W Poe) became a victim of such a group.  Tom's unit was in the Chickamauga area  about 20 miles or so north of home.  While they were there and not engaged in battle, Tom obtained leave to visit his family.  He began the trek on foot, and a few miles south of Chickamauga in the Rock Springs area he was overtaken by a group of renegades known as the Gatewood Scouts.  Some family members reported that he had stopped for a drink of water when he encountered the group.  He is said to have been shot in the knee so he couldn't run and then hanged.  He was reported as AWOL.

  Family tradition says that Savility and one of her daughters went by wagon to Rock Springs, cut him down and buried him.  In 1861, Savility's husband died during the war.  Since he is buried in the Poe family cemetery it isn't clear whether he was in the war or died of illness.   He died 4 months before the birth of their youngest child, Alfredetta.   Savility's oldest son, Samuel Theron, also fought for the Confederacy.  Following the war, he was encouraged by his mother to go west to start a new life and he did.

  Benjamin Wills was at home one day during the war and heard the sound of  horses' hoofs.  He stepped out onto the porch of the log cabin to see who was coming and saw a troop of Union soldiers approaching the house.   The house had a picket-type fence surrounding it and he strolled on out
to the gate.

 As the soldiers reigned in their mounts, he said,"Good mornin', gentlemen."
 The officer in charge replied, "Don't you know we are Yankees?"
 To which BW replied, " Well, ain't there no gentlemen among the Yankees?"

  As troops on both sides traveled far from home, they used up supplies and requisitioned what they could find wherever they could find it. This troop of Yankee soldiers moved onto the farm and set up camp.  Here they stayed until the farm was barren of food.  All of the animals had been slaughtered and eaten except one fat old hen called Pet.  Pet was just that, she was quite old as hens live and the family pet. When the soldiers attempted to catch and kill Pet, the family begged for her to be spared.  The Yankees were told that she really wasn't edible.  She was too tough to eat.   They paid no heed, killed the hen, and ordered her cooked.   As the troops pulled out later that day in search  of a new camp and supplies, the only food left on the farm was old Pet still in the pot on the stove. " She was too tough for a  whole troop of Yankee soldiers. "

Arthur Cremer, a descendant of Ben Maddux wrote a letter to the family of Mary "Teet" Maddux telling
the stories of BWM as he was told them by his family.  Submittor Joyce Barton read the letters about 20 years ago and loved them, so has represented them to us in the setting as it was then and added his stories of Tom Poe's death and the story of  "ol Pet" here.   Two more stories were in Arthur's  letter.  One was of  the slave, Tom, and one of the old sow.

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