A Veteran Who's Gone With the Wind

Question: My great-great-grandparents had four sons who served in the Civil War. Three of them-- Alford (my ancestor), James B. and John Bryant, were in Co. K, 30th Georgia Regiment Infantry. Alford and James survived the war but I do not know what happened to their younger brother, John Bryant.

These three young men enlisted together in Campbell County, Ga., on Sept. 25, 1861; Alford and James were captured at Nashville, Tenn., in 1864 and were sent to Camp Chase, Ohio. My ancestor then enlisted in Union forces in 1865 and went west, while James was released in 1865 at Point Lookout, Md. I have lost track of John. The last record I have on him was a muster roll for September and October, 1862, which I obtained from the National Archives. It shows him present when Company K was still at Savannah, Ga.

Do you have any suggestions where else I might look for information on him?

Answer: Write to Georgia Archives, 330 Capitol Ave., S.E., Atlanta, Ga. 30334. You will be notified on a standard form that describes what material, if any, relative to that veteran has been located and the cost of the copies. Upon payment, you will be sent the material.

I'm assuming that you have checked the 1870 federal census for Campbell County, Georgia and did not find John there. However, if you have not done so, you should.

In 1870 Georgia enacted legislation to provide artificial limbs for its Confederate veterans who were disabled in action. Later, a needy veteran could qualify for a pension regardless of disability. Veterans' widows became eligible for pensions in 1891, so check the marriage records of Campbell County for John.

There is a six-volume reference set called "Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865" by Lillian Henderson. This set can be found at Georgia State Archives and at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and has been microfilmed. Be sure to consult it.

Search the land and probate records of Campbell County. John may be mentioned in his parents' probate records. If John survived the war he probably returned to his native county. Many of these county records are available from Salt Lake City's famous library.

Campbell County has a peculiar history, which may be why you have not found records you need. In 1931 the loose records and tax digests of this county were transferred to the Georgia Department of Archives & History. However, in 1938 and 1939, they were taken by Fulton County officials, and in the past few years the records have been moved again, many to the Atlanta Historical Society. Check with the Fulton County Courthouse and the Atlanta Historical Society about specific records. If you use the LDS Family History Library system, look under Fulton County for Campbell County's records.

More help may be found in newspapers. The Georgia Newspaper Project of the University of Georgia libraries, Athens, has a large collection of newspapers on microfilm, all available on interlibrary loan to Georgia libraries. If John was killed or wounded during Civil War, he may be mentioned in an newspaper account.

If you find no trace of John in the 1870 census, check the 1880 Soundex for Georgia for him (presumably he would have married and possibly had children younger than 10 by that date). Many Georgia families moved to different counties and states after the Civil War.

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