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roane co genes files ~ harriman, roane county, tennessee ~


James Calvin GILES
Co F, 43d TN Inf, CSA
Civil War Questionnaire

transcription & notes by d loiselle


James Calvin Giles, CSA
Confederate Soldiers' Civil War Questionnaire:

The chief purpose of the following questions is to bring out facts that will be of service in writing a true history of the Old South. Such a history has not yet been written. By answering these questions you will make a valuable contribution to the history of your State. In case the space following any question is not sufficient for your answer, you may write your answer on a separate piece of paper. But when this is done, be sure to put the number of the question on the paper on which the answer is written, and the number of pages of the paper on which your write your answer. Read all the questions before you answer any of them. After answering the questions here given, if you desire to make additional statements, I would be glad for you to add just as much as you desire.
1. State your full name and present Post Office address _______
James Calvin Giles
2. State your age now _______
Seventy seven year three months, three days
3. In what State and county were you born? _______
Tennessee, County of Roane
4. In what State and county were you living when you enlisted in the service of the Confederacy, or of the Federal Government? ________
Tennessee, County of Roane when enlisted in the Confederacy
 5. What was your occupation before the war? _______
I was a farmer before the war.
6. What was the occupation of your father? _______
He was also a farmer.
7. If you owned land or other property at the opening of the war, state what kind of property you owned, and state the value of your property as near as you can _______
I did not own land or property.
8. Did you or your parents own slaves? If so, how many? ________
Neither my parents nor I owned slaves.
9. If your parents owned land, state about how many acres _________
They owned none.
10.State as near as you can the value of all the property owned by your parents, including land, when the war opened ________
[no response/not applicable]
11. What kind of house did your parents occupy? State whether it was a log house or frame house or built of other materials, and state the number of rooms it had __________
My parents occupied a small log house with only one room.
12. As a boy and young man, state what kind of work you did. If you worked on a farm, state to what extent you plowed, worked with a hoe, and did other kinds of similar work (Certain historians claim that white men wouldn't do work of this sort before the war.)_________
From the age of eight years I was a plow boy. I also did lots of howing and any other work that was to be done on a farm up to the time when I enlisted.
13. State clearly what kind of work you father did, and what the duties of your mother were. State all the kinds of work done in the house as well as you can remember -- that is, cooking, spinning, weaving, etc. _________
My Father farmed during the summer season and in the winter he cleared and made rails. My mother did all of the cooking, spinning, and weaving also all the house work.
14. Did your parents keep any servants? If so, how many? __________
They kept none.
15. How was honest toil -- as plowing, hauling and other sorts of honest work of this class -- regarded in your community? Was such work considered respectable and honorable? _________
Plowing, hauling, and such work was considered respectable in my community by all.
16. Did the white men in your community generally engage in such work? _________
17. To what extent were there white man in your community leading lives of idleness and having other do their work for them? _________
In my community all white men worked hard. The slave owners working as hard as the rest.
18. Did the men who owned slaves mingle freely with those who did not own slaves, or did slaveholders in any way show by their actions that they felt themselves better than respectable, honorable men who did not own slaves? ________
The slave owners of our community mingled freely with the honerable men who did not hold slaves. They all seemed to be on an equality.
19. At the churches, at the schools, at public gatherings in general, did slaveholders and non-slaveholders mingle on a footing of equality?:_________
At all public gatherings the slave holder and non slave holders mingled on a footing of equality.
20. Was there a friendly feeling between slaveholders and non-slaveholders in your community, or were they antagonistic to each other? ________
There was never any antagonism. All were friendly.
21. In a political contest in which one candidate owned slaves and the other did not, did the fact that one candidate owned slaves help him in winning the contest?__________
It never mattered about the man who owned or did not own slaves. It was always based on a footing of equality.
22. Were the oppotunities good in your community for a poor young man -- honest and industrious -- to save up enough to buy a small farm or go in business for himself? _____________
The opportunities were very good for an honest, poor young man to go into business for himself.
23. Were poor, honest, industrious young men, who were ambitious to make something of themselves, encouraged or discouraged by slaveholders? _____________
They were encouraged by slaveholders.
24. What kind of school or schools did you attend? ________________
I attended very little school tho the little time I went I attended a county school which was very good for the time.
25. About how long did you go to school altogether? ______________
 I never attended school over a month in all.
26. How far was it to the nearest school? ______________
The nearest school was about two and one half miles.
27. What school or schools were in operation in your neighborhood? ____________
The grammar schools were the only schools in operation in my community.
28. Was the school in you community private or public? ___________
The schools were public.
29. About how many months in the year did it run? ____________
About six
30. Did the boys and girls in your community attend school pretty regularly __________
Those whose parents were able to do without childrens labor attended regularly.
31. Was the teacher of the school you attended a man or a woman?___________
The teacher was a woman.
32. In what year and month and at what place did you enlist the Confederate or of the Federal Government? __________
I enlisted in the Confederacy on October the 9th 1861at Patties Gap, Roane county, Tenn.
33. State the name of your regiment, and state the names of as many members of your company as you remember ____________
Our regiment was 43rd Tennessee. Some of the names of those in my company are: Starling Turner, Capt.; John Robinson, First Lieut.; Repps James, Sec. Lieut.; John Billingsley, Third Lt.; Cleve Jones, Orderly Sgt.; Privates are: Jim Jones, W. T. Lenoir, Bill Ballard, Ed Cox, John Osborn, Jim Cox, Neut Fender, George Fuller, Jim Fuller, John McCoy.
34. After enlistment, where was your company sent first? ____________
Our company was sent to Loudon, Tennessee
35. How long after your enlistment before your company engaged in battle? ___________
It was almost a year before we engaged in battle.
36. What was the first battle you engaged in? ____________
A small scurmish in Kentucky.
37. State in you own way your experience in the war from this time on until the close. State where you went after the first battle -- what you did, what other battles you engaged in, how long they lasted, what the results were; state how you lived in camp, how you were clothed, how you slept, what you had to eat, how you exposed to cold, hunger and disease. If you were in the hospital or in prison, state you experience here _________
After the first battle we returned to Tennessee and were in camps about three months at Lenoir Station. We were then ordered to Vicksburg, Miss. where we were fighting for forty eight days. We then surrendered. In camp we didn't have very good clothes and we slept on the ground on blankets. We also had very scanty rations and were exposed to cold, hunger and disease. I was neither in prison or hospital.
38. When and where were you discharged? _________
At Morgantown, N. C. on April 17th, 1865.
39. Tell something of your trip home__________
I married at Morgantown, N. C. and in 1866 I brought my family across the Blue Ridge Mountains in wagons. We came back to Roane county Tennessee and settled.
40. What kind of work did you take up when you came back home? ____________
I took up farming when I came back home.
41. Give a sketch of your life since the close of the Civil War, stating what kind of business you have engaged in, where you have lived, your church relations, etc. If you have held an office or offices state what it was. You may state here any other facts connected with your life and experience which has not been brought out the the questions ___________
I have engaged in farming since the war and have lived in Roane County and and Rhea county of Tenn. Have been a member of M. E. Church South since Sept. 1865.
42. Give the full name of your father: _________ William Giles born _____________ [no response entered] at ______________ [no response entered] in the county of ___________ state of _____________Virginia. He lived at _______________[no response entered]. Give also any particulars concerning him, as official position, war services, etc.; books written by, etc._______[no response entered]
43. Maiden name in full of your mother: _____________Peggy Hensly; She was the daughter of ________ (full name) __________ Benjamin Hensly and his wife ___________ (full name) ____________Polly Hensly; who lived at ________________Roane co., Tenn..
44. Remarks on ancestry. Give here any and all facts possible in reference to your parents, grandparents, great- grandparents, etc., no included in the foregoing, as where they lived, office held, Revolutionary or other war services; what country the family came from to America; where first settled, county and state; always giving full names (if possible) and never referring to an ancestor simply as such without giving the name. It is desirable to include every fact possible and to that end the full and exact record from old Bibles should be appended on separate sheets of this size, thus preserving the facts from loss_________
My Grandfather William Giles came from Ireland settled in Virginia. Then coming to Roane county, Tenn. My great grandfather Benjamin Hensly lived in Tennessee. He lived to the age of 112 years.
45. Give the name of all the members of your Company you can remember: (If you know where the Roster is to be had, please make special note of this.)
46. Give here the NAME and POST OFFICE ADDRESS of living Veterans of the Civil War, whether members of your company or not. NAME - POST OFFICE - STATE

[end of questionnaire}

Giles, James C. Confederate Infantry, Company F, 43d Regiment, Tennessee Infantry (Gillespie's) (5th East Tennessee Volunteers.) His rank both in and out is recorded in the Civil War Solders and Sailors System  as a private.

 Paroled from the field at Vicksburg, MS:
[Last Name - First - MI - Rank-Unit-State-Unit-Company- Paroled At:]

Compare  information in the questionnaire with his only son William Morgan GILES' obituary.

Sources include TN State Archives and Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (database online)





©2004 D Loiselle

what's here...
transcription of the civil war soldier's questionnaire of james calvin giles by d. loiselle. page includes other notes about his military service.

home page...
roane co genes, harriman, tn


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