James Calvin GILES
Co F, 43d TN Inf, CSA
Civil War Questionnaire
transcription & notes by d loiselle
Confederate Soldiers' Civil War Questionnaire:
FORM NO. 1
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
seven year three
months, three days
3. In what State and county
were you born?
County of Roane
4. In what State and
county were you living when you
enlisted in the service of the Confederacy, or of the
County of Roane
when enlisted in the Confederacy
5. What was your
occupation before the war?
I was a
farmer before the
6. What was the
occupation of your father?
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
8. Did you or your
parents own slaves? If so, how many?
parents nor I
9. If your parents
owned land, state about how many acres
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
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
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.
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?
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
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? _________
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?
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?:_________
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?
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
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?
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?
24. What kind of school
or schools did you attend?
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?
over a month in all.
26. How far was it to
the nearest school?
nearest school was
about two and one half miles.
27. What school or
schools were in operation in your
schools were the only schools in operation in my community.
28. Was the school in
you community private or public?
schools were public.
29. About how many
months in the year did it run?
30. Did the boys and
girls in your community attend school
pretty regularly __________
whose parents were able to do without childrens labor
31. Was the teacher of
the school you attended a man or a
teacher was a woman.
32. In what year and
month and at what place did you
enlist the Confederate or of the Federal Government?
Confederacy on October the 9th 1861at Patties Gap, Roane
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?
company was sent to
35. How long after your
enlistment before your company
engaged in battle? ___________
almost a year before we engaged in battle.
36. What was the first
battle you engaged in?
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
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
Morgantown, N. C. on
April 17th, 1865.
39. Tell something of
your trip home__________
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
I took up
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
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: _________
Giles born _____________ [no response entered] at
______________ [no response entered] in the county of
___________ state of _____________Virginia. He
_______________[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
Hensly; who lived at
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
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
NAME - POST OFFICE - STATE
[end of questionnaire}
Giles, James C. Confederate Infantry, Company F, 43d Regiment,
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-
"GILES J C PVT 43RD TN INF F FIELD"
Compare information in the questionnaire with his only son
Morgan GILES' obituary.
Sources include TN State Archives and Civil War Soldiers and Sailors
System (database online)
©2004 D Loiselle
transcription of the civil war soldier's questionnaire of james calvin
giles by d. loiselle. page includes other notes about his military
roane co genes, harriman, tn
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