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April 9, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Peter V. Foland, Part II

 

Need to catch up? Click here: Peter V. Foland: Part I.

Thanks to Civil War records maintained by the National Archives, we have a glimpse into Peter V. Foland’s war experience, his loyalty to the Confederacy, and his deep Virginia roots.

On October 19, 1861, Peter claimed he was seventeen years old when he enlisted for twelve months of service in Company G of the 43rd Tennessee Volunteers. In fact, it is likely he was only sixteen. His death record gives his birth date as January 22, 1845.

Described as having gray eyes and light hair, with a fair complexion, at 5’3” he was a small young man, likely still anticipating a growth spurt. His discharge papers from this company state that he was born in Richmond County, Virginia. A fact that will be later contradicted.

He signed up at Mossy Creek, Tennessee, located in Jefferson County, where he lived with his father, Valentine Foland, a skilled cabinetmaker. Peter’s occupation, however, was recorded as farmer. He was enlisted by James W. Gillespie.

These volunteers would subsequently become Company G, 23rd Regiment Tennessee Mounted Infantry. To confuse matters further, they were also known as the 5th Regiment East Tennessee Volunteers and Gillespie’s Regiment Tennessee Volunteers. Later, in about December of 1863 when a consolidation of troops took place, the Regiment served as mounted infantry until they were paroled in Washington, Georgia in May of 1865. Peter Foland, however, would not be with them at the end of the war.

Significantly, in January of 1862, Peter was appointed fifer for the company. His great-grandfather, Randolph Jefferson, played the violin as did his great, great uncle, Thomas Jefferson. Perhaps, Peter’s musical talents came down through the Jefferson line.

His discharge papers, dated November 17, 1862, indicated that he owed no funds to the Confederate States and that he had served his full year. Peter headed home with $6.80 in back pay.

Learn more about Peter V. Foland’s parents in my new book: Peter Field Jefferson: Dark Prince of Scottsville & Lost Jeffersons.

Coming next: Peter V. Foland, Part III

2 Comments

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  1. Carole Jensen / Apr 9 2018 3:46 pm

    There is nothing better than having a cup of coffee while reading these interesting tales of Slate River Ramblings. For many years my husband and I lived in Toms River, NJ. In the old Riverside Cemetery there is another descendant of Thomas Jefferson–William Arabin Meikleham (1866-1942). His father’s mother was Septimia Randolph, who was Thomas Jefferson’s granddaughter through his daughter Martha–according to the DAR and a friend. The day you posted your new book, I ordered it. It came today. Look forward to reading about Peter Field Jefferson and the other lost Jeffersons.

    • Joanne Yeck / Apr 9 2018 4:49 pm

      Thanks, Carole, for the kind words. Those Jeffersons are scattered everywhere. They even found their way into my family. Imagine! Joanne

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