Friday, April 22, 2005

Civil War, Sex and Intrigue!

Our house was built by one Samuel Dick Edgar sometime between 1840 and 1845. He was married in 1845 to 15 year old Minerva Jones. Samuel was 39 years old at the time. I suspect that the house was finished by the time they were married. His life is quite well documented locally since he was a prominent citizen but hers was not, She disappears from the census records in 1870 and for the longest time I wondered, what happened to Minerva? The descendants (her great great grandchildren I believe) that I met could only tell me that she ran off to Indianapolis with another man. That is what they were told. No one talked about Minerva. Then one day I found her! At the cemetery!


 What is even more bizarre is that she is buried in the same section as Samuel about 200 feet away from his huge granite pillar.


 So I did some research. She died in 1906 from a paralytic stroke. Must have been her cooking because that is what Samuel died from in 1874. She had married a man named William Young who was a Colonel at the end of the Civil War. ( So she traded a Brevet General with lots of money for a real Colonel with no money.) There had to be more to the story! I found their divorce records. Turns out that she "deserted" Samuel on April 26th, 1864 "without just cause." The papers were filed in 1867, Samuel having waited three years before he could file and these papers indicate that she was living in Indiana at that time. Hmmmmm.... Who was William Young? One day I was searching and bingo! I found this biography-  

WILLIAM G. YOUNG was born in Palestine, Crawford Co., Ill., February 5, 1844, son of Henry and Louisa (Haddock)Young, the former a native of New Jersey, and the latter of North Carolina, who removed to Illinois in an early day, were there married and lived till their deaths. William G. is the second of eight children, born to his parents, with whom he remained until 1860, when he started out on his own resources. In 1861, he enlisted as musician in the Eleventh Missouri Regiment Volunteer Infantry, and remained until July, 1862, when he was mustered out. He then enlisted in the Ninety-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered in as Second Lieutenant at the organization of the company, serving about six months, when he was promoted to First Lieutenant, and in 1864, was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the One Hundred and Thirty-seventh United States Colored Troops; holding that position until January, 1866, when he was mustered out of the service. During his service he was in the battle of Chickamauga. He remained in Georgia one year, when he returned to Vincennes, and engaged in the boot and shoe trade, continuing till 1868, when he moved to Sullivan, where he has remained ever since, engaged in the dry goods, millinery and carpet business. He was united in marriage to Mrs. Minerva A. (Jones) Edgar, daughter of James H. and Mary A. (Ildings) Jones, natives of Dayton, Ohio, and to this union one child was born--William, deceased. He and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, he being an Elder in the same, and he is an I. O. O. F., Sullivan Lodge, No. 147. Note The 137th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment was organized at Selma, Alabama in April, 1865, and was one of the last units to be mustered into the Union Army under the Bureau of Colored Troops during the Civil War. The recruits mostly farmers and laborers were ex-slaves born throughout the southern states. Organization of the regiment began on April 8, 1865 in Selma, Alabama under the command of Colonel Martin R. Archer, one day before the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. The unit transferred to Macon, Georgia and was mustered into United States service on June 1, 1865 almost two months after the surrender. Some units were assigned to cleanup and burial details in and near the Andersonville, Georgia Confederate prison. The entire regiment was mustered out of service on January 15, 1866. SOURCE: Regimental Papers. 137th United States Colored Infantry Regiment. National Archives, Washington, DC.  

Did you catch it? Did you see why no one ever discussed Minerva whenever the family was talked about? She died in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is buried in Dayton, Ohio in the same section of the cemetery as Samuel, on the Jones family plot with a huge "cost a small fortune marker" and no one told the grand children about her. Read the first line of the bio again. William was born in 1844. Minerva was 14 years old in 1844..... You know what that means don't you? Uh huh! In 1864 he was 20 and she was 34 and good old Samuel was 58 and busy providing wood and provisions for the families of Ohio soldiers off fighting in the war (which is why he was made a Brevet General) while his wife was off providing for the soldiers! It seems that Samuel was traded for a newer model and William really was Young! This is like something from the Jerry Springer show.  Here is William G. Young's photo and obituary


You will notice that he remarried after 1906. He died in 1928

Wanna know how to keep a bunch of houseblog readers in suspense? I will tell you tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

What a GREAT STORY! More! More!

naladahc said...

That really is great.

Lisa said...

That's a fantastic story. Any pictures of these folks in the archives???

Anonymous said...

Dirty Dirty Trick (tell you tomorrow)...tell us more more more!

Greg said...

Some things never change. All's fair in love and war.