A Conundrum of family history…
brothers, cousins, grandparents, fathers, uncles all with the same name.
Cousin Ray Isbell shared this article on two Isbell cousins with the same name in the same time period:
What would be the odds of finding two men, 1st cousins, same name, (their fathers were brothers), one Confederate, one Union, buried in the same Church cemetery. One received a Federal Pension, the Rebel a pension from the State of Tennessee. The “home-grown” Yank began the war as a Confederate. The one that stayed true to Dixie, probably died an “un-reconstructed” Johnny Reb. Both went through the Siege of Vicksburg, and returned to east Tennessee about the same time. Recently, while combining genealogy and Civil War, I discovered these men and my connection to them through my 4 x great-grandmother, and their cousin, Elizabeth Isbell Land.
Monroe County, like all of east Tennessee was bitterly divided during the Civil War. It also became a haven for bushwhackers, like John “Bushwhacker” Kirkland, John Denton, and others that in most cases, had deserted both sides. Bushwhacking continued there for at least five years after the war ended.
On Sept. 24, 1861, Company F, 62nd Tennessee Infantry was enrolled into Confederate Service. On 10/1/1862, Pendelton, (listed as Penitton) Isbell joined himself to this company. On July 4, 1863, the Confederate garrison at Vicksburg, Miss. was surrendered. Most of the Confederates were “paroled until exchanged” and allowed to return home. Pendelton was one of seven paroled east Tennesseans with the Isbell surname, probably all were either his cousins or brothers.
On August 1, 1864, Pendelton enlisted and mustered as a Private into Captain James L. Pearson’s Company D, Union 3rd Tennessee Mounted Infantry,at Loudon, Tennessee. The 3rd was one of several 90-day units formed in east Tennessee, many of their members being rebel deserters, organized to combat the lessening Confederate resistance, and bands of marauding guerrillas. By December, 1864, the war for this Pendelton Isbell ended. On July 28, 1890, he applied for a Federal pension. Following his death in 1896, his widow, Sarah Emaline, applied for a widow’s pension. He filed claim for his own personal horse in 1881, he used during his service. That said horse was his own private property; that he continued mounted upon said private horse, and continued to use him in the service until the 30th day of Nov 1864 when he was discharged as aforesaid. . . . when said horse was taken from the service by claimant . . . He now claims pay at the then legal rates for the use and risk of said private horse from the 25th day of July 1864, when he entered the service to the 30 day of November 1864 when said horse was taken from the service as aforesaid. . . He was mustered for the time for which he claims pay for use and risk of horse as aforesaid on Rolls at the following places On the 25 July 1864 at Loudon Tenn. . . and he hereby constitutes and appoints Robinson & Blackman of Madisonville Tenn his Attorneys.
Confederate Veteran Pendelton Monroe Isbell applied for a Confederate Pension on October 15, 1901. He stated he was “almost 73 years old”, being born Nov.4, 1828, in Monroe County, Tennessee. He enlisted April 17, 1861 into Company B 3rd Tennessee Infantry, commanded by Colonel John Crawford Vaughn. “I was wounded in the battle of Tazwell, Tennessee, shot through the right leg with a minnie ball, four inches above the knee, also shot in the head above the left eye, causing loss of the left eye, and partial use of the right leg. He was attended to by Regimental Surgeon, Dr. A.C. Blevins, and detailed to other duties until he was well enough to do normal duty. I never asked for a discharge”. He surrendered and was paroled home, at Wytheville, Virginia, May, 1865. He said he “never took the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. Government”, and wouldn’t “under any circumstances”.
Photos courtesy of Find-A-Grave sites maintained by Isbell family historian and my cousin Ray Isbell . Thanks Ray !