Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Some Nix connections (part 5 Serving in the War Between the States

Before I launch on this week's topic of Nix men (and boys) who served in the War Between the States, I want to clarify items from last week's article on Aunt Jane Nix Wilson Hood.

Betty Jane Shuler called my attention to the caption under the picture. Thanks to her keen observations, the caption should have identified the picture as taken in 1905 (the year Jane's husband Isaac Thornton Wilson died). The baby Sophronia Jane Nix Wilson holds on her lap is Estelle, last born of her children, not Garnie, who lived only about two years and died in 1900.

Seven children of Jane Nix Wilson and Isaac Thornton Wilson are shown in the picture. The second girl from the left, standing, is a neighbor and friend who was visiting in the Wilson home and wanted to "get in" on the picture (Callie Clark?).

To properly identify the Wilson children in the 1905 photograph, they are Tom (1902), Estelle (1904) in Jane's lap, Benjamin (1894), Granny Evaline Duckworth Nix, James Isaac "Jim" (1896); second row: Verdie (1887), friend (Callie Clark ?), Hattie (1889) and Gertrude (1892). Who would know better how to identify these than history buff Betty Jane Shuler? Sophronia Jane Nix Wilson Hood was her grandmother, and the one for whom she was given her middle name, Jane.

Another item to clarify is the statement about Jane Wilson not joining Union Church when it was constituted in October, 1897, although she gave the land on which the church building was erected. She wished to remain a member of the New Liberty Baptist Church where she was a member from her youth. This was not uncommon in those days, to keep one's membership with relatives and friends in the church where one had grown up.

With those items clarified, we move to today's topic in the Nix saga. We trace briefly six sons of James "Jimmy" Nix and Elizabeth "Betsy" Collins Nix who served in the War Between the States. Five of them enlisted in the 23rd Georgia Regiment, Infantry, enlisting at Camp McDonald. The sixth, Jasper, enlisted in Ben Ledford's Regiment. Their father, James, himself enlisted on December 14, 1863 in the Georgia State Militia, Company 2. Betsy Nix therefore had six sons and a husband to be concerned about as they actively upheld the Confederate cause. What happened to these Nix men?

Jimmy Nix may not have left Union County for his service, as the Georgia Militia was charged with protection of home territory. Not much that I can find was written about his service other than his date of enlistment, December 14, 1863.

The sons, in order of age, served as follows: Thompson Nix was born in 1838 and named for his grandfather, Thompson Collins. He married Mary C. Hix in 1860 and they had one son, James Bly Nix, born June 1, 1861. This son was given the same name as Thompson Nix's brother. Thompson was a private in Company K of the 23rd Regiment, Georgia Infantry, enrolling on November 9, 1861. He became ill with a fever and was hospitalized in the "New Hospital" in Yorktown, Virginia, where he died March 4, 1862. It is reported that his body was returned home to Choestoe by W. L. Howard. I found no gravestone for him listed in the Cemeteries of Union County book.

John Nix, the fourth child of Jimmy and Betsy Collins Nix was born in 1840. He, too, was in the 23rd Georgia Regiment, enlisting August 31, 1861 at Camp McDonald. He was killed in battle at Sharpsburg, Maryland in September, 1862. His father filed for death benefits, but it is not known whether his applications were rewarded.

James Bly Nix was the fifth son and seventh child of Jimmy and Betsy Collins. Born June 2, 1844, he was a twin to Isabella, who may have died as an infant. At the age of 17, James Bly Nix joined Company K, 23 Georgia Regiment on August 31, 1861 at Camp McDonald. He was in the Battle of Frericksburg, VA, where he was wounded. He was treated at the Jackson Hospital in Richmond for a wound in his right leg on October 1, 1864. He saw much action during the war and was captured by the enemy and exchanged for a Union prisoner. James Bly returned from the war and married Millie J. "Polly" Henson on November 5, 1865. He was a farmer in the Owltown District. He also had gold mining rights on Coosa Creek and pursued mining with a passion. He and Mollie had nine children.

Jeffie Nix was born in 1846. It has been hard to trace his history, but it is believed that he also enlisted in Company K when his brothers did. Since he is not shown in subsequent census records after 1860, he may have died in the Civil War.

Jasper "Grancer" Nix, ninth child of Jimmy and Betsy Collins Nix, was born in 1847, a twin to Newton. He departed the tradition his older brothers had set and joined Colonel Ben Ledford's Regiment, John Souther's Company, from September, 1864 through May, 1865. His enlistment and discharge papers are not in the National or Atlanta Archives, but a soldier's pension application was found in the Atlanta Archives. He married Harriet Carolina "Tina" Duckworth and they had twelve children. After "Tina's" death, Jasper married Margaret Ballew.

Newton Nix, twin to Jasper, and tenth child of Jimmy and Betsy Collins Nix, joined Company K, 23rd Georgia Regiment at Camp McDonald on August 31, 1861. At the age of fifteen, he died of erysipelas and fever in Richmond, Virginia.

From the military records of these six sons of Jimmy and Betsy Collins Nix, we can imagine the impact of enlistment practices to get young men to join the Confederacy.

Of the six, we know that Thompson, John, and Newton died in the War. It may be that Jeffrie also lost his life during the war, for no further record has been found of him. Six sons fighting, and four lost is a heavy price to pay for war. What grief that mother bore.

c 2007 by Ethelene Dyer Jones. Published August 23, 2007 in The Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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