Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Revenge of Ransom Jones

Ransom Jones was born October 20, 1835 in Blount County, Tennessee. In early 1861, he rode a horse to Somerset, Kentucky to join the 2nd Tennessee Infantry. Three months later, he was engaged in the Battle of Mill Springs. And, then on July 26, 1984, the 4th Tennessee Calvary, of which Ransom was a member of, marched down the Chattahoochee River to Newnan, Georgia, where they wrecked total havoc on two communities; setting fire to two train depots, destroying railroad track and telegraph wires, and capturing 500 wagons, 250 officers and 2,000 horses. But, as they were making their getaway, Ransom and the other troops found themselves completely surrounded by a great superior rebel force. The Union soldiers cut through the enemy lines and headed for the Chattahoochee. Ransom tried to swim across it, but was captured. He and hundreds of other troops were taken to the prison at Andersonville, Georgia. The conflict later became known as Battle of Brown’s Mill.

Sometime during the war, Ransom's father, Johnson Jones, was severely attacked and left in bad mental condition. The first thing Ransom did when he was freed from prison and discharged in July of 1865 was to go home to find the persons who had waylaid his father. It is not written specifically how Ransom did it, but he was said to have 'settled the score.' Whatever happened, Ransom spent the rest of his life moving from one place to another. In the fall of 1865, he moved to Albany, Kentucky. That is where he met his future wife, Susan. Her great uncle, Jesse Smith, had laid the floor in Clear Fork Baptist Church's first meeting house back in 1818. Ransom 33, and Susan, 17, were married in August of 1868. Over the next 52 years, they lived in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Colorado. They crossed the Cherokee Nation and lived in indian territory, which was known as a haven for people trying to escape their pasts. On February 7, 1920, Ransom Marion Jones died near Chelsea, Oklahoma at the age of 84 years, 3 months and 17 days. Susan lived until 1928.

Ransom was never given credit for his time served with the two Tennessee Calvary units. He wrote:

”I was captured in the rear of Atlanta on the Stoneman raid in the summer of 1864, and taken to Andersonville, GA and kept there about four months. We were then sent 8,000 Federal prisoners to Charleston, SC and placed in front of the Federal guns bombarding the city and kept about 16 days. We were sent to the Florence, SC stockade and kept some three months and then sent to Goldsboro, NC. This was in February 1865. We stayed in this place until the fourth of March when we were sent to our lines at Wilmington, NC for exchange. I was sent from Wilmington to Baltimore, MD and received a furlough for thirty days and an extended thirty days at the end of which time I reported to my regiment at Nashville, TN and stayed with it until I was mustered out. At Goldsborough we were camped out in a pine woods, without tents, blankets or adequate covering of any kind, barefooted and pants off up to my knees and there came a cold sleety spell of weather. We started from where we were in the woods on the road to Goldsborough on a cold night and although it was only little more than a mile to Goldsborough I was so weak from exposure and starvation that I had to crawl most of the distance, and in doing so got my feet and legs badly frozen.

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