Thursday, March 14, 2013

Elisha Dean: The Civil War

James Dean (1780-1862) m. Elizabeth Dean
 3rd Great  Grandparents
Elisha Dean (1825-?)  m. Sarah Elizabeth (Betsy) Jenkins
 2nd Great Grandparents

Kentucky's Role in the Civil War.

In 1860, when the census people came around, Elizabeth’s supposed son Daniel Dean, now goes by the last name Martin.  Looks like Daniel had a different father than Elisha, meaning their mother, Elizabeth was married first to a Martin and then to a Dean, before she gave birth to Elisha.

…or she was not married to a Martin, and Daniel is somebody else’s son?

An exhaustive search for Daniel Martin’s father has turned up nothing.  And more people than me are looking for him.  None of the other Martin or Dean family trees have a father for Daniel, but his mother is listed as Elizabeth Martin-Dean.  I don’t think anyone knows Elizabeth’s maiden name. Still the Shady Lady.

I went back to the 1850 census and looked at every name on the page, and I was surprised to find two Martin families living in the next two houses after Elizabeth Dean and her two sons.  The dwelling  numbers run consecutively 364, 365, and 366.

Number 365 is the home of Pleasant Martin, born in Tennessee in 1812.  One of the residents in his home is not a Martin.  She is Elizabeth Jenkins, age 26, born in North Carolina.

 Elizabeth Jenkins becomes my 2nd great grandmother.

Are these Martins related to Daniel Dean Martin, who lives in Elizabeth’s house, a half-brother of my 2nd great grandfather Elisha?

Why was he listed  as a Dean in 1850?

You have to study a lot of records, especially the census, to understand how many mistakes are made on these old documents.  Many times the census takers “assumed” facts on their own.  Sometimes families claimed children who might be just related to them, a niece or nephew perhaps, who was living with them at the time.  Anything was possible.


Aside from Daniel Dean turning into a Martin, the 1860 Census lists new residents in the Dean home.

  • Mary L. Martin, age 7, born in Kentucky, who I believe is the daughter of Daniel.
  • Elizabeth Jenkins, now age 30, born in North Carolina.  She has moved from the Martin household to live with the Deans.
  • James N. Jenkins, age nine, who is Elizabeth Jenkins’ son.  

Little nine-year-old James N. Jenkins becomes James Newton Dean, after his mother marries my 2nd Great Grandfather Elisha, and he remained Elisha’s son until his death on July 26, 1927 in Kankakee, Illinois.

James Newton Dean, Great Grand Uncle

Elizabeth did not age much in 10 years, from one census to the next.  She was 26 in 1850 and is now only 30, in 1860.   Census records don’t always add up right, and a lot of people did not know their actual birth dates.  They were born at home.  Many didn’t have birth certificates.

The Martin families are no longer next-door neighbors in 1860, though they remain in Division 2, Morgan County. Was Daniel related to them?  Was it merely coincidence that he had the same last name as the people in the next two houses?  Maybe it was.  No research has turned up any connection with them, but I've never given up on finding Daniel's real father.


On October 3, 1863, the Civil War has been going on for two years, and Elisha, age 40, is drafted in Morgan County, Kentucky.  I wonder if he and Elizabeth Jenkins were married before he left for duty, and her son James was given the Dean name.

3rd from top, Elisha’s draft record, Kentucky 9th Congressional Distsrict, Sub-District No. 6

Kentucky was a neutral state in the war, or at least they’re said to be, but hot sentiments ran deep both for Confederates and the Union.  “Brother against brother,” is a familiar description of Kentucky.

Kentucky was one of the "border states" in the Civil War, both geographically and politically. It was situated on the dividing line between the northern and southern regions of the United States. And it was one of only a few slave states that opted to stay in the Union. Though the Commonwealth was officially neutral, its citizens were deeply divided over the issues that caused the Civil War, and over the war itself -- a division symbolized by the fact that both Civil War presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, were Kentucky native sons.~

I haven’t found a record I could validate for Elisha fighting in any of the battles, but I uncovered some possibilities, one being an Elisha Dean in Clinch’s Light Artillery Regiment in Georgia, which was definitely fighting for the Confederacy.  The birth dates and state of origin are not listed for the men, so it’s hard to know if this is a serious possibility.

Despite Elisha being from Kentucky,  he may have ended up in a heavy Confederate State, regardless of  his personal sentiments or loyalty.  He might have been fighting for Dixie.

This same Elisha Dean, fighting for Georgia, was taken prisoner of war.

Civil War Prisoner of War Records, 1861-1865 about Elisha Dean
Name: Elisha Dean
Side: Confederate
Roll: M598_114
Roll Title:  Selected Records of the War Department Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865

This POW Elisha, was in the 80th Cavalry, captured at Waynesboro on December 4, 1864, and released on June 10, 1865.

Another interesting fact is that Cincinnati came across the Ohio River in raids on some of the Kentucky counties, one being Morgan County, where the Deans lived, and where Elisha was drafted.  The Yankees took these Kentucky prisoners  back to Cincinnati and housed them in basements of buildings.  Sub-District Number 6 was one of those units captured in a raid on Morgan County, though I can’t find Elisha’s name on the list of prisoners.

Was he shipped off to Georgia?  Was he defending Morgan County in some capacity?  Questions I still want to answer.

But the second edit continues.


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