Friday, March 6, 2020

John W. Lankford, a confederate soldier

John W. Lankford, son of William A. Lankford and Nancy Goodman, was born in Georgia about 1838. He was the oldest child of seven—John W. Lankford, Elizabeth Lankford, Charles L. Lankford, William Lankford, Robert Alonzo Lankford, Sarah W. Lankford, and Mary Frances Lankford. John would be my 1st cousin 4x removed with our near common relatives being Charles L. Lankford and Miss Moore. His father was the brother of James Meriweather Lankford, my 3rd great grandfather.

On October 19, 1850, John and his family lived in 165th District of Greene County, Georgia. His father was a farmer. Both his father and mother were able to read and write, however, none of the children could.

On June 4, 1860, John, age 22, lived alone in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia. He was employed as a grocer with a personal estate valued at $600. The country was in turmoil and within two weeks after the American Civil War started on April 12, 1861, John enlisted in Penfield on April 24 by Capt. R. L McWhorter as a Private in Company C of the Dawson Grays, Third Georgia Infantry Regiment. John was not the only Lankford in Company C—his brother Charles Lankford and uncles James and Curtis Lankford enlisted as well. Less than a month after the war began, John mustered into service at Augusta, Georgia on May 3, 1861 by Capt. R. G. Cole, the same day Company C left for Portsmouth, Virginia. John most likely participated in the Battle of South Mills that took place in Camden County, North Carolina on April 19, 1862. As happened with many soldiers, John became sick and was admitted to a hospital in Richmond, Virginia on June 14, 1862. Whatever the illness was, he wasn’t able to recover and died while still in the hospital that summer. I found conflicting dates for his death however. I originally thought he died on October 6, 1862, the date the Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Georgia 1861-1865 shows he mustered out. Then I recently found a news article published by the Weekly Chronicle and Sentinel in Augusta, Georgia on December 9, 1862 noting he died of disease at a Richmond hospital on July 31, 1862. His service record, however, shows that he died on August 4, 1862. I would think that the service record would be more accurate than a newspaper article so feel that his death occurred in August. The paperwork probably didn't catch up until October 6 which would account for the date he mustered out being listed on the index. A burial location is not noted on any record but I assume he was buried in a cemetery there in Richmond. John was 24-years-old at the time of his death. William A. Colclough, of Greene County, was named administrator of his estate. 

Weekly Chronicle and Sentinel, Augusta, Georgia, December 9, 1862


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