Monday, October 2, 2017

Hartwell Johnson and Son Jasper

Closing in on Hartwell Johnson Jr.
As you know, I did a timeline on my 4th Great Grandpa, Hartwell Johnson Jr.  I have since updated it with a small bit of information that I discovered recently.  However, this small bit of information is huge in the world of genealogy.  Please see latest timeline for Hartwell.  The update I made is in red.

Jasper Johnson's Civil War Prison Records 


When I found my 3rd Great Grand Uncle Jasper Johnson's Civil War prison records, I became very excited.  I knew that I had hit pay dirt.  What I found out....

Transcription of attached records in link below:

Gratiot Extract: From roll of prisoners of war sent forward from Little Rock, Ark, Dec 2, 1863. By order Sg? Col J.S. Chandler P-- War Genl.  Jasper Johnson, private teamster, captured near Benton in Ark, Nov 17, 1863.

Examination: Jasper Johnson of Polk County, Missouri. Taken the 6th day of January, 1864. Confined at Gratiot St. Prison, St. Louis, MO.  Taken by George H Richerson.

Statement of Jasper Johnson, a prisoner at the Gratiot St. prison, St. Louis, made the 6th day of January, 1864.
My age is thirty six years.

I live in Polk County, Missouri
I was born in Halifax County, VA
I was captured in Arkadelphia, Arkansas on or about the 28th day of October 1863.
The cause of my capture was I was a Rebel Soldier and was driving a C.S.A team and was taken prisoner by some Iowa troops, I think.
I was in arms against the United States, and was a Private in Captain Mitchell's company "G", Burn's Inftry Reg, C.S.A., I was sworn into the Rebel service about the 15th day of October 1862, by Col Burns, in Arkansas for three years during the war.
When captured. I was first taken to Little Rock, Ark and remained there about three months and was not examined there and was sent to Gratiot St Prison about the nineteenth day of December 1863.

Question, Answer session....
Q. How many times have you been in arms during the rebellion?

A. Once

Q. What commanders have you served under?
A.  Burns

Q. What battle or skirmishes have you been in?
A.  None, was driving team all other times

Q. Have you ever furnish arms, or ammunition, horse, provisions, or any kind of supplies to any rebels? State when, where, and how often.
A.  Never furnished anything
Q.  Have you ever been with any one taking horses, arms or other property?
A.  Never have
Q.  Are you enrolled in the E. H. H.- loyal or disloyal?
A.  I am not
Q.  Are you a Southern sympathizer?

A.  I am
Q.  Do you sincerely desire to have the Southern people put down in this war, and the authority of the H. J. government over them restored?

A.  I do not
Q.  How many slaves have you?

A.  None
Q.  Have you a wife--how many children?
A.  Wife and 1 child
Q.  What is your occupation?
A.  Farmer
Q.  What relatives have you in the rebellion?
A.  Don't know of any
Q.  Have you ever been in any Rebel camp? If so, whose--when--where--and how long? What did you do? Did you leave it or were you captured in it?
A.  Something about Arkansas....handwriting difficult to read, and Done teamster duty in ?

On the examination intake form, it asked....

What impression does the prisoner make--
The answer was, truthful, candid, mild, vigorous, healthy. 
Recommend that prisoner be exchanged.

Jasper was forwarded to Rock Island prison, Illinois, on January 18, 1864. 

In the link below, you will find Jasper Johnson's statement swearing that he will defend the Constitution of the United States, etc., that he signed at the Headquarters, Rock Island barracks, Illinois on March 20, 1865.  In the statement a physical description of him is provided.  He is described as having a fair complexion, light hair, and grey eyes and is 6 feet inches high, and is 36 years of age.

Jasper Johnson, son of Hartwell Johnson and Lydia Shaw Johnson
I have highlighted the answers that Jasper gave in his prison examination, in turquoise that I either know to be false or suspect.
His answer about only being in arms once during the rebellion, I believe  to be false.  He was only "caught" with arms once during the rebellion.

His answer that he didn't have any slaves was false.  He did have slaves.

His answer that he never furnished any guns, any provisions or any kind of supplies to any rebels is suspect.  That is what teamsters did.  They provided supplies, and food for the troops.

His answer about not having any relatives in the rebellion was false.  His father Hartwell was involved in the rebellion as well as three of his brothers, Leonard, John, and Gideon.  As a matter of fact, Hartwell, Jasper, Leonard, and John are all on the list of "The Rebels of Polk County".  The list was drawn up in 1861. I will write about that another time.

The fact that Jasper Johnson made a good impression on the Yankees, all I have to say, is "Boy did he have them snowed"!  I'm sure he was quite charming, but the fact that many of his answers were false says a lot.  Of course, he was doing what he needed to do to survive.

The items I have shaded in yellow are important.  Hartwell started showing up in tax records in Halifax County, VA for the period of 1805-1820.  Some of his children were born during this time period but I never had documentation showing that they were actually born in Halifax County.  Since Jasper provided documentation that he was born in Halifax County, and the census records put his birth at about 1826-1827, we can assume that the Hartwell Johnson family lived there until they moved to Tennessee in around 1830. 
this is important because I know where to look for records for the family and especially Hartwell in order to trace our Johnson line.

The other item I highlighted in yellow is of the physical description of Jasper.  Luckily we also have a photograph of Jasper but that isn't always the case.  The physical description provides details that the photo doesn't and that is his height and age at the time.

Well, I covered a lot of information today.  On my Geni Bucket list is to find out who Hartwell's Daddy is.  With each little piece of information uncovered, I am getting closer.

Until the next time, the Johnson Saga continues....

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