Thursday, April 11, 2013

Calvin R. Lackey: A Civil War Uncle

Corp Calvin R Lackey

Corporal Calvin R. Lackey

       When I was a kid, my Uncle Lawrence Kent and I spent hours at our local library attempting to find a Civil War ancestor. We searched the Kent line, but came up empty (this was before the internet made searching other states and counties possible). We went up the Lackey line, which is my dad's mother. A member of the family has a family Bible that records our Lackey family tree back to the 1700's and Scotland. 
       Following that line back we knew that dad's mother Oma Leola Lackey's father was Elisha Franklin Lackey born in 1868 and died in 1943. I always thought his father named him this for a reason. There was a general in Lee's army named Elisha Franklin Paxton and I wondered if my great-great-grandfather may have fought under Paxton and named a son for him. I soon learned this to not be the case as far as I can tell. 

Elisha Franklin Lackey

Elisha Franklin Lackey and Mary Elizabeth Burnett

       There is absolutely no record of Elisha's father serving in the Civil War on either side. His name was Isaac Reed Lackey and he was born in 1825 and died in 1887. He rests today in Macedonia Cemetery, Sand Mountain, Alabama. After my uncle died and about the time all this information began being placed online, I found that Elisha Franklin Lackey had a brother named Calvin R. Lackey and he served in Lee's army. Calvin was a corporal in Company E, 48th Alabama Infantry which served in Taliaferro's Brigade, Stonewall Jackson's Division at Antietam. Calvin enlisted on April 12, 1862 in Hendrixville, Dekalb County, Alabama for three years or the duration of the war. 
       In 1863, he is listed as a deserter and later I learned this to be a false report. He was actually wounded and captured during the Battle of Antietam in Maryland on September 17, 1863. He would eventually die of his wounds at Point Lookout, Maryland Prisoner of War Camp and buried there. The marker shown above is in Black Oak Cemetery in Grove Oak, Dekalb County, Alabama and is in memory of my long lost uncle who still rests in Maryland. 

The final resting place of Corporal Calvin Lackey

       I now know that Calvin R. Lackey most likely was wounded and captured in the Bloody Cornfield at Sharpsburg. I visited this place in 1996 and only wished at the time that I had known this information. I look forward to returning there and honoring the memory of my uncle who fought under Stonewall Jackson. 
Paxton-Elisha Franklin.jpg

Brigadier General Elisha Franklin Paxton

       Now lets take a long stretch and pretend that the names may mean something. Brigadier General Elisha Franklin Paxton was only a major at the Battle of Antietam. He was Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff during the Maryland Campaign. Following the battle, Jackson promoted Paxton from major to brigadier general much to the chagrin of A.P. Hill who disliked Paxton. This brings us to the question, was Elisha Franklin Lackey named for Paxton because of something Calvin Lackey wrote home about or was he named this by coincidence. Probably, I will never know, but the information definitely makes my head spin. 

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