The Mason Family and The Civil War

(This post was written for Bill West's Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge)

One thing about the Civil War that has remained with me since I first learned about it in elementary school was that it pitted relative against relative and divided many families.  For myself, that was the most powerful aspect of the war.  It was also an aspect of the war I had a hard time truly believing until I came across it in my own family tree.

Samuel Mason and Nancy Moore were married in Wayne Co., Kentucky in 1806.  For anyone wondering, Wayne Co. is near the Tennessee border, which is where Nancy is believed to be from.  Samuel and Nancy remained in Wayne Co. for ten years before packing up and moving to Indiana with their four sons.  They soon had three more sons and two daughters, the youngest of which, Priscilla, was my 3rd great-grandmother. The family remained in Lawrence Co., Indiana where Samuel died in 1850.

In the 1830s and '40s, several of Samuel and Nancy's sons went south to Texas and settled in Smith Co. where they raised large families.  In the meantime, Priscilla, who had stayed in Indiana, married Andrew Webb in 1842 and they quickly had three sons (they'd have ten children in all).

When the war broke out, Priscilla's oldest two sons (John and Samuel) enlisted in the Union, Company D of the 16th Indiana Infantry on August 17, 1862.  On September 22 of 1864, the third son (William) enlisted in Company A of the 9th Indiana Infantry.  Only one of three would survive the war.  John, the oldest, died only a few months after enlisting, in April of 1863.  Priscilla died a month later (when her youngest child, my great-great-grandmother, was a year old).  Around this same time, son Samuel was discharged at Arkansas Post due to wounds.  He re-enlisted in Company H of the 13th Indiana Cavalry exactly one year after the death of his brother, John.  Samuel was killed at Murfreesboro in December of 1864.  William, the only brother to live to see the end of the war, mustered out in June of 1865.

While Priscilla's sons were serving the Union, a few of her brothers in Texas were fighting for the Confederacy.  Her brothers David and Martin enlisted in 1863 in Company F of the 2nd Texas State Troops (Martin had previously served in Company E of the 14th Texas Infantry in 1862).  Since names often repeated in the family, I'm having trouble figuring out whether any of her other brothers served for Texas or if it was her nephews.  In any case, Priscilla had many relatives serving on both sides.  I wonder if she knew and what she thought of the fact that she had close family members on each side.  I heard once that she died due to grief over the death of her son a month before, I can only imagine the additional anguish she must have felt knowing she also had brothers and nephews on the opposing side.


  1. Great post. Leah! Thank you for taking part in the Challenge.


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