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JAMES THOMAS GREEN's Civil War Service

JAMES THOMAS GREEN (1842-1921), the son of WILLIAM A. GREEN & MARY POLLY GREEN, of Warren County, was married to PENINA "PENNIE" COPELAND on December 19, 1867, and is the ancestor of many of our family members. WILLIAM was the son of THOMAS & PRISCILLA GREEN; MARY POLLY GREEN was the daughter of JAMES GREEN & NANCY EVANS (dau/of MATTHEW EVANS -a.k.a. NATHANIEL WEST; and MOURNING EVANS) More can be read about him and the rest of the family on my Family Tree by clicking onto his name below:

 James Thomas Green 

But he also served in the Civil War for the Confederate Army when he went off with one of his neighbors as a young man. The GREEN family were free at this time having been emancipated in 1798, so he wasn't brought along as a slave. I don't believe that James was an official soldier with the Army, though, he more than likely just accompanied his young neighbor as a servant, probably a cook judging by a statement in one section, and he seemed to have been allowed to go back and forth to the Army lines on his own terms, which wouldn't be the case if he was an enlisted man. There has long been controversy among historians about whether or not people of color fought in the Confederate Army, but this confirms that James T. Green was at the very least a part of the Army during the Civil War.  Also of note is the fact that it has been confirmed with our Uncle, that his mother had told him stories about Grandpa Jim going off to fight in the Civil War, but this was the first time he'd actually seen anything else about in more details. Read on from my own notes:

I found some interesting info in a book about the "Burwell Davis Family, Letters of Rebecca P. Davis" on the Warren County NCGENWEB site ( It includes correspondence by REBECCA PITCHFORD-DAVIS, wife of EDWARD DAVIS (1806-1895), who was the son of BURWELL DAVIS (1756-1846) & MARTHA HAWKINS; BURWELL was the son of PETER DAVIS (1727-1804) & AMY _____?, who were also the parents of MATTHEW DAVIS (1752-1829), who was the grandfather of REBECCA PITCHFORD-DAVIS. EDWARD & REBECCA P. DAVIS' children were MATTHEW, BURWELL, MARY, GEORGE, WELDON, THOMAS, PATTIE BET, and WILLIAM "BILLIE" DAVIS. In the book, it is mentioned that REBECCA's son, THOMAS EDWARD DAVIS (1845-1864) was off in the Civil War, fighting for the Confederacy, and that JIM GREEN, free Negro boy, had accompanied him, which was a frequent custom of the time, and was serving as a cook. It was probably JAMES THOMAS GREEN, since there were no other free young persons by that name at the time in the area, as well as the fact that he was living next door to both these DAVIS and PITCHFORD families, in the Grove Hill District of Fishing Creek Warren County, North Carolina. REBECCA was quite worried about her son, THOMAS, since he hadn't been heard from in some time, and it was later that year that she found he had been killed at the battle of Bell Grove on October 19, 1864. Meanwhile, JIM GREEN had returned to his home in Warren County for a few days around July, and had not been involved in that battle, but he was supposedly to have returned to DAVIS' side if he could find him, which he apparently never did, judging by the letters exchanged between the family members. EDWARD & REBECCA DAVIS lost 2 of their sons in the Civil War, THOMAS, and WELDON DAVIS (1838-1863), and I can only imagine what a heartbreaking experience that must have been. The following are some excerpts from the accounts in the letters between REBECCA P. DAVIS and her sons and various family members, JIM GREEN is not mentioned after the September 1864 letter, but I am including a little correspondence about THOMAS DAVIS' death, too:

Sat. Morning, (May 28, 1864)

We had the biggest rain of the season last evening about 6 o'clock. I think it frustrated your Pa's plans decidedly. He made no hills, just go to bedding up the patch. Net has not come in, and I hear nothing from him. Joe has been laid up some days with a very bad cold headache, and Stephen with a rising under his arm. Four of my hands are gone out, and I am very willing to give up another, tho Margaret is lying in, her baby nearly three weeks old. She will have to stay there as long as Winea lives, and really she seems like not living long. She is very willing to die, seems to enjoy the fullest assurance of happiness beyond the grave.

No letter from Tom yet, and haven't heard a word of JIM GREEN. His Mamma is much troubled to know his fate, but I can tell her no more of his fate than of George's. I surely shall hear very soon, perhaps today.


REBECCA to her son, BURWELL DAVIS (1833-1901)

Saturday, July 25, (1864)

Dear Burwell,

As Weldon has left good room for another letter, and as paper is so scarce, I believe I will avail myself of the opportunity of saving a Little of what little I have on hand. This is the last I have heard from any of the boys. They all wrote about the time this was written.

Tom was slightly wounded on the ear while storming the heights of Gettysburg, and he thinks his boy, JIM GREEN, has fallen into the hands of the Yankees, and he is very much grieved about it. The wagons were taken and all the clothing Weldon had. Tom didn't say whether his was taken or not. I reckon he hadn't any, but he thought his boy was take with the wagons, but I was sitting here alone a few days since, and JIM came stepping in. He got straggled off, and so he decided to come home on a visit. He will return to the reg. next Monday week if it can be found. He will go first to George at Staunton, and from there in search of Tom. Tom says he is a good boy and worth any two cooks in the reg.

All as well as usual here, at your Uncle Tom's, and your Uncle Sam's. R. Davis.



Camp near Winchester, VA, Friday, Sept. 16, 1864

Dear Ma- It has been but a short time since I last wrote to you, having written on the 11, nor have I received a letter from you since, nevertheless, as the day promises fair for a quiet one, I will drop you a few lines for fear of not having another chance soon....My furlough will very probably be delayed some longer than I thought when I last wrote, as I have learned since that time that there are more men before me than I was aware of, so if this reaches you before JIM GREEN leaves, I shall expect the money by him, if Bob Montgomery doesn't bring it. I received a letter from you the 4th written August 27th. It is now the 16th and I fear you have broken your rule. I shall grow more impatient until another comes....



Friday, Oct. 14, 1864

Dear Burwell,

Your letter of the 12th reached me the evening of the 13th and I will drop you a few lines today in reply. I will get a bit of silk and try to make you a hat band, but I fear I shall fail. I got a letter from Tom last night. He had been missing eleven days over in the Yankee lines, and had just worked his way into our lines; however I will send you his letter. I had heard that he was missing, either killed or captured. I was just about to write to you about it, but thank the Lord, his is yet spared, but Oh how long is he to be spared? I am so anxious to see the poor child....


Nov. 1, 1864

Dear Burwell,

Your letter of the 27th has come to hand, and with a heavy heart I take my sent to reply and thus relieve myself of the painful duty of telling you that Tom is killed. Yes, the poor child has fallen. It occurred on the 19th of Oct. at the time of Early's humiliating and ignominious defeat. Bob Alston has come home wounded in the jaw, and brings us this sad news. I pray Go to give us all grace sufficient for our day and generation....


From the Raleigh Christian' Advocate, Friday, November 25, 1864


Killed in the battle of Bell Grove on the 19th of Oct., Thomas Edwards Davis, Co. F. 12th N.C. Troops, son of Edward and Rebecca Davis of Warren County, N.C....

See also: Story of Thomas Green Family 




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