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Re: Unionist - states
Posted by: Scott Chafin (ID *****5447) Date: February 19, 2003 at 15:31:09
In Reply to: Unionist - states by Dave Frederick of 780

From: schafin <>
Subject: RE: Unionist - states
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2000 08:43:43 -0500

I had two sets of Unionists ancestors--on both sides of my paternal
grandparents' family:

Two gg-uncles, John H. Chafin and William M. Chafin, were in the First Alabama
Cavalry, U.S.V. They were sons of my gg-grandfather, William Chafin, Jr
(1811-1887), who lived throughout northwestern Alabama and northeastern
Mississippi between the mid-1850s and his death in 1887. Neither of my
gg-uncles survived the Civil War. William M. Chafin (1840-1863) never
married, but my gg-grandfather filed an application for, and was granted, a
pension. Though I did not expect it to, the file at the National Archives
contained a gold mine of information about my gg-grandfather's life--that of
the classic, poor, "yeoman" farmer.

The other was another gg-grandfather, John Hile Gates (1825-1874), who was
born in Tazewell Co., VA and was living just inside Buchanan Co., VA at the
outbreak of the Civil War. He was initially in the 2nd Virginia State Line, a
border militia organization, but, like many men from the mountainous regions
of southwestern Virginia (not the region that became West Virginia, but which
is still part of Virginia), he joined the 39th Kentucky Mounted Infantry,
U.S.V. Records suggest he may have been at the battle of Cynthiana, KY in
1864 and with Stoneman's December 1864 raid into Virginia that destroyed the
salt works at Saltville. He moved his family to a refugee camp at Louisa,
Kentucky where his wife died in September 1864. He remarried the widow of a
friend, Nancy Oney Elswick, and after the war, they settled in Magoffin Co.,
KY, where he became an itinerant preacher.

Scott Chafin

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