Edmond Nash, Tennessee volunteer for the Union

Edmond Nash, Union Army veteran

Edmond Nash, Union Army veteran

Edmond Nash was my second-great grandfather. He was the son of William Nash and Elizabeth Felts Nash. He was born in White County, Tennessee, November 12, 1844.  That same year (1844), James Polk was elected President to succeed Andrew Jackson who served two terms in Washington. Edmond was a farmer and the oldest son. His older sibling was Milly-two years his senior. He first appears in historical documentation via the 1850 United States Census for White County, Tennessee, District 7. He was 6 years old. He is listed in the census as “Edward.” This is a mistake that can’t be accounted for today. Possibly the census taker assumed that “Ed” was short for Edward. I don’t think anyone in the family told the census taker that Edmond’s name was Edward. In the next U.S. Federal Census (1860), his name “Edmond” is properly used. Edmond was then 15 years old.  His father William was 55 years old. His mother Elizabeth was 40. The home was crowded.  His siblings in the household were: Milly, age 17, Absolom, age 12, Lucy Jane, age 10, Nicholas, age 8, Nancy, age 6, John, age 3, and William, age 2 and a half. The Census was taken on the 17th of July. Again, there is a name issue. Absolom is apparently the same individual as found listed as “Abner” in the 1850 Census. The ages for the two individuals match. Also, after the 1850 Census “Abner” is not ever referenced again.

1860 was a momentous year in America. The issues of slavery, state’s rights, and the election of Abraham Lincoln were major concerns. The South had been threatening to succeed from the Union. Finally the day came on Dec. 20, 1860 when South Carolina adopted an ordinance of succession. Other states followed. On February 4, 1861, delegates from the succeeded states met in Montgomery, Alabama where they drafted a constitution for the Confederate States of America. This outraged the North and finally led to the Civil War. Edmond Nash’s home State of Tennessee left the Union on June 8, 1861. By the fall of that year, Edmond’s uncle Allen Dirgin Nash joined the Confederate Army. The family split in its loyalties. Edmond’s cousin William A. Nash joined the Union Army at Granville, February 20, 1865. Edmond joined a Union outfit before his cousin, on February 1, 1865. He also signed up for service at Granville. Both of them joined the 8th Tennessee Mounted Infanrty. Edmond was in Company D. He was 19 years old.

At any rate, Edmond Nash left home for military service. He signed up for a period of one year, unless having been “discharged earlier by proper authority.” On his Volunteer Enlistment he is cited as having brown eyes, black hair, fair complexion, and a height of 5 feet 10 inches. He was present at the Company Muster-in April 7, 1865 in Nashville. He was paid a bounty of $33.33 with $66.66 due. The following is a brief synopsis of the regiment:  


Four companies organized and mustered in at Nashville, April 7, 1865; Company “E” organized at Clifton, Wayne Co., and mustered in at Nashville, May 27, 1865; mustered out at Nashville, August 17 to September 1, 1865.


Lieutenant Colonel-William J. Cleveland.

Major-Charles C. Shoyer.


Goldman G. Meador, Co. “A”. Enrolled at Carthage, November to January; men from Macon and neighboring counties; mustered out August 17, 1865.

William S. Long, Co. “B”. Enrolled at Carthage. Men from Jackson and neighboring counties. Mustered out August 17, 1865.

James B. Terry, Co. “C”. Enrolled at Carthage, with men from state at large; mustered out August 17, 1865 (William A. Nash’s unit).

Richard B. Freeman, Co. “D”. Enrolled at Carthage, with men from state at large, mainly Smith, Jackson and Macon Counties. Mustered out August 17, 1865 (Edmond Nash’s unit).

Charles W. Shipman, Co. “E”. Enrolled at Clifton in March and April, with men from various West Tennessee Counties, mainly Hardin and Wayne. Mustered out September 1, 1865.


On April 15, 1865, Lieutenant Colonel Cleveland, with that portion of his regiment which was then at Nashville, was ordered to proceed to Carthage, take post there, and report by letter to Colonel Gilfillan, commanding 4th Sub-district of Middle Tennessee. On April 30, the 8th Tennessee Mounted Infantry (four companies) was reported in Colonel James Gilfillan’s 4th Sub-district.

On June 22, 1865, Company “E”, 8th Tennessee Mounted Infantry, was relieved from duty at Clifton, and ordered to proceed to Savannah, Tennessee, and establish headquarters at that place.

These were the only mentions of the regiment found in the Official Records. Adjutant General J. P. Brownlow, State of Tennessee, stated the rolls of the regiment were very   incomplete, and that his office was in session of the rolls of only the first five companies and that they were defective. There seem to have never been more than five companies.

What Edmond Nash could not have known (I suppose) is that the War would soon be over. On April 9, 1865 (two days after his muster at Nashville) -after four years of Civil War, approximately 630,000 deaths and over 1 million casualties, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, at the home of Wilmer and Virginia McLean in the town of Appomattox Court House. Although that event did not officially end the War, it was, for all practical purposes, over. President Lincoln was waiting for the news from North Carolina of the surrender of another important Confederate- General Joseph E. Johnston (and his Army). Then on April 14th 1865, Lincoln was shot by the assassin John Wilkes Booth and died the next day. Edmond Nash’s service record indicates that he was present for the Company Muster Rolls for May and June 1865. Then on August 31, 1865, he was mustered out at Nashville. It appears that he owed the U.S. government $20.33 from his clothing account. He was honorably discharged.                                                                                                                                    

Edmond Nash died June 8, 1940 according to his death certificate. He was 95 years old. It’s amazing to think of the vast historical changes that occurred during Edmond’s lifetime. He was born during the time of slavery, served in the Civil War, lived through World War One, and died during World War Two. His generation went from riding horses to driving cars. Think of all the inventions that became a part of life at that time- the radio and the telephone, just to name a couple. The immediate cause of death listed on his death certificate is noted as “cancer of the face.” His second wife Elizabeth had already died by then. He died in Macon County, Tennessee. Macon County is east of Nashville and is near the border of Kentucky.  I don’t know the circumstances that surrounded Edmond as having residence in Macon County. His body was removed for burial to White County in the Hitchcock Bell Mills Cemetery. He has a Grand Army of the Republic grave marker. The cemetery is on Almyra Road off of Burgess Falls Road.

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