Lewis Jacob Youngblood was my great-grandfather. My direct Youngblood cousins are all descendants of this man, and we are a large group. Some of us have known each other all of our lives, while others have just met in the last year or so. Lewis and his wife Clara B. Spear not only have great-grandchildren, but 5th great-grandchildren living as of the date of this writing, November 4, 2014. It is so exciting to have cousins come together to share their knowledge and memorabilia from Lewis J. Youngblood, so that all the current and future descendants may enjoy knowing about their grandfather.
Although none of us alive today actually met Lewis Jacob Youngblood, we knew some of his children, and we heard the stories of his life, so we know a few things about him. We know he must have been brave, because as soon as he was 18 years old, he joined the New Jersey Cavalry, and fought throughout the rest of the Civil War. We know he was smart, because after the war, he worked as a tax collector for the federal government–dreaded in the South! I imagine he must have had a toughness about him, as his move to the South after the Civil War and his buying a farm in the Petersburg, Virginia area, earned him the title of “carpetbagger”. This was the derogatory name applied to the many northerners who moved South after the Civil War with all their belongings in carpetbags. They came for the opportunity to buy land which had become cheap from people who had become poor because their Confederate money was worthless, and their huge farms often couldn’t be worked without slave labor. His community didn’t like him we are told. When he went to church at Gary’s Methodist Church, no one wanted to sit near him and would usually move to a different place in the church! Feelings from the Civil War ran deep, and he was a Yankee in Rebel territory.
Lewis was the son of Jacob Youngblood, 1807-1869, and his wife Mariah Charlotte Cooper, both of whom were born in New Jersey, USA. Jacob’s father, John H. Youngblood, was the first Youngblood emigrant to America, in this line. He arrived from Germany where the name was spelled Jungblut/Jungblot. We are looking forward to the day when our genealogical research identifies John’s parents and place of birth. Mariah Charlotte Cooper is often found spelled Maria or Moriah as well. However, family stories clearly identify her as Mariah. In fact, Lewis Jacob named his first daughter Mariah after his mother of course, and his second child, a son James Cooper Youngblood, again after his mother.
Jacob and Mariah had six children including Lewis Jacob, the focus of this story. They were James C. Youngblood, 1841-1897, Emma born in 1844, Lewis Jacob 1846-1919, Laura E. born in 1851, John J. born in 1853, and Hattie born in 1858. These childrens’ stories will be told at another date.
As we know, Lewis joined the Union Armed Forces when he was eligible to do so at age 18. He must have been a skilled horseman, because by then, the Union was testing their Cavalry recruits for superior horsemanship. They would have to concentrate on fighting, handling their horse had to come second nature to them. We know from his military records that Lewis enlisted as an 18-year-old Private in the New Jersey Cavalry, 2nd Regiment, Company E. From records gathered on ancestry.com, we can not only see that he enlisted on 5 September, 1864, but that he mustered out on 29 June, 1865 at Vicksburg, Mississippi. The source of this information is the Register of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War 1861-65, and Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009. Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works.Copyright 1997-2009, Historical Data Systems, Inc. PO Box Duxbury, MA 02331.
Furthermore, we can actually find out in what battles our grandfather fought . We learn that the 2nd Cavalry of New Jersey participated in many battles before Lewis was old enough to join their ranks. Exactly seven days after Lewis joined his Cavalry, on Sept 12, 1864, his Cavalry was engaged in a battle in Memphis, Tenn.! He was 18 years old, and only one week in the Cavalry. Was he excited, scared to death? I cannot imagine! The following information lists other battles Lewis participated in and tells us the story of their experiences.
-Fought on 12 Sep 1864 at Memphis, TN.
– Fought on 13 Sep 1864 at Memphis, TN.
– Fought on 5 Oct 1864 at Memphis, TN.
– Fought on 24 Dec 1864
– Fought on 26 Dec 1864
– Fought on 28 Dec 1864 at Egypt Station, MS.
– Fought on 18 Feb 1865 at Mississippi.
– Fought on 28 Apr 1865 at Clayton, AL.
|REGIMENT HISTORY:||NEW JERSEY
(also known as the NJ 32nd Infantry)
Second Cavalry.-Col., Joseph Karge; Lieut.-Cols., Marcus
L. W. Kitchen, P. Jones Yorker Majs., Frederick B. Revere,
Peter D. Vroom, Jr., Philip L. Van Rensselaer. This regiment
was recruited in the summer of 1863 and left Trenton for
Washington on Oct. 5 of that year, reaching the capital on the
following day with 890 men. On Oct. 17 Co. A was attacked by
Mosby at Fairfax, Va., and the company was routed, the captain,
with 2 sergeants and 1 private being taken prisoners and 1
corporal wounded and left on the field. Being transferred to
the southwest, the first skirmish of importance took place at
Iuka, Miss., where two companies of the regiment encountered a
force of the enemy and drove it through the place, losing 1 man
killed. On Dec. 6, a change in the plan of operations in that
quarter having been determined upon, the regiment was
transferred by steamer to Columbus, Ky., whence, on the 15th,
it proceeded to Union City, Tenn., where it was placed in the
cavalry brigade commanded by Col. Waring, of the 4th Mo.
cavalry. In Jan., 1864, the command moved forward rapidly
without encountering the enemy in any force, but meeting and
dispersing small gangs of guerrillas, until the 2nd Jersey,
having the advance, came into collision with and routed a force
of hostile cavalry near Aberdeen, Miss., the same evening
occupying Prairie Station and destroying an immense quantity of
corn, together with cotton and other property belonging to the
Confederate government. The regiment, still advancing,
skirmished for some hours with Forrest’s cavalry, finally
reaching the vicinity of West Point, about 100 miles north of
Meridian, where Sherman’s cooperating column had already
arrived. The following day it was also engaged and on Feb. 22
it participated in a fierce conflict at Okolona. On April 10,
Maj. Yorke, with 300 men of the regiment, was sent against the
enemy in the vicinity of Raleigh, Tenn., some distance north of
Memphis, and coming up with the hostile force bravely charged
into its midst, driving it into its brigade camp, after
inflicting severe loss in killed and prisoners. The regiment
also participated in the fight at Bolivar, Tenn., and lost in
the engagement 2 killed and 6 wounded. The conduct of the
regiment in the disastrous affair at Guntown, Miss., both in
the main action and on the retreat, was creditable in the
highest degree, but it suffered heavily, losing 8 officers and
130 men out of 17 officers and 350 men taken into action. On
July 11, with other troops, it moved in search of the enemy
encountering him at Port Gibson, Miss., and losing in the
combat which ensued, through alleged mismanagement, 2 men
killed and Lieut. Braun, 26 men and 2 guidons captured. Two
days afterward, at an early hour in the morning, the enemy in
some force made a sharp assault upon the Union picket line,
pressing it with equal vigor along the entire front but the
assailants were promptly met and after an hour’s fighting were
driven in confusion. Being ordered into Arkansas and
disembarking at Osceola, the command crossed a swamp some 18
miles in length, the mud and water reaching to the saddle-
girths of the horses, to Big lake, where after some brisk
firing a Confederate train consisting of some 18 wagons, loaded
with over 900 stand of arms of approved pattern, together with
11 prisoners and 2 commissioned officers, was captured.
Reaching Verona, Miss., on Dec. 25, the command at once charged
gallantly on the enemy, who was completely surprised and
offered but a feeble resistance, most of them escaping into the
timber under cover of the darkness leaving as spoils, eight
buildings filled with fixed ammunition, estimated at 30 tons,
5,000 stands of new carbines, 8,000 sacks of shelled corn, a
large quantity of wheat, an immense amount of quartermaster
stores, clothing camp and garrison equipage, a train of cars
and a large number of army weapons which had been captured by
Forrest from Gen. Sturgis during the latter’s disastrous
expedition in June. The regiment also participated in the
fight at Egypt Station, in which 74 men and over 80 horses of
the 2nd N. J. were killed or wounded. The regiment returned by
steamer to Memphis, having lost during the entire expedition 19
men killed, 69 wounded and 2 missing, and 155 horses and mules
killed or disabled. The regiment was finally mustered out on
Nov. 1, 1865. (This was also known as the 32nd N. J.
Source: The Union Army, vol
Historical Data Systems, comp. American Civil War Regiments [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.
Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works. Copyright 1997-2000
This is all very exciting, and quite amazing to find in my opinion, but we have more! Lewis kept his saber that he used in the Cavalry, his Spencer’s Repeating Rifle, and his original discharge papers from the New Jersey Cavalry of the Civil War, signed at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and dated 29 July, 1865. He gave these items to his sons, James Cooper Youngblood, 1875-1935, and Lewis H. Youngblood, 1889-1953. They in turn passed these treasured historic items down to their children! One more generation, the heirlooms were passed down again, and yet they survive and remain in the family! I had the opportunity to touch the discharge papers last weekend when visiting my cousin, Kay Youngblood Fuller who is the owner of this 149 year old document! Her sister, Susan Youngblood Rawls owns the rifle! Lewis H. Youngblood III owns the saber! Lewis, Kay and Susan have generously provided pictures for us so that we can all share in the treasures left by our great-grandfather! It is quite exciting to me, to look at these pictures and imagine our grandfather’s hands touching these items as well. The weapons may have saved his life, we don’t know. If not, we would not have been born, because he didn’t marry and start building his family until after the war! Our lives hung in the balance of his skills on his horse, with his sword, his rifle, and in his courage. I have never liked the idea of war. Having grown up a Southerner, it is hard for me to think of being glad this man may have fought other relatives of mine and that they might have hurt each other. Such conflict, can you imagine if you were alive at that time, and your family were split as we know happened? Very sad.
I included the pictures of the weapons and the discharge papers with the soldiers’ pictures so that you could see how they were worn and used. The Spencer’s Repeating Rifle was made in Boston I have learned, and was the Northern Weapon. the Sabers were more often used by the Yankees as well. They were not real sharp on the sides of the blade, for they were not designed to slice the flesh, but almost as clubs to break arms and ribs! The ends were sharp however, allowing the soldier to stab his opponent. There are two very interesting articles written about the Cavalrymen where I found this and a lot more information in Wikipedia and they can be found at these links:
Having these heirlooms in the family is an amazing treasure. We can see, touch, and learn so very much about our Grandfather and our history through these objects, awesome! Before we part, I want to list Lewis Jacob Youngblood and his wife Clara B. Spear’s children for you. Then I want to include relationship charts for the owners of these historic items as well. I am happy to do this for anyone in our family, just let me know if I can help.
Lewis Jacob Youngblood and wife Clara B. Spear had nine children, all born in Petersburg, Virginia.
Mariah Youngblood b. 1871, married Wade H. Temple
James Cooper Youngblood, 1875-1935 married Georgeanna Rodgers
Mabel Youngblood, 1878-1957, married Rudolph Beck
Ella Youngblood, b. 1880, married Edward Stanley Parker
Edwin Spear Youngblood, 1882-1943 married Helen Blanche Hogue
Gertrude Youngblood, 1884-1965 married Frank Bonner McCann
Clara Youngblood, 1887-1904, died age 7
Lewis H. Youngblood, 1889-1953, married Lillian Moore
Russell Calvin Youngblood, 1895-1958 married Martha Tally