AUTHOR: James Utley
My maternal great-great-grandfather, Travis Christenberry Jernigan, was brought up as a Quaker. When the Civil War started Travis lived in Richmond County, NC (now an area known as Scotland Co), was married to Judith O’Brien, was forty-three years old, and a reluctant soldier, but he enlisted in the Confederate Army. He served as a Private in Company K, 33rd Infantry (North Carolina) after enlisting on Oct. 27, 1864. According to his Civil War records, Travis deserted to the enemy on Feb. 19, 1865, took the Oath of Allegiance, and was confined on Feb. 24, 1865 in Washington, DC.
After Travis Jernigan’s death he was buried in Stewartsville Cemetery. One of my cousins filed for a grave marker from the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Sons of Confederate Veterans delivered Travis’ headstone, but after finding out Travis signed the Loyalty Oath to the Union, they refused to install it at his grave in Stewartsville Cemetery.
Travis and Judith’s son, John Wesley Jernigan, my great-grandfather, enlisted into Company I, 3rd Junior Reserves Infantry (North Carolina). John completed his Confederate service to the end. He married Almena McCormick.
At the close of the war, General Sherman marched through their home area in Richmond County and did awful damage. According to family legend, my great-grandmother Almena McCormick Jernigan, John’s wife, buried the silverware someplace to keep Sherman’s Bummers from stealing it.
John Wesley Jernigan died in 1925 at the Confederate Veterans Home in Raleigh. Family stories say John was buried in Smyrna Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Scotland County near Johns, NC. I went there several years ago and could not find a gravestone for him.