AUTHOR: Glenn Land (edited by Linda Barnette and Cheri Todd Molter; vetted by Cheri Todd Molter)
My 3x-removed-1st-cousin, John Land, was born about 1846 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was the third child and oldest son of James Land, Jr. and Jane Murphy. He was barely a teenager when the Civil War began. By November 1864, the Confederacy, desperate for manpower, was conscripting men who were 17 to 50 years old. John was recorded as “enlisting” in Wilkes County on November 15, 1864, and on the roll at Camp Stokes, a Confederate camp of instruction at Greensboro, North Carolina, afterward. Following a brief period of training, he was documented on the rolls for January and February of 1865 as “present” with Company B of the 11th N.C. in Virginia. John probably got to “see the elephant” at Hatcher’s Run, February 5th – 7th, 1865. (Click on image to enlarge.)
In the pre-dawn darkness of April 2, 1865, Federal troops of the 6th and 9th Union Corps attacked weakened Confederate trenches manned in some places by troops stationed six feet apart. Confederate lines at Petersburg were broken, and the final week of the war for the Army of Northern Virginia began disastrously for the Confederates. The 11th N.C. attempted to stand against the Yankee onslaught but was quickly overrun in fierce hand-to-hand fighting. It was probably there that young John Land received the terrible face wound that Yankee records say resulted in “gangrene of the mouth,” which most likely led to John’s death.
John’s brother-in-law, Jordan Livingston, served in Company B of the 11th Infantry N.C., too. They were both injured and captured on April 3, 1865 and were hospitalized at Richmond. On June 2, 1865, Jordan left Union custody at Jackson hospital and made his way to California. Young John lingered for a while and probably suffered a great deal from his awful wound. His Federal P.O.W. record indicates he was turned over to the Provost Marshall on April 14, 1865, the same day that President Lincoln was assassinated. He managed to place his mark on an Oath of Allegiance on June 3, 1865. That document described him as being 5’4″ with light hair, a light complexion, and blue eyes. He died on June 9, 1865. He was buried in an unmarked but numbered grave in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery.