Written by Jacob Jones; Edited by Cheri Todd Molter
One story that passed down through my family, and was well known by the local genealogy expert of Jackson County, is about my Great-Great-Great-Grandfather, Jehu Jones, and his brother, Jesse Jones, who both fought for the Confederate Army. The gist of the story is Hollywood-worthy: In 1863, my Great-Great-Great-Grandfather, Jehu, and his brother were stationed at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, serving as reinforcements to the sacred Cumberland Gap. The Gap was a strategic stronghold that was defended heavily to keep the Union at bay. It was eventually taken, in part due to the homesickness of soldiers wanting to return to their Western North Carolina homes. Jehu died while stationed there, and Jesse loaded Jehu’s body on his horse and rode a couple hundred miles across the Smoky Mountains back to Jackson County, North Carolina. Jesse spent several days and nights with his deceased brother behind his saddle, and after he arrived at the Old Field Cemetery, he laid his sibling to rest. Afterward, Jesse returned to continue the fight on behalf of the Confederacy. I have been told this story numerous times, and each time sends chills down my spine. The story provides examples of sacrifice and duty. What dedication, bringing his own brother home to be laid to rest!