AUTHOR: James Franklin
James Thaddeus Nichols, the son of Daniel Nichols and Martha Griggs of Macon County, NC, was twenty-three years old when he joined the Confederate Army on March 25, 1862. He was enlisted as a Private in Company I, 39th NC Infantry, CSA. His service records reveal that he was present at the Battle of Murfreesboro, which occurred Dec. 31, 1862 to Jan. 2, 1863.
After sustaining an injury, Nichols was sent to hospital on Jan. 25, 1863 and returned to his unit by the end of May. On July 8, 1863, Nichols was hospitalized at French’s Division hospital at Enterprise, Mississippi. In Oct. 1863, he was transferred as a nurse to Forney’s Division Hospital. On Jan. 2, 1864, Nichols was transferred back to his unit to take part in the march to Atlanta and was present in all the battles that the 39th fought in, up to the Battle of Atlanta.
In Atlanta, GA, according to the Alfred Bell letter dated August 19, 1864, Nichols was “wounded, [on the] right side of [his] face [by a] piece of shell.” On Oct. 6th, he was admitted as a patient to a hospital in Macon, GA, and six days later was transferred to a hospital in Augusta, GA (Confederate headquarters at the time). Family legend has it that James arrived home to Macon County after the surrender with a bad, unhealed wound. He married Rachel M. Sellers, the daughter of Samuel Sellers and Avaline Moore, and they had two sons: Charles Dawning Nichols and Robert Lee Nichols. According to his tombstone, James Thaddeus Nichols died “as a result of the War” on March 20, 1874. Other records state that he died on March 20, 1878.