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The Jennings Brothers in “The Pasquotank Boys”

by | Jan 14, 2016 | Confederate affiliation, Pasquotank

My husband’s great grandfather was one of three brothers who joined the Pasquotank Boys to serve in the Civil War. He was James Monroe Jennings (1830-1900), who served along with his brothers, William Harney Jennings (1838-1864) and Decader Cader Jennings (1844-1911). We have a picture of James with his family, taken at the funeral of his fourth wife in 1890. She was the mother of Seth Davis Jennings , my husband’s grandfather. Granddaddy Seth often said that his dad told him more than once that if he had known he would live so long (ten years after his last wife’s death), he would have married again. He also told his son about being taken prisoner. At the end of the war, he walked all the way home barefooted. He was unable to wear shoes for two years. In 2011, my husband’s last aunt, Ima Jennings, died and the homeplace for his granddad had to be dissolved among 11 cousins. We asked for a small old wooden chest that had been on the bureau in the hallway for as long as anyone could remember. We were all amazed when a letter from Great-Granddad James to his mother, Martha Patsy Long Jennings, was opened. It was from the camp of the 56th North Carolina Regiment and was written in Weldon on May 26, 1864. It begins: “Dear Mother, It is with heartfelt sorrow and deep regret that I have to announce to you the death of brother Harney. He was pierced by a bullet on Friday evening in the charge. He was struck over the right eye and under the eye brow. I think he died instantly. Decader took charge of the effects he had about his person. He was snugly put away, considering, with a head board on which is written his name Co. Regt. to the place of his birth. In telling you what day he was killed I neglected to mention the date — it was May the 25. The 56th suffered very badly and Co. was cut up pretty bad. There was not any more killed from that county but wounded there was Lieut. Bray, Serg. Jackson, Seth White, Newton Spence, Wm. Lawson Seeley, Alberson, and also James Matthews. There is two western men wounded and one killed, making the aggregate twelve is killed and wounded in Co. 6. “There has been a great deal of hand fighting but we have been successful, though we have to acknowledge a heavy loss but this is bound to be where there is so much hand fighting. The prospects is still bright for more hand fighting but it is believed that we will whip. I will wind up on this subject. “Decader is well. I heard from him tonight. I am at Weldon and have been ever since Plymouth march with pains in my limbs but it is nothing more than being broke down. Tell Cousin Grand that I got a letter from William last night and his wound is about well. I have not got time to write much but I will write again the first opportunity. So nothing more at present. Your true and devoted son, James Jennings.”

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