Friday, April 9, 2010

Galvanized Yankees

Okay, I PROMISE I'll get to my other ancestors sooner or later, but I've been hung up on James Hamilton Cummons for nearly 12 years now, and I'm finally getting smart enough to ask the right questions and find out about him!

Ever heard of a "Galvanized Yankee"? I hadn't, until today.

Here's how it came about: As I mentioned a while back in my blog, I was uncertain as to which army James fought for during the Civil War. The newspaper clipping I posted, interviewing his wife, Causby, said he was a confederate soldier. However, a copy of the pension form the Causby applied for after James' death led me to believe he was a Union soldier. Under "service" it had listed: C1 US Vol Inf. I could only assume that meant Company 1, United States Volunteer Infantry. So, which was he? Confederate or Union? (Of course being the born and bred yank that I am, I was pulling for the Union!)

Today, I asked for help on the Civil War message boards at and just a few hours later, I was given a fascinating piece of information, and was able to put one more piece in the puzzle that was James Hamilton Cummons. When I asked for someone to help me translate Causby's pension file, here's the response I received:

Wow! I guess the answer to my question is - he was both. First a confederate, then after being taken prisoner of war, pledged allegience to the union army. I was able to confirm this, by going to this site:

On this site, you will find a roster of soldiers who were a part of the "Galvanized Yankees", and there you will find him listed as James H. Cammons (yes, I know... yet ANOTHER spelling of our last name.)

I still have not confirmed when or where he originally enlisted (I assume North Carolina, although I originally had thought Virginia - must have been looking at records for some other James). But we're getting closer!

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