Wednesday, February 3, 2010
We have no photograph of John J. Lemaster (the father of our Grandma Stout - the lady in the white blouse in the center of the back row). This picture is the adult children of Sarah Jane Barker and John J. Lemaster, taken in 1907. Quite a good looking group, I think!
But we do have a fairly good 'picture' of what John went through while fighting in the Civil War. John was a Private in the 5th Kentucky Mounted Infantry, fighting for the Confederate States. He enlisted at Licking Station, Kentucky for a period of 3 years, on Sept 30, 1862. He is found on several muster role cards, then is listed as "Absent, wounded at Dallas [Georgia], May 28, has not returned from the hospital".
He did return to this unit, but found it impossible to continue and requested to be discharged. This is the letter he wrote to his commanding officer on March 10, 1865, from Graniteville, South Carolina:
Col George Wm Brent, A.A.G.
Col, I respectfully ask to be ordered before a medical examining board for retirement for the following reasons. I received two gunshot wounds in the engagement near Dallas, GA on the 28th May 1864 - One shot entering the left breast, passing through the left lung, and out below the left shoulder blade. The other entering just below the left shoulder blade, passing around and lodging in the left side. Said wounds are yet painful and hinder me unable to perform the duties of a soldier. I wish to avail myself of an opportunity of going to school that is now afforded me if I were retired. I have the honor to respectfully subscribe myself:
John J Lemaster
Co D 5th Ky regt
The 'Certificate of Disability' was issued on March 28, 1865. This was 12 days before Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia - the end of the Civil War.
John J. Lemaster went on to live 21 more years, but died at the relatively young age of 43. Family lore says that he died of pneumonia that was caused by the wounds. He and his wife, Sarah Jane Barker had the large family pictured above, but both died in the mid 1880s, before all of the children were grown.