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Civil War Genealogy Database
Unit Type
State

11th Georgia Infantry (CSA)
Ancestor Info
Name: Henry Columbus ClayRank: Private Company: H

By: Bobby G. Jackson, Colonel, USAF, Retired Grandpa Henry Columbus Clay and the Civil War. Grandpa Clay, mama’s daddy, Henry Columbus Clay II, born 12 May 1880, died 12 January 1936, was the son of great-grandpa Henry Columbus Clay Senior, Born 6 April 1841, died 8 October 1920, who served in the civil war. He enlisted in the Confederate States of America Army, Company H, 11th Georgia Infantry “Walton County Infantry” on 3 July 1861, was wounded in the thigh by cannon fire at the Battle of Rappahannock, Virginia on 28 August 1861 also in the head at The Battle of Gettysburg Pennsylvania on 2 July 1863. He was a sharp shooter near “Devil’s Den” at Gettysburg when he was shot in the forehead with a minie ball. He survived by drinking water from a small creek and eating green corn from a corn field for three days and later recovered enough to try and get on a Yankee wagon filled with wounded Yankee soldiers. They kept kicking him off and finally a Yankee captain told them “if that Rebel wants on so bad let him ride”. On 5 July 1863 he found himself on the way to Decamp General Hospital on David’s Island in New York Harbor as a prisoner of war. A newspaper article described the prisoners as arriving “…in a wretched condition, dirty, ragged and covered with vermin…”. A storm came through the harbor and swamped the hospital and killed almost all of the prisoners and guards. Great Grandpa Clay survived and was paroled at Decamp General Hospital, David’s Island and exchanged for Yankee prisoners at City Point, Virginia on 8 September 1863. He was treated in the General Hospital at Petersburg, Virginia until 31 August 1864, then placed on wounded furlough and told to go home until further notice. He asked how was he to get home to Walton County, Georgia, five hundred miles from Petersburg, Virginia and was told that he would have to walk. He started out and subsisted on what little fruit and vegetables he could get as he traveled south. He had to dodge the bands of renegades that were roaming the countryside robbing, killing and plundering. For the rest of his life he wore a metal plate and headband to cover the scar and hole on his forehead. He died at the age of 79 on 8 October 1920. He was awarded a disability pension of $50.00 per year on the 4th day of April 1896 by reason of his wounds as follows: minie ball entering and tracking over part of frontal skull bone, fracturing nasal bone. The wound is still open and painful, requiring artificial metal and cloth enclosures. This wound renders him unfit and unable to perform actual manual labor and exposure to heat or cold produces severe pain with vertigo and dizziness.”

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Contact Name: Jinny
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