Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Well, at least it seems like we've made it onto the map now with the help of some internet crawling spiders fishing this website for any/all data. Good news is, if someone, somewhere, sometime plugs in Silas W. Wade looking for information about him hopefully we'll show up in their search and give them a good start to finding more out about him and his descendants!

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Also just a reminder, next Thursday May 4, 2009 is the deadline for getting your RSVP notices back to us. That will allow us to make sure we'll have enough seats for folks, as well as food and drinks, etc for the Wade Family ReUnion at the Tranquility Community Center just North-West of Athens, Tennessee. To date, we have 48 people who have responded that they will be attending the event!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


James Wade and Louisa Spradling Wade had one daughter they named Malinda Wade, who married Daniel Carden March 2, 1862. Daniel died in the “Battle of Chickamauga” in 1863, the same year his daughter Sarah Louise was born.

Malinda then married William C. Wattenbarger April 2, 1866, and was living in Celeste, Texas, when her mother died July 14, 1897. The following month she wrote the following letter to her brother Silas concerning the division of her mothers “things”.

Dear brother,

I seat myself to write you a few lines this morning. I have just received a letter from Mary stating to me the division of mother's things. I am not satisfied with the divide. I do not think they have treated me right. There is not but one way to do business and that is the right way.

I want you to have two good disinterested people make the division and if they cannot agree they can call in a third person and I will abide by the consequence. If they cannot agree put them all up and sell them and divide the money equally.

I will itemize the things they wrote me I got:

Father's counterpin, three quilts, two or three sheets, one blanket, one coverlid, two table cloths, two undercoats, one dress, they say the clothing went against the dishes, one shawl, one pair of stockings, one bonnet and some piller slips.

Silas, I do not want any hard feelings about those things and all I want is a fair divide. Right is right and it don't wrong noboddy. If I get enough for my part I will pay the express charges.

Well Silas, I close for this time hoping to hear from you soon.

Linny Wattenbarger

The letter evidently has reference to her half sisters born to Louisa and her stepfather, Hyram Brandon. Malinda’s brothers James and William were deceased and brother Granville was living in Rhea County. Silas purchased part of the Wade farm and Levi Wattenbarger the remainder.

Malinda bore six children to William C. Wattenbarger, the last being Carmenia who was called ‘Minnie”. Carmenia married Lee Carl Owens March 26, 1906, in Utica which was in Indian Territory at that time. They named one of their three sons Alvis Edgar who later became Alvis Edgar Sr. when he named his son Alvis Edgar Jr. Junior was known as “Buck” Owens and starred in the Hee Haw television series of the 1980’s. This was confirmed in a letter to Debbie (Wade) Brooks a few years before Buck’s death.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sultana Reunion in Knoxville, TN 04/25&26/2009

Information below taken from SultanaDiaster.com Reunion 2009 Info.

It’s been a few years now since we last met in Knoxville so it’s time to come home for our 22nd Sultana reunion! As you might know, our association met here for the first fourteen years before we first ventured out of town to Vicksburg, MS.

Friday Evening: 7:00 p.m. - at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 2500 Maryville Pike, Knoxville, TN, 37920

(The easiest way to get to the church is turn right onto Maloney Road off Alcoa Highway, as you are driving north, toward Knoxville. This turn is exactly 7 miles from the hotel and right next to a large church called Sevier Heights Baptist Church. Then, go one mile and Maloney dead ends at Maryville Pike. Mt. Olive is immediately across the road. Enter the hall through the back of the building. I will put up a Sultana sign on the corner of Alcoa Highway and Maloney Road.)

Many of you will remember the great room we used in the past in the church’s fellowship hall. Plenty of space for 100 people plus a small stage we can use. Also, once again I want to encourage folks to bring display items to tell their ancestor’s story or some aspect of the Sultana tragedy. There will be tables available and an area set aside for this important part of our activities.

The theme for Friday night will be “Civil War Music.” Several talented musicians from Kentucky have offered to play at no cost but will have tapes and CDs for sale. Also, my wife’s group, the Appalachian Harmonizers, will sing a few songs as in prior meetings. I might come up with some other ideas, too.

Saturday Bus Tour–9:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. (load up at the Courtyard hotel)

Something we have never done before is have a tour of Civil War sites in Knoxville, following the route that our local Civil War Roundtable put together some time ago. I will be one tour guide, and I will find another for the second bus. The last stop will be our unique Sultana monument in the cemetery of Mt. Olive Baptist Church. I believe I can find a way during the tour to have a couple of wreaths tossed off one of our bridges into the Tenn. River like some of our Sultana men once did.

Two 48 passenger school buses are reserved for the tour. The cost will only be $10.00 each person which needs to be prepaid by mailing a check made out to me, Norman Shaw, to P. O. Box 30372, Knoxville, TN, 37930.

Lunch will be at one of the downtown restaurants. I hope there we will be able to eat at a favorite place called Calhoun’s on the River. Everyone will order off the menu.

Saturday Evening Banquet–7:00 p.m.

Our hotel will serve us a buffet meal at the reasonable cost of $18.34 per person (which includes tax and gratuity). We will have a choice of two meats, three vegetables, salad, rolls, dessert, and drink. This meal must be prepaid by mailing a check to me at P. O. Box 30372, Knoxville, TN, 37930. I will give the hotel a final number and pay for the reserved meals at least 72 hours prior to Sat., April 25th. Naturally, those not staying at the hotel can dine with everyone else by prepaying, as explained above.

That’s the details as of this writing. Expect some updates in the next newsletter which will come out near the reunion date. If you need to contact me, send an e-mail to shawclan4(at)bellsouth.net.

I look forward to seeing many familiar faces in April and, hopefully, several new ones. We always have a grand time!

- Norman Shaw


Living just south of Tranquility and near the Silas Wade family was a person of mystery and probably one of the few women in this area to receive a land grant.

It has been passed down that strangers came to her gate and were handed small packages. She had a little bag similar to a doctor's bag and in this bag she kept what was thought by the neighbors to be her magic potions.

Of all the children in the neighborhood she probably made the most lasting impression on little Janira Wattenbarger who, when she was very old, told the following story to her granddaughter.

Janira Wattenbarger Rice (1846-1930)

It was back several years before the Civil War when my father first versed his suspicions of a witch in our neighborhood.

"Nonsense," said my mother and all us children in unison. But soon our opinions changed. I will try to tell you what the "witch" was like - She was a toothless old hag and must have been about 60 years old. She was of small stature and walked with a cane.

I remember well the first time I saw her. My brother and I were raking leaves when she came upon us. I looked quickly at my brother for a minute and then we took to our heels.

Next morn I learned the nature of her visit. She wanted my father to build her a house near us. Where she was originally from we never found out but here is where my story really begins.

Betsy Blessing, for that was her name, seemed to take me as an object for tormenting. She never wanted anyone to run her errands but me. One morning she came to borrow our churn, but I refused to lend it to her, as mother was not home. As she went out the gate she said "never mind Janira, I'll get even."

And she did. That night I suddenly awoke and found some unknown force pulling the covers. I awoke my sister Sarah who was sleeping by my side and the harder we pulled the harder it pulled.

Becoming alarmed we ran out the door to another section of the house. As we did a little light followed us all the way.

My cousin Sam then began to tell of a rabbit that crossed his path to and from work. Several times he had shot the rabbit but to no avail. Some of the neighbors told him to shoot it with a silver bullet. When he did just that the rabbit ran limping off through the bushes. Betsy sent for my mother saying she was ill. My mother found her with a bullet hole in her knee. To this condition Betsy gave no explanation.

One day she gave me a two month old calf. I told her I didn't want it and to give it to someone else but she insisted I take it. It was brought home and put in the pasture and there it stood for two days and nights, not moving out of it's tracks, until it died.

Then our cattle suddenly began dying. Someone told my father to burn the (dead) cattle. This my father did. No sooner had they started than Betsy ran to my mother screaming and wringing her hands begging my mother to put out the fire. Her hands and arms were burned to the elbows. She had bewitched father's cattle.

One evening as she lay asleep, someone said to stick a silver dollar to her feet and if she were a witch it would leave a blister. We finally got up the courage to do so. The old witch jumped up screaming and holding her foot. It was then she said, "Janira you'll never get anything that I have."

All this happened many years ago. Of course you will laugh and say it's an old lady's silly imagination but others than I really know her to be a witch. And to this day no one passes the place where her house stood without having that creepy chilly feeling. It was said that she had buried gold, and despite the fact that I dreamed of several places to find it I was never able to.

Following her death my parents opened her trunk and found faded dresses of fine materials and lace and silk garments. If you doubt her existence check the 1850 McMinn County Census and you will find her listed as Elizabeth Blessing, age 60, living near my father and mother, Michael and Nancy Wattenbarger.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Federal Military Records...

I tripped across the information directly below at the Federal Military Rosters website. As noted in dad's post entitled WANTED (dated April 13, 2009 ), William, Silas, and James traveled to Huntsville, Tennessee to join the 3rd Tennessee Union Cavalry Regiment, Company C. Per the record below, they joined up on November 1, 1862...

I couldn't find James Wade at first, but he appeared on a separate page of the website.

I also found Granville H. Wade (as well as John Hart III and John L. Spralding) listed under Company D of the 43rd Regiment Tennessee Volunteers of the Confederate States Army.(Note: There appears to be a misprint stating Granville H. Granville rather than Granville H. Wade, since the names are all listed in alphabetical order.) The 43rd Regiment of the Confederate States Army was also called 5th Tennessee Volunteer Regiment and 43rd Tennessee Mounted Infantry. There's more information at Tennesseans in the Civil War webpage about the 43rd Regiment, and a pretty good synopsis of their actions during the war.

Interesting how one can turn up information such as this on the web, almost 150 years after it actually happened!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


When John Hart signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he and the other signers committed an Act of Treason against the Crown. John risked his life by returning to his home in Trenton, New Jersey, to be with his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him and he escaped in the woods.

While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died in 1779 without ever finding his family.

When former McMinn County Sheriff James Franklin Hart retired to private life in the 1920’s, an article about him appeared in the local paper. In the article the former sheriff mentions the fact that the Hart family is of Scotch origin and came from South Carolina and settled in Roane County about 1812 or 1813.

Is there a link between John Hart of New Jersey and the Hart’s of South Carolina? With the data that is now accessible over the Internet, it might be possible to find out. Many of the persons listed in the Wade Family Data Base are directly descended from the Harts and all are related through Richard Spradling Sr., whose daughter Elizabeth married John Hart (1813-1902). This might be an interesting search for someone to pursue.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


In February of 1865 the north began to exchange prisoners with the Confederacy and on March 20 the authorities began to move a group of prisoners to Vicksburg, the point to which all prisoners east of the Mississippi would be delivered. Some by train, some by steamer, and some by walking. Many died on the way and were left by the side of the road for strangers to bury.

Lt. Taylor Elliott of the 124th Indiana Infantry describes the scene as follows:

Coming like cattle across an open field were scores of men who were nothing but skin and bones; some hobbling along as best they could, and others being helped by stronger comrades. Every gaunt face with staring eyes told the story of the suffering and privation they had gone through, and protruding bones showed through their scanty tattered garments. One might have thought that the grave and the sea had given up their dead.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Camp Catlett, Tennessee
May 14, 1864

Dearly Beloved Wife,

It is a gratification to me to let you know that I received your kind letter of the 8th. of this month. I got it this morning and was happy to heare that you was still well. I got one at the same time from Brother Levi at Kingston of the same date and he was well.

I am in very good health though I am not quite as fleshy as I have ben but have not ben sick one hour in twelve months past. I hope these few lines will come to hand and find you and the children well. Our boys is most all well, there is some of them on the hurry order but nothing serious.

We had a dreadful storm here last Tuesday evening. It killed one man and wounded another and carried off a child not herd of since and blowed a train off the trestle at Nashville.

Louisa, I would give something if I could be there with you and go to Tranquility with you and the children tomorrow and hear old Brother Dugan preach. You mite think that I had been out here so long that I had got too bad to want to go to church but I hope I have not. If I was there I think I could go with you to church and enjoy myself very well and I hope I may live yet to meet with you at home again.

Louisa, tell James and Andrew that if I ever am so happy to come home I will bring them a knife. Tell Tennessee I will bring her something too and the baby also. I would love to see it one time.

Anyhow dear companion, though we are torn apart by disunion and war the dawn of day is coming. Time has ben that we could not heare nor see we was banished in darkness but thanks to God we can here converse with each other.

I esteam this great day and God only knows the joy it would give me to meet with my dear wife and little ones again. I think I would have to praise my God that he has been so merciful to me.

I will have to close, so give my Best Respects to all enquiring.

Your dear husband,

William D. Wade

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sorry for the missing picture descriptions

in the Walgreen's Photo Silas W. Wade Group Room again this evening. I had went in to place an order and had no intentions of editing anything, when Shazam...everything was 'untitled' once again.

Anyway, I finally ran down an old copy (2001) of MicroSoft's Internet Explorer for the Macintosh before they quit producing it, and using that I was able to re-enter all the descriptions without losing them this time! So hopefully they'll stay with the related thumbnails this time, but j
ust to be sure I'm going to place the thumbnails into THIS message where they can't become 'untitled' so easily...

- Young Silas W. Wade

- Adaline P. (McKeehan) Wade

- Silas W. Wade Homeplace - 1895
(Behind Fence) Silas, Adaline, Ector, William, Nancy Jane, Iva Ree.

- Silas and Adaline Wade, and children.

- Wade Family - 1892
W.D. (holding Ulys) and Nancy Jane (holding Arthur)
(2nd row) Corda, Bertie, Ocea.

- Wade Family - 1905
Bertie (holding Leora), William D. Wade, Fred, Corda (holding Mildred)
(2nd row) Eva & Roy,
(3rd row) Arthur, Ocea, Ulys.

- W.D. Wade 1859 - 1935

- W.D. Wade Family - 1935
Iva Ree and James Herd, Roy, Ulys, Ocea, Arthur, Corda, W.D., Fred.

- W.D. Wade Family - 1960
Eva, Corda, Ocea, Ulys, Roy, Fred.

Lastly, for some better news now. I placed an order online at Walgreen's Photo for some pictures this evening and it was VERY easy.

You just select the photographs you want, choose the size & quantity, give them your Zipcode online to look up the nearest Walgreen's store and they'll have them ready in as soon as one hour for you to come by and pick up! (In fact, mine were ready in only 15mins!) Or, you can have them mailed to you if you don't live near a Walgreen's store. Best of all, if you elect to pick them up at the store you don't have to pay anything online, you just pay for them when you get to the store.

By the way, there's plenty of options that mix-n-match sizes like the Ultimate Value Pack for only $9.99 with 20-4x6's, 3-5x7's, 3-8x10's, and 20-Wallet sized pics. Simple, quick, and v-e-r-y efficient.

Hopefully others are looking through their old pictures and will either upload them to the Silas W. Wade Group Room -or- bring them along to the reunion so we can scan them into a digital format and get them online for other relatives to see as well!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It is with a heavy heart

that I and others say goodbye to David Wade this evening. He is one of the many we had sent invitations out to about the upcoming reunion. His obituary in The Daily Post-Athenian this afternoon read:

David Roy Wade

Apr 13, 2009

David Roy Wade, 56, of Decatur, went to be with the Lord on Monday, April 13, 2009, at his brother's residence.

He was a member of Grace Baptist Church, and was preceded in death by his parents, Norman D. and LaNelle McKinney Wade.

Survivors include one daughter, Crystal Wade of Decatur; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Alan and Judy Wade and Gene and Polly Wade, all of Decatur; one sister and brother-in-law, Susan and Dale Barnett of Riceville; and a host of friends.

Funeral services will be 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the chapel of Bowers Funeral Home with the Rev. George "Dump" Armour officiating. Graveside services will be 11 a.m. Thursday at Decatur Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Ben Wade, Jim Bowers, Jason Wade, Kike Keen, Bill Baker, Randy Underwood and Chris Johnson.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

Bowers Funeral Home of Decatur is in charge of arrangements.



When the comrades have departed, when the veterans are no more,

When the bugle call has sounded on that everlasting shore.

When life’s weary march has ended, when campfires slumber long;

Who will tell the world the story, when the Boys in Blue are Gone?

Who will tell about their marching, from Atlanta to the sea?

Who will halt and wait and listen, when they hear the reveille?

Who will join to swell the chorus, of some old, grand army song?

Who will tell the world the story, when the Boys in Blue are Gone?

Sons and daughters of this nation, you must tell of triumphs won;

When on earth our work is ended and the Veteran claims his own.

You must all cherish Old Glory, and its teachings pass along.

You must tell the world the story, when the Boys in Blue are Gone.

To that flag, our country’s emblem, you must pledge allegiance to,

To that flag, our country’s emblem, may your hearts be ever true,

That the nation be protected, ’gainst injustice and all wrong,

You must tell the world the story, when the Boys in Blue are Gone.

You must keep your country’s honor, from each stripe withhold all stain;

You must take the veteran’s places, and repeat the roll of fame.

You must keep your country’s honor, and your flag above all wrong.

Then we’ll trust you with the story, when the Boys in Blue are Gone.

John Hendricks, 89th. Indiana Infantry

John Hendricks was the last living Veteran of the 89th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The poem expresses his concern that the Union Soldiers, the "Boys in Blue", not be forgotten by future generations.

Monday, April 13, 2009


In November of 1862, brothers William, Silas and James Wade traveled from their home just south of Tranquility to Huntsville, Tennessee, near the Kentucky border to join the 3rd. Tennessee Union Cavalry.

Appearing in the Athens Post some three months later on February 27, 1863, was the following:

$420 REWARD!

THE FOLLOWING PERSONS ENROLLED As Conscripts in the 3d Civil District, McMinn County, Tennessee, have failed to report as the law requires.

Silas Wade. . . 28 years old, 5 feet 8 inches high, fair complexion, black eyes, dark hair.

Also listed with their descriptions were James Wade, Thomas Wattenbarger, Christopher Wattenbarger, Peter Wattenbarger, and Levi Wattenbarger.

A reward of $30 each was offered for the apprehension and delivery of the above named deserters at the Camp of Instruction at Knoxville. Transportation furnished by the Government.

By order of Lt. Col. E. D. Blake


Evidently the three Wade brothers had been conscripted into the Confederate Army but instead chose to enlist in the Union Army. In fact, James had already died at Murfeesboro when this announcement appeared.

Silas Wade Photo Group Room - Now Open

The old photographs I got from dad last week of Silas & Adaline (McKeehan) Wade, along with several pictures of their children & their families, I have now managed to get uploaded into a Group Room on the Walgreen’s Photo website.

In order to gain access into the Group Room containing the photo album of Silas and his family, you will have to be invited in by via an email per Walgreen's. For all the email addresses I’m presently aware of (see database), I have already sent out an invitation to those relatives.

However, if I don’t have your email in the database yet, then use the CONTACT US HERE form (on the right side of this webpage) to send me your name/email and I’ll be happy to send you an invite!

At this point, users should be able to visit the Walgreen's Photo website and choose any pictures they would like to have a hard copy made of, in the exact size and quantity they prefer.(i.e. 5x7, 8x10, etc) Or if you prefer just a digital copy of the images, you can download them for FREE from the Walgreen’s Photo website as well.

Lastly, I'm sure we're not the only ones with some pictures of our ancestors. That being the case, PLEASE check through your own photographs and see if there's some you would like to upload and share with everyone. If you have a scanner, you can upload any digital images of Silas Wade’s relatives or descendants into the Photo Album in the Group Room yourself!

If you don't have a digital scanner, I will have one available for use at the reunion. It functions sort of like a copying-machine, but it can save any image you lay upon it into a digital file that can then be emailed, uploaded or shared over the internet in a variety of ways.

So dig out that old shoebox or cigar box you have all those really old pictures in and start looking through it! If you don't know who some of the people are in the pictures, you'll never find a better time than at the reunion to ask others who they might be.

Lastly, later on tonight I will be going back into Silas Wade’s Photo Album and adding comments as to who’s who in each photograph.

UPDATE: Sorry if some photos didn't have captions when you looked at them this evening, but there seems to be a bug in the Walgreen's website that erases all-current-comments whenever you upload a NEW photo to an album. So, I ended up re-typing all the comments several times before I figured out what was happening. For now, hopefully they'll stick!

I contacted Walgreen's about this and they responded, saying in part...

We apologize for the problems you encountered while trying to
use our online Photo Center. Our website works best with a PC
using Internet Explorer. We are aware that Mozilla FireFox,
Safari browsers & browsers in Beta testing, as well as some Mac
users, are not able to use all of the features on the website.
We hope to have these features available in the future.

I use a Macintosh (Mac MINI) Computer and have never encountered a problem like this before on the internet. So at least they're aware of the problem, but just not sure when they'll have things fixed and in correct working order.

Stay tuned for more posts and updates this week…

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Original Flyers Mailed Out, are Now Online

We mailed out a set of flyers on March 30, 2009 to the addresses of Silas Wade's family we were aware of in order to spread the word about the upcoming reunion of many of his descendants.

I took the time to scan those pages in and then created a PDF file of them which anyone can download if they didn't get a letter in the mail and are interested in seeing what we mailed out.

The Mailing.pdf file can now be downloaded by simply clicking here on Mailing. Be aware the file is 9mb in size, so if you're on dial-up it will take about 45mins to download it, cable & broadband folks though...just a matter of seconds.

In a letter of the Fall of 2008, in part my dad wrote...


When my dad and your grandfather were alive, it was a family tradition to return to Tranquillity the third Sunday of each May for the annual church homecoming.

I recently learned of the Howard Ellis Jr. family's plans to be there next year in 2009 and thought others might like to attend also. Howard Sr. would have been one hundred years old next year. The fact that W. D. Wade would have been 150 years old makes it somewhat of a special occasion. Add to that the fact that his father Silas would have been 175 years old and we have even more of a special occasion.

My records indicate there are thirteen of Silas' great grandchildren still living...and of course there are many gg grandchildren including yourself and even more ggg grandchildren.

We have a very interesting family history, which hopefully can be preserved. The annual Tranquillity Homecoming, observed the third Sunday of each May, could be a time those who are interested could come together in memory of Silas and others who have gone before. Not many have the opportunity to sit in the same church where their ancestor sat with his brothers before going off to fight in the Civil War.

So there you have a little more history of why this year is so special and we hope the reunion is a gathering you can certainly make!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Looking Forward to Meeting Relatives

I am A.D. Wade's sister, Debbie Brooks. My husband Mike, daughter Kari, and I are looking forward to meeting relatives that we have never met at the Wade Family Reunion on May 17, 2009. Who knows, we may have passed each other and did not know we were related. We also look forward to seeing the relatives that we met at the Barn Presentation in Year 2000. 

There has been alot of planning and preparation for the reunion which should interest everyone. People can meet and greet, eat lunch, share photographs, look at displayed items, and walk through the cemetary, etc. We would like you to bring lawn chairs if you can. 

A mailing which included the Wade Family Reunion flyer, a lunch buffet form, and a map with notes on the back regarding the church service and the community center was sent out on March 30, 2009. We need the lunch forms returned by May 4, 2009, so we can plan the seating arrangements. 

We hope you have already cleared your calendar for the reunion. See you there!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Descendents of Silas W. Wade - reUnion

Per the epitome to the right, this small corner of the web is being evolved in order to allow for a place for those interested to communicate and remain up to date on the current events regarding a reunion of Silas's many children.

Paul Wade, my father, answered an email to my niece (Kari Brooks) last fall entitled "Silas Wade" to supply her with some information about him for a paper she was doing for college. In part, it read...

Silas was one of four brothers who fought in the Civil War. He and brothers William D. and James P. Wade fought for the Union. The fourth brother Granville fought with the Confederacy. James was killed at Murfreesboro and is buried in Stones River Cemetery.

Silas and William were captured in Alabama and sent to the infamous Cahaba Confederate Prison near Selma Alabama. After spending the winter there they were to became part of a north-south prisoner exchange and were sent to Vicksburg where they, still under guard, boarded the Sultana.

The Sultana exploded and sank just north of Memphis with the greatest loss of lives that has ever been recorded in a maritime disaster as detailed in the below listed web site. Silas and William, though scalded and badly burned survived and eventually were sent home to Tranquility where they are now buried.

Brother Granville as a Confederate Soldier survived "The Siege of Vicksburg"
(see also) and moved to Rhea County where he is buried. The three brothers had one sister Malinda who lost her husband in the "Battle of Chickamauga"

I took Gene Salecker, author of the below listed "Disaster on the Mississippi," to Tranquility to see Silas and William's graves.


Next year (2009) Silas would have been 175 years old. I am arranging, in memory of Silas and his brothers, for his descendents to attend the Tranquility Church Annual Homecoming May 17, 2009. Want to go?

That is the first recollection of this reunion effort I recall. After that, dad contacted Charles Wade and it was through their various correspondences that things began to come together. Anyway, that's a little bit of history for those of you who are interested. Stay tuned and I'll post more information about both Silas and the upcoming reunion later on. (Note: See comments below)
A.D. Wade