Our ancestor James Wade married Louisa Spradling October 26, 1827, in Albermarle County, Virginia. The following year James and Louisa migrated to Tennessee with the Louisa’s parents and settled in northwest McMinn County, just south of Tranquility in community that would later become known as Chuck-A-Luck.
Five children would be born to James and Louisa before James died in 1842. The oldest child, William, had just turned fourteen. Granville was ten, Silas was eight, Malinda was five and the youngest, James P., was two years old.
On September 1, 1845, Louisa married Hyram Brandon, a minister of the gospel who helped organize Tranquility Church in 1848. In the 1860 census “Louesa” is shown living in Roane County with husband “Hyran” Brandon with four children ranging in age from thirteen to seven. “Lima” is also listed as being twenty-three years of age. “Lima” is evidently Linny by Louisa’s first husband, James Wade.
On November 1, 1862, we find William, Silas and James P. at Huntsville, Tennessee, enlisting in the Union Army. Granville would join his Spradling cousins and John Hart III in fighting with the 43rd Confederate Infantry, Company D.(To search the Soldiers & Sailors System database enter: Confederate; Tennessee; 43, Infantry, then click the resultant link that reads "Click here to search for soldiers in the unit.") John Hart III was also a cousin as Louisa’s sister, Mary Elizabeth Spradling, married John Hart II in 1834.
James P. would die and be buried at Murfreesboro. Malinda would lose her first husband, Daniel Carden, in the Battle of Chickamauga. Some years later Malinda would marry William C. Wattenbarger and move to Texas.
On September 24, 1864, William and Silas would be captured while defending the fort at Athens, Alabama. They were then sent to the infamous Cahaba Confederate Prison on the banks of the Alabama River where the conditions were horrible beyond belief.
In February of 1865, as part of a north-south prisoner exchange, Silas and William, along with 2400 other passengers, most of whom were Confederate prisoners, were put on board the ill fated Sultana steamer to be sent to Camp Chase, Ohio. The steamer exploded, burned and sank at 2:00 AM April 27, 1865, seven miles north of Memphis with a loss of most of those on board. It is the greatest loss of lives in a maritime disaster that has ever been recorded.
Silas and William were among the survivors, but were hospitalized in Memphis and eventually mustered out of the Union Army June 10, 1865. William was more seriously wounded than Silas and only lived until 1872. Silas suffered from deafness and was never again able to do hard labor. He died in 1902 and is also buried at Tranquility near his older brother William.
Silas and wife Adaline had seven children. Two sons would die at age nineteen and one son would die at age 22. Daughter Sarah would marry Leander Thomas. Daughter Martha Ellen would marry Thomas Owen and later move by herself to Texas with her five children about 1893, where she died a tragic death in a house fire. Daughter Iva Ree would marry James Herd and lived in Knoxville.
Silas and Adaline’s only surviving son, William Daniel, would marry Nancy Jane Owen, the daughter of Marshal and Caroline Owen, in 1880 and acquire property from his father-in-law in the Rogers Creek Community. W. D. and Nancy Jane are buried in the Tranquility Cemetery along with their oldest daughter, Bertie Caroline Wade Ellis.