WILLIAM ISAAC FORRESTER
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WILLIAM ISAAC FORRESTER
I was born on January 1, 1845 in
at the Old Cap Mitchum farm near Walnut Grove, to Martin Luther Forrester and Elizabeth Lowry.
On July 3 1861, at the age of sixteen, I enlisted as a Private with Company H, 11th
Volunteer Infantry, Army Northern Virginia, C.S.A.,
. In March 1863, I served under Captain Nunally in
and until the end of the war. The regiment was sent to
and served first in the Potomac District, then was assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia. The regiment's winter quarters were at
. There was a great abundance of illness that winter. Some of the men were lost due to death and discharge.
The 11th Georgia Regiment fought in the various campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia, from the Seven Days Battles to
. After taking part in the siege of
south and north of the James River the 11th was engaged in conflicts around
. The regiment contained 573 effective fighting men in April 1862, had 140 at
, and lost 65 percent of the 310 men engaged at
. From April 14 to May 6 the regiment sustained 110 casualties. From August 1 to December 31, 1864 there were 51 disabled.
I was near
on April 9, 1865, when General Robert E. Lee surrendered. The next morning we were ordered to fall in line and to take our arms and march to Appomattox Court House, about two miles, and then we were marched between two lines of
the enemy, stacked our arms and marched off and left them. In every direction you could see nothing but bluecoats.
On the evening of April 11, 1965, we were paroled and left to get home the best we could. Somehow I had gotten a mule and started the long
journey, by horse and walking, back to
and home. Somewhere in
, late in the afternoon, I was to be the last passenger to board the ferry. I saw a young boy in ragged clothing, standing by a tree. I asked him if his pappy had a horse; and he replied that his Pap was killed in the War.
So I put the horse’s reins in the boy’s hand and told him to go home and plow his mother a garden. The young boy saluted me and said “Yes, Sir.” I then stepped onto the ferry and crossed the river.
I finally made it home to
. In 1871, I married Sarah Frances Boss and bought a farm in the settlement of Winsor, on the road from Loganville to Winder, past
. To this union, we were blessed with five children, although two died as infants. Two daughters and one son lived to grow up and marry.
Sarah and I worked hard on our farm and we prospered. On March 28, 1909, I departed this world for my heavenly home.
The epitaph on my tombstone reads:
Remember friends as you pass by:
That all mankind are born to die;
Then let your cares on Christ be cast;
That you may dwell with him at last.