Tennessee Civil War Questionair - Isaac N. Rainey
Tennessee Civil War
Questionaire -- Isaac Nelson Rainey
Form No. 1
(N.B.: At top is written: This paper filled out at
Baloa C.Z. Panama on January 23, 1922)
1. State your full name and present Post Office
Isaac Nelson Rainey, Balboa, Canal Zone,
2. State your age now.
79 years 9 mos. 16 days Born April 6,
3. In what state and county were you born?
Columbia, Maury Co. Tennessee
4. In what state and county were you living when
you enlisted in the service of the Confederacy,
or of the Federal Government?
Confederacy; Columbia, Maury Co.
5. What was your occupation before the war?
Student - worked on farm
6. What was the occupation of your father?
7. If you owned land or property at the opening of
the war, state what kind of property you owned,
and state the value of your property as near you
Owned no property
8. Did you or your parents own slaves? If so, how
My father owned about 30 slaves
inherited. Never bought nor sold one.
9. If you parents owned land, state how many
About 5 a. on homeplace and other tracts
in the state.
10. State as near you can the value of all
property owned by your parents, including land,
when the war opened.
Am not well enough informed on this fact
to make accurate answer.
11. What kind of house did your parents occupy? State whether is was
a log house or frame house or built of
other materials, and state the number of rooms
Frame house - big roomed - columned in
front - typical of the time - "Southern style"
built in 1847 8 rooms.
12. As a boy and young man, state what kind of
work you did. If you worked on a farm, state to
what extent you plowed, worked with a hoe, and
did other kinds of similar work.
There were certain white men then as now
who would not work. My father required his boys
to plow, hoe, take care of stock, taught them to
ride and shoot. To work and not be ashamed of that they worked. To be self-respecting citizens.
13. State clearly what kind of work your father
did, and what the duties of your mother were.
State all kinds of work done in the house as well as you can remember-that is, cooking, spinning, weaving,
My father practiced his profession and
generally supervised home affairs - and
especially the education of his boys. My mother had her hands, heart and mind fully occupied in looking after the
comfort of her (blurred) sons and 2 daughters.
Clothing them, etc. also that part of our
negros. She was one of the best type of Southern women of the Southern Mothers - of blessed memory.
14. Did your parents have any servants? If so, how
Mother had well trained house servants
who were devoted to her and her children.
15. How was honest toil - as plowing, hauling and
other sorts of honest work of this class -
regarded in your community? Was such work considered
respectable and honorable?
In those days in our community at least,
men and women of upright character and behavior
were highly regarded - more respected than the disreputable
people of wealth. Honest labor was respected. The loafer, rich or poor, was despised.
16. Did the white men in your community generally
engage in such work?
The self-respecting members of the
community did. The "Poor White Trash" tho' was
17. To what extent were there white men in your
community leading lives of idleness and having
others do their work for them?
I cannot answer the query positively. I
was young and this feature made little
impression on me.
18. Did the men who owned slaves mingle freely
with those who did not own slaves, or did
slaveholders in any way show by their actions that they felt themselves better than respectable, honorable men
who did not own slaves?
I do not remember that there was any such
feeling. There was a class of non slave holders
who hated the slave owners. The reverse, I think not.
I know this though: the nigger whose Master owned 100 looked with contempt on the slave of the "one-nigger" man.
19. At the churches, at the schools, at public
gatherings in general, did slaveholders and
non-slaveholders mingle on a footing of equality?
I do not remember anything to the
contrary. My impression is that they did. In
fact, I am sure of the fact as regards our community.
20. Was their a friendly feeling between
slaveholders and non-slaveholders in your
community, or were they antagonistic to each other?
As I recollect, there was. A man's social
standing was based on moral and intellectual
merit rather than on the amount of his property. As
remarked above there was a class of "poor whites" (they are there yet) who hated those who owned any kind of property.
21. In a political contest in which one candidate
owned slaves and the other did not, did the
fact that one candidate owned slaves help him in winning
I was too young to appreciate or
understand matters on this point. I do not
think that this fact per se had influence with the better element.
22. Were the opportunities good in your community
for a poor young man - honest and industrious -
to save enough to buy a small farm or go in business
Then, as now, as always, there were such
23. Were poor, honest, industrious young men, who
were ambitious to make something of themselves,
encouraged or discouraged by slaveholders?
I remember this point with no
particularity. I can only charitably believe
that they were encouraged.
24. What kind of school or schools did you attend?
The ordianry private shcool of the day -
at 11, at first, at Atheneum for a year then 2
years in preparitory department at Jackson College
then 18 months at a school my father established on the home place, teacher boarding with us; for 6 mos. taught by my
25. About how long did you go to school
About 4 1/2 years, commencing at 11. My
mother taught me at home up to this age.
26. How far was it to the nearest school?
1/2 to 1 mile.
27. What school or schools were in operation in
Jackson College for boys - Columbia
Institute (Episcopal) for girls - Atheneum, for
girls - Methodist Church School for girls - Rainey Academy for boys - on our home place. McDowell Academy and a
few nearly (nearby ?) country private schools.
28. Was the school in your community private or
There were no "Public Schools" then.
29. About how many months a year did it run?
The regular yearly term
30. Did the boys and girls in your community
attend school pretty
As I remember, they did
31. Was the teacher of the school you attended a
man or a woman?
At the Atheneum, dear old "Miss Windsor"
a regular "Boston Schoolmarm" - others all men.
32. In what year and month and at what place did
you enlist in the Confederate or of the Federal
I enlisted in the Confederate Service on
March 20, 1863 at Columbia, Tenn. Was sworn in
by Capt. W.F. Taylor while standing in the yard of Andrew Polks home Ashewood (?)
33. State the name of your regiment, and state the
names of as many
members of your company as you remember.
The company of which I became a member, a
private, was organized in Memphis before the
Civil War and called "The Memphis Light Dragoons" and enlisted under Capt. John Logwood who afterwards became
Colonel of the 7th Tenn. Cavalry "The Fighting
Seventh" in which our Co. was "Co. A". Early
in the war the Co. was detailed on special duty as escort to Brig. G. Wm. H. ("Red") Jackson, Dom 'dg. Division and so served
to the end. The members (with 2
exceptions) were all high class, educated gentlemen. Our dear old General pronounced it "The Best Company in the
Army, Sir" - List of members appended.
34. After enlistment, where was your company sent
The day after I enlisted, Genl. Jackson
made his head quarters at Spring Hill where we
went into camp remaining until early in June.
35. How long after your enlistment before your
company engaged in battle?
I think in a very few days after we
reached Spring Hill. We did considerable
scouting in direction of Franklin and frequently exchanged shots with Yankee scouts.
36. What was the first battle you engaged in?
In about a week Van Dorn attacked
Franklin. Sharp fighting but failed - my first
real fight. We lost 2 men 6 horses.
37. State in your own way your experience in the
war from this time on until the close.
State where you went after the first battle - what you did, what other battles you engaged in, how long they
lasted, what the results were; state how
you lived in camp, how you were clothed, how you slept,
what you had to eat, how you were exposed to cold, hunger and disease. If you were in the hospital or in a prison,
state your experience here:
After this fight we went back to S.
Hill. About mid June we went to Canton,
Miss. joined there Johnston's army. marched toward Vicksburg - were at battle of Raymond (2nd battle) then on to Big Black
- preparedto cross July 3 -- on 4th news of fall
of Vicksburg. We found Sherman on his
advance to Meridian, harried his rear as he marched back.
Afterward were in Jackson during the
siege. In May '64 marched to join Johnston at Resacca, Ga. Were thro' the whole Atlanta campaign with Hood
on to Franklin, then to Nashville, on retreat
south, at fall of Selma. Surrender -
parole Gainsville, Ala.
38. When and where were you discharged?
Received my parole (No. 52) at
Gainsville, Ala. on May 11, 1865
39. Tell something of your trip home.
About a dozen of us Maury Countians rode
home together. We had an uneventful trip to
40. What kind of work did you take up when you
came back home?
I took up my work on the farm, helping to
readjust matters which had been sadly neglected
during troublous war-time until Jany. 20, 1866 when I had a call to Memphis to take a clerkship in a large
wholesale Glass & _____sware house with
which I remained for 8 years.
41. Give a sketch of your life since the close of
the Civil War, stating what kind of business
you have engaged in, where you have lived, your church
relations, etc. If you have held an office or offices, state what it was. You may state here any facts connected with your
life and experience which has not been brought
out by questions.
I suppose I'm a Presbyterian. Mother and
wife were. I learned the cotton business in
1874. Since 1879 classer, seller, mill buyer and broker.
Retired in 1915. Since lived with my daughter and son in law, a naval officer.
42. Give the full name of your father:____;
born____at____; in the county of____: state
of____. He lived at ____. Give also any particulars concerning him, as official position, war services, etc.;
books written by, etc.
Wm. Scott Rainey; ----; ----; Virginia;
Columbia, Tenn. Came to Maury Co. at age of
7; Upright, honest. Original Secessionist. 4 sons in army. Lawyer.
43. Maiden name in full of your mother:____; She
was the daughter of ____(full name) ____
and his wife ____(full name) ____who lived at ____.
Mary Theresa Minter; William Minter;
Elizabeth Waggoner Minter; from Columbia, Ky.
to Columbia, Tenn. in 1829.
44. Remarks on ancestry. Give her any and all
facts possible in reference to your parents,
grandparents, great-grandparents, etc., not included
in the foregoing, as where they lived, office held, Revolutionary or other was services; what country the family
came from to America; where first settled,
county and state; always giving full names (if
possible) and never referring to an ancestory simply as such without giving the name. It is desirable to include every
fact possible and to that end the full and
exact record from old Bibles should be appended
on separate sheets of this size, thus preserving the facts from loss.
My father was the son of Jesse Green
Rainey and Martha McKinney Rainey. Moved from
Va. about 1825 to Maury Co. Tenn on Bear Creek 6 miles
of Columbia. I have little knowledge of his ancestry beyond this.
My mother's ancestor in American was
Bartholomew Dupuy "the Hugenot Exile", who fled
from France in 1700 and settled near Richmond, Va. Beyond him we have authentic genealogy of our family
extending back to year 1033.
45. Give the names of all the members of your
Company you can remember: (if you know where
the Roster is to be had, please make special note of this.)
46. Give here the name and post office address of
living veterans of the Civil War, whether
members of your company or not.