Tennessee Civil War Questionair - Isaac N. Rainey

Tennessee Civil War Questionaire -- Isaac Nelson Rainey

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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 address.

Isaac Nelson Rainey, Balboa, Canal Zone, Panama

2. State your age now.

79 years 9 mos. 16 days Born April 6, 1845

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. Tennessee

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 can.

Owned no property

8. Did you or your parents own slaves? If so, how many?

My father owned about 30 slaves inherited. Never bought nor sold one.

9. If you parents owned land, state how many acres.

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 it had.

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, etc.

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 many?

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 in evidence.

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 the contest?

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 for himself?

Then, as now, as always, there were such opportunities.

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 eldest brother.

25. About how long did you go to school altogether?

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 your neighborhood?

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 public?

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 Government?

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 first?

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 Columbia.

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.

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