McDonald, Jonathan, pvt


Jonathan McDonald, Pvt.


Jonathan McDonald b 28 Apr 1816 Habersham CO, GA d 18 Feb 1900 NC buried Hanging Dog Bapt Church Cem, Cherokee CO, NC
son of Anguish/Anguis McDonald & Sarah "Sallie" Blythe of Cherokee CO, NC
m (1) 7 Oct 1838 Cherokee CO, NC to
Harriet M. Davidson b 1822 Buncombe CO, NC d 29 Jul 1856 Cherokee CO, NC buried Hanging Dog Bapt Church Cem, Cherokee CO, NC
dau of Mrs. Nancy Davidson of Cherokee CO, NC

m (2) Mrs. Catherine "Katie" Taylor Panther (widow of Felix Panther) b 2 Mar 1823 d 1 Nov 1915 per tombstone [sic d 24 Nov] buried Ogreeta Bapt Church Cem, Cherokee CO, NC
dau of David Taylor & Mary "Polly" Ann Bigby of Cherokee CO, NC

Pension file claims show that both Jonathan and his second wife filed for pension claims. On 27 Oct 1882, he claimed service in (1) - Bryson's CO (2) - CO H 3rd TN MTD INF, 1 Oct 1864 - 23 Dec 1864 (3) - CO H 7th MTD INF, 10 Mar 1865 - 27 Jul 1865. Rosters reveal that he actually served in CO H of the 3rd TN MTD INF REGT. His tombstone was inscribed erroneously as CO H 7th TN INF. Discharge data supports both latter numbers. Residence was listed as Grape Creek, Cherokee CO, NC. Papers in file reveal that he was the dependent father of William Marcus McDonald, a soldier in Bryson's CO. All his children were born in his first marriage.

Jonathan McDonald received a pension of $12 monthly as a result of his son's (William M. McDonald's) death. This son was listed as a soldier on the Payne-Boyd roll of Bryson's CO. In filing a claim for his own service in the Union Army and Bryson's CO, Jonathan did not insist that he was mustered in 29 Sept 1863 with the remainder of Bryson's CO. He claimed service in Bryson's CO long before that and was serving as Commissary for Capt Bryson in 1862 when Confederate soldiers, hearing of it, came to his house, stabbed him in the right eye and beat him with clubs and rocks, leaving him for dead. McDonald continued to press claims for his own service until his death. Dr. S. E. Heighway of Murphy, NC said he died of uremic poisoning. All claims filed for his own service were rejected by the Pension Bureau because he received injuries prior to joining the Union Army.

While McDonald's claim was pending, James Taylor, resident of Valleytown, Cherokee CO, NC, made an affidavit to a notary public in Washington, DC 2 Oct 1885. James Taylor (son of David Taylor and Mary Ann "Polly" Bigby) said he was 64 yrs old and stopping at the Temple Hotel, 9th & F Sts. NW, Washington, and that he had known Jonathan McDonald 50 yrs, that they were near neighbors and never lived more than 8 m apart since 1852. Furthermore, when McDonald's first wife died, the children at home consisted of Thomas who lost a leg while a boy, Sarah born 1855-56, John who married and left home during the war and William, the oldest child. While McDonald was acting as commissary for Bryson's command in 1863, Confederates made an attempt to capture him at his house. McDonald received serious injuries about the head, was stabbed in the eye and rendered blind. His son William was captured while on an expedition with some 30 others of Bryson's CO who were all shot by Confederates soon after their capture, and none had been heard of since. He wrote, "I think they were shot near the base of the mountains on Telico River in East Tennessee." Taylor stated that McDonald was his brother-in-law because McDonald's second wife was his sister.

McDonald was one of three sureties on James Taylor's bail bond 17 May 1872 for his release from jail. Taylor was held in default of bail after arrest by the US Marshal on a warrant sworn out by V. S. Lusk, US Attorney, NC District, alleging conspiracy to defraud the US in connection with the Enoch Voyles-John B. Fain pretended muster roll of Capt Goldman Bryson's CO, submitted to the Second Comptroller and the Adjutant General of the Army in 1869. Despite efforts of James Taylor, Hugh Lambert, W. W. Rollins and others who were taken to see the Secretary of War by Senator Abbott of NC, the War Dept refused to accept the Enoch Voyles-John B. Fain roll of Capt Goldman Bryson's CO.

In later affidavit 6 Sept 1886 before S. A. Terry, a notary public in Washington, DC, Taylor said he was 65 yrs old, resident of Tallequah, IT, and had known Jonathan McDonald 50 yrs to the year 1881. Taylor repeated former statements concerning McDonald's and his son's (William M. McDonald's) service in Capt Bryson's CO. He said their first service with the company was the capture of Murphy, NC jail, with a considerable amount of supplies and stores being turned over to the Union Army at Knoxville. Also, he said that during an absence of Bryson's CO, a night attack was made by Rebels on McDonald's house. Inside their own home, a Rebel knocked McDonald senseless with the butt of his gun. McDonald's wife and daughters then defended him. Mrs. McDonald grabbed an iron skillet from the stove and hit one of the Rebels with such a blow that he was knocked out cold! The daughters barred the door against others trying to enter while Mrs. McDonald battled those already in the house to the floor with her frying pan. One of the "lowly ones" recovered sufficiently to draw a knife and lunged furiously at Jonathan McDonald who was lying prostrate on the floor. This Rebel stabbed McDonald in the eye. The women folks battled the Rebels out of the house, and they fled in disorder. This event occurred sometime in July 1863. As soon as conditions permitted, McDonald was carried to the Federal lines where he joined the Union Army. Taylor said McDonald had two military discharges from the Union Army to which he had subscribed on the reverse sides his own signature as Magistrate to the Oath of Identity. On 16 March 1882, James C. Axley, Superior Court Clerk of Cherokee CO, NC, certified that James Taylor was a Justice of the Peace in Valleytown Township, Cheokee CO, NC.

Furthermore, Taylor said that in 1864 he found Jonathan McDonald in a Union Army Camp near Athens, TN. McDonald was ill and bedridden but forced to remain there for protection. McDonald did not attempt to rejoin Bryson's Union Volunteers which was subsequently attacked by Confederates and scattered. Bryson and many of his men were killed, shot, or hung after capture including Jonathan McDonald's son, William M. McDonald. Taylor said that details of the slaughter of these prisoners were given to him after the war by one H. McAfee, who said that 29 of Bryson's CO were shot by order of Confederate General Bragg, because all were considered guerillas. James Taylor said that General Beauregard's "brutal order" to execute all Union men taken prisoner was once in his own hands!

Finally, Taylor said that he once spent a night at the home of a Mrs. Hall, wife of Dr. Hall, and that Mrs. Hall told him the Rebels came by her house with their prisoners who were shortly thereafter executed near her home and that she recognized the McDonald boys among these prisoners. Taylor did not specify the county where this took place or where Mrs. Hall lived. His informant, H. McAfee, was later killed in a gun battle with a man named Rhea, who was also killed, both men shooting each other to death in a public road. Likewise, Taylor omitted the place where this alleged event occurred.

Sandra Ratledge, gr-gr-gr-gr-niece

©1998--present year by Sandra N. Ratledge. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any reproduction or inclusion of this website's contents in publication whether online or in print is prohibited. Do NOT copy photographs, articles, stories, anecdotes, documents, obituaries, letters, and other contents herein and upload on Find a Grave or any other internet websites, blogs, attach to family trees, or print in publications of any kind.