Saturday, December 27, 2008

John Cecil Council, Confederate War Veteran, POW at Shipp Island

John Cecil Council, born in Barbour County, Alabama in 1833, was my great grandfather. He was the son of Temperance Weaver Council. John, in 1845, was one of the first settlers in Wakulla County Florida. He, along with his mother, his sister Susan Council Lott and her husband either traveled with the Pelts and Poseys or arrived about the same time and settled in Crawfordville, Florida. John Cecil acquired a good bit of land around the county. He married Frances DeLaura Posey who birthed a large family before she died.

John then married Missouri Redd. She was referred to as Miss Missouri. The two of them raised a second large family.

At the age of 28, and with children at home, John joined the Florida Militia during the Civil War. He was captured off the coast near his home while fishing to provide food for his unit. The Union ships took him and others captured with him to Shipp Island, off the coast of Louisiana.

When the southern prisoners first arrived on Shipp Island, there were no barracks, only tents, no protection from the wind, rain and large mosquitoes that carried disease. John Council took a leadership role among the prisoners and set about building their own huts and shelters.

Back home Fanny, his wife, along with a black woman helper kept the farm going and raised the crops and hogs and cattle. She picked the cotton and had it bailed. Fanny's first born was a daughter, Georgianne Council. Like her mother, Georgianne was strong and resilient. She knew how to use a gun and tramped through the thick woods to kill game for the family.

She lived a long life. A one hundredth birthday party was held for her and written about in the Wakulla County newspaper, but I hear from cousin Sandra that her birthdate might be in question. No matter. Aunt Georgianne was a real pioneer woman who could do the work of any man and actually the work of more than one man from what I've heard. More about her later.

John Cecil Council was highly respected in his community. He helped found a church and was a leader of the church. He lived a long life and fathered his last child when he was in his early seventies.

Over the years I've researched this great grandfather of mine, and I met his youngest daughter as well as hundreds of his descendants. I have copies of his military records, his pension papers, his last will and testament. I've collected stories I've heard about him and hope to one day put them together for my family members.

John Cecil's oldest son, Tom, was my grandfather. Tom and his wife Sarah (Sallie) head the family I write about in Profiles and Pedigrees, Thomas Charles Council and his Descendants.

In this marriage, Tom died young and left Sallie to carry on without him. Tom and Sallie raised ten children, Mae, Charlie, Maude, Oleo, Horace and Hortense (twins), Lillian, Annie, and Coy. Another son, John Henry, died at the age of fourteen from malaria.

I have cousins in Tallahassee and in Crawfordville who I hope will come to the mountains this spring so we can catch up on all the family stories.



Tipper said...

Interesting post about John Cecil Council!

Glenda said...

Thanks, Tipper. Glenda

Mary said...

What a great tribute to your great grandfather. I always enjoy posts where I meet the ancestors of the blogger.

I see that we have a mutual acquaintance in Tipper. She is a dear.

When you have a few minutes, please drop by my Treasures to Me blog or my Writing Nook. Right now both blogs have a piece about my grandmother.

The coffee is always on.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad i found this page. My grandmother was a council the daughter of Noah Columbus Council if i remember correctly.