Confederate Soldiers (Caldwell - Fuston)

BELOW ARE the responses of Peter Graham Fulkerson, a Tennessean attending school in Missouri when the Civil War started. Peter immediately enlisted in a Missouri Confederate unit, but was captured by Union troops a few months later.

  The Union officers planned to execute Peter. Then his uncle Robert Craig Fulkerson, influential and pro-Union, interceded in the matter. After promising that Peter would have no further participation in the war, Robert sent Peter to Pennsylvania, to spend the rest of the war working for his uncle William Patterson.

  While he was "safe and sound" in the North, Peter's five brothers were in the Confederate armies, experiencing the triumphs and misfortunes of war. It's important to know that, before you read Peter's answers below. However, many of the questions were about life before the war:

1 State your full name and present Post Office address: Peter Graham Fulkerson
2 State your age now: Eighty one (81) Dec. 5, 1921
3 In what State and county were you born?: Claiborne county, Tennessee
4 In what State and county were you living when you enlisted in the service of the Confederacy?: Montgomery county, Missouri C.S.A.
5 What was your occupation before the war?: Working on my father's farm
6 What was the occupation of your father?: Physician
7 If you owned land or other property at the opening of the war, state what kind of property you owned, and state the value of your property as near as you can: My father Dr. James Fulkerson died just before the Civil War, owning a farm worth about six thousand at that time and about $15,000 personal property.
8 Did you or your parents own slaves? If so, how many? My parents owned about ten.
9 If your parents owned land, state about how many acres: About 300 acres
10 State as near as you can the value of all the property owned by your parents, including land, when the war opened: About $20,000
11 What kind of house did your parents occupy?: A two story stone building with five rooms, built in 1808.
12 As a boy and young man, state what kind of work you did: When not in school I worked with both plow and hoe.
13 State clearly what kind of work your father did, and what the duties of your mother were: My father practiced medicine. My mother could weave, spin and cook, but had it done.
14 Did your parents keep any servants? If so, how many? Yes. Five or six old enough to work.
15 How was honest toil - as plowing, hauling and other sorts of honest work in this class - regarded in your community? Was such work considered respectable and honorable? It was considered honorable to perform manual labor.
16 Did the white men in your community generally engage in such work? Yes
17 To what extent were the white men of your community leading lives of idleness and having others do their work for them?: There were very few.
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?: They mingled freely with each other. I never [saw?] but one person refuse to eat with day laborer and that was a northern woman who got up and left the table when one of the hands came to the table.
19 At the churches, at the schools, at public gatherings in general, did slaveholders and non-slaveholders mingle on a footing of equality?: Yes
20 Was there a friendly feeling between slaveholders and non-slaveholders in your community, or were they antagonistic to each other?: Friendley
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?: A poor man had the best chance and gave his poverty as a reason why he should have the office.
22 Were the opportunities good in your community for a poor young man - honest and industrious - to save up enough to buy a small farm or go in business for himself?: Yes
23 Were poor, honest, industrious young men, who were ambitious to make something of themselves, encouraged or discouraged by slaveholders?: Encouraged
24 What kind of schools did you attend?: Subscription and free schools
25 About how long did you go to school altogether?: About 5 months in the year.
26 How far was the nearest school?: Half a mile.
27 What school or schools were in operation in your neighborhood?: Both free and subscription, and an academy in town.
28 Was the school in your community private or public?: Both
29 About how many months in the year did it run?: From 3 to 6 months
30 Did the boys and girls in your community attend school pretty regularly?: Yes
31 Was the teacher of the school you attended a man or a woman?: Man
32 In what year and month and at what place did you enlist?: In the year 1861 Missouri C.S.A.
33 State the name of your regiment: Independent company
34 After enlistment, where was your company sent first?: Lexington and Big Blue
35 How long after enlistment before your company engaged in battle?: Only a short time.
36 What was the first battle you engaged in?: Big Blue. As my brothers and brother-in-law are dead and all served in the C.S.A. will give their names: William H. Fulkerson, Capt. in 63rd Tenn and Colonel at the close of the war. Wound in leg at Chickamauga. Robert F. Fulkerson .... [James Whitehill Fulkerson was] killed on Missionary Ridge. Thomas G. Fulkerson, a sergeant in Capt. Fulkerson's company and slightly wounded at Chickamauga. Frederick E. Fulkerson, Capt. Blackburn's company and transferred to 63rd Regiment. Capt. Henly Fugate, 63rd Tenn. 1st Lieut. in Capt. Fulkerson's company and captain of the company after Fulkerson's promotion. Arm shot off in charge up Snodgrass Hill. It is proper to state here that Fulkerson's company was 39 strong when they made that charge and only seven slept together that night. The others were either killed or wounded.
(N.B.  The above answers are written over spaces for Q.'s 37-40)
(As published, this account left out one brother and mixed up the known facts: brother James Whitehill Fulkerson died from severe wounds following the battle of Missionary Ridge. His brother Robert Francis Fulkerson went through the war unscathed, but died in 1880 after being gored by a Texas longhorn.)
41 Give a sketch of your life since the close of the Civil War: I commenced the practice of law in Claiborne county, Tenn. Was a member of the Constitutional Convention 1870. My ____ 2nd Jud. dist.
42 Give the full name of your father, born at (etc). Give also any particulars concerning him, as official position, war services, etc.: James Fulkerson; Rose Hill; Lee Co.; Virginia; when a young man he served in the General Assembly at Richmond
43 Maiden name in full of your mother (etc.): Frances Jane Patterson; [daughter of] Francis Patterson, Ann Graham [who lived at] Powells Valley Post Office, Cumberland Gap.
44 Remarks on ancestry (etc.): My grandfather Peter Fulkerson served in the War of 1812. My two great grandfathers on my father's side were both captains in the Revolutionary war - Captain James Fulkerson and Captain Robert Craig, and both were at Kings Mountain. My grandfather Francis [Patterson] was one of Emmett's soldiers [Irish revolutionary], and fled to America after his arrest.
NOTE: Some of the questions included lengthy explanations, which were omitted here when not essential. Also note that Peter at age 81 had a moment of confusion concerning his brothers Robert and James when telling the tale of his family in the Civil War.

A big thanks to George who found this information at a Louisiana historical archive. Without George and dozens of cousins like him, this site would be a pretty dull affair.