Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Connecticut Yankee in a Georgia Swamp

George H Merritt,
son of George L Merritt.
born; Okefenokee Swamp.
NoteRelationships, such as grandmother, 2nd great, etc., are expressed from the perspective of the grandchildren of Willis Edgar and Carrie (known as) Mae (Merritt) Musgrove.

I mentioned before I started our family search looking on my grandmother's side for an Indian. I thought I might find him in the Swamp. Instead I found George Henry Merritt, born in the Okefenokee Swamp, ancestor of our line of Merritts around Ware County

How did he get there and where did he come from? What I found there was so surprising I'll let the Merritt family historian tell it, in her own words.

"Ready for the skeleton in the closet? This is a doozy. We can't trace our lineage further back than our 2nd great-grandfather George Leonard MerrittGeorge was a Union soldier from Connecticut that came to Georgia during the Civil War to fight with the Yankees. Yep, he sure was. 

After the war, he stayed and married a Georgia gal named Lydia. They had two children, our great-grandfather, George Henry and a girl named Eliza, who died young. They lived in the Swamp and that is where George Henry was born. 
Waycross train depot
Courtesy of Historic Preservation Division,

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

The family story, that I got straight from our elderly relatives, is that one day George Leonard just up and caught the train back to Connecticut, never to be heard from again. Someone saw him at the station and he said he was going home."

Here are the details of his service:

Name: George L Merritt
Residence: Connecticut
Enlistment Date: 25 Aug 1861
Rank at enlistment: Private
State Served: Connecticut
Was Wounded?: Yes
Survived the War?: Yes
Service Record: Enlisted in 
Company IConnecticut 6th Infantry Regiment on 05 September 1861.

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