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John T. Brannen of Bulloch County, Georgia enlisted at Statesboro in the 2nd Georgia Battalion, and was sent to Charleston, S. C. While there, this Georgia Cavalry Battalion was broken up and the men reassigned to other units.

He was transferred to 5th Regiment and then later, the 7th Georgia Cavalry Regiment, Company B, known as the Miller Rangers. He was serving in J.L. McAllister's Regiment when taken prisoner during the Battle of Trevillion Station in June 1864.

He was sent to Baltimore, Maryland, and put on a boat (steamer), and held in the harbor for a period. He resented the treatment the prisoners were subjected to and as punishment he was first put in a dungeon -in the "hold" - and was confined in damp darkness until they were sent to Elmira Prison in New York State. During his confinement in the ship- in Baltimore, he contracted asthma and he coughed as long as he lived, and it was said that everytime he coughed, he cussed the Damned Yankees and did everytime he thought of Damned Yankees.

It was torture for the prisoners in Elmira! He had one blanket to lie on and one to cover with in that freezing winter (1865) and no food and nothing else but misery!

When they were freed they were told to get out. They walked back a long part of the way. His wife and an old man named Mr. Bell went to meet him. It was a hazardous trip. They met stragglers en route who tried to take their wagon, and they had to become very abusive in order to protect themselves.

In North Carolina, John Brannen became so ill on his long walk, he had to stop. He was passing a house by the road and asked if he could rest there for a while. He was so ill they took him in and nursed him for days - or weeks until he was able to continue his journey. The people where he stopped were very poor - her husband killed in service, just she and children and some colored people, all exhausted and scarcely any food.

He got to Augusta to a hospital and that was where Mrs. Brannen found him. They were to have met him someplace else, but missed him.

John T. Brannen was a man of great integrity. If he liked you, you were fortunate. He called a spade a spade.

When Camp No. 1227 - Lodge - Confederate Veterans of Bulloch County was formed, John T. Brannen was a member, and at his passing away March 1, 1912, his oldest son W.W. Brannen was a Standard Bearer at their Reunions - and derived great pleasure with the honor.


Provided by Smith Callaway Banks, author of "A Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Bulloch County", "A Bulloch Sampler" published in 1998 under the auspices of the Bulloch County Historical Society, and other publications.


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