Pvt. Elisha Meeks - Co. C

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---------------------------------------------------------------Meeks, Elisha - Pvt. 10/1/1861. Killed at Spotsylvania, Va. 5/10/1864.

Elisha Meeks was born in Georgia about 1843. He was the son of Mary and Allen Meeks. In 1860 Elisha was single and living with his parent on their farm in Johnson County, Ga., which is adjacent to Emanuel County.

Elisha and his brother John both enlisted in Company C, Capt William McLeod's company, on October 1st, 1861. Elisha was sick during much of service, just weeks after enlisting he came down with the measles and was sent to a hospital in Augusta, Georgia. Hundreds of new soldiers died of the measles in Georgia during this period, but Elisha recovered and resumed his place in the ranks.

His older brother, John Meeks, served in the same company and died in August, 1862, at Richmond, Va., just a few months after the 38th Ga. had arrived in Virginia

Records show Elisha was detailed as a nurse at Howard's Grove General Hospital, in Richmond, and served from May through June 1863. The positions as nurses were usually filled by men who had been sick in the hospital, but were recovered enough to pull light duty and attend to the other men. On June 30th, 1863, he was detailed as a guard at the hospital. During Sept-Oct 1863 is on a list of sick men admitted to the 1st Division Hospital, Camp Winder, Richmond, Virginia.

Elisha returned to his company by the Spring of 1864 and was present for duty on the afternoon of May 10th, 1864, at Spotsylvania Court House. That evening as the Southern troops settled down to prepare their evening meal, the Federal launched a massive surprise attack against the Confederate defenders holding a portion of the line known as the "Mule Shoe." Gordon's Brigade, including the 38th Ga., was serving as the reserve brigade in the rear and was called upon to charge, expel the intruders, and re-establish the Confederate lines. With a rush and rebel yell the Georgia Brigade rolled forward and crushed the Union regiments occupying he Confederate lines. Those not killed, bayoneted, or captured, quickly made tracks back towards the Federal lines in the fading twilight. Private Elisha Meeks was part of this assaulting column that bravely charged and routed the victorious Federals from these Confederate earthworks.

General John B. Gordon reported the movements and actions of Gordon's Georgia Brigade (which included the 38th Ga.) in this report of the actions occurring May 10th, 1864:

The march to Spotsylvania Court-House was begun by my brigade, with Early's division, on the night of the 7th. On the morning of the 8th I was placed in command of this division, consisting of three brigades--Pegram's (Virginia), Johnston's (North Carolina), and Gordon's (Georgia)--and on the afternoon of the same day reached Spotsylvania Court-House. On the afternoon of the 10th I received orders to move my division rapidly from the left of our lines to the support of Rodes' division, now being heavily assaulted by the enemy. When my division reached this position the enemy had carried the portion of work held by Doles' brigade, Rodes' division, and had reached a point more than 100 yards in rear of the line. My leading brigade (Johnston's North Carolina) was immediately formed, by direction of Lieutenant-General Ewell, across the head of the enemy's column and ordered to charge. In the mean time Gordon's brigade was also formed and ordered forward. The enemy was driven back with considerable loss, and our lines re-established. The loss in these two brigades was light.

While General Gordon reported the "losses were light," they were not without cost. Young Private Elisha Meeks was killed in action during this bold assault in repelling the Yankee's from the Confederate earthworks. Elisha was buried on the battlefield near where he fell, but his remains were removed after the war and re-buried at the Confederate Cemetery at Spotsylvania Court House, just a few miles from the site of the battle.

Photo by webmaster.

1860 US Federal Census Data:
Name: Elisha Meeks
Age in 1860: 17
Birth Year: abt 1843
Birthplace: Georgia
Home in 1860: Johnson, Georgia

Post Office: Wrightsville
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Allen Meeks 57
Mary Meeks 52
Nancy Meeks 24
Lealy Meeks 23
Mary Meeks 20
John Meeks 19
Elisha Meeks 17
William Meeks 15
James Meeks 13
Allen Meeks 11

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