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THE PURDOM FAMILY

BRANTLEY, PIERCE, AND WAYNE COUNTY GEORGIA

CEREMONY HONORING THOMAS PURDOM, 1823-1894, CSA

THOMAS PURDOM III

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THE PURDOM NAME STRETCHED ALL THE WAY FROM ENGLAND TO VIRGINIA TO TENNESSEE, N. CAROLINA, S. CAROLINA, FLORIDA AND THE GREAT STATE OF GEORGIA, AND YES, THERE WERE EVEN YANKEE PURDOMS, THEY WERE NOT AS SMART AS THE SOUTHERN PURDOMS BECAUSE THEY FOUGHT FOR THE YANKEE SIDE

THE PURDOM FAMILY LEFT LARGE DEPOSITS OF PURDOMS IN EVERY TOWN THEY SETTLED IN. I AM PROUD THEY SETTLED IN SOUTH EAST GEORGIA, MY STATE. I MAY HAVE BEEN BORN IN YANKEE OCCUPIED FLORIDA, BUT MY HEART IS IN GEORGIA.

OLD MAN THOMAS, MY GR. GR. GR. GRANDFATHER, AND HIS WIFE MARTHA DENISON PURDOM, HAD 6 PURDOMS TO ADD TO THE POPULATION OF WAYNE COUNTY, THEY WERE:

MARTHA MARRIED EBENEZER HARRIS

MARIAH MARRIED JOHN GILL

NANCY MARY MARRIED JOHN KNOX

ELIZABETH MARRIED ISAAC HIGHSMITH

LUCRETIA MARRIED ARCHIBALD CREWS

THOMAS MARRIED ELIZABETH STRICKLAND

AFTER THE DEATH OF THE ELDER THOMAS PURDOM IN 1845, MARTHA MARRIED JACOB RAULERSON AND PASSED AWAY IN 1873

MANY FAMILIES OF SE GEORGIA ARE PURDOM DESCENDENTS.

IT WAS IN WAYNE COUNTY GEORGIA, OLD MAN THOMAS PURDOMS DAUGHTER, MARTHA, MET A DASHING GEORGIA MILITIA MAJOR NAMED EBENEZER HARRIS. MARTHA AND EBENEEZER MARRIED AND THAT IS MY CONNECTION TO THE PURDOM FAMILY. EBENEZER AND MARTHA PURDOM HARRIS BEGAT ALFRED. ALFRED AND MARYANNA MANNING HARRIS BEGAT EMMA. EMMA AND EDWARD WASHINGTON CLINTON WOODS BEGAT RUBY. RUBY AND BERT DIXON, SON OF JOHN DIXON AND GEORGEANNA BROOKER OF PIERCE AND COFFEE COUNTY, BEGAT ME.

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ONE DAY, YOUNG THOMAS, WHILE RIDING ACROSS THE GEORGIA COUNTRYSIDE, SPIED A YOUNG ELIZABETH STRICKLAND, AN OFFSPRING OF ONE OF THE LARGEST FAMILIES IN SOUTHEAST GEORGIA. IN MARCH OF 1845 THESE TWO FAMILIES UNITED. SHE WAS THE DAUGHTER OF JAMES STRICKLAND AND ELINOR SMITH, DAUGHTER OF CHARLES AND VICY ELLIS SMITH.

CHARLES SMITH IS ALSO MY GR GR GR GRANDFATHER, ON THE OTHER SIDE ON MY FAMILY. CHARLES AND VICY SMITH HAD A DAUGHTER MARY, SHE MARRIED JAMES ADAM HARPER, AND THEY HAD A DAUGHTER MARY, WHO MARRIED MARTIN MANNING, THEY WERE THE PARENTS OF MARYANNA MANNING HARRIS, WIFE OF ALFRED HARRIS, SON OF MARTHA PURDOM.

 

YOUNG THOMAS PURDOM SAT HIS HEART ON ELIZABETH AND THEY WERE WED. SOON THERE WERE MORE PURDOMS IN WAYNE COUNTY.

THEN ON THE 12th OF APRIL, 1879, HIS BELOVED ELIZABETH PASSED INTO GODS CARING HANDS.

IN 1882 HE WED NANCY SUSAN BREWTON BLITCH, WIFE OF THE LATE JAMES ELIAS BLITCH, 1833-1876. JAMES E BLITCH AND NANCY HAD SIX CHILDREN BEFORE HIS DEATH 1876.

THEN THOMAS AND NANCY ADDED ONE MORE TO THE PURDOM FAMILY:

RUFUS HAYS PURDOM.

 

THOMAS PURDOM, THAT WE ARE GATHERED HERE TODAY TO HONOR, SAW THE DARK BLUE CLOUDS OF WAR UPON THE NORTHERN HORIZON. SO AT THE AGE OF 38, ON AUGUST 7, 1861, IN THE GRAY HOURS OF EARLY DAWN, HE RODE TO WAYNESVILLE AND JOINED CAPT. HOPKINS INDEPENDENT COMPANY OF 3Rd CAVALRY. THIS LATER BECAME CLINCHES 4Th CAVALRY. THOMAS WAS NO STRANGER TO THE MILITARY. HIS FATHER WAS IN THE WAR OF 1812 AND GRANDFATHER IN THE REV. WAR

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AS THE NEWLY ELECTED BEAST SAT UPON THE THRONE IN WASHINGTON READY TO DEVOUR THE BELOVED HOMELAND OF SOUTHERNERS. THOMAS WAS ONE OF THE THOUSANDS WHO ANSWERED THE CALL TO DEFEND THEIR HOME FROM THE INVADING HORDES OF RAPING, PILLAGING, BURNING, LOOTING, LOCUSTS OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS. SOUTHEAST GEORGIA GAVE THE BLOOD OF UNTOLD THOUSANDS OF HER SONS TO DEFEND THEIR HOMES, WIVES, CHILDREN, AND PROPERTY. THIS SEEMS TO BE ALL BUT FORGOTTEN TODAY. BUT WE CANNOT LET WHAT THEY SACRIFICED LIE BURIED IN THE DUST OF GEORGIAN SOIL. THE UNTOLD HARDSHIP THEY ENDURED DEFENDING GEORGIA FROM THE PESTILENCE OF NORTHERN HORDES SHALL NEVER BE FULLY TOLD. WE MUST SIT BY THE HOME FIRES AND RE-TELL WHAT OUR GRANDPARENTS TOLD US. IT MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN THAT EVERY YOUNG MAN IN GRAY WAS A HERO. IT MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN THE WOMEN OF GEORGIA AND THE SOUTHLAND ALSO GAVE OF THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR HOMELAND. THEY ENDURED UNTOLD HARDSHIP TO HOLD THE HOME TOGETHER WHILE THE MEN FOLK WERE FIGHTING YANKEES. THEN THEY ENDURED MORE HARDSHIP AS THE YANKEES CAME, AND BURNED, AND LOOTED, AND MURDERED, THEIR WAY THROUGH THE SOUTH. WAGON TRAINS 20 MILES LONG TRAVELED NORTH PILED HIGH WITH LOOTED BELONGINGS FROM SOUTHERN HOMES

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TODAY, THE MARXISTS MAY HAVE TAKEN OVER OUR GOVERNMENT, BUT THEY HAVE NOT CAPTURED OUR HEARTS. I FOR ONE, REFUSE TO SURRENDER MY HEART TO THEIR IDEALS.

I THANK MY BELOVED GREAT UNCLE THOMAS AND ELIZABETH FOR WHAT THEY, AND ALL THE OTHER MEN AND BOYS, WOMEN AND GIRLS, OF GEORGIA, DID FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US GATHERED HERE TODAY. THEY PAID A PRICE WE CANNOT FATHOM.

UNCLE THOMAS AND AUNT ELIZABETH, MAY GOD HOLD YOU CLOSE TO HIS BOSOM AND PRESENT YOU TO US ON THAT GREAT AND BEAUTIFUL RESURRECTION MORNING.

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CONFEDERATE GEORGIA TROOPS
4th Regiment, Georgia Cavalry (Clinch's)

4th (Clinch's) Cavalry Regiment was formed in January, 1863, using the 3rd Georgia Cavalry Battalion as its nucleus. Many of the men were from Wayne, Glynn, and Camden counties. The regiment served on the Georgia coast until the summer of 1864 when it was assigned to M.W. Hannon's command. It skirmished in Northern Georgia and Alabama, took part in the defense of Savannah, and was active in the campaign of the Carolinas. A report stated that the unit contained 200 officers and men in March, 1865, and was included in the surrender of the Army of Tennessee. Its commanders were Colonel Duncan L. Clinch, Lieutenant Colonel John L. Harris, and Major Jesse C. McDonald.

Predecessor unit:


3rd Cavalry Battalion was formed during the winter of 1861-1862 with six companies. It served on the Georgia coast, scouting and patrolling, until January, 1863, when it merged into the 4th (Clinch's) Georgia Cavalry Regiment. Lieutenant Colonel Duncan L. Clinch and Major John L. Harris were in command.

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DEATH OF MR. THOMAS PURDOM

BRANTLEY COUNTY GEORGIA

 

THE BLACKSHEAR TIMES

September 27, 1894.

 

Death of Mr. Thomas Purdom.

            It is with sorrow that we chronicle the death of Mr. Thomas Purdom, a well known and highly respected citizen of Wayne county, which occurred at his home Thursday morning, September 20th, 1894, of congestion of the lungs.  Mr. Purdom had been in feeble health a number of years and had suffered much; yet, he appeared better and stronger when visiting Blackshear two weeks before than for several months.  He had attained the age of 71 years and eight months, and had always resided at the one place.  He was laid to rest in the old family burying ground where lie the remains of his father, mother and other members of his family, and which is within a stone’s throw of the site of the old home where he was born.  His father’s grave was the first in 1845 to mark this the resting place of the dead.

            The funeral service was conducted by Rev. Joshua Harper, assisted by Rev. R.L. Valentine of the Missionary Baptist church, of which church Mr. Purdom was a member.  At the close of the service Rev. John Moody, of the Primitive Baptist church, paid this tribute to his memory:  “For forty years he was my neighbor and intimate friend; he was my comrade in the war, yet in all this time there was never an occasion for hard feelings between us.  I know I shall miss him more than any one, and that I feel his loss more than any son he has left, for he was more to me than any living man. Yet, I am resigned.  I know he was a good man.  I would be willing to lie in the same grave with him.  He always upheld the right and discountenanced wrong.  He was charitable and always helped the poor, and was good to visit the sick.  In my afflictions he was my greatest comforter—my best company.  He has left to this community the example of an upright life.”

            Mr. Purdom’s parents were among the pioneer settlers of this country, having moved into Wayne county and settled about 90 years ago.  They used sleds or drags for traveling as wagons and carts were not then in use.  Indians were then numerous but friendly and were often at the Purdom homestead to beg something to eat, or to exchange berries and venison for some of the products of the farm.

            In 1845 Mr. Purdom married Elizabeth Strickland, daughter of James Strickland, then the owner of all the lands where Blackshear is located.  They lived happily together and raised a family of twelve children.  In 1879 his wife died, and in 1882 he was married to Mrs. Nancy Blitch of Appling county.  She brought again the sunshine of happiness to his home and has been a devoted wife and mother.  To them was born one son now eleven years old.  Of the children of his first marriage six sons and a daughter survive him, and were all present at the funeral.

            “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:  Yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.”

 

 

Transcribed from microfilm by Helen W. Rowell.

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