War and Killin'
My story is about my Great Grandmother, Dora Ann Legere Howell. Granny Dora Howell of Dooly County, GA lived 101 years. She was married to a Confederate soilder, John Hooks Howell. During the war Dora Ann sat on a horse and bitterly watched Sherman's army pillage the livestock and valuables from her mother's home at Savannah, while their menfolk were imprisoned behind Yankee lines. She buried three of her ten children in the evil days of reconstruction and the grim years that followed. John lay wounded on the battlefield at Atlanta, He lay shot through the jaw, shoulder and the leg. His father jerked off his coat, doubled it under his son's bleeding head, gave him his canteen of water and left him to die. They heard nothing from him until the war was over, and they met at home. "I kin remember that meeting yet" she mused, "I was overjoyous." Dora Ann was still plowing at age 76 in Sumter Co. Her health still good at 101 and her eyesite keen. She pieces quilts and stitches calico dresses for herself. About twice a day she pulls herself from her chair and hobbles to the yard to rake and jab savagely with her stick at briars and roots that get in her way. "Can't bear to be in the house all the time." she says, poking at a stone in her path "never was one to sit around." She does not listen to the radio nor read a newspaper. She never grown accustomed to automobiles or movies. She recalls the first trains that chugged over Georgia's 600 miles of tracks when she was a girl, and she sweeps forward a hundred years to see the Georgia sky laced with airplanes. She has seen the fields alive with slave hands change to earth possessed by a single tractor. She has seen the population grow from 691,392 in 1840 to 3,123,723 in 1940 and its economy change from cotton and corn to a diversity of crops and livestock and industry besides. She left this life and moved to heaven in 1942.
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