Elias appears on the 1850 Jefferson County Alabama Census, age 20, living with his parents. His first marriage was to Emily Payne on August 3, 1856, marriage performed by H. H. Hancock, JP. William, their son, was born in 1858. Elias appears on the 1860 census, enumerated on July 3, 1860, age 30, a farmer, with his two year old son, William, and no spouse.
He married Nancy Malinda Payne, Emily's sister, on August 30, 1860, marriage performed by H. B. Hulsey, MG. at the residence of William C. Payne. James C. Payne was bondsman.
On February 26, 1862, Elias was mustered into the Confederate Army in Shelby Springs, Jefferson County, Alabama as a Musician / Private in Company G, 28th Regiment, Alabama Infantry by Lt. Col. J. R. Reed. From his enlistment till April 30, 1862, he was in Company G, present on roll, but sick, likely from dysentery. His regiment went into Kentucky with General Bragg between June 10th and October 31st 1862. On December 31, 1862 thru January 2, 1863 he fought as a Sargeant in Company G, 28th Alabama, at the Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro) and was later recognized by General Order No. 131/3 with a Medal of Honor, along with three others, for conspicuous courage and good conduct during that battle. He fought in the Battle of Chickamauga on August 10, 1863 and at the Battle of Lookout Mountain where he was captured at Missionary Ridge on November 24, 1863 by Major General Thomas' forces. He was defending Orchard Knob through the last bayonet engagement. He was sent to Nashville after his capture and forwarded on to Louisville, Kentucky on November 30, 1863. From Louisville, he was received at Rock Island Barracks in Illinois on December 3, 1863. On December 14, 1863, he was listed on the Prison Roll - confined at Rock Island Barracks. He was listed on the January / February Company Muster Role, Company G, 28th Alabama, as 3rd Sargeant, absent due to capture. He was listed on the Prison Roll at Rock Island Barracks on May 3, 1865, at which time he was transferred to New Orleans where he arrived on May 5, 1865. He was confined in New Orleans and exchanged on May 23,1865 at the end of the war.
Elias and Malinda's first child, John D. Wood, was born on August 30, 1866, after his return from the Civil War. Elias appears on the 1870 Jefferson County Census, Township 15 R4W, age 40, with Malinda, age 27, John D., age 4, and daughter Nancy Jane, age 1. Malinda's sister, Margaret Payne, age 25, is shown living with them. Both Malinda and Margaret are shown as having been born in Georgia. Neither could read or write.
On 5 Feb 1879, Elias Wood testified before the Southern Claims Commision regarding Claim No. 54862, a claim in which he alleged that Union troops under Maj. Gen Wilson stole certain property from his farm near Myrick's Ferry on the Warrior River in northern Jefferson County on 27 Mar 1865, including 700 lbs of pork, 12 bushels of corn, and 300 lbs of bacon. His value of the property was placed at $113.00. Testifying on his behalf were neighbors Ephraim N. Robbins, William T. Glover, William A. Jackson, and wife Nancy M. Wood, who was present at his home at the time the property was taken. The claimant and witnesses answered the interrogatories totalling 80 questions.
In his answers to the questions, Elias Wood conflicted documented Confederate military records regarding his service, honors, capture, and prisoner exchange, as well as Union prisoner records. In testimony summary, Elias stated that he was conscripted into service at his home by the 'rebel army' in November of 1863, sent to Elyton, then to Talladega. He was then sent under guard into service in Georgia where he remained until he deserted and crossed the lines into East Tennessee around the first of February 1864, where he could be safe and he remained there until the end of the war in 1865. He also stated that before, during, and after the war, he remained sympathetic and loyal to the Union cause. His witnesses and wife testified to the same. It is pretty clear that the objective of Elias and his witnesses during their testimony was to support his receiving compensation for his claim against the government for his property that was taken by the Union soldiers. Many claims were being denied by the Commission.
Elias Wood's claim was granted settlement, Settlement No. 8264, in the amount of $82.00 allowed on 14 Jun 1880, with payment on 18 Jun 1880 to his legal representatives.
On the 1880 census, they are listed with their first six children, John D. age 13, through Willie Ann age 2. Margaret Payne, age 35 and single, is still living with them. Malinda's and Margaret's parents are listed as being born in North Carolina.
On July 3,1890, Elias entered a homestead claim for 79.94 acres, Doc.# 6507, 1 E1/2NE Huntsville No 15S 4W 6, Homestead Entry Original. This was in the Bagley Comunity on what is now Manning Road. After a few years, most of the family moved to Sayre, a nearby booming coal mining town to gain work. Most of the property on Manning Road remains in the family through 4th and 5th generations of the Elton Allums family, Elias' grandson.
They appear again in the 1900 census, ages 67 and 54, respectfully (discrepancy). Elias appears on the 1910 Jefferson County census, Robbins Beat 6, age 79, widowed. Daughter, Ludie age 36, grand daughter Pearl Motte, age 14, and sister-in-law, Margaret Payne, age 60, are living in the household. Willie Ann, Pearl's mother is living with her brother, John Daniel Wood.
Most of Elias' children and their families were Baptists and members of Good Hope Baptist Church, and most are buried there. Elias' tombstone reads: "He was beloved by God and man".