JOHN TYLER LANCASTER
PVT. Company "G" 4th Kentucky Infantry Regiment C.S.A
JOHN TYLER LANCASTER was born May 17th 1841 in Trigg County Kentucky. He was the 8th child of Wiley and Nancy (Craig) Lancaster. On July 1st 1861, John Tyler Lancaster was one of about 93 Trigg County men that rendezvoused at Canton on the Cumberland River. The purpose for this gathering of men was the formation of a company that was being organized by DR John L. Trice for the Confederate Army. This group of men then marched to Camp Burnett in Montgomery County Tennessee where they were sworn into the Confederate Army on Sept. 14th 1861 for a period of 3 years or the war's duration. They were officially designated as Company "G" of the 4th Kentucky Infantry regiment.
The 4th Kentucky was brigaded with other Kentucky units to form the 1st Kentucky Brigade, which was also known at different times as Tarabue's, Hanson's, Helm's and Lewis's Brigade to name a few. It is most known by its more famous nickname, "The ORPHAN BRIGADE".
John's service record states the following: John Lancaster Pvt. company "G" 4th Kentucky Infantry Age 21 years. His name appears on the company muster-in roll of the organization named above.
On muster roll dated September 14th, 1861, Camp Burnett.
Joined for duty and enrolled:
When: Sept 14th 1861.
Where: Camp Burnett.
By whom: Major Hewitt.
Period: 3 years or the war.
Traveling to place of rendezvous 60 No. of Miles. No remarks.
On muster roll dated Nov. 30 to DEC 1st 1861: present or absent: Absent.
Remarks: In Gel. Hospital at Nashville, Tennessee
On muster roll dated January 1st to May 1st 1862: present or absent: Absent.
Remarks: Wounded at Shiloh April 7, 1862, (taken Prisoner). Roll dated Sept 14th 1862. Remarks: Wounded and taken Prisoner at the battle of Shiloh April 7th 1862.
Roll dated September 2nd to December 2nd 1862. Remarks: Exchanged Prisoner of War.
On all rolls from September 1862 on to the end of the war he is listed as present. Also included in his Confederate service record, are the Union army medical records for John. They state JOHN LANCASTER. Rank: Pvt. 4th Kentucky regiment
Complaint: Gunshots. Admitted April 15th, 1862 to USA Hospital Steamer "Empress". Remarks: Prisoner Of War.
Also stated, John T. Lancaster, Pvt. 4th Regiment Kentucky Infantry. Complaint Gun shot Arm, Shoulder, And Knee. Admitted April 20th, 1862 to USA General Hospital Keokuk, Iowa. Remarks; (Pass or press) to Alton, August 1, 1862
On roll of Prisoners of War at Military Prison, Alton, Ill Remarks: arrived in August. His name is on roll of prisoners of war sent from Alton Military Prison Alton Ill., to Vicksburg Miss., September 23, 1862 to be exchanged.
From Thompson's "History of the Orphan Brigade", J.T. LANCASTER- Trigg County fought at Shiloh, Stone's River, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Dec. 1862; Jackson, Chickamauga, Sept. 1863; Mission Ridge, Rocky Face Gap, May 1864; Resaca, and Dallas; from Dallas to Atlanta; at Peachtree Entrenchment, and Utoy Creeks July 1864; and both days at Jonesboro, August 1864 and in all the mounted engagements. He was wounded at Shiloh, and fell into the hands of the enemy, and imprisoned five months in a Yankee prison.
In the last half of 1864, following the battle at Jonesboro, the 4th Kentucky Infantry was given horses and riding gear and transferred to cavalry command thus becoming the 4th Kentucky Mounted Infantry. When General Sherman began his infamous "March from Atlanta to the Sea," the Kentucky Brigade harassed the rear units most of the way to Savannah.
When the war ended confederate soldiers were required to sign an oath of allegiance to the United States. Before they were allowed to return to their homes. His name appears as signature to an OATH OF ALLEGIANCE to the United States, subscribed and sworn to before W. H. Bracken, 1st Lieut. & Asst. Provost Marshall General, Dept. Cumberland, at Nashville, Tennessee, May 21, 1865. Place of residence, TRIGG COUNTY KENTUCKY. Complexion, FAIR; Hair, LIGHT; Eyes, GRAY; Height, 6 ft, 1 in; Where surrendered, WASHINGTON GA. When Surrendered, MAY 6, 1865 Subscribed to oath, MAY 21,1865
Upon his return to Trigg County after the war, he was married to Melissa Cunningham, daughter of James and Sarah (Wimberly) Cunningham. They were married on March 27th 1869. Sarah was born June 26th, 1848. They had six children, Bathsheba Neal, Watford, Robert Wilford, Birda, James Wiley and Roxie.
The following is taken from Melissa's Widow's Pension Application:
Melissa Lancaster, widow of John Tyler Lancaster resident of Trigg County, Kentucky has been resident all my life. Born 2nd day of June 1836 in Trigg County, Kentucky. Maiden name was Melissa Cunningham. Husband was born in Trigg County, Kentucky on Aug. 27th 1838. We were married at my father's home in Trigg County. He enlisted with company G Ky. 4th Infantry. Served three years. Surrendered near Charleston, South Carolina in 1865. Died at his home in Trigg County 17th of November 1880. I have no property. I have no family. Dated this 13th day of May 1912. Witnessed by E.A.Cunningham.
Note that the date of John's birth is different in the above out take from the Widow's Pension Application. It has August 27th, 1838 but 2 other histories of the Lancaster family and the Cunningham family history have him listed as being born May 17th 1841. His service record has is age as 21. It also says he surrendered near Charleston, SC. His service record says Washington, GA. They were serving near Charleston when the war ended but the unit surrendered at Washington, GA and that is where his oath was taken.
John died in 1880 In Trigg County. Family lore has it that John was at family reunion having a picnic and the men decided to have a log rolling competition. As the story goes John lifted one of the largest and heaviest logs over his head and dropped it. He then walked to a nearby tree to catch his breath and rest afterwards where he sat down and died. His wife survived him until her death in 1922. They are both buried in the Little River re-internment cemetery on the Riley Hollow Road in Trigg County.
Submitted by Clifton Boyd, great-great grandson