“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”
This is entry #22 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.
52 Ancestors: #22 Gordon H. ROOP 1838-1863
“When the War cloud of the sixties cast its shadow over our land, a number of our young men went to the battles’ front, never to return. Their loss was keenly felt, yet through the faithfulness of those who remained, a brighter day dawned.”
~ Reverend J. D. Utt, Zion’s Centennial Celebration, 1813-1913, Floyd County, Virginia (1913)
My third great-grandfather Gordon H. ROOP was one of these young men who went to the front and never returned.
List of battles that Gordon most likely participated in from the time of his enlistment on 10 September 1861 until his death on 1 November 1863:
Fought on 25 December 1861 at Floyd County, VA.
Fought on 10 January 1862 at Middle Creek, KY.
Fought on 30 January 1862 at Suffolk, VA.
Fought on 15 April 1862 at Bourbon County, KY.
Fought on 16 May 1862 at Princeton, WV.
Fought on 09 August 1862 at Cedar Mountain, VA.
Fought on 30 August 1862 at Rocky Gap, VA.
Fought on 20 September 1862 at Kentucky.
Fought on 13 October 1862 at Lexington, KY.
Fought on 14 October 1862 at Kentucky.
Fought on 15 October 1862 at Lancaster, KY.
Fought on 25 October 1862.
Fought on 26 October 1862 at Kentucky.
Fought on 28 October 1862.
Fought on 29 October 1862 at Camp Dick Robinson, KY.
Fought on 30 January 1863 at Blackwater, VA and Kelly’s Store, VA.
Fought on 19 June 1863 at Lenoir Station, TN.
Fought on 01 July 1863 at Elk River, TN and Tullahoma, TN.
Fought on 02 July 1863 at Elk River, TN and Tullahoma, TN.
Fought on 03 July 1863 at Elk River, TN and Winchester, VA.
Fought on 14 July 1863.
Fought on 15 August 1863 at Bell’s Bridge, TN.
Fought on 20 August 1863 at East Tennessee.
Fought on 08 September 1863.
Fought on 11 September 1863 at Perryville, TN.
Fought on 19 September 1863 at Chickamauga, GA.
Fought on 20 September 1863 at Chickamauga, GA.
James ROOP (1808-1890) and Elizabeth CARROLL (1808-1880) married on 23 July 1830 in Montgomery County, Virginia. When my third great-grandfather Gordon H. ROOP was born abt. 1838 they already had four children: Amanda 6, Floyd 5, Evaline 3, and Peradine 2.
Confession: Once upon a time….I saw 30 June 1838 as the date of birth for Gordon H. ROOP, used it, and did not cite the source! I can’t find the original source. I know that I inputted the date into my gedcom before September 2005. I used the search feature in Outlook to check old emails – nada! I checked family trees on ancestry.com for Gordon ROOP with this date. They were either unsourced or cite Ancestry Family Trees as the source. While checking I also turned up a half dozen with the date 30 June 1837, also unsourced. I hope that a descendant may have a family bible or other document with the date of birth for Gordon and will get in touch with me. I can always wish….
Following Gordon’s birth, James and Elizabeth had more children until they had a full dozen: Amanda, Floyd, Evaline, Peradine, Gordon H., Barbary Ellen, Giles Henderson, William H. T., Rachel Monacha, James Anderson, Charles Monroe and Hamilton N.
The five oldest ROOP children married within a year of each other, from March 1855 to March 1856. Gordon H. ROOP age 18 married Emaline LESTER age 20 on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County, Virginia. They had two children before the 1860 census was enumerated:
- Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP (1857-1937) born 24 Feb 1857
- John Thomas ROOP (1859-1902) born 6 Mar 1859
American Civil War (4 Feb 1861-23 Jun 1865)
Gordon enlisted in Jacksonville as a private on 10 September 1861 in Company A, 54th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry, for a period of one year. He was 22 and a farmer. He may not have known at the time that his wife Emaline was pregnant with their third child.
Three of his brothers [Floyd, Giles Henderson and William H. T.] and two of his sisters’ husbands [Amanda’s husband George Washington LESTER and Peradine’s husband Sylvester MILLS] served in Company A, 54th Infantry Regiment Virginia Infantry alongside Gordon. His sister Evaline’s husband Mathias RATLIFF served in Company E of the same regiment.
Gordon must have worried about his young family while he continued to serve in the Confederate army. He was NOT one of the nearly 23 percent of Floyd County men who chose to abandon the cause. The Confederate Conscription Act of April 1862 may have forced him to extend his service, when his initial commitment of one year expired, to a total of three years.
On 6 May 1862 Gordon’s second son and third child, Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930), was born in Floyd County, Virginia. It is unknown and unlikely that Gordon was home at the time of his son’s birth.
On the 19th and 20th of September 1863, while young Gordon was learning to walk and beginning to talk, his father Gordon was fighting his last battle at Chickamauga in Georgia and lost two of his brothers.
In 1992 while visiting in the area my youngest brother and his bride-to-be drove us through the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. We did not stop and take pictures which I regret today. About a decade later I learned about the history of our ROOP family and the role my great-great-great-grandfather Gordon H. ROOP and his brothers and brother-in-law played in this historical battle.
On 1 November 1863, Gordon H. ROOP died in Flewellan Hospital, in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia. His cause of death was not mentioned on the card at right. His son Gordon, who was a year and a half at the time, may never have met his father.
The ROOP boys, Gordon, Giles and William, died in Georgia while serving the Confederacy. Their brother Floyd was captured at Bentonville six months later on 19 March 1864. He arrived in Newberne, North Carolina, on 30 March 1864, swore allegiance to the United States and was released on 17 June 1865 at Point Lookout, Maryland. He was the only brother to go home after the war.
- Giles Henderson ROOP died 19 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County
- William H. T. ROOP died 20 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County
- Gordon H. ROOP died 1 November 1863 in Flewellan Hospital, Cassville, Bartow County
Gordon’s final resting place is in Cassville Cemetery in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia. A memorial plaque in the cemetery reads, “In this cemetery are buried about 300 unknown Confederate soldiers who died of wounds or disease in the several Confederate hospitals located in Cassville. These hospitals operated from late 1861 until May 18, 1864, then moved south out of the path of the invading Federal forces. In May 1899, the Cassville Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, to honor these unknown soldiers, placed headstones at each of their graves.”
© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey