52 Ancestors: #22 Gordon ROOP 1838-1863

“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.

#22 Gordon 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 ROOP was one of these young men who went to the front and never returned.

Kurz & Allison, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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 1863:1
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 in Kentucky.
Fought on 13 October 1862 at Lexington, KY.
Fought on 14 October 1862 in Kentucky.
Fought on 15 October 1862 at Lancaster, KY.
Fought on 25 October 1862.
Fought on 26 October 1862 in 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 in 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.2 When my third great-grandfather Gordon 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 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 cited other 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, 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 ROOP age 18 married Emaline LESTER age 20 on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County, Virginia.3 They had two children before the 1860 census was enumerated.4

Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP (1857-1937) was born on 24 February  1857.5 John Thomas ROOP (1859-1902) was born on 6 March 18596

1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Page No. 101, Sheet No. 535 > HH #723-680

American Civil War (4 Feb 1861-23 Jun 1865)

Roop, Gordon Page 3
Military Service Record of [Gorden Roop] Gordon Roop
Gordon enlisted in Jacksonville as a private on 10 September 1861 in Company A, 54th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry, for one year.7 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.8,9,10 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 my youngest brother and his bride-to-be we drove 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 ROOP, his brothers, and his brother-in-law played in this historical battle.

Giles Henderson ROOP died on 19 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County.11

William H. T. ROOP died on 20 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County.12

Roop, Gordon Page 4
Military Service Record of Gordon ROOP

On 1 November 1863, Gordon ROOP died in Flewellen Hospital, in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia. His cause of death was not mentioned on the card from his  Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR).13 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.14 He was the only brother to go home after the war.

Gordon’s final resting place is in Cassville Cemetery in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia. A memorial plaque in the cemetery reads:15

“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.”

This Post Was Updated on 29 May 2022Missing source citations were added and some corrections were made to the text and format.

Update as of 5 January 2023: All instances of Gordon ROOP’s name being written as Gordon H. ROOP have been removed from this post and all other posts on this blog. While examining the “source of the source” for his name (with a middle initial), I found that there are no actual records to support this.

© 2014-2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., American Civil War Regiments, 1861-1866, Ancestry, citing data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/2604:3866?ssrc=pt&tid=164805854&pid=102139721527). 
  2. “Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1989,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing Marriage, Virginia, United States, Circuit court clerk offices, Virginia, Marriage records, 1785-1861, DGS 7740792, Film 2047122 (item 3), Marriage record, 1812-1841, image 101 of 854, right page, 7th entry, 8 Jun 1830, James Roop and Elizabeth Carrol, citing Montgomery County, Virginia. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPS4?cc=2134304 : accessed 23 December 2021). 
  3. Rena Worthen & BarbR (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” (index and images), Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm), citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform & passed on to BarbR for indexing, 1856 Gordon Roop and Emeline Lester marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  4. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1345, Family History Library Film: 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, page 101, sheet 535 (handwritten), lines 33-36, household 723-680, Gordon Roop (accessed 26 February 2011). 
  5. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1983330, image 883, West Virginia Standard Certificate of Death 18364, Mrs. Dollie Sumner, 14 December 1837, citing Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia. Date of birth 24 February 1857. (http://images.wvculture.org/1983330/0000883.gif : accessed 16 January 2007). 
  6. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 598425, image 298, West Virginia, Raleigh County Register of Deaths, page 81, entry 56, Jno F Roop (sic), age 46 y 6 m 5 d, 11 Sep 1902, citing Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598425/00298.jpg : accessed 7 March 2022). Age at death: 46y 6m 5d, calculates to date of birth: 6 March 1856. This is off by 3 years. 
  7. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3, citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, Company Muster Roll, card for Gordon Roop (https://www.fold3.com/image/12913746 : accessed 12 February 2014). 
  8. Find A Grave, database and images, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209078601/gordon-w-roop : accessed 28 February 2022), memorial page for Gordon W. Roop (6 May 1862–31 Jan 1931), Find a Grave Memorial ID 209078601, citing Rich Creek Cemetery, Jodie, Fayette County, West Virginia, USA; maintained by Jennifer Nottingham (contributor 49369720). 
  9. Documentation to prove the date of birth is not accessible to me at this time. The FamilySearch collection, “Floyd County, Virginia Births, 1853-73” is only available at a family history library. May 1862 was seen on the 1900 census. 
  10. 1900 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/), citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, FHL microfilm: 1241761, West Virginia, Kanawha County, Cabin Creek, enumeration district 41, sheet 2B, lines 87-93, household 33-33, Gordon W. Roop (accessed 2 February 2022). 
  11. CMSR of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, Giles H Roop, 6 pages, page 6, register of soldiers killed in battle (https://www.fold3.com/image/12913692 : accessed 12 February 2014). 
  12. “U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865,” (no images), Ancestry, data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA, The Virginia Regimental Histories Series. Name: William H.T. Roop, Enlistment Age: 17, Birth Date: abt 1844, Enlistment Date: 10 Sep 1861, Enlistment Place: Jacksonville, Virginia, Enlistment Rank: Private, Muster Date: 10 Sep 1861, Muster Place: Virginia, Muster Company: A, Muster Regiment: 54th Infantry, Muster Regiment Type: Infantry, Muster Information: Enlisted, Muster Out Date: 20 Sep 1863. Muster Out Place: Chickamauga, Georgia, Muster Out Information: Killed, Side of War: Confederacy, Survived War?: No, Occupation:Farm Laborer. 
  13. CMSR of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia, Fifty-fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, Card for Gordon Roop, 1 Nov 1863 in Flewellen Hospital, Cassville, Georgia. (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913782/roop-gorden-page-4-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia : accessed February 2014). 
  14. “U.S., Civil War Prisoner of War Records, 1861-1865,” database with images, Ancestry, Selected Records of the War Department Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865, citing National Archives at Washington DC; War Department Collection of Confederate Records; NARA film publication M598; Record Group Number: 109, Floyd Roop, private, arrival date 30 Mar 1865, imprisonment place Bentonville, side of war Confederate, Company A 54 Va., release date 17 Jun 1865 (accessed 5 November 2007). 
  15. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8484210/confederate_soldiers-unknown : accessed 28 May 2022), memorial page for Confederate Soldiers Unknown (unknown–unknown), Find a Grave Memorial ID 8484210, citing Cassville Cemetery, Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia, USA; maintained by Wes Phinney (contributor 46596535). 

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

14 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: #22 Gordon ROOP 1838-1863”

  1. Goodness, what a price this line of your family paid. There’s two deaths within a day of each other. And to think only one returned. Whew.

    And it’s certainly understandable why Emaline named her baby Gordon, born after her husband enlisted. I have been to Lookout Mountain and walked the paths and read the signs. It’s quite moving to see the actual places where part of the Chattanooga Campaign took place on Nov. 24, 1863. Gives a whole new meaning to see the landscape in person.

    Have you visited the gravesites of Giles and William, or were they in the 300 unknown? I’m sure a big flag is placed there for Memorial Day. We still remember…and appreciate their sacrifice.


    1. Mary, I don’t know where Giles and William are buried. I realized this when I added that part of the story. Most likely they are buried in the battlefield cemetery but I haven’t checked to see if there is a listing for the civil war soldiers buried there. It is on my to-do list. Thank you for your input.


      1. I am always fascinated by these stories of parents who died just after having a child. It always feels a bit like things happened ‘just in the nick of time’. And here you are!


  2. Sad, but the genealogy girl has a point! Here you are, still keeping Gordon’s father’s memory alive! His life has impacted yours even though he did not live a full life. This is a sad story, too oft repeated in all wars! But the Civil War was especially brutal! I lived in New Bern, NC, and my Mom’s family is from Patrick co. Va, just beside Floyd! So thsi story hit home for me! Very interesting. Helen


    1. Thank you Helen! Amberly (thegenealogygirl) did make a very good point. Gordon (Sr.) was only 1 of 32 of my great-great-great-grands and to think that I would not be here without him! I think you will also enjoy his wife’s story next week.


  3. James roop is my 3x great grandfather. . On my father’s side of the family. My father’s name is Silas Keith Simmons . I found your blog quite by accident. Thank you for blogging. I really like your idea of 52 ancestors in 52 weeks. You have inspired me to pay closer attention to an individual ancestor. Best regards, Barbara


    1. Hello Barbara, I have a Silas T. Simmons b. abt. 1901 and suspect he may be your grandfather. I haven’t worked any further on his line as the family appears to have moved to Oregon after his birth. It’s been a few years since I’ve looked at all of the Roop descendants. Thanks for stopping by.


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