Wednesday, December 26, 2012


This is the parole record for my gg grandfather James Henderson Hogan. He served in the famed Florida Brigade during the Civil War. He was in all the major battles with the Brigade, twice charging Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg and was at Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered.
A month later when he got back to Tallahassee, Florida he signed this Parole and Oath of Allegiance and went home to Taylor County Florida. James Hogan was born in 1835 in Stewart County Georgia and died in 1918 in the southern part of Taylor County. He is buried in New Hope Cemetery just off of Highway 19 in Taylor County.

JHH Medal
One of my Hogan cousins who lives in Maine sent me these photos of James Hogan's Woodmen of the World medal. It's over a hundred years old but it looks to be in pretty good condition. He was a County Commissioner in Taylor County Florida and it looks like he wore the medal with the silver metal chain. It has a clip so he could have attached it to his vest, coat or trousers. I guess if you are in politics you need something to attract attention.  

The Woodmen of the World organization was started in 1890 in Omaha, Nebraska as a fraternal organization but basically sold life insurance and annuities to it's members.

On of it's best known benefits was the tombstone it provided if a policyholder died. They did this on any policy sold from 1890 to 1900 and then started charging an extra $100 for the grave markers.

The fist one of these I had seen on a family plot was marking the grave of my wife's great uncle, Stonewall Jackson Glenn (1878-1913) in the Clay County Alabama Sardis Baptist Church Cemetery. 

During our Christmas trip to Florida in 2002 we visited the rural Alabama cemetery to meet some of her Glenn family. I wrote about that experience in an earlier story.  

Stonewall Jackson Glenn
The WOW marker for Stonewall Jackson Glenn stood out, literally from the others which were mostly home made rough stone. WOW discontinued the grave markers during the 1920s. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Caviar for Christmas

Tampa Tribune December 24, 1932 page 16
This article was in the Tampa Tribune on Christmas eve 80 years ago today. My grandfather Walton "Tink" Fulford made the news because he caught a three foot long Sturgeon while fishing for trout with a net near Cortez, Florida.

No one had ever caught a Sturgeon in the Florida coastal area before and it was certainly a rare fish for him. This fish is also a rarity in that it is the only fish that my Grandfather caught in his almost 60 years as a commercial fisherman that is still around. Since he fished for a living his catch always ended on someone's dinner table. On this occasion he had the fish preserved and it is still on the front porch of his house.

Growing up I'd heard the story about him catching the Sturgeon and walked by it for years but until I found this in the newspaper article didn't realize it had gotten the publicity.

Tink was a pretty good fisherman but not even he could catch them all. The ones he didn't catch reproduced and now there are Sturgeon all along the Florida Gulf coast, even up in some of the rivers. This photo is from the Suwanee River, where they've received some note for jumping out of the water and hitting boaters.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fort Fisher

We saw the new movie about Lincoln and several parts of it made me uneasy. My wife and friends said I shouldn't expect it to follow the facts because it was historical fiction. I'm not sure what that means, I've always assumed a story was one or the other.

Anyway, one scene from the movie reminded me of a family story that I thought I would share. Towards the end of the Civil War the Yankees decided to capture Wilmington, North Carolina as it was the only southern port still controlled by the Confederates.

Now they could have done this earlier if they really wanted but North Carolina had been mostly by-passed by the northern troops. It wasn't until the Confederate Capitol of Richmond, Virginia was in their sights that they decided to close off the only obvious southern supply line still open to the Caribbean and Europe.

On Christmas Eve 1864 the Union Army and Navy attacked Fort Fisher and bombarded it for two days. Every other southern sea fort had fallen with less effort but in this case the Confederate troops fought off the Yankees with over four dozen expertly placed and manned cannon.

Christmas is normally a time of truce during wars but this was not the first exception on U.S. territory. No doubt the Union generals expected a victory that would bring them the same fame as it had George Washington four score and eight years earlier on the Delaware, but it was not to be.

A large part of the credit goes to two relatives who were commanding southern troops in Fort Fisher. The 10th North Carolina regiment was also known as the First Regiment, North Carolina Artillery. Companies F and K were manning the cannon at Fort Fisher. Lt. Thomas Arendell was in charge of Company F and Lt. Irvin Fulford in charge of Company K.

The excerpt shown above is from the book, "Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1864-1965" which was published in 1901.

After the December defeat the Northern forces came back in January with a new General in charge and more troops and boats and were able to overpower the Confederates.

Thomas Arendell (1831-1911) was the husband of my 2nd cousin Abigail Fulford, the daughter of William Fulford and Civil Pigott. Abigale was also the first cousin of Irvin Fulford. Thomas Arendell lived in Carteret County after the war and taught school for over 50 years. He is buried in Bayview Cemetery in Beaufort, NC.

Irvin Fulford (1839-1872) was my 2nd cousin, the son of Absalom Fulford and Naomi Rumley of Carteret County, North Carolina. Irvin never married and died soon after the war. He was living in Washington, Beaufort County, listed as a Merchant and Manufacturer of Coaches in the Branson's North Carolina Business Directory of 1869. He is buried in the Old Burying Grounds in Beaufort, NC.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

DNA testing prices

The price of dna testing is heading in the right direction. came out with a product a couple months ago and priced it at $100. That was less than half the price of any of the other services.

Now 23andMe has matched the price. They include an array of testing for genetic traits and health issues so it is an interesting option if you also want to trace your ancestry. I've used them along with FamilyTreeDNA and Ancestry for both myself and other family members.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Arm and a Leg

He is not a close relative. In fact I'd never heard of him until a few months ago, but Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls (1834 - 1912), the father in law of my 2nd cousin has an interesting story.

Francis Nicholls
I decided to write about him because of his unusual experience during the Civil War. He literally lost both an arm and a leg in separate battles.

His daughter, Elizabeth Nicholls (1877-1969) married my 2nd cousin, Romulus Armistead Nunn (1876-1966). Yes, that is his real name!  

Romulus Nunn was from Lenoir County North Carolina and the nephew of my great grandmother Mary Nunn Ellis.

Romulus was an attorney and later in life was a Judge in New Bern, North Carolina. I'm not sure how he married a girl from New Orleans but suspect his family was into high society. His father was the Editor of the New Bern Journal newspaper. Maybe they took him down to NOLA on Amtrak for a shopping trip.

Romulus Nunn was also into genealogy research. He preserved and published his great grandparent's family bible. That is how I came across him and this story.

Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls was born into a wealthy Louisiana family and attended West Point, the U.S. Military Academy. When the Civil War started he enlisted and was appointed a Colonel in the Louisiana Infantry Regiment.

During the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861 he was wounded and lost his left arm. After his recovery he went back to the army and two years later during the Battle of Chancellorsville, in May 1863, an artillery shell blew off his left foot.

The loss of limbs didn't impair him as much as it would most, I suspect because of his family connections. He was promoted to Brigadier General and after returning home from the war was elected Governor of Louisiana, twice. He is buried in Saint Johns Cemetery in Thibodaux, LA 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bombing the Penn

I had two relatives who served aboard the Battleship, USS Pennsylvania, one of the ships attacked 71 years ago today at Pearl Harbor.

Cleveland "Cubie" Adams, my mother's first cousin, had just joined the Navy after serving in the CCC and was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania. He was lucky the ship was in dry dock at the harbor so he was not aboard when the bombs fell. He had taken some other crew members to church that morning but returned as soon as he saw the planes and realized they were Japanese. Cubie had enlisted with a high school friend, Bridger Watson from Bradenton, Florida and they were both on the Penn. When Cubie got back aboard ship he found the body of Bridger with his midsection blown apart from shrapnel.

This photo shows the remains of the two Destroyers USS Cassin and USS Downes, that were in front of the Penn in the dock. The smoke coming from fires aboard the Penn is in the background.

The Pennsylvania crew did return fire that day but they lost 24 men dead and 14 missing. In subsequent WWII action she was credited with firing more rounds than any ship in US History.

My wife's uncle Reginald Glenn served aboard the Penn starting in 1944. He was still assigned to her in 1946 when they dropped Atomic Bombs on the ship to see the effect. I had written about that experience in an earlier story.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tink's Net Camp

The Florida Maritime Museum in Cortez, Florida is considering restoring an old building that was on my grandparent's property and asked me what I knew about it. Most of what I know came from my uncle Ralph Fulford who passed away two years ago. 
Fulford Fish Net Spreads 1954

Small buildings they called camps and net spreads were used back before the age of nylon and man made material when cotton was used for fishing nets. The fragile nature of cotton twine required a lot of maintenance. They had to pull the nets out of the boats every day, let them dry and treat them by pouring on a mixture of salt water and lime or the material would rot.

The spreads were wood structures over the water that allowed them to spread the net out so it would dry faster. The camps were small buildings, originally built on stilts over the water where they could store the dry nets and other fishing equipment. It also became a home for the single fishermen who needed a place to live during the fishing season. 

The one they call Tink's Net Camp was built it about 1935. Walton "Tink" Fulford (1903-1965) was my grandfather. He had one on the water that was destroyed in a hurricane that year and this was built to replace it.
Net Camp 1995

It was built by Dale Powell (1905-1991) and James Arthur Childers (1878-1951) from Oneco, FL. who were both related to Tink's wife Edith. Powell was married to Edith's first cousin Eva Urquhart and Childers was the father in law of Eidth's second cousin William Lawrence Wilson. Both were farmers who had a good reputation as carpenters and helped build other structures in Cortez.

The camp was originally located next to Tink & Edith's house and garage at the end of the present driveway. I guess he decided to build this one on land since the other one had been washed away in the storm.

In 1955 they bought a tractor for the nursery business. Tink decided to move the camp down to the water and build an addition to the garage to store the tractor. Ralph Fulford and William Nash Pringle moved it on rollers down to the water.

It was used to store nets and fishing equipment but in later years was used to live in by at least two older men. 

Tink Fulford Net Camp 2005
William “Billy” Ireland (1880-1957) was a friend of Tink’s and fished with him back in the 1920-30s. He was from North Carolina and moved to Cortez about 1910. He moved to Vero Beach in the 1930s and then to Ft. Myers. He was having health problems so Tink went to Ft. Myers and brought him back to Cortez in the early 1950s and setup the net camp for him to live in. He had a small stove and cooked for himself. He fished with a hook and line using a small boat and also had a small gill net. He mostly caught trout and red fish in the Kitchen but made enough to support himself.

After Ireland died in 1957 it was vacant until Tink’s brother William (Willie) Fulford (1901-1961) moved in about 1959. He had been living in St. Petersburg but was having health problems also and so he moved back to Cortez. He lived there for two years before he died in 1961. Willie didn’t cook in the camp, he just slept there. He ate with the family up at the Fulford house.

The net camp is still very popular with artists and photographers who come to Cortez to see the historic fishing village.