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 

No comments: