yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

George Washington Essary

William Chumney

William Chumney is the great grandson of George Washington Essary.

George Washington Essary, [he was called Montgromery], was born 5/9/1833 in Chesterfield,Tn. He was the son of Joseph Essary and Fannie Irving Essary who are buried in the Union Cemetery at Chesterfield, Tn.

On 9/24/1862 he enrolled in the Union army at Lexington, Tn for a period of 3 years. He was mustered in on 9/28/1862 at Trenton, Tn and assigned to H Company of the 2 Reg't West Tennessee Cav., this unit was later changed to the 7 Reg't Tennessee Cav. He was made a Corporal and a scout.

During the fighting at Lexington on 12/18/1862, he had his horse shot from under him and his right index finger had the first two joints shot off. He was injured again near McLenorsville, when his horse ran into a tree, hurting his right leg and head. While on a scouting trip, he was captured near Decatur, Tn on June 10th 1863 and paroled at City Point, Va. on July 14, 1863.

On March 24, 1864 the entire regiment, except one unit on scout, was captured at Union City, Tn. They were sent to the Southern prision near Americus, Ga. called Andersonville, were 291 or 66% of the regiment died.

While at Andersonville, he lost the sight of his right eye, this was due to his previous injury and disease. He was exchanged on 4/5/1865, sent to Jacksonville, Fla, then to Camp Chase, Ohio where he was discharged on 6/26/1865.

He was a farmer and later became the first Postmaster at Darden. Married to Elizabeth Jane Rhodes and after her death to Martha Ann Fisher. He died 7/13/1901 and is buried at the Judson Cemetery in Henderson County Tn.

In 1998 the National Prisioner of War Museum opened at Andersonville. This is the only park in the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all American prisioners of war through the nation's history.

I obtained George Washington Essary's service and pension file from the National Archives and Records in Washington DC. With the help of Park Ranger Joan P. Stibitz, these are all on file at the Museum and can be viewed by the public as follows:

George Washington Essary---Code 49266

The number 4 in the code means he lived through Andersonville.

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