Kinsearching March 22, 2009




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Thomson, GA, will be the setting again for the thirty-second annual ANSLEY family reunion scheduled for April 24 - 26, 2009. Deadline for registration is April 15. For more details about the reunion, write to Roger F. Spafford, 1257 Arlene Court SW, Lilburn, GA 30047.

     If you are an ANSLEY descendant but cannot attend, you may want to join the Ansley Family Association (AFA). Twice a year, the organization publishes a newsletter which individuals can receive for a $10 annual subscription. In addition to data on recent Ansley births, marriages, anniversaries, and deaths throughout the country, the Spring 2009 issue contains an article on descendants of Rebecca ANSLEY, daughter of Thomas and Rebecca ANSLEY, who married William DUCKWORTH about 1792 in Georgia. Checks, payable to AFA, may be mailed to AFA Membership, Attn: James (Jim) Ansley, Jr., 359 Rainbow Lake Drive, Brevard, North Carolina 28712-9770.

     Years after the Civil War ended in 1865, both Confederate and Union veterans held reunions. What did a large group of war veterans do when they convened? Did they spend all their time exchanging war stories or did they take part in festivities? If they brought their families with them, in what events did their wives and children participate? By discovering some of the activities of one state delegation at a particular reunion, we can get an idea of what may have occurred at other Confederate annual conventions.

     The 27 April 1906 (Vol. XXI, No. 47) issue of The Dallas Semi-Weekly News, a Dallas, Texas, newspaper "Devoted to the Farmer, the Stockman, and the Household," has a partial account of the Texas contingent at the Confederate reunion held in New Orleans that year. Carrying the dateline April 25, the article, "Wearers of the Gray," appears on page 1, column 7 and continues on page 2, column 1. (Surnames are capitalized for emphasis. Some punctuation added for clarity.)

     According to the article, the railroads calculated that they brought "over 50,000 strangers into the city." New Orleans boasted about its ideal weather, which was "comfortably cool and tonight ladies in evening dress used light wraps. From the moment of the opening in the great auditorium erected for the special purpose in the heart of the city until well after midnight, there was never a break in the continuous program." Louisiana Governor BLANCHARD and New Orleans Mayor BEHRMANN welcomed the veterans. The number of Texans attending the reunion was estimated at 7,000. "Texas headquarters in Hotel Royal was thronged all day.... Hundreds of names have been registered. This morning Company M of the militia of Indian Territory arrived....

    Texas headquarters, officially speaking, are centered at the St. Charles Hotel. Gen. W. L. CABELL, commanding the trans-Mississippi department, with Gen. A. T. WATTS of Beaumont, his adjutant and chief of staff, together with Ex-Mayor CABELL of Dallas, has opened quarters on the second floor and much of the reunion life west of the great river centers there.

     Mrs. Kate Cabell CURRIE and the Daughters of the Trans-Mississippi Department have established parlors on the sixth floor and this is a busy beehive." Praising the "Texas girls," the article states: "Their coterie in the palm garden tonight was among the most brilliant scenes of this whole reunion."

     A chaperon for the Trans-Mississippi Department was Mrs. Jane Gaines CARLOS of Texarkana. The girls who took part in the reception in the palm garden included

Miss Corine H. TALBOT, sponsor for the Texas division, Dallas;
Miss Bertha STOREY, chief maid of honor, Austin;
Miss Byrdie YEATES, sponsor for R. E. Lee Camp, Fort Worth;
Miss Tess MABRY, sponsor for the Trans-Mississippi Department, Texarkana;
Miss Alice DUSSACOTT, maid of honor, Tyler;
Miss Lelia REEVES, chief maid of honor, Trans-Mississippi Department; and
Miss Kate DAFFAN, sponsor of Dick Dowling Camp, Houston.

     "Tonight at the auditorium Texas had a place in the songs of the Confederate States." The song "Texas" was performed by Miss E. MOHR.

     "Gen. K. M. VAN ZANDT, commanding the Texas division, has opened quarters for all Texans on the sixth floor of the St. Charles, where his aid, R. E. Lee COSTAN of Fort Worth, is in charge." Members of Gen. Van Zandt's staff who were serving with him at the reunion were

Col. George JACKSON, adjutant general, Fort Worth;
Lt. Col. J. T. F. JARRED, assistant adjutant general;
Lt. Col. T. M. SCOTT, quartermaster;
Lt. Col. C. C. CUMMINGS, division historian;
Lt. Col. T. H. SPALDING;

and the following Majors and Aids de Camp:

William BARR;
R. E. Lee COSTAN; and

(To be continued)

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