For those people living in the United States from 1861-65 there was no aspect of life not affected somehow by the war. Even those who wanted no part of war either chose a side or quit the country. But thousands made a choice and stood their ground and fought for what they believed in. And with that I would like to honor my Civil War ancestors from Alabama who made the choice to fight for what they believed was right. For quite a few of them in Northwest Alabama it was not a difficult choice to make. They saw who the enemy was and took up arms against them from the very beginning. One of those was Joseph M. Palmer, my great-great uncle. In October 1862 he became involved in a heated political discussion and stabbed a Confederate soldier in Marion County, Alabama. He fled to the Union lines at Corinth, Mississippi. There he joined the 1st Alabama Cavalry, United States Volunteers and became a scout and a spy in General Grant’s army. Thousands of other Unionists from the hills and valleys of North Alabama also joined the 1st Alabama Cavalry or other Federal units. Many Unionists of the Northwest Alabama area were killed simply for their allegiance to the Union.
Here’s a small Roll Call of my Unionists ancestors who helped preserve the Union of the United States. The names are hyper-linked to their service record at www.1stalabamacavalryusv.com
Joseph M. Palmer- great-great uncle,
Newton Hubbard Ozbirn- great-great grandfather. His brothers:
William S. Fountain Ozbirn,
George Washington LaFayette Ozbirn,
Chelsey Francis Marion Ozbirn. Their sister married
James J. Mancil- murdered by Confederates after his term of service and dumped into the Tennessee River.
So to all my Union ancestors, the men who took up arms and the women who kept the home fires burning in a hostile country, I salute you.
Enjoy a gallery of photos below of Unionist related images that I have made over the years. A few of the images are from cemeteries from the Unionist strongholds of Marion, Walker and Winston counties in Northwest Alabama. A few of the graves of the unionist men have been erroneously marked with Confederate markers.