Camp Douglas, IL

Many of the ancestors of families from Stewart County, Tennessee were captured at Fort Donelson, Dover, Tennessee February 16, 1862. The Confederate soldiers, exhausted, cold and sick from the cold were loaded on steamers and taken up the Cumberland River to Cairo, Illinois were they boarded prisoner of war trains for Camp Douglas in Chicago. Here many died during the bitter winter and were buried in the Oak Woods Cemetery nearby, others were exchanged the following September in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

President Woodrow Wilson observed that, "A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about. . ."

The study of genealogy, which is the study of where our families came from, bears a similar significence. Often, we of humble circumstance search for that coveted connection to a distant ancestor of royal blood, or those of us so fortunate to have escaped the ravages of war, the bloodline of an ancient hero. Many renowned organization have been formed as a result of the need for us to connect with our past. One such group is the Daughters of the American Revolution, which was founded to honor our country's founding families, and to assist us in finding our own place in the establishment of this great nation, and the fraternity with others with the same honorable standing. The internet provides an abundance of links to other researchers and sites of orignal resources that have been painstakenly posted for all to use. Some have also made a small fortune in commercial ventures related to this wonderful field of research.

One of the great joys of my own genealogical study is the many living, howbethey distant, living relatives that I have met. Third, Fourth and even fifth cousins that have become friends that I would have never know without the research into my family history. Another is to trace the passing down from generation to generation that faith in Jesus Christ, and the reliance on His Holy Word that sustains us in times of trial and hardship. I am thankful for my forefathers and the great heritage that they have handed down to our us. I am not totally pleased with the last two generations because of their failure to hand down their faith to their own children.

It is hoped that this collection of historical material will aid us in looking back to our family roots, and that in looking back we might find the source of our former strength. This work is dedicated to the men and women of faith that have gone before us. Their example gives us strength. I pray God will grant you health and contentment the rest of your days, and a rich reward thereafter.

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