Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bishop Thomas Frederick Davis

Bishop Thomas Frederick Davis  (1804-1871) was born on a plantation near Wilmington, North Carolina on February 8, 1804.  He attended a preparatory school that was attached to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and upon graduation attended the University proper.  After graduating from the University of North Carolina, he returned home, studied law, and became a lawyer.  His first marriage was to Elizabeth Fleming in 1827.  She passed away the following year giving birth to a son, later the Reverend Thomas Frederick Davis, Jr.

After the death of his wife, Reverend Davis felt the calling of the ministry.  He was ordained a deacon in St. James' Church, Wilmington in 1831, and a priest the following year.  In 1832, he married Anne Ivie Moore. 
The first year he ministered in Pittsboro and Wadesboro.  The following three years, he served as rector of St. James' Church in Wilmington.  After taking a leave of absence due to health, he assumed charge of St Luke's. in Salisbury where he remained for ten years. 

In 1846, he moved to Camden, South Carolina to minister at Grace Church.  In 1853, he was elected Bishop of the diocese of South Carolina and was consecrated in New York City.  Bishop Davis paid Camden the high compliment of continuing his connection with Grace Church after election to the Episcopate.  This was the first instance of a Bishop residing elsewhere than in Charleston.

In 1858, Bishop Davis' eyesight began to fail.  Despite conferring with the best medical authorities, he lost nearly all of his eyesight in 1862.  After the war, he became a pillar in the post reconstruction of his city and state.  He continued to minister, entering the sanctuary, leaning on some supporting arm, or guided, at confirmation, so as to lay his hands on the heads of the candidates kneeling at the rail.  He was universally venerated as the "good blind Bishop."  In 1859, Bishop Davis started a Theological Seminary for the Diocese in Camden.   At the beginning of the civil war, there were ten students.  On March 31, 1865, the seminary burned to the ground.

A newspaper tribute read:  "First the highly gifted, broad-minded Bishop Davis, the blind, eloquent old man, whose speech on tolerance of opinion where non-essentials are concerned is still spoken of by his contemporaries as the noblest ever uttered before the House of Bishops.  We all know that he was great in intellect and great in character.  His presence won for him a sense of deep reverence, almost a feeling of awe, as we looked upon him, sightless himself, but glowing to us with the spiritual life so bright within his soul.  This holy, consecrated man held his diocese a unit."  Bishop Davis passed way on December 2, 1871 in his residence on Broad Street in Camden, SC.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

2013 The Bloomsbury Jam-off

The great Bloomsbury amateur jelly, jam, preserve, spread, marmalade competition is scheduled for 13 September 2013.  All novice "J-petitors" are welcome to enter this jam-tastic competition! You may submit as many jars as you like!!!

All submissions must reach

                Bloomsbury Inn, 1707 Lyttleton Street, Camden SC 29020

not later than 10 September 2013.  Be the arrival by post, special delivery or hand delivery, each jar must be securely sealed and accompanied by a card containing the following information:

                Name of j-petitor (amateur maker):


                Phone Numbe:r

                Email Address:

                Category:  jelly.....jam.....preserve....spread.....marmalade

                                (note:  we cannot accept freezer or refrig products; all entries must be home-canned)


Please address any additional questions to:  Bloomsbury Jam - aster,

A team of j-tasters will judge each of the five categories.  All decisions are final.  Each winning entry will receive a Bloomsbury Jam-off Winning Certificate and a canning surprise!  You could win the next battle of the get busy, capture summer in a jar, and be sure your submissions are received by 10 September 2013.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rules for the Kitchen at a Bed and Breakfast

So much can happen in a bed and breakfast and it's not long that you can start developing the application of Murphy's law....especially in the kitchen.

1.  Multiple-function gadgets will not perform any function by itself adequately.
2.  The simpler the instructions (an example is "press here") the tougher it will be to open the package especiallly when you are pressed for time.
3.  When you find that one unique recipe from you grandmother's recipe book, the most vital measurement will be illegible.
4.  Once you make a mistake with a recipe, then anything you add to save it will only make it worse.
5.  The most complimented item that you serve takes the least effort to prepare.
6.  The one ingredient you made a special trip to the store to get will be the one thing your guest dislikes.
7.  The more time you spend preparing that special breakfast, the more time the guests will spend talking about other great breakfasts.

Oh, well.  The life of an innkeeper.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Augustus Cicero (A.C.) Brown, Sr.

(12 May 1832 - 8 October 1862)
View from Open Knob Hill

A Narrative

By Col. Bruce Alan Brown, USAF Ret.

After the Confederate defeats at Forts Henry and Donelson in February of 1862, a call went out for additional volunteers. Governor Joseph Brown authorized the creation of a brigade-sized unit from thirty-four counties in northwest Georgia. According to my grandmother, Clara Belle Bennette Brown, Augustus Cicero Brown, Sr., decided he was going to join and "show them Yankees."

On March 4, 1862, my great, great grandfather was mustered into the 41st Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment at Camp McDonald in Big Shanty, Georgia. Company K (the "Campbell Salt Springs Guards as they called themselves) were 133 volunteers from Campbell County who were commanded by Captain Jonathan J. Bowen. A review of the company roster reveals twenty-six separate families, represented by at least two or more relatives were in the unit. While the practice of keeping family members together contributed to unit cohesiveness, it often decimated entire families and communities.

After training at Camp McDonald, the 41st was posted to guard a railroad bridge over the Tennessee river at Bridgeport, Alabama. Then the siege of Corinth compelled the movement of the 41st Georgia to Mississippi.  Outnumbered by Union forces, the Confederates abandoned Corinth, withdrawing 50 miles south to Tupelo, Mississippi in late May. While encamped there, illness was taking its toll. On July 17, 1862, Augustus's half brother, Hiram, passed away from illness.

On July 21st, 98 of the original 133 officers and enlisted men of Company K left Tupelo to defend Chattanooga from a potential attack . On August 29, the Army of Mississippi, commanded by General Braxton Bragg, invaded Tennessee. Moving on to Kentucky, the Confederate Army stopped in Perryville. There was a drought and as the Union and Confederate Armies confronted each other, the primary issue became water. On October 7th, fierce skirmishes broke out for control of the only water source, Doctor's Creek. At night fall, the fighting closed for the day. The next day, October 8th, a little after noon, Confederate artillery opened fire on the Union lines. The 41st Georgia was formed on the right side of the Rebel battle line that stretched over a mile in length. Company K was deployed near the center of the regiment. which formed under the cover of a grove of oak trees that lined Doctor's Creek and waited. Ordered to form up, they deployed shoulder to shoulder in a linear formation with intervals of only 21 to 24 inches between them. They were followed by a second identical line, only 32 inches behind the first. The 98 men of Company K covered a front of approximately 25 yards.

At 2:15 that afternoon, moving out from the woods, Company K came under fire from Union troops defending Open Knob Hill about two hundred yards away. Opposing Company K were elements of the 33rd Union Brigade, the 105th Ohio and 123rd Illinois, and an artillery battery under the command of Lt Charles Parsons. Soon the battery opened fire on the advancing lines. As the 41st Georgia emerged from the woods it came in view of the enemy's battery. The enemy opened upon them a most terrific and deadly fire. Ten minutes into the attack, Company K encountered a wooden fence. Confederate forces laid down on the ground firing volley after volley at the 770 men of the 123rd Illinois as they charged down the hill with bayonets fixed. After decimating the first and second lines of the 123rd Illinois, Company K rose from the ground, crossed the fences with a Rebel yell, and moved forward shoulder to shoulder as Union cannons fired round shot and shell into their ranks. Company K and the rest of the brigade continued to march up the hill repeatedly firing into the third line of the 123rd Illinois. The action was described by Private Sam Watkins, a member of the 1st Tennessee Regiment, which was to the immediate right of the 41st Georgia:

"Two [Union] lines of battle confronted us. We killed almost everyone in the first line, and were soon charging over the second, when right in our immediate front was their third and main line of battle. We were soon in a hand-to-hand fight, every man for himself, using the butts of our guns and bayonets. The guns were discharged so rapidly that it seemed the earth itself was a volcanic uproar. The iron storm passed through our ranks, mangling and tearing men to pieces. Our men were dead and dying right in the very midst of this grand havoc of battle. It was a life and death to death grapple."

Private Augustus Cicero Brown, Sr. was in that firing line.

A "bombshell [exploded} knocking from his body his right arm and immediately afterwards he was pierced through his chest with a bayonet," according to Private James McClarty of K Company.

The 41st swept over Open Knob Hill and captured the guns and moved down the hill chasing the remnants of the Union 33rd Brigade until the Union line formed on a ridge commanded by Col John C. Starkweather.  They formed with twelve guns. The 41st continued to advance with the rest of the Rebel line and after an initial repulse, charged again. This time reaching the top of the ridge. After fierce hand-to-hand fighting they took the ridge and six of the Union guns. The Union line further retreated to another ridge 100 yards to the West. At this point the Union line stabilized and was able to repulse three southern frontal assaults.

While it was a tactical victory for the South, it was technically a defeat since General Bragg made the decision to withdraw the Army of Mississippi from the area.  Augustus Cicero Brown was survived by his wife, Rachael, and four children: Sarah C. Brown (b.July 1855), Mary Minerva Brown
(b. August 1857), Martha P. "Mattie" Brown (b. October 1859), and Augustus Cicero Brown Jr. (b. February 1862) my great grandfather.

On December 23, 1890 the State Assembly of Georgia passed a law giving widows up to February 15, 1893 to apply for a Confederate Veterans Pension. On January 31st 1893, Augustus Cicero Brown's wife, Rachel Ann Marena Fults Brown, applied for that pension. Quoted in the application is a description of my great, great grandfather's death by his friends Privates William A. Howell, James W. Mauldin, and William S. Tucker:

Augustus Cicero Brown was "killed by the explosion of a bomb shell at the battle of Perryville, Ky...his right arm was torn from his body as well as a part of his shoulder...deponents know absolutely that he died immediately only about one hour. Depondent Tucker says he knows that he was also pierced with a bayonet as he fell back after the explosion of the shell. This took place on the 8th day of October 1862."

Confederate dead laid on the battlefield for over three days, some accounts estimate a week, before they were buried in shallow graves. Later, Henry P. Bottoms, lead the excavation and re-interment in two pits on his land. Few were identified and it may be assumed that Augustus Cicero Brown, Sr. was put to rest in a mass grave.

Company K of the 41st Georgia Volunteer Infantry fought in twelve pitched battles from Perryville, Missionary Ridge, Kennesaw Mountain, Franklin and Bentonville; participated in two sieges, Vicksburg and Atlanta, and served in campaigns that spanned seven separate states of the Confederacy.

Company K stacked arms and surrendered to General Sherman, at Goldsboro, NC,  on April 26, 1865.  Of the 133 men who mustered into Company K on March 4,1862, only 25 were left.


Foote, S. (1958). The Civil War: Fort Sumter to Perryville. New York: Random House Inc.

Georgia, Confederate Pension Applications 1879-1960. (1893, January 31). Retrieved May 23, 2012, from http:// search

Harmon, J. (1997, October 28). Brown-L Archives. Retrieved May 23, 2012, from Rootsweb:

Harmon, J. (2000, March 19). Brown-L Archives. Retrieved May 23, 2012, from Rootsweb:

Kelley, M. (n.d.). 41st Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Retrieved May 21, 2012, from

Kennedy, F. H. (Ed.). (1990). The Civil War Battlefield Guide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Leonard, C. B. (2011, September 5). The Battle of Perryville. Retrieved June 11, 2012, from www.carolynbleonard.com
Muster Roll of Company K, 41st Georgia Volunteer Regiment. (n.d.). Retrieved May 21, 2012, from
www.generalbartonandstovall: http:/www.generalbartonand

The Armies at the Battle of Perryville. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2012, from History of War:

The Battle of Perryville. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2012, from Wikipedia:

The Baxter Family from Georgia. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2012, from

The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the official records. (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2012, from

Watkins, S. R. (1900). Co. Aytch (2nd ed. ed.).  Chattanooga: Times Printing Co.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lieutenant James Willis Cantey, Jr.

Lieutenant James Willis Cantey, Jr. (1822 to 1847) monument is erected next to the memorial marker for his father, General James Willis Cantey Sr.   Neither of which are buried at these sites in Quaker Cemetery. 

Lieutenant Cantey was born on 21 November 1822, in his family home in Camden, he attended the University of Carolina and graduated in 1843.  In 1846, when President Polk called for volunteers against Mexico, the first South Carolina Company to volunteer was the DeKalb Guards of Camden.  Included in this group was Lieutenant James Willis Cantey Jr.  This Palmetto regiment engaged the enemy from Vera Cruz to Mexico city. 

On 12 September 1847, the main assault began on Mexico City.  The entry to the city was guarded by Chapultepec Castle.  The infantry assault was preceded by an all day artillery barrage.  The next day, 13 September,  the 4th Division, under the direction of General John A. Quitman, spearheaded the attack against the castle. 

General Quitman pointed at the stone fortification with 15-foot walls, lined with six cannons of the 12-pounder classification, supported by 2,000 Mexican soldiers, and stated that the fate of the day depended on taking that wall.  One hundred and fifty South Carolinians, what was left of the DeKalb Guards, some wounded and lame, heard his address.  With the battle cry of "come on boys" every man stepped forward with unflinching determination. 

Captain James  Cantey,  a cousin to Lieutenant Cantey and later a Confederate Brigadier General,  described the action:  "Our way lay over an open plain cut up by many deep ditches; through by fire from the fort in front crossed by another from the right.  The regiment moved forward and gained the wall without discharging a musket.  But, alas, many who started for that goal of distinction failed to reach it.  It was crossing the plain near the wall, that Lieutenant James Willis Cantey, poor fellow, received his wound while leading a detachment of two companies in advance of the Regiment.  He was a noble and generous a spirit as ever lived, and as brave and gallant a soldier as ever bore a sword; his conduct was the subject of remark by the whole Regiment."

As soon as Chapultepec Castle was taken and under heavy fire, the army moved on towards the gates of the city.  The Palmetto Regiment had started the campaign with 1100 men and at the end of the Battle for Mexico City they were left with 140 effectives. 

On Lieutenant Cantey's  monument is engraved:

 "When South Carolina summoned her sons to the field, he obeyed the call  by shouldering his musket.  Afterwards elected a Lieutenant in the company from his native district, he shared with honor in all the hazards and glories of his regiment in the Mexican campaign."

"In the battle of Churubusco where the regiment from South Carolina came near being annihilated on the field, from which they refused to retreat,  his chivalric daring was eminently conspicuous .  His superior officers being disabled by honorable wounds, he henceforth assumed command of the remnant from Kershaw who had escaped death without dishonor."

"On the 18th Sept. 1847, the castle of Chapultepec was carried by storm.  While leading his men up to a breach in the walls which he had discovered, this gallant soldier fell before it.  Shot in the front and died under the victorious flag of his country."
Lieutenant Cantey's actions led the way for the DeKalb Guards to be the first to storm the gates of Mexico's capital and their flag was the first that floated over the gates of the city.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

General James Willis Cantey, Sr.

General Cantey (1794-1860) was born on Town Creek, approximately one mile south of Camden. At an early age he was taken to Sandersville, Georgia, and placed in the tutelage of Colonel Morgan Brown.

After the declaration of war in 1812, he made the decision to enlist in the Army. His father wanted him to gain an appointment to a unit that would see service in the northern frontier, then the scene of active operation. Failing in this, he joined a corps of volunteer cavalry under Captain John Irwin and was mustered into service at Fort Hawkins, GA in 1813. Serving as the Sergeant of his company, he saw action against the Creek nation and was engaged in the battles of Ottosee and Talassee in 1813. In his discharge papers, reference is made to his gallantry during hand-to-hand combat with Creek warriors.

Cantey returned to Camden in 1814 and in 1821 became Sheriff of the District. He was married to Camilla F. Richardson on March 26, 1822. By 1835, he had grown sufficiently wealthy to built a handsome home on Hobkirk's hill on the site where Hawe's Virginians had fought during the revolutionary battle. The location is now west of Broad Street, north of downtown.

His military career continued when he was elected Brigadier General of the 5th Brigade in 1834. In 1836 a call went out for the recruitment of one company, 76 mounted men, from Col John Chesnut's regiment for three months duty in the Seminole War. The regiment was paraded on February 8th, and General Cantey read the order for a draft, if sufficient members did not volunteer. John Chesnut's company saw combat at the Seminole Villages of Abram and Micanopy. They then moved to a location near Tampa Bay at Peay's Creek. The company returned to Camden in mid-May.

General Cantey was then appointed Adjutant and Inspector General of the state militia. He served in the Legislature from 1846 to 1848 and was quite active in local politics. He died August 20, 1860 at the age of 65. His tombstone in Quaker Cemetery is a memorial and reads:
To the memory of Gen James Willis Cantey.
Born Nov. 30, 1794. Died Aug. 20, 1860
And his wife Camilla Floride Richardson
Born July 30, 1798. Died Dec. 19, 1866
He was a Camden native but was buried in Alabama

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Colonel Henry G. Nixon

Colonel Henry G. Nixon (1800-1829) was a darling of the Camden community. Well-liked, polished, and generous, Col. Nixon was a local attorney and politician. With differences to settle, on January 15, 1829 he and Thomas A. Hopkins (1803-1831) met to dual at the Sand Bar Ferry near Augusta, Georgia. The genesis of the dispute started in 1824 when the Hopkins family sued the Nixon family. William Nixon, Henry Nixon's father, was accused of fraud in a land deal. The Hopkins family won the dispute in court. Both men were in the militia with Henry Nixon with the rank of Colonel while Thomas Hopkins was a Major. Folklore has it that the duel was because of a critical remark by Nixon regarding the maneuvers of Hopkins' regiment. The duel was held at one o'clock. Col. Nixon is described as wearing a fancy coat with a white handkerchief showing from his breast pocket. Legend says that Hopkins believed that "the man has marked his heart for me to hit." Hopkins had practiced his marksmanship in the Quaker Cemetery in Camden firing at the grave stone of Neil Smith. You can still see the pit marks of bullets on the back of the stone. Hopkins, a superb marksman, was the first to fire hitting Nixon in the right breast and he fell instantly dead with his pistol going off harmlessly Hopkins regretted the necessity of the duel and felt it has been forced on him by Nixon's comments. It is said that Hopkins died from a broken heart. Thomas Hopkins soon followed, dying just two years later. In 1832 Nixon's father enclosed the grave of his son behind a wall of granite with iron railing. Henry G. Nixon is the only one buried in this plot at the Quaker Cemetery in Camden. Thomas Hopkins is buried at the old Swift Creek Church. The history to be learned in the Quaker Cemetery is amazing, and it is just over two miles from Bloomsbury.