November 21, 2014

My Civil War Ancestors – John Watts Breedlove

john-breedlove-with-sword

My Great-Great Grandfather was John Watts Breedlove. Many of my family have called him John Wyatt Breedlove for years, but I believe his middle name really was Watts. The name Wyatt doesn’t show up in any of the naming patterns of the family, while the name Watts does, as it was his Granfather’s middle name, and John’s Great-Grandmother’s maiden name was Mary Watts. I would be happy to make corrections if someone can provide me with documented proof.

John Breedlove fought in Civil War, Volunteers of Company E, 32nd Regiment,  Missouri Infantry as a Sergeant. Enlisted August 13, 1862 at Steelville, Missouri. Discharged 18 July 1865 in Louisville, KY; promoted to First Sgt. He was with General Sherman on the March to the Sea. I have a copy of a picture of him in his Civil War uniform that had written on the back, “Chattanooga”. The 32nd Regiment was in Chattanooga, TN from Nov. to Dec. 1863.

John was a resident of Dent County, Missouri from 1865 to 1880. His father was William Martin Breedlove who migrated from Simpson County, KY to St. Francois County, MO in the early 1800’s.

John’s first wife, Mary Francis Wright, was the sister to his second wife Elizabeth Jane Wright Wilson. Mary Francis died in March 1861, soon after giving birth to a baby boy. The baby died a few months later.  Undoubtedly, John went off to the War with a broken heart and shaken spirit. His religious beliefs were no doubt what sustained him.

Just a note to genetic genealogists, John was first cousin to both of his wives, and not being a geneticist myself, I have no idea what that might have cost them as they had children. In that day and age it wasn’t unheard of to marry a first cousin, but now it is not as widely accepted because of genetic diseases that might be passed on.  As it stands now, I am my own cousin, and my son is also my 5th cousin, once removed.

John Breedlove, with second wife Elizabeth

and son Russell Breedlove b. 1889. Russell was the youngest child.

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