The Picket is sharing readers' accounts of their ancestors who served or were affected by the Civil War. We encourage you to get involved by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jeff Hightower, a member of the SCV and a resident of McDonough, Ga., provided this story about his great-great-grandfather, George Washington Bright, who served in the 22nd Georgia Heavy Artillery, Co. A, the "Bartow Artillery" He enlisted at Griffin, Ga. and trained at Camp Stephens in Spalding County, Ga. Bright (left), who lived to 82, in 1913 wrote to the Alabama Pension Board in reference to their inquiry as to why he had appeared on a list of deserters. The board cleared his name and he received a pension until his death in 1927. The wording and spellings are as written.
State of Ala. Cleburne CO. Oct 9 1913
Dear friend, I have received your notice concerning our pension and I am glad that I can inform you that I never deserted my command. But me and a corporal and two others was placed on picket at the spindles at a [creek] four miles below Savannah our company was stasion at fort Jackson and when we come off picket the next morning and went back to fort Jackson our army had cross the Savannah river and left us on the other side of the river and no way left for us to get over and the enemy closed in on us and we had to give up or be shot down. This was at fort Jackson 3 miles below Savannah. We never deserted our company but they put us on picket duty and went a cross the river and left us. So while you good people have seen fit to give us old Soldiers a little pension to help us in our old age I appreciate it very much. But please dont call me a deserter now 50 years after it is all over. But I dont blame you for it for you was not there and dont no anything a bout it. So of course you will have to go accordin to the laws that is made I was in the Bartow artillery company that went from midle Georgia & I was in the company A 22 Battalion Georgia Artillery and served as a good soldier until I was captured and taken a prisoner. I went in service some time in March of 63 and was taken prisoner some time in December of 64 and carried to hilton head and put in the stock ade with the other prisoners and was kept there until the war ended and then they turned me loose and I went home to midle GA So now I am getting old and not able to defend my self. So give me justice and do the best for me you can.
George Washington Bright
Fruithurst, Ala Rout 1