Military Monday – Walter E Shackford, age 18, Mortally Wounded at Five Forks April 1, 1865, Eight Days Before Lee’s Surrender (Blog 343)

On this Memorial Day we remember 18 year old Walter E Shackford who was wounded  at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865 and was transported to the hospital at Farmville, Virginia where he died of his wounds.

Walter E Shackford, the son of Rev John William and Martha Cole (McLellan) Shackford was born about January 1847 most likely in Walkerton, Virginia, the location where his parents resided.  If there  was a record of Walter’s birth it was kept at the nearby King and Queen County Courthouse  which was destroyed when the courthouse  burned in a fire set by the Union on 10 March 1864.

Walter’s father had moved from New Hampshire to Virginia around 1837 at the age of eighteen and became a Methodist preacher and a farmer.  He must have been able to fund his son’s education and run their farm without his help which enabled Walter to attended a school at Chatham Hill in 1856 and  Walkerton Academy around age 13.  In April 1860, William’s relatives from New Hampshire visited his family farm and sang at the church where his father preached.  But about a year later the war started and Walter’s educational opportunities ended as there were no available teachers and children were needed to keep the farms going.  The November 1861 over a period of ten days, four of Walter’s siblings, Lela, Harvey, Mary, and Nannie ages 12 to age 4 died of diphtheria.

The impact of the war was close to home – diaries kept by neighbors during the war  describe “Yankees in large force crossing at Walkerton” on May 5, 1863, and on June 5, 1863 –  “Report comes this morning that the Yankees are in force at Walkerton, setting fire to houses, mills, etc.; could see smoke ascending from three or four different points. About two o’clock heard the booming of cannon, evidently from gunboats returning down the river.”.  On June 6, 1863, Dr B H. W. described “Yankees reached Walkerton Thursday night about one o’clock; landed four hundred infantry, seizing horses as they advanced by land toward Ayletts. At this place they burned foundry, store, dwelling, and granaries. An immense deal of property was destroyed, Negroes taken away, horses stolen.”  The King and Queen Courthouse was burned on June 25, 1864 and on July 25, 1864, V. D. C. reported in his diary “A day of distress. The enemy here doing all the damage they can, taking corn, meat, clothing of all kinds, etc.”

Walter observed the mayhem and impact of the war in his community and on April 15, 1864 at the age of 17, he enlisted in Fredericksburg, Virginia as a private in Company H of Virginia’s 5th Cavalry, also called the James City Cavalry.  He mustered in on the same day. Because he enlisted so far from home and not in a unit related to King and Queen County, we wonder if he told his parents he was joining the military.  He was issued his military uniform on July 27, 1864.

Walter probably participated in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign in Front Royal, Winchester, and Cedar Creek during 1864 and the Appomattox Campaign at Hanover Court House, Dinwiddie Court House in March 1865.  He fought at Five Forks where he was wounded on April 1, 1864 and was brought to the hospital at Farmville.

Seven days after Walter was injured the war ended with Lee surrendering at Appomattox, only 31 miles from Farmville.  Walter was probably alive on April 15, 1865 as he is listed as having been paroled in Farmville on that date.  His mother traveled from Walkerton to Farmville to see her injured son but unfortunately arrived after he had died.  We’re not sure if he was one of the many soldiers buried in the Farmville Confederate Cemetery or if his body was brought back to the farmhouse in Walkerton.  Because there is not a stone cemetery marker for Walter we’ve included a picture of the memorial to those who fought at the Battle of Five Forks.
It states”                                                                        Virginia - Battle of Five Forks

Battle of Five Forks’

Here at Five Forks on April 1, 1865 10,000 Confederates, commanded by General Pickett, were overwhelmed by about 50,000 Federal troops, led by General Sheridan, thereby opening the way to the Southside Railroad making further defense of Petersburg and Richmond impossible. Withdrawal to Appomattox followed.

Dedicated to the memory of the valiant Dinwiddie soldiers, as well as to all soldiers of the South and North, taking part in this encounter.

Presented by the Dinwiddie Confederate Memorial Association and erected by the Dinwiddie Civil War Centennial Commission April 1, 1965

In July 1868, about three years after the war ended, Walter’s parents sent his brother, Joseph Wesley Shackford, who had just turned 20 to New Hampshire to visit the northern relatives, one of whom was his 82 year old grandmother.  Joseph wrote about this visit in his diary describing his fear of how he would be seen by his northern relatives after the war —  it’s worth the time to read his diary which has more meaning after visiting these locations.

Someday we’re hoping to find a more about Walter — perhaps his compiled service record and possibly some information in the Farmville Hospital Records as these source documents may help us in our  attempt to honor this young man who only lived 18 years.

Note:  We just visited Appomattox, Farmville,  Five Forks, King and Queen County Courthouse, and Walkerton to learn more about Walter’s life, some of our own history (my mother lived at Appomattox during her youth), and the Civil War in general.  If you make it to Appomattox, we strongly recommend attending the  outstanding presentations “Emma Hix” and “The Last 50 Miles”

We’re now starting our journey north where we hope to learn more about northern Shackfords.   Next stop Saratoga Springs, NY where Seth R Shackford died in 1777.

All posts on this website are a work in progress.  We’d love to learn of any corrections or additions to the information shared.  Also we’d love it if  you’d like the post here or at as that helps share the post with others. Thanks!


American Civil War Research Database ( : accessed 12 May 2016), Walter G Shackford

Bagby Rev Alfred, A. B,, D. D., King and Queen County, Virginia (New York and Washington: The Neale Publishing Company, 1908), page 137; digital images, HathiTrust ( : accessed 30 May 2016.

The Christian Advocate, Volume 81 (29 November 1906), page 8; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 13 May 2016.

Johnston Joseph S, editor, The Diary of Joseph Wesley Shackford King and Queen County Virginia 1868-1893 (Library of Congress: Library of Congress, 1991).

Jones Reverend J., Ed, Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 24 (n.d.), page 1.62; digital transcription, Perseus Digital Library Tufts University ( : accessed 9 November 2015.

V. D. C., “More From The Diary Of John Walker Of Chatham Hill,” The Bulletin of the King and Queen County Historical Society of Virginia, July 1965, page 5, col 2, 1864.

Copyright 2017 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not just copy this material and paste it elsewhere)





Treasure Chest Thursday – Alonzo Crosby Shackford’s Railway Prior Service Records (Blog 342)

Last month we received a comment from Brian on the Shackford Genealogy Facebook page .  Brian stated that he was an artist working on a WWI piece and was the proud new owner of a WW1 dogtag stamped Alonzo C Shackford No. 1024719 Cook HQ CO 34th Infantry.  He wondered if Alonzo shows up in my genealogy.

We’re really glad Brian found this Shackford Family History WEBsites because Alonzo is my sixth cousin once removed (that’s calculated by my RootsMagic software) and is someone I didn’t know much about even though I’ve been in correspondence with some of Alonzo’s descendants since 2001.

Brian’s message got me interested in researching more about Alonzo Crosby Shackford who was the son of George Alonzo and Mary (Pinkham) Shackford born in East Boston on November 1, 1879.  Some sort of probate hearing related to guardianship was held in 1890 regarding Alonzo but we do not know why there was an issue related to his guardianship at this time.

Alonzo was 20 when he married Effie Belle Knights in Wakefield, Massachusetts on November 1, 1899.  They lived in Melrose on June 14 1900 with their daughter Lila May. When Alonzo joined the Masons in 1902 he listed his occupation as a brakeman and in June 1903 when his son George Crosby Shackford was born he listed his occupation a stable keeper. Sometime before 1908 Alonzo moved to San Bernardino, California where he purchased some land .

In 1910 we find Alonzo, his wife Effie, and their two children living together in San Bernardino at 1263 Rialto avenue with Alonzo working as a soda water manufacturer but by 1912 the San Bernardino newspapers were full of articles describing a lawsuit filed by Mrs Effie Shackford to regain possession of the Eagle Soda Works. We don’t have all the facts but from the newspaper articles it appears that Alonzo had owned part of the Eagle Soda Works, but owed money for promissory notes related to the business, received some money from family in the East but left his job with unpaid debts related to the company and was seen spending money on a woman.  His wife Effie believed she was due some of the rights to the company and initiated a lawsuit to obtain those rights.  We’ve only found some of the newspaper articles and haven’t found any court records so we’re not sure of the outcome of the lawsuit.  We’re not sure where Alonzo moved but know that by  1916 Effie has moved to Lynn where she became a nurse.

In 1920 Alonzo resurfaces in records – he’s in Camp Funston, Riley, Kansas listed with an occupation of soldier. We don’t have any other information about his military service but because Brian provided the service record it would now be possible to obtain more information about his military service from the National Archives.

In 1922, Alonzo is a registered voter in Los Angeles living at 129 Sotello working as a brakeman.  By 1930 he is back in San Bernardino with a new wife Margaret and in 1932 the San Bernardino Directory shows him living on Rialto avenue again.  His obituary states that he was a freight conductor for the Southern Pacific railway for more than 25 years, mentions his widow Margaret, a son George of Boston, and a granddaughter.

And what about the railway record?  Well this wonderful treasure of a document gave us Alonzo’s social security number, his home address which is the same address listed in his obituary and is the only source that lets us know that he worked for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company.

Alonzo C Shackford Atkinson Topeka & S F Railway Service Card

No 35023
1429 Rialto Av., San Bernardino
The A. T. & S. R. Ry. Co Service Years C 39 V 36

We’ve learned a lot about Alonzo Crosby Shackford in the last few days, pieced together some of his life but will continue to search for more documents that help us understand his life.  Also, we’re very intrigued by the independence shown by his wife Effie who stood up for herself in 1912 at a time when women did not have many right, moved back from California to Massachusetts, became a nurse and opened her own business.  In the future we’ll do some more research about her life.

All posts on this website are a work in progress.  We’d love to learn of any corrections or additions to the information shared.  Also we’d love it if  you’d like the post here or at as that helps share the post with others. Thanks!


1900 United States Federal Census, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Melrose City, Ward 1, enumeration district (ED) Enumeration District No 877, Sheet No 14 (A), Page 222 (stamped), 50 Union St, Dwelling 322, Family 338 (also listed as Dwelling 320, Family 339), Alonzo C Shackford; digital images, ( : accessed 5 September 2013).

1910 United States Federal Census, San Bernardino County, California, population schedule, San Bernardino, enumeration district (ED) Enumeration District No 120, Sheet No 10A, 1263 Rialto, dwelling 200, family 212, Alonzo Schackford; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 May 2016).

1920 United States Federal Census, Riley County, Kansas, population schedule, Camp Funston, enumeration district (ED) Enumeration District No 133, Sheet No 22A, 7th Divsion USA, Alonzo C Shackford; digital images, ( : accessed 25 May 2016).

1930 United States Federal Census, San Bernardino County, California, population schedule, San Bernardino, enumeration district (ED) Enumeration District No 36-87, Sheet No 22A, 1435 Rialto St, dwelling 535, family 585, Alonzo C Shackford; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 May 2016).

“Kansas, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Prior Service Records, 1859-1935,” digital image, ( : accessed 26 May 2016), Alonzo C Shackford.

Massachusetts, Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915, , George Crosby Shackford, birth, 20 June 1903; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 July 2013).

Massachusetts, , “,” Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Index, 1871-1909 (Part A-K) ( accessed 5 September 2013), Alonzo C Shackford 1890, Guardian No 29109

Massachusetts, Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915,, Alonzo C. Shackford and Effie B. Knights, 1 November 1899; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 May 2016).

San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, California), 16 December 1908, A. C. Shackford, page 3; digital images, ( : accessed 26 May 2016).

San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, California), 20 April 1913; digital images, ( : accessed 26 May 2016).

San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, California), 23 April 1913; digital images, ( : accessed 26 May 2016).

Undated clipping, from unidentified newspaper; Alonzo Shackford Obituary Clipping Posted to by Linda Freeman; privately held by , [address for private use].

Copyright 2017 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not just copy this material and paste it elsewhere)

Wedding Wednesday – Charles Chauncy Shackford marries Martha Gould Bartlett Sept 22 1846 (Blog 341)

Charles Chauncy Shackford, the son of William Moore and Joanna Chauncy (Moore) Shackford was born on September 26, 1815 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  He attended Harvard and the Theological Seminary at Andover.  He was ordained at Hawes Place Church in South Boston on May 1841, married Charlotte Louisa Shackford, his first cousin on June 3, 1841 and soon thereafter moved to Burlington, Iowa where he ran a flour mill, preached, and gave lectures.

The next five years must have been very difficult for Charles.  He had attended Harvard with his older brother, William Henry, a well known teacher at Exeter  who died of typhoid fever in 1842;  Then on October 13, 1845, his wife Charlotte died in Burlington.  On April 27, 1846 his flour mill burned and one of his employees died in the fire.  And on August 17, 1846 his younger brother Albert Samuel died while traveling from Burlington to Portsmouth.

Charles’ marriage to Martha Gould Bartlett on September 22, 1846 must have been the first happy event over those past dark years.  It was announced on September 23d in the Lowell Daily Courier.

Marriage Announcement to Martha G Bartlett in Emancipator and Republican

In this city, 22d inst, by Rev Mr Edson, the Rev. Charles C. Shackford, of Burlington, Iowa, to Miss Martha G., daughter of Mr Wait Bartlett, of Granby.

Two days later Charles accepted a call from the Unitarian Society in Lynn, Massachusetts.  He went on to preach, run a school for young women, write, translate, and then taught Rhetoric at Cornell University from 1871 to 1886.  He and his wife retired in Norfolk Massachusetts where he died of the grip on December 25, 1891.  His wife Martha lived with their daughter Alice Ellis and died in Brookline on March 16, 1903.


Elen Louisa Shackford (1842-1843) – daughter of Charles and Charlottte, died in Boston

Clara Bartlett Shackford (1847-1851)

Alice M Shackford (1849-1932) – married Edward E Ellis; lived in Boston, Gloucester, and Brookline

Charles Chauncy Shackford (1852-1931) – married Flora Adelaide Wood; worked as a leather salesman, lived in Boston and Los Angeles

Martha Bartlett Shackford (1855-1932) – married Gram Curtis; lived in Brooklyn, New Castle, and Swarthmore

Lucy Bartlett Shackford (1857-1934) – married Charles Edward Payn Babcock; lived in Ithaca and Buffalo.

All posts on this website are a work in progress.  We’d love to learn of any corrections or additions to the information shared.  Also we’d love it if  you’d like the post here or at as that helps share the post with others. Thanks!


Burlington (Burlington, Iowa) Hawk Eye, 8 October 1846; Newspaper Archive ( : accessed ).

“Died.,” Burlington (Burlington, Iowa) Hawk Eye, 16 October 1845, Died Mrs Charlotte consort of Mr C C Shackford; Newspaper Archive ( : accessed 11 July 2013).

“Died,” Obituary, Burlington (Burlington, Iowa) Hawk Eye, 3 September 1846, page 3, column 2; Newspaper Archive ( : accessed 11 July 2013).

General Catalogue of the Theological Seminary Andover, Massachusetts 1808-1908 (Boston, Ma: Thomas Todd, 1908), page 184; digital images, Google eBooks ( : accessed 26 August 2013; Charles Chauncey Shackford

“Marriages,” Courier (Lowell, Massachusetts), 23 September 1846; Fulton History ( : accessed ).

“PROF. CHARLES C. SHACKFORD,” New York Times (New York, New York), 27 December 1891; digital images, ProQuest Obituaries ( : accessed 17 December 2014).

“Public Calamity–Fire and Loss of Life,” Burlington (Burlington, Iowa) Hawk Eye, 30 April 1846; Newspaper Archive ( : accessed 11 July 2013).

Copyright 2017 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not copy this material and paste it elsewhere)

Tuesday’s Tip -King and Queen Courthouse Tavern Museum (Blog 340)

King and Queen Courthouse Museum (their photo)

King and Queen Courthouse Museum (photo from their WEBSite)


This week we had the opportunity to visit the King and Queen Courthouse Tavern Museum located in King and Queen Court House, Virginia.

We received excellent research assistance from Page with whom we corresponded before we arrived, Sharon who assisted us while we were at the site, and Biddie who left her contact information for us because her grandfather was a friend of John William Shackford  and his wife Martha Cole McLelland who we are researching!

As mentioned on their Website, the museum is definitely “out-of-the way”.  It was an hour’s drive from our campsite near Fredericksburg, Virginia but the drive was beautiful and well worth the trip as the museum has a fabulous collection of books, exceptional museum collection, excellently written historical bulletins, and very, very helpful staff!

Before we arrived, the staff had pulled information about John William Shackford from many sources.  While I could have taken pictures of the material, I chose to let Sharon take photocopies which we still haven’t finished reviewing.  Sharon also gave us fabulous directions to Walkerton where we visited the Mizpah Church which John Shackford helped found and then drove to the Sheppard Church where he preached.

Mizpah Church
Mizpah Church, Walkerton VA

We didn’t drive to the property where John lived and raised his family because this appeared to be private property but we recognized the long distances between locations described in many articles about this family.

A few tips regarding this great museum!

They are open on Friday and Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 1-5

If you write to the staff before your visit you may receive even more help from this fabulous staff.

If you are using a GPS to find this town, note that the town’s name is spelled King and Queen Court House, a GPS may not find the words King and Queen Courthouse

We wish to thank the wonderful staff at the King and Queen County Tavern Museum!


Tuesday’s Tip – The United States Records of Headstones of Deceased Union Veterans, 1879-1903 Records Don’t Always Get the Death Date Right – The Case of Silas Thayer Shackford (Blog 339)

The United States Records of Headstones of Deceased Union Veterans lists Silas’s death date as May 8 1880 but we know this must be incorrect because the Eastport Sentinel reported his death on May 5, 1880 stating that Silas died of consumption in Asheville on April 29, 1880.

Gravestone record Silas T Shackford United States Records of Headstones of Deceased Union Veterans, 1879-1903Shackford Silas T
Pvt Co A 44″ Regt
Mass Infy
Cemetery Eastport
at Eastport
Date of Death May 8-1880 [Note:  Date is incorrect – death reported in Eastport Sentinel as April 29, 1880 on May 5, 1880, jsp, 5/10/2016]
Headstone supplied by
Gross Brothers
Lee, Mass
Contract date June 9, 1888

We’re pretty confident that Silas Thayer Shackford, the son of Charles W and Sophia Roberts (Thayer) Shackford, born August 3, 1880 was buried in Eastport or at least that a gravestone was erected in his honor in Eastport because we’ve seen a photo of his gravestone on FindAGrave.  The Gravestone inscription states

Aug 3 1843
Apr 26, 1880

Perhaps the date listed on the Records of Headstones document reflects the date that Silas’ body arrived in Maine?  Or perhaps it’s just an error.

We can’t find a primary source to verify Silas’ death date or death location.  We visited the Buncombe Courthouse in Asheville on May 6, 2016 and requested Silas’ death record but was told that there is no record available and learned that there was no requirement to report deaths in 1880.

We also visited the Asheville library’s North Carolina room on May 5, 2016 and read the microfilmed versions of the April 29 and May 6th Asheville Citizen April 29 and May 6th newspapers.  We didn’t see any mention of Silas’ death but could have missed an article in this newspaper were very difficult to read as they were very faint.

We’re pretty confident that Silas died in Asheville as his death was also reported in a May 1880 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer – we’re not sure of the exact date of the newspaper but the article states “Mr. S. T. Shackford, who died at Asheville, N.C., on Thursday last, was a cousin of Capt. J.W. Shackford, of the American Line steam ship Illinois.”  (Our genealogy software shows that he was John William’s first cousin, first removed.)

Since there is no death record, what other sources can we research to learn more about Silas’ death date or why he was in Asheville when he died?

On August 25, 1890, Silas’ mother, Sophia Shackford filed a request to receive his military pension – perhaps there are some more facts about Silas in this document.  Also there may have been a record of the movement of Silas’ body from Asheville to Eastport – we say may because we don’t know if a body was moved if someone died of consumption.

We’ve added both tasks to our Roots Magic Fact called Research Question for Silas Thayer Shackford who served in the Civil War but sadly only lived to age 36.

All posts on this website are a work in progress.  We’d love to learn of any corrections or additions to the information shared.  Also we’d love it if  you’d like the post here or at as that helps share the post with others. Thanks!


1850 United States Federal Census, Washington County, population schedule, Eastport, page 48? (penned), 244 (stamped), dwelling 271, family 359, Charles Shackford; digital images, ( : accessed 9 June 2014).

The Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, Vol. V (Norwood, Mass: Norwood Press, 1932), ; digital images, ( : accessed 10 May 2016.

Find A Grave, Find A Grave, digital images ( : accessed 1 August 2014), Silas T Shackford, Find A Grave Memorial# 70637433.

Maine State of Maine, “Maine Births and Christenings, 1739-1900,” index,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 August 2013), Silas Thayler Shackford b 3 Aug 1843 Eastport, Washington Maine.

“Miscellaneous,” The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennslyvania), May 1880; digital images, Fulton History ( : accessed 5 January 2014).

“United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934,” digital image, FamilySearch ( : accessed 18 May 2014), Silas Shackford.

Wiley Kenneth L., editor, Vital Records from the Eastport Sentinel of Eastport, Maine 1818-1900: Note: Cover and title page of my hard copy edition are misspelled as “Eastport Sentinal” (Camen, Maine: Picton, Press, 1996), p. 333.

Copyright 2017 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not copy this material and paste it elsewhere)