7/13/13

Jefferson~Born In Time of Peace~ Died In Time of War

By 1820 Jefferson 'Jeffery' Pittman, the fifth son of John Ichabod and Lucy, had married his brother's wife's sister, had two children, and was farming in Columbia County.  His farm was most likely in close proximity to his fathers and brothers and for all practical purposes was probably still land owned by his father and sectioned off for Jeffery and his wife Rachel's home.

Jeffery and Rachel were married on July 7, 1814 when he was just twenty-two years of age.  In those days that was considered quite young for a male to marry.  However, in Jefferson's case, he was the son of a wealthy land owner, and was financially stable.  Rachel was the sister of Priscilla Harden Pittman, the wife of her husbands older brother Marshall...his story Eight Is Enough...Second Son's Testament to The Scriptures.

In the next ten years, by 1830, Jeffery and Rachel had completed their family of six children with the youngest Mordecai having been born in 1829.  Jeffery was now thirty-eight, a successful farmer in his own right whose farm supported his family of eight and several families of slaves numbering thirteen.  As was his fathers and brothers, Jeffery's farms main crop was cotton, and by this time, Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin in 1793 was making a major impact on the Pittman Plantations.  Although the cotton gin was not  patented and validated until 1807, Whitney's early model had a monumental impact on the Cotton Industry of the South.

By the 1840 Census, Jeffery's family structure and numbers had changed only slightly with only one of his older children, Henry Harden, having married and established his own home.  Still at home and shown on the 1840 Census as employed in agriculture were eight persons.  Daughters, America and Lucy would not marry for several years more, and younger children, Jabez Pleiadas, Martha and Mordecai were in school which was also documented for the first time on the Census Form.  Schools-Primary and Common and Schools-No. of Scholars (Pri/Comm): were the two categories enumerated.  As has been noted previously, the Pittman's interest and endeavors in education were of great importance.  In the category of No. of Scholars, 60 was the number listed.

In 1850, Jeffery and Rachel were in their late fifty's.  All their children had married and settled in homes and communities nearby.  Their daughter Martha and her husband, Benjamin Franklin Miller, a school teacher were living with them on the farm.  Daughter America had married in 1846 to Jackson Boyd Sloan, who would later become a Second Lieutenant and survivor of the Civil War.  They had five children, three sons and two daughters, with daughter Mary living until 1943.

Rachel died on February 12, 1858 at the age of 65.  Two years later her daughter Lucy died at age 37.  Lucy had married Bodwell E. Wells, a Civil Engineer and had six children before her early death in 1860.  Her husband remarried and left Georgia for Texas where he was laid to rest at age 80 in 1900 at Fairview Cemetery, Hubbard County, Hill, Texas. 

Jefferson 'Jeffery' Pittman died at age 71 on August 29, 1863.  He was born at a time of prosperity, lived during the golden age of cotton in the South, and died with the knowledge that life as he had known it and hoped it would be for his children and grandchildren would be forever changed with the outcome of the Civil War.  This he knew a year before President Abraham Lincoln said:

"There is more involved in this contest than is realized by every one. 
There is involved in this struggle the question whether your children and my children
shall enjoy the privilege we have enjoyed."
August 22, 1864 ~ Speech to the 160th Ohio Regiment

He died in Resaca, Gordon County, Georgia, most likely at the home of his daughter America and son-in-law Second Lieutenant Jackson Boyd Sloan, Confederate Army, Resaca, Georgia, a short three months after one of the best documented and described battles of the Civil War...The Battle of Resaca.

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