ROBERT L. KILLOUGH’S CIVIL WAR STORY
Robert Lacy Killough, born March 23, 1843, AL, joined the Confederate Army at Old Elyton, Ala. (site of Birmingham later), on June 1, 1861. After being sent home, he helped organize a boy company and went to defend Fort Blakely in Mobile, AL. He was still in the fort at the time of its surrender. He died at 99 years of age. He and his wife, Virginia, are buried at Montevallo, Shelby Co. AL. This is a copy of his handwritten story exactly as he wrote it:
Left Jefferson County 1861. Went to Montevallo and mustered in service June 15th from Montevallo. Went to Montgomery and stayed there untill 30th and leaving landed in Richmond July 3rd. My Commanders were Colonel Foney and Brigadeer Gunerer Wilcox & Capt. Alberto Martin. First battle was at Bull Run. The next fight was at Antetun (Antietam). We camped all winter at Salem church and in spring had big fight in Northern Virginia. Capt. Foney was wounded at Autetun. I was in Company B-10th Ala. Was wounded at the Salem Church, Virginia. Next wound was in area at Gettersburg and on table under influence of cloriform to amputate arm and while in that condition the dinner bell rang and the surgeon left me and went to dinner and while gone I came out from under the cloiform and Dr. Taylor from Talladega County came along and took charge of me and saved my arm. Had it not been for Dr. Taylor I would have gone through life with only 1 arm. The next wound was in head from the bursting of a shell. There were present 4 of us and the other three were killed. After getting well of my arm wound I raised a boy company and went to Mobile and while there I was wounded in the leg. We slept many nights on the bare ground with nothing but an army blanket. While in Virginia there came a big snow which covered the ground more than a foot deep and the next morning we were covered with the snow and our breathing kept a hole open so we could breathe but our bodies were covered with snow. (End of his handwritten page.)
MORE OF ROBERT LACY KILLOUGH’S STORY IN HIS OWN WORDS
In a clipping written in Siluria, AL, by a Mr. Fisher from an unknown newspaper published in 1938, is the following story:
R. L. Killough, 95-year-old Confederate veteran, has a rendezvous this week with a 75-year-old tragedy. Tuesday, he leaves for Gettysburg, Pa., where, as one of the veterans of the Civil War, he will attend the joint reunion of Union and Confederate veterans on the scene of perhaps the most bitter and decisive battle of the war. But Mr. Killough has little interest in the formal program planned for the reunion. Still vivid in his memory is the picture of his personal part of the great battle - - - -
“- - - and then I saw a Union soldier just ready to fire. I took refuge behind a tree and watched him preparing to fire. I rested my gun against a tree and fired at him. He fired back. The bullets struck the trunk of the tree. That Yankee certainly was a good marksman. Both shells hit the tree right at the height of my head. He was behind a tree also but his tree was larger than mine and I couldn’t see much of him. I just tried to shoot at the tree. After my first shot, the Yankee fired again and his third shot got me in my right arm, which was sticking out from behind the tree. I guess he thought he had killed me for I didn’t see anything more of him. I lay there for a long time while the battle moved on to another part of the field. I was bleeding a lot and my throat became parched from thirst. Finally I remembered a small branch I had crossed on our advance and I started crawling toward it. It was a terrible effort but I reached the stream and got a drink of water. I’m going to hunt up that tree and that little stream if it takes all the time I have at Gettysburg.”
Despite his advanced years, Mr. Killough is able to work in the fields on the small farm south of here where he lives with his granddaughter, Mrs. W. S. Davenport . [Mrs. Walter (Helen Wooten) Davenport]
“He can hoe more corn and cotton than I can right now.” Mrs. Davenport said.
The federal government is paying expenses of the old veteran to the Gettysburg reunion and also is paying expenses of John Harper, who lives near by, to go along and look after him.