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www.childers-shepherd.org, 23 Mar 2016
Elijah C. Childers
abt 1830        -        9 March 1862*
Macon Co NC                                             VA
Census records say simply "Elijah" or "Elija". The Civil War records say "Elijah Childers" or "Elijah C.
Childers". The
death certificate of Elijah's eldest child, Sarah Emeline Childers Green, says her father
was "James Elijah Childers".

"On April 27, 1861 at the age of 27, Elijah enlisted in the Confederate Army to help fight the Civil War.
He was present and accounted for until he died of disease on May 9, 1862 on the march from Wolf Run
Shoals (Va) to Fredricksburg (Va)."
- Stephen R. Childers, "The Childers Family in Western North Carolina" (citing North Carolina Troops 1861-1865: A

For more history of the war in northeast Virginia, see this Fairfax County website:


Elijah Childers is listed, according to Civil War records, in both the 16th NC Infantry, Company A (27
April 1861) and the
39th NC Infantry (Company K). (Company A transferred to the Thomas Legion
Regiment 5 October 1862 and then later to 39th Infantry, Company K.) As Elijah died earlier in 1862, it
seems safe to assume that his active service was in Virginia with the 16th NC Infantry, and his name
was simply carried forward with the other records when Company A transferred to the 39th Regiment.

Other sources corroborate his presence in Virginia with the 16th NC Infantry.

The Roster of North Carolina Troops in the War Between the States, Vol III, includes this section on
page 110, for the 39th Infantry Regiment, Company K:

* Note: Elijah Childers is listed here as dying March 9, '62. While two other military accounts say May
9, March seems more plausible, given what is known about the movement of Confederate troops in
northern Virginia in spring 1862. (It is easy to imagine an error in transcribing handwritten records
listing dates with March and May.) The Fairfax County study cited above includes this:

"As the spring of 1862 approached, Confederate General Johnston fell back from the Centreville/Bull Run line to a
position behind the Rappahannock. The Confederates withdrew for logistic and strategic reasons. General Johnston
feared a Federal advance via Brimstone Hill (near Burke Lake), which would have divided his forces. In early March, he
moved his army southward." (citing Douglas S. Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants, 1942 Vol. 1:135-41).

Note: The Rappahannock River is at Fredricksburg, VA. The same timeline is corroborated in North Carolina Troops
1861-1865: A Roster; there Louis H. Manarin reports that the brigade including this regiment was at Fredricksburg by
March 15 and remained there for one month before continuing southeast to the Yorktown-Warwick line below

See a letter written by his brother-in-law, William B. Carden, in 1861 from Camp Lee, Virginia. The
letter includes, on the fourth page, this statement: "liege is not able for duty". As "Lige" was a
well-known nickname for Elijah, this is probably a reference to Elijah Childers. Also, Elijah's brother
Nimrod seems to have been mentioned ("Nem").

Sources: U.S. Civil War Records and Profiles;
U. S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861 - 1865;
Roster of N. C. Troops in the War between the States;
North Carolina Troops 1861-1865: A Roster, Weymouth T. Jordan, Jr., Editor,  Raleigh, NC, 1977.
U. S. Census, 1850, Macon Co NC;
U. S. Census, 1860, Jackson Co NC;