Posts Tagged ‘Josias Gamble’

The Explosion of the Steamer “Sultana” = The Pension File of Angeline F. Gamble

September 2, 2016

Angeline F. Thompson married Moses Gamble on May 28, 1852.

That’s what her pension file says.

Her pension file is unlike the others that I have posted. Usually the soldier gets a pension, and then his widow applies for it.

In this case, Moses Gamble was never able to apply for a pension after the Civil War, because he was killed in the explosion of the steamer “Sultana” on April 27, 1865. There is much good info available about the “Sultana” and what led up to its explosion. You can do an internet search and see what the scholars have to say. What I know is this: Moses had been a prisoner of war, and was released and on his way home when he was lost in the explosion. That’s the term the pension file uses: “lost”. Not killed, or wounded, or missing in action.


Angeline applied for a pension based on his service. Moses was admitted as a private on September 18, 1862, to Company A, 3rd Tennessee Cavalry Volunteers. I suppose the crops had been gathered, and he joined the service of the U.S. to supplement his income. Other members of his extended family had joined.

He left two children, Alexander Breckinridge Gamble and Elizabeth Louisa Gamble. Angeline received the pension on August 4, 1866, which was made retroactive to the date of the explosion of the steamer “Sultana”. She was awarded $8 per month.

Those of you who know math, and how to apply it to practical life, will see that the younger child, Elizabeth Louisa Gamble, was born 8 1/2 months after her father mustered in.

Angeline never remarried. She would have lost her pension.

Good night, Gamble family. We’re thinking of you.


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The Family Bible of Thomas Elisha & Jane Susan Starr Basinger: Intermission

January 22, 2014

I photographed the Bible last week, and when I loaded the photos onto the computer, I found that the images were unclear when I attempted to enlarge them. The spidery handwriting fragmented so much upon enlargement that it became illegible. Is that an 8? Or a 3? Numbers are important in genealogy.

I knew I’d have to photograph them again, this time much closer and in sections.

This particular Bible also has the Apocrypha, just like the Family Bible of Stephen Lawton. I’m fascinated with the concept of this section of the Bible that has been removed from modern day Bibles. That seems like a whole new area of study of me, and I flipped through some of the sections.


I have a 5th great-grandfather named Josias Gamble. He was a Revolutionary Era patriot, and I was able to join the Daughters of the American Revolution using him as my patriot ancestor. When I was filling out the application forms, more than one person asked me, “You sure that’s right? Josias? Not Josiah? Did you spell it wrong?” I do a little foot-stampy thing right about here, and insist that it is right. He had descendants that were also named Josias, and their headstones say “Josias”. So there. He was already a recognized patriot in the DAR files, but us local folks had never heard it, and to be fair, everything on the DAR application needs to be right and correct, and I do understand that, and I appreciate everyone’s diligence in that matter.

Insert surprised expression here upon viewing the Apocrypha.


From the book of Ecclesiasticus:
Chapter XLIX
1 The praise of Josias, 4 of David and Ezekias, 6 of Jeremy, 8 of
zekiel, 11 Zorobabel, 12 Jesus the son of Josedec: 13 of Nee-
mias, Enoch, Seth, Sem, and Adam.
THE remembrance of a Josias is like the composi-
tion of the perfume that is made by the art of
the apothecary: it is sweet as honey in all mouths,
and as music at a banquet of wine.
2 He behaved himself uprightly in the conversion
of the people, and took away the abominations of
3 He directed his heart unto the Lord, and b in the
time of the ungodly he established the worship of God.
4 All, except David, and Ezekias, and Josias, were
defective: for they forsook the law of the Most High,
even the kings of Juda failed.
5 Therefore he gave their power unto others, and
their glory to a strange nation.

Becky & Ruth

October 5, 2009
Becky & Ruth in 1958

Becky & Ruth in 1958


“The battlefield was quiet October 18, 1781 under temporary truce.  That day two Allied commissioners met with two British and drafted the terms of surrender.  They met in this house, now restored and refurnished.  It was then the home of Augustine Moore, merchant of Yorktown.”

I found this photo among my mother’s things.  When I turned it over, in my grandmother’s handwriting on the back it said, “Becky and Ruth”.  I thought that was extraordinarily silly, because this wasn’t a picture of my sister and me.  Had Grandma gone senile as far back as 1958 that she thought that this picture was myself and my little sister Becky who hadn’t even been born yet?  What was wrong with this picture?  Who were these women?

I flipped the photo back and looked at their faces.  An epiphany came.  The woman on the right was the woman I was named for, Ruth Webb Packett.  And the woman on the left was her sister Becky.  Suddenly my awareness of myself became one ripple wider in the pond that was my world. 

What in the world were they doing in Yorktown?  I never knew my grandmother to go anywhere much except town and church, and sometimes she took the Greyhound bus to Knoxville to go shopping at Miller’s on Gay Street.  I don’t know much about Great-Aunt Becky except that her name was really Gladys, and she had been married several times.  Once when I was a little girl, she came on a visit to stay with my grandmother.  I think she smoked, and I’m sure she could knit.  Once she sent a little red cardigan sweater that fastened with one pearl-like button at the neckline.  I thought that was a silly design.  What good is one button?  A fashion plate I was not, but I certainly could get dirty, what with my tomboy leanings.  What good was a sweater that you couldn’t button up tight against the cold? 

My best guess is that Grandma actually went on a trip to visit Aunt Becky, maybe on her Greyhound bus.  I would like to say that Aunt Becky lived in Norfolk, Virginia, but I’m just not sure. 

And WHO TOOK THIS PICTURE?  And WHY DOES THIS BOTHER ME SO MUCH that I don’t know these things?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Get Ready for King’s Mountain!

October 4, 2009

The battle opened on October 7, 1780, around 3 pm when 900 Patriots (including my 5th great-grandfather Josias Gamble), approached the steep base of King’s Mountain at dawn. The rebels formed eight groups of 100 to 200 men. Two parties, led by Colonels John Sevier and William Campbell, assaulted the ‘high heel’ of the wooded mountain, the smallest area but highest point, while the other seven groups, led by Colonels Shelby, Williams, Lacey, Cleveland, Hambright, Winston and McDowell attacked the main Loyalist position by surrounding the ‘ball’ base beside the ‘heel’ crest of the mountain.  The Patriots crept up the hill and fired on the Loyalists from behind rocks and trees. Ferguson rallied his troops and launched a bayonet charge against Campbell and Sevier’s men. With no bayonets of their own, the rebels retreated down the hill and into the woods. Campbell rallied his troops, returned to the base of the hill, and resumed firing. Ferguson launched two more bayonet charges during the course of the battle. During one of the charges, Colonel Williams was killed and Colonel McDowell wounded. However, after each charge the Patriots returned to the base of the hill and resumed firing. It was hard for the Loyalists to find a target because the Patriots were constantly moving using cover and concealment. After an hour of combat, Loyalist casualties were heavy. Ferguson rode back and forth across the hill, blowing a silver whistle he used to signal charges. Growing desperate, he slipped on a plaid shirt to cover his officer’s coat. A soldier on one side or the other saw this and alerted his comrades immediately. At the crest, as the Patriots overran the Loyalist position, Ferguson fell dead from his saddle with eight rifle balls in his body. Seeing their leader fall, the Loyalists began to surrender. Eager to avenge defeats at the Waxhaw Massacre and elsewhere, the rebels did not initially want to take prisoners. Rebels continued firing and shouted, “Give ’em Tarleton’s Quarter!” After a few more minutes of bloodletting, the Colonials asserted control and gave quarter to around 700 Loyalists.