David E. Spears

David E. Spears was Richard White's father's father's mother's brother

The 29th Georgia Infantry Regiment, four of whose ten companies were raised in Thomas County, Georgia, was organized and mustered into Confederate service at Big Shanty, Georgia in the summer of 1861.  David E. Spears enrolled in Company K, 29th Georgia Infantry Regiment as a private on 4 October 1861.  He almost immediately fell ill, and was shown as absent on sick leave during November and December 1861.    The regiment was initially, into at least June of 1863, used in coastal defense around Savannah and Charleston, mostly Savannah.  They may have garrisoned Forts Pulaski and McAllister at Savannah at times.  Company K made several trips to Wilmington, North Carolina, and stopped at Morris Island at Charleston for awhile and garrisoned it on the way back from Wilmington.  The 29th Georgia Infantry Regiment was reorganized on 7 May 1862 and Company K was redesignated as Company C.  It was involved in operations on James Island, SC, from 1 to 28 June 1862, including actions on 10 June and at Seccessionville, Ft. Jackson, on 16 June.  David Spears is shown as absent sick from August to December 1862, at Springfield and Whitesville and places not specified.   The 29th Georgia Infantry Regiment was among Confederate units was sent to the relief of Vicksburg.  It's progress was blocked by Union forces near Jackson.  The 29th saw combat in Mississippi in July 1863, then at Chickamauga, Georgia, on 19-21 September, 1863.  At Chickamauga, about 8:00 a.m. on the morning of 19 September 1863, the men of the 29th Georgia Infantry had just crossed Chickamauga Creek and were cooking breakfast when their brigade commander, Col. Claudius C. Wilson was urgently requested by Confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest, to bring his brigade to the support of his men who were about to be overrun near Reed's Bridge.  After a delay to obtain permission, Wilson did that.  He counterattacked the Union forces but around 9:30 a.m. drove them too far, thinking that he had support at his back which had vanished to attack in another direction.  Forrest called him back, but before Wilson could comply with the order his brigade was caught in a flanking fire from the left and began to disintegrate.  Only the 25th and 29th Georgia, the regiments farthest from the Union fire, were able to withdraw in order.  Approximately 50% of the men of Wilson's Brigade fell killed or wounded or were captured at Chickamauga.

David Spears was one of those men who were captured at Chickamauga, Georgia, on 19 September 1863.  He was imprisoned at Louisville, Kentucky, until transferred to Camp Douglas, Illinois, on 2 October 1863.  He died of "Inflamation of Lungs" at Camp Douglas, Illinois, on 4 March 1864.   He was buried in grave # 1036 in the Chicago City Cemetery.  However, the City of Chicago had no use for dead Confederates.  In 1867 all Confederates buried at Camp Douglas were disinterred, supposedly placed in coffins, and reinterred in concentric rings in Oak Woods Cemetery.  This was done in order to create a park in the City, Lincoln Park.  The result is known as The Confederate Mound.  A large monument there was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1895.  There are 4,200 names on the associated memorial, but payment was made to have 6,000 bodies moved.  Whether this was due to inadequacy of interment records or graft and corruption in the reinterment contracting is hard to say.  The list of known names were added to the monument on plaques at a later date.  It was my understanding, initially, that the names are not in alphabetical order... that they are probably in the order by the date of their death and original burial.  However, this understanding was wrong.  Marsha Carmichael graciously provided a photograph (seen above, to the right) of the part of the plaque containing David E. Spears name, by e-mail on 14 June 2005.

    LINK: The Confederate Mound at Chicago

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This page was created by Richard White on 19 December 2000.
Changes to this page were last made by Richard White on  14 June 2001.