February 2006


Written and Published Online by John Silver

w/contributing articles by various Silver cousins



Dear Family and Friends,


It’s February and only 3 more months of winter, I hope!  This month’s issue has a lot of obituaries.  I retrieved them over the holidays and there were so many that I thought I had better start circulating them.  We do have a few bright spots though.  Birth announcements are always welcome.

Willard Conley Silver has a new great-grandson.  Blayn Mitchell Silver, b. August 19, 2005 at 2:44 p.m.. He weighed in at 8 lbs 4 ounces and was 21 inches. Blayn Mitchell is Shelli Silver’s son.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Alfred Leonard Silver > Tilman Blalock Silver > George Delbert Silver > Willie Conley Silver > John Allan Silver > Shelli Marie Silver > Blayn Mitchell Silver)


Heyden Silver, born Wednesday, November 9, 2005. 7 lbs 3 oz. John Allan and Lucinda Silver’s new baby girl. 

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Alfred Leonard Silver > Tilman Blalock Silver > George Delbert Silver > Willie Conley Silver > John Allan Silver)


From John Silver Harris:  My family tells me we have a new Silver Cousin.   He is Grant Charles Saulman, first child of Jonathan Lee and Kelly Costner of Morganton, NC.  He was born on January 23, 2006.

Baby Saulman is a grandson of Ralph and Marilyn Silver Saulman. He is a great-grandson of the late Henry Lee and Theresa Silver.  His family line goes farther back through David Alonzo "Lonny" Silver, John Silver, Alfred Leonard Silver and Reverend Jacob Silver.

And so we welcome Grant Charles Saulman to Planet Earth and as our latest member of our extended Silver clan.

Welcome New Family Members!



One Yellow Rose

As I sit here during the Christmas holidays looking toward the window I can see one yellow rose in bloom.  This yellow rose started out as a stem I took out of the wreath on my Dad’s casket this past January.

The day we laid Dad to rest was one cold day.  He lay down in his bed the night before and died in his sleep January 23rd 2005.  We decided to bury him the next day per his wishes and ours.  He didn’t want to be laid out for days for everyone to gawk at.  He was buried in his best pair of overalls and the quilted flannel shirt I bought for him for Christmas just a few weeks past.

He always liked for me to wear my hair long, so I let it grow down to my belt.  He always liked to rub my long hair when he got a chance.  About a month before Christmas I had my hair cut. I brought my hair home tied with a band, and left it on top of my book shelf to dry.  The day we left for his funeral I took my hair down and took it with me.  When I reached my brother’s house, I took the band off, combed it nice and put a pretty ribbon around it.  I carried it in my hand until I reached his casket, where then I placed it beside him.  I didn’t want anyone touching it until he was buried.  When they closed the casket lid, my hair was placed under his hands.

I received some weird looks carrying around my hair in my hands, and also for the clothes I wore.  I didn’t dress up.  I wore my jeans and a shirt because that’s what he always saw me in.  He wouldn’t like my dressing up to come to his funeral.  He liked to look at me natural, and not “showin’ off” as he would say.

The funeral went the way he would have liked it.  We liked it but a few other family members and friends didn’t like it. A few choice words were said, but so what, it wasn’t for them to have a say.  If they wanted to see him, they should have come to see him when he was alive and well.

After his casket was closed for the final time and he was lowered and covered, I reached out and took a long stem yellow rose from the wreath that lay on his casket.  I carried it with me until I could put it in water later at home.  I enjoyed the rose until it wilted.  Then,

I cut the rose off and stripped the leaves down to a bare stem.  I placed the stem in a glass of water and placed it in my kitchen window.  A few weeks later I noticed new leaf buds appearing all over the stem.  At the bottom of the stem no roots were yet visible and at no time did the water become stagnant, it always looked fresh.

As the weeks passed more leaves appeared but no roots.  I knew that if I was to keep this precious rose I would have to make the stem bear roots so I could plant it.  I borrowed some Root Grow from my friend and put a good amount around the bottom of the stem.  It attached to the stem good and thick.  I then put it into a pot of fresh bought potting soil, the best I could find.  At this time it was summer, so I put the pot on my porch.

I did not plant the rose outside because I knew it would not make it.  After a few weeks one bud formed at the top of the plant.  We got to enjoy one yellow rose all summer.

When the nights started to frost I brought the rose into the house and set it by a window on my desk.  All the leaves fell off at one point it was not going to live.  Then, new leaves appeared. The rose grew to about 2 ½ feet.

A week before this last Christmas one bud appeared.  During Christmas we had the most beautiful yellow rose.  Each day I look at the rose I am reminded of my father.  I think this is way of being with me during this Christmas season and sharing with me the beauty of the flower he and I both love.

Carolyn Silver Sutton, 12/28/05





Jack Silver


The Citizen-Times
Asheville, NC
Sunday, January 1, 2006

BURNSVILLE – Jack Silver, 84, of Milton Florida, died Thursday, December 15, 2005, in Milton after a long illness.

A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Alexander and Berdie Tipton Silver and husband of Ruth Silver who died in 1999.  He was also preceded in death by sisters, Ruby Byrd, Lizzie Higgins, Linda Whitson and Cordelia Silver; brothers, Leroy, Carmon, Isaac and Baxter Silver; and a number of half-brothers and half-sisters.  Jack was a World War II Navy veteran.

Surviving are his daughter, Julia Longshore and husband Jim, of Milton, Florida; granddaughter, Jennifer Reeves and husband Jesse of Milton; special friends, Lyda Higgins of Burnsville and Sherrill and Aileen Hughes of Erwin, Tennessee.

The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday in the chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. The Reverend Keith Miller will officiate.  Burial will be in the Proffitt cemetery on Proffit Branch.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the services at the funeral home.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > John Jackson Silver > Marvel Alexander Silver > Alexander A. “Alec” Silver > Jack Silver)



JIMMY Silver


Black Mountain News
Buncombe Co., NC
Monday, November 14, 2005.

Swannanoa – Jimmy Silver, 65, of Swannanoa, went to be with his Lord on Friday, March 4, 2005.

A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late John Joseph and Emma Edwards Silver.  A resident of Swannanoa for 62 years, he was a retired truck driver.

Surviving are a son, John Wesley Rabb, of Canton; special friend, Gurtha Curtis, of Swannanoa; two brothers, Dale Silver and his wife, Pansy, of Marshall and Troy Silver and his wife, Shirley, of Old Fort; two sisters, Judy Hall and her husband, David, of Candler, and Barbara Stewart, of Greensboro; a grandson, Christopher N. Silver.

A service of remembrance was held Sunday at Patton Cove Gospel Mission.  The Revs. Royce Dockery, Stanley Taylor, and James R. Lamb officiated.  Burial was private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Patton Cove Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 986, Swannanoa, NC 28778

Can someone help us with this family? I haven’t a clue as to their links to the Silver Family.





The Citizen-Times
Asheville, NC
Tuesday, April 22, 2003

     Pansy Marie Hensley Watts, 87, of 14 Harmon Circle, went to be with the Lord on Monday, April 21, 2003.

     A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Jim and Vera Riddle Hensley.  She was a nurse with Bowman-Gray Hospital of Winston-Salem.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Herman Donald Watts, who died in 1972 and a daughter, Joyce Moore.

     She is survived by five sons, Charles Earl Watts and his wife , Judy, of Asheville, James Matthew Watts and wife, Susan, of Asheville, Paul D. Watts and his wife, Ann, of Winston-Salem and Gregory Lee Watts and his wife, Diane of King; two daughters, Nancy W. Linville and husband J. Gray, of Winston Salem and Vera Jane Brendle and husband, Danny, of Asheville; brother, Jack Hensley of Burlington; sister, Mary Sawyer, of Cincinnati; 23 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren and two great-great-granddaughters.

     The funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Swannanoa Chapel of Penland and Sons Funeral Home.  The Rev. William Warren will officiate. Burial will be at Little Ivy Baptist Church cemetery.

     The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home and at other times will be at the residence of a son, Charles Watts, 30 Mount Carmel Drive, Asheville.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Reuben Silver > Samuel Reuben Silver > Nancy Charlotte Elizabeth Silver m. Rev. Jesse Nelson Watts > Herman Donald Watts m. Pansy Marie Hensley)






The Citizen-Times
Asheville, NC
October 29, 2005



Pearl Lena Duncan Robinson, daughter of William Carver and Nellie Jane Duncan, was born August 8, 1914 in Mitchell County, NC.  She departed this life on October 28, 2005 at Park Ridge Hospital at the age of 91 years, 2 months and 20 days.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Homer; a son, Billy Ray; her parents; six brothers, Willard, Millard, Cleve, Albert, Floyd and Hamer Duncan; three sisters, Oady Gouge, Nora Duncan and Mae Buchanan.

Pearl is survived by one sister, Edith Tipton of Burnsville; a son, Gene Robinson of Asheville; son and daughter-in-law, Jimmy and Martha Robinson of Falls Church, VA; daughter and son-in-law Glenda and Billy Lowery of Spruce Pine; daughter and son-in-law, Frances and Carl Baker of Lebanon, Missouri; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren, Miranda, Katie, Chava, Jackson, Palmer, Valerie, Stephanie, Hanna, Stephen, Miranda and Rochelle; several nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.

She was born and raised in Mitchell County then traveled throughout the eastern United States and France with her husband who was in the United States Army.  Besides being a homemaker to her family, Pearl also worked at the Spruce Pine Hospital and in the school system in the cafeterias.  Pearl and Homer settled in Bakersville after his retirement where she remained for many years before moving to Arbor Terrace in Asheville.

Pearl was an active church member at Bear Creek Baptist Church until she was unable to attend services.  She continued to attend services every Sunday at Arbor Terrace.  She enjoyed gardening and working with flowers.  Her family, church and home were the most important parts of her life.

Pearl was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt and was a caring neighbor and friend.  We celebrate her life and will cherish the wonderful memories she created for her family and friends.

The funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Bear Creek Baptist Church.  The Revs. Chris Rathbone and Billy Stewart will officiate.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > William Jacob “Billy” Silver > Emma Jane Silver m. William Anderson Robinson > Clyde Edwin Robinson > Homer Albert Robinson m. Pearl Lena Duncan)

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Margaret “Peggy” Silver m. Mitchell A. Robinson > Milton R. Robinson > William Anderson Robinson m. Emma Jane Silver > Clyde Edwin Robinson > Homer Albert Robinson m. Pearl Lena Duncan)



John, I just received this e-mail today.  We had James Matthew Watts in our files as Bobby Watts but we didn’t have his wife, children or grandchildren.


To Gary Silver from Louise Keith Cox:

Dear Gary,

A few weeks ago, our cousin, Bobby Watts, had a hernia operation.  Apparently the surgery that was done did not do whatever it was supposed to and he continued to be ill and in pain.  On Friday, December 23rd, he was very sick and in excruciating pain.  He was rushed by ambulance to Mission Hospital in Asheville.  More surgery was done but he did not recover and died at approximately 10:00 on Saturday, December 24, 2005.

His wife, Susie, has made arrangements for him to be cremated and a memorial service to be held at a later date.  There will be no immediate services.

The obituary reads as such:

Bobby was born as James Matthew Watts on April 29, 1940.  He was the son of  Herman and Pansy Marie Hensley Watts and a grandson of Jesse Nelson and Charlotte Elizabeth Silver Watts.

He is survived by his wife, Susan Frances Avery Watts; 3 children,  James Matthew Watts II, Robin Lee Watts Girard and Richard Harrison Watts; 3 grandchildren, Natialya Marie Rebecca Girard, Nicole Danielle Cheri Girard and Michael Jason Girard II.

Our mother, Orpha Keith, has pneumonia.  Please remember her in your prayers.

Hope all is well with everyone at your house.

Love, Louise

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Reuben Silver > Samuel Reuben Silver > Nancy Charlotte Elizabeth Silver m. Jesse Nelson Watts > Herman Donald Watts m. Pansy Marie Hensley > James Matthew “Bobby” Watts m. Susan Frances Avery)



This month I received word that Cousin Thelma C. Silver Toarmino had passed away October 29, 2005, in Avon, New York. She was born in Kona on September 4, 1919 to James Raymond and Margaret Ruth Allen Silver. She worked in Washington, DC and then moved to Rochester, NY. She married Salvatore Toarmino on June 25, 1945 and settled in Avon, NY. They were the parents of three children, Patricia Ann, Sandra Lee and Paul Samuel Toarmino. She is survived by Sandra Lee and Paul Samuel.

In January, 2004, I received a call from the Maryland State Police.  They were investigating a house where someone had reported a death.  A friend of Joseph Raymond Silver had found him dead when he went to check on him. The State Police called me when they found my name and phone number on a copy of our newsletter.  I was able to help identify Joseph and let them know who and where to reach his next of kin.  A little later, Thelma called to thank me for the help I had been to them.  At that time she asked me to see if I could find any information on her father, James Raymond Silver.  It seems that he disappeared some time after 1925.  I tried every thing I could think of to locate him, but I came up with a big zero. No one, including police and private detectives has ever been able to find any thing about his whereabouts.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > David Ralph Silver > Robert Enoch Lee Silver > James Raymond Silver > Thelma C. Silver)



I just got a message from Barbara Gregory telling us of Chris Bright's death on Saturday. He was the husband of the late Joyce Silver Bright.  He has attended the Silver and Parker Reunions for many years.

When I last talked to Chris, he called me from West Virginia to let me know of his address change so he wouldn't miss an issue of Silver Threads. He told me that he had been diagnosed with bancer of the bladder.  He said that the doctor told him if he had surgery he might live six months. He also told him that without the surgery, he would last about three months. Chris said that he did not want to go through the chemo sickness and radiation and elected to do without the surgery.

Bless his heart, he beat the Grim Reaper by a month. It had been four months since he told me.

We send our most sincere best wishes to Chris's relatives and friends.

Cousin John



From Chuck and Margaret Huff: Open Letter to Family and Friends: Date: January 2, 2006.


To All My Family and Friends,

Some of you know what a year we have had since December 7th and some of you are probably still wondering what has happened to us since then.  I am so sorry that I am so late in getting back to you.

On December 6th I went into the hospital for a fusion on my neck, C4&C5 - C5&C6 - C6&C7.  All went well, then on December 9th, Chuck had a hard time waking me up and realizing something was not right, he called 911 and the came to our home and took me to Methodist Hospital Emergency Room.  After running tests on me, they decided that I had aspirating pneumonia caused by fluid going down the wrong pipe and that I also had had a heart attack.  They ran an angiogram and it showed that I had three blockages in the middle of the same artery – 85% in the top part of the artery, 70% in the middle and 30% in the bottom.  They could not do anything at that time because the middle part of the artery was on a curve and the Doctors were not sure that angioplasty would hold but the pneumonia had to be cleared before they could go in with the angioplasty.  On December 19th they installed a stint and a balloon on the middle area.  They installed a Pick Line on my right arm to feed me because I could not swallow food.  I am doing fair but so far, I’m just starting Physical Therapy at home.

     I came home Christmas Eve and needless to say, I was a bit upset, but I was just happy to be home with my whole family was here at our home to celebrate Christmas with us.

     We do have some very happy news to share with you.  We are going to have our first great-grandchild about the end of January.  Our granddaughter, Nancy and her husband Chad Scott are going to be the proud parents.

Thank you again for all your understanding, your prayers and your love.

Margaret and Chuck



The 58th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Company “K”

& Civil War Letters to Folks Back Home

by Rex Redmon


Greetings Cousins,


The 67,000 soldiers of the Confederate Army of Tennessee were pushed out of Tennessee and into the foothills of Northern Georgia by Sherman’s 100,000-man force in May of 1864. The trenches and battle emplacements the Confederate soldiers dug between Dalton and Atlanta during the winter of 1863/64 were hard being put to use by the boys from back home in Western North Carolina. Garrett Dawes Gouge, a Silver Family cousin, alludes to the fighting in a letter to his wife, Rosannah, on May 22, 1864.

…we (“K” Company of the 58th North Carolina Regiment from Mitchell County, NC) have been fighting with the Yankees for 14 days but we have not lost many men yet. Alexander Silver was wounded slightly in the right leg…

…the Yankee force was too large for ours and we fell back to meet our reinforcements. We are on one side of High Tower Ridge and the Yankees are on the other side. It is supposed that we will have a big fight here before many days but it is no uncertain when it will come off. We beat the Yankees back in every attack.

Yes, the Confederates sometimes beat back the Yankee charges as Garrett states, however, he also says, we fell back to meet our reinforcements.

Today, from our vantage point here in the Twenty-first century, we can look back upon the retreating Confederate Army of East Tennessee and know the efforts of the Confederate cause were all in vain. Sherman’s march to the sea was inevitable. His forces and supplies were too overwhelming for the Confederate cause.

I ended January’s Silver Threads as the Battle of New Hope Church in Marietta, Georgia was beginning. The Yankee forces advancing on the Confederate forces were three men deep when compared to the single line of the Confederates who were entrenched in a thicket of bushes.

Division Commander Carter Stephenson listed his dead and wounded. Killed in action were 121 men. Wounded in action were 565 men and 531 men were missing in action. The MIAs, a division commander has to assume, are prisoners of war. Regardless of the fate of those missing in action, whether they were prisoners of war or were displaced, or deserters in the face of battle, they were not present or accounted for during roll call and therefore considered missing in action.

Following is a list of Confederate soldiers from Mitchell County who were wounded, killed or captured during the battle for Atlanta in June and July of 1864. 

Wounded; D.V. Hunter, John B. Westall, Ezekiel H. Hampton, William D. Williams, Joseph G. Allen, James H. Thomas, Baker Ayers and Harvey Bailey.

Killed in action; James P. Presnell. William G. Buchanan, Lewis Patton, Josiah Pittman, Emanuel Rose, William Young and Harvey T. Wilson.

Captured; Joshua L. Arrowood, Cornelius Edwards, McWilliam Harris. William B. McMahan, John R. Morse, Hiram R. Peake, James R. Shurrett, Silas Roland, Waighstill T. Honeycutt, Bacchus S. Hensley, John J. Edwards, James N. Gibbs, Morris S. Pate, Fielder Spalding, Joseph Beasley, Thomas Hillman/Hollman, John Silver and Lewis P. Silver. [1]

John and Lewis Perry Silver are sons of Alfred Silver and Elizabeth Gouge and grandsons of Rev. Jacob Silver of Mitchell County. Elizabeth Gouge is a sister of Garrett Dawes Gouge, writer of our Civil War letters to home. According to John Silver, our family historian, at the battle of Atlanta, Lewis was wounded and was trying to escape the Blue Bellies. He was hiding in the river (Possibly the Chattahoochee) when John found him. John told Lewis he was hurt too bad to get away and told him they were going to surrender to get him to a hospital. They surrendered and Lewis Perry was sent to a field hospital where he received treatment. John was transferred to Columbus, Ohio to the P.O.W. prison. When Lewis Perry was able to travel he too was sent to Columbus. Lewis Perry contracted measles and died on November 10, 1864. John survived and was paroled in June of 1865, two months after the war ended, and made his way home to Mitchell County,  

Thirteen men of the 58th North Carolina were taken prisoner on May 26, 1864 according to a dispatch to Yankee Brigadier General W. L. Elliott. The dispatch alluded to the fact moral was low in the Confederate lines and it is the opinion of the captors the prisoners did not want to fight west of the Chattahoochee River anymore. The North Carolina 58th stood down after the battle at New Hope Church, recovering from the effects of the battle.

Weaver writes, despite the observations of the Yankee Commanders, fighting was constant at New Hope Church for two days.

A letter in Weaver’s book written by James Clark of the 63rd Virginia to his wife, Martha, describes incidents involving some of the North Carolina troops…

…The enemy does not seem disposed to fight but gain territory by strategy. Two of the regiments has been branded as deserters and received that punishment…A few days before we left Dalton I saw 14 deserters shot. They were from the N.C. regiment that belongs to (out) Brigade. It was the worst sight I ever saw, too horrible to think about. Yet some of them was not killed the first time & some of them were not touched. Their cries were horrible in the extreme. Men were ordered up one at a time to put their guns close to their hearts or heads and fired. One poor fellow told them if they were going to kill him for God sake to do it & not shoot his flesh to pieces. They all seem to very much be effected about their future, except one who believed that there was no God and died firm in his belief. [2]

Weaver also states in his book that desertions which plagued much of the army of Tennessee was not a major concern in the 58th, due in part to the executions carried out on malefactors.

Garrett Gouge is apparently a blessed soul during the May and early June fighting in 1864. A letter to Rosannah on June 6, 1864 describes his physical condition which prevents him from participating in many of the skirmishes.

St. Mary’s Hospital
Montgomery, Alabama
June 6, 1864


My Dear and Affectionate Wife,


I this day take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well. I had the mumps and took cold and they are using me very badly. I hope these few lines may come safe to hand in due time and find you and the children well and doing well. I haven’t got much to write to you at this time


I can say to you that I was in all that fighting. It was some 15 or 20 days before I left. The regiment was in good health when I left. Alexander Silver was wounded in the thigh. The bone was not broken but it was a flesh wound. I don’t know (whether) there were many of the boys wounded or not.


Dear wife, I want you to do the best that you can until I can get to come home if I live and I hope that I will. I don’t want you to work too hard.You and the children give my best respects to your mother and Sarah Howell the same. Tell them that I would like very much to see them all.


So I will close the_____When you write, direct to the regiment and if I ain’t there the boys will send them (letters) to me. Tell the children to be good and mind their mother.So I will come to a close in hopes of getting_____from you soon. Write soon and fail not.


G.D. Gouge to Mrs. R. Gouge [3]


Another letter written by Garrett on June 29, 1864 to his sister and brother-in-law, Patsy and Hector McNeil briefly describes some of the skirmishes in which Garrett has engaged.

Smerry Church near Marietta, GA.
June 29, 1864


A few lines to Hector and Patsy


I hope this letter will come to the hand and find you well. I have had the mumps and am not very strong yet although I am in camp with the boys .Things are hard here. There has been heavy skirmishing here ever since the 7th of April and (it) is continuing. I expect we will have a hard fight about the 4th of July and I hope that will end the war. 

You will please write to me and I will write to you. I truly hope that I will live to meet you all on the earth again after his land is at peace. If it not the Lord’s will for me to live on this earth, I hope we will all meet in heaven where there are no wars and trouble there.


G. D. Gouge (to) Hector McNeil and Sister.



A few lines now from T.B. (Tilman) Silver:


I suppose that Sarah Silver has told (You) that Aunt Patsy told me and Dorcus that she abused Hector’s children and, as God is my judge, I never heard such a thing named. She told a willful lie.


Hector and Patsy, I send my best respects to you and grandfather and mother and I am well as common. Farewell.


T. B. (Tilman) Silver


The Confederate forces defending Atlanta were led by General Joe Johnston of whom Confederate Jefferson Davis was not pleased. Davis resented Joe Johnston because he felt Johnston would not give Sherman an all out fight. Johnston, a careful planner and statistician was relieved of command and in his stead, General John Bell Hood, a reckless aggressor, would give both Davis and Sherman what they wanted. However, esprit de corps under his command suffered greatly because those in his command thought him thoughtless and out of control.

Hood lived up to his reputation by disastrously attacking Sherman’s army on July 20, 1864. Casualties were extremely high in the Confederate ranks. Hood reorganized and again on July 22, Hood ordered a second reckless attack and was again repulsed with heavy casualties. As a result, the Confederates fell back into Atlanta. Weaver reports that the 58th was among the defenders of Atlanta especially in the center of the defensive works.

The siege of Atlanta lasted until the end August of 1864. General Hood abandoned Atlanta when Sherman made a flanking move to the south and west of Atlanta threatening to cut off Hood’s Army from other Southern Confederate forces. Atlanta fell to the Northern Aggressors on September 2, 1864. Yet, Hood and President Davis devised a scheme to recapture the city; however, both of the leaders agreed they needed more manpower to accomplish such a feat. .

With Davis’ blessing, Hood requested a prisoner exchange with Sherman on September 8, 1864. Sherman agreed to the exchange citing he had 28 officers, 782 enlisted men on hand plus another 93 officers and 907 enlisted men in Chattanooga. His terms were to exchange equal men for equal men. Sherman had outsmarted Hood. Such an exchange would benefit no one, plus it is doubtful by historians that Hood could exchange man for man.

By October 5, 1864, Hood’s troops were diminished to 40,000 men. Taking a reverse roll of action, Hoods troops, including the men of the North Carolina 58th, retreated north as Sherman began his march to the sea. Hood attacked and recaptured Dalton on October 12, 1864. Dalton had been the winter quarters of the Army of The Tennessee during the winter of 1863/64. The 58th North Carolina Infantry regiment was commanded at the time by Captain Samuel M. Silver, ninth child of Reverend Jacob Silver.

            I will conclude my portion of Silver Threads for this month. Please come back next month and read more of the Civil War letters to home and about the fate of the North Carolina 58th Infantry Regiment of Mitchell County, NC, the ancestral home of our Silver Clan. 

Cousin Rex


John Silver
Genealogist & Editor
64S Fairfield Drive
Dover, DE 19901
[email protected]

Barney Kaufman
7408 Lake Drive
Manassas, VA 20111-1960
[email protected]





[1] Lloyd R. Bailey Sr. Editor. The Heritage of Toe River Valley, Volume II.  Walsworth Publishing Co. Inc. Marceline, Mo. 1997. 46.

[2] Weaver. 58th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.

[3] Copy of letter in author’s possession. Reprinted by permission of John Silver Harris.