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At present, this page is limited to information obtained from military service and pension records. However, if anyone can contribute stories of civilian experiences during the Civil War, or additional information about any of these soldiers, please feel free to do so. While I can identify the period during which a man served, unless he was wounded, killed, or taken prisoner, there's usually no way of knowing (from the official records) whether or not he participated in any given battle. That's why I've used language like "During the period of his service, the regiment fought at . . ." Any exceptions to this general rule are specifically noted. You'll notice a few cases in which a soldier is listed in both the Union and Confederate sections. This was not uncommon in the mountain areas of the South.

Union Soldiers

  • John Thomas Johnson Yelton enlisted as a private in Co. D of the 16th Kentucky Infantry on 8 Oct 1861. He reenlisted on 1 Jan 1864 and was mustered out on 15 July 1865. During the period of his service, the regiment participated in Gen. Burnside's expedition to East Tennessee in 1863, Mossy Creek, the Atlanta Campaign, including the battles of Resaca and Kennesaw Mountain, and the battles of Franklin, and Nashville.
  • William S. H. Yelton William H. Yelton enlisted as a private in Co. D of the 16th Kentucky Infantry on 8 Oct 1861. He reenlisted on 1 Jan 1864 and was mustered out on 15 July 1865. During the period of his service, the regiment participated in Gen. Burnside's expedition to East Tennessee in 1863, Mossy Creek, the Atlanta Campaign, including the battles of Resaca and Kennesaw Mountain, and the battles of Franklin and Nashville.
  • William Mortimer Yelton enlisted as a private in Co. D of the 16th Kentucky Infantry on 8 Oct 1861. He reenlisted on 1 Jan 1864 and was mustered out on 15 July 1865. During the period of his service, the regiment participated in Gen. Burnside's expedition to East Tennessee in 1863, Mossy Creek, the Atlanta Campaign, including the battles of Resaca and Kennesaw Mountain, and the battles of Franklin and Nashville.
  • Oliver Perry Yelton enlisted in the 16th Indiana Infantry at the start of the Civil War, and shouldered a musket in defense of the Union. At the expiration of his term of service in the 16th Indiana, he reenlisted in the 51st Illinois Volunteer Infantry on 16 Aug 1862 as a private and served until nearly the close of the war. On January 23, 1864, Oliver Perry Yelton was detailed for duty in the Provost Marshal's Ofc., Nashville, TN under the command of Capt. James Boyd.

    In a letter written Nov. 19th, 1864, at Pulaski, Tennessee, to Brigadier General L. Thomas, in Washington, D.C., he asked for his discharge for the following reasons: My parents have both died recently, leaving property worth $15,000, in the care of an invalid sister, who is unable to manage the affairs of the estate. I have three brothers now in the service, and all have been in since the commencement of the War, and another was recently killed in action. (Brother Tom was killed when both were fighting in the Battle of Atlanta.) I am incapacitated for active field service on account of hernia occasioned by the bursting of a shell in Georgia, May 14, 1864. I have served over three years in the field. I was slightly wounded in the abdomen at Balls Bluff, Virginia, and severely in the right thigh at Chickamauga, Sept. 20th, 1863. My promotion in my Company being refused solely on the grounds of my inability to do duty with my Regiment in the field. Not wishing to be transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, nor to be reduced in the rank, neither wishing another to perform my duty as First Sergeant, while I draw the pay, I would ask this favor of you.I am General, Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, Oliver P. Yelton.

    A Certificate of Disability for Discharge, dated Febr. 29, 1865, was granted to 1st Sergeant Oliver P. Yelton of Company B of the 51st Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. While serving with the Provost Marshal in Nashville, as the war entered its final days, Sgt. Yelton met Ann Elizabeth Browning, daughter of the Rev. W. H. Browning and Elizabeth Pyle Browning, and they were married at Gallatin, Tenn, April 25, 1865, even though her parents objected to her marrying a Union Army soldier.
  • Benjamin F. Yelton a brother of Oliver Perry Yelton, enlisted in Co. C of the 6th Kansas Cavalry on 2 Nov 1861. He was mustered out on 1 Dec 1864. During the period of his service, the regiment participated in a number of engagements in Kansas, Missouri, and Indian Territory.
  • John Basil Yelton enlisted as a private in Co. H of the 21st Indiana Volunteer Infantry on 24 July 1861. In Feb. 1863, the regiment was transferred to heavy artillery service and renamed 1st Heavy Artillery. He mustered out on January 13, 1866 as a Sergeant. (Note: In the Civil War, heavy artillery generally meant big guns in forts, not the relatively light artillery that was drawn by horses and moved with the armies.)

    John Basil Yelton served at Baltimore, MD, participated in the Eastern Shore Campaign of 1861, and moved to Fortress Monroe, VA in February 1862. He sailed to Ship Island, MS in March, 1862. He participated in the reduction and capture of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, LA, the capture of New Orleans in 1862, and the taking of the Great Western Railroad in Algiers, LA, and Brasher City (Morgan City), LA. The 21st Regiment fought at the Battle of Baton Rouge, LA, on 8-5-62, where the regiment held off two Confederate brigades. They defeated Waller's Texas Cavalry in the swamps of Louisiana, where John was described as being "so covered with mud, you couldn't tell who he was, but you sure could tell he had been in a swamp."

    He participated in the Siege of Port Hudson, LA, May through July, 1863, where his battery accounted for taking numerous heavy Confederate guns out of action. (One disabled cannon is on display at the Port Hudson, La, State Commemorative Area.). He participated in the Red River Campaign in April, 1864. He participated in the Capture of Fort Gaines, AL, at the time of Admiral Farragut's Battle of Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864. Two weeks later he participated in the capture of Fort Morgan, AL. He participated in the capture of Spanish Fort, AL and Fort Blakely, AL, in April, 1865. He was part of the force that occupied Mobile, AL, and was then stationed in Fort Gaines, AL after the war to prevent anticipated French/Mexican aggression against the southern United States.
  • Theodore Augustus Yelton enlisted as a private in the 40th Kentucky Infantry on 25 July 1863. He was mustered out on 30 Dec 1864.
  • James W. Yelton enlisted as a sergeant in Company D of the 78th Indiana Infantry. He was mustered out on 3 Oct 1862 at Evansville, Indiana.

Confederate Soldiers

  • Francis Marion Yelton enlisted 25 Aug 1864 in Co H of the 18th North Carolina Infantry at Camp Vance, near Morganton, NC. He was wounded on 3 April 1865 at Petersburg, VA. He surrendered and was paroled at Appomattox, VA on 9 April 1865.
  • William Jackson Yelton of Rutherford County, NC enlisted in Co. G of the 50th North Carolina Infantry on 8 October 1862. He died of typhoid fever at Point of Rocks, VA on 2 Dec 1862.
  • George W. Yelton enlisted in Co. B of the 34th North Carolina Infantry on 19 Oct 1861. He died at Goldsboro, NC on 20 Feb 1862.
  • Leander Redman enlisted in Co. K of the 60th North Caroline Infantry on 15 May 1862. During the period of his service the regiment fought at Stones River (Murfreesboro) and Chickamauga. On 22 June 1864, he was captured by Federal troops at New Hope Church, GA. He died in prison at Camp Douglas, Chicago, IL on 20 Jan 1865.
  • Elliott Riley Lanning enlisted in Co. C of the 60th North Carolina Infantry on 8 July 1862. During the period of his service the regiment fought at Stones River (Murfreesboro) and Chickamauga. He was taken prisoner by Federal troops at Resaca, GA on 15 May 1864. He died in a prison camp in Alton, IL on 7 Nov 1864.
  • Barnett C. Yelton 's Confederate service is a little confusing because of the number of different units apparently involved. Based on his service records, Walter Clark's North Carolina Regiments and Jeff Weaver's history of the 58th North Carolina, I believe he was recruited by John Palmer for the legion Palmer hoped to form in the mountains of western North Carolina. A legion, during the Civil War, was a military organization (somewhat larger than a regiment) which included infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Palmer was not entirely successful in this effort as he apparently was unable to recruit and equip any artillery. In any case, the legion concept was losing favor with the Confederate government, and Palmer's organization was divided up into more traditional military units. Barnett Yelton wound up in the 5th Battalion NC Cavalry, although he was for a short time on the rolls of the 58th NC itself. His Confederate military service began on 27 June 1862, and ended on 10 June 1863, when he was reported as deserted from the 5th Battalion at Big Creek Gap in Tennessee. See above for his service in the Union army.
  • John L. Yelton , the brother of Barnett C. Yelton, also served in the 5th Cavalry Battalion. He died at Big Creek Gap, TN on 4 February 1863, probably from disease.
  • William Green Yelton enlisted as a bugler in Co. E. of the 13th Tennessee Cavalry on 16 August 1862 at Overton County, TN. He was captured at the Battle of Murfreesboro (Stones River) on 31 December 1862. He was held prisoner at Camp Douglas, IL for a few months, and exchanged on 4 April 1863. The records of this regiment also include a William S. Yelton who enlisted in Co. E in Overton County on 16 August 1862. He's identified as a farrier (someone who makes horseshoes and shoes horses). It's possible this is the same person.
  • Philip Hendricks Yelton enlisted in Co. E of Morgan's Regiment of Texas Cavalry (originally Capt. Alfred Johnson's Spy Company) on 4 July 1862 at West Point, Arkansas. He had traveled 400 miles to this rendezvous. He was captured at Ft. Hindman, Arkansas on 11 January 1863, but apparently was exchanged at some point, since he was back with his unit by August of that year. In a muster roll dated 31 December 1863, near Tunnel Hill, GA, it's noted that he was absent because he had been "sent across the Tennessee River by order of Genl. [Patrick] Cleburne in August on a scout. Not yet returned."
  • James Calvin Copeland served in Co. K of the 28th Tennessee Infantry, also known as the 2nd Tennessee Mountain Volunteers. This regiment was organized in Overton County, TN in 1861. It fought at the battles of Fishing Creek, Shiloh, and Port Hudson, as well as Murfreesboro and Chickamauga. After James' death in Kentucky in 1888, his widow, Mary (Yelton) Copeland, moved back to Overton County, TN, where she was living when she applied for a pension from the state of Tennessee based on her husband's service.
  • Charles Yelton was conscripted into Co. H of the 29th North Carolina Infantry. He deserted on 24 September 1863.
  • Charles Yelton enlisted in Co. F of the 62nd North Carolina Infantry on 1 October 1863. He was present on the rolls through 11 December 1864.
  • Leonard J. Yelton was mustered into Co. B of the 1st Battalion North Carolina Junior Reserves on 11 June 1864. He is listed as a corporal on a muster roll for Jan-Feb, 1865.
  • John T. Williams enlisted as a private in Co. D of the 4th Kentucky Cavalry on 15 September 1862.
  • Henry Sanford Marshall enlisted as a private in Co. A of the 5th Kentucky Infantry on 10 Sept 1862. He was wounded at Chickamauga on 20 Sept 1863. He was promoted to sergeant on 5 Nov 1863.
  • William Henry Hardman enlisted as a private in Co. A of the 5th Kentucky Infantry. He was promoted to corporal for gallant and meritorious conduct at Chickamauga and Jonesboro. On 31 Aug 1864, he was so severely wounded in the arm as to be disabled for further service during the war.
  • Perry Fields enlisted as a sergeant in Co. A of the 5th Kentucky Infantry on 10 Sept 1862. He was later promoted to lieutenant. He was killed 31 August 1864 at the battle of Jonesboro, and is buried in the mass grave there.
  • William H. Yelton enlisted as a private in Co. D. of the 4th Kentucky Cavalry on 20 June 1862 in Boone Co, KY. He was captured at Mt. Sterling, KY on 30 July 1862, but was exchanged and reported back to his unit on 21 Dec 1862. He appears on muster rolls as present for most of 1863 and 1864. He was captured 8 May 1865 at Athens, GA and paroled.
  • James Lowery Yelton enlisted as a private in Co. I of the 25th Tennessee Infantry on 30 July 1861. He transferred to Capt. McHenry's Co. of the 4th (Murray's) Tennessee Cavalry on 28 Nov 1861. He appears on a muster roll dated 23 Jan 1863 covering the period 31 August 1862 through 31 December 1862, although he's listed as absent - "detailed home for horse." Note: In the Confederate cavalry, troopers provided their own horses, although they were supposed to be compensated by the government for use of and risk to their animals.
  • William R. Yelton enlisted in Co. D of the 4th (Murray's) Tennessee Cavalry on 8 Dec. 1861. He appears on a muster roll dated 23 Jan 1863 covering the period 31 August 1862 through 31 December 1862.
  • John Yelton enlisted in Capt. Jacob Bowman's Company of the North Carolina Partisan Rangers, more formally known as the 58th North Carolina Infantry, on 17 May 1862. His father-in-law, Hodge Raburn Garland enlisted in the same company, although he was nearly 60 years old at the time. When Hodge Raburn Garland died of brain fever at Jacksboro, TN on 30 Jan 1863, John Yelton brought his body home for burial.
There's also a J. L. Yelton of Morgan's Guerillas who was captured by Federal troops near Cynthiana, KY on 17 July 1862 and sent to Vicksburg for exchange on 22 Nov 1862. This may be the same person as the James L. Yelton who was a private in Co. A of the 1st (Helm's) Kentucky Cavalry. I'm not sure who this is, or where he fits in the Yelton family.