The Civil war was as devastating for the Pennington family. They had three sons who fought in the war and two son-in-laws. They all fought for the Confederacy as did most of those who lived in Ashe Co., NC. These weren’t families who had slaves but probably most likely fought for their homeland. It left a devastating effect on the Levi Pennington family.
Andrew Pennington was born about 1834 in Ashe Co., NC and married Mary Little on 5 Nov 1857 in Ashe Co., NC. Andrew enlisted on 10 Aug 1861 as a Private and later on 25 Oct 1861 enlisted in the 34th Infantry Regiment North Carolina. He was mustered out on 27 Aug 1863. From that point he disappears from history. It is thought that he died soon after. Andrew left a wife, Mary Little and two small boys, the youngest only a few months old.
Levi Daniel Pennington also enlisted in the military and fought for the Confederacy. He was born in 1837 and married Elizabeth Osborne on 17 Dec 1854 in Ashe Co., NC. Levi Daniel and Elizabeth had three children, the second one dying as an infant. Levi Daniel was injured in the Civil War and the doctors inserted a ceramic plate in his head. By the 1870 census, Levi’s wife and children are no longer living with him and he is listed as insane, living with his parents. By 1887, he was put in a Mental Hospital in Morganton, Burke Co., NC where he died on 17 Jan 1909. I’ve heard from a descendant that Levi Daniel had turned extremely violent and unpredictable and had tried to strangle his wife. It is no wonder that she took her children and left him in order to protect herself and her children.
Harvey Pennington seemed to have escaped the Civil War without long lasting damage. He was born on 29 Feb 1828 in Ashe Co., NC and married Easter Little. After her death in 1894, he married again to Martha Brooks. He had 10 children with Easter, and 1 child with his second wife. He served in the Whitman’s North Carolina 66th Infantry Regiment and returned from the war seemingly whole. He lived to be 94 years old and was the longest lived of his siblings.
Alexander Monroe Dollar was the husband of Elizabeth Pennington. He was born about 1838 and enlisted in the 58th Infantry Regiment of North Carolina on 20 Jul 1862. Within a short time, he did something that was pretty common in for those in the 58th North Carolina – he deserted and later took a oath of allegiance to the Union.
James Emmett Lewis was born in 1817 as the son of Nathan Lewis and Eleanor Roark, he married Hiley Pennington in August 1837. Unlike his brother-in-laws, James Emmett Lewis served in the 13th TN Calvary and fought for the Union. Upon his return, he was murdered by a Thomas Royal in Ashe Co., NC on 3 April 1865. One wonders if he was murdered because of his allegiance to the Union. He left his wife with 8 children. His wife, Hiley, received his pension and she died on 4 Nov 1895.
So with three sons, and two son in laws – the Levi Pennington family lost one son in the war, another son to insanity, a son in law to murder and the other two survived to live long lives. One wonders how many other families suffered the same types of hardships. It is no wonder that the Civil War changed the fabric of our society and so many families.