- Dec 4, 2009Hi All
Researching my familys history has led me to many interesting discoveries.. and stories.. This one is from the Roberts family on Roots web.. Its the story of Eli Roberts. A confederate soldier turned yankee, caught and executed.. Its my theory that Eli was the brother of my GrGrGrandmother Anna Olivia Roberts. I would also like to think that Eli was captured in Reems Creek NC when he was visiting his sister and brother in Law, William Bishob "Uncle Billy" Cheek. Israel Roberts was Elis Father and I think Anna may have been also though I can't find any documentation. Just my theorie that Anna may have been an adopted Cherokee girl.. I know I have no proof of any of this and don't present it as fact. If any of you have seen the movie Cold Mountain. This is the area that the movie was set in and Eli's story would have fit right in...
John C Cheek
Eli Roberts first volunteered with the Confederacy, enlisting 18 Jun 1861 in Capt George W. Hayes CO A, 2nd NC CAV, at Murphy, NC. His last pay period was dated 30 Jun 1863, and he deserted the Confederates sometime afterwards.
On 29 Sep 1863, he was mustered into the Union Army in Capt Goldman Bryson's CO of volunteers at Knoxville, TN. He narrowly escaped capture by Gen John Crawford Vaughn's Confederate CAV at Evan's Mill in Beaver Dam, Cherokee CO, NC when Vaughn's CO attacked and dispersed Bryson's CO on 27 Oct 1863.
Eli's luck ran out when he was finally captured at Reem's Creek in Buncombe CO, NC by Confederates on 18 Dec 1863. He was then sent north as a prisoner to his former Confederate regiment located at the time in Petersburg, VA. There on 2 May 1864 he was tried by a General Court Martial, convicted of spying, and sentenced to be shot to death. On 22 Jul 1864, he was executed by a firing squad in the presence of Barringer's Brigade at Hatcher's Run, nine miles from Petersburg, VA. Gen Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Army of Northern VA, approved the sentence of the General Court Martial and signed General Order No. 37 to execute Eli Roberts for spying. The proceedings of the General Court Martial were located in Henry E. Huntingdon Library, San Marino, CA.