George Alex Lineberry (1844-1916)

1890 ca George Alex Lineberry (1844-1916) source: Harmon Museum

Up in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains of Carroll County, Virginia my great, great grandfather, George Lineberry was born.  At the age of 18, in April 1862, he enlisted in the 29th Infantry, Company F as a Private, in the Confederate States Army and served under Colonel A. C. Moore and Leigh for three long, hard years.

“Almost every day someone of the ‘boys who wore the gray’, but are not old and feeble, gather at the foot of the monument — their monument — and gaze at the inscriptions: Chickamauga, Cedar Bluff, Bull Run, Gettysburg.  Ah, what stirring scenes these names recall.  He recalls the roar of the cannon, the rattle of musketry, and yet he is again ‘tenting on the old camp ground.’  When he returns to his home, he gathers his grandchildren around him and repeats to them the story of the ‘times that tried men’s souls.'” 1

My great uncle Leonard Lineberry listened intently to those stories and later recounted of how hard pressed the Carroll County boys were during the Civil War.

Granddaddy was uh, his name was George Lineberry, was in the battle of Richmond. He and Coltrane boy, another Carroll county young man, they were together and they were behind a large oak, one on one side and one on the other and they were shooting at the Yankees and the Yankees were shooting at them. If you’ve ever seen one, these bullets were called minié balls, and about a 50 caliber, a great big thing, and I guess one of them weighed maybe an ounce and a half or two ounces. So one of these minié balls hit this Coltrane boy and went all the way through him and, of course, it was cold down there and they had, my grandfather had on, a heavy overcoat and the ball that went through the Coltrane boy hit in my grandfather’s shoulder and said it hurt terribly bad and he worked that overcoat and that ball fell out on the ground.

Well, after the war was finally over and we surrendered to Grant there at Appomattox. They were 250 miles from home, the boys had to walk home, they had to walk home. And my grandfather and several other boys from Carroll County were walking home and they were stopped by some federal forces and, of course, these men were not armed and they told the boys they were not going home and they held those boys there until that report was their job then they let them go on home.

Then, of course, after the war people down there had absolutely nothing. During the war the women folks were left at home to raise their family. Many of those women actually, would actually, do the plowing, planting, the harvesting of the crops. They would split rails for the fences. You talk about hardships it was inflicted upon these people in a terrible manner. Of course, food became a very, very scarce item. One old gentleman whose father was an old civil war veteran told me they were always hard pressed, the enemy was on right their heels most of the time and they would kill somebody’s cow, men were always hungry, kill somebody’s cow and dress it and cut the meat up in chunks and put it in a great big pot and about the time the meat was hot, those men were so hungry that they would begin to eat that meat about the moment it got hot. And at night they would, they never had time to get their hair cut, their hair grew long, and at night they would roll up in the blankets and sleep on the ground. And when it was cold enough to freeze, their hair would freeze into the ground and they’d have to cut their hair off there before they could get up in the morning. And they’d be in a place, maybe a big field of corn there that somebody had planted. The family depending on that corn for food and the food for the cattle. They would have to cut that down so the enemy couldn’t slip up on them.

My grandfather had a cousin by the name of Jacob whose father was Joseph. This Joseph was a brother to my great-grandfather who was the son of Jacob and Elizabeth Fanning. He was killed during the war and, of course, the enemy was on them so close that it was said they buried him in a little shallow grave with enough dirt to cover him up and his boots still sticking up out of the ground. Of course, that’s how hard pressed they were.

Another of my posts, Lineberry Legacy, includes excerpts from letters that Jacob, George Lineberry’s son, wrote in which he mentioned his father’s temperament.  Perhaps George’s experiences as a soldier followed him throughout his life and impacted not only him but his wife and children.

George A. Lineberry, 1910 ca

George A. Lineberry, 1910 ca

These are the entries I have found regarding George’s service:

Year Month/Day Location Action
1862 April 3 Saltville, Carroll, VA Enlisted
1862 April 3 – April 30 Muster Roll
1862 May – June Muster Roll
1862 June 30 – Oct 31 Muster Roll
1862 Oct Emory in the hospital
1862 Nov – Dec Muster Roll
1863 January – February Muster Roll
1863 March – April Muster Roll
1863 April 13 Farmville Admitted into CSA General Hospital for Debilitas* until May 15
1863 May 15 Muster Roll
1864 April 1 Muster Roll
1864 2nd Quarter, June 8 appeared on Receipt roll for clothing
1864 3rd Quarter appeared on Receipt roll for clothing
1864 Nov – Dec Muster Roll
1865 April 23 got cut off at Dinwiddie Court House
*Debilitas was the descriptive term to describe the soldier who was losing weight and was so exhausted that he was unable to fulfill his military duties.  Most cases were probably due to physical exhaustion and chronic diarrhea compounded by poor diet.  Gangrene and glory: medical care during the American Civil War by Frank R. Freemon , University of Illinois Press, 2001, page 152


  1. Carroll County, Virginia: the early days to 1920, by Owen Bowman, Owen Bowman, 1993, page 98

Further Reading:

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Old Iron Forge — more of Leonard’s narrative