Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Fun: 52 Ancestors Week Two

This week's prompt is to write about a favorite picture... So, here's mine!

Choosing a single picture to write about for this prompt is challenging. No, it's more than challenging. It's pretty much impossible. So, my choice will be the most intriguing picture of my favorites...a picture of my great-great-grandfather, Elisha Robert Ragsdale, of Fairfield County, South Carolina.

Elisha is actually buried here in Richmond, Virginia, at Hollywood Cemetery...where I, too, will be laid to rest one day. That's as close as we will be on this earth, but I very much hope he is someone I will have the pleasure of meeting in heaven. Elisha died in Richmond during the Civil War, a man of means from one of the most beautiful parts of South Carolina. Back in the day, plantations made the man...and although I do not know much about this man in his own voice (I have no letters or written records of his), I do know him through the words of others who knew him and who wrote about him. For instance, I know that he, as a young man/teen, was left to live with the Methodist minister when his father remarried and moved to Alabama. Back then he was known simply as Robert Ragsdale. The minister added the "Elisha." I also know that Elisha was married and had a baby...and his wife and child died. He remarried and had another child, who died not long after birth... followed by that wife, too. His third marriage, to my great-great-grandmother, Nancy Angeline Stanton, was a great success. They had three sons, two of whom were lawyers and served as a state senator and representative, and one (my great-grandfather) who was a successful planter and businessman. When the boys were little, Elisha joined other men from his county and went off to fight. His death was not due to battle, but to illness...and I think of it as a supreme sadness. To have persevered through such difficult circumstances to reach an amazing level of success and happiness, only to have it be taken away. He would have been so proud of his sons, and all they accomplished...and I am so grateful to have his picture, so I can "see" him in my mind's eye. You are not forgotten, Elisha Robert Ragsdale. I will make sure your story is told and told often. 

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