My friend Sara just sent me this article from three years ago, found on the website of The Winona Times & The Conservative of Carroll County, Mississippi–starring myself and Sara.
NOTE: This Carroll County is the one in which
Brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
in the 1967 song “Ode to Billie Joe” by Bobbie Gentry. The Tallahatchie Bridge is not far away. William Davies mentions the Tallahatchie River in his 1864 diary, but there is no bridge where his regiment is trying to cross.
New Yorkers drop in on CCGS
CARROLLTON — Exploring parts of Mississippi traveled by her great-great grandfather, Union Private William Morgan Davies, was the reason Violet Snow and pal Sara Kelsh Shinbach, both of Phoenicia, N. Y., were picnicing on the grounds of the Carrollton Courthouse early Sunday afternoon, April 10, and ultimately wound up at the regular meeting of the Carroll County Genealogy Society.
Snow’s a pen name for freelance writer Ellen Carter, and her great-great grandfather left behind a diary of his time in Mississippi with the Union army during the Civil War. He fought at Vicksburg, she said. He survived being a prisoner of war at Andersonville. Insights and reflections from a week’s journey into this state likely will wind up in print, perhaps in a blog she keeps.
Her traveling companion, Sara Kelsh Shinbach (bearing the name of her mother, the late Sara Kelsh of Greenwood), and Snow were spotted by John Pope, a CCGS member, who invited them to the gathering. Christie Crouch Genola of Duck Hill was the guest speaker. Genola’s topic was the crash of two steam engines on the Mississippi Central Railroad early morning Oct. 19, 1862, near the Duck Hill Station.
The northbound, late, and speeding A. M. West, collided with the James Brown, resulting in carnage the like of which in this quiet community now in Montgomery County, but until 1871 was within the boundary of Carroll County, resounds unto this day.
Thirty-two died, with 40 more wounded, some mortally, Genola cited some sources.
In 1989 members of Stanford’s Battery Re-Enactors led efforts to positively identify the victims of the train wreck, who were interred in a mass grave within an oak grove on the west side of what’s now Miss. 404. Stones were installed. A memorial ceremony was held Sept. 8, 1990 in Duck Hill.
Following Genola’s talk, several announcements were made. Pam Lee told of an old style wedding fashion show benefit coming up at Cotesworth near North Carrollton at 2 p.m. the first Saturday in May — May 7. Tickets are $20 and are available at Miss Sippy’s and The Pickett Fence on the Carrollton Square.
Barbara Sheppard said she’s involved in a project of the Cherokee Nation dedicated to helping the younger generation get in touch with their Indian heritage. She’s been asked to “mother” seven counties, with a heritage pow-wow to come on the Coast. For more information, contact her at 662-858-0051, Sheppard said.
In May the genealogy society will decide about participating in the Carrollton Pilgrimage, which is Sept. 30-Oct. 2.
The genealogy society meets in the library of the Carrollton Community House, usually at 2 p.m. the second Sunday of the month. In May, because of Mother’s Day, the event will be the third Sunday afternoon and will involve choosing officers for the new season, beginning in September.