Wednesday, July 9, 2014

St. Johns County Confederate Burial #1 Noah Preslar

Noah Preslar 20th Battalion, Georgia Cavalry Co. A & F

Noah Preslar was born May 8, 1838 to parents Alvin and Esther Preslar of Union County, North Carolina. The 1850 census shows Alvin working as a farmer and having $150 worth of real estate. It does not appear that the Preslar family were slave-holders. Noah was the second oldest of six children in 1850. He had an older sister Theresa, a younger sister Rachael, and three younger brothers; Joseph, Hosea and Caswell.

By 1860 young Noah was living in Georgia Militia District 1211, Echols, Georgia working as a farm overseer. His wife Barbara was two years his senior and also in the home were daughter Esther and sons Hasletine and Levi. Big changes took place in Noah's life and by 1870 he was living in Orange County, FL with his second wife Emma working as a farm laborer. Emma was nine years his senior. Noah's first wife Barbara was living in Brooks County, GA with daughters Esther and Nora and sons Haseltine, Abraham and Hiram. Levi was working as a farm laborer in Echols County, GA before becoming a Valdosta, GA police officer.

Noah continued the life of a farmer living in Brevard County, FL as a widower in 1880. Noah had continued his itinerant ways and by 1900 was living in Precinct 4 of St. Johns County, FL along with third wife Martha and sons James and Ovie. Despite being over age 70 Noah was still working as a farmer in 1910 while living in St. John's County.

Noah passed away on April 18, 1911 and was buried in Sanksville Cemetery. Sanksville was founded some time after the Civil War to serve the Bakersville community. The cemetery, originally named Bakersville Cemetery, was used by both white and black residents and the name Sanksville comes from the Sanks family who are descended from Peter Sanks. Peter was originally a slave and after emancipation began buying land in the area.

Preslar had a mixed service record. He originally enlisted in Co. A, 20th Battalion Georgia Cavalry. He was enlisted by Captain S. B. Spencer at Thomasville, Georgia. The 20th also went by the names Millen's Partisan Rangers or the 1st Battalion Georgia Partisan Rangers. The unit served on the Georgia coast until spring 864 when it became part of P. M. B. Young's brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia. Here they would participate in the Wilderness Campaign, Cold Harbor and other battles. Preslar was not with the brigade long enough to see it disbanded and companies merged into other regiments.

By September 1863 Preslar had transferred to Co. A where he worked as an ambulance driver in early 1864. During the Battle of Haw's Shop (or Battle of Enon Church as it is sometimes known), in Hanover County, VA,  Preslar said he was shot in the right hip with the ball exiting his left leg. He was admitted to Wayside Hospital No. 9 on May 29th and was on a June muster roll at the 4th Division Jackson Hospital in Richmond in June, 1864. On June 23, 1864 he was granted a 30 day furlough but was listed a being a deserter on August 26, 1864.

Courtesy: Florida Memory Project

Preslar tells a different story in his 1907 Florida Confederate Pension application. He claims to have been taken prisoner at Darien, Georgia and was sent to a prison in Hilton Head, South Carolina where we was until the end of the war. On his application a physician vouches for his claim of a gun wound to the left thigh and he was ultimately awarded a yearly pension of $120. This amount was renewed in 1909. After Preslar's death in 1911 his wife Martha was denied the widow's pension by the state because she was not married to Noah prior to 1895 as required by law. By 1913 however Martha was awarded the same $120 per year that Noah was receiving. Martha died in 1925.

The coordinates for Noah's burial location are 29. 54.972N 081 .31621W. From I-95 use exit 318.

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