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Old 10 May 07, 16:03
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Uncle Edwin

As a great granddaughter of Robert Jemison, whose brother Edwin is the subject of this article, I do have to point out that the family has never been at a loss for who the young boy in the picture is. Uncle Edwin was never lost and until recently it has been understood that Uncle Edwin is not buried at Milledgeville but "at the battlefield near Richmond." I do find it ironic that there has been so much written about the mysteries surrounding Uncle Edwin while we were blissfully unaware that there were mysteries.

In doing genealogical research on my family I've disproved several family legends, and I know that stories do become embellished in time. Seems to me, though, that creating a story that a stranger's brother was decapitated by a cannon ball, his brother's blood mingling with his own takes a great deal of boldness compared to telling the story of a cursed hat to a audience. The authors take Moseley's history of storytelling on a stage and assume that all stories he told were embellished. We should compare the two versions of the story more carefully.

The 1906 newspaper account that reports Mosley told the story and then Robert came out of the crowd to identify his brother. This version ignores the fact that the family did not know the manner of Edwin's death until Robert Jemison met Mosely. Robert Jemison would not have been able to identify his brother in the story, because he didn't know how he died! If indeed the family story is accurate as recorded by Aunt Mamie, then the two gentleman would have met first and then the story recounted.

The authors discount this version because the Jemison name was well known in Macon. According to Aunt Mamie, Mosely recognized the name Jemison, and he said that he hadn't heard that name since the Battle of Malvern Hill. In their opinion, Mosely would have been familiar with the name because Robert Jemison and Samuel Jemison were prominent attorneys. But by 1906 both city attorney Robert Jemison and his son Samuel had been long dead. It would indeed be possible that Mosely had not heard that name for a long time, more than twenty years. The quote may have been more along the lines of "I haven't heard that name in a long time. I fought next to a Jemison at the Battle of Malvern Hill."

Filipowski and Harrington are among the thousands of people who are fascinated by Uncle Edwin's picture. They've gone a step farther and researched him, his family, and the circumstances surrounding his death. This is the first time that it seems that their research doesn't necessarily support their conclusions.
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