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[This article is from the Martinburg Monitor, Martinsburg, Missouri, Jan 14, 1926. The subject is George Knox Canterbury. His farm lay just over the line in Montgomery County southeast of Martinsburg. He is buried in Turk Cemetery. Note the variations in the spelling of the surname in the article, a reminder to everyone do not rely on one spelling of the surname you are researching. Nancy Hale Lee firstname.lastname@example.org is researching this line.]
Civil War Veteran Celebrates 80th Birthday
George Canterberry, born and reared on Martinsburg Farm
One of Few Survivors Living in This Community
On January 8th George Canterbury, one of Martinsburg's few surviving Civil War veterans celebrated his 80th birthday at his home southeast of Martinsburg. Mr. Canterbury's birthplace was on the same farm where he has always lived. He was married after the Civil War to Miss Eliza Owens of St. Charles. They have lived happily together for nearly 58 years. Nine children were born to them as follows: Samuel, Andrew, Almina, Isaac, and Thomas (twins), Zachary, Caleb, Joseph, and Joshua. Samuel, Almina and Isaac are dead. The Canterburys have 11 grandchildren. You will observe all the children have Bible names. Both of these good people spend much time in reading the bible and their lives have been lived in accordance with the "good book."
"It is Divine Providence alone" they will tell you, "that cared for Mr. Canterbury during the war and allowed him to live to this ripe old age, when he was wounded four times." His was experiences are most interesting. To begin with he was a Southern sympathizer, his parents having come from the South, and as a lad of seventeen he was run down by a Company of Militia from Wellsville and shot through the right shoulder. The shooting occured on what is now the Jim Peery farm south of town and despite his serious injury the young man escaped and hid in the old Peery burying ground. For three days he evaded the Militia until pain from his wound and lack of food forced him to surrender. He was taken directly to St. Louis where he was confined in a Federal prison for three months. He was then exchanged for a Northern prisoner of War and was taken to Dixie Land to fight with the Confederate Army. From the time of his arrival at Vicksburg he was never out of the sound of the cannon's roar.
In 13 major battles he was right on the firing line. City Point was first, then Altoona Mts., Georgia. It was here that he was wounded for the second time. The Confederate soldiers were fighting the Union men from the top of a ravine and a sabre was run through his right hand, crippling it so that it has always been lame. The third time he was wounded was at Franklin, Tennessee. He got up on a cannon to see if he could sight the enemy. His captain said, "Red, you'd better get down, you're quite a target." He started to get down but was struck in the left leg by a cannon ball. The Captain helped to bandage the wound with strips torn from his own shirt. The injury was not very serious and he moved right along with his Company. On another occasion he had the collar of his coat cut of by a cannon ball that grazed the back of his neck and left a long scar.
At Fort Blakely the soldiers were shut up in the Fort for 48 days. From the time of his enlistment until he was discharged in 1865 he was never inside of a building, or slept in a bed. The soldiers slept on the ground wherever they happened to be, wrapped in their army blankets. On several occasions they awakened in the morning to find themselves with a six inch blanket of snow. He was in battles at Champion Hills, Miss., Big Black River, Miss., Vicksburg, Miss., Kenesaw Mts., Tenn., Franklin, Tenn., Corinth, Miss., Iuka, Miss., and last at Fort Blakely when they disbanded.
Mr. Canterbury was 22 years old when the war was over and he came back to his old home here. His parents were not expecting him and were overjoyed when he surprised them by walking in. He went to work and in 1868 was married.
The Monitor extends hearty good wishes to this splendid old man. We hope he and his good wife, who is also 80 will live to celebrate their 90th birthdays and their diamond wedding anniversary.
(Editor's note-- Mr. Canterbury lost a step-brother during the war, William O'Donnell, also a Confederate soldier.)
This page is maintained by Joanna Ashmun, Montgomery County coordinator.
Last updated 1 June 2000.
© 1997, 1998 by Joanna M. Ashmun.