1. Full names of soldier: James Alexander Penn
2. Rank, unit served with, etc. 2nd Sergeant, Company A/6th Mississippi Infantry
3. Any personal info about the soldier that you’re aware of.
He was born in Louisiana and at the beginning of the war we think he may have been the postmaster in Pelahatchie, MS. Family legend says that he still owned land in Pennsylvania from the orgininal land grant to William Penn but refused to go back after the war and pay taxes on it because it was Yankee territory. After the conclusion of the war, one of his daughters married a man from the north and was promptly disowned and kicked out of the family. He also previously served one enlistment in the 10th Mississippi Infantry and upon completion, enlisted into the 6th Mississippi.
4. Was he wounded at Franklin? Captured? Missing? Killed?
According to family lore, he made it through the battle unscathed but as he
was moving back down Columbia Pike to regroup with the regiment, he saw
a Union Soldier rise up and shoot him in the leg. He lay on the road into the
night before being found by his company commander who assisted him
back to the field hospital (presumably Carnton House) (This incident was
documented in H. Grady Howell’s book “Going to Meet the Yankees: A
History of the Bloody Sixth Mississippi Infantry”). He refused to allow the
surgeon to amputate his leg and for the rest of his life, wore a small leather
pouch around his neck in order to keep the bone fragments that worked out
of the wound; he wanted to be buried in one hole. He was captured 3 days
later when the Union swept back through the area and sent to Ohio where
he remained as a prisoner of war until the end of the war.
5. Survive Franklin? Survive the war? See Above
6. Your exact relation?
Great Grandson (Gary D. Penn) and Great-Great Grandson (Kendall W. Penn)
7. Burial place? Holly Bush United Methodist Church, Pelahatchie, Missippi
8. Any pictures of the soldier: in uniform? Before or after the war?
Pictures taken after the war attached below.
9. Surviving letters, diaries, or documents you’re willing to share?
No letters or documents although we have a certain number of documents related to his capture and subsequent discharge as a POW, as well as census documents, any of which I’d be happy to share.
10. The email address for you to be contacted? Kendallpenn@hotmail.com
11. Permission to re-publish your info in a web-based database so others can learn about him, and possibly contact you to ask questions or share info you might desire?
Regarding one of Penn’s comrades, Jacobson writes:
As the dull morning light of December 1, 1864 began to spread over Franklin just after 6 a.m., the gravity of what had transpired became horribly clear. Capt. William C. Thompson, 6th Mississippi, was still lying on the ground near Lewisburg Pike when dawn broke. He was in such pain that he “cared little” about either living or dying. Eventually someone found him and carried him to a field hospital where a doctor dug the bullet out of Thompson’s leg without chloroform. Capt. R. N. Rea, 4th Mississippi, was not wounded, but had been through his own hell. After the Federals retreated he remained in the ditch near the Carter cotton gin.
Around 1 a.m. he got out from under “a pile of dead and wounded men” and began wandering the desolate field. It was cold, and Rea was so stiff that he “could hardly walk.” He saw lanterns moving about and campfires sprinkled across the landscape. By the time the sun came up the captain had recovered somewhat, only to have the light of day expose the great expanse of horror. Rea said it was like nothing he had ever seen, nor wished to see again. Dead and wounded were everywhere, and in his estimation one-fourth of the Rebel army had been destroyed.
Jacobson, Eric A. (2013-11-01). For Cause and Country: A Study of the Affair at Spring Hill & the Battle of Franklin (Kindle Locations 8557-8562). O’More Publishing. Kindle Edition.