John Wesley LEE, Sr., was my 2nd great uncle. He was the son of Uriah Henry LEE (1813-1880), Sr., and Nancy DENT LEE (1815-1848).
Uriah and Nancy had six children together before Nancy passed away. Uriah married Ellen BURKETT (1812-?) and had one child with her before she passed away.
His third marriage was to Mary Jane CAMPBELL LEE (1841-?). Jane, as she was called, was my 2nd great-grandmother. Uriah and Jane’s daughter, Elizabeth Patience LEE MARTIN (1868-1937) was my great-grandmother, and half-sister to John Welsey LEE.
John was born 9 Jan 1841 in South Carolina, most likely Richland County. His mother, Nancy, died when John was about seven years old. His father married again, but I don’t know much about the second wife. Uriah married his third wife, Jane, about 1860.
John volunteered right at the start of the Civil War. John was 20. He and at least one brother were in the 2nd SC Infantry. One website I visited said ‘the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers participated in as many, if not more battles, than any other regiment on either side of the war. The 2nd South Carolina Infantry became one of the elite units of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.’ Read more here: 2nd SC Infantry
John fought at the First Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Cold Harbor and many more until he was captured 19 Oct 1864. As a POW, he was sent first to Harper’s Ferry and then to Point Lookout, the same camp at which Phillip MARTIN, John’s brother-in-law, was a POW. John was part of a prisoner exchange in 28 March 1865. John was only hospitalized one time while in the war, and it was for sickness not for an injury.
John probably came right back home after the exchange. He married Sarah Jane Cunningham LEE in 1868. John was 27, and Sarah was 17. Between 1869 and 1891, John and Sarah had 10 children – 5 boys and 5 girls.
I couldn’t find him in the 1870 census, but he was counted in the 1880 census. In 1880 he and Sarah were living in Appling, Georgia where John was working as an overseer on a turpentine farm.
In 1900, 59-year old John and 49-year old Sarah and family were living in Lexington County, South Carolina. John was still working in turpentine. They continued to live in the Lexington/Columbia area from them on. In 1912 he was a mill operator, and in 1915 he was a cooper (barrel maker). John retired in 1916 at 75.