Husband and Wife Discover Their Grandfathers Fought Side by Side in Civil War

Contributed By Richard P. Meijome and Heidi Day Owen, Church News contributor

  • 13 August 2014

President and Sister Bristol have found both their family names on headstones near one another in several cemeteries of North Carolina.

Article Highlights

  • After visiting the Kennesaw Mountain Visitors’ Center, Randy and Donna Bristol discovered their great-great-great-grandfathers fought together in the Civil War.
  • President and Sister Bristol have found both their family names on headstones near one another in several cemeteries of North Carolina.

MARIETTA, GEORGIA

It was June 27, 1864, when three brigades of Union soldiers, totaling nearly 5,500 men, moved against entrenched Confederate positions on Burnt Hickory Road toward Pigeon Hill and Cheatham Hill on what would be a significant day in the battle for Kennesaw Mountain.

One hundred fifty years to the day later, some 200 visitors boarded buses at Marietta High School in Marietta, Georgia, that would transport them to Kennesaw Mountain State Park, where they would participate in a real-time hike that would take them on the same path those Union troops took to approach Cheatham Hill the moment the battle began.

For two members of the Powder Springs Georgia Stake, the weekend took on a special meaning after they discovered a direct connection to the battle for Kennesaw Mountain. Fifteen years ago, Randy and Donna Bristol discovered that their great-great-great-grandfathers fought together in the Civil War.

Brother and Sister Bristol serve together in the Millcreek Young Single Adult Branch in the Powder Springs Georgia Stake. Brother Bristol is the branch president, and members of his branch took on the assignment to be bus guides on the last day of events at the park commemorating the battle for Kennesaw Mountain.

President and Sister Bristol were born in Marietta, Georgia. Several years ago, Sister Bristol—the first to join the Church in her family—began to research her family genealogy. She and President Bristol decided to visit the Kennesaw Mountain Visitors’ Center to find out if any of their relatives fought in the Civil War. She found an index of all the Confederate soldiers who fought in the war. In the index, President and Sister Bristol found the name William C. Noggle—Sister Bristol’s great-great-great-grandfather. He was listed as being registered in the 39th Infantry of North Carolina, and to their amazement, just a few lines down, was the name Thomas Benedict Bristol—President Bristol’s great-great-great-grandfather. These two soldiers fought together at a post atop Kennesaw Mountain. Both men survived Sherman’s Atlanta campaign. Both were captured and marched to Mississippi as prisoners of war, where they stayed until the war’s end. They then walked the long journey back to their homes in North Carolina.

Both men are from an area near Murphy, North Carolina, called Hanging Dog. Their families lived in the same cove. President and Sister Bristol have found both their family names on headstones near one another in several cemeteries of North Carolina.