William H. Adams' father, George
Forbes Adams (son of John and Eliza Adams), was born in New-Town-Butler
county Fermanogh, Ireland on June 27, 1802. His father John Adams, started
to America with his son George, but died just before the ship arrived in
New Orleans, and was buried in that city immediately upon landing.
George Forbes Adams married Miss Matilda Moore, November 23,1836 in Ireland.
She emigrated to this country, with her family, in the year 1844. They
settled in Logan county, Kentucky and then in the Port Royal, Tennessee
area. George Forbes Adams and his wife Matilda (Moore) Adams left Northern
Ireland with their eleven children and headed to America. They came to
the Clarksville area on June 20th, 1844. They then settled in the Logan
County, Kentucky area, where they engaged in farming and merchandising
at Keysburg, Ky. for ten years. In 1857 they moved to the Port Royal, Tennessee
area again engaging in farming. Matilda Moore Adams, died May 30, 1885.
George Forbes Adams died March 7, 1894.The following is a list of their
1. Eliza Adams
2. George Forbes Adams Jr. (see note below)
3. John Adams (twin brother to George Jr.)(see note below)
4. William Henry Adams (see note below)
5. Frank Adams (see note below)
6. Joseph Watkins Adams (see note below)
7. Mary Adams
8. Alice Adams
9. Susan Adams
10. Fannie Adams
11. Ida Adams
In June 1861, news of war was traveling
across the State of Kentucky like a wildfire. William, almost 21 years
old, enlisted with his three brothers, in Company K 1st Kentucky
Infantry. [Col. Torn Taylors 1st Kentucky Infantry, serving one year in
General Joe E. Johnsons Division]. George, John, William, and Frank Adams
served well under Captain Jim Childress and when their company disbanded,
they all reenlisted. This time in Morgans 3rd Kentucky Cavalry. John was
promoted to Brevet Second Lieutenant and William from Private to Corporal.
As memers of Company G 3rd Kentucky Cavalry, they served, as did the other
Orphan Battalion members, with valor. All the brothers except John, was
captured while crossing the Ohio River at Buf- fington Island, with Col.Basil
Duke in command, on July 19, 1863. John was later captured at Cynthiana
and imprisoned at Johnsons Island on Lake Erie. William,
George, and Frank found themselves at the mercy of the Union soldiers as
they were first sent to Camp Morton, Indiana. It was here that Frank became
very ill and died. His remains were brought back to Clarksville, Tennessee
for burial in Greenwood Cemetery. This left George and William, who were
then transferred to Camp Douglas, Illinois.
William, being a very devout Christian, wrote of his love for his
family, and his brother. He wished there was something that could be done,
and as his brother became very sick, due to their confinement, he was able
to nurse George at the camp hospital. Unfortunately, George Forbes Adams,
Jr. died about July 1864. He was buried there near the hospital at Camp
Douglas. William, having to deal with the loss of his two brothers, and
the seperation of John, remained a prisoner until his release in 1865.
2. George Forbes Adams Jr., He was a member of Company G/3rd. Kentucky
Cavalry. He was born in Ireland. He died as a prisoner of war at
Camp Douglas, Illinois in 1864. He is buried somewhere in that area.
3. John Adams. He was born in Ireland, December 4,1838. He was the twin
brother of #2 George F. Adams Jr. He was a Brevet Second Lieutenant
in Morgans Cavalry. He was captured at Cynthiana with Morgans troops
sent to Johnsons Island Prisoner of War Camp in Lake Erie. See next
4. William Henry Adams. Born in Ireland 7-18-1840. Enlisted 6-17-1861
at the age of 20 years, in Co.k/lst Kentucky Infantry. He served
under Captain Jim Childress. He was mustered for pay from 1-1-1862
to 5-13-1862 and military records state he was mustered out of ser-
vice under Order of the Secretary of War. He wrote, "went to Virginia
under Colonel Tom Taylor in 1861 served one year. Disbanded and joined
Morgans 3rd. Kentucky Cavalry." He enlisted again like he wrote, in
his diary, and was promoted to rank of Corporal, Company G/3rd Ky.
Cavalry. "Served under Captain J.R. Dorch, wounded at Dam #1 near
W. & M. College (William and Mary) in Virginia. Wounded in foot."
"Under Morgan at Hartsville." he also wrote, "I'm a prisoner at
Camp Douglas captured (July 19,1863) at Buffington, 1st on Ohio
raid and exchanged at Richmond."
5. Frank Adams. Also born in Ireland, and in the same Company as his
brothers George, John and William. He was also a prisoner. At first
they were sent to Camp Morton, Indiana. This is where Frank died.
His remains were sent back to Clarksville, Tennessee for burial, and
lies in Greenwood Cemetary.
6. Joseph Watkins. He was old enough to have served, and probably did.
But there is not evidence that has been found to prove the fact.
Camp Morton August 13
I seat myself for the purpose of letting you know how we are getting
along. George and myself are both well but Frank is tolerable sick,he
has got the flux. I think that you had better come to see him and get
im out of prison.
The rest of the boys are all well. George has wrote home twice.
love to Ma, sisters, and brother and- believe me your affectionate
and George send theirs to all.
I recieved your letter of the 2nd. on yesterday, and also sisters.
We are glad to hear that you all are enjoying good health for good health
is one of the greatest blessings bestowed on mankind by your heavenly
father. I wrote to Pa on the 8th to send by Mr. Kennel but he never left;
for home until yesterday. I wrote to sister on the 9th and sent it by
mail. For both of these letters I stated that Georges health was bad, and
I suppose that before this will have reached you that Pa will be on his
way hear. George says that he feels better today than he has for the last
two days. I hope that they will continue to mend. Mrs. Tully and Mrs.
Smith have been here for three days, they were not allowed to see their
sons until yesterday. Mrs. T & S had to teligraph to General McLane
Cincinnatti, the Provost Marshal to get permission to see them. All per-
sons wishing to see their sons will have to get permission from General
McLane. Pa wants to know about the clothing he sent to me at Camp Morton,
I got the satchel and the two wollen shirts. Frank has supplied all my
wants for the present except the socks that I sent for. He said he could
get me cotton but not woolen socks. I will get his adress the first op-
ertunity. Sam Burnett and John Watson says that they are very mutch
obliged to Pa for his trouble. Since they have come to this camp their
health has improved so much that they have concluded to remain in prison
and not take the oath. Johnson West, Charles Haddox and the rest of the
boys of Co. B & G are well. We have preaching every day. The Chaplin
the Regiment that is on duty hear has distributed a great many Testaments
to the prisoners hear. He also brings the American Mesenger and some
tracts. George unites with me in sending love to you, Pa, sisters, and
brother. He says he will write soon. I will answer sisters letters soon.
Give my best respects to my inquiring friends also to Dick Hanner and
Your affectionate son
Very Dear Parents,
Your letter of the 4th to brother George and myself came safely
hand and George answered them. Georges health is tolerable good
(about like it was when you were hear). All the boys are in good health
and spirits, Cul Atkins, H. Yates, and M. Dame got their money soon
after you left. I went to see Mr. Bushel (Comissary of Property) at
head Quarters yesterday about W. Bowins money. He looked over his books
and found that someone had drawn five dollars of the money, the other
five W. Bowin got this morning. Mr. Thompson Rawson took Dames over-
coat and exchanged it for him. The reason that my money gave out so
soon is that I loaned Tip five dollars and George loaned him two, and
I loaned Martin two and they have never returned the money. I got the
five dollars that Cousin Frank sent me. The box of eatables that you
expressed to us came safely to head quarters. George went after it
three times, brother John and Joseph eat as much of it as we did. We
are under many obligations to our kind parents for the many necessarys
of life that you have procured for us. We are very comfortable at pre
sent We still have preaching once a week and pray meeting every even-
ing. We also have a Bible class that meets every Sabbeth morning. I am
still striving to make my way to heaven. I still feel that I am on
praying ground and pleading terms. My Savior has certainly been my best
friend since I have been a prisoner more especially. May God bless and
preserve us all and if it is his ritious will, permit us to meet again
on earth is the prayer of your affectionate son.
Camp Douglas April 7th,1864
Dear Sister rec' your letter of the 23rd with the shirts aso one
from Father of later date, answered Fathers several days ago de-
laying yours also Jo's til now as the nature of his demanded a
hasty reply. My health has not been so good lately owing to the
cold I caught during the past winter in the delicate state of my
health so I reluctunlly obtained my consent to come to the Hos-
pital one week ago where I have been much pleased with my change.
I found very clean comfortable bed quarters good medical attention
kind and attentive nurses and wholesome diet as I could ask, all
to my surprise as I always had a horror of the Hospital especially
since my last summer's experience. Think I've improved wonderfully;
beyond my most sanquine expectations. My bowels are checked, my
digestion improving rapidly, sufer no pain, only (principal) com-
plain is debility; feel my strength increasing everyday in fact I've
never been so week as to be confined to my bed. Hope I will not be
long ere I recover my former vigor & health. With necessary prudence
indied and the blessing of a kind providence, I feel better and more
cheerfull than I've felt for months. Tel Father to apply directly to
his excellency the President which if he had done at first no doubt
would have proved successful, as others have to my certain knowledge
lately: be not to hasty but use every precaution and advantage. All
your acquaintances are well. Have a nice place, plenty of leasure to
read: have written Cousin F for reading matter, can hear from him
nearly every day or get any little thing I want from the city.
Love to All write frequently to your Devoted Brother George.
Camp Douglas,Ill. Hospital
June 20th, 1864
Dear Father, I am now at the hospital as a nurse. George is about as
you left him he is in tolerable good spirits. I hope he will soon be-
gin to mend. It was through the kindness of the Dr. and Maj. Skinner
that I was permitted to come to nurse my very dear brother. I write
this in a hurry I will write again soon. All the rest of the boys
are well. I got the box you sent me for which I am very thankful.
As ever your affectionate son.
Wm. H. Adams Co.G 3rd Ky Cav