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Nathaniel M. Calder

Private Nathaniel M Calder Company B, Cavalry Battalion
Also Captain & ACS, Cavalry Battalion Staff

Nathaniel M Calder was born December 30th 1809 in McIntosh County, Georgia. It is not known precisely when he came to Cobb County but it is known that he was a man of some prominence in Marietta. We first hear of him as the publisher of the Cherokee Advocate in 1843. He served as a Justice of the Cobb County Inferior Court from 1848 to 1852 and was elected to the State Legislature in 1849. In 1850 he was one of the organizers of the Cobb County and Alabama Plank and Turnpike Road Company. He was a Mason, a member of the State Militia and a staunch Union man. He married Lucretia Pilcher sometime during the 1830s. The couple had four daughters and two sons.

When the war began in 1861, Nathaniel and his son Nathaniel Jr, age 17, promptly enlisted as Privates in Company D of the 7th Georgia Infantry and went to Virginia. His 7th Georgia service records are sketchy but do show him as serving until December 1861 when he was discharged due to age and disability. His son was discharged the following month because of rheumatism. It was during this period in 1861 that Nathaniel's picture was taken since he is shown in the distinctive uniform jacket of the 7th Georgia.

Returning home to Marietta, Nathaniel quickly recovered and reenlisted in Company B of the Phillips Legion's Cavalry Battalion on February 27th 1862. Unfortunately, virtually all of the Legion Cavalry records for 1862 and much of 1863 were lost or destroyed during the war so we don't know the details of his service. We do know that he was promoted to Captain and ACS (Commisary) during 1862 since he is shown in this position when he is listed on ANV Special Order #35/1 dated February 4th 1863. This order places him on Leave of Absence. We would probably not know much more about him except that his wife, Lucretia, applied for a widow's pension in 1894 based upon his Confederate service. In her application she states that he served with the Legion Cavalry until late 1864 "after the Maryland Campaign" when he was furloughed home suffering from chronic dysentery. She goes on to state that he took to his bed and was unable to leave it until his death on July 2nd 1865. Cavalry Battalion muster rolls are still existent for late 1863 through the end of 1864 and he does not appear on these rolls. Based upon this and Mrs Calder's statement that he came home after the Maryland Campaign we think it is probable that he returned to Marietta in early 1863 and remained home disabled by dysentery until his death in 1865.

Nathaniel is buried at Marietta's Citizens Cemetery with his wife, Lucretia, beside him. She died in October 1894 just months after receiving her widow's pension.

Photo courtesy of Mr Al Camblin of Topeka Kansas. Mr Camblin found this photo (and that of Captain James Johnson and Lt American F Johnson) in a family lot at a small estate auction in Topeka. Initially unidentified, upon opening the case holding Lt Johnson's photo a piece of paper and two newspaper clippings were found inside. The paper bore the inscription, "Miss L C Calder Marietta Cobb County Ga.". The two newspaper clippings covered the passage of Captain Johnson's company of the Phillips Legion, The Blackwell Volunteers, through Atlanta in spring 1862 and the death of the two Johnson brothers at Knoxville in November 1863. When the case of Captain Johnson's picture was opened an inscription to "Camilla" was found along with a lock of (presumably) his hair. It turned out that Miss L C Calder and Camilla are the same person, Nathaniel's daughter Lucretia Camilla Calder. In addition, another of Nathaniel's daughters, Mattie, married Lt American Johnson after the war. Mr Camblin then found the Legion webpages and brought the photos to my attention. He has also most generously permitted them to be displayed here for the reader's enjoyment.

Written by:Kurt Graham