Cocke County, Tennessee
James Penland Civil War Records

Contributed by Patrick A. Penland

ca. 1833 - ca. 1893?

JAMES PENLAND was born ca. 1833 the son of WILLIAM and MARGARET PENLAND, and the youngest of possibly nine children. This conclusion was drawn from information presented in JAMES PENLAND’s Civil War Volunteer Enlistment (which listed his birthplace as Cocke County), and the 1830, 1840, and 1850 Cocke County, Tennessee Censuses.

1 May 1864, JAMES PENLAND voluntarily enlisted in the Union Army at Nashville, Tennessee to serve for three years. Upon his enlistment, JAMES PENLAND served as a soldier in Company C of the 1st Tennessee Light Artillery Battalion, also known as the 1st Tennessee Light Artillery Regiment. It was originally organized on 1 November 1863 and was mustered out at Nashville in July and August of 1865. The 1st Tennessee Light Artillery Battalion Field Officers were Lieutenant Colonels Robert Clay Crawford and Albert F. Beach, Majors Henry W. Wells and Joseph Grigsby, and Captains Vincent Meyers and Joseph Grigsby.

The first mention of Company C in the Official Records was on 31 January 1864, when, under Lieutenant Henry C. Kelly, it was reported at Fort Pickering, Defenses of Memphis, Tennessee. It remained at Fort Pickering until March 1864, when it moved to Nashville, where on 31 May, under Lieutenant Joseph Grigsby, it was reported as part of the garrison artillery in Major Josiah W. Church’s Artillery Brigade. It remained on garrison duty at Nashville until 22 March 1865. During this time it was reported as under the command of Captain Vincent Meyers on 31 August 1864, then Lieutenant Joseph Grigsby from 31 October 1864 to 28 February 1865. On 22 March 1865, still under Lieutenant Grigsby, it was part of Major John W. Rabb’s Artillery Command, District of Middle Tennessee. It remained under Rabb’s Artillery Command until July 1865, when the command itself was mustered out.

Unfortunately, the 1st Tennessee Light Artillery Company C muster rolls showed JAMES PENLAND as present for duty for just five months when he was recorded as 'absent without leave' on 11 October 1864 (his commander reported him a deserter to the unit on 12 October 1864). Although the Civil War officially ended on 9 April 1865, JAMES PENLAND remained a deserter on record until his company mustered out on 1 August 1865.

By 26 October 1892, JAMES PENLAND moved to the town of Williamsburg in McMinn County, Tennessee. From there he applied for his Civil War pension. The application and investigative process for his pension continued for nearly a year as he attempted to have the charge of 'deserter' removed from his record. He was unsuccessful, and on 13 October 1893 his application was finally listed as abandoned. It can be inferred that he may have died around this time. He would have been about 60 years old. The burial plot of JAMES PENLAND is not known.

Known family of JAMES PENLAND:
wife: ELIZABETH LAURANA LUVINA RUNNION(?) - born ca. 1835 - divorced on 19 January 1871
son: JAMES FREELAN PENLAND - born ca. 1856
son: NOAH PENLAND - born ca. 1858
son: JOHN HARRISON PENLAND - born ca. 1859
daughter: MARGARET MALINDA PENLAND - born ca. 1868
son: JOSEPH HENRY PENLAND - born ca. 1871

Other records indicate JAMES PENLAND may have married again after the 1871 divorce.
1863 Volunteer Enlistment Record

1864 Declaration of Recruitment

1864 Service Record - Page One

1864 Service Record - Page Two

1864 Service Record - Page Three

1864 Service Record - Page Four

1864 Service Record - Page Five

1892 Pension Application - Page One

1892 Pension Application - Page Two

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