8. Thaddeus Oliver
Born in Jeffersonville, Twiggs County, Georgia, on December 25, 1826, Thaddeus Oliver left his home in 1850 and travelled 85 miles to Marion County with the goal of becoming a lawyer. Oliver joined the community just as it had established its county court and, this was also when he had reached high point in economic success. He spent his time in Marion County apprenticing under Judge Mark Blanford to become a lawyer. He also taught school for two years at the Buena Vista Academy before taking the bar exam in 1852.
Thaddeus Oliver marker, Buena Vista courthouse square, Marion County, GA. Photograph courtesy of David Rush, 2016.
During his training he met and married Sarah Penelope Lawson, the daughter of Hugh Lawson, a plantation owner. He then joined the Confederate Army in the Buena Vista Guards, Co. I, Seventh Ga. Infantry. It is believed by some that Thaddeus Oliver authored the poem, “All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight,” though this claim has been disputed (others claim that the poem was written by Lamar Fontaine of Mississippi). Thaddeus Oliver is credited with organizing the Co E, 53rd Regiment, in Marion County. Elected as the regiment’s Captain, Oliver was wounded and hospitalized in Charleston, South Carolina and died from his injuries on August 21, 1864. He was buried beside his wife on the Hugh Lawson Plantation, Houston County, Georgia.
Submission composed by Skyler Corbin, April 19, 2016
References and Further Reading
Wayne Erbsen, Rousing Songs and True Tales of the Civil War. Native Ground Books & Music, 2000.
Mark Weitz, A Higher Duty: Desertion Among Georgia Troops During the Civil War. Lincoln. University of Nebraska Press, 2005.