If Only I Could Tell my Grandmother the Rest of the Story

Mary Brent Evans.

Writing personal journals and histories help to conserve family traditions. I recall sitting at the knee of my grandmother asking questions about the relatives. The stories all seemed so mundane, yet as I now realize, she was imparting a treasure of wisdom and pride to me. A gift, actually. How I wish my grandmother were around now, so that I could update her on my discoveries. In those days, her stories were those passed down during the Civil War of the old planter who sent all his sons off to war and hid from the yankee patrols when they came around to take the farm animals and other valuables. In those days, families lost everything and because agriculture virtually ceased and communities lost the ability to survive. Through the eyes of my grandmother, her grandparents left the old plantation and came to Atlanta, just to get employment. None of the sons returned from the war as well the husband of one daughter. I searched the records extensively to locate what battle killed Wesley Clements, and where he was during his last muster, to no avail. Only recently did I learn that he served as a physician in Alabama. After the war, the wife of Wesley Clements daughter married a veteran from Kentucky who attempted to manage a old farm and store without farm any help, no laborers.

So, the plantation fell into disrepair. My grandmother (as a child) visited the old two-story wooden house during the summers. When I came along, the only evidence of thehouse was a pile of bricks in a field.

But I have other stories... those of the great Revolutionary War where America earned its independence from Great Britain. And before that, the immigration stories and struggles of the Old World. And the cause and effects of marriages into royalty and noble families, and how many times the first colonists crossed the ocean to return to England for a wife to replace the first two who had died or were massacred by Indians.

There are so many things that I would have loved to share with my grandmother but I am grateful to pass along her stories to my grandchildren.

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