When I was a student at JJ Daniell Junior High in Marietta, GA, my band director Ernest Allen, Jr., often had his friend John Carruth, the band director at East Rome High School, guest conduct us. Ernest and John had grown up as childhood friends in Gladsen, AL.
When I went to Berry College in Rome, I often served as a substitute teacher for John when he was ill or out of town. When I became a band director, John worked with my students at band camps and festival preparation. Much of my success as a school band director is due to his mentorship.
Several years later, John founded the 8th Georgia Regiment Band, an reenactment brass band of the Civil War period, and asked me to play baritone horn in the group. We started out using the original brass band arrangements that we got from the library of Congress. We played them on our modern instruments until we could obtain the actual period insturments. We played in most of the reenactment battles on the east coast and appeared in several movies.
John Carruth always wore the pistol that his grandfather, Aspacio Perry Carruth, carried in the was. He knew much information about his ancestor and the battles that his Alabama unit fought in. That prompted me to get interested in my own genealogy. So in a way, the Mashburn Genealogy Archives exist today because of John Carruth.
Before moving to Alabama, Aspacio Carruth lived in District 31 of Forsyth Co. GA. My Mashburns lived in the that area as well as my wife’s ancestors – the Gravitts. In the 1850 census, Aspacio Carruth is listed along with his brother in El Dorado, CA as miners. They were part of the 49’ers.
On 21 Dec 1865 Aspacio married Margaret Elizabeth Bell, d/o George Washington Bell & Margaret Phinazee Bell, in Cleburne Co. AL. The Bells also lived in District 31 Forsyth Co, GA.
Now here is the weird part.
After my gr-gr-grandfather John Wesley Mashburn was captured, his position as 1st Sgt in the 38th GA was taken by Margaret Elizabeth’s brother, Augustus Bell. Augustus is buried very close to John Wesley Mashburn (Ebenezer Church, Forsyth Co. GA).
After Rita’s gr-gr-grandfather John B. Gravitt resigned due to being wounded, his position as 1st Lt in the 43rd GA was taken by Margaret Elizabeth’s brother, Hiram P. Bell. Hiram was later elected to the Confederate Senate and then after the war was an US Congressman.
It is so cool to find common ancestral roots with your friends when you met in places far removed from the common locale.