CIVIL WAR EXPERIENCES OF
EVAN COTTRELL

Submitted by Paula Harbert Spaulding

In 1934, William Thomas Cottrell related Evan's Civil War experiences:

"My wife's uncle, Evan Cottrell, was in the rebel army. He deserted and came home, but officers came after him. When he tried to escape, they wounded him pretty badly. He crawled away from them. After the soldiers left, his wife hid him in a rock cliff just over the head of Frozen Run on Tanner. Every day she took him food and water and tended his wounds. He was near death for a long time and did not get entirely well until the war was over. The officers came for him many times, but his wife would warn him by pounding on an old wooden trough or hollow log."

The details of this story agree with the story told by Fred Lambert, who grew up as a near neighbor of Evan on Tanner's Fork of the Right Fork of Steer Creek in Gilmer County, WV. As Fred related the tale, Evan and two others had been arrested by Confederate Provost guards and were being marched away from their homes. Less than two miles from Evan's home, the guards abruptly ordered their prisoners to turn off the road and into a narrow, dark "holler". Believing that he and his fellow prisoners were about to be shot, Evan made a dash for freedom and was shot. He did survive for many years after the War.

Another traditional story says that Evan was forcibly recruited into the Confederate forces by Perry Connally and his band of guerrillas.


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