A Civil War Story

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An interesting story is told concerning the Brown, Neal and Reed family members from Clay County who were in Andersonville Prison during the Civil War. The Reed was Soloman Reed, the Brown Dr. Anthony Brown, and the Neal Sarah Neal's brother who served in the 5th Cavalry and was one of Elmo Neal's great grandparents; Dr. Anthony Brown was the other.

Thousands of Union soldiers died in this infamous military prison in Southwest Georgia. No shelters were built. The only water supply was a small branch of Sweetwater Creek, which in time became polluted.

Soloman Reed and the other men from Clay County prayed for water and the stories handed down say that water came up from the ground. The prisoners christened it Providence Spring. It still runs, inside a marble springhouse erected in 1901.

An article in Southern Living Magazine says that a rainstorm in August, 1864, caused an old buried spring to bubble up anew.

Dr. Brown's daughter Ardela Brown Payne, daughter of this Civil War veteran is living and in good health and visited Clay County in December of 1988.

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The above article was taken from the book "History of Clay County, West Virginia, 1989" published by the Clay County Historical Book Committee.