William Nicholas Ware and His Civil War Service

Williams Nicholas Ware, His Wife Amanda Harriet Talley and Children

William Nicholas Ware, His Wife Amanda Harriet Talley and Children

Photo Courtesy of  Brenda Glover

“Nicholas Ware (Nick),  son of Robert Payne Ware, resided in Todd, Co. KY.  Mrs Tom Watson of Henderson, KY, states that little is known of him, but that he lived in Todd Co.,KY,  near Elkton, married and had a family.  He fought in the Civil War and was separated eight days from his regiment and there was rejoicing when he finally returned.  Everyone in camp came and shook hands with him as they were so happy to see and know he was alive.  She states he had only one eye and she did no know whether this was the result of an accident or from the effects of war.

I have probably never attempted to answer that question of Mrs. Tom Watson — may I attempt to by saying that Cassandra Ware, … (Cassandra Ware was the great-niece of Nicholas), told me that Nick Ware fought in the Cavalry under General Forest throughout Tennessee during the Civil War; that in a battle he lost his eye and when he returned to camp.  General Forest said the he would be of no further use in the Cavalry because of the loss of one eye.  Nick Ware protested vigorously with no avail to General Forest, and finally in despair turned to go with great remorse.  General Forest called him back stating that he had further use for him as a spy, as no one would suspect a man with only one eye of being in the military.

Nick Ware went north on his mission.  He was later found out by the Yankee Cavalry who chased him to the Mississippi River.  During the chase Yankee horses actually jumped over him while  he was hidden near a log. He escaped into the river and was able to board a boat headed south, with the Yankee Cavalry close behind following the boat on the banks of the Mississippi to capture him when it docked.  The boat was loaded with coffee beans which were very high priced at the time.  Nick Ware filled his long underwear full of coffee beans and floated to the shore evading the Yankee Cavalry.  Nick Ware meanwhile was able to sell the coffee beans for sufficient funds to obtain safe passage back south.

This sounded like a pretty tall story to me, but by George I checked it out and coffee beans do float.  If nothing else, he was a pretty good story teller. …

Cassandra Ware also said that Nick was with Robert E. Lee when he surrendered as was supposed to be the man sobbing in the famous picture of the surrender.  I have looked at a number of pictures, hoping to identify him, but they all like they were sobbing at the time, to me.”

This tall tale was retold by Bill Jones after he interviewed Cassandra Ware.  Bill was the father of one of our members,  Elizabeth Hatten.  He was a judge in Louisiana and had a passion for family history.  His wife, Harolyn once told me that family vacations were centered around places Bill wanted to research.  Bill passed away several years ago.  He kept in touch with many of his cousins and fortunately passed some of his research on to them, because Katrina later took the home he had shared with his wife and family.

Nicholas Ware was the great-grandfather of another one of our members, Brenda Glover.

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