I had planned this series for May 21, 2011 — the day 150 years ago that William Carter Cherry enlisted in Company D, 4th Georgia Infantry, at Augusta. He enlisted with one of his brothers and joined Confederate service at Portsmouth, Virginia. In the spring of 1862, the regiment marched to join the army defending Richmond in the Peninsula Campaign. On June 1, 1862, General Robert E. Lee took command and transformed his men into the Army of Northern Virginia. William Cherry fought in most of the battles of this remarkable army until his capture in 1864.
I have a copy of Colonel Cherry’s memoir that he wrote in the 1880s. I have a box of original letters he received during the war and to the end of his life in 1907. I have the History of Doles-Cook Brigade (1903), lovingly preserved by our Aunt Carrie Pannill Wooten. I have walked most of his battlefields and stood in his trenches at a few. I hope to post the most interesting material here.
But I also have much material about the my father’s family, the Pannills — especially letters and photographs. I have letters and pictures of the Goodrums, my mother’s family. I am making the most interesting bits available and archiving the rest.
So I took a few detours over the past year: discovery of a lymphoma in my right eye (now cured) threw me off stride. In the fall, my brother Fitz began suffering from intense jaw pain. In February, Fitz suddenly became paralyzed on his right side. The hospital diagnosed him with brain tumors that had metatasized from untreatable lung cancer. Fitzhugh Hastings Pannill, Jr., died on February 27, 2012, at 2:11 p.m. Fitz was 69. He followed our father, Fitzhugh Hastings Pannill (2000), our mother, Mary Goodrum Pannill (2005), and our sister, Mary Lynn Pannill (2002). And we lost two more brothers, David Pannill (b. 1944), who died in infancy, and Thomas Jonathan Pannill (b. 1950), who was stillborn.
As the last of the Stephenville Pannills, I figure it’s time to stop collecting and start writing.