Two Unknowns

About ten percent into my revisiting of Kate Cummings’ recorded dead, I am stumped so far by two people. The first is a German man named Ernest (as she spells it). She does not indicate for sure whether that is his first or last name. She does say that he wished her to write his wife on Magazine Street in New Orleans. I had nearly convinced myself that an Ernest Pohlman from New Orleans and in service to the Confederacy was the most likely suspect, but he didn’t turn into a casualty until 1864 whereas Kate’s Ernest died in April 1862. I also could not find a good match for an Ernest on Magazine Street in New Orleans in 1860 in the city directory, but those are notoriously incomplete records. I also could have missed it.

My second unknown is particularly frustrating. Kate lists him as John M. Purdy of Morgan County, Tennessee. She notes that his brother was by his side at his passing and is distraught because their home is in the hands of the enemy and he cannot get a letter through to his parents. There are a vast number of John Purdys that served in Tennessee. Thus far, none have been good fits. Any John M I have found turned out to have joined from the opposite end of the state. That’s not to say ours didn’t, but it’s not terribly likely. It’s also possible that John slipped across to join up with Morgan’s Orphan Brigade in Kentucky, but I have no firm evidence of that. And I have no census evidence of Purdys in Morgan County in 1860 that fit well.

So for now, those two remain unsolved. If anyone has or runs across evidence, I’d love to see it.

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