The Sacrifice of the Elias and Mary Sheads Family

Builder of a 12-room home, Elias Sheads died alone and broken, the War having taken nearly his whole family.

Gettysburg cousin and diarist Salome Myers said the following of the Sheads family: I had five uncles and eight first cousins in the Union armies–all from this town. When they enlisted they thought they would get back in two or three months. One of my cousins starved to death in Andersonville Prison. Another was shot in the throat and never spoke a loud word afterward, but made himself understood chiefly by motions. A brother of his had both feet shot off and died in an ambulance that picked him up on the battlefield. Another brother was killed at Cold Harbor. Their father wouldn’t let the youngest son go into the army, and the boy ran off and died in camp of measles.

The Shadow of Death

The War and its fallout would claim nearly the entire Sheads family.

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