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Past Tense Civil War brought early residents here

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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:11 am

Thomas J. Conaway became a member of the community known as Providence, today’s Dunwoody, following the Civil War. In 1860, he was a 19-year-old living with his family in Coosa, Ala. He joined the 61st Alabama Infantry, which traveled to Virginia and fought at Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor and Petersburg. His regiment was at Appomattox at the time of surrender.

After the war, he married Sarah Weldon of Dunwoody and moved here to farm. According to the 1880 Census of the Shallow Ford and Cross District of DeKalb, Thomas Jefferson Conaway and Sarah Weldon Conaway had four children aged between 10 and one.

Thomas Conaway died in 1909 and is buried alongside wife Sarah in the New Hope Cemetery on Chamblee Dunwoody Road. In 1999, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, General Edmund W. Pettus Camp Number 54 of Alabama held a memorial for Conaway. A marble marker was placed at his graveside and the camp members performed a musket salute with Enfield .58 caliber muskets. Thomas and Sarah Weldon are buried among several Weldon family members.

Charles N. Woodall (1826-1902) and his wife Caroline (1826-1880) settled along present-day Nesbit Ferry Road and built their home well before the Civil War, in 1854. According to census records, in 1860 they had five children.

On July 29, 1863 Woodall enlisted with the Cherokee Legion State Guards, Company B, of Milton County. He enrolled for duty in Alpharetta under Captain J. J. Sentell. Other names familiar to Dunwoody and Sandy Springs historians appear on the muster roll of the Cherokee Legion State Guard; they are Burdett, Eison, Grogan, and Nesbit.

The Woodall home on Nesbit Ferry Road still stands and Charles and Caroline are buried in the family cemetery, located off Happy Hollow Road. As to where the Conaway and Weldon homes were located, that research is still in progress. If you have any information on these families, please email Valerie at pasttensedunwoody@gmail.com.

Other sources cited include: Fold3.com

© 2016 Dunwoody Crier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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