Connected Bloodlines

Andrew DEVILBISS

Male 1820 - 1864  (44 years)


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  • Name Andrew DEVILBISS 
    Born 10 Jul 1820  Allegany Co., Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 30 Oct 1864  Florence, Lauderdale, Alabama, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Florence City Cemetery, Florence, Lauderdale, Alabama, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • From Ancestry.com family record:
      “After his father’s death in 1846, Andrew moved to New Orleans. When the Civil War began, he enlisted in the Confederate Army and served as a sharpshooter. He received several citations for bravery and was wounded in action. A number of his letters to his wife survive and provide a personal insight to his wartime experiences. Was accidently killed in action near Florence, Alabama, on October 30, 1864. Was struck by shrapnel from a confederate shell that fell short during an assault across a river and he died very quickly, saying “Lieutenant, write my wife.”

      In the 1990s, his descendants located his grave in the Confederate Cemetery in Florence, Alabama and erected a stone reading:

      ANDREW
      DeVILBISS

      Pvt Co. B 14th
      Battalion
      Louisiana
      Sharpshooters
      Confederate
      States Army

      K.I.A. at Florence
      Oct 30, 1864
      During General Hood’s
      Advance into Tennessee

      Referred to by his descendants as “The Rebel Bard.” He was a natural born poet and adventurer. He wrote a Poem about his travels while walking home on leave to visit his family. It appears in the 1932 supplement to the DeVilbiss History by Thomas D. DeVilbiss.”

      Newspaper Article from Ukiah Daily Journal (Ukiah, California) 28 Nov 1993, Sun.
      "Coast family finds the 'Rebel Bard'
      by Chris Calder for The Journal
      "Andrew DeVilbiss fell on an Alabama battlefield in 1864 and over the years history lost track of him.
      DeVilbiss' name survived with his wife and sons, and in the title of a large ranch in the steep coastal hills three miles north of Rockport.
      In the last part of the 19th century and the early part of this one, more than 500 head of sheep a year came down the Coast Road from the DeVilbiss Ranch to Fort Bragg.
      Even into the 1930s, lead drovers on horseback warned cars off to the side of the highway when the DeVilbiss sheep were coming to market.
      In the 1880s, lumber schooners docked at a ranch wharf called The Chutes, near a place called Sea Lion rock.
      Fifteen children grew up on the DeVilbiss Ranch. Eight of them became teachers and two became nurses. Teresa Jardstrom, who spent many years as a teacher on the coast, is Andrew DeVilbiss' remaining grandchild.
      'In those years, going to college was a rarity. But in our family, it was assumed we would go,' she said.
      But no matter how widespread his name became in this area and in spite of the fame he himself had earned, Andrew DeVilbiss remained lost. His family knew he had died in the war but none knew how, or where he came to rest.
      In the early years of the Civil War, Andrew DeVilbiss earned a name of 'The Rebel Bard.' He wrote battlefield songs tht were popular in his day: 'Battle of Shiloh,' 'To the Memory of Jackson,' 'My Little Ned and I.' One of his poems is preserved in the Library of Congress. He served three years in the Civil War, and was decorated for bravery twice.
      The man 'has been a topic of interest in the famiy for many, many years,' said Norma Gibson, DeVilbiss' great-granddaughter. 'We've all gotten together at family reunions many, many times and talked about Andrew. Pretty soon this just took on a life of its own.'
      According to family legend, a few weeks before he was killed on Oct. 30, 1864, DeVilbiss wrote a letter to his wife Mary. He said he foresaw his death and he told his wife not to wait for him, but to take their sons Henry and Andrew and get on the next wagon train West.
      They did and their journey ended in Potter Valley. There Mary DeVilbiss met a man named Lowell, who had two girls of his own. They married and moved to Westport soon after.
      When the boys Henry and Andrew grew up, they bought the land that became the DeVilblss Ranch. Teresa Jardstrom, the one surviving grandchild of Andrew DeVilbiss, grew up there. She and her brothers and sisters went to school there at the Cottoneva schoolhouse because they could not leave the place between October and March.
      Jardstrom said that in those days, the roads went straight over the hills and once the rains started, getting up and down the steep muddy slopes from the ranch to Rockport twice in a day was impossibe.
      From that isolaed beginning, the Devilbiss and Lowell children spread throughout Mendocino County and the state. But until last month, none of them knew what had become of their paternal grandfather who had set their family on its new path more than a century ago.
      The mystery was solved earlier this year when William McDonald, the Florence, Alabama town historian, discovered the letter DeVilbiss' commanding officer had sent to his wife, informing her of his death. The private had been hit by one of his own company's shells. He was the only Confederate soldier to die in the battle of Florence.
      Once the truth was known, family members from across the country started planning a reunion at Florence to put a marker on the DeVilbiss' grave. That reunion happened last ªOctober, 129 years to the day after their ancestor fell.
      The California contingent, which included Owen Halfman and Angela and Andy DeVilbiss, brought with them three stones from the graveside of DeVilbiss' wife, who's buried on a hilltop at the old family ranch on the Mendocino Coast. DeVilbiss' great-great-grandchildren, Andy and Angela DeVilbiss, laid the stones on the grave in the Florence cemetery, while a ceremonial band played an old military song. The Rebel Bard had returned to his own."
    Person ID I1890  Lowell&Block
    Last Modified 22 Jun 2018 

    Family Mary Eleanore BIVENS,   b. 19 Jun 1828, Allegany Co., Maryland, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Jul 1890, Rockport, Mendocino, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Married 10 Apr 1847  Lewis Co., Missouri, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Henry Walter DEVILBISS,   b. 10 Jan 1848, Lewis Co., Missouri, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Aug 1921, Los Angeles Co., California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
     2. George Andrew DEVILBISS,   b. 20 Aug 1850, Canton, Lewis, Missouri, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jun 1921, Rockport, Mendocino, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
    Last Modified 15 Jan 2020 
    Family ID F872  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 10 Jul 1820 - Allegany Co., Maryland, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 10 Apr 1847 - Lewis Co., Missouri, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 30 Oct 1864 - Florence, Lauderdale, Alabama, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Florence City Cemetery, Florence, Lauderdale, Alabama, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth