Monday, February 20, 2012

The Rest of the Story...

SO I got the STORY......This is kind of an update to my post to Taphophile Tragics last week...the small grave with the name Little Maxcy Gregg..first some background to help make sense of the name...

Confederate General Maxcy Gregg
Maxcy Gregg, from the Web.

Maxcy Gregg born in Columbia, SC in 1814 son to Col John Gregg was educated at the South Carolina college graduated head of the class then practiced law with his father and was active in local politics and law.  He entered a military career in 1846 but saw no action in the Mexican/American War. He had many interests such as astronomy, botony, ornithology, and language so he was a scholar. He was one of the signers of the delcaration of secession for the State of SC in Dec 1860 and fought at Fort Sumter (the shot heard round the world, the first conflict of the US CIVIL WAR) so he was a statesman right from the get go.  He later died with honor when a rifle ball the size of a marble entered his side at the battle of Fredericksburg, VA and hit his spine and he died 2 days later.  His body was returned to Columbia at rest in Elmwood Memorial Gardens...
NOW THE CONNECTION: During times of OLD people were often named after famous persons or leaders they held in George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, or Maxcy Gregg in this case...

ALexander Leslie McCandless was born in NJ in 1820...but
somehow he ended up an orphan in the Charleston orphan house and was taken from there and given an education...he graduated from South Carolina College in 1838...(I'm assuming he met Maxcy Gregg at College)
Later he began teaching at the Orphan Society School in Camden at age 18, and was headmaster of the school from 1839-1846...

He married his beloved Frances Agusta Coleman in 1847.  They taught at the Orphan Society School where Leslie was known to be as hard as Fannie was gentle as he had a reputation of being physically violent toward his young charges passing out whippings whenever the opportunity arose.

SO when the Civil War broke out Leslie McCandless left his job at school as the enrollment dwindled due to the enlistment of many of his charges into the CSA (Confederate States of America).  The rough n tough school master enlisted with Boykin's Rangers, Co A 2nd SC Calvary, but was later discharged not being of a soldierly disposition...after his discharge he moved to Atlanta with his family but soon returned to Camden...alone! Fannie stayed and never lived with her husband again.  She opened a school for girls in Atlanta and died in 1889.  Her body was sent back to Camden to eternally lay next to her beloved first born.....
Little Maxcy Gregg McCandless
  Sept 9th 1849--May 21, 1850
in the Old Quaker Burial Ground. 

Fannie and Little Maxy"s gravestones 
 Typhoid Fever took many during those days... although I dont know that is what Little Maxcy died of just a we know the rest of the story.

The McCandless Family-- The tall obleske  on the left is Leslie McCandless, then Fannie, Little Maxy, Linnie McCandless Wilson, and in front left is Kate Leslie McCandless, and to the right Sidney Coleman McCandless.

THIS post is linked to Taphophile Tragics



  1. What an amazing story Sondra.
    Well done for the detective work, and letting us know the events.

  2. Beautiful photos too, very interesting times.

  3. Amazing life story here! Strange how it took the time apart of Civil War to get Fannie to take a stand on her own life direction! Fascinating!

    1. YES, I felt this was a great point in the their lives, the War that split the country also split many unions, including this one (which appeared to need to be split) Im glad She was put to rest by her First Born!!

  4. Only 8 monhts old. So sad, but lovely that Fannie is reunited with her child in death.

    Herding Cats

  5. This Leslie sounds a most disagreeable sort.
    Good job on your research. And your story telling.

  6. I love the wrought iron work around family plots in our older cemeteries.

  7. What a sad story all around. Leslie's abusive behavior probably did not stop with his wards so I'm glad Frances Agusta got away from him. Not being of soldierly disposition is code for what? Refusal to follow orders? Abusive to peers or soldiers under his supervision? Probabilities are that Leslie himself experienced abuse as an orphan. Kudos for your research. This could be a movie.

    1. I think he probably enlisted as a matter of honor and sought an immediate release when he realized others could dish out more harm than he--

  8. Quite wonderful, Sondra. You yarned away with such apparent ease, that it all came to life in my head. We are all wrapped up in her eternal reunion with her first-born, but it must equally follow that she is eternally reunited with her husband whom she declined to follow back to Camden. I am assuming that some of the other graves there are further children of the union of Leslie and Fannie. Emotions can be so complex.

    So can stories from your Civil War be complex. But engrossing.

    Thank you for continuing the story to some sort of closure. That is what I was hoping this meme would allow contributors to do: take a longer time to tell a worthwhile tale.


    1. Julie, you are right!! When Leslie McCandless eventually died in 1898 he was put to rest right beside his estranged Wife, and the others mentioned in caption are the other children of that Union. Sydney Coleman McCandless has an unpublished book written in 1938, titled the "Life Work of Leslie McCandless" and its archieved at the University of SC Library. I was thinking of taking a trip over just to read it...that would be quite fun and while Im there I may visit the grave of the Brave Brig. Gen Maxcy Gregg!!

  9. Great bit of sleuthing! Nice to know the rest of the story.

  10. A sad but fascinating story, Sondra. Whenever I see a gravestone I wonder about the life that has passed.


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