|Birth: ||Jun. 19, 1838|
|Death: ||Jun. 10, 1864|
Elijah Slay, son of Alexander (Sandy) Slay and Elizabeth McLean.
Elijah was killed during the Civil War, his memorial marker at County Line Cemetery, Copiah Co., Mississippi, reads "Our Son - Killed in Va." His remains are interred in the Oakwood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. His marker at County Line is next to his parents and brother Cincinnatis Slay, killed at the Battle of Iuka, Mississippi.
Elijah Slay was born on June 19, 1838 in Copiah County, Mississippi, being the seventh child born to Alexander and Elizabeth (McLean) Slay. On December 10, 1857, he married Lucy Pierce. He enlisted in Company C, 16th Mississippi Infantry, Confederate States of Army on May 28, 1861 at Corinth,Mississippi as a Private. He was appointed a Fourth Corporal of Company C on June 17, 1861. After his first year of service, he re enlisted as a Fourth Corporal at Camp Baker near Manassa, Virginia of February 13, 1862. He was elected Captain on April 26, 1862. Captain Elijah Slay was wounded and captured at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. On July 10, he was admitted as a prisoner of war to the USA General Hospital on Camden Street in Baltimore, Maryland for a gunshot wound. On July 13, he was moved to the USA General Hospital at Newton University in Baltimore, Maryland. On July 17, he was sent to the USA General Hospital at Chester, Pennsylvania from which he escaped on August 15, 1863.
He was admitted to the CSA General Hospital at Charlottesville, Virginia on August 30, 1863 and returned to duty on October 27, 1863. He took leave of absence on December 22, 1863 and went home to see his wife. During active battle Captain Elijah Slay was killed on June 10, 1864. He was shot be a Yankee sharpshooter at Cold Harbor, near Richmond, Virginia. His sash, sword and diary were returned to his widow Lucy (Pierce) Slay. She later married Arthur Matthews, a widower, and devoted friend of Elijah Slay. The only surviving child of Elijah and Lucy Slay was Elijah Slay Jr., who was born on September 21, 1864. They had a daughter who died quite young, name unknown.
(Source: A Genealogy of the Slay Family in America ; Copywrite 1995; LOC # 85-80711; J. Bradley Jeffreys; Coauthor, James H. Hines; MS AHD Call No. 929.256315J
I have the information at home (I am currently in N.C., and live in Mississippi) so if someone doesn't answer before I get home, I will post it.
His diary is in the MDAH. His last entry before he passed away (2 days later in a VA field hospital) is something I memorised years ago:
"Let me die upon the field of battle in the front ranks as an example to those whose duty it is to free the South from the iron hand of tyranny. What care I, though my name may never be put in print, nor my country know I shed my blood for her freedom. What a worthless man is he who only acts to be seen of men. God sees and understands the honest heart."
Those last two sentences say a great deal.
From Sgt. George B. Ford, Company C, 16th Mississippi, Captain Slay was killed on the picket skirmish line (June 10th, 1864) at Turkey Creek, and when he was brought out, General Mahone shed tears and said, "My best man is gone."
I be wrong, but I believe he was mistakenly considered killed and was actually mortally wounded, dieing 2 days later, in the hospital.
from George Martin
Part of the brigade was in battle on the North Anna May 24, and the entire brigade served on the lines of Cold Harbor. A famous reconnaissance was made by picked men June 6, with heavy loss. From the 8th to the 12th there was a continuous fire from sharpshooters and artillery, the average loss of the brigade being from ten to fifteen per day in killed and wounded, among the former the gallant soldier and Christian gentleman, Capt. E. Slay, and brave Lieutenant Harry Lewis, both of the Sixteenth (Harris' Diary)
Part of the brigade was in battle on the North Anna May 24, and the entire brigade served on the lines of Cold Harbor. A famous reconnaissance was made by picked men June 6, with heavy loss. From the 8th to the 12th there was a continuous fire from sharpshooters and artillery, the average loss of the brigade being from ten to fifteen per day in killed and wounded, among the former the gallant soldier and Christian gentleman, Capt. E. Slay, and brave Lieutenant Harry Lewis, both of the Sixteenth (Harris' Diary). After June 18 the brigade was mainly on duty in the works about Petersburg, and they were also in battle out of these lines on June 22-23, on the Weldon Railroad May 24, under extraordinary fire in the battle of the Crater July 30, on the Darbytown road August 18, where Lieut. John B. Coleman was killed, and on the Weldon Railroad August 21, where, after Finegan's brigade had been repulsed, Harris' brigade charged the Federal entrenched line. The alignment was such that the Twelfth and Sixteenth first reached the works and many were killed or wounded and captured. Col. E. C. Councill, a gallant and admirable officer, was mortally wounded. He died at Washington, D. C. Lieutenant- Colonel Bain was also captured. The casualties of the regiment were reported as 6 killed, 28 wounded, 59 missing.
County Line Cemetery
Maintained by: Gayle Hennington Van Hor...
Originally Created by: NatalieMaynor
Record added: Jul 31, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11453910