150 years ago on today's date, my great grandparents tied the knot. Great Grandfather Oakes, 3 months shy of his 21st birthday, married 18 year-old Martha Ellen Turner. She was the sister of Great Grandfather's comrade in arms, "Billy" Turner, who also served in Co. D of the 32nd Mississippi Regiment.
In the years that followed, Great Grandfather Oakes remained active in various Confederate reunions. Even after he moved his family to Texas in the 1894, he continued to reflect on his war experiences and even wrote a couple of letters to the editor of the Confederate Veteran magazine, which were published in 1899-1900.
|My great grandparents, Nathan and Martha Oakes, and their family in|
front of their home in 1897, after moving to Texas from Mississippi
Great Grandfather Oakes was 62 when he died in 1908. His wife lived until 1925. The two are buried side by side in the Santa Ana Cemetery. Great Grandfather never applied for a veteran's pension. However, after his death, my great grandmother's situation gradually declined. So in 1925, she applied for a war widow's pension, from which document I was able to confirm a few key details about Great Grandfather's war service and their life in Texas. Her pension was approved. However, she died 5 months later.
My great grandparents Nathan and Martha Ellen Oakes
with their children, cir. 1889. Baby (lower right) is my
grandfather John Oakes.
|My grandparents John and Mary Kate Oakes,|
Santa Ana, Texas
After Grandmother's death, Grandfather Oakes moved to San Diego, California, where he worked in the aircraft industry supporting the Allied victory in WWII. He died on September 9, 1945, only a week after Japan's official surrender. My mom, also employed in the war effort, accompanied his body to Texas for burial in the family plot in the Santa Ana Cemetery. There he rests next to my grandmother, near both of their parents and other family members.
|Nathan Oakes's granddaughter Marjorie, with her husband Frank Dolan, son of|
Klondike gold miner, logger, and adventurer (but those are topics for another story)