Email from
Jim Montgomery
about his great-great-grandfather
James M. Winston
Captain of Company "A"

From: "Jim Montgomery <>
Subject: Armistead's brigade
Date: 23 Aug 2003

Good morning, Mr. McKnight. I'm not sure of the date of your webpage I discovered during a Google search or if your interest in the subject is active. Assuming it is, I respond to your request to hear from other descendants of members of Armistead's command.

My great, great grandfather was James M. Winston, captain of Co. A. I'm afraid I can add nothing to the oral traditions of the 16th. Indeed I hope to learn more of him, an interest spurred by the discovery among my mother's papers and pictures an 1863 photo I have never seen of him in uniform. A native of Sumter County, Alabama, he went to war in 1861 as 1st Lt of the North Sumter Rifles (Co.A, 5th Alabama Battalion). Apparently having walked enough, he switched to cavalry in 1863. The photo is of him in the uniform of an infantry 1st Lt, so it must have been made while he was on leave just before joining Armistead. He was a large landowner and planter in north Sumter and lived in the Ramsey community west of Gainesville. He is buried in the Winston Cemetery near there.

The account of the Rome Races was particularly interesting. Whenever we go from Atlanta to our country place overlooking Lake Weiss in Cherokee County, AL we pass through The Narrows. It has been a lovely little tree-lined pass, revealing a charming ante bellum Presbyterian church at the western end. Unfortunately its charm has been lost as the slopes are denuded and now being bulldozed to four-lane GA 20. From the deck of our hilltop place we look across to Shinbone ("Turkeytown") Valley and over to Round Mountain where Wheeler had that series of daily rear guard actions with Sherman's advance. Only recently did I learn Armistead -- and presumably, my forebear -- were part of that. Some time ago, but after we had acquired this property, I learned that my father's grandfather as a troop leader in the 2nd AL Cav had also been part of this fluid rearguard effort in a skirmish at Goshen Pass, visible from our place 15 miles due south. (Anyone who happened to be where our deck is would have seen some of Alabama's most exciting Civil War action. We also look down on the final miles of the l863 Streight raid and, when the leaves are off the trees, can spot the site of Streight's surrender to Forrest about ten miles west of The Narrows.)

Perhaps some of this adds to your store of lore on the 16th. Any information you might have relating to my ancestor's service would be appreciated.

Jim Montgomery