In 1909, Rufus Augustus Means, who served in the 29th Georgia Volunteer Infantry along with Elbert J. “Old Yaller” Chapman, related the circumstances of Chapman’s death. Elbert J. Chapman’s widow, Mary Ann “Patsy” Chapman, later lived in the 1144th Georgia Militia District, the Ray’s Mill District.
Rufus Augustus Means was a private in Company B, under the command of J.J. Owens, and Chapman was mustered in Company D, the Berrien Minute Men. But Means spoke of “Old Yaller” in a familiar manner, referring to Chapman’s family as “Patsy and the children in Milltown.”
HOW “OLD YELLOW” WAS KILLED.
Dear Sir: – As to the shooting of E. J. Chapman, of the 29th Georgia regiment, in Mississippi, I have seen two or three statements of the shooting. I will give you my statement of it. The 29th was stationed at Savannah, Ga., and when in the tent he was taken with a notion to visit Patsy and the children at Milltown, Berrien County, Ga., and from there he went to Mississippi and joined Adams’ cavalry, and when the brigade went to Mississippi our quartermaster, J. D. Cameron, caught Chapman at Canton, Miss., and we marched from there in the direction of Vicksburg, and at Vernon, Miss., they court-martialed Chapman, and they held up the sentence until after the seige of Jackson. We stayed some time and then we marched from there to Morton Station, the the Mississippi Southern, and when we stopped there the sentence was read out at dress parade. In the evening they did not have time to execute him, and had to put it off until the next day. The Judge Advocate of the Court was Major J. C. Lamb, of the 29th regiment. J. C. Lamb was the first captain of the company that Chapman belonged to. Major Lamb got the upper half of his head shot off at Jackson and so he got killed before Chapman was shot. I will never forget that killing, as I was one of the men that was detailed to shoot him, and also three others out of my company. He went by the name of “Old Yellow.” My company was from Franklin County, Ga. J. J. Owen was our first captain.
This is a correct account of the shooting of “Old Yellow,” as he was called.
RUFUS A. MEANS
29th Ga. Regiment, Co. B.
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