A Lynching Thwarted, Or I Wouldn’t Be Here Today. Becoming LaChaumette, A Journal


This is my Great great Grandfather, James Karnes Polk Shumate, who was born in 1843 or 1844.

I learned a new story about him the other day, from a Third Cousin, who had come across my blog writings on my recent Shumate discoveries. Our ancestors in common are this James Karnes Polk Shumate, and his wife, Lelia (Miller)Shumate(born, 1856).

Anyhow, turns out James, and at least two of his brothers served in the Civil War, and survived it, fighting on the side of the Confederates.

James, would have been about 16 or 17 at the start of the war, maybe 21 or 22 at the end. this story deals with him being younger, perhaps more toward the beginning of the war.

He was being used as a messenger, or courier, and had been caught by Union Soldiers. His message was of a confidential nature, and he was not inclined to share it’s particulars, despite interrogation, and probably not a little torture. Still he wasn’t squealin’.

So they, the Union Soldiers had decide to string him up, to lynch him as a spy and enemy soldier. Seems they were just getting ready to do the deed when luck intervened, and Confederate Infantry appeared upon the hill and interrupted the party, saving my great great grandfather, as the story goes, just in the nick of time.

Humbling thought…. A few more minutes, and one length of rope… and I wouldn’t be here, at least not this version, this person. He didn’t marry until he was 25. Had they Lynched him, My line wouldn’t exist… My great grandfather, my grandfather, my father, myself, my kids, none of us…. pretty chilling thought…


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