Audrey Mae SpencerSpencer Historical CemeteryHenry Straight / William Spencer Family Cemetery
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Posts Tagged John Johnson Spencer

19 June 2002

Heather: What were you told about your grandfather, John Johnson Spencer, who was a prisoner of war?

John Johnson Spencer

Audrey: John Johnson Spencer was a union soldier. He was captured and was at Libby Prison* where he had to eat raw pork and he had an upset stomach for the rest of his life.

*Libby Prison was in Richmond, Virginia. John Johnson was a prisoner taken in action at Middlebury, Virginia and held at Libby Prison in Richmond and also at Belle Isle Civil War Prison west of Richmond.
Before the prisoner exchange program ended between the North and the South,  Abraham Lincoln’s parole program released John Johnson Spencer from the Confederate prison.
1 February 2004

Heather: I read John Johnson Spencer’s obituary and it said he was a prisoner of war at Andersonville, Georgia. Do you know anything about that?


John Johnson Spencer

Audrey: I only know that he was at Libby Prison and I am sure he was there. I never talked with my grandfather. He was an old man with a long gray beard. Ed (John Edward Spencer), my brother, would talk with him. I was quiet. I was busy with art, my own privacy. I don’t remember speaking with Aunt Mandy (Esther Amanda Briggs) and she lived with us. Grandma (MaryJane Vaughn Spencer) and aunt Mandy were great at cutting articles out of newspapers. They would cut out articles about kings and queens, etc. I remember a snuffbox —snuff up the nose was a habit. All rich people had a diamond snuffbox, which was just the thing. Aunt Mandy, she had dates in a bag.

(The obituary in the newspaper does not seem to be correct.  Georgia National Park at Andersonville has no record of a John Johnson Spencer at Andersonville confederate prison.   We know he was at Libby Prison and at Belle Isle prison in Richmond, Virginia. He was in the battles that were around Pennsylvania and Virginia.  Spencer family oral history has him going no further south and we find have no other records of him going further south.)
28 August 2004

Heather: She never got her money! Did they have any children?

Audrey: Yes, they had Amy, Leah Louise, and Girlie. I always loved the sound of Leah Louise, what a pretty name. The three girls lived in the city and went to school at Auburn in Providence. They came home in the summers.

Richard drove a train, so he was never home. I think he was only home on the weekends. He drove an old fashion auto that he drove to the country. The auto had only one other seat.

Aunt Lottie used the front door only when her three daughters came home. The three daughter lived upstairs and Richard had a small corner room downstairs. The front door opened to a big hall and stairs and each family had their section of the house with their (front) door shut.

Ed and Jenny lived downstairs. My brother (John) Ed was named after his grandfather, John Johnson Spencer.

My brother Ed was Anna Maria and John Johnson’s only grandson* (that lived to adulthood). Grandpa had two daughters, Edith and me, and one son, John “Ed”. (John Edward had no sons.) Richard had three daughters, Amy, Leah and Girlie. (Alfred) Ernest had Marjorie and Richard* who died when he was a boy, around twelve years old, from a heart attack or heart problem.

* This appears to be incorrect.  AudreyMae was 92 years when she made this comment, and this last sentence does not appear to be accurate.  Alfred Ernest’s son, Richard, has a gravestone in the Spencer Family Cemetery on Middle Road.  His gravestone is on one side of Alfred Ernest’s stone and his two daughters’, Deborah’s and Jane’s,  gravestone is on the other side of Alfred Ernest’s stone.  Alfred Ernest’s (“Uncle Ern’s”) son, Richard, grew to adulthood. Richard and two of his daughters are in the Spencer family cemetery.  Was Audrey confused with the sad fact that her brother’s, John Edward’s, first grandchild died at age 12 from a heart condition? Or did the scribe not read her notes correctly? Was Audrey actually talking about the two different grandchildren?

More research is needed.  If any web site reader has more information about this, please add a comment to this site.  Thanks.

24 October 2004

Heather: Tell me something about your grandfather, John Johnson Spencer.

He had a beard. He was all right.  I didn’t talk with him.  (In those days) “Children should be seen but not heard.”