Chrisley Nicholson was born a son of Moses and Cassandra Ramsbottom Nicholson ca. 1832 in Madison County, Virginia. There is evidence to show that, like his brothers, Chrisley (aka Christian Nichols), did not wish to participate in any form in the Civil War. According to his wife’s statement in the pension application that she submitted (he married Elizabeth Jenkins on August 3, 1856 at his parent’s house in Rappahannock Co., Va.), Chrisley…
“never intended to fight against the Union but if the south tried to make him fight that he intended to go north and join the Union army. Conscript officers kept trying to capture him and upon one or two occasions but he made his escape so he took me and my two children and we stopped in New Jersey after getting there he rented a house and we went to housekeeping but one day soon after he went over to Philadelphia and there enlisted.”
Chrisley is actually recorded as having enlisted at Camp Cadwallader Draft Rendezvous, Philadelphia, Pa. on April 26, 1864. He was forwarded to Co. D, 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry and delivered with a detachment at Alexandria, Va. on May 1, 1864. His widow continued that “after having joined the army, he left me with myself and children (Michael who was born ca. 1855 and Arnold who was born ca. 1857) to support which I was unable to do so I was told by a friend that I could get assistance from the authorities so I made application but was told such state had to provide for its own soldiers’ wives.” She came back to Virginia to a “relative and friends.” In November 1864, Chrisley Nicholson showed up at his father’s house. Cut off from his command he arrived at his parents’ house and there found his wife and children. As his wife recollected, he was “going back to the army – home only a few days.” When the local conscript authorities learned of his being home and knowing that he belonged to the Union army, “they came to capture him,” but he was shot while trying to make his escape. Chrisley Nicholson died on Nov. 12, 1864 near his father’s home near Nethers, Madison Co.
Chrisley’s brother, Joseph, was drafted into the Confederate service at the end of the war and served in Co. F, 38th Virginia Infantry. He was captured at Five Forks, Va. Another brother, Vancouver, was conscripted and assigned to Co. G, 12th Virginia Cavalry on June 24, 1864. There is no further record of service after that date.
Story contributed by Robert H. Moore, II (a third great grand nephew to Chrisley Nicholson).