Family Photographs… and their stories: Berrien Clark Bryan

Family Photographs… and their stories

Berrien Clark Bryan

I’ve always loved the older family photographs, and as many times as I leaf through my albums, I always ask myself “what’s your story?” Every photo has one – and it’s my mission to tell them – one by one. After beginning my weekly series on Family Heirlooms, I thought… why not tell the stories on the family photographs.

bryan bc civil war 1909 (2)

Photo of Berrien Clark Bryan (No. 15) in 1909 with Confederate Soldiers in front of Lumpkin Co. Courthouse

“The Old Soldiers”

Photo and story published in The Dahlonega Nugget: Nov. 15, 1909

The meeting of the old Confederate Soldiers here last Monday was another happy day for them. At 10 o’clock, after having their pictures taken by Mr. Potter, they marched to the North Georgia College, escorted by the college cadets. Heard the program given in the last weeks Nugget was carried out interestingly. After which they marched back to the courthouse headed by Wm. Etres, who beat the same drum that he called them together with when the volunteers of the 52nd formed on the public square and marched off to the front to battle for their country in the dark days of ’62, but few of whom are left to tell the tale of the hardships they encountered, and judging from the condition of those old soldiers here on Monday, some of them will hear the sound of this old drum at their gatherings but a few more times, if ever.

The drum, beat by Wm. Etres, was made from part of a black gum tree before the war by Huram Waldrop who lived in White County. The program closed by twenty-five of the veterans dining at a well-filled table prepared for them in the courthouse by the kind ladies, then all dispersed and went to their homes feeling proud that they had been spared to meet one more time.

Berrien Clark and Berilla (Free) Bryan



Berrien Clark Bryan was my 3rd great grandfather, serving with the Blue Ridge Rangers during the war. He was father to 15 children, and fought alongside three of his sons in the Civil War… Calloway (Marion Calvin Calloway Bryan), Josiah and Ransom. He lived to a few short months of his 100th birthday in 1923… still residing in his cabin by Cane Creek in Lumpkin County, Georgia.

In every photo Berrien was in since the 1909 Civil War Veterans photo, he’s worn the Southern Cross medal… shown in this photo; we have assumed they were awarded to the veterans in 1909. I am unsure as to what the other medals are he also wore, but it was told he was very proud of his medals and enjoyed being photographed with them.

If you’d like to see more Family Photographs, click HERE!


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2 Responses to Family Photographs… and their stories: Berrien Clark Bryan

  1. Bridgett Jordan says:

    I have 2 relatives in this picture #9 & #18. I found my information on Ancesrty, a distant relative shared this photo. Thank you for the story above that you shared, it gives life to the photo. I can’t imagine what it must have been like at that time. I have nothing but the greatest respect for all that endured and survived this era.

    Liked by 1 person

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