Edward Robert Newell was born abt.1840/41 in Cumberland County, NC. When he was 20 years old he enlisted and fought in the Civil War for the South. He enlisted on 5/29/1861 in Cumberland County as a private. He mustered into "C" company, NC 3rd infantry. (his date & method of discharge is not known.) Edward was taken prisoner and listed as a POW on 5/14/1864 at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Va. He was confined on 5/14/1864 at Point Lookout, Md., then on 8/10/1864 was transferred to Elmira Civil War Camp in New York. He was released on 1/16/1865.
After the war, Edward made his way back to North Carolina and to Charity Ann (Wright), whom he had married on December 22, 1863 in Cumberland County, N.C.. The family migrated to Seattle Washington in 1873 where their son Bryant Newell was born. By 1875 the family had migrated to Texas where the rest of their children were born. After 1877 the family migrated to Marco Island, Florida, where they remained for many years. Edward found the tropical climate and the isolation of the island the perfect place to relax and put memories of the war behind him. At that time, the only way on and off the island was by boat. This beautiful and peaceful island quickly became "home" to the Newell family.
Although Edward survived the Civil War and went on to father a large family and to make a good life for his wife and children on Marco Island, he never really got over the horrors of the war or the conditions he survived at the Elmira Prisoners of War Camp in Elmira, New York. Eventually, this affected his mind to the point that he was admitted to the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee Florida where he remained until his death in 1926. He is buried there on the hospital grounds.
Charity (Wright) Newell returned to North Carolina where she passed away on Jan.13,1924 at the home of her son Ashford Newell in Guilford County, NC..
Added Note: The family story passed down, goes that Edward, with wife Charity Ann and their children,
traveled from Texas to Marco Island by boat, following the coastline.
Updated - Copyright 2008 Mary ONeil