Col. George Brydges Rodney, Sr., 1872-1950, U.S. Cavalry

Started by focusoninfinity on Monday, June 13, 2011


6/13/2011 at 10:38 AM

My late grandfather was Edw. Yonge Wootten, 1880-1963, of Wilmington, North Carolina, USA, the younger brother of Lt. Bradley Jewett Wootten, 1876-1901, Co. H, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Bradley died Cuba, and the flag was at half-staff over the capitol, Raleigh, when his remains arrived Wilmington. His broken-column with sabre and sabre-belt monument, is at Oakdale Cemetery (pictured in March 2011 <i>"Our State Magazine"</i>); and like the Rodney graves at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas, can be seen at the on-line website of "<i>Find-a-Grave</i>". I request an interested Rodney family member to add data and relieve me the administration of this Rodney site.

In 1901, Bradley wed Bradley/Green distant kin, Miss Ann Nesfield 'Nessie' Green Cotchett, 1878-1972. Widowed, 1905 she wed Col. George Brydges Rodney, Sr., 1872-1950, of Delaware; a writer of many books. I read and liked his 1944, <i>"A Cavalryman Remembers"</i>book. As a child (b1943), living Long Hill Road above Gillette; at the defunct Watchung Military Reservation, I'd ride (not very well) the once NJNG Essex Troop mounts such as old <i>"Lookout",</i> with cavalry saddles. I remember the old .03 rifles were still there in locked, round rifle racks.

At a U.S. Horse Cavalry Assn. re-union; an old "Buffalo Soldier" "yellow-leg" asked me, <i>what was the signal for enemy aircraft overhead</i>? I had no notion? <i>"You remove your trooper's campaign hat; at arm's-length, point it towards the enemy aircraft aloft, sharply jerking your extended-arm, back-and-forth three times. Then, the troop disperses in 360* degree directions; THERE IS NOTHING A MOUNTED TROOPER CAN DO AGAINST ATTACKING ENEMY AIRCRAFT OVERHEAD"</i>.

First husband Bradley, and I think 'Nessie' too; both descended Wilmington, Revolutionary War, Continental Line paymaster Capt. Richard Bradley, Sr., and wife Elizabeth Ashbridge Sharpless, from Chester, Penn.; pacifist Quakers originally, later Episcopalian slave owners.

Capt. Bradley (oddly also called a <i>"naval officer"</i> because as a Wilmington merchant and part ship owner, he was on the Board of Pilotage & Navigation. My Wilmington, War of 1812, artillery 4th Sgt. Joshua James, Sr., was also called a <i>"naval officer"</i>, because he was appointed to check and maintain the quality and true quantity of ship's naval-stores exports, that Wilmington was then well known for (an old trick was to add stones to tar barrels).

Capt. Bradley was first buried on the Market Street side of downtown St. James Episcopal Church; but when Market Street was widened, his and other human remains were removed to Oakdale Cemetery. My cousin LtCol Bradley Quelch Wootten, USA , (b1945, who has trooper Bradley's sword) and his late father, Bradley Jewett Wootten, 1912-1969; were named for our trooper Bradley Wootten, and he for Capt. Bradley.

One mid-1950's summer, when I was a youth circa age 15, 'Nessie' visited grandfather's 'Hill-Wright-Wootten', 11 S. Third St., home; once the childhood home of 'Nessie's" Bradley; and the brother's parents, Epis. Rev. Edward Wootten (born Wooten, 1837-1925), Sgt. & Lt., CSA, Co. B, 5th N.C. Cavalry in the Civil war, and 2nd wife Eliza Yonge "Yongie" Jewett, 1849-1942. The home adjoined the McCrae home on one side, and St. James Episcopal Church on the other side. It was across from the distant kin, Swift Boatwright home and the back yard of the Lord Corwallis Headquarters House, once the home of Bradley kinsman, Judge Joshua Grainger Wright, for whom Wrightsville Beach, N.C., was named; as he owned half of it.

I'd long known of, but never had met, Lt. Bradley's 'Nessie'; so when an adult introduced us, I knew who she was; I'd loved to have known more? An adult explained my mother Leila James Wootten Miller's, (1914-1967), father was her 1st husband's younger brother. We smiled, stared--and the known, once familiar adults; in familiar (rebuilt 1802 after the city fire of (1799?). surroundings, continued.

I'd never see Bradley's 'Nessie" Rodney again. I'd love to meet her Rodney descendants. James A. Miller, Jr. (focusoninfinity), Dutchman's Creek Bluff, Southport, N.C. 28461-7420 USA. @Rodney

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