Things that catch my ear…

On September 23rd, Confederate soldier Larkin Poe rode a borrowed horse down the Brotherton Road, turning north on the LaFayette Road once he reached the Brotherton cabin. Inside, he found his father in law, George Brotherton, who joined him. A quarter-mile on, they stopped at the still-smoking ruins of his own farm, at the southern end of Poe Field. His acreage was still carpeted with bodies. His fences were destroyed, whatever crops they protected trampled. His wife Sarah and his two children (Hilliard, aged 2, and Gussie, just ten months old) were missing. The view was grisly, including a dead Federal whose legs had been burned away by the fire.

Poe was a member of Company K, the 4th Georgia Cavalry. He was a teamster, hauling supplies. He and his company camped at Jay’s Mill on the 22nd, and this was the first chance he had to find out what had become of his family.

Later that day, Poe discovered that his family survived, and were sheltering in a ravine with about two dozen other locals behind the Snodgrass farm. That was a relief, to be sure, but his farm was destroyed, and his dependents were now refugees. All Poe could do was leave them a sack of grain before he had to rejoin his command.

Harry Smeltzer, at Bull Runnings, likes to do a thing he calls “pulling threads.”

Last evening, I was listening to Slacker when a new song came on. The band was called “Larkin Poe.” That caught my attention. Couldn’t possibly be, right?

Here is their website:

Turns out I knew these singers previously, as the Lovell Sisters, having heard them on the radio and internet from time to time. In the internet age, though, no question goes unanswered for long.

From their own website:

We have a very colorful family history,” explains lead singer/guitarist Rebecca, 23, who also plays mandolin and violin. “There were a lot of creative, hot-headed, and intelligent branches that went against the grain in our family tree. Our paternal grandfather suffered from schizophrenia, while our great, great, great, great grandfather, Larkin Poe, was a Civil War wagon driver turned historian and a distant cousin to Edgar Allen Poe. Growing up with their crazy stories definitely shaded our perception of normal. As artists, I think some of those innate eccentricities, passed down from generation to generation, have been even further exaggerated in us!” Megan, 25, who contributes lapsteel and dobro to the line-up, chimes in, “As sisters, we just wanted to pick a band name that had familial significance, so we decided to tip a nod to our ancestors and take on the name Larkin Poe.”

So there you go. It’s the same guy. Will I buy this album? You bet. I Wonder if I should include it in my bibliography?


7 Responses to “Things that catch my ear…”

  1. Michael A. Peake Says:


    This isn’t completely off subject, even though I had the pleasure of hearing these ladies when I still lived in the region. At this time, I do take a much greater pleasure in reporting that the complete Adolph G. Metzner collection of Civil War art is now in the collections of the Library of Congress. As you know, there are numerous images related to the war in Tennessee, including Chattanooga and Chickamauga, Georgia where the 1st German, 32nd Indiana served with distinction. This collection is now preserved as a national treasure!

  2. Dave Powell Says:

    Excellent. There is some great stuff there.

  3. Louis Mosier Says:

    Great post…but now my wallet is about $12 bucks lighter and it’s all your fault. I just HAD to pre-order the “Larkin Poe” CD after reading your story and listening to their music clips. You owe me, brother… 😉

  4. Miriam Houk-Cunningham Says:

    Dave: I loved this post! What a great story! Thank you.

  5. Miriam Houk-Cunningham Says:

    Dave: Would you please devote a post on the subject of the Cloud House and property on the northern boundary of the Chickamauga battlefield. I would like to know more about the situation there during and after the battle. I had an ancestor who was wounded and later died on the battlefield. I understand that the Cloud property had a part in the events after the battle. Thank you, Dave.

  6. Dave Powell Says:

    Maybe I should get a cut of album sales..:) And something on the Cloud house would be a good idea.

  7. Chris Evans Says:

    I found another band with a Civil War Georgia connection.

    ‘The Black Angels’ and their album ‘Directions To See A Ghost’.

    One of the band members says, ‘“Civil War battlefields are prime spots for seeing ghosts,” says Bland. “One time at Kennesaw mountain in Georgia, I was climbing the mountain in the middle of June and it must have been close to 100 degrees, but in this one particular spot it was very cold. The hairs on my neck stood up and I knew something strange was happening. Then the wind whispered something like ‘retreat,’ and I did. I later learned that the spot where I was on the battlefield was known as ‘the dead angle’, the place where the fiercest fighting took place. The confederates ended up retreating from the mountain towards Peachtree Creek.”’


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