Zann Nelson, the former executive director of the Museum of Culpeper History, dedicated her June 23, 2011 Culpeper Star-Exponent column in tribute to Private Fielding Aylor. Her column follows.
“On May 1, 1862, just eight days after his 18th birthday, young Fielding Aylor, a descendant of the first round of settlers to the Hebron Valley of Madison County, enlisted in the Army of the Confederate States of America.
“Young Fielding had been straining at the bit to enlist and suffered great frustration at having to wait an entire year while his comrades were fully engaged in the fighting.
“The 4th Virginia Cavalry was served by men from several counties in Central Virginia and young Aylor signed on with Company C, led by Captain Strother and locally known as the Madison Invincibles.
“Some enlisted for three months or even a year, however, according to his enlistment papers and perhaps driven by a patriotic zeal, Aylor chose to sign on for the duration of the “war.”
“Would he die on a field of battle, in a remote hospital from some horrid disease, or return home scarred but safe? Only time would tell.
“For the entire four years of the American Civil War, wherever the Army of Northern Virginia was engaged, Aylor’s regiment was present Kenneth Stiles’ 4th Virginia Regimental history reports that following the Battle of Antietam in September 1862, Aylor was captured and sent to Ft. Delaware and then exchanged for a Union POW in November of that same year.
“Returning to his regiment, Private Aylor would witness fierce fighting at all the iconic battles: Fredericksburg, Kelly’s Ford, Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, Upperville, Gettysburg, Bristoe, Mine Run, The Wilderness, Todd’s Tavern, Spotsylvania, Wilson’s Wharf, Haw’s Shop and Bethesda Church.
“On June 11, 1864, Aylor would find himself very close to his native home and fighting for his life.
“During the Battle of Trevilians in Louisa County, Aylor received a gunshot wound to his right shoulder, was taken to an old barn and left to die.
“An account in The Germanna Record-Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia, #12 states that his wounds were so severe that it was useless to try to save him.
“However, undaunted by medical opinion, Aylor finally persuaded the doctor to at least look at his wound. The doctor discovered that the bullet had passed cleanly through his shoulder, minimal medical treatment was rendered and notice was sent to his family in nearby Madison County to come and get him.
“Twenty year-old Fielding H. Aylor was carried home by wagon.
“Aylor survived the Civil War, married Elizabeth Blankenbaker about 1865, and raised 10 children on the family farm in Aylor (Madison County).
“On February 25, 1900, in a pension application, he penned a description of his wounding, “Trevilians while engaged in battle with Genl. Sheridan Cavalry, Federal Army…shot in right arm through shoulder causing paralysis of hand & fingers.”
“Private Aylor’s pension application was approved for an annual payment of fifteen dollars.
“In 1921, at the age of 77, Fielding H. Aylor died at his home.”
The Aylor (Öhler in German) family is an important Germanna family associated with Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison, Virginia and Hopeful Evangelical Lutheran Church in Boone County, Kentucky. Hans Jacob Öhler was born at Botenheim, Württemberg 3 MAY 1688. He married Anna Magdalena, the only child of Hans Heinrich Schneider (Henry Snider) and Anna Dorothea Schilling of Botenheim who were 1717 immigrants to Virginia. More information from Germany is given in “The Ancestry of the Aylor, Castler, Manspiel, and Reiner Families,” Before Germanna, v. 7.
“The Second Germanna Colony and Other Pioneers” by John Blankenbaker has more information on the Aylor family; it is for sale.
This superb study is the culmination of decades of research by John Blankenbaker, the foremost authority on the families that came to Germanna in 1717 and others that joined them later. Every descendant of these families needs this book. It includes background on Governor Spotswood, the Germans’ sojourn in England, Hebron Church, land grants in Madison County, and much more. Every family surname has a section devoted to its background in Germany and early years in Virginia. Descriptive photographs from the Blankenbakers’ travels to the villages from which these families emigrated are a bonus. 8.5″ x 11″ format, softcover, 198 pages, maps, photographs, index.