Notes for Colonel James Cooper Nisbet: Only rubble remains where the family home once stood in the Cloverdale community near Rising Fawn. Even the man's remains lie outside the county, in the Confederate cemetery in Chattanooga. Though little evidence of Col. James Cooper Nisbet's life appear here today, the man's legacy lives on.
Most notable: The first-hand account of the War Between the States that he penned, Four Years on the Firing Line. Historians still consider it one of the most reliable documents for research into the Civil War.
Born in Macon and a graduate of Oglethorpe University, Nisbet was a descendant of James Nisbet, once governor of Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. The colonel's great-grandfather was apparently responsible for leading the family to new life in America, migrating in 1730. Nisbet moved to Dade County with his brother, John, sometime after college to run a 3,000-acre farm -- perhaps purchased by their father.
In 1861, Nesbit organized Company H, 21st Regiment, to fight for the Confederacy and served as its captain until he became colonel of the 66th Georgia Infantry. He was eventually captured by the Union army on July 22, 1864 during the Battle of Atlanta near Decatur, Georgia and sent to federal prison on Johnson's Island.
He returned to Dade County sometime after his release in 1865. He fathered five children by two different wives -- the first died 10 years after their marriage -- and even served in the Georgia Legislature and the State Constitutional Convention before his death in 1877.