On Terrell Garren's Civil War forum--the finding of three allegedly Union mountaineers
Chivous Omar Bradley shared his research of his ancestors, J. Willis Bradley and Elias Alexander Bradley, first cousins from Buncombe County, and members of Co. K, 4th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry, Union Army.
J. Wills, Terrell Garren discovered, had first enlisted in the in the 39th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, CSA as a volunteer, fought in some battles, and then disappeared for a couple of years. The record states, he deserted the Confederate Army in September 1862 and he was "confined" at Knoxville in May of 1864.
Elias, as it turns out, was Johnathan Willis' cousin, and was two years younger--age 18 in 1864. Johnathan probably retrieved him to take him to the Union Army in Tennessee. "This is representative of a sad pattern for Confederate soldiers," Garren writes. "I've seen numerous examples of older Confederate heroes who desert the Army in 1863 or 1864. Such men would often come home, round up a young relative and take him to the relative safety of the Union Army. Confederate draft law changes in those years put young boys in jeopardy."
Bradley mentioned Johnathan's brother, James Dickerson Bradley, "who likely served in the 3rd NC Infantry, Union forces, sometime during the war...If he is who I think he was, he became a minister in Buncombe and Madison Counties after the war and died in 1880."
Garren first attempt to sort that out revealed that there was no 3rd NC Infantry, Union; and James wasn't in the 3rd NC Mounted Infantry--a good thing. That was the infamous Kirk's regiment. Garren did find him eventually, and, with Bradley's additional info, solved the puzzle, revealing an important insight about the Civil War.
See Terrell Garren's Civil War blog for more