This is my Great-Great-Great-Grandfather. Pvt Peter Franklin Stiner Sr. This top picture is not a Civil War era photo, but I think it is the epitome of a grizzled Confederate Veteran! The next photo is from 1856 and gives a better idea of what he looked like during the war.
He was 33 years old when he enlisted in April 1864 as a Private in Company E of the 7th Tennessee Infantry Regiment (CS) at Bristol Virginia. The 7th was part of the Tennessee Brigade, Heth's Division, A.P Hill's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
He fought in the battles of The Wilderness, Spottsylvania Courthouse, Cold Harbor, and the Siege of Petersburg.
On January 3rd 1865 he deserted from the picket line. See below muster rolls.
He took the oath of amnesty on January 8th 1865 at City Point Virginia and was given a pass to Knoxville Tennessee.
Next is a Confederate $1 bill that he brought home from the war and has been kept in the family.
Here he is again (on the left) later in life.
Finally, this is the foot stone placed at his grave.
As far as I know, no one in the family knows for sure why he deserted. I have two theories, but it could also have been a combination of both.
The first theory is that he had just received news from home that his 3rd child had died in infancy 14 days before.
The second theory is that he was just demoralized, and realized the war was coming to a close anyways. In February 1865, a deserter from the 7th TN reported to his Federal captors that the Regiment was down to 60 men. Perhaps the siege was too much to bear.
It's also interesting to note that he was the Uncle of William Henry Stiner who was fighting opposite him for the Union. It gives great perspective to the division caused by the war.
I was re-reading some of the family history and came across a comment about Peter Stiner that I hadn't noticed before, it was said by family members that "Peter was never the same after the war". I do not know who the quote was taken from, but it seems that it was common family opinion. Interesting, but sad.