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A Uniting of The Blue and The Gray

Benjamin H. Harben, veteran of the 65th Georgia, CSA, and brother of Jesse M. Harben of Co F, 65th Georgia, CSA, lived some fifteen miles from John Darnell, veteran of the 5th Tennessee MI, USA (see photo, in uniform). Both families had participated in the violent partisan conflict of the area in addition to their service in regular military units. (see Sion Darnell)

John’s daughter, Laura Victoria, married Ben Harben’s son, Joseph Nathaniel “Nat”, on March 23, 1884.

Harben Family c1904

The Family of Laura Victoria Darnell and Joseph Nathaniel Harben c1904
Seated l: Laura Victoria (Darnell) Harben & Seated r: Joseph Nathaniel Harben
Standing, l to r: Fannie Lee, Alice Matilda, Laura Josephine, Mertie Aberdeen
On the ground, l to r: Eva Mae, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Joseph
The wedding took place at the Darnell home, and it was not remembered as a pleasant affair. The mother of the bride even refused to come into the parlor for the ceremony because, in her words, “The Harbens are ‘Democrats!’ ” Fifty years later, a great-grandchild of the union would be discouraged from playing with his Darnell cousins because “The Darnells are ‘Republicans!’ ” To this day, which side one’s ancestors were on determines which of the two local funeral homes handles the burial.

Terry Lawson,


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Published on May 23, 1997. Changes last made on February 8, 2002.

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