In a story called, “David Donaldson (left) My Great Grandfather” it states, in part:
“Benjamin [Donaldson] served three years in the Confederate Army, was captured by the Yankees and finally joined up with the Union forces at Barrancas in Pensacola. Ben was a blacksmith and his young son Dave worked with him tending the feet of the Soldier’s horses. Dave also ran errands for the soldiers and worked as a messenger when the Yankees occupied the old Pensacola Navy Yard during the Civil War. One of Dave’s many stories was of how his Mother would hide food in her apron, slipping unnoticed into the nearby woods where hungry soldiers were hiding. During the time that Geronimo was imprisoned at Fort Pickens, it was Dave’s job to provide food and water to the prisoners, and years later he would describe Geronimo as ‘a nice man.'”
Family stories are often faulty but rarely on purpose. Just like the telephone game, oral histories get embellished and twisted to the point that the current stories bear little resemblance to the original events. This is not to criticize anyone, but the truth should always prevail if known.
The problem with a portion of the above story is that Geronimo was not captured until 1886. The story goes on to state that Dave moved to Alabama in 1876, and he was living in DeFuniak Springs as of the 1885 census. It is doubtful that Dave Donaldson and Geronimo ever crossed paths.
Source: The Heritage of Walton County, Florida, Heritage Publishing Consultants, Clanton, AL, 2006, p. 152.
Burial: Donaldson Plantation Cemetery, Baldwin County, Alabama