Chris Evans has relatives who fought on both sides of the "war between the states"

By Andrea Park
Updated May 05, 2016 01:00 PM
Credit: Courtesy Paramount

Art imitates life?

Not only does Chris Evans star in the upcoming film Captain America: Civil War, but the Massachusetts native can also trace his real-life ancestors back to the U.S. Civil War.

According to and its military record site, Fold3, two of Evans’ close relatives fought on opposing sides of the war between the states, the site tells PEOPLE exclusively.

Daniel Cryer, Evans’ fourth great-grandfather (that is, his great-great-great-great grandfather), served as part of the Confederacy. According to his service record, Cryer served in Company E of Waul’s Texas Legion of the Confederate Army.

He died at the age of 37 in the Battle of Moscow, which took place on December 4, 1863, in Tennessee. When Confederate cavalry attempted to burn the railroad bridge over the Wolf River, they were thwarted by African-American Union troops, sparking the short skirmish.

Evans’ third great-grandfather, John Garvey, fought for the Union Army. Garvey was 40 at the time, old for a soldier, and so was in charge of cooking and washing for the younger soldiers of his regiment.

According to Garvey’s wife’s widow pension file, he was long believed to have deserted his unit during the war. However, 43 years after the war, his son discovered that Garvey was in fact left behind by his unit after taking a leave of absence, then fell ill and died in Ship Island, Mississippi, while trying to catch up to them.

“He was not a bad man, but he was Irish and drank some and when drinking he was very noisy, and I did not mind if he did not return,” wrote his widow in her pension file. “I am satisfied that he would have made a splendid soldier in the field as he was very observant of orders.”

Captain America: Civil War focuses not on the 19th-century American war, but on a rift between Captain America and Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr, that threatens to tear apart the Avengers’ superhero squad.

Captain America: Civil War flies into theaters Friday.