I don't know how accurate your war stories are and I sure hope the story about cannibalism is legend and not fact. Sometimes legend and facts become braided into a new story though.
Welcome to the Kirksey family. Your family followed the path that many of the Kirkseys followed - NC, TN, SC, GA, AR, AL, MS, LA, TX and every where else. I believe that all the Kirkseys are kin somehow. Many black Kirkseys took the name of the former owners when they received their freedom.