Saturday, April 9, 2011

Civil War Saturday - the war brought home

With the 150th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter only days away, I've decided (with prompting from Bill West's Civil War Genealogy Challenge) to add to my genealogy goals and examine the Civil War's impact on the families I research.  Occasionally on Saturdays over the next four years I will write about my findings.
Matthew Brady Civil War camp scene from the National Archives via Flickr's The Commons

My children have four direct ancestors who fought in the Civil War - three for the Union and one for the Confederacy.

  • Caulk, Allen Monroe
UnionCompany D, Illinois 7th Infantry
  • Conway, Charles Turner Porter
ConfederateCompany I, 61st Infantry Regiment Tennessee
  • Jones, Joseph
UnionCompany B, Illinois 117th Infantry and Company H, Illinois 33rd Infantry
  • McAdams, Samuel B
UnionCompany D, 8th Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry

At least eleven uncles of various degrees also fought - most for the Union - and uncounted cousins, in-laws and shirttail relatives. Of the uncles only Matthew McAdams died during the War. Like many, he died of disease in Nashville. I shall write about Matthew next week.

  • Clark, Elon D
Union
  • Conway, Joseph
Union
  • McAdams, David Brainard
Union
  • McAdams, John Cloyd
Union
Union
  • Mulkey, Isaac
Union
Union
Confederate
Union
Union
  • Williams, John F
Confederate

Some of our families lived in the midst of some of the fiercest fighting - western Maryland - and some in areas of brutal local conflicts - East Tennessee and Missouri. The Civil War looms large in their stories and traditions. My husband's Tidewater family, proud but distant cousins of Robert E. Lee, were staunch Confederates and he grew up hearing the war referred to as the War of Northern Agression. My grandmother, whose grandfather and five great-uncles all fought for the Union, was equally proud of her heritage. She was however, unaware of or unwilling to acknowledge the full scope of her family's involvement in the War. I wrote about this last summer in Story time, or Lies, Lies and more damned Lies.

During these Sesquicentennial years, a century and a half after the Civil War raged across our country and our families, I plan to research and write about the its impact on both the men who fought and the women and families swept up in the conflict. The costs and effects were far reaching, profound and continued late into the 20th century.

7 comments:

  1. I love your idea for posting over the next four years about your Civil War relatives. I'm taking Bill's challenge also and hope to have a post up by tomorrow night.

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  2. Looking forward to reading your posts over the next 4 years.

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  3. I loved reading this post and the one from last summer that you linked to -- what great posts! Thanks for sharing your family stories.

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  4. Great idea - if I may, I would like to use this theme at some points in the future and will cite you as the originator (a la GeneaBloggers and the various daily prompts). Like you, I have a lot of direct ancestors and uncles who were in the war, so I don't think I'll be able to fully do them justice in just one post.

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  5. Greta - of course you may use the theme. I've been mulling this over for a while and Bill's Challenge was enough of a push to get started. It's such an enormous part of our history as a nation and in our families. It'll take four years to dig in and do the research.

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  6. This is a great idea and I may do it as well. I kept putting off starting on Bill's challenge until I was under the gun to write something last night that I could do without any further research. As I was writing several ideas for other posts came to mind pretty quickly so there should be lots of material for continuing this theme.

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  7. Great post, Susan, I'll look forward to those upcoming posts during the Sesquicentennial.

    Thanks for contributing this to the Challenge!

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