Saturday, April 16, 2011

Civil War

This is the year 2011.  150 years ago, many of our ancestors fought in the Civil War.  It is difficult to imagine that a mere 150 years ago, our country fought itself in a most UN-civil way.  But in pondering the mess of it all, I began to wonder if any of my ancestors crossed paths.  In order to analyze this, I opened a handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet and put three ancestors across the top- one of my mom’s, one of my dad’s , and one of my husband’s.  Down the side, I put the months from January 1861 through September 1865.  And then I plotted their time in the War using regiment histories.  When I was done, I cross-referenced the data to find commonalities. 

Imagine my surprise to find out that in September 1861, my 3rd great grandfather and my husband’s 2nd great grandfather were both in St. Joseph, Missouri.  One came from Illinois and one from Ohio.  But both were in St. Joseph, Missouri guarding and operating the railroad.  And my husband and I met 124 years later in sunny California.  Did they nod at one another?  Shake hands?  Share a drink? 

Miles Price m. Emaline Markham
Kilbourne Smith m. Martha Perry
Harriet Price m. William Conner
Luella Smith m. Stephen Fisher
Thomas Conner m. Anna Konst
Kilbourne Fisher m. Neva Koschina
Pierre Conner m. Signa Felt
Kilbourne Fisher m. Millicent Jarone
Harry Conner m. Marilyn Badgley
Marc Mascot m. Deborah Conner
Deborah Conner m. Marc Mascot


The very next month, my husband’s same grandfather and my 2nd great grandfather on my other side marched together to Springfield, Missouri.  Did they walk near one another?  Did they complain to one another about the terrain?  Did they tell jokes to pass the time?

John Shelton m. Laura Wilkinson
Kilbourne Smith m. Martha Perry
Cora Shelton m. Myra Hulse
Luella Smith m. Stephen Fisher
Ethyl Shelton m. Charles Badgley
Kilbourne Fisher m. Neva Koschina
Marilyn Badgley m. Harry Conner
Kilbourne Fisher m. Millicent Jarone
Deborah Conner m. Marc Mascot
Marc Mascot m. Deborah Conner

A couple of years later, in September of 1863, my parents’ ancestors met up and actually fought together in the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia.  Considering that this battle was a loss to the Union and had the second highest number of casualties in the war, it’s amazing that my two grandfathers survived, returned to their homes in Indiana and Illinois and raised children who would eventual raise the children who would raise the children who would raise me.

Miles Price m. Emaline Markham
John Shelton m. Laura Wilkinson
Harriet Price m. William Conner
Cora Shelton m. Myra Hulse
Thomas Conner m. Anna Konst
Ethyl Shelton m. Charles Badgley
Pierre Conner m. Signa Felt
Marilyn Badgley m. Harry Conner
Harry Conner m. Marilyn Badgley
Deborah Conner m. Marc Mascot
Deborah Conner m. Marc Mascot


Finally, toward the end of the war in June of 1865, both Miles Price and Kilbourne Smith were together again in Nashville, TN.  Did they perhaps remember one another from their time on the St. Joseph Railroad?  Did they greet each other with smiles and joy (and perhaps surprise) that each managed to make it out of the War alive?  Did they toast to the end?

If I could, I think I’d want to have dinner with these three someday.  I’d like to hear their war stories and get a chance to thank all of them for fighting for the country we have now.  And for letting Marc and I exist.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment