Friday, September 14, 2012

Second American Civil War Blog Challenge

For the Second American Civil War Blog Challenge, Bill West of West in New England asks us to write about our ancestors and the Civil War. I neglected to participate last year, but I do have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War, as does my wife.

In the past couple months for the Amanuensis Monday project I have transcribed several documents from the Civil War era.
My wife’s 3rd great grandfather fought as a Confederate, in a Missouri regiment, but turned himself in to officials in Cape Girardeau and spent some time in a St. Louis prison before being tried by court martial and released. I have not yet learned the details of the trial, nor do I know why he turned himself in. It's possible he had had second thoughts about the side he chose, though he doesn't appear to have enlisted on either side after his release.
The Rabbi of the synagogue where I worship, at the time of Lincoln’s death, gave a speech that was reprinted in several newspapers across the nation.

A couple years ago I transcribed some documents pertaining to my second great grandfather's service.
My 2nd great grandfather enlisted, on June 12, 1862, as a Confederate, in a Texas regiment. He was captured at the Battle of Vicksburg, and released. He rejoined his regiment.

I'm not aware of any Union soldiers in the ancestry of either myself, or my wife. My Vanevery ancestors were in Michigan at the time, but my second great grandfather, Samuel Van Every (1820-1888) may have decided he was too old to enlist. Or felt he had to support his many children. My great grandfather, Melvin Van Every, was born in 1863.

However, it appears his eldest brother, Nelson, enlisted on the side of the Union on Dec 21, 1863 (age 18) and served until July 18, 1865. [A Nelson Van Every of the correct age enlisted in the state of Michigan. I haven't yet confirmed that it is the same Nelson.]

While a great-great uncle isn't an ancestor, it's a sign my great-great grandfather may have been a Union-supporter. I'll take whatever sign I can get that at least one branch of my family on these shores chose the side of the Union.

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