Saturday, 15 January 2011

Things that Don't Really Matter....but

       For many years we had carried in our family lore and understanding a notion that my grandfather had lost brothers in the War Between the States.   So that you all can feel like family members (This has already been sent to family yesterday) this is included so that the reader can know the writer a bit better.    An excerpt from the transmissions from yesterday are included below:
      Do not tell anyone, but while sneaking behind Yankee lines, I found a Pennsylvania bunch...the 96th Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, Company D....just forming up for drill and presentation. It looks like they are getting ready to join up with Polk and McClellan down in Virginia. Their musicians are at the fore, waiting to strike up, and their rank and file look pretty good, except for the Corporal of the 4th Platoon, who is fully one pace back from presentation position. Checking our secret sources on the ground, it seems like he is some dolt named Charles Newton from someplace called Montrose, in northeastern Pennsylvania.
       Check in platoon groupings, one by one, as you move back from the company band, and you will see the Corporals presenting....and as you encounter the fourth Corporal, you will see him presenting properly, but standing about 3 feet back from the correct position. That truly is your Uncle Charles.

p.s.   The Rebels killed him in May of 1863.....but it was the fault of the cowardice of the 5th Maine Regiment, who fled the field and did not support the Pennsylvania 96thRPVI/Dc advance as ordered.

     This picture taken in late 1861 shows what is probably the the final drills before moving out as a unit to join the fray.    While this company unit was organized in Schuylkill County, my great-uncle Charles was from Susquehanna County just to the north.    This regiment had service from about 5,000 different men during the hostilities.....and of that number over 500 were killed in action, 700 were wounded, 400 were taken prisoner, and 600 deserted and did not return  (all round numbers).   Great-uncle Charles was wounded on 3 May 1863 and died in Fredericksburg, Virginia in either a private home or private clinic/medical facility on or around the 18th of May, 1863.
     Another brother (actually a 1st cousin) was killed in action after Gettysburg....about a month later.    So the lore about them being lost at Gettysburg was wrong, but right in a way.   One was lost as Lee began his advance towards Pennsylvania and the other was lost during the pressing of Confederate forces during their retreat back to Virginia.    As one might imagine these losses caused severe emotional impact upon my great-grandfather....from which he never actually recovered. 

      As an aside, and for new or occasional readers, my mother's side was very Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina in their background.  For some strange reason I am shaped like my father's mother's people...tall, lanky (nice word for skinny), w/ long, thin feet....while my sympathies in the issues under dispute during that horrid war would have been and are with the Confederacy.    I guess that makes me a purebred American mongrel.

As usual, accept my gratitude for your time and attention.   Emails have been and are welcomed at any time.   All is well at the Quinta, Alvaro says that he is only feeding the cats seven time a day now.
The Old Gringo