Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’
I have been working on a friend’s genealogy off and on when I have time for the last three years. Found out he has two Civil War soldiers on his dad’s side. We have not done his mom’s side yet. My friend ordered the pension files for these two soldiers and had them shipped to me. Wow.
File no. 1 was for Henry A. Hayes, Ohio Union soldier. His file is 150 pages long.
File no. 2 was Milton T. McCoy, Iowa Union soldier. His file is 175 pages long.
Now, National Archives will send you up to 100 pages for the $75 they charge you for a full pension file. Anything over 100 pages is not sent until you call or write them giving them a payment for the rest. Well I called them as soon as the files arrived Monday to give them a credit card number so I could get the rest of the pages.
When you get a pension file it is not copied in date order. This makes it difficult to grasp the full picture. So I pulled out my post it notes and a stack of paper clips and got to work. I used 3×5 post it notes to write the year on and attach to the first document in each year’s stack. I used the tiny post it notes on some documents to tag a date or note about something in that document. Things that stuck out. I paper clipped multiple pages together. It took me about a half an hour to sort and organize the 100 pages for one file, then another half an hour for the other.
What do I have now? An organized file by date. I can track the medical issues for each man from the date of his discharge to his death. I learn the names of doctors who treated them and the neighbors and friends who vouched that each man was who he said he was. I can also track when Milton moved from Iowa to Missouri. I had an idea of when that took place but now I can narrow it down to a few years thanks to his pension file.
No matter if your documents for a person are thick or thin, putting them in date order can make a world of difference when it comes to fully understanding a person and locating clues.
- Military Monday – Searching Beyond those Federal Records (dupagecountygenealogicalsociety.wordpress.com)
I just finished reading a book called Bloody Times The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and The Manhunt for Jefferson Davis by James L. Swanson. This book is written for a 3-6 grade child.
When I saw this book I thought, they didn’t teach us about Jefferson Davis in elementary school and Jr. High. I remember only learning about the Civil War in general and Abraham Lincoln. So this book was a very interesting read for me.
The stories of Abraham Lincoln’s death and funeral are told side by side with the stories of the end of the Civil War and Jefferson Davis on the run. Swanson describes the state of Lincoln’s body as it made the rounds on the funeral train ride back to Springfield, IL. He describes the elaborate funeral processions and services given in each city along the route. Swanson discusses Davis’s retreat from Virginia into the deep south where he tries to escape when Lee surrenders, yet continue the war.
This was a great book for any child interested in Lincoln and the very end of the Civil War. It is a quick read and you will learn a lot about history. After you read this book, try to link it to your family. Do you have any Civil War ancestors? Do you know their stories?
The Civil War is being discussed everywhere this year for the 150th anniversary. I just finished reading The Boys’ War by Jim Murphy. This book is about Confederate and Union boy soldiers and their war experiences. The book is a short read and probably best for kids in 3rd grade or older.
The book takes the reader on a journey through the Civil War from the boys’ points of view. It starts with the beginning of the Civil War and the frenzy to sign up and fight the opposition. The author describes the mood and willingness to join the armies. The author then moves to the training and fighting experiences of the boys to the changes the boys undergo over time. The boys notice that what once would have made them ill, like seeing a dead soldier, no longer does. The book ends discussing the prisoner of war camps and the treatment of the wounded. I felt out of all the chapters in the book this was the most graphic and I’m sure compared to adult reading it is very tame.
Throughout the book many examples and quotes are provided from actual diaries kept by boy soldiers and musicians. The book is filled with photographs of boy soldiers so the reader really gets an idea of just how young these boys were.
For those interested in Civil War history and how the younger generation participated, read The Boys’ War.