Civil War Quick Tip: Really? I was fascinated by this guy’s story

FBGenCircleLogo1A couple of years ago I wrote a monthly article for a local Civil War Roundtable’s newsletter. I was in charge of writing about the next meeting’s speaker. One month the speaker was an acquaintance of mine. His office was one floor below where I worked. It was one of the easier interviews to set up and write.

The guy I was interviewing was easy-going and didn’t know a stranger. After talking about his collection of reproduced Civil War firearms he spoke of his own Civil War ancestor.

His great grandfather had fought with a company raised in our hometown. He survived the war, completing his enlistment, but not without a lasting affect. It seems his great grandfather spent nearly every night after coming home from the war going downtown to a local bar. Then later that evening my friend’s great grandmother went to the bar and brought her drunken husband home.

Apparently this Civil War veteran held a job during the day but needed booze nearly every night to chase the ghosts and ease the pain of his war years. My friend then relayed how the Civil War had a direct impact on his life.

His grandmother, the veteran’s daughter grew up with this drunken father. She was vehemently opposed to drinking throughout her life. Her own daughter, my interview’s mother, was also staunchly against drinking and my friend remembered the many lectures he received about the evils of drinking from both women as he grew up.

It was only later in his life, when this man working well into his retirement years, realized it wasn’t that his mother and grandmother didn’t trust him when it came to drinking. They were hurt by their loved one’s traumatic war experience and how he coped with it. They didn’t want that life for their son and grandson.

I was fascinated by this guy’s story. Who would have thought this man in his early seventies could pin-point how the Civil War had affected his life decades later? Even into the 21st century!

Do you have a similar family practice or belief that’s been passed down through the generations? Can you trace a family habit, good or bad, to a specific ancestor?

Write your story down. Blog about it, even if it’s only two paragraphs long. Don’t lose that insight to history. You’ll not only preserve another valuable piece of your family history but it may jog our memory, your readers, to some of our own specific family beliefs or customs.

If you do write a blog post or already have please leave a link in the comments. We all love to read the stories that make our ancestors real people. I hope you do I’m looking forward to it!

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If you’re interested in researching your Civil War ancestor’s story check out Ancestors In A Nation Divided – Kindle. Also in paperback. Great research help as you seek your veteran’s place in our country’s history.

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly tipsCivil War Research Tips here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!

Civil War Quick Tip – In His Own Words: Isaac Newton Carr

FBGenCircleLogo1One of the best things about blogging is meeting new people. I did just that this past week when “cmkinhunter” left a comment on one of my posts. She wrote about her Civil War ancestors and her research.

She said, ” . . . I hit the mother-load of information when I discovered his journals at the Iowa State Historical Society a few years ago. My ancestor began journaling in September 1861 when he entered service and continued journaling throughout his life as a farmer and businessman — right up to his death in 1923. His Civil War experiences are covered in his 1861, 1862 and 1865 journals. He must have lost his 1863-1864 journals as they were not in the collection.

I finally started a blog and am posting some of the more interesting journal entries. I’ve just gotten to 1865. If you are interested in reading what a solder from the 11th Iowa Infantry experienced, please visit my site at http://cmkinhuntercm.wordpress.com/. My blog is titled “In His Own Words: Isaac Newton Carr 1836-1923″.

So I did just that and let me say you really should visit this site. Each blog post is an entry from Isaac’s journal and the insight into a Civil War soldier’s life is exceptional.

Take for example January 3, 1865 Isaac talks about a walk through Savannah, having his picture made and the high price of goods for sale. Or Battle of Shiloh – April 6 & 7, 1862. To read the words of a soldier who was actually there gives me chills but Isaac’s words are honest and straightforward. You can trust what he’s written, no embellishments.

That’s what makes this site an excellent resource as you continue the research of your Civil War ancestor. Even if your veteran didn’t fight with the 11th Iowa Infantry, you’ll learn so much about your soldier’s daily life during the war. Through Isaac’s words you can follow in your ancestor’s footsteps. I highly recommend In His Own Words: Isaac Newton Carr 1836-1923

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If you’re interested in researching your Civil War ancestor’s story check out Ancestors In A Nation Divided – Kindle. Also in paperback. Great research help as you seek your veteran’s place in our country’s history.

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly tipsCivil War Research Tips here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!

Civil War Quick Tip: Checking a Federal Census

FBGenCircleLogo1Just a reminder when checking U.S. Federal Censuses the 1910 and 1930 United States Federal Censuses did ask a specific question about military service. If your Civil War ancestor was enumerated in either of those years be sure you’ve checked to see his answer.

On the 1910 United States Federal Census the question was – Is the person a survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy?

On the 1930 United States Federal Census the question was – Is the person a veteran of the U.S. military or naval forces mobilized for any war or expedition? If yes, which war or expedition?

Enumerators were to enter “WW” for World War I, “Sp” for the Spanish-American War, “Civ” for the Civil War, “Phil” for the Philippine insurrection, “Box” for the Boxer rebellion, or “Mex” for the Mexican expedition.

Sometimes in checking a federal census we don’t read the answers to all the questions especially if they’re listed to the far right on the page.

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly tipsCivil War Research Tips here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!

This Week’s Civil War Quick Tip

FBGenCircleLogo1 If your ancestor came down with “lung fever” or any of the other diseases that plagued soldiers once they were in camp research his illness. What was the official term for his diagnosis? What were its symptoms and how was it treated? This research will provide real insight into your veteran’s ability to serve as well as his post-war life.

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly tipsCivil War Research Tips here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!

Today’s Civil War Quick Tip

FBGenCircleLogo1When researching your Civil War ancestor you may notice on the roster your ancestor had a specific duty within his company. If he was a farrier, teamster or musician you’ll want to research those positions in the context of a Civil War regiment. What did a wagoner, R.Q.M. or Adju’nt actually do? Imagine the information you’ll learn about your ancestors day to day duties.

Also I’d love for you to sign up for my monthly tipsCivil War Research Tips here. I’ll share pointers and info to help in researching your Civil War ancestor. Please take a moment to sign up and thanks so much!