A 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!
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
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 tips – Civil 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!