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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:16 AM

I just found out that one of my great great grandfathers served on the Confederate side

Last edited Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:29 PM - Edit history (1)

in the Civil War. He and his brother were in the 40th Infantry Regiment.

FORD, CLEMENT R.: b. Baltimore, Md. Enl. 5/26/61 in Co. F, age 16. At first he was rejected but was officially enlisted 9/1/61. Present until WIA 8/18/64 at Weldon R.R. in right thigh. Furloughed 9/2/64. Present at last record 2/4/65. Farmer. Bur. family cemetery.

His brother, it appears, was killed in the war:
FORD, JOHN W.: b. Northumberland Co. Enl. 5/26/61 in Co. F, age 19. Assistant lumber dealer. MWIA during the 7 Days at an unknown battle. D. 7/1/62. Brother of C. R. Ford, who is two above.

My mom and I have been working on the family tree. Clement Ford was my mother's mother's mother's father. I grew up in MD, NY, and PA and have never lived anywhere else, but I knew my grandmother was from Virginia. We'd thought the family had been there for generations, but, weren't sure. And...I don't know...it just never occurred to me. I'm having quite an emotional response to this.

I wonder how many other DUers know their ancestors fought for the South.

On edit: Please note that this post and poll are about those of us who have ancestors who fought in the Civil War. It is in no way meant to demean or marginalize those DUers who, due to having no family members in the US at the time or whatever other reason, do not have ancestors who fought in the Civil War.

A number of replies have come from DUers who have no ancestors who served in the Civil and who are unhappy that there is no poll choice for them them. There can be only ten choices in a poll, so I can't add that. But, it really wouldn't make sense anyway, as far as I can see. What am I missing (aside from that poll response option, that is)?

So, non-Civil-War-ancestor-having DUers, you can participate, if so desired, by posting in this thread. Just not in the poll itself. Maybe someone can start a new poll?
76 votes, 3 passes | Time left: Unlimited
I grew up knowing I had one direct ancestor who fought for the South.
6 (8%)
I grew up knowing I had more than one direct ancestor who fought for the South.
12 (16%)
I found out as an adult that I had one direct ancestor who fought for the South.
5 (7%)
I found out as an adult that I had more than one direct ancestor who fought for the South.
2 (3%)
I know I had one or more indirect ancestor who fought for the South.
1 (1%)
I don't know for sure, but my ancestors were Southerners and it's very likely one or more fought for the South.
2 (3%)
I had one or more direct ancestor who fought for the North.
21 (28%)
I had one or more direct ancestor who fought for the North and one or more direct ancestor who fought for the South.
23 (30%)
I had one direct ancestor who fought for both the North and the South!
2 (3%)
Too damn many choices!
2 (3%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll

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Reply I just found out that one of my great great grandfathers served on the Confederate side (Original post)
Dark n Stormy Knight Nov 2012 OP
union_maid Nov 2012 #1
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Tanuki Nov 2012 #31
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alcibiades_mystery Nov 2012 #43
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #134
Dark n Stormy Knight Nov 2012 #141
VOX Nov 2012 #161
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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:25 AM

1. Don't see my choice there

Most of my family tree was still growing in various parts of Europe at the time of the Civil War, but apparently one branch had made it here. Everyone wound up in the north. According to my father, one of them bought his way out of service in the Civil War. I guess it was one of his grandfathers. Being a WWII vet himself, he wasn't retelling that out of pride, but he did have a sense of humor about our family "pedigree" in general.

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Response to union_maid (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:50 AM

12. OK, there's more of my ignorance exposed. I guess I thought serving was voluntary, but it your GF

had to buy his way out, I'm wrong. If he was new to the country, I would especially see why he would not be eager to fight.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #12)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:34 AM

31. There were massive anti-draft riots, especially among recent immigrants

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/317749.html

The link above describes the one in New York City in detail.

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #31)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:42 AM

143. It occurs to me only now, as "draft riots" rings a faint bell, that having watched both Ken Burns'

docs, New York City and the Civil War, I'm sure I once knew a fair amount about most of this and a lot discussed throughout this thread. My memory is so crappy (Doctors say from poor stress management) that I have probably forgotten more that I once knew than i actually know now. Pathetic.

The nice thing is I can enjoy the same great movies again and again, with no spoilers from my brain ruining the plot details, much less the ending.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #12)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:58 AM

43. The Confederates also instituted a rather comprehensive draft, and did so earlier than the Union

Needless to say, it was deeply unpopular. Many people bought their way out of the draft, and some states even fixed it so that their citizens would have fake "essential" work to avoid the draft.

Ironically, one was exempt if one owned a large number of slaves!

Given that the war was really nothing more than protection for the slaveholding class (what-the-fuck-ever, "states' rights" people), this is the deep comedy of the entire affair.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #43)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:03 AM

134. The war was more than protection for the slaveholding class. It was outright treason (take

 

that, you 'states' rights' fuckwads.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #134)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:28 AM

141. Hey, people lucky enough to live in Venice Beach forfeit their right to bitch about anything in my

threads!

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #43)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:39 PM

161. True! "States' Rights! Now, report for duty to your central gov't."

I've got ancestors on both sides, but the Confederate draft (the first conscription act in North America), is a deep irony.

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Response to VOX (Reply #161)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:05 PM

164. Freedom!

Well, except for that little forced service thingee.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:20 PM

155. "Rich man's war, poor man's fight" was a common slogan then.

Probably not the first time it was used, though, as that's all too common a situation.

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Response to union_maid (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:00 AM

72. I don't see mine either

I have two ancestors who were GAR and basically killed in action, along with many of their siblings, nephews and cousins.

Such is the huge family, some distant cousins also fought for the South.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #72)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:33 AM

142. GAR?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #142)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:08 AM

148. Grand Army of the Republic

aka The Union Army

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #148)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:12 PM

166. But of course. I once knew that. Sorry. My mind's a sieve.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:26 AM

2. I have direct ancestors that were slave owners

and no direct relatives who served in the Army of the Confederacy. It's possible that I have unknown relations who served in the Union Army.

While I am not proud of the slave owing history of my family I am proud that my grandparents, Dad, aunts and uncle were not prejudiced against African Americans. I must give them credit for giving me the example of their lives in which they always treated all people with respect.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:47 AM

9. GGGGF, Clement's father, owned a large number of slaves. I think Clement owned just a few.

My grandmother's household had a live-in teen black servant/cook. She was a darn good grandmother, but she was about as racist as they come. As was her husband. A lot of that side of the family, still are. To be fair, my dad's side, the Marylanders are too.

Thankfully, my parents did not raise us with racist notions, though when you grow up with that, there are definitely traces.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:04 AM

48. I found that out as well, about five or six months ago.

Ancestry.com exposed a great deal of the inaccuracy passed down about my family's supposed history, including an ancestor who owned two women and one man. Also found out that the family name that my mom said was Irish is actually Portuguese.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #48)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:36 AM

103. Ancestry.com is quite the treasure trove. I would feel better if I had family stories that supported

what I'm finding out, but a lot of them just didn't know or never thought to tell me or my mom, and others, for whatever reason, didn't want to stick with the truth.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:57 AM

70. so do I

But mine was in New York. Listed in the 1820 census as owning one slave, a teenage boy.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:27 AM

3. One (at least) on each side.

All were from the South. My dad's side came from MS and LA and his great-grandfather was a Confederate. Mom's side were from TN and MS and her great-grandfather was a Union soldier. There were a lot of Tennesseans, especially from east TN, who fought for the North. None of my living relatives knew about my Yankee-loving g-g-grandpa, and the news wasn't received very well when I found out about it. I laughed like hell.

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Response to LuvNewcastle (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:36 AM

6. I am coming to find out I know much less about the CW than I'd imagined. I knew some families split,

but I guess I didn't think it happened in Tennessee. I wonder if it was common there. I think of Kentucky as solid south, so anything south of that. Maybe I don't know much about Geography either.

(Btw, which Newcastle?)

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:48 AM

10. One well known example of a community split

was Cade's Cove. Churches there even suspended services because of the discord.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:59 AM

16. TN? Wikipedia claims, "With such sentiment and influence, it's no surprise that Cades Cove remained

staunchly pro-Union." Is some editing in order?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:28 AM

50. Probably

Info from wiki versus books actually written about Cades Cove...

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #50)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:48 PM

95. : )

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:50 AM

11. My handle is in reference to the ale.

I was drinking it when I signed up. Anyway, about TN, people in the mountains of east TN owned few slaves, if any at all. The land wasn't suitable for large-scale agriculture and besides, the people in the mountains tended to be more independent. That's why WV seceded from VA. East TN has much more in common with WV than with west TN, so it's not just a North/South divide. Slavery had its own culture and there were some in certain areas of the South who didn't approve of it.

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Response to LuvNewcastle (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:02 AM

17. Curses! Geography again. Or topography? Makes sense.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:00 AM

55. Kentucky was split

But I think had more Union support overall. The Bluegrass region with the big farms had strong support for the Confederacy and most everyone else went more for the Union. But everywhere was divided to some extent. Ironically, today the Bluegrass region contains some of the most liberal parts of the state and just about everywhere else is deep red.

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Response to A Little Weird (Reply #55)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:45 AM

121. That's an interesting transition over time. After watching the Dust Bowl doc on PBS, it was

discussed how that area has become deep red as well. Hard to fathom.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:04 PM

90. Kentucky was NOT "solid south," though

It was a border state, highly contested. The state government was pro-Union and the majority of the poulation wanted to stay neutral. But because of its position, there were still a lot of battles fought there. Kentucky never formally joined the Confederacy, even though the Confederacy claimed it, and almost took it over.

Most of the Appalachian region was HIGHLY divided, within towns and families as well as county by county. That's also how West Virginia came to be: the western part of what was then all Virginia split off and joined the Union in 1863.

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Response to Withywindle (Reply #90)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:47 AM

110. Do you know that from family history, or just general knowledge about the war?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #110)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:08 PM

153. Just general knowledge

I grew up in SW VA, that little tail of it that fits into WV, KY, and TN, and isn't far from NC. People I knew whose families had deep roots in that region had stories about relatives on both sides--and on no side at all, but still getting robbed and raided by soldiers from both sides.

I probably did have ancestors on both sides because of branches of my dad's family that lived in both Virginia and Maryland. Just because a state was Confederate or Union didn't mean that all the people in it supported that side, of course. My grandfather always told me it was his great-great uncle from VA who fought for the Union and the one from MD who fought for the Confederacy! I can't confirm that with actual research, though, just lore.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:29 AM

4. I see some votes have come in. Of course, I'd love to hear more about your family histories

regarding the Civil War if you have any emotional response or other thoughts.

I know, it was a long time ago...

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:31 AM

75. have you visited the DU Genealogy forum?

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Reply #75)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:52 PM

96. Thanks, I haven't really looked into the various groups/forums. I had no idea there was a Genealogyf

forum. Cool.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:35 AM

5. why emotional. it was a different time and place and dosent really mean anything bad

 

If you go far enough back everyone has family members who did stuff we might not agree with. I liken it to germany where everyone served in the Wehrmacht or Luftwaffe or kriegsmarine. Being a soldier in the confederate army is just the same its where you lived and the time you lived in.

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:39 AM

7. Intellectually, I get that. I don't know. Part of it is just the little stories about how Clement

tried to join so young that they refused him, and that his brother died.

My grandmother was pretty much a full-blown racist, so it really should not be a surprise that her family would fight for the Confederacy.

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:35 AM

32. I agree

As hard as it is, you cannot put today's values on your ancestors.

During the 1800's, slavery was "the norm" - and eventually severe laws were enforced that would make sure no one would help a slave that tried to escape.

I saw "Lincoln" and I thought the emotions of the times were portrayed perfectly. You cannot choose your parents, (or ancestors) and Lincoln told someone in the movie how he taught himself to rise above the upbringing he had from his father, how he learned compassion from other people he met.

I've been shaking my family tree for years, and you wouldn't believe what you will discover!!

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:40 AM

8. My mother in law had ancestors who fought in the Revolution...

Some of their descendants fought on the Confederate side. Others, for the Union.

Interesting family.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:51 AM

13. I'm pretty sure my English-Irish-Welsh-Italian-Slovak ancestors arrived post-Civil War to mine coal.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:30 AM

64. More likely, to work on the railroad

Depends upon how "post" and where they settled, but most Welsh immigrants of the mid-1800s came to planned Welsh communities in the Midwest/upper Midwest to work on the railroad.

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Response to REP (Reply #64)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:41 AM

77. Mine were post-CW but they went to PA to mine coal.

Glowyr roedden nhw.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #77)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:05 AM

98. Wales was pretty big into coal mining, right? So, did they leave there to come here and mine coal

because it was easier here? Not that I can imagine coal mining ever falling into the category of easy.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #98)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:09 AM

149. I'm guessing that wages were higher here

and maybe they liked the idea of a new life.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #149)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:24 PM

183. The Welsh suffered under English oppression

Some of the earliest Welsh immigrants were Quakers, coming to land they had bought in Pennsylvania to escape a threat of being burnt (this was around 1682). As late as the early 20th century, Welsh children were punished for speaking their own language in their own schools. In between, the history of the treatment of the Welsh people is not particularly pretty; my own grandmother referred to the English as the 'bloody English' (she was US-born but her mother was born in Wales).

As I mentioned in a previous post, in the mid 1800s, there were several planned Welsh communities in the midwest and upper midwest, including the one where another set of great parents and their family settled, Arvonia, Kansas. The wave of Welsh immigrants during this time period came largely to work on building the railroad.

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Response to REP (Reply #183)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:38 PM

184. Dw i'n gwybod.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:45 AM

68. None of my ancestors were here, either.

Some, like my grandfather, didn't even get here until the 1920s. They didn't come to mine coal, but I'm sure they came for opportunity.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:54 AM

14. My grand father was from Georgia but fought for the North

grand father born 1840, dad born 1897, I was born 1948

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Response to madokie (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:08 AM

21. Were there actually regiments from the south who fought for the North. I mean, did your GF

get together with some like-minded guys and head North or did they start fighting right there? Probably a stupid question. the latter doesn't seem likely!

That's a relatively late life fatherhood tradition in your family. Those generations are really spread out.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:37 AM

34. My great grand father was a slave owner

Grand dad went north and joined the army about 6 months in he got Pneumonia was discharged came back to Georgia got well then re-enlisted and stayed for the duration of the war. We have both of his discharge papers plus all his military records that he was given when he enlisted and re-enlisted. My dad was the youngest of his family so he was left with all the papers from his family. We have those papers and a few other artifacts in our bank deposit box.
I have a brother and sister who are younger than me. Sister was born in May of '50 little brother Feb. of '52
13 kids in my family, 7 in my dads family, I'm the seventh son, my dad was the seventh son, 8 of us still alive today.
One of my older brothers and two of my sisters have been to the home site of my great Grandfather.
I have great uncles who fought for the south so I'm in a family who was fighting for both sides.

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Response to madokie (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:53 AM

39. I'm intrigued by your dad leaving his slave-owning family to fight for the North, then being

welcomed home, nursed back to health, only to go fight for the North again. I can't imagine.

My mother's father was one of 13 children, the first born to his 14 year-old mother. Honestly, we were close to my grandparents, but not to his siblings. There was only one girl, so I knew who they meant by my mom's Aunt Doris, but I never could figure out which one was Uncle Richard, or Uncle Leroy, or Uncle Uncle Walter or whatever the other 8 were!

And then there were all of their children--the cousins and second cousins and removed cousins. I'm still trying to figure all that out.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #39)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:05 AM

73. My great grandfather had already given his slaves freedom and they stayed with him

As the story goes he treated them well even when he was considered their owner. Afterwards they all took his name, as the story is handed down to us goes.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:43 AM

146. They were called Southern Unionists

Over 100,000 Southern white men (mostly from the Appalachians) fought to preserve the Union, plus over 100,000 Southern ex-slaves. I think the fact that their sacrifice and history has been largley ignored is a damned shame. Southern "heritage" doesn't belong solely to white men who fought for the Confederacy. South Carolina was the only state not to raise at least one regiment for the Union Army.

Here are a few links for anyone interested:
http://www.csuchico.edu/inside/current-issue/bigpicture-1.shtml
http://library.sc.edu/blogs/newspaper/tag/southern-unionists/
http://southernunionistschronicles.wordpress.com/
http://www.1stalabamacavalryusv.com/loyalist.aspx
http://bearingdrift.com/2012/03/22/portsmouth-historical-commission-dedicates-may-as-southern-unionist-history-month/

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #146)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:17 PM

167. Great point. Thanks for the links.

From the first one:

With a pre-dawn ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina, in April 2011, the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War began where the war itself commenced. Since then, Civil War buffs of all stripes have been—and, until 2015, will be—marking with special events the key moments of America’s bloodiest conflict and most significant social transformation. From reenactments of the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg to conferences on the Emancipation Proclamation, Americans will reflect on the meaning of the war and the changes it wrought.

The starting place for most Americans when thinking about the Civil War now and over the next few years of the sesquicentennial is a simple defining opposition: the North versus the South. According to this view, the southern slave states seceded from the United States and then fought against the northern free states in order to establish the independence of the South’s new government, the Confederate States of America. That understanding of the Civil War, however, ignores the crucial role played by southern Unionists, a group long left in the shadows of popular history.


Will definitely check out this and the others later.

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Response to madokie (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:24 AM

99. Wow ! 3 generations in 108 years !

They were either, late bloomers or long lasters....whatever... I'm impressed.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:56 AM

15. None for the South (5 for the North), but 4 who fought for the British in the Revolutionary war

...along with 7 who fought for the Colonies.

This led me to realize that 'The Civil War' was actually our second civil war.

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Response to htuttle (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:17 AM

24. That's a good point. So, you apparently know a great deal about your ancestors. My grandparents

never seemed to know much about theirs nor did they seem interested. When I asked my mom's dad about his he would say, "We're half British, half Irish, and half stupid." Not a serious guy.

My dad's mother would tell a different story each time you asked, and called herself Suzie at one point in her life and Ann at another. She was either born in Reading or Pottstown, PA. And her parents were either from Czechoslovakia, Poland, or Austria (which, of course, she's not responsible for changing! Every census they had a different homeland.)

Mom and I are pretty much starting from scratch. It looks like at least one branch of her family were here during the Revolution, in VA. It will be interesting to see if any fought and for whom.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:59 AM

44. That's where I started from

My uncle had done some extensive pre-internet research about his side of the tree, but he only got back 2-3 generations.

I've been researching and documenting my own tree for about 4-5 years at this point. I keep the working copy of my research on www.geni.com, since it's helped me link up with the research of others, but I've found most of my documentation on ancestry.com. Ancestry is kind of expensive for a web site, but it's cheaper and easier than driving across the country to get a copy of a census form or a city directory (not to mention being able to find someone by name, instead of by street address).

About your ancestors' shifting European roots on the census forms -- I had one or two in my own tree like that (kept switching between Prussia and Germany). I realized that they were simply writing down the current name of the place where they lived. The borders in Europe kept moving during the 1800's. Some years, their hometown was in Prussia, and others it was in Germany. You might look for an area that has been part of all of the countries that they named.

There's a genealogy group at DU, too:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1156

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Response to htuttle (Reply #44)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:33 AM

128. I did a lot of research for free on familyseach.org first, so I had a head start. Then my mom signed

up for a free trial on ancestry.com. Once hers ran out, I signed up for mine. Once it runs out, I will probably renew. It is expensive, but I think my mom will pay for half and we'll just share access to the same account. Also, with all the hints and other features, it does seem like a pretty good value. What I don't get is what more one would get buying the separate software they sell.

We did figure out that what you describe was the case for the Polish/Austrian/Czech gg-parents. Your suggestion to narrow down their hometown sounds like a good one. Thanks. It's funny, my g-mom used to say her parents were from Austria, but my dad's brother, who disliked her called her a Pollack. Now it makes sense that both were true.

I'll have to check out the DU genealogy forum.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:02 AM

18. on my mother's side my family

immigrated after the war. On my father's side I trace my roots to a freed slave who had a small peanut farm right before the war. My ancestor didn't fight--when he knew war was coming he split for the west. Left everything he had and rebuilt his life.

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Response to brokechris (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:03 AM

19. oh yeah--the diaries of some family members have

been preserved--which is cool!

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Response to brokechris (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:19 AM

25. That must be so interesting! We just have the censuses and a few city directory entries. I guess

eventually we'll get around to the newspaper searches and such. It can be addicting.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #25)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:24 AM

27. It is addicting.

We have been digging for years and my dad just discovered a new source of material about the 98th PA and his great grandpa... a couple boxes of papers in an archive in Philly somewhere.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:40 AM

36. Ooooh, that's exciting. Always more to discover.

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Response to brokechris (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:25 AM

28. That is really cool.

We have never found anything like that. What a treasure!

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #28)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:28 AM

30. I even have some interviews that my ggggrandfather

gave to the newspaper (he became a sheriff in a small town--which was later named after him)

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Response to brokechris (Reply #30)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:38 AM

35. Way cool.

We only have "passive" documents. (Things like gggrandpa's officer's Commission promoting him a rank or two, signed by Gov. Curtin.) And a few photos.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:07 AM

20. My wife qualifies for DOC and therefore my son will qualify for SOC


He's only 7 years old so it's not an issue yet, but my wife declined membership on the Daughters of the Confederacy and instead signed up for the Daughters of the American Revolution. I doubt we'll let our son become part of the Sons of the Confederacy.

On my side of the family he'll learn that we had Nazis (german side) and victims of Nazis (polish side) in the family bush.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:23 AM

26. DOC is news to me. That's quite a past. Your son has a fascinating family history to discover. Do

you consider the DOC/SOC organization racist?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:25 AM

60. Not like the Klan.


I'd have to actually look hard at their literature to judge them more than that.

My wife is a left-of-center Southern Democrat who does not like to associate with Confederate things because of it association with modern day racists.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #60)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:29 AM

101. I'm guessing I'd qualify as a DOC, but, yeah, I don't know. I live in Southeastern PA, and there is

a house in town that has a Confederate flag hanging out one of the windows permanently. Every time I drive by it, it bothers me. So, I don't guess I'll probably peruse the DOC application. Darn, the one exclusive club I could be a member of...

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:44 AM

67. I qualify for DAR, DOC, and Daughters of the Union

Just on my maternal grandfather's family history I qualify for DOC and DOU; his grandfather's story is almost trite one of a family divided by the war (a Confederate, he was killed before his son was born; his wife, also a Confederate, once the child was born, left the child to be raised by her parents - staunch Unionists - and never saw her son again.)

On my my maternal grandmother's side: nothing but Union, including one of my gggrandfathers, fresh of the boat from Wales and in his 60s, who enlisted. It could have been for the sign up money; more likely, given what is known of him, it was a cause he was willing to fight for.

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Response to REP (Reply #67)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:41 AM

105. We hear that families were torn apart by the war, but the true life stories are so powerful, to me.

It's great that you know your family's stories.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:14 AM

22. it's likely i had some sort of relative fight on both sides

i've got family branches in both the north and the south, i don't know that any of my direct ancestors fought on either side, but i figure it's a good possibility that i'm related to people who fought on both sides.

my dad's mom told me years ago that her family had their plantation burned during the war. i feel a bit ashamed of my family's slaveholding past from time to time, but it really has nothing to do with me and doesn't at all reflect who i am.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:15 AM

23. I am a Daughter of a Union Veteran

Great great grandpa fought 1861 - 1865 with the 98th PA and was at many major battles including Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and the Petersburg campaign. He was even at Appomattox when Lee surrendered. (I am sure he wasn't actually in the room, LOL.)

Some say many if not most Confederate soldiers simply fought for their state - their "homeland" - and weren't fighting because they personally liked slavery. The war seemed glamorous and exciting and it was the honorable thing to do at the time.

I wouldn't automaticaly assume any ancestors of yours were raging racists who were fighting for slavery just because they fought for the South. We see the war through a different lens now.

Of course some of the border states where we had troops on both sides get a little more complicated.

I did not have anscestors that fought for the South, the rest of my family was still in Europe. But if I did, it would not cause me any grief or upset.

All we think about now is "slavery" but the war was much more complicated than that IMO.

I wish we could have addressed the question of states' rights to secede without the horror of slavery making that question become a minor point. I think states should be able to secede (but seceding to keep slavery was such a horrible wrong it had to be crushed).

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:35 AM

33. Your GGGF made it though all that? We used to take the 5th graders to Gettysburg every year, so I

know a little about that battle. Brutal.

I only just found out that Clement's father owned a large farm and 60 or so slaves. My mom's immediate family was working class poor, so it had never occurred to me that anyone would have able to afford a large farm and slaves.

Considering that that branch of the family, still mostly in VA, some in MD, was and is very racist, I'm inclined to believe that the war was a lot to do with slavery for them. At least keeping up the lifestyle that depended upon having slaves. I don't think they had anything like what we think of as a Southern plantation, but I'm just learning about it all, so I'm sure many surprises await.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #33)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:47 AM

37. It could be that your ancestors were racist.

But you are not your ancestors.

It is amazing to me to think that had my GG grandpa not survived all those battles, I would not be here today.

Amazing.

He fought in area of the Wheatfield on Day 2 of Gettysburg. Just north of Little Round Top. I get chills when I stand there now. I have stood on many battlefields where he fought and always am very emotionally affected.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #37)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:58 AM

42. "It is amazing to me to think that had my GG grandpa not survived all those battles, I would not be

not be here today." That is so, like, well, duh. And yet, I know just what you mean! It is amazing.

It's fascinating to ponder the past, and when it involves the people with whom there would be no us, well, there's an extra layer of fascination.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:50 AM

69. I have a letter from my gggrandfather from a Union battlefield hospital

In part, it reads, "Yesterday I was so sick I could not sit up. Today I can sit up so tomorrow I think I will rejoin my regiment."

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Response to REP (Reply #69)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:22 PM

168. The few old family letters we have are so precious, but none are related to anything of such great

historical consequence.

We have letters between my husband's parents when he was in the service in WW2, and they are fascinating. Haven't read them for years. Will have to dig them out.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:26 AM

29. I had one ancestor lose a leg at Gettysburg

He was a Great Great Grandfather on my mom's mother's side. Most of my family (the Irish and Sweedish parts) immigrated here after the civil war but before the 20th century, the German Jewish slice came here during Hitler's rise to power.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #29)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:01 AM

45. Oh my, the stories they tell of the surgeries when you visit the battlefield. It's hard to imagine

people survived it.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #45)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:10 PM

92. The tale goes that it was shot off by a cannon

That he survived it was amazing. I have no idea how true the tale was, but it was at least possible. These relatives were known to exaggerate a tad, but I did see a tin type of him in uniform with the peg leg.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:49 AM

38. My Granddaddy's 2 brothers fought and it is an interesting story.

Both were in the Confederacy and one was killed in a battle. The other was captured and sent to a prison up north. He was offered a chance to get out of prison if he would fight for the union side. He agreed and ended up being killed doing go.


My Granddaddy was just a boy and remembered when his brothers rode into the farm, changed horses and took off with the union forces on their tail.

War is and has always been hell!

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #38)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:03 AM

47. So, you're the "I had one direct ancestor who fought for both the North and the South!

vote? Yes, as you say, Hell. It's so hard to imagine living through such times.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #47)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:56 AM

81. Yep one of the 3

I can imagine what life must have been like back then for everyone.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:54 AM

40. My family has lived in Michigan on both sides as long as they've been in what is now the US

and therefore to my best knowledge none ever fought for the South, however I haven't researched it.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:57 AM

41. On my side, all immigrants who got here way past the CW. On my husband's

side, a long history of fighting for the Confederacy. His family is very old south.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:02 AM

46. 5th-gg veteran of Revolutionary War. 3 gggs fought for Confederacy, 1 ggg fought for Union.

My son has served in the Navy for nearly 20 years. And my dad is an almost 93-year old veteran of WWII Marine Corps in the Pacific. He's a direct descendant of our ancestor who fought the Tories and British in the Carolinas during the Revolutionary War.

The entire family consists of Democrats only, by the way, in a red state. We've had a few members join the family who had no interest in politics, but they all became active Democrats. My great-grandfather told his daughter, my grandmother, on his deathbed in 1928, to promise him she's always vote for Democrats. The reason? Economic depression. He said he'd lived through three depressions that wiped him out and all were caused by Republican bankers, but that the regular guy could make money under Democrats. He died the year BEFORE the big crash of 1929.

My grandmother, rest her soul, wouldn't put her money in the "Republic" Bank or buy a Hoover vacuum cleaner.

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Response to Zen Democrat (Reply #46)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:09 AM

49. What a family! Do you happen to know how many fellow WWII survivors your dad still has?

Your g-mother sounds like me! I don't even like the color red. (Just by chance, I think, our R neighbors have red reflectors on their mail box post and we have blue. We two families are at the end of the road, down the hill and into the woods, and it's just so funny at night to drive in and see the two "opposing" mailboxes.)

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #49)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:17 AM

58. I've always wondered why Republicans are Reds when they hate Communists so much!

My dad kept up with one of his buddies who survived Saipan and Okinawa with him until his buddy died five years ago. Among his peers who served in WWII, he's the last one living. He never talked at all about the war while I was growing up, but now he's opening up more. Daddy absolutely refused to watch war movies or documentaries when I was growing up. I don't think he ever watched a John Wayne movie because he said John Wayne glorified war, while it was really hell. He said those movies were lies to the people. Daddy opposed the Vietnam War because America wasn't threatened. He opposed the Iraq War because they didn't attack us. He still hates war and has lived with the gruesome memories of it for 70 years. But he's a proud Marine who fought for his country in war and thereafter fought for peace.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:29 AM

51. AFAIK, all of my CW ancestors fought for the North

One survived Andersonville. Another was present at the launch of the first hot air balloon used during the CW & quite possibly saw Abraham Lincoln. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloon_(aircraft)#American_Civil_War

My mom, who grew up during the Depression in Houston, was really peeved to find out all her ancestors were "damn Yankees." I was relieved.

However, a few years ago on Ancestry.com, I found out that an indirect relation not only owned slaves, but fathered children off of his female slaves. The upside to that was one of the descendants of that behavior was Booker T. Washington. I love pointing this out to some of my more, shall we say, less-evolved family members.

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Response to WolverineDG (Reply #51)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:25 AM

100. Wow! Another really interesting family history. Booker T, and the Yan-kees!

I had never heard anything about the use of balloons in the Civil War. So much to learn.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:35 AM

52. I only know of a Northern one

Though it doesn't mean there wasn't one from the South I don't know about.

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Response to treestar (Reply #52)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:46 AM

108. Yep. I'm finding there can be a lot we don't know about our ancestors!

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #108)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:17 AM

125. Some of us more than others

Most people know at least their history up through their grandparents, my history began with me ...or something like that...

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Response to me b zola (Reply #125)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:34 AM

129. That's a tease. Do tell.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #129)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:18 PM

150. Adoption is identity theft

Last edited Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:33 PM - Edit history (1)

...as well as human trafficking.

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Response to me b zola (Reply #150)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:03 PM

163. I can sympathize with the issues brought up there. I'm sorry for your loss.

Still, often the likely alternative would have been worse, no?

I'd say, too, that in fact, none of us can be sure that even the most seemingly complete and well-researched family tree represents the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but. Many secrets in our pasts. Yet, I couldn't blame you for thinking, "Yeah, cry me a river."

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #163)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:19 PM

181. Genealogy/ancestry research is big business and everyone is interested

...yet no one questions the entire loss of identity that adoption/relinquishment causes. There is such a disconnect. Kind of like the men who wrote the words "...all men are created equal..." owning slaves.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:35 AM

53. I know for sure that an ancestor on my father's side was a Confederate soldier..

.. who came home sick and never recovered. I think they lived in Texas.

I also know that another ancestor owned a couple of slaves in Tennessee because my aunt and uncle found the papers which they still have, I've seen them. They came to Texas after the Civil War.

As for the Union side, I don't know. My mom's Irish side came over in the potato famine and settled in Wisconsin and then Nebraska. Also, there was an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower supposedly, but I don't know that history. Her dad's side we don't know that much about either.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:54 AM

54. I had reletives that fought on both sides. nt

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:07 AM

56. One on each side

one great-great-great-grandfather who enlisted in the 15th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry (Union), in 1862 and served for one year; one great-great-great-grandfather who enlisted in the Georgia militia in 1864 (he was 46, past military age; the only reason he enlisted was because he lived in Clayton County, Georgia, directly in the path of Sherman's march to the sea).

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:10 AM

57. I have several that fought on both sides...

One of Duvall ancestors died horribly in a prison camp in Chicago and my most direct ancestor, David Barnett, was gunned down on a creek in KY by a group of Confederates for being a Union sympathizer.

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Response to sunwyn (Reply #57)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:05 PM

87. Duvall, eh? Any relation to Mareen Duvall of Maryland?

Just wondering; Mareen Duvall (immigrant to Maryland in 1650) is my 9th great-grandfather (and also Barack Obama's).

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #87)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:27 AM

117. Damn, I wonder if I'm related to our president, too. How did you discover that?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:19 AM

59. My ancestors were Italian goat-herders at the time of the Civil War.

I didn't have any dogs in this fight.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:52 AM

61. The most important point to learn when you're tracing your family tree....

....is to understand it's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. But, it can also be a very rewarding experience to know your ancestors as real people set in the context of when they lived.

On my mother's side....

My great-grandfather's brother, James F. Dawson, served in the 7th Virginia Infantry CSA, was captured at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863 during Pickett's Charge, and died a month later of dysentery at Fort Delaware as a POW. He's buried across the river in the Finn's Point National Cemetery, New Jersey. He never married and had no children.

My great-great-grandfather, William Thomas, served in the 19th Virginia Infantry CSA until he was sent home sick in 1862 where he died in September. He and his wife wrote about twenty letters back and forth during that first year of the Civil War filled with the everyday life of a soldier and that of his family back home. We have a picture of his wife, Susan R. Davis Thomas, holding a family bible that contained all of the family names...we also have that bible.

On my father's side....

My great-great-grandfather, William Brenton Ward, served in the 68th Kentucky Militia USA, for about a month or two. He was called up for brief period of time and then sent back home with the rest of his organization. A few in his wife's family served in in CSA units. They all agreed at the conclusion of the war that no more would be said about that terrible conflict.

Good luck with your search! 43,000 names later, I can tell you it can become very addictive!

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #61)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:49 AM

80. I agree, once you start putting together the tree many things pop up

literally on the ancestry.com site - to direct you to more connections.

Then distant relatives pop up and share their tree. It's amazing.

Now I know about my relatives back to the 1400s due to the work of a distant relative.

Also, I found my gr gr grandfather and couldn't be more thrilled. He was a famous orator and lawyer in New York, a total progressive abolitionist, unitarian universalist, all round cool dude of his time and he campaigned and orated for Lincoln. I have found his speeches on the NYT's archive site. Those old digitized papers are amazing. No one in my family knew about him, that's the part that made this fun. I was able to resurrect his memory, though frankly no one cared as much as I do, most people are living too much in the now, sadly!

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #61)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:30 AM

118. A box of chocolates, ha! Yep. Thanks for sharing your insights and stories.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:10 AM

62. As far as I can tell, all of our relatives fought for the Union.

My husband's great-grandfather had the most interesting story. He was captured with most of his Company at the Battle of Shiloh. They were sent on to Camp Oglethorpe in Macon, GA. Unfortunately, he led a somewhat sad life after the War and was incarcerated late in life.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:17 AM

63. Every male of age on both sides fought for the confederacy

Every dang one. Every cousin I have is a member of the Sons/Daughters of the Confederacy. Of course they are all tea bagging right wing loons. It is embarrassing.

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Response to curlyred (Reply #63)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:44 AM

106. My VA relatives are all Teabaggers too. My mom wants me to go down there with her to try to get some

family history from them, but I'm not sure I can stand to hang with them long enough to learn anything.

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Response to curlyred (Reply #63)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:46 AM

109. On both sides? I would have thought there were at least some Union soldiers in the war. (nt)

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:35 AM

65. My parents were

the first generation of our family tree born in the US so I had no ancestors who fought on either side of the Civil war.

Julie

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:39 AM

66. My GGGF had his earlobe shot off in the war. (Talk about your close calls!)

According to my grandmother when I was very young. I've never bothered to do my genealogy (which is probably odd, given my career as an archaeologist ). I just prefer to believe it happened while he was serving with the 20th Maine Regt (Chamberlain & Little Round Top) because that would be cool. Not aware of any others who served, but many were Scottish immigrants post Civil War, and both sides of my family tree are Northern (Maine & upstate NY).

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:57 AM

71. Mine rode with John Brown

early on, to make Kansas a free state. Went on to be some of the first elected officials when Topeka was made the capital of the state.

There is a civil war park named after other relations in Virginia. Hope to visit it someday. I know absolutely nothing about it, the best I can figure is that it was North then South then North etc.

There is another thread about why parks and monuments are still named after old civil war generals. If you grew up like I did in a family who gave not one crap about history, news or anything other than making it through to the next day then I would say these things are important. When I first learned of these family history people and places, I learned by researching myself, I became aware of an entire different part of our countries history. Sometimes remembering unpleasant things is not the worst thing that can happen but the best because the more you know the less likely you are to forget and repeat.

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Response to MuseRider (Reply #71)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:36 AM

119. Truer words!

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:09 AM

74. What if you knew one your ancestors

Was a Kamikaze pilot who never came back from the War? I wonder what he would think of his American grand daughter?
Kami sama knows...

(**note he's not in this photo.. this was a random sampling of photos..found on google. My father doesn't speak much about his father, perhaps to him, some things are better off, left unsaid.)

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #74)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:38 AM

120. I can't imagine. War, huh, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing, (well, for the most part...)

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #74)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:54 PM

156. I would say that your dad is right.

Some things are better left unsaid.
Having said that, I went to high school with a girl who told me that her grandfather had served in the Japanese Imperial Navy during WWII.
I told her that it didn't make any difference to me, I didn't think any less of her for it.

What her grandfather did, and what your grandfather did, was probably what they both thought they should do, what was best for them.
Being in the military serving one's country is an admirable trait, no matter what uniform they wore.





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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:39 AM

76. Not sure, there would have been some of those Ozark (AR) hill folk who would have gone back

further into the hills when the "recruiters" came through wherever. Other, probably the younger, ones may have gone off to the Civil War for the same reasons that lots of young people enlist today.

My ancestors didn't move West into Oklahoma, until this century. You can still see my family name sprinkled around AR.

I know the movie Ride With the Devil really speaks to me deeply and I happen to be listening to Cold Mountain on audio book right now; so much detail about the culture and times, I can't quite tell you how it makes me feel.

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Response to patrice (Reply #76)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:46 AM

122. I have some idea--I get very, very absorbed in good books--audio or print--and when you can relate

your own family history to the story, well, that is powerful stuff.

Will have to NetFlix Ride With the Devil. Hadn't heard of it.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:42 AM

78. My gr gr had a regimen in NY named after him

Luckily he didn't see much action. He was a lawyer and they mostly wanted him to manage recruitment. He worked on Lincoln and Greeley's campaigns.

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #78)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:49 AM

123. So, you've got politics in your blood?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #123)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:45 AM

147. I always did and the rest of the family as well

When I discovered who he was via ancestry.com there were many amazing details that made me think we inherit the brains of our ancestors in ways we don't realize. I'm lucky because his speeches are online and he wrote a book so there is a way to see how he thought.

All of that validated the fact that I think about politics when most people are thinking about sports or whatever and now I don't feel as bad about my obsession knowing it's inherited! There is now an explanation for why other relatives do things like stand on roadsides with political signs etc. unpaid things that they seem driven to do.. and it's wonderful to have found this connection to an abolitionist in the family who probably would have appreciated Obama as he did Lincoln, and Greeley who was very progressive in his time. Finding him made Lincoln's life come alive for me as well. I'm sure you must feel some similar things about your ancestors.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:47 AM

79. My grandma pointed out the grave of her uncle or great uncle

who fought for one of the Iowa regiments. She said he survived the war and had a miniball in his hip.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #79)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:51 AM

131. After what I've learned in this thread, I wont assume whether or not that was a Union or Confederate

regiment, but I'll guess Union.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:59 AM

82. I had a very interesting situation...

...that is not covered by your poll. While doing research, I found that one of my direct ancestors fought for the south, was imprisoned, and then paroled. After that, he fought the remainder of the war for the North.

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Response to susanna (Reply #82)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:57 AM

132. I think my second last poll option covers this, but certainly not in this much detail! I guess that

wasn't unheard of, but relatively rare.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:11 PM

83. All of the above

and my wife is a descendant of Robert E Lee.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:14 PM

84. My mother's mother's father's father died at Vicksburg.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:50 PM

85. That's actually a bit of a family mystery for me.

I know that we have none on my dads side, and on my maternal grandfathers side we had two (one with a Maine infantry regiment, and another with a Massachusetts artillery regiment).

On my maternal grandmothers side, there's a bit of a mystery. We know that her grandfathers family lived in western Missouri during the runup to war, and and his wifes journal makes it pretty clear that he was an active Border Ruffian prior to the start of the war. Kansas abolitionist guerillas regularly staged raids across the border into Missouri, burning farms, homes, and businesses. Her grandfather apparently supplemented his farming income by taking payments from other farmers to participate in a Ruffian group to defend against the Kansas raiders. There's a paragraph suggesting that he did kill at least one, at least once. There are other paragraphs that hint at the possibility that he may have participated in some cross-border raids back into Kansas. She didn't explicitly say that, but there's a two week stretch where she talks about the difficulty of running the farm on her own, and mentions that she can't wait for her husband and "his men" to return. Two days after he came back, she complained about having to buy him new boots because he lost one when "crossing the river" on his way back home. If that river was the Missouri, he was in Kansas.

Now, here's where it gets interesting. My great-great-great grandmother was a prolific writer, and journaled at least weekly, and often daily, about her life. We know from her journals that he participated in some sort of fighting prior to 1862, but he apparently was not part of any regular units. Then, in June 1863, the entries vanish. There's an entry in June 1863, a spot where you can see that many pages have been removed, and then the next entry is in May of 1864. Those entries primarily talk about the problems they were having since the border had been heavily depopulated by the fighting. There's one line, several weeks after the first, where she mentions that she's finally getting used to having him around the farm again.

That missing span of time fits perfectly with the destruction of Lawrence Kansas by Quantrills Raiders, their march to Texas to join up with the CSA, the collapse of his units, and the return of the Raiders to their homes in Missouri. There is NOTHING to prove it conclusively, but it's our suspicion that he was marching with Quantrill at the time. Because the Lawrence Massacre was such a horrendous crime, we think that she may have later removed those pages from her journal to destroy any evidence that he rode with them.

My grandmother and her sister also remembered her grandfather getting irritated after seeing a movie about Jesse James when she was young. He was complaining about how they got the people "wrong" and how Henry Fonda was the wrong person to play Frank James. He said, "I knew Frank James, and Henry Fonda doesn't look anything like him." Frank James was famously one of Quantrills Raiders, and was in that march to Texas.

It's just a circumstancial suspicion, but everything fits.

(I have no idea why I wrote this all down, but I'm bored and haven't told the story in a while )

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:59 PM

86. There are some really big categories missing

Immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe didn't get large until well after the Civil War, so you've left out the descendants of that very large group. Not to mention descendents of immigrants from Asia, were not allowed to legally immigrate until the mid 20th century, or the descendents of the Spanish speakers in the then newly acquired former Mexican territories who largely sat out the Civil War (yeah, there were exceptions, like Golieta Pass). I'd venture to guess that a majority of Americans do not have ancestors in the Civil War. Like me: mine spent the 1860s enjoying the new experience of not being serfs.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #86)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:01 AM

133. Not missing, really, since it's a poll about ancestors who fought in the Civil War. Nothing against

those who didn't.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #133)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:54 PM

162. So the rest of us aren't "real" DUers?

I read a tacit assumption in your OP that everyone here has ancestors who were in the US at the time of the Civil War. I'd venture to guess that a significant percentage of DUers don't.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #162)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:29 PM

169. You have read into my OP

something that is entirely absent.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:11 PM

88. Have North and South Veterans in my family tree

Heroes and deserters...

It is family tradition that the stolen ladies clothing Jefferson Davis was captured in in Georgia was taken from our family farm (without permission) in Abbeville, GA.

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Response to JCMach1 (Reply #88)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:32 PM

170. Holy crossdressing, Machman! Now that's a real behind-the-scenes story you family has.

(Or is

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:25 PM

89. One ggg on mom's side was in the

Mississippi Rifles in the Army of the Tennessee and was killed t the Battle of Peachtree Creek during the Atlanta Campaign

My father's mother's father was wounded twice. The second time he was shot in the hand at Corinth and captured by the Union and then later parolled. He went home to Tuscaloosa, married and came to Texas where he lost his wife died. He then married my again and settled down in Bluff Dale, Tx where he farmed. In the 1880's he was a strong Populist - secretary of the Bluff Dale Lodge of the Texas Farmers Alliance.

People fought for a lot of different reasons - not always the big ones. Some were drafted. Others ... who knows.

Some of these folks went on to become "radical Republicans", Populists (like my dad's gg), even socialists. Some of their kids went on to become FDR Democrats (like my dad) and one of his kids went on to become ... me.

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Response to ashling (Reply #89)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:37 PM

171. I know that I tend to be surprised when family members end up being so politically different

from their ancestors, but I also know that's really pretty silly of me. Even within immediate families, even my own, people believe in different things.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:11 PM

91. I have ancestors who served on both sides. I didn't find out about them until I was 51 years old

My favorites ancestor, my great,great uncle Antonio Vela from Texas served on the Union side first, then switched to the Confederate side. Then he took some of his troops and signed up with the Mexican Army. The Mexicans got their fill of him fairly quickly and lined him and his troops up in front of a firing squad and killed them. He was in his early twenties.

From all accounts he was a real hell raiser. Even his very connected Mexican grandfather couldn't pull strings and save him.

His step father, my great great,great grandfather also served in the Confederate Army, According to his memorial booklet he was the first Texan to sign a loyalty oath to the United States after the war was over. Half of his 6 boys served in the Union Army, half in the Confederate. He owned shipping and started railroads in Texas & through out the south and midwest & knew one o f the sides would win.

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Response to mulsh (Reply #91)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:41 PM

172. Holy crap, GG Uncle Antonio! What were you fighting for? Don't you wish he'd written some letters

and journals you could get your hands on?

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:18 PM

93. Paternal grandmother's maternal grandfather, 8th Illinois Cavalry, was wounded at Monocacy.

http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/monocacy.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Monocacy_Junction

Both grandfathers, however, emigrated from Europe, in part to escape conscription and service as cannon fodder for the monarchs.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #93)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:51 PM

173. Monacacy--another new one to me. Seems like one I'd have heard of.

From a flickr photo from your first link:

Popular mythology has termed Monocacy the “battle that saved Washington,” but today the battlefield itself is in need of rescue. Interstate 270, which bisects the field, is choked with commuters and officials are investigating options to widen it through the heart of Monocacy National Battlefield.

Additionally, the site is one of 16 Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland battlefields that lie within the National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor. This could allow high voltage towers standing up to 15 stories through preserved landscapes.

Most urgent, however, is a proposal currently under consideration by Frederick County, Md., to construct a waste-to-energy facility just outside the boundary of Monocacy National Battlefield. The incinerator on the facility would have a 150-foot tall smokestack, making it visible from much of the battlefield, and its footprint would be within the battlefield’s boundary according to the National Register of Historic Places.


Saving historic sites is a "conservative" value, I can get behind, but it there's money to be made, Conservatives seem to lose site of those values.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:13 PM

94. I have a lot of ancestors who fought for the Confederacy

I haven't tried to count the exact number, but a lot. On my mother's side in Alabama there were several families with young men of the right age and most of those enlisted. Even one of the fathers enlisted at the age of 63 and served through the end of the war. About of third of the men between 20 and 40 in those families died in the Civil War. Lots of widows and children ended up living with their parents or their fathers in law.

On my father's side (all in New York state) there were few men of the right age and none in my direct line enlisted. A cousin's line was an Army doctor and when she died she left him the doctor's license signed by Abraham Lincoln. A cousin of my gg-grandfather was a telegraph operator who knew Grant and was called into service by Grant to send messages for some important battles.

One of my husband's ancestors was in Sherman's Army, and others fought for the Union. Again, I am not sure of the numbers. Even the families that lived in Kentucky enlisted with the Union and ended up moving to Indiana after the war.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:00 AM

97. I'm related to the wife of Jefferson Davis

In some way.

The other side is all Swedes.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #97)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:06 AM

135. I've been wrong a lot in this thread in my guesses and assumptions about affiliations, so I won't

be shocked if I'm wrong, but I'm going to assume Jefferson Davis's wife and early descendants had Southern sympathies. And if I'm wrong, I'm in for an interesting correction.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:33 AM

102. My ancestors came "over on the boat" in 1919 OEM

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:38 AM

104. You should add another choice for those whose ancestors were immigrants

My ancestors were part of the early third wave of Jewish immigration at the turn of the 20th century. I am not aware of anyone in my family who was in the United States at the time of the Civil War.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:45 AM

107. My ancestors were from Virginia/W. Virginia probably had them on both sides. n/t

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:52 AM

111. My family was not in the US during the Civil War. nt

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:54 AM

112. A large branch of my family tree

Is the Lee family. We're descendants of the Lees on my maternal grandmother's side. I admit I don't like hearing/reading people state that Robert E. Lee was "evil" and comparing him to Hitler. I feel it's a much more complicated issue.

My family history is amazing to me. I don't know much in the way of minor details. I would love to be able to do some serious research, but haven't had the time and I have no clue where to start or what to do. We have the Lees. We are descendants of signers of Declaration as well as soldiers of the Revolutionary War. We are also descendants of some froo-froo French folks and I think there is a history in our family with French soldiers who aided in the Revolution. I have to check. I am almost 100% that there has been a member of my family, primarily on my mom's side, who fought in every war since the Revolution. The last ones in my family to fight in war are my uncle and my dad - both served in Vietnam.

I know I qualify for DOC and DOR.

I am pretty sure we had family who fought on the Union side. I don't know the names, though.

My grandmother's dad fought in the Army in World War I. He was a tiny little dude, I'm told. My aunt has this cool certificate that he received that has his image (a drawing) with the image of Lady Liberty. It says something about Lady Liberty honoring him for service.

My maternal grandfather was Irish. Part of his family came over in the 1840's for the Gold Rush. The rest came a little bit later. I am not very sure of much of their specific history during the 1800's and whether or not any of them fought in the Civil War. My Grandfather's ancestors and family fought in the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II. My Grandfather was a Navigator and Bombardier in the the Air Force (the Army Air Corps at the time). Funny story - he wanted to enlist, but was a very lanky and skinny fellow. He didn't meet the weight requirement, so they stuffed potatoes in his clothes when he went for a physical so that he'd hit the proper weight requirement. He fought in the Pacific. His plane was shot down over the Pacific Ocean by the Japanese. He and his crew survived on a life raft and were rescued. I have a cool picture of him with one of the Army nurses. My Grandmother was told that he was dead due to a report by Tokyo Rose where she named him as one of the deceased. My Aunt is named Mary because my Grandmother promised the Virgin Mary that she'd name her baby (she was pregnant when my Grandfather left to serve) after her if my grandfather came home safe. And he did. His brothers also served during WWII. I know one of them served in the Army and landed on Normandy. He had a amazing singing voice and there is a family legend that he kept the spirits of his fellow soldiers up by singing to him everyday.

My maternal grandfather stayed in the Air Force and eventually became Captain. Sadly, he was flying a routine mission on base somewhere in the Forth Worth, Texas area in 1950. There was an electrical malfunction in the plane and it went down. There were a few survivors, but my Grandfather was among those who didn't make it. I don't he died due to impact - he burned to death. Two years ago, we went to my Grandmother's home after my aunt placed her in a nursing home (Alzheimer's). My aunt was happily trashing heirlooms left and right, but we managed to grab some stuff. One of the things we grabbed was a small box that was stuffed in an old cedar chest. It looked like the box was never opened. It contained a letter from one of my Grandfather's surviving crewmates and contained everything that they salvaged from his body, other than his clothes, after the crash. We have charred remnants of dog tags, his lighter, his wallet - complete with money and a picture of my mom and one of my aunts - his rosary and a few other items. They all still smell of fire.

My Grandmother remarried a few years later to my Pop (who I never really knew - he died when I was a few months old), who had served in the Air Force in WWII - he was in Germany.

My uncle - my mom's brother - served in the Air Force in Vietnam.

I don't know much about my dad's side of the family. They are assholes. My dad is Scottish and German. On the Scottish side, he comes from the MacFarlane clan - apparently they were a wiley group. On the German side, he comes from some froo-froo folk, but we don't know much about them. I would have to do my own research. My dad didn't have a happy childhood. I don't know if his father served in WWII or Korea. His father was a Nazi sympathizer - he was an asshole. My father did not fight getting drafted for Vietnam because he wanted to get away from his family. Little did he know. He served in the Air Force, but his primary duty was a medic. He has a lot of stories about sewing bodies back up together. My dad returned home from Vietnam to ZERO fanfare and chants of "babykiller." He immediately left home and went to Washington DC where he was very active in protests against the war. He was arrested quite a few times for protesting - once because he chained himself to the fence (or a pole) outside the White House right after he and a bunch of other veterans threw their medals onto the White House lawn.

This makes me really want to research my family tree much more so I know the specifics. I would love to know if I can find other stories in my family.

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Response to Tree-Hugger (Reply #112)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:19 AM

138. Anyone who compares\equates Lee to Hitler needs to have his or her head examined pronto. FFS, Lee

 

was a general and Hitler was a mere corporal

Now comparing Jefferson Davis to Hitler, I might be willing to at least momentarily entertain that.

Hope you get a chance to take a look at Alan Nolan's Lee Considered. Nolan pretty much demolishes much of the hagiography that has grown up around Lee.

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Response to Tree-Hugger (Reply #112)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:21 AM

139. Well, sounds like you know more than many about their family tree. Very interesting.

I wish you luck in finding more. May I suggest you start here:



You no doubt have seen that before, but I've that film many times and still enjoy it!

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:07 AM

113. my gg grandfather

Fought for the north and he was from Canada!

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Response to veganlush (Reply #113)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:45 AM

144. Well that was mighty neighborly of him!

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:09 AM

114. none of my relatives had any part of it

they were in England and Norway

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Response to Skittles (Reply #114)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:10 AM

137. Didn't some Brits have some part in it? At least in weapons sales and other support?

You might be dragged into this yet.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #137)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:16 AM

145. certainly not my fishermen!

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:14 AM

115. don't feel too bad; I have some Tories in my ancestry

Yeah, I have Patriots, too, but one branch were Loyalists and had to flee to Canada during the Rev. War, giving up their lands and holdings and going hardscrabble just to be alive.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #115)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:24 AM

140. Well, it sounds like if they sinned, they sure did pay their penance.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:17 AM

116. Both sides of my family

came to this country in the early 1900s, so I guess you would call me a daughter of anchor babies!

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Response to ellie (Reply #116)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:08 AM

136. Well, then no wonder you're a Dem.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:55 AM

124. My ancestors all fought for the South.

One was a surgeon, preacher, lawyer. Two were injured. Nearly all lost at least one child to the war. Every line I have researched has stories to tell of the Civil War.

I have no mixed feelings. I believe that hindsight reveals more to us than they knew at the time. They were mostly doing what they thought they had to do.

History is written by the victors....there are truths on both sides. There were so many factors besides slavery. They did not have the luxury to analyze.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:32 AM

126. I have family on both sides of WWI, WWII, the Civil War and the Revolution

It doesn't mean a damned thing.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:42 AM

127. Be very proud of your Confederate ancestor.

The was fighting in the tradition of Robt. E. Lee, who was a graduate of West POint and an officer in the US military, but when the civil War erupted he felt he had to defend his native place- Virginia. Your ancestor no doubt felt the same way.

The Confederacy was way underfunded - not so much manufacturing and they had to import some weapons, etc. from Europe. As the War went on, they suffered much - gave up their horses, the war was fought more on their land then in the North. Following the War, they were subject to carpetbaggers running their governments. Many were maimed or sick for the rest of their lives - frostbite, etc.

My great grandfather fought in the Michigan Volunteer infantry, in Tennessee and the Battle of Chickamauga. I sent for his Union Army pension records, and that of his brother-in-laws, which gave much family history, including wedding dates, witnesses, etc. That is all very helpful in assembling family history. He and his wife were apparently very active in the G.A. R., marching in costume in annual parades, etc.

It was possible to hire substitutes to replace you if drafted into the Union Army - I don't know about the Confederates- I doubt it, as their numbers grew slim.

It's all a fascinating part of our history, and when we see those ancestors as they were in their time, in gives us an insight into what made us who we are today.

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #127)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:46 AM

130. Yeah, when a boy too young to fight tries to sign up anyway, that shows some courage

and loyalty. I was moved and impressed, even though I oppose much of what he fought for, and even though nearly all of the family that descended from him are, despite Ann Coulter's disinformation, racists.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:57 PM

151. Me too

We had a multi-great grandfather on my Mom's side who served in the Confederate Army. But having my whole family from Kentucky for generations (including me and my sister), this wasn't a shocker.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:01 PM

152. My ancestors of that time lived under the boot of the Russian Empire.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #152)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:01 PM

175. Living under a boot--that sounds less than ideal.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:19 PM

154. I had a lot of ancestors in the US during the Civil War, so you would think that I would

have some soldiers of the period, but I haven't found a single one. Got WW I and WW II and Viet Nam and MANY Revolutionary WAR veterans in the family line, but it seems nobody was both the right age and healthy enough to serve on EITHER side in the Civil War, lol. Most my family were Northerners but there are a couple lines from the South.

I keep looking, but haven't had any luck in decades of research.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #154)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:01 PM

174. Sounds like your ancestral army was resting up for future wars!

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:15 PM

157. I had ancestors on both sides

I feel that both those branches made great strides in breaking with their racist heritage.
Why were the Northerners racist? They were grandsons of a slave holder. Their father, however, freed his recently deceased father's 20 slaves and moved to Ohio instead.
My great grandfather, the grandson of a Confederate soldier was part of the jazz culture, associating mainly with black musicians in his youth. When he was older and had some money, he advocated fair housing in his community and as a landlord practiced true fair housing, not slum lording.
If your family hasn't experienced a similar turn, let it start with you.

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Response to Nikia (Reply #157)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:13 PM

177. The turn started with my mother. She's a relatively liberal Dem, and three of her five children

are true blue liberals. My one brother, I think has turned Republican in his early fifties, and just one of my sisters is and has always been an R, though she's probably less racist than bro.

Very cool that your son-of-a-Confederate-soldier g-g-father became a jazz musician and all-around good guy!

On my dad's side of the family, they're pretty much all racists to this day, except my dad, who has his days, but voted for Obama twice. His mother was very cool and liberal.

Even his half brother, who was a horn man, was shockingly racist. We only met him when he was in his late 60s, and his gleefully told us the story of how some politician friend of his brought dancer/actor Gregory Hines over to meet him, and he told him to "Get that n***** out of my house!"

Nice first impression (all around.)

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:27 PM

158. the world of the past was a cruel and brutal world -- no doubt everyone of us us have among our

ancestors in either the relatively near or relatively distant past both slaves and slave owners - victims of atrocities and perpetrators of atrocities

No doubt we all have ancestors who fought on the wrong side in unjust wars - in most cases they probably did so thinking that they were fighting on the right side in just wars

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #158)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:33 PM

160. Nicely put -- and quite true. n/t

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #158)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:15 PM

178. True. Sadly, I think for the most part the world of today is still a cruel and brutal world. That's

the hardest part to take. Seems we'd have been better students to the lessons we could have learned.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:27 PM

159. If my Confederate GGF had been killed, I wouldn't be typing this...

I wouldn't exist. His daughter, who links me to him, was born *after* the conflict.

Zachariah Andrew DeHay, Private, Company D, 11th Mississippi Infantry, the "Neshoba Rifles." Mustered in March, 1862, the 11th Miss. was part of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Fought in most major engagements, including Gettysburg, where 50% of the 11th was wiped out in the Pickett-Pettigrew advance on July 3rd, 1863. Private DeHay fought and survived until his capture at Petersburg in April 1865. He was imprisioned and contracted smallpox, but survived that, too. In the dismal aftermath of the war, he and his family relocated to Texas, as did many displaced Southerners.

He was a poor farmer, had no slaves, and retained the lowly rank of private throughout the conflict. What motivated him to fight? What did he have to gain? What were his beliefs? All unknown, and lost to history. My best guess was that he, like most poor Southerners, felt that his home, his farm, his livelihood and his family were under attack and in jeopardy. (Turns out he was right on all counts.)

I've felt conflicted for years about my ancestor's exploits. On the one hand, he survived the odds, and the 11th Miss. has a reputation for being fierce and brave -- they were looked down upon as a lower class by Virginians, but their courage and spirit were appreciated, and the "Upper South" gentry liked having bold Mississippians around to bring in when things got hot.

On the other hand, my GGF fought for one of the lousiest causes... ever. Maintaining slavery? Dissolving the union? Just truly horrible ideals. But who knows how much thought he gave to all this -- he was a simple farmer. Although I can never accept the beliefs he enabled by fighting for them, I nonetheless feel admiration for his bravery and his will to survive what must have been an absolute living hell.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:07 PM

165. Another option...my ancestors came over in the early 1900's AFTER the Civil War...

Bet that would get a lot of votes...mine included.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:06 PM

176. I had no ancestors who were even in the country at the time.

One bunch came over from Denmark just after the Franco-Prussian War, and the others from a German/Austrian community in Hungary.

I had relatives on both sides in WW II.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:35 PM

179. Not only ancestors who fought for Union and Confederacy one ancestor armed slaves against Mormons.

By the 1860's he was Confederate then switched to the Union. Family accounts are that he remained rabidly anti-Mormon to the day he died. (Missouri of course)

On my Grandfathers side he remembered family members having long discussions most were Union and some Confederate. This was a central topic at every family gathering he remembered late 1890's early 1900's

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:36 PM

180. I had ancestors on the wrong side of Civil and Revolutionary Wars

Indians didn't much care for the colonists, lol. At least my tribe didn't, lol.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:34 PM

182. The Mason-Dixon Line pretty much intertwines with my family tree.

On my mother's side, I have ancestors that migrated from New Jersey to Kentucky, but ended up in Ohio because they did not like slavery. I also have a great-great grandfather from another family line who fought for the Union Army and was in the Battle of Lookout Mountain. I have his powderhorn. However, there is another ancestor in his line who lived in Maryland and owned slaves. In his will, there are several slaves mentioned who are children/adolescents, and he stipulates that they are to be freed when they turn 21.

On my father's side, one of my great-grandmothers is an Ashby. If you live in Virginia, you know what this means. Turner Ashby is my second cousin, and there are a lot of Confederates on this side of the family, but several Union, too. It all seems to hinge on who moved to Ohio when, and I have found several instances of siblings fighting on opposite sides.

I grew up knowing about the ancestor who fought at Lookout Mountain. My grandmother (his granddaughter) was very proud of this fact. I never knew anything about my father's side of the family, and I don't believe he did, either. I will say that both sides of my family were very conservative and racist, though my father's side was much worse.

I was not raised that way. My parents were very liberal and very accepting of everyone, and they kept their distance from the rest of the family. I remember being seven or eight and watching scenes from the civil rights movement on TV and asking my mother why people were fighting. Her reply was, "White people have treated colored people very badly for a very long time, and they are fighting for their rights." I didn't quite understand what these "rights" were, but I definitely got the message that the civil rights movement was a very good thing and the color of my skin didn't make me better than anyone else.

About 20 years ago, when my "Tea Party Is Too Liberal For Me" cousin began researching the family history and told me about my Confederate ancestors, I was horrified. It has taken me many years and many conversations with several of my friends (some of them African-American) to come to grips with this part of my history. What has brought me peace is to accept that I can't change who they were, the times they lived in, or what they did. I know that I wasn't born with the "hate gene" and I was never indoctrinated into that kind of culture, and I don't need to make excuses or feel guilt for who I am and how I live my life today.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:40 PM

185. My family is from the so south

south of Italy that is


Calabrese! They make the best cookies. Turdilli, scallile, torcetti and pitta mpigliata!

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