Golden Thread 75 Years are gone, but Old Men will Remember


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#82
Some great stuff here. These old men were the living embodiment of the history of this country. People in your towns, communities and large cities. They were an inspiration to younger people everywhere. We are descended from them, it is our duty to make sure they are not forgotten. The roles of the women should not be forgotten either. Nurses, spies and soldiers, or the woman in her town or in remote areas that kept the family together throughout the struggle and their own struggle to just live. I am proud of all of my soldier ancestors, women and men who stepped forward when they were needed. Keep up the good work. I love these posts.
 

John Hartwell

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#84
Among the most photographed veterans at the 1938 Gettysburg reunion were Martin A. Loop, a Union man from Pasadena, Cal., and Gen. John W. Harris (his rank is in the UCV), of Ardmore, Oklahoma.
loop4.jpg
The two men had met by chance while visiting Spangler’s Spring on June 29th, and soon were fast friends (several of the photographs show them with arms about each other's shoulders). The Sacramento Bee (1 July) describes their encounter:
Loop1.png

A native of Tennessee, John W. Harris had enlisted at the age of 15, in the 20th Tennessee Cavalry, and always proudly pronounced himself “One of Forrest’s boys!”

harris2.png

[Harris, left, cautioned the young Scout:"Don't fool yourself on this fellow Hitler,
he’s up to no good! No good at all!”]​

Although only a Corporal during the war, John Harris was very active in the UCV, and by the late 1920s, he was Commander of the Oklahoma Division, with the rank of MajorGeneral. He arrived at the Gettysburg Reunion as the veterans' group's Adjutant General, but would leave as National Commander in Chief of the UCV (having been elected to the post during the UCV convention held there. During a press-conference associated with the reunion, he joined his immediate predecessor as C-in-C, Gen. John M. Claypool in affirming that the Battle of Gettysburg was no defeat for the South:
BRougeAdvocate2Jy38.png

[Baton Rouge Advocate, 2 July]​

Gen. Harris served as UCV C-in-C for 1938-38. After a 3-year interval, he was elected once more to serve 1942-43. But, he would not complete his term. He died on 20 February 1943, at the Oklahoma Confederate Home, in Ardmore. He is buried in Rosehill Cemetery, Chicasha, Grady Co., Ok. [https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=30745868]

To be continued​
 

John Hartwell

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Martin A. Loop was born in Adrian, Michigan, on 14 January 1843, and thus was 19 years of age when he enlisted in Co. A, 17th Michigan on April 6, 1862. This IX Corps unit saw a great deal of action in both the Eastern and Western theatres. Martin was discharged as disabled in January 1865.

Besides his much-photographed friendship with John Harris, Martin Loop made news for himself during the Gettysburg Reunion of the Blue and Gray. The 94-year-pld got headlines for climbing steel Observation Tower on Oak Ridge, without stopping to rest even once on the way. He said he wanted a good panoramic view of the battlefield and encampment, but even more he wanted to get away from the flattering, but exhausting crowds begging him for autographs. “I had to go somewhere they wouldn’t have the pertinacity to follow me.”

Martin returned to Adrian after the war, and would remain there all his life -- mostly. Around 1915, the 70-something veteran decided that he had had enough of Michigan winters, and went to spend the cold season with a relative in Pasadena, Cal. He liked it there, and bought a small house to which, for the next 30-odd years, he made the 2000 mile journey every Fall, returning “home” each Spring.

But, he made himself “at home” in both places. He always returned to Adrian in time to be a central figure in each Memorial Day parade, and was still marching the 3 mile route under his own power at the age of 100. Back in California, he was founding member of three GAR Posts in Los Angeles County, with a combined membership of over 600. And, by 1932, when natural attrition caused the three to consolidate into one, Martin Loop was chosen the Commander of Edwin Sumner Post No. 3. When, after a few years, that post had to close, too, Martin became a fixture at meetings of both the Sons and the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. He was guest of honor at banquets and all patriotic holidays. Each year at the Adrian Independence Day fete, he recited the Gettysburg Address from memory, and regaled gatherings everywhere with stories of his wartime experiences.

At the age 0f 101, Martin, at the behest of his son, 65-year-old Burrell, agreed to remain in Adrian throughout the year. [Burrell insisted that California weather was "vastly over rated.”] But, by January of 1943, the old man was back in Pasadena, and announced his intention of remaining there. The people of his "second home" welcomed him back with open arms:
loop8.png
Pasadena Bee, Feb. 1943
Loop6.png
But, it was not to be. Martin’s age was catching up with him. He remained there for a year, and in 1944 made one last visit to Adrian in time for Memorial Day ... but he had to be driven the 3 mile route for the first time. During the trip, he sat in a day-coach for the 3 day trip, because the sleepers were all full of soldiers, who "need the rest more than I do." Back in Pasadena the following spring, he went “missing” for a couple of days. He turned up safe and well but couldn't remember where he had been, and his family insisted that he return to Michigan where they could properly care for him. His west coast home was sold, and by September he was back in Adrian.
loop7.png

[Detroit News, 27 Sept. 1945]​
Martin A. Loop died just a year later, on Sept. 18, 1945, four months short of his 104th birthday.
As it turned out, he had out-lived his son, as he had three wives
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Best running thread, hand's down. I'm still not finished with the gentleman you could write a book about.

These dates are thought provoking. 1943- we'd been through an entire war since Appomattox and launched into yet another. My parents were in Jr. High school. And a Civil War veteran died. Crazy.
 

John Hartwell

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James Dudley Fooshe
james_dudley_fooshe.jpg

"When a fellow gets as old as I am, he appreciates more than anything else
the solitude of home and the quiet friendship of those he sees often."
James Dudley Fooshe was born on March 29, 1844, in what would later become Greenwood County, S.C. He grew up within the Methodist Community known as Coronaca.

On 5 December 1861, at the age of 17, he enlisted in Co. A, 3rd Battalion (James’) of South Carolina Infantry. The unit remained in S.C. until ordered to Virginia on August 20, 1862, and attached to Dayton’s Brigade of Longstreet’s command, ANV. They missed 2nd Manassas, but went into action at the Battle of South Mountain on Sept. 14, with 250 men.

Among the battalion’s 132 casualties, was private James D. Fooshe. With a painful foot wound, he was unable to retreat when the Federals advanced, and was taken prisoner. His captivity would be brief. After his wound was dressed, he was sent to Ft. McHenry as a PoW, and later to Fort Delaware, where he was authorized for exchange on November 10th.

He was furloughed home to recuperate, and then spent much of 1863 in various Richmond hospitals; first as a still-recuperating patient, and then on detached duty as orderly, nurse, and, at Jackson Hospital, as “Ward Master.” He returned to the 3rd S. C. Battalion in time for the opening of the spring campaign in 1864. But, at the Wilderness, on May 6th, he was wounded once again, and sent to hospital. This wound was not very serious, but his previous foot wound began giving him trouble.

Because of his foot, he could not well return to infantry service. So, on August 20, 1864, James D. Foose, now a corporal, was detached once again … this time to serve as a courier at Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia. He remained there as courier, clerk, and occasional secretary, until shortly before Appomattox. At that time, he was finally released, to rejoin his unit, then serving in the Carolinas, trying vainly to stop Sherman’s advance. And, so it was that he did not receive his parole and give his oath of Allegiance until May 2, 1865, near Greenboro, N.C.


After the war, James D. Fooshe became a prosperous farmer in his native Greenwood County. He remained there until 1919, when, at the age of 55, he removed his large family to Richmond County, Georgia. He was active in the UCV, and held rank of Captain in that organization.

His obituary reads, in part, “Here in Richmond, he purchased a plantation near Gracewood that consisted practically of sand hills, but under his excellent and painstaking care, the land was developed into one of the garden spots of the county. He was an authority and expert on bees, and planted a peach orchard when he was 70. He was a prolific writer of articles about his reminiscences of the ‘60s, and his own philosophy of religion, social conduct and political economy. At 90, he tired of his fine, legible handwriting and decided he would learn to use a typewriter. To those who smiled at the idea he retorted: ‘When a man quits doing something new, he is already dead.’ The same philosophy led him to plant another orchard at 85, and again at 93. He had just begun to gather fruit from the last orchard, and took delight in telling of it to mock the scoffers.”

The Augusta Chronicle for March 12, 1937, reported: “'GONE WITH THE WIND' is the most overrated book I have ever read in my life," declares Captain J. D. Fooshe, Confederate Veteran, who will celebrate his 93rd birthday March 29, As Captain Fooshe is one of the five living Confederate Veterans in Richmond Co., and as he is also a person who has read a great deal and frequently written of his own experiences in the War Between the States his opinion of the current fiction rage will no doubt interest many and will be respected even by those who disagree with him. Incidentally, Captain Fooshe must have made a reading record for people approaching the century mark for he says he read "Gone With the Wind" in about ten days and still had time to keep. up with his other reading which is usually quite diversified.”

At the time of the 1938 Last Reunion of the Blue and Gray, there were only two surviving Confederate veterans in Richmond, GA.: James D. Fooshe and John H. James. Both of them attended the reunion. The attrition rate among civil war veterans by this time was startling. Richmond alone had lost three of these old men since 1936, when the Augusta Chronicle remarked on their dwindling numbers:

ucv.png

Following the reunion, James returned to his home in Gracewood, and continued his life as before. Rarely unwell, it was a unexpected when, on Christmas Day, 1939, he came down with pneumonia. He looked to be throwing that off, but on the evening of January 11, 1940, he suffered a heart attack, and died. By his bedside were eight of his surviving children, many grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.

“He was a soldier, author, farmer, orchardist, philosopher, and churchman.” reads his epitaph.

Thus James Dudley Fooshe's record, simplified. This, to me, appears reasonably accurate. There are so many sources, frequently contradictory (many of them newspaper stories from many years after the war -- we all know how reliable they are!) The same problem arises with all these old soldiers. His CSR is both incomplete and complicated. I have not tried to puzzle out the details. We try to tell their stories based, oftentimes, on very inadequate sources. None of them should be taken as the final word, and I'd be glad to hear of corrections or additions to any of them. But, they do give us a glimpse of who these old men were and what they experienced in their long lives.

There is, in fact, an unpublished biography: "Soldier, Planter, Philosopher: The Life of J. D. Fooshe," by Samuel Taylor Geer, 1999, copies are located at the Georgia Department of Archives and History, the Augusta Genealogical Society (Augusta, GA), and the Dallas (TX) Public Library.

Fooshe also wrote, as is alluded to above, his own memoirs of the war years and other matters. They appeared during the spring of 1936, as columns in The Augusta Herald. I have not been able to find copies of that newspaper online, so I could not consult them. Following is a list of the titles of those columns:

1. Confederate Army Camp. Life In Early War Days Is Related
2. Reminiscences of the 'Sixties
3. Wounded, Captured, Mr. Fooshe Sends Letter Home by a Spy
4. Exchanged, Mr. Fooshe Given Furlough and Allowed to Come Home Until Wound Was Better
5. Becomes Member of Courier Staff of Chief Supply Man for General Lee's Forces
6. Carpet-Baggers Flock to South
7. J. D. Fooshe Tells of His Early Life on Farm After Civil War
8. Three Lifetime Lessons Early in Married Life
9. Compares Present Conditions With Those of Many Years Ago
10. J. D. Fooshe Adds Raising of Bees as Sideline to Farming
11. Bee Industry One of Finest Nature Studies, Says Fooshe

His Find-a-grave entry.
His Wikipedia entry.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Wish we had a ' Recommended reading ; button. He must have generated energy as he aged, goodness.

“He was a soldier, author, farmer, orchardist, philosopher, and churchman.” I hope he would not have minded this but also xome kind of example. Unstoppable? We're a little programmed to see photos of older people and turn off our brains- no beauty secrets there! Bottomless wells. Boy, you'd hang around J.D. Foote with a tin cup, hoping to fill it once in awhile, if you could catch him sitting still.

Thanks for this thread, Jno. Crazy amount of research.
 
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#90
I would dearly love to find that all his stories are true. They, however, do seem too good to be.
You'll find more about the colorful Mr. Handock in a 7 Jan 2016 post on my Facebook page, "Gettysburg Medals and Badges".

I use Mr. Handock as an example in a Powerpoint presentation that I sometimes do about Gettysburg badges. Here's some of the dozens of newspaper headlines that I've found about him:
Screenshot 2017-10-22 22.05.47.png


He travelled the country extensively and each time he would get off the train in a town he would go straight to the newspaper office and say "You’ll want to write an article about me" - or words to that effect. He offered up a portfolio of previous newspaper articles as “proof” of his service but he never so much as identified his unit in the war.

Some savvy reporters of the time referred to him as "Major Hoople" (a character in the Our Boarding House comic strip who was famous for lying about everything) and "Baron Munchausen" (a fictional German nobleman who claimed that he rode on a cannonball and travelled to the moon). One referred to him as an “Adventurer unrivaled or liar supreme.” It seems that they were on to him.

I took the photo of his 1938 reunion badge that you previously posted, citing my blog. It's worth noting that the engraving on that badge spells his name "Handock" (not "Handcock" or "Hancock"), as do some of the newspaper articles.

Also in the collection of the Adams County Historical Society is an Attendant badge from the same reunion.
085.JPG

The elderly veterans were allowed to bring a caretaker, often a son or grandson, and they were issued these distinctive badges. This one is engraved "L. F. Mobley". The ACHS isn't certain whether the two badges were acquired together so it might be a wild goose chase. But if you are determined to find out more about Mr. Handock, you might do some research into Mr. Mobley to see if there is a connection.

Good luck.
 

John Hartwell

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#91
William Henry Singleton

William-Henry-Singleton.jpg
In 1900, the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Connecticut, numbered some 7,000 men. A count made in the Spring of 1938, reported only 39 survivors. Eight of them boarded the train on June 28th, bound for the Last Reunion of the Blue and Gray at Gettysburg. They were far outnumbered by the members of the New Haven VFW Drum and Bugle Corps, who were making the trip to participate in the Grand Parade on July 2nd. One of those eight was a tall, dignified former AME preacher named William Henry Singleton.

Born in 1835, in Newbern, North Carolina, William Henry Singleton had lived anything but an ordinary life. He was born to an enslaved woman by the name of Lettis Singleton, and his master’s brother.

Slave children were cared for by an elderly enslaved woman during the day while the able bodied slaves worked in the fields. One day, while Lettis was absent, a strange man came down from the Big House to where William was playing. The man offered the child a piece of candy, and then grabbed him without warning and carried him off. He had been sold "with as little thought as a man would sell a sheep," his mother would be informed days later, when the overseer noticed her frantically looking for her son. He was by then on his way to Atlanta, Georgia. He was four years old.

He had been sold to a widow who ran a slave farm, a place where promising slaves were taught skills to increase their market value. He was then too young to work, and was used mostly to run errands. “I did not have any bed to sleep on, simply slept on the dirt floor by the fireplace in the house like a little dog. I had plenty to eat, but my mistress had a great habit of whipping me. Some slave owners used to have a custom of whipping their slaves frequently to keep them afraid. They thought it made them more obedient.”

It was after one such beating, when he was nearly 7, that Singleton bolted for home. An old black man gave him directions back to New Bern and a sympathetic white woman helped him trick a stage driver into giving him a ride. But mostly he was alone, afoot, a little boy sneaking through the woods. When he finally made it to his mother's door, they no longer recognized each other. Only after Lettice saw a distinctive scar on the back of Singleton's neck did she realize he was the son she knew as Henry. Now a wanted runaway, the boy hid out for the next three years living in a root-cellar beneath the floor-boards of a plantation building. When he was finally discovered, he was severely beaten, and sold again -- but this time (thanks to his mother’s pleas) to a plantation not far away. All this before he was ten years old.

A “Black Confederate” before there was a Confederacy!

William later recalled:
“a short time before the beginning of the war, ... Samuel Hymans, a young man from our community who was attending West Point, came home for a vacation, but when the vacation was over he did not return to West Point. Instead he commenced to organize a company of soldiers. I was very anxious to go with him as his servant, and my master, at his request, let me do so. The reason why I was anxious to go with Hymans was because I wanted to learn how to drill. I did learn to drill. In fact I learned how to drill so well that after a while when he was busy with other matters he would tell me to drill the company for him. After Fort Sumter was fired upon, Hymans’ company went to form with other companies in Newbern, the First North Carolina Cavalry. This regiment was stationed at Newbern until the 14th of March, 1862, when Burnside and Foster captured Newbern and drove our regiment to Kinston. At Kinston, I ran away from the regiment and made my way to Burnside's headquarters at Newbern. I secured employment as the servant of Col. Leggett, of the 10th Connecticut Regiment.”

The rest of his story he told in a 1922 narrative, Recollections of My Slavery Days. It’s an incredible story. With $5 he had earned as a servant, he hired a church hall in Newbern, and began recruiting a “colored regiment.” The men elected him their “Colonel,” and he drilled them with corn-stalks instead of guns. They had no official status as soldiers, of course, but worked for the army as civilian Pioneers. Eventually, they would become the nucleus of the 1st South Carolina Infantry (colored), but without their chosen "Colonel." William himself would go on to become a sergeant in the 35th USCI. Seriously wounded at Olustee on February 20, 1864, he spent the rest of the war in garrisons on the South Carolina coast.

Honorably discharged on June 2, 1865, William Henry Singleton decided to move north: first to Maine, then finally settling in New Haven, Ct., where he worked for some 30 years as a coachman to a prominent local family. He married Maria Wanton in New Haven, and they had a child together. After joining the AME Zion Church in the city, Singleton also worked to gain an education. From a child who had once been whipped for opening a book, he would become both an eloquent speaker and elegant writer. He became a deacon and an elder in his church, and later worked as a lay missionary. Still later, he moved to Peekskill, New York. By 1930, he was back in New Haven, and an active member of Admiral Foote Post No.17, G.A.R.
singletonb.jpg

At the Reunion of the Blue and Gray, the 103-year-old William H. Singleton shared a tent with his New Haven comrades. He was one of at most a handful of African American veterans who attended -- I have yet to find a statement of how many. He was almost certainly the only former slave present. In good health for his age, he actively enjoyed the whole experience, and returned home to tell his friends of what “a grand time” he had had.

The following September, William felt well enough to make the journey to Des Moines, Iowa, to attend the G.A.R. Annual Encampment being held there. “Singleton, and 118 aged comrades defied 90 degree heat to parade 15 blocks through downtown streets. The majority rode in automobiles, but the Commander-in-Chief, O. H. Mennett, mustered 38 marchers. Thirty-six walked the whole distance.” (DesMoines Register, 18 September 1938). William H. Singleton was one of the two who dropped out. “I’m terribly ashamed,” he said, fighting back tears “but I couldn’t make it. I just got tired.” But, he was more than just “tired.” Rushed to a hospital, “Colonel” Singleton (as he was commonly known) was declared dead of a heart attack a few hours later.
John Henry Singleton’s Recollections of my Slavery Days is available online.

There is also a 1970 biography: Contraband of War: William Henry Singleton, by Laurel F. Vlock and Joel A. Levitch
singletonc.jpg

Newspapers often incorrectly called him "the first colored commissioned officer in the army."
Of course he wasn't -- his only "Commission" came from the men he had drilled at New Bern.​
 
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rhettbutler1865

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#92
Of Pvt. Jeremiah Wilhelm, Omaha.com says:

“Born in Baltimore in 1844, he was a drummer boy with the 3rd Maryland Infantry Regiment and once shook hands with President Lincoln when a company from the unit was assigned as his bodyguard. He and three brothers fought at Gettysburg, and served in the Atlanta and Appomattox campaigns near the end of the war.

“Wilhelm moved to a farm near Dorchester, Nebraska in 1879, and worked for John Deere for more than 30 years before retiring in 1916. In his later years, he served as postmaster for the Nebraska State Senate. He attended the 75th anniversary observance of the Gettysburg battle. He died in 1942, at age 97, and is buried in Dorchester.”

He had enlisted at Baltimore on March 1st, 1862 in Company E, 3rd Maryland Volunteers. He himself was not with his regiment at Gettysburg, as he had been sick in Central Park Hospital in New York since early June, and would not rejoin the unit until October. His MSR reports him "present" at all other times. Pvt Wilhelm and his comrades mustered out at the termination of their enlistment on July 31, 1865.

Jeremiah Wilhelm kept up with his drumming after the war, and local Omaha newspaper coverage frequently mention him as drumming at reunions and public holiday celebrations. The last of which was just days before his death. We see him in the Grand Island Independent, of June 1, 1942:

The caption reads: “Jeremiah Wilhelm, 98 year old Civil War veteran and drummer at the Battle of Gettysburg, brought his drum out Saturday and played a drum solo during Memorial Day ceremonies at the Soldiers’ Home. ‘Jerry’ as he is affectionately known by members of the home, was brought out in a wheelchair because he isn’t as spry as he used to be, but he didn’t show any signs of slowing up when it comes to beating the drums. Posing with him are two members of the Harry Norton junior drum and bugle corps."
Excellent work, John...I love it!!!
The drum he carried through the last years of the Civil War is now in Omaha's Durham Museum. He passed away on June 11, 1942, at the age of 98.
 

John Hartwell

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#94
Thought I'd give a little update of information about Joshua Henry (see Post #11), the 95-year-old Sabetha, Kansas gentleman, whose unforgettable, toothless, Hook-nosed profile is so prominent among the singers in the photo in the OP.

En route to the Gettysburg reunion that June of 1938, he stopped in Decatur, Ill., where we find him getting a light from a helpful stranger:
henry.jpg
I'm sure he enjoyed that see-gar.


Back on the 6th of July, 1916, Joshua Henry and his wife, Laura, celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. Gathered around them in their home in Sabetha, Kansas, were 46 relatives, including four generations. The Sabetha Herald of July 16, records, in part:

Joshua Henry and Miss Laura Tinkey were married in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, July 6, 1866. Joshua has been to war, and had fought two years and eleven months, had been wounded three times and had served in Libby prison six months. It was abut time he settled down to peaceful pursuits.

He could not have chosen better. Mr. and Mrs. Henry have been happy. They reared a large family. And Mrs. Henry says she never was more happy than last Thursday when she spent the day with her children and grandchildren about her. Time has dealt kindly with them both for all their vicissitudes. Joshua Henry doesn’t look 73. Neither in industry nor in happy good will is Mrs. Henry 69 years of age.

They farmed in Pennsylvania during those early days of their married life. Then, in 1879, they moved to Sabetha. They farmed near town until 1900 when they built the home they now occupy in the north part of Sabetha.

Joshua Henry was in twenty-four battles during the civil war and he was in the army that surrounded Lee. He witnessed Lee’s surrender. He fought in the 142nd Pennsylvania infantry, company C. Among the battles he was in were Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Frankstown, Rappahannock, Spottsylvania, Weldon Railroad, Appomattox, Cold Harbor, Fort Steadman, Petersburg, and many others.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry have the congratulations of everyone.
 

John Hartwell

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#95
mp017882.jpg
95 year-old mustachioed magician and "oldest auto pilot in Nebraska" Homer S. Woodworth (see post #2) had a long and eventful life, as the previous newspaper clippings posted suggest. But, just how "enterprising" Mr. Woodworth was might be a surprise to some:
The_Daily_Deadwood_Pioneer_Times_Tue__Feb_25__1896_.jpg

[Daily Deadwood Pioneer Times (CA), February 25, 1896]
I have not been able to learn the upshot of this incident. The last I've found so far is from March 5th, when he was "being held in the Hot Springs jail, awaiting an order from Judge Thomas, to remove him to Omaha, where he will be tried." I will continue searching.

Homer Woodworth's 1941 obituary mentions none of that, of course, but outlines once again that eventful life (as he chose it to be remembered).

Steuben_Republican_Wed__May_28__1941_ - Edited (3).jpg
Steuben_Republican_Wed__May_28__1941_ - Edited.jpg

[Steuben Republican, May 28, 1941]
 
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#97
Over the next few days, I am going to be telling a little something about each of these six veterans. They all have interesting stories to tell.

The caption above, it seems, has the men a bit out of order. The gentleman, third from the left, is not Charles Barothy, but Homer S Woodworth. And quite the individual he was:
View attachment 104299
[Omaha World Herald, 6 Oct. 1935]
View attachment 104301
[San Diego Union, 29 Dec. 1940]​
Homer S. Woodworth died on May 12, 1942, age 98.
Looking forward to these. Thanks for posting.
 



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