Rest in Peace, Brass Napoleon

Tom Reagan

Private
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Location
Caldwell County, NC/Chesapeake, VA
I never had the fortune to speak to Brass Napoleon, as I joined the site shortly after his passing, it seems. But I can tell by the vast outpouring of farewells and condolences that he was certainly a well-loved and knowledgeable individual, an integral part of the community. I wish I had gotten the chance to interact with him.
Rest In Peace, sir.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Location
Ohio
Thank you to CivilWarTalk Forum, from Ron's sister ...

Thank you so much for your outpouring of condolences for Ron, aka Brass Napoleon. They mean so, so much to our family and I’ve printed them all out and will treasure them always. KansasFreestater, you moved me to tears with your eloquent posts.
And Unionblue I absolutely loved what you said, “And there is the truth, my friends. No matter how miffed we may get with one another, no matter how many times we disagree, as Drew said, we should "hug" one another every day because we simply do not know when we will be called away. To ALL of the members here, friend, and sometimes foe, we must never forget we are just folks, talking about our favorite topic, the Civil War. My "hug" goes out to each and everyone of you and I am glad we have all had a chance to talk, argue, disagree, and BE with one another.”

I could almost hear Ron cheering from heaven above when I first read that Unionblue.

So many postings and so many pulled at my heart. Thank you to all for taking the time to send condolences to us at this difficult time.
Ron loved the CivilWarTalk forum!

Here’s some snippets from emails he’s sent me over the years in which he’s talked about the forum:
It's been an interesting couple of weeks here. The Gettysburg trip was really awesome. It was great to finally meet many of the people I've been conversing with in that online forum for years, including even some of the people who I've disagreed with. We got some really great tours of the battlefield too. Then yesterday the OHC had its annual docent's field trip. We went to Johnson's Island, in Lake Erie off of Sandusky, which was the site of a Civil War POW camp for Confederate officers. They're doing archaeology work there to uncover the remnants of the camp, which is normally closed to the public, but we got a guided tour from the guy who's leading the effort. So that was really cool.

And this concerning FarawayFriend:
The forum member from Germany who came to Gettsyburg saw I was wearing a geocaching shirt and she said she was interested in getting started. So I gave her some encouraging words (and a few discouraging ones too, haha) and she sent me a message saying that she created an account and found her first cache.

And this from the Summer of 2015:
I have a great opportunity for a battlefield tour in September. One of the most renowned and respected Civil War battle experts and authors is a member of the Civil War internet discussion forum that I'm on, and he's offered to give a free tour of the Brandy Station battlefield to anyone who's interested. That's near Culpeper, Virginia. I've been by the battlefield several times, but there's nothing marked there so there was nothing for me to see. But it was the largest cavalry battle in the Western Hemisphere, so having an expert to guide us there will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will also be nice to meet some of the forum members in person.
And thank you, thank you, thank you to Littlestown for starting this thread and letting me know about it to help ease my pain and so I could acknowledge all of you whose lives Ron touched. Littlestown and Ron have been friends for many years sharing many interests and adventures together and she has helped me greatly in the grieving process as we share our memories about Ron.

And finally, just to pass along some info and hoping to raise awareness. Ron passed away in the early morning hours on June 23 from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The last two weeks of his life he was waking up with chest pain in the middle of the night that would subside if he got up and sat in a recliner and breathed deeply for a while. He went to the emergency room on June 10 and the EKG came back basically normal. He was in the process of having more medical testing done and everything was coming back normal or near normal.
And by day, he was still working and hiking and biking etc.
With hindsight, it now appears Ron had severe sleep apnea in the end which caused his heart to enlarge and fluid to back up in his lungs (this was discovered only after he died.) The most extensive damage happened in just two weeks’ time (because the EKG on June 10th was basically normal.) I am so heartbroken that I was so ignorant about sleep apnea and so wish I could turn back the clock and make sure he got a CPAP machine that would have given him many more years of vibrant life.
Please listen to your loved one’s breathing at night, and listen in particular for a stoppage of breathing or a jagged, loud, restart of breathing/gasping off and on during the night. Numerous stoppages of breathing cause the blood pressure to spike, heart arrhythmias, and can lead to fluid back up in the lungs etc.
I’m sorry, I hope this isn’t too morbid, but my heart just goes out to anyone else that may lose someone they love so unnecessarily.
My deepest gratitude for your friendship, camaraderie, and exchanging pearls of wisdom with Brass Napoleon over the years and for your beautiful tributes to him.
Debbie Overmann
 

JerseyBart

Brigadier General
Moderator
Forum Host
Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Location
New Jersey
Thank you to CivilWarTalk Forum, from Ron's sister ...

Thank you so much for your outpouring of condolences for Ron, aka Brass Napoleon. They mean so, so much to our family and I’ve printed them all out and will treasure them always. KansasFreestater, you moved me to tears with your eloquent posts.
And Unionblue I absolutely loved what you said, “And there is the truth, my friends. No matter how miffed we may get with one another, no matter how many times we disagree, as Drew said, we should "hug" one another every day because we simply do not know when we will be called away. To ALL of the members here, friend, and sometimes foe, we must never forget we are just folks, talking about our favorite topic, the Civil War. My "hug" goes out to each and everyone of you and I am glad we have all had a chance to talk, argue, disagree, and BE with one another.”

I could almost hear Ron cheering from heaven above when I first read that Unionblue.

So many postings and so many pulled at my heart. Thank you to all for taking the time to send condolences to us at this difficult time.
Ron loved the CivilWarTalk forum!

Here’s some snippets from emails he’s sent me over the years in which he’s talked about the forum:
It's been an interesting couple of weeks here. The Gettysburg trip was really awesome. It was great to finally meet many of the people I've been conversing with in that online forum for years, including even some of the people who I've disagreed with. We got some really great tours of the battlefield too. Then yesterday the OHC had its annual docent's field trip. We went to Johnson's Island, in Lake Erie off of Sandusky, which was the site of a Civil War POW camp for Confederate officers. They're doing archaeology work there to uncover the remnants of the camp, which is normally closed to the public, but we got a guided tour from the guy who's leading the effort. So that was really cool.

And this concerning FarawayFriend:
The forum member from Germany who came to Gettsyburg saw I was wearing a geocaching shirt and she said she was interested in getting started. So I gave her some encouraging words (and a few discouraging ones too, haha) and she sent me a message saying that she created an account and found her first cache.

And this from the Summer of 2015:
I have a great opportunity for a battlefield tour in September. One of the most renowned and respected Civil War battle experts and authors is a member of the Civil War internet discussion forum that I'm on, and he's offered to give a free tour of the Brandy Station battlefield to anyone who's interested. That's near Culpeper, Virginia. I've been by the battlefield several times, but there's nothing marked there so there was nothing for me to see. But it was the largest cavalry battle in the Western Hemisphere, so having an expert to guide us there will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will also be nice to meet some of the forum members in person.
And thank you, thank you, thank you to Littlestown for starting this thread and letting me know about it to help ease my pain and so I could acknowledge all of you whose lives Ron touched. Littlestown and Ron have been friends for many years sharing many interests and adventures together and she has helped me greatly in the grieving process as we share our memories about Ron.

And finally, just to pass along some info and hoping to raise awareness. Ron passed away in the early morning hours on June 23 from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The last two weeks of his life he was waking up with chest pain in the middle of the night that would subside if he got up and sat in a recliner and breathed deeply for a while. He went to the emergency room on June 10 and the EKG came back basically normal. He was in the process of having more medical testing done and everything was coming back normal or near normal.
And by day, he was still working and hiking and biking etc.
With hindsight, it now appears Ron had severe sleep apnea in the end which caused his heart to enlarge and fluid to back up in his lungs (this was discovered only after he died.) The most extensive damage happened in just two weeks’ time (because the EKG on June 10th was basically normal.) I am so heartbroken that I was so ignorant about sleep apnea and so wish I could turn back the clock and make sure he got a CPAP machine that would have given him many more years of vibrant life.
Please listen to your loved one’s breathing at night, and listen in particular for a stoppage of breathing or a jagged, loud, restart of breathing/gasping off and on during the night. Numerous stoppages of breathing cause the blood pressure to spike, heart arrhythmias, and can lead to fluid back up in the lungs etc.
I’m sorry, I hope this isn’t too morbid, but my heart just goes out to anyone else that may lose someone they love so unnecessarily.
My deepest gratitude for your friendship, camaraderie, and exchanging pearls of wisdom with Brass Napoleon over the years and for your beautiful tributes to him.
Debbie Overmann
And I'm heartbroken all over again.

Thank you Littlestown for sharing this with us. Please thank Debbie for us as well.
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
Thank you to CivilWarTalk Forum, from Ron's sister ...

Thank you so much for your outpouring of condolences for Ron, aka Brass Napoleon. They mean so, so much to our family and I’ve printed them all out and will treasure them always. KansasFreestater, you moved me to tears with your eloquent posts.
And Unionblue I absolutely loved what you said, “And there is the truth, my friends. No matter how miffed we may get with one another, no matter how many times we disagree, as Drew said, we should "hug" one another every day because we simply do not know when we will be called away. To ALL of the members here, friend, and sometimes foe, we must never forget we are just folks, talking about our favorite topic, the Civil War. My "hug" goes out to each and everyone of you and I am glad we have all had a chance to talk, argue, disagree, and BE with one another.”

I could almost hear Ron cheering from heaven above when I first read that Unionblue.

So many postings and so many pulled at my heart. Thank you to all for taking the time to send condolences to us at this difficult time.
Ron loved the CivilWarTalk forum!

Here’s some snippets from emails he’s sent me over the years in which he’s talked about the forum:
It's been an interesting couple of weeks here. The Gettysburg trip was really awesome. It was great to finally meet many of the people I've been conversing with in that online forum for years, including even some of the people who I've disagreed with. We got some really great tours of the battlefield too. Then yesterday the OHC had its annual docent's field trip. We went to Johnson's Island, in Lake Erie off of Sandusky, which was the site of a Civil War POW camp for Confederate officers. They're doing archaeology work there to uncover the remnants of the camp, which is normally closed to the public, but we got a guided tour from the guy who's leading the effort. So that was really cool.

And this concerning FarawayFriend:
The forum member from Germany who came to Gettsyburg saw I was wearing a geocaching shirt and she said she was interested in getting started. So I gave her some encouraging words (and a few discouraging ones too, haha) and she sent me a message saying that she created an account and found her first cache.

And this from the Summer of 2015:
I have a great opportunity for a battlefield tour in September. One of the most renowned and respected Civil War battle experts and authors is a member of the Civil War internet discussion forum that I'm on, and he's offered to give a free tour of the Brandy Station battlefield to anyone who's interested. That's near Culpeper, Virginia. I've been by the battlefield several times, but there's nothing marked there so there was nothing for me to see. But it was the largest cavalry battle in the Western Hemisphere, so having an expert to guide us there will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will also be nice to meet some of the forum members in person.
And thank you, thank you, thank you to Littlestown for starting this thread and letting me know about it to help ease my pain and so I could acknowledge all of you whose lives Ron touched. Littlestown and Ron have been friends for many years sharing many interests and adventures together and she has helped me greatly in the grieving process as we share our memories about Ron.

And finally, just to pass along some info and hoping to raise awareness. Ron passed away in the early morning hours on June 23 from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The last two weeks of his life he was waking up with chest pain in the middle of the night that would subside if he got up and sat in a recliner and breathed deeply for a while. He went to the emergency room on June 10 and the EKG came back basically normal. He was in the process of having more medical testing done and everything was coming back normal or near normal.
And by day, he was still working and hiking and biking etc.
With hindsight, it now appears Ron had severe sleep apnea in the end which caused his heart to enlarge and fluid to back up in his lungs (this was discovered only after he died.) The most extensive damage happened in just two weeks’ time (because the EKG on June 10th was basically normal.) I am so heartbroken that I was so ignorant about sleep apnea and so wish I could turn back the clock and make sure he got a CPAP machine that would have given him many more years of vibrant life.
Please listen to your loved one’s breathing at night, and listen in particular for a stoppage of breathing or a jagged, loud, restart of breathing/gasping off and on during the night. Numerous stoppages of breathing cause the blood pressure to spike, heart arrhythmias, and can lead to fluid back up in the lungs etc.
I’m sorry, I hope this isn’t too morbid, but my heart just goes out to anyone else that may lose someone they love so unnecessarily.
My deepest gratitude for your friendship, camaraderie, and exchanging pearls of wisdom with Brass Napoleon over the years and for your beautiful tributes to him.
Debbie Overmann

I was out of town for a couple of days so have just seen this. Thanks for posting it. I'm glad his wife and family got to see how much we thought of Ron. I had no idea that sleep apnea could cause something like that in such a short time period. Seems to me people live with that for years. And he'd gone to get checked out and was told he was OK. Really, even more tragic in my eyes as it seems like he should have been able to get diagnosed and treated; not like getting hit by a bus.

Anyway, thanks again for passing on Debbie's words. Very nice of her to share those with us too.
 

Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
I want to report that I'd made a modest contribution to the Oberlin Heritage Center in the Brass Napoleon's memory. I've now got a very nice thank you note from the OHC's executive director.

She states that contributions are being dedicated to the preservation of historical sites and I am absolutely on board with that.
 

W. Richardson

Captain
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Location
Mt. Gilead, North Carolina
Nooooooooooooooo

Oh God !! I have just now seen this. I have been away for the most part of the last 2 months

NO NO NO !!!!

Ron was my brother here.............we battled back and forth on issues but we were and are friends !!! I met him once, last Sept. at the 2016 September to Remember at Gettysburg. Ron was a special dear friend.........

Rest in Peace my dear brother...........

Right now I just can't do this...................

Respectfully, and in remembrance of my CWT brother...Ron AKA Brass_Napoleon.
William
Brass.jpg
 

MattL

Guest
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Location
SF Bay Area
Just noticed this now too. I was wondering where his posts had gone :frown:

Deepest condolence, he will be sorely missed. I so greatly respected him. So thorough, so even handed and detailed. I always treasured his contributions the most and probably learned the most from him. I so admired him.

We had agreed and had such positive back and forth's on pretty much all posts, our final interaction was of disagreement and misunderstanding.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Location
Hannover, Germany
We had agreed and had such positive back and forth's on pretty much all posts, our final interaction was of disagreement

@MattL don't torture yourself. One disagreement cannot ruin a friendship. I'm absolutely sure Ron knew that on most parts you agreed. A different opinion on something is normal. Ron knew this, we all know this. Don't let that one quarrel you maybe had cast a shadow on the memory of many moments of understanding and agreement.

Edit:
I was on vacation when you, @Littlestown had forwarded the letter of Ron's sister Debbie and somehow I even missed the alert. So I have read it just now. Now, like many of you I'm heartbroken again and feel extremely honored that Ron had noticed me. He was special. And thank you for warning us about sleep apnoea. I had never thought that such a sportive and fit man like Ron would suffer from it!
Rest in peace, Ron. We'll meet again. You just went first, we all will follow when our time has come.
 
Last edited:

W. Richardson

Captain
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Location
Mt. Gilead, North Carolina
Just noticed this now too. I was wondering where his posts had gone :frown:

Deepest condolence, he will be sorely missed. I so greatly respected him. So thorough, so even handed and detailed. I always treasured his contributions the most and probably learned the most from him. I so admired him.

We had agreed and had such positive back and forth's on pretty much all posts, our final interaction was of disagreement and misunderstanding.


MattL one disagreement meant nothing to Ron, rest assured my friend it was no issue with Ron. He and I often disagreed, we discussed and argued passionately, but were good friends, he was a CWT brother. I met Ron but one time but that one time cemented a friendship. I will miss him terribly...............But he smiles down on us all, daily, in love, and pain free. Ron has made that journey home, and one day we all will rejoice with him again.

Respectfully, and in remembrance of
Ron "Brass Napoleon" Gorman,
William
Brass.jpg
 

War Horse

Captain
Member of the Year
Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Location
Lexington, SC
Thank you to CivilWarTalk Forum, from Ron's sister ...

Thank you so much for your outpouring of condolences for Ron, aka Brass Napoleon. They mean so, so much to our family and I’ve printed them all out and will treasure them always. KansasFreestater, you moved me to tears with your eloquent posts.
And Unionblue I absolutely loved what you said, “And there is the truth, my friends. No matter how miffed we may get with one another, no matter how many times we disagree, as Drew said, we should "hug" one another every day because we simply do not know when we will be called away. To ALL of the members here, friend, and sometimes foe, we must never forget we are just folks, talking about our favorite topic, the Civil War. My "hug" goes out to each and everyone of you and I am glad we have all had a chance to talk, argue, disagree, and BE with one another.”

I could almost hear Ron cheering from heaven above when I first read that Unionblue.

So many postings and so many pulled at my heart. Thank you to all for taking the time to send condolences to us at this difficult time.
Ron loved the CivilWarTalk forum!

Here’s some snippets from emails he’s sent me over the years in which he’s talked about the forum:
It's been an interesting couple of weeks here. The Gettysburg trip was really awesome. It was great to finally meet many of the people I've been conversing with in that online forum for years, including even some of the people who I've disagreed with. We got some really great tours of the battlefield too. Then yesterday the OHC had its annual docent's field trip. We went to Johnson's Island, in Lake Erie off of Sandusky, which was the site of a Civil War POW camp for Confederate officers. They're doing archaeology work there to uncover the remnants of the camp, which is normally closed to the public, but we got a guided tour from the guy who's leading the effort. So that was really cool.

And this concerning FarawayFriend:
The forum member from Germany who came to Gettsyburg saw I was wearing a geocaching shirt and she said she was interested in getting started. So I gave her some encouraging words (and a few discouraging ones too, haha) and she sent me a message saying that she created an account and found her first cache.

And this from the Summer of 2015:
I have a great opportunity for a battlefield tour in September. One of the most renowned and respected Civil War battle experts and authors is a member of the Civil War internet discussion forum that I'm on, and he's offered to give a free tour of the Brandy Station battlefield to anyone who's interested. That's near Culpeper, Virginia. I've been by the battlefield several times, but there's nothing marked there so there was nothing for me to see. But it was the largest cavalry battle in the Western Hemisphere, so having an expert to guide us there will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will also be nice to meet some of the forum members in person.
And thank you, thank you, thank you to Littlestown for starting this thread and letting me know about it to help ease my pain and so I could acknowledge all of you whose lives Ron touched. Littlestown and Ron have been friends for many years sharing many interests and adventures together and she has helped me greatly in the grieving process as we share our memories about Ron.

And finally, just to pass along some info and hoping to raise awareness. Ron passed away in the early morning hours on June 23 from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The last two weeks of his life he was waking up with chest pain in the middle of the night that would subside if he got up and sat in a recliner and breathed deeply for a while. He went to the emergency room on June 10 and the EKG came back basically normal. He was in the process of having more medical testing done and everything was coming back normal or near normal.
And by day, he was still working and hiking and biking etc.
With hindsight, it now appears Ron had severe sleep apnea in the end which caused his heart to enlarge and fluid to back up in his lungs (this was discovered only after he died.) The most extensive damage happened in just two weeks’ time (because the EKG on June 10th was basically normal.) I am so heartbroken that I was so ignorant about sleep apnea and so wish I could turn back the clock and make sure he got a CPAP machine that would have given him many more years of vibrant life.
Please listen to your loved one’s breathing at night, and listen in particular for a stoppage of breathing or a jagged, loud, restart of breathing/gasping off and on during the night. Numerous stoppages of breathing cause the blood pressure to spike, heart arrhythmias, and can lead to fluid back up in the lungs etc.
I’m sorry, I hope this isn’t too morbid, but my heart just goes out to anyone else that may lose someone they love so unnecessarily.
My deepest gratitude for your friendship, camaraderie, and exchanging pearls of wisdom with Brass Napoleon over the years and for your beautiful tributes to him.
Debbie Overmann
OMG what a tremendous account. It brings Ron's passing right back to the surface.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Thinking of Ron today, and how we met only once. At the one and only meeting I knew, I thought there would be times for more meetings.....................

I was wrong :frown:

Respectfully, and in remembrance
of Ron "Brass Napoleon" Gorman,
William
View attachment 152149

We know not what will come.

Each and every day, I am surprised that I awake to a new day, and am so thankful for.

Ron's passing just impresses me with the gift each and every one of us has of having the chance to know one another, to talk and debate with one another, even to the point of anger or joy, for we know we are alive to feel such.

Ron gave each of us knowledge, history, humor, and friendship, the greatest gifts he could bestow on us all.

I am forever greatful to him for those gifts.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

chellers

Lt. Colonel
Retired Moderator
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Location
East Texas
We know not what will come.

Each and every day, I am surprised that I awake to a new day, and am so thankful for.

Ron's passing just impresses me with the gift each and every one of us has of having the chance to know one another, to talk and debate with one another, even to the point of anger or joy, for we know we are alive to feel such.

Ron gave each of us knowledge, history, humor, and friendship, the greatest gifts he could bestow on us all.

I am forever greatful to him for those gifts.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
Amen, Unionblue.
 
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