Telling War Stories, 95 years ago

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John Hartwell

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[Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.]
G.A.R. vets P.R. Barker and John Houder from Fitzgerald, Georgia, tell war stories to kids on historic Boston Common in August, 1924. The 58th National Encampment of the G.A.R. was held in Boston that year, August 10-15. Over 65,000 veterans attended from across the country.
 

John Hartwell

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The G.A.R. National encampments, held each year in August or September, were always huge news all across the country, but especially in the local press of whatever city they were meeting in. There were always long articles with little sketches or quotes from the veterans' recollections and experiences. They make great reading.
 

Seduzal

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Just wondering! What if those kids that were in that photo below are still alive what stories would be told about that day!



View attachment 323127
[Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.]
G.A.R. vets P.R. Barker and John Houder from Fitzgerald, Georgia, tell war stories to kids on historic Boston Common in August, 1924. The 58th National Encampment of the G.A.R. was held in Boston that year, August 10-15. Over 65,000 veterans attended from across the country.
 

Lubliner

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They are in rapt attention to the story he is telling. All of them are noticeably affected by it.
I once found a set of books in the Chattanooga Public Library that published the ceremonial dedication for the Chickamauga Battlefield Land. That gathering was immense, and a number of stories were told by multiple speakers. Maybe it is a Georgia thing, this deep-seated need to honor their comrades fallen during the war. They took a pretty hard punch by Sherman's men.
Lubliner.
 

caralyn

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I was just thinking about that last night. When I should have been sleeping that song, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," by The Band kept going through my head.
I Love that song. "The Band was not trying to take sides," I read. Robbie Robertson wanted "to pay all due respects to the events that ripped a nation apart and not siding with any of the parties but rather describe the sentiment and human suffering of a confederate soldier at the end of and shortly after the war." I think that song was in my head off and on from three to five oclock. LOL wonder what that means.
 

Mrs. V

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I often wish I could have heard the old timers speak of their experiences. I know the fascination I felt hearing both my Father in Law and his Brother in law speak of their time in the armed forces during WW2. (Merch Marine and Navy respectively). They were more open with my son, and after a few reunions more open to the memories with the rest of us. They were able to tell their stories, make peace with the bad memories, and celebrate the good ones.
 

Kurt G

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I was just thinking about that last night. When I should have been sleeping that song, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," by The Band kept going through my head.
I Love that song. "The Band was not trying to take sides," I read. Robbie Robertson wanted "to pay all due respects to the events that ripped a nation apart and not siding with any of the parties but rather describe the sentiment and human suffering of a confederate soldier at the end of and shortly after the war." I think that song was in my head off and on from three to five oclock. LOL wonder what that means.
I liked the Joan Baez version as well . Not the most accurate song though . What was Robert E Lee doing in Tennessee ?
 

DanSBHawk

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View attachment 323127
[Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.]
G.A.R. vets P.R. Barker and John Houder from Fitzgerald, Georgia, tell war stories to kids on historic Boston Common in August, 1924. The 58th National Encampment of the G.A.R. was held in Boston that year, August 10-15. Over 65,000 veterans attended from across the country.
Cool photo. Fitzgerald, Georgia was settled by Union veterans and their families after the war.
 

lelliott19

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Cool photo. Fitzgerald, Georgia was settled by Union veterans and their families after the war.
Back in 2015, I posted a thread on Fitzgerald, GA that includes a photo of Members of the GAR Colony Post #14 ca. 1895 and some info about the development of the "Colony City." The streets were named for Union and Confederate notables: seven of the 14 North-South streets were named Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Thomas, Logan, Meade and Hooker. And the other 7 were Hill, Bragg, Gordon, Longstreet, Jackson, Johnston and Lee. A hotel was built there - they named it the Lee-Grant hotel. Here's the link https://civilwartalk.com/threads/post-reconstruction-reconciliation-fitzgerald-ga.114169/#post-1131227
 
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Lubliner

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Back in 2015, I posted a thread on Fitzgerald, GA that includes a photo of Members of the GAR Colony Post #14 ca. 1895 and some info about the development of the "Colony City." The streets were named for Union and Confederate notables: seven of the 14 North-South streets were named Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Thomas, Logan, Meade and Hooker. And the other 7 were Hill, Bragg, Gordon, Longstreet, Jackson, Johnston and Lee. A hotel was built there - they named it the Lee-Grant hotel. Here's the link https://civilwartalk.com/threads/post-reconstruction-reconciliation-fitzgerald-ga.114169/#post-1131227
This all shows a definite interest in never letting any forget. They did well, and just as in Olympic Games, we carry the torch onward.
Lubliner.
 

Goodpal

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View attachment 323127
[Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.]
G.A.R. vets P.R. Barker and John Houder from Fitzgerald, Georgia, tell war stories to kids on historic Boston Common in August, 1924. The 58th National Encampment of the G.A.R. was held in Boston that year, August 10-15. Over 65,000 veterans attended from across the country.
Notice the little girl with the Dorothy Hamill haircut!
 

Will Carry

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And the usual amazing accounts- just a few here.

View attachment 324854

View attachment 324855
This is great stuff! Thanks for posting it! My Great Grandpappy, Isaac Mason, was running through the swamps when the 7th Mass. Light artillery fired that last shot. He had to have retreated through Stockton Alabama on his way to Citronelle where he was captured. After the war he settled in Stockton. He built the "Old Home Place" out of two slave cabins. My mother and six brothers and sisters grew up during the depression in that old house. It still stands to this day under the care of his grandsons. They say on a dark night you can still hear the cannon from Fort Blakley. Ghost cannon, they call it.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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This is great stuff! Thanks for posting it! My Great Grandpappy, Isaac Mason, was running through the swamps when the 7th Mass. Light artillery fired that last shot. He had to have retreated through Stockton Alabama on his way to Citronelle where he was captured. After the war he settled in Stockton. He built the "Old Home Place" out of two slave cabins. My mother and six brothers and sisters grew up during the depression in that old house. It still stands to this day under the care of his grandsons. They say on a dark night you can still hear the cannon from Fort Blakley. Ghost cannon, they call it.

OK, you can't stop there. That's one of those stories that's like Lay Potato chips, no one eat just one? Love to see the Old Home Place- talk about history!
 

gjpratt

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My father's family had relatives who lived close to the Tennessee Confederate Soldiers' home on the Hermitage property. When he was a boy he would send time the old soldiers when visiting his relatives. He told me many times about the spellbinding stories they would tell -- which is why he kept going back. He was was also fond of telling me that when I shook his hand it was the same one that shook the hand of a civil war veteran. He was born in 1920. My wife's grandmother grew up in Virginia. Her grandfather was very active in the UCV and she grew up around Confederate veterans who were constantly in the house visiting and reminiscing with her grandfather. She was also fascinated by their war stories. To my permanent dismay, she told me that she wished my wife and I had met a year or two earlier. The family had just dumped all her grandfather's civil war items -- uniforms, guns, swords, a flag and a trunk full of war time documents -- in bulk with a dealer because no one in the family wanted them.This was the mid-70s.
 

Will Carry

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OK, you can't stop there. That's one of those stories that's like Lay Potato chips, no one eat just one? Love to see the Old Home Place- talk about history!
OK I hacked this out at work and have not checked it for errors so it's going to be rough. I want to write this into a book. I have written stories for American Whitewater magazine but that was a long time ago.

I am trying to find a photo of the old home place. My grandfather, Pvt Isaac Mason's son, was a very cultured man. He graduated from the University of Chicago (where fun goes to die) and worked on some early experiments trying to measure the speed of light. He was a skilled pianist and composed the Alma Mater for Memphis State University. In Stockton Alabama he was the principle of Stockton School. He started a Garden Club and a club for women which centered around the three things women should study. I am not sure what that was but poetry was one, cooking? When my mother was 4, grandmother died from a kidney infection, leaving grandfather with seven children. He hired Sis Rose (Sister Rose), a black woman, to take care of the children. He paid here $2 dollars and fifty cents a week plus food. She lived in a cabin across the Sorghum Field. Mother at 4 and Uncle Brown at 2 knew only Sis Rose as a mother. When Uncle Brown was ready to start school, Sis Rose insisted on taking him. "You got no business at that white school!" her peers said but she insisted. When poor little Brown Mason got to school they began saying "Your Momma is a N%%$r!" They never stopped picking on Brown. His big brother Uncle Doc (Isaac David Mason) had to fight to keep the family pride. They say he could whip any man in the county. He was a boxer in college and roomed with Gov. George Wallace.

Brown Mason went to college at 15 and became a prominent pediatrician in New Orleans. He would never go to the French Quarter but would drop us off if we wanted to go. He was the pediatrician for some of the mafia families in New Orleans but he drove an old beat up Impala and wore old suits. One night he had to make a house call and when he drove up to the gate they stopped him and wouldn't let him in. The guard got on the intercom and said "Hey there is a man out here who says he's a doctor but he don't look like one." The voice came back "Is her wearing a cheap suit and driving an old car?" "Yeah dat's right!" The voice said "That's doctor Brown, let him in."

When Brown was on his death bed a couple of years ago, he told me about Sis Rose and his first day at school. I told him I wanted to see Sister Rose's grave at Stockton Cemetery. He said it was in the black section of the cemetery under a big oak tree. "You can't miss it." So I went to the cemetery and all the graves looked the same! There was no black or white or brown section! I guess when you die, there is no race ....only a soul. I miss my mother and her brothers and sisters. My dad died when I was young and my uncles tried to make me in to a good southern white boy. They tried to get me to hate black people but I saw right through it. "Red and Yellow, Black and White, they are precious to his sight. Jesus loves the children of the world." That's what I learned in church and it stuck with me. I failed to be indoctrinated into a racist culture that was part of the past, not the future.

My mother was sent to nursing school with the U.S. Army in WWII. When they dropped the bomb, the war ended and she was given a choice of taking a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant or taking her nursing degree and going home. She met a young med student at Emory Hospital in Atlanta. They were married and had a dashingly handsome son...............:wink:
 
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Patrick H

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My dad was born in 1906 and grew up in the same town where I live. In recent years I have often wondered how many Civil War veterans he knew when he was a kid. Undoubtedly, he knew many, but he never told me about any of them. Maybe the older gents didn't talk about their experiences very often. The one Civil War story he did tell me involved his father, who remembered an incident from his own boyhood (my grandfather was born in 1857.) I know we had at least one big GAR event in Boonville. I don't know the year offhand, but I've seen a picture of it. It might have been a strictly local gathering or perhaps a state gathering.
 
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