War's Vanished Children, Lost In Time

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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child missing cover.jpg

One of the typically endearing illustrations during the war, a pampered, treasured child surrounded by wealth, symbolically protected by a large dog. It's a sweet image made bittersweet by a Dickensian under current we do not speak of 150 years later.

A simply hair raising story, related in a soldier's letter home tells of a screaming baby smack between the lines of battle, bullets passing overhead. One man risked his life scooping up the little thing. Head scratcher? What in blazes was a baby doing in the middle of a battlefield? Fall out of someone's pocket unnoticed? The little girl, incredibly unhurt, a regimental wonder and pet to men starved for family. A terrified, vastly relieved mother did show up, claiming the baby amidst the usual flood fo tears. Terrific. What was never explained, however, was how her baby became lost in the middle of a battlefield in the first place?

The war was not helpful.
children missing.JPG


On article on policemen, explains his ( they were all men, in 1865 ) duties. An entire section is devoted to Lost Children.
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There's more, with some reassurances on how many were eventually reclaimed- but statistics on how many were not and sent to the work houses. That meant they worked.

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Godey's, Demorest's, even Harper's Weekly published images of the children we were able to cherish- and thank goodness we could. Children are children. We owe all of them this idyllic time in safety and wonder. 150 years later it is far too easy, missing those not pictured. Well, they were missing.

Looking into the story, we misplaced children on a rather regular basis. A lot of them. Little careless somewhere, Gee Whiz. Despite a plethora of gooey sentimentalism in publications, it appears it depended on which children could afford the luxury of not being put into the work houses, when found by passers by. Heck, one company, it was discovered, held these children hostage. Free labor. If a parent wished to get them back? Fork over the dollars.

It was not a cuddly era. This does seem to be a true case, and a genuine scam- long threads are a snore, I know. Getting a good eyeful of what mankind is capable of means we learn from History, you know? And see it clearly. This was crazy although black children could also bought, if their parents had the cash.
child missing 1862 1.JPG
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This story, same. Misplaced? Well, with help.

children missing 1865.JPG


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In the interests of not beating the proverbial horse into a more-dead state, will stop here. There are so many more stories. It is simply not possible to always remain positive when relating History except to require more from us, than anyone apparently did from our ancestors.

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And it's ok to smile, knowing she was in a good pair of hands. Bless all of them.
 

GS

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Bless all of them indeed! What a horror for a child living in that era. You go out to play in the lane, someone scoops you up and hauls you off to a workhouse, where your parents have to buy you back. The perpetrator got paid double: from the product of the working child, and then "ransom" from parents. Sounds familiar, though in today's "sweat shops" the parents aren't able to buy their children back.
 

Mrs. V

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I knew about workhouses, as well as the poor house. And everyone knows that children back in the day worked. It was a very different mentality. Women and children were commodities to some, and very much treated that way. Not that I approve mind you. I can’t imagine just leaving a child with a neighbor, only to have them lose the kid! Yeep. Makes me shudder to think of it.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Not to downplay the absolute horror and tragedy, but was this happening more in the cities? Seems to me that a hue and cry would go up in the country...from a girl in the country now.

*mutters All the more reason to stay away from the cities....!
Ha! We're so funny, country ( woods ) and isolation dwellers- I'm with you but have friends who think we've lost our minds. Only a city's hectic, vibrant atmosphere will make them feel they're home. They'll visit then flee, same the other way.

I'm not a researcher, so no idea if it's correct- found no workhouses in the rural areas but it didn't stop a war? There's a thread somewhere on one of the forts being closed. War orphans had been housed there. Despite pleas from caretakers, out went the orphans. One surfaced years later to tell her horrendous story, OH my goodness! Some were put on trains with no adults and no real destination. some of those died, forgotten, some just vanished.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Bless all of them indeed! What a horror for a child living in that era. You go out to play in the lane, someone scoops you up and hauls you off to a workhouse, where your parents have to buy you back. The perpetrator got paid double: from the product of the working child, and then "ransom" from parents. Sounds familiar, though in today's "sweat shops" the parents aren't able to buy their children back.

Doesn't it sound so off the wall, it's impossible? I'm more than sure there were tireless advocates for change, not famous so we do not see them. That's what's so gosh darn weird. You know, we see so much compassion in era stories- Harriet Bayle was not singular, scooping up a young Confederate boy in Gettysburg, out of sheer compassion- mothers, right? This whole, other aspect of life in the era is baffling! Well, perhaps notsomuch, when plain, old money makes an appearance? That is where it's frightening.

I knew about workhouses, as well as the poor house. And everyone knows that children back in the day worked. It was a very different mentality. Women and children were commodities to some, and very much treated that way. Not that I approve mind you. I can’t imagine just leaving a child with a neighbor, only to have them lose the kid! Yeep. Makes me shudder to think of it.

Yes, good points, we do know these things but this odd ' thing ' persists where we just do not discuss it? Like it is normal to stick kids in factories. We did this to them until what, 1938, when Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act - fixed minimum ages of 16 for work during school hours, 14 for after school, and 18 for dangerous work. Heck, compulsory education was first instituted in the mid 1800's, in spots, to get the scaff and raff off the streets, if they wouldn't have the decency to work. Those rotten poor people were cluttering up the streets. I can source that but wish I just made it up.
 
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grace

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Ha! We're so funny, country ( woods ) and isolation dwellers- I'm with you but have friends who think we've lost our minds. Only a city's hectic, vibrant atmosphere will make them feel they're home. They'll visit then flee, same the other way.
.
I'm not too far out in the country, but I have friends who can't stand the farm. :giggle: If I ever go back to Boston, I'm making them drive!

Though farm kids had a lot of work at home waiting for them--something I'm going to be telling about in my impression story.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Looking around for Juneteenth stories, came across this rending account, an awful addition add to the thread.

child missing 1864 ohio title.JPG

From one of the many soldier/writers who kept in touch with the papers, this from an Ohio paper, 1864

child missing 1864 ohio.JPG
 
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