Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
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.
On article on policemen, explains his ( they were all men, in 1865 ) duties. An entire section is devoted to Lost Children.
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.
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.
This story, same. Misplaced? Well, with help.
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.
And it's ok to smile, knowing she was in a good pair of hands. Bless all of them.