Who Here At CWT Shouldn't Be? " There But For The Grace.... Go I "

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#21
View attachment 290739
Brandy Station, Harper's Weekly. Between Brandy, Aldie, Fairfield and a few more bloodbaths, really should not BE here. Gene pool could have ended during any of them. Great great grandparent somehow escaped the war's burial trenches- 600,000 plus didn't. Two others emerged if not unscathed at least able to marry and add blossoms to the family tree. Really, we just shouldn't BE here.

Not narrow escapes although they'd be welcome. Occurs to me frequently how many of us nearly missed being born by virtue of gene pools marching off to this war. It's not a genuine ' What If ' wondering how many members CWT would count 150 years later had a soldier not been with Picket's men July 3rd, 1863 or part of those endless waves Grant threw against Confederate troops at Cold Harbor. Phantom members sometimes feel a little real, thinking of those who never came home 150 years ago.

Really, how many of us are only here because a forever unknown marksmen missed, or wounded instead of killed, or something enabled them to escape ( or survive ) typhoid, cholera, measles, pneumonia. Examples, had three reasons I wouldn't be writing this, that all 3 great great grandfathers in uniform emerged from the war is a flaming miracle. 6th US Cavalry, 50th PA, 126th OVI- last two were at Spotsylvania, wounded within a day of each other. Gives me chills.

Ever think about that? That but for really, God's grace, luck, quick thinking and plain, old happenstance- well, wouldn't be here.
I couldn't agree more!
 

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#23
My wife's great-great grandfather, Thomas Alexander Mercer, served in the 17th Alabama. He survived the Atlanta Campaign, the Battle of Franklin and the Battle of Nashville, where he was captured and sent to Camp Douglas until the end of the war. He lived to bring his extended family to Texas where he prospered and blessed me with his great-great grand daughter.
 
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#24
My great-great grandfather, Thomas Ingenhuett, a German Texan, fled his home in Comfort, Texas, to join the Union Army. He served as a 1st Sergeant in the 1st Texas Volunteer Cavalry, U.S. While part of an expedition that occupied the lower Rio Grande valley, his company was attacked by overwhelming numbers at the Rancho Las Rucias. Driven from the rancho, he helped cover his men's retreat to the Rio Grande, where some tried to swim the river: the rest surrendered. He made it across but collapsed and was tended by friendly Mexicans. When almost recovered and preparing to return to his regiment, he was stabbed in the back by a "Texas renegade" and nearly died. By the time he recovered, the Union Army had left Texas and returned to New Orleans. Months later he was finally able rejoin his regiment, which had listed him as a deserter. Returning to Comfort he became a pillar of the little community and was responsible for founding the town's first brewery. How's that for a happy ending!
 

Story

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#25
Great Great Grandfather, Co E 1st SC (Orr's) enlisted 20 March 1862 and passed away (died from disease) on 4 Jan 1863 in Winchester Hospital (Guinea Station), VA.
@ 30 years old when he drew his last breath.
Left a 3 year old son as his only offspring, who had nine children - one of whom was my grandfather.
 
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alan polk

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#26
View attachment 290739
Brandy Station, Harper's Weekly. Between Brandy, Aldie, Fairfield and a few more bloodbaths, really should not BE here. Gene pool could have ended during any of them. Great great grandparent somehow escaped the war's burial trenches- 600,000 plus didn't. Two others emerged if not unscathed at least able to marry and add blossoms to the family tree. Really, we just shouldn't BE here.

Not narrow escapes although they'd be welcome. Occurs to me frequently how many of us nearly missed being born by virtue of gene pools marching off to this war. It's not a genuine ' What If ' wondering how many members CWT would count 150 years later had a soldier not been with Picket's men July 3rd, 1863 or part of those endless waves Grant threw against Confederate troops at Cold Harbor. Phantom members sometimes feel a little real, thinking of those who never came home 150 years ago.

Really, how many of us are only here because a forever unknown marksmen missed, or wounded instead of killed, or something enabled them to escape ( or survive ) typhoid, cholera, measles, pneumonia. Examples, had three reasons I wouldn't be writing this, that all 3 great great grandfathers in uniform emerged from the war is a flaming miracle. 6th US Cavalry, 50th PA, 126th OVI- last two were at Spotsylvania, wounded within a day of each other. Gives me chills.

Ever think about that? That but for really, God's grace, luck, quick thinking and plain, old happenstance- well, wouldn't be here.
Interesting thread as usual JPK.

I think about it too but from a different angle sometimes. I often ponder over those people - thousands and thousands of them, those generations of souls who never came into existence. Folks I might have come to know, might have roomed in college with, met at a family reunion, worked with; or, perhaps, souls I might have actually argued with on this very Civil War Talk. Not to be.

All that potential existence waiting for expression, just as we were waiting.

Merely apparent, relying on that host who was shouldering his musket before advancing across that field. I think about them sometimes - These ghosts of sorts who, unlike us, never made it simply because their host did not make it across that field. Yet they had the same potential to become flesh and blood and to multiply and be measured by the linking of generations. What could have been, instead, was snuffed out by some minnie ball, some shell fragment or some devious pathogen or germ 160 years ago.

We became, they did not. And that’s weird.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#27
Well whew. Thought the question would be answered with crickets, you know? " Oh look, JPK finally lost the rest of her mind ". That.

Read these in a continual state of chills- underlines that ' thing ', esoteric as it may be, seems important. @diane, you'd be the most unlikely collection of genes to be here, gee whiz, hadn't thought of who survived long enough to reproduce. Or get to the war. THEN considering those gazillion lost to disease from the time the first European sneezed on this continent ( throwing in Pizarro's germy pigs ), makes the odds more massive.

Now seems a greater fluke, when our Revolution comes into it ( thank you, hadn't gone that far ). TWO Civil War grgrgreats were grandsons of Revolutionary soldiers. Another direct, heck, was at Culloden so the whole concept makes us being here unlikely.

Mule Shoe, unscathed? Just wow.
 

Story

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#29
Merely apparent, relying on that host who was shouldering his musket before advancing across that field. I think about them sometimes - These ghosts of sorts who, unlike us, never made it simply because their host did not make it across that field. Yet they had the same potential to become flesh and blood and to multiply and be measured by the linking of generations. What could have been, instead, was snuffed out by some minnie ball, some shell fragment or some devious pathogen or germ 160 years ago.
Ever see this?

Grim joke: bunch of guys in a bar, talking about the 'two most terrifying words you can hear".

Finally, the old guy in the corner softly chimes in.

'Fix - Bayonets'.
 
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#30
Yes, Annie, as you know from reading my book, I have "thought about that, but for the grace of God, I would not have been born. My twice-great grandfather's regiment, the 27th Alabama Infantry, was virtually destroyed again and again, and those handful of men from three to seven other regiments joined to what became known as the Consolidated Regiment. Oh, and my great grandfather his son was just a toddler in the wilderness when the War hit, his family pillaged, and his father conscripted. Again, but for the grace of God, the lad did not starve or succumb to accident or disease. Post War, he did not fare much better, when a jealous man went gunning for him wild-west style. Again he was saved from death, by his brother's quick draw. The whole lot of them, three brothers and a father, founded churches and became gospel ministers post war. It is a rare miracle, my life. :angel:
 

Podad

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#32
I am among our members who fit this description. Here is a link to a sort of similar thread I did a while back. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/i-may-owe-my-existence-to-gen-dan-sickles.124424/#post-1328812

I descend directly from 6 Confederate veterans. 3 of these did not father the children I descended from until after the war. The grace of God saw them through
Fast forward 80 years and my father is in the middle of hell in the South Pacific during WW2. He didn’t get a scratch. I was born 10 years later.

Great thread!!!!!
 
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#33
I also fit this description. I have five direct ancestors who fought in the War, all Union. 3 of them already had my ancestor, but the other 2 did not yet. 1 of them, Sgt. William Myers, was in the 10th US Infantry and saw combat in the Peninsula Campaign, 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, and probably Shepardstown Ford. He was discharged soon after for disabilility, and about 1 1/2 years later my ancestor was born. He would later reenlist in 1865 in the 26th New York Cav., and made Sgt. there, but the unit did not see combat.

My other ancestor who had children after the war was Cpl. Albert Terwilliger of the 9th New York Heavy Artillery. He enlisted at 17 years 4 days before his birthday in Aug. 1862. He saw combat at Cold Harbor, where the regiment was among those who charged. I will letter the regimental service record speak now:
Garrison duty in the Defences of Washington, D. C., till May, 1864, during which time built and garrisoned Forts Mansfield, Bayard, Gaines and Foote. Relieved from garrison duty and ordered to join Army of the Potomac in the field May 18, 1864. Rapidan Campaign May-June. North Anna River May 26. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. Before Petersburg June 18-19. Siege of Petersburg June 18-July 6 Jerusalem Plank Road, Weldon Railroad, June 22-23. Moved to Baltimore, Md., July 6-8. Battle of Monocacy, Md., July 9. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 7-November 28 . Near Charlestown August 21-22. Charlestown August 29. Battle of Winchester September 19. Fisher's Hill September 22. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. Duty at Kernstown till December. Moved to Washington, D. C., December 3; thence to Petersburg, Va. Siege of Petersburg, Va., December, 1864, to April, 1865. Fort Fisher, Petersburg, March 25, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2. Amelia Springs April 5. Sailor's Creek April 6. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. Expedition to Danville April 17-27. Duty there and at Richmond till June. Moved to Washington, D. C. Corps Review June 8. Consolidated to four Companies June 27, 1865, and transferred to 2nd NYHA. Regiment lost during service 6 Officers and 198 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 254 Enlisted men by disease. Total 461.

He narrowly missed being number 462 as he was wounded in the shoulder at 3rd Winchester but was not sent to a hospital so it was probably just a graze. A couple more inches and I would not be here. He was mustered out July 6, 1865, along with most of the rest of the regiment, the others being transferred. Even creepier, he was from Michigan, and only ended up in New York because he was staying with a first cousin on his mothers side. Had he remained in Michigan he would probably have ended up in the 4th Michigan Infantry, as he lived where they recruited, and 2 of his first cousins on his father's side were in the regiment. One ended up becoming a color guard and was shot in the head at the Wilderness.

The other 3 already had my ancestor but either way I think the effects of them being killed on the family would have had the same result of nonexistence. They were in the 4th Illinois Cav. then transfer to 12th Illinois Cav., the 42nd Illinois Infantry, and the 60th Illinois Infantry.
 

Zella

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#35
:rofl: My great-uncle, who survived riding with Forrest also, was a hellfire and brimstone Baptist preacher who travelled the South distributing the Gospel, but mainly in Texas. He used to put a pistol on the pulpit beside the Bible and any rowdy cowboy who busted into the meeting house was likely to find out first hand what was yonder over Jordan!
:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

This may have been the religious experience needed for some of my hooligan ancestors. :wink:
 

Zella

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#36
I'd have to double-check my records, but I think most of the CW ancestors I'm descended from had their kids shortly before the war/before they enlisted, though there are a couple of exceptions. The lady in my avatar was born right at the start of the war and before her dad enlisted.

I do have some collateral ancestors (mainly cousins) who didn't survive the war. Mainly young single men with no children who died from disease, and it has occurred to me before that I probably wouldn't be around if were more closely related to them.
 
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#39
I think about what would’ve happened had my relative survived Gettysburg, but he was married for like 6-7 years before the war and had no kids. He was also 27 when he died. I’m gonna jump to the worse case scenario and assume infertility. I’m not sure what the reactions to that sort of thing in the time period were, but I’m sure it was sad as it is today. I’m here because of his sister, who died 15 years after learning her brother was killed, but had quite a few kids. His other sibling (brother) died a year later than she did, I don’t know if that line survived. I think the only line that survived was the sister, my 4th great-grandmother. Guess not having a direct CW ancestor brought me luck haha.

Also I have RevWar grandparents... eerie to think about not existing if they died... or at least, not being *me.*
 
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