25 May 2015

Remembering My Fallen Ancestors

     My family has been lucky not to experience the loss of a soldier, sailor or marine since the days of the Civil War, though many have since fought for our country.  Since Memorial Day evolved from the Civil War, it seems fitting to remember those ancestors today.

     Private Wiley Powell was 42 years old when he enlisted in the 38th GA Infantry Regiment as a substitute.  I have to assume that either his family needed the money, or he supported the war effort and saw a financial opportunity.  Wiley fought at 2nd Manassas, Chancelorsville, Winchester, and Gettysburg.  From his service record, it seems that Wiley was often ill (chronic rheumatism, tuberculosis) and, on 14 January 1864, he succumbed to his illnesses at Hospital No 3 in Lynchburg, Virginia.   He is buried in Lynchburg at the Old City Cemetery.

     Franklin E Leaphart was 25 years old when he enlisted in 1861.  As a young father with two children, he must have been a supporter of the war.  He fought at Sharpsburg, Chancelorsville, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg.  He was promoted to 2nd Corporal in June of 1863 and later promoted 1st Corporal and then to Sergeant.  He was shot at the 3rd Battle of Winchester and was a prisoner at the US Depot Field Hospital in Winchester, Virginia.  He died of Dysentery there on 12 October 1864.  His burial location is unknown.

     Many other ancestors have fought in our country's wars, but have been lucky to survive.  Today we give thanks to those men and women, though it feels that no number of "thanks" will ever be enough.


Ruby Craft said...

We have been very fortunate. This post honoring our Fallen Heroes from the Civil War is very touching for me. Thank you for being our family historian and helping me to learn more about our ancestors and also honoring them by recording their lives so they are not forgotten.

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