Sunday, April 17, 2011

the Civil War -- from a more personal point of view

one of the most amazing things about doing family history is that you get a lot more personal view of the bigger picture

this week there have been a lot of things in the news about the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War

like one in seven people in this country, I have a direct line connection to someone that fought in that conflict

his name was Sloman White -- that's him there, sitting in the middle chair

his wife, Mathilda Caroline Earp White, is on his left -- his sons, Andrew Jackson and Thomas Benton (wish I knew which one was which) standing behind him and his youngest daughter, Tennessee is sitting there on his right

he volunteered to the Confederate army (and served in a unit from Arkansas under his brother-in-law) even though he was older than the age of the men who were being conscripted

his unit fought at Shiloh in March, 1862, and he was discharged at Corinth, Mississippi, shortly after that for "illness" -- rather he was part of the measles outbreak that infected many of the troops there I do not know

I do know that at the time he joined the service, he and most of his family lived in Polk County, Arkansas

and I know that when he returned there, he signed an Oath of Allegiance to the Union

his sister refused to speak to him after that, and not long after that he moved his wife and children to Washington County, Arkansas, and had no contact with the Polk County group again

how do I know this?

because he lived until 1920 and claimed his veteran's pension and I was able to get the records

but what little I know only raises a million more questions in my head

"Civil" war indeed