Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shots Fired!

One hundred fifty years ago today, the army of the Confederate States of America attacked Fort Sumter, at Charleston, South Carolina, signaling the start of the Civil War, also known as the War Between the States. As schoolchildren, we learned about Generals Grant, Lee, and Sherman, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and how, just days after the end of the war, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. We also learned that more soldiers died in this one war than died in all other U.S. wars combined—although more died from disease than from combat. We may have been taught that it was a war that divided families.

I have always been fascinated by the Civil War. My sister says I was born with “Gone with the Wind” in my blood. I’ve read plenty of novels set in the Civil War era and watched every possible television documentary about it. Just a few weeks ago I bought several Civil War magazines! It’s not so much that I am a scholar of the war, but that I have a desire to understand how it affected people’s lives.

As a genealogist and family historian, I have gathered quite a bit of information about my ancestors’ Civil War experience. Over the next several months, I will be sharing that information here. My plan is to write an overview for each set of my great-grandparents and then individual information about those who served from each family.

Some of my ancestors were Union soldiers; some were Confederate soldiers; I know one served on both sides! It is my honor to recognize their service.


© 2011 Denise Spurlock

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