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 Posted: Mon Oct 28th, 2013 08:26 pm
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Hellcat
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Well I'm guessing this thread is in line with the soldiers themselves. Michael Sanders in his Strange Tales of the Civil War mentions that the telling of tall tales and ghost stories was among the past times of the soldiers during the Siege of Petersburg. Likely like gambling and singing the telling of tall tales and ghosts stories was one of the past times of the soldiers throughout the war, not just during Petersburg. And this next one, coming from Sanders' book, actually was apparently told by one of the officers of 116th Pennsylvania.

1st Lt. Eugene Brady had been listening to the stories of George Halpin during his time with the British Army in India and decided to counter with a ghost story of his own. It would happen that around the time of the Battle of Chancellorsville there was an old woman living in Hockendaque (likely an old spelling for Hokendauqua, Pa), a villageon Pennsylvania's Lehigh River, whose son was serving in the Eleventh Corps. On May 3rd the woman crossed the river to Catasauqua in order to see a pastor there.

The woman told the pastor that her son John was home and wandering the village but would not talk to her. He had arrived home the not before, completely unexpected. The woman was to shocked at his appearance that she did not immediately go to him and he did not offer to come to her either. Instead he merely went up to the next floor. Coming to her senses the woman tried going to her son, but he was no where to be scene. Instead she saw one of the upstairs windows was open and believed that he had climbed down the trellis outside. She expected he would, at some point that evening, come back to the house but he never did.

The earlier that day she had gone looking for her son and found him walking the streets of the village. She tried running to him but he turned a corner and vanished. She reached the corner and could not see hide nor hair of him. She believed he had gone into one of the houses, but could not tell which one it was. Believing her son was angry with her for some reason she asked the pastor if he would return to Hockendaque with her and try to talk with John.

Having pity for the poor woman the pastor agreed to do what he could. He looked everywhere in the village, but could not find John anywhere. And questioning the residents of Hockendaque revealed that the old woman was the only one who had seen the young man. It was not until May 5th that they learned just what it was that she had been seeing. On that day a letter came announcing that John had been killed on the night of May 2nd, at exactly the same time his mother saw him come in through the door.

Could it be that John was killed at around Jackson was shot? Certainly he was among the soldiers who had to face Jackson's flanking attack on May 2nd.

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