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 Posted: Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 01:12 pm
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Mark
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As long as I can remember I've heard civil war buffs describe their interest in the war stemming from "honoring" ones ancestors. In fact, many become quite vehement when discussing the topic. I've become curious about this in recent years. My ancestors are "recent imports" you might say... they all came from Europe in the early to mid 20th century, so perhaps I just don't understand. But what does honoring an ancestor mean exactly? I had direct ancestors fighting in both the American and German armies during WWII (in fact part of my family came to the US in a German POW camp). I abhor the cause for which the German ancestor fought and am proud of the cause for which the American fought, but both men were simply human and influenced by the times and places in which they lived. I harbor no particular shame because I had a great uncle fighting for a greater racially pure Germany and no pride because I had a grandfather fighting for democracy. Can anyone enlighten me?

Mark



 Posted: Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 06:36 pm
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9Bama
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I think each person approaches it differently and thus each answer will be only a partial answer.
For me:
Honoring my ancestors means first of all finding out who they were, and what they did during that time period.

Were they enlisted, officers, govt officials, farmers, slaves, or slave holders, overseers or abolutionists, etc...

If soldiers, where did they fight and for whom? Did they survive intact? wounded? Killed?

Where are they buried?

Once you have a basic understanding of from whence you came, you will know how you wish to honor them. Join a Heritage group?
visit a battlefield wher ethey suffered, bled and maybe died?
Visit their homestead if still standing or their grave?
Get involved in Reeenacting? Take on their persona?
Or maybe, just lift a glass and salute their service



 Posted: Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 11:33 pm
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Doc Ce
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He who feels no pride in his ancestors is unworthy to be remembered by his descendents.

Major David French Boyd, 9th Louisiana Infantry



 Posted: Thu Feb 24th, 2011 01:34 am
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Albert Sailhorst
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Bama gives a great answer!!!

When reenacting, we remember our ancestors and wonder just how close we come to experiencing what they experienced (and, we understand that we can never, no matter how hard we try, ever come close to the things they felt). We apprciate the sacrafices they made.....It's kind of like Memorial Day, everytime we put on our uniform (not "costume", as the ill-educated, smart-allecky, disrespectful people would say).

When I first started reenacting, my Dad asked me what I thought my g-g-grandfather (Sgt, Co. A, 6th TN Federal Cavalry ) would say.....I responded that he would ask "Why in the world would anybody think that is fun?"

Also, my "first person" is Albert Sailhorst. He was actually Sgt. in Battery B, 1st TN Light Artillery (Bankhead's then, Scott's Battery). I honor him by doing research on him. I found out that he died of sickness in a Chattanooga Hospital. He was buried along the river, which has since flooded and washed all the graves away. In doing research on him, I feel a sympathy that he died, without family, in a hospital far from home.....was buried without mourners, and then got washed away.....his family never being with him again and never having a grave to place flowers on.....Then, remembering, there are tens of thousands of soldiers that a person could say the same thing about.

Hope this helps answer your question, and it is a GREAT question, too!!



 Posted: Thu Feb 24th, 2011 01:51 am
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Albert Sailhorst
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Doc Ce....Good answer!!!....I didn't see it before I made my post or I would have mentioned it!!!!



 Posted: Thu Feb 24th, 2011 06:08 pm
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Mark
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Interesting answers gents--they've given me somthing to think about. Thanks for the enlightenment!

Mark



 Posted: Thu Feb 24th, 2011 07:41 pm
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9Bama
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Albert Sailhorst wrote: Bama gives a great answer!!!

When reenacting, we remember our ancestors and wonder just how close we come to experiencing what they experienced (and, we understand that we can never, no matter how hard we try, ever come close to the things they felt). We apprciate the sacrafices they made.....It's kind of like Memorial Day, everytime we put on our uniform (not "costume", as the ill-educated, smart-allecky, disrespectful people would say).

When I first started reenacting, my Dad asked me what I thought my g-g-grandfather (Sgt, Co. A, 6th TN Federal Cavalry ) would say.....I responded that he would ask "Why in the world would anybody think that is fun?"

Also, my "first person" is Albert Sailhorst. He was actually Sgt. in Battery B, 1st TN Light Artillery (Bankhead's then, Scott's Battery). I honor him by doing research on him. I found out that he died of sickness in a Chattanooga Hospital. He was buried along the river, which has since flooded and washed all the graves away. In doing research on him, I feel a sympathy that he died, without family, in a hospital far from home.....was buried without mourners, and then got washed away.....his family never being with him again and never having a grave to place flowers on.....Then, remembering, there are tens of thousands of soldiers that a person could say the same thing about.

Hope this helps answer your question, and it is a GREAT question, too!!
Albert, do you know that his grave was washed away? I say that because downriver a couple of dams, I have seen numerous family plots on hillsides that were reinterred above the floodwaters for what became Pickwick lake on the tennessee... could that cemetery have been relocated somewhere?



 Posted: Thu Feb 24th, 2011 08:20 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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Bama,

hmmmmm....good question!

A few years ago, I emailed the director of the Chattanooga NPS, who told me the following:

"The number of hospitals in and about
Chattanooga before and after those time periods was far smaller. Most
Confederates who died of disease in the Chattanooga area would have done
so
in late 1862 or the first half or so of 1863. If this is the case, he was
probably buried in a cemetery which was then near the banks of the
Tennessee River on the northeast corner of the city. Markings on the
graves were less than permanent and the cemetery was subject to flooding.
Immediately following the war, the graves were moved to higher ground but
by then only about 700 names could any longer be read. It is not even
clear now how many graves there were. A long time Chattanooga historian
suggests that the 700 names may only be about a third of the total
burials.
The graves are today located in the Confederate Cemetery between Third and
old Fifth Streets in Chattanooga, just east of downtown, next to the old
Citizens' Cemetery and next to the campus of the University of Tennessee
at
Chattanooga. Sailhorst does not appear on the list of names of men known
to be buried there. However, the dates of death of those men only runs
from February, 1863, to May, 1863. If Sailhorst died in a hospital in
Chattanooga before or after that, he would almost certainly not appear on
that list. Even if he was on the list, there are no longer individual
graves identified within the cemetery. Those 700 or so names just appear
on a series of tablets placed there."

In short, I am still at a loss as to what happened to him......His war record, oddly, has him listed as dying two times!!...First in Selma, Alabama, and secondly in Chattanooga, TN!!



 Posted: Fri Jul 29th, 2011 07:48 pm
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rebelnc1987
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For me, it is many of the things the others have stated- but for me it is mostly finding out as much as I can so that I can pass on their stories. Even though their personal stories may never be told as only two of my ancestors left stories behind either penned by themselves or through family tradition, I still can say to my future children or grandchildren, "Your ancestors fought for a cause in which they believed. They fought here and were wounded here, they died or returned home to raise a family. For me it is trying to find a personal connection with these people whose lives were forever changed by this war.

And for me, I like to try and find and visit their graves, as it is the closest thing I will ever get to being in their prescence. I want to be able to share their history and to be able to portray them during reenactments. For the 150th Gettysburg I intend to portray a Confederate for the July 3rd attack, with me I am going to take photos and the names of my ancestors who made the Assault on the 3rd. For me it will be marching in their footsteps on an anniversary of note- also my GGG Grandfather in the 28th NC died in 1905 on July 3rd, 42 years after he made the charge. So it will be a way to honor and remember him.

That's just my take on it.



 Posted: Sat Jul 30th, 2011 02:32 pm
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Captain Crow
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For myself honoring my ancestors is a way of ensuring that they and their passions, wrong or right, are not forgotten. I think in understanding their lives we begin to understand ourselves.



 Posted: Sat Jul 30th, 2011 06:32 pm
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Mark
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Captain Crow wrote:
I think in understanding their lives we begin to understand ourselves.

Well put Captain Crow

Mark



 Posted: Fri Aug 5th, 2011 06:02 pm
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hamiltjg
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I would agree that each honors his/her ancestors in their own way.  For me, I have ancestors on both sides of the civil war.  For both I am find where they are buried, what regiment they were in, and even visited some of the battle sites and if they survived the war, etc.  On the confererate side I had an ancestor at the dead angle at Kennesaw Mtn who survived the war.

But on the other side I have a true hero who was a bridge burner in 1861.  I am dedicated to find out all the details I can find on the bridge burners, who they really were, (the men themselves and their families).  I am in process of putting together hundreds of pages of documents and photos and will be dedicating a website to them and their families.

Which brings me to a question that maybe someone can point me in a direction to find.  I am search for two specific things at the moment.  One was the true location of Castle Fox ( the old Knoxville, Tn jail) where my ancestor was held and was hung from the gallows in front.  I have reason to believe it was located where the old courthouse now stands.  Would anyone know of any old photos or sketches of Castle Fox. 
The 2nd is the detailed account of the hanging of CA Haun.  It is supposed to be in an issue of the Knoxville Register, dated Dec 12, 1861.  CA was hung on Dec 11.  I have found reference in the Dec 14 is of the Memphis newspaper that the Knoxville Register printed a detailed account.



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