Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dad was a Civil War Soldier

There is a front-page article in today's San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper titled "Dad was a veteran - of the Civil War" by John Wilkens.

The article tells the story of John Harwood Pierce, born in 1848, who enlisted at a young age, survived the war, was an interesting character, married five times, and had five children. His youngest child, Stella Mae Case, is now age 90, married for 73 years, and lives in the San Diego area. Stella's daughter, Barbara, researched her grandfather's life and provided the information to her mother. Barbara said:

"Barbara Case didn't know about any of that when she started her research about 15 years ago. 'Mostly I did it out of love for my mother,' she said. 'I wanted to fill in the pieces for her.'"

Barbara has created a web site that documents the life and work of her grandfather - at It is a fascinating life story. I urge my readers to visit it and read it. Mr. Pierce was also a poet, including A Ranger's Biography, written in 1890. A stanza near the end seems to sum up his life:

"But could I tell of all my days
And what was done and said
You'll ponder o'er my devious ways,
And the wondrous life I've led.

"A life that has been like my rhyme,
Rude, broken, changing, wild
My lines were cast in storming tones
And I misfortune's child."

The newspaper article mentions the hereditary organizations for the sons and daughters of Civil War soldiers, and quotes my CVGS colleague, Susan Zimmer, saying:

"'I always feel like you owe something to these ancestors,' said Susan Zimmer, president of the local Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War branch, which celebrated its 100th anniversary earlier this week. 'They did something that was pretty brave, went through some pretty terrible times. I think we need to respect that.'"

It's great to see genealogy research, and hereditary organizations, mentioned favorably in the daily newspaper, and even to find another distant cousin (since John Harwood Pierce has at least New England Pierce, Adams and Harwood ancestry - as I do).

1 comment:

Carol said...

I love this stuff when it shows up in the local news. And, I agree, we owe a lot to these WBTS soldiers. Some of mine were on opposite sides. Interesting article Randy, thanks.