Civil War POW ~ My Great-Great Grandfather

Yesterday’s post was a Tribute to my Uncle Walter – WWII POW.

Two generations before WWII, another relative was a POW ~ my great-great-grandfather.

My family is from New England but moved to the south in the 1940s. But yes, they were Yanks…I am a direct descendant of Governor Bradford who came over on the Mayflower and Davy Crockett ~ both on my Mother’s. Dad’s ancestors came from England and were mainly whalers.

I consider myself both a Southerner and a Northerner…an American!!

My great-great-granddad was a Union Soldier. Here is a recount of what happened as I remember it being told to me by my Father…

Richmond, Virginia. Federal soldier guarding canon.

Shortly after the US Civil War began, along with a fellow soldier, Dad’s great-grandfather was captured by a Confederate Army Unit. Not having a prison camp nearby, the officer in charge instructed a soldier to take the prisoners out into the woods and shoot them.

Walking into those woods ~ what could have gone through their minds? Prayers? Thoughts of family? Regrets? A means of escape? Probably all of these thoughts and more flashed through their minds.

My great-great-grandfather remembered learning the Grand Hailing Sign of Distress ~ a secret Masonic signal to be used only when one is in great distress.

As he finished waving his arms in the Grand Hailing Sign of Distress two shots were fired.

“Run!” said the Confederate Soldier, as he too was a Mason.

I am not going to enter into a discussion on the Masons…that is not the point…the point is that his life was spared because of his quick thinking and a bond that crossed over enemy lines.

Bonded by a promise to hasten to the relief of the person so giving the sign of distress.

And for that I thank God…I would not be here nor my other family members.

God had a plan…and I am glad I was a part of it years and years later.

Harry Emerson Fosdick said ~

The tragedy of war is that it uses man’s best to do man’s worst.

Thankfully in this situation, it was man using his best to do the best.

On this Memorial Day, I salute our veterans and thank them for my freedom.

JIMMY CARTER said during his Nobel Lecture, Dec. 10, 2002 ~

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.


Blessings, Susan

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