Well, today is more than cookouts and department store sales and the start of summer. It is the day where we remember and thank those who fought and died to secure our freedom, as well as the families they left behind. I decided to look at my ancestry in a different way today. How many of my ancestors fought, and in which wars? Did any die? I did not find any who died in service (a good thing, as most married after they served!) but found many who served in the military, and many more who provided what is called "patriotic service." Here is the list working backward:
Dad: who served for 20 years in the U.S. Navy from the end of WW II through Korea, & Vietnam. He died in 1990, and I miss him greatly. My younger brother Jeff served for 20 years in the Navy beginning also in the VietNam war, 3 years after my father retired.
My grandpa Vic who served as a doughboy in WWI. He sent letters and postcards home, and took up photography based on seeing the marvels of Europe. My other grandpa Augusto Fessia served his then country of Italy in the Italian-Turkish War in the early 1900s, and though he registered for the WWI draft in America after immigrating herein 1913, did not serve in the US military. My mother's grandfather or great grandfather was one of the "Alpiners" the origional military of Italy. He lived until WWII and was one of the oldest remaining members when he died ....
Then step back to the Civil War. My great great grandfather James H. Fairchild served in Co. E 93rd NY Inf Volunteers. He was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness. Three of his brothers also served (Benjamin, Nelson Dallas, and William). My ggg grandfather John Miller, an immigrant from Scotland, also served in the 154th NY Vol Inf. A lot of the collateral cousins served including two who were in different units, but both were in Andersonville. One died there. I don't know if they knew they were related, or knew each other was there, or not.... Another fact lost to history.....
There were many who served in the Revolutionary War, both militarily, and by supplying arms or materials to the soldiers. I have located about 7 so far, and many more are remaining elusive! They range from James Wadsworth who answered the call for the alarm at Lexington, Jonathan Robinson, who served in three separate companies, his father Daniel Robinson, who manufactured saltpeter for ammunition, Jabez Rouse, Jonathan's father-in law, who also served, to Squire Ide, who served, moved to Vermont, whose death date and burial place are not known to us, to several who either signed an oath of fidelity, or I'm still searching to prove service. For example, one who will appear shortly in my Monday Madness write up is Isaiah Burton. He is listed as part of his son Varnum's bio in the Cattaraugus County NY history as " Varnum Burton, whose father Isaiah, a native of Hopkinton, RI was a Revolutionary soldier".... thirty five years later, I am not much closer to proving that!!!
Several of the earlier ancestors in this country served in the various militia alarms in the King Phillip's War, French & Indian War, and various earlier skirmishes from their individual Connecticut and Massachusetts town militias.
It has been a wonderful day to look at how many of my ancestors have served their country with honor, and how much a part of my history is involved with the military and history of the country. I am eternally grateful for their service and hope that I can keep their memory alive for many generations of their descendants to follow.
Thanks to all of them, and to all those who have or are serving in the military.
No pictures or fancy stuff today, just thoughts and remembrances....
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