Memorial Day is the time we remember those who fell during military service to their country. It was originally known as “Decoration Day” when the ladies of a town would decorate the graves of fallen soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.
These are my direct grandfathers who fell during that war.
James M. Mercer
(father of Joseph Mercer, father of Emma Katherine Mercer, mother of James Eugene Kitchens)
James was born in 1835 and served the CSA in the 45th Infantry Regiment Georgia. He was killed on May 18, 1864 at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia. He had one son, Joseph, just three years before he went to war and without him, I wouldn’t be here.
Jackson Taylor Carpenter
(father of William Hyman Carpenter, father of Emma Sarah Carpenter, mother of William Harry Anderson)
Jackson was born in 1834 and served the CSA in the 62 North Carolina Infantry. He was captured in Cumberland Gap in September of 1863 and imprisoned with his brother Benjamin at Camp Douglas, Illinois. He died in the camp in July of 1864. His brother died there as well just before the war ended. From what I understand, Camp Douglas made Andersonville look like a picnic. He had four children, Hyman, George, Mary Jane, and Margaret. Without him I wouldn’t be here.
Daniel H. Nichols
(father of Mary Catherine Nichols, mother of Emma Sarah Carpenter, mother of William Harry Anderson)
Daniel was born around 1834 in North Carolina however his views on slavery led him to join the Union in the 3rd Tennessee Cavalry. He was captured by the south and imprisoned until the war ended. However, he was being repatriated after the war on the steamship “The Sultana” when it exploded and sank on the Mississippi. It is unknown whether the ship was overloaded or perhaps a bomb made to look like a lump of coal was snuck onto the ship and then tossed into the boiler. He had three children, Mary, George, and Rosie. Without him I wouldn’t be here.
Thank you to the families and descendants of all our military who fell during service. Without them, would we be here?