Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Brief Rambling on Family History and the Civil War

Some of my posts here are the result of much research, writing, editing and thought, and others are reviews of books I’ve recently read or events I’ve attended or witnessed, like the rec3nt re-enactment in Cynthiana.

This one will fall in neither category. This is a more personal entry, based on some genealogical research, but a lot of some wishful thinking and a more personal, perhaps selfish viewpoint. It may be of interest just to me, but that’s the beauty of having this blog. Please forgive any self-indulgence this post may contain as I continue to explore my family history and use this blog on rare occasions to help put my thoughts and findings into an organized format. 

 I have recently been working on my family history again, after not doing much on it for a while. I did make some new finds and discovered a couple of good leads recently, and that has helped renew my enthusiasm for this project.

In terms of my family history combined with my interest in the Civil War, no earth-shattering finding has occurred, but I did find one small, partially illegible, comment, that certainly caught my interest.

I have known for about 3 years that my great-great grandfather John C. Hofstetter, an immigrant from Switzerland, was in Company D of the 3rd Indiana Cavalry, which was involved in many major battles in the Eastern Theater, including Gettysburg, but I have nothing specific about him. His paperwork is not on and I received nothing from the National Archives when I requested records from them. That is certainly frustrating, but not completely unexpected. 

As I was looking a census records recently, I noticed that the 1880 census marked John as being “sick or temporarily disabled” and the written description says “L. Leg periodically (illegible), wounded in war.” I will continue trying to interpret and read the remaining words, assuming this means “left leg,”  but this tells me that maybe his service was more difficult or adventurous than I realized. Of course, this opens up many questions about when and where he was injured and how bad it was, what type of injury, and did he receive any pension, among others. It is not a major discovery, but still is something new to add to my knowledge of my family history and my family’s Civil War history and a way two of my interests meet. 

I don’t remember if I had requested his pension records before, but I don’t think I did, so I will try that now and hope it will be more productive. If I find out more about him or any other of my Civil War ancestors, I will post it here.

Post-War photo of John C. Hofstetter 

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