Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Local Families in the Civil War

 A lot of people have seen or heard the Civil War referred to as a "brother's war" because of the instances of family members fighting on opposite sides (Mary Lincoln's Confederate brothers and Kentucky's Crittenden family are two famous examples) but there were also many cases of family members fighting on the same side, a point that I am learning more and more through my research into Campbell County soldiers and sailors. 

When I started this project, I knew of the Seither brothers - three fought for the Union, but a fourth had moved to New Orleans in the years before the war and became a Confederate soldier - but did not know of any other Campbell County families that had fought in the war. I was obviously foolish, and perhaps naive, but I now have confirmed at least 30 (thirty!) instances of brothers, fathers/sons, and cousins from Campbell County fighting for the Union cause. I certainly never expected to find so many. I've even found some where three or four brothers joined the war effort. Four brothers in the war were grandsons of a Revolutionary War soldier whom the Daughters of the American Revolution are going to honor later this year. That was pretty cool to find. 

Even a couple of weeks ago, when I realized I had found a few examples and decided to look into it more closely to figure out just how many I had uncovered, I did not think it was such a high number.  I'm still surprised, but I do realize that there are probably even more out there that I haven't found (especially cousins or uncles/nephews - the set of cousins I know of only came to my attention because they were distant ancestors of mine.) 

This whole research adventure has been quite fun and educational to me, with the presence of so many families having multiple members fight in the war being the latest example. I have started a separate document to try to track them, and I have a few more names listed to research as possibilities, but who knows what else might pop up to attract my attention and time.

I still need to decide eventually what to do with all this information. A book would be ideal, but is it realistic? I want it to be, but I wonder if anybody else wants to read all this or if my work is good enough to be published. Oh well, I'm enjoying what I'm finding and will make other decisions as I need to, but I thought this was a good excuse to publish another blog post.

Hopefully I will have other interesting finds and observations to share as this process continues.

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