Saturday, April 17, 2010

A little about my mothers side of the family

Edith asked about my father side of the family today, so I thought one of the interesting parts of my mothers side of the family was in order.

The McCord branch of the family had two sons that fought in the Civil War. One joined the Confederate army and was never heard from again, the other the Iowa Volunteers, part of the Union Army.

Here are one of his letters home, I have others, and his discharge papers.

The handwriting, and printed words, used at the time are hard to decipher, I did my best and included [illegible] where I could not figure out what word was written. Also one footnote about the discharge papers, they where also altered sometime in the past.

The Letter on the bottom.

My transcription.

Family Feb 7 1862

You see that I wrote some time ago but failed to send it.

I left the Island day before yesterday lodged that night under niggers roof.
Yesterday I came to Uncle Ami Smiths was taken with a pain in my knee. the severest pain I ever had. Old Mother Smith
deeloved me like a mother indeed, to day I am about. I received a letter from Lawton last week he was in the fight at Springfield
Charely Dixon was wounded in the back by a shell( not very bad) another man wounded [
illegible] arm.the third was killed, a man by the name of Smith, that was all that was in [?]avin company.
I have had no letter from Oscar for 3 weeks. he is all right I suppose
I heard from them since I come here George Gibbs and Clark Smith have lots have written home Robi [
illegible] was killed by a shell it fell at his feet exploded. Tore off his leg and arm. C Smith, G gibbs and W Bodwell buried him C Smith says he was scared time of battle he says he cannot
describe the firing of guns better than the throwing of salt in the fire.
So quick and fast.
We are talking now of having game and children go with me to Ottuawa[?] and meet you there about the first of Aprilor if you want to come sooner you could come to Ottuawa and stop with Dixon.
I am told he is living there I have recieved no money from the boys since you left but they promise to.
Send me some even perhaps.
They have sent you some .
I got that note from Dave Seagrams sent you some and s/out the next for over shorts and to pay for washing, making and mending
Be sure and bring one of the girls with you

Yours O Mcord

The discharge papers on the top.

My transcription


Know ye, that William O McCord private of captain A R Andysons company of 16 A/ 4th regiment of Iowa Infantry volunteers who was enrolled on the [
illegible] one thousand eight hundred and fifty two, to serve three years or during the war is hereby discharged from the service of the United States
this 31st day of December 1863 at Meadville Alabama by reason of re enlistment Veteran Vols [
illegible] on day 191 1863

Saint William O McCord was born in [
illegible] county state of Wisconnson is Nineteen years of age¹, five feet eleven inches high, dark complexion, grey eyes, dark hair and by occupation when enrolled farmer.
Given at Meadville Alabama this 25th day of January 1864

Richard Roman 13th infantry

¹ Some one screwed up on the age, he was about 26 at discharge.

Interesting stuff, it is also cool to hold a letter written during the Civil War in you hands.


  1. Wow, this is truly incredible. Thank you for sharing your history with us.

  2. That was so cool, Legion.

    One thing that chaps my hide these days is people predicting gloom and doom for this country, saying its end is near, that we are no longer a world power, that we cannot stop its downward spiral.

    I believe that this, too, shall pass, and offer up the example of the Civil War. Brother against brother, a country torn in two fighting one of the bloodiest battles known to man. We got through that, and emerged united and even stronger than before because Americans are just made of strong stuff. We survived the Great Depression, 1968, and even the scourge of vigilantism, AIDS, gang warfare, and, yes, we will survive the Obama years.

    We are bred of stock that came across the ocean on a wing and a prayer, and not much more to their name. We formed a more perfect union, and that union survived more than any nation its young age ever faced. It survived being split in two over issues both economic and human. It saw the error of its ways, made reparations, and continued on.

    Nobody had better say to my face that this nation will not survive. We survived 9/11. We survived those who despise our way of life and tried to take our bodies and souls. They could not and they will not. We are one nation, indivisible.

    Thank you for the reminder that there are things more enduring than politics and pettiness.

  3. Cool, Legion. Didn't realize I opened a can of worms...

    Do you do any family history stuff above and beyond having some of these neat items? I have an aunt who is big into this sort of thing, and she is the one who keeps the family straight on who's who. She's the one who gave me the set of The History and Heritage of Victoria County.

    Sugar, I am so glad to read what you wrote. We have gotten stronger and wiser as a people and a nation. It is particularly irksome to hear the gloom and doom spew from folks. That is not what we are about!

    Nice Legion. What else do you have?

  4. Sure I do EA, there is four or so more letters. I'll get around to deciphering the handwriting sooner or later. lol

  5. Cool. This is very special. How wonderful it must be, as you said, to hold these very old, very precious documents in your hand.

    How lucky you are that folks thought it important to pass these down.