On The Other Hand
by David Tavel
What's In A Name
Ever wonder who in the past had your family name? Of course, your ancestors! But what about folks probably not related to you? Same name, but that's all! Since Yours Truly has a smattering of information on our Civil War he decided to pick names at random from the Estes Park telephone directory, and see if they showed up during that war. Any family relationship is left to you. My phone book opened to a list of more than half a dozen locals named COLLINS. That wasn't too hard to locate. None of our current Collinses had the same first name. In the Union navy prior to, during, and after the Civil War was Napoleon Collins. His career was as extraordinary as his name, but not necessarily in a positive way. He seized a British vessel during our Civil war, for which he was censured, and later captured a Confederate warship in a neutral Brazilian port, which earned him a suspension and court martial. His dismissal would be set aside, he resumed active duty, and after the war rose to the rank of rear admiral. HOLLAND! A few of those in the phone book. And Milton M. Holland in the Union ranks. He began the war as servant to a Union officer, but later enlisted in the 5th Colored Troops. At one point where all the white officers were out of action he assumed command of the company. He would eventually receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, one of sixteen blacks to be so honored during the war. BURNS! Five in our phone book, two mentioned in the Union ranks. John Burns was born in the 1700s, so he was no youngster when captured during the Civil War. Age apparently has its privileges even in wartime. The story about Burns is that he got his release by claiming that he was only out looking for a lost cow which, frightened by gunfire, had run away. And there was William Wallace Burns, who spent much of his military career in the commissary. He was born in the 1820s, long before Abraham Lincoln met Mary Todd and they had their own William Wallace --- William Wallace Lincoln. Turning pages we come to MOORE, of whom there are several locally. But most Moores I can find in the Civil War were in Southern ranks. One exception was Henry Moore, a New Hampshire photographer who took photos which he sold to troops and to families and friends back home. Moores in the South? Andrew Moore
as governor of Alabama had long preached secession, and on Christmas Eve 1860 ordered seizure, for the southern cause, of all army depots in his state. John C. Moore of Tennessee was a veteran artillery officer who rose to the rank of brigadier-general fighting primarily in Mississippi. North Carolinian John W. Moore served as a supply officer in his home state and Virginia. His writings in the postwar years are his major claim to fame. There were three more prominent southern Moores. Patrick came as a child from Ireland, living for a time in Canada, then Boston (where his father served as a British diplomat), and finally to Virginia. In the opening battles of the war he was severely wounded, and thereafter did primarily administrative work. Samuel Moore of South Carolina had served in the Mexican War, resigned his post as surgeon in 1861, and spent the war organizing hospitals and providing medical supplies to southern troops. And Thomas Moore, a Louisiana sugar planter turned governor raised troops and organized supply depots. When his term of office ended in '64 he fled to Cuba to avoid arrest, but returned home to his plantation with a full pardon two years later. Continuing through our phone book we come across the name PINKHAM. We must report that no reference to that name, either Yankee or Confederate, has been found. While the name RUSSELL is prominent in Civil War histories, the two Russells usually referred to were both Englishmen --- Lord John Russell who as Foreign Secretary held the post equivalent to our secretary of state, and William Howard Russell who, while in the U.S., kept an excellent diary on the first years of the war. One of the two American Russells is David Russell, who played a major role in the defense of Washington, and then also as a division commander, in which capacity he was killed. The other is Andrew Russell, far better known for his post-war photographs of the American west. Finally THOMAS, of which Estes Park has a good number. And we end with my favorite Civil War figure --- George Henry Thomas, a native Virginian who remained loyal to his country, and who, in command of the Union army at Nashville, Tennessee won the most decisive battle of the war. It is told that earlier, when secession with hostilities seemed possible, he and General William Sherman were training troops and the latter asked which side Thomas would join. Thomas responded, "I'm going south." Sherman, an Ohioan, blanched. Then Thomas, with a smile added, "At the head of my troops..." He would make a major difference in the course of our most tragic war. The Estes Valley Area Chapter of NARFE will meet at the Senior Center on Wednesday, September 21 st , at noon. Please call ahead for your lunch reservation. If you do not wish to have lunch, the meeting will begin at 12:45 p.m. Please note that at this meeting we will discuss the procedures for closing Chapter 1038 and the options to continue membership in NARFE. Federation attendees will be Frank Impinna and Eva Heller, District attendee will be Ron Briggs. If you are interested in these procedures, please plan to attend.
Friday, September 21, 2012