In 1862, eighteen-year-old Silas S. Auchmoedy was mustered into the 120th New York Volunteers as a private (Lyon 1904). In October of 1862, just three months later, he was promoted as corporal officer (Lyon 1904). During Auchmoedy’s deployment, he wrote a series of letters home depicting the time he spent in battle. On July 20th, 1863, he wrote a letter describing the events he saw at the Battle of Gettysburg (Auchmoedy 1863), also known as the bloodiest single battle of conflict (American Battlefield Trust, n.d.). Within this letter are horrific descriptions of his experience on the battlefield. He writes about his experience running through a field as he underwent heavy fire, his gun so packed with filth that he had to bang it on a stone to get the bullet in. Most tragically, he depicts the screams from A.D. Stokes, “a first-rate fellow,” as a bullet ripped through his thigh. He had screamed to Auchmoedy, “O God, don’t leave me!” (Auchmoedy 1863, para. 1.20). Auchmoedy had not left him and carried Stokes to safety before rejoining his regiment (Auchmoedy 1863). War was not a time of peace, and though these men were regarded as heroes, they were also boys covered in the blood of their friends.
The oil canvas painting “The Girl I Left Behind Me” was painted by Eastman Johnson. The picture’s title was known to be an Irish ballad title in was made notable during the Civil War (Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide 2015, par. 2). The woman is surrounded by darkness as the wind blows, unsure of what will come next. Through the lyrics, a connection of unity as this woman in the painting is not the only woman to have to say goodbye to their loved one; “until I see my love again for whom my heart is breaking” (The Girl I Left Behind 2021, under “Brighton Camp”). Although other paintings were prevalent, this was the first time an artist depicted the impacts of war in American art, allowing artists to voice concerns for the nation (Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide 2015, par. 2).
Church was founded in 1826 as the first organization for the
Disciples of Christ located in Caroline County; it is described as
“rather small” but with approximately a 100 living members at the
time of survey (Farmer and George 1937, 1). The survey conducted by
Farmer and George (1937) describes the current church members as
being a prominent part of the community providing a list of names.
Yet, that is all that is known about those members. Without existing
church records there is no supplemental information is available
(i.e. marriages, deaths). The records from the churches are a vital
source of social information that can increase the available
knowledge to the public that might be lacking otherwise (Olson 1942).
However, the records from Emmaus Christian Church were destroyed in
1864 during the Civil War (Collins, n.d.).
Father Walter Elliott was a Paulist Father and the author of the “Life of Father Hecker.” Prior to joining the Paulist Fathers, Father Elliott was a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War. Father Elliott is known as not only being an intense American, but for also being a leader among those who were in favor of New American Catholicism (McNamara, 2011). Continue reading →
The letter written by Father Deshon in regards to Ulysses S. Grant highlights the character of our 18th President and provides anecdotal information on how he viewed West Point and how he interacted with his fellow cadets. It also gives historical reference to life at the United States Military Academy. Continue reading →