Alacrity: brisk and cheerful readiness.
I have never given much thought at all to my family's ancestors in context to the Civil War. I was always a History buff throughout school, but growing up in New York's Hudson Valley, my focus was squarely on finding my Revolutionary War ancestors. Most of what I know about the Civil War is straight out of Little Women.
I was surprised recently to discover at least four ancestors (I can confirm) are in deed veterans of the Civil War. And looking over my timelines I am pretty confident there are more.
I finally got around to joining the Orange County Genealogy Society and while perusing their website I discovered the treasure trove of publications they have for sale. This is very fortunate for me, as I now live in FL and feel so isolated and cut off from the Rockland Room collection at the New City Library. It is this collection that really got me started in genealogy.
From the OCGS, I ordered Monroe, Orange County, NY 1865 Census and related Obituaries. Compiled by Robert Brennan and published by the OCGS in 2002, I hoped this book would give me some leads.
They sure don't write obituaries like they used to! The details! The language! I found several that were helpful in leading me to maiden names and other relatives that may have lived in the area and where they may be buried. But I struck gold with the discovery of my great-great grandfather's brother, John Rose. Chock full of good information: parent's names, brothers, sisters, children and where they currently live; pall bearers names; how long ago his wife died.
With so much good and new helpful information the book had already proven to be a worth while purchase when I read, "In the spring of '61 he was among the first from this town to respond to the call of President Lincoln for volunteers. He enlisted in Company G. 16th NY Artillery, and was in several battles, one of which was the second battle of Bull Run, in which he was shot through the back of the neck. After receiving the wound he came home for a few weeks and as soon as the wound healed he returned to his post of duty and served to the close of the war."
This led me to do some more research, and on Ancestry I was able to locate NY Town Clerk's Registers of Men who served in the Civil War, 1861-1865. Along with John's details, including dates served, parent's names and complete birth day and place. I found an entry for his older brother James Rose, who was in at least ten battles, many more skirmishes and was taken prisoner, held for 8 months and eventually exchanged. And the entry above James, was Jacob Rose, their father.
Jacob Rose, my great great great grandfather served in the Civil War at the same time of two of his own sons. He was 46 years old when he enlisted. The notes accompanying his dates and the names of his parents (before this document they were pure conjecture for me!) states: "Being somewhat advanced in life for a soldier he was seldom required to take part in battle. Performed every duty required of him with alacrity. Ever obedient. Ever true. Ever faithful."
I am so proud of these men and what they sacrificed for the sake of our country. I think often about their wives and children who stayed behind and how they may have coped and I am compelled to learn more.
Local societies and their publications have amazing value. I dragged my heels about joining the OCGS because I am currently living hundreds of miles away and wouldn't be able to participate in their events or projects.
Keep an open mind and don't assume anything. If even a few months ago, someone told me I should be looking at Civil War records, I would have told them it would be a waste of my time.
Vital Statistics are every where! With the NY Town Clerk's Registers Men who Served in the Civil War, 1861-1865. I was able to confirm three ancestors birth day, place and parents names.