Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Sad Fall in Upstate New York

The image to the right is the grave marker of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth. It wasn't there 150 years ago--in fact, it took several years until one was purchased and put up.

This is how the cemetery looked last Fall, before the graveyard was cleaned up and decorated for the 150th anniversary memorial activities, which were covered by local, state, and national news.

Fall is a season of change, and for many it is a sad, sort of melancholy time. Imagine a year or more into the Civil War, and not knowing if the man you sent to the Army was dead or alive. No ID chips, no GPS, no DNA--just a lot of unidentified dead guys who hoped for, who deserved more.

Even this neglected graveyard is better than that.

My latest post for emergingcivilwar.com is about Condolence Letters, the ones sent from friends and commanders to those left at home, informing them of their soldier's fate. It will be up tomorrow, November 16.

Read it, please. Read it and be thankful that, in this twenty-first century season of thanks, there will be fewer and fewer unknown soldiers. Amen.

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