So, it turns out that my great-great-great grandfather (my mom’s grandpa’s grandpa) and his brother and their sister’s fiance (who died thus inadvertently leaving my great aunt with untold freedom, which she took great advantage of, by having an excuse to never marry which she didn’t.) fought Beth’s however-many-great grandfather at Chickamaugua and Chattanooga in the fall of ’63.
And I was telling Beth that the weirdest thing about what I know about their time in Chattanooga was that their dad came from Madison, Indiana to visit them. WHILE THEY WERE AT WAR.
She agreed. This was strange. It’s hard to imagine hearing stories now of someone going to Iraq to check on his sons, maybe hang out a little.
But then it occurs to me that I have Bridgett and Casey and you guys will know.
I know that, early on in the Civil War, civilians would take picnic lunches out to watch the battles because the severity of the situation seems not to have quite dawned on people (it seems like they thought there would be some fisticuffs and then everyone would go home?). And it seems, if I’m remembering right, that Walt Whitman did travel around trying to find and be near his brother, even though he, himself, was not fighting. And looking through the LOC photos, it sure seems like some folks brought their families along with them. So, maybe going to visit your family wasn’t that weird.
But, I still wonder–historians, tell me what to make of my family’s behavior! Weird or common?
Edited to add: So, you know what’s interesting? If you search “civil war siddall” at the loc site, you discover that your mom’s grandpa’s grandpa was an assistant surgeon in the 22nd Regiment of the Indiana Volunteers. Oh, internet, is there anything you can’t help us learn?