Wars

Guest Post: “Grave Marker Dedication of Revolutionary War Soldier Benjamin Woodruff on May 14, 2016”

This post was contributed by Sue Woodruff Noland. Her previous post on the topic of the Woodruff family can be found here.

Benjamin Woodruff Grave Marker - PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Benjamin Woodruff Grave Marker – PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Benjamin Woodruff, born 26 November 1744 to James Woodruff* (1722-1759) and Joanna ? (1722-1812), attended the Morristown Presbyterian Church.  He served during the Revolution with the New Jersey militia, leaving behind his wife and 3 children; his wife, Phoebe Pierson Woodruff, died 21 January 1777, aged 36, and one can only hope that Benjamin was able to be there with her and the children.  Benjamin married again 8 July 1778, to Patience Lum, daughter of Obadiah Lum, with whom he had more children he left behind as he served our country.  It has been certified that Benjamin served one monthly tour in 1776 as a drummer; three monthly tours as a sergeant in 1776, including an engagement near Elizabeth, NJ, on 17 December 1776.  He served under various captains to the close of the war.  [information from the genealogical history provided by Charles Marius Woodruff]

Grave marker - Note the misspelling of Freelove Sanford's first name - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Grave marker – Note the misspelling of Freelove Sanford’s first name – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Those of you who are familiar with Michigan and the Great Lakes, which is where I live, know how variable the weather can be; mid-May average temperature is mid-60s.  On May 14, 2016, the day of the Grave Marker Dedication Ceremony for Benjamin Woodruff, son Andrew and I, both descendants of Benjamin, encountered temperatures in the low 40s and brisk breezes that carried sleety-snowy-rain as we gathered at Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor, Michigan!

As was common in 1837, when Benjamin died, he was buried the following day and therefore was not accorded a military funeral.  The DAR and SAR strive to provide a service for our forgotten patriots; on this day another Revolutionary War soldier, Josiah Cutler, was honored with our ancestor, Benjamin.

Benjamin Woodruff Grave Market Dedication Ceremony – At podium: Phil Jackson, Huron Valley Chapter SAR – PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

The ceremony began with a welcome from Phil Jackson, Huron Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).  Following Phil’s remarks, we watched the posting of colors and standards with bearers dressed in Revolutionary War period uniforms.  Thomas Pleuss, Chaplain of the Huron Valley Chapter SAR, gave the invocation, and then Kate Kirkpatrick, from the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter made some remarks, followed by remarks from a representative from each patriot’s family.  Thomas Woodruff and Frank Ticknor (Josiah’s family) each presented a brief history of our respective ancestor.  This portion of the ceremony was conducted about mid-way between the two patriot’s graves.  After family remarks, the ceremony was conducted separately at each grave site.

Thomas Woodruff receiving flag - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL - USED WITH PERMISSION

Descendant Thomas Woodruff receiving flag – Sue Woodruff Noland in purple shawl looking on; her son Andrew is on the left in a plaid jacket – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL – USED WITH PERMISSION

Benjamin’s grave site is a family memorial with several of his family interred there.  Tom and his son, Michael, generously purchased a marker for Benjamin indicating his service as a Revolutionary War patriot.  (The US government ‘declined’ to provide a marker.)  Our grateful thanks to Tom and Michael’s families for researching Revolutionary War markers and commissioning the marker to be made.  The marker was unveiled before our nation’s tribute, the folding of the flag.  Since there was no flag pole, the ceremony actually involved unfolding a flag brought by the SAR/DAR for the occasion, and then refolding it as a story was told about the meaning of the folds, the last fold being a representation of a mother tucking in her child for the night—a story made up sometime in the past, but a touching story nonetheless.  Once folded, the flag was presented to Tom.  We were then cautioned that the next part of the ceremony would be the military tribute, a 21-gun (and 2 muskets) salute—startlingly loud!

Twenty-one gun salute - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL - USED WITH PERMISSION

Twenty-one gun salute – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL – USED WITH PERMISSION

The veterans Honor Guard of Washtenaw County (Michigan), the Indiana Society Color Guard, and the Ohio Society Color Guard performed the tribute of three volleys.  The 21 spent shells were given to Tom, who offered one to each of the family as a memento of the day.

Sword Ceremony - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL - USED WITH PERMISSION

Sword Ceremony – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL – USED WITH PERMISSION

The Sword Salute was by far the most touching part of the ceremony for me.  Three of the Color Guard detached from the group.  The leader explained that, on command, the three of them would tip their tri-corn hats to honor our patriot and then bow, touching the ground with their swords, to show humility for Benjamin’s service to us and our country.  To conclude the ceremony there was a sounding of taps by two buglers.

Both families (Woodruff and Cutler) came together once again after Josiah’s ceremony, for floral tributes from several SAR, DAR, and CAR groups (Children of the American Revolution).  These organizations developed at various times with the objective of keeping alive their ancestors’ stories of patriotism and courage “in the belief that it is a universal one of man’s struggle against tyranny….” [from SAR website]  The conclusion of the entire ceremony was a bagpipe tribute to both soldiers, by Herm Steinman.

Bagpiper who performed at the ceremony - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Bagpiper who performed at the ceremony – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Chilled to the bone, but eager to meet cousins we didn’t even know existed a few short weeks before, we gathered with Benjamin’s other descendants at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Ann Arbor, as guests of Tom and his wife, Jane, and Mike and his wife and tiny daughter.  We met ‘new’ cousins, including Tom and Mike’s families, as well as Pam Olander from the Chicago area and reacquainted ourselves with cousins who had attended one of the Woodruff family reunions we organized during the mid-2000s.  The room was quite abuzz with everyone sharing history and asking questions.  Tom told us the motto on our Woodruff Coat of Arms, “Sit Dux Sapientia,” translates as “Let wisdom be your guide;” we had not known the motto, only the shield design.

The day before the ceremony, Andrew and I had met Pam at the Bentley Historical Library on the U of M campus in Ann Arbor.  We spent over two hours poring through Woodruff documents stored at the Library and were finally able to answer a question:  Why would John Woodruff leave England in 1640?  The answer: he seems to have decided that King Charles I was taking too much of the family income via taxes.  Later, it seems our Benjamin, living in the colonies, may not quite have agreed with King George III’s Stamp Act of 1765 (and a few others: sugar tax, currency, etc.), thus leading to his participation in the Revolutionary War a few years later.

If any of you should travel to Michigan in the future, for research at the Library or simply to visit Benjamin’s final resting place (he was moved to Forest Hill from another site), we would love to meet any ‘new’ cousins.

 

*James Woodruff (b. 1722, Elizabethtown, NJ) was the son of Benjamin Woodruff (1684-1726) and Susanna (1686-1727), both of whom were born and died in Elizabethtown, NJ.

Categories: Ann Arbor, CAR, DAR, Lineage Societies, Michigan, New Jersey, Revolutionary War, SAR, Woodruff | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Image of Dr. Charles Berry Jaques, Civil War surgeon for Union Army

Surgeon, Harpers Weekly, July 12, 1862

Surgeon, Harpers Weekly, July 12, 1862

I just noticed that a Find a Grave contributor has uploaded a carte de visite of Charles Berry Jaques to that website. It is different from the other two images I have seen. To view the Find a Grave image, click here. You may recall I published a three-part series on Charles a while back. To view the first post, click here. That one will take you to the others.

Update 5.31.16: Permission granted by Find a Grave contributor Russ Kasper to include the image here. Thanks, Russ!

Jaques_Charles_B_2

Categories: Civil War, Jaques | 3 Comments

Excellent pictorial resource on World War I – published 1919

During my garage clean-out operation I came across the very large book War of the Nations: Portfolio in Rotogravure Etchings Compiled from the Mid-Week Pictorial, 1914-1919, published by the New York Times in 1919. It contains some amazing images from World War I such as the ones below. I checked and it is available online so I thought I would pass along the link to anyone who may also find this resource of value. Visit Internet Archive – click here.

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book2

book3

book9

book9a

book4

book5

book6

book7

book8

Categories: World War I | 6 Comments

Pvt. Samuel Kendall Angus (b. 1918) – killed in Italy on 28 July 1944

Angus_WWII_obit_EDJ

Among my grandmother’s belongings: A news clipping that most likely appeared in the Elizabeth Daily Journal, end of July/August 1944

Among my grandmother’s collection of news clippings was this small mention of the death of Pvt. Samuel Kendall Angus from bullet wounds received in the line of duty somewhere in Italy on 28 July 1944. Samuel enlisted in the Army in February 1942, and served with Headquarters Battery, 13th Field Artillery Brigade. He was buried in Florence American Cemetery outside of Florence, Italy. For links to his grave information, click: Find a Grave and American Battle Monuments Commission.

Samuel was the grandson of Job Winans Angus whose “letters from Texas” and obituary notice appear elsewhere in this blog. Samuel had one sibling named Betty. The two were the children of Grace Kendall and Rev. Harry Baremore Angus, an ordained Presbyterian minister who died of influenza on 30 April 1919 at the young age of 35. Grace, who incidentally lived to be 100, and daughter Betty must have been terribly devastated by Samuel’s loss. And I’m sure it sent shock-waves through the extended family, especially given the fact that some of Samuel’s cousins were also still in service, in harm’s way.

Thank you, Samuel Kendall Angus, for your service and for paying the ultimate sacrifice for our country. You are remembered and deeply appreciated.

Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps cadets from Naples American High School prepare to lay flowered wreathes at the Tablets of the Missing in The Florence American Cemetery as part of Veterans Day ceremonies in Florence, Italy, Nov. 11, 2011. The tablets are inscribed with 1,409 names of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen that have been missing in action since World War II. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American service members killed during the Italian Campaign. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Queen

Wikimedia Commons – no copyright restrictions – released by US government – “Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps cadets from Naples American High School prepare to lay flowered wreathes at the Tablets of the Missing in The Florence American Cemetery as part of Veterans Day ceremonies in Florence, Italy, Nov. 11, 2011. The tablets are inscribed with 1,409 names of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen that have been missing in action since World War II. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American service members killed during the Italian Campaign. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Queen”

== Summary == The Florence American World War II Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy. From the [http://www.abmc.gov American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) web site] per their [http://www.abmc.gov/copyright.php copyright info]. [[Category:American Ba

The Florence American World War II Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy.  US government image – no copyright restrictions – public domain

Contributed to Wikimedia Commons by Vignaccia76 - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Florence American Cemetery – Contributed to Wikimedia Commons by Vignaccia76 – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

 {{flickr| |title=DCP_3156 |description=American soldier cimitery, Tavarnuzze, Italy |photographer=Hannes Reich |photographer_location= |photographer_url=http://flickr.com/photos/ern |flickr_url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/ern/51062188/ |taken=2005-10-09 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Wikimedia Commons – American soldier cemetery, Tavarnuzze, Italy |photographer=Hannes Reich |url=http://flickr.com/photos/ern |flickr_url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/ern/51062188/ |taken=2005-10-09; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Categories: Angus, Death, Florence American Cemetery Italy, Obituaries, Presbyterian, WWII | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Remembering the women: Elizabeth Depui Brodhead

1851 print by Nagel & Weingartner: Depiction of the women of Bryan Station getting water while Native Americans, who are about to besiege the settlement, watch. Famous event in Kentucky during the American Revolutionary War.

1851 print by Nagel & Weingartner: Depiction of the women of Bryan Station getting water while Native Americans, who are about to besiege the settlement, watch. Famous event in Kentucky during the American Revolutionary War (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain in USA)

While, the men who served in the Revolutionary War are remembered with profound gratitude for their heroic sacrifices, it’s easy to forget that behind them stood an army of highly productive and devoted women: wives, sisters, grandmothers and daughters—women who strove to support the War efforts of their beloved, while keeping the home fires burning. How comforted the men must have been by this knowledge.

One such woman was Elizabeth Depui Brodhead, wife of the famous Colonel Daniel Brodhead and sister-in-law to my fifth great-grandfather Garret. A wonderful bit of biographical detail about Elizabeth can be found on pages 22-23 of Some Pennsylvania Women during the War of the Revolution, by William Henry Engle, MD (Harrisburg, PA: Harrisburg Publishing Co., 1898), and I am including it below. While much has been written about the Colonel, this is the first information I’ve found that sheds a tiny bit of light on Elizabeth. If you are aware of other examples, please share in the comment box below.

The Birth of Old Glory, painting by Edward Percy Moran, ca. 1917 (Public Domain - Wikimedia Commons)

The Birth of Old Glory, painting by Edward Percy Moran, ca. 1917 (Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons)

Elizabeth Depui, youngest daughter of Nicholas Depui, was born in 1740* in what is now Monroe county Pa. She was a descendant from Nicholas Depui, a Huguenot who fled from France to Holland in the year 1685 at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Little is known of her early childhood. She received a pretty fair education at one of the Dutch schools in New York, but the major portion of her youthful days were spent on the frontiers of civilization, the wily savage ever hovering around the settlements of the Minisink. On more than one occasion she was obliged to flee to either the blockhouses or the more populous settlements for safety.

Shortly after her marriage she accompanied her husband to the town of Reading where she made her home until after the promulgation of peace. During that trying period the care of a young family was hers, and yet among that coterie of bright and heroic women of the Revolution who were in exile in Reading she shone with lustre. Nothing was too great for her to undertake and her patriotic ardor was always aroused for the welfare of the soldier of the Declaration. She administered to the comfort of the sick and wounded who found their way after convalescence to their several homes upon the frontiers. In those days, the women kept many in clothing as well as the necessaries of life. Help was needed everywhere, and as we of the present day minister to our troops from our abundance, the women of the Revolution did the same out of their poverty. It is true they accomplished much more than we at this distance of time can either appreciate or calculate. Theirs was a day of self denial.

Thomas Eakins' Homespun, 1881 (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain)

Thomas Eakins’ Homespun, 1881 (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain)

They delighted in homespun dresses while luxuries were prepared only for the sick and loving who were battling for the rights of mankind and the independence of their country. And yet we must honor the women of all crises in the history of our beloved land who lead in every philanthropic work to alleviate distress. Their forbears during the struggle for independence were animated by that enlarged patriotic spirit which will enshrine their names to the latest posterity. It was so eminently characteristic of them that a British officer, a prisoner of war, remarked that no soldiers whose mothers, wives, and daughters were so devoted to the cause and so self sacrificing could ever be conquered. Mrs. Brodhead died in the city of Philadelphia toward the close of the year 1799*, but exact date with place of burial have not been ascertained.

I’d love to find more such biographical detail on other women relevant to the families covered within this blog. If anyone has other examples to share, please get in touch/leave a comment. Meanwhile, you can check the list below to see whether any of your female Pennsylvania ancestors were also featured in this book.

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*Note: According to p. 74 of The Brodhead Family, Volume I, published by the Brodhead Family Association (Port Ewen, NY: 1986), Elizabeth was born in 1739 and was the daughter of Samuel Depuy and Jane McDowell. Also, per their records, she died sometime before 16 May 1781 at Reading, Berks Co., PA. (Daniel married again–his second wife was Rebecca Edgill Mifflin. She died in Philadelphia and was buried there on 15 February 1788.)

NB: Depui is spelled in many different ways (visit Depuy Surname History for a rundown).

Resources:
Women in the American Revolution
The Roles of Women in the Revolutionary War
The Homespun Movement – interesting PDF

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Other women featured in this book:
Elizabeth Wilkins Allison, 9; Allison, John 9
Rebecca Lyon Armstrong, 11; Armstrong, John 12
Sarah Richardson Atlee, 15; Atlee, Samuel John 15
Mary Quigley Brady, 18; Brady, John 18
Elizabeth Depui Brodhead, 22; Brodhead, Daniel 23
Eleanor Lytle Brown, 26; Brown, Matthew 26
Mary Phillips Bull, 29; Bull, John 29
Sarah Shippen Burd, 33; Burd, James 34
Katharine Hamilton Chambers, 3; Chambers, James 39
Elizabeth Zane Clark, 42; Clark, John 44
Jane Roan Clingan, 45; Clingan, William Jr 46
Martha Crawford Cook, 47; Cook, Edward 47
Sarah Simpson Cooke, 49; Cooke, William 49
Margaret Cochran Corbin, 58; Corbin, John 52
Mary Kelsey Cutter Covenhoven, 55; Covenhoven, Robert 55
Hannah Vance Crawford, 58; Crawford, William 58
Catharine Martin Davidson, 62; Davidson, James 63
Annie Schenck Davies, 65; Davies, Hezekiah 60
Hannah Blair Foster, 67; Foster, William 67
Anne West Gibson, 70; Gibson, George 70
Rachel Marx Graydon, 73; Graydon, Alexander 74
Catharine Ewing Hand, 78; Hand, Edward 79
Margaret Alexander Hamilton, 81; Hamilton, John 81
Katharine Holtzinger Hartley, 83; Hartley, Thomas 83
Mary Ludwig Hays, 85; Hays, John 85
Ann Wood Henry, 87; Henry, William 87
Crecy Covenhoven Hepburn, 90; Hepburn, William 91
Sarah Harris Irvine, 92; Irvine, James 92
Anne Callender Irvine, 94; Irvine, William 95
Jean McDowell Irwin, 98; Irwin, Archibald 98
Alice Erwin Johnston, 100; Johnston, Francis 100
Martha Beatty Johnston, 103; Johnston, Thomas 103
Ann West Alricks Lowrey, 105; Lowrey, Alexander 105
Sarah Nelson McAlister, 108; McAlister, Hugh 108
Sarah Holmes McClean, 110; McClean, Alexander 112
Martha Sanderson McCormick, 113; McCormick, Robert 113
Margaret Lewis McFarland, 115; McFarland, Andrew 115
Martha Hoge McKee, 117; McKee, Thomas 117
Margaret Stout Macpherson, 119; Macpherson, William 120
Marritie Van Brunt Magaw, 122; Magaw, Robert 122
Susanna Miller Mickley, 124; Mickley, John Jacob 124
Sarah Morris Mifflin, 127; Mifflin, Thomas 128
Rachel Rush Boyce Montgomery, 130; Montgomery, Joseph 1
Elizabeth Thompson Moorhead, I34; Moorhead, Fergus 134
Mary White Morris, 137; Morris, Robert 13s
Margaret Mayes Murray, 140; Murray, James 141
Winifred Oldham Neville, I42; Neville, John 143
Mary Carson O’Hara, 14; O’Hara, James 146
Rosina Kucher Orth, I48; Orth, Balzer I48
Sarah McDowell Piper, 150; Piper, William 151
Margaret Lowrey Plumer, 152; Plumer, George I52
Elizabeth Potter Poe, 157; Poe, James 158
Margaret O Brien Pollock, 160; Pollock, Oliver 161
Elizabeth Parker Porter, I64; Porter, Andrew 166
Elizabeth Myer Kelly, 168; Kelly, John 168
Jane Ralston Rosbrugh, 171; Rosbrugh, John 171
Phoebe Bayard St Clair, 171; St Clair, Arthur 174
Margaret Murray Simpson, 178; Simpson, John 178
Maria Thompson Sproat, 180; Sproat, William 180
Martha Espy Stewart, 182; Stewart, Lazarus 182
Hannah Tiffany Swetland, I84; Swetland, Luke 185
Ursula Muller Thomas, 187; Thomas, Martin 187
Catharine Ross Thompson, I89; Thompson, William 190
Hannah Harrison Thomson, 192; Thomson, Charles 193
Elizabeth Grosz Traill, 195; Traill, Robert 19
Lydia Hollingsworth Wallis, 198; Wallis, Samuel 198
Jean Murray Watts, 201; Watts, Frederick 201
Mary Penrose Wayne, 204; Wayne, Anthony 205
Mary Agneta Bechtel Weygandt, 207; Weygandt, Cornelius 207

Categories: Brodhead, Monroe Co., Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Revolutionary War | 6 Comments

Mary Rebecca Brodhead Pike (1815-1922) — New Hampshire DAR member — achieved age 106

DAR Magazine Vol52, pub. 1918 This striking black and white image of Mary Brodhead Pike comes from Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, Volume 52 (Jan. 1918),  p. 678.

Mary, daughter of Reverend John Brodhead and Mary Dodge, died on May 17, 1922, at the age of 106, and was buried in Locust Grove Cemetery, Newfields, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire.

The photo was ...taken the day after her 101st birthday, and is a very good likeness, but it does not express the charm of this intellectual gentlewoman. For 101, she looks remarkable!

The article mentions a DAR meeting taking place at Mary’s house in July of Mary’s 103rd year. What an honor it would have been to be a guest in her home.

Volume 55, published several years later (December 1921), gives us an update on the amazing Mary Pike. The Granite Chapter reported:

Our July meeting was held at the home of our oldest member, Mrs. Mary R. Pike, widow of Rev. James Pike, of Newfields. […]

Mrs. Pike at the age of 106 years is active in mind, keen and witty in conversation and gracious in manner. A few years ago this Magazine published a likeness of Mrs. Pike which holds good. She seems not to have changed mentally or physically except that a recent fall has confined her to her room.

Her health is good, she is cheerful and strong in her faith in God, and in her love for humanity. Granite Chapter would like to know if any other Chapter can claim so old a Daughter.

I, for one, would have loved to have been among those who got to sit down with Mary in her later years to hear her discuss her life experiences. As a member of the DAR, she would have been someone extremely interested in family history and the history of our great country.

As is often the case, this is an image I came across while searching for information about someone else. I was intrigued, and wanted to learn more about her. As it turns out, much has been written about Mary’s Brodhead family line, and I won’t go into too much detail here; I’ll just try to give you a sense of where she is located in the overall family tree:

Mary was a granddaughter of Revolutionary War Captain Luke Brodhead (1741-1806), youngest brother of my fifth great grandfather, Lt. Garret Brodhead (1733-1804). (Luke and Garret were sons of Dansbury (East Stroudsburg) founders Daniel Brodhead and wife Hester Wyngart.)

Luke* was wholeheartedly devoted to the cause of independence and was a devoted friend to General Lafayette. Wounds received in battle and in prison eventually forced him to retire from active duty after spending the winter in Valley Forge.

Luke’s June 28, 1806, obituary in the Northampton Farmer & Easton Weekly Advertiser described him as being: …an active patriot in the 1st Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment which marched on Boston in 1775, in opposition to tyranny. He was wounded, and made prisoner on Long Island, where he experienced savage cruelty in a British prison ship [Jersey], and afterwards [he was exchanged on December 8, 1776] served his country with reputation… […] Justice and gratitude had induced his country to dignify him with an annuity for life, and his amiable simplicity of manners endeared him to his friends. He was a tender parent, and an affectionate husband, and an immatable friend...

Luke’s son Rev. John Brodhead**, an ordained Methodist minister, and Mary Dodge, were Mary Rebecca Brodhead Pike’s parents. In 1809, the parents ultimately settled in Newfields, New Hampshire, and that is where Mary was born.

Rev. John Brodhead served in the NH State Senate from 1817-1827, and was a member of Congress from 1829-1833. John and Mary Dodge Brodhead had twelve children: Daniel Dodge Brodhead, John Montgomery Brodhead, Elizabeth Harrison Brodhead, Ann Mudge Brodhead, Joseph Crawford Brodhead, Mehitabel Smith Brodhead, George Hamilton Brodhead, Mary Rebecca Brodhead, Olive Brodhead, Brevet Brigadier General Thornton Fleming Brodhead, Col. Josiah Adams Brodhead, and Almena Cutter Brodhead.

The Reverend was not the only parent who led a remarkable life. His wife Mary Dodge Brodhead’s September 5, 1875’s obituary in the New York Times stated that she conversed and shook hands with every President of the United States, from George Washington on down. With the martyr President Lincoln, she was on terms of great familiarity.

Brevet Brigadier General Thornton Fleming Brodhead, (1820-1862); Wikipedia (Public Domain--contributed by IcarusPhoenix)

Mary’s brother, Brevet Brigadier General Thornton Fleming Brodhead, (1820-1862); Credit: Wikipedia (Public Domain–contributed by IcarusPhoenix)

Of their children, Brig. Gen. Thornton Fleming Brodhead is particularly well known, for his service in the Civil War. He was mortally wounded at Bull Run after heroically leading his men into battle. George Hamilton Brodhead was once president of the NYSE. John Montgomery Brodhead served as second controller of the US Treasury, Joseph Crawford Brodhead was a Deputy Naval Officer, and Josiah Adams Brodhead was Paymaster in the US Army.

Mary Rebecca Brodhead (subject of this post) married Rev. James Pike***, who similarly to Mary’s father started out as a Methodist clergyman but later entered politics. James also served in the Civil War as a Colonel in New Hampshire’s 16th Infantry.

Mary and James had three children: James Thornton Pike (1841-1911), Anna Gertrude Pike Kendall (1844-1926), and Mary Brodhead Pike (1855-1855).

In closing, I’ll just say that there is a wealth of information available about this family line both online and in the Brodhead Family History volumes; I can’t really do justice to it here, and since it’s not my direct line, I don’t know how soon I will likely be returning to it. For anyone interested, the Brodhead Family History volumes may be available at your local library, particularly if you live in the Northeast, or through interlibrary loan. You can also purchase individual volumes from The DePuy / Brodhead Family Association (find them on Facebook).

Have a great day, all! As, always, comments, corrections, and additions welcome.

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*Source for Luke Brodhead & family: Vol. I of The Brodhead Family, published by the Brodhead Family Assn, 1986, pp. 80-84

**Source for Rev. John Brodhead & family: Vol. II of The Brodhead Family, published by the Brodhead Family Assn, 1986, pp. 143-153.

***Source for Rev. James Pike & family: Vol. IV of The Brodhead Family, published by the Brodhead Family Assn, 1986, pp. 311.

Categories: Brodhead, Civil War, Gen. Lafayette, Lincoln, President Abraham, New Hampshire, Obituaries, Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War | 8 Comments

Dr. Charles B. Jaques, assistant surgeon during the Civil War for 7th Regiment New Jersey (Post III)

Scan of the cover of my personal copy of the book

Scan of the cover of my personal copy of the book

In my first post on Charles B. Jaques, I wrote in paragraph #12 that the 1863 publication Report of Major-General John Pope. Letter from the secretary of war, in answer to resolution of the House of 18th ultimo, transmitting copy of report of Major General John Pope described Charles as being ‘missing’, last seen on the battlefield near Centreville, Virginia, tending to the wounded on August 29, 1862.

Well, I have since learned why Charles was described as missing thanks to the marvelous book Give It to Them, Jersey Blues! by John Hayward (Hightstown, NJ, Longstreet House, 1998, 355 pages—available on Amazon).

Page 69: “Assistant Surgeon Charles Jaques also returned after being captured at Bull Run. During the battle, Jaques had positioned himself just behind the firing line. When the Regiment withdrew, he elected to stay with the wounded who could not be brought back. … Lieutenant Colonel Francine thought that Jaques was wrong in staying behind, so he arrested the doctor upon his return. Francine felt that the doctor should have helped tend to the seventeen wounded men that had been brought from the field. No charges were ever brought against Jaques and he was released  after only a few days.”

Imagine positioning yourself just behind a firing line…I can’t imagine the courage that took.

Charles in mentioned fleetingly several more times in the book (pp. 91, 93, 151), and his photo appears on p. 209. (I have written to the publishers to request permission to include the image in this blog, but have not gotten a response yet.)

In one case (pp. 91, 93), Charles and Lt. Col. Price observe that Francine appears “so dry and parched that he could barely speak above a whisper.” On Charles’ advice, Francine turned the Regiment over to Price and moved to the rear.  In another (p. 151), when the number of sick men in the regiment was rising alarmingly, Charles is noted as expressing great concern about the lack of fresh water and fruits and vegetables for the men.

The book is a marvelous tribute to the men of NJ’s Seventh Regiment. It contains a wealth of information and a large photo gallery. If you have an ancestor who served in this regiment, you just may find their image here.

Categories: Civil War, Jaques, New Jersey | Leave a comment

In memory of WWII US Army Captain Henry D. Wirsig

George Keller, Henry Wirsig, and Charles Brodhead

George Keller, Henry Wirsig, and Charles Brodhead

This photo on the right supposedly stood on my grandmother’s dresser many years ago, and I’d seen it off and on through the years, when leafing through a family album, always wondering who the gentleman in the middle was. Well, a week ago, I was going through an old bundle of letters, containing correspondence between my grandmother and grandfather, Fannie and Frank Brodhead, and a US Army Captain named Henry Wirsig. As I leafed through the letters, out fell a smaller version of this photo, and I immediately understood that this fellow in the middle was Henry.

The letters and postcards from Henry were sweet and thoughtful, almost always ending in “Love, Henry” or “Love to All, Henry”, and the one letter I found from my grandparents to him was signed “Love, Ma and Pa Brodhead”.

I later learned that Henry was born in 1914, so he was two years younger than my Dad’s brother Woody and seven years younger than my Dad (Charles). My Dad enlisted in spring 1942, and I believe this photo must have been taken around July 1942 as that was his last time home until November 1944.

Henry’s letters always inquired about Woody, my Dad, and ‘grandma’ (a reference to my grandfather’s mother Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead, by then in her eighties), so Henry must have been a very close family friend. Where did they meet? Well, through subsequent research, I think it may have been through the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth (NJ), as Henry and my Dad’s family were all members there.

'Ma and Pa Brodhead'

‘Ma and Pa Brodhead’

As I read along, the letters all saved in chronological order, I was shocked to come upon a March 1945 letter from Henry’s mother to my grandmother, revealing gut-wrenching news—confirmation that Henry had been killed in action on December 17, 1944, at the onset of the Battle of the Bulge, a major German offensive campaign that began on 16 December 1944 and lasted until 25 January 1945, and resulted in a staggering 89,500 American casualties. Suddenly this photo took on extremely deep and personal meaning. I can’t begin to imagine how this crushing news must have devastated everyone who knew and loved Henry.

The website Battle of the Bulge Memories contains the recollections of a veteran who participated in that day’s events, and he describes the events leading up to Henry’s death. To read this riveting account, which is tough to read at times, click here.

Elizabeth Daily Journal, Saturday Evening, March 17, 1945

Elizabeth Daily Journal, Saturday Evening, March 17, 1945

The Elizabeth Daily Journal published an obituary notice on March 17, 1945; it provided me with more details on Henry’s background. To paraphrase the obituary notice:

Captain Henry D. Wirsig, of Union, NJ (formerly of Elizabeth, NJ) died in Bastogne, Luxembourg, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of the Ninth Armored Division. Prior to his death, he had been serving as acting mayor of Luxembourg. He was 31 years old.

Capt. Wirsig was born and raised in Syracuse, NY, and graduated from the University of Syracuse. He enlisted in 1942, leaving behind a chemical engineering position with Standard Oil Development Company. He had joined the company as a student intern in 1936.

He was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps and began active duty as a lieutenant. At Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, in October 1942, he was promoted to Captain. He also trained in the California desert, Camp Cook (CA), Fort Knox (KY) and Camp Polk (LA). [My grandparents received a number of postcards from these places.]

Captain Wirsig was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Elizabeth, NJ. He married Mabel Dorothy Painter of Elizabeth, NJ, on April 5, 1940, and had two children, Kenneth and Jean. He was the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl F. Wirsig, and brother of Stanley S. Wirsig and Paul O. Wirsig.

**********************************************

I was very pleased to discover that Henry’s resting place has been memorialized on the Find a Grave site. He was buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Liège, Belgium. I submitted a ‘photo’ and ‘biography’ to Find a Grave, and am happy to see that they have since been included in his memorial page (to view, click here).

Below is Henry’s last postcard to my grandparents.  My grandmother’s last letter to him, affectionately signed ‘Love, Ma and Pa Brodhead’ was written on January 9, 1945. She had no idea he was already gone.

It’s heart-breaking to think of all that Henry and his family lost on that tragic December day nearly 70 years ago.

Henry made the ultimate sacrifice in the liberation of Europe from Nazi tyranny. I thank him and his family for bearing this awful burden so that others could live in freedom.

Henry's last mailing, a postcard, to my grandparents; such a beautiful and peaceful scene.

Henry’s last mailing, a postcard, to my grandparents; Franciscan Convent in Marienthal, Luxembourg—such a beautiful and peaceful scene.

Written 16 days before Henry's death

Written 16 days before Henry’s death

Links:
American Battle Monuments Commission

PBS American Experience – Interviews with Bulge Veterans

Fields of Honor database

“Infantry & Tanks near Bastogne”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – Battle of the Bulge – Members of the 44th Armored Infantry, supported by tanks of the 6th Armored Division, move in to attack German troops surrounding Bastogne, Belgium (31 Dec 1944)

Categories: Battle of the Bulge, Brodhead, Elizabeth, Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial, New Jersey, Wirsig, WWII | 7 Comments

Dr. Charles B. Jaques, assistant surgeon during the Civil War for 7th Regiment New Jersey (Post II)

I love middle names. They can be so helpful when researching family members who were actually given a middle name, a practice that started in the US in the first half of the 19th century. Even a middle initial can be very useful.

Once armed with the middle name “Berry” (see last post) for Civil War assistant surgeon Dr. Charles B. Jaques (my second great-grandmother Wealthy Jaques Angus’s youngest sibling), I was able to find his cause of death.

The book Catalogue of the Alumni, Officers and Fellow, 1807-1891, published by Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (NY: Bradstreet Press, 1891, p. 79) states that Charles (Class of 1856) died from cardiac disease. Born on Valentine’s Day 1834, Charles was just 32 at the time of his death. He’d saved many lives during his Civil War years with New Jersey’s 7th Regiment, yet his own life could not be saved. Perhaps, some childhood illness finally took its toll.

p. 37

(Note: they have a typo in his year of death, which was 1866 (vice 1876) according to his obituary notice and grave marker.)

If you would like to view a carte de visite of Charles, one is currently on display on the Heritage Auction website. Copyright restrictions prohibit me from showing the photo here, but you can view it yourself. Just click on this link—he is in the top row, third from the left.

Categories: Brooklyn, Civil War, Death, Jaques, New York City, Old Somerville Cemetery NJ | Leave a comment

Beware of fading inscriptions

Not trying to panic anyone, but it’s good to remember that—over time—pencil and ink photo inscriptions can fade and become lost forever. Here’s one I just managed to salvage: my dad Charles Brodhead pictured with some of his Marine Corps buddies (Company A, 3rd Marine Division) on the island of Guam, 1944.  A bit of “Photoshopping” helped me pull out almost all that remains of his writing. Thanks to Dad for writing this down, we know who these good-looking young guys from the Greatest Generation were. Thank heavens we caught the fading inscription in time!

Reading from left to right standing: Northrop, Bob Palmer, yours truly, and Cal Downey from Cranford [NJ]. Kneeling from left to right: Jensen and Toney. Our eyes were focused on Lieutenant Waszak. Northrop is from NY state; Bob Palmer from Van Wert, Ohio; Jensen from NY state and Toney from NY State. With all my love for ….. from your … son Charles

 

Guam, August 1944

Guam, August 1944

Photo_description
Photo_description

Categories: Brodhead, Guam, WWII | 2 Comments

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