Laura mentions that Uncle George was home from the army. I am asking because I am too lazy to look it up..but about what year would this have been? She said he had ran away at age 14 to be a drummer boy in the army. But did you notice that Garth Williams has a drawing of an old bearded man.lol She says he had on his blue uniform. I wonder if you could look up his military outfit somehow. I have found my own relatives inlistment info from the civil war so I am sure you can. I think that would be pretty neat!
Blue would have been the Yanks and since you and I are Southeners, we might get the Civil war going again if we're not keerful! Since Laura was born after the War was over, he had probably stayed on in the Service for a while longer. He may have been a 'lifer'. I believe Pa and Ma both had family that were killed in the Civil War. Actually, I believe Pa was in the war for a while. These people were so patriotic, they treated the 4th of July like it was Christmas!
Ginger, George was born July 15, 1851. He therefore turned 14 two or three months after the war was over. So either he ran away to war younger than 14 and Laura simply couldn't remember the age, or Laura either accidentally or purposely confused him with one of his brothers.
Both Hiram and James enlisted in January 1865. James would have been 21, and Hiram 16. Pa did not go to war.
Ma's brother Joseph was actually killed in the War Between the States. He died in April 1862 from his wounds at the Battle of Shiloh.
All were indeed Yankees -- they were from Wisconsin, after all.
I will have to forgive them for being Yankees as I am sure Laura would have forgiven me for being A Southerner. lol They did get pretty patriotic on the 4th didn't they. But then if you look at it, America was still pretty young and I am sure with the war not being long gone and the effects of it still lingering , the Union being preserved was a bid deal. Hey I am a Southerner and I love it, but I love America more! I do wish I had time to find out more about Laura's family that wa sin the war, if anyone has more details like unit names and such, I'd like to hear about it. I used to be really into that when I was searching out my genealogy.
Okay I just wanted to make something clear. The pic that I thought of as being Uncle George must be G-pa. It was the clothes that threw me off. Actually the clothes worn by the old man carrying the buckets(G-pa) looks like a Confederate uniform and hat. Anyway, on down a few pages there are two drawings of Uncle George and he has on his dark suit. In one he is blowing his horn and in one he has his horn by his side. But at any rate..he does look more like a young man than a boy.
"I was discharged from service July 11, 1865. Was married in April 1867 to Louise Smith of Lowell, Michigan, J.N. Bradkley, Stephen Manchester, Charles Ingalls, Alphonso Ingalls and Mr. Drake were in my regiment." This was taken from here at the bottom of the page: www.secondmichigan.com/ Do you suppose it was a different man? I'd read someplace that Pa was in the War for a while. Maybe this was why he and Ma didn't have children for several years after they were married. They may have married just before he was mustered. It wouldn't have been strange for him to be in a Michigan division, people joined up with groups where ever they happened to be. Pa had an organized military type of mind and he seemed to be very thoughtful about the War and such. I may be jumping the gun with this little info and there may have been more than one Charles Ingalls in the same region. I'll look some more. It could have been that Laura didn't write about it for a personal reason. My son went with his crew to Biloxi when the hurricane hit and he won't even talk about it. He said it was too horrible of an experience to relive. My Dad was in WWII and wouldn't even watch war movies, he just couldn't stand the sight of war.
It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
There were certainly lots of Charles Ingallses scattered about... if you go to www.familysearch.org and enter the name Charles Ingalls with a birth spanning the years from about 1830 to 1845 (about the age of many men who would have been a good age to be in the war) born in the US only, you will see LOTS of different Charles Ingallses that the man mentioned on this website could have been.
I see two clues that this wasn't our Charles:
First, the mention of Alphonso Ingalls. If there were two Ingalls in the same regiment, they were probably related, and we don't know of any Alphonso Ingalls in our Ingalls line at all.
Secondly, the way he writes his account seems to indicate that all the men he named did all of these things with him, which included being at Andersonville Prison in Georgia from March to October of 1864. Since Mary was born in January 1865, unless there's another huge secret nobody knows about ;), Pa could not have been in Georgia at that time.
So we know Pa wasn't at war in Feb 1860 because he was getting married. I have a letter from Ma to her sister dated Oct 1861 which refers to how she and Charles are doing fine and all the hard work Charles has done all summer, so at that time there seems no evidence that he's been at war or is getting ready to go. And we know he had to be back by spring 1864 to conceive Mary. We're really narrowing down our time frame as to when he could have served to only 1862-63, and if I continued to search I would probably unearth evidence that showed him home then too.
I know that William Anderson after extensive research has said Pa was not in that war, so unless he's unearthed something recently that shows that he was, after all, I'm going to assume that he definitely was not.
As for no babies, it's possible Ma had a miscarriage or two in those early years of marriage. It's doubtful it ever would have been mentioned. In fact, we have Laura's comment that Pa could span Ma's waist with his hands when they got married, but Ma writes in that Oct 1861 letter that "you will think I am healthy when I tell you how much I weigh. I weigh 138 pounds." Unless she was a very tall woman (which we know she wasn't!), Pa would have had to have HUGE hands to span her waist. So either Ma really wasn't as thin in her youth as Laura said she was, or she gained rapidly after getting married... No way to ever know, but I almost wonder if this was Ma's subtle way of announcing that she was pregnant to her sister, and then something happened and she ended up losing that baby. Maybe, maybe not. Just something to think about.