Beerbower Family (Click for Family Tree)
Last week’s “Military Monday: Samuel Taylor Beerbower’s Civil War Service” told of the battle in which Sam was wounded, Mission Ridge near Chattanooga, Tennessee. (AKA Missionary Ridge.) Although honorably discharged due to the paralysis of his right hand and arm, Sam went on to live a long and full life in Marion, Ohio. The Civil War was always remembered, though, and special days, such as 25 November 1863, were always close in mind.
Sam and a fellow who also served at Mission Ridge got together yearly to celebrate their survival and how the Union forces took what should have been an impregnable Confederate line:
It was 32 years later, and the comradeship of the military had once again brought together the men who had endured. (The ‘Encampment’ would have been their G.A.R.- Grand Army of the Republic- post for those who fought in the Civil War.)
Men with military service were honored by their communities for many years, in many ways.
The following article uses the word, “caned” in a humorous way, but it was no laughing matter in 1856 when, on the floor of the US Senate, SC Representative Preston Brooks used his gold-headed cane as a weapon to almost kill MA Senator Charles Sumner who had given an anti-slavery speech two days before. It was premeditated and well-planned-Sumner was along in the Senate chamber, writing, when he was assaulted by Brooks whir accompanying Southern state representatives looked on and kept others from intervening. Thankfully the caning was stopped but only after the cane broke into many pieces due to the violence of the attack, and Sumner almost died. Ironically, Brooks hurt himself on one of his backswings to hit Sumner- a metaphor of what would happen with The Civil War, with the South starting it, but ending up being the loser economically, socially, etc. after the war. This horrific caning incident was yet another break in the chain of the Union, leading up to the Civil War.
Thankfully Sam’s regiment was quite a bit kinder.
Prior military service brought together people for social reasons as well. Sam’s wife Irene Peters Beerbower was a very active member of the G.A.R. ladies’ section, and held various posts within the group, even elected as an alternative delegate to a larger convention.
Used to military life, many of the Veterans joined fraternal organizations that had a military sort of organization, uniforms, and even military-like rituals. Sam was a member of the Elks Lodge (and elected Exalted Ruler of Elks in 1873), the Kosciusko Lodge, No. 58 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF, another fraternal and service organization) where he served as Noble Grand (N.G.), or presiding officer, in 1883, and his wife participated with the female arm of the IOOF, the Rebekahs. Sam apparently participated with other groups as well:
Even in his last months, friendships developed through Sam’s military service and fraternal orders were important:
Notes, Sources, and References:
1) See citations for each article. The Marion Daily Star is available with a subsription to Ancestry.com.
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