Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day 2005

TODAY is Memorial Day, a day to honor those who have served our great nation and have suffered death or personal injury as a result of their service. My family has a long record of military service to this nation; Here is a brief write up about three of them.

Peter Looney, Sgt., Augusta County Virginia Militia, served at Fort Vause during the French and Indian Wars. He was there when it was attacked. He was wounded and taken as a prisoner to Indian villages near Lake Erie and Huron. When he got the opportunity, he escaped and made his way home. On his journey back to Virginia, he met a newspaper reporter in New York City, who wrote down Peter Looney's story and it was published in a London Newspaper in 1757. He was reimbursed for his losses and granted a reward for his bravery by the Virginia House of Burgesses. He married a neighbor girl and shortly before the birth of their son, Peter Jr., Peter Sr. died. (Peter Jr. had a couple of cousins, one of whom Lauderdale County in Tennessee and Alabama are named and for whom Ft. Lauderdale, FL. is named.)

In 1862, James Dunlap left his wife and two young children on their family farm in rural White Co., ILL. to serve with the 87th Ill. Infantry, USA. During US Grant's Mississippi River Campaign, James Dunlap fell ill to dysentery. He was sent home to recuperate. He later re-joined his regt. for General Bank's Red River Campaign in Louisiana. But, again, Private Dunlap fell ill to dysentery. On a ship carrying the wounded and ill northward from a New Orleans hospital, Pvt. Dunlap died of dysentery. His body was unceremoniously dumped off at the woodyard at Memphis, TN. with a note to bury this dead soldier. He is now buried in the Illinois Section of Memphis National Cemetery. (The military authorities at Memphis contacted the captain of this ship and let him know what would happen to him and his big government contract if he ever again showed such mistreatment and disrespect to the body of a Union soldier)

In 1862, David M. Russell left his family in Ozark Co., Missouri to serve in Phelps Regt, USA. They fought at Elk Horn Tavern, in northwestern Arkansas, then disbanded because their enlistment was up. David went home and with many of his neighbors who supported the Union cause, joined the local Missouri Mounted Milita. The main job of the Mounted Militia was to protect their loved ones and homes from "southern" raiders coming up to Missouri from Arkansas. One spring day, while home plowing his fields, David Russell was shot (bushwhacked). It is reported that he died several days later.

Today, I fly the US Flag outside my house in honor of these ancestors and to honor all those other thousands who have given their lives in the service of our country. Though they'll never hear it, I say THANK YOU.