Today, in the United States, it is Father's Day. It is also time for my weekly Civil War post. Always looking for the slightly offbeat, I decided to do an internet search and see what I could come up with for Father's Day.
Some may call it trivia. I call it living history. Too many people are turned off by history, thinking of the dull, lifeless presentation of history too many of us endured in school. I've always loved history and want to try to make it more accessible to people.
So how is this for a start - a 2010 feature in the Utah Deseret News - a woman, Bashie Thomander, talks about her father, who fought in the Civil War on the Union side. Yes, she was 94 when interviewed, and yes, her father was 74 when she was born. Still, she links us with our past.
The story of her father's service is one of the fascinating things about the Civil War that few of us studied in college. We think of the war as "North vs. South" but it actually was fought, in one way or another, in a lot of far flung areas - including Utah, which was still a territory at the time. His service was not against Confederates but - well, you'll have to read the story for yourself. If you read Mrs. Thomander's story, you will learn something about Utah and the Civil War that many people, including me, didn't know about.
Before posting this, I wanted to make sure that Mrs. Thomander was still alive. As far as I can tell through online research, she is. (If you know differently, could you comment?)
Then, I found that, just like Mothers Day (which I blogged about on Mother's Day), Father's Day is also connected to the Civil War. Why not?
And finally, I found some quick facts about Civil War personalities and the fatherhood part of their lives last year. In an era of high infant mortality and mortality among those growing up, I invite you to read my Father's Day post from last year, talking about four main players in the Civil War and some little known facts about them as fathers. You may be surprised and amazed to know these figures more as human beings and less as statues in a public square (or on a battlefield).
Happy Fathers Day to all my readers who are fathers. It's one of the hardest jobs in the world. On a personal note, today would have been my parents' 61st wedding anniversary. Today, I pay tribute to my Dad, and to all fathers everywhere.
Did your father's father or grandfather fight, or otherwise participate, in the American Civil War?