This post is dedicated to two of my ancestors who served in the Union Army during the Civil War:
John W. Lemmon (ancestor on my mother’s side), from Champaign County, Ohio, served three years in the Civil War from August 11, 1862 until August 14, 1865. He participated in battles at Richmond, the Siege of Vicksburg, and Nashville, among others. He received an Honorable discharge in August of 1865 at the age of 23.
Thomas Bryant (ancestor on my father’s side), from Washington County, Kentucky, served as a Union soldier during the Civil War. In May of 1864, his son and my ancestor, Ulysses Grant Bryant was born. Thomas enrolled in Company D of the 54th Regiment of the Kentucky Mounted Infantry Volunteers in September of the same year. He was honorably discharged in September of 1865. The 54th Kentucky was doing provost duty (policing activities) in the country around Lexington, Ky and operating against guerillas in Henry Co., Ky. Thomas received a pension from the government for the loss of sight in his right eye caused by cold and exposure during his service. The pension started at $6.00 per month in 1883 and was incrementally increased with time to $20.00 per month. He received it until his death in 1910.
On a beautiful, and perhaps one of the last temperate, autumn Saturday we traveled to Governor Bebb Metropark in Butler County, Ohio to shoot photos of the living history program celebrating the life of Abraham Lincoln. I’ve never been to one of these, although I have always been fascinated by some of the Civil War reenactments that occur around the country. I found “Lincoln comes to town” to be a fun and engaging day that sparked my imagination.
Governor Bebb Park has a pioneer village that members of the sponsoring organizations moved into and took over for the weekend.
Buglers played their plaintain notes,
a band of soldiers, the young and the old,
performed their military drills.
A blacksmith set out his wares.
Ladies took a morning stroll with coffee in a metal cup.
And Abe Lincoln visited the soldier’s camp, sometimes speaking with others,
sometimes lost in pensive thoughts.
I had chicken pot pie in the tavern for lunch.
I have no idea what a couple of these tools are for.
Governor Bebb Pioneer village was the perfect venue for the event,
and was suitably decorated for the celebration.
A stage was set up in the cemetery for Lincoln to give his Gettysburg Address, (but unfortunately we did not stay long enough to hear it. We did, however hear his speech upon leaving Springfield.)
The ladies made use of the stage to have a fashion show where they explained the specifics of their dress.
This young man watched with a detached interest. Some things never change.
Sponsoring organizations include:
Metroparks of Butler County
6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Company A
Ladies Living History Society of Greater Cincinnati
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Sister Anthony O’Connell Auxilliary Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War