|John G Thrasher|
The American Civil War has always fascinated me. I believe as a child, I started wanting to know more about those times, after watching Gone with the Wind, when I was about 10-11 years old. It troubled me that brother would come against another brother and cousins were divided. Since my dad was from Tennessee, I would ask, if anyone from our family fought in the Civil War. Back then, we only heard stories - didn't have much proof.
It was the same, I am sure in every family. I was looking through my husband's family tree when I came across, John G Thrasher - born July 18, 1844, in Annsville, New York and died Dec. 11, 1863, in Shell Mound, Tennessee. He was my husbands' 2nd great uncle.
Not much is known about the young man, who served his country. (The Union) He was born to Allen and Eloisa Matilda (Savery) Their only son - in the middle of 4 daughters. He did not die in battle - he died from disease.
The seven most common diseases in army camps were typhoid fever, smallpox, measles, diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and tuberculosis. Dysentery was the #1 single killer among all factors in the Civil War on both the Confederacy and Union. Including half of all disease-related deaths was because of dysentery. According to Union records, 1,739,135 cases; 57,265 deaths were recorded on Yankee soldiers while just 44,238 men died in battle. Twice as many Civil War soldiers died from disease as from battle wounds, the result of poor sanitation in an era that created mass armies and did not yet understand the transmission of infectious diseases.
The chance of surviving a wound in Civil War days was 7 to 1; in the Korean War, 50 to 1. About 15 percent of the wounded died in the Civil War; about 8 percent in World War I; about 4 percent in World War II; about 2 percent in the Korean War.
It hurts me to imagine - if he were my 19-year-old son - far away from home, dying from disease and I was unable to help him.
Rest in peace, young soldier.
During the war, Lincoln overheard someone remark that he hoped "the Lord was on the Union's side." Lincoln responded with this sharp rebuke:
I am not at all concerned about that, for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side.
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