half Rebel, half Yankee

Thanks to the Alabama Civil War Database, I now am in possession of the pension records of my great-great uncle, Emanuel Langley, of the 31st Alabama Regiment. He was a Confederate soldier who was killed at the Siege of Vicksburg. It’s interesting to see how his record contrasts with that of my Union relatives. While they had land and other holdings (cattle, horses) to report, he had nothing. Not to mention, they survived the war and were paid a pension for the remaining years of their lives. I’m not sure what Emanuel’s wife received, if anything.

The month that the Siege at Vicksburg ended, Lee marched his troops to Gettysburg and my 3rd great grandfather, Felix Drais, a Union soldier of the 12th U.S. Regiment got a musket ball through both his legs. He laid on the battlefield for nearly a month in a field hospital. He married the nurse that cared for him and took her back home to Ohio. Many years later he moved his family to Gettysburg, near the field where he was injured, with his horse, cattle, and hogs in tow.

His granddaughter would marry the grandson of another Union soldier, Samuel Reichard who was injured during the Siege of Petersburg while ripping up the Weldon Railroad by hand.

And their granddaughter would marry Emmanuel Langley’s nephew in Massachusetts. A little bit of how I got to be pretty damn American, but decidedly half Rebel and half Yankee.