July 29, 2015

With Thanks To All Veterans

Eliz Pledge Poindexter gravestone

 

 

As I noted right before, and on election day, I am eternally grateful to the veterans and *civilians who made it possible to vote in my country.  I am grateful to all of them, past, present and future.

The Wilkerson Family Veterans

Top right is John Whittmore, Medal of Honor Recipient Civil War

 

The Yates Family Veterans

Low Moor, Iowa Honors WWII Vets

Medal of Honor: Congress Only APPROVED It

Remembering Bremerton During World War II

Placed by Jonathan Hunt Chapter DAR

* The civilian I refer to in our family would be Elizabeth Pledge Poindexter, my 5th Great-Grandmother and wife of Capt. Thomas Poindexter.  They are buried at Poindexter (Yadkin River, Bailie Bottoms) Yadkin County, NC. Photo is from FindAGrave.

My Civil War Ancestors – John Watts Breedlove

john-breedlove-with-sword

My Great-Great Grandfather was John Watts Breedlove. Many of my family have called him John Wyatt Breedlove for years, but I believe his middle name really was Watts. The name Wyatt doesn’t show up in any of the naming patterns of the family, while the name Watts does, as it was his Granfather’s middle name, and John’s Great-Grandmother’s maiden name was Mary Watts. I would be happy to make corrections if someone can provide me with documented proof.

John Breedlove fought in Civil War, Volunteers of Company E, 32nd Regiment,  Missouri Infantry as a Sergeant. Enlisted August 13, 1862 at Steelville, Missouri. Discharged 18 July 1865 in Louisville, KY; promoted to First Sgt. He was with General Sherman on the March to the Sea. I have a copy of a picture of him in his Civil War uniform that had written on the back, “Chattanooga”. The 32nd Regiment was in Chattanooga, TN from Nov. to Dec. 1863.

John was a resident of Dent County, Missouri from 1865 to 1880. His father was William Martin Breedlove who migrated from Simpson County, KY to St. Francois County, MO in the early 1800’s.

John’s first wife, Mary Francis Wright, was the sister to his second wife Elizabeth Jane Wright Wilson. Mary Francis died in March 1861, soon after giving birth to a baby boy. The baby died a few months later.  Undoubtedly, John went off to the War with a broken heart and shaken spirit. His religious beliefs were no doubt what sustained him.

Just a note to genetic genealogists, John was first cousin to both of his wives, and not being a geneticist myself, I have no idea what that might have cost them as they had children. In that day and age it wasn’t unheard of to marry a first cousin, but now it is not as widely accepted because of genetic diseases that might be passed on.  As it stands now, I am my own cousin, and my son is also my 5th cousin, once removed.

John Breedlove, with second wife Elizabeth

and son Russell Breedlove b. 1889. Russell was the youngest child.

COG -77th Edition – Disasters

Cape Esperance, US Navy WWII era

COG -77th Edition – Disasters

My father-in-law, Loren Wilkerson, was in the Navy during World War II and near the end of the war he was on the CVE (carrier vessel escort) Cape Esperance as they made their way to Leyte Gulf for the battle that would eventually take place there.

On their way to the eventual battle, the Cape Esperance encountered one of the worst typhoons in naval history.  Named typhoon Cobra, it wreaked havoc and caused many deaths for the US Naval vessels caught in its path. If you are interested in reading more about this storm, I recommend the book Typhoon, The Other Enemy by Robert Calhoun. My husband read the book and sent it to his dad. (I didn’t get to read it before that happened, so I just ordered a copy of the book for our library today.) Even though Robert Calhoun was onboard a different ship, his experiences were essentially the same as Loren’s.

Admiral Nimitiz letter to the Pacific Fleet dated 13 Feb 1945 gives an accounting of the ships involved and the damages they suffered. Not only were ships lost, but the Aircraft Losses from Typhoon Cobra 1944 were extensive. The total of the lives lost was at least 800. At one point, Loren said the ship’s captain wanted to abandon the Cape Esperance, but the men didn’t want to do that, and they fought to save the ship instead.

It’s my goal to document Loren’s history, either in the Navy, or as a civilian, so that his descendants will know stories of his life. On July 24th of 2008 the city of Low Moor, Iowa honored their WWII veterans and my article Low Moor, Iowa Honors WWII Vets is a more extensive recounting of his experience during typhoon Cobra.

147 Year Old Breedlove Civil War Diary

Wayne Breedlove with JWB diary

Wayne Breedlove with JWB diary

The Caretaker

Pictured above is my 2nd cousin, once removed, Wayne Breedlove who generously brought the John W. Breedlove diary with him from Florida when he visited us last week. Wayne’s father, Othel Breedlove was the man who ‘rescued’ the diary from obscurity decades ago. Wayne found it in his dad’s camper, tucked away on a shelf in a bag of some sort.

diary 01 and shell

Reunited Mementos

It was just by chance the colors of the conch shell matched the tablecloth so well last Sunday. The shell is just as old as the diary though, and it was a reunion for it to be with the diary because John Breedlove had brought it home with him from the east coast as a benign memento of his wartime trek with Sherman’s army on their ‘march to the sea’.

John enlisted as a Sgt.  on August 13, 1862 at Steelville, Missouri and was placed in Company E of the 32nd Regiment, Missouri volunteers when he mustered in October 18, 1862 under Capt. Clark.

Wayne, Kathleen, Jack, Dave and Marilyn

The Breedlove Descendants

The five people in this picture are all descendants of John W. Breedlove. They are: L-R – Wayne Breedlove, Kathleen Rice O’Neill, Jack Harbeston, Dave Yates, and in front, Marilyn Scott Tank. Also attending were Kathleen’s mother Anna Helmick Rice, and of course, myself.

I hope to add more detailed information about the contents of the diary as we get a better look at the pages. Wayne is planning to scan them and then give each of us the digital images for our records.  When I get them, I will share some of them with all of you.

diary 02 first page

Wayne Breedlove and Carol Yates Wilkerson.jpg

Wayne Breedlove and Carol Yates Wilkerson

14 June 2009

© 2007-2015 iPentimento|Genealogy and History All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright