|Present day "sunken road" and the rock wall|
My husband and I had traveled to Richmond, Virginia to attend the National Genealogy Society's 2014 Conference. Afterwards, we visited a few of the many historical sites in the area, including the battlefield at Fredericksburg, Virginia. While I loved knowing that at one time, my ancestors had been there, I hated knowing why.
Our visit was in May and as is typical for the season, the air was warm and humid. A few songbirds sang in the trees surrounding the fields, but otherwise the air was still and quiet, a sharp contrast to December of 1862. That December, as troops converged on the battlefield, the bitter cold, snow and mud added to the misery of the war. While cannon balls took out lines of men, bullets riddled the smoke filled air, killing many who courageously fought, and yet they were not the only enemy. Lack of good food, few tents and a shortage of blankets, along with rampant disease and inadequate medical care,
took the lives of many.
|Gallant Charge of Humphrey's Division|
at the Battle of Fredericksburg
Library of Congress
David Ganus, Burton Cook and James Blackmon were all at Fredericksburg. David Ganus was born in 1836 in Fayette County, Georgia to James (Gur)Ganus and Elizabeth McCluskey. David was a younger brother to my 3rd great grandfather, John Monroe Ganus. Burton Cook was married to David and John's oldest sister, Mary, and James Blackmon was married to their sister, Margaret. David, Burton and James were among the thousands of Confederate soldiers present for the historic battle at Fredericksburg.
|Cobb's and Kershaw's Troops|
behind the stone wall
Library of Congress
As I paused to read the historical markers, I felt a flood of emotion as I imagined David, Burton and James, standing shoulder to shoulder with each other, their neighbors and friends. Given the number of soldiers there, it is doubtful that David was even aware of the presence of other more distant relatives, such as Florida cousins, Willis and Moses Gurganus. As regiments from multiple counties and states joined together at the various battles, brothers, uncles, cousins, sons and fathers all fought, sometimes side by side and sometimes on opposing sides
|Part of the original rock wall today, built by Confederate Soldiers|
Luckily David, Burton and James all survived the battle at Fredericksburg, but David developed pneumonia and a few weeks later he was sent to Winder Hospital in Richmond. With that, I knew where our next stop would be.
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014