|By Unknown author; Kurz & Allison, Art Publishers, Chicago, U.S.A., via Wikimedia Commons|
Looking through my family history database, I found that I have just one direct ancestor who gave his life in the line of military duty. I only looked at the Civil War to the present. I have several who served, and some who died, during the protracted revolutionary conflicts. I have written previously about John Topping, who was my third great-grandfather.
With Memorial Day approaching, I wish to highlight John, again. Here is a synopsis of his military service.
John enlisted on August 18, 1861, at Madison, Wisconsin. He was living in Grand Rapids, Wisconsin, at the time. He enlisted in Company G, 7th Infantry Regiment. He was serving with the same unit when he was killed at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.
From the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors website, here is the service rendered by John's unit up until Antietam:
"Duty in the Defences of Washington, D. C., till March, 1862. Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-16. Advance to Falmouth, Va., April 9-19. Duty at Falmouth and Fredericksburg till August. McDowell's advance on Richmond May 25-29. Operations against Jackson June 2-11. Reconnoissance to Orange Court House July 24-27. Expedition to Frederick's Hall Station and Spottsylvania Court House August 5-8. Thornburg's Mills or Massaponax Church August 5-6. Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Fords of the Rappahannock August 21-23. Catlett's Station August 22. Gainesville August 28. Battles of Groveton August 29; Bull Run August 30; Chantilly September 1 (Reserve). Maryland Campaign September 6-22. Battles of South Mountain September 14; Antietam September 16-17. At Sharpsburg, Md.,..."
Many, many more men died that day. I am thankful for their courage, devotion, service and sacrifice.