Monday, February 4, 2013

The Family History Writing Challenge - A Civil War Hero

This is the third day of The Family History Writing Challenge, I have figured out that I have a long way to go as a writer, but I am enjoying it tremendously.  I am digging deeper than if I was just writing, but I have never really had any classes as some of the writer's have.  I keep telling myself that this is for me and it should reflect me and I should just relax and write.  So here goes again today!

Let's step backward in time about 150 years or so.  We will go back to the time this country was having a hard time getting along together.  Things were so rough that people didn't want to be citizens of the same country anymore.  It got so bad that they decided to take up arms against their neighboring states and fellow citizens.  This was the way of life for my great-great-grandfather, Isaac Manis.

Isaac, was born in Rush County or nearly Henry County, Indiana, on September 25, 1844.  His father, Joseph Manis, and his mother Nancy Hall Manis, had moved to Indiana from Tennessee a few years before.  Isaac grew up in Henry County, near the small town of Spiceland, Indiana.  Isaac had eight siblings, a few of those were his fathers children,  his mother died when he was eighteen and his father had two more wives and a few more children.  

The conflict among the states turned into a real war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate troops attacked Ft. Sumter.  President Lincoln soon put out a call for 75,000 troops.  Isaac Manis heard the call.  He was just a young man a few weeks short of 17 when he decided to join up and fight the rebels.  The 36th Indiana Infantry was one of the first regiments in Indiana to form.  Isaac was lined up with the first group to enlist.  He went to the nearby town of Richmond, Indiana with a group of Henry County boys and signed up to "go fight them Rebs".  

Issac mustered in on September 16, 1861, for a three year enlistment period.  He was sent to Camp Murphey, in Indianapolis.  He spent his 17th birthday there training to go off to war.  He was assigned to Company C.  

He was in a few small battles with his regiment, and then after a few months he marched to Tennessee, his father and mother's birthplace to fight.  I am sure there were cousins fighting against him, there were several fighting for the Confederates. The Manis family had lots of family still living in the South.  He fought in the Battle of Shiloh, in South Central Tennessee.

Desperate Fighting at the Battle of Shiloh
Getty Photos

I will put together the next segment in the story tomorrow.

Just as a side note I have been traveling to Civil War battlefields for about 15 years now.  My youngest son began studying history at fours years of age and has had an obsession with it ever since.  I have been to several of the battlefields were my great-great-grandfather fought.  A few years ago we stood on the battlefield at Shiloh, but at the time, I had no idea that I had any relatives that fought there.  When I return to those battlefields it will be with a different perspective as I have a few Civil War veterans in my direct line.

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