The Second Clue

Second clue Salem paper 1960

North and South. Union and Confederate. Slavery and free.  I knew about these as concepts.
I didn’t know much about the Civil War when it came to the details involved.  Sure I knew about the individuals – Lincoln and Davis, Grant and Lee, etc.; and some of the battles.  But when it came to regiments, brigades and other units with state names and ordinal designations, I was in the dark.
And to discover how E. T. fit into all this, I would need to educate myself.  But where to begin?
I thought I had something when I found an old newspaper clipping in one of my grandfather’s volumes. It was from a Salem MA newspaper, I think from the 1960s. The writer of the article was describing a picture with something to do about the first casualty from Salem in the Civil War.  It gave his name as George A Thompson of Company H.  And he died in the first Battle of Bull Run.  It stated further that our mutual ancestor (Herbert is a distant cousin of mine) served with George and was a prisoner of war.
When I was first looking at this it was 1996 or 1997, so there wasn’t a whole lot of stuff on the Internet.  I had dial up at home, but no graphic interface (I went to the library for that).
So, it appeared that ET was in Company H and a POW.
Where to from here?
Stay tuned.

Searching for E. T. – The Beginning

Civil War montage

I had first heard rumors about a relative who was a soldier in the American Civil War, when I was growing up in Salem Massachusetts in the sixties. However, I was more interested at the time in what my Classics Illustrated comics had to say about the conflict. Such titles as the Red Badge of Courage and The Crisis claimed my attention, and in particular the CI giant the War Between the States which became quite worn with use. And if it wasn’t the comics it was my Civil War News bubblegum/trading cards.  The ones with the often gory details.
Thirty years later and on the opposite coast, I remembered that rumor and decided to look into it. I had some books that were my grandfather’s and and as it turned out were his grandfather’s before him.  There was “Sword and Pen” about a cavalryman; another titled “Life in Rebel Prisons”; and a third called simply “A Daring Voyage” by Captain William Andrews.
In the last I found the following inscription:
Searching for ET
“To an intrepid comrade during the dark uncertain years of the Rebellion and ‘misty long ago.'”
(To) Serg’t Edward T Osgood
From Wm. Andrews,
  Boat “Nautilus”
And thus began my search for E. T.