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.