Most families have a story like this, but it still gives me chills to have found this one.
During the Civil War, in October and November of 1863, the Confederate Army laid siege to Union occupied Chattanooga, Tennessee. General U.S. Grant sent General Sherman to counter the assault. It was General Sherman's attack on Missionary Ridge, on November 25th, that routed the Confederates and ended the siege
Part of Sherman's army during that attack was E Company, 55th Illinois Volunteers, commanded by Captain Robert Dixon. Captain Dixon was my great grandfather, John Dixon McLaren's maternal grandfather.
During the battle of Missionary Ridge one Confederate soldier received a wound that affected him for the rest of his life, leading to paralysis which eventually caused his death. That soldier was Barney Burch, my great grandfather, Martha (Winchester) McLaren's maternal grandfather.
After the battle, Barney lived to be eighty two and sired twelve children, including my grandmother, so it's hard to hold a grudge. But the fact that two of my great grandfathers stood on opposite sides of that ridge, one in Blue one in Grey, gives me lots to think about. If Robert Dixon were a better shot would I not be here?
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Updated March 28, 2021
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