Welcome (Céad Míle Fáilte!) to Small-leaved Shamrock

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Worth remembering

About a century and half had passed. No one in today's generation of his family even knew his name, and certainly had no idea of what he had done. William Cowhey's memory had been lost to history. Or so it could have been.

It was a thrill for me to find the name of my great-great-grandfather in the U.S. Census records a few years ago. I carefully entered his name into the family tree, then over time, as I found more of the pieces of the puzzle of his life, I entered them.

The more I learned, the more I was amazed. He became a hero to me, and I wanted others to know his name and remember his life.

So on this Veteran's Day 2007, I remember with honor the life of my great-great-grandfather, William Cowhey (1834-1892). A railroad man who died in a train accident while heading home from his shift one night, William was surely a hero to his wife and many children.

He was also a hero to our nation. Serving as an early volunteer from Pennsylvania to help counter the "Rebellion", as they called the Civil War, he and his brother Thomas and their Company I-16 of Pottsville (the "Anthracite Guards") bravely set forth to protect their nation.

William and Thomas' three-month military careers were short but important at this turning point in 1861. Their company was recruited at Pottsville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania on April 26, 1861. Twenty-six-year-old William and 21-year-old Thomas and their company did not see too much action before they were discharged on July 25, 1861. But they played a role in one of the most important parts of our nation's history: a role that I hope will not be forgotten.

On this Veterans' Day, Small-leaved Shamrock honors all veterans and all military personnel currently serving their country. Though the words may seem inadequate: Thank-you.

For more information about the Anthracite Guards of Company I-16 see the History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers by Samuel Bates at Pennsylvania Civil War website or the History of Schuylkill County, PA by W. W. Munsell online. You can also find an index to Munsell's work online.

If you are interested in learning more about Schuylkill County's contribution to the Civil War, you might be interested in the
Schuylkill Civil War Round Table.

Additional Civil War posts on Small-leaved Shamrock may be found about William Cowhey's Civil War pension file, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a PBS History Detectives episode on the GAR, and the Pennsylvania State Monument at Gettysburg honoring Civil War soldiers.

Note: The United States flag pictured above is a 34-star flag used during the time of the Civil War.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails