One day during a history class of mine, my teacher said that each of us will make a family tree. I immediately thought my family isn’t great, we have done nothing very important. However, the project was still a grade so I had to ask my family anyway. So I did, I asked my mom first because she was of Austrian decent which sounded more interesting to me rather than my dad who was of plain German decent. My mother didn’t have much for me, it was rather disappointing. Then I asked my father, to my surprise he told me that my grandma had loads of documents and information about her side of the family. Then a few nights before the project was due, I went over to her house and asked her about the family. She was already prepared, I stepped into a dinning room and there were troves upon troves of documents, picture books, and even a few very sentimental items.
She showed me first a line of ancestors, they spanned extremely far back. Along the way she regaled me with stories about each one. One of my great grandfathers traveled across the Mississippi river while it was frozen tin the winter with his family and a horse drawn carriage. Anyway, thats not the story I want to tell, the real story is of my fourth great grandpa who was in the Union army during the American Civil War. I was shocked, how I had never known this, I mean history has been my favorite subject, and I have always gotten A’s in those classes. Now my grandma was telling me that a member of my family fought in the most controversial war in America’s history! Like I said I was shocked. Now for the story…
On the field, the Union and Confederates were faced off against each other. The Union troops had been told that the Confederates had more soldiers then they did. However they still had to win the battle. My great grandfather was a rifleman, a select few of them were in the military at all. So he decided he needed to do something, he went ahead of the main Union force to scout. There was a good and tall tree that he saw so naturally as any marksman would do, he wanted to be on higher ground. So he climbed up the tree and rested his rifle on a branch. When he looked one could only imagine what he thought when he saw all the troops lined up, and all of them ready to kill him in a second if they noticed him. But he had no fear that day, he knew he had do something. Realizing that killing only one soldier would hardly have an effect, so he aimed for a bigger fish so to speak. He panned across the field searching and searching, then he found him, a colonel. The leader of the Confederate troops in front of him. He aimed his gun, got a bead on the colonel, and fired. With one shot about across 250 yards the colonel fell off his horse. my great grandpa quickly got down from the tree and shortly after the Union attacked. Disorganized the Union swept over the Confederate forces and won the day.
It’s a small story that teaches me a little about my family history, something which I thought was bland and boring. In reality though, we each have our own stories, and this is where I wish to show mine.