Tuesday, November 10, 2009

John Hamilton Morgan (1842-1894) and his son, John Hamilton Morgan (1894-1982).

John Hamilton Morgan’s daughter, Bessie Morgan Rex, kept a scrapbook. Forgotten until last year, I took pictures of some of the pages. In memory, and with respect, for these men and all veterans today, Veterans day, I submit the following. Bessie Morgan Rex clipped and pasted it into her scrapbook.
Interesting Similarity In Soldier Letters of Morgans, Father and Son

An interesting and impressive similarity is brought to mind by a letter recently received by Mrs. Helen M. Morgan, 359 Bryan Avenue, from her son, John Morgan Jr., a young soldier on his way to France. The letter was almost a duplicate in context and spirit of a letter written more than 56 years ago by his father, the late John Morgan, who was a soldier in the Civil War. Both are appeals to the folks at home not to think of peace but to continue to give the army all possible support and encouragement.

A further interesting similarity lies in the number of this unit to which the respective soldiers belonged. John Morgan, was a member of the 123d regiment of Illinois mounted infantry. John Morgan Jr. is with the 123d aero squadron?

Civil War Letter
The elder Morgan’s letter was written to his mother and father from a camp near Murfreesboro, Tenn., under date of Jan 28, 1862. It is one of the treasured possessions of the family and hangs in a frame, with the old regimental flag in the office of Nicholas G. Morgan, a son. In part the letter reads as follows:

“It makes me a little riley to hear of good, staunch administration men turning from their allegiance to their government and supporting one of the most God-forsaken projects (as the present peace party claims to be) that was ever invented. Were it possible I would wish that Lincoln could assume the power of a dictator for 12 months and would hang every man that dared utter one word in favor of the rebellion or peace.

Congress and northern legisletures [sic] and northern traitors are doing more for the cause of the Rebellion than all the Southern army. They are discouraging the federal army and encouraging the rebels as much as lay in their power. We of the army are in for nothing but the subjugation or annihilation of the south, and if we cannot accomplish it in three years we can in six, but that it is to be done we are satisfied, and that we are the army to do it we are also satisfied!”

The 1918 Letter
The letter from this federal soldier’s son, more than half century later, says in part:
“America is gradually awaking to the fact that we must best Germany at her own game. No more are we relying on some wonderful achievement of an Edison or the appropriation of huge sums of money by Congress. When we outnumber Germany with better fighting men, then can we hope for victory.”

“No doubt you talk this over daily but to give you the one thought of the boys in training: We do not want the folks at home to feel that Germany is all in, that the game is over, and we can slack up now; for if this thought ever gets into the head of the American public many hundred of thousands are not coming back, who could if we strain every muscle, use every legitimate man and flight like h___ now.”

The accompanying photographs show the two Morgans in their respective uniforms, which, as may be seen, are widely different. The particular dress of the elder Morgan was worn by him in 1862 in connection with a foraging expedition, when the soldiers had to provide themselves with whatever clothes they could find. It goes without saying that the “uniforms” were numerous and varied.

Thank you, cousin Karen A., for typing this copy of the text from the newspaper clipping.

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