Monday, May 30, 2016

Update: Our Family Veterans

Memorial Day is the day we remember the American veterans who fought and died in wars.  I've updated this post from 2008 to reflect new findings.

The Revolution

First in our line of veterans is Joseph Henry Ludwig, a hero of the Revolutionary War. I've already written about him. He and his brother are bonafide war heroes.

Family tradition has long held that Godfrey Felten fought in the revolution, and finally I can say that in fact he did.  He served as a private in the Pennsylvania Militia.

I can't find a record of Joslins actually fighing in the war, but Isaac Joslin was listed on the muster rolls for the 1st Regiment, 7th Company Of the Cumberland County Militia in 1793.

Finally, while I can't actually connect our family to him, in 1776 Lieutenant James Tibbitt of the Maryland Privateers sailed a brigantine called The Wild Duck from the Dutch West Indies to the head of the Elk River (now Elkton Maryland). The ship was packed with gunpowder and shot; most of that was sent to support General Washington's activities in New Jersey.  The ship itself was taken to Philadelphia for a refit by joseph Humphries, and was re-christened as the USS Lexington.

The Civil War

Joseph Henry Ludwig's  grandson, Captain Joseph William Ludwig, commanded a steamship for the Union Navy during the Civil War. Born in Waldoboro, Maine, he was living in New York City at the start of the War. After the war, he lived in Jersey City.

William James Tibbitt of Elkton, Maryland, also served in the Union Navy; he served as a Landsman, which was the lowest rank at the time. But his service record indicates that he spent most of his enlistment in the Pacific Ocean. His gravestone in Elkton Cemetery has a GAR emblem.

James McDermond also served in the Civil war, as a sergeant. Like most able-bodied men in Pennsylvania, he was pressed into service in 1862 when rumors of a Confederate invasion spread. Any male able to carry a rifle was drafted to do just that. After a few months, almost all of them were released back to civilian life. But Sergeant McDermond was "Awarded for Distinguished Service" for his time with Company D, 21 Pennsylvania Vol. Infantry.

Samuel Hudson Fisher II was only 17 years old in August 1862 when he enlisted as a drummer for the 114th PA Infantry, Company D. In December of 1863 he incurred a rupture while in Virginia, and was transferred to a Veteran's Hospital in Chicago. He was discharged in October 1864.

The Twentieth Century

By and large, most of the conflicts of the twentieth century spaced out such that the men of our family were either too young or too old to be called into wartime service. But we did have soldiers and sailors in the family;

Fred Jahn, our beloved Uncle Butch, served in the Coast Guard through the 1960s and 1970s.

Winfield Tibbit served in Germany during the Cold War of the 1950s; S. Stewart Joslin III served there twenty years later as a tank commander. And my brother Timothy served in the army.

We should be thankful for the sacrifices made by each generation; they bought us our freedom.