|Ray Jerrems, Our Genealogist, Historian||
We have not had an edition of the Jerrems Journal devoted to a United States topic since April of this year so I thought that it is about time we went back to the United States in this edition. And what better topic to choose in terms of drama and impact than the American Civil War?
Although this War took place over 140 years ago it had a profound effect on the psyche of the people of the United States which is difficult for me (as an Australian) to describe adequately. Perhaps its impact on those people could best be compared with the impact of Gallipoli (in the First World War) on Australians.
Ken Burns's documentary "The Civil War" (now a DVD) is essential viewing for an understanding of that War.
This article describes the involvement of the Jerrems' extended family in the Civil War, following on from brief references to this involvement in earlier editions of the Jerrems Journal.
One of the legacies of the Civil War was the haunting songs it produced. In the November 2006 Journal we published an Email From Heaven from Big Bill about previous Thanksgiving Dinners in Heaven where he said "After the Civil War ended Samuel and Jesse Jerrems celebrated by bringing some of their friends (including several Johnny Rebs) along. They sang some of the Civil War songs to us, but the songs (for instance "The Vacant Chair" and "Lorena") were so melancholy that everyone ended up in tears. I could understand why the Army Generals had banned the singing of "Lorena" by their soldiers. On the plus side it was good to see that all the soldiers on both sides had become good friends."
In that item I attempted to capture a lasting (and very poignant) part of the heritage of the Civil War. Now I would like to follow this up with more observations.
Five men from one Jerrems' extended family (I will explain the reason for this term later) served in the Civil War. One was discharged early for undisclosed reasons, one was wounded and one died a few years later, but the family also dispersed to quite a degree, possibly as a result of the War.
Structure of this article
This article (a) defines the "Jerrems extended family" (b) talks about the Civil War in general, and (c) outlines the early history of the Regiment that the men joined. A second article then concludes with the service record of each of the men (who signed up at different times) and a summary of their later lives. The bulk of the material has been compiled from Sandra Walcyk's research.
The Jerrems extended family
In the July 2008 edition of the Jerrems Journal I wrote about James Jerrems and his family. James had been born in Wappenham in England in 1812 and later migrated to the Utica area in the United States with his wife Ann. James had 3 sons and 5 daughters by his first marriage, the sons being James H (born 1837 or 1838), Thomas William (born 1839) and Jesse (born 1840). Later James married Esther Colbrook, a widow who already had a son (Robert Colbrook born 1841) and 2 daughters by her first marriage. Some time after Esther died James married Caroline Mayborn (also a widow) who already had a son (Thomas Mayborn born 1845) by her first marriage. Robert Colbrook and Thomas Mayborn were therefore stepsons of James Jerrems Snr. All five men signed up at varying times.
Incidentally, the name "Samuel Jerrems" referred to earlier was incorrect; it was probably a transcription error from the Civil War records.
Genesis of the Civil War, high casualty rates
My World Book Encyclopaedia says that historians have never reached any general agreement about the causes of the Civil War. Some believe that the slavery issue was the basic cause. Others think that the war resulted from economic rivalry between the industrial North and the agricultural South. Most agree that many factors contributed to the situation, with slavery basic to the issue.
Whatever the cause, the immediate result was that the Confederate States sought to secede from the Union, and the "Union" States retaliated.
The human cost was enormous, with about 500,000 deaths, the majority (280,000) from disease. The 220, 000 battle deaths were over 3 times the Australian casualties in the First World War and twice the American casualties in that war.
Early air of unreality
The first battle of the Civil War took place fairly close to the city of Washington. Confederate troops came north by train and Union troops came south by train. Reputedly some of the good citizens of the city packed their picnic baskets and flocked out to watch the fun.
Readers will see later that a similar air of unreality existed initially in Utica, NY, far to the north, where the Jerrems boys lived.
Previous history of the Utica Regiment
Thomas, Jesse and James Jerrems and Thomas Mayborn joined "A" Company of the 14th New York Volunteer Infantry (popularly known as "The Utica Regiment"), and Robert Colbrook joined Company "B" of that Regiment. Thomas enlisted at the outset of the War and the other men enlisted later.
Company "A" was originally constituted in 1808 and had served in the 1812 Indian Wars. After the Civil War it would serve in the Spanish War (1898-9) and the First World War.
The following extracts in italics are from a book published by the Utica Citizens Corps Veterans Association in 1938. Sandra has a copy of the book. What better way to describe the Regiment's involvement in the War than a first-hand account! I have retained the language used in the book wherever possible and I have added headings to make the account flow. I have also added my comments in the form of "Notes". I am sure that readers will find the account to be illuminating.
Editor's Note: Thanks to Sandra for scanning the images.
Header Image: Battle of Mechanicsville June 62 from Harpers Weekly
Content Image: 14th NY Regiment
Let the War begin
|Donald Jerrems, Editor||
Spanning the Globe for Jerrems Folks
SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION?
Anita, Ray's sharp eyed daughter, has detected a possible connection between her husband's family and Big Bill's family. In the previous edition of the Journal Ray referred to Big Bill's mother-in-law as being Anne Clarke of Newball. Anita's mother in law's maiden name is also Anne Clarke.
Perhaps they are distantly related? Ray has declined to take up the challenge to find out if there is a connection. He was heard to mutter something like "What a wild goose chase that would be".
WELCOME TO HELEN
|Donald Jerrems, All-purpose Editor and More.||
Back to our Roots on Anna Maria Island on West Coast of Florida
Summer 1956: Donnie, Scottie, Alec holding Warren, Susan and Friend in front of Anglers Lodge on Anna Maria Island.
Summer 2009: Donnie barely holding Warren, Susan, Alec on the Rod and Reel Pier a few blocks away from the 1956 setting.
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