Monday, May 25, 2009
Thank You For Your Ultimate Sacrifice
[Note: This information and additional information on the history of Memorial Day can be found here, here, and here.]
Many Fought...Some Didn't Make It Back Alive
Though I have many documented ancestors that were involved in the Civil War including ones that died, I have decided to introduce you to a Union soldier on my husband's side. [Also, I have a picture of him, which is a big plus.] In the spirit that General Logan introduced the first Memorial Day, I would like to introduce you to Edward Haley. He was the brother of my husband's great-great grandfather, Daniel Haley. Their parents Patrick and Bridget (Foley) Haley came from Ireland and settled in Vermont where they raised their 10 children [5 boys and 5 girls]. All five sons fought for the Union side for their home state Vermont. However not all of them made it home alive.
One of these Haley men who did not make it home alive was the second eldest, Edward Haley. Not much is known about him and his story before the Civil War other than he was born about 1835 - the 5th of 10 children of Irish immigrants. He enlisted in Co G, 5th Infantry Regiment Vermont on 15 Sep 1862 when he was about 27 years old. His regiment was involved in many battles and squirmishes including the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of Gettysburg, but Edward survived these only to be shot and captured at the Battle of the Wilderness which was fought the 5th through the 7th of May in 1864 in Spottsylvania County, Virginia. He was taken to the notoriuos Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, where he managed to survive an additional 2 months in unsanitary and disease-ridden conditions [to say the very least]. Edward Haley passed away in Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia on 14 Jul 1864. [More information on Vermont's contribution to the Civil War can be found here.]
General Logan, my eyes will not grow dull, nor my hands slack, nor my heart cold; for I shall always remember and never forget the cost of our free and undivided republic.