My nephew often complains that history is boring, that it isn’t relatable to the present. Tonight I have proof that his hypothesis is wrong. And that the proof involves his family past and present.
|Joe Armstrong at |
John Armstrong's grave
The first story that touched me was about the early 1864 furlough of the regiment (pg 156). That trip took the regiment by train from Pittsburgh to Altoona and finally home to Pottsville. What struck me about this trip was the history of these locations for my family. John came to America from the Isle of Mann in 1838 settling in Pottsville to work as a miner prior to the war. My 2nd great-grandpa, Michael Armstrong, and his son Edward Lewis also worked the mines until Edward left the area to work on the railroad in Altoona. John would have left for the war when Michael was 7 and he was dead by the time Michael was 11. John never met my great-grandpa Edward or my grandfather or father whom both born in Altoona. He would never know how the tracks he traveled on his last trip home would 87 years later take his great-great grandson on the reverse trip from Altoona to Pittsburgh where my father met my mother.
At this point in time the only facts I know about John’s time in the war are about his final battle at the Spotsylvania Courthouse in May of 1864. Private John Armstrong was wounded by gunshot on May 12th in Spotsylvania, sent to a backline hospital in Washington DC where he succumbed to his wounds on July 1, 1864. He was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
|Chestnut Hill Hosptial during Civil War|
Can anyone say small world.