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150th Anniversary of the Start of the U.S. Civil War
by US101 Marie Mx Spearman

2011 Marks the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. IMFA has a list of Mx Civil War Veterans at our website, which were extracted several years back from microfilm. Today these files/records can be accessed on Ancestry.com and/or Footnote.com and no doubt there may have been records missed at the time I made the extractions, and it is possible that the digital files are more complete a decade later.

US360 Peg Redfearn suggested IMFA join in recognition of the sacrifice made by our ancestors – and their families – by documenting their military service. If you have details regarding your Mx ancestor’s Civil War military service, photos or stories, please send for inclusion in MxWorld and at our website. As you may recall, US084 Kermit Bird (deceased) honoured his ancestor Joel Molyneux by publishing Joel’s Civil War diaries in Quill of the Wild Goose. We have lengthy excerpts from Quill in back issues of MxWorld. (Also, Kermit sent IMFA about 20 copies of Quill, and after placing most in libraries, I still have five copies available, so if interested, email me at president@mx-world.org)

Keith Manies, a second cousin of our new member US392 Gloria J. McMillin, kindly granted permission to reproduce the story he posted in Ancestry.com’s public pages regarding their Civil War ancestor, Martin Levi Mullinax (which was found online by US332 Wayne Straight who brought it to our attention).

Decoration Day
by Keith Manies

Martin Levi Mullinax (1832-1884)

“My mother has told me this story which was related to her by Martin’s daughter, Martha Jane, her grandmother. Even though Martin Mullinax had donated the land for the Mullinax cemetery near Stafford, Greene County, Missouri, folks in the late 1800’s would not often decorate his grave because he had served with the Confederate forces during the Civil War. The Civil War was a devastating time for those living in the Border States and the memory of those hard times were still fresh in people’s memories. The Union stronghold of Greene County, Missouri was no different.

One Decoration Day in the 1870’s or 1880’s, a group of local school kids went to the Mullinax Cemetery to decorate the graves of the veterans of the Civil War, along with others who had passed on. In this group were Martha Jane Mullinax and John Greene Bodenhamer, my great grandparents. Although flowers were placed on the graves of the fallen Union soldiers, no one would place flowers on the grave of Martin Mullinax, a Confederate veteran. John Greene noticed this, and went ahead, and decorated the grave, even though his father fought for the Union. On seeing this, Martha Jane was surprised but impressed, about John Greene’s considerable act.

Some years later, this act of kindness would lead to John Greene and Martha Jane Mullinax to get married and start a family. Slowly, the nation was healing from this tumultuous conflict as sons and daughters, with fathers on opposing sidesleft hatred and misunderstanding aside and began anew.”

Keith also supplied the following:

“Pvt. Martin Mullinax 11/16/63 Woodbury, TN. Camp Morton, Indiana.

Martin Mullinax survived the famous Battle of Chickamagua in Tennessee, on September 19-20, 1863. This battle is called the “Gettysburg of West,” because so many who wore the grey and the blue were killed. This is only about 7 weeks before Martin Mullinax’s capture in November. Martin Mullinax was captured while being a part of General Longstreet’s ill-fated invasion of East Tennessee in November, 1863.

Martin Mullinax was a prisoner at Camp Morton, Indiana, which is part of Indianapolis today. Conditions in the camp were harsh and an average of 50 Confederate Prisoners a month died in the camp. Camp Morton is considered by some historians as being one of the better camps regarding the humane treatment of prisoners, considering the horror of other POW camps in the North during the Civil War.”

Editor’s Note:

Below are two extracts from Quill of the Wild Goose by Kermit Molyneux Bird (dec.)

“The battle of Chickamauga in Georgia was fought September 19 and 20, 1863. In terms of casualties it was the second costliest battle of the Civil War. It was one of the few battles where Confederate troops outnumbered and had higher casualties than Union Forces. There were 66,326 Confederates and 58,222 Northerners involved. Casualties: 34,624 (16,170 Union and 18,454 Confederates). Winner: Confederacy. General Braxton Bragg was the Confederate commander the Major General William S. Rosecrans was the Union commander.”

On November l9, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln helped dedicate the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Mrs Lincoln tried to persuade the president to cancel the trip because their son, Tad, was ill. The keynote speaker, noted orator Edward Everett, made a magnificent speech that lasted two hours. President Lincoln made his five-minute speech to approximately 15,000 people. After it was delivered, Lincoln said of his own speech, “I failed, I failed, and that is about all that can be said about it!”

(Lincoln’s Gettysburg words have been memorized by American school children ever since, and the address may be the most famous American speech ever delivered.)

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now, we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any other nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place of those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work they have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task, remaining before us, that from these honoured dead we take increasing devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”