Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

My Great Grandfather, Christopher Turner was born in Northern Ireland, September 1, 1833 and came to Illinois in 1851. He served in the 99th Illinois Infantry, Company A, from 1862-1865 along with troops from Virginia and Cass Counties. Christopher was a farmer/bricklayer who came to Seward County, NE in the early 1870’s and married Matilda Robinson on October 13, 1873. Matilda was born in Tyron, Ireland May 12, 1857 and came to this country as a youngster and on to Seward County, NE. She was 24 years younger than Christopher. They raised a large family here in Seward County. He had suffered several infirmaries during the Civil War and died November 20, 1905. Matilda died July 15, 1930 and I remember there living on the Henry Heuman farm a couple miles south of Seward. Over the years I had heard the stories of Christopher having served in the Civil war but it wasn’t until I saw his name on a bronze tablet in the Illinois monument at the Vicksburg National Cemetery and read more of the battles that it took on new meaning. Elaine had done considerable genealogy research and was familiar with his military service. As we traveled to Biloxi, MS for the International Soil and Water Conservation Society meeting in August 1999 we stopped at several National Parks to get my Passport stamped. It was an honor to have my picture taken pointing to the Christopher Turner name on the Bronze Tablet. It was also an honor yesterday to put a spray of flowers on his grave here in Seward at the Greenwood Cemetery in the shadow of the Guthman Memorial Bell Tower.

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