In memoriam

Sever Severson's headstone, 1864Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember and to honor the American men and women who have died while in military service. Unlike Veterans Day, which celebrates the service of all U.S. veterans, Memorial Day is specifically set aside to commemorate those who died while serving.

In this post, I’d like to commemorate the sacrifices of family members who have died while in the service of our country. If you know of people I have missed, or if you know of details beyond what I’ve presented here, please let me know in the comments section.

As I continue my research, this list will almost certainly grow. As of today, these are our family members who have died in the service of their country:

  • Gideon Dow died on November 12, 1756, in Hampton, New Hampshire, while serving in the Army (no further details yet). Gideon was the 2rd-great-grandfather of Alfred D. “Fred” Peck, my 2nd-great-uncle, and the husband of Mary E. “Mate” Scott.
  • Loren Winfield Harmon died on May 3, 1917, in Antwerp, Belgium, during World War I. Loren was the husband of my first cousin, thrice removed, Cora Edna Prettyman, who was the granddaughter of my 3rd-great-grandparents Alfred Wharton Prettyman and Rebecca Harkcom.
  • Thomas Hisher McMurry died on May 16, 1863, while fighting at the Battle of Champion Hill in Mississippi during the Civil War. Thomas was my 4th-great-uncle, the son of my 4th-great-grandparents James Benton McMurry and Marry “Polly” Goodnight.
  • Lt. Clarence “Red” Moore died on July 17, 1944, was killed in action during World War II, but family history details conflict as to whether he was killed in Normandy, France; Germany, or Luzon, Philippines. Clarence was my first cousin, twice removed, and was the grandson of my great-great-grandparents Alfred Minos Prettyman and Mary Ann Horan.
  • James Matthew Morris died on April 19, 1862, in the U.S. Army hospital in Paducah, Kentucky. James was my 4th-great-uncle, the son of my 4th-great-grandparents Calvin Levi Morris and Jemima (Giminee) Long.
  • George W. Prettyman was a member of the Minnesota Volunteers in K Heavy Artillery, and was killed on April 1, 1865, at Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he was only 17 years old. George was my 3rd-great-uncle, the son of my 3rd-great-grandparents Alfred Wharton Prettyman and Rebecca Harkcom.
  • John G. “Jack” Prettyman was killed on January 19, 1944, either in France or in Luzon, Philippines (family history says “Luzon, France”), during World War II. Jack was my first cousin, twice removed, and was the grandson of my great-great-grandparents Alfred Minos Prettyman and Mary Ann Horan.
  • Charles Delos Rice died on December 7, 1862, while fighting for the Union Army in the Civil War (no further details yet). Charles was my second cousin, four times removed, the great-grandson of my 5th-great-grandparents Issac Bailey and Althea Torrey.
  • Hiram Scott died on April 6, 1865, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hiram died of dysentery. He and three of his sons were fighting together in Company C of the 95th Regiment of Illinois Infantry Volunteers. Sever was my 4th-great-grandfather, the father of Horace L. Scott (who himself would die five years later of tuberculosis contracted during the war), and grandfather of Frank Scott.
  • Sever Severon died on September 30, 1864, in Atlanta, Georgia, shortly after the siege of Atlanta. Sever died of dysentery while serving as a volunteer for the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. He documented his service in his diary, which can be seen here (transcribed here). Sever was my 3rd-great-grandfather, the husband of Martha Arnesdatter Field, and the father of five daughters, including my great-great-grandmother, Ellen Caroline “Carrie” Bailey.

You are not forgotten.

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