Rudolph Celinas: World War I horseshoer
World War I irrevocably changed the view of warfare in a number of ways. The trench bogs, the introduction of tanks, weapons of mass destruction (mustard gas) and the last-gasp reliance on horses for either hauling artillery or cavalry officers through the endless mud and muck.
Animals were integral to the war effort. According to the RootsWebAncestry.com website, the US Army had six classes of animals to fulfill military hauling requirements. These were:
• For the cavalry: Active horses from 950 to 1,200 pounds
• For hauling light artillery: Strong active horses from 1,150 to 1,300 pounds
• For hauling siege batteries: Powerful horses from 1,400 to 1,700 pounds
• For hauling wheelers above 1,150 pounds or leaders above 1,000 pounds: pack and draft mules Continue reading
Blanche Hackett: WWI Army Nurse Corps
The Army Nurse Corps.
In the U.S., the need for nurses was recognized as early as 1775 when General Washington requested that the fledging U.S. government send nurses and matrons to care for injured Revolutionary War soldiers. Thankfully, such assistance wasn’t limited to behind-the-lines facilities. For example, take volunteer Molly Pitcher who carried water under fire to help keep her husband’s artillery gunners hydrated.
By the time the Civil War erupted, nursing support had become more official.
According to the Army Nurse Corps website, “Approximately 6,000 women performed nursing duties for the federal forces…often performing their humanitarian service close to the fighting front or on the battlefields themselves.” One of the most famous personalities from this time, was Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross.
The Spanish American War in 1898 proved to be one of the deadlier arenas due to typhoid and yellow fever contagions. While less than 400 American soldiers were killed in combat during this war, more than 2,000 contracted yellow fever during the campaign.
Among the nurses, fifteen died from typhoid, one died from yellow fever. Continue reading
…and the history they’ve made.
Private Koester: Born 1833 - Died 1918
May is a great month for remembering our veterans and our sometimes forgotten history. Over the next few weeks, Beyond The Ghosts… will be posting a variety of interesting memorial headstone snapshots and stories from the photo archives. In the meantime, here are four links to some previous military postings to get us started.
And lest we forget…To those who have served, or who are currently serving, thank you!
World War 1 Tank Corps
Marching with General Sherman down through Atlanta
The Siberian Front – World War I
Before the Air Force, the Army had things well in hand…
Auburn Pioneer entry way
“One of these days, I’m going to check that place out.”
Everyone has an Auburn Pioneer Cemetery in their life. It’s that one place we see every day that piques our interest as we drive to and from work. Sometimes the traffic or red light gives us a chance to look more closely as we pass by. We take a moment to admire the archway’s elegant carving and idly survey the rows of moss-covered stones. Then we wonder how a cemetery ever got sandwiched between a boat seller and a major thoroughfare.
The boat seller's shop
But then traffic speeds up or the light turns green and suddenly, the day’s demands crowd everything else out. Work, grocery runs, children, or upcoming project presentations block out everything but the daily necessities. The idea of visiting a non-descript cemetery disappears until the next time we’re held up and need to kill two minutes worth of time before moving on.
And once again, the intriguing entry way beckons.
The demarcation line
For those who do manage to finally get to Auburn Pioneer, a number of intriguing perspectives compete for the visitor’s attention almost immediately upon entering the site. Continue reading
Part II: The travels of Nora Johns Hill
In The Pioneers of Lakeview, Robert Ferguson details one such cemetery relocation story, proving that just because you’re dead and buried, doesn’t mean you won’t be moving.
A Tree of Life carving
Nora Johns Hill may have been the first recorded death of a white American in Seattle, but her real notoriety began only after she passed away. For 31 years after her death, her body meandered from one cemetery site to another, until finally finding peace in Lakeview Cemetery.
A Woodworker's memorial
Nora was first laid to rest in 1855 on the east side of Maynard’s Point next to a tidal lagoon and now, present-day Occidental Avenue, South. Then a real estate boom happened and Nora’s grave was removed to The White Church on the corner of Second Ave and Columbia.
Up until that time, Nora had managed 10 years worth of peace and quiet.
Woodmen of the World
The Denny family plot
Scattered throughout the immaculate grounds of Lakeview Cemetery, classic Victorian sculptures pay homage to Seattle’s pioneer fortitude and frontier savvy. Most of Seattle’s founding families (Denny, Renton, Mercer, Boren, Yesler, and others) are buried in the western hill section, offering a ‘one-stop shopping’ approach for local history buffs.
Capt. William Renton
The stylish memorials act as a seemingly prim contradiction to neighboring Capitol Hill’s stated irreverence.
Austin Bell's mausoleum
However, the founding families’ elegance smoothly glosses over the scruffy reality of a frontier town’s robust approach to living. With few niceties available to soften the harsher edges, unconventional allowances were sometimes made in Seattle that might not have been tolerated in other, more established cities. Continue reading
The bow of the Titanic
Almost 100 years ago and in the early hours of April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sank into the history books. Out of approximately 2,227 passengers plus crew, approximately 700 people survived. After the disaster, some 320 bodies were recovered for burial at Fairview Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, including a J. Dawson, the unanticipated hero of James Cameron’s movie, Titanic. The remaining 1,500 became an unwitting part of one of the most fascinating cemetery memorials of all time.
The story is well known.
A glorious passenger ship surpassing the scale of all those previously built. The RMS Titanic was a floating palace that included swimming pools, squash courts, elevators and steam baths. The First Class lounge was in the Louis XV style while the Smoking Room had mahogany paneling highlighted with mother-of-pearl. A verandah, complete with flower-packed trellises, allowed for post-prandial relaxation while the formal Reception Area anticipated the evening’s fine dining. However, the type of food served certainly differed according to class.
Life was very good. At least until the iceberg showed up.