Saturday, February 09, 2013

Antietam 150th Anniversary

It was a gorgeous morning by the time we arrived in Sharpsburg, Maryland -- and we quickly found ourselves mixed in with hundreds of like-minded folk.  After being directed to general parking near the north woods, headed off in search of that one incredible historic moment.

Susie and I spent pretty much the entire day strolling the battlefield, beginning with a talk at the North woods. We then  ambled over to the Bloody Lane, wending our way through some of the new foot trails that now criss-cross the battlefield, and popped up at the Roulette Farm. From there we strolled through the cornfields, where so many federal troops had perished 150 years ago that day, and found ourselves in Bloody Lane. From there we climbed the tower for a birds-eye view of the lane and the much of the early part of the battle.

After strolling back to the visitor center and stopping at the bookstore (of course),  we picked a spot near the Maryland monument and across from the Dunker Church where we could listen to several speeches honoring those men who spent their final moments on earth in agony and anguish right where we were standing. Aside from thanking all the gods that ever walked the face of the earth for our good fortune,  we also thought how much we owe them, a debt that can never be repaid in full but only through installments in spirit and time.

John H. Shear - updated 16 Oct 2015

John H. Shear was born in 1839 in New York, the son of Hiram and Alvira.

John H. was 30 or 21 years old and probably living in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861, at about the same time as Abram Shear enlisted in Company G. John was absent sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through October, and eventually dropped from the company rolls on December 30, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, in compliance with G.O. no. 92 (War Department), regarding deserters, although in fact he was honorably discharged and mustered out on June 10, 1864, at Baltimore, Maryland.

There is no further record and no pension seems to be available.

John H. returned to his home in Michigan after his discharge from the army. By 1870 he was probably working as a farmer and living in Lebanon, Clinton County, owning $3000 worth of real estate; also living with him as Connecticut-born Alvirah (born c. 1814), and schoolteacher Mary Shear (born c. 1848 in New York), as well as farm laborer Lorenzo Landis and a young female domestic servant named Frances.

John was reportedly living in Hubbardston, Ionia County, when he married Ohio native Mary Covley (b. 1852) on December 17, 1874, at her home in Blumfield, Saginaw County, and they had at least two children children: Lenora (1879-1885) and Frank (1884-1958).

By 1880 John and Mary were living in Lebanon, Clinton County.

John H. died on Fbruary 2, 1894, in Lebanon, Clinton County and was reportedly buried in Hubbardston Cemetery West Side, Hubbardston, Ionia County.

It appears that Mary remarried to George Rosencrans (?) and by 1900 they were living in Lebanon, Clinton County; also living with them was George’s stepson Frank Shear.