Sunday, October 5, 2014

Civil War Soldier Struck by Lightning!

Here's an excerpt from an interesting letter I found in a relative's Civil War service record today. It appears to be written by a Captain Hogle and is dated February 21st, 1865. It starts by explaining when and where he enlisted and that he had served faithfully for a year and was experiencing good health. But, that changed on the night of August 3rd, 1864... when he was struck by lightning!

...since which time, he has been wholly unable for duty. The lightning struck the right side of the head, face and shoulder extending down the arm, side, thigh, leg and foot. the side and thigh is still black. the leg and arm is to some extent paralyzed and rendered partially useless. the said George W. Ward has has spasms as often as every month since Aug. 3rd, 1864. and in my opinion will never recover or be of any benefit to the Government. He received his Disability while in the service of the United States. Disability in my opinion amounts to at least one half. [the letter continues]

Letter from Civil War Service Record of George W Ward, Union Records, Tennessee,
Second Mounted Infantry, image 20 of 21 on Fold3 (accessed 05 Oct 2014)

I guess these young men were truly exposed to the elements! How frustrating this must have been! Not only the injuries and the pain, but also to have to sop fighting the enemy because of being struck by lightning!

The young man who was struck by lightning was George W Ward (b abt 1837 in Perry County, Tennessee - d bet 1800-1810 in Bollinger County, Missouri) who is my 1st cousin five times removed. The ancestor we have in common is my 5th times great grandfather, Nathan Ward Senior (b abt 1750 in Virginia - d abt 1854 in Perry County, Tennessee).

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or write me at

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