Yes, my history background is weak, though I am actively making it stronger. But, I didn't know that steamboats played a part in the Civil War. As I read about the character's experience on the steamboat and then fighting in the battle, I wished that I had a relative who'd worked on a steamboat on the Mississippi River.
|Lookout Steamer on the Tennessee River ca. 1860-1865|
public domain image by Mathew Brady found on Wikipedia
According to "Tennessee Online," the "Union Naval Fleet deployed to the Battle of Shiloh was the largest assembled and said to exceed the Spanish Armada in number. It included 14 armed river boats and 153 steamboats."
C. R. Viney was married to Augusta "Gussie" Viney who was a daughter of my great, great, great grandfather, Guenther Werther. Gussie was born in Germany and came to America as a young girl. (Her brother, Kenny, is the father of Ollie (Werther) Crockett whose murder I wrote about in my last post.)
According to his obituary in The Wichita Beacon dated March 15, 1902, "Mr. Viney was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1839. He moved to the United States when still a young man and secured a position as a sailor on a Mississippi river steamboat.... When the civil war broke out, the boat on which [he was] working was purchased by the government for a dispatch boat and [he] remained with it throughout the war. The vessel took an active part in the battles of Vicksburg and Shilo and in several others of historical importance."
I can't wait to uncover more of C. R.'s interesting life! I am looking for his military records and seeing if I can find any more newspaper clippings. Newspapers.com is my favorite genealogical tool lately. You never know what you'll discover!
Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Another Pioneer, The Wichita Beacon, 15 Mar 1902, page 5, column 1, digital image newspapers.com, (http://www.newspapers.com; accessed 30 Oct 2014)