Of course none of this is mentioned from the Simon Weisenthal Centre. Germany was trying to keep their nation free from perversion and filth.
IT has been said that human history never has been and never can be written.
Let this sentiment here apply. The history of Clarion county's soldiers never has been written, and it never can be written in such a manner as justly to pass down to future generations all that was done by them worthy of emulation, or deserving of condemnation.
Every community has a history; which history, if written, would not all be clean, honest, noble, and inspiring. It could not be.
A true history is a record of motives and purposes that bring about events, as well as a record of transpired events. Concerning a community of 24, souls, which was the population of Clarion county inposterity would scarcely expect to find the history of that community's nearly three thousand soldiers to be entirely without some of those darker pages.
As they went forth to the struggle well might it be said: Some few may cause a noble wife to weep; Some few may break a mother's Spartan heart; Some few may fail their martial vows to keep; Some few, too weak, may play the coward's part; But see the HEROES in that band!
It is a truth of history, for which every true son of Clarion county has cause to be proud, that the number of dishonest men, cowards, or worse men, who went to the war from Clarion county was exceedingly small.
Believing that human inspirations and aspirations are identical the world over, when human beings stand on the same plane of civilization and enlightenment, it is reasonable to conclude that some of our soldiers entered the army for gain, and some for mere adventure.
It has been so in all time. Men have, in other times, walked over the ground sanctified by the blood of the slain, to gather indications of a "deal," and why not some of these? Men have, in other times, shared the prison of comrades and intensified that prison's damnable memories by setting unnatural and unholy prices upon that which they had "to sell" to a suffering companion, and why not some of these?
Men have in other times, stolen a fellow soldier's meager pay, or stolen away from duty; willing to be known as a "deserter," and why not some of these?
Some did make for themselves records like these in the memories of their comrades, and that fact emphasizes the grandeur of the lives of the great majority, who had kindled upon their hearthstones the fires of patriotism long before they ever thought of seeing them burn upon the battle-field; who would scorn to traffic for profit where the dead were buried or where the wounded suffered, while they were not armed and equipped to defend the flag; who shared their last pinch of salt, for nothing, with a comrade; who would sooner die than rob a soldier; and who would rather stand by the flag and suffer than forsake it.
The following rolls are an eloquent tribute to the twenty-nine hundred men and more whose names constitute the honor roll of Clarion county. The man who deserted because he expected to get "bounty" by returning, certainly deserved a death ignominious. The man who fled the carnival of death because of mortal terror, deserved to be pitied.
God made him as he was. The man who forsook the flag, fearing that his loved ones at' home would not be cared for, might well renounce his share of the government in which he had not faith enough to trust it with his all. These things are all a part of the history of the wars in which mankind participates.
To judge of the deed, the motive should be known, so if by the following pages any one soldier is shown in the light of facts to have been not a true soldier, it is hoped that the mantle of charity will be thrown over the errors of both the living and the dead, to the end that the descendants of the dead may not feel the iron in their souls, but may be loyal, patriotic, brave and useful citizens; and that the undutiful living may live down the mistakes of the past and bequeath to their children a correct conception of duty to our country.
The noble women of Clarion county who kept watch by day and vigil by night during these four deathless years, deserve a more fitting tribute than this poor pen can give. Their reward is for the future. The sturdy yeomanry who remained at home to work and to encourage the bereaved ones, and care for the widow and the orphan, and do the duties that devolved upon them as civilians, are worthy of commendation, and no true history will question the motives or challenge the sentiments of that honorable class of our population, unless perhaps it might be to call in question the loyalty of some particular individual or individuals.
It was recruited at Strattanville April 30,by Captain William Lemon, at which time fifty-four men joined the company. Company H was recruited for the three months service and proceeded from Clarion to Camp Wilkins near Pittsburgh. It was not accepted. Here it remained with forty-two other companies, which had been recruited for three months service, but not accepted.
None of the companies, except those belonging to the Erie Regiment, had any regimental organization. McClane was in command of the camp. Captain Lemon's company was designated as Company H of this regiment, and on the 28th of June it was organized and officered as follows: Oliphant, lieutenant-colonel, and J.
The regiment having been armed and uniformed at Camp Wright, it was ordered to Washington on the 20th of July. By rail it went to Harrisburg; there it received other equipments, and proceeded thence to Baltimore.
At Baltimore it received tents, and then went on to Washington, where it arrived July 23,and went into camp on Meridian Hill, where it was mustered into the service of the United States, July It remained here till August 2,when it was ordered to the Reserve Camp at Tenallytown.
At this time the Eighth numbered eight hundred and ninety men, armed with muskets of improved pattern and with rifles. Company H numbered eighty-two men; it had eighty-four when mustered in July 27, but two had deserted July 29, leaving the number stated.
Soon after being assigned to the First Brigade the regiment was ordered to support the Seventh, which was on picket duty at Great Falls, and was being shelled vigorously by the enemy. The Eighth remained on duty in that vicinity several days, and during that time Company H was initiated into the hardships, but not into the horrors of war; that ordeal was reserved for it till after having experienced the vicissitudes of a winter in camp, as a part of a mighty invading army; an army destined to be a triumphant and magnanimous army, in the achievements of which Company H, with the other twenty-five companies recruited wholly or in part in Clarion county, was to bear such a part as could only be borne by an efficient organization of patriotic men.
On the 9th of October the regiment crossed the Potomac to Langley, Va. Here it went into winter quarters.His role as a symbol of American virtue was enhanced after his death by Mason L.
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