Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cousin Frederick Slimp tells "the stories of these [Civil War] tragedies in his own language"

You can be naive enough to start out on your genealogical hunt assuming there will be no written record of people so humble. You learn that anyone who has been around very long will be on one census or another, even if he or she is missed a few times. What you don't expect is to discover words actually spoken or written by family members, not unless you come from a family like the Massachusetts Adamses, not the North Carolina Adamses. Then you think you are lucky when you find that 8 out of the 42 or so signers of the Tryon Resolves were family members of yours, whether or not any of them influenced the wording of the resolves. Then you start finding speeches printed in newspapers, petitions to presidents, affidavits given before federal commissions, and phrases and sentences quoted in odd documents. Often enough you encounter something like this in the HISTORY OF THE 13TH REGIMENT TENNESSEE VOLUNTEER CAVALRY, most of a chapter (it's hard to tell because the punctuation is inconsistent) in the words of a member of the family. The editor of the book observes: "We are indebted to Captain Frederick Slimp, of Butler Tennessee, a native of Johnson county, and a man who has always been regarded as a man of unimpeachable veracity, for the following statements. We let him tell the stories of these tragedies in his own language." Several stories follow, tragic indeed, words enough to convey a strong sense of the man's character and his voice. And there's his photograph which I posted yesterday. How unlike my GGGG Grandfather Jacob Slimp would he have sounded, I wonder. Not all that different, I would bet.

GGG Grandmother Rachel Slimp Dougherty was Frederick's first cousin.

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