Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Thursday, August 18, 2016

In the Navy

 I was working on the family tree the other day and stumbled upon something I found interesting. Oliver Gibson King, my 4th great uncle, served in the Navy during the civil war. He was 38 years old in 1862. It was a natural choice because he was a whaler. I have that tintype photo of him and his brother Abraham. I haven't found Abraham in the records as having served. I did find where Oliver was in the hospital suffering from a hernia. He survived all of that and went on to father thirteen children over a twenty three year period. Many of his descendants are around today I'm certain of that.
 It is interesting because when we think of the civil war we think soldiers. The Navy is almost forgotten in the war except for a few things like the iron clads famous battle. Oh, and the first use of a submarine, although that turned out to be more of a suicide mission. It was the Navy that was primarily responsible for the capture of New Orleans. It was also the Navy that controlled most of the rivers and made it very difficult for the south to get supplies. The big strategy for the north was the " Anaconda " plan. That plan was to block all southern ships from trading with Great Britain for arms and supplies. Just what or where Oliver was I do not yet know but will continue to look for records. Being a retired Navy man myself I take some pride in that. I have known several of my Uncles served in the Navy during World War 2. Have a picture of at least one them in uniform.
 It shouldn't come as a surprise that my ancestors served in the Navy. They were after all, mostly from Long Island or Massachusetts and seafaring peoples. My 4th great grandfather served in the army during the civil war. Ironically the nickname for his company was the " clam diggers. " Some from his company utilized some small boats to harass the enemy in the Carolinas, assigned to that mission due to their background on the water. It is surprising however when I find these little things in the pages of history. Then I begin to think about all those folks that made it back home and continued their lives. East Hampton, indeed Long Island itself, was a tight knit group of people. They all knew each other and shared a common experience. Walking through the cemeteries I would often see the 127th NY Volunteers written on the headstones. I learned that meant they had served in the civil war. The 127th known officially as " The Monitors " were at Fort Sumter when the south surrendered. I don't recall seeing any mention of a navy man. I wonder if any such exists ? Surely they must. I'll continue my search for Uncle Oliver. I don't have a date for his death but am certain he is buried in Cedar Lawn cemetery.

Abraham and Oliver. Oliver on the right.