I received an early and unexpected birthday present from my sons today. While they were serving at a local cemetery with their scout troop, an older man and I started chatting about Wichita history. He was the son of a former director of the cemetery and asked me if I wanted a tour. YES!!! Over the next couple of days I'll post pictures and text but will start with ones I'm especially proud of. Above this text are pictures of my son and his scout troop getting ready to raise the flag at the Civil War Memorial. Made his father proud. (BTW-The early present was the extra hour they served while I received my tour.)
The director's son (and I apologize, he offered his name, but I didn't write it down so it is lost to history) showed me this stone and pointed out that people put on the marker what they want to be remembered for. So Mr. Dunbar wanted to be remembered as member of Woodmen of the World and for his Civil War service-but there is more to be remembered.
The next thing you see is that we was held captive at Andersonville Prison for almost a year, until it was liberated. Andersonville Prison is the most infamous of all Civil War prisons. Initially designed for 10,000 prisoners, it ballooned to more than 33,000 by the end of the war. In the 15 months it existed, Anderson saw more than 13,000 soldiers die in prison. That he survived says something of Private Dunbar's resilience. The link below takes you to the a great site about Andersonville.
Pvt. Dunbar snatched a memento at Andersonville, this fragment of a building, which he donated to the Cemetery in the late 1890s. I wonder if this is his building or the main building or the hospital ... or ...
I've driven by this cemetery for 20+ years and didn't know about this. On a day where we honor our fallen-this was gift. I was born on Memorial Day and served in the military and so have been smitten with war cemeteries for a long time-so, again a gift. I also learnt of it with my sons-an even better gift.
Up next ... Mentholated Vapor Rub, 1000+ soldiers and the man who guarded Lincoln.