Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

November 27, 2013

What was the big news 150 years ago?

(Continued)

An Army surgeon told about the men faking various maladies to secure exemption from duty. The term “malingerer,” had been the term in use to indicate one of the pseudo-sick men. The new term was “dead beat,” borrowed from the Bowery district. The doctor said the use of the new term had almost reached the dignity of “skedaddle.” (I don’t know if that was a joke.)

The trial of Brigham Young had been adjourned without taking action following his arrest for polygamy. “Young, former governor of the Utah territory and spiritual leader of the Latter-day Saints movement, allegedly has dozens of wives.”

One grave at Gettysburg is for a Decatur County man. The 1990 book “Lest We Forget,” compiled by Bill Ford and the F W states that William T. Ryland of Co. G, 7th Infantry, was killed on the last day, July 3, 1863 in action at Gettysburg (body not recovered.)

A paper read at the April 19, 1895 meeting of the Pap Thomas Post, No. 5, Grand Army of the Republic about the 7th Infantry’s Co. F states “William T. Ryland, private, better known here at ‘Tom Watson,’ was killed July 2, 1863.” No reason given why he was known by another name. The 7th Indiana was to guard the corps trains until relieved by another regiment. Colonel Grover got a bit impatient when the regiment didn’t show and decided to leave for the front anyway. Then while they were on their way to the front the word came about the battle at Gettysburg and they marched off to fight there. They got to the battlefield in the early evening. They were assigned to a site and got right into the battle.

Company F of the 7th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment had 437 men on the Gettysburg field on July 3. Two were killed in battle, five were wounded and three were missing. Col. Grover was later brought before a court martial for abandoning his post guarding the trains, but was exonerated.

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