Consulting Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee in the NYPL’s Milstein Division, September 2011

One of the exciting things about the research behind Jordan’s Journey was the opportunity to learn about topics I had never explored before. One such subject was the Civil War. Like most things we learn in history class growing up, the Civil War is glossed over and never examined as closely as it should be. Most of us have an oversimplified impression of the war as being about the North versus the South and slavery versus freedom. The reality, however, is that the story is much more complicated than that. In terms of Jordan’s Journey, I learned that not only were there military regiments from southern states who fought for the Union, but I realized that several people from different family lines in my tree fought for those regiments–including a 2nd great grandfather on Mom’s side and a 3rd great grandfather on Dad’s side. It was a surprise to uncover this, as the family had long forgotten it.

In my Anderson family, my 2nd great-grandfather Abraham Anderson fought for the Union in Tennessee’s 5th Mounted Infantry regiment. You can read more about Abraham in the book, but I want to share more about Tennessee’s involvement with the Union.

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