Here’s my latest satisfying genealogy find about my husband Greg’s family:
We visit his family’s grave sites at the Mount Auburn Cemetery, McHenry County, Harvard IL. His Grandfather always joked that he was “a Harvard Man” because he had grown up there before he moved away as an adult, and he is now buried there with his wife, father, and mother.
Greg’s Great Grandfather Luther Parker Mar. 4, 1836 – Mar. 24, 1885, served in the Civil War. He has two headstones. One has his dates and the inscription, “Co. E, 35 Wis. Inf.” He signed up in Wisconsin, even though he lived in Northern Illinois.
His other headstone has a 4 line inscription on it that has been weathered so badly that only parts of words, and phrases were readable. It had been readable 40 years ago, but the family had no written record of it, and could not remember what it said.
I have been trying to decipher it for 5 years. Rubbing chalk on it helped some, as did spraying water on it. Taking photos of it and adjusting the editing with contrast and brightness also helped make some of the letters more comprehensible.
My greatest aid was going to see it this autumn after a week of rain and cloudy skies. The headstone had absorbed a lot of moisture, and the letters and words were the most readable that I have seen.
I wrote down all that I could read, and took more photographs (which I enhanced.) That gave me enough to search on-line by typing “headstone” and two of the key phrases which led me to “gravelyspeaking.com“.
This is what I could read on the headstone:
“Sleep………ows no breaking”
I was very happy that I found the matching poem/prayer on “gravelyspeaking.com” for that time period.
The four lines, and all the words that I could read on his stone match the first four lines of this poem, from “The Lady of the Lake”;
“Rest, soldier, rest, thy warfare o’er,
“What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.
PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm.
Signs & Symptoms
PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:
1. Re-experiencing symptoms
- Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
- Bad dreams
- Frightening thoughts.
Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. They can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.
2. Avoidance symptoms
- Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
- Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
- Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.
Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.
3. Hyperarousal symptoms
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or “on edge”
- Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.
Hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic event. They can make the person feel stressed and angry. These symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.”
Also see this article about PSTD in the Civil War and other wars from “Smithsonian.com”.
The family is looking into having the inscription recreated on a metal plaque which can be fitted onto Luther’s headstone.
There are a lot of clues that can help us learn more about what our ancestors’ lives were like. I feel like I know Luther and his family better now after weaving together these clues.