Veterans Day 2022: Adoption, Stealing History, Stealing Family, Stealing Connections

Here we go again: Veterans Day and adoption!

I don’t recycle blogs, and I’ve run out of bio and adopted relatives to write about who died or served in World War 1. No one seems to have served much since then outside of my birthdad, Jack, whom I’ve written about previously. He spent a couple of post-war years in China hanging out with General George Marshall, Madame Chaing-chek, on occasion Chairman Mao (as a guest of the US government), and generally partying in Nanjing and  environs with a side trip to Shanghai. Think of MASH without war and gore.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t have more vet family members whom I’m not supposed to know about since by law adoption made us “dead to each other”  whether we are actually dead or alive. But like most bastards, I’m sneaky and nosy. and have “tracked down” hundreds of secret relatives, who no doubt are glad they are dead so they don’t have to be embarrassed by a bastard in the family, at least according to adoptacrats.

So today, for Veterans Day, I’m going with my 4th great-grandfather Jessie Harrison.  I don’t know much about him, but I should make some time to get to know him.

1st Sgt Jesse Harrison, 143rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company I.

Jesse was born in Huntington Mills, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania on May 24, 1818. I haven’t found any census records about him, but from records of his parents and other family members, and what I know of the area, he was probably a farmer.

Jesse joined the Union Army on September 20, 1862. There is no other information available, but I assume in Wilkes Barre. Records indicate battlefield promotions. He was mustered into the 143rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company I.  (and here) as a 1st Sergeant on July 1, 1863, the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant the same day. He was wounded in battle and died on August 20, 1863, at Camp Letterman Hospital, where 14,000 Union and 6,800 Confederate soldiers were treated.

Camp Letterman Hospital

515 members of the 143rd fought at Gettysburg, 21 were killed, 141 wounded, and  91 reported missing.

143rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company I. Memorial, Gettysburg

Jesse is buried at Scott Cemetery in Luzerne County.

Jesse’s grave, Scott Cemetery, Luzerne County PA

Jesse married Phoebe Tubbs in 1836. They had 7 children, 3 of which three served with Pennsylvania troops during the war.  My 3rd great-grandfather James (1840-1916) served as a Private in the Co A 22nsd Pennsylvania Calvary. After the Civil War, he ended up in Wood County, West Virginia where he married Martha Jane Yorty.  Their daughter Lovie May Harrison married Charles Austin Hedrick, and their daughter Violet Florence Hedrick married Lawrence Reese. Their son Jack Jennings Reese is my father.

My 6th grade class had to memorize the Gettysburg address. I wish I had known about Jesse Harrison and my family’s connection and tragedy to the battle and to him. It would have meant so much more to me than just a tiresome school exercise. This is what adoption steals from us.

Poke the Bear?

We Poke Back!

Day 11 NAM/NAAM/NanoPoblano

Originally posted:  Daily Bastardette,  November 11, 2022


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