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 photo fortbomb edit.jpg

...And the rockets' red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave?
O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave...

Although we all know that the holiday we will celebrate Monday s the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence - a statement declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation - not everyone realizes how the Star Spangled Banner came to be, or that it was not written during the Revolutionary War.

As a matter of fact, Francis Scott Key didn't call it the Star Spangled Banner. His original title was Defence of Fort M'Henry.
It was during the War of 1812 that the verses that would become our national anthem were written.

Key was an influential lawyer who volunteered to negotiate with the British for the return of some American prisoners captured during the war, and being held on the the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay. He and some friends were permitted to board the ship and were successful in their efforts, but since they had learned of plans of the British fleet to attack Fort McHenry at Baltimore, they were allowed to re-board their own vessel, but under British guard.

It was under this close scrutiny that on the night of 13 September 1814, Key watched anxiously as the British fleet continued to shell Fort McHenry, and the Americans became slower and slower to return fire. At twilight, he could still see the 30 by 42 foot Stars and Stripes (one of two flags made the previous year by a woman named Mary Pickersgill), tattered but still flying over Fort McHenry. The shelling continued throughout the night.

By dawn, an eerie silenced descended. Through the smoke, fog and haze, Key and the other Americans looked for the flag. There was a break in the haze, and they could see it.

Our flag was still there... announcing the American victory.

Mary Pickersgill's original flag is preserved at the Smithsonian Institute.

The memory of our ancestors and other relatives who fought for our independence from England during the Revolutionary War, and then fought for it again during the War of 1812, is preserved in our hearts.

Revolutionary War
Joshua Bloomer Ashmore, Sr.
Stephen Bloomer Balch
Luke Chapin
Samuel Chapin
Thomas Hale
Jesse George Hoshal
Alexander Meek
James Meek
Samuel Meek
Nelson Edward Parrish
Elijah Rollins
Ichabod Rollins
Nathaniel Rollins
Jesse Williams

The War of 1812
John S T Callaway
John Ivie
Ephraim C Lemley, Sr.
Keys Meek
Abraham Lincoln Parrish
George Wharton
Jacob Wingfield

 photo d5694c39-f08d-45b0-bba1-9abbddb5d59f.jpg
Lest we forget...
dee_burris: (Default)
While I was at the Arkansas History Commission, I looked up the Deceased Pensioner's Widow's Application for Robert Hudson Hoshall's widow, Ann.

(The Hoshalls are the maternal great great grandparents of my brother-in-law. Nancy Ann Elizabeth Hogg was the daughter of Eli McKnight Hogg and Nancy Ann Elizabeth Bates, and was born in Tennessee on 16 Feb 1840. She married Robert Hudson Hoshall in Dallas Co., AR on 20 Apr 1859, and died in Dallas County on 21 Apr 1922.)

I think this was the first time I have seen a complete widow's application for an Arkansas Civil War veteran - at least I think I've seen it.

It was very brief - four pages, because she still had some of his old friends alive to vouch for who he was and what he did, that he was dead, and she was his widow.

Four *very* badly microfilmed pages that I had to transcribe while I was still sitting at the viewer, mumbling under my breath about why Arkansas will not digitize its historic documents. The chick working for the History Commission was sitting a couple of viewers over from me, and since we were the only two there, she started the schtick about how Arkansans don't want to pay more in taxes to pay for things like digitizing old records.

She shut up after I started mumbling about...puhlease, do not come at me about tax increases in a state that still taxes food, forgawdssake...
So anyway, I was stunned to see the criteria for getting a lousy $50 widow's pension in 1908.

You had to be worse off than dirt poor.

I, Mrs. Ann E Hoshall, do solemnly swear that I am the widow of Robert Hudson Hoshall, who served as a soldier of the Confederate States, that I am now, and for the past twelve months have been a bona fide resident of this State; that I do not own property, real or personal, or both, or money or choses in action, in excess of the value of $400.00 (exclusive of household goods and wearing apparel), nor have I conveyed title to any property to enable me to draw a pension, and that I am not in receipt of any income, annuity, pension or wages for any services, the emoluments of an office, in excess of $150.00 per year; that my said husband died on the 4th day of July 1876, leaving me a widow with (8) eight girl children who I have raised and educated, am now unable to work, will be 69 soon, and I have not remarried, so help me God.

Signature Mrs. Ann E. Hoshall
Winessed by Thomas Green, Sr.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 6 day of July 1908...Clerk [illegible]

And I see from this that I am missing two of her girl children...

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Dee Burris Blakley

August 2016

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