It is official. I've been asked to again help with the 116th Infantry Regiment Museum and Foundation property. I think I'll be able to do that now and of course I'd like to help.
Long before I gave 15 years to The Regiment, my first cousin once removed, Gano H. "Sonny" Jewell gave his life in service to his country while serving as an medic in the 2d Battalion 116th Infantry aid station outside Vire, France on August 4, 1944. "Sonny" left college to enlist and do his part and his death was likely just one of the motivating factors which drove my father to enlist on VE-day when farm labor was released from enlistment restrictions. I think it will be a good thing for me to do this in remembrance of him.
The museum will be moving into some of the space currently occupied by The Spoils of War, a store at which I work. This space has kindly been donated by the Shueys, father and son, both members of the Regiment. This is about 1000 square feet of retail space AND they will be donating another 1500 square feet or so of storage space. Quite a thing to do, I think.
Today I heard that some (?) officers in "The Stonewall Brigade" didn't care for the unit's history. One, a Minnesotan, felt that the sobriquet was supportive of slavery. Well, I'm here to tell you that Sonny was proud to serve in the 116th and so was I and his great (my great-great) and great-great (my great-great-great) grandfathers served in the Union Army in the Civil War. In fact the following six grandfathers are mine and are known to have served in the Federal forces (U.S. Army during the American Civil War):
- 1LT Barney Alonzo Parslow - D Company, 134th New York Infantry
- PVT Henry Parslow (Barney's dad) - K Battery, 2d New York Heavy Artillery
- 1LT William Hathaway Van Cott - C Company, 102nd Regiment U.S. Volunteers
- PVT Charles Henry Flint, H Company - 194th New York Infantry
- PVT Hiram H. Kimball - E Company 69th New York State Volunteers
- PVT Peter V. Race - 15th and 50th Regiments New York Engineers
It is history, that's all. No one living is responsible for any of the acts committed by any person at that time. The men serving their country generally acted honorably. They should be honored and that is what the museum will do.