So Sad – The Photo Was Not My Ancestor

Yesterday, I wrote about a photo that a distant cousin thought was our Civil War ancestor. You can read about that here (Authenticating a Civil War Photo). I wanted to verify this, so did some searching.

It turns out that the soldier in the photo is from the same company as our ancestor and was in Andersonville Prison at the same time. I discovered this by running the photo through Tineye.

Results of the TinEye search on the photo.

Results of the TinEye search on the photo.

The link it provided didn’t work, so my next step was to run the link through The Wayback Machine. That’s a site that stores defunct web sites.

When I saw the results, a web site from 2008, I then googled the topic and found where the page currently resides. Here’s the story about the soldier that the photo actually shows. His name is Lambert Rogier.


Make Copies of Information You Find Online

You may think it sufficient to bookmark a site that relates to your ancestor. Alas, the Internet shifts, changes, and sites can disappear.

I recommend saving a screen shot on your computer or using a clipping app like Evernote. Even that isn’t enough insurance. What if your computer crashes. Go one step further and print a paper copy to keep.

Last year I’d found a great website about Belgians in the Civil War. It included half a dozen men who were in my great-great grandfather’s company and several were in Andersonville with him. The profiles on this site were most informative and probably written from the pension files of these individuals.

I made a few notes and saved a link, thinking I could always go back for more details later. Unfortunately the profiles are now gone from online. If I want that information, I’ll need to order their pension records. That’s an expense I wasn’t planning on, so I’m really regretting that I didn’t print all that information when I first found it.

Henri Devillez served in Company G, 93rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry with my ancestor. In 2012, I visited his grave in Leopold, Indiana.

Henri Devillez served in Company G, 93rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry with my ancestor. In 2012, I visited his grave in Leopold, Indiana.

I’ve included a few notes about him and other enlisted men of Company G on a web page where I was stockpiling links. From now on, I’m also printing out all that I find.

Is There Another Diary?

Recently I had an email from a great-uncle. I’d told him about my research on my civil war ancestor. He asked if I knew about the diary from Andersonville. My heart skipped a beat…

I have a very worn pocket diary that belonged to Abraham Bates Tower, but it starts at the time of his mustering out. In it, he recorded the names of the men in his company and later added family births, marriages and deaths. I’d always wondered if there were earlier diaries. I assumed that if there was one that it was lost as he became desperately ill in that horrible stockade.

Now I had a clue and was ecstatic at the idea that such a diary might exist. The email gave a name of a lady in Oklahoma and said he would try to find her contact information for me. Impatient for that, I started casting about on the Internet. The lady proved elusive. I’m still working on it.

Pipe Smoking Detective Postcard
Pipe Smoking Detective Postcard by itsmyjob
See more Detective Postcards at

Sorting Out Your Research on a Civil War Ancestor

I’ve been reading widely on the Civil War, attempting to fill in the gaps about my ancestor’s experience during those harrowing times. To keep track of what I find and to share it with others, I’m curating the information and resources on small web pages on Squidoo. The site is free to use.

So far I’ve made 36 Squidoo lenses (their term for web pages) about Abraham Bates Tower and various aspects of the War Between the States. My topics range from What Was in a Civil War Soldier’s Backpack to A Civil War Christmas. I’ll share my links here in case you are needing any of these topics.

Civil War Topics by Virginia Allain

Civil War Topics by Virginia Allain

Hiram’s Honor – Recommended Reading

I have a web page where I’m collecting my research about Andersonville Prison. My great-great grandfather spent six months there during the Civil War.

It’s well worth putting your findings online as it often attracts comments from others that open new doors for you. In this case, an author named Max Terman put a comment on my page. He mentioned his book, Hiram’s Honor: Reliving Private Terman’s Civil War. I bought the book for my Kindle immediately and found it a great read.

The fictional book follows his ancestor through various Civil War battles and prisons. It fascinated me to see how he presented Hiram’s experience at Andersonville and his parole. Those are areas I’ve been reading quite a bit about. Here’s my booklist on Andersonville in case you want to read some of them.

An area that’s been difficult finding information on is what happens to the prisoners when released from Andersonville. I’m fairly sure my ancestor was taken by the steamship, New York, up to Camp Parole in Maryland. Interestingly, that’s the same thing that happened with Hiram.  I’m going to contact the author to find what sources he found. They may help me with my questions. You can read more about Abraham Tower leaving Andersonville on my page.