Friday, May 24, 2013

two guys you've never heard of

near the bottom entrance of the ithaca city cemetery i a monument that it very large and unusual in its design. it is very "modern" and ornamental and includes a bronze relief of the deceased.

edgar kelsey apgar or at least his surviving friends and family seem very much impressed by his importance in the world and his role as man of means and destiny. to be fair, his obituary was run in the new york times and he was a friend of grover cleveland, but if you google him, you won't find much about him beside the book (privately printed) that his friends engaged a prominent historian to write in his memory.

the historian was fairly important, and the book is listed as an oh-he-also-wrote.

the book, in memoriam: edgar kelsey apgar: obiit a.d. 1885  is available in its entirety for free as an ebook and i will quote for you a portion of the preface:

you still probably never heard of him.

farther up the hill i walked by the simple monument of a world war II veteran. i had pretty much only been researching civil war veterans because there's so much that can be found out about them, but i thought maybe i would like to try with men of more recent times and see what could be found.

there isn't  a lot you can find online about most of these soldiers without going to a paid site (not in my budget). there is a wealth of information available to you in the national archives if you can actually GO there and request the specific rolls of film by hand.

but still, there are some things you can find out about their general circumstances if you can follow at all  the history of the regiments they were attached to. it isn't always a good indicator, because while a regiment may go here or there and fight such-and-such battle, and individual man might have gone right with them or spent his time in a hospital from wounds sustained on patrol early on.

things happen and it's often hard to track individual men.

george f. hall jr.  was 33 years old when he died in 1956. he had been assigned to company c of the 53rd armed infantry battalion and i'm going to assume that he did some of the heavy lifting since he was awarded a bronze star.

the 53rd AIB (part of the 4th armored division) saw heavy fighting in normandy and their first engagement involved getting "hammered by a strong counterattack, courtesy of the 2nd SS "das reich" panzer division".

more of that general history can be found here.

1 comment:

Jane C said...

Maybe Edgar Kelsey is related to Virginia who in the 1950's donated the Apgar name to a score which still today is assigned to every baby born in this country as a measure of well-being at time of delivery


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