This week marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, or the War Between the States. My family lost a lot during the war and it changed the course of the family’s lives.
My many-greats grandfather, Lucius Bellinger Northrop, was the Commissary of the Confederate Army and was exiled to the north after the War… the North being Maryland. One of my American cousins, now living in England, wrote a lengthy book about the General.One of my beloved cousins, Judge Edward Skottowe Northrop, another direct descendant of the Generals, and I went to find the General’s grave in Baltimore on the anniversary of his death. We went armed with a roll of brown paper and some crayons, and took a rubbing of the grave. I remember as a child, reading a letter from my great-grandmother to my grand-mother, Miss Nina Constance Pinckney Didier, then a young teenager. The letter was written in 1906 to my grandmother who was summering with the General’s brother, the Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina, at Sullivan’s Island.It reads, in part,
Your post card of Fort Sumter has just come… It takes me back to my baby days, I can see myself again, in my dress with lilac rosebuds on it, playing in the garden at the Sisters’ school in Charleston and watching the shells from the southern batteries falling into Fort Sumter, held by Yankees.
I know that the Civil War is still very controversial, and while I am not celebrating it, or the South, I am acknowledging my history and my ancestors and the role they played in shaping this country, 150 years ago this week.