Contributed by Gigimo
Description: Family Differences. Some Striking Instances Developed in the Civil War.Date: September 10 1886
Newspaper published in: St. Louis, MO
During the war there were several striking instances of family differences over the questions at issue. John J. CRITTENDEN of Kentucky had two sons, one in the Confederate and the other in the Union army. Right here in Pennsylvania we had a very notable case of the same sort. The two MCALLISTER boys will be remembered by many of the Times' readers. They lived up in Juniata County. Tom MCALLISTER was a member of our Legislature at least one term and then went South. Robert MCALLISTER, his brother, drifted over into New Jersey and became a citizen of that State. When the war broke out Tom entered the Confederate army and became a brigadier general. Robert MCALLISTER stood by the Union and commanded a brigade on our side of the fight. Frequently these two brothers struck each other hard blows in the fierce furnace of war. Time after time they threw their brigades against each other with terrific force, each probably fighting harder against the other for the pride in their cause which the ties of blood not only did not diminish, but increased.
But the most touching case comes to me from Montgomery, Ala. Col. Tom JONES, who was Gen. GORDON's chief of artillery and a might strong soldier himself, tells it to me. I think it was JONES who fired the last artillery shots on the Confederate side at Appomattox.
In Bath County, Virginia, there lives a very prominent family by the name of TERRILL. Before the war it cut considerable of a swath in the social and political life of that section. When the war broke out William H. TERRILL, one of the sons, took to the Union side, and soon became a soldier of great promise. He was killed while leading a brigade at Perryville, where the gallant JACKSON fell, and where Gen. LYTLE, who wrote "I am Dying, Egypt, Dying," was wounded. His death was a sad one, for he was just reaching after the flower of great fame. It is easy for me to recall the circumstances of his heroic fall when some of the bravest and the best of the Second Michigan Cavalry followed this gallant soldier to the unseen land.
Gen. TERRILL's brother went into the Confederate army and while leading his brigade at Cold Harbor was killed. The father brought the remains of his two gallant sons home and buried them on the farm where both had spent their childhood days and where they had grown to manhood and there parted over a question of duty to State or nation. Both had lain down their lives for their sentiments Between the simple graves of the two boys the father has erected a marble slab. A most toughing inscription is cut in the white stone. It chides neither one. It expresses faith in the Creator and leaves him to judge of his two heroe's conduct. It is a simple line and reads: God only knows which one was right.
There was much more that was pathetic in Col. JONES recital of this touching incident of war. But here is enough to illustrate how cruel the differences in this life really are. The conflict in the TAYLOR family over politics is not sad, but funny. But the estrangements which the war made were sad and bitter enough to bring sympathy and tears.