Wednesday, January 20, 2016

War-Time Weddings

While reading Chaplain Francis Kennedy's diary today, I came across this, written on July 22, 1863: "We marched about 19 miles and camped near Front Royal. Corp'l. Biles of Co. K, 28th Regiment, married in the place as we passed through going north. Poor girl; [t]he battle of Gettysburg made her a widow. He was killed in the unsuccessful charge on the enemy's work."

Wait? What? Married as the regiment passed through town? Who? What? Where? Time to use the internet to see what we can find.

The where is easy - Front Royal. Got that. The who: William A. C. Biles, born in Stanley County, North Carolina. The other who was Mary Catherine Strother. They were indeed wed on June 20, 1863.

But Biles did not die at Gettysburg. He was seriously wounded and captured. Later paroled, Biles was transferred to the invalid corps. Biles survived the war and later went to Lincoln County, Oklahoma, where he applied for a Confederate pension. He died in 1915, and is buried in Oklahoma.

That's all really cool, but I want to know more - did they know each other prior to the war? Was this a whirlwind romance? I was able to find so much about this story in such a short time, but, I still have questions. Surely this story was passed down through the family. 

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