Was William A Little Drummer Boy?

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

We moved to the Manassas, Virginia area in 1988.  We currently reside in Bristow, a couple of miles to the southwest.  This is an area rich in history. 

My family has been in the Washington DC area a long time.  One line arrived in 1652, another in 1705, and yet another in 1737.   Other lines arrived thereafter over the centuries.

One such line was the family of Thomas Wright of Bandon, County Cork, Ireland.  Born in 1805, Thomas married Catherine Mason Baldwin, born in 1807.  They were married in 1828 and had 7 children, all born in Ireland.  A family record states, "in the process of time [they] came to the United States of America and made their permanent home in the City and State of New York."

Thomas and Catherine are pictured to the right, along with their youngest daughter, Sarah Baldwin Wright, born 4 Dec 1846, who is sitting to Thomas's right.

They are my great, great grandparents, on the Harding side of my family.

I have felt a special connection to this family since moving here.

That connection involves this hill.

This is the hill at the intersection of VA Route 29 and Sudley Road, just across from the Stone House.

In my travels, I drive by this hill 4 or 5 times a week.

Since moving here I have always had a special feeling, if not a connection, with it.  I never understood why.

When my mother died decades ago, one thing I wanted was the family history records.  And I have involved myself in these records ever since.  I was not as interested in the "stuff" as I was in the family heirlooms and records.

A very interesting story I ran across in these records involved Catherine Mason Baldwin Wright.

It seems that the Wright's oldest son, George Alexander (born 13 Sept 1830) was attracted to, and induced by, the very active New York City recruiting office of the United States Army at the start of the Civil War. 

He enlisted.  And he did so, says the record, without Catherine's consent.  "She had not consented to his leaving home, and when she learned that George had joined the U.S. Army and had gone to the front to fight for the Union, she naturally grieved for her children."

The baby of the family, William, born 1848, "was her youngest child and greatly endeared to [Catherine]."  One day he disappeared. 

Irresistibly attracted by the romantic ideas of his brother George's joining the army, she was afraid William had also run off and joined the army.

The family's oldest daughter, Isabella Baldwin Wright (17 Jan 1832), preserves a significant event in family history.  She wrote that Catherine had a dream.

"She saw in her dream an open field, in the midst of which she recognized her absent boy, when suddenly as she looked a great ball of fire appeared moving toward her son rapidly, taking his head clean off from his body, and she awoke greatly terrified and affrighted."  [sic]

CAN YOU IMAGINE SUCH A DREAM?  CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW THIS MOTHER FELT?  THE DREAM GOES ON.

"At her urgent request an inquiry was set on foot as to the fate of William Wright, and the answer came back that William was killed at the battle of Manassas by decapitation by a cannon ball on the day she saw him in her dream."

I wonder - could her dream have been at the same moment as William's death?

Was William killed on the hill I feel the connection to?  Certainly I had those feelings prior to coming across this record.

I bet you already know what I think.

The record does not state the date of this dream.  So I don't know at which battle of Manassas this happened.  If it was the first, William would have been 13; the second, and William would have been 14.

WAS WILLIAM A LITTLE DRUMMER BOY?

From bottom to top that hill is about 1 mile long.  At the top is where Colonel Thomas J. Jackson made his famous stand that earned him the nickname "Stonewall."  This twenty-feet-tall statue marks the spot. 

William Wright "was buried on the battlefield after the battle of Bull Run, or Manassas."  Those graves were temporary, and very shallow.  Rains forced the removal of those bodies to more permanent locations, which marked and unmarked cemeteries now dot the area in and around the battlefield today.

I probably drive by my great, great uncle William often, and don't even realize it.

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Dedicated Bloggers
Addicted to Active Rain
ActiveRainPhotoBlogger
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
Best Practices
Tags:
genealogy
civil war sites

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,840,205
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Kathy.  Our family has fought in every war since the Revolutionary War, including Iraq and Afghanistan, and we have a lot of history therefrom.

May 31, 2019 03:48 AM #8
Ambassador
3,809,108
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

                                   

                                Thank you, Jay. 

Jun 01, 2019 06:34 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,840,205
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Kathy!

Jun 02, 2019 03:59 AM #10
Rainmaker
3,214,987
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

I missed this one earlier Jay Markanich  and very much believe in these kinds of things happening...we had a different sort of thing like that this week...may just have to write about it.

Jun 02, 2019 04:06 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,840,205
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Well, it happened here, S&D!  The story has survived in family records.  I have it on Ancestry and Family Search too.

Jun 02, 2019 04:22 AM #12
Ambassador
1,823,045
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Wow, what a tale. I love the story and am so happy you feel a connection to your ancestors. It's sure fun to be able to trace our roots. 

Jun 02, 2019 07:42 AM #13
Rainer
166,693
faye schubert
Branson, MO
technology and marketing specialist

This is such a fascinating story of a family and their duty to serve their cause, as well as the grief of those in fear of their son's service. 

Jun 02, 2019 07:44 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,840,205
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Debb.  We have hundreds of family members organized and on line.

And thank you, Faye.  William's older brother returned from the war unscathed.

Jun 02, 2019 10:38 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,417,432
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

What an incredible story, and I bet you are drawn to that site for the very reason you think.

Jun 03, 2019 04:24 AM #16
Rainmaker
751,086
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

A truly fascinating story and amazing how you felt the connection before knowing the story. 

Jun 03, 2019 07:47 AM #17
Rainmaker
995,993
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Very interesting research on family and those fought for the US.

Keep up with the gret work.

Sam Shueh

Jun 03, 2019 08:31 AM #18
Rainmaker
1,840,205
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I lean that way too, Kat.  I have known the story for many years, but it only began registering about 15 years ago.  The hill I took that photo of I pass probably 7 times a week!

So many things are connected, Nick.  Maybe one day we'll realize all the connections and the whys.

Sam - our family has been in every war since the Revolutionary War, including Iraq and Afghanistan.  Not every one of them has such a story though!

Jun 03, 2019 12:03 PM #19
Rainmaker
2,101,466
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

OMG....goosebumps.

I want to see the movie!

I'm so glad Kathy Streib shared this and we got to hear all about your ancestors. Such a tragic story. I feel that mother's pain.

Jun 04, 2019 08:19 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,840,205
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Sharon.  Glad you liked it!  We have the story because Sarah, in the photo, wrote it down!

Jun 04, 2019 10:40 AM #21
Ambassador
1,624,771
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

That was a very moving story with great history and of course much meaning to you.

Jun 05, 2019 01:08 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,840,205
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It is quite a story, Joe.  It has made the rounds in the family, for sure!

Jun 05, 2019 02:36 PM #23
Ambassador
3,940,609
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Jay:

That is an amazing, and yet sad, story and you brought it to life beautifully in your post. Fascinating that you felt a certain connection yet did not know the history.

Jeff

Jun 05, 2019 05:46 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,840,205
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you Jeff.  I felt a connection once to another graveyard in Pennsylvania just driving by it on the interstate.   A couple of years later I learned that my grandparents and father were buried there!

Jun 05, 2019 06:00 PM #25
Rainmaker
972,473
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

What a great story.  You are very fortunate to know the stories of your ancestors.  The connection to that hill must now be very strong for you after you learned of that connection. Very interesting and a good read :)

Jun 08, 2019 10:19 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,840,205
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Jan.  We have many hundreds of ancestors on the various genealogical sites on line.

Jun 08, 2019 11:49 AM #27
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,840,205

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
You may contact me anytime...
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information