From Minnesota in Three Centuries, 1655-1908: 1858 by Lucius Frederick Hubbard, William Pitt Murray, James Heaton Baker, Warren Upham, Return Ira Holcombe, Frank R. Holmes, 1908, Free Press Printing Company, Mankato, Minnesota. The last troops raised in Minnesota for service in the Civil War was the First Regiment of Heavy Artillery, the largest organization in… Read More


My fourth grand-uncle Josef Stoltz, together with a group of German immigrants who served in the Civil War, set up a cemetery and constructed the first Catholic church in Wright County, Minnesota. As far as I can tell, the bell they bought still rings from the third Church of St. Peter in Delano, Minnesota. I’ve… Read More


Our family reunion in El Paso will come only days before the 150th anniversary of the enlistment of my great-great-grandfather Peter Stoltz in the Union Army. On 21 September 1864, Peter enlisted as a musician in Company B, First Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery. He may have enlisted as a musician because he was too short… Read More


Typical sod house built by homesteaders in the Dakota Territory. Peter and Apollonia Stoltz and their children would have lived in a similar house.

From this valley they say you are going. We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile, For they say you are taking the sunshine That has brightened our pathway a while. So come sit by my side if you love me. Do not hasten to bid me adieu. Just remember the Red River Valley,… Read More


Appomattox Court House Union soldiers

As has been noted elsewhere on this blog, my great-great-grandfather Seth Dunham came to California from Maine during the Gold Rush. His parents, James Dunham (b. abt 1788 in Orland, Hancock, Maine) and Elizabeth “Betsy” Gilpatrick (b. 27 May 1795 In Orland) had 10 other children besides Seth. So while I’ve paid much attention to… Read More


Union troops camped outside Chatanooga

In a pig’s eye. Under no condition, not at all, as in “In a pig’s eye he’ll pay me back,” or “You think he’s competent? In a pig’s eye!” This expression, a euphemism for in a pig’s ass, is generally used as a strong negative. [Slang; late 1800s].

—From The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer, 1997.… Read More