What We Are Reading: November 7th Edition
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I come from a long line of military veterans, with most of the men in my family having served in the Navy (Go Navy!), so it's no surprise that the military and our veterans have a very special place in my heart. Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing In honor of Veterans Day on November 11, this week's What We Are Reading is dedicated to some unique and powerful veteran stories we've seen across the web. Yesterday, President Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, on Gettysburg hero Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing. Lt. Cushing earned the Medal of Honor for his command during action against the Confederate army in 1863 despite being severely wounded. (Cushing died late in the battle.) The Medal of Honor is typically bestowed within a few years of the action, but as the President noted, "Sometimes even the most extraordinary stories can get lost in the passage of time." Learn more about Lt. Cushing's story by his mother's pension file on Fold3 here. Our friend Wendy at Jollett, etc. shares a story of how a greedy pension agent named Coleman Payne scammed her fourth-great-grandfather William Pendleton Herndon from half of his monthly military pension after his service in the American Revolution. Learn how this story ended and whether or not justice was served in "#44 - William Pendleton Herndon." Who knew early-to-mid-1800s textiles told such an interesting story' The National Museum of American History blog, O Say Can You See', shares a unique and beautifully maintained notebook with scraps of textiles that were commonly sold in U.S. military sutlers. Beyond military personnel, sutlers also sold goods to pioneers and American Indians in areas that were sparsely populated. We never get enough of military service records, but nothing beats handwritten letters from servicemen during their time on the front lines. My Missouri Family shares an exchange of war letters during WWII in Hazel Beckham - The War Years. "Kenny writes from 'Belgium someplace' on February 21, 1945: 'I believe you said that you wanted to know where I was at xmas, well we had a white xmas, it was kinda rugged along about then, we had two meals that day, Just luck would have it- one of the boys had got some canned chicken from home and we had it for supper, so I can't kick.' " 

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