Monday, February 7, 2011
The Civil War Service of Great Grandma Irene's Grandfathers
Long before my great grandmother Irene Larkins was born, her maternal and paternal grandfathers had both served in the Union Army during the Civil War.
A native of Ireland, Patrick Larkins served in Company K of the 19th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted on April 23, 1861, and mustered out on August 31, 1861. Patrick worked on the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad, and later worked at Hubbard's lumber yard in Sandusky. He and his wife Bridget had a family of seven children, all baptized in the Catholic church.
My Great Grandmother Irene's maternal grandfather was James C. Cross. He was a carpenter by trade. The father of James Cross, an English immigrant named Charles Cross, was the Mayor of Sandusky from 1853-1856. James Cross enlisted in military service at Monroeville on September 19, 1862, as a private in Company G of the 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. At the time of his honorable discharge, at Camp Chase, Ohio on June 12, 1865, James Cross had risen to the rank of Corporal.
Between 1868 and 1883, James Cross and his wife Elizabeth Marshall had a family of six children. He provided the birth dates of all his children on a document in his military pension file.
Both Patrick Larkins and James Cross were buried at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. Keeping in the family tradition of service, my Great Grandmother Irene's uncle, Nicholas Charles Cross became a Brother in the Catholic Church with the Xaverian Order. Her fist cousin, Naomi Cross, was a nun who worked in the Hough area of Cleveland in the 1960's. Naomi changed her name to Sister Bertha after she entered into religious service.
Through the years I have never seen a photograph of my ancestors James Cross or Patrick Larkins, nor have I ever heard any stories about their years in military service during the Civil War. I get the impression that both men must have felt it was their duty to serve their country. Seven of my Great Grandma Irene's great grandparents were born in foreign countries. I am proud of my ancestors' service to their families and their country.