Ole Larson's Folks

Died in Sunbury, Ohio, this day in 1864: Lawrence Armstrong Myers. Three years earlier, at the age of seventeen, he lied about his age to join the Union army, during the early months of the Civil War. By 1863, he had fought in numerous battles, including Shiloh (pictured above in a lithograph by Thure de Thulstrup), Perryville, and Stones River, before contracting “chronic rheumatism.” This could have referred to any of several diseases which were poorly understood at the time, and were lumped together under that now-obsolete diagnosis.

Whatever the disease actually was, it kept Lawrence in the hospital until February 1864, when he was discharged at the end of his three-year term of service. He returned home to Sunbury, where he died a few days later, at the age of twenty. Coincidentally, Lawrence’s uncle (our great-great-grandfather) Henry Bennett Myers died a few months later at age 45, also of a service-related illness. As is well-known, diseases killed more soldiers in that awful war than did combat. Read more …

26 February
28 February