Monday, January 14, 2013

102nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Alfred Painter enlisted with them in August of 1862, and was discharged on disability in January of 1863. I can't help but assume that his injuries played some role in his premature death, although I do not know for sure. On the same day this young man died, we also lost President Abraham Lincoln. Quite a coincidence! 

Many members of the 102nd OVI perished in the disastrous explosion of the SS Sultana (which occurred after this young man had been discharged). It is considered the greatest maritime disaster in U.S. history, the Titanic of the Mississippi River, if you will. This link provides a great deal of information on the disaster:

The artwork on the back of the gravestone is intriguing. It looks as though it is a dove or eagle with an American flag in its beak. Depending on which sort of bird this is, the carving can be interpreted quite differently. The eagle is an obvious symbol of our liberty and power as a country, while the dove is a bringer of peace and calm. 

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