101 Stories

with which I follow the road of the Family for a Century

44. Uncle Austin.

Speaking of Civil War days, Grandpa Speer (Nathan) was a boy of seven years when Lincoln died. His father (Andrew) was weak from rheumatism. In our immediate family there was only Andrew Speer's brother Austin and a half-brother Robert who were available for the army.

Uncle Austin was a small, sandy-haired man, soldier in the war. When peace was declared he came back for a visit at Leesville. Joe Flynn told me in 1922 that he remembered him, that he stayed there a few days with them then went west to Iowa to see his brother. While at our Grandpa's home he left his sword in its sheath, the corner of which had been worn round as he marched, for it was a long sword and he was a short man. I have seen the sword many times and think possibly Uncle Hugh has it yet. If so, I wish I might beg it of him as a souvenir to be kept in the Home.

After this visit Uncle Austin went west and our family never saw or heard of him again. We must remember that with communication and travel so limited as it was then, many families scattered not to meet for years, or possibly never.

There are families of Speers in Kansas other than our own near kin and it is more than possible that they are his descendants.

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