Archiver > QUAKER-ROOTS > 2001-07 > 0995921403

Subject: [Q-R] Re: QUAKER-ROOTS-D Digest V01 #466
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 16:50:03 EDT

In a message dated 7/23/01 2:56:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time,

<< Today, COs are widely seen as cowards, even though that Quaker who
faced the wrath of the Civil War military was obviously a very brave man. >>

I spent 21 years in the Infantry, two years in Viet Nam, and I would like to
comment on the statement above. Within the Army, COs (many of them Quakers)
usually serve as medics. Many of them exhibit extraordinary bravery. They
are generally very popular with the combat troops and are not seen as
cowards. They may take a little razzing but no more than most other guys.
The Army is, after all, largely a collection of teenage boys.

There are also a number of people who have apparent sudden conversions to CO
when their number comes up for the draft. Society views them with some
suspicion, which is no doubt warranted. The all volunteer Army has, at least
for the present, removed this stigma.

May I also comment on Quakers serving in the Civil War? My greatgreat
grandparents represent just about the entire spectrum of (European, at least)
religions, including Quakers and Mennonites. Both of those groups declined
to serve in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, electing, instead, to hire
someone or to provide (according to some forgotten family source) large
amounts of provisions. My ggrandfather ran off from Waynesboro, PA at age
16,joined the Cavalry, and served until the Civil War ended. His father
tried to get him back by telling them his real age, but he was already
proving a highly competent horseman and the Army kept him. I suspect that
the Civil War was a turning point for many in their pacifist beliefs, just as
it was for my ancestor.

Palmer McGrew

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