All weekend I thought of things I wanted to write about in my blog, but here comes Tuesday morning after the holiday and I haven’t written (hardly) a thing.
But I did get to meet my cousin Gary Hood this weekend. That was a highlight of my holiday. He and his wife Judy came through on Saturday morning and I met them at the highway corner so we could become acquainted. As is the case with a whole lot of my “cousins,” we have never met.
Gary used to correspond with my grandmother. Back in the days before I did a lot of correspondence in my genealogy, he was researching his family and found out about my grandmother somehow and wrote letters to her. She was a good letter-writer and kept up the correspondence. He lived in Arkansas and she had just moved to Austin, I believe. They were distant Hood cousins and Gary came down twice over the years for the Hood Reunion in Georgetown and met my grandmother and the others there.
Fast forward to about 5 or 6 years ago. I get email from Becky Hood in Amarillo (another cousin I’ve never met) introducing herself to me. She had heard about me from Gary Hood in Arkansas, but tracked me down through the radio station. He only knew of me because of my grandmother telling him about me. Becky and I began an email friendship and exchange of information and I got to meet her on a trip to Amarillo almost 5 years ago. We hit it off immediately and had so much in common, beginning with the same hometown. My best friend even knew her sister from high school, another connection.
When Facebook came along and took over the world, I eventually became friends with Gary and we exchanged some information and became friends. He travels the world frequently and takes beautiful pictures, so I have enjoyed seeing his travels from my home.
Gary’s great-great-grandfather and my great-great-great-grandfather (I think I have that right) were brothers and lived in Arkansas before the Civil War, near where Gary lives today. Mine fought in the Civil War and was injured and had to use a cane the rest of his life. That injury didn’t keep him out of the war, though, and he continued to be a part of the Confederate force and fought the Union soldiers in Mississippi. I’ve forgotten the name of the battle now, but the Confederates were forced into retreat and had to retreat across a large river. There was sort of a bridge made of boats and they were retreating quickly, but the Union forces were advancing so rapidly, the Southern soldiers had to torch the boats to prevent the Yankees from using them as well. This still left hundreds of Confederate soldiers on the wrong side of the river. Many swam and drown in their attempt to get across. My g-g-g-grandfather was captured and kept in a prison camp for a period of time.
He did survive the war and went home to Arkansas. I need to ask Gary about his ancestor’s service because I expect he was also in the Civil War – who wasn’t if you lived in the South and were of fighting age?
After the war, the two brothers, along with another brother who was the g-g-g-grandfather of Becky Hood, came to Texas to homestead. Becky’s ancestor and mine stayed and found their home here. Gary’s tried it a while and decided he wanted to go back to Arkansas. Which he did. The End.