Compiled by Rodger M. Wood
Coincidence or John’s Spirit?
I have another scary story about our family history.
In August 1967, my then three old son Mark and I went to the National Cemetery, Marietta GA to visit the grave of our fallen Civil War family hero, an 18 year old boy, John Herr, who enlisted in Sherman’s Army on February 11, 1864, so his father Fidel Herr would not have to and could stay home on the farm with John’s mother and four younger siblings.
John was a cannonaire in Battery A, 1st Michigan LA, which supported Sherman’s Army in his famous Siege of Atlanta and subsequent March to the Sea, but our John made it only to Marietta GA before he contacted bloody disentery and died on August 31, 1864, less than a year before the end of the Civil War.
On that hot sunny day near to the 103rd year anniversary of John Herr’s death on August 31, 1864, Mark and I drove up to the entrance to the National Cemetery at Marietta, GA, walked into the cemetery without a clue where John’s grave was in this big spacious cemetery, walked about 25 yards forward, about ten steps to the right, happened to look down to find out we were standing over John’s grave. Coincidence or John’s spirit drawing us to him, we‘ll, never know, but understandably, we were convinced it was John’s spirit
which drew us to the grave, and we’ll never forgot the experience. .
Pension Index: Mother Joanna E. Herr, Applied for Pension: November 12, 1890, Mother, 487433 341591 Michigan.
Battery A, 1st Michigan Light Artillery
Born: June 23, 1845, Nankin Twp, Wayne Co, Michigan
Parents: Fidel and Joanna Herr
Died: August 31, 1864 at Marietta GA
Buried: Section A, Grave 35, National Cemetery, Marietta, GA
Tombstone reads, “Jno Hern, Michigan, and is right by the entrance to the cemetery, to right of the gate in Section A. I was there in August, 1965 with my young son Mark to pay our respect to this fallen family hero. (There is a memorial tombstone for John H. Herr next to his parents’ grave in Newburgh Cemetery, Westland MI, but he is buried at the National Cemetery, Marietta, GA.
Was a member of Battery C, 1st Michigan Light Artillery.
Enlisted on February 11, 1864 at Nankin, MI for three years, aged 18, Mustered February 11, 1864. Died of disease at Marietta, GA August 31, 1864.
Battery C during John’s time of enlistment took active part in Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign, joined in the siege of Atlanta until it surrendered to General Sherman. Battles included: Dallas GA, May 27, 1864; Resaca GA, May 14, 1864; Decatur Ala, Big Shanty, June 15, 1864; Kenesaw Mountain, GA June 25, 1864; and the Siege of Atlanta, July 22 – August 25, 1864.
John was a cannonaire, pvt, and enlisted instead of his father Fidel. He died of colera according to my great uncle John Herr.
March 2, 1891: by Ebenezer Hubbard
He knew Joanna E. Herr for 30 years. She and her husband owned 36 acres of land valued at $1,500 dollars; $125 furniture, and had $100 annual income.
Joanne’s husband Fidel Herr was 80 years old, disabled for Shematism.
Lived in Township of Nankin, Wayne Co, Michigan.
Affidavit by Edwin J. Norris of Nankin dated March 2, 1891 (same as Ebenezer Hubbard above)
Affividavit by David F. Norton, PO Pikes Peak – medical – dated March 2, 1891
Has known Joanna for 30 years. Lived 1 mile away for 15 years. Her husband Fidel and father of John has been unable to do any manual labor for 3 or 4 years. Hart Trouble. Norton was a medical doctor for 40 years and was over 80 years old himself.
Claimant Affidavit: March 2, 1891 and April 17, 1891:
John Herr was born June 23, 1845, Nankin Township, Michigan.
Joanne listed her children:
John H. Herr botn June 23, 1845
Theresa H. Herr, born June 11, 1848
Marrett C. Herr, born April 3, 1850
Malvina H. Herr, born June 29, 1852
William C. Herr, born December 23, 1853
Husband: Fidel Herr, 80 yeats old
Joanne was 64, resident of Nankin County, Michigan.
John wnrolled at Detroit, February 11, 1864, died disentery or bloody flux incurred near Atlanta GA July 31, 1864.
Joanne died May 19, 1910, pensioner dropped, $12/mo.