Brother Against Brother?

Written By: Leo Lawton

March 26, 2011

The sounds of rolling thunder fills the air of the nation,
A cry of dispair comes from the founders of this creation
A family against family, brother against brother;
For a war has begun, a war like no other.

Wayne Bengston

George W (Ware?) Lawton was born October 12, 1806 somewhere?, but I don’t know the answer to that question. One written account states he came from the Buffalo, New York area when he first arrived in Clarksville, Ohio during 1836, but where was he prior to that. George married Catherine Regina Daley December 4, 1836, and the next year they had a daughter, Catherine. She was followed by three sons, Manley in 1838, Henry in 1843, and George in 1848. It was the following year that the great California Gold Rush began, and the year after that George went to California leaving his family in Ohio where his wife died in 1854. His children were taken in by George’s sibling’s families.

Manley grew up and became a Civil Engineer, and had moved to Texas by the 1860s. During 1861 when the Civil War began Manley, the oldest son, joined the Confederate Army as did most young Texas men of military age.

His much younger brother, George, joined the Union Army and died in 1871 of complications brought on by wounds contracted during the war.

Henry, the middle son, joined the Indiana Volunteers for a ninety day stint in the U S Army. When his time was up he was discharged and returned to Fort Wayne, Indiana from where he had joined. He rejoined the Thirtieth Indiana Volunteers as a Sergeant, and fought in Kentucky and Tennessee, including the Battle of Shiloh, before they moved on to Corinth and Iuka in Mississippi. He earned the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Atlanta campaign.

I know nothing of the Army careers of Manley or George, but I often wonder how close any of the three brothers may have come to fighting each other during the fierce battles of America’s War among its own people.