Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

Thank you to all who have served.

My grandfather, Dallas Spencer, was a Naval Reserve officer. He was educated at Michigan State University, then Michigan State College of Agriculture, where he received his engineering degree. Initially, he worked in the bridge division of the Michigan State Highway Department.

He was a Lieutenant Commander in the 116th Naval Construction Battalion Civil Engineer Corps, working as a "seabee" during World War II. He served in Sasebo, Japan and Gulfport, Mississippi during the war. In 1946, he received his honorary discharge and returned to civilian life.

Dallas Spencer (1914-2000)

To date, my only known Civil War ancestor was Louis Blanchette a/k/a Blanchard, of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Louis, a native of Baie-du-Febvre, Quebec, Canada, settled in Wisconsin in the 1860's. He was a sawyer, or lumberman, by trade. During the Civil War, he was a Private and served in Company H, 4th Regiment of the Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry from 1863-64. Company H was organized in Racine, Wisconsin.

Louis' company was dispatched by ship to Louisiana, where they drove lumber down the Mississippi River, and also saw action in regional skirmishes. Undoubtedly, Louis' French-speaking background came in handy. He filed for a pension at least 3 times, stating he received a debilitating hernia after a horse fell on him. He received a small pension and his children received a $50 death benefit payment in 1923.

Louis Blanchard (1840-1923)

In honor of all veterans, on this Veterans Day, 2013

[reprinted from my original blog post on November 11, 2011]

© 2013 Sally Knudsen