Two friends at the beach…
Oak Bluffs ~ Martha’s Vineyard
Two friends at the beach…
Oak Bluffs ~ Martha’s Vineyard
On this Memorial Day I am remembering my great grandfather, Joseph P Littlefield
The following is copied from post my daughter Deb wrote … I couldn’t have said it better.
“Remembering: JOSEPH P. LITTLEFIELD of Rome, Maine. 40-years-old and father of eight children, my great-great-grandfather joined the Union army in the summer of 1864, just as the Civil War was grinding to its bitter, violent end. He was in Company C of the 9th Maine Regt, and badly wounded in the battle of Cold Harbor, shot through his left hand into his lower back. He was sent back home to Maine where he died two months later on 30 Sep 1864. According to his 24-year-old doctor, he died of “Typhoidal Pneumonia induced by wounds received in the Battle of the Wilderness, VA … the deceased soldier came to this death by reason of disease induced by a wound through the hand, contusion in his back, and subsequent exposure and fatigue in the field of battle, causing fever or “Typhoidal Pneumonia” from which he never recovered.” The pain must have been horrible.
Worse, adding insult to grievous injury, within a month of Joseph’s death, his wife and three oldest children also died, presumably from Typhoid or some other contagious fever. This left my 10-year-old great-grandfather Charles Littlefield the oldest of the five remaining children. I know how desperate both sides of the Civil War were by 1864 for men, but the idea that a 40-year old father of eight would sign up is appalling. And the fact that he not only died—horrible, but not unexpected for a soldier–but that he took his wife and three of his children with him?”
On this Memorial Day, remembering all who gave their lives for our country.
Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.In 1971, Congress established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May and as a federal holiday.
On my mother’s side of the family, my paternal great grandfather, Joseph Littlefield fought in the Civil War and died because of his wounds. He was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864. He was sent home to Maine to die. He died of typhoidal pnemonia on Sep 30, 1864, he is buried in Rome, Maine. Unfortunately his wife and his 3 oldest children died of the same thing shortly thereafter, leaving my grandfather, Charles Littlefield at age 10 the oldest of the four remaining children.
Below is a photo of the veteran’s section in the Fairmont Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey, where, on my father’s side of the family my great great paternal grandfather, Stephen Freeman is buried. Stephen did not die in the Civil War but was wounded in the battle of Antietam in 1862. He was sent home, lived another 29 years and died on May 30, 1891, which ironically was Memorial Day.
Civil War monument in Fairmont Cemetery…
Take a moment to remember the original reason for Memorial Day and the men and women who fought for, and gave their lives for our country.
Happy Mother’s Day
My mother & grandmother. Me and my mother. Me and my girls
Me with my girls now… Patty and Debbie
Along came grandmahood via Patty with my two grands… Tiffany and Tyler
Tiffany 1989 Tyler 1993
But let’s back track just a bit to my mother who I am remembering on this Mother’s Day, Maude Louise Littlefield Freeman.
Born in Waterville, Maine
Raised on Martha’s Vineyard
my mother and grandmother – Oak Bluffs 1924
After high school she moved to New Jersey and married a Jersey boy…
and had a Jersey girl (me)…
The next to the last Mother’s Day I spent with my mom was May 1975. My parents were vacationing on the Cape and she was unaware that we were driving there to surprise her for the weekend. I gave her the book ‘Mostly On Martha’s Vineyard, A Personal Record’ by Henry Beetle Hough, as I knew she’d know some of the people mentioned in the book. I am so glad I did that because after reading the book she decided she wanted to sail over to the Vineyard to visit her mother’s grave. It turned out be her last trip to her beloved Vineyard.
I never knew my grandmother, my mother’s mother, she died before my parents were married and I was born, but I’ve always felt a closeness to her through stories my mom would tell me about her and also the essence of her I feel when I’m on the Vineyard. She is buried on the Vineyard and I visit her every time I’m there.
Chances are she might have visited me a few years ago !!!! Read on…
Here’s an excerpt from a post I did about the ‘spirits’ of my mother and grandmother.
On the very haunted island of Martha’s Vineyard.. in the town of Oak Bluffs.. in a restored Victorian home was a restaurant called The Sweet Life Cafe. In this house in the 1930′s lived a daughter and her mother. In this house the mother passed away. That woman was my grandmother and the daughter was my mother.
A few years ago my daughter Deb and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner at the Sweet Life Cafe… we’d never eaten there but felt the time was right. It was around 5 o’clock on a beautiful cloudless and breezeless May evening so we opted to sit on the patio in the garden as it was empty and peaceful. We had a glass of wine and settled back to talk about our day and enjoy the pretty surroundings. The tables were beautifully laid out and each had on it a small hurricane lamp with a candle in it. We looked around and noticed that the candles on all the tables but ours were lit! Our waitress re-lit ours. The candle went out. Again she lit it. Again it went out. She came back with a new candle. Again out it went. Again she re-lit it to no avail. My daughter and I joked that our grandmothers were joining us and were definitely in a playful mood.
Later that evening as my daughter and I were passing by the restaurant we looked in at the patio…… the candle on the table we had been sitting at was burning brightly !!
I haven’t done a year in review in a few years so there’s no time like the present to do one. Please click on month and title to read post.
2001 – 2016
And there’s some of 2016 in review. Onward now to 2017 and the 10th year for MV Obsession.
T’was Christmas morning and all through the house,
Everyone was stirring, even the mouse,
Lots of smiles, joy and merriment,
And of course a new ornament.
Patty opened her box and Deb’s turn was next,
The look on her face was very perplexed !
The box was empty, no ornament inside…
I felt terrible and almost cried.
Deb rose to her feet and headed to the
And hung the empty box where the ornament should be.
The following year I searched all around,
A perfect ornament for Deb must be found,
It was, it was just meant to be,
A box ornament for our Christmas tree.
We hang them each year and remember with glee,
How an empty box (filled with love) came to decorate
The sisters first Christmas, 50 years ago.
Patty and Debbie became sisters on Nov 6, 1966 but they did not meet until Dec 21, 1966.
Patty was almost 2 1/2 when Debbie was born. Deb, who was due the end of December arrived 7 weeks early and didn’t come home from the hospital until Dec 21, the first day of winter, 1966.
As you can see from the picture Patty was delighted and happy to be a big sister. Debbie, I’m sure was happy to finally be home.
Patty was a terrific big sister right from the beginning. She helped me take care of Debbie and when I would give Deb her bottle Patty and her new dolly would join us. Her doll was almost the same size as Deb, Debbie had been only 3 lbs when she was born and had to be 5 lbs before she could come home… so yes, she and the doll were almost the same size.
Since it was so close to Christmas when Deb came home I wanted her to be a surprise to her grandparents when they arrived on Christmas morning. Patty was under instructions from Santa Claus not to tell anyone that her new sister was home, and since the request was coming from the big guy himself she didn’t utter a word to anyone.
However… my mother called one evening and just at that moment Debbie, who was in the same room with me, began to cry. Oh oh. My mother asked if that was a baby and I said no. She said she didn’t believe me. She asked again… ‘is that baby home from the hospital?’ I said yes but that I had wanted to keep her a surprise until Christmas. My mother kept her composure but I could hear the crack in her voice when said how happy she was but that we shouldn’t tell my father… let him be surprised on Christmas morning.
So Christmas morning arrived, along with a 24 hour stomach bug which hit me pretty hard. I managed to get out of bed long enough to greet my parents at the door. Patty was all bubbly and happy to see her grandparents and they were showering her with plenty of attention.
Then my dad glanced at the tree. He looked closer. I could see his eyes moisten when he realized that the baby in the baby carrier under the tree was NOT a doll but his new granddaughter Debbie. My dad wasn’t one to let his emotions out or show on his face… but he did that morning.
It was definitely a very merry, happy and blessed Christmas that year.
Christmas morning 6 years later in 1972, my favorite Christmas picture of Patty and Debbie…
Christmas over the years…