Andrew Longley was a nineteen year old farm boy who on February 25, 1864 mustered into Company C, 9th Regiment of the Indiana Volunteers as private in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The family farm was located a few miles south of Elkhart, Indiana on 80 acres of land where the house still exists today.
His story is not too different from thousands upon thousands of other stories during the war, but after more than 150 years we have his story to recall and to ponder. Most profound stories in life come from average people who have become forgotten once they have taken the more eternal path.
Andrew Longley had been in the service less than three months when he was wounded near Dalton, Georgia while fighting along with William Tecumseh Sherman on his march to Atlanta. He was shot with a Minié Ball (conical bullet) that pierced his left lung and lodged in his left shoulder. Two thirds of the wounded during the Civil War succumbed to disease rather than directly from their wounds. Forty two days after he was shot at the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge, Andrew Longley died of pneumonia with the bullet still lodged in his shoulder.
During this time Andrew was able to write three touching letters home to his parents. We have copies of his letters along with other military, medical, and death records, but only this one photograph exists and shows him in uniform. He was my great-great uncle on my mother’s side of the family (Moore/Longley). Andrew’s mother, Julia Longley, was my great-great grandmother, his sister, Frances Anna, was my great grandmother, and Bernard Moore (Anna’s son) was my grandfather. In the video below, Andrew is alive again for six minutes.
Andrew Longley was originally buried in a cemetery just south of Elkhart, but in 1910 he was re-buried in the Prairie Street Cemetery where his mother had purchased some family plots. Bernard Moore, Andrew’s nephew, owned a well drilling company in Elkhart and carried the casket on his horse drawn wagon about two miles to the new resting place.
He was referred to as “Uncle Andy” by my uncle, Wayne Longley Moore. Although my uncle never knew Andrew he had heard stories from his grandmother, Frances Anna, and his middle name of Longley was given in honor of his great uncle.
Andrew Longley is buried next to his nearly unreadable sand-stone monument in the old section of the Prairie Street Cemetery in Elkhart, Indiana. At monuments such as this one the owners have left us their names… but some have left us their stories.
|The Pvt Andrew Longley Story|