My Ancestral Ghost


I am haunted by a ghost. Late into the night his bent and gnarly figure creeps into my thoughts, his eyes black and cavernous. Never-ending lines fold across his face and though his form is without definition, I sense his presence as solid and rooted as an old oak tree.

A ghost; waiting patiently for my recognition of his being.

Driven by my ghost's yearning for attention, his centuries-old need to be heard, I listen and I search. Toiling and digging, I read and re-read all the documents and records I have found on my ghost, desperately searching out answers to the rest of his story. I rip through the papers, hastily flipping past one lead to the next and as I sift through facts and fiction, I almost feel the coolness of his breath linger against my neck.

But oddly, I do not recoil; sensing instead a strange warmth of familiarity.

A ghost. My Civil War ancestral ghost and I welcome his haunting.

Wouldn't it be fun to discover your ancestor is a ghost?! Just consider the intrigue you would have, the haunting playfulness of an old ancestral ghost. If you have been researching your ancestors for long, you will begin to feel their presence; as if they shiver with excitement of their discovery. It is their moment of recognition, a time for them to shine in the spotlight once more.

As we approach the haunting of the season--the wispy cool winds beckoning our thoughts--it becomes easy to imagine an ancestor providing guidance to our search. And there are times I could use their help! But whether you believe in ghosts or not, you cannot deny a sense of presence of your ancestors as you search for their story.

Just listen...they may be giving you a clue!

For a fun treat during this Halloween season, explore some of the Civil War ghost books such as Civil War Ghost Trails by Mark Nesbitt or Haunted Battlefields of the South by Bryan Bush. And for even more fun, flip through's article on the legend of Abraham Lincoln's ghost, his lanky spirit creeping amongst the hallow halls of the White House.

Happy ghost hunting and don't be surprised if you feel a cool breath languish across the back of your neck tonight as you search for your ancestors.

Keep searching for answers,




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