Edmund Robbins Mabie – A Civil War Tribute*
Edmund Mabie was my great grandfather on my mother’s side. He married Clara Mae Esse, daughter of George Esse and Mary Ann Ikins. He, too served in the Civil War in Generals Grant and Sherman’s armies and survived. He is the father of my grandmother, Alice Mabie Miller of Geneva, Kansas. My cousin, Charles Lee Hansen, son of Mildred Miller Hansen, inherited Edmund Mabie’s diary because he was the oldest grandson. He won’t sell it to me. Great grandpa Mabie was with General Grant when Vicksburg, MS fell on July 4, 1863.
Edmond Robbins Mabie died in eighteen ninety nine
Thus the article began, a usual closing line.
The paper told his story and Grandma told me more
Of her father, Union soldier, in the Civil war.
He was in the infantry, a New York regiment.
We’ve read in his diary telling how his war was spent.
The bloodbath at Antietam was one that no one won.
The Union won at Shiloh when fighting was all done.
He was there at Vicksburg when the city fell to Grant.
They closed the Mississippi; the Union dominant.
Then he served with Sherman as they marched clear to the sea
And burned Atlanta. War is hell. Everyone could see.
He was slightly wounded when a lead ball grazed his head.
Then he caught several fevers. In armies, fevers spread.
And when the war was over, he went to work the lands
Around Geneva, Kansas, with sunburned, calloused hands.
He owned three hundred acres before his life was through,
The best in Allen county, his neighbors said ’twas true.
He married for the first time when he was forty nine.
Then he and Clara Esse made Grandma’s family line.
When Edmund Robbins Mabie passed on at sixty two
He’d accomplished more than most, before their lives are through.
Soldier, farmer, and a branch of mother’s family tree.
Thank you, Edmund Mabie: if not for you, no me!
Stephen Baird, 2016
*This poem and July 3rd’s poem about his great granduncle, Simeon Ikins, are part of a larger volume of work that will become the poetically written genealogy of Steve’s family, hopefully to be recorded and put onto CDs or whatever the technology is at the time!