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Georgians don Union blue for Bush inaugural

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  • Bob Huddleston
    I am always delighted to see politicians interested in the Civil War -- it means more support for historic preservation. And Civil War support tends to cut
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2005
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      I am always delighted to see politicians interested in the Civil War -- it
      means more support for historic preservation. And Civil War support tends to
      cut across party lines. :>(

      Take care,


      Judy and Bob Huddleston
      10643 Sperry Street
      Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
      303.451.6376 Huddleston.r@...

      Georgians don Union blue for Bush inaugural

      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
      Published on: 12/30/04
      An Atlanta-based Civil War re-enactors group has been invited to march in
      President Bush's inaugural parade next month because Vice President Dick
      Cheney's great-grandpappy was a Union soldier who fought in some of the
      bloodiest battles in Georgia.
      Yep, that's right - 23 descendants of Union veterans who now live in these
      parts will strut in blue uniforms down Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue
      behind the flag of the 21st Ohio Infantry Regiment. The vice president's
      great-grandfather, Samuel Fletcher Cheney, was a captain of the regiment.

      (ENLARGE) Brad Quinlin of Suwanee is the descendant of a Union Army soldier.
      The 21st Ohio Re-enactors Unit was invited to march in the Jan. 20 parade in
      large part because of the efforts of Brad Quinlin, 50, of Suwanee.
      It turns out that Cheney is a Civil War buff and was briefed by Quinlin,
      head of the re-enactors unit, on four or five occasions - two of them in
      long, private meetings in the White House.
      Quinlin told Cheney all about his ancestor and provided copies of rare
      letters discussing the soldier's exploits.
      The 21st Ohio - the real one - was part of Gen. William T. Sherman's army,
      which chased Confederates all over Georgia, burned Atlanta, and then marched
      with fiery torches clear to Savannah.
      That ancestral connection may be why the vice president discussed his
      great-grandfather only in private during his fund-raising trips to Georgia.
      But on campaign stops in Ohio, it was a different story. Two months before
      the election, Cheney boasted in Toledo that his ancestor had fought in
      Georgia and was "in Sherman's march to the sea through Atlanta." He added:
      "I don't talk about that much in Georgia."
      A month later in Zanesville, Cheney again touted his "Ohio roots" and told
      the crowd it "seems to me you all would want to send a homeboy back to the
      White House."
      So, how did Atlantans with Yankee roots land a coveted spot in the
      presidential inaugural parade when thousands of groups applied and only 105
      - including a band from Lowndes County High School in Valdosta - were
      It all started when Cheney toured the Chickamauga battlefield in October
      2002. He asked park historian Jim Ogden for information on the 21st Ohio
      Infantry Regiment, and Ogden pulled out volumes of research that had been
      donated by Quinlin. Cheney responded, "I would like to meet Brad Quinlin."
      About a week later, "I got a phone call from the vice president and we
      talked for 40 minutes," Quinlin recalled. "I have over 700 letters that men
      in the regiment wrote, and in every one that mentions [Capt.] Cheney, it
      says he showed great bravery, and I told the vice president."
      Later, Quinlin said, "he asked if I was ever in Washington. He said, 'Next
      time you're up, give me a call.' "
      Quinlin and his wife made it to the White House on June 18, 2003. Ushered
      into Cheney's office, he showed off ribbons and citations praising the 21st.
      Quinlin said he offered to give Cheney and his daughters a personalized tour
      of Chickamauga, and that took place the following September. "That was very
      hush-hush," Quinlin said.
      Then, in May of this year, Quinlin, with his son and two nieces, returned to
      the White House, spending more than an hour with Cheney.
      A couple of months later, Quinlin said, he called one of Cheney's aides to
      ask "if it would be OK to submit an application to march" in the inaugural
      parade. The official invitation came Dec. 14.
      Quinlin has for 15 years been a member of the 31-man squad that performs
      re-enactments at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, at the federal
      historic site at Andersonville, where thousands of Union men died in the
      notorious prisoner of war camp, and at Jonesboro and Chickamauga.
      Quinlin had several ancestors in the Union Army, as do most members of the
      re-enactors unit. "They were brave men. There were 1,475 who enlisted, and
      770 did not go home. Thirty-eight are buried in the Marietta National
      Cemetery." Addison Farley, 46, of Marietta said marching in the inaugural
      parade is "a real honor." His great-great-great-uncle, William Henry Farley,
      was captured in Petersburg, Va., and died in Andersonville. Quinlin, a route
      manager for a vending machine company, is writing a book on the 21st Ohio
      Infantry Regiment. He has learned that Capt. Cheney was credited with
      holding the Union line in a battle in Vinings and that he didn't run when
      other Union troops skedaddled at Chickamauga.
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