Sunday, September 30, 2007

What Have Shiloh and Stanley in Common?

The famous explorer, Henry Morton Stanley and the name of my community have this in common:-

The man we know as Stanley was born John Rowlands in North Wales to a dissolute mother, and at the age of 6 was confined to the misery of a workhouse. He escaped once but was sent back by ashamed and indifferent relatives. He was discharged from this semi-prison at 15, got a job on an American ship, which he jumped in New Orleans. He worked awhile there, experimented with a new name and identity and joined the Confederate Army, in a local regiment, the Dixie Grays, in 1861. He fought at the battle of Shiloh, was captured by a Union patrol, clapped into prison at Camp Douglas and given the choice of fighting for the North or rotting. He changed sides, marched under a Union flag, then deserted and sailed to Wales, where he was again rejected by his mother: “Never come back to me again unless you are in far better circumstances than you seem to be in now.”


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