Gettysburg letter rang true with Vietnam vet

Dear editor,

I loved the column (1913 letter from Col. W. B. Woody, who attended the 50th anniversary commemoration of the battle for Gettysburg) in the July 18 paper. It says more about most veterans’ mindset than a lot of what I read.

I always appreciated that Lincoln, when giving his famous address, did not distinguish between the valor and blood of the Union and Confederate dead.

Instead he seemed to say that sacred ground was consecrated by Johnny Rebs too.

My great grandfather John Powers Offield left Milam County as part of A Company, 12th Texas Cavalry, Part of Hoods Brigade. The 12th could have fought at Gettysburg though I am not totally sure of its battle history.

J. P. survived that war and later his widow collected on that Confederate Pension mentioned by Colonel Woody.

Both J.P. and Mary Ann are buried in Locklin Cemetery in San Gabriel.

I cannot know how he felt but having gone through Vietnam 45 years ago, I find that I no longer harbor any grudge against the Vietnamese.

I would like to think that if I and some former VC or NVA soldier met in those same jungles today we could share the same warmth and memories toward the other as the good Colonel described between Yankee and Rebel.

Thanks for a wonderful column.

Jim McDaniel

Fairfax Station, VA

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