Monday, July 17, 2017

A House Divided

Theodore( Thee ) Roosevelt Sr.  

Martha  Stewart ( Mittie ) Bulloch Roosevelt
  Thousands of families were divided by the Civil War. The most famous was the family of Abraham Lincoln. Mary Lincoln was from Kentucky and Mary's brother George R.C. Todd fought for the Confederacy. Her half-brothers David Todd, Samuel Todd and Alexander Todd, all fought in the Confederate Army. Samuel Todd was killed in the Battle of Shiloh. Alexander Todd was killed at Baton Rouge and David Todd was wounded at Vicksburg. Her brother-in-law Benjamin Hardin Helm was a Confederate general killed at Chickamauga. Helm was married to Mary's half sister Emilie Todd Helm. The husbands of her half-sisters, Martha White and Elodie Dawson were ardent supporters of the Confederacy. Another famous family that was divided by the war was the Roosevelt's. Theodore Roosevelt's parents were Theodore ( Thee ) Roosevelt Sr. and Martha ( Mittie ) Bulloch Roosevelt. Mittie grew up on a large Southern plantation called Bulloch Hall attended by a dozen house slaves in Roswell Georgia. Thee fell deeply in love with Mittie when he met her at the tender age of 15. Thee, the Yankee New Yorker, was 21 when he married 17 year old Mittie in 1853 at Bulloch Hall. She was beautiful with a quick mind and a playful sense of humor. Thee moved to New York City with his lovely young bride settling into a home on 20th street. Four children were born to the couple over the next 8 years. Anna, Theodore, Elliott, the father of Eleanor Roosevelt, and Corinne. The onset of the Civil War put a huge strain on the Roosevelt marriage that they never really recovered from. Thee was a passionate supporter of the Union cause. Mittie was loyal to the South and had a brother and two step brothers fighting for the Confederacy as well as all of her male friends that she had known in Georgia before the war. Thee wanted to join the Union Army but because of his deep love for Mittie he could not bring himself to enlist. Like many wealthy Northerners he hired a substitute to take his place in the ranks. He was too worried about Mittie. Her health suffered as a result of the war. She developed palpitations, migraines, and stomach trouble. Thee donated much money to the Union cause and was a great philanthropist. Theodore Roosevelt was very close to his father and he loved and respected him deeply. However he could never reconcile the fact that his father refused to fight in the war. This is the big reason that Theodore clamored to fight in the Spanish American War and became a war hero. After Bulloch Hall fell into Union hands toward the end of the war Mittie wrote, " If I may judge at all of the embittered feeling of the South against the North by myself I would say they would rather be buried in one common grave than ever again live under the same government. I am confident I should".  

1 comment:

  1. I stumbled upon your blog and find it fascinating. I am reading the Widow of the South and was googling pics of Carnton Cemetary and found your blog. I will follow it now---I appreciate your insight into History and all that is right---and wrong---with this wonderful USA.

    ReplyDelete