Monday, October 22, 2012

Two Brothers


#6
How Two Brothers Came out of the War – The Raleigh News and Observer
January 25, 1884

In front of Baumgartern's photgraph gallery two pictures of two good citizens of this county are displayed, one of which is labeled “before the war,” and the other “after the war.” They are pictures of Dr. Henry J. Walker and Mr. Levi J. Walker (13th North Carolina State Troops), one of whom is a prominent merchant of Charlotte. The picture taken before the war represents them as two beardless youths with clasped hands wearing the Confederate uniform. In the picture taken after the war they appear just the same, except that both have beards and the left leg of each is gone. In the battle of Gettysburg, Mr. L. J. Walker had his left leg shot off at the knee, and on the retreat from Gettysburg his brother, Dr. H. L. Walker, had his left leg shot off in exactly the same manner, so identically that one brother can wear the other's artificial leg.
This coincidence of legs is not without its advantages, as will be illustrated by this incident: A few days previous to Mr. L. J. Walker's marriage, he had the misfortune to break his wooden leg and was thus placed in an awkward dilemma, but found his way out of it by calling on Dr. Walker, whose leg he borrowed and the wedding passed off happily. Brave soldiers they were, these Walker brothers. They are good citizens too, and our county people hold both of them in warm esteem.
Sometimes we forget the lasting impact that the war left on so many...even if they did survive the terrible battles, many of them had permanent scars to carry with them as a reminder of that terrible blood letting we know as the Civil War. As in this instance, many learned to live with their difficulties in an attempt to move on with a "normal" lifestyle. Beyond the nearly 700,000 deaths in the American Civil War, nearly three times that many suffered wounds in battle.

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