Isaiah Cornell was born in 1801. He
had a son named Captain M. Eugene Cornell,
who was an unsung war hero of the American Civil War.
Fellow Toastmasters and honored guests....
was born on April 11, 1842 . He was not a famous person himself, but he had an uncle who was very famous. His name was Ezra, the brother of Isaiah. Ezra Cornell founded a major university
in Ithaca, NY; on a hill overlooking Lake Cayucas. You have probably heard Cornell University's
Alma Mater Song, "High Above Cayucas Waters."
After, Eugene Cornell
grew up, he became an Officer in the Union Army. In 1862, after the outbreak of the American Civil War, Capt. Eugene Cornell served under General McClellan, who at that time, headed up
the Union Forces in The Eastern Campaign, but was always at odds with Honest Abe Lincoln. It was during this time in 1862,
that The Union Army was in desperate need of a victory in the East, as the Confederate Army under General Lee had a pretty
good stronghold on the Eastern Campaign. As desperate as the Union was for a victory, the South was just as desperate to maintain
their stronghold in the East, because in the Western Campaign, The Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant was dominating
the Confederate Army. And so, the two sides met head on at a place in Maryland called Antietam Creek, on Sept. 17, 1862.
The North and the South fought each other at very close range. The Battle of Antietam lasted one day, and I have to say, it was a massacre. The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest battle of the entire Civil War, and the
bloodiest one-day battle in the History of America. A total of 3,650 dead soldiers, Blue
and Gray, littered the countryside surrounding Antietam Creek. At least 17,300 people were wounded at the Battle of Antietam. Although the losses were heavy on both sides, General McClellan and his Union Army had obtained
their much needed victory at Antietam Creek. This prompted Abraham Lincoln to write his Emancipation Proclamation,
which would free all of the slaves in America.
One of the soldiers who died at the Battle
of Antietam was Captain Eugene Cornell. There were no
confetti brass bands, no medals, just a man who willingly gave his life for his country, and for Abe Lincoln's Cause, which
was to reunite a country which was torn apart by slavery and secession. That is my definition of an unsung hero. An unsung
war hero is one who willingly lays down his life for his country, without expecting anything in return, whether he lives to
tell about it or not. Capt. Cornell did not live to tell about it; but,
he was indeed an unsung war hero.
Capt. Cornell had a nephew whose name
was George Cornell. George was born in 1854, and was 8 years old, when his uncle died at
The Battle of Antietam. When George grew up, he had a daughter named Myrtle Cornell who was born in 1892. Myrtle married a Navy Man by the name of Chief Warrant Officer, Leroy Edwin Baxter--Grampa
Baxter to me. Myrtle Cornell, who became Myrtle Cornell
Baxter, was my Grandma. Capt. Eugene Cornell was Grandma's
Great Uncle and my Great Greet Great Uncle. Capt. Cornell and I are both part of "Uncle
Ezra's Family Tree" which grows on top of a hill, "High Above Cayucas Waters." And so, I created this Civil War Website,
and named it the Capt. Eugene Cornell Memorial Civil
War Showcase. During this upcoming Fourth of July Holiday, Let us remember those "Unsung War Heroes" who gave their
lives for the freedom which we share here in America.