Of the 107 known cousins and spouses in our family who served in the Civil War, this image of Robert Rankin is one of the few showing the soldier in uniform, as he appeared at the time. The husband of Hester Ann Minerd of Farmington, Fayette County, PA, Robert was a member of the 2nd Pennsylvania Artillery, Battery K. His wife's brothers William Minerd, James Minerd Jr. and Isaac F. Minerd also were soldiers in the Union Army during the conflict.
While in action on June 18, 1864, during a charge toward enemy trenches near Petersburg, VA, Robert was shot in the right leg below the knee. According to family lore, so many soldiers ran past, tripping over him as he sat, that he dug a hole and temporarily buried his leg until he could be evacuated.
Robert was treated at an army hospital at Point of Rocks, VA and then at Hampton Hospital, VA, where the Confederate miniť ball was removed. In August 1864, he was transferred to David's Island, NY for treatment, and then was moved to Haddington Hospital, Philadelphia. Later, he was sent to Satterfield U.S.A. General Hospital in West Philadelphia and stayed there for the remainder of the war.
Robert and all 107 cousin-veterans of the war will be honored at our upcoming national family reunion on June 25-26, 2011, entitled "A Visit from a Civil War Soldier." The event will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the war, and will be held at the Indian Creek Valley Community Center near Indian Head, PA. Details.