Abraham Lincoln is hunting vampires, and a Virginia Confederate goes to Mars

Posted on February 22, 2012 by

1


As we enter the 2012 Sesqui season…

… some are making a stretch to make connections to the Civil War, but… the twists in the sci-fi dabbles are rather interesting…

Of course, we all know about Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, but I wonder just how many really realize that the forthcoming John Carter of Mars is actually about… a Confederate captain from Virginia who gets mysteriously transported to Mars, where he opens up a can of whoop… ok, you get the point.

So, brainchild of some recent sci-fi creator? No, not the case. What we have to do is look back to the creator of Tarzan. Yes, that’s right… Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Now, what’s interesting is that Edgar Rice Burroughs may have placed a Confederate on Mars, but his (Edgar) father was… a Union officer.

Although he was born in Warren. Massachusetts, by the time of the war, George Tyler Burroughs had bounced out to Iowa, and then back east, to New York. There, he found himself compelled (despite a pending wedding) to join the 71st Regiment, New York State Militia. Ultimately, (and Harry will like this), he ended up in action at First Bull Run. Apparently, George darn near missed being killed, feeling a ball pass through his blouse, only to kill the man behind him.

Being a short-term regiment, G.T.B. was mustered out at the end of July, only to join the 43rd New York Volunteer Infantry, less than five months later, as a first lieutenant.  According to this site, George…

E.G.B.'s pop... George T. Burroughs

… served as acting regimental quartermaster from December 1861 to September 1862. After various battle campaigns, he was detached from his regiment and assigned to duty as acting commissary of subsistence on the staff of General F. L. Vinton and then, with a commission from President Lincoln, was made captain and commissary of subsistence on February 19, 1863.  He remained throughout the war and was present in numerous campaigns.

George and Mary were finally married in her hometown of Iowa City, Iowa, on February 23, 1863 and immediately left for Washington.  Mary spent the rest of the war following her husband from front to front. The newlyweds spent one day in Chicago and another at Wheeling, West Virginia, where Mary Evaline met George’s three sisters — Louise, an assistant principal of the Young Ladies’ Seminary; Sarah, a teacher of drawing and painting in the same school; and Caroline, who was studying French and music. George’s leave expired the day they finally reached Washington and Mary was left alone in the city.

On July 22, 1865 George Tyler Burroughs was honourably discharged from service with the title of brevet major. He had served four years and two months with the Union forces. His resignation had been tendered “to enable him to return to his family and to establish himself in business.”

Not only that, but he was also part of the veterans’ remembrance effort…

After the war he joined various military organizations. In 1867 he was elected an Original Companion of the First Class of the Military Order of the loyal Legion of the United States, Commandery of the State of Massachusetts, and was one of the thirteen Original Companions of the Illinois Commandery. In Illinois he was also a member of Post No. 5 of the Grand Army of the Republic…

Now, a couple of things strike me… after all, George Burroughs did remain in the Virginia theater during the war, and, apparently, was in the Shenandoah Valley during the war. You can read about his encounter with “Lil’ Phil”, as well as an entertaining “A Night Ride with Moseby [sic]“, here.

Oh yes, and if you missed it in moving about through the link, be sure to take a look at Mary Evaline Burroughs’ (George Tyler Burroughs’ wife), work… Memoirs of a War Bride.

Ah, but I’ve digressed. Here’s the trailer from John Carter of Mars. I don’t quite know where Disney plugs in the details about his being a Confederate captain from Virginia, but… guess it’s in there somewhere…

The movie is released on March 9… yet another significant date for the Sesqui…

About these ads