Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Link to the Republican Party

Where does one begin their first blog? Here I am running for public office as a Republican seeking my party's nomination for a State Representative seat. Some people might wonder about my commitment to the Republican party. They might ask, "Who is this Dennis Kintigh, and why have we not seen him in party activities?" The answer is that my career as an FBI agent prevented me from being involved in partisan politics. My family has been tied to the Republican party for many generations. I guess one could say we've been Republicans since there was a Republican party.

This gentleman to the left is my father's grandfather. I never met the man as the generations in my family are a bit spread apart (my father was 47 when I was born, and his father was 38 when he was born). If my father was alive today, he would be turning 103 in May. My great grandfather was George Weddell. He was a farmer in Western Pennsylvania, and in 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army. George Weddell rose to the rank of corporal in the 105th Pennsylvania Infantry regiment. He served with distinction in many terrible battles.

His regiment was part of Sickle's III Corp, and fought at Chancellorsville, and at Gettysburg. On the second day at Gettysburg, the III Corp was on the left side of the Union line. George Weddell's regiment was in the Peach Orchard. In the picture to the right, I am pointing to George Weddell's name where it appears on the plaque for his regiment at the Pennsylvania Monument on the grounds of Gettysburg. I cannot begin to imagine the horror this man witnessed. My father was a young man in college in the mid-1920's and told me that "Grandpa Weddell" used to have reunions of his Army buddies at his farm in the summertime. How fortunate my father was to have known such heroes, but in reality we have heroes walking among us today. They are the men who have volunteered to serve their country in a time of war. I urge everyone to express thanks to any serviceman they meet.

If you get the opportunity, you should visit Gettysburg. Before you go, I would strongly suggest you read Bruce Catton's Glory Road. It is the second volume in his trilogy on the Army of the Potomac. After you read the section on Gettysburg, and walk the grounds, you cannot leave that place without being moved.

George Weddell is not my only ancestor to wear Union Blue. I can count at least eight great great uncles who served. One was Anthony Kintigh of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Anthony was killed in a skirmish just prior to the Battle of Stone's River. Just over four years later, his nephew, my grandfather, was born.