Within 2 years of his London marriage, husband and wife were blessed with the birth of a baby girl. But within 2 years the mother had passed away from illness. Within another few years Robert made the decision to move to America. His father Solomon agreed to be the interim guardian knowing the plan called for the child joining Robert as soon as she could be sent for.
But life had other plans.
In early May 1861 Robert signed up with the 15th New York Infantry as a volunteer. Within a month the unit was renamed the 15th NY Engineers and attached to the Army of the Potomac.
About 14 months later Private Storr's unit would find itself building bridges in the Peninsular campaign of south eastern Virginia, during the siege of Yorktown.
Here's a picture of one of the bridges they built, crossing the Anacosta River. It had a span of about 1,300 feet, and was built in an incredibly low... 25 1/2 minutes.
This at the very time that the NY Council of Hygiene estimated that some 15,300 homes were affected by the fever.
The funeral car used was originally built as a touring car for the president, then refitted as a funeral car. In both operations one of the labourers was an orphan from Canada, who later moved to the US. Upon entering the Civil War, he would earn the Medal of Honor. His surname was Allen and his story had been in earlier blogs in this space.
So too with an Atlantic Canadian by the name of Hanna, also a Medal of Honor recipient, for guarding this very funeral car en-route to its final destination in 1865. (Stories also already appearing here.)
Robert was very well liked and respected in his regiment. In particular, his chaplain, his captain and even his commanding officer had powerful words of praise for his soldiering skills and dedication, no matter the cost, to the jobs at hand.
Read between the lines of this letter from his chaplain and know that that these sorts of traits can be found in the words of recommendation used in many a medaled soldier or sailor before they were later awarded their actual Medals of Honor.
In the late 1860's Robert's father Solomon applied, successfully, from London for a guardians survivor pension to help support his parent-less granddaughter's care and upbringing.
In September 1871 the late Robert Storr was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor. Here are some of the details of the struggle before the medal was awarded.
so, see you next Sunday.