Are there any Civil War names you just can’t, for the life of you, remember the correct spelling for, no matter how hard you’ve tried to hammer them into your brain?
I have three. I’ll list them alphabetically:
John C. Breckinridge—There was a branch of the family that stayed in Virginia and spelled their last name with two “e’s”: “Breckenridge.” A second branch emigrated to Kentucky and changed the spelling of their last name so it had two “i’s”: “Breckinridge.” This was the vice-president’s clan. But my wife descends from the Virginia side of the family, and so the name spelling always tangles me up unless I stop to consciously think about it really hard. And even then I have to remember which branch spelled it which way.
Thomas Greely Stevenson—You’d think this would be easy because I’m historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge. But it’s not his last name that gets me. I can never remember if his last name has three “e’s”–“Greeley”–or only two. (It’s two.)
Gouverneur Kemble Warren—What were his parents thinking, giving him a first name like that. And bonus points if you can remember, let alone spell, his middle name. As August as his first and middle names sound, they’re a pain in the gouvey. (Don’t go looking: I made it up. But I think you get the idea, if you know anything about Warren….)
What names befuddle you?