By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,112)
“I wanted to humanize him today and bring him to life. He was a very gutsy guy with a dry sense of humor who was devoted to his wife, ” said Nancy Tidrick, the great-great-grandaughter of Col. Sabine Emery. Emery was honored graveside at the historic Eastern Cemetery at the bottom of Munjoy Hill this past Friday afternoon. These comments came from Tidrick following the military ceremony after she read several eloquent excerpts from a transcript of a journal that Sabine kept during two years while he served in the Civil War. Tidrick’s on-line search for Emery eventually brought her and her husband, Dan, to Munjoy Hill for the unveiling of a headstone previously lacking from the grave of her ancestor.
The Tidwick’s drive east from Ohio to participate in the ceremony for Col. Emery was the culmination of about 15 years of genealogy work by Nancy – a time during which she searched on-line for his final resting place. During that time, she developed an on-line and later telephone relationship with Portland Civil War buff Ben Smith. Smith had been researching the history of the 9th Maine Volunteer Regiment because an ancestor of his, Llewellyn Smith, served in the 9th – the same Regiment that Col. Emery, a Maine native, led in the battle of Fort Wagner in South Caroline in 1863. In March of 1868, at 34 years old, Col. Emery died in Baltimore, Md., where he was an attorney, of his war wounds. His burial site at the historic Eastern Cemetery, remained a mystery until recently. When Ben Smith discovered it, he was able to procure a headstone from the federal government to mark the gravesite of this war hero from Eastport. According to Tidwick, this unveiling had been planned for over year.
“We have really enjoyed our visit in Portland. The people have been most welcoming and the restaurants great,” said Tidrick as the couple prepared for a trip up the scenic Maine coast. This is not the end of her genealogy studies as Tidrick has another side of her family to research.