The Civil War & its cost –
Part 3 – 25 Hard Years 1865-1890.
In 1865, Peter B. had recovered sufficiently enough to return to work and to his own home. He once again appears in the Brooklyn city directories as a painter and grainer. His fourth child Peter was born this year, and many more followed in the coming years. On 21 Feb 1872, Peter B.’s father Peter Charles McLean died. He had spent the last three years in Peter B.’s home after a stroke left him paralyzed and unable to care for himself. Peter B. sold his property in Brooklyn and relocated to Roslyn in Queens County that same year. He remained there until 1893 when his physical and mental state deteriorated to the point that he had to be committed.
It is clear from the depositions of his doctor, his wife, associates, and neighbors that he was not the man he’d been before the illnesses acquired during the war ravaged him. As shown in the previous post, Dr. William H. Hanford stated that Peter B. continued to suffer from Malaria and had developed rheumatism. In almost every deposition provided by people who knew him both before and after the war, the deponents uniformly commented on the change in his appearance. A variety of words and phrases conveyed the picture: sallow, pale, gaunt, loss of flesh, tired, in pain, and suffering.
27 Apr 1898, former private George W. Bagwell stated, “The next time I saw him was in 1864, he then looked thin, delicate and was not at all well. … I did not again see him until about 1889 when I met him in Long Island City, L.I. … In appearance he looked about the same as when I saw him in 1864.” Former Captain William H. Leaycraft recalled seeing Peter B. a short time after his own discharge in 1863, but couldn’t recall the exact date. “He then looked pale and emaciated and in poor health.” Alfred Noon met Peter B. when he moved to Roslyn in 1872 and worked with him for almost 20 years. He provided the following: [Read more…] about Peter B. McLean, 1st Lt, Co H, 87th NY Inf – 3