Looking Back: Shadows of war

Today in 1925, Andrew Aguirre was born in Vinton, Texas. The Marine served during World War II and the Korean War, facing challenges he never imagined.

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Today in 1925, Andrew Aguirre was born in Vinton, Texas. The Marine served during World War II and the Korean War, facing challenges he never imagined.

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The Looking Back series
During my time as a contributing editor to the magnificent Voces Oral History Project at the University of Texas at Austin, I came across some amazing stories. The project, which I celebrated in 2011, collects the stories of Latino veterans and civilians who saw and felt the effects of war, from World War II to Vietnam. This occasional series will highlight a few of these fascinating lives.

Andrew Aguirre, born on Jan. 4, 1925, joined the Marine Corps in 1944, delivered supplies to Marine units on Pacific islands, and helped move out the dead. He joined U.S. forces in China in November 1945, and was discharged in 1946.

Military life, he recalled, gave him a new lease on life and professional ambition.

But by 1950, he was back in uniform, this time in Korea. As he faced down battle-hardened North Korean soldiers, Aguirre had no idea what he was about to experience. Read his dramatic profile here.

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Kate Stone’s Civil War: A noted flirt

Stone distracts herself from the new year’s cold beginning with some wry observations of an attractive young woman who, she fears, will break many hearts.

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From 2012 to 2015, Stillness of Heart will share interesting excerpts from the extraordinary diary of Kate Stone, who chronicled her Louisiana family’s turbulent experiences throughout the Civil War era.

Learn more about Stone’s amazing life in 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865 and beyond. Click on each year to read more about her experiences. You can read the entire journal online here.

(Photo edited by Bob Rowen)

Stone distracts herself from the new year’s cold beginning with some wry observations of an attractive young woman who, she fears, will break many hearts.

Jan. 4, 1864

Tyler, Texas

We were glad to see the Old Year go. It had been a year of trial to us, and we rejoiced when we caught the last glimpse of the sail bearing him on to the dim Ocean of Eternity. The New Year came wailing in, borne on the wings of a freezing norther. God grant it may bring peace to our war-worn land and those we love home again.

Mrs. Savage and her cortege, with Dr. Meagher in the train, arrived Tuesday and are busy settling in their new quarters. The little girls have been staying in here with us until today. We found five in the room with insufficient bedclothes rather too much for comfort in this freezing weather. I very foolishly allowed myself to be persuaded to spend the first night out in camp with them, and I have not recovered from it yet. I feel like blushing every time I think of it as we all practically slept together with only a curtain separating the tent into two rooms and the mattresses touching each other. I never felt so out of place.

Anna is the same as ever, but Emily Norris has outgrown the name of little girl. She has developed very rapidly and promises to be a noted flirt. She already has her “trot lines” out for all these boys. Think Jimmy Stone and Eddie will fall easy victims, but I doubt her ability to land such shy, wild specimens as Johnny and Jimmy Carson.

We are so glad to have Johnny and Jimmy start to school today. It worried us all the time seeing Jimmy losing his last year at home learning nothing. We did not mind so much about Johnny’s idleness. He is well advanced and the brightest child I ever saw. He takes the lead. Jimmy Carson and Eddie will follow him anywhere and applaud all he says or does.

Jimmy Carson has been away for a week on business connected with Anderson’s killing that Negro, a dreadful affair, and Mrs. Carson has fretted over his absence as she alone can fret. It is a terrible spell of weather to be traveling. The snow is several inches deep and frozen hard with the keenest wind howling around the house.

Capt. King, the exquisite, has paid us several visits and beaten me a game of chess by my connivance. He came by to tell us good-bye Tuesday on his way to Shreveport and Camden. Sent letters by him and one of introduction to Julia and Carrie Lowry.