Friday, April 1, 2011

Author, Explorer and Soldier Willard Glazier

 Sword And Pen: or, Ventures And Adventures Of Willard Glazier In John Algernon Owens, tells the story of Glazier, who was a captain in the Union Army during the Civil War when he was captured and held in Libby Prison.  His imprisonment at Libby and other venues as well as his escape(s) were documented in Glazier's book, The Capture, The Prison Pen, and the Escape..., published in 1867.

This post in my "Relatively Fiction" blog featured Captain Glazier's book because Capt. James A. Rice, my great-great grandfather, had similar experiences while being held as a POW.  They were both held at Libby Prison as well as Columbia, South Carolina and Macon, Georgia the same time frame.

"The early married life of Ward Glazier (Willard's father) was passed upon the farm first cleared and cultivated by his father (Jabez) and which has since become known to the neighborhood as the Old Glazier Homestead This farm is situated in the township of Fowler (New York) midway between the small villages of Little York and Fullersville."

As Willard Glazier grew up and continued his education, he eventually secured a position as a school teacher and became known as the "Soldier-Schoolmaster."

Soldier-Schoolmaster Glazier became a bona fide soldier in the Civil War as part of the Harris Light Cavalry (2nd NY Cavalry).  On this roster of the 2nd New York Willard Glazier was listed as killed in action!

"...the young corporal (Glazier) was successful in his recruiting service and on the second day of December rejoined his comrades who were then at Camp Palmer Arlington Heights. This spot was one of peculiar beauty Its associations were hallowed There stood the ancestral home of the [Robert E.] Lees... ."

"As the Harris Light enjoyed throughout this campaign of magnificent possibilities the honor of being Little Mac's (General McClellan's) body guard... ."

There were other actions before Capt. Glazier was captured and sent to Libby Prison was was recounted in his own book, The Capture, The Prison Pen, and the Escape... .

After the war "...our soldier author found himself not only famous but through the enormous sale of his books in comparatively affluent circumstances.

Willard Glazier embarked on a journey from Boston to San Francisco on horseback in 1876 in part to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America's independence.  While enroute and "in Cleveland the terrible news of the massacre of General Custer by the Indians reached Captain Glazier who as a cavalry officer had seen service with him in the late war and felt for him that respect and love which only a true soldier knows for a brave leader."  Glazier went to Monroe, Michigan, where he donated his lecture fee to the Custer Monument Fund.  While in Monroe, Glazier conferred with General Custer's aged father.  Glazier then spoke in Detroit, at St. Andrew's Hall on July 31, 1876, and also donated those fees ($40.00) to the Custer fund.

As Glazier continued his journey, he was subjected to another capture: "Suddenly over a slight elevation in the land appeared a body of Indians in number about thirteen or fourteen. The Indians now advancing upon them were clearly not on a friendly errand and were pronounced by the herders to be a detachment of the Arapahoes. They were decked in their war paint and on seeing the white men immediately raised their war shout which as travelers on the plains are aware always indicates an intention to attack."  He subsequently escaped and continued to California.

After the return trip East Glazier purchased his old homestead for the comfort of his aged parents. 

The book, "Sword and Pen..." was published in 1882, many years before Willard Glazier's death in 1905.

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