Silas Morrison, as a young lad had been in Virginia and seen slaves bought and sold on the auction block. The inhumanities of separating mothers from their children disturbed him and he was much opposed to the slavery issue. So when the civil war broke out he enlisted in the army on September 14, 1861, and served in Company G 20th Regiment of New York Volunteers.
He fought in the second battle of Bull Run and was injured when he jumped over a rail fence along with others. The top rail fell on him and crushed his chest. While he was laying hurt by this fence the Confederates came along and bayoneted the wounded and injured. Silas watched these proceedings and as they drew near he played very dead. It saved his live, as others beside him were killed. He lay there as if dead, until nightfall, and then made his way back to the Union lines. His injury bothered him and in 1863 he was give a medical discharge.
A cousin who was a friend and neighbor, enlisted with Silas and was killed in one of the battles. According to Silas, the cousin would always be the first to charge the enemy lines when the bugle sounded the forward call. He was shot in the back by the firing of his comrades, and died. When Silas found his body he was saddened and from that time on his heart was not in the war.
The tintype of Silas Morrison was given to him as a prize for his cleanliness. His uniform was the cleanest and his buttons and brass polished the best of anyone in the regiment. He was clean shaven and neat in appearance. According to the record on the discharge papers, he was 5'7" tall, light complexion, blue eyes, and light hair and by occupation, a farmer. He was discharged at Convetesant Camp, Virginia the 9th day of February, 1863.
Silas Morrison died July 21, 1924, and is buried in Edna, Kansas.
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