Pirate Kings and library-lovers

The third winner of last month’s National Library Week giveaway, Ashley W. tells us about her “Thrill in the Stacks”:

My most personal library thrill actually happened at an archives. The Archives, to be exact. A friend works at the National Archives and is a specialist in US Department of State records. He was taking me on a behind-the-scenes tour of the stacks, when we passed a section on death records of Americans killed overseas. I asked if that included military personnel killed during peacetime and we stopped to look at the index. My great-great-uncle was a Marine killed in Nicaragua in 1927 – the extent of my knowledge about him from his headstone at Arlington Cemetery. We found a listing which led to the discovery of letters from the Nicaraguan Minister to the Secretary of State with “the most earnest expression of regret for the lamentable loss of those brave men who so generously succumbed in the discharge of their high duty.” It seems that my relative and a Marine Private were killed while defending a town against bandits. It was something unexpected and fascinating.

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  1. Gail Lelyveld on May 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Wow!!! That is exciting. Your Great Great Uncle was doing his Magnificent Seven thing. I am very sorry that he died doing it. It must be a special feeling to know that a family member is a hero.

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