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Our story continues today with our newest installment of the story of one “Forgotten Immigrant”.  It has been an intriguing story so far and continues as such today.

If you missed installment #1 you can click here to read it, you can click here for installment #2, and click here for installment #3 if you need to catch up!

We know you will find this continuing story quite interesting!

Amerikán Národní Kalendář

Volume: LVII, Year: 1934, Pages: 187-213

FROM THE MEMORIES OF OLD CZECH SETTLERS IN AMERICA

Translated by Layne Pierce and Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce

©Onward To Our Past®

“The Sentimental Story of a Forgotten Immigrant

From the Life of Antonín Wíša.  For Kalendář Amerikán written by Antonín Klobása”

1934 Wisa image

Antonín Wíša

               “One day we were visited by a soldier in a dress uniform in whom we recognized with absolute surprise our friend Antonín Wíša, a member of “Freemont’s Body Guards.” – Just then a small dog looking for food came into the company tent.  When he was fed he became very friendly and later became the favorite of the whole company with which he went everywhere.  We will mention later the role he played later on.

                During those times there was no railroad transportation in Missouri.  The rails went only 80 miles to Rolla, Missouri.  The whole transportation of foodstuffs and ammunition for the soldiers was done by wagons drawn by 6 mules and it often happened that insidious revolutionary groups would attack these supply wagons, would kill off the guards and steal everything.

1934 six-mule team

To stop that, Fremont sent his unit to the middle of the state to drive away the robber groups.  One day the unit received news that about seven miles south of its camp there was a revolutionary group that was preparing to raid St. Louis and attack the local weapons arsenal.  Our brave young men did not hesitate.  They mounted their energetic horses and they galloped to the town.  The uneven fight of merely a hundred men against a regiment of rebels began.  The fight lasted about half an hour and the rebels were dispersed.  Our boys collected their wounded and several dead people and returned to their camp.  They found out, however, that one of theirs was still missing. Then the little dog ran in and was barking fiercely.  When the dog realized that they were paying attention to him he ran back to the forest and returned, continuing his barking: “That dog is trying to say something, “they told themselves, and several of them mounted their horses and followed the dog up to the battlefield.  The dog ran into a thicket where our friend Wíša was lying, already half dead.  They took him to the nearest hospital and then it was found that he was hit by seven rebel bullets.  Two went through his hat.  One took off the heel of his boot and four hit his body.  After the examination of the wounds the doctor said that there was hope that he could still recover because his narrowly tight coat had stopped the blood flow that clotted under the coat and stopped further flow—we read the news about it in the English papers later on.  The wife of General Fremont took the little dog to a goldsmith shop, Jacord Co., where she had made for him a gold collar as a reward for his good deed.  We did not learn then, however, where they took Wíša, whether he was alive or dead.  Later, when his older brother Václav emigrated from Bohemia to Chicago, where later he had a watch shop on 18th Street, he wrote to us to ask whether we knew anything about his brother Antonín.  I wrote to him that the latter had joined the war, and that we had not seen him since that time, but that I would try to find him, if possible.  (I did not want to reveal the sad story.) I was able to find him once again in his former settlement, but he was already a different person, and I was scared just looking at him.  The previously, beautiful, big strong man was paralyzed in his body and his spirit.—He had one leg much shorter than the other one, and there were other marks of the cruel fight on his body.”

Tomorrow we conclude our wonderful story of the “Forgotten Immigrant” for you, so stay with Onward To Our Past®!

 

A Genealogical Historian, who is focused on family history and genealogy of the highest quality, but with a dose of fun. Avid about documentation and evidence. Loves helping folks of all levels in their genealogy pursuits, especially in the areas of Bohemia, Czech Republic, Italy, Cornwall, Kent, United Kingdom, U.S. Immigration and Cleveland, Ohio.

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