Historic Hood River
Capt. Peter O’Kane
Samuel Blythe held onto this card his entire life. On the reverse he wrote, “Capt Peter O’Kane, Captain of Co. E, Thirteenth Missouri Volunteers. Killed by the falling of a tree, near Corinth Miss, July 1862.”
I find records spelling his name variously as “O’Kane” and “O’Cain”. A contemporaneous source lists his death date as June 29th, 1862. This was shortly after the Union armies took the city following a month long siege.
Blythe met with his Civil War comrades at annual GAR encampments. Every year they would honor the fallen. GAR lobbying helped make Memorial Day a national holiday.
Blythe kept records as the ranks of the GAR diminished over the years. The GAR was dissolved in 1956 upon the death of it last member.