"Rummaging through my father’s desk many years ago, I discovered a long ribbon-like piece of cloth, brightly colored in deep red with a generous fringe. With it was a worn piece of gray metal in the shape of a U with a stud at its base.
"Curious, I asked my father about them. He told me a story that he had heard on his great-grandfather’s knee, anecdotes he gathered from his grandparents, and family lore passed down through his parents, my grandparents.
"It was the story of George Van Norman, a Yankee stuck in the South, a story of love and war, of passion and cruelty amid the anarchy that was Middle Tennessee in 1865.
"It was a story about the spur and the sash and how George came to have them."
Union General George H. Thomas
Confederate General John Bell Hood
Shy's Hill, circa 1880
George Van Norman, circa 1916
George Van Norman, circa 1923
George B. Van Norman (1842-1924)
Burton C. Wait (1870-1962), married Elizabeth Van Norman, youngest daughter of George
Arthur L. Grede (1895-1976), married Elizabeth Wait, only daughter of Burton
Edward A. Grede (1920-2014), son of Arthur, and the author's father
Henry Grede (1865-1942), father of Arthur
Alvin Wait (1844-1924), father of Burton. Alvin lost his leg at the Battle of Peachtree Creek
Four Generations, circa 1921 (l to r)
Carte de Visite
George Van Norman , circa 1870