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Dunnock Johnson Family ~ Dorchester & Washington DC

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A Child's View of the (un) Civil War
and Long ago Washington


Caption reads:
Genevieve Blanche Cleary and
Florence Josephine Cleary
from a photograph taken at the time of the Civil War.

Josephine Clary married WIlliam Wimsatt. With two Johnson brothers, William founded the Johnson and Wimsatt Lumber Company. The company owned the schooner, the JOSEPHINE WIMSATT. The same Johnson brothers each married sisters of William so Josephine was in the middle of a well intertwined family. Johnson and Wimsatt operates today in Alexandria, Virginia (but with no known ties to the original families).

I was only a little girl, five years old, when the war that. almost wrecked our country burst over the land. When I heard my people talking of war I thought there would be fighting in the streets all day and all night. My mental picture of war was, you see, very vague and childish. Not long before the outbreak of hostilities between the North and the South there had been an election for Mayor in Washington, and one of the voting booths was not far from our house. From a safe distance ~ I had watched the voters rioting, one party attacking the other with fists, sticks, and stones-a common occurrence in those days--and from that incident my childish impressions of war had been gathered.
I was the youngest of ten children, a large family, truly. At the time of the Civil War I had five grown brothers, and one who was still a school boy. Then there were four of us girls, of whom I was the youngest, the baby, and the sister next to me in age, Genevieve, was five years older than I.

My eldest sister, Agnes, was a young lady at the time, very pretty, and just graduated from a convent school, Mount de Sales, near Baltimore, Maryland. Kate was younger than Agnes by several years, and there was a boy, Emmett, between them.