In 1864, Archie Van Orden crafted a crude spoon together using nothing but tin scraps and ingenuity. The story of how this spoon kept him alive when thousands of others perished in the most desperate conditions will be revealed in my book.
Until then, Archie’s own words (written to his family) suffice to tell of its import: “Though a miserable excuse for a spoon, I would not trade it for a silver service.”
Until his final day on this earth in 1917, my great-grandfather was proud to have served his nation at its hour of greatest need in the Grand Army of the Republic.
This is the last photo ever taken of Archie, on Armistice Day, 1917. In his 70’s, he still stood straight, head held high with the bearing of a warrior who withstood withering warfare at its worst.