On November 25, 1840, Remiro Ernest Spicer was born in Clayton, New York to Nelson Spicer and his wife Abigail (Carley) Spicer.
Remiro spent his childhood near Clayton, located on the shores of Lake Ontario in Upstate New York.
Just a few months after the start of the Civil War, the 20-year-old Remiro enlisted in Company H of the 24th NY Infantry Regiment. Company K, led by Andrew “Jack” Barney, was recruited in Belleville, New York.
Almost two years later, in May 1863, Remiro was transferred to Company E of the 76th NY Infantry.
In those 20 months, Remiro's Regiment had been involved in battles at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Pollock’s Mill Creek, and Chancellorsville, among others.
Remiro’s first battle with Company E of the 76th was just a month later. Remiro was only 22 years old as he approached the Gettysburg battlefield on 1 July 1863.
During that first day of battle he was severely wounded, and he spent the next eight months recovering in a hospital.
In the spring of 1864 Remiro returned to his Regiment, and once again his first battle turned out to be very costly.
The Battle of Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864, inflicted the biggest single wound upon Remiro's regiment with 42 deaths, 60 wounded, and 180 men taken prisoner by the enemy.
Remiro was one of those prisoners.
According to his obituary, while at the Battle of the Wilderness Remiro was struck by a bullet that was stopped by a copy of the New Testament he had received from his sister when he first enlisted.
Remiro was disarmed and marched to Gordonville, where he was sent in a boxcar to Andersonville, Georgia. They reached the prison on May 22, 1864.
Along the way, Remiro reportedly bought some potato pies from a cook, priced at one dollar each in greenback, or ten dollars in Confederate money.
Remiro endured unspeakable horrors as a prisoner at Andersonville, including poor nutrition, brutality, and lack of clean water.
and from the spot where it entered the ground there gushed forth a spring of pure water, called Providence Spring by the prisoners.
As General Sherman approached Andersonville in late 1864 and early 1865, the prisoners were transferred elsewhere. During the night in February 1865, Remiro and 50 others escaped and remained in hiding until the next day when Union soldiers found them. They were placed on a ship and sent to Annapolis, having been eight days without food.
A short time later, on April 16, 1865 Remiro was discharged from the hospital and he finally returned home.
Just two months later, in June 1865, 24-year-old Remiro married 20-year-old Theodora Rice, who had been waiting at home for him.
They remained married for more than 37 years until Theodora's death in 1903.
Together they had eight children, two boys and six girls.
On April 27, 1914, almost 50 years to the day after he was captured and brought to Andersonville, Remiro was one of 163 survivors who attended the dedication of the New York monument at Andersonville Prison.
While there, Remiro purchased a bottle of water from Providence Spring.
On May 4, 1926, Remiro died at age 85. At the time of his death, he had at least 17 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Today his descendants number in the many hundreds, and include me.