Shortly after I sent an inquiry to DB Johnson I received a reply which opened or door I never could have imagined. As it turns out DB married into John Emmet’s family and shares an interest in the O’Brien’s along with a friend of hers named Cindi Verser. She described Cindi as “the expert on the O’Briens who were in the Civil War as telegraphers”.
I can’t thank DB enough for putting me in touch with Cindi, and it didn’t take long for me to make contact with some stunning results. Cindi’s story is full of happy coincidences. It began with her enthusiasm for the telegraph. While learning Morse Code she came across mention of the O’Brien brother as they both play a role in the history of the telegraph. Both Richard and John spent time at Fort Monroe during the Civil War and as luck would have it not only does Fort Monroe still stand, but Cindi volunteers there as well. When she discovered the connection she began researching the Ft. Monroe records and has since continued to pull on threads and fill binders of information regarding O’Brien history.
She was just as surprised to get an email from me as I was to learn about her. I never thought it possible, but I think it’s safe to say I have an official family historian in Cindi. I would have to meet her in person, visit Fort Monroe and learn more about the role it played in the Civil War.