Think you've got it rough, do you? Then you haven't heard about the life of Merrillville's Israel Pierce.
The post-war effects of Civil War destruction on human lives is the focus of a short drama created by a region filmmaker and set to debut at an April historical exposition in Hammond.
As a child, Alice Smedstad clipped weeds and tall grass away from the headstones of Merrillville Cemetery, wondering about the people buried in the shadow of her father's garden.
Sgt. Israel Pierce, left, poses with brother Wesley in his 99th Indiana Infantry uniform. Pierce, of Merrillville, survived fierce fighting but ended his own life 20 years after returning home from the war.
A Crown Point colonel leads his regiment -- many of them hometown boys -- in a desperate battle for the future of his country, ultimately paying with his life.
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