by LIONEL C. JENSEN Martena's Son
An experience that impressed me as a child, about five years of age, was the death of my grandfather, Peter Halvorsen. He was a tall man of stately build with no extra weight. I remember how he would click his heals and go through the drill antics of his soldiering days in Denmark. Grandpa was a Captain in the Danish Army and served in 1862 when the Germans over-ran the country "Holstein", which was restored to Denmark by treaty at the close of World War I, (Sleswig was returned to Denmark not Holstein).
In 1910, while serving as a missionary for the LDS Church, my father visited a place in Denmark where a fierce battle was fought. Grandpa retold of the event many times. The Germans had taken the hill on the previous day, but during the night the Danes came into the City and had the citizens empty their straw tics over the cobblestone streets so they could roll their cannons into position without any noise. The next morning the battle started, with cannon, with cannon, musket, sword and bayonet. Blood ran in rivulets down this small hill.
I have talked with other survivors of this battle which was finally lost to the Germans, at great loss to each side in blood and lives. My father found a small stone on this hill. It is egg shaped and of a green-brown color. He brought it home and gave it to me as a keepsake to remind me of my Grandfather's sacrifice and experience. I have the stone in my possession for safe-keeping today, 1979.
Grandpa was living with my parent's in Goshen during his last days. I remember that he wanted his whiskers shaved off regularly, and how my Father would lather his face and shave him with his blade razor, this was interesting to me.
One day Grandpa fell to the floor. My Father picked him up and carried him to a leather couch or Davenport close by the south window in our living room. While my Father held him in his arms, Grandpa died, my first experience with death.