When the Civil War began in 1861 widowed Lucy Proper Schuyler, 48 years old, had recently married John Thompson and was living in Lawrence, Essex County, Massachusetts.
She'd had at least three children with first husband Peter Schuyler who died in 1856. Arilla, born in 1850, and Rodney, born in 1839, are recorded as dying as children but she'd probably given birth to others and lost them before her youngest son Arthur was born in 1847. Arthur was about 14 or 15 when he decided to lie about his age and enlist in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry.
"I feel it a duty to improve the mind, and have ever had a thirst for education to fill that vacuum for which the soul has ever yearned since my earliest remembrance. Thus I ask you to buy my little book to aid me in obtaining an education, that I may be enabled to do some good in behalf of the elevation of my emancipated brothers and sisters."
A few years later Mattie returned to her former home in St. Louis and her birth mother Ellen.
Lucy seemed to have a generous and affectionate nature expressed in raising other people's children. We can guess there were more who found love and education at her Massachusetts home before she died in 1881 at 61.