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contact our Department Junior Vice Commander 

Alan Kirshen, DJVC 

P.O. Box 635

Red Oak, Iowa 51566  



to the Department of Iowa

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Office of the Commander-in-Chief

General Order #7
SERIES 2016-2017
12 October 2016


With sadness I report the passing of Real Son and Brother Ernest John Pool on September 24, 2016, he was 97 years old.

Brother John was born on November 10, 1918 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was the son of PVT Charles Parker Pool, of Company D of the 6th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry. PVT Pool mustered into service on August 20, 1861 and served until August 27, 1864

when his term expired.

Brother John was recruited along with his brothers, Garland, and William into

Col. John C. Bryner Camp 67, Department of Illinois and initiated in January, 2004.
It is ordered that the National Web site, the Charters of all Departments and Camps and
membership badges be draped in black for a period of 30 days from the date of this General Order.

Ordered this 12th Day of October, 2016.



Donald L. Martin
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


Jonathan Davis
Secretary, National Order,
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

 Keokuk County Freedom Rock

What Cheer, Iowa

       Like many counties in Iowa they have some great Veteran stories ranging all the way back to the Civil War.  The front (road facing) side of this Freedom Rock features the GAR or Grand Army of the Republic. The GAR was a fraternal organization composed of the veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marines and the Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War for the Northern/Federal forces. There were many GAR Veterans who settled back in Iowa after the war and Keokuk County was no exception. In fact, there was even one man who had the honor of escorting President Abraham Lincoln in and out of the capitol. After reading the stories and seeing the rock I knew I wanted to create a tribute to these heroes. I painted a Union soldier and an aged GAR Veteran with their GAR ribbon/medal between them. I think it turned out to be a powerful image along with a quote they often used

       On the back side is a tribute to some local Veterans who represent a few different eras of service. Ronald Shirlaw had distinguished service in both WWII and Korea. He earned the Silver Star, 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star and Prisoner of War Medal. Ronald was captured by communist forces after he was shot down over North Korea, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his release during Operation Big Switch at the end of the war. I represented Ronald by painting his photo and then behind him creating a POW scene with his plane crash landing in the background. Like most of my work it is not only for the local guys but also a nod to all those who were, and are, POW/MIA. Gary Ferns, a decorated Vietnam Veteran, retired after 21 years of service in the US Army as a Special Forces officer. He earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. I painted a photo of Gary along with a Green Beret in action and a Vietnam background. Emery Kerr was a medic in WWII and the photo I used of him was a photo of him in action in Sicily. This pic speaks volumes and it was sad to find out that he was killed in a crash not long after returning from the war while attending a relatives funeral.

       What Cheer is a town determined to not let their town fade away and is working on many projects including their impressive Opera House which is right next to the rock. You’ll have to make the trip to see this one and I hope you enjoy it.
Big thank you to our Veterans and those currently serving.. you are my inspiration.


Ray Sorensen

The Freedom Rock®


Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has proclaimed September 28th, 2016, as "Grand Army of the Republic Highway Day" in Iowa, to honor the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Grand Army of the Republic.  It was on that day in 1947 that Governor Blue signed the original proclamation.



WHEREAS, the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was founded in 1866 by and for Union veterans of the Civil War for the purposes of preserving and strengthening the bonds of brotherhood among the veterans and assisting their former comrades in need and the widows and children of those who had fallen; and


WHEREAS, membership of the Department of Iowa Grand Army of the Republic grew to more than 20,000 Union Civil War veterans and 439 G.A.R. posts had been organized across the state at its peak in the 1890s. Six of Iowa’s Governors had been members of the G.A.R. and three Iowans served as the national Commander-in Chief of the G.A.R.; and


WHEREAS, beginning in the 1930s, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War organized an effort to have U.S. Highway 6 across the United States names in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic and Iowa adopted legislation to do so with the passage of House File 227 signed by Governor Robert Blue on April 29, 1947; and


WHEREAS, on September 28, 1947, Iowa formally dedicated the Grand Army of the Republic Highway at a ceremony in Iowa City where Iowa’s two remaining Civil War veterans, James Martin and Ebenezer McMurray, along with Governor Blue unveiled the marker which was to be placed along the highway at each end of each town having had a G.A.R. post in the past; and

WHEREAS, during the dedication ceremony, Governor Blue stated, “We dedicate this highway today as a symbol of unity between these 48 states from coast to coast, to the vision of the boys of the Civil War, and to the future, for these men have left to us a heritage of freedom.” (Des Moines Register, 29 September 1947, p. 1); and


WHEREAS, over the past couple years, the Department of Iowa Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War has been working with the Iowa Department of Transportation and the many towns along the historic 1947 route of the Grand Army of the Republic Highway to replace missing or worn and faded marker signs with new more visible signage to honor the G.A.R. and call attention to the Grand Army of the Republic Highway designation:


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby proclaim September 28, 2016 as







Headstone Dedications

September 11, 2016

John Barnes and Bazel Battin, Correctionville, Iowa ...
Sonya Kostan was the local dignitary (former council person) and gave a greeting.
Jackie Westover of the Legion Auxiliary gave biographies of both John Barnes & Bazel Battin.
Flag & rifle salute by the Correctionville Legion & VFW
Taps by Eric Flynn (River Valley Music Director) & River Valley student Caitlyn Ebert
Isaac Lane, Washta, Iowa ...
Greeting by Don Parrot, Mayor of Washta
Biography of Isaac Lane by Nancy Rutter Spriggs (g-g-grandniece)
Wreath laid  laid the DAR wreath at Washta.Pilot Mound D.A.R. by Nancy Parrott,
wife of Mayor Don Parrott
Flag & rifle salute by Washta American Legion
Taps  by Eric Flynn (River Valley Music Director) & River Valley student Caitlyn Ebert

S. V. R.  Events:  Taylor County Historical Society

Civil War Exposition


On July 30, a very, very pleasant summer day, the Taylor County Historical Society hosted a "Civil War Exposition".  Dr. Rosayn Cummings had been following the activities of Kinsman Camp #23 of the SUVCW over the past several years, including the 2014 re-dedication of the Civil War monument in Bedford, the Taylor County seat.  Because of the well-documented participation of Taylor County's residents during the Civil War, she wanted to host a Civil War themed event on the grounds of the Taylor County Museum.  Dr. Cummings contacted  the commanding officer of Co. B, 10th Iowa Infantry, SVR., Capt. Carr.


Several different "stations" were manned by the Company's members, plus one from the Ladies' Auxiliary.  Those who attended this event were: Captain Carr, Sergeants Braden, Rittel and Kirshen and Corporal Weeber.  Jeanie Kirshen represented the Auxiliary. We were joined by SUVCW member Dave Thompson, who brought his 6-pounder cannon, which was a big hit with the crowd.


Almost three hundred people attended the event, which raised nearly a thousand dollars for the Museum.

Department of Iowa at the 135th National Encampment.

Taylor County Historical Society Civil War Exposition

On July 30, a very, very pleasant summer day, the Taylor County Historical Society hosted a "Civil War Exposition".  Dr. Rosayn Cummings had been following the activities of Kinsman Camp #23 of the SUVCW over the past several years, including the 2014 re-dedication of the Civil War monument in Bedford, the Taylor County seat.  Because of the well-documented participation of Taylor County's residents during the Civil War, she wanted to host a Civil War themed event on the grounds of the Taylor County Museum.  Dr. Cummings contacted  the commanding officer of Co. B, 10th Iowa Infantry, SVR., Capt. Carr.

Several different "stations" were manned by the Company's members, plus one from the Ladies' Auxiliary.  Those who attended this event were: Captain Carr, Sergeants Braden, Rittel and Kirshen and Corporal Weeber.  Jeanie Kirshen represented the Auxiliary. We were joined by SUVCW member Dave Thompson, who brought his 6-pounder cannon, which was a big hit with the crowd.

Almost three hundred people attended the event, which raised nearly a thousand dollars for the Museum.

After the event, we were given a tour of the 'round barn', which just that.  It was disassembled near Lenox, IA in 1996 and moved to its present site where it was re-erected.


Grenville M. Dodge Camp #75

1916 - 100 Years - 2016

On Saturday, June 11, 2016, members of the Grenville M. Dodge Camp #75, Department of Iowa, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War as well as members of the of Dodge Auxiliary #8, celebrated 100 years of the Camp.  A pot luck dinner was held at the Elks Lodge in Clive, Iowa.  The Dodge Camp meets at 7 P.M. the Last Wednesday of the month at the Urbandale Public Library,

3520 86th Street, Urbandale, Iowa.

Memorial Day article, Cedar Rapids Gazette, May 29,2016,  featuring Department Memorials Officer Tom Gaard and Department Junior Vice Commander Alan Kirshen

Grand Army of the Republic Monument Rededication

Oakland Cemetery, Casey, Iowa June 4, 2016

On Saturday, June 4, the People of Casey along with the 10th Iowa SVR Rededicated the newly renovated G.A.R. Monument at Oakwood Cemetery.  Originally Dedicated in 1916, this memorial had fallen into disrepair and was restored earlier this year.  Along side the monument now stands a carving of a soldier done by Dave Bussard.  Present at the ceremony was Margaret Batchelet who worked along side Amy Noll at the Department Commander's Office, Department of Iowa, Grand Army of the Republic in the State Capitol.

Memorial Day

Peoria Cemetery, Peoria, Iowa

Nathan Leonard, Drum Major 15th Iowa

         For the past 60 years, Jon and Doris Nibbelink of Peoria, Iowa have owned what once was the Peoria Hotel.  Face down in the old sidewalk was a marble stone which they discovered was the headstone for Nathan Leonard.  In 2015 they located his final resting place and set the stone beside his family marker. 
         On July 4th, 1861, President Lincoln convened a special session of Congress.  Lincoln gave a lengthy discourse on the actions taken by the “erring sisters,” referring to the confederacy, and the measures he had taken to control, correct or at least oppose them.  On July 22nd Congress authorized an additional 500,000 enlistees.  The 15th and 16th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiments were the last two regiments needed to fill Iowa’s quota under this authorization, at that time it was believed no more troops would be called for. 
         The 15th and 16th were sister regiments, the aggregate age of both were older than the previous regiments.  These men knew what they were facing; they knew the war was going poorly in the east.  It took six months for the 15th to muster into full strength.  These men had families to make arrangements for and crops to be harvested.  On Sunday morning, April 6, 1862, the 15th and 16th Iowa marched into battle for the first time.  With flags flying, the band playing, 1900 men marched towards Jones’ Field and into the Battle of Shiloh, led by Drum Major Nathan Leonard.
         Nathan Alonzo Leonard was born Sunday, February 8, 1818, in Rutland County, Vermont.  He married Amelia Jenkins on Tuesday, September 14, 1841, in Susquehanna County, Ohio.  They became the parents of five children:  Caroline, John, Nathan, Lucy and Maria.  Caroline and John died before the family moved to Iowa.
         Nathan was 5 foot 71/4 inches tall with a light complexion, hazel eyes and auburn hair.  He was a machinist by trade. He enlisted as a Private in Company B, 15th Iowa Infantry, on October 22, 1861, at Oskaloosa and mustered into service on November 9, at Keokuk. The 15th remained in rendezvous at Keokuk, drilling as best they could without muskets until March 29 1862.

         On March 15, 1862, he was appointed Drum Major for the 15th Iowa.  Nathan had the early instruction of the musicians of the regiment and did very well “considering the insubordinate characters of the young devils over whom he had control”.  Those young devils were:
         William Shepherdson
         William Boyle
         Tighlman Cunningham, who was known as “Boss Whistler”, he could rattle out the  music  with  more noise and less effort than anyone in the brigade
         John Jones
         George Morrow
         James Bole
         Lewis Crowder, Lewis was severely wounded at Atlanta and is buried at Peoria.
         Melville Davis, a drummer, would wake the boys - promptly, to promptly.  He was wounded in  the breast, abdomen and leg at Kennesaw Mountain, his leg had to be amputated
         Samuel Flemming, he was discharged for disability, same as Nathan
         Byron Jackson, died of disease at Vicksburg
         John Bosworth
         Robert Lyon, wounded in the arm at Corinth, he was no longer a drummer
         Ethan Post, deserted and later returned
         Loren Tyler, served in every battle the 15th Iowa was involved in, he was appointed a Major in the Iowa  National Guard in April 1878 and Adjutant General of Iowa in June 1878
         and Henry Metz, Metz became Drum Major after Nathan was discharged.   Instead of running the band,  the band ran him.

         The typical day for these men consisted of Drummer’s Call at 4:30 in the morning. The drummers would assemble in front of the company quarters.  Reveille was at 4:45, after which the drum band would march up and down the company street playing different songs.  It is well known that the horses and the mules learned the drum calls much faster than the men.  Police Call was at 6:00, every scrap of paper, bit of straw and refuse was picked up from the camp ground.  Surgeons Call was at 6:30.  Breakfast was at 7:00.  Drill began at 7:30.  Drill until Noon meal; continued to drill until Company Parade at 4:00 p.m.  Dress Parade for all companies at 6:00 p.m.  Tattoo sounded at 9:00, with Taps at 9:30.

         Others in this cemetery that served with Nathan Leonard in the 15th Iowa are:
         Simeon Dysart, died of disease at Keokuk and is buried at the Keokuk  National Cemetery, he is memorialized there
         Levi W. Hunt, died of chronic diarrhea March 21, 1864, here in Peoria
         Uriah Smith, survived the war
         Milton Spain, died of disease, buried in Union National Cemetery,  Corinth, Mississippi, memorialized there

        Others from Peoria that served with Nathan in the 15th are:
         William R. Good, buried at Keokuk National Cemetery
         Eden Hunt, wounded at Shiloh and again near Atlanta
         Byron L. Jackson, previously mentioned as Drummer, buried at Vicksburg  National Cemetery
         George L. Jackson, served for the duration of the war
         John P. Jones, fifer, served for the duration of the war
         William C. Laird, wounded at Kennesaw Mountain, survived
         George Lewis, discharged for disability
         Henry Lewis, served for the duration of the war
         Edmund Lundy, discharged for disability
        Joseph Miller, discharged for disability
         Charles Quaintance, died in Odin, Illinois
         William H. Romesha, wounded at Atlanta
         Edward Smith, discharged for disability
         Henry Van Cleve, wounded near Atlanta
        Joshua Van Cleve, wounded at Corinth
        Orville Whaling, discharged for disability
         and John G. Curry, deserted

         The 15th Iowa left Keokuk for St. Louis on March 19, 1862, aboard the Jennie Dean, upon their arrival, they marched to Benton Barracks, where they received arms, accouterments and general equipment along with Company and Battalion Drill.
         Eleven days later the regiment was ordered to Pittsburg Landing. The drums rattled furiously, and orders came to pack up instanter and get ready to leave for the seat of war.  It was known among the boys that such an order had been received, and they had hailed it with great enthusiasm.  There was but one damper—this sudden movement destroyed all hope of being “paid off”.  Some of the officers have not money enough to buy themselves swords, while many of the men have dependent families at home.  All need money, it was a bitter disappointment that they have to march away without being paid.  But they were promised paymasters soon.
         The wildest commotion ensued.  Every other matter was forgotten, and with eager haste they got into line on the parade ground.  There they learned the most annoying duty of a soldier –to stand in his place like a hitching post, perhaps for hours, simply awaiting orders.
         Finally they stacked arms and had breakfast, but at eleven o’clock they marched out of Camp Benton with drums beating and colors flying.  Three batteries of artillery and three regiments of infantry followed.  The people of  St. Louis cheered vociferously all along the route.  At 2 o’clock they reached the steamboat levee and boarded the paddle wheel steamer Minnehaha. The men kept their guns and knapsacks with them on board the steamer. The other regiments embarked on other boats, and more troops and batteries were swiftly ferried across from East St. Louis and embarked on still other steamers.  At dusk the somewhat imposing flotilla swung off, and amid the roar and clatter of martial music, and the cheering of soldiers and people, steamed down the Mississippi.  It was the 1st of April, the commanders told them they would smell gunpowder soon.
         They arrived at Pittsburg Landing early Sunday morning, April 6, 1862, between 4:00 and 4:30 am, the sun rose at 5:38 that morning. Between 6 and 7, Sergeant Major Brown, completed the morning report and handed it to Colonel Reid.  Jacob Huffman lead Colonel Reid’s horse from the boat, the Colonel rode off in search of a place to go into camp and to hand the report to General Prentiss, some four miles from the landing.  The sound of battle could be heard in the distance. A heavy fire of artillery and musketry had already commenced along the lines. 
         The men became aware that something unusual was occurring, far away through the woods they faintly heard bugles sounding and heard the distant dull roll of drums, mingled with the discharge of fire arms. The long roll was beating, a peculiar roll of the drum that is only used at a time of great danger, like a fire bell at night, it signified the enemy’s presence, and called the soldiers to arms, in haste. Every drummer who heard the roll, snatched his drum and repeated it. The weird note sounded in every direction. Our drums beat and our regiment hastily formed, ammunition was issued, and we were shown how to bite and use cartridges for the first time. We got orders to cook breakfast, eat it, and get back into line. 
         Colonel Reid returned to the regiment formed in line of battle on the heights in rear of the landing, preparatory to advance. About 8:45 the regiment marched to the top of the bluff above the landing and formed in line with the 16th Iowa, with orders to stop all stragglers coming from the front. Some panic stricken stragglers reformed and went back to the fight, others kept running, some jumping into the river.  The Navy later reported that many of those who jumped to escape had drown and were floating down stream. 
         Between 8 and 9 o’clock they moved from the bluff towards the front.  While in this position ten additional rounds of ammunition and extra rations of “hardtack “was issued to each man. About 9:30, the 15th and 16th Iowa were ordered to march to the front, the band playing.  Drum Major Leonard led my 3rd Great Grandfather and two of his sons into battle. The regiments marched probably a quarter of a mile, where they were halted and Colonel Chambers of the 16th  rode down the line, to the rear, and gave the file closers their orders, keep their men in ranks and if any man attempted to run they were to “shoot him”.
         They marched about two miles, first to the right, across a deep ravine and through thick underbrush, in a direction directly from the firing. The road they marched was filled with retreating artillery, flying cavalry, straggling infantry, and the wounded returning from the field. They reached an open field in front of the enemy, who were concealed in a dense wood and among tents, from which other regiments had been driven earlier in the day. The band was playing “The Girl I Left Behind Me” when the they first came under fire.
         Under a heavy fire from the enemy’s artillery, they marched and took position. The 15th occupied the left and advanced upon the enemy and drove a part of them from their concealments among the tents.  Color Sergeant, Newton Rogers planted the colors in their midst, while the whole left wing of the regiment advanced under a murderous fire of shot and shell from the enemy’s artillery and an incessant fire from the musketry.  Their flag-staff was shot through and their colors riddled with bullets. The enemy had forty men killed in the immediate vicinity of their colors.
         The 15th and 16th fought for two hours from 10 to 12 o’clock, and it must be remembered that they had just received arms and that the men had never had an opportunity of learning the use of them until they came on the battlefield; that they had just landed and were attached to no brigade, and fought the enemy without the support of artillery, in a position from which more experienced troops had been compelled to retire.
         Assistant Surgeon Gibbons established a temporary hospital back of the line a short distance, where the drummers assisted in caring for the wounded.  During the battles the musicians would stash their drums and fifes in bushes or beside trees as they attended to and carried the wounded.  Drum Major Leonard would have taken position with the Regimental Command and drum out their orders to the Company Officers.
         They maintained their position, the men fighting like veterans.  Colonel Reid was shot through the neck, knocking him from his horse, paralyzed for a time. Under Leonard’s orders, drummer John Bosworth took charge of Colonel Reid, holding him on his horse, which was being led by the Colonel’s orderly.  Bosworth helped him off his horse and on to the boat.  The wounded were being carried back to the Minnehaha.  Chaplain Estabrooke laid aside his sacred office and resumed the use of the surgeon’s scalpel.  One of his patients was Colonel Chambers of the 16th who had been shot through the arm.
         Out flanked and without support they were ordered to retreat. The entire Union Army was in retreat.
         The Battle of Shiloh was the costliest battle the United States had seen to that point.  More men were lost in those two days of fighting than all previous engagements combined: Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the War with Mexico.  There were 23,746 casualties on both sides.  3,482 killed, 16,420 wounded.
        Every officer in the 16th had his horse shot out from under him
        The 15th Iowa lost 196 men; killed, wounded or captured.
        The 16th Iowa lost 131 men; killed, wounded or captured.
        Two days later, they returned and buried the dead where they lay.
For sixty two men, “The Girl I Left Behind Me”, led by Nathan Leonard, was the last song they ever heard.
         In early May, Company Records show Nathan reported as ill.  His condition continued to worsen until he was greatly reduced and determined to be unable to perform his duties and unable to recover in “this” climate. He was discharged July 11, 1862.  He returned to his home near Peoria and was attended to by the family physician, Dr. E. N. Woodworth, of Peoria, on the day of his return.  Woodworth had known Nathan to be in good health and free from disease when he entered military service and now found him greatly debilitated.  In those days there were no medicines or remedies to fight chronic or camp diarrhea, often those afflicted were referred to as dying like rotting sheep. Dr. Woodworth continued to care for Nathan and saw him for the last time, two days before his death on November 18, 1862. Dr. Ezra N. Woodworth is also buried in Peoria, as well as his own one year old daughter, Julia, who died two months before Nathan, in September.
        In the 1870 U S Census, Amelia and the children had moved near Eldora. Amelia moved to town in the spring of 1876, where she died seven years later. She is buried in the Eldora City Cemetery.
         The order for his headstone was received on August 21, 1888.  It was contracted by the Government through Sheldon & Sons of West Rutland, Vermont, the same county  Nathan was born in.

Carlisle Methodist Church, Carlisle, Iowa

May 14, 2016

        On May 14, members of the 10th Iowa SVR and the Department of Iowa rededicated the GAR Stained Glass Window in the Carlisle Medthodist Church.

      In 1857, a handful of believers came together and established the Carlisle Methodist Church.  This church held their meetings in the school until 1868, when the first building was erected here, on this location.  One of those founders was Sabra Hargis, a girl of fifteen.  There are three Hargises listed on this window: Stephen Major Hargis, Francis Marion Hargis and Jasper Newton Hargis.  As best as I can tell, these three were cousins to Sabra.  On June 6, 1858, Sabra was united in marriage to Ephraim Nicholson Fisher, he is the E. N. Fisher named on the window, they were probably married in that one room school.  In March of 1859, Sabra gave birth to their first child.

            April 12, 1861, Ft. Sumter was fired upon in Charleston Harbor and the Civil War broke out.  Sabra’s husband, Ephraim enlisted on August 23, and mustered into service on September 6, leaving Sabra and their two year old son, Anson.  Five weeks later, Sabra gave birth to their second son, George. He died one month later.  Ephraim never saw his son.  Ephraim’s service with the 10th Iowa only lasted six months, he was discharged on March 6, 1862, with typhoid fever.  Ephraim and Sabra would become the parents of seven children, only four lived to adulthood.  Their fourth child, a daughter, named Luella, married William Ballard, the son of David Ballard, named on this window.  David Ballard was married to Susan Baber, Susan was the sister of William Baber, also named on this window.

            Marion Hargis, a nephew to Stephen and Jasper, was severely wounded in the side, at Champion’s Hill on May 16, 1863 and was sent home to recover.  Stephen Hargis was wounded in the shoulder, slightly, a week later, on May 22, at Vicksburg, he recovered and reenlisted.  Marion Hargis did not recover and died here in Carlisle, on July 8, seven weeks after being wounded.  I believe he is the only one listed on this window that died during the war.  Jasper Hargis, the brother to Stephen, made it through the war unscathed.  Jasper liked to tell the story of his grandfather, John Hargis.  Grandfather Hargis on many occasions had ventured into Kentucky and suffered the dangers and privations of frontier life with Daniel Boone and his youngest brother Squire Boone.  Squire Boone is my fifth great grandfather.  This window has a story for all of us.

        How we preserve, perpetuate and honor the memory of our nation's defenders is a task that falls upon each generation of Americans.  Their stories must be repeagted, retold, to ensure that these men are not forgotten: it is our duty to educate and inculcate each new generation, lest their story of sacrifice be forever lost.

            As long as we remember those who served our country, they will continue to live on in our minds and in our hearts, if we forget them, they will truly be gone forever.  That is why we must take this time, to remember these veterans.

            The obligations of citizenship are not restricted to time or place, or to the conflict of arms.  There can be no doubt that the honor we pay to the patriotic dead, and to their memorable deeds will serve not only to make American citizenship in these days more reputable, but also to maintain and perpetuate, through all future generations.

            Remembrance is an act of instruction, an act of citizenship, an act of duty, devotion and love.  A monument in a cemetery, a park, in front of a Court House or in a church cannot teach the importance of these men to our history.  Monuments of stone, bronze or glass are but mere reflections of what once was and cannot speak of the reality of their life experience.  We are, however, privileged to have these memorials, erected by their own hands as a source of personal contact to the ideals of loyalty and self-sacrifice they and we hold so dear.

            It is only fitting that we have gathered here this afternoon to honor these veterans.  We should seek to emulate them for they knew the lessons of responsibility and devotion that come with citizenship.

            Today as we rededicate this window, remember, it is not the window we rededicate, but the memory of those who wished to make a statement for all time and placed it here.  This window makes a very proud statement.  It states who these men were and what they held dear; and that they wanted to be remembered; and placing it here, in the church, speaks volumes. 

            With the dawning of each new day, this window waits, ready to retell its story, just as it has for the past one hundred years.  We just need to pause and listen, listen as it tells us the story of family; family by blood, family by marriage, family by a common cause, family by faith.  It tells us the story of men, who voluntarily left their homes, their families, their friends, to defend our Constitution and to preserve the Union; men who after the war ended made Carlisle and the surrounding community, their home. Men who one hundred plus years ago, sat where you are sitting now; men who desired to show to their contemporaries and posterity, their love of God and Country, and to be remembered; the men whose names are recorded at the bottom of this window.

            At the top of this window are two crossed Flags, the flag they fought to save from dishonor, the flag they handed to us, unchanged and unstained; the flag of their fathers, the flag of our fathers; the flag which now waves over their graves; the flag of the United States of America.

            Centered on this window is the Badge of the Grand Army of the Republic, our nation’s first veteran’s organization, created by and for the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.

            These boys drank from the same canteen, shared a shelter half or blanket.  Enjoyed each other’s letters from home; ate together, fought together, cared for the wounded and the sick together and together they buried the dead.  During the course of the war these men witnessed the deaths of over 700,000 Americans on both sides, witnessed amputations, crippling wounds and chronic maladies that would eventually take the lives of men long before their time.  Through all of this they made promises, promises to the dying, the crippled and the infirmed.  Promised the dead would not be forgotten, promised their widows and orphans would be cared for, promised the sick and wounded would be assisted.  Those bonds made on the battlefields would not be broken.

            Because of men such as these named here, and thousands of others throughout the country, the GAR became the strongest political force in this nation for the next 40 years. From the GAR came six of our Governors and five of our Presidents.  Out of their workings came pensions for the invalid, the widows and the children.  Homes for the orphans and homes for the indigent soldier, they worked to turn our cemeteries into a park-like setting to invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners, they established Memorial Day to remember our dead, erected monuments in their honor, and they held gatherings and reunions for those friendships to long continue.

            A great deal of thought and symbolism went into the design of this badge. The Badge of the Grand Army of the Republic is composed in three parts: The clasp, the ribbon, and the emblem.

            The clasp, first and foremost, is not just worn over the heart, it is pinned, attached, over the heart, showing the wearers devotion to the cause for which he fought.  This clasp depicts an Eagle, the symbol of our nation, with cross cannon and ammunition, representing defense: the Eagle with drawn sword, hovers over our Nation’s Flag, always ready to protect it from insult or dishonor.

            Suspended from the clasp is the ribbon, our National Colors, representing the Republic, united and indivisible.  It is the Flag that unites and holds this badge together.

            The emblem which is supported by the Flag is a Star, representing the meritorious and gallant conduct of the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who preserved this Union.  In the center of that star is the figure of the Goddess of Liberty, representing Loyalty; on either side of Liberty, a soldier and a sailor clasping hands, representing Fraternity, and two children receiving benediction and assurance of protection from the comrades, representing Charity. On the left side of the group is the National Flag and the Eagle, representing Freedom, and on the right the Flag and the Fasces, representing Union. In each point of the star is the insignia of the various arms of the service — the Bugle for Infantry, Cross Cannon for Artillery, Cross Muskets for the Marine, Cross Swords for Cavalry, and the Anchor for Sailors. Over the central group are the words, “Grand Army of the Republic”, and under, the word and figures, “1861—Veteran—1866” commemorating the commencement and close of the rebellion, and also the date of the organization of the Order.

.  Most of these men, named here, were members of the Isaac B. Sexton Post #425, Grand Army of the Republic, here, in Carlisle.  Several others were members of the Oliver P. Lewin Post #169 in Hartford.

            Steadily their ranks grew thinner. The gaps in the picket lines grew wider every day: Summoned into the shadowy regions, by the bugle call from beyond, one by one they mustered out.  These men, who we honor here today, are now just names on a window. Gone are the straight-edge razors, the tobacco plugs, the oyster suppers and black molasses.  Forgotten is the back room where once the suspendered trousers hung on the bed post or could be heard the asthma like cough, muffled through the door.  No one remains today that knew the warmth of their big bear hug or the love behind the whiskery kiss good night.  This window knew them, this window remembers, it patiently waits for someone to pause and listen to its story .

            In 1883, the Grand Army of the Republic established the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War to continue their work, their love of country, and …remember.  That is who we are and why we are here today.


Riverside Schools, Oakland, Iowa

May 13, 2016

House File 2266




Section 1. Section 144.27, Code 2016, is amended to read as follows:

          144.27 Funeral director’s duty.

          1. The funeral director who first assumes custody of a dead body shall file the death certificate, obtain the personal data from the next of kin or the best qualified person or source available and obtain the medical certification of cause of death from the person responsible for completing the certification. When a person other than a funeral director assumes custody of a dead body, the person shall be responsible for carrying out the provisions of this section .

          2. a. A funeral director responsible for filing a death certificate under this section may after a period of one hundred eighty days release to the Department of Veterans Affairs the name of a deceased person whose cremated remains are not claimed by a person authorized to control the decedent’s remains under section 144C.5, for the purposes of determining whether the deceased person is a veteran or dependent of a veteran and is eligible for inurnment at a national or state veterans cemetery. If obtained pursuant to subsection 1, the funeral director may also release to the Department of Veterans Affairs documents of identification, including but not limited to the social security number, military service number, and military separation or discharge documents, or such similar federal or state documents, of such a person.

         ​  b. If the Department of Veterans Affairs determines that the cremated remains of the deceased person are eligible for inurnment at a national or state veterans cemetery, the Department of Veterans Affairs shall notify the funeral director of the determination. If the cremated remains have not been claimed by a person authorized to control the decedent’s remains under section 144C.5 one hundred eighty days after the funeral director receives notice under this paragraph “b” , all rights to the cremated remains shall cease, and the funeral director shall transfer the cremated remains to an eligible veterans organization if the eligible veterans organization has secured arrangements for the inurnment of the cremated remains at a national or state veterans cemetery. For purposes of this subsection, an “eligible veterans organization” means a veterans service organization organized for the benefit of veterans and chartered by the United States Congress or a veterans remains organization exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that is recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs to inurn unclaimed cremated remains.

          c. A funeral director providing information or transferring cremated remains shall be immune from criminal, civil, or other regulatory liability arising from any actions in accordance with this subsection. In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs, a national or state veterans cemetery, and an eligible veterans organization shall be immune from criminal, civil, or other regulatory liability arising from any actions in accordance with this subsection. Such immunity shall not apply to acts or omissions constituting intentional misconduct.

Department of Iowa ROTC/JROTC Program  ​

Department ROTC/JROTC Coordinator Mike Rowley reports the Department has had 100% participation from all programs in the State this year.

Brother Don McGuire of the Dodge Camp presenting the Award to Cadet Tyler Laska

This years recipients are:


 Tyler D. Laska, Iowa State University, Air Force

 Patrick Hennessey, Iowa State University, Navy

 Joshua S. Dunt, Iowa State University, Army

 John C. Maxwell, University of Iowa, Air Force

 Christian Zvokell, University of Iowa, Army

 Tina Turner, University on Northern Iowa, Army

 Jordon Hamling, University of Dubuque, Army

 Chandler S. Stansberry, Ottumwa High School

 Nathan J. Mortensen, Abraham Lincoln High School, Council Bluffs

 Jax Good, Central Campus, Des Moines, Army

 to be announced, East Waterloo High School

 Sandi Mekanovic, West Waterloo High School, Air Force

 Brandon McGaughey, Central Iowa Sea Cadets

 Alexandria Gonzales, Sioux City Community High Schools, Air Force

60th Annual Lincoln Tomb Ceremony

On a beautiful spring morning the 60th Annual Lincoln Tomb Ceremony, sponsored by the SUVCW and MOLLUS, commemorating the 151st Anniversary of President Lincoln's death. took place at the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery Springfleld, lL at 10 AM on Saturday, April 16, 2016. All of the Allied Orders to the Grand Army of the Republic of the Republic were represented.  Department Commander Danny Krock placed a wreath on behalf of the Department of Iowa, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.  Ron Rittel placed a wreath on behalf of the Grenville M. Dodge Camp # 75 in memory of President Lincoln as well as to commemorate the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the Dodge Camp.  Marilyn Rittel placed a wreath from the Dodge Camp Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

133rd Annual Encampment of the

Allied Orders of the Department of Iowa

The 133rd Annual Encampment of the Allied Orders of the Department of Iowa was held Saturday, April 2nd, at the Soldiers Memorial Hall in Hampton, Iowa.  A 9 am Flag raising was attended by both the SUVCW and the ASUVCW.  The SUVCW held their meeting in the Soldiers Memorial Hall while the ASUVCW met at the Maynes Grove Lodge, we had the honor of SUVCW Commander-in-Chief Eugene Mortorff attending.


Brother Jace Bloomer; Department GAR Highway Officer, Dan Rittel; and Department Chaplain, Dennis Sasse were awarded The Commander’s Award for outstanding service to the Department and to the Order.  Department Graves Registration Officer, Roy Linn was presented with a framed autograph by Iowa’s Civil War Governor, Samuel J. Kirkwood.

Memorial Services were held in the afternoon for Brothers Chuck Wilcox and

Vern Damgaard, attended by the SUVCW and ASUVCW.


The evening meal was partaken at the Maynes Grove Lodge and afterwards a program was given centered on the 1922 GAR National Encampment in Des Moines and the Last Surviving Civil War Veteran of Franklin County, the state of Iowa and the Nation.

Coins on Headstones


      Coins on the graves of those who rest at Rock Island National Cemetery, Arsenal Island (as with all cemeteries), have a distinct meaning. “We find many, many coins on the burial markers of the military. They are sentimental things,” says groundskeeper Scott Lamb.
      “The meaning depends on the denomination of the coin. It’s a message to the deceased service person’s family that some-one was there and that some-one cared.”
      Scott has a list of what the coins mean. Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that someone visited. It could be a friend or relative or someone who served in the deceased’s outfit or with whom he shared a shelter half (tent) on bivouac.
      A nickel indicates that the visitor and the deceased trained together, basic training or boot camp. A dime indicates that they served in the same battle or encounter. Leaving a quarter at the grave tells the family — or someone — that the visitor was with the service person when they were killed.
      “We just leave the coins where they were left, and finally remove them. Years ago, we didn’t leave the pennies on the stone very long because they contained copper that would leave a stain on the marker. Now, after a while, we wedge the coins in the ground alongside the stone.”
      Grave News, Newsletter of the State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries
          October, November, December 2015
On a similar note:
     Some people think graveyard and cemetery mean the same, but, if we want to be a little nitpicky, we should say that graveyard is a type of cemetery, but cemetery is usually not a graveyard. To understand the difference, we need a little bit of history.
     From about the 7th century, the process of burial was firmly in the hands of the Church (meaning the organization), and burying the dead was only allowed on the lands near a church (now referring to the building), the so-called churchyard. The part of the churchyard used for burial is called graveyard, an example of which you can see in the picture.
     As the population of Europe started to grow, the capacity of graveyards was no longer sufficient (the population of modern Europe is almost 40 times higher than it was in the 7th century). By the end of the 18th century, the unsustainability of church burials became apparent, and completely new places, independent of graveyards, were devised—and these were called cemeteries.
     The etymology of the two words is also quite intriguing. The origin of “graveyard” is rather obvious; it is a yard filled with graves. However, you might be surprised to hear that “grave” comes from Proto-Germanic *graban, meaning “to dig”, and is unrelated to “gravel”.
     Of course, the word “cemetery” did not appear out of the blue when graveyards started to burst at the seams. It comes from Old French cimetiere, which meant, well, graveyard. Nevertheless, the French word originally comes from Greek koimeterion, meaning “a sleeping place”. Isn’t that poetic?


Veterans Day 2015

Private William Painter

Company “H”, 29th Iowa Infantry

Red Oak, Iowa

At 2:30 pm on Veterans Day 2015, members of Co. B, 10th Iowa Infantry, SVR along with the Kinsman Camp Auxiliary conducted the Headstone Rededication Ceremony for William Painter at Red Oak, Iowa.  We had the honor of being accompanied by two of his descendants: Virginia Price,  Great Grand-daughter and Leslie Sutton,  Great-Great Grand-daughter.  Virginia and Leslie are both members of The Clara Barton Tent # 95, Department of California & Nevada, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.  Virginia was presented the Service Flag of William Painter by Department Commander Krock.


William was born in Milton Pennsylvania on April 2, 1821.  He married Martha Woodson in Bloomfield, Illinois on February 11, 1847.  Their first child, Cassius, was born in 1848 and daughter, Mattie, in 1849. Tragically, Martha passed away a few days after Mattie was born.  William’s certain joy was suddenly overshadowed by grief.  He was totally unprepared to raise two infants on his own. 

          Mattie was given to Martha’s sister to be raised with her family and William’s brother, George expressed his wishes to raise Cassius.  The 1860 Federal Census Records show Cassius now 12, living with his father in Afton, Iowa, along with his new stepmother, Elizabeth Shuster Cantril, who married William on April 10, 1859.  Elizabeth had also been widowed and had a son named Simeon who was 5 years old.  Also living in the home was the couple’s first child, Samuel, age 3 months.


          Not long after the Civil War broke out, William, in spite of being 43 years old, enlisted to fight in the union’s cause on Aug. 9th 1862.  He was mustered in on Nov. 8, 1862 at Council Bluffs, Iowa as Private Painter, Company H, 29th Infantry Regiment, Iowa, Volunteers. He saw action at: the White River Expedition; Helena, Arkansas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Mobile, Alabama; and Spanish Fort, Alabama.


            After enlisting, he first went to Camp Dodge, Iowa for training.  While there, William wrote a poem to Samuel to attempt to explain his departure as well as to disseminate fatherly advice as to how he should live his life.



“Afton Iowa September 23d 1862

Samuel Kirkwood Painter


In the morning of this date

Your parent left you to your fate

To help our country in its rally

To drive treason from its valley

You a boy but 30 ½ months old

Then nothing to you was told

But with my image let me say

Before you run astray

That truth and right

Is surely not a blight

Then for a life of peace

In its policy buy a lease

It will make for you a home

And never let you roam

But keep you off the reefs

And make earth to you complete

And heaven with God your last retreat

Dodge Iowa November 12 1862

Wm Painter”


submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Danny E. Krock, Department Commander

Department of Iowa, SUVCW

Veterans Day Activities


Members of Kinsman Camp #23 and Auxiliary #23 took part in a pair of activities relating to Veterans Day on Saturday, November 7th. 


On Saturday morning, eight members of Co. B, 10th Iowa Vol. Inf., SVR, two members of Auxiliary #23, and four guests from the Historic Dodge House, took part in the 2015 Veterans Day Parade in Council Bluffs.  The parade route wended its way through the southern section of what was the old downtown/Haymarket Square area.  Participants ranged in age from

six to 85 years old.


This year's parade featured a recreation of the funeral cortege for General Dodge, who died in January of 1916.  Members participating were Capt. Carr, 2nd Lt. Sasse, Sgts. Kirshen and Rittel, Corp. Weeber, and Privates Boeck, Butcher, and Hancock.   Members from Auxiliary #23 were Bev Carr and Denise Sasse.


After the parade, the group dined at Duncan's Restaurant.  While there, a lady came to our table, and introduced herself.  She related that het Great-great-great-grandfather was the Orderly to Colonel William H. Kinsman, our Camp's namesake. She also formed us that he was one of the three men who traveled to Mississippi after the war to locate Kinsman's remains.


 Saturday evening, five members of Co. B., 10th Iowa, SVR and five members of Auxiliary #23 attended the Old Time Country Music Show and Veterans Tribute in Malvern, IA.  This group of musicians are very patriotic, and early on Saturday evening, give a tribute lasting about two hours to all veterans in the middle of their show.


Our unit acted as the Color Guard, as we have for the past three years.  Members participating were Capt. Carr, Sgts. Kirshen and Rittel, Corporal Weeber, and Private Cunningham, who served as our bugler.  Auliary #23 members present were Bev Carr, Cindy Cisick, Jeanie Kirshen, Jeanie Kirshen and Victoria Howard.  We recieved many compliments and

are requested to return next year.

submitted in F, C & L
Michael Carr, Capt. 10th Iowa SVR

Company D, 38th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment


On Monday, October 5, 2015, a Dedication Ceremony was held at the Winneshiek County Courthouse in Decorah on the occasion of a printed Roster of Company D, 38th Iowa Volunteer Infantry being presented to the people of Winneshiek County.  This family heirloom was given to Winneshiek County by Richard and Karen Malloy who had flown in from the state of Washington. Richard is a member of The Department of the Columbia which has members within Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.  His 2nd Great Grandfather was the Captain of Company D.  Company D, was also known as  "The Winneshiek Lincoln Guards".​


Department Commander Danny Krock performed the Ritual of Dedication and read the names of the forty men from Winneshiek County and surrounding area that did not return home.  It has probably been one hundred fifty years since those who gave their all have had their names spoken.


Barrows, Thomas. Age 28.  Bluffton, Died of disease Vicksburg, Miss


Bendickson, Bendick. Age 24.  Winneshiek County. Killed on picket Vicksburg, Miss.


Blair, James P. Age 32.  Fort Atkinson, Died of disease New Orleans, La.


Blair, William. Age 25.  Fort Atkinson, Died of disease Brownsville, Texas.


Brace, Aaron. Age 19,  Burr Oak, Died of disease Carrollton, La.


Burch, Perrie G. Age 31.  Fremont, Died of disease Carrollton, La.


Christofasen, Peter. Age 18.  Winneshiek County, Died Jefferson Barracks, Mo.


Collaton, Thomas. Age 40.  Decorah, Died of disease Decorah, Iowa.


Crestensen, Nels. Age 18.  Highland, Died of disease Vicksburg, Miss.


Ditmars, James. 42.  Fort Atkinson, Died of disease Vicksburg, Miss.


Dixon, John W. 34.  Burr. Oak, Died of disease New Orleans, La.


Engleson, Hans. 26.  Winneshiek County, Died of disease New Orleans, La.


Gallagher, John. 40.  Decorah, Died of disease Vicksburg, Miss.


Gallagher, John, Jr. 18. Decorah, Died of disease Decorah, Iowa


Georgeson, Peter 18.  Ossian; Died of disease Vicksburg, Miss.


Hanson, Gilbert. 21. Decorah, Died of disease Memphis, Tenn.


Hanson, Stein. 24. Winneshiek county Died of disease Vicksburg, Miss.


Heath, Ethelbert A.  29. Hesper, Died of disease Memphis, Tenn.


Hanson, Gilbert. 21. Decorah, Died of disease Memphis, Tenn.


Hanson, Stein. 24. Winneshiek County, Died of disease Vicksburg, Miss.


Hasfelt, Gustav. 27. Winona, Minn.,Died of disease Brownsville, Texas.


Hughes, David H. 32. Decorah, Died Port Hudson, La.


Iverson, John B. 19, Highland, Died of disease Port Hudson, La


Johnson Carl.  33. Winneshiek County, Died Jefferson Barracks, Mo.


Johnson John.  35. Winneshiek County, Died of disease Port Hudson, La.


Kirian, Jacob.  21. Calmar, Died of disease, Vicksburg, Miss.


Kirian, Kasper.  19. Calmar, Died of disease, Vicksburg, Miss.


Krethen, Peter.  26. Calmar, Died of disease Kenosha, Wis.


Larson, Christian.  27. Hesper, Died of disease Carrollton, La.


Livangood, William R.  30. Burr Oak, Died of disease, Burr Oak, Iowa.


Lockwood, Joseph H.  21. Fort Atkinson,Died of disease Carrollton, La.


Olsen, Byern.  25. Ossian, Died of disease Carrollton, La.


Olsen, Ingebright.  29. Winneshiek County, Died of disease, New Orleans. La.


Paulson, Jens.  23. Ossian, Died of disease, Vicksburg, Miss.


Peterson, Hans.  30. Glenwood, Died of disease, Vicksburg, Miss.


Scott, Ethan C.  21. Fremont Twp., Died of disease, Vicksburg, Miss.


Scott, Julius A.   19, Fremont Twp., Died of disease New Orleans, La.


Tostenson, Christian.  28. Decorah, Died of disease, on steamer "City of Memphis."


Waters, Edwin C.  35. Fort Atkinson, Died of disease Davenport, Iowa.


Wilber, John N. 37. Burr Oak, Died of disease, St. Louis, Mo.



submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Danny Krock, Department Commander

Department of Iowa

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

2015 Fall Monument

Rededication Tour


The Dept. of Iowa's attempt to have a ceremony in every Iowa county during the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War fell a bit short of its goal due to personnel shortages.


Nevertheless, Co. B, 10th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry, SVR, soldiered on and completed more than their share of those ceremonies.  Over the past five years, members of the unit took part in thirty-five of these ceremonies, almost all of which were in western Iowa.


This, our last official “Tour”, covered Greene and Carroll counties on Saturday, and Guthrie, Audubon and Shelby counties on Sunday.  All but the ceremony in Audubon County was a re-dedication of a monument.  The ceremony in Audubon County was a “Last Soldier” ceremony.


Our first stop was in the cemetery at Jefferson, where were were assisted by Boy Scout Troop 534.  We were greeted by Mayor Craig Berry and a nice-sized crowd.  Ms. Barb Labate, member of American Legion Post #11 read the poem “When the Boys in Blue Are Gone.”


The re-dedication ceremony was carried out by Capt. Mike Carr, Commanding C   o. B, 10th Iowa, SVR, with 2nd Lt. Dennis Sasse acting as Officer of the Day.  Mrs. Denise Sasse, the Auxilary's Chaplain performed that function during the ceremony..  Sgt. Dan Rittel acted as Master of ceremonies.  Several members of Auxiliary #23 were also present and assisted.


We were also honored to have Dept. Commander Danny Krock and wife Tammy with us, as well as Dept. Monuments Officer Tom Gard.


Although in need of a good cleaning (something the local citizens are planning on doing), the monument was in good shape, and the mayor admitted that he had more of an appreciation for it now that he was made aware of its significance.


At the ceremony in Carroll, we were honored by the presence of the the Camp's oldest member, James Grettenberg, who is just shy of his 95th birthday.  Mayor pro-tem Eric Jensen greeted us very warmly.  Although the crowd was small, the dozen or so members of American Legion Post #7 provided a full rifle squad and bugler. 


Bright and early on Sunday, we traveled to Guthrie Center, where we were greeted by Mayor Dan Kunkle and a rifle squad and bugler from American Legion Post #7.


Our next stop was Viola Township Cemetery in the northeast corner of Audubon County.  Sadly,  Audubon County doesn't have a Civil War monument, one of about a half-dozen counties in the state without one.  Therefore, we did the next best thing- we honored the very last Civil War veteran in the County, John Bonwell, who was over a hundred years old when he passed on.  One of the very few spectators, a 90-year old WW II veteran knew the deceased.


Our last stop was Harlan, Iowa in Shelby County.     This is a very large, beautifully kept monument on the south side of the Courthouse Square.  Here, again, the crowd was small, but we were honored to have members of American Legion Post #150 and VFW Post #941 assist with posting the colors.


Those who took part in our ceremonies from Co. B, 10th Iowa, SVR, were: Capt. Mike Carr, 2nd Lt. Dennis Sasse, Sergeants. Dan Rittel, and Alan Kirshen, Corporals Roy Linn and John Weeber, and Privates Charles Boeck, Dave Hancock, John Butcher and Jim Grettenberg.  From Auxiliary #23: Mary Rittel, Denise Sasse, Jeanie Kirshen, and Bev Carr.


Submitted by Capt. Mike Carr







Guthrie Center









Living History at Indianola

End of the Civil War Celebration

Five members of Co. B, 10th Iowa, SVR, and three members of Auxiliary #23 attended the “Coming Home” event at the Warren County Fairgrounds on Sunday, Sept. 27th. The fairgrounds are situated on the site of Camp McClellan, a Civil War training camp.
We set up our display in the shade near the museum on a beautiful fall day. Although the crowd was pretty thin at times, we were kept busy showing our artifacts, which ranged from cannon balls to rifles to hard tack and a sewing kit. We also exhibited a book compiled by Pvt. Dave Burkett that lists all Iowa Civil War veterans. We were well received and had a great time.
Those who attended were Capt. Mike Carr and wife, Bev; 2nd Lt. Dennis Sasse and wife Denise; Sgt. Alan Kirshen and wife Jeanie; Corp. Charles Boeck and Pvt. John Weeber.
submitted in F, C & L by Michael Carr, PDC

Carte de visite by P.H. Warner of Hopkinton, Iowa. On Nov. 17, 1865, in Hopkinton, Iowa, a crowd of soldiers and townspeople gathered to dedicate a monument to local men who had fallen during the war, including students who had attended Lenox Collegiate Institute. Peter H. Warner, a New York transplant who billed himself as an artist, druggist,, watchmaker and jeweler, photographed the event on camera. This historic Warner image commemorates the occasion.

The Lenox story is not complete without this anecdote, transcribed from page 256 of the History of Delaware County, Iowa, and Its People, Volume 1, by John F. Merry:

The first president of the institution was the Rev. Jerome Allen, Ph. D., who occupied the chair from 1859 to 1863 and for two additional years additional acted as financial agent and teacher of natural science and English literature … Next came the soldier president, the Rev. J.W. McKean, A.M., 1863-1864. One morning a recruiting officer attended chapel service and after a strong and noble appeal by President McKean for the young men to obey the call of President Lincoln to enlist in the army of the Union, he informed the students that a recruiting officer was present and all who wished to enlist should arise. All arose and enlisted but one and he was too young. The faculty and girl students were in tears and President McKean closed the tender scene by saying, "Well, boys, if all of you are going, I am going too." President McKean resigned May 6, 1864, and entered the army as captain of a company in which all but two of the students enlisted. The work of the institute was suspended till the fall term. July 9, 1864, Captain McKean died in the army at Memphis, Tenn. A fine monument on the college campus commemorates his name and the names of others who gave their lives for the preservation of the Union. This monument at a cost of over fifteen hundred dollars was dedicated November 17, 1865, which makes it the oldest monument in Iowa and probably in the entire United States erected by public subscription in honor of the soldiers of the Civil War.

courtesey of Robert Kennedy-Facebook

"Soldier’s Lot"
Aspen Grove Cemetery
Burlington, Iowa

August 2011

August 2015

August 10, 1821...Missouri is admitted to the Union as a slave state

August 10, 1861...Iowans receive their first Trial by Fire at Wilson’s Creek
August 10, 1894...Iowa Battle Flag Day observed in Des Moines
August 10, 1894...Soldier’s Lot Dedicated at Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington
August 10, 2015...Soldier’s Lot Re-Dedicated at Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington


At 1 p.m. on August 10, 2015, Soldier’s Lot was Re-Dedicated.  With one hundred fifty in attendance, Mike Bloomer, of Burlington, told the story of his three year restoration of this final resting place for eighty-four Civil War Veterans.  The original forty by sixty foot lot of land was donated by the Aspen Grove Cemetery Board of Control in 1893, at the request of the Matthies Post #5, Department of Iowa, Grand Army of the Republic.  The request was to accommodate those Veterans who were indigent and would otherwise be placed in Potter’s Field.  This “Soldier’s Lot” is within view of the mausoleum of Brigadier General Corse and the grave of Brigadier General Karl  Matthies,

namesake of Post #5.  More land was added in later years.


In April of 2012, Michael Bloomer, a twenty-one year veteran of the Burlington Police Department along with his son Jace, a member of the Power-Dunlavy Camp at Bloomfield, began the fund raising needed to restore these Hallowed Grounds.  All of the stones were cleaned and straightened, fourteen new headstones were ordered and set.  The cannon tube, which was covered with twelve coats of aluminum paint was restored and placed on a Steen carriage.
The two bronze plaques containing the first and last verse of “The Bivouac of the Dead” were restored, each also having twelve coats of paint.  The Soldier Monument, placed by the GAR in 1912, was cleaned and the three bronze plaques removed and restored to pristine condition.  The bushes, weeds and broken fence have been removed and a new steel, powder-coated fence placed around the lot.  A new lighted flag pole has also been added as well as a granite bench.  Mike and Jace estimate they have spent from eight hundred to one thousand  hours on the restoration.


Speakers at the Re-Dedication were: Bob Reid, President of the Aspen Grove Cemetery Association; Mike Bloomer; Ned Fry, Command Sergeant Major, Iowa National Guard; Angela Beenken, Executive Director, Des Moines County Historical Society; Danny Krock, Department Commander, Department of Iowa, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Reverend Orland Dial of  St. John’s AME Church.  The “National Anthem“, “Rally ‘Round the Flag” and “Taps” were played on trumpet, by Derrick Murphy.  The Honor Guard was provided by the Southeast Iowa Civil War Roundtable.


Department Commander Krock presented Mike with the “Commander’s Award” for his

inculcation of citizenship in this project.  The award read as follows:


 The Department of Iowa, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Commander’s Award is hereby presented to
Michael Bloomer
for his Meritorious Service in restoring “Soldier’s Lot” at
Aspen Grove Cemetery. His commendable work in replacing and restoring the gravestones of those Patriots buried there, his restoration of the Monument, Plaques, Cannon and over-all beautification of these Hallowed Grounds will serve as a reminder of true Citizenship to this and future generations.
Those “Boys in Blue” who rest beneath these Fields of Green as well as the Membership of the Grand Army of the Republic would have been grateful and honored to be present here today.
Signed at Burlington, Iowa, on this Tenth day of August, in the
Two-Thousand and Fifteenth year of Our Lord and the Two Hundred and Thirty Nineth year of American Independence.

submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Danny Krock, Department Commander

Department of Iowa

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War


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