Become a Member

contact our Department Junior Vice Commander 

Alan Kirshen, DJVC 

P.O. Box 635

Red Oak, Iowa 51566  


          Welcome to the             Department of Iowa, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Grand Army of the Republic Highway - Iowa

can now be found on facebook at:


The Department of Iowa Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is currently undertaking a project to re-mark the Grand Army of the Republic Highway across Iowa.

The initial goal is to be sure that each town along historic U.S. Highway 6 that had a GAR Post in the past has signs placed in accordance with correspondence between the GAR and the State Highway Commission from 1947-1948.

For more information, please contact Dan Rittel, the GAR Highway Officer for the Dept. of Iowa SUVCW by email at

Decoration Day

May 30, 2015

Delhi, Iowa


The annual Decoration Day ceremony was held at the Upper Bay Settlement Church & Cemetery in rural Delaware County.  The ceremony is coordinated by the Upper Bay Cemetery Committee and includes members from the surrounding communities as well as participation by the American Legion Post 45 of Manchester and Robert Mitchell Camp #206 of Marion.


Due to strong winds this year, the ceremony was inside the 1873 church.  One of the speakers this year was Department of Iowa Commander Danny Krock who gave a brief history of Decoration
Day  as well as the reading of General Logan's General Order #11.  A reading was made of the names of area veterans who died during the Civil War and who are listed on the monument in the cemetery.  With the reading of each name, the bell in the new bell tower was rung.


As the ceremony concluded, all moved outside for the firing of the volleys by the American Legion Honor Guard, Civil War reenactors and the cannon of the Robert Mitchell Camp.


Flags were placed for all veterans in the cemetery.  After the ceremony, flowers were placed at the stones of veterans by those who attended.


submitted in F, C & L

by Dennis Gessaman

Memorial Sunday

Union Chapel Church

Ira, Iowa


On Sunday, May 24, 2015, Department Commander Danny Krock and

Department Patriotic Instructor Ron Deal conducted a Memorial Sunday Ritual during the

annual church service held at Union Chapel Church, Ira, Iowa.  Recognized during the ritual were the

Forty-Eight Veterans buried at the Union Chapel Cemetery,

Nineteen of which served during the Civil War.  There was an unfolding of the American Flag, the names of the Veterans were read and the Flag refolded, all to absolute silence.  Many of the family members were in attendance; we were asked if we would return again next year.


From 1910 through 1920 Members of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Veterans held Memorial Day Services at Union Chapel.  By 1918, only two of these Veterans remained. On March 9, 1918, a motion was passed that the Sons of Veterans be invited to meet with the Union Chapel Religious and Cemetery Association to arrange for the decoration of the graves of deceased soldiers. The Union Chapel Memorial Association resulted from that invitation. The Church closed soon after but has been maintained by the families.  Beginning in the 1990’s an Annual Memorial Day service has been held there.   


During my research of the Veterans buried or memorialized at Union Chapel, one unknown Civil War Veteran has been identified and when the regulations change, a stone will be ordered and he will finally be recognized, 2nd Lt. David D. Deselms, died March 10, 1871.

Union Chapel Veterans


John R. Alexander……Co. K, 166th Ohio Infantry……American Civil War

b. Jun. 8, 1846 d. Sep. 22, 1910

William F. Baker……Co. E, 40th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

b. Aug. 27, 1837 d. Jan. 14, 1917

Silas Hereford Beals……Co. I, 10th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

b. Jun. 12, 1840 d. Jan. 5, 1915

William Lowell Byal……Korea

b. Jun. 11, 1933 d. Jan. 4, 1973

James Lewis Castor……Co. D, 13th Iowa Infantry......Mexican War, American Civil

      War (died of disease Oct 4, 1863, buried Vicksburg National Cemetery, Vicksburg, MS)

b. May 20, 1826 d. Oct. 4, 1863

Russell Earl Castor…… United States Army, South Pacific…. WWII

b. Jun. 15, 1920 d. Jun. 8, 2014

Seward Victor “Hadley” Castor……United States Army……WWI

b. Mar. 14, 1893 d. Jan. 13, 1952

William Francis Castor…… United States Army……WWI

b. Jul. 26, 1895 d. Dec. 3, 1922

Henry Oscar Comer……United States Army……WWII

b. Apr. 16, 1917 d. Dec. 20, 2003

Denver M. Cross…… United States Army……WWII

b. Jun. 20, 1912 d. Jan. 12, 1979

Eli D. Cross……Co. D, 174th Ohio Infantry……American Civil War

b. Nov. 11, 1834 d. Jul. 14, 1915

Glen Richard Cross……United States Navy

Donald William Crozier……

Richard D. Crozier……WWII

b. Jan. 24, 1926 d. Jan. 8, 1948

David D. Deselms……Co. B, 93rd Illinois Infantry….American Civil War 

d. Mar. 10, 1871

James Richard Farver…… United States Army……WWII

b. May 30, 1924 d. May 16, 2001

Donald O. Funk…… United States Army……WWII

b. Apr. 9, 1913 d. Dec. 12, 1994

Jerry Eugene Funk……United States Army Reserve

b. May 20, 1931 d. May 25, 2014

Holden C. Gist……Co. B, 5th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

b. 1828 d. Nov. 11, 1870

Edwin Rutherford Godfrey……Co. I, 156th Illinois Infantry……American Civil War

b. 1838 d. May 12, 1888

Forrest B. Inglis Jr……. United States Army……WWII

b. Apr. 19, 1917 d. Nov. 11, 1988

Allen Jeffries……Co. I, 30th Indiana Infantry……American Civil War

b. Jan. 31, 1842 d. Nov. 17, 1913

Andrew Edgar Jeffries……Co. D, 40th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

b. Jan. 13, 1846 d. Aug. 3, 1931

Arthur W. Jeffries…… United States Navy……WWII

b. Oct. 31, 1926 d. May 9, 1983

Francis M.  Jeffries….Co. I, 30th Indiana Infantry…..American Civil War

b. 1839 d. 1928

Alfred Zenus Jones…… United States Army……WWII……(KIA Nov 16, 1944, buried  Lorraine American Cemetery,   St. Auld, France)

b. 1918 d. 1944

Jason Jones……War of 1812

b. 1796 d. Mar. 31, 1860

Zenus Crane Jones…… WWI

b. Sep. 30, 1896 d. Dec., 1968

Elias H. Keyes……Co. K, 28th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

b. Nov. 4, 1823 d. Aug. 7, 1892

Richard Davoine Lukert…..United States Navy

Ogle Lee Minear…… United States Army……WWII

b. Jan. 16, 1921 d. May 25, 2008

James Irvin Neal…… United States Army……Viet Nam

b. Jun. 20, 1945 d. Sep. 16, 1993

Buril Jesse Norris……United States Army……WWI

b. 1893 d. Jul. 3, 1942

Oliver A. Osborn……Veteran, United States Army

b. Jan. 17, 1928 d. Sep. 4, 2010

Merle Gene Planalp……United States Navy ……WWII

b. Aug. 21, 1926 d. Mar. 10, 1983

William Owens Price……Co. K, 23rd Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

b. 1832 d. Jul. 7, 1890

Aaron Rand……108th New York Militia…War of 1812

b. 1790 d. 1887

William F. Rippey……Co. I, 10th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

b. Apr. 9, 1838 d. Nov. 16, 1917

Phillip Eugene Robinson…… United States Navy……WWII

b. Aug. 22, 1922 d. Apr. 22, 1995

John H. Smith……Co. K, 28th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

b. Feb. 21, 1830 d. Jan. 9, 1915

James B. Streett……Co. B, 48th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

                (died Oct 6, 1864, Rock Island, Illinois…buried Rock Island National Cemetery)

b. Sep. 25, 1848 d. Oct. 6, 1864

James J. Tramel……Co. D, 40th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

b. Nov. 26, 1842 d. Jan. 7, 1912

Charles Leland “Mike” Weston……WWII….Surgeon

b. Apr. 15, 1905 d. Oct. 16, 1987

David T. Weston…..

Austin W. Whitehead……Co. K, 28th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War

b. Jan. 29, 1837 d. Nov. 13, 1918

Donald Dean Whitehead…… United States Army……Korea

b. Nov. 16, 1928 d. Dec. 15, 2001

George Miller Wilson……Co. K, 28th Iowa Infantry……American Civil War…..buried at

                Washington Veterans Home Cemetery, Port Orchard, Washington

b. Apr. 29, 1838 d. Dec. 7, 1916

Elmer R. Zimmerman…… United States Army……WWI

b. Oct. 8, 1894 d. Oct. 13, 1965


submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Danny Krock, Department Commander


Adair Monument Ceremony


Saturday, May 23rd, Co. B, 10th Iowa, SVR was back in action as we dedicated a NEW Civil War monument, the first such in Adair County.  This particular monument was dedicated to Co. I, 29th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, many of whom came from the area.

Remarks were given by Mayor Larson of Adair.  This was followed by a poem, When the Boys in Blue are Gone, read by Auxiliary Chaplain Denise Sasse.

The ceremony was conducted by Capt. Mike Carr, assisted by 2nd Lt. Dennis Sasse as Chaplain.  Sgt. Dan Rittel was Master of Ceremonies.  First Sgt. Jim Braden acted as the guard during the ceremony.

The Symbols of the Soldier were laid by Corp. Alan Kirshen.  Dept. Auxiliary President Mary Rittel, placed the wreath and Auxiliary member Jeanie Kirshen laid the white rose.

Pvt. Richard Cunningham played “taps” to conclude the ceremony.

We were assisted by members of ASUVCW #23.  Many thanks to Mayor Larson and the City of Adair, Camp #23, the Dept. of Iowa Sesquicentennial Committee and the 4th Military District, SVR for the funding.

Also present were Pvt. Dave Hancock and Dept. Monuments Officer Tom Gaard

Spring Monument Tour


Over the weekend of May 16th and 17th, members of Co. B, 10th Iowa V. I., SVR, held five ceremonies in NW Iowa to commemorate the end of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

Saturday started off with thunderstorms, which did not bode well for our ceremonies.  Fortunately, the rain held off, although the clouds kept us in suspense. The ceremonies went off quite well, with 7 members of the unit and 4 members of ASUVCW #23 also in attendance, as well as DC Danny Krock and PDC Ron Rittel.


Our first ceremony was in Lyon County, and was a Last Soldier Ceremony for G. W. Lyon, with Sgt. Dan Rittel acting as Master of Ceremonies.  Two of Lyon’s descendants, Spencer Lyon and wife (from Arizona), and Rita Sehr, were present, with Mrs. Lyon laying a white rose.  .  Also present were PDC Ron Rittel, instigator of the Last Soldier project, and DC Danny Krock and wife, Tammy.  The ceremony opened with the singing of the National Anthem by Doug Robinson.  Doug Rentschler from the City of Inwood gave a greeting.  Corp. Alan Kirshen gave a short talk on the Northern Border Brigade, which was raised in this area.  ASUVCW member Denise Sasse then read the poem, When the Boys in Blue are Gone.  The ceremony was conducted by Capt, Mike Carr as Commander and 2nd Lt. Dennis Sasse, the unit chaplain.  Corporal John Weeber acted as the ceremonial guard, with Corp. Roy Linn laying the accoutrements at the stone.  To conclude the ceremony, members from American Legion posts #128, #310, and #561 fired the three traditional three volleys followed by Pvt. Charles Boeck playing taps


Our next stop was Dickinson County. We rededicated the Civil War monument in Lakeview Cemetery in Spirit Lake. It was originally dedicated in 1910. Due to a military funeral, the American Legion post was unable to attend as originally planned.  Sadly, this was the largest community we visited and had the least public attendance.  This ceremony, and the ones that followed, followed the basic format as that at Inwood.  ASUVCW member Linda Linn laid the white rose.


Our last stop of the day was in O’Brien County for a very special Last Soldier Ceremony. Waterman Cemetery SE of Sutherland, our ceremony honored James P. Martin, who was the very last Civil War veteran to die in Iowa in 1949 at age 102. He was active in the GAR, attending many national encampments and being appointed the last state Dept. Commander in 1947. Just an hour or so after the ceremony, the rain moved in again.


On Sunday, May 17, We were in Buena Vista County for a monument rededication ceremony at Newell, which is just east of Storm Lake.  Again, we had a nice crowd, with the American Legion Post #193 taking part.  Rod Rasmussen from Newell gave a few brief remarks, welcoming us to Newell and thanking our organization for their efforts.

Sunday afternoon, we visited Ida Grove for a gravestone ceremony, to honor Medal of Honor recipient George W. McWilliams, who served on the USS Pontoosuc during the battle at Fort Fisher, NC. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions from December 24, 1864 to February 22, 1865. during which action he was wounded severely. Despite high winds, the public came out to take part.  Local historian and childhood acquaintance of Landsman McWilliams, gave a brief biography of our honoree.  ASUVCW Dept. president Mary Rittel laid the wreath with Linda Linn again laying the white rose.

Again, we would like to thank Ida Grove’s Mayor Hurd for his welcome, for the participation of American Legion post #61 and the Second Battery, Iowa Light Artillery re-enactors from Sac City for their participation.

G. W. Lyon


Inwood, Iowa



Dickinson County

Spirit Lake, Iowa



James Martin

Iowa's Last Soldier

Sutherland, Iowa



Buena Vista


Newell, Iowa



George McWilliams

Medal of Honor


Ida Grove, Iowa



submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Mike Carr, Captain, Co. B, 10th Iowa SVR

Company B, 10th Iowa Infantry SVR  gave living history demonstrations at Atlantic Middle School May 15. Participants were Dennis Sasse, Jim Braden, Mike Carr, Joyce and Glenn Kelly, and Jeannie and Alan Kirshen.

2015 Lincoln Funeral Re-Enactment

On the weekend of May 2nd and 3rd, the City of Springfield, Illinois hosted the Re-Enactment of the President Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral on the 150th Anniversary of this solemn occasion.  At 10:00 am, Saturday, the flag-draped casket was removed from the train car and placed in the hearse.  The procession left from the current day Amtrak Depot to the Old Illinois Statehouse, following as closely as possible the original route.  The “body” lay in state on the northeast side of the building, fearing that the estimated attendance might be too much for the building to handle. 

At Noon, Sunday, the four-mile precession stepped off from the Old Statehouse, past the Lincoln home, and then north to Oak Ridge Cemetery, entering though the recreated arched gate there.  The original four hour program was shortened to an hour and a half.  The casket was placed in the receiving vault, guards posted and a thirty-six gun cannon salute fired, one for each state in the union at the time of his death.

The occasion was attended by many members of the SUVCW, including Past Commanders-in-Chiefs, current and past Department and Camp Commanders as well as current and past Officers from the National Organization as well as Departments, Camps, and SVR Military Districts.  The Allied Orders were also well represented.

The Casket was made by the Batesville Casket Company in Batesville, Indiana. Authentic down to the smallest details (except for being lined with lead and the silver plate), the replica is 6 feet, 6 inches long, constructed of solid walnut and completely covered in black broadcloth with a white satin interior. The outside is adorned with silver colored handles and silver tacks, or pearls, extending the entire length of the coffin’s sides.

The Flag that draped the casket was made by Annin Flagmakers, who provided the original Flag 150 years before. The flag on Lincoln's coffin was 4 feet 4 inches by 9 feet 9 inches. Lincoln's height called for a longer flag, which was doable back in 1865. There weren't regulations for funeral flags back then. Today, official casket-size flags must be 5 feet by 9 feet 5 inches.

The Hearse was the result of combined efforts from the Staab Family Funeral Home of Springfield, Illinois who commissioned the Tombstone Hearse and Trike Company of Tombstone, Arizona and the Blue Ox Millworks at the Blue Ox School for Veterans in Eureka, California. Only one photo of the hearse remains and a rail road bill of lading stating that the rear wheels measured 56 inches, with that information the hearse was recreated, by Veterans.

The Funeral Car, was made by the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Train Organisation.

The "United States"

The Lincoln Hearse

 Brig. Gen. Henry E. Shaw Deputy Commander, SVR



Maj. Gen. Robert E. Grim

Commanding General SVR

Chaplain Jerome Kowalski

Past National Chaplain



submitted in F, C & L by Danny E. Krock, Department Commander

William John Pickerill Gravestone Dedication

April 19, 2015

Twelve members of Co. B, 10th Iowa Infantry SVR gathered at Graceland Cemetery at Avoca, Iowa on a very wet, blustery day to dedicate a new gravestone for Corporal William John Pickerill, 116th Indiana Infantry. Corporal Pickerill had never had a gravestone.  They were joined by six members of the ASUVCW #23, as well as about forty relatives, friends, and spectators, including members of the American Legion Post #227, who provided the rifle squad and Avoca Boy Scout Troop #97, who provided their Color Guard.


            Among the dignitaries present were Department of Iowa Commander Danny Krock, City Council Representative Sandra Peterson, and Pottawattamie County Director of Veteran Affairs Darlene McMartin.


            There were nine descendants of Corporal Pickerill present, who were introduced by his grand-daughter, Florence Pickerill Mass.


            Department Commander Danny Krock read William John Pickerill’s biography and service record.  The Gravestone Dedication Ceremony was moved to the Cemetery’s Committal Gazebo due to the inclement weather and was conducted by Captain Michael Carr, with William McAlpine, and Denise Sasse the Camp, and Auxiliary Chaplains participating as well.  Corporal Alan Kirshen acted as Master of Ceremonies.  1st Sergeant James Braden served as Officer of the Day, with Sergeant Dan Rittel placing the Symbols of the Soldier.  Corporal Pickerill’s grand-daughter Florence Pickerill Mass, laid a white rose during the ceremony.  Private David Hancock served as Bugler.


            A post-ceremony social hour was held at the Avoca/Newtown Historical Society Museum.  Many thanks to Mrs. Barb Butcher and the local historical and genealogical society for their kind assistance and hospitality. 



            William John Pickerill was born at Thorntown, Boone County, Indiana on October 26, 1846, the eldest son of George Edward Pickerill.   

            Two months short of his seventeenth birthday, William enlisted as a Private with Company B, 116th Indiana Infantry on August 8, 1863.  The 116th was organized at Lafayette and mustered in as a six month regiment. They first were assigned to Detroit, Michigan where they guarded the U. S. Arsenal. The 116th was then ordered to Nicholasville, Kentucky and moved to the Cumberland Gap, reaching there October 3. From there they moved to Tazewell, Morristown, and fought at Blue Springs, where the enemy was routed and driven for miles. The 116th Indiana took part in the battle at Walker's Ford, wading the river under heavy fire and taking a position commanding the approach through a gorge, where it held the enemy in check until the balance of the command had crossed the river. They were under fire from noon until 3 p. m., while this movement was taking place, and from that time until 5 o'clock were in a brisk skirmish with an entire brigade. The 116th was mustered out at Indianapolis in February 1864 and was discharged March 1, 1864.

            On January 24, 1865 William enlisted from Watterstown, Wisconsin into Company G, 47th Wisconsin as a Veteran Volunteer at the rank of Corporal.  The 47th Wisconsin was organized and mustered in at Madison on February 27, 1865. They were ordered to Louisville, Kentucky, thence to Nashville, Tennessee, and Tullahoma, Tennessee. They were assigned to guard the railroad at Tullahoma and the District of Middle Tennessee until September. The 47th was mustered out on September 4, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.  William Pickerill had accomplished all of this before reaching his nineteenth birthday.


            William followed farming as an occupation and later took up the barbers' trade and followed this trade to Western Iowa and Nebraska. He was also a well-known violin player and become a member of several well-known Nebraska orchestras.


            He married Millie E. McCuen, of Newton, Iowa on December 20, 1875 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  William and Millie became the parents of three sons; George William, Frederick John and Francis Marion, his obituary mentions a daughter Estella.  Millie passed away on January 31, 1919 after forty-three years of marriage.  William then made his home with his son Fred in Colorado. He died at St. Benedict Hospital in Sterling, Colorado on April 24,1931 at the age of 83 years.  He was one of two remaining members of the U. S. Grant G.A.R. post in Avoca.


            "Mr. Pickerill was a man who made friends easily and never missed an opportunity to pay his friends a short visit. He was ill but a few days and his sudden death came as a shock to many. One by one the members of the Grand Army of the Republic are being mustered out and taps sounded. In a few short years the "Boys in Blue" will be but a memory. Yet they played a most important part in making history and the United States."


            The following poem was included in Millie’s obituary:


The pains of death are past….Labor and sorrow cease

And life’s long warfare closed at last…..His soul is found in peace

Soldier in Christ! Well done…..Praise be thy new employ

And while eternal ages run….Rest in thy Savior’s joy


submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

by Captain Michael Carr, Co. B, 10th Iowa SVR

In Remembrance of the 150th Anniversary of President Lincoln's Death

Atlantic, Iowa, April 15, 2015.  At 7:00 pm, members of the Colonel William H. Kinsman Camp #23 & Auxiliary along with members of Company B, 10th Iowa Infantry SVR, gathered around the sixty-two foot granite Civil War Monument to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Death of President Abraham Lincoln.

2nd Lieutenant Dennis Sasse of the 10th Iowa was Master of Ceremonies, Kinsman Camp Chaplain, William McCalpine led with a prayer, Denise Sasse, Chaplain of the Kinsman Camp # 23 Auxiliary spoke about Lincoln, the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Brother John Butcher laid the wreath.

Brothers Charles Boeck, and John Weber were the Honor Guard.

Also in attendance were Brothers Robert Boots & David Hancock.

submitted in F, C & L by Dennis Sasse, 2nd Lt., 10th Iowa SVR

Lincoln Remembered

For many throughout our country, the programs, projects and events to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil war ended on April 9th.  Some extended until April 14th.  For the Iowa Department SUVCW those observances would extend a day longer.
As April 15, 2015 was the 150th anniversary of the death of our 16th President it was important to Iowa Department Commander Danny Krock that this day did not go without a special observance.
So on this night as the sun began to set and its rays bounced off the broken clouds overhead, members of the Iowa Department, the Dodge camp, the women's auxiliary and even those from the S.A.R. came together to remember Lincoln, to remember veterans and to remember their families. 
Below the gold leafed dome of the Iowa Capitol, at the bottom of the main entrance steps near the monument of Lincoln and son Tad, the man was remembered more for being a son, a husband and a father than for Commander in Chief.  He was remembered as one who had to deal with extraordinary circumstances faced by many servicemen and women and their families who serve our country.
The stories shared and the period music selections chosen by Commander Krock and Mary Rittel gave those listening in the crowd an almost eerie sense of looking into the family home of the Lincolns during war time.
At the conclusion of the program I was able to introduce myself to a few folks in the crowd.  I was particularly impressed with one young man who stood alone.  I asked him what had brought him out on a night that threatened rain.  He told me that he was a history major.  He knew this was the anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln and just felt it was important to come here and remember.  He had no idea there would be others doing the same. Perhaps that is why we do these things and how we often see there are others who feel the same.
Among those present were Marilyn and Mary Rittel from the Women's auxiliary, Dodge Camp Commander Jeff Rasmussen, Last soldier project creator Ron Rittel, creator Tom Gaard, brother Daniel Rasmussen, and other guests.

submitted in F, C & L by Mike Rowley, photos by Marilyn Rittel

Samuel Merrill

The recession of 1857 had left the state near bankruptcy. 

Governor Kirkwood pledged his land and fortune to equip the 1st and 2nd Iowa.  Samuel Merrill who ran a mercantile in MacGregor provided the money to purchase the woolen fabric to outfit Iowa's first two regiments. He became the Colonel of the 21st Iowa Infantry and  was seriously wounded at the Battle of Black River, 24 miles south of Vicksburg in May, 1863, reported as mortally wounded.  He resigned his commission as a result of his wounds and returned to Iowa.  Samuel Merrill became Iowa’s 7th Governor in 1867 and served two terms....

today, his final resting place is in desperate need of repair.....

Governor Merrill now rests abandoned in Woodland Cemetery, his mausoleum damaged due to decades of neglect and a falling oak tree. His monument has become home to opossums and raccoons instead of being the hallowed ground of a hero.

The restoration project is visible, low cost and doable.  Through the collaboration of talented and energetic people, together we will restore this monument leaving future generations a testimonial of our respect. 

Jonas Cutler

59th Annual Lincoln Tomb Ceremony

On Saturday morning, April 11, 2015, members of the Department of Iowa participated in the 59th Annual Lincoln Tomb Ceremony at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.  The commemoration is sponsored by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.  This year marked the 150th Anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and was attended by many members of the Allied Orders, Departments and Camps.  Addresses were given by Tad D. Campbell, Commander-in-Chief, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Waldron K. Post, Commander-in-Chief, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.


Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Danny E. Krock, Department Commander

Department of Iowa, SUVCW


photos by

Marilyn Rittel and Tammy Krock

Who Will Tell Their Story When The Boys Are Gone

On the Evening of April 9, 2015, the 49th Iowa SVR held a final Civil War Sesquicentennial Event at Des Moines’ Woodland Cemetery.  Commencing at 7:00 pm at the end of a wet and blustery Iowa spring day luminaries were lit at the graves of the Civil War Veterans buried in the two G.A.R. Sections there. 

Taps were played at 9:00 pm. 

Lights Out.

in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Danny E. Krock, Commander, Department of Iowa, SUVCW


photos by Marilyn Rittel



April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, in essence bring the four year long struggle to an end.  The terms were agreed to and signed that afternoon in the home of Wilmer McLean.

On July 21, 1861, the First Battle of Bull Run took place on McLean's farm in Manassas, Virginia.  Union Army artillery fired at McLean's house, which was being used as a headquarters for Confederate Brigadier General P. G. T. Beauregard.

In the spring of 1863, McLean moved his family south to Appomattox County, Virginia, near a crossroads community called Appomattox Court House.  The War had started in his kitchen and ended in his parlor.

On Thursday April 9, 2015, members of the Department of Iowa, SUVCW including the 49th Iowa SVR and the Liberty Band of Iowa commemorated the 150th Anniversary of Lee’s Surrender at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the State Capitol Grounds, in Des Moines.

The Ceremony began at 3:00 pm with a wreath being placed on the steps of the Monument by Governor Terry E. Brandstad who then read to those gathered, his Proclamation which declared April 9, 2015, as a day of remembrance and recognition of the great sacrifice of the people of Iowa and our fellow citizens across the nation on this the
Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the End of the Civil War.

The Proclamation was presented to and accepted by Department Commander Danny E. Krock in behalf of the 76,534 Iowans who served in the Civil War and especially those 13, 169 who did not return.  The Liberty Band then played “The Vacant Chair” followed by “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. 

The Wreath placed by the Governor was woven from branches of an evergreen which first took root in what is now Glendale Cemetery, in 1842.  It was here during the Civil War and is still with us today.

In Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Danny E. Krock, Commander, Department of Iowa, SUVCW


Photos by Marilyn Rittel

Littleton Brothers’ Monument Project Unveils Website

Those interested in the on-going drive to construct a Memorial to the six Louisa County, Iowa, brothers who all lost their lives while in service to the nation during the American Civil War can now visit the website at:


to read about the progress of the effort, obtain further information about the Littleton family and make direct donations to the project.  This website is the handiwork of Mallory Smith and will chart the progress of the Louisa County Historical Society and all interested stakeholders in the progress being made to build this monument to commemorate the service and sacrifice of this remarkable family during the darkest days of our nation’s history.

The Davis County Raid

On October 12, 1864, Confederate Lieutenant James “Bill” Jackson along with twelve Missouri Partisan Raiders dressed in Union uniforms and riding splendid horses entered Van Buren County and proceeded to Davis County, Iowa.  These Guerillas embarked on a 30 mile long wave of robbery, kidnapping and the murder of three men.  Killed that day, were:



Thomas Hardy


Eleazer Small, 3rd Iowa Cavalry

had been discharged on September 13, 1864


Philip Bence, 30th Iowa Infantry

wounded at Atlanta on July 28, 1864, and was home on furlough



The following is taken from the “History of Davis County”

published in 1882:


“The expedition under Col. Weaver struck the trail at Hardy's, and followed it with rapidity and unerring precision until they arrived at the place where Captain Bence was killed. It was now 12 o'clock at night; they were in Missouri five hours behind the raiders, to whom every bridle path was familiar. It was impossible to track them.


Procuring a conveyance for the body of Captain Bence, they reluctantly retraced their steps homeward. The scene at the residence of Captain Bence, when his lifeless form was laid down at the feet of his wife and children, cannot be described. The bruised and mangled heart of his poor wife, who had so often leaned her head trustingly, like a weary dove, upon his manly bosom, sank beneath the shock, and she swooned away. The piteous wail of his little children, as they clung to that lifeless form, and called it "father," moved the stoutest hearts to pity, and bathed the seared and bronzed cheek of the veteran soldiers in tears.


God is just, and sooner or later the incarnate fiends, whose crimes of pillage and murder have spread the pall of universal mourning and woe over our people, will meet their just deserts.”



On October 12, 2014, members of the 37th Iowa remembered Thomas Hardy, Eleazer Small and Philip Bence by holding grave side services at each of their graves, may they never be forgotten.


A detailed account of the Raid can be found at:


Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

by Danny Krock, Corporal, 37th Iowa SVR

Two Provost Marshalls

On Saturday, October 1, 1864, Provost Marshalls John L. Bashore of Centerville and Josiah M. Woodruff of Knoxville were killed in the line of duty while searching for three draftees that had been declared deserters.  Shortly after 1:00 pm, Bashore and Woodruff were gunned down in cold blood south of Grinnell by friends of these deserters.  The names of the assassins will not be mentioned here.


On Saturday, October 4, 2014, members of the 37th Iowa performed Remembrance Ceremonies at the graves of John Bashore and Josiah Woodruff.  (John Bashore was taken to the home of James A. Craver, where he died four to five hours later.)  A descendant nephew of J. A. Craver was present at the Centerville Ceremony.  Officer Lance Eysinck of the Knoxville Police Department placed the third wreath at the ceremony for Josiah Woodruff.  Both men are listed on the “Officer Down Memorial Webpage”.  The following two “life stories” were read at each ceremony:


John L. Bashore

John L. Bashore was born March 16, 1834, in North York, Pennsylvania, the son of Henry and Susan Bashore.  He moved to Centerville, Iowa, where in 1860, he became a partner in a general merchantile firm with Jacob Rummel by the name of

Rummel and Bashore.


            John was the third person from Centerville to enlist, doing so on May 16, 1861, at the age of 27, and was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant in Company D, 6th Iowa Infantry on July 16, 1861. He was promoted to Captain on December 11, 1862. John resigned on March 5, 1864.

            On Saturday, October 1, 1864, the Provost Marshal of the 4th District of Iowa sent two Deputy Provost Marshalls, Captain John L. Bashore of Centerville, and Agent Josiah M. Woodruff of Knoxville, Iowa, to Sugar Creek Township, Poweshiek County, Iowa for the purpose of arresting three deserters. In the process Bashore and Woodruff were shot and killed by a band of Copperheads.

            At approximately 1 o’clock in the afternoon Captain Bashore came upon relatives of one of the deserters. The behavior of the men showed clearly to the officers that they were about to have trouble. Bashore sprang out of the buggy with his revolver in his hand and began remonstrating with the three men, saying they had no quarrel with them, but were in search of other citizens of the township. Woodruff remained in the buggy. After a short parley Bashore turned to join his fellow officer when one of the men leveled a double-barreled shotgun at the officer and shot him in the back. Woodruff was shot with the other barrel in the chest. A second shot struck him in the face, breaking-his lower jaw. His team took fright and ran away, throwing him on his face. While in this position he was shot through the head and instantly killed. Despite his wounds, Marshal Bashore was able to return fire and wounded one of the men in the thigh to the point that he was unable to get away, but had strength enough to approach Bashore and break his gun over the fatally wounded marshal.  Marshal Bashore succumbed to his wounds several hours later after reporting what had transpired. John left a wife and two children.  The wounded man was convicted of both murders in 1867, and subsequently sentenced to death; however, he later received clemency from President Andrew Johnson, after his wife had gone to Washington and pleaded for his life.

            The following telegram was sent to Major General Pope:

Major General JOHN POPE,

Commanding Department of the Northwest, Milwaukee, Wis.:

GENERAL: Captain James Matthews, provost-marshal Fourth District of Iowa, reports to me that two of his officers while on duty in Poweshiek County, Iowa, were murdered by a gang of outlaws on Saturday, the 1st instant. The names of the murdered officers are John L. Bashore, an assistant provost-marshal, and Josiah M. Woodruff, special agent. These officers had been detailed to arrest certain deserters from the draft in that county, and were waylaid and shot without any pretense or provocation except the lawful discharge of their duty. The outlaws engaged in the affair about twelve in number, seven of whom have been arrested and lodged in jail at Oskaloosa. I have laid these facts before the Secretary of War, and he instructed me to furnish you with the information for your action, should the same be necessary.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


             The John L. Bashore Post #122, of the Grand Army of the Republic, here in Centerville, was named in his honor.”



Josiah M. Woodruff

Josiah M. Woodruff was born March 1, 1843, in Marion County, Ohio, the son of Stephen and Isabelle Woodruff.  He was the eldest of their five children.

Josiah enlisted as a Private in Company B, 3rd Iowa Infantry on May 21, 1861, at the age of 18.  He was wounded seriously in the left thigh on September 17, 1861, at Blue Mills Landing in Missouri and discharged due to his wounds on February 11 1862, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.


On the 30th of September, James Mathews, the Provost Marshal of the 4th District of Iowa, sent two officers—Captain John L. Bashore and Josiah M. Woodruff—into that vicinity (Sugar Creek Township, Poweshiek County, Iowa) to arrest deserters from the draft.  Near 1 p.m. on October 1st, Woodruff and Bashore had nearly reached the residence of one of the deserters, fourteen miles south of Grinnell, when they were fired upon by a number of armed men. Woodruff had remained in the buggy and was instantly killed, his body was dragged into the bushes twenty yards from the road, where it was found riddled with bullets. Josiah was murdered where the Hickory Grove schoolhouse once stood.  Captain Bashore was lying in the road mortally wounded; he was shot in the head and through the body, then beaten over the head with the butt end of a rifle, which lay broken beside him.


.The following is taken from the History of Poweshiek County: Some time ago a motion was made by some of the heirs of one of the murderers that, as an absence of seven years raised the legal presumption of his death, an administrator be appointed to dispose of his property; he having left behind him a quantity of land in this county. J. G. Hambleton was accordingly appointed, and there was published the usual administrator's notice, calling upon all who had claims against the estate to present them in the usual time. In the meantime Stephen W. Woodruff, the father of Josiah Woodruff, one of the marshals, had the court appoint John Hall, of Montezuma, administrator of the estate of Josiah Woodruff, deceased, and Mr. Hall, as administrator aforesaid, recently filed the following claim: "The estate of the murderer, deceased, to the estate of Josiah Woodruff, deceased, debtor: To damages for the wrongful, unlawful and malicious killing of Josiah Woodruff by the murderer, in 1864, in the sum of ten thousand dollars. Unless the claim is paid, which is very doubtful, or compromised, the matter will come up before the courts, and the people of the county will have an opportunity to hear the whole affair again thoroughly canvassed.


Josiah M. Woodruff’s body was brought back here to Knoxville and buried in Graceland.  His parents moved on to Kansas, one brother Melvin “Mel” remained and is also buried here, along with an aunt, uncle and many cousins. Josiah was 21

years and 7 months.


Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty:

by Danny Krock

Corporal, 37th Iowa, SVR

Fall Monument Tour

Sept. 27th, 10 members of Co. B 1oth Iowa and Co. A, 49th Iowa SVR and 6 ASUVCW members assisted in re-dedicating Civil War monuments in Bedford (Taylor County), Mt. Ayr (Ringgold County), and Creston (Union County). The ceremonies were well attended by the public on a perfect fall day.


The day started out well with our 10 AM ceremony on the Taylor County Courthouse lawn at Bedford.  Capt. Mike Carr presided as Commanding Officer, with Corp. Jim Braden of the 49th acting as Master of Ceremonies.  The colors were posted by Bedford’s American Legion post.  Corp. Dan Rittel acted as Officer of the Day and 1st Sgt. Dennis Sasse, the Dept. chaplain, acted in that capacity.  Others from the 10th Iowa present were Privates Charles & David Boeck, Alan Kirshen, Roy Linn, Bill McAlpine, and John Weeber.  Pvt. Linn laid the Symbols of the Soldier.


ASUVCW members present were Sharon Braden, Bev Carr, Jeanie Kirshen, Linda Linn, Denise Sasse, and Jennifer Sharp.


The wreath was laid by the great-great granddaughter of the man who originally dedicated the monument.


We then travelled to Ringgold County. At 1:30, our troops repeated the performance at the Mt. Ayr Courthouse.  The rifle squad was made up of members from three local American Legion posts.  We switched roles a bit, with Corporals Braden and Rittel switching positions and Pvt. Charles Boeck laying the Symbols of the Soldier.  Linda Linn laid the wreath.


We were gifted with a thumb-drive containing the location of all Civil War veterans’ graves in the county.


Our last stop was atop a beautiful hill in McKinley Park, located in Union County’s county seat of Creston.  Mayor Warren Woods and Board of Supervisors Chair Ronald Riley both attended and spoke a few words.


The local VFW post provided the color guard and bugler.  Pvt. John Weeber laid the Symbols of the Soldier, with Linda Linn laid the wreath.


The ceremonies were well-received and the local residents seemed to appreciate our efforts very much.



Submitted by Capt. Michael Carr, PDC

C.O. Co. B, 10th Iowa, SVR

Chair, Dept. Sesquicentennial Committee

The Centralia Massacre September 27, 1864

Eight Iowans among the twenty-two Federal Soldiers removed from the westbound train, from St. Louis, and murdered by guerrillas.  “Every man was robbed, no papers or other articles were found on the soldiers by which they could be identified.  Not much effort was made, however, at identification, the bodies, in most instances, being allowed to lie where they had fallen until the next morning.”

Eleven members of the 1st Missouri Engineers were headed home; most on furlough, some had served their enlistment, following the surrender of Atlanta.  Seven members of the 2nd Iowa Cavalry were returning to their unit, which had seen action on September 22nd in Central Missouri.  One Iowan from the 23rd Iowa Infantry was on 60 days leave from New Orleans.  One member of the 17th Illinois, was also headed back to his unit.  Two others are still unknown.  One unknown soldier made an escape and Sergeant Thomas M. Goodman of the 1st Missouri Engineers was taken prisoner.  Also killed that day was one German Immigrant wearing a faded blue coat.

At Noon, on September 26, 2014, 1st Sergeant Thompson, Color Sergeant Deal and Corporal Krock of the 37th Iowa SVR held a Remembrance Ceremony for these men at the Train Station location in Centralia, Missouri.  A candle was lit, a wreath was placed and twenty-three roses were laid to remember these men.  A sack coat was folded upon which personal items were place and then strewn with a rose pedal from each of the twenty-three roses.

Following are the names of those who there lost their lives, 150 years ago:


Joseph H. Arnold, Veteran, Co. E, 1st Iowa Cavalry, Mount Pleasant, Iowa. “Age 27.”

William R. Barnum, Co. F, 23rd Iowa Infantry, Page County, Iowa. “Age 36.  He was married to Rebecca and had a daughter named Sarah. William had been in the infantry for 9 months.” He was on a 60 day leave from New Orleans.

Charles G. Carpenter, Veteran, Co. K, 1st Iowa Cavalry, Waukon, Iowa. “Age 27” His father             received his pension.

Josiah Conner, Artificer, 1st Missouri Engineers, Nodaway County, Missouri. “He was 24 and was always on duty”.

George W. Dilley, Veteran, Co. B, 1st Iowa Cavalry, Davenport, Iowa. “Age 21”

Owen P. Gore, Veteran, Co. A, 1st Iowa Cavalry, Lee County, Iowa. “Age 27”

John G. Harvey, Private, Co. E, 17th Illinois Cavalry, Jackson, Michigan “He was 21, born in England.  John was 5” 8” tall, with blue eyes and dark hair, and had served 9 months.” He      was headed back to his unit in northern Missouri.

Charles T. Hiltibidal, Artificer, 1st Missouri Engineers , Nodaway County, Missouri. “He was 35 years of age, 5’ 11” with brown eyes and dark hair.  Charles had become ill at Chattanooga and was on his way home on furlough due to his illness. He was married to           Elizabeth. They had a six year old son, Felix and a four year old son, Jacob.”

James F. Holly, Artificer, 1st Missouri Engineers , Atchison County, Missouri. “He was 31, stood             6’ 2” tall with gray eyes and dark hair.” On 30 day furlough from Atlanta.

Charles Edgar Madera, Veteran, Co. C, 1st Iowa Cavalry, Burlington, Iowa. “Age 22.  He was the seventh of ten children.  Charles’ father died when he was nine years old.”

James C. Mobley, Corporal, 1st Missouri Engineers, Page County, Iowa. “He was 30 years old, blue eyes, light hair, 5’ 8” tall. He was married to Cyrena and a father of four.” On 30 day furlough from Atlanta.

Edward M. Pace, Artificer, 1st Missouri Engineers, Taylor County, Iowa “He was taken Prisoner at Lexington, Missouri on September 20, 1861.  Edward was held/paroled at Benton Barracks until August 30, 1862, and made a habit of ‘deserting’ while on parole. He had served his enlistment and was returning home to his wife and child.

Valentine T. Peters, Sergeant, 1st Missouri Engineers, Holt County, Missouri. “He had been a Prisoner and Paroled at Benton Barracks, July and August 1862.  He was 39 years old, 5’ 9” tall, gray eyes, brown hair and born in Germany. He had been discharged on September 14, 1864.

James Robinson, Private, Nodaway County, Missouri.

Casswell Rose, Artificer, 1st Missouri Engineers, Page County, Iowa. “His widow was denied a pension, time after time.”

John Russell, Veteran, Co. C, 1st Iowa Cavalry, Fairfield, Iowa. “Age 35” He was married to Mary Jo.

James W. Thomas, Artificer, 1st Missouri Engineers, Buchanan County, Missouri.  “He left a wife and three small children at home wondering what had happened to him. His wife remarried.  His brothers and sisters, and mother never knew what happened to him, his children knew little of him. They lived in Buchanan and Harrison counties, Iowa.”

Martin F. Trail, Private, 1st Missouri Engineers, Moniteau County, Missouri. “He was 30 years old, 6’ 2” with blue eyes.  He was coming home to see his sick wife and four daughters. His wife died weeks after Martin Trail was killed, his two oldest daughters were sent to live friends, the two youngest were raised by aunts in the White Church, Kansas Area.  Martin was 70 miles from home.”

Oscar G. Williams, Veteran, Co. B, Van Buren County, Iowa. “Age 22”

Unknown Soldier

Unknown Soldier

Also murdered on that day was the German immigrant from St. Louis, described as wearing either a blue coat or a faded blue uniform. He was taken from the other passengers, made to cross the tracks, and join in line with the Twenty-two soldiers.




            Unknown Soldier, chased by guerillas on horseback, ran into an outbuilding. When the guerilla dismounted and entered the front door of the          shed, the soldier ran out the back door, raced to the front of the building, mounted the guerilla’s horse and escaped.

            Thomas M. Goodman, Sergeant, Age 33, Co. G, 1st Missouri Engineers.  He was held hostage by Anderson for ten days before escaping. He wrote the book “Thrilling Experience” about his capture.


The Ceremony concluded with the playing of “Home, Sweet Home”… returning Home was referenced may times in the book written by Sergeant Goodman.


Newspaper accounts of the massacre and excerpts from the book written by Sergeant Goodman are contained in the attached .pdf


Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

Danny E. Krock, DSVC

Iowa Brother Named “Silver Sentinel” by Abraham Lincoln Endowment Of the SUVCW Charitable Foundation

September 2nd, 2014


Word has been received from James H. Houston, Sec/Treas., of the SUVCW Charitable Trust informing us that Brother Thomas J. Gaard, Grenville M. Dodge Camp # 75, Des Moines, has been awarded the “Silver Sentinel” level for his on-going charitable contributions to the fund, which seeks to establish by contribution, investment, and sales of SUVCW related merchandise, a significantly sized permanent fund from which awards can be made in support of education activities and restoration projects of the Order.


Brother Gaard’s devotion to this order and it’s principles of keeping green the memories of our Union Army ancestors is an inspiration to all who know this fine gentleman.  He is to be congratulated on the attainment of this most prestigious honor.


In Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty,


David M. Lamb

Department Commander

Department of Iowa

Iowa Brother Receives National Meritorious Service Award

At the recent National Encampment of the Allied Orders of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department Senior Vice-Commander Danny E. Krock was presented with the National Meritorious Service Award by Department Commander Lamb, on behalf Commander-in-Chief Ken L. Freshly and the entire body of the Order.


Brother Krock’ outstanding efforts over several years in support of the Department of Iowa’s Sesquicentennial Committee and its related activities; as well as his work in designing and gaining approval of the Iowa Legislature and Department of Transportation for the creation of an Iowa Civil War Sesquicentennial License Plate formed the basis of the award. The actual presentation of the award certificate was made in-front-of Brother Krocks own Grenville M. Dodge Camp #75 in Des Moines on August 27th, 2014.


DSVC Krock is congratulated on his receiving of this Order’s highest award in recognition of efforts “above and beyond”.



David M. Lamb

Department Commander

Department of Iowa

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Jefferson Barracks

June 12, 2014

On Thursday, June 12, members of the 37th Iowa SVR had the honor of providing the Color Guard for Seventeen Veterans of the United States Military at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri.  Their cremains had gone unclaimed and forgotten for the past half century and more.  The 37th was unable to attend the services of June 11 that were held for twelve other such Veterans. In all, twenty-nine had been identified by members of the Missing In America Project at Valhalla Cemetery and Funeral Home in St. Louis.  The escort to Jefferson Barracks was provided by the Patriot Riders; rifle salute provided by various members of the 4th Military District.


Each of the Veteran’s cremains was escorted by members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.  1st Sgt. David Thompson had the honor of carrying the Service Flag for Private Francis F. Tuttle, Veteran of Company B, 44th Illinois Infantry.  Other members of the 37th present were: Commander Kenneth Lindblom, Corporal Danny Krock and

Private Ronald Deal.

Those Veterans who are finally at rest are:


Elmer Franklin Acree, Private, US Army, WWI

Allen James Anderson, 4th Tech, US Army, WWII

Harold Mills Cahill, Corporal, USMC, WWI

Charles Henry Curtis, Private, US Army, WWI

George L. Ehrensberger, Private, US Army, WWI

Matthew Norman Gard, Musician, US Army, WWI

Herman Rudolph Kayser, Sergeant, US Army, WWI

Lawrence E. Keil, Private, US Army, WWII

Heinze Krause, 5th Tech, US Army, WWII

Arthur E. Lattner, PFC, US Army, WWI

Probst Lusk, Petty Officer 2nd, US Navy, WWI

Norman Lee Nulsen, 2nd Lieutenant, US Army, WWI

Lenos L. Rice, Private, US Army, WWI

George L. Tapp, Petty Officer 3rd, US Navy, WWII

Wilcox George Thorne, Captain, USMC, WWI

Francis M. Tuttle, Private, Co. “B”, 44th Illinois, Civil War

Augustus Granville Whitcomb, Private, Co. “E”, 6th Massachusetts, Civil War


submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty

by Danny Krock

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