Please call Department Junior Vice Commander
David Thompson: (515) 289-1018 or fill out our contact form.
Iowa Department Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Attn: David Thompson
2301 SW Oralabor Rd. #95
Ankeny, IA 50023
History is a Greek word meaning a study of the past, inquiry and having knowledge of a particular event. Organizations use history to define their past, present and future continued success to better the future of the operations. History is not what you thought. It is what you remember. Our history at the Iowa Veterans Home dates back to December 1, 1887 when Amos Fox, a Civil-War veteran, was the first veteran to be admitted to the Iowa Soldiers Home. Amos Fox, the Home’s first resident, was buried in March 1916 after having been admitted to the Home December 1, 1887. A farmer from Humboldt, Iowa Fox first enlisted in the Civil War as a private in Company D of the 47th Illinois Infantry on August 14, 1861. He re-enlisted January 9, 1865, and was discharged in August of the same year.
The history of our home begins when Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood made his suggestion at a committee meeting of members from both branches of the General Assembly of Iowa who were considering orphan homes for children of some 13,001 Iowans killed during the Civil War. The proposal for the erection of orphan asylums was adopted and such institutions finally erected but it was not until later, in 1886, that the first concerted effort was put forth for the erection of a soldiers’ home.
Initiating the movement for an Iowa Soldiers Home was the Grand Army of the Republic, led by Philip M. Crapo of Burlington, Iowa. This movement resulted in the 21st General Assembly passing an act, which on March 31, 1886, appropriated $75,000 for the purchase of ground and the erection of suitable buildings and another $25,000 to maintain that home for one year. Today we are proud to say that facility has expanded to 150 acres and 6 Nursing units and 1 Residential/Domicilary unit over the 126 years.
In 1975, the Iowa Legislature changed the name from the Iowa Soldiers Home to the Iowa Veterans Home.
Tombstone of Amos Fox. Fox is buried at the IVH Cemetery.
1st Building erected on grounds also known as the “Old Building”
submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty
Danny Krock, DSVC
Department Commander Lamb, joined by Senior Vice-Commander Krock and Junior Vice-Commander Thompson manned a table at the annual “Open House” event of the Iowa Genealogical Society at their headquarters building and genealogical library facility today.
Over the course of four hours, the trio fielded questions from visitors, passed out literature on membership in the Sons of Union Veterans and the Allied Orders, and did on-line database searches of several sources of military records for guests seeking to verify their own Civil War ancestor connections. We also began the preliminary processes to help one modern-day Navy veteran recover his own service records through alternative sources after discovering that his files were apparently destroyed in the fire at the MILPERCEN/NPRC (Military Personnel Center/National Personnel Records Center) in Overland, Missouri in July of 1973 (see accompanying photo from NARA).
During that tragic fire, some 16 to 18 million military records spanning the years 1912 through 1970 were lost.
The majority of these being records of United States Army veterans, and some Air Force personnel. Very few Naval and Marine Corps records were affected as those were traditionally not stored in the same facility, but several thousand of them were temporarily there for data review and entry onto a new database when the conflagration began. This gentleman was apparently among the unlucky few Navy personnel to have had his complete service record destroyed.
Having had some previous experience at records re-construction through alternative Federal agency sources, we shall endeavor to assist this veteran in re-establishing his rights as a veteran of the military.
David M. Lamb, DC
Department of Iowa
Photo by Alan Wenger, Iowa Society of the S.A.R. and Dodge Camp brother.
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
photos by Cher Petrovic
On Memorial Day 2014, John C. Hayes was remembered during the annual ceremony held at the Blairstown Legion Hall. June 19th is the 150th Anniversary of the USS Kearsarge sinking the CSS Alabama, for which John Hayes was awarded the Medal of Honor. Department Junior Vice Commander David Thompson spoke of the action between the Kearsarge and Alabama and Department Senior Vice Commander Danny Krock spoke of Mr. Hayes. Four members of the Sea Cadets from Marshalltown read the Medal of Honor Citation, Letter from Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds and a Proclamation from Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus….
John C. Hayes was born July 20, 1832, in the fishing community of Brigus, Newfoundland, Canada. His mother died when he was five years old, leaving his father with three young sons and one daughter.
John’s youth was full of adventure. He often spoke of his love of the sea. As a boy he became a cooper, serving full-time as an apprentice making casks, barrels, buckets and tubs to transport goods from Brigus to sea ports around the world. Though he enjoyed his new found trade, the call of the sea was within him and when the opportunity came, John joined the crew of an English fore-and-aft rigged commercial vessel. He remained a member of her crew until 1856, when on his final voyage from London to New York, he decided to embark upon a new life. It was there that John became a U.S. citizen.
He departed New York for Philadelphia and joined the United States Navy serving aboard the USS Saranac. The Saranac had returned to Philadelphia in June of 1856, for an overhaul at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The Saranac was a 2100-ton side-wheel steamer, built by the Portsmouth Navy Yard, in Kittery, Maine and launched in November 1848. In September 1857, John Hayes and the Saranac voyaged around Cape Horn, South America to the U.S. Pacific Coast. The Saranac remained on duty in the Pacific until she sank off the coast of British Columbia in 1875. John served his enlistment and entered merchant shipping again, engaged this time in commerce up and down the Atlantic Coast.
In November 1861, John again enlisted in the Navy, and was assigned to the USS Ohio, in the Charleston Harbor, a three-masted, square-rigged, Ship-of-the-Line, boasting 104 guns. The Ohio sailed immediately to Boston. There in Boston Harbor, Mr. Hayes saw the USS Kearsarge, the most beautiful ship he had ever seen. The Kearsarge, was a 1550-ton Mohican Class, steam, sloop-of-war, also built at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, in Kittery, Maine, under the 1861 Civil War emergency shipbuilding act. The Navy was in the process of selecting a hand-picked crew for the Kearsarge and on December 31, 1861, John became a member of that crew. She was commissioned in January 1862 and almost immediately deployed to European waters, in search of the Confederate Alabama. The men aboard the Kearsarge knew of the Alabama’s record and her crew’s determination. Many aboard the Kearsarge felt or thought that his “chance of seeing his loved ones again were the slightest in the world”. They chased the Alabama for two and a half years and nearly world-wide.
On June 19, 1864, the Kearsarge met the Alabama outside the three mile limit off the coast of Cherbourg, France. Coxswain John C. Hayes was acting second captain of the Number 2 gun that day. Gun Number 2, a 32-pounder, was instrumental in the sinking of the Alabama. Hayes was recognized in many reports shortly after the battle and was soon recommended for the Medal of Honor by his superiors and endorsed by Secretary of the
Navy Gideon Welles.
Anxious to continue his service to his country, upon his honorable discharge, John immediately reenlisted, and was reassigned to the Ohio once again. In 1865, he was transferred to the USS Wachusetts, an Iroquois Class, barque-rigged, 1,000 ton, sloop-of-war. She was assigned to the Asiatic Squadron and left immediately. In July 1866, while in port at Hong Kong, John was transferred to the USS Hartford, a 2,900 ton, sloop-of-war steamer, which shortly embarked on an around-the-world tour. The crew of the Hartford was paid off and discharged in August 1868. As a note, the Hartford remained in service until she was decommissioned in1926. She sank on November 20, 1956, while awaiting restoration at Norfolk, Virginia, and was most likely the last surviving warship from the Civil War.
Following his discharge, John moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he became engaged in commercial sailing on Lake Michigan. He married Cecilia Johnson in Milwaukee, on September 13, 1869. She had been born in 1836, in Norway. The Great Lakes provided little income and lacked the excitement John had become accustomed to. By July 1870, John and Celia, were in Eagle, Wisconsin, where they were engaged in farming.
The Hayes’ became the parents of three children; John Henry, Louise Amelia and Simon. Mrs. Hayes died August 10, 1878, at the age of 41, at Eagle, Wisconsin. Being left with three small children, John married Mary Nelson, the next year, in 1879. She had been born in Norway and arrived in America, in 1866. She was 41 when they were married.
In 1900, John and Mary were living at Muscoda, Wisconsin. By 1905, they had moved into Marston Hall, at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in Farmington. Both in failing health, they removed to Blairstown, to live with John’s daughter Louise, and her family. Mary Hayes died June 4, 1907, at the age of 69. John died four years later on January 28, 1911, he was 78. He had been preceded in death by his son Simon.
The people of Blairstown had quickly become attached to their naval hero, who was always willing to share his accounts of naval battles and world travel. He was especially endeared by the youth of the community, who would spend untold hours listening to his stories. He was a very religious man and intensely patriotic and of a cheerful disposition. A man of broad learning and varied experience and it was a treat to enter into conversation with him. He had grown weaker for several months and the end came peacefully. John Hayes was the last surviving member of the Kearsarge’s crew from that historic day in June 1864.
On Monday, January 30, 1911, Mr. Hayes was laid to rest next to his wife of 28 years, in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, south of town. The funeral was held at the Presbyterian Church and officiated by the Rev. L. H. Bufkin and attended by a large concourse of mourners from the community, who had all come to bid farewell to one who had become so dear. Special ceremonies were conducted by the local veterans of the Civil War. The school had dismissed, and all the children present to say good-bye to their friend and hero, John C. Hayes.
About the year 1904, John Hayes stumbled upon a 40 year old Navy General Order, dated 1864, recommending and approving John C. Hayes for the Medal of Honor. He immediately wrote a letter to the Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C. stating he was the only “John Hayes who served on the Kearsarge in the famous battle with the Alabama, and that it must be he who is entitled to the medal. Along with this letter he included his enlistment and discharge papers, and that his claim was just.” Within the archives, the Bureau of Navigation was found the tarnished, frayed and moth eaten Medal. It was forwarded to John along with a bounty of $100.
The President of the United States of America,
in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to Coxswain John Hayes, United States Navy,
for extraordinary heroism in action while serving on board the
U.S.S. Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off
Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864.
Acting as Second Captain of the No. 2 gun during the bitter engagement, Coxswain Hayes exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended for his gallantry under fire by the division officer.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 45
December 31, 1864
The annual Decoration Day ceremony was held at the Upper Bay Church Cemetery in rural Delaware County on Friday, May 30th. The ceremony is held to honor all veterans but specifically the 14 men from the area who served and died during the Civil War. These names are inscribed on a monument placed at the head of the cemetery. It is the first such monument in the state of Iowa being dedicated in August, 1865. The ceremony was sponsored by the Upper Bay Cemetery Board with help from the American Legion Post 45 of Manchester and Robert Mitchell Camp #206 of Marion.
This year, a new headstone was dedicated for Pvt. Alexander F. Smith who served in A Co., 3rd Regt. Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Pvt. Smith left his farm & family near Delhi and volunteered in May 1861 for service and served until his death during fighting around Atlanta, GA on 21 July 1864. He is thought to be buried in Marietta National Cemetery, Marietta, GA in an “Unknown” grave. The stone was furnished by Pvt. Smith's Gr., Gr. Grandson, James Smith of Simpsonville, KY. Jim is a member of Robert Mitchell Camp #206, Marion.
The highlight of this year's service was the unveiling of Pvt. Smith's stone and Sons from several camps participated. During this portion of the ceremony, the gathering heard the Symbols of the Soldier, witnessed the uncovering of the stone, heard Pvt. Smith's biography and, witnessed the placing of flowers on the grave by his widow.
Other parts of the ceremony included the reading of Gen. Logan's Order No. 11 establishing Decoration Day, the reading of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, a reading of the names listed on the monument, rifle and cannon salute volleys and, taps.
Sons from various Iowa and WI camps participated in the ceremony. The guard for the site was Cpl. Court Stahr. The cannon crew was Sgt. David Thompson, Cpl. Mike Parks, Pvt. Karl Geesaman and, Pvt. Danny Krock. Pvt. Smith's widow was Tammy Krock. As part of the honor guard/color guard were Sons Cpl. David Haverkamp and Pvt. Quinn Haverkamp. Others were from the 24th Iowa Vol. Regt. from Cedar Rapids. Pvt. Smith's biography was read by Son Dennis Geesaman. Also participating in the ceremony were members of the American Legion Post 45 from Manchester.
Other members of Robert Mitchell Camp attending were James Johnston and Dick Camp.
After the ceremony, refreshments were given in the old Bay Church which is being restored to its 1873 appearance.
On Monday, June 26th, members of the Bates, Dodge, Mitchell, Twombly and Power-Dunlavy Camps held the “Rededication of Memorial Service” at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, south of Blairstown. The Sea Cadets from Marshalltown provided the Color Guard, salute provided by the 3rd Iowa Artillery and “Taps” played by the Blairstown American Legion.
Forty three Civil War Veterans are buried at Pleasant Hill. Their names were read by Alexander Vaquez, 8th Grade History teacher at the Vinton-Shellsburg Community Schools, acting Officer of the Day.
The GAR Monument was originally dedicated in 1907. It was purchased in part by money raised by the local Jacob Nauman GAR Post #341, in Blairstown. It was first placed at the north entrance of the cemetery, was moved into town, and them brought back to the north side of the cemetery in 1930.
Those Civil War Soldiers and Veterans interred Pleasant Hill are as follows:
Private Hezakiah Applegate, Co. K, 32nd Iowa Infantry
Private Oliver Asch, Co. H, 2nd Pennsylvania Cavalry
Private William Bishop, Co. F, 54th Illinois Infantry
Captain Lucius Bowers, Co. I, 46th Ohio Infantry
Private James Brian, Co. C, 47th Iowa Infantry
Corporal Joseph Bruce, Co. A, 28th Iowa Infantry
Private William Brunch, Co. I, 153rd Pennsylvania Infantry, wounded July 1, 1863 at Barlow Knoll, Battle of Gettysburg.
Corporal Henry Burns, Co. C, 11th Ohio Infantry
Carpenters Mate Thomas Clark, USS Carondelet
Private William Crandall, Co. B, 31st Iowa Infantry
Private Daniel Drake, Co. I, 35th Iowa Infantry
Musician Robert Ferman, Co. D, 112th Illinois Infantry
Private Henry Geisking, Co. L, 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry
Private George Goss Sr., Co. E, 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry
Private William Hallady, Co. C, 47th Iowa Infantry
Sergeant James Halstead, Co. C, 3rd Maryland Infantry
Private Samuel Halstead, Co. C, 3rd Maryland Infantry
Private George Hartz, Co. F, 111th Ohio Infantry
Musician Asa Hayden, Co. D, 112th Illinois Infantry
Musician Christopher Hayden, Co. G, 132nd Illinois Infantry
Coxswain John Hayes, USS Kearsarge
Private Edgar Howard, Co. E, 50th New York Engineers
Private James Hutton, Co. E, 1st Nebraska Cavalry
Private Henry Leonard, Co. F, 26th Illinois Infantry, wounded September 1862, at Corinth, Mississippi,
Private Patrick Lynch, Co. E, 37th Wisconsin Infantry
Corporal Melauchton McElroy, Co. I, 40th Iowa Infantry
Private Charles Merriman, Co. K, 112th Illinois Infantry
Corporal Hiram Miner, Co. K, 14th Iowa Infantry, wounded April 30, 1864, at Jenkin’s Ferry, Arkansas
Musician George Moorey, Co. D, 5th Iowa Infantry
Corporal Jacob Nauman, Co. G, 120th Ohio Infantry
Private Henry Peet, Co. G, 47th Iowa Infantry, died of disease in December 1863, at Blairstown.
Private Charles Reisser, Co. G, 9th New York Infantry
Private Levi Sanderson, Co. I, 22nd New Jersey Infantry
Private Levi Shoenenberger, Co. D, 153rd Pennsylvania Infantry, wounded, July 2, 1863, at the Fish-Hook, Battle of Gettysburg
Private Isaac Smith, Co. D, 28th Iowa Infantry, died of disease April 18, 1865, at Blairstown
Corporal Ephram Stonecifer, Co. I, 3rd Ohio Infantry
Corporal Jacob Wagner, Co. H, 2nd Iowa Cavalry
Private Henry Watkinson, Co. A, 193rd Ohio Infantry
Private Frederick Weil, Co. F, 16th Iowa Infantry
Private Samuel Whiting, Co. I, 20th Iowa Infantry, died October 12, 1863, of disease at Davenport
Private Perry Wood, Co. K, 40th Iowa Infantry
Private William Wood, Co. K, 40th Iowa Infantry
Corporal David Yocum, Co. D, 97th Ohio Infantry
Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty
Danny Krock, Department Senior Vice Commander
The 2014 Spring Civil War Monument Commemoration Tour was completed over the weekend of May 3-4 by members of Co. B, 10th Iowa, SVR & Co. A, 37th Iowa, SVR.
The Department of Iowa’s Sesquicentennial Committee initially divided the Department into six regions with the goal being set that the Camps in those areas, assisted by the SVR members in those areas, would visit each county and hold some sort of event to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Co. B, 10th Iowa, SVR, located in Region 1, which encompasses virtually the western third of Iowa, has been quite active in this endeavor had already completed 12 of the 30 counties assigned to it. This past weekend, 9 members of the unit, joined by DSVC Danny Krock, representing the 37th Iowa, SVR, performed ceremonies in Cherokee, Clay, Plymouth, Osceola, Sac & Sioux counties.
There was much interest sparked in the SUVCW by our presence and there is a possibility that a Camp may be started in the Le Mars/Hawarden area in the future.
All ceremonies were well-attended by the public, with several American Legion and VFW posts assisting. DSVC Krock’s speech, which set forth the objects and purposes of the GAR and SUVCW, was the highlight of each ceremony.
We were also honored to have Dept. Monuments Officer Tom Gaard, the Vice Chair of the Department’s Sesquicentennial Committee, present. In closing, I would like to thank the members of Auxiliary and the other wives that accompanied us. They were a big help.
Captain Michael Carr, PDC
CO Co. B, 10th Iowa, SVR
Chair Dept. of Iowa Sesquicentennial Committee
On Monday evening Current Department and Camp Officers and from across the state journeyed to the Community Center in North Liberty, Iowa, to participate in the formal awarding of a deeply deserved and long over-due honor for Dr. Les Weber, our long-time Department Treasurer.
Due to Dr. Weber’s long years of dedicated service to the Order by holding several positions within his own V. P. Twombley Camp # 2; and having held the position of Department Treasurer for more than the requisite ten years, it was unanimously voted by the assembled delegates to the 130th Department Encampment, held in Ottumwa in March of 2013, that Dr. Weber should be awarded the status of “Past Department Commander” as allowed by the Constitution and By-Laws of our Order.
On Monday night I was honored to officiate at the formal awarding of his Badges of Office, making it so.
Joining in the ceremonies were Camp Commander David Sample from the Powers-Dunlevy Camp #3 in Bloomfield; PDC Court Stahr and PDC Ronald Rittel of the Dodge Camp # 75 in Des Moines; and Immediate PDC Richard Grim, also from Powers-Dunlevy. PDC Grim performed the actual presentation to Dr. Weber’s medal while the visiting Officers and brethren of his camp looked on.
I know that all of Dr. Weber’s brethren of the Department of Iowa join me in congratulating Dr. Les on this honorarium, and thank him for his long service in a job exceedingly well done!
In Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty,
David M. Lamb, DC
Department of Iowa/SUVCW
The reading room of the library is located upstairs in the State Historical Building at 600 East Locust.
There is a free parking ramp located across Grand Avenue from the North-East corner of the building.
Do not use a parking meter as you will be spending too much time checking the clock and running to and
fro to enjoy the day.
Saturdays are usually crowded, making it hard to find a vacant microfilm reader and there will be lines at
the printer machines. If the following Monday is a holiday they will be closed that Saturday anyway.
Since the state budget cuts limited the hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday have become the most productive days.
If you spend too long searching the microfilm and then request original records from the archives in the
basement (on a Tuesday or Wednesday), they are usually brought up too late to complete a thorough
inspection on that day. Try to get there early on a Thursday or Friday. And, research your needs before
showing up or the massive amount of items available can overwhelm you. You will appear to look like
that deer that just showed up in the headlights.
On a few occasions, I have walked out the door, with needed copies from microfilm, fifteen minutes after signing in. But, those days are rare and I knew exactly what was needed before walking in the door. I have done so much work there over the past twenty years on GAR records, that if anyone leaves behind copies of these records, I have been asked if they were mine the next time I show up.
Now that I am retired, there are monthly requests for me to come down there and volunteer my time.
I am a selfish person and not immortal, so I prefer to first train a few Iowa SUVCW members younger than me to do what I have learned to do, then I will be at ease helping others with their needs.
I am not a group teacher, so a one to one or two will be the best and your specific needs will be better
Call (515) 822-2454 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work out a good day for research.
Ron Rittel, PDC Department of Iowa Historian SUVCW
Des Moines Reading Room Hours from their Web Page
12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tuesday – Wednesday and 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Thursday - Saturday
Retrievals of state archives, photograph & manuscript collections are made at the following times:
9:45 and 11 a.m. (Thurs. & Fri. only) and 1, 2:15, and 3:30 p.m. (Tue. thru Fri.)
State archives, photograph, and manuscript collections are closed Saturdays unless arrangements are
made in advance. Arrangements can be made by calling the reference desk (515) 281-6200 by noon of
the preceding Friday.
Pertaining to the appointment of the Departmental Honor Guard for the period dated 29th March, 2014 through 29 March, 2015.
I, David M. Lamb, being duly elected by a majority vote of the Delegates assembled at the One-Hundred-Thirty-First annual Encampment of the Allied Orders of the Grand Army of the Republic held at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa on Saturday, March 29th, 2014; do, hereby cause to be re-appointed to be the Honor Guard for the Department of Iowa, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War;
Company “A’ 49th Regiment, Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry/SVR
“The Governor’s Own Iowa Rifles”
Said unit to serve in such capacity at all public functions calling for their display of the flags and ensigns of this Order, until further notice.
Entered at Johnston, County of Polk, State of Iowa on Sunday, 30 March, 2014.
David M. Lamb
Department of Iowa
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
While at Vicksburg last year, I wish I had remembered to visit the grave of Private Francis Annis of Boone County, Iowa. I first came across the Annis family several years ago while researching the Elk Rapids Cemetery. Elk Rapids was one of the first settlements in Boone County, located just west of Madrid, on the Des Moines River. The Elk Rapids Cemetery was located on a hill on the east side of the river. In 1913, half of the cemetery was moved to the Dalander Cemetery about four miles north. The Milwaukee Railroad needed the land for their bridge to cross the river. The rest of the cemetery was moved in 1974, due to the construction of the Saylorville Reservoir. At the relocated Elk Rapids cemetery stands an old weathered stone for the Annis family with a GAR flag holder beside it.
Francis Annis was born in Canaan, Grafton County, New Hampshire on November 23, 1824. He married Nancy Cross on November 24, 1851, in Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin. They became the parents of six children, the first two born in Wisconsin and the last four in Polk and Boone counties, Iowa. Their third child, Mary Lucinda, died October 23, 1857, and the fifth child, Warren, died May 26, 1861, both in Boone County, buried at Elk Rapids. Francis enlisted August 11, 1862, at the age of 37. He died May 30, 1864, of dysentery on board ship, at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and is buried at the Vicksburg National Cemetery, Section L, Grave #6600. The letters written between Francis and Nancy can be found at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nancygcunningham/annis/francis_annis_civil_war_letters.htm.
After his death, Cynthia (the eldest) and William (child number two) were in the Iowa Soldiers and Sailors Orphanage, at Davenport, as enumerated on January 1, 1867. By 1869, Nancy and her children were living in Newton, Iowa, where she was running a boarding house. It is the story of sons, William and Elmer (the youngest) that drew my attention. The following story is taken from the Jasper County Iowa GenWeb.
“The home of this Annis family was in Jasper County, but Francis Annis enlisted in Boone County, possibly with some friends. On looking it up in Boone's county history, I found this record: "Francis Annis enlisted Aug. 11, 1862, from Douglas Township; served in Co. D; died in service." His people say he died of dysentery on the way from the army to the hospital.
Later, his family, consisting of his wife, one daughter, Cynthia, and three sons, Frank, Ben and Elmer, were living in Newton, their home being located where that of W.C. Killduff now stands, 823 East Fifth Street North. This was close to the newly built Rock Island railroad tracks. At that time all north of these tracks, west for some distance, and east as far as Failor's Green House, was timber and underbrush. A small pond was on part of the Green house ground.
Mrs. Annis was keeping boarders in order to support her growing family. Among these was a man named Case who was from New York state and who had been in the Civil War and who had wandered out west in search of a job. He found one teaching in a country school in Jasper County. He also found boarding at the Annis home and rode on horseback to and from his school. A great friendship sprang up between him and the three Annis boys of six, eleven and fifteen years. The war was an interesting event to them and they were eager to have him tell about it.
On the evening of Dec. 20, 1869, Case noticed a gun, which I understand was an old army gun; picked it up to examine it; and then the boys gathered around him, begging him to show them how they did it in the war. He stepped to the dining room door and asked Mrs. Annis if it was loaded. She replied she thought not. He then pointed the gun at the pictures on the wall, the clock on the shelf and repeating each time the commands, "Halt! Take aim! Fire!" About to put the gun away, little Elmer, seven years old, said, "Now shoot me." Then playfully pointing the gun right at his forehead, pulled the trigger, and lo! It went off. A bullet that had missed fired before now was fired. It tore right through Elmer's head and Frank, fifteen years old, who was standing behind him with thumbs in his trousers band, received the bullet through his hand from which it went through his bowels. Case, as soon as he saw Elmer drop instantly, was so astonished that he became like a crazy man. He tore out of the house and ran to the woods across the tracks, racing through the underbrush until exhausted. [This was reported in the neighborhood. I cannot tell if it be true.] At any rate he came back to the house to find Frank, too, had been shot. He had not stopped long enough to know that.
At once he started out to find a doctor, supposedly Dr. Hunter, who lived a few blocks down the same street. The doctor reported there was no hope for Frank and before morning he too had gone.”….Elmer Annis and Frank Annis both died December 20, 1869.
Nancy Cross Annis remarried on September 13, 1870, in Mitchellville, to Joseph H. Drew. She died December 18, 1891, in Newton, at the age of 60. Cynthia married Clarence William Cross, and died in Oklahoma, in 1922. Benjamin married Lovina M. Dickinson, and died in Newton, in 1927. Nancy, William, Elmer and Benjamin are buried in the Union Cemetery, Newton, Iowa. The names of William, Elmer and Nancy are listed on the stone in the Elk Rapids Cemetery, along as are Mary and Warren.
Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty
Danny E. Krock
JVC Department of Iowa
Located on the military base at Historic Camp Dodge, in Johnston, Iowa
Photo I.D. will be required of all persons entering the military base. Gate Guards will direct entrants to the Museum.
Registration will be held in the receiving lobby of the museum commencing at 9:00am with Opening Ceremonies at 10:00am
Following the Opening Ceremonies and Memorial Service
A Welcoming Address and Remarks will be given
Iowa Senator Dennis H. Black
Noted Civil War Historian and Author
(And Brother of the Grenville M. Dodge Camp #75)
Author of “Profiles of Valor; Iowa’s Medal of Honor Recipients of the Civil War”
A guided tour of the Military Museum will be given to encampment attendees by museum staff immediately following the lunch break.
Advance Registration fees of $10.00 per attendee should be sent directly to:
David L. Thompson
Secretary/Dept. of Iowa
2301 S.W. Oralabor Road # 95
Ankeny, IA 50023
Late Registrants “at the door” on the morning of the encampment will be charged a registration fee of $12.00 per attendee.
Recommended lodgings for those travelling from out-of-town and wishing to over-night on Friday and/or Saturday nights
The Hilton Garden Inn
8600 Northpark Drive, Urbandale, Iowa
(located at 86th Street and Interstate 80-35; approx 4 miles from Camp Dodge)
A discounted room rate of $93.00 per night (Govt. Rate) for attendees has been arranged. This rate applies for room reservations on both Friday and Saturday nights (March 28th and 29th).
Room Reservations can be made by calling 1-515-270-8890, reservations must be made between January 25th and March 7th to receive the discounted rate.
When reserving rooms, please tell the hotel that you are attending, “The Allied Orders” encampment when you call.
For those wishing to attend, a “very informal”, “on your own dime” social gathering and dinner on Saturday evening at 6:00pm following the encampment,
“Jethro’s Barbecue and Pork Chop House”
5950 86th Street in Johnston, Iowa
Will accommodate us with private seating for up to fifty persons.
Please be prepared to tell those at the Registration Desk on Saturday morning if you will be joining the group for supper, so that we can give Jethro’s a definitive head-count for seating purposes.
Members of the Iowa Department of SUVCW joined local Wreaths Across America programs throughout the state on a very cold 14th of December. All were warmed by the tremendous outpouring of gratitude and participation by friends, family and grateful citizens that joined on this day to honor veterans of all eras.
Pictured at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter, Iowa L to R are Dodge Camp Commander Louis Zenti, Past Department Commander Ron Rittel, JVC Mike Rowley and Henry Krecklow of the 49th Iowa SVR.
Photos by Marilyn Rittel
Submitted in F, C, & L,
Mike Rowley, Junior Vice Commander
Grenville Dodge Camp
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Carr at 10:05 AM. Committee members present were Tom Gaard, Jake Grim, Alan Kirshen, and Danny Krock. Absent members were Jim Braden and Kevin Pearson.
The committee went over the progress made toward having a recognition event in each of Iowa’s counties. These events can be monument re-dedications or commemoration, living histories, or other event that gets the word out about the SUVCW and Iowa’s role in the Civil War. To date, 35 counties have been completed out of 99. Due to the apparent loss of two camps in northern Iowa, it was decided that the other camps would try and pick up the slack. The western Iowa camps had the 3 counties in the NW corner of the state officially added to their area, bringing the total in Section 1 to 27 counties, with 12 completed. Camp #23 is planning a 2-day trip to NW Iowa in May to cover several of these counties.
The representatives from Camps #3 and #75 both announced they would try and be more active this coming year. It was also decided to incorporate Bro. Ron Rittel’s “Last Soldier” project as part of the county programs project. This will, hopefully, spark more public interest in what we do.
There are three known events of note coming up in 2014. These are the re-dedication of the monument in Montezuma (Poweshiek Co.) which was recently dismantled due to a building demolition. It will be reconstructed on the Courthouse lawn in the Spring. (A bit of trivia, Wheeler Camp of the SUVCW was located here. The honoree is listed on the monument. His grandson and great-grandson still reside here.) The second event, Louisa County, concerns the five Littleton brothers, who were all killed during the War. The last, and perhaps the most important event, is a National Sesquicentennial event put together by DC Grim in Davis County. This is scheduled for early October.
Bro. Gaard passed around pictures of the Spanish Fort marker. The Dept. of Iowa is given credit for its erection.
The new T-Shirt design was accepted for the 1864 version.
The Committee has spent $800 this year:
Memorial University Plaque $100.00 Requested by Jim Wolf
Kinsman Monument repairs $200.00 City of Council Bluffs
Battlefield Marker, $500.00 Requested by DMO Tom Gaard
Spanish Fort, AL
The next meeting of the Committee will be held after the adjournment of the 2014 Dept. Encampment on March 29, 2014. All are welcome to attend.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:08 AM
-PDC Michael Carr, Chair
Several members of Co. B, 10th Iowa Vol. Infantry, SVR, re-dedicated monuments in Page, Fremont and Mills Counties on Sunday, Oct. 6th.
By far the best of the three ceremonies was that held at the Courthouse Square in Clarinda. Mayor Gordon Kokenge welcomed the spectators and said a few words about the monument.
Elaine Armstrong, the Chair of the Page County Board of Supervisors, gave a short speech before the re-dedication ceremony.
We were honored to have Dept. Commander Grim and his lovely wife present, as well as Dept. Monuments Officer Tom Gaard. ASUVCW members Mary Rittel and Bev Carr also attended.
Despite a bit of drizzle and mist, the rededication team carried on without a hitch.
At Sidney and Glenwood, heavy rain kept the crowd away, but the ceremonies went on as scheduled.
The Department of Nebraska, SUVCW, ventured into the Department of Iowa to dedicate a plaque affixed on the headstone of Michel Boudolll, the last Civil War veteran from Nebraska.
Boudoll’s burial site is in the rural Wiota Cemeterylocated about 3 miles from the town of Wiota and a like distance from Atlantic. His stone had been broken off, knocked down, and buried under a thin covering of sod for many years, and was feared lost.
PDC Merle Rudebusch and others from Nebraska’s SUVCW, with the help of one each of Boudoll’s Great Granddaughters and Great-great-Granddaughters, located the gravesite and rescued his headstone by encasing it in a poured a concrete slab to hold the stone and plaque indicating that he was the last Nebraska Civil War Veteran.
Boudoll moved several times after the War, having lost his wife. He resided in Wiota for several years before moving to Beatrice,Nebraska, where he was an active member of the GAR. His wife and a son are buried next to his plot.
The ceremony was conducted by members of the Nebraska Rangers, SVR, and the 10th and 37thIowa, SVR.
After the ceremony, which was also attended by several members of the Allied Orders, the majority of the SUVCW had lunch in Atlantic where the two departments strengthened the friendship between the two Departments.
On Sunday, September 29, 2013, members of the Iowa SUVCW participated in a cemetery walk hosted by the Slater Area Historical Association. Those present were: Kevin Pearson, Ken Lindblom, Ron Rittel, Ken Wald, Dave Thompson and Danny Krock.
The event was held at the Bethlehem Cemetery, Slater, Iowa. The ceremony started at 2:00 p.m. with a reading of the President’s Proclamation reaffirming the last day of September as “Gold Star Mother’s Day”, which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by all in attendance. Dave Thompson told the story of Henry Hendrickson and John Anderson, both of Company G, 15th Wisconsin Infantry. Danny Krock spoke of Cyrus Highland, Company H, 156th Illinois Infantry and Niles Gord, who served in Company L, 15th Illinois Cavalry and later transferred as a Veteran to the 10th Illinois Cavalry.
Jim Nelson portrayed his Great Grandfather, Ole Nelson, of Company D, 40th Wisconsin Infantry. Ole Nelson was a member of both the GAR and the SUVCW. He served as the GAR National Commander-in-Chief for 1935/1936 and was a member of the Grenville M. Dodge Camp for 25 years. Ken Wald, of the Dodge Camp, spoke of his ancestor, Severt Tesdell, who served in Company A, 32nd Iowa Infantry. Bob Sweeney told the story of his Great Great Grandfather, Thomas Weeks, Company E, 91st Illinois Infantry.
The ceremony concluded with a reading on all Veterans interred in Bethlehem Cemetery, followed by a moment of silence, three volleys by PDC Pearson and sounding of “Taps”. Everyone was then invited to remove to the Slater Historical Building for a question-and-answer period, view their Civil War displays and refreshments. An estimated eighty members of the community and family were in attendance.
Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty
Junior Vice Commander, Department of Iowa
Photos by Marilyn Rittel
Before 202 assembled Officers and Delegates to the 132nd Annual Encampment of the Allied Orders of
the Grand Army of the Republic , Commander-in-Chief of the Order, the Honorable Perly Mellor (acting on behalf of the Council of Administration and the body entire of the membership of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War) honored Ronald F. Rittel, PDC, with the “Cornelius F. Whitehouse Outstanding Brother Award’ for 2012-2013!
Brother Rittel’ nomination by Department Commander Grim and other officers of the Department of Iowa was also endorsed by no fewer than three Past Department Commanders; two Past Commanders-in-Chief of the Order, and the current Commander of the 4th Military District under whose command Sgt. Rittel’s own 49th Iowa Infantry serves.
Citing the many letters of recommendation outlining Brother Rittel’ outstanding work of more than five years duration on the “Last Union Soldier Project for All Iowa Counties”, C-in-C Mellor told the assembled delegates, “Brother Ron has done this magnificent work to find, record, and publish the last posts of all 100 of Iowa’s last surviving soldiers on his own dime and often working alone. In fact, he missed yesterday’s (Friday, August 9th) business meeting here with us I am told, because he was hunting one more veterans grave just north of where we are meeting here in Milwaukee. Brother Ron is highly deserving of this award as the “Outstanding Brother for 2013”.
The “Cornelius F. Whitehouse Award “ is given annually to the single brother of the Order (on rare occasions, two men have received the award from the sitting C-in-C) who it is felt has surpassed all other members of the Order in his contribution to the missions of the Order to keep green in the memory the service and sacrifices of the soldiers, sailors, and members of the Revenue Cutter Services during the American Civil War, 1861-1865. There is no higher honor that this body can bestow upon a brother of the Order.
On behalf of all of Brother Ron’s compatriots in the Department of Iowa, I wish to extend our most hearty congratulations on a job exceptionally well done! Brother Ron’s untiring efforts and unswerving devotion to his ancestors is a credit to himself, this Regiment, this Department, and the more than six-thousand members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Ron quietly goes about doing so much for this Order, and he does it all of the time. We cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor! We are very certain that you will agree.
Richard Grim, DC
Commander Department of Iowa
David M Lamb, PCC
Senior Vice-Commander, Department of Iowa
On Sunday July 28, 2013, my wife and I traveled to South English, Iowa to attend an event put on by area locals commemorating the Skunk River War 150 years ago. The hosts of the event provided a complete pork loin dinner for a free will donation followed by presentations by several local historians on how this event affected the town of South English and the State at that time.
One of the people making a presentation was Charles Sigafoose who is the newest member of the Power/Dunlavy Camp #3. The event was well planned and well attended. Between 350 and 400 people were in attendance.
Other SUVCW members in attendance were Danny Krock and his wife Tammy along with David Thompson and his wife Jane.
Submitted with F, C, & L,
Richard Grim, Department Commander
Photos by Deb Grim
On a very windy June 29, 2012, at 11:00, members of the 10th and 37th Iowa Infantry SVR’s conducted a Headstone Dedication for Private Henry John Messenbrink, of Co. F, 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The ceremony was held at the Charter Oak Cemetery, north of Charter Oak Iowa. Also, assisting in the event were members of both the Charter Oak and Denison American Legions. Charles and Dave Boeck of the Kinsman Camp #23 are descendants of Messenbrink.
Henry was born in Hanover, Germany on November 18, 1835. He came to New York in 1854, settling first in St. Louis, where he remained three years. On April 18, 1860 Henry married Mary Flier, she was born in Prussia on November 1, 1842. She came with her parents first to Wisconsin and later to St. Louis where her family remained. Henry and Mary became the parents of nine children. About 1863, they moved to Winnebago, Houston County, Minnesota.
Henry enlisted at Ft. Snelling on May 27, 1864. He most likely was sent head-long into the Battles for Kennesaw Mountain and then on to Atlanta. He was in the March to the Sea, Savannah, Bentonville, Bennett Place and then the Grand Review in Washington City. The 2nd Minnesota was mustered out on July 11, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky. They moved to Jackson County, Iowa about 1867, and near Charter Oak, Crawford County, Iowa in 1882. He remarried in 1898. Henry had been a farmer and retired in Charter Oak. He died on November 27, 1923.
Several family members were present and exchanging genealogical notes afterwards.
Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty
by Cpl. Danny Krock, 37th Iowa SVR
On Saturday afternoon, June 29, 2013, a ceremony was held in the Oakland Cemetery, Denison, Iowa to dedicate the newly placed plaque for Mary Virginia “Jennie” Wade, the only civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg.
The ceremony was performed by members of the 10th and 37th Iowa Infantry SVR’s, Charter Oak and Denison American Legions and Denison Boy Scouts. A large turn-out of family was also present, some from as far as Canada. Special guest was Shirley Grant, National President of the Womans Relief Corps. A speech on the life and death of Jennie was given by Gretchen Triplett, also of the Womans Relief Corps and a great-great niece of Jennie’s. Also remembered that day, were Jennie’s sister, Georgia Wade McClellan and her husband, John Lewis McClellan. John was a member of the 2nd and 165th Pennsylvania Infantry and finished the war with the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry.
The plaque is placed over the headstone of her sister, Georgia. Georgia served as a nurse during the Civil War at Gettysburg, Wolfs Grove, Washington, D.C. and Antietam. Georgia, a seamstress following the war, also served as Secretary and State President of the Womans Relief Corps, a National Press Correspondent, Chairwoman of the National Press Correspondent, Chairperson of the National Executive Board and the Department Secretary and Department Treasurer of the Womans Relief Corps. She was the great grandmother of Gretchen Triplet.
John McClellan belonged to the John A. Logan Post No. 58, Grand Army of the Republic. He was a mason, carpenter, bridge builder, contractor and house mover by trade. He died in Fort Dodge while running the Benedict Home, a shelter for unwed mothers.
submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty
by Cpl Danny Krock, 37th Iowa Infantry, SVR
Colonel William H. Kinsman
Rededication Service & Commemoration
It is not often that a sesquicentennial event is commemorated on the exact day the event happened. In this case, the re-dedication of the monument to Colonel William H. Kinsman, commander of the 23rd Iowa Volunteer Infantry happened on the exact date (May 18) he died from mortal wounds inflicted as he led the decisive charge of his regiment at the Battle of Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi during the Vicksburg campaign in 1863.
The Monument, having fallen into disrepair, was restored under a joint effort of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the Historic Lincoln-Fairview Neighborhood Association, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the City of Council Bluffs.
The ceremony opened with a cannon shot fired by 2nd Lt. Glen Kelley, Co. B, 10th Iowa, SVR from a 3-inch ordnance rifle forged in 1862.
The Posting of the Colors was performed by Co. A, 49th Iowa, SVR, 2nd Lt. Danny Krock, commanding.
The National Anthem was sung by Mrs. Carol Forristall of Macedonia, Iowa. The
Invocation was given by Dept. Chaplain Dennis Sasse. The welcome was given by Master of Ceremonies 1st Lt. Michael Carr, Co. B, 10th Iowa, SVR.
Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan gave the assembled audience of over 150 spectators a hearty welcome and urged them to take part in other projects designed to preserve and perpetuate the history and heritage of Iowa.
One of our most honored speakers was Mrs. Kori Nelson, Director, Historic Dodge House Museum (former home of Major General Grenville M. Dodge and friend of Col. Kinsman.). Following her speech, four ROTC Airforce cadets from Abraham Lincoln High School read letters from comrades of Kinsman who contributed to the building of the monument. Mrs. Nelson presented a binder to the Department of Iowa containing facsimiles of a cache of letters donated to the Dodge House (These will be posted to the Department web page.).
Iowa SUVCW Dept. Commander Richard Grim gave a short address on the purposes and goals of the Order. In keeping with the original ceremony, conducted on May 17, 1902,
A wreath was laid by Dept. Commander Richard Grim and Jane Gebhardt, Chapter Vice Regent, Council Bluffs Chapter NSDAR.
The keynote address was given by Mrs. Dennis (Glasgow) Mulshine, great-great granddaughter of Colonel Samuel Glasgow, Kinsman’s second-in-command and successor.
The dedication of Monument was performed by Dept. Commander Grim, 1st Lt. Carr (Officer of the Day) and Dept. Chaplain Dennis Sasse. The Symbols of the Soldier were placed by the Nebraska Rangers SVR, Capt. Marc Witkovski, Commanding. This unit fired the customary three volleys in honor of the fallen. Sgt. Henry Krecklow, Co. B, 10th Iowa, concluded the ceremony by the playing of “Taps”.
Submitted in F, C, & L,
Michael Carr, PDC