Want to Become a Member?

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David Thompson: (515) 289-1018 or fill out our contact form.

Mailing Address:

Iowa Department Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Attn: David Thompson

2301 SW Oralabor Rd. #95

Ankeny, IA 50023

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

Special Order 2014-1

 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

Francis Annis

Company D, 32nd Iowa Infantry

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

130th Iowa Encampment

State Encampment

of the Allied Orders

Of the Grand Army of the Republic

Will Take Place

Saturday, March 29th, 2014


The Iowa Gold Star Military Museum

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.

Wreaths Across America

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

Dept. of Iowa Sesquicentennial Committee Minutes

Dec. 7, 2013, Ankeny, IA

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

Women's Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon & Installaltion

On Saturday 12/07/2013 at the Women's Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon, I was asked to do the installation of Officers for both the Grenville Dodge Camp # 75 and the Women's Auxiliary #8. After enjoying a noon meal and much fellowship with all in attendance, the installation of Officers was performed for both groups. It was noted that this was one of the best attended Christmas Luncheons held in recent memory.


     As Commander of the Department of Iowa I urge all Iowa SUVCW Camps to participate in working with all of our Allied Orders state wide whenever possible. Not only does it Honor our Allied Orders but by the same token it honors the SUVCW. There is much strength in numbers.
     To the entire Department of Iowa and its Allied Orders,I wish you all a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.
Respectively Submitted in
Fraternity, Charity, & Loyalty,
Dept. Commander Richard Grim

Co B, 10th Iowa Rededicates Southwest Iowa Monuments

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.


Submitted by

Michael Carr 

Michel Boudoll Ceremony

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.


Submitted by

Michael Carr 

Slater Cemetery Walk

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


 Danny Krock

Junior Vice Commander, Department of Iowa

Photos by Marilyn Rittel

Thank You...

Brothers in the SUVCW, Iowa Department

I can’t begin to express my appreciation for your support after the death of my wife, Charlene, on July 28. This included cards, memorial contributions, personal expressions of sympathy, a lovely flower bouquet for the visitation, and standing with me at the gravesite service.


Charlene was very dedicated to the goals of our organization. She traveled with me on many of our trips throughout the state to photograph and record Iowa Civil War Monuments. She was always ready to attend a dedication service for a monument or for a veteran’s headstone. She developed close friendships with many of the ladies who were spouses of our members or were in the Auxiliary.


Our motto, Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty now has even more meaning to me. Again, thanks so much for standing with me during this difficult time.


Tom Gaard  

Iowa Brother Garners Top Award!

Brother Ronald F. Rittel, PDC, Wins SUVCW’s Highest Honor

Brookfield-Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 10th August, 2013

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.



Respectfully submitted,


Richard Grim, DC

Commander Department of Iowa


 David M Lamb, PCC

Senior Vice-Commander, Department of Iowa


Three Iowa SUVCW Brothers

Receive the

Meritorious Service Award

The Meritorious Service Awards were presented by Commander-in-Chief Perly Mellor at the 2013 National SUVCW Encampment, Milwaukee, WI.

The Brothers earned this award for their efforts in the restoration and re-dedication of the magnificent Iowa Monument in Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, MS.

Congratulations to Brothers:

David Lamb
Thomas Gaard
Steven Bogle

Congratulations and Well Done, Gentlemen!

Iowa Delegation to the National Encampment

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Left to Right:


Thomas Gaard (Department Memorials Officer), Richard Grim (Department Commander), David Lamb (Department Senior Vice-Commander), Ron Rittel, (PDC) Court Stahr, (PDC) James Braden, (PDC)

Missing from Photo: David Thompson (Department Secretary)


Photo by Cher Petrovic

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

Perley E. Mellor

16 Norma Drive

Nashua, New Hampshire 03062-1340



General Order # 28 (SERIES 2012 -2013)

3 August 2013

It is with deep sorrow that I announce the passing of Marian Morgan,  Past National President of the National Woman’s Relief Corps (WRC), Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic. She died Thursday, August 1, 2013 and was preceded in death by her husband, Howard, who died on April 23, 2013. Mrs. Morgan was National President for two terms 1989-1990 and 1990-1991. She was very involved in the work of the Grand Army Memorial Museum in Springfield, Illinois and dedicated to volunteering at the Veteran’s Home in Battle Creek, Michigan.. Her funeral will be held on Tuesday, August 6, at Winkel Funeral Home in Otsego, Michigan.


Condolences may be sent to: Family of Marian Morgan at 324 Sherwood Street, Otsego, MI 49078-1257.


I am requesting that all membership badges Camp and Department Charters and the National website will be draped in black until 2 September 2013.


Ordered this 3rd Day of August 2013:


Perley E. Mellor


Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War



Eugene G. Mortorff


Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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

Charlene P. Gaard: 1938 - 2013

We have heard the sad news of the unexpected passing of Brother Tom Gaard's beloved wife, Charlene.

Please keep our dear friend and Brother, Tom, in your hearts and prayers.


Charlene's Obituary from the Des Moines Register's web site:

Charlene P. Gaard, 74, died suddenly of a heart attack at her home in Clive on July 28, 2013. She was born in Marshalltown, Iowa on December 20, 1938, the daughter of Rueben and Estella Goeke Bauercamper. 

Charlene grew up in Baxter, Iowa. She was the valedictorian of her class at Baxter High School. After high school, she worked at Maytag and then moved to Des Moines and was employed at Bankers Life Company (now Principal Financial Group). She was the supervisor of the steno pool and served as an officer's secretary. She met future husband Tom Gaard at the Company and they married in 1964. Shortly afterwards, she left to become a full-time homemaker and lived in Urbandale and Clive.

Charlene was a very talented painter and was good at crafts of all types. She was something of a perfectionist and was fussy about the upkeep of her home as well as her own personal appearance. She loved Christmas and went to great effort to decorate her home.

She enjoyed travel to many destinations within and outside of the country. Of German heritage, a highlight was a trip to LippeDetmold where she met distant relatives and visited homes that were occupied by her ancestors hundreds of years ago. She was very supportive of Tom's interest in the Civil War and they visited many battlefields, monuments and veteran's cemeteries throughout the country. She enjoyed participating in events of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Des Moines Civil War Roundtable.

Charlene will be missed greatly by her husband, family and friends. Tom and Charlene were looking forward to their 50th wedding anniversary next February.

Charlene was preceded in death by her parents. Survivors include her husband Tom, brother Gary (Lynne) Bauercamper of Bettendorf, sister Mary Kay Thornton of Ankeny, and nephews and family.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at McLaren's Chapel. Graveside services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at Resthaven Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be directed to Central College, American Cancer Society or the United Way of Greater Des Moines.
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/desmoinesregister/obituary.aspx?n=charlene-p-gaard&pid=166115875&fhid=11274#fbLoggedOut

Henry John Messenbrink Co. F, 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment

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

Jennie Wade Remembered in Iowa

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

The Skunk River War or Talley’s War

Corporal Krock & Private Thompson, Co. A, 37th Iowa Volunteer Infantry

On July 21,, 2013, Dave Thompson and Danny Krock of the 37th Iowa Infantry SVR journeyed to Keokuk County to pay our respects to the two individuals most associated with the Skunk River War, the graves of Reverend George Cyphert Talley and James Emelias Moorman.  August 1through 4 will be the 150th Anniversary.

George Talley was born in Wayne County, Tennessee on February 2, 1834, and moved to Keokuk County, Iowa in 1840, where he became a Baptist preacher.  During the War, Talley was well known for his Pro-Peace Democratic rallies and strong association with the “Copperhead” movement.  A husband and father of five, he registered for the Draft in June or July of 1863.

James Moorman was born June 21, 1841, in Franklin County, Ohio.  By 1860, his family had moved to Iowa.  On July 15, 1861, James enlisted in Company H, 7th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  The 7th Iowa saw action at the Battles of Belmont, Forts Henry and Donelson, Shiloh, and Corinth. Private Moorman was wounded in the left leg October 3, 1862, at Corinth, Mississippi and discharged for chronic diarrhea on May 21, 1863, from Keokuk, Iowa.

On Saturday, August 1, 1863, George Talley was speaking at a Peace-Democratic Rally near the English River, near the town of South English, to an audience of hundreds.  At the same time, there was a Republican Rally taking place in South English.  After Talley had finished, he and many others rode their wagons towards town for passage back to their homes.  Riders came back warning the group not to enter town.  Talley’s reply was to the effect “I’ll go where I please, Dead or Alive”.  They were wearing their Copperhead-Five Pointed Stars and was said to be “armed to the teeth”.  They met an equally armed group of citizens in town who yelled out “Coward”, “Copperhead”, Afraid to Shoot” and such.  The group halted their wagons and dared anyone to “remove their badges or butternut”.

Young Moorman, who had attended the rally, in town, and appeared to have been drinking, went up and tore the badge from one of the disloyalists.  Talley responded by stating "Woe be unto the man who makes any such attempt upon me."   Moorman then made his move towards Talley.  Moorman’s father, seeing the condition his son was in and seeing his son’s intentions, ran over and grabbed him.  A struggle ensued, whereby James Moorman pulled his pistol and fired, in no particular direction.  At this point George Talley, standing in the front of his wagon, felt the shot had been meant for him and fired three shots from his pistol.  Gunfire erupted though out.  George Talley fell dead in the back of his wagon, clutching his pistol and a bowie knife.  One shot to the head and two in his chest.

An estimated two hundred shots were fired.  Three others were wounded and three horses were killed.  Talley’s men rode out of town, taking his body home near Ollie, south of Sigourney, spreading the word of his death.  An immense funeral was held the next day.  Riders were sent in all directions to give the word of Talley’s death.

On Monday, August 3rd, hundreds of his supporters from Wapello, Mahaska and Poweshiek counties arrived outside of South English, demanding vengeance.  A committee from the town met with them and stated that the guilty person or persons would be found and brought to justice.  Many more of Talley’s supporters assembled and reformed near the Skunk River awaiting justice, those assembled became known as the Skunk River Army.  Word went out to Governor Kirkwood of the situation in South English.  Previously Governor Kirkwood had reported to the Secretary of War that the Rebels had paid agents to foment trouble in the State. However real or unreal the danger was, the Governor took no chances and enlisted Home Guard companies, instructing them to patrol all roads that led from the Missouri border to Des Moines.

This Skunk River Army estimated in numbers from five hundred to four thousand.  Sherriff Adams arrived from Sigourney on Monday evening and arrested ten men and held them on $1000 bond to appear in court, no charges at this time.  Those that had gathered demanded charges of First Degree Murder for the killers and began to make threats on South English and Sigourney. The prisoners were taken to Iowa City on Wednesday. Word of the Governor’s arrival (Thursday) with a company from Muscatine, four companies from Jefferson County, two companies from Mt. Pleasant, Henry County (including one of artillery-six pounder),and a company from Brighton, Washington County, dispersed the “Army”.  The incident ended without any further bloodshed.  No one was ever convicted of the crime; neither did anyone ever say who did it.

George Talley is buried in the Rock Creek Cemetery, near Ollie, Keokuk County, Iowa.  The cemetery is in the Rock Creek Churchyard.  The church was established in 1844, it is only my guess that Reverend Talley preached sermons there.  He was twenty nine years old.  His headstone reads: “Died a martyr to his religious and political opinions, shot down by highway men at South English, Keokuk Co. Iowa while bravely defending the same.”

James Moorman became a farmer, married and had four children. He died in the Ft. Leavenworth National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers on January 20, 1912.  He is buried in the English River Church of the Brethren Cemetery, South English, Keokuk County, Iowa.  He was seventy years old.

The following pdf contains the newspaper articles of the day, pertaining to the accounts and events of The Skunk River War.

Submitted in Fraternity, Loyalty and Charity

Danny E. Krock, Co. A, 37th Iowa SVR

Skunk River War Newspaper Articles
Skunk River War Newspapers.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [167.0 KB]

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

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