contact our Junior Vice Department Commander
2649 182nd St
Greetings from the Deptartment of Iowa's Junior Vice Commander. I would like to extend a welcome to those of you who wish to join our Order, or those who merely seek information. My job is to assist you in finding a Camp to join. Merely contact a member of the Camp you wish to join, or contact me and I'll get you set up. If there is no Camp nearby, you may wish to start a new camp with as few as FIVE members. You do not have to have a Civil War ancestor to join a Camp. We will do all we can to assist you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Last Soldier to Serve in an Iowa Regiment
Robert A. Millen *
Co. A, 33rd Iowa Infantry
January 12, 1847 - January 4, 1947
Girard, Illinois Melcher, Iowa
Age 18. Residence Marion County, nativity Illinois. Enlisted March 30, 1864. Mustered April 20, 1864. Transferred to Co. A, 34th and 38th Consolidated, July 12, 1865.
Robert A. Millen
Robert A. Millen, son of John and Lucinda Millen was born in Macoupin County, Illinois, January 12, 1847. He died at his home in Melcher, January 4, 1947, at the age of 99 years, 11 months and 22 days.
He came with his parents to Iowa in 1856, at the age of nine years and spent the remainder of his life in this community except for the time he served his country during the Civil War.
On October 7, 1869, he united in marriage to Minerva A. Holliday. To this union five children were born. His wife and two daughters Rosa and Bertie Colwell preceded him in death.
He leaves to mourn his death three daughters: Mrs. Eunice McCoy, Mrs. Lois Hunter and Mrs. Amy Wood; two sons-in-law, three grand-children, and two great grand-children, also a host of relatives and friends.
He was converted in the old Albany log school house north of Gosport and united with the M. E. Church trusting in his Savior to the last. When he moved to Melcher he transferred his membership here.
Uncle Robert, as he was commonly known, enlisted in Company A, 33rd Iowa Infantry in 1863. He went to Rock Island, Illinois, where he took a boat to Arkansas. He served until the end of the war, when he was honorably discharged.
He had anticipated his going, but had expressed his wish to live until his 100th birthday, but God saw fit to take him.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, January 7, 1947, at the Melcher Methodist Church, conducted by the Reverend John Darlington and Reverend Azel L. Smith. Music was furnished by Mrs. Rudy Luksetich and Mrs. Fred Stewart. Pallbearers were Wrex Ward, Bobby Colwell, Worth McCoy, Roy Wood, and Kenneth Woody.
Interment was in the Gosport Cemetery.
Last of G. A . R.
Marion County newspapers recorded with sorrow last week the death of Robert A. Millen, just before his 100th birthday, at his home in Melcher.
He was the last member of the G.A.R. in Marion County.
ANNALS OF IOWA
IOWA'S LAST CIVIL WAR SOLDIER
And now the bronze Civil war soldier standing guard twenty-four hours a day on the granite pedestal on the county courthouse lawn has become the last Iowa soldier of the sixties. All the others have vanished! One by one they answered the last roll call and have gone to their reward, and none remain in all Hawkeyedom. Iowa has done honor to those to whom, honor was due. The majestic commonwealth for whom they poured out their life blood in the fighting at Pea Ridge, at Wilson's creek, at Shiloh and Donelson, at Vicksburg and Atlanta, and on Sherman's march through Georgia to the sea, has' mourned these long years, and now is bereft of every one.
Their deeds of valor and their individual acts of bravery still live in history, their sacrifices are cherished memories of countless descendants, and their graves kept green by loving hands of those who shall never forget. Now we look to the stalwart figure of the Iowa soldier on the pedestal who holds his musket "at rest", or his sword in its sheath. Through him the community expressed its adoration and homage to those whom he represents. And he is the only person to whom noonday or night means not one single thing. But his vigil never ceases ! In snow or rain, through clouds or in sunshine, or the darkness of night, he remains steadfast in silent testimony to the staying qualities and sacrifices made by the Iowa boys in blue who held together the fabric of the states and bore aloft the emblem of freedom for all mankind under the folds of which they followed to the southland, and loved to the end.
In the little town of Melcher, down in Marion county, just a while ago, after the turn of the year, occurred the death of Robert A. Millen the last veteran of an Iowa regiment in the Civil war, then one of four Civil war veterans residing in this state, the remaining three having enlisted in other states. He would have been one hundred years old January 12, 1947, one day following his death. His enlistment was in Company A, 33rd Iowa Infantry, March 30,1864, mustered April 20, 1864, at the age of 18, and served to the end of the war. His last years were peaceful in the home of a daughter and a son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Wood, who had cared for him during the declining years since retirement from practice as a veterinarian.
So, the last survivor of the legion of men that Iowa recruited to help put down the Rebellion has rendered his account of service to the Great Commander of the universe, having "mustered out" with honor and credit as a soldier of his country and state. 76,242 Iowans were enlisted in the various arms of the service in the country's great struggle for human freedom in this nation, of which number 13,001 made the supreme sacrifice, a far greater percentage of Iowa casualties than in any' other war in which the United States has participated. Remember well, that men have died, this year, last year, a thousand years ago, for freedom. And always there were those who did not die; who in revulsion toward the bloody scenes, the pain and deprivations of the fight, cast out the hard-won grace of Liberty and soiled its name with greed for selfish gain. Men long ago set out on the paths which patriots have trod and reached the same inevitable end. Yet fitting, yea sweet, to die for one's own land.
While the official record is closed and the last Iowan engaged in the momentous struggle now gone, the state will long acknowledge and remember "the Boys in Blue," who responded to the ringing call of President Lincoln, who led with superb courage and endless patience in the putting down of the Rebellion which, had it been successful, would have dismembered the nation and left human slavery in existence as a blot upon western civilization.
"Iowa's Last Civil War Soldier."The Annals of Iowa 29 (1947), 67-69.