Cpl Stahr 22 Jul : 09:53
NOTE: The Last Soldier link in our site's menu will now direct you to its own Last Soldier web address, which is outside this site.
Cpl Stahr 20 Jul : 12:18
NOTE: Special Order #38 has been published on the Front & Center page of this web site.
Cpl Stahr 10 Jun : 10:06
The Clayton County Monument project was completed with great personal effort in time and money by the members of the 49th! This is another tangible example of our stated mission…we are NOT a paper unit, but an active, hard-working, committed group of men. I am a proud member of an organization who remembers those who have served & are serving today. 1/Cpl. Stahr
Cpl Stahr 31 May : 12:06
Full Military Honors rendered to Sgt. Isaac Ford; no better way to spend Decoration Day!
Cpl Stahr 28 Apr : 07:29
The new Rules & Regulations are published and may be viewed by clicking the R & R link in the top menu.
Cpl Stahr 04 Mar : 09:44
"...With malice toward none, with charity for all..." Remembering Father Abraham's Second Inaugural Address, 150 years ago today, on March 4, 1865.
Cpl Stahr 12 Feb : 07:47
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Father Abraham!
Cpl Stahr 01 Jan : 13:45
Happy New Year, Brother Riflemen and to all our visitors! 1/Cpl Stahr
The motto of Company A, 49th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Veterans Days Events
Veterans Day Events 2015
Two guardsmen of the 49th Iowa participated in the Veterans Administration Medical Center’s “Veterans Appreciation Ceremonies” at the Central Iowa Health Services Facility in Des Moines on November 10th, as escorts for the Civil War Medal of Honor of Private Albert Power, Company “D”, 3rd Iowa Cavalry. The citation and medal was presented to Power in the years following the war for his actions in saving the life of a comrade at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas on March 7th, 1862.
Bruce Thome, Contract Specialist at the Veterans Administration (and member of Urbandale American Legion Post 663, where both this writer and Sgt. Ronald Rittel belong) arranged for us to take part in today’s program at the facility that included Des Moines’ Mayor Frank Cownie, and Ms. Susan Martin, Acting Director of the VAMC and members of her staff. Corporal Jeff Rasmussen (49th Iowa) who works as a Benefits Specialist at the VAMC, joined us briefly just prior to the beginning of the formal program, but had to return to his duties at the appointments center.
Following the brief ceremonial activities, several dozens of veterans and their families stopped by to read the citation and ask questions about Iowa’s involvement in the “war between the states”. Not surprisingly, many told of their own familial connections to that war and of long lineages of service to the nation and state of Iowa.
Mr. Thome (himself a retired US Navy veteran) oversees the permanent “Hall of Honor” at the VAMC that outlines the stories of many Iowans who received the Medal of Honor for their actions in wars of the twentieth century. He is interested in expanding that to include those from the nineteenth century conflicts and will be actively pursuing that possibility over the coming winter months.
On Wednesday morning, November 11th, several members of the 49th Iowa will join Brother Tom Gaard for an early morning “Veterans Day Breakfast” provided by the Hy-Vee Store at the 86th and Hickman before attending the Urbandale Veterans Recognition Ceremonies at the Memorial Park located just South of the Public Library Building. Following that event, some of the 49th will remove to the Community Choice Credit Union-Veterans Memorial Hall to join Col. Robert King from the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs as well as state and national politicians at the official State of Iowa Veterans Day Program. I will be attending the first annual Veterans Day Program at East Norwalk Middle School as part of the veteran’s delegation from the Vietnam War, Korean War, and WWII.
In ceremonies that were held in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, October 24th, 2015, during the Iowa Society’s annual luncheon and business meeting of the Sons of the American Revolution and the General Society of the War of 1812; the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution presented it’s Bronze Good Citizenship Medal to Sgt. Ronald F. Rittel of the 49th Iowa V.V.I., Iowa Military Heritage Society.
GSW1812 President Michael J. Rowley (Past President of the Iowa S.A.R.; and, Regimental Color Sergeant of the 49th Iowa V.V.I.) presented the medal for outstanding achievement in historic preservation for the years of work that Sgt. Rittel has put into his “Last Soldier Project” chronicling the last surviving Civil War veteran in each of Iowa’s ninety-nine counties (a direct link to this wonderful resource for genealogists and historians can be found on this website). Sgt. Rittel previously was awarded the Cornelius Whitehouse “Outstanding Brother” Award in 2014 at the National Encampment of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for this outstanding work in honoring the last surviving members of the Union Armies.
As a side-note to Sgt. Rittel’ research efforts over the past several years while looking for the final resting places of Civil War veterans in Iowa (and surrounding states) he also was able to document the gravesites of over 400 veterans of the War of 1812, which added to the known number of veterans of that war by a factor of several hundred who had gone previously unrecorded in the annals of Iowa’s military history.
Sgt. Rittel, a Des Moines native, retired USPS worker; and, U.S. Air Force veteran of the Vietnam era, is a long time member of the SUVCW, and is also a member of the Iowa Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He is one of the fourteen Charter Members of the Iowa Society of the General Society of the War of 1812. He and his wife, Marilyn (who has held practically every office in the ASUVCW and the Grenville M. Dodge Camp #75 of the Auxiliary to the SUVCW) share their love of history and their new-found avocation as active “birders” by monitoring a City of Des Moines “Bluebird Trail” in Glendale Cemetery that succeeded in adding over three-score on new Eastern Bluebirds (L. Sialia sialis) to the Iowa population.
Brother Ron was also a member of the First Muster of the 49th Iowa when the unit was founded in 2009 as a part of the Sons of Veterans Reserve of the SUVCW, to perform the ceremonial duties mandated in that organizations charter during the Sesquicentennial Observances of the American Civil War. Over the course of those observances, Sgt. Rittel was a constant presence during this unit’s long and distinguished record of fulfilling its stated goals and missions to remember those who served and perished during the bloodiest years of this nation’s history. He remains a vital and active member of the regiment since it dissolved its association with the SVR/SUVCW and became the Honor Guard to the Iowa Military Heritage Society in the spring of this year.
Sgt. Rittel is to be congratulated for his on-going efforts to preserve the stories of Iowa’s veterans. Respectfully Submitted,
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Iowa Military Heritage Society
Second Iowa “Veterans Fair” to be held in Western Iowa
Due to the exceptional response to the event held in Des Moines on October 24th, 2015, Iowa Congressman David Young has announced that he will host another “Veterans Fair” to connect veterans and their families with services available to them as a result of their service to our nation.
The event will take place on Saturday, November 14th, 2015, from 9:00am until 1:00pm at Abraham Lincoln High School (in the cafeteria), 1205 Bonham Street, in Council Bluffs. No RSVP is needed to attend the fairs, and feel free to let your friends and family know too.
Further information can be found by visiting Congressman Young’s website at:
There are nearly 232,000 living veterans in Iowa who served in every armed conflict from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan and it is a top priority of Congressman Young to, “look out and provide for those who have honorably served America, defending her citizens and the cause of Freedom”.
Posted as a Public Service to our Veteran Community Iowa Military Heritage Society
Our nation owes a great deal to those who have served and sacrificed. It's our duty to show our gratitude to the men and women who answered the call to serve. The event this Saturday will be from 9:00AM-1:00PM in Des Moines at The University of Iowa’s John & Mary Pappajohn Education Center (1200 Grand Avenue). No RSVP is needed to attend the fairs, and feel free to let your friends and family know too. (Street parking is available at no charge on weekends in Des Moines. There are also parking ramps located nearby at 801 Locust Street (three blocks east), at 1100 Walnut Street (two blocks south), and at 10th and Walnut Street.)
There are numerous support systems and service organizations available to veterans from dedicated volunteers and professionals. That's why I am hosting these Veterans Care Fairs and working with groups all over Iowa on veterans' behalf. The following groups have confirmed they will be in attendance this Saturday:
-American Legion -AMVETS Department of Iowa -Central/Western Iowa Honor Flight -Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association -Des Moines Area Community College -Disabled American Veterans -Drake University -FAVA (Family Alliance for Veterans of America) -Grand View University -H2H.Jobs Employment Coordinator - Iowa -Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs -Iowa State University -Iowa Veterans Cemetery -Iowa Veterans Home -Iowa Workforce Development -Midwest Military Outreach, Inc. -Operation Home Base Iowa -Paralyzed Veterans of America -Puppy Jake Foundation -Southwestern Community College -The University of Iowa -U.S. Army Recruiting Office - Urbandale -U.S. Small Business Administration -Vets Center (www.vetcenter.va.gov) -Veterans in Agriculture -Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs -VA Central Iowa Health Care System (VACIHCS)
There are nearly 232,000 living veterans in Iowa who served in every armed conflict from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan and it is a top priority of mine to look out and provide for those who have honorably served America, defending her citizens and the cause of Freedom.
Posted as a Public Service to our Veteran Community Iowa Military Heritage Society
For the sixth year running, Guardsmen of “The Governor’s Own” 49th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Iowa Military Heritage Society, have taken to the hills of Southeastern Iowa to hone their marksmanship skills while taking in the beautiful fall foliage that abounds en those environs; and, to enjoy the camaraderie to be had when brothers-in-arms engage in friendly competition for the “bragging rights” that always attach to the coveted “High Shooter” position.
Again, under the ever-watchful eye of “Gunny” Grim and his faithful minion, Corporal David “Two Fish” Sample, shooters put toes to the line to both qualify and do field familiarization shooting with military shoulder weapons that ranged from the 18th through 21st century military arsenals of the American, British, and German armed forces.
Joining the party this year for their first range outings were 1/Sgt. Braden and Color Sergeant Krecklow from our “Western Iowa” contingent.
Last year’s “Top Gun” (Cpl. Jeff Rasmussen)
relinquished his overall command of the musket this year to CS Krecklow
when Henry managed a very respectful aggregate score at the 50 and 100 yard lines of 54, compared to Jeff’s 46 points. RCS Mike Rowley brought up the third over-all field with a combined total score of 42.
Corporal Louie Zenti (a former “Top Gun”), 1/Sgt. Braden, and Sgt. Rittel each had what can best be described as “lesser quality” shooting experiences today; but, Ron thoroughly enjoyed the pies that the range officer’s ladies (Deb Grim and Kathy Sample) provided along with a stunningly good noon meal of pulled pork, pulled chicken, chili, a variety of salads, chips, fruits and…of course, Apple and Cherry pies to top things off.
After the morning qualification shoots, the guardsmen attended field familiarization training on the M-1 Garand rifle that was once described by General George S. Patton, Jr. as being: "The greatest single battle implement ever devised by man."
Cpl. Zenti had also brought to the range a WWII vintage German Mauser for all who wished to place a few rounds down range.
The author also found that his recent sigh adjustment to the M-4 proved to have been well-conceived as I managed to exact a toll on the rampaging pumpkins that had populated the 100 yard target line for the afternoon shooting.
Color Sergeant Mike Rowley and Corporal Louis Zenti
donned attire of their ancestors from both the War of 1812 and the American Revolutionary wars to put flint to steel frizzen to send some “heavies” (.72cal) balls down range. I managed to catch some more or less candid photos of these two to forward on to various and sundry other heritage societal publications, and include a couple of those shots herewith.
Both “Gunny” Grim and Corporal Sample (and their lovely ladies) deserve a rousing round of “thanks” from the guardsmen of the regiment for their on-going and extraordinary efforts in making these annual rifle qualifiers such a sterling success. All who have attended these events, find that they have become a cherished regimental tradition and the good-natured ribbing lasts all the way until the following year’s event when new reputations are made…and others laid low. On behalf of your brothers, “Thank you both!”
All in all….a pretty great way to spend a beautiful fall day in the rolling hills of Davis County. We’ll be back…….
The Iowa Military Heritage Society is a proud supporter of the annual Wreaths across America Project. Each year since 2009, the 49th Iowa VVI Honor Guard has played an active role in the ceremonies that accompany the placement of evergreen wreaths upon veteran’s graves, both at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery at Van Meter and at other venues across the state. This year will be no different, as a detail of the Honor Guard will once again participate in this worthy event honoring those who have served this nation.
This year’s event will be held at The Iowa Veterans Cemetery, 34024 “R” Avenue, Van Meter, Iowa (Exit 113 off of Interstate 80); at 11:00am on Saturday, December 12th, 2015.
Donations for the purchase of wreaths to be placed may be sent to:
Wreaths Across America c/o Mr. Patrick Palmersheim 5241 Walnut Street West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
Please join us in honoring our nation’s veterans for this event by contributing; and, by your attendance at this deeply meaningful event.
The Officers and NCO’s of Company “A” 49th Iowa VVI Honor Guard to the Iowa Military Heritage Society The Tomb Guard at Lincoln’s Tomb Springfield, Illinois
United States Postal Service Honors Vietnam era Medal of Honor Recipients
Over the course of the Vietnam War, Two-Hundred and Fifty-Eight of the several million who served were awarded the Medal of Honor for valor. Awarded by the President of the United States on behalf of the Congress to members of the armed services who distinguish themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States.
The United States Postal Service has issued a new commemorative stamp which features the photographs of Forty-eight of the surviving MOH recipients from that conflict. Pictured below is the Obverse and Reverse of the Commemorative booklet incorporating this issue. On the inside covers are the names of those pictured, as well as all other recipients from that conflict.
This stamp is currently available at United States Post Offices and outlets across the nation; or, further information can be found at USPS.com/stamps.
Guardsmen of the 49th Iowa Honor Guard to the Iowa Military Heritage Society wear many hats. More often than not, those hats have a definite military look and cut to them as we seek to honor those men and women who have served this nation and our state as members of the military forces of these United States. At times, those hats can have three corners.
Probably the first “Europeans” to visit the “Land Between Two Rivers” were early explorers like Father Pierre Marquette and Louis Joliet who are known to have explored the upper reaches of the Mississippi River in 1673. When they landed their boat near what is believed to be the confluence of the Iowa and Mississippi rivers, they claimed the land for France. In 1682, Sieur de La Salle claimed possession of the entire Mississippi River and all lands that touched upon it and named it “Louisiana” in honor of the French King. In 1682, France ceded all of “Louisiana” west of the Mississippi to Spain. The territories would be returned to France in 1800 by Spain and just three short years later, it was purchased by the newly independent United States as part of what has become known as the “Louisiana Purchase.”
Over the next quarter-century, Euro-American settlers began to drift this direction from the Eastern seaboard and the newer states that sprang up west of the Alleghenies and the Ohio River drainages.
Iowa did not become a state until 1846, and the old “Northwest Territories” that would one day include us was not by treaty supposed to have any “Euro-Americans” present within its boundaries before 1836. By 1832, however, it is known that somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 persons of European extraction had entered the territory and taken up residence. By 1840 that number was placed at approximately 43,000. Among these new settlers were veterans of the American War of Independence who were men in the autumns of their lives; and, most came as the patriarchal members of larger family groups. A scant few dozen of these “patriots” of the Revolutionary War would come to rest beneath the loamy sod of Iowa’s cleared forests, as towns and villages began to spring up all along the major river drainages of the new territory. At this writing (October, 2015) the graves of Forty-One (41) Revolutionary War veterans are known to be located within the geographical boundaries of Iowa; but, it is suspected that there may be several more whose final posts will never be known. The 49th Iowa has taken part in ceremonies within the state on several occasions to honor these patriots over the years, and now we have ventured somewhat further afield.
Regimental Color Sergeant Michael J. Rowley is one of those whose Civil War Hardee hat is sometimes exchanged for the tri-cornered hat and “swallow-tailed coat” of the various militia and Continental Line to which some of his own ancestors belonged as he assumes command of the Iowa Honor Guard of the Iowa Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). In that capacity (and representing the Iowa Military Heritage Society), Sergeant Rowley recently took part in the Guard Mount at the Tomb of General of the Armies (and First President of the United States) George Washington at the Burial site of President and Mrs. Washington, on the grounds of their home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.
Shown in the accompanying photos, taken on September 19th, is the Honor Guard of the Sons of the American Revolution. The Guard, hail from all corners of the republic; but, Color Sergeant Rowley claims to have anointed them one and all and made them “honorary Iowans” for this event. Good work, Sir!