A very impressive day of service at Lineville Methodist Church! I want to thank all the Riflemen who made the trip to save the beautiful G.A.R. stained glass window from demolition. A fantastic job, ‘Boys’…Well Done, Brothers! You make me proud to be part of this honorable group!
The motto of Company A, 49th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Taking the Long Way Home!
Coming home from what can only be described as both a voyage of peril and discovery that might easily rival any taken by the mid-nineteenth sailors that he represents, “Jack Tar” is back home tonight in Elkader, Iowa. Once again finding safe harbor as part of that NE Iowa community’s beautiful monument to the men who fought the Civil War.
Corporal Ricky Stewart of the Governor’s Own battled the untold obstacles of working with one-hundred-year-old metals that are approximately one-third the thickness of a modern penny to fabricate a whole new hand and telescope (modeled from an original London-made Dolland Day or Night used by the ships of the line of the Royal Navy as well as most of the Federal naval vessels of the Civil War period). He also mended several breaks and tears in the surfaces of the statue; and fabricated an entirely new mounting system that will secure the piece to its grey-granite base. Additionally, a protective anode system to counteract the ravages of low-voltage electrolysis set up by the mixed metals of the statue that promoted deterioration of some of the mountings, was contrived in the imagination of this very talented artist.
1st Corporal Court Stahr, seen in some of these photographs manning the core drill
that was employed to make safe the mounting phalanges of the rejuvenated metal sculpture, proudly assisted in the placement of the piece; and helped us load up the “next victim” (the infantryman) for transport to Rick’s studio for what we hope shall be less extensive repairs and re-conditioning efforts.
On hand to witness Jack’s triumphant return was journalist Pat McTaggart of the local news media, and many passersby from the community, who unanimously gave us the “thumbs up” as we went about the re-mounting of the statue onto his granite pedestal on this magnificent early-summer afternoon.
In time, the eagle that rests atop of the monument, and the plaques that adorn the front surfaces will all fall under the artist’s loving and talented hands so that yet another generation or two can pass by and remember the costs of our freedoms heroically paid by our ancestors during the darkest days of our nation’s history.
Somewhere tonight, a sailor’s spirit proudly plays a horn pipe in celebration I am certain.
The regiment bids our fond farewells to two more guardsmen whose duties to their “parent unit” are requiring more of their time, efforts and energies.
Sgt. Michael Carr, and Chaplain Dennis Sasse leave the rosters of the 49th Iowa in order to be able to devote their energies entirely to their positions within our “sister unit” of Company “B” 10th Iowa Infantry where they hold the positions of Captain (Commanding) and 1/Sgt., respectively. The 10th Iowa has been extraordinarily active in their geographical area of Western Iowa over the course of the past couple of years as they have striven to hold events in each county in their portion of the state during the Sesquicentennial observances of the Civil War.
Both guardsmen were members of the 49th’s “First Muster” back in June of 2009. We wish them both continued success in all of their endeavors and thank them for their years of dedicated service.
Respectfully submitted, 1/Lt. David M. Lamb Commanding
The 49th Iowa bids a fond farewell to two of our own whose expanding schedules and other commitments have precluded their active involvement in the on-going activities and missions of the regiment.
Corporal (Rifleman) David Haverkamp; and Corporal (Drummer) Quinn Haverkamp will be leaving the active duty rosters of the 49th Iowa as of 1 June, 2014, after a term of nearly four years of service. Though not on the First Muster rosters of the regiment, the Haverkamp father and son joined the regiment during our first “marching season” in 2010. On behalf of all of their brothers in arms, we heartily thank them for their service to the regiment in the furtherance of our missions; and wish them continued success in all of their endeavors.
At the same time, the regiment is pleased to bid “welcome” to Probationary Rifleman, Corporal Jeffrey P. Rasmussen of Des Moines. Corporal Rasmussen is relatively new to the SUVCW, having joined the Grenville M. Dodge Camp # 75 just a bit over a year ago. He was, until recently a full-time student at Iowa State University; and now is employed in retail sales in the Des Moines area.
Corporal Rasmussen will be falling in with the regiment under the watchful eyes of First and Second Corporals Stahr and Braden; and the ever-watchful supervisory eyes of Drill Sergeant Rittel and Color Sergeant Grim who will be teaching him the finer points of Civil War marksmanship at our next regimental Live Fire event in September. His initial duty assignment will be as part of the Rifle Detail.
Under sometimes threatening skies, eleven guardsmen of the 49th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment, gathered today at Oakwood Cemetery in Pella, Iowa to render long overdue military honors to Veterans of the Civil War who had lain in unmarked graves for the better portion of a century. How we came to be here at this place, on this day, and performing these honors is a story worth re-telling.
In mid-September, 2012, the regiment had performed the posting of the colors at the opening ceremonies of Pella’s official commemoration of the American Civil War. On that beautiful early fall weekend, eight members of the regiment and their ladies dressed in “period” dress took part in the official program on the town square where thousands of visitors come in April and May to view the profusion of blooming tulips; and, watch wooden shoed townsfolk dressed in the traditional attire of their native Holland scrub the streets clean.
The 2012 events not only celebrated the dozens of young men from tiny Central College of the late 1850’s and the local farm boys who marched off to help fill the ranks of several Iowa regiments rallying to answer President Lincoln’s call for volunteers; but, also to take part in the opening of the Civil War exhibition at the Scholte House Museum.
One of the driving forces in planning that weekend was our own Brother Tom Gaard of the Grenville M. Dodge Camp #75 in Des Moines, where many of the guardsmen belong. Tom, is a native of the Pella area, and so acted as our liaison between the regiment, the Pella Historical Society, and the Scholte House Museum.
As often happens….one thing leads to another.
In the days and weeks following our appearance in Pella, Brother Tom began to have conversations with Mr. Doug Wiley, caretaker at Oakwood Cemetery; and others from the “Pella Community” and beyond about the gravesites of three Civil War soldiers who were known to be at rest in the enfolding earth of Oakwood; but, whose final posts had never been marked with military gravestones.
Making the necessary contacts currently required under Federal regulations of the Veteran’s Administration to gain family input into the project, Tom and Doug began the process of collecting the supporting documentation to support a formal request of the United States government that would result in the issuance of military stones for each of the three veterans. This process is one that can take twists and turns; and, always takes time.
But that time was spent; and, each hurdle crossed, so that once the Pennsylvania gray-granite markers (each weighing in at close to 300 lbs.) began arriving in Pella, Doug Wiley and his crew could make certain that they were properly set in place at the graves in the fall of last year, and the early spring of this year.
In February of this year, Brother Tom approached me and asked if the 49th Iowa could schedule a time to visit Pella and perform the military ceremonies that these three veterans’ service to their nation entitled them to receive.
Memorial Day seemed to be the appropriate occasion.
By 1:00pm on Monday, a crowd of approximately one-hundred descendants, family, and members of the community of Pella had gathered at the grave of Private Dirk Rhynsburger, 15th Iowa Infantry
to silently observe the first ceremonial exercises. The citizens and families would then move en-masse with the regiment to the graves of Private Daniel Dingeman, 33rd Iowa Infantry,
thence on to the furthest site, and final post of Lt. Thomas Forsyth, 40th Iowa Infantry,
where the honors would be rendered in turn for each of these soldiers.
The 49th Iowa wishes to extend its heartfelt thanks to Brother Tom Gaard and Mr. Doug Wiley for their exceptional efforts, to the he American Legion’s Patriot Guard for the provision of the three burial flags used in today’s ceremonies and then presented to the families of Private Dingeman and Lt. Forsyth, and to the City of Pella that received the flag from the Rhynsburger ceremony.
We thank SGM (Ret’d) Mike Kuhn of the Marion County V.A. for his help in contacting the local Patriot Guard unit; and, Deputy Director Nick Lemmo of the Polk County Veterans Administration offices in Des Moines for the beautiful cherry wood flag display cases that we were honored to give to the families and the City of Pella on his behalf.
And lastly, we thank Lt/Col. Joni Ernst, Iowa Army National Guard, who assumed temporary command of the regiment for the deployment of, and salute to, the National colors at the Dingeman ceremony.
Tonight, as the sun sets under stormy Iowa skies, these three soldiers of the Civil War are at rest in honored recognition of their service under the loving colors of the nation that they served.
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Commanding The Governor’s Own
Photos & Video by Marilyn Rittel, Janet Stahr, & Dana Lamb
Regimental Color Sergeant Rowley Receives Honors From The Sons of the American Revolution
MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE, 26th May, 2014 Pella, Marion County, Iowa
After his regiment participated in the rendering of Full Military Honors for three veterans of the Civil War whose “final posts” at the local cemetery in Pella, Iowa had gone unmarked for the better part of the last century; a guardsman of the 49th Iowa was “ambushed” by his brothers at the close of the ceremonies.
Regimental Color Sergeant Michael John Rowley was presented with the National Sons of the American Revolution’s prestigious “Service to Veterans Award and Medal” for his years of dedicated work in honor of our nations’ military veterans and their families.
Documented service which earned him this recognition included hundreds of gravesites visited, scores of new gravestone obtained by RCS Rowley for placement and replacement, coordinating veterans events at V.A. Hospitals, hundreds of hours and thousands of miles logged in participating in ceremonial activities like the one today, countless public appearances in the uniforms of this nations bygone eras, as well as significant monetary contributions to various veterans organizations over many years.
RCS Rowley’s absolute and unwavering dedication to honoring this nations’ military veterans is a credit to himself, this regiment, his nation, and all that we stand for. He deserves the hearty and sincere congratulations of all of his brothers-in-arms of the 49th Iowa for a job exceedingly “well done!”
Over the course of the past few years, “The Governor’s Own” has taken on the role of providing the proper Military Disposal of “unserviceable” National Flags for the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department; and, holds ceremonies twice per year at historic Woodland Cemetery for that purpose. With each passing season, it seems, that task becomes larger, as more and more flags are brought to us for retirement.
On Saturday, May 3rd, 2014, the most recent of these ceremonies saw guardsmen of the 49th Iowa assemble from several corners of the State for the purpose of committing over 1,000 flags to the healing flames as required by long-standing military tradition and Federal law. As always, we found that our best efforts to properly dispose of the flags that we have been charged with retiring were not sufficient to deplete the supply that has been taken in, and several hundreds more will await our next committal ceremonies that are scheduled for September.
In the interim, Color Sergeant Zenti will be working on constructing a larger Disposal unit; and, we will be scouring our schedule for additional ceremony dates over the course of the remainder of this year and into the middle of next.
In addition to reporting early for the set-up and safety briefings that accompany each Disposal Ceremony, guardsmen utilized the opportunity of mustering to get in always worthwhile drill in the use of their muskets, and the ceremonial folding and unfolding of burial flags that are used by the Honor Guard when performing the rendering of “Full Military Honors” in compliance with existing military regulations for same.
This muster and drill was also the first opportunity for one of our newest enlistees, Corporal Asher Beermann, to begin learning to master the handling of his musket. True to our origins as “The Iowa Rifles”, within the 49th Iowa, every man is a rifleman and each must strive to constantly improve upon his level of proficiency with his weapon.
SCHOOL OF THE PIECE Boscobel, Wisconsin 17th May 2014
Due to the lack of sufficient registrations to cover the costs of presenting the annual training on the artillery of the Civil War period, it has become necessary to CANCEL the day-long course that was to be held at the Boscobel, Wisconsin, “Sportsman’s Club” on Saturday, 17th May, 2014.
The previously submitted registration forms and payments that were received by this command shall be sent back to those who submitted same by return post.
The names and addresses of all of those who DID register will be entered onto a database for future notification of events of this sort. Unit Commanders are encouraged to assured widest dissemination of this cancellation notice to their personnel.
It is hoped that the need to cancel this school will not prove to be an inconvenience.
Maj. David M. Lamb Inf., Commanding Fourth Military District Sons of Veterans Reserve
As has become a customary opening to the major Springtime activities of “The Governor’s Own” over the course of the past five or six years, members of the 49th Iowa traveled once more to Springfield, Illinois this past weekend to take part in one of our favorite events. This year, marked the 58th consecutive year that the Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) have joined together to pay on-going tribute to the martyrdom of our nation’s beloved sixteenth President, the Honorable Abraham Lincoln.
For the Third year running, guardsmen of the 49th have been afforded the extreme honor of leading the processional of uniformed SVR units onto the field at the beginning of the ceremonies; and of posting the guard inside the Tomb of President Lincoln for a period of public viewing of the inside of the tomb.
For the second year, members of the Regiment also served at the will of our Commander, Major General Robert Grim, as the Provost Guard for the day.
Springfield has also become the early season venue where our Regiment handles some of the “business” end of running the organization by inducting new enlistees into our ranks, and recognizing the superior performance of others of our number over the course of the preceding twelve months. This year saw two guardsmen singled out by their brethren-in-arms in such a manner, and proudly witnessed the enlistment of our newest member of the guard; a ceremony overseen by, and participated in by none other than Major General Grim, Commander/SVR; Brigadier General Henry Shaw, Deputy Commander/SVR; and Colonel Robert Petrovic, Chief of Staff to the Commander.
Private Aevon Hohenshell of Bloomfield, Iowa (illustrious grandson of Color Sergeant Richard Grim and Mrs. Deborah Schindler-Grim) put both toe and signature to their respective lines, and readily took the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and his new Regiment before receiving his new Corporal chevrons from the hand of MG Grim; who also presented the erstwhile enlistee with his personal challenge coin in remembrance of the day. His brothers of the Regiment then saluted the new Corporal with their “huzzahs” in thrice.
Corporal Asher Beermann of La Porte City, Iowa (proud junior Corporal of the Regiment and grandson of First Corporal Court Stahr and Mrs. Janet Stahr) shed his fuzz of being the “newbie” when he received his permanent duty assignment as a guardsman of the 49th Iowa with the donning of his “Infantry Honors Cord”, signifying that he has completed the requisite five events during the Regimental Calendar Year to earn the distinction (Guardsmen must also maintain an active participation of five events per annum until they have attained a composite of twenty-five events at which time their “HC” become a permanent fixture to their left shoulders, ad infinitum). MG Grim presented Corporal Beermann with his personal Challenge Coin to honor the occasion; and, Col. Robert Petrovic then presented him with a certificate and a flag that has been flown over the Tomb of President Lincoln at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Second Corporal Andrew J. Braden of Macedonia, Iowa (and son of 1/Sgt. James A. Braden and Mrs. Sharon Braden) received the highest honor that this Regiment can bestow upon one of “our own” when his brethren unanimously approved the awarding of the Medal of the Army of the Tennessee to him for his years of dedicated excellence and professionalism in the execution of his duties as a member of our Regiment. This outstanding soldier earned the personal praise of both of our Commanders who were visibly impressed by his military discipline and demeanor while wearing the uniform of our Order.
Corporal Braden also received MG Grim’s challenge coin and a personal word of commendation and congratulations from the General.
Corporal Braden truly personifies the sense of Duty, Honor and Pride that is the goal of every member of the 49th Iowa as we go about our sacred, and sworn, commitments to honor the sacrifices of our ancestors in the causes of Union and Freedom in a militarily appropriate and dignified manner. He has the undying admiration of his Commander, and all of his brethren for his outstanding efforts.
Following our dismissal from post at the Tomb, all members of the Fourth Military District Command Staff and Color Sergeant Rowley, Corporals Stigers, Hohenshell, and Beermann then retired to the home site of President Lincoln for photographs, and spent some time delighting the visiting tourists which included at least several visitors from China, Korea, and a couple from Germany who told us that they believed that they had entered into some sort of “time warp” when they saw our group walking the streets of President Lincoln’s neighborhood. Madames Dana Lamb, Marilyn Rittel, Janet Stahr and Deborah Schindler-Grim graced us with their presences for this photographic interlude at the home of the Lincoln’s.
Next year, the 49th Iowa will again participate in what is hoped to be a significantly expanded set of events in Springfield that will surround the one-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of the President when we take part in the much anticipated “Lincoln Funeral Train” as well as taking part in what will be our own Order’s fifty-ninth commemoration of the tragic loss of the “Statesman of the Ages”.
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Commanding
Photos by Dana Lamb, Deborah Schindler-Grim, & Janet Stahr