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!
In Admiration, Cpl Stahr
1Sgt Lamb 08 Apr : 10:50
The regiment extends it's most hearty congratulations to Patrick Palmersheim, former Director of Veterans Affairs for the State of Iowa on the receipt of the "Medal of Honor" of the Iowa Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The motto of Company A, 49th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Thanksgiving Wishes! 2013
This past weekend, as Color-Sergeant Grim, Sergeant Rittel, and myself took part in the activities surrounding the SVR/MOLLUS annual Remembrance Day activities at the Gettysburg National Battlefield Military Park, we were reminded that this year also marked the one-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of President Lincoln’s immortal Gettysburg Address that followed the incredible carnage of the fighting in those rolling hills of the Pennsylvania countryside.
Lincoln’s speech, that he believed , the World will little note, nor long remember, have stood the test of time to a far greater degree than our martyred President would have ever believed; and, have gone down into the history books as what many word-smiths believe to be greatest piece of prose ever written in the English language. Two-hundred and seventy-two words that have completely captivated the imagination of an entire nation for four entire generations and, arguably, are better known throughout the world than the utterances of any other political leader of any age. Not bad for a backwoods-born shopkeeper, “river-boat-man”, turned rail-splitter, turned lawyer/politician.
But, those who study Lincoln, know that these utterances were but typical of the eloquence that he brought to his command of the language. Both his first and second Inaugural Addresses are other shining examples of that eloquence that swayed a nation during troubled times.
Oddly enough, one piece of writing that is often mistakenly attributed to Lincoln is the October 3rd, 1863 proclamation of a formal National Day of Thanksgiving. While the idea for the proclamation itself may have ultimately come from Lincoln, the document was actually written for the President by Secretary of State William Seward. The original document was sold in 1864 to a private collector in order to raise monies, “to benefit the troops”.
The President was moved to issue this proclamation because of the entreaties of a 74 year-old newspaper editor named Sarah Josepha Hale (editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book)
who had been unsuccessfully petitioning Presidents and national politicians with the idea of standardizing such a day for over fifteen years. Prior to Lincoln’s proclamation setting aside a particular date for the celebration of this national holiday, several states did celebrate such a day, but on different dates. Even Lincoln himself had once closed all Federal government offices (Nov 28th, 1861) so that government workers might enjoy a day of rest and thanksgiving with their families. George Washington had mandated a national day of thanksgiving on October 3rd, 1789.
Claiming no eloquence such as that of any of the afore-mentioned linguistic giants, I would, nonetheless wish to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of this command for the continuing effort and support that you have shown to the 49th Iowa and to me, personally, over the course of the past year. This has been a year of monumental accomplishments by this group, and all of you who participated in those efforts can be justly proud of all that has transpired and the enormous amount of progress that we have made together in forwarding the goal of truly paying homage to our ancestors. We have much more to do, and many more efforts await us in the future. I know that we will, collectively, continue to place our shoulders to the tasks that await and do what we always do…..continue the march!
Please enjoy the upcoming Holidays with your families and friends, and keep your “Go-To” bags packed and your brass shined…..there is much more to come. You are not going to believe what is coming…just over the horizon.
Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Commanding Company “A” 49th Regiment Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry/SVR The Governor’s Own Iowa Rifles Honor Guard Regiment to the Department of Iowa Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Once again, as we have at each of the 49th Iowa's excursions to the Remembrance Day events in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, guardsmen of the Regiment and Mrs. Marilyn Rittel representing the Ladies Auxiliary and the Iowa WRC paid tribute to the memory of Mary Virginia Wade by visiting her grave site, and laying of a single red rose in commemoration to the tragic loss of her life in the earliest fighting on July 1st, 1863.
Poignantly, during the brief ceremony, a bugler at the National Military Cemetery immediately adjacent to Evergreen rendered his own salute to the only civilian casualty of the battle by playing "taps" as if on cue as the members of The Governors Own saluted.
Honoring the Life and Service of Private Edward Hanson, United States Army, 1861-1865
A little over one-year ago, a local genealogical researcher here in Central Iowa made us aware of what appeared to be a great injustice of the late days of the nineteenth century. After reading about some of the undertakings of the Forty-Ninth Iowa on this website, the gentleman contacted us and related a portion of his findings while conducting inquiries into the ancestral histories of a group of his friends and relatives.
A young (19 year-old) Norwegian immigrant to this country, Edward Hanson, had settled in the rolling hills of Winneshiek County, Iowa in the period just before the outbreak of the American Civil War. Many of his countrymen, along with the significant numbers of Swedish, Dutch, German, Danish, and Irish populace of the upper Midwest held strong abolitionist sentiments when it came to the issue of human slavery; and, many others may simply have sought what they thought to be the “opportunity for adventure” that they reckoned were being presented by the outbreak of war.
Like vast numbers of his generation of re-settled European immigrants; and their native born neighbors, young Edward Hanson answered one of the early clarion calls of his new land and joined the swelling ranks of the United States military that was set upon bringing to heel the rebellion. Unlike many of his contemporaries who were entering into state militia, and federalized “volunteer” units for limited terms of service, in those first months, Edward opted to enlist in the Regular United States Army’s 16th Infantry. He would be joined in this undertaking by his brother, Augustus “Gus” Hanson, as both young men became members of Company “H”.
Organized at Chicago, Illinois, by direction of President Lincoln on May 4, 1861, the 16th US Infantry was ordered to Kentucky in October of 1861 where it would be assigned to the 4th Brigade of the Army of the Ohio. By the time Edward and Augustus Hanson joined their Regiment, they would likely have arrived just in time for the small engagements of around Duck River and Savannah, Tennessee as the federal forces began to concentrate at a small village on the Tennessee River called Pittsburgh Landing, which would forever be remembered by the name of the small country church called “Shiloh” that stood on a wooded bluff nearby. The Regiment would also fight at Corinth, and engage in Buell’s Campaign into North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, Louisville, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Stone’s River, Tullahoma, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Resaca, Allatoona Hills, Kennesaw Mountain, Chattahoochee River, Peach Tree Creek. They would end the war at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. By war’s end the Regimental rolls would shrink by 7 Officers and 92 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded; and 2 Officers and 179 Enlisted men to disease for a total loss of 280 men. (Dyer’s Compendium of the War of the Rebellion’ pps 1714-15; 1959 edition by Sagamore Press)
Edward Hanson would be twice wounded himself during the course of his service, and would carry a fragment of a Minie ball in his elbow for the remainder of his days.
Following the war, Edward returned to the area around Decorah, Iowa. He married, and began a family. He shows up in that locale on the Federal census of 1885,but for reasons unknown he was in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May of 1890. Edward died in Minneapolis of pneumonia on May 25th, 1890 according to death records there in Hennepin County; and, was buried the very next day in the Grand Army of the Republic Plot, in Section #8, grave # 20. His grave marked only by a small concrete marker with the numeral 20 upon it. (He was 46 at the time of his death)
It is unknown whether there was any sort of ceremonial committal of Private Hanson at the time of his interment, as those records do not seem to exist; and, a search of publications extant in the area at the time did not reveal an obituary being published that might have given us indication of what was or was not afforded him at the time of his death. Judging from the fact that he died one day and was buried the very next, it seems unlikely that much of a ceremonious nature would have been done. How and why his final post remained un-marked and apparently forgotten for so long will likely never be known. But today, that has changed, and we are deeply honored to be able to report that it is forgotten no more.
With a strong belief that no veteran of this nation’s military should ever suffer the indignity of laying in an un-marked grave; and working with the information provided to us by the family, the Governor’s Own was honored to undertake the paperwork processes required by Federal Law and Regulations to have the United States Veterans’ Administration issue a gravestone for Private Hanson; and co-ordinate the setting of the stone at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.
Once we received word from the cemetery that the stone was “on its way” to them, we set about organizing a detail to provide the Honors needed to set the matter formally right.
On October 26th, 2013, eight members of the Honor Guard travelled to Lakewood Cemetery, in Minneapolis, to perform the military honors due Private Hanson for his outstanding service to his nation.
Following military protocol, the Honor Guard of the Forty-Ninth Iowa rendered “Full Military Honors” that Private Hanson should have received at the time of his burial in 1890.
Participating in today’s Honor Guard Detail were Color Sergeant and Mrs. Richard Grim: Sergeant and Mrs. Ronald Rittel; First Corporal Court Stahr, Corporal Andrew Braden, and Corporal James Braden constituted the Rifle Squad; Corporal Asher Beermann, assisted me in the care of the National Colors for the Ceremonial Unfolding and Refolding by Sgt’s. Grim and Rittel; and, Corporal Paul Stigers acted as Bugler for the rendering of final honors. Major Christopher Hanson (great-great grandson of Pvt. Hanson, and senior serving officer present) ordered those personnel present in uniform to the “Present Arms” at the full deployment of the National Colors; and, then returned command to me by the giving of the “Order Arms”, returning us to the position of attention for the refolding and presentation of the burial flag to his father, Master Sergeant Harvey Hanson, USAF Ret’d., Private Hanson’s closest living descendant.
Albeit, one-hundred-and thirty-three years late, Private Edward Hanson now rests in honored glory under the colors of his nation.
The Regiment wishes to thank the family members of Private Hanson (some travelling very great distances) for attending and participating in the day’s remembrance of the life and service of this patriot. Master Sergeant Harvey Hanson (USAF Ret’d), Major Chris Hanson, USAF; Commander Glenn Larson, USN Ret’d; Mr. and Mrs. Norman Hjelmeland, Urbandale, Iowa.
We must also gratefully acknowledge the monetary contributions by the VFW and American Legion Posts in Decorah, Iowa; and, that of the Winneshiek County Historical Society. Added to these were monetary gifts from Mr. Hjelmeland and Commander Larson that provided us with full reimbursement for the monies that were outlaid for the placement of the stone by crews at Lakewood Cemetery. It is only through the generosity of such caring individuals and groups that we are able to do things like today’s very worthwhile undertaking.
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Commanding
Photos by Marilyn Rittel & Deb Grim
A Thank You from Edward Hanson's Descendants
On behalf of the Hanson-Erickson families of Private Edward Hanson, Winneshiek County, Iowa Civil War Veteran, I would like to express sincere thanks and appreciation to the members and friends of Company A, 49th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment for their participation during the Private Edward Hanson dedication held on Oct 26th, 2013 at Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN.
Special thanks and gratitude to 1/Lt David Lamb, The Governor's Own, Commanding, for his assistance in the procurement and setting of the military marker for Pvt. Hanson. It gives us great satisfaction that Pvt. Hanson's service and sacrifice has not been forgotten and for this, we are deeply indebted to Company A, 49th Iowa Regiment.
The Fourth Military District Of the Sons of Veterans Reserve of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Is Honored to Announce that Retirement Ceremonies for Lt/Col. Jack Grothe and other members of his Command Staff; and a formal Change-of-Command Exercise shall be held at:
The Assembly Hall of The Missouri National Guard Camp at Historic Jefferson Barracks Lemay, Missouri On Sunday, November 17th, 2013, at 1330 hrs
Outgoing Commander, Lt. Col. Grothe will introduce the In-coming Commander, Major David M. Lamb.
Both Gentlemen will then greet each unit and person attending the Change of Command.
In informal “get-together” luncheon will be held prior to the ceremonies at:
Home Town Buffet Restaurant 7597 S. Lindbergh Blvd St. Louis, Missouri 63125
1100hrs until 1300hrs
ALL SVR Unit Commanders, their staffs, personnel and families from the individual units comprising the Fourth Military District are highly encouraged to make plans to attend this event to pay tribute to the more than seventeen-years of service that Lt./Col Grothe and his staff have given to the district. Units attending are requested to bring their Colors.
If attending in uniform, please assure that they are clean and serviceable. Casual-Dress civilian attire for those who do not have uniforms is perfectly acceptable. NO WEAPONS, percussion caps, or powder, will be allowed on the military installation. Officers may bring their sabers, but NO SIDE ARMS will be allowed.
CURRENT photo I.D. will be required for admittance to the installation!
“Homecoming” activities at Upper Iowa University in Fayette this weekend took on special meaning for the small detachment of men and ladies from The Governor’s Own Forty-Ninth Iowa thanks to the efforts of Dr. Lisa Guinn and Dr. Tom Jorsch, Assistant Professors of History, and Mrs. Becky Wadian, Librarian and Archivist at the University.
Former University President, Dr. Alan Walker, deserves our deepest thanks as well for approving the conservation efforts and for finding the funding needed to purchase the supplies and materials needed to have the work completed by Ms. Sheila Hanke of Midwest Conservation Services of Des Moines.
Through the entreaties of First Corporal Stahr, who had long championed the cause for renewed conservation of the flag, it was Lisa and Tom who spearheaded efforts to have this spectacular ensign of Company “C”, 12th Iowa Infantry, cleaned, conserved and placed into a museum mounting so that it might be both preserved for future generations and displayed within the walls of the Henderson Wilder Library there on the campus of the University.
The flag, made by the coeds at Upper Iowa, was the second one to be lovingly sewn by hand be given into the care of Henry Grannis to be proudly born by himself and his comrades of the “University Recruits” in the fall of 1862 after their regiment had suffered tremendous losses of many of its members, and its original colors, at the Battle of Shiloh in April of that year. This flag was then carried through the remainder of the war by Grannis and returned by him into the care of Elisabeth Sorin at Upper Iowa at the end of the war. It has remained an integral part of the University’s proud heritage ever since.
On Saturday, October 12th, 2013, members of this regiment were treated to a wonderful luncheon at the home of Drs. Guinn and Jorsch before the 2:00pm re-dedication ceremony for the flag that now is safely protected and hung in the library under the watchful eye of Mrs. Wadian. Several dozen students, faculty, alumni, and descendants of those men of the 12th Iowa who abandoned their educations and marched off to war in answer to their nation’s call, gathered in the library to pay tribute to their memory and to marvel at the condition of this historic artifact.
The Regiment also wishes to acknowledge the generous contribution of funds by Drs. Guinn and Jorsch to our on-going efforts to the works undertaken by this unit to restore Iowa’s monuments to our Civil War heritage.
Participating in the day’s events on behalf of the Regiment were myself, Sgt. And Mrs. Ronald Rittel, First Corporal and Mrs. Courtney Stahr, and Corporal Asher Beermann.
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Commanding
All photos by Janet Stahr except the group photo taken by a polite, gracious Upper Iowa student.
HEADQUARTERS Company “A” 49th Regiment Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry The Governor’s Own Iowa Rifles
SPECIAL ORDER #33
THE COMMAND IS IN MOURNING
Dated this 18th day of September, 2013, at London, UK
In honor of the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting this Regiment will enter into a state of mourning from the immediate receipt of this order and lasting for a period of thirty days hence.
Membership badges will be dressed in mourning, and the colors of the regiment will remain cased and bound in mourning ribbon if publicly displayed at any time until the expiration of this Order at 0001hrs on 19 October, 2013.
On behalf of the Regiment,
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Commanding Company “A” 49th Regiment Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry/SVR The Governor’s Own Iowa Rifles Honor Guard Regiment to the Department of Iowa Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
On the magnificent fall Saturday, members of the Honor Guard of the 49th Iowa participated in a re-dedication of the Winneshiek County Civil War Monument located on the Courthouse grounds in Decorah, Iowa.
This ceremony marks the third re-dedication of this forty-five foot tall bronzed and white metal edifice to the men of Winneshiek County who answered their nation’s call to arms during the Civil War. The ceremonies were arranged by the Winneshiek County Historical Society under the able leadership of Ms. Ferneva Brimacomb. A certain sign that members of this community remain dedicated to keeping green the memories of those who served this nation in some of its darkest days.
The small crowd that gathered for the ceremonies were welcomed and addressed by Winneshiek County Supervisor John Logsdon,
and Mayor Don Arendt.
The National Colors were posted by the Decorah Color Guard who also led us in the Pledge of Allegiance before a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem was performed by local artist and vocalist, Elea Uhl.
I was honored to have been asked to briefly address the crowd concerning Iowa’s participation in the Civil War before laying a memorial wreath on behalf of the Department of Iowa, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and “The Governor’s Own”.
The ceremonies ended with the playing of taps” by the Decorah Honor Guard.
The Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the 49th Iowa wish to publicly give our most heartfelt thanks to our “Brothers and Sisters-in-arms” of the Helof Holm Post 1977, VFW; and the Bernatz-Symod Post 163, American Legion, both of Decorah.
These groups of ardently avowed patriots made significant monetary contributions to the regiment in recognition of our handling of the procurement and setting of the gravestone for Private Edward Hanson, Co. “H”, 16th United States Regulars, who has lain in an unmarked grave at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since his untimely demise in 1890. Pvt. Hanson, born in Norway, emigrated to the Winneshiek County area in the years just before the war and enlisted in the Regular Army there from.
The 49th Iowa will conduct a military gravestone dedication for Private Hanson in Minneapolis in late October.
No American citizen who was alive on September 11, 2001, is likely to forget the events of that day; or the days of fear, rage, and anguish that followed. Like so many dates before in the history of our country that date would become one of those seminal moments in all of our lives that shape us as a people and set us onto paths that we could have scarcely imagined before those two buildings came crashing to the ground. Those scenes, and the terrible human toll that they extracted upon the countless thousands of dead and the families left to grieve the senseless loss of their loved ones will be forever woven into the fabric of what defines us as a people, and as a nation.
Yesterday, The Governor’s Own was honored to perform our duty as an Honor Guard by participating in the dignified disposal of hundreds of flags that had come to us from individuals, from municipalities, from scout troops and members of the Children of the American Revolution (another lineage based heritage association), from American Legion Posts, and from the hundreds of “unservicables” that we collect ourselves during flag deployment operations prior to Memorial Day and Veterans Day every year.
Yesterday, for a two-hour time block authorized by our county environmental authorities in their “burn permit”, members of the regiment participated in the dignified disposal by fire of somewhere on the order of a thousand torn, tattered, and degraded flags that were no longer capable of serving their purpose as physical emblems of this nation. Several thousand more flags await further disposal ceremonies that we will hold over the coming months.
Above Photo by Marilyn Rittel
We had chosen as a location for the ceremonies historic Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines’ oldest place of internment, and the final post of over 300 of our Civil War ancestors as well as the final resting place of several hundreds of other veterans of the nation’s military and conflicts dating back to the War of 1812.
Caleb Ragner, age 14, of West Des Moines acted as Bugler for the event and played an outstanding rendition of “taps” as the first flag was consigned to the healing flames.
A small group of citizens came to watch the disposal of the flags and those who wished to were asked to bring flags to one of the guardsmen to place upon the fire in the specially constructed burner built for this occasion by Corporal Louis Zenti of Co. A, 49th Iowa V.V.I.
Above Photo by Marilyn Rittel
It is anticipated that this will be the beginning of a tradition that will take place on September eleventh’s to come at Woodland.
With temperatures hovering right at the century mark (oft described as “Iowa Corn Weather” ) a small but dedicated band of shooters turned out at the Tombstone Creek range near Bloomfield on Saturday for the Fourth Annual Rifle Qualifier. Put on every year by our Regimental Gunnery Sergeant, Jake Grim; and, his able second, Corporal David “Two Fish” Sample, the “Q” affords guardsmen of the Honor Guard the chance to hone their marksmanship skills during the day-long event. There are usually the occasional story of questionable veracity, and a good deal of braggadocio to be had in this pleasant little hidden valley along the old Wabash Rail Road line that once carried young soldiers off to war from the little town of Eddyville where the line ended in 1860 as funds got diverted by the government to “other concerns”.
Shooting from the line in the off-hand position, using paper-cartridge packaged Minie’s with a target load of only around 40 grains, the “Q” gives the riflemen not only the opportunity to experience live-fire of their muskets, but to also gain an intimate understanding of why infantrymen of the nineteenth century were required to have sufficient teeth on their strong side to “tear cartridge”. We also get to see at close range the devastating firepower that these weapons are capable of bringing to bear. (More on that later).
Morning target practice was taken after the requisite safety briefing, and we stepped to the line to sight-in on the 25, 50 and 100 yard full-silhouette and ringed “bulls-eye” targets to varying degrees of success, before our ten-round “best ball” scores were etched into the Regimental Record books.
Corporal Sample topped the aggregate points tally for the day; with CS Grim and Cpl. Zenti tying for second place. I turned in a rather dismal performance for third place shooter on the day (guess I need to fire up that smoke pole more than once every two years!). Bringing up the rear of the column was Sgt. “Spoons” Rittle.
Two of our “Daughters of the Regiment”, Debbie Grim and Kathy Sample, completely captivated their shooting brethren by bringing a delicious meal to the range at the noon-hour; and, the sufficiently powdered and greased riflemen from the mornings activities were treated to a repast of pulled pork, trail beans, 7-layer salad, apple cobbler, strawberry shortcake, and three-inch-thick Rice Krispee bars, and a beautifully decorated cake that was the gift of Sergeant Rittle…enough to send at least one tired trooper to “dreamland” for a short siesta after lunch to dream, no doubt, of ‘Dancing Spoons”.
After the noon meal, the range is converted into the more whimsical usage as the scored paper comes down and water jugs with colored contents, giant zucchini, and musk melon were hung at the varying distances to be plinked at. Great fun was had in watching the melon and zucchini turned into instant “soldier salad” by the rampaging rounds sent against them; and, a delightful few minutes were passed watching Corporal Zenti “making rocks” of a construction grade cinder-block whilst popping away at a belt buckle (now somewhat the worse for wear) and a piece of hard-tack…which either escaped the fusillade altogether, or deflected any round unlucky enough to have hit it.
A more somber experiment was also undertaken by the riflemen.
This year, Gunny Grim had also acquired the upper thigh bones of some recently butchered bovine and these were hung at the varying ranges so that we could see for ourselves that devastation wrought by the Minie balls upon femur bones that are roughly of the same dimension as those of a human.
The first ball to strike one of these shanks completely disintegrated a seven-inch long section of bone into splintered fragments that were then driven completely through the backstop of the target board. Giving one a complete understanding of why the Civil War resulted in so many amputations of limbs for the unlucky souls who were unfortunate enough to have found themselves in the line of trajectory of one of these pieces of white-hot lead. The photos are far too graphic to display here, but the images will be forever etched into the memories of all who witnessed the carnage…along with the knowledge that we were firing considerably less of a charge than the typical “combat load” of that being used upon the battlefields of the Civil War.
At the end of the day, all present vowed to return to the range again next year, but universally decided to opt for a potentially cooler clime by moving the annual date to the end of September henceforth.