Bereman, William A.
Posted By: Pat Ryan White (email)
Date: 6/20/2009 at 08:08:49
THE LAST OF WAR FAMILY
In the death of William A. Bereman on Monday night, Bloomington lost one of those citizens whose character gives tone of high morality to any community in whose lot they may be cast. The people of the city will remember him as a man of integrity and rugged virtue, of modesty and straightforward manner of meeting his fellow men under all circumstances. To those who knew him only in his later years, he was essentially a man of peace, but his life disclosed that in times of national peril the government can best rely upon such men to defend its honor and its ideal even to the death.
Mr. Bereman was a veteran of the Civil war. That fact alone is a matter of distinction in this era when the men who fought that war have almost disappeared, or are rapidly wending their ways to the dim shadows. But in the case of Mr. Bereman there are special reasons for remembering with appreciation the period of his life which spanned the years from 1861 to 1865. Not only did he give himself to the cause of the nation in those years, but he saw every other member of a large family, and his parents, also, offer their services, and in three instances their lives, to that cause.
The Bereman family were residents of Iowa when the Civil war came on. The lately deceased Bloomington citizen and his brothers and sisters were children of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bereman, early settlers of Iowa. Six sons enlisted in the union army, and then the father and mother of these sons also devoted themselves to the union and to blotting out of slavery in American.
Jonathan S. Bereman enlisted in the 25th Iowa Infantry, and was brought back home in 1863 and died of diseases contracted in the service. Alvah H. Bereman, editor of a newspaper when the war came on, was appointed captain of the 18th United States infantry, and afterward became colonel of the 45th Iowa. T. A. Bereman was a major in the First Iowa cavalry. William A. Bereman enlisted in the 4th Iowa and became a second lieutenant. T. H. Bereman was a private in the First Iowa cavalry, and S. O. Bereman a sargeant in the Fourth Iowa cavalry.
The father of these six noble sons could not stay at home after he had seen his boys march away to bugle and drum. He therefore enlisted in the 37th Iowa, known as the graybeard regiment. He was taken sick at Memphis, and died in the tent of his son, William A.
Even the mother enlisted as a war nurse, and there were also two sons-in-law who entered the army, one being killed in battle, thus completing the whole-hearted sacrifice to their country by a most remarkable family.
All but one of the brothers survived the war, but four of them have since crossed the great divide, William A. being the last survivor of the family.
Memories of the Civil war time have faded far into the background, but no honor which his adopted city can bestow upon William A. Bereman, in his leave-taking can be too great for the service which he and his devoted parents and brothers gave in the supreme hour or our nation's peril.
[Mt. Pleasant News, Bystander Notes, August 4, 1926; Reprinting a Quote taken from The Daily Pantagraph of Bloomington, Ills.]
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