The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, April 9, l896
Monday, April 6th, being the 69th birthday of W.F. CRAIG, about 11:30 a.m., seventeen of the members of the G.A.R. assembled, and marched in a body to the residence of THURMAN CRAIG, where a bountiful dinner had been prepared for the occasion. They succeeded in taking "UNCLE BILLY," as he is familiarly called, entirely by surprise. He was presented with a beautiful chair, as a token of esteem, by his old comrades.
W.F. CRAIG organized the first company of soldiers that was raised in Iowa, and having been commissioned as Captain by Governor Stone, on April 10th, l86l, he marched, with his brave Iowa volunteers, to the defense of the grandest old flag that ever was unfurled -- the stripes and stars. His company was first known as Company A, of an independent regiment. It was afterwards assigned as company G, of the 7th Iowa, and later on, from Company G to Company A, of the l7th Iowa Regiment of Volunteer Infantry.
After the dinner had been disposed of, and an hour or two spent in talking over old times spent on the battle fields, all bid UNCLE BILLY good-bye, and wished him many another happy birthday, and departed for their respective homes.
Such gatherings have a tendency to bind the hearts of the old soldiers more closely together, and should be held more frequently than they are, for the few old patriots who still have a lease on this life, should do all they can for the enjoyment of each other, and to establish a feeling in the hearts of the rising generation that will make their memory sacred in the days to come. But there are others who did not go with their brothers to the battle fields, but who fought many a hard battle at home. We refer to the wives and mothers of the soldiers. They should be held as sacred as that of the old soldiers themselves, and we also think the "brave boys of 6l" will agree with us.
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
September 14, 2003