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Delaware County IAGenWeb

Military Center

Twinkling star United We Stand Twinkling star 



Delaware County, Iowa in the Civil War


Page 454

      For four years and more, the notes of the fife and drum and bugle and the tramp of armed hosts were continually heard, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Gulf of Mexico to British North America, and the clash of arms was borne northward on every breeze from the sunny but blood-drenched plains of the South. For four years and more, "grim-visaged war" had waved its crimson banners over the fair fabric the Fathers had erected, in a vain endeavor to hurl it from its foundations. In this terrible and gigantic struggle, Delaware had borne its full part, and many a brave volunteer from its beautiful prairies had laid down his life on the battle field or starved to death in the rebel slaughter pens at Andersonville and Macon.

     But now Sherman and his "brave boys in blue" had made their memorable and historic march to the sea, Lee had surrendered to the victorious army of the Union under Grant, the war was ended, peace restored, the Union preserved in its integrity, and the patriotic sons of Delaware who were spared to witness the final victory of the armies of the Union returned to their homes to receive grand ovations and tributes of honor from friends and neighbors who had eagerly and jealously and anxiously watched and followed them wherever the varying fortunes of war called them.       

      Exchanging he soldiers' uniforms for citizens' dress, most of them fell back to their old avocations -- on the farm, in the mines, at the forge, the bench, in the shop, in the office, or at whatever else their hands found to do. Their noble deeds, in the hour of their country's peril, are now and always will be dear to the hearts of the people whom they so faithfully served. Brave men are always honored, and no class of citizens are entitled to greater respect than the brave volunteers of Delaware County, not simply because they were soldiers, but because, in their association with their fellow men, their walk is upright and their character and honesty without reproach. 


Their country first, then glory and their pride;

Land of the hopes -- land where their fathers died;

When in the right, they'll keep their honor bright;

When in the wrong, they'll die to set it right.


      The wondrous deeds of daring and glorious achievements of the Army of the Union, during the great War of the rebellion, will always be dearly cherished by all patriotic hearts. But there were scenes, incidents and accidents, the memory of which will shade with sadness the bright reflections engendered by the contemplation of a heroism, devotion and sacrifice the like of which, the world never saw before. But the memory of those who fell in the stupendous struggle is still familiar to the present people of Delaware County; but fifty years hence, when the fathers and mothers of to-day shall have passed on to their eternal home, they will be remembered by posterity more as matters of tradition than of absolute written history.

      The return of Company K, Twenty-first Iowa, to Hopkinton, was the occasion of spontaneous gathering of several hundred of their friends, and the preparation of a magnificent reception dinner. Mr. A. Nash presided; Rev. Mr. Harmen made the reception speech, followed by William G. Hammond and Mrs. Woodward.

      After dinner the toasts were by Mr. Hammond, as follows:


The Iowa Volunteers -- May they ever be remembered with love and gratitude for answering so readily to the countries call; for defending with untiring zeal the nation's honor and the cause of right. May their names descend to posterity with those of Washington and the heroes of the Revolution.

Response by T. H. Bowen


Page 455

Sketch: J. S. Drybread, Elk Twp.  

Page 457


Peace, Freedom and Prosperity -- Our soldiers have won the first by war, they have secured the second by obedience to discipline, and they have merited the third by hardships suffered for their country. May they live long to enjoy all three.

Response by Dr. Finley.


The Fallen -- While we are here to-day showing our heartfelt gratitude and our joy at the return of these brave men, our sons, husbands and fathers, let us drop the tear of sympathy for those fallen braves who gave their lives for freedom and our common country, and now sleep the sleep that knows no waking.




Company K, Twenty-first Iowa -- May it's name for valor and true patriotism in the defense of our country be handed down to the latest generation.

Response by Capt. A. Voorhies.


The Ninth Iowa Infantry -- They have worn the blue on their backs to save us from having the blues in our hearts. May they live to be Gray-beards, but never to be gray-backs.

No Response.


A strong hemp cord for the neck of the leading traitors, and a pretty girls arm for the neck of every soldier of the Union.

No. Response


The Stars of the Union -- The South found, to its dismay, that the Northern ones were shooting stars, and that they instead of being wanderers, had to remain fixed stars.

Response by E. P. Weatherby.


Gratitude -- The debt we owe to our soldiers. May we always aim toward paying; and it never will be paid.


The Soldiers' Vote -- The true kind of "fire in the rear." Our brave boys have conquered the rebels with their bayonets and Northern traitors with their ballots.


       At dinner, most of the boys, by arrangement or otherwise, had fair ones at their sides, which gave point to Dr. Finley's concluding remark.  After alluding to the success and return of the soldiers, he said: "They are ready to enlist in another company -- I refer them to the ladies."  

      At Delhi, August 2, 1865, was a grand gala day, and says the Dubuque Times: "A white stone was deposited in the patriotic history of Delaware."  A grand complimentary reception dinner was given to its returned soldiers, many of whom were present, representing the Twenty-first Infantry and Second and Fourth Cavalry. Speeches of welcome were made by several citizens, to which Col. S. G. Van Anda, on behalf of the veterans, happily responded.

     The toasts were as follows:

Our Brave Soldiers -- An army first in patriotism, intelligence, humanity and benevolence.

Response by Rev. Z. D. Scobey.


American Public Faith -- Implanted by the revolution, and tested by the most gigantic human strife, has been proved by the strong arm of our soldiery, pure and undying, the sheet-anchor of our country and the hope of the world.

Response by W. M. Hartshorn


The Flag of our Country -- The banner of Freedom.

Response by J. M. Brayton.


The Veterans of the War of 1812 -- Two were present.

Response by Rev. Mr. Root.


Our Country -- Born of our fathers, regenerated by our soldiers, is immortal.

Response by K. W. Kingsley.


Surgeons and Nurses of the Army.

Response by Dr. Boomer.


The Ladies at Home -- The Soldiers Friend.

Response by Col. Van Anda



Page 458


Battles and Bullets -- Honor to both.

Response by W. E. Brown.


Our Republican Institutions -- An experiment now solved, and so solved as to show they are stronger than any other form of government.

Response by Z. A. Wellman.


"Mudsills and Greasy Mechanics."

Response by G. W. J. Hawes.


The Battle Fields of the Rebellion.

Response by Rev. Jerome Allen.


The Returned Soldiers -- Welcome to our homes and hearts. May they live to shake hands over the grave of our country's last enemy.

Response by Dr. Noyes.


     On the 17th of November, 1865, a beautiful and costly monument was erected on the college campus at Hopkinton to the memory of the soldiers who enlisted at that place and who perished in the service.


      Forty-four names are inscribed on the monument. Twenty-four of these were students of Lenox Collegiate Institute. The names of the fallen heroes who went forth from this school and died in the service are as follows: Rev. James W. McKean, President of the institute; Emory A. Smith, Alfred C. Hines, both killed at Pea Ridge; Benjamin E. Nash, Marion Lathrop, Wm. G. Glenn, Samuel J. Glenn, George F. Laude, starved at Macon, Georgia; Wm. Campbell, George Stewart, Nathan Holmes, David J. Thompson, R. P. Miller, Fred D. Gilbert, Wm. H. Jackson, Matthew McCurdy, Mark Scroggy, Philip H. Butler, Robert Fowler, Amos Gilbert, starved at Andersonville; William Keak, Chas H. Whitney, D. Downey, starved at Andersonville; J. L. Driebelbris, Merrit A. Smith. Some of the above were killed in battle, some died in the hospitals, but the saddest death of all was that by starvation in the rebel prison pens of Macon and Andersonville. The other names inscribed on the monument are as follows: Wm. Johnson, Edward Mann, J. J. Myers, Philander Wilson, Willis Willard, Charles Walker, Granville Hill, Geo. W. Barden, G. W. Blood, J. L. Pinney, Alva Kemp, W. A. Roberts, J. B. Topliffe, Isaac Robinson, Wm. Haslem, Edwin Myers, Reese Merrick, Robert Risher, John D. Blanchard.


     The names on the monument are accompanied by a brief statement of the age, date of enlistment, death and the regiment and company to which each belonged. Below the names on one side of the monumnet, is the following inscription:

"Erected by the Friends of the Soldiers from this College and vicinity, who fell during the Great Rebellion of 1861-5"

     On another side is the following:

"Rev. James W. McKean, President of Lenox Collegiate Institute, and Captain of Company C, Forty-fifth Regiment Iowa Volunteers. Born April 30, 1833. Died July 9, 1864."

      There was a large assemblage of people to witness the ceremonies. The venerable Mr. A. Nash presided. Chaplain Hill, opened the exercises with and impressive prayer. A large choir furnished beautiful and appropriate music. Maj. Gen. Vandever of Dubuque, was the first speaker.


     The General's address was followed by short speeches from Chaplain Hill, T. H. Bowen, Esq., and other prominent gentlemen. Prof. Allen read a carefully prepared statement of facts in regard to the life, services and death of President McKean and the twenty-four noble young men who represented the Institute in the army and died in defense of the national life.


Page 459


       An object of special interest at the meeting was the battle flag of the Twelfth Iowa Infantry, faded, riddled with shot and stained with blood.


      A company of soldiers, under command of Capt. Taylor, added to the interest of the exercises by their evolutions, firing, etc.


      A bountiful dinner was provided in the College building, and great pains taken to welcome and render comfortable the considerable number of persons present from distant towns, as well as the many who came from all the surrounding country.


      The monument is about twenty feet high and cost $1,100.


~ source: The History of Delaware County, Iowa , Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1878, pgs 454-459

~ Transcribed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb