Field Notes V
Field Notes V

Items of potential interest to members of The Governor’s Own Forty-Ninth Iowa.

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Chief-of-Staff Carr has shared with me that arrangements are being made for the 127th Encampment of the Department of IOWA, and that the activities are to take place in the City of Council Bluffs on Friday and Saturday, April 1st and 2nd, 2011, so as to not be in competition with the Sesquicentennial events planned for later on in the month.

The Governor’s Own has been asked to be involved in a ceremonial wreath laying at the grave of Major General Grenville M. Dodge, in Walnut Hill Cemetery. I have accepted this honor on behalf of the Regiment. Details of the event are not finalized at present, but I am assuming that the wreath laying will either be on Friday or Saturday morning before the actual business meeting of the 127th Encampment.
I would like for this to be a maximum effort event for this regiment with as many Guardsmen participating as is possible.

Des Moines, IA

Speaking of the Sesquicentennial event, Sheila Hanke of the Iowa Battle Flags Project is planning to combine efforts with us for a special exhibit of never-seen, or rarely-seen flags from the SHSI collection to take place in conjunction with our celebrations on April 12th, 2011. Several other, battle-flag related ideas are being discussed with Sheila and I will keep you posted on those as more information becomes available.

Des Moines, IA

State Fair time is practically upon us, and we have a couple of commitments related thereto. Next Wednesday evening, August 11th, is the State Fair Parade and we are to be riding on CPL. Williams’ trailer with his “Nappy”. Be at the foot of the Soldier and Sailor’s Monument NO LATER THAN 5:30pm if you are participating in that event.

I will have gate passes to give you on Wednesday for the next event; VETERAN’S DAY AT THE FAIR on Monday, August 16th. For that event, you will need to be inside Gate # 3 by no later than about 8:30 am on that morning to form up for the parade. Like last year, we will be marching the parade route and then will dismiss immediately following the event. Bring cooler clothing if you want to stay and enjoy a day at the Fair after the parade.


Prior to 1890 there were only four Civil war Battlefields (the closest to us was Shiloh) that were being preserved as National Historic Places, and that there was a considerable feeling in the country that the war and all of its “difficulties” was best forgotten, if the nation was ever going to truly “bind up its wounds’ and overcome the horrors that it had endured during those four, long and bloody years. Robert E. Lee had written that he would wish, “to obliterate the marks of civil strife and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered.”

Through the efforts of groups like the Grand Army of the Republic, that mood was to change in the mid to late 1880’s as more and more of the veterans of the Union Army became politically and economically powerful. The primary focus of these groups was to establish National Cemeteries, connected with the battlefields where these men had fought in their youths. For years after the war ended, grieving families from both sides had sought the earthly remains of their honored dead, seeking to return them to the soils of their native states.

Relentless pressure from Veteran’s groups resulted, finally, in Congressional action to make National Parks of Civil War Battlefields (many of which were actually being “mined” for their metal and lead relics to be used as scrap metal) and on August 19th, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison (a Union Officer during the war) signed the first bill making the national battlefields at Chickamauga and Chattanooga into national Parks.

Soon to follow was the Vicksburg National Battlefield Park and cemetery, where the majority of the 17,000 Union dead buried there remain, even today, “unknowns”.

The first resident commissioner for the Vicksburg National Battlefield Park was a gentleman named William Rigby who held his position at the park from 1899 until his death in 1929. But, that wasn’t Rigby’s first trip to Vicksburg….he had been there before, with this Infantry unit… as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company “B” of the Twenty-Fourth Iowa. William Titus Rigby of Tipton, Iowa, would be promoted to the rank of Captain in August of 1863 (partially due to his diligent service at the Siege of Vicksburg) and would continue with his Regiment through the campaigns across Georgia where he would find himself at Savannah at the close of the war and be mustered out with his comrades in March of 1865.

1st Sgt David M. Lamb

Posted by CS Stahr on Monday 09 August 2010 - 08:13:29 | LAN_THEME_20

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