Cpl Stahr 22 Jul : 10:53
NOTE: The Last Soldier link in our site's menu will now direct you to its own Last Soldier web address, which is outside this site.
Cpl Stahr 20 Jul : 13:18
NOTE: Special Order #38 has been published on the Front & Center page of this web site.
Cpl Stahr 10 Jun : 11:06
The Clayton County Monument project was completed with great personal effort in time and money by the members of the 49th! This is another tangible example of our stated mission…we are NOT a paper unit, but an active, hard-working, committed group of men. I am a proud member of an organization who remembers those who have served & are serving today. 1/Cpl. Stahr
Cpl Stahr 31 May : 13:06
Full Military Honors rendered to Sgt. Isaac Ford; no better way to spend Decoration Day!
Cpl Stahr 28 Apr : 08:29
The new Rules & Regulations are published and may be viewed by clicking the R & R link in the top menu.
Cpl Stahr 04 Mar : 10:44
"...With malice toward none, with charity for all..." Remembering Father Abraham's Second Inaugural Address, 150 years ago today, on March 4, 1865.
Cpl Stahr 12 Feb : 08:47
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Father Abraham!
Cpl Stahr 01 Jan : 14:45
Happy New Year, Brother Riflemen and to all our visitors! 1/Cpl Stahr
The motto of Company A, 49th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment
IMHS Honors Jonas Cutler
IMHS Honors Des Moines Historical Activist Jonas Cutler During Ceremonies at Iowa Capitol For Pvt. Jewett Williams, 20th Maine
Prior to the opening of an event at the Iowa State Capitol Grounds on August 5th, 2016, Guardsmen of the 49th Iowa took the opportunity to honor Des Moines Attorney and Historian Jonas Cutler for his extraordinary efforts to raise funds from private donations to restore the mausoleum of Governor Samuel Merrill.
1/Lt. Lamb and RCS Rowley presented Mr. Cutler with an embossed Certificate of Appreciation from the Honor Guard of the Iowa Military Heritage Society; and, also gave him an original document dating from the late 1880’s that bore the signature of Governor Merrill and the Great Seal of the State of Iowa what was signed during Merrill’s term in office.
On hand to witness the presentation were members of the Patriot Guard Riders from several states who were participating in a “mission” of their own in transporting the earthy remains of Pvt. Jewett Williams, Co. “H”, 20th Maine from California to the state of Maine for interment in a cemetery there where many of his compatriots from the Civil War are at rest.
Pvt. Williams enlisted in the 20th Maine in 1864 and was with the unit at Appomattox Court House where it’s Commander, Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain played a role in the surrender of General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.
Following the war, Williams had moved with his family to Oregon and then to California, where he died in 1922 and was cremated. His ashes were never claimed. Now he is making the journey home escorted by the veterans of different wars to be laid to rest.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument south of the Iowa Capitol was chosen as a venue for the transfer of Pvt. Williams’ remains from one Patriot Guard unit to another as they escort him homeward. Governor Branstad was in attendance at the brief transfer ceremonies and also congratulated Mr. Cutler on the receipt of our gifts of appreciation for his efforts over the past two years to restore Governor Merrill’s tomb.
Accompanying photos by Mike Rowley, IMHS and Pam Horn, Patriot Guard Riders.
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Commanding 49th Iowa V.V.I. Iowa Military Heritage Society
On a beautiful July day, high a top a hill at the SAMS Cemetery in Jasper County, research by members of the Iowa Military Heritage Society, combined with a little manual labor form volunteers, saw yet another previously unmarked Civil War veterans grave graced with a granite VA supplied stone.
Robert Gannon, A Vietnam veteran is the man behind the project and a transcript or audio version of an NPR story on the subject can be heard at
In the City of Des Moines Municipal Cemeteries there are thousands of veteran’s graves that are marked by government issued gravestones. These include both upright markers as well as flush-mounted stones that are placed at or slightly below ground level.
Under extant city ordinances the care and maintenance of these stones are the responsibility of the family members of the veterans interred there. In many cases, those families have either passed on or have moved away from the area and there is now no one to make certain that those stones are maintained.
Local veterans groups as well as some fraternal organizations volunteer hundreds of man-hours every year to clean, straighten, and make certain that flags fly over the graves of our veterans from wars all the way from colonial times up to the modern day. Sadly these efforts are not enough and many hundreds of gravestones are is desperate need of assistance.
The Des Moines Parks and Recreations Department that oversees the seven municipal cemeteries in Des Moines have undertaken a program to enlist the aid of volunteers to spend a few hours of their time in the process of lifting and straightening several hundred in-ground stones so that new underlayment materials can be placed and the stones levelled. City workers will be on-hand at all times, and equipment and supplies will be provided. Participants should be in good physical health and capable of aiding in the lifting of approximately forty-pound markers as well as shoveling and tamping of sand and underlayment materials.
The first “work days” for this fall are tentatively scheduled for September 14th through 17th, from 9:00am to 3:30pm for Glendale Cemetery, 4909 University Avenue, in Des Moines.. Any amount of time that can be volunteered will be most helpful, and you need not be in attendance for the entire period of the event.
Flag Disposal Detail Glendale Cemetery, Des Moines 25 June, 2016
As an integral part of fulfilling our deeply held commitment to public service, Guardsmen of the 49th Iowa, Iowa Military Heritage Society came together today to retire unserviceable National Colors at Glendale Municipal Cemetery in Des Moines.
For the past four years, the unit has provided this service to the municipally-owned and operated cemeteries of Glendale and Woodland (a Division of the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department). Between two and four of these ceremonial retirement in compliance with Federal statutes and military tradition are performed annually dependent upon need. The largest of these entailed the disposal of over 2,500 flags on one detail approximately two years ago. Today’s exercises consisted of the retirement of approximately five-hundred flags collected since last fall when the last ceremony was held.
Another of these ceremonies is slated for 5th November, 2016 at Glendale.
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Inf., Commanding “The Governor’s Own”
On this 241st anniversary of the founding of the United States Army (14 June, 1775) a group of some three hundred citizens gathered in the sun drenched rolling hills of SE Iowa to honor six brothers who perished while serving as soldiers of that army during the American Civil War. Their sacrifice in the causes of Union and Freedom had been long forgotten and nearly lost to us all until two dedicated historians from the Louisa County Historical Society uncovered fragmentary evidence of the story some seven years ago.
Working diligently to discover more of the tale of the six members of the Littleton family who perished during the Civil War, Tom Woodruff and Ed Bayne would first become champions of the resurrection of the memories of these young men; and then, the driving forces behind the magnificent monument to their memories that was dedicated on this day near the site of the pioneer homestead where they spent their youths. The deaths of these six brothers represents the largest loss of life endured by any American family in time of war in the history of this nation.
The 49th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Iowa Military Heritage Society, was deeply honor to be chosen to be the official Honor Guard for the ceremonies; and provided the very first National flag that will be flown over the monument. As the colors were taken aloft and then returned to half-staff (per Presidential Proclamation in honor of the slain in the Orlando) local bugler Elaine Pacha played “To the Colors”.
Master of Ceremonies for the event was author and historian John Busbee of Des Moines, would guide the events of the late afternoon observances.
“The Star Spangled Banner” was ably performed by the Wapello High School Band under the direction of Mr. Micah Peck; who also led his musicians through a stirring rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” later on in the program.
The Invocation was offered by Pastor Dan Doolin, Solid Rock Baptist Church, Wapello; and Monument Project Chair from the Louisa County Historical Society, Mr. Tom Woodruff offered the opening remarks.
Descendants of the Littleton Brothers surviving sisters, Mr. Jake Shoppa and Mrs. Julie Wagner offered their gratitude and acknowledgement for the tremendous efforts involved in making this monument a reality; and, gave thanks for the efforts of all in remembering their ancestors.
In all, nearly two-dozen descendants of the Littleton's, from several states, would be present at this historic event honoring their family members.
Governor Terry E. Branstad offered his congratulations and those of all Iowans on this momentous occasion; and, also presented Mr. Woodruff and the monument committee with a check in the amount of $10,000.00 from the Iowa History Foundation to help defray the costs of erecting this beautiful monument.
Dr. Tom Morain, Graceland University, gave the keynote address referencing his thoughts on how this story should resonate with all Iowans and remind us of the costs involved in maintaining our precious freedoms.
At the end of Dr. Morain’s remarks, I briefly took the rostrum to offer comments and gratitude from our perspective as the chosen Honor Guard; and, to present both Tom Woodruff and Ed Bayne with certificates of induction into the “Loyal Legion of Abraham Lincoln for 2016” for their Herculean efforts in making this monument, and this day, into a reality.
“Taps” was played by Elaine Pacha.
As the last notes faded into the wooded hills surrounding this monument, myself and Regimental Color Sergeant Michael J. Rowley retired the regiments National Colors, and Color Sergeant Richard Grim and Sergeant Ronald F. Rittel presented arms before retiring the Regimental Colors of the 49th Iowa from the field.
Photos by John Lovretta & Marilyn Rittel
The afternoon's event was organized and shepharded into being by the efforts of dozens of local people of the Louisa County area; but, most especially the efforts of Kathy Jolly Vance, Iowa State University Extention Officer, and Chair of the Event Committee, deserve special recognition. Without Mrs. Vance's efforts, this marvelous event might never have happened.
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Inf. Commanding “The Governor’s Own”
On June 5, 2016 members of the Iowa Department of the Sons of Union Veterans of The Civil War joined with about 135 others in historic Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa for the unveiling of the restored monument of Governor and Civil War Col. Samuel Merrill.
Key note speakers were Jonas Cutler the man behind the private fund drive and current Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. Several Iowa legislators and Congressman Young and retired senator, historian and author Dennis Black were also in attendance. Local VFW members fired a 21 gun salute and Taps. Members of the Patriot Guard also participated along with several lineage and historical society members including Commander Danny Krock of Iowa Department SUVCW, Alan Wenger, 1 VP of Iowa S.A.R., Volney Smith, Past President and current Secretary and Treasurer of Iowa S.A.R and General Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Iowa President Mike Rowley.