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bullet Cpl Stahr
01 Sep : 07:12
The Unit General Order of Disbandment is posted on the Front & Center page per instruction - 1/Cpl. Stahr
bullet Cpl Stahr
22 Jul : 10:53
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.
bullet Cpl Stahr
20 Jul : 13:18
Special Order #38 has been published on the Front & Center page of this web site.
bullet 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
bullet Cpl Stahr
31 May : 13:06
Full Military Honors rendered to Sgt. Isaac Ford; no better way to spend Decoration Day!
bullet 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.
bullet 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.
bullet Cpl Stahr
12 Feb : 08:47
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Father Abraham!
bullet Cpl Stahr
01 Jan : 14:45
Happy New Year, Brother Riflemen and to all our visitors!
1/Cpl Stahr
bullet Cpl Stahr
10 Oct : 07:59
Please take NOTICE:

Special Order #36 has been posted on the Front & Center page.

A Very Near Thing...
A VERY Near Thing It Was, Indeed

The Collections Rooms located in the sub-basements of the Iowa State Historical Society’s Museum facility located at 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines, hold an amazing number of treasures. Thousands of physical pieces of Iowa’s history reside here, catalogued, shelved, and waiting for the day when they will become pieces of an exhibition.
This is the world that Conservators inhabit. Closed away from the public eye (unless the “Conservator Cam” is running that is) to quietly go about the work that we hope will help to insure the survival of these everyday objects that have become a part of this distinctly unusual place because of their association with the famous, and infamous alike. Down here in “the dungeons” you can find unopened bottles of “Big Daddy” Ike Seymour’s famous Barbecue Sauce and John Brown carriage. Mike Bogardus’ prototype car and a functional Gatling gun. Dozens and dozens of firearms and swords from every war that Iowans have been called upon to fight. The first Highway Patrol car resides here, along with the hand-hewn logs of one of Iowa’s first log cabins.
This is the home of Iowa’s Battle Flags and the place where the Conservation Lab is located. It is also the place where other, lesser known treasures of our Civil War heritage reside. Like General Curtis’s saddle, and ‘mourning ribbons” that were ties around the colors of an Iowa Regiment upon hearing of the death of President Lincoln after he was felled by the assassin Booth’s bullet.
And Major General Grenville Mellon Dodge’s bullet pierced campaign hat!

Anyone that knows anything of Dodge’s history as a soldier knows that he was absolutely fearless under fire. His was the first command to enter into Springfield, Missouri in pursuit of Confederate Major General Sterling Price’s retreating Army. Still smarting from the defeat at Wilson’s Creek the Federal Army was moving a bit more cautiously when they again tackled Price at an obscure little place called “Pea Ridge” in Northern Arkansas. On that field, Dodge’s mettle would be tested nearly beyond what was thought humanly possible for a “commander of militia”. “After all”, the Confederate commanders would boast after that engagement, “we put Federal Regulars to flight at Wilson’s Creek and put an end to their taunting of us ‘Secesh militia boys’”.
In the heated battle of Pea Ridge, Dodge would be slightly wounded himself, have no fewer than three horses killed beneath him and a fourth wounded. Bet he held his section of the line. Though losing one-third of his overall command he held; and though every one of his field officers were killed, he held still. Earning for himself the well deserved accolade of having “saved Curtis’s Army” and being instrumental in the ultimate defeat of Van Dorn’s forces (of which Price, a Missourian and Ben McCulloch, a Texan, were is subordinate commands).
Dodge would be promoted to Brigadier General after Pea Ridge and given command of the Army of the Mississippi and called upon by Lincoln to oversee the protection and building of vital railroads throughout the recently won mid-south that would move men and materials to supply the ever-growing armies poised to devour Vicksburg and move through the heart of the South in days to come.

By the summer of 1864, Dodge had risen to the rank of Major general and was in command of the 16th Army Corps of Sherman’s forces that were besieging Atlanta. While standing in a trench and observing the nearby Confederate lines through an eyehole in the Union breastworks, a Confederate sharpshooter sent a well-placed round through the general’s campaign hat and very nearly ended his life,
Following a long recovery at home in Council Bluffs, Major general Dodge would be sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1865 to oversee the protection of small settlements on the plains from the predations of Indians. He would resign his commission in 1866 and return to Iowa.
Dodge would serve a single term in the United States Congress representing Iowa’s 5th District, but would then turn his attention to business endeavors for the rest of his days.
And here, in the belly of the museum, resides that very hat that he wore on that fateful day in August of 1864 when some unknown “Johnnie” took the shot that very nearly ended it all.
In the accompanying photograph, Volunteer Conservator David Thompson hold’s Grenville Dodge’s decidedly pierced campaign hat. Evidence of a very near thing, indeed.

David M. lamb
Volunteer Conservator
Iowa Battle Flags Project

Photos by:
David M. Lamb

Posted by CS Stahr on Wednesday 25 August 2010 - 13:22:31 | LAN_THEME_20
Our Own National Treasure
Our Own National Treasure

Eleanor McConkey Turns 100 Years Young!

Sister Eleanor McConkey of the Dodge Camp Auxiliary celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, August 22nd with a gathering of family and friends at Clifton Heights Presbyterian Church her Des Moines’ Easter Lake neighborhood.

Dozens of family and friends gathered at the church to share in the luncheon and birthday cake with Eleanor, including members of the Grenville M. Dodge Camp; it’s Auxiliary, and The Governor’s Own.

This remarkable lady lives alone, still does all of her own daily cares, and runs her own business managing rental properties.

The accompanying photograph of Eleanor in period dress was taken at the 2009 Iowa State Fair. I am also including photos of Eleanor with the members of the Regiment and their spouses

(shown here left to right are Dana Peterson, Jane Thompson, Tammy Krock, Eleanor, RCS Krock, and CS Thompson; not pictured, but present, were Corporal and Mrs. Dan Rittel and their son, Austin; and Sister Marilyn Rittel of the Dodge Camp Auxiliary and wife of Sgt. Ron Rittel); and a photograph from Eleanor’s family album showing her mother and older sisters and little Eleanor as a child.

Respectfully submitted,
1/Sgt. David M. Lamb

Photos by:
David M. Lamb

Posted by CS Stahr on Monday 23 August 2010 - 13:15:49 | LAN_THEME_20
Dahl's - Some Old Friends
Some Old Friends, Revisited

Saturday, 21st August, 2010

When this Regiment began raising monies for the monument at Vicksburg, the Des Moines area Dahl’s Grocery Stores were the very first corporate entity to step forward and tell us that they would welcome our presence at their chain of stores in and around the Des Moines Metropolitan Area. The store in Ankeny was the first one that we made an appearance at, just about one year ago this very weekend.

Today, we went back to this store, and were welcomed by both the store’s emplyees and customers with pen arms, open wallets, and free food! How can you not love that?

Though the day proved to be hot enough to remind us that it is Summer in Iowa, the shade of the overhang outside the front entrance proved adequate protection and shelter from the worst of it; and, the constant opening of the doors for the goings and comings of the patrons added a refreshing blast of arctic cool air-conditioning on a fairly regular basis.

Myself, RCS and Mrs Krock, CS Thompson, and Cpl. Dan Rittel arrived on scene almost simultaneously at just before 9:00am and we sat up our usual display of period arms and equipment and immediately set about meeting and visiting with the shoppers. Mrs. Krock applied her usual charms in “working the crowd” and charming the children who came along with their parents to do the family shopping, as some of the accompanying photos will show.

Remember me talking about how frequently people want to give us things at events? It happened again today.

A lady stopped by and spent considerable time visiting with Danny and Tammy and then they brought her over to me. The lady explained that she now lives in Bradentown, Florida, but still owns a “Summer Home” here in Iowa (why anyone would chose to come to Iowa in the Summer is somewhat difficult to fathom, but there it is…).

She told me that she had a “collection of papers” that her father had from the time that he spent as a signalman in the US Navy aboard a Destroyer (DD-574, gthe USS John Rodgers, a FLETCHER CLASS Destroyer built in Texas in 1941, launched in May of ’42 to see continual service in the South Pacific throughout the war). The lady said that the “papers” that she had were copies of messages that her father had received while on duty in the signal shack aboard the destroyer during the closing days of the war and she wondered if we would like to see them.
We told her, “very much, indeed, and thanks for the offer”.

About fifteen minutes later she returned with a couple of hundred pages of documents and said, “you guys are welcome to make a copy of these if you like, and I’ll come back at about 1:30 or so and get them from you.” I think I was on my way to the nearby STAPLES store before she actually got out of the parking lot!

I have only skimmed through the documents briefly, but it is all there. Messages flying back and forth from CINCPAC to all ships regarding invasions, enemy troop movements, the built-up to the invasiion of Iow Jima, Leyte Gulf operations, the surrender of Japanese Naval and Land Forces…it will become another treasured addition to the growing library of the 49th Iowa.

Lots of good memories from today. Some world-class bratwurst sandwiches provided by the friendly staff at Dahl’s and $121.92 in donations…Saturdays don’t get a whole lot better! Unless they are about 25 degrees cooler…THAT would be better.

Maybe next week when we do it all over again at the Dahl’s Store in Johnston.

Respectfully submitted,
1/Sgt. David M. Lamb

All Photos by:
David M. Lamb

Posted by CS Stahr on Monday 23 August 2010 - 07:56:01 | LAN_THEME_20
Follow the Iowa Red Bulls

Want to Keep Track of Our Iowa Red Bulls!?!?!?

I’ve been following the Iowa Red Bulls, 2-34, on Twitter and they have announced their blog is on line. The blog includes commentary with many photos, as well as a shot of the new Multicam uniforms our men and women will be wearing in Afghanistan.

This is a great way to stay up-to-date with these Wonderful Citizen-Soldiers!

God Bless each and every one of them AND their Families!!!

Just click on the link:


C. Stahr, PDC

Posted by CS Stahr on Saturday 21 August 2010 - 10:20:26 | LAN_THEME_20
Field Notes 6.5
Field Notes 6.5

An item of potential interest to at least one member of “The Governor’s Own” 49th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantryy Regiment

So, what’s so great about August, 2010?
Aside from today (20th) being CS Stahr’s Birthday, that is.

August 2010 is blessed with 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays and 5 Tuesdays. THAT only happens every 823 years, and so only Sergeant Rittel might remember the last one…he probably won’t be around for the next time it happens.

Irreverently submitted,
1/Sgt David M. Lamb

Posted by CS Stahr on Friday 20 August 2010 - 16:01:00 | LAN_THEME_20
Field Notes VI
Field Notes VI

Items of potential interest to the members of The Governor’s Own Iowa Rifles.

State Historical Museum, Des Moines

While Sheila Hanke is finishing up the final re-consolidation of the shield on the flag of the 4th Iowa Infantry; CS Thompson continues to do the initial work on the embroidered 9th Iowa’s colors; and, our wandering Conservator, Sarah Carlson (just returned from her studies in Great Britain) is putting the finishing touches on the flag of the 7th Iowa Cavalry. That flag is slated to go onto public display on October 14th, so mark your calendars for another Battle Flag Move by us on that date.

Yesterday (August 18th) I pulled out the 4th Iowa’s National flag and began the documentation process on her before undertaking the conservation treatment. Plans are, ultimately, to have both the national and Regimental of the 4th Iowa on display together, perhaps early next year as we will be spending considerable time on this one as well.

Up next? Corporal Voltaire P. Twombly’s flag that he carried to the ramparts of Fort Donelson on February 15th, 1862, after three others of the 2nd Iowa’s Color Guard had fallen. For this action, Voltaire would win the Congressional Medal of Honor, and the undying admiration of his comrades and commanders for “restoring the honor of the Regiment”.

While camped near Saint Louis, MO., in February of 1862, someone had broken into and vandalized the museum collection of McDowel Medical School. Because of its proximity to the scene of the crime, the 2nd Iowa was blamed for this act; and, when exiting their camp area for the deployment that would take them to Donelson, the Regiment had been ordered to march to the waiting riverboats with their colors cased and to nothing but the sound of their own footfalls rather than the rousing martial music that normally accompanied such a send-off. A singular punishment for a unit then in disgrace.
Corporal Twombly’s heroic carriage of the colors (after being almost immediately knocked from his feet by a spent ball upon beginning his advance on the Confederate position) to the heights at Donelson just a few short weeks later would erase forever any stigma that had fallen upon the heads of the young Iowans of Col. James Tuttle’s gallant 2nd Iowa.

After Donelson, the Regiment would go on to distinguish itself further throughout the rest of the war at places like Shiloh, Corinth and Atlanta, thence on to the Sea and up into the Carolina’s with Sherman. Corporal Twombly would be twice wounded and promoted to the rank of Captain by war’s end. Following the war, he returned to Iowa, married his childhood sweetheart (Chleo A. Funk) and remained here until his death in 1918.

He rests under Iowa sod at a rural cemetery at Pittsburg, Iowa.

The flag that Voltaire Twombly carried to the ramparts of Fort Donelson is the very one that Sheila and Sarah will begin work on in the near future. I will be posting lots of pictures of this grand old flag once that work begins.

Bloomfield, Iowa

Since the trip to Franklin, Tennessee, washed out on us, another event is rapidly taking shape to take its place. Full details have not been worked out as yet, but Corporals Grim and Sample are putting together a “Live Fire Weekend” to take place at the Sample Farm near Bloomfield.

Brother Jake, who shoots muzzle-loaders competitively, has graciously offered to supply powder and shot as well as know-how and cleaning supplies; and Brother David will provide the venue to set targets at 25 and 50 yards, so as to allow members of the Regiment the opportunity to actually fire their weapons.

I will give instruction on the proper techniques for maintaining and firing of flintlock pieces if anyone has one that they want to bring along.
At present, the event is taking shape for Saturday, October 16th, but that isn’t set in stone yet, so stand-by for a bit before making plans. Details to follow.

Des Moines

Corporal Louie Zenti and I picked up the Regimental trailer from the dealer yesterday and moved it to Louie’s place of business so that he can begin the fabrication of the interior hardware that will allow us to stow all of the Regimental accoutrements (rifles, uniforms, canvases, tables, tablecloths, brochures and display materials…and flags). I have just completed my ideas for the artwork that will adorn the sides of the trailer and am meeting this morning with our “sign guy” to see what it possible.

Posted by CS Stahr on Thursday 19 August 2010 - 13:33:25 | LAN_THEME_20
Congratulations, Tom Gaard
Brother Tom Gaard

On the receipt of the Meritorious Service Gold Star Award!

Photo by: David M. Lamb

On August 14th, 2010, during the 129th Encampment of the Allied Orders of the Grand Army of the Republic, held in Overland Park Kansas, Brother Tom Gaard of the General Grenville M. Dodge Camp #75, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, received one of this body’s highest awards for merit; the Gold Star Award; Presented by Commander-in-Chief Leo Kennedy

Brother Gaard has spent years documenting and photographing Iowa Battlefield Monuments and has worked tirelessly to preserve and protect these magnificent memorials that provide us all with tangible links to our shared ancestries. Tom has personally overseen the erection of monuments to both Iowa and Illinois troops at the Allatoona Pass National Battlefield; and his work in bringing to light the state of the monument to General Francis Herron’s Division at Vicksburg, resulted in funds being raised to repair and restore that monument as well. Recently, it was Tom that presented the 49th Iowa with the mission of restoration of the monument at Eddyville, and he has recommended other future undertakings that we will embark upon one at a time.
Brother Gaard was recommended for this award by his Brothers in the Dodge Camp, the sitting Department Commander, two Past Department Commanders, and representatives of the National Park Service, among others.

NO ONE in this fraternal Order is more deserving of this award than is Brother Tom.
On behalf of The Governor’s Own Iowa Rifles I wish to extend our most heart-felt congratulations to this fine gentleman, tireless brother, and outstanding friend!

“Well done, Sir!”

David M. Lamb
1/Sgt., Commanding

Posted by CS Stahr on Wednesday 18 August 2010 - 13:23:38 | LAN_THEME_20
State Fair Veteran's Day 2010
Veteran’s Day at the Fair

Taking part in events like today’s is what this unit was “born” to do. It is who we are to our very soul as an organization; and it is what we are all about, honoring those who have honored us with their unselfish devotion to this nation by sacrificing so much by their service to this great nation.

Doing these things are ALWAYS enormously touching and poignant experiences for all of us in the 49th Iowa, but never more so than today. Because today we were, in our Order of March, directly in-front-of a group of approximately 100 or so family members of those Iowa National Guardsmen of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team/34th Infantry Division, that have just this past week deployed to Camp Shelby, Mississippi in preparation for their ultimate mission in the Afghan Theater of Operations of the Global War on Terror.

These were the wives and kids; the mothers and fathers; the brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews who had just recently said “Good-Bye” to their loved ones and sent them off with the ache in their hearts that you can read in their eyes, which comes, knowing that these young men and women are going in harm’s way. And, yet, today we were told countless times by these courageous and proud families that they appreciated us for being there to remind them that going off to wars is something that generations of Iowans have been doing for a very long time.
This nation is truly blessed to have such people.

We are blessed to have the veterans that we passed along our route of march from other distant battlefields, from Normandy to Pork Chop Hill, Iwo Jima to Operation Pegasus, from the deserts of Kuwait, and Iraq, and others who are very freshly back from Afghanistan.

I cannot describe the honor that we feel when we see these special people rise to their feet; sometimes from their wheelchairs, often with the aid of prosthetic limbs that have replaced those left behind in the nightmare of distant battlefields, to remove their caps or render us a salute as we carry the Colors of this Nation, this State, and our Regiment, past them in honor of their service.

It is something that I know each of us will cherish all of the days of our lives; and, it is something that we shall continue to do for so long as we have the strength to do it.

1/Sgt David M. lamb
The Governor’s Own Iowa Rifles

Photos by: Dennis Sasse

Posted by CS Stahr on Tuesday 17 August 2010 - 13:47:58 | LAN_THEME_20
2010 Allied Orders National Encampment
2010 National Encampment

Overland Park, Kansas
August 12-14th, 2010

In total, six members of the 49th Iowa took part in the National Encampment of the SUVCW this past weekend when Corporal and Department Commander Jim Braden; Corporal (and Senior Vice Commander) Jake Grim; Corporal Louis Zenti; Sgt Ron Rittel; Sgt Mike Carr and myself attended as Delegates from the State of Iowa.

Photo by: Sharon Braden

Of interest to us as an SVR unit was the announcement at the Saturday morning SVR Breakfast hosted by Brig. General Robert Grim that the new Meritorious Unit Citation would be changed from the modern-day military style ribbon (sans drop and medallion) to a more period looking metal disc to be worn on the right breast of the uniform coat for dress events. The net device resembles one of the Corps Badges adopted for use during the war to identify different Army Corps within the several Army districts (Army of the Cumberland, Army of the Tennessee, Army of the Gulf, etc). This Regiment shall be among the first in the nation to be honored with this badge at the up-coming Remembrance Day ceremonies in Gettysburg in November.
Dr. Sam Gant (Department of Tennessee) and SVR liaison to the Battle of Franklin Committee announced to us that plans for the Parade through the town of Franklin that was to have been held on Saturday, October 16th have been cancelled. This cancellation negates the need for this Regiment to deploy to the area and so other plans will be made for an event in its stead.
Brief discussion was undertaken about the 2011 National Encampment to be held in Reston, Virginia (14 miles from the Manassas National Battlefield Park; and within striking distance of Washington, D.C.; Mount Vernon; Historic Williamsburg; and about 80% of the rest of the battlefields of the Civil war, including Richmond and Appomattox). Many activities of interest to attendees and their families are being planned that include tours of battlefields, the nation’s capital and Arlington National Cemetery. I will be encouraging members of this Regiment to attend this event and as soon as I have some relatively certain numbers of those from our rank who intend to do so, will contact both Senator Harkin and Congressman Boswell about arranging a tour of the White House for members of the Forty-Ninth Iowa and our families. I took this tour myself a couple of years ago and it is phenomenal!
The 2012 National Encampment will be held in Los Angeles, California, and little definitive information about that event was given.
I had the opportunity to meet and have brief discussions with Brad Quinlan (Department of Georgia and South Carolina) about the proposed 2013 event to be held in Marietta, Georgia. You may recall having seen Brad on the television program “Who Do You Think You Are?” with Matthew Broderick Brad was the historian who helped Matt to identify the probable final resting place of his Civil War ancestor (Pvt. Robert Martindale, Co “B” 20th Connecticut) who was killed early on in the Battle for Atlanta on July 23, 1864); and is now busily planning some monumentally fascinating events to coincide with the proposed Encampment in Marietta should the National Council of Administration choose that city as a site for the event. I will keep you posted on this score as well.

Respectfully Submitted,
1/Sgt David M. lamb

Posted by CS Stahr on Monday 16 August 2010 - 08:17:20 | LAN_THEME_20
49th's War Wagon
The Iowa Rifles' War Wagon!

A milestone in our Unit’s history has just taken the physical form of a new, enclosed trailer.

(A better photo to be published, soon.)

1st Sgt. David Lamb purchased a 5' x 8' x 6' tall trailer, which will be used to transport all the 49th's gear to events both here in the State and to all our out-of-state venues and events. (Gettysburg Remembrance Day)

Our Top Shirt paid for this $1800 trailer entirely with his own funds; he did not borrow a Farthing from the coffers of the 49th, which are earmarked for preservation and restoration.


Please mail your pledges and make them payable to:

David M. Lamb
1305 Locust St. #7
Des Moines, IA 50309

Thank you, in advance, for your prompt attention.

Posted by Corporal Stahr
on the request of
1st Sgt. Lamb

Posted by CS Stahr on Friday 13 August 2010 - 13:48:13 | LAN_THEME_20
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