submitted by Jo Ann Carlson, November 10, 2007

He Breathes His Last at 12 o’clock Last Night

Feb. 8, 1895(hand written)

At the home of his mother on West Third street, at 12 o’clock last night Edward L. Couch, better known as “Mose,” breathed his last, after an illness of several weeks.

Deceased was born in this city on the 20th of May, 1843, consequently was nearly 52 years of age. All high life had been spent here, except the time that he was in the service in the late rebellion. He enlisted in Co. A 1st Iowa Infantry, at the beginning of the war, though only eighteen year of age, and went to the front, participating in the battle of Wilson’s Creek, after which he came home, he being one of the ninety-day men, and after being home one month, he returned as a member of Co. H, 11th Iowa, under Capt. G.O. Morgridge. He was color-bearer the colors, fell mortally wounded and Edward rushed forward and bore them aloft. For his valiant services he was promoted to the position of First Lieutenant in a colored regiment. He served for four years and came out with three honorable discharges. Since the war he has been acting as salesman for some of our agricultural implement houses a good share of the time, but of late years he has led a retired life.

He had made his home with his aged mother on West Third, who is left alone in the world to mourn the death of her only son.

The cause of death was Bright’s disease, which had affected the deceased for the past three or four years.

The aged mother will have the sympathy of the community in her bereavement. The hour of the funeral has not been fixed.

Since the foregoing was put in type, the following tribute to the deceased has been handed in by an army comrade:

    Edward L. Couch, after serving with marked gallantry in Iowa’s first volunteer regiment in 1861, re-enlisted for three years or so long as his services might be required. He was full of noble daring; always on hand for the post of danger and duty, and ever ready to share any hardship or comfort with a comrade. There never was a more true-hearted friend or man, with a more genial nature than he. He enlisted in Co. H, 11th Iowa, and with the company was mustered into the service Oct. 18, 1861. He was with the regiment in all of it meanderings until the close of the great war. At Shiloh, the greatest battle of the war, he was always at the front. At Corinth his buoyancy and good cheer helped to sustain and encourage many a weaker heart. He participated in the battles of Meadow Station, the capture of Memphis, the battles of Jackson, Champion Hills and the siege and capture of Vicksburg. He then re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer and took part in the Atlanta campaign, which resulted in the bloody battles of July 22d and 28th, 1864, and the capture of Atlanta, Ga. He marched with Sherman to the sea; was present at the capture of Savannah; at the capture and destruction of Columbia, S.C., and participated in the last contest of Sherman’s great army at Bentsonville, N.C., where Johnson surrendered. With the army he reached Washington, D.c., and took part in that great review which so astonished the world, and then went with the command to Louisville, Ky., and then to Davenport, Iowa, where with old company he again put on citizen’s garb and turned to peaceful pursuits.

    He was held in high regard by his comrades because of his fearlessness on the field of battle and because of his kind and generous heart. He was good to all but himself. He ruined an otherwise valuable life by the use of intoxicating liquor. In the life and death of Edward L. Couch is a lesson for all. The diseased processes that led to his untimely death, and the fruitlessness of much of his past life, and the sorrow that has come to his friends on many occasions, are all due to intemperance. Who is responsible?

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