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Civil War

Dubuque Daily Herald

Dubuque, Iowa

31 May 1868

Page 3

Decoration of Graves.

Tribute to Dead Soldiers.
Address By Gen. Vandever
List of Graves Decorated with Flowers.
Interesting and Impressive Ceremonies.

On the 5th day of May Gen. John A. Logan commander-in-chief of the organization known as the Grand Army of the Republic, issued an order directing that on the 30th of May the organization, throughout the United States, should decorate the graves of soldiers who died during the late war. In accordance with this order the organization throughout the country on Saturday, the 30th, was engaged in strewing beautiful flowers upon the graves of dead heroes, a tribute beautiful and sacred to the purpose to render honor to men who died in a conviction of duty. In this city the ceremonies were complete, and performed in a spirit which reflects honor upon the living no less than it crowned the glory of the dead.


In accordance with arrangements previously made, a squad of cavalry assembled upon call at Washington square at eight o'clock in the morning, and under command of Lieut. Col. Pollock proceeded to the cemeteries at Key West, Center Grove, Rockdale, and on Kelly's Bluffs, and strewed the graves of soldiers in those burial places with flowers. The graves in these cemeteries are of the following soldiers:




Geo. Carroll

(no entry)

Morris Nagle

Third Iowa battery

A. Cosgrove

37th Iowa Infantry

Wm. Barnes

(no entry)


~~ ** ~~




(blank) M'Manus

Third Iowa Infantry


~~ ** ~~




Lieut. D. G. Cook

21st Iowa Infantry

Thomas Lockey

21st Iowa Infantry


~~ ** ~~




  John G. Skaife

21st Iowa Infantry


(blank) Frost

Pennsylvania regiment Mexican War


Wm. Lourinde

38th Iowa Infantry

But the imposing ceremonies of the day were appointed for the afternoon, and were performed at Linwood cemetery. At 2 o'clock p.m., soldiers and civilian citizens assembled at Washington square. The Germania band, and martial music, were in attendance. Horsemen, and footmen, and people in carriages gathered, all bearing bouquets and wreaths of flowers as offerings and testimonials to the brave departed.
The procession was formed under the following officers:

  Chief Marshal:

Maj. John McDermott


Assistant Marshals:

Col. Theodore Stimming

Capt. P. W. Crawford

Lieut. Camp.


Commander of Cavalry:

Lieut. Col. Pollock.

The order of procession was: First, mounted men; then followed the band; then footmen, and then carriages. Flags were appropriately distributed through the procession. The procession as it passed the City Hall consisted of forty-seven mounted men, seventy-seven men on foot, and thirty-five carriages. A large number of carriages, as well as citizens on foot, had preceded the procession to the cemetery.


The order of march was as follows: Down Locust street to First; along First to Main; up Main to Eleventh; down Eleventh to Clay; up Clay and Couler avenue to Eagle Point, thence to the cemetery.


At the Cemetery.

The procession entered Linwood by the western entrance and formed facing the east. Gen. Vandever, who had been selected to deliver the address, occupied an eminence overlooking the congregation, and spoke as follows:

Gen. Vandever's Address.


"Comrades and Friends -- The sad mementoes before us, call vividly to our minds the harrowing events and bloody sacrifices of the late war for the suppression of a wicked rebellion. Standing to-day at the portal of the grave, between the living and the dead, we will renew our vows of devotion to the country and the flag they have died to defend. While we drop a tear in sorrow for the untimely fate of fallen comrades and friends, we will cherish their memories in our hearts, emulate their heroism and virtue, and dedicate ourselves afresh to perpetuate the principles of liberty they have consecrated by the sacrifice of their lives.


The list of deceased soldiers whose remains repose beneath our feet constitute a "Roll of Honor" emblazoned by imperishable deeds of valor and devotion to country. Here and there a grave is marked "unknown." We can only tell that its occupant was a patriot who, wan and crippled from the field of strife, struggling to regain his home, reached the confines of our state, and destined never again to behold the face of wife or child, sank exhausted into the embrace of death. Stranger though he was, the sympathizing tear and tender touch of a woman was not denied him at the last hour, for there are those among us who withheld not a mother's or a sister's part from the returning veteran, but smoothed his pillow and caught his last expiring breath. May heaven reward and bless them.

The tenants of these graves, whom we knew in life, I need not name. They live in our affections with a freshness and verdure that knows no winter. We meet to-day to strew alike the grave of the known and unknown with the fragrant garlands of returning spring. It is a fitting expression of the affection we cherish for their memories; a tribute of admiration to heroic virtue and noble service.


While engaged in this interesting ceremony, our minds revert to the thousands who went forth never to return, not even for sepulcher. The remorseless wave which deluged the land with blood cast a few mangled forms back at our feet, but the great multitude it gave not up, but hid forever from our sight. They lie for the most part where they fell, in undistinguishable groups upon every battle field, shrouded only in the habiliaments of the soldier. And some, alas, murdered by the slow tortures of some infernal dens as Libby and Andersonville, yielded their emaciated bodies a scanty repast to the rebelling worm -- their terrible fate adding the bitterest dreg to fill the iniquitous cup of the sum of all villainies.


Oh, what a wail breaks from the heart of the nation this day, as mournful groups gather in every city, village and hamlet in the land to cast flowers upon the graves of departed heroes, and mingle tears with the dust of the dead. Many hearts renew their sorrows today; the nation weeps, but heaven be praised for the hopes of the future; there is a resurrection to renewed national life, in which traitors and tyrants can have no part, but at which they may well call upon the rock to hide them."

At the conclusion of Gen. Vandever's address the band discoursed appropriate music. Then a prayer, of rare power and eloquence was offered to heaven, by Rev. L. Whiting, pastor of the Congregational church of this city.

The procession then reformed, the cavalry dismounting, and proceeded under the guidance of Dr. Watson to the graves of the soldiers, where flowers were scattered alike upon the last resting place of private and officer, the known and unknown hero. Where loving hands and sorrowing hearts had deposited the worn out or broken body of a darling whose life had been sacrificed in battle, or been wasted in the disease of the camp, now come other hands lovingly, and other hearts honoring, to testify the appreciation by the living of the heroic dead, and where the stranger had been buried by strangers the testimonial was equally given because no less deserved. At each grave the column halted, the name and regiment of the dead, when known, were announced by Dr. Watson, and while heads were uncovered the flowers were strewn. The following is a list of the graves thus decorated:




Lieut J. F. Conyngham

24th U. S. Infantry

Joseph Turner

5th Iowa cavalry

Capt. S. S. Newberry

12th U. S. Inft

Lieut. J. L. Harvey

adjt, 46th Iowa

Sergt. James McDermott

1st Iowa cavalry

T. J. Knowlton

8th Iowa cavalry

Col. J. B. Dorr

8th Iowa cavalry.

Stephen Barton

21st Iowa Inft

Lieut. Geo. W. Cumins

37th Iowa Inft

Ulrich Brassler

1st Iowa Inft

L. D. Cook

48th Iowa Inft

Simon Lannica

16th Iowa Inft

James Graham

5th Iowa cavalry

(blank) Gilbert


Two Unknown

from hospital

John Luthe

46th Iowa Inft

John Gaston

14th Iowa Inft.

Geo. King

90th N. Y. Inft

Ernest Amberg

1st Iowa Inft

Wm. H. Gunn

1st Iowa cavalry.

Henry Laufler

1st Iowa Inft

John Litrell


Two Unknown

of 21st Iowa Inft.

Carl Shaffer Bernstein

major 5th Iowa cav

Dan'l McCartney

100th colored

Gen. Henry


(blank) Alling


Henry Kroll

46th Iowa Inft.

L. N. Converse

46th Iowa Inft.

F. H. Duncan

14th Penn. cav.

G. W. Barnes

42d Ills. Inft.

W. L. Shankland

5th Iowa cavalry

Henry Madorf


N. McDaniel


Lieut. Stillman Smith

14th Iowa Inft.

Having concluded the ceremonies of decorating the graves of soldiers the procession was disbanded, and all dispersed.

~ Transcribed and contributed by Joe Conroy

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