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News :: Civil War history lessons fill Soldiers' Monument rededication
· 10:26am October 29th, 2012
Earlier this month, a daughter of a Civil War veteran died in Iowa.
That surprising fact was just one lesson learned by those who attended the re-dedication of the “Soldiers’ Monument” at Evergreen Cemetery on Saturday afternoon.
On Sunday Oct. 27, 1912, more than 1,000 area residents gathered around the statue of a Civil War soldier facing west with a rifle in his hand, to honor the 1,000 men from Benton County who had gone to war a half century earlier to preserve the Union.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, scores of area residents gathered in that same spot for the same reason: To remember with gratefulness those men from Benton County who served their country and sacrificed to preserve the United States.
Alex Vasquez, the Vinton-Shellsburg Middle School teacher and Civil War historian, helped organize the event. Three members from The Iowa Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War joined area residents in honoring those who served 150 years ago.
Vasquez told the audience that the 2012 ceremony included several elements of the 1912 event; the community band played the same songs this year that the Vinton band played a century ago: Nearer, My God, To Thee; America; and The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Four young girls pulled the rope a century ago to unveil the statue; the granddaughter of one of those girls spoke this year.
Betsy Hadley is a great-great-granddaughter of Albert M. Stanzer, who was the last surviving Benton County Civil War veteran. He moved to Vinton from Illinois in 1881 and died in 1939. Betsy learned before the ceremony that her grandmother had been one of the girls who unveiled the statue.
Hugh Mossman, a Vinton lawyer, was the last speaker of the 1912 event. His grandson, Vinton lawyer Mark Mossman, spoke last this year. Mark Mossman told the audience that the Civil War was just the beginning of the long struggle for equality and justice that continues to this day.
Danny Edward Krock, a 2ndLieutenant in Company A of the Iowa 49thVolunteer Infantry SVR, led most of the ceremony. Krock, who joined the Iowa Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War after learning that he had several ancestors who served, was dressed in full Civil War uniform as he spoke about the history of the war, and especially about Iowans who served. Two other members of that organization helped Krock with the ceremony.
John Austin, a retired Benton County deputy and a Civil War Cavalry re-enactor, also participated, accompanying a group of Civil War re-enactors who paraded through the cemetery before the ceremony began.
On Oct 4, Rosella Scieszinski, age 103, died in a care center in Albia, Iowa. Her father was John Brandson, who served with Co. A, 6th WI Vols. “Iron Brigade.”
Krock told the audience that there are several people still alive whose fathers fought in the Civil War. See a list HERE and a story HERE. Scieszinski was the last known child of a Civil War veteran in Iowa. There are also many known children of men who served in the Confederate Army who are still alive.
The Iowa 49th seeks to preserve Civil War history and Civil War monuments.
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