The citizens of Union County will ever remember with great pride, the history of her part in the struggle for the preservation of the Union.
The firing on Ft. Sumter had hardly ceased when President Lincoln issued his call for troops, April 13, 1861. Just eight days after the call Union County had one hundred men mustered into service of the United States. Young and old left their occupations and went out to preserve the union which had been brought forth on the battlefields of Lexington and Yorktown.
Saturday, April 30th, 1861, the first meeting for the enlistment of soldiers were held at Liberty. The town was adorned with American flags, cannons were booming, bands were playing and business was suspended. The meeting was held in the court house and after several speeches the enrollment commenced. Political ties were forgotten and men of all parties came forward together, T. W. Bennett being the first and John L. Grove the second
to volunteer. A company of seventy-five men was soon organized with leaders as follows:
Capt.. T. W. Bennett, First Lieut., John L. Grove; Second Lieut; S. D. Byram. The officers of this company have all passed away, two of them now sleeping in West Point Cemetery. The company was known as Comp. I, 13th Indiana Infantry. It took part in the battles of Shiloh, Stone River, Mission Ridge and other prominent engagements.
Union County furnished men to eight different regiments representing both cavalry and infantry besides men scattered in the artillery and other services. The organization represented were the 9th Cavalry, 11th, 15th, 16th, 36th, 27th, 69th, and 84th infantry. The county was represented on almost every battlefield from the army of the Potomac to the Rio Grande.
A home guard was also formed, composed of old and young, men unable to go the battlefield. They were left with money to relieve families whose supporters were in the service of the United State as soldiers.
Not long after the beginn9ing our citizens were made to realize something of horrors by the home-c0oming of some of their sons for burial. Harry Dunlap was the first dead soldier brought to the county. He was a cavalryman and at his funeral, his horse, bearing the soldier’s booths reversed, was led in the procession. Capt.. King, who lost his life on the field while bravely cheering his men to victory, soon followed and was buried in Silver Creek cemetery just west of Liberty. Altogether there are one hundred thirty three soldiers buried in the county.
During the war the ladies did everything possible to provide the soldiers with food, clothing, money and also delicacies. In 1864 a meeting was held in the court house yard to consider plans for raising money. Governor Morton spoke and at the close of his address, Chaplain Rozier of the 37 th Indiana, aroused the people to great enthusiasm by his rendering of stirring war songs. Then followed an appeal for money. A paper was started through the crowd and a large sum was raised before the meeting adjourned. Committees were appointed and by their canvass, the ladies won for the county a beautiful silk flag for furnishing them largest amount of sanitary supplies of any county of the state, according to the population. Subsequently the banner was presented by Chaplain Lozier at a meeting
held in the old Methodist Church. The flag is now in tatters but is still kept in the Grand Army of the Republic Hall.
AT the close of the war the G.A.R. post was formed, and as it was customary to name the post in honor of some dead soldier it was named Duvall post in honor of J. M.
Duvall. He had been wounded on the battlefield of Franklin, was twice elected auditor of Union county after coming home and died shortly after retirement from that office.
And thus out of about four hundred twenty five brave men who left their homes and families and offered so freely to sacrifice life itself, if need by, to main “the Union as it was”, the tramp of only thirty nine veterans is now heard as they march to the cemetery to spread garlands of flowers on the graves of their comrades. Only thirty nine native soldiers are left to answer the roll call of the post and to meet and talk over the reminiscences of the scenes and struggles which they endured. Only a few more years, as far as they are concerned and all will be a matter of history. Now should we become involved in another struggle equally just could Union County maintain her record.
May 16, 1905
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