—6th Gun Salute . . . Civil War
Wed, 05/30/2018 - 1:26pm admin
CRESCO - Meet Mike Bigley and Harold Huhe. Bigley is the Commander of American Legion Post 597 in Elma, and Huhe is a member of American Legion Post 135 and VFW Post 4561 in Cresco. Both are Freedom Rock members.
This week’s gun salute is to commemorate the Civil War. Although the war took place from 1861-1865, Bigley and Huhe want to share a tradition that resulted from the war. Originally called Decoration Day, from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to our country.
It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868 to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former Union sailors and soldiers. After World War I, Memorial Day was established as a national holiday throughout the United States.
Bigley reminds locals that Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave.
Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Did you know that during the war, the Union confiscated Robert E. Lee’s estate and turned it into a cemetery so that he would be reminded of the carnage he caused? It later became Arlington National Cemetery.
Huhe wants you to know this Civil War fact: The youngest soldier in the Civil War was a nine-year-old from Mississippi. The oldest, Curtis King was an 80-year-old from Chillicothe, Iowa. Wow!
There are many riveting facts about the Civil War the Freedom Rock Committee members think could win you drinks at trivia night:
• Seven future U.S. presidents served in the Civil War: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, Chester A. Arthur and Andrew Johnson.
• Harriet Tubman led raids to free slaves during the Civil War and liberated 10 times the number of slaves she had freed in 10 years on the Underground Railroad.
• Edward Everett, the main speaker at the Gettysburg dedication, spoke for two hours. President Abraham Lincoln, who was invited almost as an afterthought, spoke for two minutes. His speech went down in history. Quality over quantity every time!
• The first U.S. Medal of Honor was awarded during the Civil War on March 25, 1863. It was awarded to six survivors of the April 1862 Andrew’s Raid. In all, 2,625 soldiers and sailors received the medal during the war. There were 433 awarded during WWII.
• Inflation rose 100 percent in the north over the four years of the Civil War. In the South, the rate neared 100 percent every year of the war. Immediately after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, it took 1,200 Confederate dollars to buy one U.S. dollar.
[This weekly countdown will feature members of the Freedom Rock Committee and information about military history. The Howard County Memorial Park, with the Freedom Rock as a focal point, is located at the crossroads of Hwy. 9 and 3rd St. West in Cresco.]