Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dedication Exercises at the Second Iowa Regimental Monument: Shiloh National Military Park

November 22, 1906

10:30 A. M.

Music (Brass Quartette): Fifty-fifth Iowa Regimental Band
"Blest Be the Tie That Binds"

General James B. Weaver of Colfax, Iowa

Governor Cummins, Members of the Commission, Ladies and Gentlemen:

This was a very hot place on the day of the battle. Iowa did not have a bad regiment in the field, nor a regiment that failed to reflect credit upon the commonwealth and the flag, and she had no regiment in the field that excelled the Second Iowa Infantry. The men in that regiment were as gallant as ever shouldered a musket or faced an enemy in battle. I will tell you some things that took place right here.

Standing here to my left is Captain McNeal, of the Second Iowa Infantry. This was the right of our regiment, — the left extended along the “Sunken Road.” Captain McNeal at that time was an orderly sergeant, and he had upon his cartridge box this piece of brass (shows piece of brass). It was convex when he took his position down there on the left of the regiment, but it is concave now, as you see. It was made concave by a solid shot, and I saw it strike him. This piece of brass upon his cartridge box saved his life. I saw the same cannon ball strike another man and mortally wound him.

The battle here was so hot that the very birds were confused, and the quail absolutely played around my feet. They did not know what to do. They forgot their cunning and knew not how to fly. The little swifts with which you comrades are familiar, were confused, and could not run nor get out of our way. It was a most terrific battle, here at the “Hornet’s Nest.”

I feel that I have been highly honored in being permitted to accompany this party of citizens from Iowa to dedicate these monuments, and I am especially thankful to Almighty God that my strength has been so spared that I can return here, after forty-four years, and participate in the dedication of these memorials. Unless some vandal displaces them, they will stand here until the end of time.

Our commission is entitled to the gratitude of every soldier and of the whole people of the state for having selected such enduring material for commemorating the valor and courage of those who fought here. May God in His mercy bless us and bless posterity and keep alive the love of God, the love of country, and the love of the flag — the trinity of affection which will make for the greatness of this nation for all time. I thank you.

Rev. Dr. A. L. Frisbie of Des Moines, Iowa

"Grant, O God, thy continued favor as we go on with our pilgrimage of peace. In these days of prosperity, we pray that we may learn wisdom from the past, and remember the sublime victories that are to be won in peace through citizenship and character; that so we may be helped continually to approach the higher levels of life by which alone our nation shall attain its proper greatness.  Guide us on our way, and accept our thanks for all thy mercies to us through dark days to the days of brightness and of peace, in the name of Christ, our Lord. Amen."

SOURCE:  Alonzo Abernathy, Editor, Dedication of Monuments Erected By The State Of Iowa, 220-1

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