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Civil War vets honored on Decoration Day

David Tilden (left) performs Taps while George Foster stands at attention.
Photo by Joseph Slacian

Members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War gathered at Mount Hope Cemetery on Tuesday evening, May 30, for a Dedication Day service. During the ceremony, SUVCW members, along with local Boy Scouts, lit candles on the graves of the various Civil War veterans. Two Scouts – Ethan Meyer and Ben Augspurger – placed a wreath at the tomb of Brig. Gen. James Slack, who commanded the 1st Brigade, 1st Division XIII Corps. American flags also were placed on Slack’s grave, as well as that of Col. C.E. Briant. “The men who actually fought the Civil War and helped build the country in the years thereafter … always considered what will be our legacy? Who will remember who we are and what we’ve done,” Gib Young, past Indiana Department Commander of the SUVWC, said in making remarks at the event. “We’re talking about men who had never seen a three-story building in their life. Most of the men from this county, had never been anywhere but this county. “Then this cataclysmic event occurs, the splitting of their beloved union, that calls them forward and they’re ready to go.” It wasn’t just the soldiers who sacrificed during the war, Young continued. Also suffering were their loved ones back home. “Can you imagine sending off your sons, brothers or uncles or even fathers on a train, not knowing if you’ll ever see them again,” he said. “They gave up so much, and they wondered who’s going to remember us, who’s going to remember these particular sacrifices? “The Sons of Union Veterans, we remember, and we want to honor, and we want to preserve that particular heritage.” The service took place on May 30, Young explained, because Gen. Black Jack Logan issued a proclamation to the members of the Grand Army of the Republic, that May 30 would be the time each year to decorate the graves of Union soldiers and sailors who have gone one. A gun salute followed the laying of the wreath, after which David Tilden performed Taps to close the tribute.