To the sound of a 21-gun salute and taps, the grave of Civil War Union veteran Corporal Waldo Lamb was dedicated Sunday afternoon in Greenwood Cemetery.
Lamb was the last Civil War Union veteran to die in Mower County when he died in 1938.
“We are here today not only to honor all of our veterans, but especially the 391 Union Civil War veterans laid to rest in Mower County and to forever mark the final resting place of Corporal Waldo Lamb , the last Union Civil War soldier buried here in this patriotic county. “said Gary Carlberg, chairman of the Minnesota VFW Membership Department and Civil War re-enactor.
Lamb enlisted in the Union Army after his family moved to the Lambs Creek area of Pennsylvania just before he was 16.
He served during the last days of the war from 1864 to 1865, ironically with a unit from Wisconsin: Muster Company D 37th Wisconsin Infantry.
During his time Lamb participated in the Siege of Petersburg, the Battle of the Crater, and the Battle of Boydton Plank Road – all taking place around Petersburg Virginia.
He was honorably discharged and eventually married Emily Sevens in 1873 and had two children.
Among the family present on Sunday was David Johnson, a Minnesota National Guard staff sergeant in St. Paul.
Holding the American flag behind Lamb’s grave during the ceremony, Johnson said afterwards that there was no way he would miss Sunday’s event.
“I had to leave the Guards this weekend because it’s my practice weekend,” Johnson said with a smile, adding that he put a lot of his work into the start of the weekend. to be able to attend. “I’m like, ‘I’ve done my part, I’m taking Sunday off.’ I had to be here.
Johnson, who is Lamb’s great-great-grandson, comes from a family with a long line of distinguished military service.
“If it weren’t for him, my grandfather who served, my father who served, we wouldn’t have the freedoms we have today,” he said. “I’m just proud to continue this service.”
Don Peterson of Brownsdale is the one who found Lamb’s grave, digging in the background with the help of Sue Doocy of the Mower County Historical Society.
Carlberg said it’s because of the work people like Peterson and Doocy have put in place that makes the work of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War feasible, the group behind the work of identifying Civil War soldiers. .
“Having Don here has been great and if we get stuck, we have someone like Sue at the Mower County Historical Society,” Carlberg said. “To be honest, some of them don’t care about the Civil War, so I don’t have someone like Sue to respond with the information.”
They combine with Carlberg’s efforts to make it to Sunday’s dedication ceremony and are a way to continue honoring those who fought in America’s deadliest conflict on its own soil.
“We recognize all veterans, and especially Civil War veterans and he is representative of all Civil War veterans because he was the last to die,” Carlberg said. “Whether they served on the Union side or the Confederate side, they were all Americans.”
For Johnson, however, it’s a chance to live the family history and proud legacy she recognizes.
“I discovered [about Lamb’s history] maybe about five years ago,” Johnson said. “My family pretty much knew that, but I’m just getting to know that side of the family and we live just 10 miles from my grandmother. It’s been a blessing.
“It’s an honor to be here,” he added.