The A.H. Cockrum Post No. 520 GAR - Oakland City, IN

The A. H. Cockrum Post No. 520
Grand Army of the Republic, Oakland City, IN


Click Here for Roster of Charter Members - September 17, 1887



GAR520_Pic1.JPG (492388 bytes)
Early Picture, GAR Post 520
Oakland City, Indiana 
Click on Picture to View Larger Image)
Date of Picture U

Source: The Oakland City Centennial Book, Published in 1956. p. 54

Photo Submitted by Bill Marshall

Can you identify any of the men in the above picture?

GAR520_Pic2.JPG (661445 bytes)
Later Picture, GAR Post 520
Oakland City, Indiana 
Click on Picture to View Larger Image)
Date of Picture

Source: The Oakland City Centennial Book, Published in 1956. p. 50

Photo Submitted by Bill Marshall

Can you identify any of the men in the above picture?

The History of GAR Post # 520

Source: History of Gibson County, Her People, Industries and Institutions, by Gil R. Stormont.   B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc., 1915.  pp 255-256.

A. H. Cockrum Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at Oakland City, was organized by Gil. R. Stormont, September 20, 1887, with the following charter members: Ira Castetter, Ephraim Christmas, F. M. Langford (Lansford), John T. Benton, Abe Cole, James Kilmartin, Henry C. Vickers, James M. Reavis (Reeves), Alvin T. (W.) Lett, Francis M. Black, Charles W. Abram, Joseph Beck, Henry Barton, William Myers, Asa Turpin, Wiley J. Baldwin. William M. Moreland, James M. Cockrum, James Hord, John McFarland.

This post increased rapidly in membership for the first few years, enrolling the most of those who were eligible in the town and vicinity. As the years passed the ranks were depleted as the comrades, one after another, dropped out, to be enrolled in that greater Grand Army beyond. There are still a faithful few who remain to maintain the organization and the regular meetings are well attended.

The following have served the post as commanders since the organization:

James M. Cockrum: 1887, 1888
John McFarland:  1889, 1891, 1893
Ephraim Christmas: 1890
James Kilmartin:  1892, 1895, 1897
James Reavis:  1894, 1901
Norman Taylor:  1896
D. J. King:  1898
L. O. Emmerson:  1899
James L. Stewart:  1900
Adam Young:  1902
Hiram Robinson:  1903
W. A. Harper:  1904
J. V. Gillum:  1905
Zadok M. McCleary:  1906 to 1914

The A. H. Cockrum GAR Post No. 520 is believed to have been named in honor of Corporal Alexander Hamilton Cockrum, who was a member of the 58th Indiana, Co. D.  Corporal Alexander Cockrum died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee on February 18, 1963, from wounds received at the Battle of Stone River (also called the Battle of Murfreesboro).  Alexander was an older half brother to Lt. Col. William M. Cockrum of the 42nd Indiana.

Special thanks to Bill Marshall who submitted this information.

1897 GAR Reunion
Oakland City, Indiana

Source: The Oakland City, Indiana Journal, October 15, 1897 
Article submitted by Bill Marshall

The Soldiers Reunion so Pronounced by All
Three Days of Pleasure for The Veterans.---Nearly Three Hundred Have Enrolled.

            The martial spirit in American citizenship is not dead yet and will not die as long as patriotic meetings, such as has been held in this city this week, are held throughout the land; as long as the stories of the heroism and love of country of our fathers and forefathers are told and retold amid the inspiring strains of military music and beneath the flag that those brave heroes of the revolution handed down to a patriotic ancestry that has since so valiantly defended it.

            The members of A. H. Cockrum Post G.A.R. have every reason to congratulate themselves on the magnificent success of the reunion that is closing this evening.  The weather man evidently took an inventory of the stock of days on hand and then passed out to the veterans three of the choicest of the whole lot, for finer weather for gatherings of this character could not be conceived.

            Main street presents a beautiful appearance as a mass of waving flags and many of the homes of Oakland City are handsomely decorated.  Our citizens, with their well known hospitality, have shown the visiting veterans every consideration and have spared no pains or expense to make their stay in our city an event of pleasure that they will not soon forget.

            The visitors commenced arriving Tuesday afternoon, but on Wednesday morning- the opening day- they arrived by car loads and soon the town was full of them, over 285 having registered on Adj. Johnson’s books up to noon today and many were here who did not register at all.

            At 2:00 o’clock Wednesday afternoon in a very appropriate address by Prof. F. D. Churchill, the veterans were formally welcomed to our city.  The response to the welcome address was delivered by Col. J. W. Hammond, of Oskaloosa, Iowa, which was followed by a ringing address by Chap. Heuring.  Then came the happiest part of the reunion, the general handshake, and the renewal of acquaintances among those who touched elbows in the turbulent sixties.  Wednesday evening at the fair grounds a realistic camp-fire, with all attending incidents and stories, was held and was much enjoyed by all present.

            Thursday was the big day of the reunion.  It was evident early in the morning that the crowd would be large and that the day would be filled with interesting events.  Department Commander Dodge did not arrive, which was a great disappointment to many veterans who wanted to see and hear their chief.  In the forenoon there was abundance of good speaking, the address by Co. Hammond being especially fine.  Rev. S. W. McNaughton, Rev. Ferguson and W. L. Bilderback were the other speakers.  In the afternoon the platform was occupied by Hon. A. P. Twineham, of Princeton, Dr. McMahan, of Huntingburg, and Rev. George Heuring, each of whom made an eloquent and patriotic speech.

            Never before have so many people been packed into the opera house as were present at the camp-fire exercises last evening.  The program consisted of choicest music vocal and instrumental, short talks and recitations.  The program was too lengthy for the Journal to particularize further than to say the whole affair reflected great credit upon those who had it in charge.

            The speakers whose names appear on the program for to-day did not come, but their places are being supplied by others and the day is being well spent.  The exercises close with a farewell camp-fire at the fair grounds to-night.


            Comrade Adam Young, as master of ceremonies is a success.

            The city and township schools closed yesterday and the scholars put in a profitable day at the reunion.

            Two shows on the fair grounds are a counter-attraction that sometimes downs out the speakers.

            The veterans sing “Marching through Georgia” with a zeal in which there is no evidence of gray hairs or halting steps.

            There has been very little drinking among the visitors.  A commendable improvement over some former reunions.

            Co. D, 120th Indiana perfected an organization yesterday with Geo. R. Williams, of Poseyvill, as president and L. O. Emmerson, of this city, secretary.  Their next meeting will be held at the residence of James M. Steele on the last Friday in September of next year.  There were 13 members present.

1898 GAR Reunion
Oakland City, Indiana

Source: The Oakland City, Indiana Semi Weekly Journal, October 14, 1898 
Article submitted by Bill Marshall



It was a Splendid Success from the Beginning to the End.


            Not one feature was lacking this week to make the soldier’s reunion an unprecedented success.  The weather was delightful, an ideal October week from early Tuesday morning till late last night the local members of the G.A.R. were kept busy entertaining the throngs of comrades who came in every train and from every direction.

It has been said by many present that this reunion attracted more attention than any reunion that has been held in Southern Indiana in recent years.  This was especially true Thursday when the streets in the morning and the fair grounds in the afternoon were surging masses of humanity.

            The official register last evening contained the names of 181 soldiers, from many states and representing many a gallant regiment.  This registration is so much in excess of that of a year ago, this reunion being much more perfectly organized and better advertised than last year’s.

            Another feature in which this reunion excels the majority was the large number of good speakers present and the manner in which they held their audiences.

            The address of welcome delivered by James L. Stewart Tuesday afternoon was a very able effort.  It was replete with patriotic sentiment, expressed in choice language and delivered with forceful eloquence.  The response was by Chaplain Huering, of Spencer county.  Among the other speakers were Department Commander Ryan, Adjutant General Smock.  Post Commander D. J. King presided at the meeting.

            Wednesday the program was well filled by Department Commander Ryan, Adjutant General Smock, Hon. J. A. Hemmenway, Hon. Thomas Duncan, Rev. Josephus Lee, Col. Johnson, Dr. McMahan and others.  Col. W. M. Cockrum was presiding officer.

            The reunion was happily closed yesterday by eloquent addresses from Chaplain-in-Chief Lucas and Maj. Menzies.

            The large number of old soldiers present were all well pleased with their treatment and the entertainment provided for them.  They all speak highly of the ability of Oakland City-zens to entertain their guest with an open-handed hospitality.

The Oakland City, Indiana Journal, October 10, 1899 
Article submitted by Bill Marshall

A. H. Cockrum Post, No. 520 G.A.R., went to Evansville in a body this morning to attend the reunion of the Blue and Gray.

Grave Stone of Rev. Ephraim Thomas (Front and Back).  
Montgomery Cemetery, Gibson County, IN (Columbia Township).
Picture Taken April 9, 2002.

Obituary of Benjamin Simpson

 Source: The Oakland City, Indiana Semi-Weekly Journal, Tuesday, October 2, 1900
Submitted by Bill Marshall

Benjamin Simpson, an aged colored citizen, died at his home on the south side last Saturday morning of tuberculosis, aged 66 years, 11 months and 7 days.  Deceased was a soldier in the civil war, serving with distinguished bravery in Company D, 100th Kentucky Colored Troops.  He was a member of A. H. Cockrum Post G.A.R. of this city, and was buried with all honors of the fraternity yesterday afternoon after a brief funeral service conducted by Dr. T. H. Drake at the late home of the deceased.  He enlisted in the army under his master’s name, and is known to the war department as Benjamin Bryant.  He was highly esteemed by all who knew him, both white and black.

Note card about the transfer of records of  the A. H. Cockrum GAR Post #520 
(Source: Indiana State Archives, Commission on Public Records)


The Oakland City Public Library
Sept. 17, 1923

The Public Library at Oakland City has received the property of the A. H. Cockrum Post No. 520, consisting of charter, records, etc. etc., to be kept in the public library for the use of the citizens of Oakland City and vicinity.

Ritta McCullough
H. Librarian



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