Note: Below is a reproduction of the
bulletin produced by the family of Col. Jones for the dedication ceremony.
Some of the actual dedication presentation material is reproduced below.
All pictures were added by the 42nd web author.
The MIDI file of "America
the Beautiful" is used by permission of Benjamin Robert Tubb from his website at
Public Domain Music http://www.pdmusic.org
Hello, my name is Tim Beckman and I would like to thank the family of Col.
Jones for inviting me here today to speak to you about the 42nd
The 42nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry was organized in Evansville (Vanderburg
County) on October 9th, 1861. Although
the regiment was organized in Evansville, many of the men came from other
southwestern Indiana counties such as Daviees, Gibson, Pike, Spencer, and
Warrick. These men came from all “walks of life” and were made up
of all nationalities. The vast
majority of the men listed their occupation on their enlistment papers simply as
“Farmer.” Some were mere boys
as young as 9 years of age. All
responded to the call of their country with great pride, fervor, and a sense of
patriotic duty. You can feel this
same sense of duty toward country as one reads the letters written by Col. Jones
to his family back home, like the one just previously read, when he wrote “I
felt bound by every consideration that can move a good citizen and a patriot, to
take command of a regiment and do all I could for the preservation of the
In his book, The History of the 42nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry,
Captain Horrall relates the following humorous story concerning Col. Jones.
“Col. J. G. Jones, after the battle of Perryville, Ky., as all did,
felt greatly the want for water which was just beyond our reach in plenty, in
Chaplin river, until the ninth of October, inside the enemy’s lines.
The colonel, suffering from thirst, offered a private soldier $10.00 to
get him a canteen of water. Starting
at eight o’clock, the comrade tramped till twelve o’clock that night, not
securing a drop of water. All the
wells in our lines were under guard for use at the field hospitals, for the
wounded. Upon the comrade reporting
his ill luck, Colonel J. said, “Well,
I’ll give you $5.00 for trying.”
During the 42nd’s nearly four years of service, they endured
hardships of every kind; disease, starvation, exposure to all kinds of weather
without adequate clothing and shelter, not to mention the separation from loved
ones so far away. They marched
thousands of miles and spilled their blood and died on battlefields from
Kentucky to Georgia in order to “preserve the government.”
Some of the more notable battles that the 42nd participated in
were: Wartrace, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, the Campaign against
Atlanta, and Bentonville. Others
“lucky” enough not to have been mortally wound in battle were captured as
prisoners of war. These men were
detained in such horrible prisons such as Andersonville, Libby, and Belle Isle.
Many died in these God forsaken places, while others barely survived,
always on the brink of death due to starvation and disease.
Other hardships awaited some of the soldiers toward the end of the war.
On April 27, 1865, the steam ship Sultana exploded on the flooded
Mississippi River in the dark of the night 7 miles north of Memphis, TN.
The Sultana was grossly overloaded with paroled Union soldiers, and
nearly 1700 men lost their lives. Among
the passengers were 3 members of the 42nd Indiana.
Only 1 of the 3 survived
this horrific accident. More lives
were lost on the Sultana than were lost on the Titanic. The Sultana
tragedy still stands as America’s worst maritime disaster.
During its term of service, the 42nd Indiana lost 113 men who were
killed and mortally wounded and 197 to disease for a total of 310.
Additionally, an estimated 443 men were wounded, and many of them were
left with some form of disability for the rest of their lives.
In an e-mail about this dedication and the 42nd Indiana,
Mary-Frances Jones observed that these men had suffered much during the war.
She is right. These men did
suffer many hardships. As we stand
here today surrounded by the graves of our fallen heroes, may we vow to always
honor those who sacrificed so much in order to protect the freedoms that we now
Capt. Horrall, in his book on the history of the 42nd Indiana,
stated the following in the context of addressing the sons and daughters of
Civil War veterans “…(may we) impress upon all the children of soldiers and
comrades, of the 42d Indiana particularly, the high worth of being sons and
daughters of veterans: - to transmit to them all, if possible, the zeal,
patriotism, and love of country that stimulated their fathers to deeds of honor,
and their mothers to great sacrifices, to save the Nation.
A saved Nation is a priceless heritage.
Its price was paid in blood.”
End of Bulletin
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