Blog post by Randi Richardson
Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who served our country in the time of war. It is a tradition that far exceeds the bounds of Monroe County stretching from America’s east coast to the west. It’s also a very old tradition.
On page one of the Bloomington Telephone published June 2, 1883, and available online at Hoosier State Chronicles, a free website, is a listing of Monroe County soldiers who either died in the service or since the war. The list includes hundreds of names along with the regiment number and remarks such as place and cause of death. Occasionally a death date is also included.
Unfortunately, the list is compiled in random order by regiment and not alphabetically. However, if you have been searching for a Civil War veteran it may be worth your time to scan through this list carefully to determine if your ancestor is included. A few examples are noted below.
George W. Whitaker, 82nd Reg’t, died at Bowling Green, Ky.
Elvin Farmer, Colored Reg’t, died at Memphis
William McDermott, 82nd Reg’t, died of wounds rec’d at Chickamauga
David P. Sutphin, 28th Ind., died of disease at home in Indianapolis
Francis Otwell, Jr., 27th Ind., died at Indianapolis July 27 ‘74
James W. Nichols, 38th Reg’t, died at Andersonville prison
A few years later a similar list was published in the Bloomington Telephone on May 8, 1922 (see p. 4). There were many more dates of death in this news item than in the one noted above. The latter list was viewed online at www.newspaperarchive.com, a paid website, but it should also be available on microfilm at the Monroe County Public Library. The list took up the entire page but about a third of the page was not legible.